Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Thirteen Reasons Why (Reread)

Thirteen Reasons WhyThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

SO I see I read this in 2011. 6 years. No wonder I didnt remember all the details watching the show.
But it was so interesting reading it again after watching the show & comparing. All the differences & all the things that are similar. All of it heartbreaking.
I do have to say, I like the order they did the tapes in the show compared to the book... I rarely say this, but I think I actually like the show better than the book.

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Monday, May 22, 2017

Always & Forever, Lara Jean

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)Always and Forever, Lara Jean by Jenny Han
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A cute little goodbye to Lara Jean.
First, I started reading the first book not aware there was going to be another one & then read the 2nd one not knowing it was a triology. Geez. Unexpected. But I was glad to get more of Lara Jean.
This is truly a YA story & I think its why I enjoyed it. It made me feel all the feels of being back in high school.
I loved Lara Jean though because she was just a normal girl with good values. It was a good clean story, not over the top - totally something I'd recommend to young girls. Something I wouldnt be embarrassed of my nieces reading.
This book gets us through Lara Jean's high school graduation & what she's going to do afterwards, especially when it comes to the love of her life, Peter. Colleges have different paths for both of them & the idea of separate lives is overwhelming for them.
This wasn't a gripper or a gasper, but a nice easy read. A nice little send off to Lara Jean.

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Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You.

Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding.

But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family—and possibly the boy she loves—behind.

When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

The End of Oz

The End of Oz (Dorothy Must Die, #4)The End of Oz by Danielle Paige
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Finally, the end.
They tricked us telling us it was going to be a trilogy & then you get to the end of the 3rd book & the story didnt end.
I have to say, this was the 'simplest' of the books - which I actually didn't mind. Usually there's a lot of wars & battles & big stories happening. This just focused on one story - killing Dorothy at her wedding to the Nome King. Pretty basic. This was the least gory too, which I appreciated. Some of the other books totally took a really strange turn to me.
I'm glad the series in complete - but its totally left open for more Oz books, which is kind of intriguing, but glad that this chapter is over.

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Ding dong—Dorothy is dead.

I watched as the Emerald Palace crumbled to the ground, burying Dorothy, the Girl Who Rode the Cyclone, under the rubble. And now that the rightful ruler, Ozma, has been restored to the throne…

Oz is finally free.

My name is Amy Gumm. You might remember me as the other girl from Kansas. When a tornado whisked me away to the magical land of Oz, I was given a mission: Dorothy must die.

But it turns out girls from Kansas are harder to kill than we look.

Now the Road of Yellow Brick is leading me away from Oz to the dark world of Ev, where I have a new, powerful enemy to deal with: the Nome King. And—surprise—he has a gingham-clad bride.

With my magical shoes and a shrinking group of allies, I have one final chance to fulfill my mission, and save not only what’s left of Oz, but Kansas, too. As the line between Good and Wicked blurs even further, I have to find a way to get rid of Dorothy once and for all—without turning into a monster myself.

Dorothy once said there’s no place like home. Can I stop her from destroying mine?

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Fight Back with Joy

Fight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest FearsFight Back With Joy: Celebrate More. Regret Less. Stare Down Your Greatest Fears by Margaret Feinberg
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What a book that puts attitude in perspective.
We did this book for our Bible Study along with the workbook & it was just a wake up call how much our attitudes & the way we look at our lives, our every days, can make such a difference.
This book talks about Margaret's journey when she found out she has cancer & had to go through the treatments to save her life. It's a hard read sometimes to see what she had to go through & had to face... but you come out seeing what real life joy can look like. It's not always perfect & the struggle is real in finding it, but its possible.
I love the book has extra sections at the end on things to say to someone who is facing a crisis, & one of my favorite lists, a playlist of songs that are encouragement for joy. I am currently going through all of them & focusing on the words of each of them.
I heard Margaret in person at a conference & just loved her little spunky self & her book totally represents that same side of her. I totally recommend this book - & the study if you get a chance.

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

One True Loves

One True LovesOne True Loves by Taylor Jenkins Reid
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Why did I wait so long to get this book?
I absolutely loved it.
What would you do if the love of your life, who you married, was presumed dead, & after a struggle you move on with your life, only to find a new love in an old friendship... & then find your husband is still alive?
I was gasping & couldn't read fast enough to find out how this was going to go. & I was so torn. I loved both of the guys - Jessie & Sam. I couldn't root for just one. Oh the struggles.
I just liked the ease of the writing & story telling. It was like a friend just telling their story to you - not like a book trying to push a story AT you.
I've heard so many good things about this author - after reading this, I've already order a few more of her books & cant wait to dig in.

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From the author of Maybe in Another Life—named a People Magazine pick and a "Best Book of the Summer" by Glamour and USA Today—comes a breathtaking new love story about a woman unexpectedly forced to choose between the husband she has long thought dead and the fiancĂ© who has finally brought her back to life.

In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancĂ©, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.
 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Belle

BelleBelle by Cameron Dokey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had no idea what the story was about - I mean, I get what it was about, but not sure if it was the same re-telling, or a new one - I just knew I saw the name & the cover & had to have it. I got home & found out this was released in 2008 & re-released with this new cover. It totally suckered me in.

Not that I needed suckering in. I loved this book. Another version of the Beauty & the Beast story - nothing like the Disney one - & similar aspects of the original - but kinda different. Stands on its on.

The story of Annabelle Evangeline Delaurier & her sisters, Celestial Hevans & April Dawn ... "Belle" being the youngest of the sisters & someone who feels like she stands in the shadows of her beautiful sisters. But Belle has her own talent of feeling what wood feels. Weird, huh? But it was a neat concept. She would widdle wood into what the limb wanted to be - she could see the REAL things inside.... Hello Foreshadowing!

It's a really good time period book - the days where their father makes his careeer on freight on fleets of ships. The language even reflects a time jump.

& I was kind of shocked when I was half way through the book & we still hadn't even met the Beast. That's probably my only grief about the story. I wish we had more interaction between Belle & the Beast. & the ending got kind of repetitive about "true love"... other than that, I really did love the book & glad I have it. It makes me want to check out the Once Upon a Time Series now.

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The story of Beauty and the Beast finds new life in this magical and imaginative retelling that’s filled with romance and adventure.

By the time her sixteenth birthday comes around, Belle feels more convinced than ever that she is being called by the wrong name. Unlike her older sisters Celeste and April, whose names suit them perfectly, Belle knows that she is not beautiful. She begs to be called by her given name, Annabelle—or even Anna for short—but to no avail. Her solace is her wood-carving hobby, and she longs to find the Heartwood tree: Legend has it that, when carved by the right hands, it can reveal the face of one’s true love.

One day, during a fierce storm, Belle’s father stumbles upon the fabled tree—only to become ensnarled by it and come face-to-face with a terrifying and lonely Beast, who will set him free on one condition: that Belle carves the Heartwood. Belle agrees, never dreaming that she and the Beast have the same wish: to be seen not with the eyes of the mind, but of the heart.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

My Kind of Crazy

My Kind of CrazyMy Kind of Crazy by Robin Reul
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I liked the story - it kept me wanting to read what happened. When a guy accidentally catches a tree on fire trying to ask the popular girl at school to prom by lighting sparklers... & then runs away when the fire spreads, but someone sees Hank. The strange girl Peyton Breedlove. She lets him know she saw him & he befriends her to keep her from telling it was him who caused this problem. Soon their friendship develops & they learn so much about each other.
It really held my interest, but I have to say I was shocked it was YA. Just the language & some situations in the book, I wouldnt let my "too" YA read it. For sure.
I really enjoyed how the book wrapped up too. One of those books that I enjoyed but wasn't the kind that was life changing or I'm screaming for the world to MUST READ. I did close the book though rooting on Hank & Peyton as they venture into life on their own.

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Despite the best of intentions, seventeen-year old, wisecracking Hank Kirby can’t quite seem to catch a break. It’s not that he means to screw things up all the time, it just happens. A lot. Case in point: his attempt to ask out the girl he likes literally goes up in flames when he spells “Prom” in sparklers on her lawn…and nearly burns down her house. 

As if that wasn’t bad enough, Peyton Breedlove, a brooding loner and budding pyromaniac, witnesses the whole thing. Much to Hank’s dismay, Peyton takes an interest in him—and his “work.” The two are thrust into an unusual friendship, but their boundaries are tested when Hank learns that Peyton is hiding some dark secrets, secrets that may change everything he thought he knew about Peyton.