Captain Cake: Meet the Candy Crew by Chris Skinner

Rating: 4 out of 5.
"Childrens" Genre Block - 4 kids laying on stomachs looking at book
Copy of Science Fiction with pink background and oversized moon with reflection in water

This was a cute kids book. It’s broken into chapters, so it’s easy to start and stop for little ones. The chapters are pretty short, and it can absolutely be read in a single sitting for an older child.

This story is about a group of friends that are part food/part human. They are in space, and need to go on missions. The story has some points where it asks the kids questions about what they would do, which was fun. My kids enjoyed those parts a lot!

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Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost by Lindsay Marcott

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Person peeking through hole titled "Thriller"
Mrs. Rochester's Ghost
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

I really enjoy retellings. Jane Eyre retellings are one of my favorites. I have read quite a few different ones. I like that the general premise can stay the same, and I still enjoy the story!

Mrs. Rochester’s Ghost is a Jane Eyre retelling, and it feels contemporary while still holding strong to the base story of the original. I really enjoyed that this story jumps right into the plot. I feel like I didn’t have to wait at all to get to the Rochester house and see the first creepy thing! It really made the book fly by!

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The Seven Day Switch by Kelly Harms

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
Book Genre Block with image of group of children

I love a good story about moms, their lives, and their troubles. In The Seven Day Switch I got two moms, and I loved it! What makes it even better is that it turns into a body-switch story, so it’s got a bit of a fantasy aspect to it.

I enjoyed both of the main characters in this story. Wendy is a working mom trying to bust her butt to get everything done. I felt for her, I connected to her, and I thought, oh she’s going to be the one I know and understand. And yet, when I met Celeste, I kind of got her too. She’s busting her butt to get everything done too. So really, there’s a lot in common between these two women. Will they come to understand that though?

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The Magic of Found Objects by Maddie Dawson

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
The Magic of found objects book cover with feather above hand
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

This was such a great story! I loved the relationships, both romantic and friendly, and I enjoyed the storyline. This is a story that just made my heart feel full and happy! It funny, but tackles life topics that can be easily related to.

The characters in this book are amazing, and you truly become friends with them as you read. They all have their own special traits that make them so endearing. There are things that can be unlikable at times, but since no one is perfect, I like to see that in a character.

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Chasing Failure by Ryan Leak

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Person peeking through hole titled "Thriller"
Chasing Failure book cover with "Failure" circled again and again
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

The subtitle of this book is “How Falling Short Sets You Up for Success”. I got excited to read this because I like to be a glass half full type of person, and I really thought that this title sounded like it was thinking the same way I was, and I sure was right!

Chasing Failure is a self-help book written by Ryan Leak that blends personal experience with suggestions, advice, and ideas to help you find ways to be successful, even in the face of failure.

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The North Face of the Heart by Dolores Redondo

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Person peeking through hole titled "Thriller"
The North Face of the Heart book cover with dark clouds and statues
"Mystery" Genre card with dark woods and light in the distance

This was a thrilling story that takes the reader to New Orleans in the midst of a hurricane. I thought the author did a wonderful job of bringing the rage of the storm into the atmosphere of this story. It felt heavy and full of suspense, and I really enjoyed it!

Amaia is a detective from Spain, traveling to New Orleans to partner with the FBI to find a serial killer. I liked the mix between Amaia’s Spanish background and the American setting. I thought it was an interesting culture mix!

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The Essence of Nathan Biddle by J. William Lewis

Book Genre Block - "General Fiction" Person holding book
The Essence of Nathan Biddle book cover with large bird
Book Genre Block - "Young Adult" with 4 young adults

The Essence of Nathan Biddle is a timeless coming-of-age tale that, as novelist David Armstrong observed, “is like discovering The Catcher in the Rye all over again.” Protagonist Kit Biddle is a rising prep school senior who finds himself tangled in a web of spiritual quandaries and intellectual absurdities. Kit’s angst is compounded by a unique psychological burden he is forced to carry: his intelligent but unstable Uncle Nat has committed an unspeakable act on what, according to the Uncle’s deranged account, were direct orders from God.

The tragedy haunting his family follows Kit like a dark and foreboding cloud, exacerbating his already compulsive struggle with existential questions about the meaning of his life. When the brilliant, perhaps phantasmic, Anna dismisses him, Kit quickly spirals into despair and self-destruction. But when his irrational decision to steal a maintenance truck and speed aimlessly down the highway ends in a horrific accident and months of both physical and emotional convalescence, Kit is forced to examine his perceptions of his life and his version of reality.

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It Is What You Make of It by Justin McRoberts

Rating: 4 out of 5.
"Non Fiction" words carved into wood
It Is What You Make of It book cover with inflatable cactus
Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen

Are you a glass half-full or a glass half-empty kind of person? This book will help you find a way to always make it a glass half-full kind of day!

Justin McRoberts shares his life’s stories with such a wonderful note of humor and honesty that it’s an absolute joy to read this book. I loved the way that McRoberts talks about not accepting a mindset of “It is what it is” but instead finding how we can make it what we want.

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Into the Deep by Robert D. Ballard and Christopher Drew

Rating: 4 out of 5.
"Non Fiction" words carved into wood
Into the Deep book cover with words in big wave
Book Genre "Memoir" with person writing with pen

I have always been interested in the Titanic’s wreck site, and when I had the chance to read this book, I was all about it! Bob Ballard’s memoir, Into the Deep covers not only his discovery and exploration of the Titanic’s site, but also so many other wonderful underwater finds!

This was a great read that really brought me along on some fantastic journeys! I loved that there were photographs included to bring these discoveries to life as I read. I feel like there was so much to learn, and so much I never knew about the Titanic, but also about all the other wonderful things Ballard has done for underwater exploration.

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Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table by Louie Giglio

Rating: 4 out of 5.
"Non Fiction" words carved into wood
Book Cover: Don't Give the Enemy a seat at your table - Words on solid yellow background
Book Genre Block "Inspiring" with letter tiles spelling "Do Not Give Up"

Wow, I flew through this book! This was something that I really needed in my life, making it incredibly impactful for me!

Louie Giglio’s self-help book, Don’t Give the Enemy a Seat at Your Table, is a heavily Christian book. He prays at the beginning and end of the book, and the overall theme is not to let the devil have a seat at your table. Of course, the devil is not just the literal devil. He’s talking about how to stop letting anxiety, worries, fear take hold of your life.

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Only the Pretty Lies by Rebekah Crane

Book Genre Block - "Young Adult" with 4 young adults
Only the Pretty Lies book cover with boy and girl
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

This YA romance is a great way to start discussions around the topics of race, gender, and stereotypes! The story weaves these into the plot in a great way, and I really enjoyed it!

We meet Amoris, a senior in high school, as she reignites a childhood friendship with Jamison. Jamison just moved back to town, and as they become friends, and their relationship evolves, Amoris has the chance to see racism in ways she never noticed before.

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Stormland by John Shirley

Rating: 4 out of 5.
Copy of Science Fiction with pink background and oversized moon with reflection in water
Book Cover "Stormland" with two
Person in dark woods titled "Suspense"

I love a good post-apocalyptic story, and I completely got one in Stormland! I loved that the story made me feel the danger from the weather, from the travel, and from the people. It created a heart racing, edge-of-your-seat roller-coaster ride that I didn’t want to get off of.

I really enjoyed the characters. They fill the story out. The storm is always there, it might get quiet for a bit, but it always comes back, and I felt like I could rely on that throughout the story. The characters though, there was so much surprise, change, and growth, it complimented the steadiness of the roaring weather really well.

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