Category: Books

The Book That Made Me…by Judith Ridge (Editor) et al

Posted July 31, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Book That Made Me…by Judith Ridge (Editor) et al

‘The Book That Made Me’ is an anthology by several authors that tells about a book that influenced their life. ‘The Book That Made Me’ gives us a chance to  look inside the authors’ mind and how they first became inspired to write. I am not usually big on anthologies. I’m a cover to cover reader and I don’t like to skip stories (even if I don’t enjoy them). I find that with most anthologies there are stories/essays I love,  a few that are ok, and ones I just don’t enjoy. This was the case with the ‘The Book That Made Me’. When I started reading I noticed that I only recognized two authors, Markus Zusak author of ‘The Book Thief’ and Jaclyn Moriarty (whose sister Liane wrote ‘Big Little Lies’). After a couple of essays, I realized why. All the authors are either Australian or New Zealanders.  Because of this I didn’t recognize most of the books that inspired the authors. This left me disconnected from many of the stories. There were several stories that were inspirational and that I really did love. For example, Cathy Cassidy’s story about her love of ‘Watership Down’. Will Kostakis’ story of how not liking ‘Hatchet’ inspired […]

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Beneath the Skin…by Kyla Stone

Posted July 28, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Beneath the Skin…by Kyla Stone

Sidney Shaw has a terrible home life. Her former best friend now torments her. She covers up the pain by pushing people away. She also cuts herself. Sidney does everything she can to protect her little brothers. When that means Sidney strikes a boy who was bullying her brother at school, there are consequences. She now has to start group therapy with one of her school’s popular girls, Adriana. First off, this book has some big trigger points. For example self-mutilation, eating disorders, sexual abuse. Each of this things are important topics that affect many teens today. I thought that the author handled each of those topics well. They were each approach slowly and were woven into the tapestry of the storyline. This took away some of the shock factor that these trigger points could have invoked. Sidney as a character was very complex and relatable but very human. She did everything she could to fix things for herself and her family but often came up short. My favorite character was Lucas. He pulled Sidney out of her shell and helped her see the light at the end of the tunnel. I did like Adriana but I felt like maybe the insta-friendship between her […]

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The Unlikelies…by Carrie Firestone

Posted July 27, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Unlikelies…by Carrie Firestone

Sadie is doing all she can to make it through a boring. Her main claim to fame is that her father, Woody,  is the local ice cream man. Then one day, while  working at the local farmers market, she saves a baby in distress. Sadie then gains local celebrity fame. She’s  invited to a local community service awards event. At the event her and the other four honorees(Jean, Gordie, Alice, and Val) decide to do good deeds for those in the community. They call themselves ‘The Unlikelies.’ They do this by spreading anti-trolling messages on social media and giving out cute care package. The main thing I loved about this book is the positive message it sends. That it’s important to be kind. Doing something small can change someones day. Another thing that I really enjoyed was the  subtle humor. This helped to lighten the mood of the book. The diversity was well done in ‘The Unlikelies’. Jean is Haitian, Val is Hispanic, and Sadie is half Persian. This really added another dimension to the story. The fact that all the kids came from different backgrounds but came together to ‘do good deeds’ really underscored the positive tone of the book. The only […]

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Lucky in Love…by Kasie West

Posted July 24, 2017 by thebookr in Book Tours, Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Lucky in Love…by Kasie West

 Maddie leads a normal teenage life. The only exception is her family’s money problems. So when Maddie unexpectedly wins the lottery, she thinks her problems are solved. OMG, I have all of Kasie West’s books but this is the first one I actually read. I am drawn to books about lottery winners so I was pretty sure I was going to like ‘Lucky in Love’ but I Loved it. The story was just so good. One of the things that stood out for me was how Maddie handled everything. I think it would have been easy, since Maddie was a good student and good person, to make her above splurging and using money for crazy things. However, West made Maddie true to life. Any teenager who won that much money would surely go a little crazy. I also liked how Maddie’s parents and brother were portrayed as good people but they still had  issues. They relied on Maddie emotionally and then monetarily too much. I also thought it was important that those around Maddie began to treat her  differently once she won a lot of money.People with money and/or celebrity are treated differently in our society. That’s just how it is. Now lets […]

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The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter… by Theodora Goss

Posted July 7, 2017 by thebookr in Book Tours, Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter… by Theodora Goss

‘The Strange Case of the Alchemist’s Daughter’ follows, Mary Jekyll. Mary is Dr. Jekyll’s daughter (of Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde). She decides to explore her father’s mysterious past. I found this concept totally enthralling. Taking the story of ‘Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hyde’ and expanding on it.  It  also added well-known literary characters along the way, such as the daughters of Dr. Moreau and Rappaccini. Even though the characters were not original to the story, I loved the unique spin that Goss gave them. I kept wondering which charter would be introduced next. It also made me want to read the classic novels that ‘TSCotAD’ is based on. I did like most of  the characters. I didn’t like the character of Sherlock homes in this book. I felt like he was just a catalyst to involve the girls in a murder investigation. Also, the whole thing with Justine’s story seemed forced. Like the author was forcing an alternate story then what was originally written by Mary Shelley in ‘Frankenstein’ . I loved the overall feeling of the story. Gothic and a bit dark without being too scary. Very Penny dreadful like. I’m didn’t really like the future dialogue that was interjected into the story-line. It […]

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The Disappearances…by Emily Bain Murphy-Blog Tour

Posted July 2, 2017 by thebookr in Book Tours, Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
The Disappearances…by Emily Bain Murphy-Blog Tour

WWII is in full force. Aila and Miles’ mother has just died. When their father is drafted, they have no choice but to stay with their mother’s childhood friend. Once there they realize things in the town of Sterling are different. Magical realism is a genre that is very hard to execute well. If it is done correctly it opens the door to a whole new world. Done incorrectly the story just seems silly. The ‘Disappearance’ is done so amazingly well that I was entirely enthralled. The story painted vivid pictures in my mind. The scenes are unbelievably detained and brought you into Aila’s world. I was extremely excited to realize that ‘The Disappearances’ is set in the 1940’s. A time without cell phones, computers, the internet, or even tv. The setting helps to highlight just how out-of-place the ‘disappearances’ are. The time frame also shows how much was sacrificed by everyone during WWII and what a time of uncertainty it was. The characters of Aila and Miles juxtaposed each other perfectly and I connected with Aila right away. Dr. and Mrs. Cliffton were quirky and fit well with the storyline. Another element that added a lot to the story is […]

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Sarah…by Teri Polen

Posted June 26, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Sarah…by Teri Polen

Cain, his mother, and sister move into a new house after Cain’s father dies. Right away Cain realizes that strange things are going on in the attic. He soon finds out that it has something to do with the disappearance of Sarah, a student at his high school. I haven’t read any horror novels but have a few on my TBR, so I thought this one would be a good one to start with since it is kind of mix of YA contemporary and horror. What I Loved I loved the character of Finn. He was funny and blunt and was a good balance for the easy-going Cain. I also loved that Cain had a cat named Eby. I like when authors include pets in the story line. It adds a touch of realism to the stories. I also loved how the story started out as just mildly scary and became more and more intense as it went along.  I think the story of what happened to Sarah and how she came to haunt the house was done well and kept my interest. The conclusion was satisfying  with just a hint of twist at the end. What Left Me Wanting More […]

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Em & Em…by Linda Budzinski

Posted June 26, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
Em & Em…by Linda Budzinski

Emily is witness to a terrible crime. When Emily is threatened, her and her family must enter the witness protection program. Her ideal life is than turned upside down. What I Loved ‘Em & Em’ was a sweet contemporary romance with a twist. There are back and forth POV’s with Emily aka Ember. The first POV leads up to her witnessing a crime. The second POV is her life as ‘Ember’ after she enters into the witness protection program.  I enjoyed reading both the past POV and the current POV. The character of Emily aka Ember was very fleshed out. She was strong, smart, and talented (she is an amateur photographer). Her friend Clare was also interesting. She could have  easily been the typical cheerleader but instead became a good friend to Ember. I did also love Charles but he did come across as a little too sweet too and perfect. What Left Me Wanting More I didn’t really buy that Emily and her whole family had to go into hiding because she was testifying against highschool football players. It kind of felt forced that she was that terrified of them. Emily’s boyfriend from home, Zach, seemed to be a not very nice guy. I kept […]

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Beartown…by Fredrik Backman

Posted June 25, 2017 by thebookr in Books / 0 Comments
Beartown…by Fredrik Backman

On the surface, ‘Beartown’ is about a small town and it’s love of hockey. Their greatest hope is that their junior team will win the  junior hockey championship. The championship, the hockey club, and  Beartown it’s self is put in peril when a defining event splits the town. It’s no secret that I am a huge fan of Fredrik Backman. When I heard Backman was writing a new book I couldn’t wait to read it. Than I found out it centers on hockey. A lot of hockey. Something I don’t know much about. Once I got into the story, I quickly realized that the story was not about hockey at all. It’s about people. Lots of deeply complicated people. Bachman created some of the most fleshed out characters I have seen a long time. Most people do not fall into the entirely good or entirely bad category. These well-defined ‘human’ personalities are hard to truly capture in a novel. Bachman is a master at it. An example of this can be seen in David. He was an excellent coach and friend but was still human and didn’t always know how to react. Romana was one of my favorite character. I think […]

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If We Where a Movie…by Kelly Oram

Posted June 7, 2017 by thebookr in Books, Reviews / 0 Comments
If We Where a Movie…by Kelly Oram

‘If We Were a Movie’ tells the story of ‘Nat’. ‘Nat’ is a triplet and struggles to have individuality from his brothers. Nat applies and is accepted to the NYU music program. The novel begins with Nat’s brothers inadvertently destroying his laptop along with his school project. Soon after this happens the character of ‘Pearl’ is introduced. She is an intricate part of the story and is the common thread thought the ‘Power of the Matchmaker’ series. She in turn introduces Nat to Jordan who ends up becoming his roommate and friend. Jordan is as obsessed with movies as Nat is with music. As the mother of twins I can identify with Nat and how being a multiple can be both a good and a bad thing. I was excited to read a book that touched on the subject of a multiple struggling to have individuality. Nat really has a hard time with loving his brothers and wanting to spend time with them while still wanting to do his own thing. I liked the character of ‘Jordan’. She seemed quirky and cute even though a few times she seem to flaunt her families’ money. The charter of ‘Sofie’, Nate’s girlfriend,  is portrayed as self-centered […]

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