Saturday, December 29, 2012

The Espressologist

 Today I finished an adorable book called...

The Espressologist.
By: Kristina Springer
Recommended Ages: 14 and up.
Rating: 5 stars!

The Espressologist was an AMAZING 5 star book, here's the summary: 

The EspressologistWhat’s your drink of choice? Is it a small pumpkin spice latte? Then you’re lots of fun and a bit sassy. Or a medium americano? You prefer simplicity in life. Or perhaps it’s a small decaf soy sugar-free hazelnut cafe latte? Some might call you a yuppie. Seventeen-year-old barista Jane Turner has this theory that you can tell a lot about a person by their regular coffee drink. She scribbles it all down in a notebook and calls it Espressology. 
So it’s not a totally crazy idea when Jane starts hooking up some of her friends based on their coffee orders. Like her best friend, Em, a medium hot chocolate, and Cam, a toffee nut latte. But when her boss, Derek, gets wind of Jane’s Espressology, he makes it an in-store holiday promotion, promising customers their perfect matches for the price of their favorite coffee. Things are going better than Derek could ever have hoped, so why is Jane so freaked out? Does it have anything to do with Em dating Cam? She’s the one who set them up! She should be happy for them, right?

The Espressologist was such a cute book!  I loved how Kristina Springer described the different coffee flavors and how she makes the coffee, it made me want to just cuddle up by the fireplace and have a hot cup of coffee or hot cocoa!  This book had a lot of humor, and I really liked the main character, Jane Turner.  I do think some of the characters could have been more developed, but other than that, it was such a great book!  This is great to read over the holidays, because that's when it takes place!  I would recommend this book to anyone who wants a quick, cute and frothy read that you'll totally savor!! :)

-Alyssa :)

Friday, November 2, 2012

The Cupcake Queen

I'm really sorry I haven't been posting here for a while guys!  I've been super busy!
Anyway I just finished a really cute book called...


By: Heather Helper
Recommended ages: 12 and up
Rating: 3 1/2 stars!  Very cute! :)

The Cupcake Queen
          The Cupcake Queen was an adorable book about a young girl named Penny.  Penny has to cope with life living in a new place, called Hogs Hallow rather than living in New York City, where she used to live. 

 Penny has to adapt to going to a new school, meeting new friends, (and enemies,) and working at a cupcake bakery that her mom has just opened called the Cupcake Queen!  
Penny doesn't know how she'll survive high school without her lifelong friends and big city comforts.  To make matters worse, her father is staying behind, and her mom isn't talking about what the future holds for them.  

         But Penny discovers that small town life isn't bad.  Penny finds bright spots in Hogs Hollow-like the art studio and her free-spirited friend Tally.  Then there's Marcus, the cute and enigmatic boy who's always running on the beach with his dog Sam.

Just when Penny is settling in, her parents ask her to make a choice that will turn everything upside down again.  This novel about love, creativity and accepting life's unexpected turns is a sweet confection brimming with charm, humor and romance.  
I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who is looking for a quick, fun read.  This book is cute, romantic and sweet (in more ways than one!)

Thanks for reading
-Alyssa :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan

 Today I finished an amazing five star book called Snow Flower and the Secret Fan written by Lisa See, a New York Times bestselling author!  I rarely come across a book that's five stars, it's almost always four, but this book was truly breathtaking.  Here's the summary!

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan     In nineteenth century China, in a remote Hunan county, a girl  named Lily, at the tender age of seven, is paired with a laotong, an "old same," in an emotional match that will last a lifetime.  The laotong, Snow Flower, introduces herself by sending Lily a silk fan on which she's written a poem in nu shu, a unique language that Chinese women created in order to communicate in secret, away from the influence of men.

As the years pass, Lily and Snow Flower send messages on the fan and compose stories on handkerchiefs, reaching out of isolation to share their hopes, dreams and accomplishments.  Together they endure the agony of footbinding and reflect upon their arranged marriages, their loneliness and the joys and tragedies of motherhood.  The two find solace in their friendship, developing a bond that keeps their spirits alive.  But when a misunderstanding arises, their relationships suddenly threatens to tear apart.

A wonderfully written book that is well researched and well thought out.  I loved both characters, Lily and Snow Flower and I really loved to see their bond when growing up from little girls to becoming adults and eventually, mothers.  Snow Flower and the Secret Fan had love, hope, tragedy, and female friendship throughout the book.  This book was so mesmerizing that the pages float away and the story remains clearly before you from beginning to end.  I would definitely recommend it!!!

Alyssa :)

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Time Riders

Yesterday I finished a fantastic book called Time Riders by Alex Scarrow. This book is in a series of six, and this is the first one.  OK here's the summary!

TimeRiders (TimeRiders, #1)

Three teenagers have cheated death.

Liam O'Connor should have died at sea when the Titanic sank in 1912.
Maddy Carter should have died in a plane crash in 2010.
Sal Vikram should have died in a fire in 2026.

But moments before death, a mysterious man told them to take his hand-and they were whisked away to safety.
Now Liam, Maddy and Sal are working as TimeRiders for a top-secret agency with only one purpose: to stop time traveling from destroying the world.  Yes, it's possible to travel through time, and there are those from the future who will try to change the past for their own immoral gain.  The teens' first assignment pits them against Paul Kramer, a brilliant physicist from the future who plans to lead Nazi Germany to victory in World II- with apocalyptic consequences.  Can they save humanity and fulfill their destinies as keepers of time?

This book kept me in suspense the whole time, it was definitely what I'd call a page-turner.  It was fast paced and I loved all of the characters!  This is really hard to say but this book was 4.9999999999 stars, wasn't quite five but as close to five stars as you can get.  Very good book, I would recommend this to anyone, especially someone really into sci-fi!
My Rating Scale!

 A little more than four hearts on the rating scale!

Alyssa :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Radiant Darkness

Today I finished an amazing book called Radiant Darkness by Emily Whitman.  At the end of the book it said  that this was the authors first novel which I couldn't believe at all since it was so good!  Anyway here's the summary:

              Persephone lives in the most gorgeous place in the world.  But her mother, the goddess of fertility, grain and agriculture, named Demeter, is as overprotective as she is powerful.  Paradise has become a trap to Persephone, she feels as if her mother is controlling her every move and won't let her grow up and become a women.  
Just when Persephone feels there's no chance of escaping the life that's been planned for her, a mysterious stranger arrives.  A stranger who promises something more-something dangerous and exciting-something that spurs Persephone to make a daring and possibly deadly choice.  A choice that could destroy all she's come to love, even the earth itself.  In a mysterious land where a singing river can make you forget your name, Persephone is forced to discover who-and what- she really is.

This book really hit the spot for me.  It kept me turning pages constantly.  I also have to note the amazing descriptions the author used.  It was so beautiful and made me feel like I was really there with Persephone!  If you know much about Greek Gods you may know the story of Persephone and who she was captured by, but in this story, the tale has a great twist that I really came to enjoy and love.  I would definitely recommend this book!

This book:  Four hearts on the rating scale!       My Rating Scale!

-Alyssa :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Watcher in the Woods (Dreamhouse Kings book #2)

Today I finished a great, really creepy, book called Watcher in the Woods by Robert Liparulo.  A little bit ago I finished the first book in the series The House of Dark Shadows, which was really good as well and super creepy!  Anyway here's my summary!

Pretending everything's all right is harder than it sounds.  But the Kings know that even if they told the truth about the bizarre things happening in their house, no one would believe them.  They're super focused on rescuing their lost family member before anyone finds out what's going on.  But when a stranger shows up to take their house, their options start dwindling fast.  Why would he be so interested in a old run down place?  And what secret is he hiding, just as he hides the scars that crisscross his body?  The mystery gets stranger with each passing day.  Will the Kings be able to find a way to harness the house's secrets and discover who is watching their every move before another gets snatched into an unknown world??  This book was crazy good, it kept me turning pages so fast that I barley noticed when I was one page away from the end of the book!  Robert Liparulo, the author, has really good cliffhangers as well, to end the chapters so it just makes you want to keep reading!  He had a great ending to this book which makes me can't wait to get book #3 called Gatekeepers!
My Rating Scale!

This book was four hearts on my new rating scale ------------------------->>>

-Alyssa :)

P.S Hope you like my new background!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

A Time to Die

I just finished a great book called A Time to Die by Lurlene McDaniel.  I've read a couple books by her and she is an amazing author.  Most of her books end sad though, like this one does, as you can probably tell by the title.  But I really enjoyed it very much!  Here's the summary:

Sixteen-year-old Kara Fischer has never considered herself lucky.  She doesn't understand why she was born with cystic fibrosis.  Despite her daily treatments, each day poses the threat of a lung infection that could put her in the hospital for weeks.  But her close friendship with her fellow cystic fibrosis patient, Vince, and the new feelings she is quickly developing for Eric give her the hope to live one day at a time.
When an anonymous benefactor promises to grant a single wish with no strings attached, Kara finds a way to let the people who have loved and supported her throughout her illness know how much they mean to her.  But will there be time for Kara to see her dying wish fulfilled?

This book was really good, it was a very passionate book that showed the courage of a young girl to keep living every day to it's fullest.  It almost made me cry because I got so close to the characters, it always felt like I was right there with them.  I really loved this book and I would highly recommend it!

-Alyssa :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lives of the Writers

Lives of the Writers: Comedies, Tragedies (and What the Neighbors Thought)                     Today I finished a great book called Lives of the Writers.  Like the last review I posted, this book was published by the same author Kathleen Krull.  Lives of the Writers goes in depth of how 20 influential writers lived their lives and what kind of things they wrote.  Short stories, novels, autobiographies, folklore, etc...  This book includes people like William Shakespeare, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, E.B. White, Henry David Thoreau and many others!  This book, like the last, was full of interesting facts, and told things that I never even guessed these famous authors would do!  It's a very quick read and is just a fascinating book!  I would highly recommend this! :)

-Alyssa :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lives of the Extraordinary Women

     A couple days ago I finished a great book called Lives of the Extraordinary Women.  This book was packed with facts about women all the way from Cleopatra to Eva Peron.  This book was filled with great facts about these extraordinary women that I never knew!  Each page also had at least one colorful illustration, so the book was fun to read and fun to look at at the same time!  In this book you'll find twenty of the worlds most influential women in history:  Queens, warriors, prime ministers, first ladies and revolutionary leaders!  This book was a really quick read, but at the same time had so many interesting facts!  I'm amazed how the authors, Kathleen Krull and Kathryn Hewitt could pack all of this information into such a small book!  I loved this book and would definitely recommend it! :)

Thanks! :)

Sunday, March 25, 2012


I haven't posted for a very long time.  Sorry about that everyone!  Don't think I haven't been reading any of this time, because I've been reading a lot.  It's just that I haven't had time to post.  Anyway I just finished a great book called Gateway by Sharon Shinn.  Gateway is about a young girl named Daiyu who is seventeen years old.  Adopted from China and raised in St. Louis, Daiyu is used to feeling a little out of place.  One day while she's at the city fair near the Gateway Arch, Daiyu spots a gorgeous black jade ring.  And when the elderly vendor tells her that "Black Jade" translates to "Daiyu" she impulsively buys the ring and wears it as a token of her heritage.  It is much more.
Daiyu walks through the Arch on her way home. She never gets there.  Instead, she passes into another world, another version of St. Louis where almost everyone is Chinese.  Now she has more adventure than she ever imagined.  Taken to a safe house, she is trained as a spy in order to help topple the existing government.  Daiyu spends hours learning refined manners, niceties and flirtations to pass among the elite, and steals moments to be with handsome Kalen, the only person in this alternate world whom she truly trusts, or truly loves.  There is only one problem.  Once her task is finished, she must return to her own St. Louis and leave Kalen behind...forever.

This book was really, really good, it's five stars and it was such a page-turner!  I would definitely recommend this book!

Alyssa :)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

To Kill a Mockingbird

Yesterday I finished a great book by Harper Lee, called to Kill  A Mockingbird.  Now, I know a lot of people have read or seen the movie for this book, but if you haven't read this book or seen it, here's a little summary!

To Kill a Mockingbird is about a young girl nicknamed Scout Finch, (her real name is Jean Louise Finch.)  Scout lives with her older brother, Jem, and her father Atticus Finch.  To Kill a Mockingbird is told from Scout's point of view, and you can see throughout the book, as the story progresses, Scout matures (not necessarily in age)  but she changes from being a careless, innocent girl, to a brave, smart young woman.  The book starts off with the words, "When he was nearly thirteen, my brother Jem got his arm badly broken at the elbow."  The whole book leads up to the time when Jem broke his elbow.  But the story doesn't just revolve around that, there is so much more that is in this book, like the case of Tom Robinson, and the mystery of Boo Radley. This book sold more than 18 million copies and it became an instant best seller when it was published.  Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story, today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American Literature!   I would definitely recommend this book, it was AMAZING!  You can also watch the movie which is supposed to be really good too! :)

Alyssa :)

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Book of a Thousand Days

I just finished a five star book called the Book of a Thousand Days.  The Book of a Thousand Days is about a young girl named Dashti.  Dashti is a maid, her mistress Lady Saren and her, are shut in a tower for seven years because of Saren's refusal to marry a man she despises, the two prepare for a very long and dark imprisonment. As food runs low and the days go from boiling hot to freezing cold, it is all Dashti can do to keep them fed and comfortable.  With the arrival outside the tower of Saren's two suitors, one welcome, and the other much less so, the girls are confronted with both hope and great danger.   Dashti must make the desperate choices of a girl whose life is worth much more than she knows!  This was an amazing book!  It took me only two days to read!  This is my first book of 2012 and I'm hoping I will be able to read 100 books this year!  Last year I got to 81 books, but my goal was only 75.  This book is definitely recommended!  What are your reading goals for this year?

Alyssa :)