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Review: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

7 Jan

Okay, so maybe it has been awhile since I posted anything here, but I have been in a long reading rut. I don’t think I’m completely out of it yet, but I felt inspired to review Fangirl. 

I am also a fan of the cover art... It is just so cute!

I am also a fan of the cover art… It is just so cute!

This book was exactly what I needed right now. As we entered 2014 I realized that I will in fact be turning 30 this year. The problem is I don’t feel that “adult” yet.  Fangirl reminded me of how far I’ve actually come in the last 12 years of my life. I am old enough now to appreciate how much more I understand about life, but still young enough to remember what it felt like to be naive, confused and trying to figure it all out. To be honest, I’m still trying to figure it out, but I think I’ve come a pretty long way since those first 2 post high school years. 

I digress… Rainbow Rowell’s college aged protagonist, Cath, is superbly written. Even though I personally was much more like Wren, Cath’s more outgoing twin sister, I had a lot of the same doubts about life that Cath has in the book. She has no idea how to cope with the new world she has been thrust into. Before college she always had her sister to lean on and be guided by, but now even though they are at the same university they are exploring it in very different ways. Continue reading

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5 Awesome Easy Chapter Series You May Not Have Heard Of Yet

27 Jun

Finding books that appeal to K-2 girls, but aren’t too easy and aren’t “Readers” can be hard. There are a lot of great children’s series out there, but the younger kids just aren’t ready for them yet. They want pictures still and “not too many words”. Sure one day my daughter will probably love to read the Ramona books, Harriet the Spy, and everything written by Roald Dahl. For now she is content with me reading those things to her. But she wants chapter books that she feel comfortable reading and we have found a few series to keep her busy and interested until she feels ready to tackle the “too many words” books on her own.

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1. Nancy Clancy series by Jane O’Connor

Does your daughter love Fancy Nancy? Mine does. I was so excited when Jane O’Connor decided to start a chapter book series about a slightly older Fancy Nancy. All the same characters are there and Nancy is still very precocious, but now she is a bit older. So far there are only 2 books published, with a 3rd coming out in October.

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2. Violet Mackerel series by Anna Brandford

I saw the 3rd book on display at the library and the cover reminded me so much of my daughter that I had to pick it up for her. Fortunately, she loves these books now. She read the first three over the past week and is eager to get the fourth (which won’t be published in the US until Sept).

In the 3rd book (admittedly this is the only of the books I know anything about), Violet catches a ladybug and decides to keep it. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know how to take care of and it dies. Violet learns a lot in this book about natural habitats, including how to share one with her older sister.

Heidi Heckelbeck Book 1
3. Heidi Heckelbeck series by Wanda Coven

Heidi is 8-years-old and has never been to school before because she has a big secret. Heidi is a witch and has to keep her powers a secret. But she has the same problems most 8 year olds find themselves having. The only difference is that Heidi can help herself a bit better than the average kid. Filled with tons of pictures and big bold text, these books are a great transition for girls that have just outgrown Early Readers and are a bit nervous about reading chapter books.

77889024. Princess Posey series by Stephanie Greene

Princess Posey is adorable and perfect for girls just starting 1st grade. The first book is even about being nervous about starting 1st grade. They are quick reads, with not too many words and lots of cute illustrations. There are already 5 Princess Posey books with a 6th coming out soon (I believe it is a Christmas themed book).

76402625. Frankly, Frannie series by AJ Stern

Frannie is ready for the working world, but she is still a kid. Her series follows her through all the different “career” plans Frannie comes up with. The books are wonderfully illustrated and interesting to look at. This series already has 9 books and will keep your little “grown up” busy for quite a while.

Review: Mothership by Martin Leicht and Isla Neal

11 Oct

A sci-fi book about pregnant teenage girls on a cruise-ship turned boarding school that orbits Earth sounds utterly ridiculous for sure. Unfortunately, for Elvie Nara the phrase “things can only get better” does not apply to the situation she has gotten herself into at all.

Typically I wouldn’t read a book about teenage pregnancy. They usually fall into one of three categories: 1) cautionary tale, 2) religious cautionary tale, 3) societal cautionary tale… None of these things particularly appeal to me. The only kind of cautionary advice really given in Mothership is to perhaps be more careful about trusting your teachers. You never know when they might turn out to be baby snatching aliens.

This book is unlike any book I’ve ever read.

For starters the language is spot on with how teens and young adults talk. Frequent use of such cute little phrases as “shit balls” appear all throughout the book. In general people look at swearing as way for so-called less intelligent folks to express themselves, but honestly it is just how we all think and speak in the real world. Elvie isn’t going around swearing non-stop, but the use of “bitches”, “slut”, and “screwed” show up frequently and seem completely appropriate to the situation she is in. Continue reading

Banned Books Week 2012

5 Oct

In case you didn’t know this week is Banned Books Week. If you didn’t know it was Banned Books Week, then you probably weren’t aware that in the US people still try to actually have books banned. Not even kidding. Of course the government doesn’t do that so good luck to them, but people still challenge books on all levels. Public libraries and school libraries are usually the main focus of these uptight wannabe book banning silly folks.

The majority of complaints revolve around concern for children and what they might read. Goodness forbid that a parent actually takes the time to be aware of what their children are reading and make an educated decision based on real facts. It is so much easier to write an angry letter to the board (be it a school board or library board) demanding Sherman Alexie AND Stephenie Meyer be removed from the shelves!

Typical complaints are of language, sexual content, religious views, occult, homosexuality, violence, drug use, etc. My favorite is the fact that people complain about too much religion (Twilight books), not enough religion (The Golden Compass), AND occult (Harry Potter and probably every book with magic in it EVER). Funny how you never hear anything about people demanding a television show be taken off air for any of these reasons! We wouldn’t have anything left to watch.

You know what is so great about public libraries? We offer choices for everyone! If you don’t like what is in a book, the solution is very simple.

Just don’t read it!  Continue reading

Mini Reviews

10 Sep

I’ve been reading a lot lately and don’t have much time to write up full reviews for everything so here are a few mini reviews to tell you about some awesome books I’ve been reading

1. Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter

Ally Carter never disappoints with her Gallagher Girl books. This book was awesome and very different from the previous 4 books.

Cammie Morgan has lost her memories… memories that might help her uncover why the Circle is after her, what happened to her missing father and where she’s spent her entire summer. Cammie, her friends and her boyfriend set off on another mission to discover all of these things.

When I read the 4th book I wasn’t certain there would be anymore and I was so excited to read this one. The way it ended pretty much guaranteed that there would at least be one more book. Woohoo.

If you haven’t read the first 4 books I highly recommend them! They are just as much fun for 12 year olds as 32 year olds.

My GoodReads Rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it really liked it (my current rating) it was amazing

2. Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer

I loved that the smart girls were cute, fashionable, relatable girls. This book doesn’t have anyone sacrificing a part of themselves to be liked. Instead each girl is taking command of their lives and trying to participate in something that they feel will make their high school years more complete. Continue reading

Review: The Diviners by Libba Bray

8 Sep

Trust me… Read this book!

Have you ever read a book that felt like it lasted a lifetime? Usually this is not something I am a fan of with books. The whole reason a book feels like it lasts forever is usually because it isn’t very good. With The Diviners by Libba Bray that was not the case. I felt like I lived the story more so than any other book I’ve read in the recent past. It felt like I was immersed in the universe the very talented Ms. Bray created for quite some time… and I loved every minute of it.

Historical paranormal mysteries are Libba Bray’s forté to the extreme. Having read her previous ventures into that genre, I was ecstatic to have her release a book going back to those roots where she began with the Gemma Doyle books (A Great and Terrible Beauty, Rebel Angels, and The Sweet Far Thing). Her contemporary satires have never really grabbed my interest (although I do plan on giving them both another chance) and I was certain that The Diviners (which will be another series… YAY) would take me back to that place I was while reading the Gemma Doyle books.

This cover is seriously awesome and total book-nerd eye candy!

Continue reading

Recommend A… Book by a Male Author

16 Jul

I’ve jumped on the “Recommend A…” blog meme bandwagon. This weekly Monday meme is hosted by ChickLovesLit.

Hosted by ChickLovesLit

I recommend…

For the juvenile reader: Any book by Roald Dahl!

Matilda is always a good place to start. Some other favorites include James and the Giant Peach, The Witches and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

 

 

 

For the YA reader: Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer

 

Seriously this series is so awesome. I can’t believe I still haven’t finished it. The only good thing about not being caught up is that I don’t have to wait as long before the next one comes out in October.

 

 

For the adult reader: A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

 

I have re-read this book at least 5 times. I have watched the mini-series at least as many times. I kind of love Peter Mayle’s hilarious stories about living southern France. The best part about his Provence book is that they are real and are what actually happened in his life.

Top Ten Tuesday: Author X Edition

3 Jul

That’s right folks it is time for another Top Ten Tuesday! This we were given the challenge of recommending 10 books for a fan of author X (meaning we got to pick the author).

Top Ten Tuesday is brought to you by BrokeandBookish.blogspot.com

Since I recently read the last two Hex Hall books I picked Rachel Hawkins (author of the Hex Hall series). My basic criteria for selecting these books is boarding school + magic + awesomeness!

1. A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray

Do you like books about boarding schools and magic? Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle series is the way to go. The trilogy is part historical fiction, part paranormal, part mystery and a dash of romance. The girls at the Spence Academy for Young Ladies are all kinds of involved with the unknown. Continue reading

Review: Ruby Red by Kerstin Gier

1 Jul

Gwyneth (and her entire family) thinks her cousin has inherited the time traveler gene. Her cousin Charlotte has been preparing to be a time traveler her whole life… but suddenly Gwen is the one traveling and uncovering secrets about her family she never imagined.

Ruby Red was a good book, but not as amazing as I had been told. I enjoyed the characters and there was a lot of story building, but it lacked a key element in my opinion. It doesn’t really end. One minute there is action and the next minute the main characters are just sitting there. It also wasn’t the kind of cliff-hanger ending to make you scream “OMG! I need to read the next one ASAP! But I will have to wait and it is going to drive me crazy.” Instead, it was more of a, “Oh wait… isn’t there supposed to be some kind of resolution at least or a hint as to what might be happening next” PLUS “Why did THAT happen? Where was the build up to that event taking place” (but I won’t tell you what the event is so as not to spoil the ending). There is an epilogue that helps tie up some loose ends, so that helps.

Also, in the edition I read there is a teaser for the next book, Sapphire Blue. The teaser says the next book was due out in “Spring 2012” when in fact it is actually being published at the end of October 2012. Majorly misleading… I’m very glad I didn’t read the teaser before checking online if the next book was available.

All in all, Ruby Red was quite enjoyable and does the time traveling genre good. If you liked Hourglass by Myra McEntire, you will most likely enjoy Ruby Red as well. Lets hear it for exploring themes other than vampires and werewolves.

Rating: didn't like it it was ok liked it (my current rating) really liked it it was amazing

Stacking the Shelves – June 28th 2012

28 Jun

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews. The whole idea behind it is just to show everyone else the stuff you’ve got hanging out on your bookshelf. It can be books you bought, borrowed from a friend, or checked out from the library. It can be regular books, e-books, audiobooks… whatever goes. 

For my posts I’ve chosen to take a picture of my stack and then list the individual books below! Check back every Thursday for my new and ever-growing stack of books.

From top to bottom: Continue reading

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