November Wrap-Up/December TBR

Wrap-Up & TBR

November

ARCs
Shadow Fall by Audrey Grey – Read, review coming
All Laced Up by Erin Fletcher – Read, review coming
Trust My Heart by Carol J Post (blog tour 11/21) – Read, blog tour

Other
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo – Read, review coming
Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks (for school) – Finished
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (audio book) – Currently Reading
Blackmail Boyfriend by Christ Cannon – Read, review coming
City Love by Susane Colasanti – Read, review coming
Audrey, Wait! by Robin Benway – Read, review coming
The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen – Currently Reading

This month I read 8 books. I’ve only got a couple more weeks of school and then I will be done forever! Hopefully my reading (and reviewing) can pick back up after that.

December

ARCs
Ever the Hunted by Erin Summerill
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Mad Miss Mimic by Sarah Henstra

Other
Heartless by Marissa Meyer

HW Assignment: Book Blog Entry 7 – Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah

Chinese CinderellaTitle: Chinese Cinderella: The True Story of an Unwanted Daughter
Author: Adeline Yen Mah
Publisher: Laurel Leaf
Publication Date: August 2nd, 1999
Age Range: 12 and up
Lexile Reading Level: 960L

After her mother dies giving birth to her, Adeline is considered by her family to be unlucky. Her father eventually remarries, but Adeline and her siblings are treated poorly by her new stepmother while her step-siblings are spoiled. Despite the fact that Adeline does well in school and even wins some prizes, she still doesn’t feel the love from her family that she needs.

Not all youth necessarily understand that there are cultures out there that are different from their own. Even though the experiences detailed in this book occur long before any of today’s youth were alive, they will still be able to glean valuable insights on how other cultures might differ. They will also be able to empathize with the main character and understand how to deal with strong emotions. Readers who are interested in history, Chinese culture, or real-life fairy tale tie-ins will enjoy this book.

BLOG TOUR: Trust My Heart by Carol J Post [GIVEAWAY]

Trust My HeartTrust My Heart
by Carol J. Post
Release Date: October 25th, 2016
Genres: Christian, Romance

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SYNOPSIS: Grant McAllister arrives in Murphy, North Carolina, with one aim: to sell his inherited property and leave as quickly as possible. The big-city lawyer has no interest in his late, estranged grandparents or the dilapidated mansion he just acquired. After his high-profile divorce, he should be avoiding perky reporters, too. But Jami Carlisle is honest, funny, and undeniably appealing.

After breaking up with her safe-but-smothering boyfriend, Jami is determined to ace her first big assignment. A story about the McAllister estate is too intriguing to ignore—much like its handsome, commitment-phobic heir. Thanks to her digging, the pieces of Grant’s fraught family history are gradually fitting into place, but also upending all his old beliefs.

The two draw closer as they share their dreams, until misread signals and misunderstandings begin to test their trust. But in the unspoiled beauty of the Smoky Mountains, there’s healing and forgiveness to be found. And for Grant, this unplanned detour may be just what’s needed to finally guide him home…

REVIEW: The thing that I love about Christian Romance novels is that I know they’re not going to have a bunch of sex scenes in them. I mean, I know some people like that, and that’s fine, but I’m personally not a fan. Grant and Jami are both really enjoyable characters. I loved that Post gave us such a detailed and complicated background for each of them. It really made them feel like real people, not just two-dimensional characters. I also loved the secondary characters. Even the ones that we don’t actually meet (like Bethany or Jami’s mom) felt so real. I would not be surprised if the author wrote future books featuring other characters (I need a book about Holly and a book about Sam RIGHT NOW).

The setting was fantastic. I really felt like I was in North Caroline while I was reading this book and it honestly made me want to take a roadtrip over there ASAP. I love how often our characters are in nature because then the reader kind of gets to enjoy a little bit of nature as well. I also love how the author emphasized how the main characters would feel closer to God when they’re out in nature. I think that could be encouraging to people who feel like they want to connect with God, but don’t feel that they’re ready to try attending a church.

Overall, I thought this book was really good! The plot was interesting (even if a little predictable) and believable. I enjoyed getting to know these characters and the whole town of Murphy. The romance is sweet but doesn’t dominate the other plotlines. I’ll definitely be looking out for other books by this author!

Overall Rating: 4
Language: None
Violence: None
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: Mild


Trust My Heart Tour Banner

Click on the picture above to be taken to the giveaway!


 

Carol J PostABOUT THE AUTHOR: From medical secretary to court reporter to property manager to owner of a special-events decorating company, Carol J. Post’s résumé reads as if she hasn’t yet decided what she wants to be when she grows up. But one thing that has remained constant through the years is her love of writing. She started as a child composing poetry for family and friends, then graduated to articles for religious and children’s publications. Now she pens fun, fast-paced inspirational romance and romantic suspense stories. Her books have been nominated for an RT Reviewers’ Choice Best Book award and selected as an RT Top Pick. When Carol isn’t writing, she enjoys sailing, hiking, camping—almost anything outdoors. She also plays the piano and sings with her music-minister husband. Their two grown daughters and their grandkids live too far away for her liking, so she now pours all her nurturing into taking care of a fat and sassy black cat and a highly spoiled dachshund. 

Website|Goodreads|Twitter|Facebook


Litfuse Publicity

Note: I received this book free from the author/blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

HW Assignment: Book Blog Entry 6 – Fourth Down and Inches by Carla Killough McClafferty

Fourth Down and InchesTitle: Fourth Down and Inches: Concussions and Football’s Make-or-Break Moment
Author: Carla Killough McClafferty
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Publication Date: November 1st, 2013
Age Range: 10 and up
Lexile Reading Level: No level

More and more evidence has been coming out recently that shows just how dangerous a sport football is. Concussions are all but guaranteed and can have dire consequences. This isn’t the first time that concerns have been raised about the number of concussions in football however. Back in 1905, the sport was basically given an ultimatum. After the season ended, nineteen players were dead and many others were seriously injured. The sport was told to either change or there would be no more football. Obviously, the game did change and over time protective equipment has gotten better. Unfortunately, that hasn’t solved all of football’s problems. With millions of young men playing this sport across the country, many are still concerned.

This book is great for reluctant readers who may prefer watching sports to reading books. Any casual sports fan knows that there is currently controversy surrounding football and the number of concussions that players receive. Concussions themselves are bad, but doctors and others are worried that there are other effects of football that have yet to reveal themselves. With the movie Concussion coming out last year as well, this topic may be more attractive to younger readers than it would have been in the past.

Librarians could create a book club where they read the book and discuss it and current issues. This would be a great way for kids to learn how to apply critical thinking to the things that they’re reading. Afterwards, they could watch the movie Concussion. Other sports books could be available to maybe spark football fans interest in reading:

Out of the Blue, Young Reader’s Edition by Victor Cruz
Through My Eyes: A Quarterback’s Journey, Young Reader’s Edition by Tim Tebow with Nathan Whitaker
Coming Back Stronger: Unleashing the Hidden Power of Adversity by Drew Brees with Chris Fabry (adult)
Manning by Archie & Peyton Manning with John Underwood (adult)

November Reading Update

ARCs
Shadow Fall by Audrey Grey – Read, review coming
All Laced Up by Erin Fletcher – Read, review coming
Trust My Heart by Carol J Post (blog tour 11/21) – Currently Reading

Other
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Human Body Theater by Maris Wicks (for school) – Finished
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (audio book) – Currently Reading
Blackmail Boyfriend by Christ Cannon – Read, review coming
City Love by Susane Colasanti – Currently Reading

So far this month I have finished four books.

BLOG TOUR: Everyday Magic by Emily Albright [GIVEAWAY]

Everyday Magic Everyday Magic
by Emily Albright
Release Date: December 2nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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Note: This book is technically the second in a series, but can be read as a standalone. The first book in the series is The Heir and the Spare.

SYNOPSIS: For once, Maggie McKendrick just wants to control her own life. Her overbearing Hollywood director father has it all planned out for her: UCLA, law school, then working as an entertainment lawyer, preferably for him. But Maggie has other, more creative-spirit friendly, plans. Namely, Thrippletons School of Fashion and Design in England, and then onto becoming a designer, preferably a wildly successful one. The big snag in her plan? Getting it past her dad.

A movie shoot takes the family to the Scottish Highlands for the summer, and closer to Maggie’s dream school. While there, she runs into the charming Preston Browne. Maggie is intrigued and decides to bend her no guys rule—instituted after her ex used her to get close to her dad. Forced to keep secrets from Preston in order to protect the future plans she’s made, Maggie finds herself falling for the tall Brit. And for once in her life she knows that he’s interested in her, not her Hollywood connections. When Maggie’s father blackmails her into dating his lead actor, she isn’t left with a choice. The biggest problem isn’t having to date hunky, mega-hottie, Ben Chambers. No, it’s praying she doesn’t lose Preston in the process.

Excelling at her dream school, Maggie’s personal life is a tangled mess. She needs to decide if living a lie is worth losing Preston or chance going against her father and facing his wrath. When the tabloids expose the truth of her fake relationship with Ben, Maggie’s world is thrown into a tailspin. Ultimately, Maggie must find the courage to take risks and forge ahead on her own path.

REVIEW: While I liked the first book in this series fine, I definitely liked this one better. I really liked Preston from the first book, so I was excited to learn a little more about him in this one. Maggie as a main character was fun and interesting. I really liked that she had such a clear vision for herself and she had the passion and drive to make it happen. I also really liked her relationships with her mom and brother. Her dad on the other hand…maybe I’m a bit naive, but I just don’t even want to believe that there are people out there who are that evil. But, you know, definitely a very hateable character. That’s all I’ll say about him.

Like the first book, nothing was really groundbreaking as far as the plot went, but it was still enjoyable nevertheless. While I enjoyed some of the added subplots, there were a couple of times that I felt like the author was trying to cram in too many different ideas into one book. Instead of taking the time to really develop different plotlines, everything was kind of crammed together and happening at the same time. It just made the book feel kind of busy, but again, I still enjoyed it.

Overall, I thought the book was a great follow-up to The Heir and the Spare. I did enjoy seeing some of the original characters and catching up with them. I have a feeling that there will be a third book in the series but I’m not sure who it’s going to feature…Maggie’s brother? Suze? Someone else entirely? I’ll definitely be on the lookout though.

Overall Rating: 4
Language: Moderate
Violence: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: Moderate


tour-banner

Click on the picture above to be taken to the giveaway!



Emily AlbrightABOUT THE AUTHOR: 
Emily Albright’s debut novel, THE HEIR AND THE SPARE, was released on January 18, 2016 from Merit Press.

She’s a writer, a major bookworm, a lover of romantic movies, a wife, a mother, an owner of one adorable (yet slightly insane) cockapoo, and uses way too many🙂.

Website|Goodreads|Twitter|Facebook|Instagram|Pinterest


Fantastic Flying Book Club

Note: I received this book free from the author/blog tour in exchange for an honest review.

A real life (but fictional) Will & Kate story | The Heir and the Spare by Emily Albright

The Heir and the SpareEvie’s just trying to follow in her mother’s footsteps and that means going to Oxford. While Evie loves her father, she misses her mother terribly and hopes that attending her mother’s alma mater will help her to feel closer to her. She doesn’t count on meeting history loving Edmund or his pack of friends. She certainly doesn’t count on falling for this tall, British dreamboat. When Evie learns something about her mother’s past, she starts to question who she really is and who the woman was that raised her. Sometimes it’s the people you love the most who hold the biggest secrets.

I really liked the idea of this book. I mean, what young girl doesn’t fantasize about falling in love with a prince? The overall premise is cute and not especially groundbreaking. The plot itself was fine even if it was pretty predictable. I mean the tagline on the cover basically says it all, “She’s secretly royal. He’s secretly loyal.” Corny, but accurate. So yeah, overall enjoyable, but not particularly memorable. This book is basically a cross between 13 Little Blue Envelopes and The Princess Diaries.

There was a little too much drama in my opinion. Evie and Edmund had this “will they or won’t they” thing going pretty much the whole time even though the reader knows how it’s going to end. I felt like the reasons behind their repeated breakups were inconsequential. Like, I didn’t feel like they should  have had as much weight as they did. I was a little annoyed by all of the back and forth.

The characters were okay as well. Edmund and Evie were both fairly likable, but their friends were pretty forgettable/interchangeable. Few of them stood out as their own person. They were kind of presented as this group and then stayed lumped together as a group the rest of the book. I would have liked a little more depth for the secondary characters. Then don’t even get me started on the “mean girls”. I mean…I’m not part of English High Society, but did those girls seem unrealistically mean to anyone else? I’m more a fan of the subtle enemy. I don’t want a character to say, “Back off, he’s mine”. Instead I’d like them to show me, if that makes sense. They were basically just mean for no reason.

Overall, this book was just okay. I didn’t hate it, but I didn’t love it either. In my opinion, the second book in the series (look out for my review of Everyday Magic tomorrow) was stronger. Technically this is the first book in a series of two, possibly more, books. However, both can be read as stand-alones though they do involve the same characters. So if you don’t want spoilers on this book, don’t read the second one first.

Overall Rating: 3
Language: Moderate
Violence: Mild
Smoking/Drinking: Mild
Sexual Content: Mild