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My thoughts on what I've been reading!

Book Review: Crime and Poetry (Magical Bookshop #1) by Amanda Flower- 4 Stars

Crime and Poetry is a cozy mystery set in a magical bookshop! Charming Books is set in Cascade Springs, not far from Niagara Falls. The quaint, upscale town of Cascade Springs is known for its water, which residents claim has healing qualities.  The bookstore is magical in the fact that YOU don’t pick your book, the perfect book picks YOU! Daisy runs Charming Books and is Violet’s fun and quirky grandma. Violet left Cascade Springs 12 years ago after a tragedy and public embarrassment, and has only returned to care for her grandma.

When Daisy’s friend is found murdered, she becomes a prime suspect. Violet makes it her mission to clear her grandma’s name. Complete with magic, mystery, history, and a dash of romance, Crime and Poetry is a charming, cozy read to curl up with and enjoy!

 

 

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{Children’s} Book Review: Night Night, Train by Amy Parker-5 Stars

 

“Night Night, Train” by Amy Parker is an adorable children’s bedtime story book.

It’s a sturdy board book that is beautifully and brightly illustrated. I think it would be great to read to infants on up to preschool age, and when they’re old enough, I think young readers will enjoy reading this with mom and dad right before bed as well!

All the characters are animals, from the adorable puppies on the train, to the kitten train conductor. As the engineer drives through Sleepytown, all the passengers say “night night” to everyone and everything they pass. They eat together, take baths, and read stories before going night night, making this a fun book to establish nightly routines for young ones! I look forward to adding this to my newborn’s little library.

This book is not overtly christian but it does mention how God loves us and cares for us through all of our daily routines and life.

I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 

Book Review: Serafina and the Splintered Heart (Serafina #3) by Robert Beatty-4 Stars

Serafina and the Splintered Heart is the conclusion to the Serafina series. This is what I would consider an “upper” middle grades series. It’s quite frightening, but it’s still pretty juvenile feeling, so I wouldn’t classify it as young adult.

Overall I’ve enjoyed reading this series because of the setting being local to me, the fact that the heroine is a young girl looking for her place in the world, and the overarching theme of trust, friendship, and belonging is refreshing to read in a suspenseful, action-packed series.

There are lots of twists and surprises in the Splintered Heart. Serafina and her friends have been trying to defeat the Man in the Black Cloak all throughout the series. Have they finally succeeded? Can life at the Biltmore carry on as normal?

Complete with rich descriptions of the area and local history, suspense, strong characters, and a fast moving plot, the Splintered Heart is one for young teens and adults both to enjoy!

Book Review: Simple Perfection (Rosemary Beach #6) by Abbi Glines-3 Stars

Simple Perfection is the conclusion to Woods and Della’s story that began in Twisted Perfection.

I LOVED Woods and Della’s story in Twisted Perfection, but I seriously disliked Della in Simple Perfection. She was completely idiotic and whiny 95% of the time. I don’t know what else Woods can do to prove his complete love and adoration for her and she actually UNDERSTAND. Della loves Woods, but she doesn’t feel deserving of him because of her past. When Della overhears Woods talking to Jace about “dealing with someone’s crazy” she assumes it’s about her and decides to leave town with Tripp. When she shows up at her best friends house, Della is hit with a huge revelation that will change her whole life. Woods is one of my favorite Rosemary Beach characters and I still loved him in this book, I just almost couldn’t deal with Della! Eventually at the end I started to like her more but it made reading the book really hard!

There is a huge tragedy that happens…I was in shock and honestly didn’t think it was real at first. So prepare your heart if you’re invested at all in any of these characters! I’ll continue reading the Rosemary Beach series as I can’t wait for Grant and Tripp’s stories to come up!

 

Book Review: The Gauntlet (The Cage #3) by Megan Shepherd-4 Stars

The Gauntlet is the final book in The Cage series, and while I found it thrilling and interesting, it was my least favorite book in the series because of the ending.

In The Gauntlet, Cora and her friends escaped from the Kindred and are on a ship with Bonebreak, a mosca. They left behind Cassian who was being tortured because Cora needs to run the Gauntlet so humans can be considered intelligent like the other species.

There was a lot of drama, death, surprises, and twists (and a little romance) throughout this novel. Cora is so strong, as is all the others who escaped with her, but they as humans can only fight for so long without help from others. The actual gauntlet sounded incredible and interesting, a total mind warp that pushes you in every direction. With certain species on the brink of war with one another and ready for a complete take over, can Cora successfully complete the Gauntlet to save humanity and her friends, and be considered as worthy as the others?

With plenty of action and heart stopping shockers, The Gauntlet was super intriguing but as the final novel, it was slightly disappointing because of the decision a certain character made at the end.

Book Review: Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before #3) by Jenny Han- 4 Stars

I waited for 2 years for a sequel and it was PERFECT. Totally worth waiting for!!!! It is a little juvenile feeling than most YA novels I read, but I still really enjoyed it!.

“Always and Forever, Lara Jean” picks up with Lara Jean and Peter stronger than ever in their relationship and waiting for their college acceptance letters. Their senior year is coming with lots of changes, with school, their relationship, friends, and family. Can their love last?

This book is sweet, hilarious, and heartbreaking, but it’s a great story of young love, acceptance, and growing up. The family dynamic between the Song family is one of my favorites I’ve read in a YA in awhile. Margot was really obnoxious at times, but understandable. And I definitely liked Kitty a lot better in this book than the previous ones. She’s a hoot!

Peter and Lara Jean’s relationship is great as well. I love how they just seem to belong together even though they are so different! This is just a book that makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside. (After you’re done crying and hating Peter’s mom, but no spoilers!)

Also, WHY is John Ambrose McLaren STILL hanging around?! -_-

Book Review: Fairytale Beginnings by Holly Martin-5 Stars

First off-how beautiful is the cover?!

Fairytale Beginnings is a wonderful romance featuring Milly, a dendrochronologist who specializes in dating and/or restoring historic castles through her employer, Castle Heritage, and Cameron Heartstone, who has just inherited the huge, piecemeal Clover Castle. Cameron was under the impression that Milly would be a lot older and dress a lot differently-she loves bright colors, Converse, sparkles, and Disney, but is extremely intelligent and excellent at her job. Despite getting off on the wrong foot, the chemistry between the two is undeniable. Both of them have had heartbreak in the past-can they overcome their hurts and misunderstandings along the way to open their hearts to each other?

This story was just magical. The way the author describes the castle and the village, you will feel like you’ve been transported there. With ghosts, romance, weird traditions, and the longing for a happily ever after, fairytale lovers will thoroughly enjoy this one and will be sad for it to end!

I received a copy of this book via Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.

 

Book Review: Wonder by R.J. Palacio-4 Stars

Wonder is a middle grade fiction about August Pullman and how he is defined by his facial deformity. After being home-schooled he starts fifth grade in a private school. August just wants to be accepted and fit in without being treated like he has the Plague but he is still unique and stays true to himself which I think is wonderful. Even though he looks different, he is funny, intelligent, and a loyal friend.

This story didn’t wreck me emotionally like I thought it would, granted, there are some really mean, sad, and heartbreaking moments, but it’s still funny and lighthearted feeling.

There are a few different POV’s besides August’s and I thought they melded nicely together to bring August’s past and future together. Like I think all middle schoolers can attest, those particular grades are hard-even if you don’t have a facial deformity. Kids are cruel, but August has a big, kind heart, and I love how authentic and genuine he is.

I feel this will be a wonderful book for children this same age, on up to adults, because the message it brings of how to be yourself and how to treat others is one we can all take to heart.

 

{Children’s} Book Review: Big Look Bible Book-4 Stars

The Big Look Bible Book is a brightly illustrated, fun-shaped bible story book for young children!  I’m trying to read to my baby boy before he’s born and I really enjoyed this one. There are several well-known bible stories that are short and quick to read with eye-catching cutouts of an element from the story. I think it will be great to read to babies as well as on up to older children learning to read themselves. It’s a fun way to learn about the stories in the bible!

Included are stories about Noah and the Ark, Joseph, Adam and Eve in the garden, and several others making up nine stories in all. There is a mix of old and new testament stories included! The stories give the meaning of the message without using too many words making it easy to capture and keep a small child’s attention and teach them about God’s word.
Overall, I think this would be a great addition to your child’s bookshelf to help them learn more about the Savior and the beautiful illustrations and easy reading will encourage them to want to learn more about the bible and the many more stories within.

I received a copy of this book from BookLookBloggers in exchange for my review.

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