Ride: Kit Meets Covington by Bobbi JG Weiss

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me. I received an advance reading copy of this book from the publisher through LibraryThing Early Reviewers for an honest review.
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Kit Meets Covington by Bobbi J.G. Weiss

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)

Fourteen-year-old Kit is a pretty plucky girl. But her pluck is put to the test because: 1) she and her cowboy father move to England for her father’s new job at The Covington Academy, and 2) the academy is an equestrian boarding school. Kit hasn’t ridden a horse in years, since the terrifying time she fell from one. Now she must take on a new country, a new school, and her fear of riding in Ride: Kit Meets Covington, a novel by author Bobbi JG Weiss.

For everyone who may be familiar with the drama series Ride from Nickelodeon or YTV, more power to you. I’d never heard of the show before.

Nonetheless, I enjoyed this novel.

Now, though I gather that it’s a young YA book, it had a more juvenile feel to me, reading like a children’s (perhaps middle grade?) book with teenaged characters. Maybe I’m just better acquainted with old-fashioned children’s and young adult books and have less of a feel for what those genres are like these days.

But anyhow, this is indeed an engaging, humorous, and motivating tale with a fun batch of characters. I thought the story’s development was a bit bumpy or choppy at times, and some of the points of view seemed to be introduced/explored a little late. And, even knowing that this is Book One of a coming series, the last few scenes had me thinking, “So…that’s it, then? This is where and how the story is ending?”

Still, quite a worthwhile read, and I’d be delighted to continue on with the series, when it continues.

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Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary

Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
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Ramona Forever by Beverly Cleary

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Changes are afoot in Ramona Quimby’s neck of the woods. Her father is on a new job search, and a momentous turning point is coming for Ramona and her older sister, Beezus. Plus, there are surprises in store around the Quimby house: one big surprise, and one “little” surprise that’s just as big! Through her adventures of growing up, Ramona is still Ramona in Ramona Forever by author Beverly Cleary.

Well! This book was originally a smashing end to the Ramona series, back in 1984, before the 1999 addition of one more Ramona book. Even with Forever no longer being the last, it’s a smashing continuation and still one of my favorites.

It’s got its laugh-out-loud moments and its heart-tugging moments when things get real. And, honestly, why do grownups treat children in some of the silly ways they do? (Yikes. I’m a grownup now. Do I do any of that silly stuff?) I understand Ramona’s disinclination to giving people the silent treatment: “Ramona often yelled at people, but never refused to speak. Nothing could happen if you didn’t speak, and she liked things to happen.” And I’ve always been proud of the way Ramona saves the day in this story—oh, yes, she does!

Never a dull moment in this book full of changes in Ramona’s life, and I’m looking forward to reading the next one in the series, which will be all-new to me.

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Yep. Beverly Cleary added one more book to the Ramona series while I wasn’t looking: Ramona’s World.

Ino’s Love by Marianne Sciucco

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Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
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Five Gold Stars

 Ino's LoveIno’s Love by Marianne Sciucco

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“You’ll know, Ruby. Your boys will scatter across the country chasing their dreams, and as painful as it may be, you’ll want them to live their own lives.”

Eighty-year-old Innocenzia Bellarosa hasn’t been well, but she perks up when her CEO son, Ray, calls to let her know he’ll be stopping by to visit before Christmas Eve. Yet, while Ino and her home health aid, Ruby, prepare dinner for Ray’s visit, love during the holiday extends to more than just family in Ino’s Love, a tale by author Marianne Sciucco.

This short Christmas story is perfect for when you have a little time–and a little Kleenex, just in case. I saw much of what was coming in the story, but watching it unfold still tugged at my heartstrings anyway.

While some little bits seem to unnecessarily state (or repeat?) the obvious, the tale doesn’t shy away from taking an honest look at human nature. In a situation that’s pretty wrong, Ino is pretty right (that’s what tears me up!), and she finds a way to still make Christmas, Christmas.

A quick and bittersweet read that ultimately made me smile, even if I might’ve been teary.