The Deep by Rivers Solomon

5 stars Fiction

It was cover love that brought me to this book.  After reading the synopsis, I knew that I had to read it.  I was amazed how short this book was, yet the story had everything that I was looking for.  Yetu needed to find her own life for the honor that was bestowed upon her was difficult.

She was the chosen one. Yetu was chosen to be the historian of her people. You would think, that being selected out of everyone else would be a blessing, yet to Yetu, this wasn’t.  To be elected as the historian, Yetu wore this title like a weight. It dragged her down, deeper than she could handle.

As the historian, Yetu collected all the memories of the Wajinru people.  Yetu’s job was to hold onto these memories so that they wouldn’t be forgotten throughout the years.  

As I read about this, I thought about letting go of my own memories.  Imagine, letting go of your memories, can you function?  I think my day would be carefree and cold as I feel that my memories play a huge role in who I am and how I function and react each day. I wonder who I would be without my memories.  

Now, think about Yetu.  She carries all the memories of her people.  The good, the bad, the beautiful and the ugly.  What a gift and what a burden to know so much information.  Yetu knows that being a historian is too much for her but what can she do, she was chosen and she has all the memories? 

Yetu is late.  The time for the Remembrance has passed and the Wajinru people are restless.  Yetu must perform the Remembrance for them and give them the reassurance they need but more importantly, this event will give her some peace. I was hoping that Yetu would talk to the Wajinru and explain her situation, she was in a position of power, they would listen, wouldn’t they?

I really enjoyed this novel. I became a part of Yetu’s journey as she learns more about herself and the Wajinru. I enjoyed the flow of the book and the historical aspects used within it. I am hoping there will be more of this story.

I received an advanced copy of this book from Saga Press in exchange for an honest review.    

CatStronauts Space Station Situation by Drew Brockington

4 stars Child’s Graphic Novel

I love cats and I’ve been looking at these graphic novels for a while now.  The CatStronauts are just what they sound like, cats who are astronauts.  Weird, yes but feasible in a kid-friendly world.  I enjoyed all the subtle cat references, the friendships, the easy flow of this graphic novel, and their adventure.

In this mission, Pom Pom is finished helping colonize Mars and is now meeting up with his team on the Space Station. The team will now try to repair the Hubba Bubba Telescope. Sounds easy enough for the CatStronauts until transmission problems arise and they can’t talk to ground control.  They discover that meteor showers are causing all the interference.  The problems just continue for the team as they try to fix one problem after another, until they discover that if they don’t act quickly, destruction on a massive scale is in their future. 

“What the fish is going on?!” These references were just part of the text, which made me smile as I read this book.  References to the kitty box, tuna, kitties, etc., caught my attention, although there really weren’t a whole lot of them.  I felt that they added to the charm of the book and to the characters, themselves. 

This graphic novel had a good flow to it.  There was enough action to keep me engaged and the illustrations were detailed and they complemented to the story.  I’m often asked what would be a great graphic novel to give to a young child and I think this one would fit the bill.  It’s a great child’s graphic novel for any level, I believe.  I’m going to pick up other books in this series to see what these cats are up to.

“Meow, meow, meow.”

Back to the Future by Kim Smith

5 stars Children’s

Ha!  This children’s book is just like I remembered the movie to be, only in a condensed form.  What a fun book! 

Marty McFly talks about his home life and about his best friend, Doc. He discusses the time machine, how he test-drove it and ended up in 1955. Whoops!  With no plutonium (not invented yet), Marty had to find his way back home by looking for a younger version of his friend Doc, and convincing him that he needed help getting back home to 1985.  It’s a good thing that Marty remembered that lightening was going to strike the clock tower soon, for that would come in handy.  Doc could rig up something using that electricity to get Marty back to the future. 

Marty had been in 1955 only a short time but he was causing quite a stir.  He now had problems that he needed to address with his parents, who were now teenagers and if he couldn’t get that back to normal, his future would be wiped out. 

It’s a blast from the past with this book as Back to the Future is presented in this Pop Classic book.  Kim Smith does it again with her outstanding illustrations that will definitely grab your attention.  With vivid colors and stunning details, these illustrations will leave a smile on your face.  It’s another wonderful book from Pop Classics.    

The X Files: Earth Children Are Weird by Jason Rekulak

5 stars Children’s

There is nothing like a sleepover outside to get your imagination going and that is exactly what happens in this book, which is a classic on The X Files: Earth Children Are Weird.  All outdoor noises can be explained by everyday events, right?

This is an enjoyable and lively story which begins with two young children (Dana and Fox)camping outside, in the backyard, inside a tent. Fox definitely looks scared after hearing Dana read to him the book, The X Files. Fox begins to question all the noises that he hears outside their tent.  Dana tries to reason with Fox, explaining that aliens aren’t real and as they venture out into the yard, she tells him that things look different outside because its dark.  It sounds like a great explanation but when Dana gets spooked too, they all take off running into the house where they think they’re going to be safe.   

I enjoyed looking at the illustrations for they felt like they’d pop right off the page.  Bright colors, crisp details and the facial expressions were fantastic.  The story is told by using speech balloons as each character talks and by using various onomatopoeias throughout the book. It really is a fun book to look at and the language is easy to read so children will be able to read it on their own in no time.  The ending is super cute.

Klawde: Evil Alien Warlord Cat by Johnny Marciano

5 stars Children’s/ Middle School

With a flash of light, he was gone, teleported to the horrible, ravaged planet Earth! I had a wonderful, hilarious time reading this children’s book.  It wasn’t just my love of cats that made this book entertaining, it was Klawde and his witty descriptions that stole the show. As Klawde described living amongst us carnivorous ogres, he couldn’t believe that Raj didn’t realize Klawde was the greatest feline warlord to walk the universe. 

Raj had problems of his own. They had just moved to Oregon and Raj didn’t know a soul.  When the wet cat showed up on his doorstep, his parents told Raj that he could keep him, if he went to Nature Camp.  Little did Raj know that Klawde was a talking warlord that had big plans which would involve him and that this “Nature Camp” was actually a survival camp.

It was Klawde, the warlord and his supreme view that cracked me up throughout the novel.  When gifted with a scratching post, Klawde wondered if it was a sculpture.  What was up with the fake, fluffy animals that they tried to get Klawde to attack and kill, was this their idea of military training or just cat toys? What about the human who tried to spear Klawde in the neck? Klawde wants to return home to his planet and seek revenge on those who teleported him to Earth but first, he must find a way to get there.

Raj has always wanted a cat yet I don’t think he was ready for Klawde.  Raj becomes part of Klawde’s mission and tries to help him accomplish his task which of course, is funny. He thought he had a cool cat once he learns Klawde can talk but will he talk for anyone else?  Raj has some issues at camp and talks to Klawde about them but unfortunately, Klawde behaves like a cat most of the time, when Raj wants any kind of a response.

I really enjoyed this book. I liked Klawde’s imagination, his wit, and I liked his determination.  I liked the friendship the two of them had. I liked how the author alternated the views from Klawde to Raj, on each chapter, as I believe that it allowed the reader to see both sides of the story and made the book wittier and amusing. I liked this book so much I picked up book 2 from the library last night.  It was a fun and entertaining. 

When the Sky Fell on Splendor by Emily Henry

4 stars YA science fiction

It was just the six of the them out driving around when it all began.  Nick noticed something strange by the bridge and Levi thought he saw it too but they ignored it.  They had more important things to attend to, for their time together was coming to an end. They had a few episodes to film before summer was over.

The abandoned house was perfect. Its legacy left some of the cast members tense as they began filming.  Unexpectedly, out of nowhere, the night sky is lit up and the group finds the sky streaked with bright lights.  It seems to be a meteor shower. As fast as it started, the lights stop. The sky goes dark.  There’s noise. Loud noise. The group tries to understand, exactly what that noise is.  There was a rough-scratching sound, like grinding metal which ended with a loud explosion. 

Using their flashlights, the group races towards the sound, only to find their dog nearby and the most usual sight that they could image. As Levi records the image with his camera, the group tries to make sense of what they are seeing.

So, what was this thing they found that night?  Why do The Ordinary’s feel different after that night? After the group posts their video on the internet, it seems everyone has their own opinion of what it is and what they should be doing.

The characters and the town have had a lot of misfortune which played a part in this novel. It’s not a depressing novel but an important part of the novel. I thought the mystery element of the story was fun. I felt like I was going one way with the story yet I was waiting for something else to come along and change the story.  This was a unique book and the ending was not what I expected.  It was an entertaining read and one that I was glad that I read.