Sunday, October 12, 2014

Mini Review:We Were Liars by E. Lockhart

We Were Liars
by E. Lockhart
Genre: YA
Published by: Delacorte Press
Publication date: 5/13/2014
ISBN: 9780385741262
Pages: 227
Format: Hardback
Source: Library






So in case you didn't read my last post, I am posting mini reviews for a little while utill life gets less chaotic. 
Summary from Goodreads:

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
 
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from National Book Award finalist and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart. 

Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.


Mini Review:

This is seriously one of the weirdest YA novels I have read in a long time, however, it was extremely deep and even though I was confused there for awhile in the end it all made sense and I did cry. Even though it did make me cry I really didn't see to much in the book that makes it really stand out, it was a good read but that was about it it didn't really stand out to much.

I Give It:

Thanks for stopping by,
Amy 
The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself. 


This book contributed to the following reading challenges:
I Love Library Books Reading Challenge; Women's Reading Challenge.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Mini Review: Nightmares! by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller

Nightmares!
by Jason Segel & Kirsten Miller
Genre: Children's Middle Grade/Fantasy
Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Publication date: 9/9/2014
ISBN: 9780385384032
Pages: 368
Format: E-book
Source: Library




So I have been super swamped with life lately but luckily I still am able to find time to read but for the next couple reviews, hopefully no more than the next ten, will be mini reviews, no author info, and a very short, mini, book review and rating. From time to time I might have to pull these out instead of a full length review just until life calms down a bit!
Here is my very first mini review,
Thanks for understanding!

Summary from Goodreads


Nightmares!, the first book in a trilogy about a boy named Charlie and a group of kids who must face their fears to save their town. 
 
Sleeping has never been so scary. And now waking up is even worse!
 
Charlie Laird has several problems. 
 
1. His dad married a woman he is sure moonlights as a witch.
2. He had to move into her purple mansion, which is NOT a place you want to find yourself after dark.
3.He can’t remember the last time sleeping wasn’t a nightmarish prospect. Like even a nap. 
 
What Charlie doesn’t know is that his problems are about to get a whole lot more real. Nightmares can ruin a good night’s sleep, but when they start slipping out of your dreams and into the waking world—that’s a line that should never be crossed.
 
And when your worst nightmares start to come true . . . well, that’s something only Charlie can face. And he’s going to need all the help he can get, or it might just be lights-out for Charlie Laird. For good.


Mini Review

Charlie and his friends go on a scary adventure into the land of Nightmares! A good middle grade book because even though there are some scary parts the ending turns out well and most of the monsters are not really evil they are just doing their jobs, like with Monsters, Inc. 

I Give It:


Thanks for stopping by,
Amy

The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself. 

This book contributed to the following reading challenges: I Love Library Books Reading Challenge.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Review: Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole

Letters from Skye
by Jessica Brockmole
Genre: Historical Fiction/Romance
Published by: Ballantine Books
Publication date: 7/9/2013
ISBN: 9780345542618
Pages: 304
Format: E-book
Source: Library






Letter writing is definitely a lost art what with email and cell phones, but even though everyone else thinks letter writing is antiquated I find it to be quite romantic.

Most of the content in the book is presented in letters, there is the correspondence between David Graham and Elspeth Dunn, their correspondence starts in 1912 and continues throughout World War II, and then there is Margaret, Elspeth's daughter, and her fiance/boyfriend, Paul,and their correspondence occurs during World War II. 

Letters seem to project love so much better than a text message or Facebook post ever could, and that is shown throughout David and Elspeth's correspondence with each other. Elspeth is a poet and David wrote her after reading one of her poetry books, what started as a sort of fan letter developed into something more between them, even though Elspeth is married!!

We all have seen romantic movies set during a war, the death, tragedy, conflict, all of it is the perfect contrast to love, making it a great story and Letters from Skye does not disappoint in this regard, it is a wonderful example of historical fiction and I can honestly say this is one of the best historical fiction novels that I have read this year. 

I Give It: 



About the Author


I have been enamored with historical fiction since I was old enough to sit still for bedtime readings of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books. Now, I write stories of my own (and am much better at sitting still).  When not writing, I can be found reviewing historical fiction as part of the Historical Novels Review's editorial team.  I enjoy getting lost in secondhand book stores and sifting through odd bits of ephemera and calling it "research".  



You Can Connect With the Author On:


Thanks for stopping by to see what I've been reading,
Amy

The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself. 

This book contributed to the following reading challenges: I Love Library Books Reading Challenge; Historic Fiction Reading Challenge; Women's Reading Challenge; Historical Fiction Reading Challenge.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

The Abundance of Katherines
by John Green
Genre: YA
Published by: Speak
Publication date: 10/16/2008
ISBN: 9780142410707
Pages: 215
Format: Paperback
Source: Library




Colin Singleton is a genius and he has a thing for Katherines, not Catherines, but Katherines. A little weird but there has been 19 Katherines so Colin's quirk is something that has brought him a lot of heartache. And how does a genius deal with heartache well he analysis it mathematical of course, The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability.

Luckily Colin has a great friend named Hassan who convinces Colin to go on a road trip to put the Katherines behind him, literally and figuratively. Ending up in Gutshot, Tennessee to see the obviously fake gravesite of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, Colin and Hassan meet Lindsey Lee Wells.

Lindsey Lee is smart but she is pretending to be something she is not, a popular small town girl. Lots of weird stuff happens like a wild hog hunt and a cheating boyfriend but the bonds of friendship between Lindsey, Colin and Hassan deepen. Could this be the end of Katherines for Colin?

Again John Green can tell a teens story like no other. Not as good as Looking for Alaska but still wonderfully written and insightful.

I Give It:


About the Author


John Green's first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His next novel, Paper Towns, is a New York Times bestseller and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best YA Mystery. In January 2012, his most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was met with wide critical acclaim, unprecedented in Green's career. The praise included rave reviews in Time Magazine and The New York Times, on NPR, and from award-winning author Markus Zusak. The book also topped the New York Times Children's Paperback Bestseller list for several weeks. Green has also coauthored a book with David Levithan called Will Grayson, Will Grayson, published in 2010. The film rights for all his books, with the exception of Will Grayson Will Grayson, have been optioned to major Hollywood Studios.

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, "Brotherhood 2.0," where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called "The Vlog Brothers," which can be found on the Nerdfighters website, or a direct link here.



You can connect with the author here:




Thanks for stopping in,
Amy


The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself. 

This book contributed to the following reading challenges:
I Love Library Books Reading Challenge.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Review: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Looking for Alaska
by John Green
Genre: YA
Published by: Speak
Publication date: 12/28/2006
ISBN: 9780142402511
Pages: 256
Format: Paperback
Source: Library





I think everyone has wanted to escape or reinvent their teenage life some time or another and that is exactly what Miles Halter, a.k.a Pudge, is hoping will happen when he starts a new school, Culver Creek Boarding School. Pudge has never been popular and his whole public school experience has been dull and lifeless, Pudge wants more.

Quote: {"So this guy", I said, standing in the doorway of the living room. "Francois Rebelais. He was this poet. And his last words were "I go to seek a Great Perhaps." That's why I'm going. So I don't have to wait until I die to start seeking a Great Perhaps."}
-Pg. 5

Pudge is obssessed with people's last words. Which makes him quirky and a little nerdy but it comes off in a cute way. Pudge is the kind of person that you stay friends with forever as he says witty things throughout your life that relates perfectly to what it is that is going on in your life at the moment.

Pudge's new roomate, Chip, a.k.a. the Colonel, is an extremely smart yet mischevious individual who instantly includes Pudge into his circle of friends. Without Chip I don't think Pudge would have survived boarding school. Like any school you have the other kids and then the rich kids. And more so at Culver Creek because each group, the Weekend Warriors, who are the rich kids, and then just the regular boarders, who includes the Colonel and Pudge and of course Alaska, have a huge prank feud going on against each other and the school. Flooding each others rooms and replacing shampoo and hair gel with blue hair dye. Nothing to harmful but still a pain. 

Pranks are played, wine coolers are consumed, there is some making out, some mistakes are made. But for the most part Pudge's experience is just your typical boarding school experience. That is until Alaska dies. Consumed with guilt Colonel and Pudge struggle to find whether Alaska committed suicide or whether it was just an accident.

Full of teenage experiences and the range of emotions that encompass them Looking for Alaska is full of "The Great Perhaps"
Wonderfully written John Green composes the teenage experience like none other!

I Give It:


About the Author

John Green's first novel, Looking for Alaska, won the 2006 Michael L. Printz Award presented by the American Library Association. His second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Award Honor Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. His next novel, Paper Towns, is a New York Times bestseller and won the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Best YA Mystery. In January 2012, his most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, was met with wide critical acclaim, unprecedented in Green's career. The praise included rave reviews in Time Magazine and The New York Times, on NPR, and from award-winning author Markus Zusak. The book also topped the New York Times Children's Paperback Bestseller list for several weeks. Green has also coauthored a book with David Levithan called Will Grayson, Will Grayson, published in 2010. The film rights for all his books, with the exception of Will Grayson Will Grayson, have been optioned to major Hollywood Studios.

In 2007, John and his brother Hank were the hosts of a popular internet blog, "Brotherhood 2.0," where they discussed their lives, books and current events every day for a year except for weekends and holidays. They still keep a video blog, now called "The Vlog Brothers," which can be found on the Nerdfighters website, or a direct link here.




You can connect with the author here:




Thanks for stopping in,
Amy


The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself. 

This book contributed to the following reading challenges:
I Love Library Books Reading Challenge.







Sunday, September 28, 2014

Review: A Beautiful Mess {Happy Handmade Home} by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman

A Beautiful Mess: Happy Handmade Home
by Elsie Larson & Emma Chapman
Genre: Non-Fiction/ Home D.I.Y
Published by: Potter Style
ISBN: 9780770434052
Pages: 240
Format: Review Copy
Source: Blogging for Books





So after the cookbook review I thought I would try my hand at this wonderful home decorating/D.I.Y book by the genius creators of the blog, A Beautiful Mess, Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman.

On their blog Elsie and Emma share tons of wonderful tips, techniques, projects and recipes to their millions of readers showing us how important lifestyle blogs are to our everyday life. I know personally I love the lifestyle/d.i.y. blogs they provide wonderful things, I even got a recipe to make my own laundry detergent from one that I still use years later. 

But on to the books which does not have a recipe to make your own laundry detergent, lol! However, it includes wonderful projects and tips by room to make your home unique, to put your own personal style stamp on it. Most of the projects are relatively easy and low-cost which makes this book even better because not only does it have these great projects and ideas but you can make them work just about around any budget! Elsie and Emma also show us how to throw some parties.

The Contents: (excuse the messy look of the lists it was harder to do than it looks but I wanted you all to get the idea of all that this book contains.)

Living Rooms:                                                                                                       Kitchens:
Highlight a Collection                                                                                            Choose a Statement Piece
DIY Patterned Coffee Table                                                                                   DIY Update your old Refrigerator
DIY Quotable Wall Art                                                                                          Get Organized
Focus on Details                                                                                                     DIY Kitchen Rug
DIY Yarn Throw Pillows                                                                                       Modernize Your Cabinets
Choose Your Color Scheme with Care                                                                  DIY Colorful Accent Art
DIY Hanging Plants                                                                                               Create a Specialty Cart
Design for Your Lifestyle                                                                                      DIY Dream House Recipe Box
Furniture from Found Objects                                                                               DIY Personalized Aprons (2 ways)
DIY Restyled Coffee Table                                                                                   Coffee Mugs 9 Ways 
DIY Make a Statement Wall                                                                                 Celebrate: Cookie Decorating Party
Flower Vases 9 Ways
Celebrate: Birthday Cocktail Party


Dining Rooms:                                                                                                     Studio Spaces: 
Mix Modern and Rustic Elements                                                                         Find the Perfect Place
Create a Restaurant Vibe                                                                                       DIY Make Over a Floor Lamp
DIY Custom Serving Dishes                                                                                 Create a Happy Workspace
DIY Hanging Glass Vases                                                                                     Stash Your Supplies
Be Creative                                                                                                            DIY Update a Flea Market Chair
DIY Simple and Colorful Side Table                                                                    DIY Cross-Stitch Stool
DIY Modern Cake Stands                                                                                     DIY Color Wheel Clock
Cloth Napkins 9 Ways                                                                                          Supply Baskets 9 Ways
Celebrate: host a Happy Dinner Party

Bedrooms:                                                                                                           Outdoor Spaces:
Tips for Lighting                                                                                                  DIY Outdoor Lanterns
DIY Coffee Filter Flowers                                                                                   Rose Garden + Path
DIY Patterned Duvet Cover                                                                                 DIY Herb Garden
The Window Seat                                                                                                 Work with Existing Features
Pops of Color + Texture                                                                                      Setting up for Entertaining
DIY Painted Dresser                                                                                           DIY Picnic Blanket
DIY Scented Candles                                                                                         Terra-Cotta Pots 9 Ways
Keep Scale in Mind                                                                                            Celebrate: Ladies' Backyard Brunch
DIY Wall Art (2 easy ways)
DIY Guest Room Bed Frame
Jewelry Dish 9 Ways

Playrooms:                                                                                                         Small Spaces:
DIY Plush Farm Animals                                                                                   Bathrooms
DIY Kids' Art Gallery Wall                                                                               DIY Colorful Teak Towel Rack
DIY Wagon Bookshelf                                                                                      DIY Bubble Bath Shelf
DIY Playtime Blanket                                                                                       Toothbrush Holder 9 Ways
Throw Pillows 9 Ways                                                                                      Odds and Ends
Celebrate: Kid's Birthday Party                                                                        DIY Colorful Clothing Rack
                                                                                                                          DIY Jewelry Display (2 Ways)
                                                                                                                          DIY Make your own Wallpaper
                                                                                                                          DIY Scarf Curtain
                                                                                                                         DIY Dresser Makeover
                                                                                                                         DIY Bookends
                                                                                                                         Picture Frames 9 Ways


This book is chock full of pictures and tutorial for the diy projects, here is a few pics from the books:




An absolutely gorgeous well put together and informative home decor/D.I.Y resource.

I Give It:


You can find out more about Elsie and Emma and more of their spectacular projects, tips, and techniques on their blog


Thanks for stopping in!
Amy

The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself. 

This book contributed to the following reading challenges: Review Pile Reading Challenge and the Women's Reading Challenge

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Review: The Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg

The Auschwitz Escape
by Joel C. Rosenberg
Genre: Historical Fiction
Published by: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 3/18/2014
ISBN: 9781414336244
Pages: 480
Format: Review Copy
Source: Edelweiss




I always find it so difficult to write a review so long after I have read a book, it is not that I don't remember the story, it is just that after awhile there is a disconnection there, it is like trying to dig through all your memories for one particular moment, so bare with me on this one, please.

Jacob Weisz is a young man and normally that would be all used to sum him up upon first glance, but Jacob finds himself in a moment in history where he is not just a young man, but a young Jewish man. Jacob loves Germany, he is very patriotic for one so young, but he sees the country he loves turn against him and others who do not fit Hitler's ideal of the perfect human. 

Jacob's struggle is your typical fiction Holocaust story, he works for the resistance, is captured in a raid gone bad and finds himself in Auschwitz. A wonderful blend of action and despair, in these moments it was hard to put the book down I had to know that good would eventually triumph over evil in Jacob's life, I had to see if he survives. 

In Auschwitz a French assistant paster Jean-Luc Leclerc enters Jacob's life, he to is in Auschwitz for hiding Jewish families from the Gestapo. Jacob and Jean-Luc both joining a small resistance group that has been formed inside Auschwitz by the prisoners, their main goal is to escape and to inform the world of all the evil things happening not only is Auschwitz but throughout Europe.

Life and death is a central theme throughout the book and really shows the struggles and unselfishness of people who are willing to stand up to this evil and not just give in. 

There is a little romance, lots of edge of your seat action, and a huge showing of that thing we call humanity, but there are atrocities that go beyond human understanding, that tear at your heart and soul. Yes I cried during some parts, I cringed, I was ticked off, Rosenberg tore emotions out of me for his characters and their situation with his words.

I Give It:



About the Author


Joel C. Rosenberg is the founder of The Joshua Fund and the New York Times best-selling author of THE LAST JIHAD (2002), THE LAST DAYS (2003), THE EZEKIEL OPTION (2005), THE COPPER SCROLL (2006), EPICENTER (2006) and DEAD HEAT (2008) with more than 1.5 million copies in print. THE EZEKIEL OPTION was named by the ECPA as the Gold Medallion winner of the "Best Novel of 2006." Joel, an evangelical Christian whose mother is Gentile and whose father is from an Orthodox Jewish background, previously worked with several U.S. and Israeli leaders, including Steve Forbes, former Israeli Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky, and former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. He has been interviewed on hundreds of radio and TV shows.
He and his wife have four sons and live near Washington, DC.


You can connect with the author here at his website and also at the following: 


 



Some Extras:


The Book Trailer:





Joel talks about the Holocaust from Auschwitz





Joel walks you through Auschwitz







I hope this gives you a glimpse into this extraordinary book so that you may want to pick it up and discover what else is inside!
Thanks for stopping by,
Amy

The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself. 

This book contributed to the following reading challenges:
Review Pile Reading Challenge; Historic Fiction Reading Challenge; Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge; and Historical Fiction Reading Challenge. 


Friday, September 26, 2014

Review: Imagine (How Creativity Works) by Jonah Lehrer

Imagine
How Creativity Works
by Jonah Lehrer
Genre: Non-Fiction/Psychology
Published by: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 3/19/2012
ISBN: 9780547386072
Pages: 279
Format: Hardback
Source: Library




Imagine is an in depth look into creativity and how it seems that some of us are more creative than others. The book goes into great detail about various studies about creativity and their results without being boring and quickly shows how certain brain waves, areas of the brain, and different techniques not only show creativity but that they can make a person more creative, that you can change your mind into that of a creative person.

A look at different creative people and the ways that drug and alcohol use made them more creative was a particularly interesting part of the story, almost like a tattler magazine. But the stories about Google and Pixar and the way that the whole environment from the layout to their work schedules promotes so much creativity.

The book is broken into two parts: the creativity of the individual and the creativity of a group. I didn't focus to much attention on the creativity of a group part of the book but it was still chock full of ideas of how to promote and create creativity in groups of people. The individual creativity I found so interesting it is amazing how the brain works in regards to creativity and how you can retrain the brain to be more creative.

If you are looking for more creativity in your life and would like to understand how creativity works than this is the book for you!

Side note: I learned later that some of the Bob Dylan quotes in this books were fabricated to read more about this go to: My Apology

I Give It:


About the Author



Jonah Lehrer is a contributing editor at Wired and a frequent contributor to The New Yorker. He writes the "Head Case" column for the Wall Street Journal and regularly appears on WNYC's Radiolab. His writing has also appeared in Nature, the New York Times Magazine, Scientific American, and Outside. The author of two previous books, Proust Was a Neuroscientist and How We Decide, he graduated from Columbia University and attended Oxford as a Rhodes scholar.

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Thanks for stopping by,
Amy 

The books reviewed here have either been sent to me free of charge, or borrowed from my sister or the library, or they were bought (it is an addiction really). However, my reviews have never been, nor will ever be, affected by whether a book’s a freebie or not. A review is just one person’s opinion. It’s always best to check out a book for yourself. 

This book contributed to the following reading challenges: I Love Library Books Reading Challenge.