The Secrets We Keep by Deb Loughead

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Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Dundurn for the opportunity to read and review The Secrets We Keep by Deb Loughead. This story is told in four points of view beginning with Clementine, and telling the story of Kit and how he died, which is a mystery. The target audience is right on as described by the publisher – 12 to 15 years. Clementine, Jake and Ellie are part of the group who last saw Kit, who has special needs. Ellie is blackmailing Clementine for favors, such as lying to her parents so Ellie doesn’t get in trouble when she’s doing something she knows she shouldn’t be. The blackmail has ruined their friendship and Clementine finally decides to tell Ellie it’s over. Holding in and denying their secrets is tearing each of them apart and destroying their relationships. When the truth finally comes out, the community can finally heal. Aimed towards young teens with a passion for mystery and realistic fiction, 3.5 stars.

The Lost Property Office

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“Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.”

Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review The Lost Property Office by James R. Hannibal! This book is interesting from the dedication and onward. Steampunk genre with the iridescent clockwork beetles add to the fantasy feel. The main character, thirteen-year-old Jack Buckles, lives with his mom and eight-year-old sister, Sadie. Sadie believes she sees their dad and when Jack looks down to talk to her, she has disappeared. Jack catches up with Sadie and they both end up in The Lost Property Office. They discover that their dad belongs to the Ministry of Trackers. A clerk, Gwen, becomes Jack’s guide and they follow clues to the man in black (the Clockmaker) who seems to know what happened to Jack’s father and Gwen’s uncle, who worked with Jack’s father. He tells them to find the Ember and meet him at the Great Clock Tower at midnight to find Jack’s father. I enjoy the mix of English and American characters, cultures and humor! Steampunk and fantasy combine for a fun tale of mysterious secrets, intrigue and surprises – 4 stars!

Brainwalker

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I received a free copy of this book, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Benard lives with his dad and their dog, Milo. His mother passed away the day after she got the dog to look out for them. Bernard wants to do his required science project on wormholes, but no one is impressed. He gets in trouble at school, so his dad takes him to his work office. Bernard runs because he thinks he’s in trouble and inadvertently ends up in a scientific machine. His brain enters a wormhole and is transported inside his father’s brain where everything is dying because his father needs something called Energeia to rejuvenate. Energeia is produced when a person is happy, content and functioning well. Bernard’s dad has been depressed because of losing his wife and he and his son struggle to get along with each other. Therefore, his Energeia is low and is causing his brain to slow down. Brainwalker is like a science fiction version of Never Ending Story or a Magic School Bus Episode. An adventure full of learning opportunities with creativity- 3.5 stars!