Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife (Review)
reviews* / January 6, 2015

Title: Shattered Dreams: My Life as a Polygamist Wife Author: Irene Spencer Narrator: Laural Merlington Publication Year: 2007 Pages: 432 (audio length: 14 hours 10 minutes) Genre: Non-Fiction, Memoir Source: Audiobook version purchased from Audible.com From the cover: Irene Spencer did as she felt God commanded in becoming the second wife to her brother-in-law Verlan LeBaron. When the government raided their community – the Mormon village of Short Creek, Arizona – seeking to enforce the penalties for practicing polygamy, Irene and her family fled to Verlan’s family ranch in Mexico. Here they lived in squalor and desolate conditions with Verlan’s six brothers, one sister, and numerous wives and children. This appalling and astonishing tale has captured the attention of readers around the world. Irene’s inspirational story reveals how far religion can be stretched and abused and how one woman and her children found their way out, into truth and redemption. Listening to this book was painful. Not because it was poorly written, or because the narration was bad. Not at all. It was painful because I just wanted to shake the author and everyone around her throughout pretty much the entire story. It was like watching a disaster happen and not being able to stop it….

No Humans Involved (Review)
reviews* / December 16, 2014

The first time that Jaime appeared in an earlier book, I wasn’t sure how I felt about her. She was a bit ditzy, and seemed to use her supernatural powers mostly to make money. But by the time I got to this book, I’d started to sort of like her.

No Humans Involved was probably the book in the series that I found the creepiest so far.

The Harlequin (Review)
reviews* / December 3, 2014

Honestly, this was probably one of my least favourite books in the series.

I liked the idea of the Harlequin, the pseudo-secret police force of the vampires, and could even follow along with them going rogue and trying to take over St. Louis. But there was just too much unexplainable magic – on both sides – for me to be able to take in.

Wicked Lovely (Review)
reviews* / November 6, 2014

My last year of teaching in Canada, one of my students asked if I had read any Melissa Marr. I had heard of her, but didn’t even know what kind of books she wrote. I told him I would look into it, and then promptly forgot.

So when I got more into reading YA fantasy series this year, and found the Wicked Lovely books in my library’s online collection, I had to pick them up. And after reading the Iron Fey series, I had already realized that I liked books about the fae more than I had thought I would. So I went into this series with fairly high hopes.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid (Review)
reviews* / October 31, 2014

Title: Diary of a Wimpy Kid Author: Jeff Kinney Publication Year: 2007 Pages: 224 Genre: Fiction, Graphic Fiction, Children’s Fiction Source: Purchased from Borders in Abu Dhabi Mall From the cover: It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion. Last year, I taught this book to some of my higher-level ESL students in Abu Dhabi. Lots of them had seen the movie, but almost none of them had known it was a book first. One thing that the students liked about Diary of a Wimpy Kid was the cartoons. They really helped with understanding the main ideas of the story. The girls liked the antics…