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Jaylia3 RSS Feed (Silver Spring, MD United States)
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Ice Kissed (The Kanin Chronicles)
Ice Kissed (The Kanin Chronicles)
Offered by Macmillan
Price: $7.09

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great sequel!, May 5, 2015
Iced kissed is the second book in Amanda Hockings second series set in her richly imagined society of human-resembling trolls who love nature and gemstones and live in elaborate but off the beaten track communities. Bryn Aven is a mixed blood troll because her parents are from two different tribes so she’s determined to prove herself a worthy member of her Kanin community, but she’s not one to follow orders blindly when she thinks those in charge are mistaken, and that continues to cause her problems.

Plus there’s a lot of confusion. A queen’s life has been threatened, or has it? Konstantine Black is her enemy, or is he? Romance is another area where Bryn is not sure what to do, but the romantic aspects of the plot don’t slow things down or overshadow the other parts of the story.

Amanda Hocking doesn’t write gorgeous prose, but I can’t resist her moving stories, her spirited but conflicted characters, and her inventive settings. In these books she’s created a fascinating and personality-filled troll coterie which includes several tribes with distinctive cultures and diverging backstories.

Bryn spends a lot of this book in the semi-aquatic troll community her mother grew up in, and I loved learning more about this tribe. With a fast pace and several plot twists I didn’t see coming Ice Kissed was a can’t-put-down story for me. Like the first book in this series, Frostfire, Ice Kissed ends abruptly, this time with a major cliffhanger. Fortunately, the third book of the trilogy will be out in August.

I read an advanced review ebook copy of this book supplied by the pulisher through NetGalley. Review opinions are mine.


The Ire of Iron Claw: Gadgets and Gears, Book 2
The Ire of Iron Claw: Gadgets and Gears, Book 2
by Kersten Hamilton
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $12.74

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast paced, funny, vocabulary and history filled book that will engage even reluctant readers, May 3, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a reading tutor I'm always looking for books to engage reluctant readers and give them the practice they need to become fluent with the written word. Fast paced, very funny, and narrated by a savvy and daring dachshund named Noodles, The Ire of Iron Claw has been a big hit with my middle grade students. It's a steampunk style story with enough real world history and science that readers are painlessly learning while they enjoy the story--it makes them proud and I've heard them showing off their new knowledge to their (very happy) parents. Noodles the dachshund is always defining big words in very entertaining ways, so the book gives a vocabulary boost too. A great choice!


Calm (mini edition): Secrets to Serenity from the Cultures of the World (Lonely Planet General Reference)
Calm (mini edition): Secrets to Serenity from the Cultures of the World (Lonely Planet General Reference)
by Lonely Planet
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $7.99
58 used & new from $3.73

4.0 out of 5 stars Tiny but substantial, May 2, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is tiny, so little it could easily fit into a pocket, but that means the text is also on the small side, especially since Calm is more substantial than you might expect--it's not a book of calming aphorisms. Instead there are 128 pages, including an introduction and index. Each two page spread has a color photograph or illustration on the left side, and several paragraphs of often fascinating historical or cultural information about methods for remaining or regaining calm on the other page. I can see myself taking this to stressful doctor appointments since it would be both distracting and soothing.


Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World
Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science-and the World
by Rachel Swaby
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.40
57 used & new from $6.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating, informative, fun, May 2, 2015
Remember when the New York Times obituary for rocket scientist Yvonne Brill led with her beef stroganoff and devoted wife credentials rather than the jet propulsion system she invented? Headstrong doesn't make that mistake. Lively, entertaining, and inspiring, the book contains 52 brief but fascinating profiles of women from the 17th through the 21st century who have made significant contributions to science.

Rachel Swaby sketches the women in just a few pages, but that's enough to give a sense of each woman, the scientific advance she was responsible for, and the historical era she lived in. Fifty-two women means there's one entry for every week of the year, and it's a great book to have along when you only have a short time to read--commutes, waiting rooms, etc. Many of the women I had heard of--Rachel Carson, Sally Ride, Ada Lovelace, Maria Mitchell among them--but far more were new to me.

I greatly enjoyed this book, and while I think it was written with adults in mind the engaging accessible style means that middle and high school students will be able to appreciate it too.

I read ab advanced review copy of this book provided to me at no cost by the publisher through LibraryThing. Review opinions are mine.


Lonely Planet Discover Paris (Travel Guide)
Lonely Planet Discover Paris (Travel Guide)
by Nicola Williams
Edition: Paperback
Price: $16.73
61 used & new from $11.77

5.0 out of 5 stars Useful, colorful, packable travel resource, May 2, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Colorful, detailed, and downright inspiring, this guide is thorough enough to be a great resource, but small enough to be taken along on your trip to Paris. Among the resources it includes are an attractions highlights map, a list of 25 cant't miss Paris highlights, a month by moth guide to what's happening in the city, a page of new attractions, a brief synopsis of the history of Paris, and a practical but not overwhelming two page spread of need-to-know information. There is also a pull-out map of the whole city in the back of the guide.

Paris is divided into 8 sections, and the guide includes information on highlights, walking tours, dining, nightlife, entertainment, and shopping for each. There are color photographs and maps throughout making the book appealing and simple to use. A great resource if Paris is your destination.


Spectrum Algebra
Spectrum Algebra
by Spectrum
Edition: Paperback
Price: $8.97
34 used & new from $6.27

5.0 out of 5 stars Extra practice for keeping skills sharp, May 2, 2015
This review is from: Spectrum Algebra (Paperback)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
As a math tutor I've noticed that some students take to Algebra without any difficulty, it just makes sense to them, while others need a little more practice before their understanding is solid. Spectrum Algebra covers just about every Algebra I skill from factors to functions, and would be perfect for any student needing to review or brush up on their Algebra basics--summer would be a great time to use this workbook.

What Spectrum Algebra won't do is teach Algebra. The top of each worksheet page has a brief explanation of how to solve its problems which will be helpful as a review, but it's not detailed or thorough enough for someone unfamiliar with the skill being practiced. Also, students having real difficulty with Algebra will need more practice than this workbook offers. But for students who need just a little more practice, or a slightly different perspective on the material, or a way to keep their skills sharp over the summer, Spectrum Algebra would be a great resource.


18k Yellow Gold Plated Sterling Silver Two-Tone Multi-Gemstone Teardrop Bracelet (0.01cttw, I-J Color, I2-I3 Clarity), 7.25"
18k Yellow Gold Plated Sterling Silver Two-Tone Multi-Gemstone Teardrop Bracelet (0.01cttw, I-J Color, I2-I3 Clarity), 7.25"
Price: $139.63

5.0 out of 5 stars Colorful and sturdier than it looks, May 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This pretty bracelet looks delicate, but the links have enough depth to make them sturdy and the clasp is so secure my stiff fingers actually have trouble opening it when I want to take the bracelet off. I really love all the colorful gemstones and the sparkle of the tine diamonds, but that of course is a matter of taste. The photo is an accurate image.


A Thousand Miles to Freedom: My Escape from North Korea
A Thousand Miles to Freedom: My Escape from North Korea
by Eunsun Kim
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.62

4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating and moving, May 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This memoir has a personal, almost conversational tone, but what a moving, heartbreaking, inspiring, fascinating story she has to tell. Eunsun Kim spent her early years happily enough in North Korea, and that was interesting in itself to read about, but then famine drove her family across the border into China and set them on a decade long journey--even taking them into Mongolia--before she, her sister, and her mother were able to finally settle in South Korea.

A Thousand Miles to Freedom paints a vivid picture of living on the edge in North Korea and then China. It's an intimate story about a part of the world that's hard to get information about, and that alone would draw me to the book. I read it in one sitting because it's not long and is incredibly gripping.


The Shore: A Novel
The Shore: A Novel
by Sara Taylor
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written interconnecting stories, May 1, 2015
This review is from: The Shore: A Novel (Hardcover)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This group of interconnected stories set on a rural island near Chincoteague (of wild horses fame) opens with a moving chapter about two young sisters who are mostly abandoned by the adults who should be caring for them, but who together are resourceful enough to keep food in their stomachs, find entertainments, and avoid or fight off the more predatory of their neighbors. Then tragedy separates them, and the stories that follow move back and forth in time, giving us glimpses of the past and, intriguingly, of the far future.

The tone is often dark and sometimes violent, but what I loved most is the strong sense of place that runs throughout the book--reading these is almost like walking around the rough but fecund island for yourself. It was sometimes difficult to see how exactly all the stories connected, and none of them gripped me quite as intensely as the first one about the two young sisters, but the writing is consistently beautiful--skillfully detailed, atmospheric, and vivid--and The Shore is the kind of book that keeps you thinking about it for a while after you've finished it.


The Ghost Fields (Ruth Galloway Mysteries)
The Ghost Fields (Ruth Galloway Mysteries)
by Elly Griffiths
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $18.63

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and satisfying, May 1, 2015
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm a big fan of the Ruth Galloway Mysteries by Elly Griffiths and this latest book is just as engrossing as its predecessors--I read it straight through as soon as I received it. I love the wonderful mix of characters in the series and they way their relationships have continued to evolve, and I love the atmospheric slightly dark cozy feel to the stories and the mix of archaeology, history, and ancient myth.

This time the story revolves around the discovery of a WWII plane so the history is a little more recent. As a forensic archaeologist Ruth is called on to help investigate the human remains found on site. As a mystery I think The Ghost Fields could be read alone, and the unfolding secrets helped to keep me glued to the page, but for long time fans there's also the extra satisfaction of following what's going on in the character's lives, and that's a lot of what keeps me eagerly coming back to these books.


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