Accepting Books for Review

I’ve decided to start reviewing more books here on my blog. So far, I’ve only completed two or three, but I hope to begin posting more soon. My goal is to review books from new, undiscovered authors. I won’t be posting many reviews from best sellers simply because the fact that they are best sellers already indicates that people think they are good. I want to find the unknown gems and make them known.

Since I write middle-grade/young adult books, books in those age categories are mostly what I will be reviewing. (My favorites are fantasy, sci-fi, and mystery.) I won’t review smut (erotica) or books that use an abundance of coarse language. I also don’t really have much interest in non-fiction.

If you would like for me to review your book, I ask that you send me a free copy (ebook format or paperback). I cannot guarantee to review every book I receive nor do I guarantee a positive review. Reviews will be fair and honest, based on a 1-5 system. I will apologize in advance in case anyone is not happy with their review; however, my goal is to give honest feedback and provide trustworthy information for people seeking good books to read. I will not give a positive review to any book that I believe is not worthy of it. If I feel that I cannot honestly give at least three stars to your book, I will not post a review at all.

Reviews that are posted on here will also be shared on Amazon.com and Goodreads.com (if possible).

If you’d like me to review your book, please contact me at aecooksbooks@gmail.com. Please type Request for Review in the subject line. Your request needs to include author name, genre, target age, and a short synopsis of your book. Thank you.

Book Review: The Journal of Curious Letters (The 13th Reality # 1)

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Tick is an ordinary boy, and even though he has some insecurities and has to deal with bullies, he has the support of a good family. His life changes dramatically one day when he receives a mysterious letter in the mail. The letter contains a plea for help, a warning of danger if he accepts, and a way to escape danger if he chooses not to get involved, simply burn the letter. From this point on, Tick encounters many perils, but he steadfastly refuses to give up. More letters follow, each one containing a puzzle or riddle that must be solved before he is deemed worthy to join the real fight.

Dashner does an excellent job of depicting a typical, modern household, complete with annoying little sister, and integrating very strange and unusual characters and almost magical technology. The otherworldly heroes and villains are not your stereotypical good guys and bad guys either. Dashner reveals his incredible creativity in this book. He also breaks the mold in many ways. For example, instead of being an orphan or having horrible parents that he escapes, Tick has a wonderful, supportive mother and father, and one of the decisions he has to make is whether or not to tell his parents what’s going on.

Dashner also includes many puzzles and riddles that the readers can solve on their own. This really makes you feel like part of the story. It can also make you feel very smart if you end up solving the riddle before the hero.

I thought this was an excellent book, and I’m glad to see that it’s only the first in a series. I look forward to reading the others.

5 stars

Book Review – Leven Thumps and the Gateway to Foo

the gateway to fooThe dream world of Foo is threatened by the dark Sabine and his shadowy minions. Leven, with the help of Winter, who can turn things to ice just by thinking it; Clover, his adorable and fiercely-loyal, cat-like little sycophant; and Geth, the powerful and rightful ruler of Foo, who just happens to be a talking toothpick through most of the book, set out to save Foo by destroying the gateway between that land of dreams and reality.

Skye does an incredible job of bringing his new, imaginative world to life. His main characters, the world they are trying to reach, and even the candy they eat come from a wildly creative mind. The only downside I found to the book was that it spends a little too much time dwelling on Leven’s fear, other than that, it’s a great read. I’d recommend it, if for nothing else, then for the crazy antics of the lovable Clover, unquestionably, my favorite character.

5 stars

The Amber Key (Second Edition)

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When a dangerous, hooded figure threatens someone with certain death if they don’t leave his island immediately, the average, sane person takes off running for the nearest ship. But Molly Jackson isn’t the average, sane person.

A house on the island has mysteriously exploded, and everyone is pretending it was an accident. Molly knows better. Something is going on in the maze of tunnels deep below the earth. Something dark and deadly waits there, its secrets hidden away for generations. Secrets the inhumanly-powerful Xandi have sworn to protect. Secrets Molly and her friends are determined to uncover.

When they find the professor’s ancient journal, their quest can begin.

They search the island from “invisible” villages to underwater caves and a frozen chamber buried in the heart of a volcano. Avoiding traps, solving puzzles, and collecting all the segments of the amber key, they must reach the cavern laboratory before their faceless enemy. Or before Molly’s hooded figure follows through with his threat.

If they fail, the whole world could fall.

This second edition is now available in e-book format at here. The second edition paperback version will be available mid January, but you can still get the first edition paperback here.

The Blobfish

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Okay, you’ve probably seen this little guy before, but I just couldn’t consider my “Bizarre” collection complete without adding him. This is the Blobfish. He was voted the ugliest animal in the world. Poor guy.

Blobfish look like they do because they live so deep in the ocean (2,000-4,000 feet deep) where the water pressure is up to 120 times greater than it is at sea level. That pressure would explode the bones of normal creatures.

Found near Australia and Tasmania, the Blobfish (or Psychrolutes Marcidus as it’s more formally called) have practically no muscles. Their bodies are like gelatinous masses. They don’t have swim bladders that help most fish stay afloat either, but luckily, their bodies are less dense than the water, so they’re good. They just float near the bottom of the ocean all day eating whatever is unlucky enough to float or swim by their mouths.

They’re very rare, and I wouldn’t recommend trying to swim down to the bone-crushing depths to try to see one. Just be content looking at pictures online.

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