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Friday, December 31

Great Finds Issue #62

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store?

Two words – Thrift Shop


Colby Brass (Harlequin Intrigue Series)
Colby Brass
By Debra Webb

Body Armor (Harlequin Intrigue Series)
Body Armor
By Alana Matthews

Book Review: Goosebumps Horrorland: Slappy New Year!

Slappy New Year! (Goosebumps Horrorland)
Goosebumps Horrorland: Slappy New Year!
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0-545-16199-2
Pages: 141
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

While at Horrorland, Ray Gordon stops by the gift shop The Chiller House. He buys a wooden dummy named Slappy! His brother, Brandon, hates Slappy.

Ray returns home and begins planning his New Years Party that will take place in his basement. His parents promised he could have one as long as he is good to his little brother. However, strange things start happening to his little brother. Is Ray responsible or is Slappy alive?

Yes, the little mischievous Slappy is back. It seems that he cannot be destroyed. Slappy is one of my favorite characters from the Goosebumps series, and I am glad to see him back. The problem with the book is that it has the same basic plotlines from the previous Slappy books. Slappy use to be scary, but now he is a silly character that plays pranks on the kids. It is not the best book in the series, but it is still enjoyable to read.

Thursday, December 30

Thursday Ramblings

This will be my last rambling of the year.

I have been watching many DVDs lately. Ramona and Beezus was an enjoyable family film. Despite the name, it has little to do with the book and more to do with the sequels. Too bad, it did not do well at the box office. The Last Airbender was fun, but something was missing from it. The A-Team was another fun movie. Predators had a few action scenes, but there was no plot. The Lost Boys: The Thirst was better than the second was, but it was too short and fell way short of the original. However, it was better than Eclipse, which, besides from a non-blood, short vampire/werewolf fight, was boring. Inception was intriguing, but I have to admit that I fell asleep during it. 30 Days of Night: Dark Days may have some vampire gore, but it hardly resembles the first.

I received Witch & Wizard: The Gift by James Patterson in the mail last week. I have not read the first novel in the series yet, along with several other Patterson novels. I will have to catch up in 2011.

I collected several new books over the Holidays including the House of Night series, a couple R.L. Stine novels, The Baby-sitters Club prequel, the Hush, Hush books, the Vampire Academy series, and a few others. Therefore, I will be busy reading in 2011.

Monday, December 27

Book Review - Goosebumps Horrorland: The Wizard of Ooze

The Wizard Of Ooze (Goosebumps Horrorland)Goosebumps Horrorland: The Wizard of Ooze
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic
ISBN: 978-0-545-16198-5
Pages: 142
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Marco visited the Chiller House when he was at Horrorland. His favorite comic book is the Ooze, and guess what he found at the Chiller House. The first edition copy of The Wizard of Ooze. Chiller gave Marco the comic book free along with a little green Horror.

Later when he returned home, Marco noticed that in the back of the book was a guide to test your superhero strength. Marco failed all the tests.

Marco’s brother, Zeke, steals the comic book and goes to the comic book convention. Nevertheless, guess who is there wanting the book - The Wizard of Ooze.

There have been several comic book plots in the Goosebumps series, and I do not care very much for them. The Wizard of Ooze is the best of them. There is not a kid in the world who does not want to be a superhero, and the main character Marco gets to be one. Overall, I enjoyed the book.

Saturday, December 25

Book Review - Fear Street Super Chillers: Silent Night 2

Silent Night 2 (Fear Street Super Chillers, No. 5)Fear Street Super Chillers: Silent Night 2
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Pocket Books
ISBN: 0-671-78619-9
Pages: 196
Ages: Young Adult
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

It is a year later after the events of the first novel, and Reva Dalby has not changed a bit. She is once again working at her father’s department store, and once again being rude the customers.

Late one night, Mr. Dalby receives a phone call that his daughter has been kidnapped, but there is one little problem for the kidnappers - Reva was at home. The kidnappers had kidnapped her cousin, Pam. The kidnappers let Pam go.

Reva’s life is back to normal, except that the kidnappers are planning on snatching Reva and her cousin, Pam, for ransom.

Silent Night 2 is not as good as the first, but it is still worth reading. I was glad that R.L. Stine did not copy the plot from the first novel. The kidnapping plot made the story interesting. Reva is a great character. No matter what happens in her life, she never changes. If you liked the first novel, then you’ll like the sequel.

Friday, December 24

Book Review - Fear Street Super Chillers: Silent Night

Silent Night (Fear Street Super Chillers, No. 2)Fear Street Super Chillers: Silent Night
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Pocket Books
ISBN: 0-671-73822-4
Pages: 216
Ages: Young Adult
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Reva Dalby is a pretty, spoiled, rich kid. She is spending her Christmas vacation working at her father’s department store. She is rude to the customers and the other works. She does not care about anyone but herself. In other words - she is a scrooge.

Pam Dalby, Reva’s cousin, and her friends, Clay and Mickey, is planning to rob the department store. They are only planning to take a few merchandise items. However, something goes terribly wrong with their plan. A security guard is killed and the money from the store’s vault is missing.

Now Reva is caught up in the mystery.

Silent Night has two main characters that it flips back and forth from. Reva is a perfect example of a true-life-scrooge; Pam is the perfect example of someone who hangs out with the wrong crowd. The murder mystery plot is cleverly written and you do not know who the actually killer is until the ending. Overall, this is a great book to read.

Thursday, December 23

Book Review - The Snowman

The Snowman (Point Horror Series)The Snowman
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic
ISBN: 0-590-43280 -X
Pages: 181
Ages: Young Adult
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Since her parent’s death, Heather has been living with overprotected Uncle James. She hates the man. She thinks he is only after her inheritance, which she will receive when she turns eighteen. Until then she is spending her time working at a diner and dating her kind-of- boyfriend, Ben. Everything changes when she meets the tall ice-blond, Snowman.

Heather instantly falls for Snowman’s charms. She soon gives him money to help with his family, but she does not know he does not have a family. He does not even go to her school. Then, her uncle goes missing. Could Snowman be involved? Is Snowman a cold-blooded killer?

The book cover is a little misleading. This book is not about an actually snowman, but a mysterious boy whose nickname is Snowman. There is not much of a plot to go by, but there are some twists and turns that make this book worth reading. I would like to add that this book is written for Young Adults and not for children.

Wednesday, December 22

Book Review - Goosebumps: The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena

The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena (Goosebumps Series)Goosebumps: The Abominable Snowman of Pasadena
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic
ISBN: 0-590-56875-2
Pages: 127
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Jordan Blake and his sister, Nicole, has lived in the hot weather of Pasadena. They want to have a real winter with real snow to play in. Then their dream comes true. Their father has been offered a job to fly to Alaska and photograph a mysterious snow creature, known as the Abominable Snowman.

Neither Jordan, his sister or his father believe that the creature is real, but it is a free trip. Almost as soon as they get to Alaska, something starts chasing them.

Despite the title, the book is mostly set in Alaska. The title and the book cover actually give away the twisted ending. Overall, this is an average Goosebumps book.

Tuesday, December 21

Book Review - Goosebumps: Beware, the Snowman

Beware, The Snowman (Goosebumps)Goosebumps: Beware, the Snowman
BY: R.L. Stine
PUBLISHED BY: Scholastic Inc.
ISBN: 0-590-56888-4
Pages: 113
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Jaclyn and her aunt Greta just moved to a small village on the edge of the Arctic Circle from Chicago. Jaclyn is bored. There is nothing for her to do. There are no malls, movie theaters.

Then she notices something odd about the town. In front of every house is a creepy snowman with a bright red scarf. The snowman has a deep scar on its face and a wicked smile.

There is a rumor that two sorcerers created evil snowman years ago, and it still lives.

Beware, the Snowman is the 51st book in the original Goosebumps series, and has the typical plotline - a kid arrives into a spooky new town. To me, a snowman is not very scary, and neither is this book. Overall, it still is a fun read for kids.

Monday, December 20

Book Review - Graveyard School: The Abominable Snow Monster

Abominable Snow Monster (Graveyard School)
Graveyard School: The Abominable Snowmonster
BY: Tom B. Stone
PUBLISHED BY: A Skylark Book
ISBN: 0-553-54218-4
Pages: 99
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Due to the success of the R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series in the early 1990’s, other publishing houses tried to copy the format into their own series. The Graveyard School series came from that time.

The kids at Grove Hill call their school Graveyard School because there is a cemetery behind the playground. Several snowstorms have hit the small town. One playground afternoon, sixth-grader Kyle stumbled upon a strange glass eye near the cemetery. He had the idea of using it on his snowman. The other kids in his class were building snow statues, but Kyle was going to make a scary snowman.

Kyle’s snowman was tall - taller than the slides. He carved out a wicked grin for the face and used shark teeth. He found two strange branches and used them as arms. All of the kids were scared of it.

A strange thing happens. The student’s snow statues were destroyed, but one survived. Kyle’s snowman.

This is the first book in the series that I have ever read. It is a short book, but fun to read.

Saturday, December 18

Great Finds Issue #61

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store?
Two words – Thrift Shop


Broken Promises, Shattered Dreams (Sweet Valley University(R))
Sweet Valley University: Broken Promises, Shattered Dreams
By Laurie John

So Lyrical
So Lyrical
By Trish Cook

The Clique #4: Invasion of the Boy Snatchers (Clique Series)
Invasion of the Boy Snatchers: A Clique Novel
By Lisi Harrison

A Little Princess
A Little Princess
By Frances Hodgson Burnett

Nightshade (Night Tales Collection)
By Nora Roberts

A Certain Hope (Texas Hearts, Book 1) (Love Inspired #311)
A Certain Hope
By Lenora Worth

Maid of Honor (Heartsong Presents #303)
Maid of Honor
Carolyn R. Scheidies

Friday, December 17

Book Blogger Hop

Jennifer from Crazy for Books has created this meme.

If you'd like to participate, here's Jennifer's instructions:

Every day I seem to find another book blog that I start following. In the spirit of the Friday Follow, I thought it would be cool to do a Book Blog Hop to give us all bookies a chance to connect and find new blogs that we may be missing out on! It will also give blog readers a chance to find other book blogs that they may not know existed!

So, if you'd like to participate, just repost this on your blog, sign MckLinky and check out other blogs in MckLinky! Let's connect and make new book bloggy friends!! So, if you consider yourself a book blogger, come join the fun!

Question of the week: What do you consider the most important in a story: the plot or the characters?

My answer: If the plot doesn't interest me, I won't read it. Great characters in a well-plotted book is a wonderful treat.

Book Review - The Truth of the Matter

The Truth of the Matter (The Homelanders)The Truth of the Matter
BY: Andrew Klavan
PUBLISHED BY: Thomas Nelson
ISBN: 978-1-59554-714-9
Pages: 343
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

Charlie West wakes up in a terrorist torture chamber in book three of the Homelanders series. He has no memory of the previous year. He hopes to regain his memory by finding Agent Waterman, but Waterman only makes things worse.

Charlie finds out that he is wanted for murder and a team of ruthless terrorist is determined to stop him from finding out the truth.

I have not read the first two books in the series. It took me awhile to figure out what was going on. The book is aimed at a teen market, but the action sequences are written for adults. Many teen novels these days have a supernatural plot to them, I found The Truth of the Matter to be a bit of fresh air. There are plenty of mysterious twists and turns throughout the book to keep the reader’s interests. Overall, I enjoyed reading the book.

*I would like to thank Thomas Nelson for sending me this copy to review.

Book Review - A Rush of Wings

Rush of Wings, A: A NovelA Rush of Wings
BY: Kristen Heitzmann
PUBLISHED BY: Bethany House
ISBN: 978-0-7642-0845-4
Pages: 382
Reviewed by Billy Burgess

The book starts out with Noelle St. Claire escaping from her rich, shelter life in New York. She takes refuge on a Rocky Mountain horse ranch. The owners, Rick Spencer and his brother Morgan Spencer, are both of the brothers are instantly interested in the troubled Noelle.

Of course, just as Noelle is adjusting to her new life, her past catches up with her.

I had trouble getting interested in reading A Rush of Wings. I like reading some contemporary fiction, but others I just do not like. This book falls in the middle. I liked the main character Noelle, but I did not care for the other characters. I liked that the plot did not stick the typical romance theme. Overall, it was okay read.

*I would like to thank Bethany House for sending me a copy to review.

Sunday, December 12

Great Finds Issue #60

What to do when you don’t live close to a book store?
Two words – Thrift Shop!


Nightmare Hall: Deadly Attraction
Nightmare Hall: Deadly Attraction
By Diane Hoh

Things Not Seen
Things Not Seen
By Andrew Clements

Gossip Girl #9: Only In Your Dreams: A Gossip Girl Novel (Gossip Girl)
A Gossip Girl Novel: Only In Your Dreams
By Cecily Von Ziegesar

Gossip Girl, The Carlyles #4: Love the One You're With
A Gossip Girl Novel: The Carlyles
By Cecily Von Ziegsar

Gossip Girl #11: Don't You Forget About Me: A Gossip Girl Novel
A Gossip Girl Novel: Don't You Forget About Me
By Cecily Von Ziegsar

Gossip Girl #6: You're the One That I Want: A Gossip Girl Novel (Gossip Girl)
A Gossip Girl Novel: You're The One That I Want
By Cecily Von Ziegsar

Gossip Girl #7: Nobody Does It Better: A Gossip Girl Novel
A Gossip Girl Novel: Nobody Does It Better
By Cecily Von Ziegsar

Notorious: An It Girl Novel
An It Girl Novel: Notorious
By Cecily Von Ziegsar

The It Girl #5: Lucky: An It Girl Novel
An It Girl Novel: Lucky
By Cecily Von Ziegsar

The It Girl #3: Reckless: An It Girl Novel
An It Girl Novel: Reckless
By Cecily Von Ziegsar

Unforgettable (It Girl Novel #4)
An It Girl Novel: Unforgettable
By Cecily Von Ziegsar

The A-List #10: California Dreaming: An A-List Novel
An A-List Novel: California Dreaming
By Zoey Dean

Blonde Ambition: An A-List Novel (A-List #3)
An A-List Novel: Blonde Ambition
By Zoey Dean

A-List #6, The: Some Like It Hot: An A-List Novel
An A-List Novel: Some Like It Hot
By Zoey Dean

A-List, The: Back in Black - Book #5: An A-List Novel
An A-List Novel: Back in Black
By Zoey Dean

Girls on Film: An A-List Novel
An A-List Novel: Girls On Film
Zoey Dean