Newbery Winner announced.

Newbery Winner just announced. (This is not and advertisement for B&N, I'm just linking to their site 'cause that's where I saw it).


Looks so cute.


Book Review: Persepolis

Persepolis: The Story of a ChildhoodPersepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

So my husband put a wonderful word out there when I asked him how he felt about this book: important.

I didn't necessarily like the way it was written... I didn't like the lack of detail and emotional connection, but it is important.

Here's why I consider it important: It is a perspective about people who, due to tragic and horrific events, a lot of people might tend to judge immediately and be scared of. A perspective that shows that no matter who is in charge and the heinous acts they commit -- there are day-to-day victims who may be from the same country.
I think of this often when I hear about people who have traveled to Hawai'i and have watched a film at the Pearl Harbor memorial. I have heard multiple people exclaim how angry they are at the Japanese... how horrible the Japanese are. I always cringe. It breaks my heart. Just because a few extremists got into power -- and even if they convinced a lot of people to follow them (usually it seems the followers were bullied) -- there are still plenty of innocent victims who do not feel the same.
THAT is why I feel this book is important -- it reminds us that there are plenty of people in the Middle East who are victims of an oppressive government, who are just regular people with regular problems. We are reminded through this book that even if we have different political ideologies we don't have to wish anyone harm.

A simplified way to find out how a regular girl might feel while living in the Middle East.

Books with the same message:

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana: Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe by Gayle Tzemach Lemmon

The Dressmaker of Khair Khana  Five Sisters, One Remarkable Family, and the Woman Who Risked Everything to Keep Them Safe
This is a book rather than a graphic novel. It is much more in depth and better written while accomplishing the same perspective. The people are easier to empathize with, as well.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and SweetHotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford

This book is about the American-Japanese and the oppression and scorn they experienced because of a war they had no part in. Being evacuated into internment camps because of the blood they share with their ancestors rather than ideals they {didn't} share with their ancestors' countrymen.

BLOG TOUR DATE ANNOUNCED: Mandi Tucker Slack's new book, "Tide Ever Rising"

I made this banner using the cover image that the author sent me
Tide Ever RisingTide Ever Rising by Mandi Tucker Slack

Mandi Tucker Slack's blog tour is coming up and I get to review this book during it.

My date for her tour is February 21st. Click "Join This Site" to make sure you don't miss it!

It's a romance, it's a mystery.... and I'll tell you my opinion about it on FEBRUARY 21st!

Go here to read an excerpt on Cedar Fort Publishing's website.

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Book Review: The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord

The Best of All Possible WorldsThe Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Well, this was my first time reading a space-themed Science Fiction book. That being said, I don't have a wide range of books to compare this to in its own genre. However, I can say that aside from a few flaws, I found myself enjoying this book.

There are a few things that turn me off from a lot of science fiction. One big one being: not being able to pronounce the names of the characters or places. This book, was no exception. However! The story line and the characters themselves kept me interested enough to overlook this personal pet peeve.

I appreciated the characters, the circumstances that brought them together, and the way they took a horrible event and tried to make something good come from it.

An entire planet has been destroyed. Most of the inhabitants -- dead. The majority of the survivors are male. Trying to save their species, the Sadiri, requires some creative solutions. A team of individuals (some from the dying race, some not) get together to travel the planet (a melting pot of a place) in search of people with strong genetic links to the Sadiri. Hoping to convince these peoples to try to help save the endangered race. Love, danger, and hope abound in this novel.

I don't feel like I wasted my time. I was pleasantly surprised that even though this was an adult novel it was clean aside from some swear words. Glad of that, to be sure. There were some brief innuendos near the end, but nothing I found terribly cringe-worthy. And, at the end of the day, it's pretty impressive that a book from a genre I don't find appealing held my attention and was super enjoyable.

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Book Review: Chicken Cheeks

Chicken CheeksChicken Cheeks by Michael Ian Black

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

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This is what counts as great Children's literature nowadays?! What happened to authors like Audrey Woods? Those were books worth reading. This book was up for a Beehive Nomination... really? This whole book is just a bunch of illustrations of the rear ends of animals and 'cute' little rhyming or alliteration with animal names.

This is the kind of 'literature' we want shaping our children's minds? Not me. I don't believe we have to buy into the message that our children will only be entertained by crude humor. Not a book I would own and not a book I care to have my kids to read.

Where's the story? Where's the moral? Where are the things that make a children's book something that will stretch and shape one's future? I remember a lot of the books my mother read to me as a kid and I agree with that quote in "You've Got Mail" about how the books we read as children stick with us in a way that no other reading in our lives does. If that is the case than I feel it is imperative that I make sure my children are exposed to quality literature from the get-go.

I know it sounds harsh... but I couldn't get behind this book's concept.

Waste of time - waste of money.


Book Review: "If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince?" By Melissa Kantor

If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince?If I Have a Wicked Stepmother, Where's My Prince? by Melissa Kantor
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

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Okay, so I'm torn about this book.
Really the voice kind of came off as half-way middle school and half-way high school. The content was definitely high-school age or above. A lot of teen drinking... some blatant drug references... no sex, though... which was good. They made out a lot and talked about thongs and stuff, but no detailed kissing scenes meant to, you know, excite the reader.
As far as my suggestion for the middle school librarian goes, I wouldn't want my middle school-er reading this and thinking that the things referenced in this book and the behaviors exhibited are acceptable. If your middle school-er is mature and can read something and not think that it is something they should do just because it is in a book... well, then it would be okay. But for the majority of easily-influenced middle school-ers... I don't think it is appropriate. And if this is the behavior that middle school-ers are exhibiting, then I am very sad for this world.

As far as how I enjoyed the book... it touched on a lot of topics without overwhelming the reader. Teenagers DO deal with a lot of different stressers and so it felt very authentic. Some of the topics this book touched on: Step-families, attention from popular boys, being liked for who you are versus how you look, the death of a parent, divorce, fitting in at school, fitting in at home... etc. etc. etc.

It was fun. It was really fun. Quick, light read. You really hated the step-mom at first -- I could really empathize with the main character during everything she went through and I FELT a lot. I especially felt the injustices. It ended in a very satisfying way -- which I like. Things worked out for Lucy without making me roll my eyes at how ridiculously convenient it all was.

Overall -- not a waste of time. A fun, light, easy read.


Book Review: Stork by Wendy Delsol

Stork (Stork, #1)Stork by Wendy Delsol

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

BAH!  Such a good book. I own it and read it yearly. Sometimes Katla bugs... but you know what, almost every heroine in a YA novel bugs me a little... how about you? Are there any you LOOOOVE? Any you Hate? Any you love TO hate?

Jack is a great leading man. There's a little magic, a little mystery, and some great, clean romance. Some of the things I love to find in a YA book. :)

There are a lot of interrrelated things going on... and the book just pulls you in. A vicious villain that doesn't really make their true colors known until the end adds a fun twist, too.

Worth the time it takes to read.

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SO. I just found out for sure. I get to do a giveaway for you guys during Shannon Guymon's blog tour of her new book, "Do Over". Are you soooo excited?! I am.

TO WIN you must be following my blog so please click, "Join This Site" on the side to be following and check back frequently for more details about the giveaway.



BLOG TOUR: "Do Over" by Shannon Guymon Date Set!

February 7th I will be reviewing "Do Over" by Shannon Guymon. Follow me to make sure you don't miss my review and make sure you come by on February 7th to read it right away. I, for one, cannot wait to read it.

Another Link for a Free EBook


The second book in the "Lost Witch" Trilogy by KatieLee O'Guinn "Blood Rush" is free today on Amazon!

Follow my link to "buy" it!


FREE EBOOK TODAY!!! Check out Amazon


Free for Kindle today ^. Just 'bought' myself a copy. I don't own a Kindle, but I downloaded Kindle for PC for free and can read Kindle books that way!



Welcome to my new readers! Thank you all for following me. I hope to have lots more readers soon so, if you like what you see here... please spread the word! I'll have lots more opportunities to read books before they are released and tell you what I think of them (and whether or not they are worth your time) if I have a large readership.


UPCOMING BLOG TOUR #2: Rapunzel Untangled

Rapunzel UntangledRapunzel Untangled by Cindy C. Bennett

Currently reading this book as an ARC from Cedar Fort. I will be reviewing it here on my blog as part of Cindy C. Bennett's blog tour on February 10th!

Make sure you check out my review during the blog tour here on... {reminder} FEBRUARY 10th.


Here is a link ^ if you want to read an excerpt and blurb about the book on Cindy Bennett's blog.

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Book Review: I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You (Gallagher Girls, #1)I'd Tell You I Love You, But Then I'd Have to Kill You by Ally Carter

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I love these books. They are full of fun, fast-paced energy, rockin' characters, girl power, action, mystery.... they are so fun.

This is the first  book in the series (there will be six, currently there are five) and it does a great job sucking you in and making you want to keep reading until the end.

Cammie Morgan is a spy-in-training at a super secret spy academy (of which her mom is Headmistress)... but she's also a teenage girl. She is great at blending in and being a chameleon. She's great at  being a spy but even better when she works together with her super awesome spy friends.

This is a cute series for preteens in particular, though I think it would be fun for any age. It's clean and intriguing. The action would speak to boys as well even though these seem to be "girl" books.

Not a waste of time (and since I own it... Not a waste of money!).

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Book Review: Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer

I found this version to be WAY better than the original Twilight (but I'm not a hater, I did like Twilight) because, frankly, Bella bugged me a little in the series and this way we don't get her over-analyzing of everything, but we still get the story that enthralled and grabbed us all and got us all waiting at midnight of the release date to buy the books and then devour within days.
I hope she finishes it and I take heart in the fact that she said it is on hold indefinitely, rather than never going to be done, ever...  there's that at least.  I understand her frustration and hurt, but I also hope she realizes a few thoughtless people shouldn't be able to ruin it for the rest.  But I do understand, I do!

Book Review: "Promised" by Caragh O'Brien

Promised (Birthmarked, #3)Promised by Caragh M. O'Brien
My rating: 4 and a half of 5 stars

Great ending to this series!!! This book was wonderful. The pacing was great... I mean, once I picked the book back up I had a really hard time setting it back down. LOVED this series. Glad I own all of the books as I will be reading them again. They were all quite clean, too. I don't remember any language (there may have been, but I don't remember it) and there was only one brief innuendo that made me blush a little in the second book.

This book picks up with all the people of Sylum that chose to head for the Enclave packing to get ready to leave and try to set up New Sylum. Leon, Peter, Will, and Gaia along with quite a few others are making the journey. There was just enough time spent on the journey without wasting a huge portion of the book on their trek. Of course, once they get to the Enclave they find things are worse than ever and that their prediction of how the Protectorat would treat them was accurate.

There were some sweet moments between Gaia and Leon and not very much time spent (wasted) on the love square with Will and Peter. This is one love story that was done well: not cheesy, not domineering, but just lovely.

A bittersweet ending... a lot of sadness at the end, but it was mixed with some really good things. There was a minute there when I thought things might end even sadder than they did and I almost teared up until I saw things were going to work out. I always appreciate a book that is written well enough to make you laugh out loud, smile like a goof to oneself, or cry.

What I didn't like: You didn't see much of Maya. The whole second book is centered around getting her back and then you only see her briefly throughout until the end. Her part in the ending is sweet, though.
Always sad to see likable characters die.

Definitely worth a read!! This series is great for boys and girls. It's tough, and real, and full of people fighting for what they believe is right. NOT a waste of time.

Thanks for stopping by! Feel free to follow me ;).


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UPCOMING BLOG TOUR #1: "Do Over" by Shannon Guymon

Coming soon!!!! I will be reading Shannon's new book and reviewing it here! I, for one, am very excited. I have enjoyed all of the books from her "Alpine" series and cannot wait to see her character Trey find love. I will let you know the exact day I will be reviewing here, but it will be sometime between February 1-15th. A new love story just in time for Valentine's Day. 

Read a sneak peek ^ at this link here. 

And read a blurb about the book ^ here on Shannon's blog.


Book Review: Fathomless

Fathomless (Fairytale Retellings, #3)Fathomless by Jackson Pearce
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An interesting take on "The Little Mermaid". Really liked the way it ended for the most part... a good little twist there at the end, too. Some comeuppance as well. A book about choices -- about how no matter the circumstances, we can choose how we react, how we feel.

I love fairy tale re-tellings and am always interested to see how authors bring them into the Twenty-First Century. The re-tellings where they just write MORE are great, but it is fun to see the imaginings of a fairy tale in modern times. This was a good mix of just using the basic plot elements and some of the magic from the original story.

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Promised By Caragh O'Brien

ACK! "Promised" was under my Christmas tree. YAY! Cannot wait to finish reading it. I've started it, and htrough no fault of the book, haven't been able to finish it yet.  The "Birthmarked" trilogy is so good. The second book takes on the idea of abortion from a midwife's perspective. Though I have my own feelings on this subject (now is not the time or place to get into it), but I have to say that I felt like Caragh O'Brien did a good job presenting the topic and even though she kind of took a side it wasn't preachy or vicious or mean spirited about anyone feeling any other way. She just kind of put what she thought out there and left it at that.

So far, "Promised" is about trying to earn basic rights from an oppressive government and about the challenges of surrogate mothering. Leon is as lovely as ever and Gaia is definitely a character you can get behind.

So far this series is full of some great stuff: Gritty, tough circumstances... a matriarchal society with just as many flaws as a patriarchal society (Because I don't really think that if women ruled the world all problems would really be solved. I think they'd just be different.)... real characters who are flawed, but you can still get behind them.... and of course a love story that will make you swoon a little without scaring boy readers away.

Book Review: Masquerade by Janette Rallison

MasqueradeMasquerade by Janette Rallison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

So fun. A nice, light read that could be categorized as clean... no swear words or sex scenes, though there was some... innuendo, I guess you could say. Not really, but a little hint here or there. It's a book about actors and Hollywood and those types of situations/people/values so it's to be expected, I suppose.
I prefer books where if people were married once are now divorced instead of widowed... that way I never feel like they are being either a. unfaithful to their dead spouse or b. never fully able to love their new boyfriend/girlfriend. If they are divorced they feel... free to love again. Maybe that's weird.
p.s. I bought this as an e-book (Kindle for PC) for... $2.99... so, good deal, as well.

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I just submitted my first short story EVER. I don't know what will come of it, but I am glad I put myself out there.