Mistletoe & Magic: A YA Books Central Holiday Anthology…by Melissa A. Craven , C.J. Redwine et al.

Mistletoe & Magic: A YA Books Central Holiday Anthology…by Melissa A. Craven , C.J. Redwine et al.

Cute Christmas anthology of various genres from my fellow YA Book Central reviewers. I discovered some great new authors and got into the holiday spirit. A few of my favorites were: ‘After Checkmate’ by Amalie Jahn, ‘Young Saint Nick’ by Angela Blount, and ‘Choices’ by Patrick Hodges    

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The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization’s Best Bits…by Steve Wiegand, Erik Sass

The Mental Floss History of the World: An Irreverent Romp Through Civilization’s Best Bits…by Steve Wiegand, Erik Sass

This book is a humorous and abridged history of the world. I listened to this as an audiobook. The funny narration is a great way to get a quick rundown of important events in history. The narrator is quirky and does the tongue-in-cheek comments wonderfully.   As with any history compilation, what is included and what is omitted is subjective and this book left lots of important events out. I would have liked more coverage of important recent events such as the Civil War, the World Wars, the Internet Age, etc. These were very glossed over in the book. As with anything done by Mental Floss this is just a fun, quick, look at history and not really an academic read.

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Chasing Kate…by Josephine Parker

Chasing Kate…by Josephine Parker

Kate is attempting  to restart her career as a reputation manager. She does this by taking on a job at Kincaid Industries. Kate’s life is turned upside-down when she meets the heir-apparent to Kincaid Industries, Chase Kincaid.     This is What I Loved:   *I loved that the story took place in Oklahoma. This is a nice change of venue for a setting. I really love when books take place outside the typical novel locations of New York, California, and London.   *I loved that Kate was working hard to rebuild her career after it had come crashing down and she was doing it totally on her own.   *I loved that Chase had a dog. I love pets in stories.   *I loved that there were some steaming scenes but they weren’t the main focus of the story. […]

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The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane…by Kate DiCamillo

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane…by Kate DiCamillo

    Edward Tulane is a distinguished, but vain, china rabbit. Edward’s girl Abilene loves him and he loves her right back. When Edward’s perfect life takes a turn for the worse, he learns there is more to life than trinkets and fine clothes.   I really love Kate DiCamillo. Her book ‘Because of Winn Dixie’ is one of my favorites. I only recently heard of ‘Edward Tulane’.  As soon I found out it is a story about a vain stuffed rabbit, I had to read it.   The people Edward meets along his journey all have hard luck stories. Along Edward’s travels and with every new person he meets, Edward learns a lot about himself and the world around him. He bonds with all the people he travels with and helps fill a void in each and every one of them. In […]

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Love, Life, and the List…by Kasie West

Love, Life, and the List…by Kasie West

Abby’s goal in life is to become a serious artist. Her hope is to get into a special art camp. To carry out this she must put more heart into her work so Abby makes herself a bucket list. Abby is also dealing with an agoraphobic mother, a deployed father, and a growing crush on her best friend Cooper. I have read a couple of Kasie West novels and enjoyed them. They are generally fun, young, romantic, novels. I really enjoyed ‘Lucky in Love’, so I was really excited to read this one. I did enjoy the storyline in general. I loved the idea of experiencing life in order to give yourself a wider perspective.  I just didn’t connect with the characters. Maybe, I’m just too old or maybe I just don’t get the California lifestyle thing. For me Abby and […]

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Evidence of the Affair…by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Evidence of the Affair…by Taylor Jenkins Reid

‘Evidence of the Affair’ is a short story by Taylor Jenkins Reid. It is an Amazon exclusive ebook (If you have Amazon Prime you can check out select books for free including this one). It revolves around David and Carrie and is in an epistolary (letter writing) format. When Carrie finds evidence that her husband is having an affair, she writes to the woman her husband is having the affair with’s husband, David. Carrie and David begin corresponding by mail, sharing their betrayal.   This story begs a few questions. Why are more books not set in the 1970’s? Why don’t I read more short stories? Where has Taylor Jenkins Reid been all my life? I adored ‘The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo’ by Taylor Jenkins Reid. When one of my favorite book tubers talked about ‘ Evidence of the […]

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Holes…by Louis Sachar

Holes…by Louis Sachar

Stanley Yelnats is accused of a crime he did not commit. He is sentenced to a boys camp in the middle of a bone dry desert. The camp is ironically named Camp Green Lake. Day in and day out the boys at the camp must dig holes in the scorching heat for the warden. This story has multiple perspectives. Stanley’s present day and the past of  Stanley’s great-great grandfather as well as the past of Camp Green Lake. ‘Holes’ is much more gritty than the average middle school novel. Its is definitely not all fairies and unicorns. There are some somewhat harsh scenes in the story but they are important part of the book . ‘Holes’ is a story about overcoming adversity and a deep message about good triumphing over evil. As for the cast of characters in the novel they are […]

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Tantalizing Maria…by Helen Hardt

Tantalizing Maria…by Helen Hardt

Maria married her lover’s brother after her lover is sent away to prison. Years later Maria’s husband has died and her lover, Jefferson Bay, is released from prison after he is found innocent.   ‘Tantalizing Maria’ is #7 in the ‘Temptation Saga’. The series is based around different members of an extended family. I have not read any of the other books in the series but this novel can be read as a stand alone. I had never heard of this series (romance isn’t really my thing) but I received this book in a subscription box and it had good ratings so I thought I would give it a shot.   Honestly, I don’t really have a lot to say about this book, so I’m going to make this a mini review.  The POV alternates between Maria and Jefferson’s past […]

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Dying Wish….by Margaret McHeyzer

Dying Wish….by Margaret McHeyzer

Alice is a ballet prodigy. Her best friend Becky has been like sister to Alice since Becky’s mother died. When Alice begins a relationship with Elijah she thinks her life is perfect then she receives devastating news. This novel will make you so emotional. I haven’t ugly cried over a novel since my first read of a Kristian Hannah.  I had no idea that this novel was going to be so gut wrenching. The author really brought to life the feelings of those who are close to someone who that is going through what Alice is going through. Alice as a character really touched me. I really felt that she  is someone who I would know. Becky and Elijah were still really likable for me but I Alice was a real person to me. That being said. I really love […]

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Underwater….by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

Underwater….by Helen Vivienne Fletcher

Bailey has recently lost her parents to a violent crime. She and her younger sister Tilly  are desperately trying to get on with their lives. Their grandmother takes them to a family resort to try to relax and forget about their problems. There Bailey meets a new group friends that will bring out the best and the worst in her.   ‘Underwater’ is the second book I have read in recent months that takes place in New Zealand. I really love this as I don’t know much about New Zealand and it’s a really great setting. I also like that the location for ‘Underwater’ is a family resort. The resort kind of gave me a combination of a ‘Dirty Dancing’ and sleep away camp vibe.    All the characters including Adam, Amber, Jenny, Claire, and Freya are interesting and seemed like […]

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