Throwback Thursday: Sarah by Teri Polen

Throwback Thursday is a weekly meme created by Renee @ It’s Book Talk. This meme is an awesome way to share old favorites that were published over a year ago or even books that you’re finally reading after much time has passed. I have plenty of those to share! If you have your own Throwback Thursday recommendation feel free to jump on board. Please link back to her by using the link above.

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Today’s throwback is:

Sarah

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Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: Sarah by Teri Polen”

All the Little Lights by Jamie Mcguire – Book Review – #NGEW2018 #AllTheLittleLights #NetGalley

 All the Little Lights

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Blurb from Goodreads:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire comes a riveting tale of first love that starts young but runs deep.

The first time Elliott Youngblood spots Catherine Calhoun, he’s just a boy with a camera, and he’s never seen a sadder and more beautiful sight. Both Elliott and Catherine feel like outcasts, yet they find an easy friendship with each other. But when Catherine needs him most, Elliott is forced to leave town.

Elliott finally returns, but he and Catherine are now different people. He’s a star high school athlete, and she spends all her free time working at her mother’s mysterious bed-and-breakfast. Catherine hasn’t forgiven Elliott for abandoning her, but he’s determined to win back her friendship…and her heart.

Just when Catherine is ready to fully trust Elliott, he becomes the prime suspect in a local tragedy. Despite the town’s growing suspicions, Catherine clings to her love for Elliott. But a devastating secret that Catherine has buried could destroy whatever chance of happiness they have left.

Continue reading “All the Little Lights by Jamie Mcguire – Book Review – #NGEW2018 #AllTheLittleLights #NetGalley”

Shabby Sunday: The Red Pony by John Steinbeck – 1992

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Shabby Sunday

I have a lot of old vintage books and one of my plans when I first started blogging was to do a post every week or so that shared one of my cherished vintage books. Then I thought there might be other book bloggers out there that have some vintage books, heirlooms, or maybe some old books from childhood that they might want to share. I decided to start a weekly meme titled ‘Shabby Sunday’ for those who would like to participate and share some of their old vintage books. Do you have some shabby books you’d like to share? If so, please feel free to participate as anyone can join. Feel free to use the picture I’ve provided if you’d like to. If you decide to do this meme, please consider linking back to me so that I can see the book you’re sharing.


Today’s Shabby Share is:

The Red Pony

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Blurb from Goodreads:

Raised on a ranch in northern California, Jody is well-schooled in the hard work and demands of a rancher’s life. He is used to the way of horses, too; but nothing has prepared him for the special connection he will forge with Gabilan, the hot-tempered pony his father gives him. With Billy Buck, the hired hand, Jody tends and trains his horse, restlessly anticipating the moment he will sit high upon Gabilan’s saddle. But when Gabilan falls ill, Jody discovers there are still lessons he must learn about the ways of nature and, particularly, the ways of man.

My thoughts on this book:

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I can still remember reading this book for the first time when I was in junior high school and I didn’t like it. From the look of the cover and title, you’d think you’d be reading a happy little novella about a boy and his horse, but it’s so much more than that.

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The Red Pony is a collection of four short stories about a 10-year-old boy named Jody and his life on a ranch with his family. As time moves forward and he matures, Jody is exposed to multiple events and learns many lessons on what it means to be a man. Much of what he learns comes from his father and the farm hand named Billy. He looks up to them both.

“Jody did not ask where his father and Billy Buck were riding that day, but he wished he might go along. His father was a disciplinarian. Jody obeyed him in everything without questions of any kind.”

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I don’t want to summarize the four stories and spoil them for those that haven’t read this, but I will say I had a good mix of emotions when reading it for the second time. I was sad and angry multiple times and didn’t care for a few of the characters, but there was happiness here too, especially when Jody gains some responsibility and gets excited about upcoming future events like visiting with his grandfather, or caring for his pony by himself for the first time.

“Jody was glad when they had gone. He took brush and currycomb from the wall, took down the barrier of the box stall and stepped cautiously in.”

One thing I didn’t like, was how I didn’t really see Jody’s character change over time. With the death he’s experienced, he certainly doesn’t seem to be effected by it much and maybe that’s because as a boy, he wasn’t allowed to share his feelings vocally. His actions portray anger, but not a whole lot of sympathy for the animals themselves as he still continues to irritate them by throwing rocks, etc. He seems to forget about how sad he was to lose a friend to death and doesn’t make the connection.

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There are many themes in this book including coming of age, tragedy, death and disappointment to mention a few, but also one I didn’t truly pick up on the first time I read it. It appears that the modern men in the story don’t feel that they measure up to older men from the past. This is something I experienced myself–even as a female–when I moved out to the country. Being raised in the city meant that I didn’t have the experience the country folk had as far as raising your own food, and in turn, putting the animals to death. A lady I met within the first year of living in the country told me that my generation weren’t survivors and I had to stand corrected as I realized there was no way I was going to cut a chicken’s head off with my hand like she did so effortlessly, in fact, I wasn’t ever going to do it. There were multiple times in the book that I cringed because of the details that were given and it reminded me of this very moment in my life, but this is farm life, whether you’re exposed or not and that’s just part of it.

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Overall, this is a powerful little novel and worth a try. You might end up hating it, or you might be sucked into the writing like I was because it’s so descriptive and realistic.  I wound up devouring this in one sitting when reading it for the second time.

My copy is from 1992, not very old, but still vintage. It’s in good condition for the most part with mainly cover wear.

My rating is 4****


Find this book on Goodreads and Amazon:

  • Paperback, 100 pages
  • Published January 1st 1992 by Penguin (Non-Classics) (first published 1933)
  • Original Title: The Red Pony
  • ISBN: 0140177361 (ISBN13: 9780140177367)

Other blogs who have participated in Shabby Sunday:

Nicky@ An Introverted Bookworm

TheOrangutanLibrarian

Claire@ Brizzle Lass Books

Author Didi Oviatt

Sassy Brit@ Alternative-Read

Brittany @ PerfectlyTolerable

Shari @ Sharisakurai.com


Thanks for checking out Shabby Sunday! Have you read this book or others by John Steinbeck? Feel free to share your thoughts below. ❤

Happily by Chauncey Rogers – Book Review #UltimateReadingChallenge April

I had the pleasure of reading Happily by Chauncey Rogers and finished it this morning. I was truly charmed by this retelling! You can read my book review below.

Happily

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Blurb from Goodreads:
If the shoe fits, wear it.
If it doesn’t, 
make it.

Laure is a teenage street urchin just trying to get away. Where the rest of the world sees an enchanting love story, Laure sees royal incompetence and an opportunity to exploit it. She’ll have wealth and a way out of a life she detests, if she can only manage to hoodwink the royal family and survive to tell the tale.

My thoughts on this book:

Happily by Chauncey Rogers is a retelling of Cinderella, but totally unique and refreshing with an interesting premise! I sort of cherish retellings and couldn’t wait to see how Happily compared to some of the others I’ve read. As soon as I saw it, I instantly fell for the cover too! I had no idea what to expect, but rather than following the story of Cinderella and her wicked step-sisters, it follows what’s happening on the outside with Laure, the female protagonist. Laure is hard-headed, sort of pessimistic and chooses to live differently than a commoner while despising royalty as well. She’s a street urchin, and because she refuses to work, Laure barely makes ends meet by stealing the foods and necessities she needs to survive. With good reason (due to her past) she hates where she lives, Éclatant, and would love nothing more than to leave it all behind forever. During one of her thefts, she ends up causing problems for a boy named Luc and he simply won’t stand for it. He threatens to turn her in for her crime, until she shares her plans to trick the royals and in turn promises to pay him back. They both set out on an exciting, yet often dangerous journey filled with adventure.

I was genuinely connected with all the characters in the book. Laure is a very strong main character and I admired how she evolved throughout the story as she learned many lessons about honesty, love, and friendship. She’s headstrong and stubborn–nearly the opposite of Luc– but even so, she wants to do what’s right and they still had some similarities too. Luc is the type of person that wants to have a positive perspective in all situations. He’s optimistic and wants to help Laure see the good in people, and in life. With their likes and differences, they were nearly perfect medicine for one another. Prince Carl was everything I wanted him to be and truly, all the characters were great and meshed together well. Derived from the characters, one of my favorite morals in the story was to be yourself and to stand up for what you believe in.

I was pleased with the writing and the pacing was spot on which kept me interested throughout. It’s modern and without too much romance which I think makes it appealing to younger readers. The twists kept me guessing and the story wasn’t predictable. I felt like the narrative consistently took the direction I wanted it to. With that said, the ending felt a tad rushed, but with some wonderful surprises which the author tied up well. I can see this easily adapted into a movie as it’s remarkably different and stands out from others! I highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys retellings or those looking for a magnificent story.

I’d like to thank Chauncey Rogers for bringing this book to my attention and sharing it with me.

My rating: 5 stars

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Look for Me Under the Rainbow by Bernard Jan – Book Review – #LookforMeUndertheRainbow

Look for Me Under the Rainbow

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Bernard Jan (Author)Maja Šoljan (Translator)

 

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Summary:

Sometimes all you need is a big heart and burning desire. Continue reading “Look for Me Under the Rainbow by Bernard Jan – Book Review – #LookforMeUndertheRainbow”

Should YA Books Have Parental Ratings?

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Here lately I’ve come across a few YA books that contained some content I thought might be inappropriate for young readers. With an eleven year old advanced reader, I’m reading more YA to be sure that the books are appropriate beforehand. YA can be directed at ages twelve on up to twenty-five which we all know is a broad range. Many of these books don’t come with an age rating at all and online research is needed, or the book must be screened beforehand.

Our library has become so strict with what children are able to check out. If they attempt to checkout an R-rated movie and they are under the age of eighteen, the computer will alert the library clerk and the movie will be put back on the shelf. However, they can check out any book they want. If a teen wants to buy a mature video game at Wal-Mart, the parent has to to buy it because they won’t allow him to.

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The problem with books is that many parents don’t have time to read and screen books before their kids read them. I’m sure plenty of parents don’t even like to read or just don’t feel the need to. Reading isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Now, I’ve read YA books that are perfect for my eleven year old and others that I’d never want her to read before she’s upper high school level. How wonderful it would be to open a book and read a short rating that stated: Strong use of language, sexual situations, suicide, incest. Then, you’d know right away whether a book is appropriate. Would that be too much of a spoiler? Maybe…

Earlier this year I read All the Ugly and Wonderful Things. I made the mistake of recommending the book to a few friends on GR. Needless to say, I lost a few friends over it and all because of the content. They told me that they never would’ve read the book had they known that a thirteen year old was having a sexual relationship with a young adult. They felt that the author was promoting this behavior and that it was child abuse. I didn’t feel that way, but it was at that moment that I realized people are sensitive to different things. What was I thinking when I recommended that book? I mean, it’s just a book, right? My thoughts were on the fact that Wavy,  at thirteen, was not like most other thirteen year olds, and that somehow that made the relationship okay. Others would say no, without a doubt, its wrong. It’s true that teens all have different maturity levels and can’t be pigeonholed, like in Wavy’s case. So saying that a book is for ages thirteen and up might not work for everyone.

I’ve also noticed that there are people who won’t read a book if it involves rape. Some people have triggers, and I’m talking about adult readers here. How would they feel about their kids reading books involving sexual situations, promiscuity, drug use, and sexual abuse when they don’t even like reading them?

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I’m getting off the YA topic here, but we as parents raise our children differently and I was thinking that ratings on YA books might be helpful to many. I personally would just like to see a short warning that stated the content where applicable, at least with YA. Like watching a movie trailer, the rating is exposed before the movie is even released. I’m not in any way claiming that the book’s content should be changed or stating that the content is bad, only that maybe it would be beneficial to have a short statement if the book contains controversial content for young readers.

Continue for my questions…

Continue reading “Should YA Books Have Parental Ratings?”