Wednesday, February 29, 2012

The Embittered Ruby

Title: The Embittered Ruby
Publisher: Barbour
Pub Date: April 1st 2012
Author: Nicole O'Dell
Received From: NetGalley

The Embittered Ruby

Sixteen-year-old Carmen Castillo desperately wants her parents to restore their marriage so she can return to her once-lavish life. But when her dad lets his new girlfriend turn Carmen’s bedroom in a dressing room, her last bit of faith in her parents—and in God—shatters. Her only hope is to create a family of her own with Nate (no matter that his political family finds her ethnicity distasteful). When that plan fails, Carmen packs up her resentment and anger and heads to Diamond Estates, seeking healing for her embittered soul. Concluding there is no such thing as ruby slippers, Carmen wonders if she’ll ever find the happiness and wholeness her heart longs for.

Once upon a time I was a teenager, it hasn't been so long ago that I forgot some of those feelings. Like Carmen I was a child of divorce, my life changed at that moment as did the life of Carmen. Loosing the things that you know as your life, your home, family, school and for Carmen. Tennis can make it difficult to see clearly. Those losses are what drove Carmen to the first mistake she made. It is not surprising that this first mistake lead her on a pretty typical path of one thing to the next compounded until it spiraled out of control.

I was intrigued by the Manliness of a young Nate. Who stood up in some tough situations and was willing to not only make things work but forgive when necessary! When Carmen finally makes the decision to make things better I saw a peace in her I wasn't even expecting. The author helped the character go beyond a 180 turn of attitude. I was pleasantly surprised by this. I found the "realness" of each of the teenage characters so very refreshing and enjoyed learning about their lives! Once I finished this book I found out it was a series, I cannot wait to read the first book "The Wishing Pearl" and I'll be waiting quite impatiently for the next one as well! 


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bittersweet Summer

Title: Bittersweet Summer
Publisher: Albert Whitman & Company
Pub Date: March 1st 2012
Author: Ann Warren Smith
Received From: NetGalley 

Bittersweet Summer

It's a strange summer for Katie Jordan.
Her neighbor Claire is scheming again.
Her best friend is away.
Her dad says they might have to move.
And on top of everything, her mom's country music show is coming to town.
This funny, tender novel about friendships, family, and changing lives is a sequel to Turkey Monster Thanksgiving and Tails of Spring Break.

(C's Review) I really liked Katie's story, her mom sounds very cool but I find it sad that she isn't living with her and her dad and brother. Her two friends are very different. Claire seems awful bossy. I really liked the dog that smiled too. I think this book was very good and I want to read the other stories about Katie. 

(Mom's Thoughts) What a cute story, with some really great themes, We looked at different types of families, one who lost a parent, one who had a parent leave to promote a career. I think this was a great way to help readers see that there are so many different types of families. One of the themes throughout the book was of the girls attempting to find a new mother. I thought that was really open, honest and would be a great read for a girl in that situation!


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Gentleman Prefer Nerds

Title: Gentleman Prefer Nerds
Publisher: Carina  Press
Pub Date: March 12th 2012
Author: Joan Kilby
Received From: NetGalley

Gentlemen Prefer Nerds

Self-professed nerd Maddie Maloney is an expert on jewels. Jewel thieves are another matter entirely! So when a mysterious Englishman warns her that a thief known as The Chameleon is after the rare pink diamond on display in her aunt's shop, she tells herself it's just a joke. Even if she can't get Mr. Tall, Dark and Handsome out of her mind...
But Fabian Montgomery doesn't give up easily. He's everywhere she goes, convinced the thief will strike. And when the diamond does go missing-and Maddie is suspected of stealing it-he whisks her away from the police and together they pursue The Chameleon.
Fabian plunges her into a glamorous world far from her humble workshop and transforms geeky Maddie into a sophisticated siren capable of espionage. Her mission: to seduce The Chameleon and steal back the diamond.
But Fabian isn't telling her everything-like who he works for, and why he's so interested in The Chameleon...

Twist and turns, jewels, romance and running from the law, really what is not to love in this story. The set up for the tale in Gentlemen Prefer Nerds is a cute one. We can all benefit from a little bit of passion, high drama and catching the bad guy once and for all! 

 But I found parts of the story to be a little bit hard to read. I was intrigued by the mystery, and the relationship between Maddie and her father, whom she calls by first name. But the romantic side of this book was a little flat for my tastes. There were some great parts in here like the descriptions of things that happen to Maddie as she and Fabian hunt for the Diamond, I just wish I had a little more to consider in their romance. 


Friday, February 24, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday (3)

I am so excited to participate in another one of these. Last week I managed to get through like 1/5th of the participating blogs, I have loved reading them this week!!

Q: Activity!!! Take a picture or describe where you love to read the most…

A: I love to read in my big chair by the window but more days than not I read in bed as I am trying to fall asleep! My dream though is to have a big window seat to read in!!!


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Chicken, Pig, Cow's First Fight

Title: Chicken, Pig, Cow's First Fight
Publisher: Annick Press
Pub Date: February 1st 2012
Author: Ruth Ohi
Received From: NetGalley
Chicken, Pig, Cow's First Fight

Even best friends can have a fight.
Chicken, Pig, and Cow have always gotten along well-until the day Girl builds a big city out of blocks. Thinking something is missing, Chicken makes a leaf statue. Now the city is perfect.

Pig loves zipping and zooming around the city. Chicken warns him to be careful, but Pig is having too much fun to listen. Then the inevitable happens: Pig zooms right into Chicken's statue, destroying it. Chicken is furious! Pig's attempts to fix the statue only make matters worse. In the end, he demolishes the entire city. Realizing what a mess he's made, Pig hides while Chicken, Cow, and Dog rebuild the city. After a nap, Pig feels better and returns to apologize to his friends. They forgive him and invite him to join them in putting the finishing touches on the city.

(C's Review) This book is cute for a little kid like my sister, it is the story of being good friends and being good friends is very important. Sometimes I have been a bad friend and have to help clean things up too, but mostly I am like cow. I try to be a good friend and play nicely with my friends!

(Mom's thoughts) This book is a very great lesson, the line "You are a good friend who was in a bad mood", is a very moving and telling line in this book. The animals are all playing together when one of their moods changes the day. Luckily the friends are able to help one another over come the bad mood and mend fences! It is really appropriate for the age group this book is set for to learn lessons of friendship.I would recommend this for all small kids, as learning friendship lessons is so important!


Friday, February 17, 2012

Feature and Follow Friday (2)

Welcome to my second Feature and Follow Friday! I cannot wait to find new book blog to read and check out!!

Gain New Blog Followers

Q: I like unique names for characters and am looking forward to coming up with some when I start writing. What's the most unique character name you've come across?

A. Oh well there are a lot of character names out there that are intriguing. I came across a strong man I loved in a romance once and his name was Regulas.  He was written so well it didn't bother me!


Thursday, February 16, 2012

It's A Big World, Little Pig!

Title: It's A Big World, Little Pig!
Publisher: SourceBooks
Pub Date: March 1st 2012
Author: Kristy Yamaguichi
Received From: NetGalley

It's a Big World, Little Pig!

In It's a Big World, Little Pig!, Poppy, the adorable, persistent, dreaming-big pig, has a new adventure in store for her-the World Games ice skating championship in Paris!

Poppy is nervous about meeting so many new people in a new place. But, ever courageous and supported by her family (and best friend Emma, too!), Poppy embarks upon this exciting adventure head on. She meets a snowboarding Panda, a Maltese who skies, and two fellow skaters, a Crane and a Kangaroo.

Poppy begins to realize that although these animals look different, act different, and are from different places, they are all the same at heart. They all smile in the same language!

C's Review- I liked this book a bunch bunch bunch. It is a double thumbs up. The pictures are really good. Poppy traveled around the big world made a lot of friends and became a famous ice skater. I liked how all her friends were nervous too but they smiled to make it better.

Mom's Thoughts- This is a very cute kids book, with great illustrations, a great story line and some hidden education, which I love! The tale of Poppy the pig and her travels to Ice Skate in a competition is filled with good heart warming friends she meets there and how the communicate and find things in common with one another. What a great lesson to children about finding common ground. Integrated throughout each friendship is one word in another language! I love that, we've read many childrens books that teach us one word in many languages, I really like this different approach! 


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Gabbys Stick to it Day

Title: Gabbys Stick to it Day
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pub Date: March 6tht 2012
Author: Sheila Walsh
Received From: NetGalley

Gabby's Stick-to-It Day

Our favorite little angel is back with more giggles, more fun, and an important message for little girlsdon’t give up when things get hard.
Gabby is a little guardian angel with a big job to do! Watching over Sophie is hard work, but Gabby knows that God wants her to stick to it.
Gabby, God’s Little Angel, flies to the rescue as Sophie attempts to help others but has a little trouble sticking with things. Sophie tries to be helpful by washing the family dog for her mom, but she gives up when she’s the one who ends up all wet. She then tries to be kind by reading to her little brother, but he has plans of his own, which include a splash of cereal right in Sophie’s face! When Sophie is ready to quit once again, it’s up to Gabby to encourage her to keep trying and to teach her what the Bible says about perseverance: “We must not become tired of doing good. We will receive our harvest of eternal life at the right time if we do not give up.” (Galatians 6:9 NCV)

(C's Review) I liked this book because I like to think of Angels watching over me. I have a little sister and she too doesn't always listen to me. But she never throws food at me. I should stick with things till they are done too!

(Mom's Thoughts) I really liked the message in this book. We try to teach our children to see even the hard things through. It is a very important lesson for children. I also really like the guardian angel aspect of the book! All in all it is a really cute fun read!


Monday, February 13, 2012

Slither Slide What's Outside

Title: Slither Slide What's Outside
Publisher: Anick Press
Pub Date: February 1st 2012
Author: Nora Hilb and Sheryl & Simon Shapiro
Received From: NetGalley

Slither Slide, What's Outside?

"Slosh from the big one into the small. Whooshing and slooshing-your own waterfall."
When young children observe the natural world, what do they see? Very often, it's an inspiration for creative play. As in Nora Hilb's previous book, WIGGLE GIGGLE TICKLE TRAIN, 13 vibrant spreads show how children use the world around them to come up with ideas for play. Striking real-life photographs of waterfalls, worms, and wintry roads are juxtaposed with lively drawings to reveal a child's own inventive interpretation. Short bursts of action-packed poetry encourage preschoolers to identify patterning in text and the sounds associated with ideas.

The sight of a beautiful rainbow is reflected in multihued crayons as two children create their own masterpieces. The sound of noisy geese flying south sets the stage for a concert with bugle and horn. And imitating a frog leads to a game of jumping over logs. 

(C's review) I kind of liked this book, It was about weather and seasons and animals. I didn't like some of the pictures, they looked like drawings and real pictures. I think they should include the kids names so it is more like a story. Like when you read other books you know the kids names. my favorite picture was the where they are scraping the snow. I really like the snow!

(Mom's Comments) I thought that was a really cute book, it is a bit young for a first grader, but would be a great read for a 3-4 year old, and really good for learning about the flow of nature and seasons. It was a bit confusing to go from illustrations to photographs. But at least the alignment of them was clear!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Slipping Reality

Title: Slipping Reality
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Pub Date: July 14th 2011
Author: Emily Beaver
Received From: NetGalley 

Slipping Reality

In a time of hardship and heartbreak, sometimes, reality just isn't enough. Slipping Reality is the story of fourteen-year-old Katelyn Emerson, who, when faced with the glaring reality of her brother's illness, rebels against the truth by slipping away into the depths of her own imagination. There, she finds the kind of support and comfort she feels she deserves. There, she does not have to feel so alone. And yet, as Katelyn's grasp on reality begins to unravel, so too does the story of a girl who grew up too fast and fell apart too soon. Emily Beaver's debut novel is a coming of age story that deals with the trials of young grief, insight, and growth where it's least expected.

WOW, this was one interesting book. I have often found myself daydreaming about how things in my life might be different, relationships when I was younger. Marriage and parenthood when that time came etc. But I've never seen it quite like Emily Beaver describes it. The depth of characters in the book is so intriguing. I felt for Katelyn with the life at home concentrating on her brother and his illness. I understood the bond of friendship she shared with each of the friends she had in her life, Lauren, Tristan and Cedric.  The description of the book mentions that the main character grew up to fast and fell apart too soon, I would agree on the growing up but having lived through some loss in my life I never felt like she fell apart, I just felt like she was living the best that she could!I was ultimately drawn to one side of the life of Katelyn more than the other. I don't want to give away too much but I will say this is a must read book! The best news it is already out so you don't have to wait to get your hands on it!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Seattle Cinderella

Title: Seattle Cinderella
Publisher: Barbour
Pub Date: March 1st 2012
Author: Gail Sattler
Received From: NetGalley

Seattle Cinderella

A modern Cinderella and her cohorts are enchanted by love in Seattle. Cindy is forced into running her late father’s muffler shop and employing horrid step-sisters, Annie and Zella. Can she garner the emotional energy needed to protect her heart against Luke’s princely charms? Annie Wilson’s past misdeeds have tarnished her reputation. Can she prove to herself and Brent that she’s a changed woman? Zella is busy writing her own life story. Will it involve murder or romance? Farrah, Cindy’s godmother, has caught a younger man’s eye. How long can she deter his advances? Will God make these couples’ dreams come true?

This book surprised me by being four different stories in one book. I enjoyed the continuation of each story into the next. The first book is the modern day Cinderella story, with the next two books being the tales of step-sister turned friend and all around good person. the final tale is the "fairy godmother" finding her happily ever after. Each book had a good arc of characters, good romance and endings that made me smile. Being broken into four tales made this book easy to read and fun. I'd consider this a great read for all lovers of fairy tales, modern romance and enjoyment!


Thursday, February 2, 2012

Birthday Suit

Title: Birthday Suit
Publisher: Anick Press
Pub Date: February 1st 2012
Author: Olive Senior
Received From: NetGalley

Birthday Suit

Naked is best!
Johnny loves nothing better than splashing in the ocean waves-naked. But Mom says now that he's four he's too old to run around without clothes on. She even buys him a pair of overalls with genuine 100 percent child-proof snap fasteners! But they're no match for Johnny as he wriggles out of them.

Johnny's father explains that big boys wear clothes. Doesn't he want to be big like Dad? As Johnny gazes up, he decides that wearing clothes may be a small price to pay to reach such heights.

Everyone is happy as Johnny practices putting on his clothes. And now when he runs into the ocean, he makes sure to take his red swimsuit-but that doesn't necessarily mean he'll always wear it! 

(C's Comments) I can't say much about this book it was a really quick book. I think four year olds should wear clothes. Kinda looked like he lived in a fun place I would like to live by the ocean, not much pink in the pictures!

(Mom's Comments) This is a cute little story of a four year old boy who doesn't want to wear any clothes. He lives near a beach and is often in the ocean. He eventually learns that wearing clothing is not so bad, through a discussion with his dad. The story line and alliteration are fun, the illustrations could be a bit more bold! I am a bit perplexed at his age, four seems awful old to be naked in public. But it is a cute story and might be helpfully for a family with a semi nudist child on their hands!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Kylie Jean Dancing Queen

Title: Kylie Jean Dancing Queen
Publisher: Capstone
Pub Date: February 1st  2012
Author: Marci Peschke
Received From: NetGalley 

Dancing Queen

Kylie Jean wants to dance the main role in Swan Lake. For ages 6-8.
Part of the Kylie Jean series. From dancing to spelling, third grader Kylie Jean wants to be the queen of everything! But in her quest to be the best, this young southern belle learns a few lessons of her own. Mischievous, delightful and fun, this series will be at the top of every young girl's list!

(Reviewed by C) I thought it was kind of sad that she didn't get to be the swan queen. Because she wasn't the best at the queen yet. I thought it was happy too because of how her brother helped out to be the prince which made her kind of a queen but she really wasn't it. It is like my ballet class cause we get parts in a play too. I really liked it when they went to see Cinderella. Her dog is also funny his name is Ugly brother. If there were other books aout Kylie Jean I would read them too and I bet they are going to make more.( Mom's note yep it's a series we'll be getting more)

(Mom's Comments) I was very impressed with this book, it's what I'd consider an early chapter book. But the story was really very easy to follow, the illustrations were simple and told the point and the best part of the book for me was the family values! This was a very cute read and a new series for us, I can't wait to dig in to more of these books with C.