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My thoughts on what I've been reading!

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.

Book Review: Gwendy’s Button Box by Stephen King and Richard Chizmar-4 Stars

Having never read anything by Stephen King I was a little worried that this might be too scary or gory, but it’s not! It’s just a little spooky and thrillery.

Gwendy’s Button Box is a short story about a young girl named Gwendy, who, right before school starts, decides she is fed up with fat jokes and wants to get healthy, so she runs the suicide stairs up Castle Rock daily. One day, a man in a black hat invites her to sit and talk with him. Mr. Farris claims Gwendy is the perfect recipient for a button box he has. The box has various colored buttons that correspond with all of the continents, as well as levers, a black button, and a red button. The red button is the only one Gwendy can push multiple times and wish for whatever she desires. The levers dispense a tiny, intricately detailed animal shaped chocolates and Morgan dollars of very high value.

Gwendy notices her life slowly begin to change for the better after acquiring the box. But at what cost? Just how magical and powerful is this box?

For a short story I was still pretty thrilled and entertained. I found myself thinking WTF multiple times but I found the ending lacking and abrupt. Overall, still a pretty decent mind boggling read.

Book Review: The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser-3.5 Stars

Oh, what a gorgeous cover and exciting synopsis! Unfortunately, I was left slightly disappointed.

Amy and her mom (who she calls by her first name, Alexis) leave their home in Germany after some heartache and travel to Scotland where Alexis was raised and her grandmother still lives. Once there, Amy finds out her family comes from a line of book jumpers. They “jump” into books, making sure all is well within the story. They are not allowed to interfere with the plot, they are just there to check on things. I really liked the premise-I mean, how awesome does that sound, to be able to jump into your favorite stories and chat with Shere Khan from The Jungle Book or Peter Pan?!

Not long after Amy arrives on the island it becomes clear bad things are happening in the stories we all love. Main ideas that fuel the stories are being stolen-the White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland, the flower from The Little Prince, and so on. Amy is determined to travel through the Margins of stories to find the thief.

Unfortunately, this story ended up not exciting me as I was left with a lot of confusion and questions, and a lack of world building.

Book Review: Save the Date (Chicago on Ice #3) by Aven Ellis-5 Stars

Luca is a hockey goalie obsessed with constantly trying to improve his game. Collins is an events planner, and she does a great job, but her heart is in working with horses.

The two hit it off instantly at a mutual friend’s engagement party. After a few dates, it’s obvious they fit together perfectly. Collins tries desperately for Luca to see that he is already great at what he does and shouldn’t devote so much time to training and nothing else. Luca has his mind made up that he will help Collins’ dream of working with horses come true. But between Luca’s unwavering hockey dedication, and Collins’ fear of hurting Luca like she did with her last boyfriend, can the two of them overcome the obstacles and believe their love is real and meant to last?

This book gave me butterflies. Every single one of Aven’s books seems to be a favorite, but honestly, Luca and Collins’ story is in the top spot at the moment! The easy way they joke between each other over Collins’ love of pumpkin spice and seasonal flavored treats, and the fact that Luca loves every single freckle on Collins’ face (that her mom desperately wants her to cover) to the more intimate moments-the heat between these two is enough to melt the ice but the sweet romance just warms your heart.

Save the date for this winning romance-it releases 5/17/17!!

I was gifted a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own. Thank you Aven!

{Children’s} Book Review: Jesus Loves Me: A Sing-Along Book

This padded board book includes animal illustrations and the text to the song “Jesus Loves Me.” It is cute but I was put off a little by the fact that Jesus is depicted as a moose…I understand that the book features animals but I still think Jesus should be interpreted as human…just my opinion-it was weird! Still a pretty cute sing-along. I received a copy of this book free from BookLookBloggers.

Book Review: The Secrets You Keep by Kate White-4 Stars

Bryn is a successful author who is currently facing writer’s block. She was in a fiery car crash in which the driver died while she survived. She’s struggling mentally, physically, and emotionally, and having terrible nightmares, and can’t seem to work on her next novel. Her husband Guy was great at first after the accident, but now it seems like Bryn is just an annoyance to him. A few days after hosting a catered dinner party, the chef turns up brutally murdered and secrets and confusion abounds. Bryn begins to distrust her husband after another murder occurs in town. Is Guy just becoming bored with playing nurse to the ailing Bryn while she recovers, or is something more sinister going on?
While this didn’t capture my attention like the Bailey Weggins series by the same author, I did enjoy the mystery and was completely surprised at the revelations throughout the novel and especially the ending!

 

Book Review: Little Black Dress by James Patterson (Bookshots)-2 Stars

I thought this was going to be another Bookshots thriller but it was more of an erotic romance that left me a little disappointed.

Jane Avery is a divorced magazine editor whose family and friends constantly try to set her up on dates and she’s just not having it. On a whim, she buys a sexy, expensive, little black dress and she’s suddenly transformed. She’s jumping in to bed with a different stranger every day, picking out the most attractive man from a crowd and enticing him to go to a hotel with her.

It wasn’t a sexy romance, rather, it just seemed kinda sleazy. Meh.

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