Category: Books

My True Love Gave to Me…by Stephanie Perkins (editor)

Posted January 22, 2018 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
My True Love Gave to Me…by Stephanie Perkins (editor)

I admit that I’m not a big anthology fan. I find the stories in them are hit and miss. ‘My True Love Gave to Me’ was a choice for one of my on-line book clubs. I thought it would help me to get into the holiday spirit and to acquaint me with  some new authors. I’m really late putting up this review but I loved many of the stories and wanted to talk about which ones I loved and which one I didn’t love.   Midnight: Rainbow Rowell This story features Noël and Mags and their growing relationship every New Years from 2011-2014.  I really liked this one. The premise of just having snippets of a character’s life for several years really made the story enrolling. It was fun piecing together what was going on in the characters life the rest of the year. 4/5 Stars   The Lady and the Fox: Kelly Link This tells about Miranda’s relationship, over several Christmases, with a strange man who appears and disappears. This one left me really confused. I could not figure out what was going on.  I thought the stranger was a Santa type man but turned out he wasn’t and […]

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Tiny Bird’s Shelf: Otis and the Kittens…by Loran Long

Posted January 20, 2018 by thebookr in Books, Reviews, Tiny Bird's Shelf / 0 Comments
Tiny Bird’s Shelf: Otis and the Kittens…by Loran Long

Here at ‘The Book Return’ blog we are excited to announce a new feature called ‘Tiny Bird’s Shelf’. ‘Tiny Bird’s Shelf’ will exclusively feature children’s picture books. My kids and I will read the stories together and let our readers know what we collectively think about the story. When I saw ‘Otis and the Kittens’ on Book Outlet I had to pick it up. ‘The Otis’ series features vibrant illustrations by Loren Long. Part of the magic of the ‘Otis and the Kittens’ is discovering all the fine details of the story displayed in the illustrations. ‘Otis and the Kittens’ features the important themes of safety, family, cooperation, and friendship. My son especially enjoyed the interactions between Otis, the kittens, and the firemen. ‘Otis and the Kittens’ offers a feel good story with wonderful illustrations. It features popular children’s  themes. I mean what’s more awesome then farms, kittens, and fireman.  

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The Rules of Magic… by Alice Hoffman

Posted January 1, 2018 by thebookr in Books, General News, Reviews / 3 Comments
The Rules of Magic… by Alice Hoffman

Franny and Bridget (Jet) along with their brother Vincent are part of the legendary Owen family of witches. Settling in New York city, The Owens kids are far from their Salem roots.  Their mother, Susana, sets up rules to keep her children out of trouble and away from magic. The rules are thrown to the wind when the Owen’s children spend a magical summer with their aunt Isabelle in Salem.   What I Loved         ‘The Rules of Magic’ is the prequel to Hoffman’s popular novel, ‘Practical Magic’. Although I haven’t read ‘Practical Magic’, I was able to understand everything that was going on in ‘The Rules of Magic’. ‘The Rules of Magic’ explains how Franny and Jet became the strange aunts in ‘Practical Magic’. I did love the characters of Franny and Jet as well as their cousin April, and their aunt Isabelle. I also enjoyed getting to know Franny and Jet as young girls in love. The magic system and the Owen’s family powers were simple, easy to understand, and straight forward. This made the story move along quite quickly. . What Left Me Wanting More   I really did not like the character of […]

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Black Friday Book Bonanza

Posted November 23, 2017 by thebookr in Books / 17 Comments
Black Friday Book Bonanza

Welcome to the seventh annual Black Friday Book Bonanza hosted by Kim at Caffeinated Reviewer and Marlene at Reading Reality. It’s a fun way to discover new blogs and to win some great bookish prizes. I’ll be giving away 5 brand spanking new books (they do have remainder marks). This is open to US only.     Love Lies Beneath by Ellen Hopkins, My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick, Where Love Lies by Julie Cohen, White Oleander by Janet Fitch, and The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen             a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Glow…by Megan E. Bryant

Posted November 13, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 1 Comment
Glow…by Megan E. Bryant

‘There’s a certain kind of light that I should have been afraid of all along.’   Radium was discovered by Marie Sklodowska-Curie and her husband Pierre Curie on December 21, 1898. When radium decays it causes luminescence.  With America’s entry into WWI came a need for self-luminous aircraft switches and instrument dials. Marie and Pierre Curie by André Castaigne  Soldiers involved in trench warfare were especially in need of watches that could be seen in complete darkness. The harmful effects of radium were not yet known.    Factories that produced the luminescent dials were set up Orange, New Jersey, Ottawa, Illinois, and Waterbury, Connecticut. These factories employed young girls and women to paint the numbers and hands with radium. Enter the radium girls. Watch hands painted with radium  The painters were instructed to point their paintbrushes between their lips to create finer details on the numbers and hands of the watches. Not surprisingly, soon many of the workers began experiencing sores, anemia, and bone cancer. Radium is treated as calcium by the body and is deposited in the bones. The dial painting companies tried to cover up the adverse effects of radium and insisted that their workers were suffering syphilis (let that sink in for a minute). […]

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That Night…by Cecily Wolfe

Posted October 30, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
That Night…by Cecily Wolfe

‘That Night’ is the story of Kayla and her two best friends Sarah, and Cassidy. Kayla is an honors student and a top-level soccer player. One night Kayla tries heroin at a party and abruptly dies. The rest of the novel is Cassidy and Sarah dealing with the aftermath of Kayla’s death.   What I Loved:  I loved the message of Kayla’s story. Anyone can die from a drug overdose. That those who overdose are not just addicts and junkies. Anyone can fall victims to drugs and teenagers are especially at risk. Another important message of ‘That Night’ is that your bad choices can be dire and don’t just affect just you but everyone around you. Your decisions have the potential to affect your family, your friends, and even your community.   What Left Me Wanting More:  So, first thing is I found the process of the story to be extremely slow. For me there didn’t seem to be a definite plotline. There wasn’t a lot of progress in the story. Most of the book was just what Sarah and Cassidy were feeling about their friend’s death. There was a ton of internal dialogue and,other than Sarah and Cassidy’s fights, […]

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Hard-Hearted Highlander…by Julia London

Posted October 29, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Hard-Hearted Highlander…by Julia London

The Highland Grooms series centers around the Mackenzie clan. Each novel revolves around the relationship of one of the male members of the family. Robbie’s love is killed while he was in exile.  Bernadette is the governess of the women Rabbie’s family has arranged for him to marry. Almost immediately both Rabbie and his intended, Avaline, know that they are not a good match. Avaline is smitten with one of Rabbie’s brothers and Rabbie is drawn to Bernadette. It turns out that  Bernadette has a tragic past of her own. I am not a big romance reader. I can honestly say that I only occasionally read a romances . When ‘Hard-Hearted Highlander’ came as  surprise book mail, I wasn’t sure I was going to read it. ‘Hard-Hearted Highlander’ takes place eighteen century Scotland just after the Jacobite Rebellion . The historical information in ‘Hard-Hearted Highlander’ is amazing. I learned so much about Scottish and English relations during this time period. I also was enthralled by the descriptions of the landscapes of Scotland. (While we were at the  library sale in Gainesville last weekend, I heard two women having a discussion about how much history is covered in many romance novels. If ‘Hard-Hearted […]

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A Penny Lost…by Aspen Bassett

Posted October 8, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 1 Comment
A Penny Lost…by Aspen Bassett

‘A Penny Lost’ is the story of Penelope Grace (Penny) a high school student who can read other’s emotions. Penny feels overshadowed by her identical twin sister, Dinah. She also feels neglected and ignored by her parents. One day Penny sees the sad aura of a home that used to have a  very happy aura. When Penny and Dinah investigate, a machine sucks Penny into a time-traveling universe. Dinah is left behind but Penny is accompanied by the young scientist who invented the machine. What I Loved: I really loved time-travel novels. When they are done correctly, they can be so enthralling. ‘A Penny Lost’ was fast paced and interesting. I also really loved the back story about how they became time travelers. The explanation of the time-traveling universe was simple and easy to follow. One of the issues I had with Alexandra Braken’s  novel’ Passenger’ was how much explanation and world building went on and how little action took place. I also really loved the times that they traveled to and I enjoyed how Penny shaped events that took place in history. I connected with the characters of Penny and Stranger as well as Ricky and his wife. I […]

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Small Great Things…by Jodi Picoult

Posted September 25, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Small Great Things…by Jodi Picoult

  The title comes from a quote from Martin Luther King Jr. “If I cannot do great things, I can do small things in a great way” Ruth is an African-American labor and delivery nurse at a small Connecticut hospital. When a white supremacist bars Ruth from touching his baby, Ruth is put in a no win situation. After the baby dies the hospital uses Ruth as their scapegoat. I absolutely adore Jodi Picoult. One of my top three books of all time is her novel, ‘The Storyteller’. Picoult is also one of my go to authors when I’m in a reading slump. So when I read the synopsis of ‘Small Great Things,’ I knew it would be an engrossing read. The premise of this book is also very timely. The story is told from three points of view: Ruth, Turk (the baby’s white supremacist father), and Kennedy (Ruth’s criminal attorney). Turk’s point of view is filled with such hate soaked and vile behavior that it is very uncomfortable to read. This is done intentionally on Picoult’s part. It gives the reader a no-holds-barred view into Turk’s mind and what he is capable of.  Ruth’s point of view is also potent. It not […]

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Right Where You Left Me…by Calla Devlin

Posted September 23, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Right Where You Left Me…by Calla Devlin

‘Right Where You Left Me’ is the story of Charlotte. Her mother is a Russian immigrate who works in the bakery downstairs from their apartment. Charlotte’s father is a larger than life newspaper reporter who loves to be the first on the ground during natural disasters. At the very begging of ‘Right Where You Left Me’, Charlotte’s father leaves for Ukraine to cover an earthquake. Her father soon becomes missing. Charlotte’s shared experience with her mother of worrying about Charlotte’s father draws them both closer together and further apart. I began reading ‘Right Where You Left Me’ the day before hurricane Irma hit here in Florida. It was an interesting surprise to find out that this story was about someone who covered natural disasters. I loved that this was a fresh topic that hasn’t been touched on much in YA. I think how a family reacts when a member is missing in a faraway place is a very interesting premise to explore. Some of the great elements of this story that I really enjoyed was the details about the baking.  I also thought an important topic that is explored is that Charlotte has to deal with competing with her dead sister. […]

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