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The All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness

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I love when I love a book. It makes me a happier person. I love when I love an entire series. For the last month that I have spent with these three books, I have enjoyed reading every word.Very few books have brought me the joy that these books have. They have found a spot not only on my LOVE shelf, but in my Top 5.

A Discovery of Witches

Diana Bishop lives a quiet life as a tenured professor at Yale, currently working on research at Oxford. She spends her days in the Bodleian Library, reading alchemical manuscripts; and her evenings are spent doing yoga, rowing, running, and drinking tea. Despite the mask that Diana keeps up to pretend she is normal, she is anything but. She is a witch, although she uses her magical only sparingly. So she is quite surprised when one of the manuscripts she requested is filled with magic. However, after quickly reviewing the book, she sees that it will not help her with her current research, and so she sends the book back. The book, known by call number…

Walk of the Spirits by Richie Tankersley Cusick

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You guys know I hate saying this, but I really did not like this book. I actually bought Spirit Walk which contains both books in the series, Walk of the Spirits and Shadow Mirror. I trudged through Walk of the Spirits, and then made my way into the fourth chapter of Shadow Mirror before deciding that I was going to have to add it to my DNF list.

Walk of the Spirits follows Miranda Barnes who has just moved to St. Yvette, Louisiana after being displaced by Hurricane Katrina. But since her and her mother moved back to her mom hometown, she's been plagued by screams and visions and scents that make no sense to her. When she has a chance reunion with her grandfather, who has a reputation of being crazy, Miranda learns that he is haunted by the same thing as she; either that, or she's as crazy as him. But as visions of a Civil War soldier and a rose-scented debutante become more clear, Miranda learns that she will not find peace until she helps them find peace. With the help of he…

Janie Johnson by Caroline B. Cooney

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I first read the Janie Johnson books in seventh grade. Well, only the first two books. I don't know why I didn't continue reading. But any who, this was a partial second read for me. I was so excited to read them again. I loved them so much the first time. It was a thriller and kept me on edge. I had to know what happened to Janie? This time was a bit different.

The Face on the Milk Carton (3/10)

Janie Johnson has the best life she could ask for. She has parents who love her, she's about to get her licenses, she's got an amazing group of friends, and the boy next door is no longer just the boy next door. But then one day at lunch, she looks at her friends milk carton and sees a little girl in a black and white checked dress with her hair in braids down each side of her head and suddenly, Janie realizes that it's her. But how can that be her? Because that would mean that her loving and devoted parents kidnapped her. That would mean that her life as she knows it is a…

Notes from the Upside Down: An Unofficial Guide to Stranger Things by Guy Adams

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I don't know about you, but I love Stranger Things. If you haven't watched it, stop right now and go watch it. Not because there are spoilers below (there are), but because it's literally that good. I'll wait.

Okay, now that you've watched it and fallen in love, and not just with Steve Harrington, but the entire cast and premise, you can read the review.

Notes from the Upside Down is a collection of all of the nerdy things related to Stranger Things. Now, I would never write a companion novel for a TV series, I'm more of a closet nerd, I'm very grateful for Guy Adams writing this, because now I can go watch all movies and TV shows, listen to all of the music, and read all of the books that are referenced and inspired the Duffer Brothers.

The book goes through each episode of season one (it's only about the first season, I don't know if there will be more for season two and future seasons). It gives you a little recap of the episode and then it starts…

The Arsonist by Stephanie Oakes

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I hate saying this. You all know I hate saying this. But I don't know how good my review will be. It's been two months since I finished The Arsonist and am just now getting to the review. I'd like to blame the holidays or new job or finishing my degree, but those would all be excuses and those don't do anyone any good.

Ava Dreyman lives in East Germany before the fall of the Berlin Wall. She's tough, she's determined, and she wants a life better than the one she's been dealt. Molly Mavity's mother killed herself three years ago, but Molly doesn't believe it. Her father is about to be executed for his crimes. Molly's world is imploding on her. Pepper Al-Yusef is a Kuwaiti immigrant who spilled too much to a girl, has a seizure dog who's always finding new ways to embarrass him, and unless he can write some really good essays, he won't graduate high school. How are all of their lives connected? The Arsonist; a diary written by Ava, sent t…

One of Us Is Lying by Karen M. McManus

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You know what sold me on One of Us Is Lying before I knew anything else? On the front flap, in red letters, it says "The Brain," "The Beauty," "The Criminal," and "The Athlete." Any lover of 80s films knows this reference. Okay, so technically it's "Princess" and not "Beauty" and we're missing the Basket Case (it's replaced with "The Outcast), but come on! It's The Breakfast Club!!! This is my number one all time favorite movie! It didn't matter what came after that, I was sold. The fact that the book is really good makes it even better.

So, one afternoon, Bronwyn (Brain), Addy (Beauty), Nate
(Criminal), and Cooper (Athlete) find themselves in detention. The 5th person is Simon, the outcast, or as he likes to say "the omniscient narrator." They're all in a fuss because they are in detention for a bogus reason-their teacher, Mr. Avery, found them with cell phones. That's not the bogu…

Member of the Family: My Story of Charles Manson, Life Inside His Cult, and the Darkness That Ended the Sixties by Dianne Lake

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This was an extremely interesting read. I wasn't really sure what to expect, but I know that I didn't expect this.

Dianne Lake was a child of the 60s who just wanted to live a life of peace, love, and happiness. However, reading her story, it's pretty obvious early on that it wasn't going to be that way. Her father was restless and wanted nothing but to follow his dreams of painting America beautiful. Her mother follows along with what her father wants, no questions asked. When the family travels to California so her father could continue pursuing his dream. When the family decides to drop out of society, you can see that this is when Dianne really loses a chance at a normal life. Her and her siblings are taken out of school; they live in a van; they drop out from society-literally. From here, it is just a short time before Dianne is introduced to Charles Manson.

Charles, or Charlie to members of the family, is clearly a replacement for her poor excuse of a father fig…