Review: The Year We Fell Apart by Emily Martin

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Category: Teen Fiction

Published: 2016

Read: 2016

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Few things come as naturally to Harper as epic mistakes. In the past year she was kicked off the swim team, earned a reputation as Carson High’s easiest hook-up, and officially became the black sheep of her family. But her worst mistake was destroying her relationship with her best friend, Declan.
Now, after two semesters of silence, Declan is home from boarding school for the summer. Everything about him is different—he’s taller, stronger…more handsome. Harper has changed, too, especially in the wake of her mom’s cancer diagnosis.
While Declan wants nothing to do with Harper, he’s still Declan, her Declan, and the only person she wants to talk to about what’s really going on. But he’s also the one person she’s lost the right to seek comfort from.
As their mutual friends and shared histories draw them together again, Harper and Declan must decide which parts of their past are still salvageable, and which parts they’ll have to let go of once and for all.506066707_MV_ZM

Review: This is a super cute teen book and I really liked it. This is not a book I would have picked up but I got an Advanced Copy and am very grateful for it. It’s a great story of coming of age and dealing with life when life can be difficult.

Imagine being a teenage girl kicked off the swim team because of something you did with a guy, loosing your best friend and first love, finding out your mom has cancer. This makes me sad even thinking about it and I am far from being a teenager anymore.

The main character does have problems and keeps getting in to trouble but is such a great character she never becomes obnoxious or annoying because of these bad traits. I liked all the other characters too, even Kyle but telling you about him would give away some of the story. HKDL_TARZAN'S_TREEHOUSE

It’s the typical story, the problem happens, they deal with the problem, climax and resolution. It was an easy read and I was able to finish it in two days.

I did really like the part about how her mother has cancer, and before you bite my head off hear me out. Everyone has someone in their life that has been touched with cancer in some way. It’s a hard and cruel fact of lie. This part of the story is touching because it shows the progress of the treatment on her mother and how it affects them both. How Harper deals with it, good or bad, and how she finally accepts that there is nothing they can do but be positive.

I would not suggest this book for the younger teens as it does have things like drinking, sex, drugs ect. For the older teen it’s fine and it’s not super descriptive but it does touch on these subjects in a great way that makes it so you know it’s going to happen and teens experiment but it’s not over the top and to self destructive.

So overall great read and a high recommendation.

#TBT Book Review: Shattered Dreams, My Life as a Polygamist’s Wife by Irene Spencer

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Category: Biography

Published: 2007

Read: 2013

Score: 3/5

Synopsis: Irene grew up in a fundamentalist Mormon family- the thirteenth of thirty-one children- so it was no surprise that she found herself, at sixteen years of age, in a plural marriage, sharing her husband with a half sister.
Enduring abject poverty, living in isolation, and suffering the neglect of a husband with divided loyalties created unbearable conditions. Yet Irene managed to overcome these obstacles to seek a life that she believed would be better for her and her children. She made a bold step into the “outside world” and into a freedom she never knew existed.

Review: This is a hard story to read but also an inspiring one. You get the whole story from start to finish. From when she is a young girl being courted to the marriage to the sister wives and then to getting out to a world she never knew about. Scary stuff but very good to read.

She is married to this man for a long time, and they move all over the place because of the fact that Pylogomy is illegal. You read about how one man tries to feed all kinds of people and children. How there is no time for anyone and you feel so alone and isolated it breaks your soul.

Irene grew up in this family and to her it was normal but it’s really interesting to see the change in her attitude over the years because of how she is treated and how it helps her get the strength to leave and start a life for yourself.

It’s inspiring to see how people can change, despite the odds and how much they have been brainwashed.

This is a hard read, I can’t get around that. I will not be able to read it again but I am happy I did in the first place. It brings you in to a world that we only hear about via the television and it’s never correct. If you like bio’s this is a book for you. If your interested in this lifestyle and people involved this is also a book for you.

Review: Don’t You Cry By Mary Kubica

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Category: Fiction, Adult

Read: 2016

Published: May 2016

Score: 2.5/5

Synopsis: In downtown Chicago, a young woman named Esther Vaughan disappears from her apartment without a trace. A haunting letter addressed to My Dearest is found among her possessions, leaving her friend and roommate Quinn Collins to wonder where Esther is and whether or not she’s the person Quinn thought she knew.
Meanwhile, in a small Michigan harbor town an hour outside Chicago, a mysterious woman appears in the quiet coffee shop where eighteen-year-old Alex Gallo works as a dishwasher. He is immediately drawn to her charm and beauty, but what starts as an innocent crush quickly spirals into something far more dark and sinister than he ever expected.

Review: This is a book like no other, but that isn’t necessarily a good thing. It had one of the best endings I have ever read, but the rest of it was so boring and long that I was almost about to put it down. science_of_tears

You get the story from two points of view, both Quinns the room-mate and Alex the small town boy. Both very different people. I happened to like Alex more, he was young but knew it and had struggles but did what he could to overcome them and help his dad. Quinn kept referring to herself as dumb and stupid and putting herself down. I get people are like that, but it’s very draining to keep reading it over and over again. They are both basically two different  stories in one book. And just when you think you have it all figured out…BAM the ending.

Of course I won’t talk about the ending because I am not a spoiler. I will say thou that it was super fantastic and I couldn’t stop reading till it was done. You don’t’ expect to happen what actually happens. There is a huge twist and it’s so good you are on the edge of your seat. It doesn’t make up for the rest of the book but it sure made me give it the 2.5 points I did.

This is a very popular author and everyone loves her books. This book will not stop me reading more of hers but I must say after all the hype I have heard about her I was a little disappointed. People who love her work I am sure will love this book, or even anyone who likes thrillers.

Look for it as it will be in your local book store in May of 2016. I was lucky enough to received an Advanced Copy to read and review.

Review: lf I Had A Gryphon by Vickki Vansickle and Cale Atkinson

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Category: 3-5 Storybook

Published: 2016

Read: 2016

Score: 4/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) When a kitten sneezes it’s adorable. When a dragon sneezes? It’s a fire hazard!
Sam is already bored of her new pet, a rather sedate hamster. Inspired by her book of mythological creatures, Sam longs for a more exciting pet. But she soon realizes that taking care of these magical beasts might not be as wonderful as she thought. Unicorns are shy, gryphons scare the dogs at the dogpark, and having a fire extinguisher handy at all times makes dragons seem like an awful lot of work. In the end, Sam realizes that her hamster is a pretty sweet and safe pet … or is he?

Review: For a 3-5 book this is super cute. I love the story line and I am sucker for any kid book that rhymes. I have a 2-year-old son and books like this are a little too old for him yet but when it rhymes he will actually pay attention.

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The illustrations are super cute and I love how adorable the main character is. It’s great to see a lot of diversity more in kids books and this is a great example of that.

Sam has a hamster but he’s just not that much fun so she decides to imagine what it would be like to have a creature like a Cracken, Hippogriff, and a Dragon. They all have their problems.

It’s a great story of loving what you already have, or as some people say “the grass isn’t greener on the other side”.

It’s an easy read, not a lot of words which would make it a great started 3-5 for any kid wanting an older book. The only problem is that most kids will not understand what most of these creatures are but hey it’s a great introduction to some really cool creatures.

Overall enjoyable and happy to have received it 🙂

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The Big Harry Potter News

So we all have heard that this week that there is a new book coming out from J.K. Rowling. Titled Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. I don’t even really know how to put in to words how excited I am for this.

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I have been a fan of Harry Potter for over 10 years now and this love has never diminished. They are great stories full of adventure, and friendship, and power, and strength…and so many more things. I read them about once a year and can probably recite most of the stories off the top of my head.

They feel like home to me. A place I can go that takes me out of my world and makes me feel good and happy and at peace. I even like the movies, although the books are of course better.

So when I heard this was going to be a book I was super happy. I am not sure if it will be in play form or an actual book but either way I will take what ever I can get.

I will be pre-ordering this one and hope you do as well because it’s going to be epic and I can tell you that it will most likely be sold out first day. I work in a book store I see these things happen all the time.

So buckle in guys because book wise, this is going to be one hell of a year 🙂

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Review: Maybe A Fox by Kathi Appelt and Alison McGhee

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Category: 9-12

Published: 2016

Read: 2016

Score: 3/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Sylvie and Jules, Jules and Sylvie. Better than just sisters, better than best friends, they’d be identical twins if only they’d been born in the same year. And if only Sylvie wasn’t such a fast—faster than fast—runner. But Sylvie is too fast, and when she runs to the river they’re not supposed to go anywhere near to throw a wish rock just before the school bus comes on a snowy morning, she runs so fast that no one sees what happens…and no one ever sees her again. Jules is devastated, but she refuses to believe what all the others believe, that—like their mother—her sister is gone forever.
At the very same time, in the shadow world, a shadow fox is born—half of the spirit world, half of the animal world. She too is fast—faster than fast—and she senses danger. She’s too young to know exactly what she senses, but she knows something is very wrong. And when Jules believes one last wish rock for Sylvie needs to be thrown into the river, the human and shadow worlds collide.

Review: This is a book about loss, and grievances, and sadness, and recovery and hope. And foxes, has anyone else noticed how big foxes are right now? They are the new owls, and I don’t mind although I love owls I do like the fox thing happening.

This is an okay book for me. It didn’t hit all the notes that usually make it a big hit with me. For a book about what it is, it’s a great story. If you are looking for something to give a child who has suffered loss, especially loss that is close to them than this is a good book for them to read.

Jules looses her sister and they are both really young. Once Sylvie is lost Jules is lost in a sense too. She now lives in the “after Sylvie” world and doesn’t like it. Her father is a strong man and does what he can to keep the two of them together. It’s hard, not only has Jules lost her mother but now her sister.

Just as her sister passes away a fox is born and born with a mission. They are called Kennen and they are around to help people with problems figure out and stop those problems. It takes a while but once the fox and Jules meet they both know that something big is happening and that it must be happening soon.

This is a nice story and a great meaning. What I didn’t like is that when it did come to its conclusion I didn’t feel like I was connected to the characters and should have felt more with what happened (sorry no spoilers here you will have to read it to find out). I also found that a lot of things were not all settled by the end of the book as I would have expected. I did really like the descriptions of Vermont in winter and spring. It sounded beautiful! ea05190df1b0727d6e1e50c7bf20eadb

It is a nice story, and an easy read as I read it in two days. For a kids book it’s an easy read for them and I am sure there are plenty of kids that will love it. It’s not one I would read again.

 

 

 

Review: The Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Ann Michaels

With Illustrations by Emma Block

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Category: 6-8 Storybook

Published: 2015

Read: 2016

Score: 3/5

Synopsis: Miss Petitfour enjoys having adventures that are “just the right size – fitting into a single, magical day.” She is an expert at baking and eating fancy iced cakes, and her favorite mode of travel is par avion. On windy days, she takes her sixteen cats out for an airing: Minky, Misty, Taffy, Purrsia, Pirate, Mustard, Moutarde, Hemdela, Earring, Grigorovitch, Clasby, Captain Captain, Captain Catkin, Captain Cothespin, Your Shyness and Sizzles. With the aid of her favorite tea party tablecloth as a makeshift balloon, Miss Petitfour and her charges fly over her village, having many little adventures along the way. Join Miss Petitfour and her equally eccentric felines on five magical outings — a search for marmalade, to a spring jumble sale, on a quest for “birthday cheddar”, the retrieval of a lost rare stamp and as they compete in the village’s annual Festooning Festival.

Review: This is a simple and fun story for any young child to read. It’s a bit of a heavier read for the age group but once they are stronger it’s one that will be enjoyed. miss-petitfour_670

Miss Petitfour reminds me a lot of Mary Poppins in her demeanor and way she is written. The adventures are fun ones that are easily solved and always have a happy ending. My favourite is the “retrieval of a lost rare stamp” because the cat saves the day in that one.

Than there are the cats, with names like Captain Captain, Mustard and Your Shyness. They are each unique and full of fun characters.

miss petitfour catsThe mode of travel for Miss Petitfour and her cats is by table-cloth. They ride the wind to get where they need to go with hopes that the wind is going the right way. Each cat holds on to the tail in front and so forth. It’s a cute little concept and a nice twist on the umbrella form of travel.

My favourite part of the book is really big words were highlighted in this book and then explained in a fun way. There was different ways to say things and lots of big words I don’t even use every day. I think this is a great idea to introduce new vocabulary.

For kids this is a great book and a good one to help them read. It’s a little more advanced for the age group but once they are a stronger reader it’s a great choice.

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