Friday, April 12, 2019

Hello, Universe

Hello, UniverseHello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a really cute book that I feel teaches important lessons, especially in today's world. The kids in this book are not your average kids. One is deaf, one is anxious, and one has family issues, but they are still just kids trying to figure out how to navigate the world. I feel that even as adults, it is important to see people outside of what is considered the "norm" portrayed in literature.

Seeing Valencia navigate the world and try to communicate with others shows us that the little things we do, like looking at someone when we talk to them, might not seem like a big thing to us, but could be the difference between someone being included or completely left out. Virgil shows us what it is like to truly be caring, even when you are scared of what might happen. Not only is he caring to others, but he is caring to the animals he comes across. I think the most important lesson we as adults can learn is from Chet. His view of what is going on around him is really not the best. He looks down on pretty much everyone and feels like he is better than them. As the story progresses and you get an inside look at what is going on in his personal life, it seems like everything changes.

This book really shows that the circumstances we are placed in growing up, the people that raise us and shape us, really affect how we look at the world. It can be so easy to just see what is right in front of us and judge based on first impressions, but being able to know a persons background and what they have gone through can change everything.

Author: Erin Entrada Kelly
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Publication Date: March 14th 2017

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Thud! (Discworld, #34; City Watch #7)Thud! by Terry Pratchett
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Reading this book kind of reminded me of the saying "those who don't remember history are doomed to repeat it." That's what seems to be going on with an impending war. The question is, can Sam Vimes stop it when he has to get home every night to read "Where's My Cow?" to his son? This book, while light-hearted, points to issues of race when arguments between the dwarfs and the trolls escalates to the point of history almost repeating itself. Through all of the issues Sam faces in this book, he still feels that it is important to read his son his favorite book at night, and this ends up playing a role in the choices he makes along the way.

All in all, this is another good Discworld book. I have not read them in order, so I'm sure there are things that I've missed due to not having the whole backstory.

Author: Terry Pratchett
Publisher: HarperTorch
Publication Date: 2006

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Space Case

Space Case (Moon Base Alpha #1)Space Case by Stuart Gibbs
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I think I read this book mostly because of the title. I really liked the play on words, so good job Stuart Gibbs.

Space Case is a futuristic book following a group of families that live on the moon. When one of the scientists die under mysterious circumstances, twelve-year-old Dash is convinced that something is up. He doesn't believe the official story, and is determined to find out what really happened. Along the way, a humorous cast of characters is introduced and the truth about what really happened is slowly revealed.

I really was not expecting the ending, which made it a fun read. When the answer to a mystery is obvious early on in a book, it is hard to find the desire to read it until the end. There were so many possible scenarios going on, that the number of suspects was continually growing, and answers came from an unexpected source.

I also really enjoyed the little side stories about the characters. Most of the time, I want the main story, and get frustrated by the fact that the story keeps getting off track, but not this time. I feel like the side stories served a purpose. They added humor, while also providing some back story that helped add to the mystery. When you start the book, there seems to be only a couple people that could have had anything to do with the mystery, but the more backstories you read about, the more people you start to question. After a while, you wonder who is not a suspect.

All in all, it was a fun read, and I appreciate that it wasn't one of those books that takes place on the moon but has everyone living life like they do on Earth. The environment is different there, and so people living in that environment would face situations that are different than what we face. That is not lost in this book, but it is also not a huge focus.

Author: Stuart Gibbs
Publisher: Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: September 16th 2014

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Wednesday, April 10, 2019

I've moved to a new site

I'm trying something out. I've moved to Check it out and tell me what you think. Should I keep posting here? This blog has done pretty well in the past.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

So Who's Counting

So Who's Counting?: The Little Quote Book About Growing Older and Still Kicking AssSo Who's Counting?: The Little Quote Book About Growing Older and Still Kicking Ass by Erin McHugh
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

This is one of those times when the number of stars does not necessarily reflect on the book. I gave it two stars just because I'm not sure I would ever read the whole thing cover to cover again. It's a quote book, I don't know of anyone that reads quote books multiple times cover to cover. It's a hard style of book to do. On that note, I do think that this would be the perfect gift to give to someone retiring or who is having a major birthday milestone. There are some very good quotes in there that are relevant no matter your age, which is why I would buy this book. That's why you buy quote books, so you can always go back and read those quotes that made you laugh or inspired you, and there are plenty of those in this book.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Erin McHugh and Emily Luchetti
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Publication Date: 09 Apr 2019

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Queen of Nod

Queen of Nod (The Balance Series Book 2)Queen of Nod by C.W. Snyder
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I'm not going to lie, there is a ton going on in this book. If you have never read the first book, STOP, go back, read the first book. This is not one of those series where you may be able to figure out what is going on by starting in the middle of the series. If you're like me and read the first one, but it's been a while, I would recommend going back and reading the first one before starting this one. I didn't do that, and there were times when I was confused just because I couldn't remember all the details of something that was now playing a much greater role.

If you want a series that you can just casually read that takes little to no effort on your part to understand, this is not for you. This series requires you to think and remember the details that were mentioned before. Like I said, there is a ton going on. If you want something that takes a story that everyone, well most people anyway, already know really well and turns it into something that has a deeper more thought provoking meaning, give this series a try.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Author: C.W. Snyder
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: November 20th 2018

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Balance of Mayhem

Balance of Mayhem (Mayhem Wave, #4)Balance of Mayhem by Edward Aubry
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

After my review of the last book in this series, the author, Edward Aubry, sent me a message to let me know that the fourth book would have more of a focus on a character I wanted more of. Boy did he ever deliver. So, thanks Edward Aubry for not only giving us more Dorothy, but giving her an entire book where she wasn't just a secondary character.

It's really hard to think of what to say about this book that will not give any spoilers. Ummm...let's just say that Dorothy teams up with Felicia to try and get Strontium out of her mind. Along the way, people start to question why Dorothy is doing what she is doing, while Dorothy herself is wondering if she can truly trust Felicia. Really, in my mind, you'd think you would figure out if you could trust someone before you go on this magical quest with only them as company, but I guess Dorothy really just wants her mind back by this point, which is a semi-valid reason to trust a traitor. I guess.

I really like the fact that the characters in this series have been developed to the point that it makes complete sense for them to realize quickly when someone is acting strange. Both Harrison and Claudia choose to do things that may seem to have little to no affect on the outcome of the situation, but in reality, they both know Dorothy enough to know what she will need even when she does not want to let them know what is going on.

While most of this book was pretty serious and intense, there is just no way you can take what happens to Strontium without finding it really funny. Since I got Edward Aubry to respond to one of my reviews before, I'm going to ask a very important question. What was going on in your head when you came up with the whole Strontium situation in this book? The whole book is going on, serious, dangerous, a little humor, serious, and then BAM, Strontium. I'm not complaining, it was great, but how does a mind come up with such things?

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Edward Aubry
Publisher: Curiosity Quills
Publication Date: November 6th 2018

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Sailor Moon

Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 12 (Pretty Soldier Sailor Moon Renewal Edition, #12)Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon, Vol. 12 by Naoko Takeuchi
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This review is for the entire Sailor Moon series.

It doesn't matter how old I get, or how many times I read these books, Sailor Moon is still my happy place. Maybe it comes from being a kid in the 90s, I don't know. Reading the series as an adult does leave me with a few questions, none of which would make me stop reading, but still, I wonder.

Why do half the characters seem to have no parents? It's not even that they are adults and their parents are somewhere else. They are teenagers still going to school and living alone. Also, for those kids living alone, how are they able to buy food and pay rent? I was not mature enough at 14 to be living on my own, forget the fact that in the U.S.A, it is illegal and I would have been taken away. Are things just different in Japan? Maybe kids are just more mature.

How much were Usagi's parents really paying attention to what was going on? That girl would sometimes just not come home, were they not worried? Did they just not question anything?

Oh well, I'm sure some of my questions only arise because of the cultural difference. I still love the series and will continue to read it even with the questions floating around in my head.

And really, for all of Usagi's faults, who wouldn't want to have what she has. Maybe not necessarily the power, but the strength, friendships, relationships, and a talking cat. All of the main characters are great examples for taking control of your life and being the best you can be.

Author: Naoko Takeuchi
Publisher: Kodansha Comics
Publication Date: 2004

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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to be Your Class President

I am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class PresidentI am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I will fully admit, it was the title that first caught my eye. I challenge anyone that says that were not at least a little curious about the book after reading the title. It's not one that easily rolls off the tongue, but it conveys a lot.

While the main character was great, I was constantly left confused. I really don't understand why he acted like he barely understood what was going on around him, or why he was so focused on gaining his father's approval. I think part of the reason he and his father clashed was because of the way he decided to act. Maybe he was just creating his own issues.

For me, the notes to the teacher were the best part. The amount of time invested in playing with the teacher's mind was well spent.

Author: Josh Lieb
Publisher: Razorbill
Publication Date: October 13th 2009

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Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were MadeTimmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

While I'm not sure this series is for me, I did enjoy the word play and think that it is a great read for young readers just starting to get into longer books. The characters all play well off of each other, which helps the story to flow. The fact that there is a polar bear named Total just adds to the humor.

Author: Stephan Pastis
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: 2013

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Monday, February 4, 2019

Belly Up

Belly UpBelly Up by Eva Darrows
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I was really hoping for a great story, but there was such a focus on gender, that the actual story was lost. If it is really important, mention it once, maybe twice. This wasn't really a novel, more of a soap box for the author to state her thoughts on gender. There really just wasn't a whole lot of actual story to review.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Eva Darrows
Publisher: Harlequin TEEN (US & Canada) and Inkyard Press
Publication Date: 30 Apr 2019

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Corner to Corner Crochet

Corner to Corner Crochet: 15 Contemporary C2C ProjectsCorner to Corner Crochet: 15 Contemporary C2C Projects by Jess Coppom
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I've just started to make blankets using the C2C method, so the basics were familiar to me before reading. This book contains not only patterns, but tips and a website that helps you design your own pattern, which is great. Some of the projects seemed a little complicated until I read how to actually do them. The book does a great job of breaking down the process so anyone can follow along.

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Author: Jess Coppom
Publisher: F+W Media
Publication Date: 16 Oct 2018

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