About Marilyn J.

I post book reviews on books from the Mission Viejo Library

Book Review: The 9th Judgment by James Patterson

9th_judgmentThis is the ninth book in the Lindsay Boxer series so I recommend reading the previous novels before reading this one. However, if you don’t want to read the first eight books, you can jump right into this one.

Unsuspecting of being stalked by a murderer, a mother and her infant head towards their parked car. Upon reaching their car the man trailing them approaches the mother and asks to use her cellphone. As she turns to hand him her phone she finds him holding a gun. Panicking, she offers him money but to no avail. Without any mercy the unknown killer guns the woman and her child down.

Around the same time, a burglar sneaks into a million dollar home. Quietly she sneaks into the master bedroom and skillfully removes dozens of sparkling jewels from an open safe. Without making a mistake the burglar is about to leave when she accidentally tips over a table. Startling the sleeping movie stars, she has to find a quick way to escape.

Startled awake by the loud crash or her table, Casey Dowling jumps out of bed, only to be shot down. The next day her death is all over the news, and her husband claims that the burglar shot her while leaving.

How is Lindsay supposed to solve a crime where the only evidence is a cryptic message scribbled across a windshield in lipstick? The killer is quick, stealthy, and skilled. In addition, Boxer is suspicious of Casey’s death.

Can the burglar be somehow linked to the ruthless killer? And who killed Casey Dowling?

I got a kick out of this book. Along with being a suspenseful thriller, it was one of my favorites out of the entire series. I highly recommend this book for a fast-paced, easy read.

-Marilyn J., 9th grade

Book Review: Sammy Keyes and the Showdown in Sin City, by Wendelin Van Draanen

sammy_keyes_showdownIn Sammy Keyes’ latest adventure, she finds out that her mom is getting married in Vegas. She is getting married to Sammy’s boyfriend’s dad. This causes Sammy to freak out and try to find a way to crash the wedding. So when she hears that her friend Marissa is also going to Vegas, she makes the decision to go to Vegas with them– without telling anyone where she was going or what she was doing.

When she reaches Vegas she realizes that she cannot find out where her mom is or where she will stay the night. Using Marissa’s help she finds herself staying with them for a few nights until she finds her mom. However, Sammy’s archenemy, Heather Accosta ( Sammy’s boyfriends sister), and her mom Candi, are staying right across the hallway from the room Sammy is in. And if you have read the previous books about Sammy, you know just how bad that is. Will Sammy team up with the Accosta’s to end this Marriage? Can Sammy possibly be able to put up with them? And will she be able to stop this nonsense before it gets out of hand?

I highly recommend that you read the first fifteen Sammy Keyes adventures before you read this one. The first book is Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief. If you have already read those books, then this book is the next in line. It is an enjoyable read and possibly one of my most favorite one in the series. With Sammy’s social and family issues this book definitely got me on my toes waiting to see what would happen next. (I had to read it all in one night since I couldn’t go to bed without finishing it.) I hope you enjoy this book as much as I did!

-Marilyn J., 8th grade

Book Review: Sammy Keyes and the Dead Giveaway, by Wendelin Van Draanen

sammy_keyes10While walking into class one day, Sammy accidentally slams the door on her teachers beloved bird. Instantly killing it, Sammy runs into the nearest closet, with the bird, and hides there for the entire class period. Later that day, after leaving the dead bird hidden in the closet, Sammy hears that Heather, her worst enemy, has been blamed for the bird’s death. Even though Sammy knows that Heather didn’t kill the bird, she notices that Heather has been acting guilty anyway. What could Heather have possibly done to act so guilty? And will Sammy tell her teacher that she killed to bird or will she leave Heather to take the blame for her?

A suspenseful novel with tons of humor, Wendelin Van Draanen has written a book that will keep you on your toes the entire time. If you like a relaxing yet interesting read then is the book for you.

I almost forgot– this Sammy Keyes book happens to be the last of the series. The first book is Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief and the second book is Sammy Keyes and the Skeleton Man, so make sure you read these to understand Sammy and her archenemy a little bit better.

-Marilyn J., 8th grade

Book Review: My Brother Sam is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier & Christopher Collier

Z917SchBroSam2upSpoiler alert! Spoiler alert! The authors of this book definitely need to make some adjustments to this title. I mean seriously, why give away the ending of this book in the title– the first thing a person reads when looking for a book.

Anyway, if you are looking for a story with lots of true facts and details on the American Revolutionary War blended in with some fictional characters, this is the perfect book for you. Sam, a farm-boy, has just gone off to school when he decides to go and fight the Redcoats with the Continental Army. With a tavern to run and a farm to maintain, Sam’s mother, father, and younger brother, Tim, beg for him to stay. With his heart set on going to war, Sam runs away. With nothing to do but pray for his brother, Tim takes over his brothers job and soon finds himself on a trip with his father delivering cattle to the British troops. On his way home he soon finds that his father is missing. With warnings of thieves Sam doesn’t know whether he should look for his father or go home. Will Tim find his father?

This is a suspenseful and educational read. I would rate it 9 out of 10 on my favorite historical novels list. The story kept my interest and was hard to put it down. I recommend this book if you enjoy reading an intense historical fiction.

-Marilyn J., 8th grade

Book Review: Rotten, by Michael Northrop

rotten_coverJD has just gotten back from staying “upstate” with his aunt, so he says, and finds out that his mother has rescued a full grown, untrained, slobbering Rottweiler who JD immediately calls Johnny Rotten.

JD would’ve never guessed that he’d become friends with Johnny but they slowly bond and it looks as if they have a great future together. Yet that idea is ruined when a lowlife, Mars, provokes Johnny and gets himself bitten. Mars and his family are poor and decide to sue JD’s mom for the tiny wound their son got. With barely enough money to support their family, JD’s mom will have to get rid of Johnny. However, JD strongly believes that Johnny was only protecting himself from Mars, and tries to find a way to prove the court that Johnny is innocent and Mars was trespassing and harassing the dog. But how will JD prove to the court that Johnny is innocent with no hard evidence? Read Rotten to see if Johnny is saved and find out what JD was doing “upstate.”

This book was the best book I read since last year. I had so many connections to it since I had an aggressive dog that bit other dogs. It was very fun to read and I recommend this book if feel like you need a relaxing book. Michael Northrop did an excellent job to keep the story flowing and have you wondering what would happen to poor Johnny.

-Marilyn J., 8th grade