Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas #BookReview #YoungAdult #Fantasy

A Court of Thorns and Roses

By Sarah J. Maas

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My thoughts:

I’m really excited to finally be getting to this series. This is my first read by Sarah J. Maas and for the most part, it turned out to be wonderful. This may be one of the longest reviews I’ve ever written and I apologize if it’s choppy, but I just want to get my thoughts out. My review will  have spoilers.

The book begins with Feyre, a young girl living with her father and two sisters in the mortal lands of Prythian. Feyre’s mother passed away years ago and now she’s responsible for the care of her family. She made a vow at her mother’s deathbed that she’d keep the family together and watch over them. They’re all poor and food is scarce, but luckily Feyre can hunt. Continue reading “Book Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas #BookReview #YoungAdult #Fantasy”

Book Review: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park #BookReview #ALongWalktoWater #MiddleGradeBooks

A Long Walk to Water

By Linda Sue Park

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My thoughts on this book:

A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park is based on the true story of Salva Dut, one of the Lost Boys from Sudan during the second Sudanese Civil War in 1985. The book also includes a separate narrative about a girl named Nya, which takes place in Sudan as well, but beginning in 2008. Throughout the book we learn about Nya and Salva’s circumstances and their struggles.

Salva’s story is harrowing. It’s during a normal school day in 1985 that shots are heard–the war has arrived in his village–and he’s forced to run into the bush for safety. Continue reading “Book Review: A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park #BookReview #ALongWalktoWater #MiddleGradeBooks”

Book Review: Little Arliss (Old Yeller #3) by Fred Gipson #ChildrensBooks #BookReview #OldYeller

Little Arliss

By Fred Gipson

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My thoughts on this book:

Roughly six years has passed since the last book and Arliss is now twelve years old. Frankly, he’s sick and tired of being called “little” and just wants respect from the adults in his life. Everyone’s constantly telling Arliss that he can’t do something and he’s fed up, so when the chance arises for him to prove himself, he takes it. The settlers are dealing with a crazy horse who’s actually killed a man. They need to catch it and Arliss sees an opportunity to finally prove that he’s old enough to start doing adult tasks. He offers to try, but everyone just laughs at him which makes him even more angry. Not long after, against his father’s orders, Arliss sets out to catch the horse and successfully brings him home. He has plans to work on breaking the horse without his parents permission which is extremely dangerous.

Continue reading “Book Review: Little Arliss (Old Yeller #3) by Fred Gipson #ChildrensBooks #BookReview #OldYeller”

Book Review: The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events #6) by Lemony Snicket #BookReview #ChildrensBooks #Fiction

The Ersatz Elevator

By Lemony Snicket

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My thoughts on this book:

We took a break after book five again, and it felt great to get back into the series. This installment turned out to be one of our favorites yet.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Ersatz Elevator (A Series of Unfortunate Events #6) by Lemony Snicket #BookReview #ChildrensBooks #Fiction”

Book Review: My Love Story by Tina Turner #BookReview #MyLoveStory #Memoir

My Love Story

By Tina Turner

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My thoughts on this book:

My Love Story by Tina Turner can be categorized as one of my favorite memoirs of 2019. I just finished it this week and I’m so happy I picked it up. I read it word for word from beginning to end and enjoyed every single minute of it.

Tina Turner has been a massive inspiration to me since I was a young child. I love everything about her, yet early on knew nothing about her past struggles. Thinking back to some of her earliest music videos on MTV, particularly one of my favorites, “What’s Love Got To Do With It”, I fell in love with her voice, her style, her positivity, her fierceness–pretty much everything. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome became a favorite 80’s film; I thought her performance as Auntie Entity was fantastic. Her music and inspiration still remains a part of me today.

“And you know what I say to people who ask, “What do you do when all the odds are against you?” I say, “You keep going. You just don’t stop. No matter, if there’s one slap to the face, turn the other cheek. And the hurt you’re feeling? You can’t think about what’s being done to you now, or what has been done to you in the past. You just have to keep going.”

In this memoir, Tina Turner shares her recent history, beginning with her happy marriage to long-time boyfriend Erwin Bach in 2013. She also reflects on parts of her past: exposing times from her childhood in Nutbush, Tennessee as Anna May Bullock, the beginning of her career, her marriage to Ike Turner (including the abuse she endured), and how she finally got away and started creating her own music–on her own terms. She also writes about health problems she’s experienced (which I knew nothing about) and the friendships that she’s made over time. After watching the film What’s Love Got to Do with It when it first released, I was shocked with all that Tina had gone through. I appreciated that she shared her true thoughts regarding the movie in this book because I always wondered how accurate it was. Honestly, there’s so much more in this book! Some of her darkest times are revealed. Parts of it are incredibly sad, especially the ending which brought me to tears. After it all…how wonderful that Tina was able to find true love and then to experience her fairy tale wedding. It’s heartwarming.

I enjoyed the writing and organization of the book. Many pictures are shared in multiple sections (the vast majority I’d never seen). Once I started reading it, I simply didn’t want to put it down. This book is everything I wanted it to be.

5***** Continue reading “Book Review: My Love Story by Tina Turner #BookReview #MyLoveStory #Memoir”

Book Review: The Magician’s Elephant by Kate Dicamillo #BookReview #ChildrensBooks

The Magician’s Elephant

By Kate DiCamillo

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My thoughts on this book:

The Magician’s Elephant by Kate DiCamillo is a mysterious and magical story about a boy named Peter who has been orphaned, and the unlikely appearance of an elephant who helps him find his way.

The story takes place in the city of Baltese, which is filled with people of different classes. It’s a cold and very dark winter with minimal sunshine. Peter currently lives with his guardian–a soldier named Vilna who fought in war alongside Peter’s father. Sadly, Peter’s mother died just after the birth of his baby sister. Even though Peter has been told that his sister also died at birth, he has a subtle remembrance of her crying and feels that she may still be alive.

One day, after being sent to the marketplace to purchase food, Peter discovers a fortuneteller. He asks the fortuneteller of his sister, and indeed, he’s told that she lives.

“You must follow the elephant,” said the fortune teller. “She will lead you there.”

Peter is shocked, excited, and also confused. Could this really be true? Why has he been lied to all these years? Peter knows he must find the elephant and attempt to locate his sister, but he can’t do it alone.

I really enjoyed the way the characters were written in this story; there’s enough left open to let the reader imagine. When I first started reading this with my kids, we were all reading intently, but without a whole lot of amusement my kids became disinterested. We still wanted to disvover what would happen with Peter and the other characters, but the story fell a little flat for us. Don’t get me wrong, the book is written well and it’s beautiful at times with themes of love, forgiveness, and most of all, hope.

“Looking out over the city, Peter decided that it was a terrible and complicated thing to hope, and that it might be easier, instead, to despair.”

I did love the ending (although predictable) with how each of the characters were impacted by the elephant and essentially changed. It had a nice conclusion. We also loved the illustrations. This was an enjoyable read that I’ll still recommend.

Continue reading “Book Review: The Magician’s Elephant by Kate Dicamillo #BookReview #ChildrensBooks”

Book Review: Savage Sam (Old Yeller #2) by Fred Gibson #SavageSam #BookReview #VintageBooks

Savage Sam (Old Yeller #2)

by Fred Gipson

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My thoughts on this book:

After reading Old Yeller a few weeks ago, my children were eager to get right into the sequel Savage Sam. It became apparent to us right away that this book was going to be very different from Old Yeller. Continue reading “Book Review: Savage Sam (Old Yeller #2) by Fred Gibson #SavageSam #BookReview #VintageBooks”

Book Review: Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to A Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success by Shawn Stevenson #SleepSmarter #BookReview #Health

Sleep Smarter

By Shawn Stevenson

My thoughts:

Finding this book was like a stroke of luck for me and I was really excited to get into it. After attempting to repair my sleep habits months ago, there were still multiple things I was doing wrong. Continue reading “Book Review: Sleep Smarter: 21 Essential Strategies to Sleep Your Way to A Better Body, Better Health, and Bigger Success by Shawn Stevenson #SleepSmarter #BookReview #Health”

This Week’s Children’s Books: The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett – Moon River by Johnny Mercer – Little Otter Learns to Swim by Artie Knapp – Blue Rider by Geraldo Valério #ChildrensBooks #BookReview

Here are some of the children’s books we enjoyed this week…

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The Snowy Nap

by Jan Brett

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Continue reading “This Week’s Children’s Books: The Snowy Nap by Jan Brett – Moon River by Johnny Mercer – Little Otter Learns to Swim by Artie Knapp – Blue Rider by Geraldo Valério #ChildrensBooks #BookReview”