Monday, December 12, 2016

Shaken by Tim Tebow

Shaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's StormsShaken: Discovering Your True Identity in the Midst of Life's Storms by Tim Tebow
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm not a football person or a fan at all, but I do know Tim Tebow.
Who doesn't know about Tebowing - right?
I've not read any of his other books, but when he had a spare weekend & stopped into our church & spoke & talked about his future book, I wanted to grab it, just to support someone who is giving a good message to the world on faith & reminding us WHOSE we are - not who we are.
I really did enjoy the book - even the parts of Tim telling his football story. I thought that part may bore me a bit, but it was interesting to see how he handled being let go of the organizations he was a part of.
The book is full of Tim's experiences in life as a teenager on mission trips, to playing in the big leagues, to everything in between. & it all holds great reminders of God's truth.
Some of the stories, I've heard before... some of the points he makes on scripture, I've heard most of them in other places, but there were a few little snippets of truths that were new to me that really gripped me. I have to say, for me reading a book on a football player, I really did enjoy it.

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Friday, December 2, 2016

I'm Glad About You

I'm Glad About YouI'm Glad About You by Theresa Rebeck
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

DNF
I got about a quarter in & just didn't connect with this one.
I'm getting better at letting go of books that I don't care for. Why waste the time - so many good books, so little time.
I think it didn't help that I read reviews before & got the jest of the ending... & then a quarter through, the characters just irritated me & I flipped to the last few pages of the book (GASP!!!) & read... & yeah, knowing the ending, it didn't make me want to fill up the 'in between' so I just scraped it.
Maybe I'll try it some other time... probably not.

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The Magnolia Story

The Magnolia StoryThe Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cant even begin to say how much I loved this book. I want to buy it for every one. For every woman, for every mom, for every person with a dream.
I love Chip & Joanna Gaines anyways but to read their life story makes me love them even more.
I honestly swooned so many times in this book. Just to hear the story of these two individually, & together & how their show came to be & their success. The stories of their childhood, to how they met & the wisdom they have learned through the years is just so heart warming. & I love how they balance each other out through so many of lifes ups & downs. How they clearly saw God working in their lives & feeling His presence.
Y'all, I can't say enough about this book. If you like their show, if you like them, you are going to ADORE this book. If you have no idea who they are, I'd still think you'd like this book. It's just a good true life story that is filled with heart, wisdom & love.
I'm sad to see it end.... it gave me the warm fuzzes the whole time.

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These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV’s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like—Who are these people?What’s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America’s new best friends.

The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.

They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day.

In The Magnolia Story fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover:

The time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping baby

Joanna’s agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their children

When Chip buys a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turns out to be a leaky wreck

Joanna’s breakthrough moment of discovering the secret to creating a beautiful home

Harrowing stories of the financial ups and downs as an entrepreneurial couple

Memories and photos from Chip and Jo’s wedding

The significance of the word magnolia and why it permeates everything they do

The way the couple pays the popularity of Fixer Upper forward, sharing the success with others, and bolstering the city of Waco along the way

And yet there is still one lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny? “Oh yeah,” says Joanna. “He was, and still is, my first fixer upper.”

Friday, November 18, 2016

Listen, Love, Repeat

Listen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered WorldListen, Love, Repeat: Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World by Karen Ehman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Other-Centered Living in a Self-Centered World"... man, if that doesnt describe today's world, I dont know what does.

I absolutely loved this book.

It's full of things we already know - putting people first, loving the unlovable, giving of yourself in your time & your gifts - but its just good to be reminded of these things. Its full of great ideas too & tips to learn how to hear people's "heart drops" - the things that matter to them. They're there if we just notice.

I really loved the reminder on how everything we have here is not ours, but God's... & we need to use it to glorify & honor him.
& of course, I loved that in this book, there's a Beauty & the Beast shout out! HOLLA!! I had to laugh when she asks if anyone know thats movie & I'm sitting there with a Belle bookmark holding the page ;)

Probably the best take away I got from this book though is how Jesus always served the person in front of him... even if he was traveling to help someone else. It was really eye opening to me to notice every one in my path every minute of the day. How can I serve that one person, that group of people. This was really moving to me... a kick in the butt by Jesus himself.

This really is a nice easy read - full of tips & ideas. I love how there the tips are scattered throughout, as well as little snippets. I especially loved the one with about "sandpaper spouses" - the opposite that can rub you the wrong way - or to make one another better, stronger. (Was Karen watching Ricky & I when she wrote that snippet?)

I wasn't sure if this was going to bore me - which some of these self aware books do - but this one was really enjoyable to me.

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Thursday, November 10, 2016

Starting Now

Starting Now (Blossom Street, #9)Starting Now by Debbie Macomber
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I always enjoy Debbie Macomber. Clean stories that are refreshing & laid back, always holding good values & sense of faith, grace & all the good things of God.

I really was excited to see another book in the Blossom series. When "A Good Yarn" came out, it was one of my favorite. A story revolved around a yarn store & knitting? I'm so there! And its been nice to see all the books following including all the people who have stopped into this little store & we've gotten to know. It was nice to visit with Lydia, Brad, Casey & Cody again.

This time, we meet Libby. A lawyer who has no time for knitting... until she gets laid off. Her life changes completely. How do you go from being a workaholic whose only concern is making partner, to someone who spends her time rocking babies in a hospital & mentoring a young middle school girl.

Libby learns what friendship is, what it means to invest in others, how it feels to fall in love again... but what happens when she gets her old life back.

I enjoyed reading about Libby's life & decisions she had to make, but as most Macomber books, I could tell you how it was going to end, & how it was pretty predictable. That's my only grief with it... but I still enjoyed it... & looking forward to meeting more people who stop on Blossom Street.

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Monday, November 7, 2016

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart

31 Verses to Write on Your Heart31 Verses to Write on Your Heart by Liz Curtis Higgs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have always been a fan of Liz Curtis Higgs... Shout out for a Louisville gal!!!!
But I love her writing & her personality which shines through her books.

This one is a little different than some of her others as this can be used as a devotional, which I've been doing.

She had asked for some of women's favorite scriptures & she took the top 31 that people sent & this is what the book is - a break down of the scriptures for every day.

& I love the way she breaks it down. It's not 'teachy' in the over-your-head way teaching scripture can be - but a way of breaking it down like you're sitting with your girlfriend & she's explaining to you in the simpliest of terms.

Liz urges you to memorize these scriptures too so you know they deeply & more personally as well.

I really do love this book & am glad to have it & learn from it.

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Monday, October 31, 2016

This is Where It Ends

This Is Where It EndsThis Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure if I should give it one star or be generous & give two... but I just really didnt like much about this book at all.
First, I knew the topic of a school shooting was going to be intense. I just didnt realize how intense this was going to be. Like a little too much for me. A little too much in the sense that it was too fast & too scattered in the story telling.
We're seeing this story of a teenager come to an auditorium & lock the students in & go on a shooting rampage. Why? Because he obviously is troubled. He's lost his mother - his father is abusive - & apparently he can't handle his sister's sexuality. It all just angered me because it felt like none of it made any sense. I guess in reality, most shootings dont make sense - so I'll give it that.
& in each chapter, we are visiting with each of the 4 people centrally involved - Ty's sister, her girlfriend, the girlfriend's brother & Ty's ex girlfriend.
To say there were a lot of characters to keep up with is an understatement. For every 4 of the stories, there are a few more people connected to each one. It can get sketchy on whose who.
& in the end? I was just angry at who didn't make it out of the school at the end of the day & the results for Ty.
I didn't find any enjoyment in this book at all. Left angry & frustrated. Again, could make it a better than 1 star rating? But let's just chalk this rating up to my anger speaking.

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10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won't open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.
 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Everything is Beautiful - Adult Coloring Book

Image result for everything beautiful coloring book

I have the Whatever is Lovely coloring book as well
.. made by the same people...
These are the BEST .. seriously, the BEST.
The paper is so thick & nice. I use colored markers & they dont bleed through to the page below it.
& the paper makes it smooth to color on as well.
The designs are all so beautiful - hence the name I guess ;)
But I really could take some of these & pull out & frame & make a collage on my wall.
They are that worthy of the artistic look these pages have.
I gave a bunch of the Whatever is Lovely coloring books for Christmas last year.
This may be my go-to gift for this year.

Everything, Everything

Everything, EverythingEverything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I devoured this one.
Such a fast read. Had me totally gasping in parts, sighing in others & cheering on Madeline as she decides she is willing to give up EVERYTHING to live life.
Madeline is a 'bubble girl' - someone with a compromised immune system that has to stay confined in her home. & then one day, she sees her new neighbors move in, espcially Olly, the boy who can't stand still & is jumping off of things & full of energy & life.
With the help of her nurse, Carla, Madeline gets to meet Olly & their relationship takes off from there.
I loved how fast this book went from chapter to chapter... & it has little drawings & clips from emails & computer screens & texts from phones scattered throughout. Gave the book such personality.
I honestly couldn't put this down till I got to the end. I even lost track of time at work during lunch reading & got back 15 minutes late... I got that lost in it.
I'm glad I finally got a book I really enjoyed after the last few that left me just depressed & frustrated.

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My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla.

But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly.

Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Luckiest Girl Alive

Luckiest Girl AliveLuckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This was a DNF.
I just couldnt... nope. Not a book for me.
I got just about 30% in the book & I was so grossed out by the book & knew I never wanted to know a thing about Ani... not the type of person I care to learn anything about.
All the name dropping, label branding, talk of being skinny & anorexic & just how Ani's mind works? Totally not something I care to even learn more about....
I just had to stop. Couldnt force myself any longer.
Not my cup of tea...
moving onward

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HER PERFECT LIFE IS A PERFECT LIE.

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancĂ©, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that's bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Suddenly Royal

Suddenly Royal (Suddenly, #1)Suddenly Royal by Nichole Chase
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After coming off some debbie-downer books, I needed some light fluff. This was exactly that.
An ordinary girl finds out she's a Dutchess & gets to hang out with the most eligible Prince - fluff in the making.
Romance, fairy tales, happily ever afters. I'm all about it.
I really enjoyed the book because it was mindless & just cheesy & a fast read.
I didn't even really feel any 'drama' or pull to any sort of direction of the story. That's the only reason I only gave it 3 stars. Like there was no drop on the roller coaster to get back to the top again - make any sense? Just a basic story that is predictable. But that was OK with me.


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Samantha Rousseau is used to getting her hands dirty. Working toward a master’s degree in wildlife biology while helping take care of her sick father, she has no time for celebrity gossip, designer clothes, or lazy vacations. So when a duchess from the small country of Lilaria invites her to dinner, Samantha assumes it’s to discuss a donation for the program. The truth will change the course of her life in ways she never dreamed.

Alex D’Lynsal is trying to keep his name clean. As crown prince of Lilaria, he’s had his share of scandalous headlines, but the latest pictures have sent him packing to America and forced him to swear off women—especially women in the public eye. That is, until he meets Samantha Rousseau. She’s stubborn, feisty, and incredibly sexy. Not to mention heiress to an estate in his country, which makes her everyone’s front-page news.

While Sam tries to navigate the new world of politics and wealth, she will also have to dodge her growing feelings for Alex. Giving in to them means more than just falling in love; it would mean accepting the weight of an entire country on her shoulders.

Friday, September 30, 2016

The A to Z of You & Me

The A to Z of You and MeThe A to Z of You and Me by James Hannah
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Man... I guess I should have expected a sad book when it starts off knowing that Ivo is in a hospice care unit, but whew. I'm so depressed.
So many times I just stopped reading, but then I had to know what happened to Ivo's girlfriend Mia. The book jumps back & forth in time so much, sometimes you have to start reading again to figure out where you are at.
I didn't HATE the book, but it was a struggle. Maybe because the emotional weight?
& I'm still not sure how I feel about the ending. I mean, on one side, you KNOW how its going to end - hello, Hospice reference - but I just felt like while there was a 'closure' in one part, I felt like it was too simple or too rushed. Like how did Mal get in the room when half the book was about making sure he didn't? & where was Sheila - his nurse who meant so much in the whole book - in the end?
All I know is I need something light to read next.

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He has all kinds of everyday joy in his life -- he's young, he's in love, he has friends who promise to stand by him if life ever goes wrong.

Then one day, life does go wrong.

He makes a mistake, and it's big and unforgiveable. Now time is running out, and his life is falling apart. But he's going to put it back together again. His own way.

This is a story about how far love must stretch to gather a life in pieces -- and about how a strong friendship never dies

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Girl on the Train

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I knew I had to read this before the movie came out.
It seems like everyone was reading this at some point - especially after Gone Girl got so popular.
Another disappearing woman - who did it?
I love a good mystery... but even I figured this one out pretty early on - so not that big a surprise to me.
I did enjoy the book. It did hold my interest, but I just felt like it was a LITTLE too long... & the characters really started getting on my nerves. Especially Rachel - the main character. Her drunken ways just gave me NO PATIENCE with her. I was so over her antics & her sneaky ways half way through the book. & then even the other characters started getting on my nerves. Especially Anna & even Megan, the woman who disappeared. It was just like a paranoid group of people that seemed miserable in their life.
I was glad to get to the end, hear the whole story... but was a little relieved when that end came.
Cant wait for the movie now.

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EVERY DAY THE SAME
Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost.

UNTIL TODAY
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel goes to the police. But is she really as unreliable as they say? Soon she is deeply entangled not only in the investigation but in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

99 Days

99 Days99 Days by Katie Cotugno
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a fun quick & easy read.
The story of a girl who made some bad choices in a relationship - only after confiding in her mother about the situation, she wrote a novel about it bringing it to light to everyone in their town, including Molly's boyfriend Patrick.
After Molly leaves her town her senior year because she can't handle all the bullying, she returns for 99 days before she leaves for college. It's not long before the bullying continues but she finds solace in another friend - Patrick's brother, Gabe.
We set ourselves up for a perfect love triangle - which I sort of loved in a cheesy soap opera way... until it just got on my nerves. It didn't seem that Molly didn't know what she wanted & you could see this was going to not end well at all, between her & anyone & especially the relationship between the brothers. I still didn't mind the story - was anxious to see where it was going to go - but then the ending really just sort of aggravated me. I would have probably given this 5 stars up to half way through the book - & then 4 stars until I read the ending & just felt like it wasn't complete to me... so 3 stars it is. Still liked it, but got sort of let down in the end.

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Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Decent Proposal

The Decent ProposalThe Decent Proposal by Kemper Donovan
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I loved the idea of this book - someone offers $500,000 to 2 people if they just meet at least once a week for at least 2 hours a time & just talk - get to know each other. Nothing more.
Two polar opposites. What will they learn from each other & what will happen to their relationship.
I thought it had so much potential.
I honestly struggled to get through this. Actually ended up skipping some chapters once I got half way through & just couldnt FEEL the book.
There was so much skipping back in time & then we'd be back to present & I was getting so confused. The back stories took SOOOOOO long too that I was just over it by the time we did get back to the present. & then the weird part, the present would zoom by so fast with out a lot of attention to it.
All of that just made me loose interest really quickly.
It was an OK read - not horrible. I just thought it had so much potential on how this story could have went.

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An addictively readable debut romantic comedy, drama, and mystery rolled into one, about two very different strangers whose lives become intertwined when they receive an unusual proposition. This is a funny, tender, and enchanting story about love, attraction, and friendship: Jane Austen in Los Angeles.

A struggling Hollywood producer, Richard Baumbach is twenty-nine, hung-over, and broke. Ridiculously handsome with an innate charm and an air of invincibility, he still believes good things will come his way. For now he contents himself with days at the Coffee Bean and nights with his best friend Mike (that’s a woman, by the way).

At thirty-three, Elizabeth Santiago is on track to make partner at her law firm. Known as “La Máquina” The Machine—to her colleagues, she’s grown used to avoiding anything that might derail her quiet, orderly life. And yet recently she befriended a homeless man in her Venice neighborhood, surprised to find how much she enjoys their early-morning chats.

Richard and Elizabeth’s paths collide when they receive a proposal from a mysterious, anonymous benefactor. They’ll split a million dollars if they agree to spend at least two hours together—just talking—every week for a year. Astonished and more than a little suspicious, they each nevertheless say yes. Richard needs the money and likes the adventure of it. Elizabeth embraces the challenge of shaking up her life a little more. Both agree the idea is ridiculous, but why not?

What ensues is a delightful journey full of twists, revelations, hamburgers, classic literature, poppy music, and above all love, in its multitude of forms. The Decent Proposal is a heartfelt and often hilarious look at the ties that bind not just a guy and a girl but an entire, diverse cast of characters situated within a modern-day Los Angeles brought to full and irrepressible life.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo

The Girl with the Lower Back TattooThe Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

2 things I really enjoy in life - 1.) Funny people! I LOVE funny people. Humor & comedy just makes my day. Laughing is one of my favorite things to do in this world. 2.) Autobiographies. I love learning about people's lives & their stories. So when a autobiography comes out of a lady I find really funny, I had to get it.
I loved Tina Fey & Amy Poehler's autobiographies & was hoping this was going to be that same level.
I guess it shouldnt shock me that reading this, Lena Durnham is one of Amy's favorites people because I couldnt make myself finish her autobiography... & this one was a close second.
Those I did finish it - but not happily.
Did it have its funny moments? Of course
Was Amy profound in places? Yes. I so appreciated her honesty on her life growing up with her mom & her father... & in every few chapters, you'd see a depth about Amy & the way she's come through some tough situations.
Did it have its fill of language & vulgar talk? DEFINITELY. Now, honestly, I am someone that doesn't get offended easily - & it takes a lot for me to get embarrassed. But truly, some pages, I would have just died if someone I knew looked over my shoulder & saw some of the wording on some of these pages. To me, personally, it was just a little too extreme. You can be funny & get your point across without needing SOOOO MUCCHHHHHH in your face.
That was disappointing to me. It made me just not enjoy the book that much.
Its so bad, I probably wont even keep this one on my shelf with all my other autobiographies...
anyone want a free book?


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Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Things you Kiss Goodbye

The Things You Kiss GoodbyeThe Things You Kiss Goodbye by Leslie Connor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm actually torn in a lot of emotional pulls on this one.
First, this book deals with abusive relationships. Something you really dont think too much in a younger person's dating life. I was struggling with how Bettina was handling this with her boyfriend Brady - the one kid that changed so much through the years & who everyone looks up to.
& then I had a YES & then NO feeling when Bettina meets "Cowboy". I loved he was giving her courage & letting her be herself, but the age gap was sort of strange to me making me feel like this was not a relationship that should be happening.
& the relationship with her dad - a pure Greek father - had me frustrated & aggravated at how little he saw his daughter & treated her fairly compared to her sons. Their relationship bothered me. It almost made me think he was the example that she should over look abuse.
& then the end of the book? Again, torn between heart broken & numb, but the outlook of a new beginning.
See? All over the place.
But I will say, this book held my attention. I devoured it. That says something it of itself.

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Bettina Vasilis can hardly believe it when basketball star Brady Cullen asks her out, and she just about faints when her strict father actually approves of him.

But when school starts up again, Brady changes. What happened to the sweet boy she fell in love with? Then she meets a smoldering guy in his twenties, and this “cowboy” is everything Brady is not—gentle, caring, and interested in getting to know the real Bettina.

Bettina knows that breaking up with Brady would mean giving up her freedom—and that it would be inappropriate for anything to happen between her and Cowboy. Still, she can’t help that she longs for the scent of his auto shop whenever she’s anywhere else.

When tragedy strikes, Bettina must tell her family the truth—and kiss goodbye the things she thought she knew about herself and the men in her life.

Leslie Connor has written a lyrical, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about family, romance, and the immense power of love.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cant even begin to say how much I loved this book.

A book that makes me get teary eyed in the first few pages just because I was so happy to visit these characters again? Yeah, an automatic 5 star book.
I dont want to give any of the MAGIC away of this book but I adored the idea of the story. That we see Harry Potter as a parent now & to see the characters grown up with kids that make their own decisions in life.
I also adored that we get to go down memory lane of past books & relieve some of the past stories with a little twist on 'what could have been'
I honestly couldnt have been happier with the book... except that it had to end.
I also loved the style of the book & how it was written up for a screenplay. To me, it really helped with the visual of the story & I could totally see it in my mind as a production.
Now, I'll have to add to my bucket list to go see this on stage one day.
Thanks JK Rowling for letting us for a brief moment get to spend some time with our favorite wizards.

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Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places

Friday, August 19, 2016

Uninvited

Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and LonelyUninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely by Lysa TerKeurst
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There's just a handful of Christian authors that really speak to my soul with realness & words of REAL life that I can relate to. Lysa TerKeurst is one of those people.
I was excited for this book when I heard it was coming out & actually pre-ordered it. I hardly ever pre-order anything. So excited for this book, the topic it was on & it did not disappoint at all.
I have to say, it sort of really wasn't what I was expecting - some of the topics & some of the main points that she really focused on - but it was lessons I never knew I needed to learn.
This book is probably at least 60% highlighted right now with things I want to remember & quotes & scriptures I need to remind myself of.
I am leaving this book fully convicted in some areas & feel a pull to make some changes in my life - all in drawing closer to a God that will never reject me.

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The enemy wants us to feel rejected . . . left out, lonely, and less than. When we allow him to speak lies through our rejection, he pickpockets our purpose. Cripples our courage. Dismantles our dreams. And blinds us to the beauty of Christ’s powerful love.

In Uninvited, Lysa shares her own deeply personal experiences with rejection—from the incredibly painful childhood abandonment by her father to the perceived judgment of the perfectly toned woman one elliptical over.

With biblical depth, gut-honest vulnerability, and refreshing wit, Lysa helps readers:
Release the desire to fall apart or control the actions of others by embracing God-honoring ways to process their hurt.
Know exactly what to pray for the next ten days to steady their soul and restore their confidence.
Overcome the two core fears that feed our insecurities by understanding the secret of belonging.
Stop feeling left out and start believing that "set apart" does not mean "set aside."
End the cycle of perceived rejection by refusing to turn a small incident into a full blown issue.
 

Thursday, August 11, 2016

When Jesus was a Green-Eyed Brunette

When Jesus Was a Green-Eyed Brunette: Loving People Like God DoesWhen Jesus Was a Green-Eyed Brunette: Loving People Like God Does by Max Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure what to expect from this book. For some reason, i was thinking it was a story, but quickly found out otherwise.
The beginning of the book is Max Davis's life experiences & how God lead him to become a writer. A LOT of talk about this "Green-eyed Brunette" - which sort of got on my nerves a bit. It's why I gave it 3 stars instead of 4. I think the first few chapters just didn't hold my attention. It was just like reading someone's biography & it just didn't flow easily for me. Example - this talk about the green-eyed brunette was so much of the story, but then it was like in a hot second, we found out her name &that they married. WHAM! BAM! It was just odd how after referring to his wife like that for so long, the deliverance of her name & that they were married was just short ended. Hard to explain. Again, to me, it the was flow. Off putting.
I almost gave up on the book - but somewhere about half way through, I really really started loving it.
There were stories from other people & their experiences with God & they were so powerful. Some of the stories of people dealing with problems, health issues & even impending death - so moving. I loved the stories of how powerful the Word of God is. & the illustrations between a bonsai tree & a red oak? I'll never forget those example & will never look at those trees again the same.
Some of the book is repetitive in the things that most people that have been in church for awhile have heard - like how each disciple has died & how they could have easily said they didn't believe in Jesus. ... but I'm sure if a new believer was picking up this book, it may be a first time they saw this, so I respect its there.
In the end, I really had a change of heart about the book & glad I kept pushing on reading it.

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Book Description
When Jesus Was a Green-Eyed Brunette weaves heartwarming and miraculous stories of Jesus showing up in ordinary people, revealing that He knows us and is fully present in our everyday circumstances, especially in our difficulties. As best-selling author Max Davis puts it, "When we are born again, Jesus lives inside each of us. He is very much alive today and still does incredible things -- sometimes supernatural things -- through us!"
Davis's own life was dramatically altered when he first came face-to-face with Jesus living inside a green-eyed brunette. That encounter started a forty-plus-year journey where Jesus became his best friend. When we see others as God sees us we will love them as God loves us.
Those hurting and weary from worn-out religion are longing for a fresh touch from the living Jesus. By letting Jesus live through us we become a conduit of His love. Authentic Christianity is not about religion but a relationship with Jesus. Davis challenges us to do more than simply receive His grace -- we need to allow grace to soften, change, and shape us. As you read this book, you will laugh, cry, and come face-to-face with the living Jesus


Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Love that Split The World

The Love That Split the WorldThe Love That Split the World by Emily Henry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure how to feel about this book.
On one hand, I was so into what was happening & NEEDING answers on what was happening with Natalie going from one world to the next & how Beau, the guy who mysteriously appears in a field one day, can also do the same thing. And why can people see them in each world but not the changes in the world around them.
Only Grandmother knows the answers... & WHO IS THIS GRANDMOTHER?
SO many questions. I was really into this - trying to figure it out. & while I did get part of it right, I was taken back by some of it... & just plain ole CONFUSED by the rest.
I'm not good with most sci-fi things. Its why I steer clear of them, but this was mixed in with the love story at heart & while I could appreciate it, it just left me saying "HUH?" through most of the explanation of the story - which is what I wanted to find out so desperately. Because of that, I had to give a middle ground rating.

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Description of Book:

Natalie Cleary must risk her future and leap blindly into a vast unknown for the chance to build a new world with the boy she loves. 

Natalie’s last summer in her small Kentucky hometown is off to a magical start... until she starts seeing the “wrong things.” They’re just momentary glimpses at first—her front door is red instead of its usual green, there’s a pre-school where the garden store should be. But then her whole town disappears for hours, fading away into rolling hills and grazing buffalo, and Nat knows something isn’t right.

That’s when she gets a visit from the kind but mysterious apparition she calls “Grandmother,” who tells her: “You have three months to save him.” The next night, under the stadium lights of the high school football field, she meets a beautiful boy named Beau, and it’s as if time just stops and nothing exists. Nothing, except Natalie and Beau.

Emily Henry’s stunning debut novel is Friday Night Lights meets The Time Traveler’s Wife, and perfectly captures those bittersweet months after high school, when we dream not only of the future, but of all the roads and paths we’ve left untaken.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Before I Die

Before I DieBefore I Die by Jenny Downham
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was so torn on giving this book any stars at all.
First, I have to say, for some reason, I thought this was a Christian novel - not sure why I thought that. Maybe just where I had it sitting on my shelf? Anyways - its SOOOOO not a Christian novel.

But this is the story of a young girl who has terminal cancer & is going to die. Before she goes, she has a list of things she wants to do. First on her list, have sex & other things like break the law, get her parents back together, become famous. After just coming off of another book about lists, "Since You've Been Gone" - I thought this might hold some potential. Not really.

The author is apparently from England & some of the terminology clearly is from a different usage of words. & maybe some things that are normal there, seemed a little strange to me.

It was weird because I really didn't like the book. About half way through, I almost stopped reading it entirely, but thought I came so far so quickly, I could finish up the book in 1 day & maybe it would take a turn & be amazing. It didn't. But it held my attention. I did become involved in caring for Tessa & her family, especially her little brother Cal - & seeing where her relationship with her new boyfriend Adam was going to do. I loved the special things he did for her trying to help her out with her list (Namely, the "Become Famous" item)

The story doesn't hide that this isn't going to end well for Tessa &it was just heart breaking. By the end, I still hated the book but for another reason - it broke my heart. Having a best friend that passed away of cancer, I could just imagine how she felt in those last few days & few hours from reading this.

Because of that grip it had on me in the end is the only reason I gave it 2 stars.
Would I recommend this book to anyone? Probably not. I probably wont even keep it on my shelf. But I am heavyhearted today thinking about Tessa so I guess when a character gets wrapped up in your heart, you gotta throw a few stars their way.

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Synopsis

Tessa has just months to live. Fighting back against hospital visits, endless tests, and drugs with excruciating side effects, Tessa compiles a list. It's her To Do Before I Die list. And number one is Sex. Released from the constraints of "normal" life, Tessa tastes new experiences to make her feel alive while her failing body struggles to keep up. Tessa's feelings, her relationships with her father and brother, her estranged mother, her best friend, and her new boyfriend, are all painfully crystallized in the precious weeks before Tessa's time runs out.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Before I Go To Sleep

Before I Go to SleepBefore I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is like that cute movie with Drew Barrymore & Adam Sandler where she forgets everything when she sleeps & wakes up....
except this one is a 90 degree turn of that ... terrifying & mysterious. Nothing cute & funny about this book.

Christine has to keep a journal every night to know what secrets she finds out about her life so she can piece them together every day & find out what happened to her & how she got to this place in life where she has no memory of anything she's gone through.

Like most mysteries, I trusted no one in this book, which made it fun to read. I couldn't wait to get to the end for answers. It was very intense but I enjoyed the whole ride of it.

The good: Love the mystery. Loved the idea of the story of her having to write down her discoveries every day & having to try & piece her life back together.
The bad: I hated the last second was like one long chapter - it was hard to always know when to stop. I also wish I knew more about the other characters. Especially Dr. Nash who is a main character. Like, how did he come upon Christine. I just wish there was more about their relationship. Also, one part of the ending, I didn't care for. Sort of a cop out to me.

I had no idea it was already a movie with Nicole Kidman but I'm totally going to have to hunt it down now & watch it, even knowing the ending. I'm anxious to see how true to the book they stay. I can totally envision this being a movie though, or actually a real life thing - I could totally imaging hearing of this sort of crazy thing - at least in the Enquirer. ;)


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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Since You've Been Gone

Since You've Been GoneSince You've Been Gone by Morgan Matson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

What do you do when your best friend just disappears? or the bigger question, Who are you when your best friend just disappears?
Emily gets a letter of things to do from her best friend Sloane after she disappears. Emily thinks this will some how bring her friend back if she marks everything off so she sets off to do these things that push her out of her comfort zone.
This book is sort of predictable in spots, but others, I smiled & giggled at the things on the list to do & did find myself being caught off guard a little.
We see Emily discover things about herself as she makes new friends & puts herself in vulnerable situations. I appreciated the idea of this book & being made to do things you wouldn't other wise do. I think we do get caught up in the sameness of life so often. & being someone's friend sometimes is what defines you until you don't know your own worth anymore.
I love what Emily discovered about herself.
I also love the relationships Emily found, with Frank & his friend Collin & her friend who worked down from her in a pizza place, Dawn. I especially loved Frank. & I REALLY loved that he & Emily became closer friends through running. That's always a soft spot for me.
This book is filled with great playlists too. I want to look online & find them all. Surely there is a Spotify list out there already made.
While I thought I was only going to give this 3 stars for its cuteness, sweetness but predictability, when I got to the end, I was sad to see Emily & Frank go. I wanted to know more about them & see where life took these two. I guess I liked it more than I thought.
... & Sloan - do we ever find out what happens to her? I don't want to give anything away. I think that was part of the intrigue of the book to me.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

PS I Still Love You

P.S. I Still Love You (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #2)P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

OK - again, this is SUCH a YA book...
but I was a sucker for it - AGAIN.

I just love Lara Jean & Peter & loved the character from one of her other letters came back into play.
I'm glad this booked picked up exactly where the last one left off & continued on with a whole new story.

Yes, this is very much a story of a girl in high school in love with a boy & all the drama that that sentence alone has wrapped up in it. But it honestly just takes me back to those butterfly in the stomach days of being a teenager in love.

These books are just so easy & light & quick to read. & I was THRILLLLLLLED to see that this isn't the end here either. Another book in the series is going to come out. I'd love to see Lara Jean & Peter a little older - maybe graduating high school & heading to college.

& SPOILER(?) I really really REALLY liked the character John. & would love to see him come back in the next book.
& while I love the Sing Sisters & the whole family, I hope the next book isn't a lot about the dad. This book did just enough of talking about him maybe dating, but I hope the book doesnt put too much focus on him. Me Before You & After You did me in with the 'family' taking over the books so now I'm leery of that.

But I'm sad in a way these are such quick reads because now, I have to actually wait until the next book is published. THIS is why I try to wait until whole series are out before I start reading.... UGH! The waiting!!!!

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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Yellow Brick War

Yellow Brick War (Dorothy Must Die, #3)Yellow Brick War by Danielle Paige
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I was disappointed with the 2nd book & nervous about this one... but it totally redeemed itself & pulled me back into the story.
I thought this was supposed to be the last book in the series, but I'm thinking now, its not. That was no ending to sum up the series, that's for sure. Too many characters still in bad situations right now.
I did like that this book had Amy & the Wicked Quadrant actually in Kansas for most of the book. It was good to see Amy back in her own environment & enjoyed seeing & knowing more the people in her world in her home town.
I am not a big fan of war & battles & a lot of description of fighting so that part, I was glad it wasn't over taking the book. Just enough to keep the excitement going but not a whole book on the gore & yucky - I felt like book 2 was more like that.
After reading this one, I am excited there is another one. Hope it stays up to this par.
Now, I'm just anxious to see, who is really dead & who is alive & kicking waiting to cause trouble for Oz, the Wicked & Amy.

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Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Miracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe

Miracle at the Higher Grounds CafeMiracle at the Higher Grounds Cafe by Max Lucado
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book went exactly as I expected it to ... with maybe a few little touches of cuteness, but I saw where this story was going to go from the get go.
Nothing wrong with that. Made for a fun, light, easy read.
I did't know that Max Lucado had written a novel before & of course, it has his touch of preaching the gospel in it, but it was definitely a cute little angel book that reminds you of the battle of good & evil around us all the time. & it involves a coffee shop. I love me a cute little coffee shop. & also includes a blog. Called "The God Blog"... I also love me a cute little blog. So yeah, it was a nice fast read.
Not amazing, not horrible - just a good easy light read. Perfect for a summer day.

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Book Synopsis:

What if you could ask God anything? What would you ask? And how would He answer?

Chelsea Chambers is on her own. After a public split from her NFL superstar husband, Chelsea takes a bold step out of the limelight and behind the counter of the Higher Grounds Cafe, an old-fashioned coffee shop in dire need of reinvention. But when her courage, expert planning, and out-of-this-world cupcakes fail to pay the bills, this newly single mom finds herself desperate for help. Better yet, a miracle.

Then a curious stranger lands at Chelsea s door, and with him, an even more curious string of events. Soon, customers are flocking to the Higher Grounds Cafe, and not just for the cupcakes and cappuccino. They ve come for the internet connection to the divine. Now the cafe has become the go-to place for people in search of answers to life s biggest questions.

When a catastrophe strikes and her ex comes calling, Chelsea begins to wonder if the whole universe is conspiring against her quest to make it on her own. After a shocking discovery opens her eyes to the unseen world around her, Chelsea finds the courage to ask God a question of her own. Heaven answers in a most unexpected way."
 

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Finding Audrey

Finding AudreyFinding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Audrey is a young teenager that apparently had something traumatic happen to her by other girls in her school, resulting in her having anxiety & social issues. This causes her to stay to herself, stay at home & away from people except her family & also causes her to wear big sunglasses so she can avoid eye contact with others.
We see Audrey's journey as she tries to get a "straight line" on a chart - instead of the two steps forward, one step back mentality that life seems to give to everyone.
I did enjoy the book - loved the family dynamics & especially loved her brother Frank who is witty & a perfect big brother for Audrey. Also love the introduction of Linus, Frank's friend, who Audrey starts to open up to & starts letting into her world.
The mom - totally got on my nerves.
& the most frustrating part of it all - we never found out what happened to Audrey. Maybe we dont REALLY need to know for the story, but it was such a big part of her life, & even throughout the book, it would have been nice to hear what caused Audrey to become the person she was.
... still enjoyed it.

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Thursday, May 19, 2016

To All the Boys I've Loved Before

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So I had a weird relationship with this book.
I started off thinking this was going to be TOO YA for me & I wasn't going to be able to tolerate it, & then somewhere in the middle of the story, I got totally wrapped up in it & could remember all the feelings of teenage love drama & I was anxious to see how this was all going to end with Lara Jean... & then got equally as mad about the ending.
Side Note: I get an open ending in a way to close a book - let your imagination kind of fill in the blanks. But when you don't even really get a path in my mind on how it could end? I was a little frustrated with the ending... & am glad that the 2nd book is already out so I can get on that waiting list at the library & continue with the story of Lara Jean & Peter.

The story revolves around a girl who would write letters as her way of saying 'good bye' to the boys she had feelings for. A way of letting go & moving on. & one day, these letters get sent to the boys & Lara Jean is now trying to figure out what to do when the boy she really does like, her sisters ex-boyfriend, gets his letter. She does what any junior in high school would do - fake a relationship with another boy she had a crush on in middle school but now can't really stand. They make a contract since he's trying to make his ex-girlfriend jealous as well & they are off to convince the world they are now the 'hot couple' of their high school.
See, very YA... but totally lovable & sweet & a great book about family relationships, friendships & of course, how quickly things can turn when you have the emotions of a teenager.

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Exposure to a Billionaire

Exposure to a BillionaireExposure to a Billionaire by Ann Menke
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

This is probably one of the worst books I've read in a long time.
It just felt like it was written by a high school kid. It just skipped so fast through the story, leaving out so much detail & always repeating itself. If I heard one more time that the 2 pilots were like Anna's brother or that Stuart would say, "You are like family" again & again, I would scream. Or the gifts or the $25,000 bonuses & the notes & the reminding how beautiful Stuart's wife is.... just stop.
The story is about Anna, who becomes a personal assistant to Mr. Stuart Manning - a billionaire - & the life she now gets to experience traveling the world & the people she meets.
It was really a bunch of Karadisian dreams to me & not story telling.
For instance, there is a man who repeatedly shows up trying to kidnap Anna for some reason... & not to spoil anything, the results of this story showing up throughout the book - all gets handled in one paragraph. No real depth ever happened with this story.
I do have to say, I feel like this book took me all over the world though because I'm exhausted.

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Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Last Time we Say Goodbye

The Last Time We Say GoodbyeThe Last Time We Say Goodbye by Cynthia Hand
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Whew... this was a heart tugger.
The story of a girl whose brother committed suicide.
We go through Lex's year at school & in her life, going through counseling as she's encouraged to write in a journal about how she is feeling & the memories she has of her brother.
We see how her brother - Tyler - & his decision to end his life effects everyone - from his parents, to his girlfriend he just broke up with & his 3 Amigo friends & how Lex struggles to find peace in it all when she promises him she'd always be there for him.
It really is a heavy read where it left me in tears at some points with its forwardness. But I appreciated it.
I imagined that this is very much what I could see someone that lost someone to suicide would go through.... & in the closing, we see the author did indeed loose a brother to suicide.
I think this one will sit with me for awhile.

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Friday, April 29, 2016

After You

After You (Me Before You, #2)After You by Jojo Moyes
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wasn't sure what to think when I heard there was a follow up of Me Before You.
After all, I didn't want a world without Will Traynor.

So we see where Louisa is after Will is gone - where life has taken her - if her life has turned into the adventure Will wanted for her.
& we see it definitely hasn't.

Louisa is still stuck in life & working in a bar in an airport. She starts a counseling group & then meets a young teen who changes everything in her life, as well as a motorcycle ambulance worker, Sam.

It was nice to be back with Louisa - who always feels like her life is a little out of control. & while I didn't mind the story, it was a little stretched for me in parts.
& personally, Louisa's family got on my nerves the first book so to have them be such a big part of this 2nd book, it is what made me give it 3 stars.
I did love seeing the progress Louisa was making in moving on in life & the ending is not what I expected - all in all, I didn't mind the book at all. & totally see us coming back to Louisa again in the future for another book. (Can we just keep her griping sister & odd parts out of it please?)

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Wednesday, April 20, 2016

We were liars

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have to say, I am proud of myself on this one. I figured out the ending of this book where I'm usually in left field trying to figure out a 'mystery'...

The story Cadence, Johnny, Mirren & Gat ... Gat, Mirren, Johnny & Cadence... the Liars.

The family dynamics reminded me of the Kennedy's. This picture perfect family that vacations together on an island every summer. These kids, cousins, along with Gat, coming together every summer & growing up together, seeing how the family truly is.

We find out pretty early in the story that something has happened to Cadence - she's hit her head in the water, found with no clothes on & has no memory of what has happened that summer. The summer that left her with debilatating migraines that make her nearly unable to function.

So she's anxious to get back to the beach again to get with her Liars & find out the truth, which no one wants to talk about.... hence, the mystery of the story.

The things I did like about it: the quick chapters. *It made me fly through the book. *I also loved the little 'fairy tale' stories that Cady wrote throughout the book. Some of them were really powerful illustrations. *I figured out the ending. That's a pride thing here I guess. *Gat - just because I love a guy that doesnt in, but still fits in.

The things I DIDNT like about it: * the ending. yeah, I figured it out, but it just wasn't summed up great for me. It was just sort of strange. I dont know - it just didn't really give me the emotions I thought it would. I like the book, but I thought it could have been better in how it was all summed up. * Some of the wording from Cadence. Like she talked about her dad leaving her & her mom & used words like "... then he shot me through the heart on the lawn. I lay there bleeding over the flowers"... I literally thought he shot her. But this is the sort of dramatic writing she used to describe most things in life. The bleeding from wrists. The sinking & drowning. I would get confused what was real & what wasn't. Probably the point of it all... but it just confused me a lot.

I wouldn't say this is a DONT READ book - I actually liked it (gave a "its OK" rating) & it kept me intrigued to find out what happened that summer... but its not something I think you gotta pick up today.

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Monday, April 11, 2016

Landline

LandlineLandline by Rainbow Rowell
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

What would you do if you found an old phone that connected you to the person you loved ... from so many years ago.

Georgie chose to put her career above her husband, once again, at Christmas. He leaves to go to his family as planned & Georgie can't get in touch with him. Until she finds an old phone at her mom's house that reaches him... except its the Neal from when they were dating.

Georgie remembers the person he was then. Sees why she loved him. The person she decided to marry. But should she change things with this phone call & let him go, let him be happy in life?

I loved the idea of this story. Would you go back & change anything if you could.
But I felt like a lot of the story was misssed. & a lot of strange things added in. Like the story of Georgie's sister Heather... & a pug's pregnancy... & we miss out on the relationship Georgie has with her writing partner, Seth, that causes so much turmoil in her own marriage.
Something else trivial I couldnt stand... double parenthesis. (like this) (And this)... it was ALL OVER THE BOOK. It just drove me nuts for some reason. haha

I did enjoy the book. It wasn't the best. Definitely wasn't the worst.

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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Looking for Lovely

Looking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that MatterLooking for Lovely: Collecting the Moments that Matter by Annie F. Downs
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really like Annie Downs & her writing - loved Let's all be brave.
So when I heard she had another book coming out, I was excited about it.
After all, I always feel connected to these Nashville girls that I follow on Twitter or Instagram - its like, they go to places I visit when I'm there - we must be best friends :)
But I just love Annie mainly because of her honesty & the real way she looks at life.
This book is the exact same Annie I see everywhere in social media world.
How life is full of hard times, struggles, in all honesty - ugly.
But I love how she has found things that are 'lovely' - finding a different view of the world. Finding beauty in all things.
I so was connected to this book because I even did a blog post at the beginning of the year talking about how the word PERSEVERANCE was on my heart so deeply... well, I can't tell you how many times Annie used this word throughout the book. Probably in every chapter. & it was exactly what I felt like God has been trying to tell me. Life is all about NOT GIVING UP... sticking it out... PRESSING ON!
& Annie wraps this all up so beautifully with this book. Reminding us there are lovely things to see - that through the hard of life, not giving up & making it through.
Annie summed up her chapters with ideas on what to find lovely in life... I kept a post card in my book &wrote down each one ... & I'm excited to use it as a check list for the rest of the year... taking the time to purposely see some of the lovely things God gives to us.

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Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Running Dream

The Running DreamThe Running Dream by Wendelin Van Draanen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I wish there was a half star... I'd give it 3.5

I really did like the book, but it was just an easy read with not a lot of depth to it. You can totally tell its a YA book in its simplicity, but I still totally enjoyed it.

The story of a girl, Jessica who was in an accident coming from a track meet with her school's running team. She wakes up to find she's lost her leg... & with it, her love of running.

With the help of her running team, & her best friend Fiona, they try to get a campaign going to raise money for a running prosthesis.

So we see Jessica's path from the hospital & when she wakes up to getting her leg fitted &learning to walk all over again. The way it changed the way she views the world & the new friends she makes along the way.

It really was a good, fast read - & if I didn't love running, I may not have given it that many stars, but I do love a good running story - especially how this one ended. I wasn't expecting the turn it took & it was very heart warming.

It really would be good for a middle school group to read this book. A story of never giving up, starting over again & dedication to friendships.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

The Martian

The MartianThe Martian by Andy Weir
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Soooo... I know this book has been all the rage lately. & I'm late to the game.
Well, I'm glad I'm late to the game because this had to work for me differently. Normally, I love to read a book before a movie. This time I saw the movie before I read the book.
I'm so glad I did.
I'm not a good sci-fi reader. I'm clueless when it comes to all things science... so when the point of this book is to F** the S*** out of science - I am totally lost & confused.
Luckily, seeing the movie first, I knew what was going on in the story.
& that helped... but it also hurt. Because I knew what was going on & what was going to happen, I sort of skimmed over parts & just felt sort of blah about the story.
Of course, I love the parts where you get a little more depth in the mind of Watney ... but the more science explanations? I was like, Nope. Not for me.
So I give this just a basic average score. & am thankful that Matt Damon was the one who helped me through this book.

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