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I truly enjoyed this book and I’m sure that you’ll enjoy it as well, if you like legends, that is. Now, I’m not talking about Greek Gods and mythology type things, but Arthurian legends, stories and myths of Camelot! Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell tells of the famed Elaine of Ascolat, Lady of Shalott. Stories have been told, paintings and poems created in her name since the day s of King Arthur. In this book, though, 16 year old Elaine is a fiery young girl, a true tomboy, thought of only as a little, lovable sister by all of the men in Arthur’s army camp, where she lives. I love Elaine’s character! She is a classic heroine, a girl who is truly underestimated by all, but who is stronger than any could ever imagine! She wants to be seen as more than a silly, little girl by Lancelot, one of Arthur’s knights, but then Gwynivere, Arthur’s bride-to-be, is introduced, and her delicate, feminine looks, mannerisms and dress make Elaine look like a ruffian. The two girls are at each other’s throats until they are put into a life or death situation. The two must band together to escape the clutches of their captives and warn the army of the looming danger! This book is not only a great adventure story, but a story about coming of age, growing into your skin, true love, loss and heartbreak and friendship. Teen girls can relate to Elaine because we’ve all had a first crush and we’ve all had our Gwyniveres to deal with, but this book will help you realize that your own Gwyn might not be so bad after all! So if you like what you’ve read, I urge you to read more of Elaine’s valiant journey and her encounters with cold-hearted Gwynivere in Song of the Sparrow by Lisa Ann Sandell. I’m positive you won’t regret it!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookmarks!

Reviewed by: Austen A.

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I enjoyed this book, though it turned out to be the exact opposite of what I was expecting!  This turned out to be a good thing, though!  I expected a whiny teenage girl who was forced to play music and hated it, then fell in love with a musician and discovered a hidden talent. Instead, I got a story with subtle hints at romance, a mysterious murder, and palace cover-ups, including blackmail, extortion, and shadowy visits to Gypsy camps!  Theresa’s father was killed on Christmas Eve, and robbed of his violin, convinced that there was more going on than she was being told, Theresa goes on a quest to discover the truth.  While dodging her creepy uncle who keeps setting her up with old men, the watchful eye of her godfather Joseph Haydn, she runs out Gypsy camps, learns to fire a pistol, and goes gallivanting around the sewers!  She sounds like my kind of heroine!  Although Theresa had her weak moments, she had a lot more heft and inner strength than some of the other characters that I have encountered.   I liked how the author created Theresa as a normal girl for her time as well as trying to uncover the biggest secret in the kingdom.  She has to deal with conflicting feelings of love for her father’s associate, deal with her over protective mother and her weird, old uncle, and keep the household going while her mother battles with depression after her father’s death.  It made the entire story seem all the more real.  Although I truly enjoyed this book, I have to say, the ending was not up to my standards it definitely left me unsatisfied.  Overall, though, this book was very nice and I recommend it to all who have a hunger for mystery, intrigue, music, coming of age, adventure, or just a great plot, then you should definitely pick this book up the next chance that you get!

I give this book 4 out of 5 bookmarks!

Reviewed by: Austen A.

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The book Reincarnation, was one that I thoroughly enjoyed!  This book explores the idea of soul mates and true love.  I found the story idea very refreshing, it is very creative.  I found it fun to follow the main characters’ stories and the development in their relationships between each other and their own personalities.  These two souls travel from one time to another, crossing paths and realizing that they’d met before.  With each new life they gain a new characteristic and their feelings for each other grow.  Although there are some very close calls, each is ruined with the tragic end of one or the other and a dispute over a mysterious green gem that has forever come between them.  This book is filled with awkward, intense, comedic and tragic moments.  I laughed, cried, held my breath and sat on the edge of my seat the entire time I was reading this book.  Once I started reading, I literally, did not stoop until I had finished!  I highly recommend this book for both girls and boys!  It is sappy, sad, and romantic at some points, yet it’s also full of action, historical references, and fascinating coincidences.  This title is definitely going on my list of Best Books!  I urge you to pick up Reincarnation today and start reading!  You will not be disappointed!

I give this book 5 out of 5 bookmarks!

Reviewed by: Austen A.

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This book has a title which is cumbersome in length, but which belies the simple story to be told and the sweet  easy style in which it is told.  Set in London and the Channel Islands directly after WWII, the entire story is told through letters written to and from a writer, her publisher, friends and new-found acquaintances on Guernsey Island.  Through these communications, we learn the story of this kind-hearted author and her search for a new book subject.  Her quest leads her into a correspondence with a large portion of the residents  of this island.  Her letters to them and theirs to her reveal the personalities and struggles in this tiny community during the German occupation.  So captivated by these people and their letters to her, this author decides that she must visit them and get to know them better.  The island and its people so enchant her, that the author stays and becomes ensconced in their lives.  As sweet and simple as this story is, it is not without its dark moments.  No story, however pleasant, can be completely sugar-coated, when set at the tail end of a world war.  But, although that is the setting and backdrop of this story, the shining message that comes through, is one of hope and goodness.  It is definitely a feel-good read.

I give this book 4 out of five bookmarks.

Reviewed by:       Anna

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