Book Review - The Lives of Desperate Girls

Friday, May 26, 2017 / Leave a Comment
The Lives of Desperate Girls by MacKenzie Common
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Lives of Desperate Girls by MacKenzie Common was a fantastic read! The characters were well thought out, easy to identify with, and easy to connect with. The storyline was written in the appropriate pace and kept me well interested throughout.

Some parts of this book might be a bit difficult for some people to digest. This book hits on a lot of heavy subjects like sex, rape, murder, racism, bullying, and suicide. That being said, some of the subject matter opens up to meaningful dialogue.

Written in a first person narrative, the approach of storytelling was somewhat different than others I've read in the same genre. And even though some elements of the story may appear familiar, it is truly special and unique in its own right.

I absolutely enjoyed this read and would recommend it to others who enjoy YA/mystery type books.

I received this book at no cost, courtesy of NetGalley and Penguin Random House Canada, for my honest feedback and review.

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Mini & Me - Bookish Stuff

Thursday, May 11, 2017 / Leave a Comment
One thing you must know about Mini & me... we absolutely love books, as if that weren't already apparent! As the momma, I plan on encouraging that love.

Reading has always been a huge part of my life. When I was a little girl, many moons ago, my father read to me each night. He lit a fire in my heart for stories of all genres. I can recall hiding away in my bedroom to get lost in the worlds that Judy Blume created or trying my luck with a series of Choose Your Own Adventure books. Heck, I even read my father's Reader's Digest because even those stories fascinated my 8 year-old mind.

Reading Rainbow was my favorite show on the television and I couldn't wait for the school book fair. The Scholastic order sheets would come out and I would go bananas over all the books I dreamed of owning. Library hour was the best hour. Highlights for Children was a fun distraction. And when I hit my teens, V.C. Andrews was cooler than Vanilla Ice.

I've always loved to read.

When I found out I was pregnant with Mini, I knew that I would want to make reading a huge part of her life as early on as possible. I asked my girlfriends to please, please be sure to make building a baby library a part of my baby shower. I want to expose my little one to as many books as possible, I reminded them. I didn't want to just make a wish list of books, I wanted the books I never heard of - I wanted to discover with my little one.

Needless to say, Mini has a beautiful library of books already. She has several shelves worth of picture books, fairy tales, books for today and books for when she is a little bit older. I've read many and there are many more that I can't wait to explore for the first time with her. So, each night, my husband and I pluck a book from a shelf and read it to her before bedtime. First we read, then we allow her to explore the book herself - just for a few moments so she can take in the illustrations.

Reading time isn't just for bedtime anymore. Though my Mini is still just a wee thing, she loves books more than any child I know. She flips through the thick pages of her board books, her fingers examine the colors, shapes and letters... she's not reading yet but she's finding the story her own way.

You will see we do talk a lot about books! And if there is a book that you think that we might love, please don't keep it to yourself. We'd love to hear about it!!

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Book Review - How to Make Friends with a Ghost

Wednesday, May 10, 2017 / Leave a Comment

How to Make Friends with a Ghost
by Rebecca Green
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

How to Make Friends with a Ghost by Rebecca Green is by far one of the most surprisingly sweet and most original children's books I have read in a long time. Honestly, I really was not sure what to expect upon receiving this advanced copy, but you can bet I loved every single page and every illustration in all it's detail.
Rebecca Green has put together an enjoyable book for all ages with silly recipes, tips and helpful info on caring for your own ghost. How to Make Friends With a Ghost is quirky, cute, and every bit fun! I know of at least two or three people who will be receiving this treasure once it is published!
...And who knows, maybe I'll be lucky enough to have a ghost of my own one day that I can care for, make mud tarts for and grow old with! One thing is for sure, I'll be well prepared!

I received this book at no cost, courtesy of NetGalley, for my honest feedback and review.

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Book Review - A Bedtime Yarn

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A Bedtime Yarn
by Nicola Winstanley
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A Bedtime Yarn by Nicola Winstanley is a very charming tale about a little bear named Frankie who has trouble going to sleep. To help him overcome fears of being in the dark alone, his mother gives him a colorful ball of yarn to hold tight while he sleeps and dreams of adventures.

Each colorful ball of yarn Frankie holds marks a different adventure for this little bear. And while each adventure is beautifully illustrated, the special prize is at the end of this very sweet book.

This is a wonderful read for children and for parents, or even grandparents, who enjoy knitting and crocheting for their loved ones.

I received this book at no cost, courtesy of NetGalley, for my honest feedback and review.

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Book Review - Meatless?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017 / Leave a Comment
Meatless?: A Fresh Look At What You Eat by Sarah Elton
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Meatless? A Fresh Look At What You Eat by Sarah Elton is a fantastic and easy read for any person who is considering vegetarianism, veganism, or plant-based diets.

This book would be great in a public library or available in schools for younger readers who are seeking honest answers to alternative ways of eating. There is no obvious bias from the writer in this book. She simply offers interesting facts and information regarding the food that we eat and why we eat it.

I am impressed by the amount of information available in this book regarding the environmental effects of eating meat and the costs of eating meat.

For readers who do want to remove meat from their diets, there are easy to follow suggestions and recipes available in this book. The glossary and index with source information and further reading titles also make for a handy guy for those who want to really consider a plant-based diet.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in a meatless diet. For vegetarian, vegan, or plant-based diet parents, this is a great book to share with your children!

I received this book at no cost, courtesy of NetGalley, for my honest feedback and review.

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Book Review - The Map That Leads To You

Wednesday, March 29, 2017 / Leave a Comment

The Map That Leads to You
by J.P. Monninger
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"A romantic, vivid novel that takes place in the tender time of a young woman’s life: Heather has graduated from college and is traveling around Europe with her two best friends. She’s left school responsibility behind and adult responsibility is looming, but this is her one, ONE last summer to be free. Heather doesn’t expect to even meet Jack, let alone fall in love with him. Jack is an enigmatic Vermonter a few years older than she is, who is following his grandfather’s journal to various cities around Europe. But in the same way that forces are bringing Jack and Heather together, life and duty are pushing them apart. And Jack has a secret that is going to change absolutely everything."

I am willing to admit that I am a sucker for a good love story and though there were moments where I wasn't sure how I initially felt about the relationship between Heather and Jack, my heart was rallying for them in a big way.

Heather and Jack are such like-able characters. They have wit, charm, and a fabulous sense of humor. The dialogue/banter between them is enjoyable to witness and though it moved quickly, their love was beautiful to watch take shape. Of course, with every great love story, there is always something else lurking in the shadows. Jack's secret is that something else.

In addition to the sweetness of the Heather and Jack romance, you have the friendships that Heather has with Amy and Constance. How she speaks of her friends gives you everything you need to see how pure Heather's heart is and how much you want her to find her happy ending - whatever that may need to be.

Aside from the obvious love story, I also wanted to point out how beautifully the writer takes you through each city in this romantic European adventure. You are absolutely there with the characters, experiencing the culture in a new way.

This story flows naturally and does not disappoint. If you are a fan of NA/chicklit, I highly recommend this read.

I would like to thank NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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Book Review - It Had To Be You

Tuesday, March 7, 2017 / Leave a Comment
It Had To Be You by Melissa Kate
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It Had To Be You is an honest to goodness treat. Who doesn't love a steamy (not lewd) romance between the sexy tough guy/playboy and the beautiful town sweetheart? Once, childhood best friends until Oliver suddenly turned his back on Emma, the tale of Oliver and Emma is sweet, sultry, and every bit humorous!

To be honest, I ate this book up in just a day! It's an easy read and I really just needed to see where Oliver and Emma's journey ended.

Thank you Netgalley and Fire Quill Publishing for providing me with an eARC in exchange for my honest review! This is the first book I've read from Melissa Kate and I was not disappointed!

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Book Review - Girl 99

Sunday, March 5, 2017 / 2 comments
Girl 99 by Andy Jones
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This was my first introduction to Andy Jones' work and I was not disappointed. Easily one of the best books I have read in a long time, I absolutely LOVED Girl 99!

To be perfectly honest, I nearly passed on this book. However, I was fortunate enough to win a copy from a Goodreads giveaway, and thought I might as well give it a go since I had it. Lucky, lucky me!!

If you like romcom/chicklit type books, I'd highly recommend this gem.

Written by a man and told from a man's POV, Girl 99 is easy to devour. The characters are brilliant, flawed and spectacularly (sometimes painfully) real. The situations grab you and keep you engaged. During my reading this book, I went through so many emotions. I cringed, I cursed, I felt sad, I laughed and I even applauded. And despite his many mistakes, I felt completely vested in the happiness of our main character,Tom. He's human and easy to love.

I am really looking forward to exploring more books by Andy Jones!

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Book Review - Love Like Crazy

Friday, February 17, 2017 / Leave a Comment

Love Like Crazy by Megan Squires
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I loved this book. I really did. I gave it 4.5 stars and the only thing that kept me from giving it 5 stars is that the ending left me wanting to ask a zillion questions. It felt like there were too many huge revelations all at once and then it ended. That may sound silly but as I said before - I just wanted to ask questions. I wanted a little more closure. Just a bit more!

That said... this book was sweet, touching and far more moving than I thought it would be. I fell in love with Lincoln, Eppie and even Phil. I loved Lincoln and Eppie's pure hearts and I loved how they connected so naturally. They are perfection.

If you are looking for a book that will make your heart smile, this is for you. If you want to see what hope and love looks like, this is for you. If you want to fall in love with beautifully flawed characters, this is for you. This is so much more than a typical love story - this book has real depth.

Somebody, please... please make this into a movie. I want my non-reader friends to enjoy this lovely story!!


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Book Review - A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty

Sunday, January 29, 2017 / Leave a Comment
A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My rating for this book is 4.5 stars

This is my first book by Joshilyn Jackson and to be honest, I had not really heard of her prior to grabbing this book. However, the title, cover, and brief overview of the book seemed interesting enough, so I thought I'd give it a go. I sure am glad that I did!

I can get distracted easy, so for a book to really capture me, it's got to be good. A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty not only captured my attention but left me thinking about the characters long after the story was over. When you reminisce about the characters, you know you have something special.

At first, I wasn't really too sure where the story was going but I have to say, I loved how it was written. The mystery of the baby bones in the backyard leaves you curious and sad all at once and the deeper I got in to the book and the search for the truth, the more I loved where it was going.

Written in three POVs, each of the three Slocumb ladies had their own style of telling their piece of the story and each was incredibly believable. Big, Liza, and Mosey are all special in their own right, even if you do not see the depth of each one straight away. I love that we get to see the strengths and vulnerabilities of each lady throughout the story.

I enjoyed this book greatly and I look forward to checking out more titles by Joshilyn Jackson.

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