Review: Baby Doll by Hollie Overton

41nDRhs6T0L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Category: Adult Fiction

Published: July 2016

Read: 2016

Score: 5/5

Synopsis: You’ve been held captive in one room, mentally and physically abused every day, since you were sixteen years old. Then, one night, you realize your captor has left the door to your cell unlocked.For the first time in eight years, you’re free.
This is about what happens next …
Lily knows that she must bring the man who nearly ruined her life – her good-looking high-school teacher – to justice. But she never imagined that reconnecting with her family would be just as difficult. Reclaiming her relationship with her twin sister, her mother, and her high school sweetheart who is in love with her sister may be Lily’s greatest challenge. After all they’ve been through, can Lily and her family find their way back after this life-altering trauma?

26889279Review: This is a great book that I honestly couldn’t put down. It was a tense, emotionally heart wrenching roller coaster ride. It really reminded me of Room by Emma Donoghue.

You don’t get a lot of  the story spent in the room that Lily and her daughter Sky are captive in. The book starts out with her escaping. It focuses more on what happened to everyone before, during and after the kidnapping and escape. You get the point of view of Lily, her twin sister Abby, her mother Eve and the kidnapper himself Rick. You understand why everyone did what they did even if you don’t like them or what they did.

It looks at the emotional rollercoaster of a ride that happens when something like this happens. How it tears families apart and changes the course of people’s lives forever. How even the person kidnapped is emotionally scarred and almost lost in their own world and stalled developmentally to the day they were kidnapped.

You don’t get a lot of details of what happened to Lily, and I think this is a great choice. As it focuses on other things people who don’t like the gore or details will really like this book. You get the idea of what happened with out it explained. I loved that.

Lily is  a strong and resilience women and stronger than most you hear about after a kidnapping but it was one of the best parts of the book. s-l225

Anyone who likes a good tense novel will love this book. It’s face paced and the ending is so unexpected that you will never see it coming. I highly recommend this book to anyone, not teens or younger but defiantly everyone else. It’s not out until July of this year, I was lucky to get an advance copy, but make sure you keep your eyes open and pick it up as soon as you see it.

 

Review: Trash, A True Story by Laurie Anne Hoover

25144239

Category: Biography

Published: 2015

Read: 2016

Score: 5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Flipping through a bag of old photographs, Lynn Hellers relives her traumatic childhood growing up in the low-income row houses of Kingston, Ontario, in the 1970s and 80s. Against the backdrop of the dramatic social and political upheaval of the era, Lynn’s young life is dominated by crushing poverty and the violent explosions of her alcoholic and abusive father. When his anger wasn’t vented on their mother, he turned to Lynn and her younger siblings, who quickly learned to keep their thoughts to themselves. Amidst the burden of survival, Lynn’s coming of age is further complicated by a profound crisis of faith and heartbreaking confusion around her sexuality. Her only respite came from her caring and gentle maternal grandparents, who offered a safe haven and encouraged her to pursue her passion for visual art as well as a determination to carve out a life for herself.

Review: This is a tough but honest read. I am well aware of Kingston and have been there many times and it’s always different when you are reading a book where you actually know all the places mentioned. It makes it more real and it makes it feel more honest because you’ve been there.

I really liked how this book was laid out as someone who is telling the story while looking at the photo’s. The way they were described you could actually see the picture as it was being described. Kingston

The story starts out when Lynn is a young girl. She has three younger siblings and she is the oldest. Her father is a raging alcoholic with clear and present anger issues and other substance abuse problems. Her mother also suffered from different substance abuse issues and is abused by the father herself, as well as ignores what happens to her children. There is a lot of hitting, name calling, pushing around, and sexual assault. There is no food to eat some of the time, no love between parents and kids, and strange situations like a Monkey in the backyard.

There were parts of this story that is very hard to read. Some parts where Lynn could have ended up raped but due to the kindness of others was saved. There were parts you couldn’t put down the book because you wanted to know what happened. They all had to live with this without help of social services. This was also a time where there was not as much help or places to escape when you were having a problem at home. I wanted to jump in this book and hug all of these kids and tell them it would be okay. They are strong and bigger than this.

There was a lot of hope in this book. Despite the odds most of the kids came out okay and went on to live normal happy lives. I am really happy there was an update at the end of this book as I was curious to see what happened to the other kids. I have met the author and she is a wonderful lady. It’s a very brave thing to come out and talk about her experiences.

I recommend this book to anyone who like a biography and doesn’t mind reading about hard times that happen to other people this is for you. I wouldn’t give it to anyone younger than 16 as it is descriptive.

Overall a great book and I am very happy that I was able to read it.

Review: Graceling by Kristin Cashore

Graceling_cover

Category: YA Novel (Teen)

Published: 2008

Read: 2016

Score: 4.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Katsa has been able to kill a man with her bare hands since she was eight – she’s a Graceling, one of the rare people in her land born with an extreme skill. As niece of the king, she should be able to live a life of privilege, but Graced as she is with killing, she is forced to work as the king’s thug.
When she first meets Prince Po, Graced with combat skills, Katsa has no hint of how her life is about to change.
She never expects to become Po’s friend. She never expects to learn a new truth about her own Grace – or about a terrible secret that lies hidden far away…

Review: This is a great book and it’s one I have had on my shelves to read for a while and I am so happy I finally did. I also have the other two in this series and I am really excited to dive in to those as well. Graceling-Realm

Katsa is a really strong female lead character. She starts off being a “strong-arm” for her uncle who is a king in one of the kingdoms. She doesn’t like it but she knows nothing else. Than she meets PO who is looking for his grandfather who has been kidnapped.

Katsa is a “graceling” which I think is a great concept for the book. Each person is identified by with unique two eye colours and each person is “graced” with something like cooking skills, fighting skills, swimming skills ect. This worked well with this book and was it brought up things like what to do when you are technically a minority where you live and people treat and look at you differently. There was people who were great to Katsa but you could see how she was shaped because of how she had been treated in her life thus far.

5099602._UY200_There is lots of action and adventure and some situations which leave you going “wtf just happened” but in a good way. It’s great to see the development of each character throughout the story and you really get to feel like you get to know the characters and root for them when they get in their situations.

There is a little bit of sex in the book, it’s not descriptive but it’s there. So for younger teens with the sex talk and the killing it might not be a good book to start them on if they are moving up in reading. For older teens and adults it’s a great book. It is thick so it’s not a fast read but trust me it’s worth it.

My only downfall, the half a point I took off, was because there was a few holes in the story. When she is traveling with Bitterblue apparently it happens over a matter of months…where it was not written like that and so when that came to light I was a little confused. graceling_eyes_by_cherryclaires-d5fz795

Otherwise it’s a great story and good teen fiction in a rich fantsey land.

16464348._SX540_

 

Organizing Book Shelves

Hello Everyone!

I have spent this weekend organizing my book shelves down stairs. We are turning the big room we have in to a play room/library. So a place I can hang out with my son, which is super exciting. It’s a lot of work thou and it’s amazing of how many books I actually have. 0ae02e99-fdec-4060-955c-6e12a8a72abe

There are some things I have realized about this process. I have way to many books. I know I am surprised I am actually saying this but it’s true. I am in need of at least two more shelves. I get so many books I actually had a ton of doubles. There are a lot of books that looking at them now I realize I would never read them, not that they are bad but because I don’t have time and they just don’t appeal to me. It also takes forever to organize. Even if your books to put away are already in alphabetical order.

So it’s done for now, I am waiting for more book shelves to finish. I have Adult fiction to go starting at M. It looks fabulous and I am super excited we are getting somewhere. It’s also important to point out that I have left room for more books…because in reality that is SOOO going to happen.

d0f76931-1f76-4977-ae03-27f412438747So here are a few tips to use when organizing your books:

-Make sure you have a plan of action. How are you going to organize? I do Alphabetical by last name, but some people go by genre, and sometimes even by color (I have to applaud these people I could not organize this way).

-Be honest with yourself, are you really going to read this? Even if it’s five years from now make sure you want to read it or it appeals to you because otherwise it’s just going to sit on your shelf and take up space and collect dust.

-Make sure you donate anything you don’t want. Books are gold and if your reject book helps someone become a lover of reading than all the better. Do not recycle or throw them away.

-You can stack them up or put them side by side, or go crazy and do both. Makes for a better catch of the eye.

-Your going to get hurt. The books will fall  on you, you will have paper cuts and bumps and a few bruises. Do not keep hand sanitizer closer because this will only worsen the pain. Remember, this too shall pass.

-Keep space for more. There will always be more. 54f2a19c-f919-4908-a3fd-859c1f47f014

-Put the kids books where they can reach them and pick out their own. I am waiting for the day that this happen with my son.

-Be prepared, it is a workout, and will feed as such when you are done.

These are a few good tips to start with. I am sure there are many more but these were my go to all weekend. I am hoping to get shelves soon and get it finally finished. The best part is when you are done, it’s the greatest feeling of the world. I can’t wait to sit down there and look at all my BOOKS 🙂

Review: Secrets of Smart Parents Raising Their Smarter Kids: A Short Guide of Easy, Quick, Joyful Parenting Techniques by Kavitha Sriram

B019MZ63O0.01.LZZZZZZZ-125x200

Category: Parenting

Published: 2015

Read: 2016

Score: 3/5

Synopsis: How many of us read terms and conditions before signing up for any websites? Well, I don’t. To many of us, the same thing applies to parenting also. We become parents before we are ready for it and for blessed few after many preparations still it remains a puzzle. Come take the journey with me of real life experiences and amazing stories.
Even if we think we are ready, again it doesn’t seem to be enough! Are you anxious about your parenting methods? Would like to know other parents methods and results? You have come to the right place. This book gives you real life examples of different parents, their experiences, their techniques, lessons and stories to give you an entertaining and informative reading experience.
Find out the secrets of smart parents to grow your children with excellent learning and social skills, creative abilities and teach your children complicated life lessons in a simple and fun way. Learn the parenting skills needed to grow with your smarter child. KidsPlaying

Review: This was a fast read indeed.It’s very short and to the point about a lot of things. You can tell it is a first book for this author but it’s a good first book and I can’t wait to see what else she comes out with next.

You get everything in here from school work, to dealing with the loss of a loved one, de-cluttering their room, and even the usual child is not listening to me.

There is helpful advice, although I would have liked it a bit more elaborated, again it is very to the point and is great advice I know I will even be using with my own son.

The best part about this book was the stories that came with it. There were great stories that really brought the point home and you could tell that they meant a lot to the author as well as went along with the message she was trying to convey. My favourite one was at the end about a women who wrote this for Today’s Parents about her Granny and how she was trying to teach her that kids need to have their own life too, we can’t do everything for them. It was a great story and true. Raise-a-Smart-Baby-Step-12

This is a fun easy read if you like these sorts of things. I would also recommend it to anyone who wants to read parenting books…but find it hard to read parenting books. Trust me I totally understand that.

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling

10335308

Category: Non-Fiction/Humour

Published: 2011

Read: 2016

Score: 3/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?”
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!

Review: This was a good book for what it was. I will admit that I have never been a  huge Mindy fan and have never watched The Office and only a few episodes of her current show. It’s just one of those things, I’ve never watched them. Not that I don’t think she is funny. mindy-kaling-is-everyone-hanging-out-without-me-and-other-concerns-back-cover

This book is exactly what you expect for a humour book from a comedian. It’s a bunch of essays and lists about things in her life from growing up to now (which now would be 2010ish with her on The Office).

The parts about growing up a non-athlete I could relate to, as well as having certain friends in highschool was also great to hear about. It is nice to know people go through the same things…and can survive! I also really enjoyed the dating and male grooming sections. These were really laugh out loud funny parts and I think the best parts of the book.

I couldn’t relate to the part about The Office. If you like the show you will have no problem reading this or understanding who is who. As I said earlier I didn’t watch the show and so I do not know a lot of the people she was talking about. It is nice to hear about what happens behind a show because you don’t always get that inside scoop. b2347ae6bd07cbf1e2da8701da4b53f2

This was a good book but not one I could read over and over again. It made me like Mindy more and I will prob read the 2nd one she has put out. This is why I only gave it 3 stars. This book will only appeal to certain people who like humour books or like her. It was an easy fast read but not one I will be talking about around the office water cooler (see what I did there?).

 

Review: Scary Stories To Tell In The Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Illustrations by Brett Helquist

51c+xhAAOaL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_

Category: 9-12 Fiction

Published: 1981 (Republished 2010)

Read: 2016

Score: 3.5/5

Synopsis: (Goodreads) There is a story here for everyone — skeletons with torn and tangled flesh who roam the earth; a ghost who takes revenge on her murderer; and a haunted house where every night a bloody head falls down the chimney. Stephen Gammell’s splendidly creepy drawings perfectly capture the mood of more than two dozen scary stories — and even scary songs — all just right for reading alone or for telling aloud in the dark.If You Dare!

Review: This is an okay book for kids who like a good scare. I liked the stories are they were short and to the point and scary for the age group, not for an adult like me.

What I really liked was these stories were actually ones I have heard before. Different tales and folklore that have been passed down from generation to generation. I love stories like these because there are always a meaning behind them even if you don’t realize it till you re-read them when you are older.

There are also illustrations that go with each story. They are well done and sometimes creepier than the actual story it is associated with.

One of the best parts of the book is that there are really stories that you can tell in the dark. It tell you how to tell them to get the most impact as well. I thought this was super cool.

The reason I only gave it a 3.5 is for a few reasons. The stories were short but so was the book. There are so many tales out there that could have been added without taking away from the short story format. I think they could have done a lot more, even for the age group big books are okay. coversnew

Overall a very easy and fast read, I read it in a day. For the age group I think it’s more than appropriate, and if they are not scared a great “scary” book for the age group. If I can get my hands on the other two I will, same with the adult version.