Today’s First Line Friday is one I read a few months ago. I won it in a Goodreads giveaway and I enjoyed it! My review for it is here.
They locked her in the infirmary, and took away her phone, and anything else she might use to harm herself—or someone else.
When twin sisters Rose and Bel Enright enroll in The Odell School, a prestigious New Hampshire boarding school, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. But the sisters could not be more different. The school brings out a rivalry between them that few ever knew existed. And the school itself has a dark underbelly: of privileged kids running unchecked and uninhibited; of rituals and traditions that are more sinister than they seem; of wealth and entitlement that can only lead to disaster.
For Sarah Donovan, wife of an ambitious teacher who is determined to rise through the ranks, Odell also seems like the best thing that could happen to their small family. But how well does she really know her husband? What lengths will he go to to achieve his goals? And when one dark night ends in murder, who is guilty, who knows the truth, and who has been in on it all along? SHE WAS THE QUIET ONE. Because murderers are almost never who you expect.
Author: Ellie Crowe
Illustrator: Janet King
Published: August 31, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: November 11, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
It’s hard to be a good dog, but Harold, the golden retriever, really tries. Then the Dad brings home Prince, a silly little puppy that the Dad says is smart and brave.
Prince! “Smart and brave!” Harold can hardly believe his ears! And, even worse, when Prince does a doggy-doo right in the house, the Dad blames Harold!
Harold thinks Prince is a poopy little puppy. How is he going to live with him in his house?
Harold is just living his ‘happy-go-lucky’ life as a golden retriever when Dad brings home a new puppy named Prince. Harold has to adjust to all the changes that come along with Prince, which includes taking the blame for the things Prince does. This includes a huge No No: Pooping on the floor! Prince seemingly takes over Harold’s space and gets all of the attention unless Harold is getting fussed at.
There are parallels to this story and the feelings a child may experience when a new sibling arrives. **Spoiler alert** There will be tension until mutual feelings occur as they do at the end of this story.
This story is for children ages 6-8 years old. There are pictures at the beginning of each chapter to help tell the story. If you know kids who like dogs, or may have a new sibling arriving, then this would be the book for them.
I enjoyed this children’s book and liked Harold. If I had kids, I would most likely get them this book. Harold is very likeable and I can see (and hope) Crowe writes more adventures starring him.
**Many thanks to the author Ellie Crowe for sending me a copy to review!**
Author: Matt Killeen
Published: March 20, 2018
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 3 stars
A Jewish girl-turned-spy must infiltrate an elite Nazi boarding school in this highly commercial, relentlessly nail-biting World War II drama!
After her mother is shot at a checkpoint, fifteen-year-old Sarah–blonde, blue-eyed, and Jewish–finds herself on the run from a government that wants to see every person like her dead. Then Sarah meets a mysterious man with an ambiguous accent, a suspiciously bare apartment, and a lockbox full of weapons. He’s a spy, and he needs Sarah to become one, too, to pull off a mission he can’t attempt on his own: infiltrate a boarding school attended by the daughters of top Nazi brass, befriend the daughter of a key scientist, and steal the blueprints to a bomb that could destroy the cities of Western Europe. With years of training from her actress mother in the art of impersonation, Sarah thinks she’s ready. But nothing prepares her for her cutthroat schoolmates, and soon she finds herself in a battle for survival unlike any she’d ever imagined.
This book was slightly disappointing to me. I had just finished the exhilarating Resistance by Nielsen; I got this book brand new off the shelf at Barnes and Noble, and the cover is so beautiful, so I picked it up right away. I know it’s not fair to compare books, so I’m going to try not to. Orphan Monster Spy just felt shallow to me. I didn’t feel any real connection to Sarah.
The story itself was good, but often times it felt inconsequential. By the time I finished it, it was empty, I felt very little. I really didn’t like the way Sarah was constantly comparing herself to the Nazis. It annoyed me that someone who was standing up against a regime that was so obviously evil, could then put herself into the same category as the “monsters” she was trying to fight. Killing someone who is about to kill an innocent person does not put you on the same level as the killer. I like having clearer distinctions of morality and this book suffered because it didn’t have those distinctions. It kept my attention well enough and I did like certain things about the story. Certain circumstances came to light to show just how evil individual Nazis were, and I liked the perspective of condemning not just the Nazi organization, but individuals as well. Seeing the brutal standards that the Nazi held not just for themselves but for their children was interesting.
I think my favorite part of the book was when Sarah participated in the River Run. She showed courage and cleverness and it was the one time in the book where I actually found myself rooting for her. I am glad I read this book, I did learn a little from it, but I don’t plan on reading it again and I can’t really bring myself to recommend it.