Saturday, April 29, 2017


WhenWhen by Victoria Laurie
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Maddie Fynn is a 16-year old with a remarkable gift. Maddie can see the day someone will die above their head. Everyone has a date in Maddie’s eyes. She can even see the date in photos. This gift was a source of income for Maddie and her alcoholic mother after her father was killed in the line of duty. People would pay Maddie to tell them when they would die until one day when Maddie told the death date of someone that her client wasn't suspecting. The date was coming up close and that wasn’t the only untimely death that Maddie noticed. Soon Maddie and her best friend Stubby are implicated in the suspected murders of these unexplained deaths. How can someone really know the death date of someone if they aren’t the one who is doing the killing? With the help of Maddie’s Uncle Donny, her Dad’s brother, they unravel the twisted plot of a serial killer who has a date with his own death very soon.

When by Victoria Laurie is a great mystery with a twisted plot that will keep you guessing up to the end. When I first started the story, I was a little put off by the talk of death. It’s an uncomfortable subject and who would be comfortable knowing when everyone in their life was going to kick off! As the story played on, the death date seeing became less prevalent and the story began to take over. I think the story was well written and very original. I liked how Stubby changed when he was released. His time in prison wasn’t detailed (it didn’t have to be), but his demeanor really pulled at my heartstrings for a seemingly naive child to have to face what Stubby went through.There were some issues that I did have with the book. Uncle Donny seemed way too convenient to bail Maddie out all the time. I was able to see past that though because he was very likable and hey, who wouldn’t want an ‘Uncle Donny’ in their lives! I also had a hard time with the explanation of the serial killer about why he did what he did. I get the fact that he was dying anyway so why not, but the ‘cravings’ and ‘bliss’ of killing seemed like it was right out of a documentary on the Investigation Discovery channel. I still liked the book and I do recommend When by Victoria Laurie for mid to older teens.

View all my reviews

The Thing About Jellyfish

The Thing About JellyfishThe Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Suzy Swanson and Franny Jackson have been friends since they met in a swimming class when they were in Kindergarten. That first smile was the beginning of wonderful friendship that lasted until the summer after sixth grade when Suzy’s mom gave her the fateful news that Franny had drowned while swimming at a beach in Maryland. But Suzy and Franny’s friendship had been strained over the past year and Franny’s death left Suzy feeling both grief and guilt. To cope with the loss, Suzy retreated into a world of silence. Silence opened up different routes to understanding and the world of jellyfish opened up possibilities.

The Thing About Jellyfish by Ali Benjamin is truly a multifaceted book. There are so many things swirling in this book that it is hard to pinpoint one main focus. The interesting part is that there is a tragic death of a child and that seems to be the least pivotal moment. Middle school is hard. Middle school is really hard. It is a rough age and this is a time when kids are changing and morphing in to creatures totally different than what they were in elementary school. Some make dramatic changes while others take their time and I think that is where Franny and Suzy where. Franny was able to enter that world of the ‘popular girls’ which required one sacrifice…Suzy. Suzy was awkward and still not letting go of childhood. That difference torn the girls apart and Suzy struggled to let her friend know there was a problem and she was hurt. After Franny’s death, Suzy stopped talking. She didn’t do it consciously, but just came to a realization that there is too much noise around and that people talk to fill a silent void. Suzy realized that a lot could be heard in the silence. The Thing About Jellyfish was a quick read and pretty good. It wasn’t my favorite, but was a good story about friendship, loss and resilience.

View all my reviews

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Expanding My Horizons!

I am happy to announce that The Library Larvae is now on Facebook!! Yay!! I have seen so many things on Facebook that I have wanted to share and now I have a place to move them on over! So go to my Facebook page and like it!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

It's Voting Time!!!

In Maryland, we have the Black-Eyed Susan Award in which the winner is picked by the kids. The books are insanely good and most of the public schools in my area participate in the program. Well...most of the elementary schools. We tend to lose our middle and high schoolers. The kids have to read at least 3 in order to vote.

In the elementary school I work at, we were able to read about 10-12 of the picture books with the kids. A good number of 4th and 5th graders were able to read the novel and graphics and about 13 have read all 10 novels and all 10 graphic novels!!

I volunteer at the public library with a middle school book club and we have read 10 of the grades 6-9 books. The only ones we weren't able to get to were the Book Scavenger and Nightbird.

I thought it would be fun to put the poll out to all of you! For my poll though, you can be any age and vote in any category or vote in all! You have until 30 April. 

At the beginning of May, I'll announce the winners for The Library Larvae's poll and who won the Black-Eyed Susan Award. I'll also post next year's nominees!