Monday, July 23, 2012

Jordan's Review: Thirteen Reasons Why

Summary: Thirteen Reasons Why is about a freshman in high school, Hannah Baker, struggling with her life.  She had been going well through the year, until boys started treating her poorly. Not only that, but she had witnessed something no one should ever have to see.  When she decides she is going to commit suicide, she records a tape for each person she holds responsible for her death.  After sending out the tapes, she takes her own life.  In this book you will go through what it was like for Hannah Baker to go through high school.

Review: I extremely enjoyed Thirteen Reasons Why, and thought it showed immense realism, and intensity.  You feel as if you are experiencing what she is going through.  You hear a more intense story tape after tape. Each tape leaves you hanging, and wondering what will come next. I wanted to keep reading so badly, I finished the book in less than three hours. Once you get started you won’t be able to put it down. The more you read the better it gets.  The story also has an amazing lesson along with it.  It shows to not treat girls disrespectfully, and to always be aware of your actions. This book is great for anybody twelve and older. I highly recommend it, and think that it is a must read.

Final Take:  5/5 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Jordan's Review: Crazy

Summary:  Fifteen-year-old Jason has had quite a lot of bad times—his mother has died and his father has fallen to mental illness. As he tries to hold his crazy father and their crumbling home together, Jason relies on a host of imaginary friends for guidance as he stumbles along trying not to draw attention to his father’s condition.

Review: Crazy was not only intense and thrilling, but extremely funny too.  With the voices in his head telling him what to do, you couldn’t help but laugh at some of the advice they gave him.  It also gave a great lesson in saying always be grateful for what you have. With every moment becoming more and more ‘crazy’ Jason starts to lose grip.  He begins going to the social worker and the authorities get involved.  You can’t help but feel sorry for him and feel the emotions he’s going through. I felt a great connection to him because I would have done the same as he did if I was in his position. All in all I thought this book was extremely great and would recommend it to anyone 12 and older. If there was a sequel I would read it in a heartbeat!

Final Take: 5/5

Monday, July 16, 2012

Gates's Review: Kingdom Keepers: Shell Game

 Summary:  Shell Game by Ridley Pearson is an exciting, page turning addition to the previous collection of Kingdom Keeper books, the 5th book in the series.  Kingdom Keepers is about a group of kids who at night turn into holograms (called DHI’s) to protect Disney.  The Kingdom Keepers are under siege from the Overtakers (a group of Walt Disney’s most evil and diabolical villains who are determined to take over Disney). The Kingdom Keepers, barley able to force back the enemy, now have a new problem. A Disney cruise ship The Dream is being launched and the five Kingdom Keepers, high school students Finn, Maybeck, Charlene, Philby, and Willa, are onboard because villains have infiltrated the cast and crew of the ship.  They must work together to try to stop the villains on the ship, despite the threat that their Base back at home is under attack and about to fall.  The Overtakers seem more powerful than ever before, so Finn and his friends have their work cut out for them.  If they fail, the Overtakers will control Disney and eventually take over the world.

Review:  For me, this book was phenomenal. I liked the growing tensions between the friends; it made the book feel more realistic with the feuds between Philby and Finn regarding who was the better leader. Another thing I liked was the overwhelming number of enemies facing the Kingdom Keepers. It seems like in this book the only ally they have on the ship is a mysterious girl called Storey Ming who could be a spy for the OT’s (Overtakers).  One last thing I liked was the uncertainty of where the Overtakers would be. In the book there are two main places the Overtakers attack: Disney World and the cruise ship. Not knowing where they’ll strike next created a sense of mystery and suspense which kept me turning the pages.
While I did like a majority of things in the book, there were a few things that I didn’t like. Although it didn’t affect me, all the confusing elements such as DHI’s make it hard to pick up on the story if you haven’t read the other books. One other thing that I didn’t like was that DHI’s are mainly for defense. This is kind of a problem when you’re in a war against villains that can cast spells and throw fireballs.

Other than some little nit-picky details, I thought the book was great. I would recommend it to any fan of Disney and any fan of adventure-type novels.  I hope you pick up Kingdom Keepers: Shell Game, if not the entire series, and read it for yourself.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Jordan's Review: The Year Money Grew on Trees

Summary:   I previously read The Year Money Grew on Trees.  This book was about 14-year old Jackson and his family working to keep his neighbors apple orchard in business.  He and his cousins and sisters all agree to work on the orchard; and split the money earned from selling the apples.  What he doesn’t tell them is that he agreed to give his neighbor (the owner) $8,000 dollars of the earnings.  When they get done fertilizing, irrigating and actually start selling the apples, he realizes making over $8,000 may be harder than he thought. Read this book to find out if Jackson and his family reach the goal and get their money!

Review:  The Year Money Grew on Trees was definitely not one of my all time favorites.  It lacked some things that I thought were needed. For one, it wasn’t very well written for teens, even though it is about teenagers.  It made it hard to connect to the things going on in the story.  It had a good story line to it; but I don’t think it was good for anyone over 12. I’m sure someone that was ten would enjoy it; but they wouldn’t be able to connect to the story and its characters either.  I also didn’t get excited when they accomplished something, because I wasn’t really that into the book.  Aside from those two things, I thought that overall it was an okay book. 

Final Take: 3/5

Saturday, July 14, 2012


A couple months ago, I (Julie) had an idea of adding a new feature to our Girls Just Reading blog, that would have young adults review books a couple times a month. Instead of making it a feature, Jenn thought that maybe we start an off-shoot and create a blog just for them. Hence, Kids Just Reading!

Since this is new for us, we aren't sure what direction this blog will take but we hope you enjoy it! We hope you tell others about it. Word of mouth is key for a new blog.

Find out more about our bloggers on our About Us page (here).

Know a teen or tween who might be interested in contributing to this blog?  Email us at kidsjustreading (at) gmail (dot) com