Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Riptide Summer - Lisa Freeman - 4 stars

I Received this book in exchange for an honest review. A couple of months ago I had finished Honey Girl which is the first book in this series. I enjoyed this second installment so much more than the first. I feel like it was much more realistic to read and I was also much more engaged to the story this time around.

I really like Nani's character. She is very believable and realistic. She did seem quite torn and it also seems like she was pretty misunderstood most of the time, but I think that is pretty normal of the time when talking about teenagers. I really did not care for her succumbing to the way It was set up there on beach and oftentimes giving up the fight since it was so different than her home in Hawaii where it seems t hat she had more freedoms. She does however get much stronger and discovers that she has a mind of her own the further you get into the story, I loved to see her grow throughout the story.

I was kind of wishing for a little bit more of a dramatic ending, but I guess it all worked out ok and to the positive for the most part. I just think maybe it lacked the excitement I would have expected with a story such as this. I would definitely read more by this author. She has a very fluid writing style that I really enjoyed.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

The Library of Souls - Richard Denney - 4

I found out that one of my book tube friends just got his book published so I went and bought it and I could hardly wait for it to arrive. I read it in a couple of days and really quite enjoyed it. There are some really great characters in this story with a really nice twist in the end. You get some creepiness, mystery and little humor too. I am super glad that I bought this.

The story is pretty creepy if you like ghost stories. I have to say that reading about these ghosts kinda made me think of the ghosts that we read about in the HP series. You don't know quite what you are gonna get when you stumble upon each of them. So there was a nice element of surprise which made me happy. Our non ghostly characters are awesome as well. I have to say my favorite is probably Simon. He is a great kid caught up in a mess of mostly angry spooks and demons and he handles it all like a champ.

This is mild enough for middle schoolers, but is also interesting enough for those of us adults who like to dabble in middle grade reads. Great job on the book Richard, I really enjoyed it! There is also a giveaway on Good Reads for this book, so be sure to join in.

25 bookish facts about me.

1. My favorite genre to read is Mystery/Horror. I think my most favorite is horror, but I read a lot of mystery and thriller books. I like Mystery so much because of my mom. She loved mystery and she passed that on to me. Some of my favorite Mystery authors would be Harlan Coben, Karin Slaughter, Lisa Jackson, and really the list goes on. My favorite Horror writers are of course Stephen King, but all Graham Masterton, Jonathan Maberry, Richard Laymon, Robert McCammon and many others.

2. If I had to choose between a paperback or hardcover I would choose paperback. For the comfort of things I have to choose paperbacks because I like to lounge in my reading chair and a paperback really makes things more comfy, and who doesn't love comfy? But on the other hand I do like the look of matching hardcover books lined up in a row on my shelves. It makes everything look great.

3. I prefer reading on my reading physical books rather than my kindle. A lot of people love their kindles, I get that. You can take 50 books with you on a vacation, you don't have to have a big area to keep all of your books, the books don't get ruined from constant handling. I know all of that is true, but there are those of us who are physical book diehards. I love to have that BIG area for my books. I love carrying my books with me when I take a vacation. I love to feel them and smell them, I love to flip through the pages of an old book that has been held and read many times. They are like my best friends and I love having them around!

4. I prefer to read books that are both character driven and plot driven. I feel it is important to have both good characters and good plots. Sometimes if a plot is not very good but the characters are fantastic, it can make for a good book, but if you have a good plot and the characters are not up to par, for me, it seldom works out. I have to like the characters no matter what the plot is like. Lets take the Cormoran Strike series by Robert Galbraith, A.K.A. J.K Rowling. I did not really like those stories at all, but the characters were brilliant, so I ended up both buying and reading all of those books.

5. I do not mind having tattered books.  I will not write in my books, there is enough words on the pages to satisfy me. I will not dog ear my pages, I use stylish books marks for that and I love going out and buying new ones. I will break the spines on my paperback books just for comfort. If I don't have to break the spines then I don't. I think tattered books can be attractive, they are well loved, some people don't think that same thing, and that is fine, but it really does not bother me if books are worn. Do I do it on purpose? No I will try and keep a book looking new forever, but if the cover would get bent or torn or creased, or my spines are broken, they are still loved and I sit them proudly on my shelves.

6. I love being on Good Reads. I love being on Good Reads whenever possible, it is a home away from home for me. But since going back to work I have not had as much time for it, and that makes me sad. I do still visit GR every day for that does of bookish knowledge. I also decided a couple of years ago, to not do the good reads challenge anymore. I read what I read, I don't feel like I need to set a record for myself anymore, especially now that I am back at work.

7. I like to have some 'quick reads' available at all times. Since I went back to work earlier this year I do not have the time I used to have for reading. So having those 'quick reads' is always helpful because I know I can get it read making it count for the month. I am used to reading 8 or 9 books a month and now I barely get 2 read. So having these books gives me that feeling of accomplishment when it comes to books read for a month.

8. I just can't do Audio books. I have tried to read audio books and I fail miserably unless, I have the physical book to follow along with the story, otherwise I get distracted by so many things when listening. Also, if I do choose an audiobook to listen to, I have to speed it at up to enjoy it. They just seem to drag when you leave the narrator on normal speed. That drives me crazy.

9. I have a library in my house. My library is my favorite room in the house. It is just a bedroom converted but it is my personal space. I love to share it with family and friends. My library has 10 book cases in it, most are full of books and I have room to add more and will. 

10. I have a Pottermore account. Yes you heard me right. I have a Pottermore account and I am a Hufflepuff. and my Patronus is a chow dog. My wand is made of Cherry wood with a dragon heartstring core, it is 12 1/2 inches. Since I love Harry Potter, I thought it would be fun to join my family on Pottermore. So there you go!

11. I enjoy stand alone books and series alike. Ok so when I talk about enjoying series, I am talking about series that have no more than 10 books to it. I feel like there are way too many series out there that have 20+ books in it. I feel like the author loses focus and the series oftentimes run dry and readers will quit on them, I know I do. Give me a series with 10 or less books and we are golden. I think that stand alone books are a breath of fresh air, especially if you have been reading a particularly long series. Stand alones are a great way to break up the monotony. 

12. I am a sucker for beautiful covers. This is definitely true for me. I have actually bought books because of beautiful covers. I can't help it really. When I see it I grab it and then yea, well I buy it. Luckily for me the first book I bought because of the cover ended up being really good. That book was Magyk, by Angie Sage. It is the Septimus Heap series and I went on to buy all of the books and have read that series twice.

13. I do not loan out my books anymore. I have a hard time loaning my books out unless it is to my oldest daughter. I trust her to love my book and take care of it. Too many times I have lent out books and did not have them returned until months, and sometimes years later and not being in the same condition they were when I first lent them out. So now I just don't do it anymore. Books are a big part of my life and I cherish them.

14. I have a nice bookmark collection. I love having lots of book marks. I also love getting book marks and giving them to friends and family. I absolutely love book mark shopping, whether it is for me or for a special friend. I was a part of a book mark swap one year and I loved it so much!

15. I always take off hardcover book's jackets before reading. I remove the dust jackets because for one they get in the way and I hate having to keep putting them back on when they slip around. I also remove them because I don't want to ruin the dust jacket, especially if I am borrowing the book from a friend or the library.

16. I love hardcover book with designs on them under the dust jacket. One thing I love about this is that oftentimes a hardback book will have the same design on the cover as the dust jacket has. I love this. If I find a book like that I generally will get the book. I love a lot of things about hardback books but this is my favorite.

17. I absolutely love deckled edges on books.
I think it gives a book some personality, but there are reasons behind it. It is to show craftsmanship and also it is like a branding. Michael Vagnetti, Director, Production @SterlingBooks says Similar to wood veneers and "vintage" clothing, the deckled edge or "rough front" has remained in publishing as a cosmetic feature. It reminds us that book binding and papermaking comes out of a rich history of craftsmanship. Deckled edges are also used as a branding feature. 

18. I grew up with books. When I was a kid, we always had books available. This is one thing I will always be thankful for from my parents. We had books from encyclopedias, to fairy tales to mystery, and we loved every single one of them. I would give anything to have all of those books back now, I miss them, I miss that part of my childhood.

19. I am an emotional reader. Yep I most certainly am. If I read a book that touches me I will react to that, whether it is a tear jerker or something hysterically funny. My family has caught me often, whether it be tears or laughter. I always say, if a book moves you and makes you feel something, then the author did their job.

20. I try to give a book at least 50-100 pages before I stop reading. I used to be one of those readers who would force themselves to finish a book. I would feel guilty if I gave up on a book and never finished it. Not anymore, there are far too many books out there to enjoy for us to sit and suffer in silence over a book we are just not enjoying. Life is too short and the world had too many books to read!

21. I have not read a graphic novel. Nope I haven't or at least not that I remember. Now there have been times when I was a kid and I read a comic book. I find a distinction between comic books and graphic novels. A lot of people refer to them as the same thing. I guess maybe in context they are, but there differences, like the size of them, and the paper used in each of them. One of these days I would like to read the Saga series and also the Locke & Key series.

22. I sometimes will read a book out loud. I do this when I am really tired and I want to finish a book. Reading it out loud keeps me focused, not to mention awake as well. If I am extremely tired, reading puts me instantly asleep, or I zone out and do not even realize what I just read. So if I am reading a very good book and want to finish, but I am really tired, I will read it out loud.

23. I can read books very fast. I have always been a fast reader. I have read books in one sitting many times as long as there are no other distractions around me which seldom happens. But if I have quiet time for myself, look out books here I come.

24. I like to read in comfort. We are talking about 'I don't care how I look when I read.' Chances are if I am home and reading a  book, I am already in my pj's sitting in my most comfy chair and enjoying a great book. All I need now is a 'Do not disturb' sign on my back.

25. I almost always have coffee or tea when I read. I always have a coffee or a tea when I read. It makes me feel comfortable, almost soothing. It just completes my whole comfort reading phase. So when hub asks me you want coffee, it is almost always "Yes please!"

Monday, August 21, 2017

Swimming to the Moon - Jeff McMahon - 5 stars

I received this book from a good friend. She thought that my grandson would love it so I started reading this with him earlier in the year. We would take some time each day to read some of the poems together and there were so many that we both loved! When summer came around I did not see him as often, but I decided I would still read these poems and finish the book, and I will urge him to do the same.

What a great poet this Author is. I feel so blessed to have been able to read this collection of poetry. He knows just how to write these poems so that children can understand and enjoy what they are reading throughout the entire book. I am sure that most kids can easily relate to a lot of these poems in this book. Very well done Mr. McMahon!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Honey Girl - Lisa Freeman - 3

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. I am glad I was finally able to get to this book and I will soon also read it's sequel, Riptide Summer. I think this is the first LGBT book I have read and it was pretty enjoyable. I thought that it being set in the 70's was really fun and somewhat nostalgic. I liked the characters a lot in this story, even though some of them were annoying, it was hard to trust some of them, because I could not tell if they were being genuine to Nani or just being nice to her for their own gain, so that bugged me just a little bit. I did wish that Nani did not try so hard to fit in or to be accepted, but I do realize that was times.

I found the story to be interesting, and I was pretty engaged to it, I found that I got sucked in pretty quickly. I do have to say though that I found it maybe just a tad predictable. I could call parts of the story pretty easily, but it still was very fluid and easy to follow so I was able to enjoy it for the most part. I do look forward to getting into Riptide Summer very soon.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Hunger - Jackie Morse Kessler - 3 stars

This was another pretty quick read for me for the end of July, which was exactly the type of book I needed. This was kind of like a YA Fantasy and I did not expect it to be exactly what I read. It was such a different view of eating disorders. I have never read anything like it. Now there were of course some rushed parts, it was little predictable at times, and sometimes also pretty unrealistic, but I did really enjoy this one. It was an engaging story even though I think there could have been more to it than what I got, but for a short book it was interesting.

I liked the characters even though they were somewhat unrealistic, but I think that was the point of the story. This was to show someone what their self worth is, how there can be change only if they allow it. At least that is what I got out of it. I did hope that the ending would have been a little better, I felt a little let down at first, but it was ok. I think it was to show the growth of the character. This book is a part of a series, but different characters in each one. I believe that the purpose of these books is to bring to light, the issues that teens and YA encounter on a daily basis and our author brings it to life in a very different form. I liked that.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Skin - Rick Jasper - 3 stars

So my niece bought this book while visiting us nd she zipped through it in about a half a day if that. She left the book behind because she thought I might also like it. This is a YA good VS. Evil story and is part of a pretty long series and the book only has a little over 100 pages, so it was a very quick read. I found it to be quite interesting and I did find myself pretty engrossed by the story. It was quite different from other YA horror/thriller stories. I feel like even though it was very different, it was lacking that excitement that I expected it to have. I wanted more thriller aspects to the story. There were some intense scenes to the story, but I feel like it could have been a lot more than it was. The ending seemed too easy, or maybe it felt rushed. Either way, I do think that I will pick up other books to this series.