The Week in Reviews: ReadLove Recap For the Week Beginning October 13th

Another week has come and gone here at ReadLove ! Here’s what you may have missed! 

Variety was our theme this week: We had CDs, DVDs, YA Fiction, and Kids books to review. Some we loved, some we were lukewarm towards. The Young Elites took a while to get going, but when it finally kicked in, it kicked! Salt & Storm, on the other hand, didn’t quite live up to its promise. Change of Heart, the latest DVD from the outstanding Hallmark TV series When Calls the Heart, was every bit as wonderful as we have come to expect. Gaither Vocal Band star Wes Hampton released his indie CD, Reality, on a major label with a new title: Out on a Limb. We point you to our review from March of the original release.

Finally, ReadLove is proud to be showcasing the brilliant, Agatha Award-winning Code Busters Club series for kids. Each of the four books gets a comprehensive review — the first three are up now, while the review of book four (which just came out this week) goes up Monday. When those are done, we’ll be hosting a giveaway for all four!



Teen Zone: The Young Elites by Marie Lu

4 Hearts - Final

4 of 5 Hearts. A Unique, Challenging, and Rousing Fantasy. In its early chapters, The Young Elites demands a more than usual amount of concentration and dedication. The pages turn slowly, as the reader is confronted by what feels like a surfeit of information. By its mid-point, however, the book’s supposed excesses no longer seem like such, and instead serve as a sturdy foundation on which is built a strong, absorbing plot with a diverse and engaging team of medieval-era super heroes.  [Read the full review]



CD Review: Out on a Limb by Wes Hampton

Out on a Limb is a major label release of Wes’ independently released album, Reality. In terms of music, the two CDs are identical, except that track 6, “Me and God”, is now titled “Out on a Limb”. My review of the excellent (4 Hearts!) Reality is here.




Teen Zone: Salt & Storm by Kendall Kulper



3 of 5 Hearts. A Promising Debut, but Lacking in Magic. Salt & Storm gets the reader’s hopes up for a magical tale of witchcraft and romance. Unfortunately, it falls somewhat short in both areas leaving the reader adrift.  [Read the full review]





Thursday:WCTH_Change of Heart - sm

DVD Review: When Calls The Heart: Change of Heart




5 of 5 Hearts. Grade “A” Television that Touches the Heart. When Calls The Heart: Change of Heart continues the standard of excellence set by the writers, cast, and crew in the shows leading up to this episode. If there’s a not-to-be-missed pair of episodes from season one, these would certainly be it!  [Read the full review]


Friday:codebustersclub1 - small

Kids Corner: The Secret of the Skeleton Key by Penny Warner

4 Hearts - Final

4 of 5 Hearts. The Start of a Uniquely Appealing Interactive Middle Grade Mystery Series. Opening The Secret of the Skeleton Key felt a bit like discovering a hidden, precious gem. Though, since this first book and the third installment were nominated for the Agatha Award, and the second casebook won that honor, I’m clueless as to why The Code Busters Club series isn’t more widely known.  [Read the full review]



Kids Corner: The Haunted Lighthouse by Penny Warner



4.5 of 5 Hearts. The Code Busters Club Makes Learning Feel Like Fun and Games! Penny Warner’s Agatha Award-winning The Haunted Lighthouse takes the mystery and fun of the Code Busters Club series to even greater heights. These books contain puzzles and codes your child will love to crack!  [Read the full review]



Sunday:codebustersclub3 - small

Kids Corner: The Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure by Penny Warner



4 of 5 Hearts. A Mystery Series for Middle Grade Readers That Amazes and Engages. Shiver Me Timbers! With Case 3, The Mystery of the Pirate’s Treasure, Penny Warner has again made child’s play of problem solving.  [Read the full review]




That’s everything that happened on ReadLove this week. See you next week!

Until then, I’d love it if you shared a bit about your week in the comments!


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