Book Review: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo #KateDiCamillo #UltimateReadingChallenge

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

by Kate DiCamillo

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From Goodreads:

“Someone will come for you, but first you must open your heart. . . .”

Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who treated him with the utmost care and adored him completely.

And then, one day, he was lost.

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The Burning Within by RaNelle Wallace & Curtis Taylor #UltimateReadingChallenge #Bookreview

The Burning Within

by Ranelle Wallace & Curtis Taylor

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From Goodreads:

True story of a couple returning home after an unsuccessful vacation to revive their marriage, their plane crash, their rescue, survival, recovery, and coping with life after severe burns and disfiguration. Adding to this tragedy was a woman’s disregard for the warnings and strong premonitions of what was to come. That burning within all of us. Also a very compelling near death experience and confirmation of life after death beliefs that people of every religion can relate to.

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Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo: Book Review #UltimateReadingChallenge July

Because of Winn Dixie

by Kate DiCamillo

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From Goodreads:

Kate DiCamillo’s beloved, best-selling debut novel is now available in a paperback digest edition.

Kate DiCamillo’s first published novel, like Winn-Dixie himself, immediately proved to be a keeper — a New York Times bestseller, a Newbery Honor winner, the inspiration for a popular film, and most especially, a cherished classic that touches the hearts of readers of all ages. It’s now available in a paperback digest format certain to bring this tale’s magic to an even wider circle of fans. Continue reading “Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo: Book Review #UltimateReadingChallenge July”

The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2) by Lemony Snicket ~ Book Review ~ #UltimateReadingChallenge June

The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2)

by
Lemony Snicket &
Brett Helquist (Illustrator)
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From Goodreads:

Dear Reader,

If you have picked up this book with the hope of finding a simple and cheery tale, I’m afraid you have picked up the wrong book altogether. The story may seem cheery at first, when the Baudelaire children spend time in the company of some interesting reptiles and a giddy uncle, but don’t be fooled. If you know anything at all about the unlucky Baudelaire children, you already know that even pleasant events lead down the same road to misery.

In fact, within the pages you now hold in your hands, the three siblings endure a car accident, a terrible odor, a deadly serpent, a long knife, a large brass reading lamp, and the appearance of a person they’d hoped never to see again.

I am bound to record these tragic events, but you are free to put this book back on the shelf and seek something lighter.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1) Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling & Jim Kay ~ Book Review #UltimateReadingChallenge May

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1)

by 

J.K. Rowling, Jim Kay (Illustrator)

 

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From Goodreads:

The beloved first book of the Harry Potter series, now fully illustrated by award-winning artist Jim Kay.

For the first time, J.K. Rowling’s beloved Harry Potter books will be presented in lavishly illustrated full-color editions. Kate Greenaway-award winning artist Jim Kay has created over 100 stunning illustrations, making this deluxe format a perfect gift as much for a child being introduced to the series, as for the dedicated fan.

Harry Potter has never been the star of a Quidditch team, scoring points while riding a broom far above the ground. He knows no spells, has never helped to hatch a dragon, and has never worn a cloak of invisibility.

All he knows is a miserable life with the Dursleys, his horrible aunt and uncle, and their abominable son, Dudley–a great big swollen spoiled bully. Harry’s room is a tiny closet at the foot of the stairs, and he hasn’t had a birthday party in eleven years.

But all that is about to change when a mysterious letter arrives by owl messenger: a letter with an invitation to an incredible place that Harry–and anyone who reads about him—will find unforgettable.

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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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The Secrets She Keeps by Michael Robotham – Book Review – #UltimateReadingChallenge March

The Secrets She Keeps

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Summary:

In the bestselling tradition of The Girl on the Train and In a Dark, Dark Wood, from the internationally bestselling author whom Stephen King called “an absolute master” of the psychological thriller, comes a riveting suspense novel about the unlikely friendship between two pregnant women that asks: how far would you go to create the perfect family?

Agatha is pregnant and works part-time stocking shelves at a grocery store in a ritzy London suburb, counting down the days until her baby is due. As the hours of her shifts creep by in increasing discomfort, the one thing she looks forward to at work is catching a glimpse of Meghan, the effortlessly chic customer whose elegant lifestyle dazzles her. Meghan has it all: two perfect children, a handsome husband, a happy marriage, a stylish group of friends, and she writes perfectly droll confessional posts on her popular parenting blog—posts that Agatha reads with devotion each night as she waits for her absent boyfriend, the father of her baby, to maybe return her calls.

When Agatha learns that Meghan is pregnant again, and that their due dates fall within the same month, she finally musters up the courage to speak to her, thrilled that they now have the ordeal of childbearing in common. Little does Meghan know that the mundane exchange she has with a grocery store employee during a hurried afternoon shopping trip is about to change the course of her not-so-perfect life forever…

With its brilliant rendering of the secrets some women hold close and a shocking act that cannot be undone, The Secrets She Keeps delivers a dark and twisted page-turner that is absolutely impossible to put down.

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Reading Challenges 2018 – Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge #NGEW2018 and Ultimate Reading Challenge #UltimateReadingChallenge

Hello, friends! I hope everyone is having a great week so far. I decided to add on a few reading challenges this year. Well, actually one, until a good friend tagged me for another, so now it’s two! Here they are below:

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Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge

I found this one over at Claire’s blog. I need this challenge so bad! I’m behind on Netgalley and Edelweiss, so I’m giving this one a go. If you’d like to sign up for this, click here.

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Challenge Guidelines:

  • The challenge will run from Jan 1, 2018 – Dec 31, 2018.
  • Anyone is welcome to join. You do not need to be a blogger, just post your reviews and come back every month to link them up.
  • Any genre, release date, request date, length, etc. counts so long as it came from Edelweiss or Netgalley.
  • At the beginning of each month there will be a roundup post for you to add your reviews.
  • If you forget to link up one month it’s not a problem just add your reviews next month.
  • If you would like to move up or down levels that is completely fine and at your discretion.
  • If you have any questions tweet me @BookishThings or e-mail bookishthingsandmore@yahoo.com!
  • Hashtag: #NGEW2018

Levels

Bronze – 10 Books

Silver – 25 Books

Gold – 50 Books

Platinum – 75 Books

Diamond – 100 Books

*I’ve decided to go with Silver. I have a little less than 25 books to read right now and in case I add a few more on, this one should get me caught up! I’ll update this page with a link for each review.

Like Claire, I’ll list the books here and also include a link for each review. *

2018 NetGalley/Edelweiss Challenge Reading List:

1. White Fur by Jardine Libaire - Review
2. Animals at Night by Anne Jankeliowitch and Delphine Chedru - Review  
3. One For Sorrow by Mary Downing Hahn - Review
4. The Superbowl: Chasing Football Mortality by Matt Doeden - Review
5. Tots! A Cookbook by Dan Whalen - Review
6. A Bear's Life by Ian Mcallister and Nicholas Read - Review
7. Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage - Review
8. All the Little Lights by Jamie McGuire - Review
9. A Mother's Goodbye by Kate Hewitt - Review
10. The Doggie in the Window by Rory Kress - Review
11. Traveling the Blue Road by Lee Bennett Hopkins - Review
12. The Wolf in Underpants by Wilfrid Lupano - Review
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Ultimate Reading Challenge

I had no idea about this challenge, but then my great friend Nel tagged me for it on Twitter and I’m really excited, although I have no idea what I’m doing. 😉 Wish me luck!

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READING FRENZY BOOK BLOG AND COLLECTORS OF BOOK BOYFRIENDS AND GIRLFRIENDS HAVE COMBINED THEIR AWESOMENESS TO BRING YOU TO 2018’S ULTIMATE READING CHALLENGE. THEY CHALLENGE YOU TO READ A BOOK EACH MONTH BASED ON THE THEME OF THE MONTH.

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