Review: Dreamcatcher by Ann Curtin

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Category: Teen

Published: 2015

Read: 2016

Score: 5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Jesse Alvarez is tired of being the new kid every time his dad takes a job on another ranch. It doesn’t help that Cade Savage, the boss’s son, is a bully who has everything Jesse wants—money, a permanent home, horses, and most of all, a mother who lives with his family.
Then Jesse meets Aaron Little Elk, who lives on the Wind River Reservation, steals scraps of yarn from the art room to make dreamcatchers, and never stops talking about his older brother Reuben. Despite that, they become friends, and when Aaron stops coming to school, Jesse worries—and learns of a secret Aaron has been harbouring. As he tries to find out what’s happened to his friend, Jesse must unravel the mystery of Aaron’s dream-catchers and their connection to the wild paint mustang only Aaron can handle.

Review: This is a wonderful and great book. I was lucky enough to get it sent to me by the author herself and to her I will always be grateful. I am so happy I read this and once my son is old enough I will make sure it’s one he reads as well.

71-ubjfV2SL._AC_UL160_SR160,160_You meet Jesse, he’s a new kid and he’s been a new kids many time over. Him and his dad come to this new ranch and could it possible be the one they stay at? The owner is super nice and his dad gets foreman so it’s a big deal. All is good except for Cade, which really reminds of me Draco from Harry Potter.

Than you meet Aaron. He is such an adorable and wonderful character I loved every mind of him. So honest, and loving and talkative and just felt like a genuine person. You don’t get this a lot in books.

Through out the story you learn things about Aaron and his life which is hard. Jesse at first doesn’t want to be “too close of friends” with him because he is eccentric but then when he doesn’t show up at school for a while realizes that he must be a good friend to him and go and find him.

In such an epic way does he find him! Best part of the whole book with the action.

The best part of this book is all the great messages that you will find throughout the book. They are not scattered and end up going together so it all makes sense. It’s hard being a 13-year-old boy. You get things like friendship, loss, bereavement, divorce, being new, being bullied, you name it and it was in this book.

This is a fun, clean read and a great book for both the 9-12 and teen age group. PaintAlso a great pick up for a boy as all the characters in it are mostly boys and its great when you find these gems that boys will not only read but love.

So overall, a great book and a hidden gem!

Review: The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

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Category: Teen

Published: 2013

Read: 2016

Score: 4.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) After the 1st wave, only darkness remains. After the 2nd, only the lucky escape. And after the 3rd, only the unlucky survive. After the 4th wave, only one rule applies: trust no one.
Now, it’s the dawn of the 5th wave, and on a lonely stretch of highway, Cassie runs from Them. The beings who only look human, who roam the countryside killing anyone they see. Who have scattered Earth’s last survivors. To stay alone is to stay alive, Cassie believes, until she meets Evan Walker. Beguiling and mysterious, Evan Walker may be Cassie’s only hope for rescuing her brother–or even saving herself. But Cassie must choose: between trust and despair, between defiance and surrender, between life and death. To give up or to get up.

Review: What a book! It was one of those books I couldn’t put down and was loosing sleep over. I am hoping the movie is just as good but let’s face it….that never happens.

One of the things I like about this is the concept. We have so many books, movies…internet stories of aliens and I find this one a different take on them. You don’t know what they want, which gives a bit of fear, these things keep happening that you have no idea why and have no control over. It just keeps coming in waves which is different. first-looks-at-the-5th-wave-trailer-and-movie-poster-image-edited-by-me-602755

You also get the point of view of four characters at different points of the book. Cassie is the biggest character of the whole thing and there is a lot of focus on her. I liked how it showed her when she was strong and also struggling with what had happened to her. Than you meet Ben Parish, which let’s face it Zombie is a much cooler name, who is also a big part of it but from the military point of view. Than there is Sam (a.k.a. nugget) and you get the point of view from someone so young and innocent. Then there is one more but it’s only for a paragraph but it’s still important insight.

You get a lot of the beginning in flash backs. It tells you what happened in the beginning, and what I also like is the fact most people act like it’s nothing when the alien shows up but it’s debated all over the internet and television. I honestly feel like this is what would happen in real life. 11223932._SY540_

My only thing I didn’t like it was some of the lovely dovey parts. Don’t worry there were not a lot of them. I felt they were unnecessary but I can see where Rick is going with this as it will surly continue in to the 2nd and 3rd books.

It was fast paced and some moments were really hard to read, or I should clarify anything with Sam was really hard for me to read, but read it I did.

This book I think is good for all teens and adults. There is some swearing and a bit of love but overall it’s not too bad. Some young teens might find it a bit harsh but if they are strong readers they can do it.

I can’t wait to read the 2nd and 3rd books as I liked the writing style and overall story.

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Loosing Sleep Because of Reading

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We have all been there, you find that one book that you can’t put down and you just keep reading. This happens every once in a while to every avid read. Just one more page becomes a motto, it’s all you think about until you are reading it again and finding out what happens.

This is a very real problem for everyone. I am having this problem right now with the book I am reading. I had to work this morning at 9am but I still stayed up till 1am reading a book…and it took everything I had to put it down. It didn’t help it was at a good part.

So here are some of the very real and very valid reasons why people lose sleep over a good (or even a bad) book:

  • You just want to find out what happens. This means one more page, one more chapter and next thing you know it’s about 3 hours later and you have to be awake in two. I’ve even know people at this point to say “screw it” and keep reading on never sleeping. I don’t recommend this, it’s called beauty sleep for a reason.
  • It gives you nightmares or dreams. I don’t know about you guys but this has happened to me before. Your so in to a book it seems in to your dreams and then when you do wake up you feel like you have not slept at all. Tread lightly this happens with zombie books the most.
  • It is so emotional you can’t sleep. This could be many things like anger, fear, loss, despair ect. Maybe you can’t get over what happened or your so mad at how that chapter or book ended your fuming and can’t sleep. This causes your mind to race and what that happens there is no hope in hell to get any shut-eye.
  • You just want to get it done to move on to the next one. You’ve gone this far and you must…finish….the….book. It’s okay it happens. Remember, the grass is always greener in the next book.

So there you go. Sleep deprived humans because of reading. We always have times when we are tired, I am a mom of a toddler so that is my life, but it’s okay when it’s because of a book.  images

So happy reading, and happy sleeping 🙂

#TBT Review: Angela’s Ashes by Frank McCourt

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Category: Memoir

Published: 1996

Read: 2004

Score: 5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Born in Depression-era Brooklyn to recent Irish immigrants and raised in the slums of Limerick, Ireland. Frank’s mother, Angela, has no money to feed the children since Frank’s father, Malachy, rarely works, and when he does he drinks his wages. Yet Malachy — exasperating, irresponsible, and beguiling — does nurture in Frank an appetite for the one thing he can provide: a story. Frank lives for his father’s tales of Cuchulain, who saved Ireland, and of the Angel on the Seventh Step, who brings his mother babies.
Perhaps it is story that accounts for Frank’s survival. Wearing rags for diapers, begging a pig’s head for Christmas dinner and gathering coal from the roadside to light a fire, Frank endures poverty, near-starvation and the casual cruelty of relatives and neighbors—yet lives to tell his tale with eloquence, exuberance, and remarkable forgiveness.

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Review: This is a beautiful and touching book and when I read it I couldn’t put it down. To read a story from the point of view of someone who actually lived it. Poverty, love, hate, rags, religion…you have everything in this honest book.

Frank McCourt has it had his whole life but works for everything he has. His father is a drunk, his mother is raising many kids on nothing and his siblings keep dying. Despite this he is resilient, hard-working, and once he’s a teenager…the typical teenager.

One thing I really loved about this book is how he grows within the story. Despite talking about things that happened when he was younger you read it from a young point of view. Finding out what sex is, how babies come in to the world, life and death are all part of things he learns as he grows and it feels like you are right there with him as he’s learning.

Some points were hard to read, how they lived was hard, but again it’s reliance that keeps you reading.

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This is a must read for everyone. It really shows you how people lived not only during the Depression but in a different place. It shows no matter what love is there and will get you through. Once your done this one I would recommend watching the movie, which is equally good with a stellar cast and then read the 2nd book by Frank McCourt of when he comes to America.

 

Review: Willful Machines by Tim Floreen

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Category: Teen

Published: 2015

Read: 2016

Score: 2.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) In the near future, scientists create what may be a new form of life: an artificial human named Charlotte. All goes well until Charlotte escapes, transfers her consciousness to the Internet, and begins terrorizing the American public.Charlotte’s attacks have everyone on high alert—everyone except Lee Fisher, the closeted son of the US president. Lee has other things to worry about, like keeping his Secret Service detail from finding out about his crush on Nico, the eccentric, Shakespeare-obsessed new boy at school. And keeping Nico from finding out about his recent suicide attempt. And keeping himself from freaking out about all his secrets.
But when the attacks start happening at his school, Lee realizes he’s Charlotte’s next target. Even worse, Nico may be part of Charlotte’s plan too. As Lee races to save himself, uncover Charlotte’s plan, and figure out if he can trust Nico, he comes to a whole new understanding of what it means to be alive … and what makes life worth living.

Review: This was an okay book and I did read it very fast. As a teen book goes it’s typical and a good read for them. As for me and my standards, it could have been better.

Lee the main character. I did like how awkward he was and how much in the closet he was. I think it’s important to bring out more books with gay lead characters because as teenagers it’s not only important to read about  but also know about, empathy and understanding. I was a HUGE fan of his best friend Bex. She sounds super cool and someone I would love to be friends with. I liked the fact she was a strong-minded and opinionated girl.

Lee and Bex go to this prep school that his father went to, and his grandfather runs. He’s also the president’s son which makes things even more awkward. Than a new boy comes in Nico, and all things change. You see Lee become friends, and maybe more? with him and learn to live life a little bit more. This means getting away from his secret service handlers.

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The characters are great, you slowly learn backgrounds and who these characters are and get to like them very much. Part of the problem I had with this book is it was very predictable, you knew who was after Lee very soon into the book. Plus nothing really happened to put Lee in danger as the synopsis would have made you think. Things don’t really get going until half way through the book and then back off. The ending is great and lots of action and you can see this being set up for a sequel.

The messages are great too, be true to yourself, be brave, life is worth living. I just wish there was more action and better conclusion.

So good things and bad things for this book. Teens will like it as a diverse book. It’s well written and besides the sequel I am excited to see what this author comes out next. I don’t hate it but I will not read it again.

 

 

Review: Miss Moon Wise Words from a Dog Governess by Janet Hill

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Category: 3-5 Storybook

Published: 2016

Read: 2016

Score: 5/5

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Synopsis: (Goodreads) Miss Wilhelmina Moon is a dog governess. At her first placement, on a small island off the coast of France, her new charges – sixty-seven dogs of all shapes, sizes and colors – run wild. But armed with patience and a passion for teaching, as well as her companions, Mitford the monkey and Petunia the French bulldog, Miss Moon soon imparts twenty important lessons to her furry brood. Some are practical, some are playful, one or two are a little unusual, but all are necessary for the raising of happy, healthy and well-mannered dogs (and humans). miss-moon-master-your-survival-sl

Reaction: This is such a beautiful book. Just look at some of the pictures that I have posted with this review to prove that. The pictures are rich, well done, so full of life and just wonderful. I couldn’t stop looking at them. I was lucky enough to read this book at work when it came out and am happy I did because I can now highly recommend it. b5c27d69752570eafaaa74e0fa0f158f

It’s about a women who govern’s a bunch of dogs and teaches them lessons. After a long paragraph on page one each page after that has a picture and a “lesson” on it. For the little ones the pictures are great and the lessons are all true. They can be used to teach kids lots of important things.

 

 

 

 

Lesson 8: Make believe is food for the soul 

Lesson 16: Practice the art of conversation, listen more than you speak. 

Those are a few of the gems you will find in this book. All good, and quite frankly can all be used for both kids and dogs. Miss-Moon-n-lgo-490x650

The other bonus of this book is that it’s by a Canadian author who is a celebrated artist and lives in Ontario. This warms my heart.

So overall it’s a winner, beautiful, fast read, great storyline and messages for kids. Pick this one up today, even to just admire the work.

Review: Pax by Sara Pennypacker

Illustrations by Jon Klassen

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Category: 9-12 Fiction

Published: February 2016

Read: 2016

Score: 5/5

Synopsis:  (Goodreads) Pax was only a kit when his family was killed, and “his boy” Peter rescued him from abandonment and certain death. Now the war front approaches, and when Peter’s father enlists, Peter has to move in with his grandpa. Far worse than being forced to leave home is the fact that Pax can’t go. Peter listens to his stern father—as he usually does—and throws Pax’s favorite toy soldier into the woods. When the fox runs to retrieve it, Peter and his dad get back in the car and leave him there—alone. But before Peter makes it through even one night under his grandfather’s roof, regret and duty spur him to action; he packs for a trek to get his best friend back and sneaks into the night. This is the story of Peter, Pax, and their independent struggles to return to one another against all odds.

Review: I loved this book. I can’t say enough good things about this book. I was lucky enough to receive an Advanced Reading Copy with a diorama I could put together. maxresdefault (1)

I had heard that it was good so naturally I was a little skeptical but I can honestly say it’s true. I read it within two days and as of right now am sleep deprived because I was up late last night finishing it.

It is a story told from both Peter (the boy) and Pax’s (the fox) point of view. It starts off by Peter having to let Pax go because his father is making him. A boy with a lot of losses already and this is his best friend in the whole world. Pax being a fox never knowing anything outside of the boys protection. So that is sad in it self.

The whole story is of these two beings not only finding themselves but trying to find each other. You have the war as a backdrop. They don’t talk about which one but it’s kind of implied it’s WW2. I liked the fact that you get to hear about the war and learn of its conquences to both humans and the animal life.

Both Pax and Peter are great character with real flaws that they can overcome with hard work and perseverance and love. They  meet different people/animals along the way that help them do this.

This is a beautiful moving book and I cried at the end. Not from sadness but from happiness and from feeling the love come out of the book. I’ve never been so emotional  with a 9-12 book that wasn’t Harry Potter. I am really looking forward to the book when it officially comes out and I get to see the pictures by Jon. They were not in the ARC. tumblr_nz3sni86l11ru6tqoo1_500

So I would recommend this for any boy or girl or adult of that age group. There are great messages and it’s a quick read. Plus there is pictures…everyone loves pictures.