Book Review: Scooby-Doo y el Monstruo de las Nieves (Scooby-Doo and the Snow Monster)

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I read books in Spanish to improve my Spanish vocabulary. (I mean… it’s how I learned or reinforced a lot of my English vocabulary so….) As you can guess by the title of this book, I’m still at a child’s reading level in Spanish.

This book follows Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, and the rest of the “gang” as they go on vacation at a ski resort. Unfortunately, there is a snow monster terrorizing the guests of the resort! After it bothers the crew one too many times, they decide to figure out who is behind the monster.

This book gets four stars. It was a little bit less predictable than the usual Scooby-Doo story, but still followed the basic pattern. In an effort to not make the culprit super obvious, the author introduced quite a few characters. If I was reading in my native language this might not have been a problem, but it was confusing to me as it was, and I suspect it would be confusing to a beginning reader as well.

Spanish words I learned/reinforced with this book:

Albergue – Cabin
Escalera – Ladder
Cobertizo – Shed
Furgoneta – Van

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Book Review: Sixteen Kisses by Kelly Oram

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

This novella follows Cassie on the day of her sixteenth birthday. Up until this day, she’s never been kissed. Will that change now that she’s sixteen?

This book was cute. It’s perfect for reading in a waiting room, or even a quick trip to the beach. It is a little predictable, and it doesn’t have the depth of a normal novel, but for a novella I thought it was great.

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Book Review: So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed by Jon Ronson

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

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In this non-fiction book, Jon Ronson delves into the world of public shaming. Although he does investigate the roots of public shaming all the way back to the days of stocks and whippings, most of the stories and interviews shared in this book are about a newer, modern day version of shaming – internet shaming. He shares the stories of people whose lives have been turned upside down based on one poorly placed comment or photo on the internet. He also speaks to those who do the shaming, and tries to make sense of the entire situation.

If you’re a fan of narrative style non-fiction books such as Freakonomics, you’ll probably enjoy this one as well. Because it deals with a real-world problem, the ending is not as neat-and-tidy as I would have liked. The information within the book, however, is fascinating, and it makes me question any action I have ever taken on the internet. Both from the perspective of “how could someone use this to destroy me?” and “could this comment/action be affecting someone else in a negative way?”

If you want to get a large glimpse into this book, or if you just want to watch a short overview instead of reading the entire thing, you can view Jon Ronson’s TEDTalk here.

Book Review: End of Days by Susan Ee

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Penryn and Raffe continue to work together to survive after the events of book two, World After. Old enemies and old friends from Raffe’s past start to come to light as they face situations among the angel elite. Tensions rise as the angel’s plans increase danger to the remaining surviving humans on earth. Will Raffe continue to stay by Penryn’s side?

This book was awesome!!!! It gets five out of five stars. I definitely did not want to put this one down. It was very intense, in a Hunger-Games-Meets-Dante’s-Inferno sort of way. The action ramps up, and so do stakes. Has Penryn been making the right choices so far? Or have they all been wrong, based on feelings and not fact? The author does a great job of bringing everything together in the end.

 
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Book Review: World After by Susan Ee

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

(This post contains spoilers for book one, Angelfall. See my review of that book here.)

After the events of the previous book, Penryn and her family travel back to the only other people they know – the Resistance. Things are complicated, however, by her mother’s abnormal antics and her sister’s zombie-doll look and behavior. And, of course, the angels.

This book was great! If you plan on reading this series, I’d recommend setting aside a weekend to do so. Plans or not, you will end up reading them all in a short space of time. 🙂 My only problem with this book was that the ending seemed so… weak. I felt unsettled since the conclusion was really just a segue into book three. This book had a lot of action and was paced nicely to keep my interest the entire way. I love the intricacies that the author wove in. I also love Penryn – whose character remains strong and consistent as she goes through these events.

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Book Review: Angelfall by Susan Ee

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Penryn is a seventeen-year-old who is trying to survive after her world has been destroyed by angels. In a desperate dash for safety, she and her family discover a group of fighting angels. One of them flies off with her younger sister, and her schizophrenic mother disappears. She takes a wounded angel hostage, hoping he can lead her to her sister.

The series overall was fantastic, but this was my least favorite of the three books, getting three out of five stars. My reservations about the book are as follows:

  1. It gets really weird really fast towards the end. It makes sense in the context of the series, but not in the context of just one novel.
  2. This book feels like part one of a three part story. Like the series should have been written as one book, instead of three.
  3. I was expecting this book to be in the young adult paranormal/dystopian genre. It’s more in the sci-fi/horror/thriller genre. Maybe if you go into the book expecting  that, it’ll read better.

That being said, there are still some great aspects of this story. Penryn is kick-butt, even in the face of everything happening. She’s a strong and spunky character who only gets better as the story goes on. Raffe (the angel) is a mystery, and it’s fun to read and discover more about him and angel society as the story progresses.

Have you read this book/series? Are there any other angel-themed series I need to pick up next?

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Book Review: If We Were a Movie by Kelly Oram

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Nate is an avid music lover who is pursuing his dreams by studying music at NYU. He’s one of a triplet and no matter how hard he tries, his two brothers always seem to be screwing things up for him. After one too many unfortunately incidents, he ends up in a coffee shop talking to a random old lady (the matchmaker) who sets events in motion that affect his future.

Jordan is a cinephile who has a movie quote or scene for every situation. She introduces Nate to a new world away from his brothers. One filled with takeout, movies, and a drama-queen best friend.

This book got four out of five stars from me. I love everything I’ve read by Kelly Oram. While this book was cute there was one main element that bothered me. Since this is a romance novel and a matchmaker places Jordan and Nate together early on in the book, I would rather have read more about their relationship as it develops. However, for most of the novel, Nate is actually dating (and sleeping with) his girlfriend. I know it can happen, but it just felt wrong to me that he was falling in love with one girl while dating another. Overall though, it was a cute romance with pretty well developed characters.

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