Book Review: Our Intrepid Heroine by Ness Kingsley

I believe this is the first fantasy book I’ve read since Ashlee Willis’s The Word Changers… which, yes, I will be reviewing soon. I need to reread it first, though, since it’s been so long, and I might as well review this book while it’s fresh in my memory. 🙂

ourintrepidheroinecover

 This book was awesome. The prologue was wonderful… I’m not the type who skips over prologues, and I certainly would not skip over this one. I really liked Ness’s writing style.

When I began to read the first chapter, I was a little annoyed because the narrator kept interrupting the story, which made it take a while for the story to get started. But I really got to like the narrator and didn’t mind so much. She – I assume it’s a she – added some awesome irony and just helped add some extra zing to the story. Zing. What a fun word. Just like the story. 😀

Back on track. Our Intrepid Heroine (which is how I must refer to her) was a really good character. All of the characters were nice. “The Female” was appropriately annoying, I must say. 😉 But somehow I still liked her a little.

This plot… *sigh* Just the idea behind it was enough to pull me in. A girl going to kill a dragon… which she’s never done before. I could tell the story was going to be funny just by reading the summary. “And a frog” is now going to be my go-to funny line when listing things off. 😉 I was definitely not disappointed. Ness Kingsley has a wonderful sense of humor. The situations, the characters, the narrator, and Our Intrepid Heroine’s dragon-killing instruction book… all just wonderfully crafted. (And I’ve found myself referring to her book as the How To Kill Your Dragon book since I can’t remember the title. 😛 )

I can’t wait for the sequel to this book to come out! Go check out Ness’s blog, and go get Our Intrepid Heroine! You’ll love it, and it’s totally worth it! 🙂

Book Review: Under God by TobyMac and Michael Tait

Under God Cover

I just finished reading this book, and it is amazing!

Under God is a compilation of stories of sacrifice and faith from America’s history. From the American Revolution to the Civil War to the post-Civil-War segregation, this book is filled with touching and inspiring true stories. As TobyMac states in the book: “Knowing the past is crucial to dealing with the present.”

Along with awesome quotes…

Freedom is not an ideal, it is not even a protection, if it means nothing more than freedom to stagnate, to live without dreams, to have no greater aim than a second car and another television set.

-Adlai Stevenson, American Statesman

“Racism is not a skin problem; it’s a sin problem.”

-Nathel Tait, Michael Tait’s father

And touching stories like the Sand Creek Massacre, there are some great verses pointed out and wonderful commentary. I highly recommend this book. It was absolutely awesome.

Book Review: Invisible by Lorena McCourtney

WARNING: This is book one of the Ivy Malone Mystery Series. So just keep in mind that it’s part of a series if you decide to buy it and read it.

Hello, fellow booklovers. Let me start off by saying that the description for this book ended up being a little misleading, but I definitely enjoyed it in spite of that. Here’s the description from Amazon.com:

She’s not your average crime fighter!

Ivy Malone has a curiosity that sometimes gets her into trouble, and it’s only aggravated by her discovery that she can easily escape the public eye. So when vandals romp through the local cemetery, she takes advantage of her newfound anonymity and its unforeseen advantages as she launches her own unofficial investigation.

Despite her oddball humor and unconventional snooping, Ivy soon becomes discouraged by her failure to turn up any solid clues. And after Ivy witnesses something ominous and unexplained, she can’t resist putting her investigative powers to work again. Even the authorities’ attempts to keep Ivy out of danger and her nosy neighbor’s match-making schemes can’t slow her down. But will the determination that fuels this persistent, quirky sleuth threaten her very safety?

*MINOR SPOILER WARNING: If you want to be completely surprised when you read this book, don’t read any farther. I will not reveal any big spoilers, only a few things that show what was misleading about the description (to me, at least). You have been forewarned.*

So now that we got that out of the way, let us begin. First off, my interpretation of this description was that Ivy Malone finds out that she can turn invisible.

I quickly found out that Ivy Malone was not a teenager, a twenty- or even thirty-something-year-old, but was a… well, she was somewhere between sixty and seventy, I believe. Never figured that out for sure. However, because I had already gotten connected to her as only awesome authors can do, I continued to read, and soon found out she was not literally invisible, she was LOL invisible. No, no, not laugh out loud. Little old lady.

Trust me, I didn’t come up with that myself. There’s a reason I kept reading.

So maybe the character wasn’t what I was expecting, but other than that, this book was awesome! Lorena McCourtney kept me on the edge of my seat with her awesome suspense building, whether it was with the mystery or with the slight bit of romance mixed in. And of course, all that humor… I was LOL-ing while reading about a LOL.

And then the quotable moments, of course.

“…if I had to spend the next three months hiding in a closet eating grits.”

“‘BLOL.’ ‘What?’ ‘Busybody Little Old Lady.'”

“The good Samaritan with a gun. I didn’t stop to ponder the inconsistencies inherent in that.”

There were so many more awesome funny spots and memorable quotes in this book that I’d have to reread it and highlight (on my Kindle) if I wanted to find them all. And Lorena McCourtney has an awesome way with words. There’s also a lot of good messages in this book, and Ivy Malone’s faith is so strong and such a great example. Read it.

There is some mention of blood, bullet wounds, murder, death, uh, Ivy visits a morgue, and she also does some crazy LOL things, like camping out in a cemetery, but no gory descriptions of any of that. And the ending definitely entices you to read the next book. 😉

Oh, and did I mention that it’s free on Kindle? 😉

So go read it! You’ll enjoy it, that’s for sure!

Book Review: The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Westing-Game-Cover

This book was amazing.

If you like mysteries, Sherlock Holmes, and (I quote from the dedication) “puzzle-mysteries”, then you should read this book. It was first published in 1978, so it’s kind of old. And it’s wonderful. It makes me think of a huge game of Clue, except… different. Very different. And funnier.

I was taking notes during the story, trying to figure it out before the characters did, but, although I did on a little of it, I didn’t get all of it. There were so many amazing “Aha!” moments while I was reading. The characters are wonderful, and I really liked how we got to step into the minds of so many different characters. There weren’t so many characters that you got lost, but there were enough to keep things interesting.

And the funniness. Yes. There were so many things that were simply implied that just made you laugh. Here’s one of my favorite funny moments and quotes *NOT A SPOILER*:

“…the same male nurse who chased Otis Amer out of the hospital for sneaking up on a nurse’s aide carrying a speciment tray and shouting, ‘Boom!'”

Ah, yes. Just think about that for a while. You’ll get it.

All in all, I definitely recommend this book to everyone. It’s a great mystery, whether you like murder or not, and it’s really, really intriguing. I had a lot of trouble putting it down, and it took me less than a day to read. 😉 So read it, it’s awesome. If I could write mysteries like that… *sigh*

Read it!