Book Reviews

I am a NetGalley Professional ReaderThis is our BOOK review section. If you'd like to read our reviews of curriculum and homeschooling resources, click here to visit our other reviews.

We will be adding reviews over time, so please check back to see if something you are wondering about is listed. You can also email us at guesthollow (at sign) memorableplaces (dot) com and ask about something specific. "Coming soon" book titles are linked to Amazon. They will be linked to my reviews after I post them.

Also, please note that the hundreds of shorter book reviews that are in my curricula are not listed here. You can find them in the book listings for each history or science program.

If you would like a book to be reviewed please let us know. We look forward to reviewing YOUR book!

Note: Want to know if a book is O.K. / appropriate for your teen to read? I usually include information in my Y.A. & adult book reviews that should help you decide. If you need additional information about any of the books I've reviewed, feel free to email me.

My reviewing affiliations: I review for Netgalley, Edelweiss, and currently rank in the top 1500 reviewers for Amazon. I have also been independently contacted by both authors and publishers to review their books. Sometimes I just review a book independently 'cause I feel like it!

 

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Please choose from the book title below to go to its specific review page.

Christian & Bible Book Reviews

Courageous TeensCourageous Teens

This is an inspiring book for Christian teens who need some encouragement to be courageous and stand up for what's right in a world full of wrong.

Tweens and teens

The Guardian

The Guardian (Home to Hickory Hollow)

A beautiful, wholesome, satisfying novel

Middle school (or earlier) to adult

Heaven is for real

Heaven is for Real A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back

Ok, I'm skeptical and not a believer in the story, but it was an interesting read anyway...

Middle school to adult

I Couldn't Love You More

I Couldn't Love You More is a beautiful, sweet keepsake with the message that God loves you more than anyone. The pictures are lovely!!

Baby to toddler

Little Pilgrim's Progress

Little Pilgrim's Progress - a wonderful adventure story and allegory of the Christian journey. A must read!

1st grade to middle school

Love at Last Sight

Love at Last Sight

A book designed to be read over 30 days with the goal of improving a variety of relationships

Teen to Adult

Lucado Study Bible

Lucado Life Lessons Study Bible

This attractive Bible has lots of extra goodies to help you get more out of your Bible reading.

Teens to adult

Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel

Reign: The Chronicles of Queen Jezebel

Intriguing and well-crafted novel that brought ancient history to life...

Adult

Respect Dare

The Respect Dare: 40 Days to a Deeper Connection with God and Your Husband

Felt kind of like a commercial for the author's business...

Adult

Unstoppable

Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action

A motivational book that didn't connect for me, but was written by an amazing man...

Older teens to adult

 

 

History Books for Kids Reviews

Mexican American War
Living Through the Mexican-American War

An easy read with lots of color that adds visual interest

Elementary through early high school

 

Great Fire of London
Great Fire Of London: Great Events

A heavily illustrated book that covers the Great Fire of London in an easy to read, succinct manner

Elementary through early middle school

Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison

Indian Captive: The Story of Mary Jemison

A great look at Seneca culture as well as an emotional and complex story of a girl struggling with her identity. Is Molly an Indian? Is she white?

Elementary and middle school - will appeal more to girls


Madeleine Takes Command Book Review

Madeleine Takes Command

Set in 17th Century New France (Canada), this exciting adventure is based on a true story of bravery

Elementary and middle school

Mankind Volume 1

MANKIND: The Story of All of Us Volume 1

Mankind: The Story of All of Us is a graphic novel that was designed to accompany the Mankind T.V. series on the History Channel. It has 120 pages with 7 individual comic book style stories.

Elementary (with a few reservations) through high school

Masada: The Last Fortress

Masada: The Last Fortress

I couldn't stand this book, but Otter gives it 5 stars...

Middle school (with reservations) through high school

Secret of the Sealed Room

The Secret of the Sealed Room: A Mystery of Young Benjamin Franklin

With a subtle anti-Christian message and a much too modern heroine, this book was not a fit for us.

Elementary and middle school

 

Historical Fiction (and History) Book Reviews (Adults and Y.A.)

Bejamin Franklin's Bastard Book Review

Benjamin Franklin's Bastard: A Novel

An excellent debut novel told from the vantage point of those closest to Franklin.

Adult

The Boleyn King: A Novel (Anne Boleyn Trilogy)

The Boleyn King: A Novel (Anne Boleyn Trilogy)

Fun read with a Y.A. feel and a totally made up history - What if Anne Boleyn had a son and he grew up to be king?

Adult

The Children of Henry VIII

The Children of Henry VIII

Great non-fiction title that spends a lot of time on the childhoods of Henry's children

Highschool - Adult

The Forgotten Queen

The Forgotten Queen

Meh. I learned a lot about Margaret Tudor but the writing style didn't resonate with me.

Older teen (preview) to adult

Godiva

Godiva

Historical fiction that doesn't take itself seriously - a light-weight read

Adult

Kingmaker's Daughter

The Kingmaker's Daughter

A well-researched, engaging book about Anne Neville during the War of Roses

Older teen (preview) to adult

The Midwive's Revolt

The Midwife's Revolt

Beautiful book at times about the Revolutionary War, but then also sometimes slow and stilted

Teen to adult

Queen's Gambit

Queen's Gambit: A Novel

An excellent debut novel about Katherine Parr

Adult

The Queens of Love and War: The Fatal Crown, Beloved Enemy, and Gilded Cages

The Queens of Love and War: The Fatal Crown, Beloved Enemy, and Gilded Cages

Lacking the depth of Penman, but entertaining

Adult

The Queen's Secret - book review

The Queen's Secret (A Novel of the Tudor Court)

A book about Elizabeth's summer progress in 1575

Adult

The New York Times: The Times of the Eighties

The New York Times: The Times of the Eighties: The Culture, Politics, and Personalities that Shaped the Decade

Nostalgic and educational! Great for students and adults alike!

Teens to Adult

Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household

Serving Victoria: Life in the Royal Household

Informative and Eye-Opening non-fiction book about those who served Queen Victoria

Highschool to Adult

Shadow on the Crown

Shadow on the Crown

A debut novel by Patricia Bracewell that covers the life of Emma, queen of England in the early 11th century

Adult

Come Winter book review

Come Winter

Fairy-tale story that is mostly unbelievable mind candy

Adult

 

 

 

     
Reviews of Children's Books

Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book #1: Amelia Bedelia Means Business

Amelia Bedelia Chapter Book #1: Amelia Bedelia Means Business

Sweet & humorous

Cozy Classics

Cozy Classics

Adorable board books for the discerning, literature loving baby wink

Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter

Itch: The Explosive Adventures of an Element Hunter

Added to Otter's Chemistry as a literature link...

The Mystery of the Missing Money

The Mystery of the Missing Money

A wholesome, quick & easy read that might appeal to reluctant readers

Read Aloud Poems

Read-Aloud Poems

A nice collection of poems with endearing, old-fashioned illustrations

Stick Dog

Stick Dog

Humorous and engaging - this title will draw in reluctant readers. I have a few minor concerns though.

 

 

Non-Fiction Book Reviews

Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids

Because I Said So!: The Truth Behind the Myths, Tales, and Warnings Every Generation Passes Down to Its Kids - A fun book with lots of common "sayings" explored - fun for teens with a few minor reservations.

Teens (preview) to adult

The Secret Language of Color

The Secret Language of Color

Beautiful coffee table book with stunning pictures, interesting information and fun to browse

Middleschool - Adult

Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight

Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight

Fascinating, icky, educational...

Adult

Creamy & Crunchy

Creamy & Crunchy

A mix of history, culture and trivia - make sure you have some peanut butter on hand... ;-)

Middleschool - Adult

It's Only Slow Food Until You Try to Eat It: Misadventures of a Suburban Hunter Gatherer

It's Only Slow Food Until You Try to Eat It: Misadventures of a Suburban Hunter Gatherer

Funny adventures of food foraging...

Mature highschooler (preview)- adult

Momumental

Momumental

A humorous and comforting book about raising a family

 

Regret Free Parenting

Regret Free Parenting: Raise Good Kids and Know You're Doing It Right

Didn't resonate with me...

 

The War on Christmas

The War on Christmas - an informative book that's good for a family read-aloud to clear up any misconceptions about Christmas

Tiger Babies

Tiger Babies Strike Back: How I Was Raised by a Tiger Mom but Could Not Be Turned to the Dark Side

Interesting cultural look at Chinese-American parenting and the potential hazards of Tiger Parenting

 

 

 

Y.A. (Young Adult) Book Reviews

Across a Star-Swept Sea

Across a Star-Swept Sea

Beautiful dystopian based on the Scarlet Pimpernel

Teens to adult

Arclight

Arclight

A heavy dose of sci-fi that was both intriguing and beautiful

Teens to adult

Beta

Beta

A sci-fi dystopian aimed at teens with an awesome, interesting premise that falls flat and is filled with trashy drug use, rape, violence and other topics I wouldn't want the intended audience soaking up.

Older Teens - not recommended though (preview) to Adult

The Bitter Kingdom (Girl of Fire and Thorns)

The Bitter Kingdom (Girl of Fire and Thorns)

Satisfying wrap-up to an amazing fantasy trilogy

Teens to adult

The End Games book review

The End Games

Absoulte dreck waste of time garbage

Not recommended for any age.

The House of the Scorpion

The House of the Scorpion (Book 1)

Recommended in my biology curriculum - amazing dystopian with science elements

Middle school to adult

The Jewel

The Jewel (Book 1)

I really enjoyed this fairy tale dystopian!

Teens to adult

The Lord of Opium Book Review

The Lord of Opium (Book 2)

Recommended in my biology curriculum - amazing dystopian with science elements

Middle school to adult

Hover

Hover

Sci-fi, Y.A., Dystopian mash-up

Older teens (preview) to adult

The Madman's Daughter

The Madman's Daughter

A dark, Gothic Y.A. novel

Older teens (preview) to adult

Pawn by Aimee Carter book review

Pawn

Entertaining, fast action dystopian

Older teens (preview) to adult

Project Cain

Project Cain

A dark novel I can't recommend due to the intended audience & content

Reboot book review

Reboot

A virus causes some of its victims to come back to life after dying - stronger, faster, less human - a perfect weapon for the government

Mature teens (preview) to adult

Red Rising book review

Red Rising

THE BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ - Yeah, it's that good. *Technically not marketed as a Y.A. book, but has some elements of that so I'm placing it in two categories.

Red Queen book review

Red Queen

A lush dystopian mixed with fantasy

Older teens (preview) to adult

The Registry

The Registry

The first novel in a series with an interesting dystopian version of the future U.S.

Older teens (preview) to adult

Requiem book review
Requiem

The 3rd novel in a trilogy about a government that forces its citizens to go through a procedure that "cures" (gets rid of) people's emotions and makes them incapeable of feeling love.

Older teens (preview) to adult

Sneak

Sneak (Swipe Series)

The 2nd in a series, this dystopian book is for Christian teens

10 to adult

Taken book review

Taken

Full of surprises, Taken is an exciting dystopian with many layers to unravel.

Older teens (preview) to adult

Wanderer

Wanderer

Don't let the horrible cover fool you - this is an interesting dystopian appropriate for most ages

Middle school (preview) to adult

The Ward

The Ward

A heart-pounding dystopian with lots of action in a futuristic, flooded Manhattan

Older teens (preview) to adult

     
Fiction for Adults Book Reviews

Flight of Shadows

Flight of Shadows

Christian science fiction set in a dystopian world

Older teens (preview) to adult

Illusion

Illusion: A Novel

Frank Peretti has crafted a rich, rewarding story of love and life, loss and restoration, full of twists and mystery. Exceptionally well written, Illusion will soon prove another Peretti classic.

Older teens (preview) to adult

Red Rising book review

Red Rising

THE BEST BOOK I'VE EVER READ - Yeah, it's that good.

Older teens (preview) to adult

Splendour Falls Book Review

Splendour Falls

3.5 stars - not Kearsley's best

Adult

Wild Children

Wild Children

Strange, haunting, fantasy fairy-tale novel

Teens (preview) to adult

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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