Book Review: My Plain Jane by Cynthia Hand, Jodi Meadows, & Brodi Ashton

“But she was a writer, so while she did get this moment of thinking herself somewhat brilliant, it would soon be offset by a crippling doubt that she had a gift of words at all. Such is the way with all writers. Trust us.”

Hand, Meadows and Ashton’s brilliantly written and utterly comical retelling of Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre in their novel My Plain Jane is an absolute thrill to read, one that will have you gasping for air due to uncontrollable amounts of laughter. Following Jane’s adventures but with an added supernatural twist and some additional compelling characters, My Plain Jane explores a hidden back story behind the what could’ve been tale of Jane.

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Book Review: The Colonel and the Bee by Patrick Canning

“If there was one thing to know about the Colonel, it was that his brand of reasoning was peculiar and entirely his own. If there was a second thing to be known, it was that his methods often showed results.”

A brilliantly written story full of humor and wit, Patrick Canning’s The Colonel and the Bee features an epic “around-the-world” adventure with rather peculiar characters and a grand treasure hunt. After escaping her brutal life in the circus, Beatrix “Bee” becomes part of the Colonel’s crew on his flying ship and becomes entangled in a mystery adventure like none other. With a captivating plot and a rather humorous undertone, Canning’s novel displays the true essence of the steampunk and adventure genres in a splendid manner.

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Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

“Nick and I look at each other.
‘I’m not holding your hand,’ I tell him, smiling a little.
‘All right’–he nods–‘but know that I would.'”

An absolutely hilarious and adorable read, Becky Albertalli’s Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is an insightful story that will bring readers to tears, both from laughter and woe. After a student beings to blackmail Simon after discovering his secret, Simon must follow all his requests or his (and his anonymous friends) secret will be vocalized to the world. Juggling family oddness, quarrels in friendships, accepting himself and hopelessly falling for his mysterious pen-pal, Simon’s adventures will make it nearly impossible to put this book down.

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Book Review: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”

Elegant and mesmerizing, Frances Hodgson Burnett’s The Secret Garden is a beautifully written children’s novel that remains to hold incredible value in the world of literature for over a century. When Mary Lennox is sent to live with her estranged uncle after the loss of her parents, the life she knew vanishes and becomes full of strange happenings and peculiar secrets. Vibrant in both setting and writing style, Hodgson Burnett’s classic novel brings to light the importance of imagination and life. Will Mary unlock the secrets within Misselthwaite Manor? What magic lies beyond the walls of the Secret Garden?

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Book Review: Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There by Lewis Carroll (unabridged)

“When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

Returning to Wonderland, Alice begins another grand adventure full of unique creatures and odd tasks. In the sequel to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Carroll’s celebrated children’s classic highlights the joys of childhood and the importance of time. Written for the delight of both children and adults, Through the Looking-Glass will entertain any who perchance to have a read. But will it live up to its predecessor? Will Alice learn even more than her first travel to Wonderland?

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Book Review: Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne

“People say nothing is impossible, but I do nothing every day.”

A true children’s classic, Winnie-the-Pooh is a heartfelt novella that continues to bring joy to all of its readers for nearly a decade. Following the adventures of Christopher Robin and his friends in the Hundred Acre Woods, Milne’s short stories are full of peculiar events and remarkably complex thoughts that the mind of a child will better understand that that of an adult. Will readers continue to fall in love with Milne’s ‘Bear of Very Little Brain’? Does this classic live up to children’s novel published today?

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