Thursday, 22 June 2017

The D.B. List. Rebekah L. Purdy. A Review.

Title: The D.B. List
Author: Rebekah L. Purdy
Genre: YA Romance
Seventeen-year-old Ellie Gebhardt has spent the last three years of high school in psychotherapy, trying to fix a very broken her. And her shrink (or therapist as she likes to be called) seems to think that in order to totally heal, she needs to recognize all the good and bad things that have led her to this point. As if a trip down memory lane will suddenly make her better. She’s given a “homework” assignment to create two lists. One with nothing but happy memories and thoughts on it (otherwise known as the ‘happy rainbow farting unicorns list’). And the other with everything negative that Ellie thinks contributed to “the” day she could no longer cope. So begins Ellie’s Douche Bag list (or D.B. List for short). And once she gets started, it’s hard to stop remembering all the jerks, the petty crap, the times she’d been bullied or the main focus of the rumor mill. So when nice guy, Ky Laramie, walks into her life, Ellie instantly puts her shields up. But as she gets to know him and his family, she wonders if she can dare to put herself out there again. Because as everyone knows, once a candle is lit, the wind can always blow it out. And Ellie couldn’t handle it if Ky ends up atop of the D.B. List.

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Author Bio

I was born and raised in Michigan (just look for the giant mitten on the map—it’ll likely throw a snowball at you). I spent most of my time in Michigan, but while in the army got to call KS, SC, MO, and CA home for awhile as well. As a kid my family moved around a lot. Try spending both your freshman and senior years at new schools (yeah, loads of fun). I could’ve changed my name to “new girl”. I love writing for teens because those are the years I remember falling in love with most of my favorite books. Some of the authors I couldn’t put down were L.J. Smith, Christopher Pike, R.L. Stine, Richie Tankersley Cusick, Joan Lowery Nixon, Lois Duncan, amongst several others. My husband and I have a large family. There are six kids total! So we have LOTS of fun on vacations (although hours on the road, cooped up in the Expedition is kind of stressful—although we pass the time with MAD LIBS and hoping no one gets carsick).


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Ellie, who is on a psych ward after attempting suicide, has been instructed by Therapist Angel to write two lists. One for good memories, which Ellie names the Happy Rainbow Farting Unicorn list, and the bad memories, The Douche Bag list. 

If anything this book shows the pressure children are put under to follow in the path of their parents, and in turn are unable to confide in their parents, and so children struggle with navigating teenage relationships, and friendships. That boys, in particular, don't stop when they are told to during sexual intercourse, and then spread rumours, confusing rumours too about, in this case Ellie's, virginity, and she then has the reputation of being easy. It is a sad look at our society, and something that needs to be spoken of, as well as the other themes of this book: Suicide, self-harm, and schizophrenia.

Ellie is a great character, we really get to know her through her memories, and present day friendships with PJ, in the ward, and Rhett. 

I whizzed through this book. One I would recommend for those that liked Thirteen Reasons Why. 


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Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Book Review. Wonder. R. J. Palacio.

Genre Young Adult 
My Rating ✏✏✏✏

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I don't like the title of this book, but I did like the realistic look into the lives of an array of teenagers, all with their own personal problems. I did also like that this didn't descend into August being bullied, or is miserable in school, and distances himself from his family. There wasn't a major romance part played either, which tends to be a fixture in young adult novels.
August had never been to school before, but having had numerous surgeries on his face, it is going to be more difficult for him to fit in.
I liked The Cheese Touch chapter. I was shocked by the thought that people wouldn't touch August purely because of what he looks like.
The part where he overhears classmates talking about August, 'If I looked like him, seriously, I think that I'd kill myself.' was shocking too, at the cruelty of it.
Alien was also a chapter that upset me as well, as August again has to defend himself against the callous ignorance of children older than him, asking, 'What is that?'

With various narrators in parts of this book, it gives a total view of how people see those like August, including his sister, Olivia.
Wonder is a book that gives the reader plenty to think about, and will appeal to many, if not all, people.

Monday, 8 May 2017

Book Review. Chuck the Rooster Loses his Voice. Sigal Haber.

Genre Children's Books
My Rating πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“

When Chuck the Rooster lost his voice, life on the farm began to go wrong.
In an attempt to deal with the situation, the animals try to find a replacement from amongst themselves, to fill the sick rooster's place. So they organize a singing contest.

Will someone be found to take Chuck's place? How will the rooster react to the idea? And will there be another “Farm Idol”?

“When Chuck the Rooster Lost His Voice” is Dr. Sigal Haber's children book.
Its Theme was inspired by the world of organizational management in which she specialized for many years.
The story describes, with humor and wit, what happens when an employee in the imaginary animal farm has trouble functioning or is absent from work. The farm animals, who are amusingly anthropomorphized, are exposed to issues such as duty, cooperation, and dealing with the unexpected.
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Chuck the Rooster is sick, and all of the farmyard animals get together to find out - 'The rumours gathered like thunder.' as to what might be wrong with him. I loved reading about the consequences of the rooster being too sick to wake them all in the morning. There's an illustration of fireflies around a Save Energy sign, which struck me. 
I'm not sure about a lizard being present, as I wouldn't class him as a farmyard animal. 
With the Rooster once diagnosed it is decided on a singing contest to take over the Rooster's role temporarily. This gives that lesson of acting together to resolve a problem. Although there is a healthy amount of competition between the animals.
Chuck the Rooster loses his Voice is lengthier than some children's books, with longer, and sometimes more complex, sentences. I liked the story, the illustrations, and the overall team spirit, and humour, in the book too. 

Book Review. Cheesus was Here. J.C.Davis.





Genre Young Adult
Publisher Sky Pony Press
My Rating 😍😍😍😍

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Sixteen-year-old Delaney Delgado knows miracles aren’t real—if they were, her kid sister wouldn’t be dead. So when the image of baby Jesus appears on a Babybel cheese wheel, she’s not buying the idea that God’s got a dairy obsession. Soon, religious signs begin turning up all over Del’s hometown, tiny Clemency, Texas. Overnight, news vans fill the streets and religious pilgrims start searching for God in the discount aisle of the grocery store.

Hell-bent on proving the so-called miracles are fake, Del convinces her best friend, Gabe, to help her find the truth. While Gabe’s willing to play detective, as a preacher’s son he’s more interested in finding evidence that supports the miracles. But when the whole town becomes caught up in religious fervor and even the late-night talk show hosts have stopped laughing and started to believe, finding the truth might cause more trouble than Del can handle. This novel is neither pro nor anti-religion, and will appeal to fans of contemporary YA novels that explore deep themes with an element of humor. The voice and characters are funny, strong, and full of heart. This is a book for anyone who loved Saved!


Small town Clemency has encountered a miracle - the image of Baby Jesus on a Babybel cheese wheel. A preacher buys it from store clerk, Andy, and installs it in his church. With people praying over this Babybel cheese, some positive results are achieved. But are these merely coincidental?
Delaney, our heroine, was there when the cheese was first discovered. A religious town, Del doesn't believe in God since her sister died, and her family fell apart. I really did feel for Del, and believed in the turmoil of her family members - her mum, dad, and brother. The initial description of the town was great too, and set the scene. 
After Baby Cheesus McJesus, the image of Jesus on a window at a drive in, is seen, and soon more attention is attracting people out of town to Clemency. It is easy to see how quickly these things blow up. People in, and out town, are hailing these 'signs' as religious miracles. 
A genius plot idea by J. C. Davis, Cheesus was Here also has a blossoming relationship between Del, and best friend Gabe, and the book doesn't focus solely on this.
I enjoyed the one liners too. "That same day Andrew Carol, our quarterback, found a four leaf clover on the practise field. I'm willing to admit there be a miracle in there somewhere because I wasn't aware Andrew could count that high."
There is plenty to chuckle at, including a Garfield magnifying glass. It is the small details that put thought into this book. 
I loved also Del's grief was written sensitively, with vulnerability, and heart, and also how she had a differing opinion from the whole town, her peers, even her best friend, but continues to fight to expose those so called miracles as fakes.

There is a lot that marks this book out from your typical YA lit (and it stays rooted in reality) It made me think of Hope was Here, by Joan Bauer.
Ultimately Cheesus was Here was gripping, and had characters I was sorry to say goodbye to. 


Friday, 17 March 2017

Book Review. Jorie and the Magic Stones. A. Richardson.


Genre Children's books
My Rating ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
My Review
I did enjoy the opening pages of Jorie and the Magic Stones, by A. H. Richardson. The description of Lord Fodomalk's wings 'inflated, looking like enormous spider webs and making snapping, creaking, cracking sounds as they slowly unfolded.' and 'Marjorie Beatrice Weaver, who preferred to be called Jorie.' who is a likable child: excitable, curious, and intelligent.
She is going to live with her great aunt Letty. On arrival at Mortimer Manor, and left alone to get ready for dinner, Jorie explores her new bedroom, and finds a book. The book is concealed beneath a loose floorboard. This book is titled The flying Dragons of Varadwan, and begins a thrilling adventure for Jorie, her new friend Rufus, and the reader.
The characters, the creatures, and lands that the children encounter, and come to, are well written, and compelling. The premise of the story is simple enough, and the ending opens up the possibility of a second book about Jorie.
My one flaw would be that the ending felt rushed, as if the finding of the final two stones was an after thought.
Jorie and the Magic Stones captured my imagination.
The book is a good old fashioned fantasy, with a mystery feel to it, and the villains, and dastardly creatures, were cruel, but had their opportunities to show their softer side.

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Book Review. Hazel. Breana Mae Estrada.

Genre Poetry
My Rating ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
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My Review

A great book of short, but gentle, poetry on mental health, love, and loss, with sections A List of Hopeful Things, This Year, and The Time Travelling Letter.
I did like the inspiring look through the years 2010 to 2016, and also the poems of the author's experiences of depression, which I could identify with, as our experiences are quite similar.
In particular I did like The Time Travelling Letter Part 1
'When you tear yourself apart, make sure it's only on paper, with a pen. Leave the knives and razors alone, sweetheart.'
Alive, My Love smells like Hands, Kaleidoscope 'he had eyes like carnival lights'
Rain, Holy 'You've made me say "Oh God."
so many times
I feel like what we do
is holy.'
Haunted, Setting Fires, Stranger, Power Couples, monster 'My mother has said I am smart like Frankenstein,
but these days I resemble
his homemade monster.'
The Future of us, Stellar, the brilliant Recovery, Thunder, Goodbyes, a favourite Girl 'They will always talk girl. They will always judge girl. Let them.'
Hurt, Remember me 'When you remember me,
I hope you think of my smile.
Of dark lipstick and dancing.'
Strength, Soft, When Love comes Back, Road Trips and Rock Songs, and Picture this.
Hazel deserves to be a huge success.

Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Book Review. Get over it ( The Amelia Chronicles Book.1) . Marian Elizabeth.


Genre Young Adult
My Rating ☆ ☆ ☆
Amelia seems to be a level headed girl.
In this book, the first in the series, we learn about her family, on the eve she moves into her dorm at college. I can't say I have had the experience, so it is nice to read about all of the opportunities available to Amelia.
She requested that she not share a room with her ex best friend, Marian, but she has been put in a room with Marian.
What follows are their attempts to patch up their relationship.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Book Review. Spring Awakening. Stacie Eirich.


Genre Poetry
My Rating ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

This is an appropriate book for this time of year, Spring Awakening is a lovely collection of sunny poetry.
I did enjoy the haikus that featured the beach, with later poems describing a lot of watery moments. Be careful you don't get your feet wet!
I also like that this contains personal photographs, which gave the book a nice touch.



Sunday, 12 March 2017

Book Review. Borrowed Time. Naomi A. Alderman.



Genre Science Fiction
Rating ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆

My Review
This series of Doctor Who themed books can sometimes be a bit hit and miss, but I liked the writing style of the author immediately.
The book covers quite a broad spectrum of modern subjects, there never being enough time being the main one, and so made available are watches that are able to turn back time.
I did like the part where the foolhardy Amy receives one of these watches and has to sign the terms and conditions, but doesn’t read them because, well, who does?
Loan Sharks too are the enemy. A clever concept, neatly written.
I think Borrowed time will appeal to both adults and children, of all ages.

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Book Review. Where Do They Go? Part One. B. D. Donaldson.



                                           My Rating ☆ ☆ ☆
                                              My Review

I haven’t read many serialised children’s book before, like this one.
Socks are the subject of Where do they go? As socks do mysteriously disappear at some point in their journey from laundry basket to washing machine.
I won’t spoil who the author thinks it is at the heart of the theft.
Other than Mrs. Williams, the mother of children Nalleaha and Jaylen, telling Jaylen that she will take away his video games if he doesn’t find his missing sock (which I found a bit harsh) this is a great book.



Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Book Review. Dynomike – Talent Show Time. Frankie B. Rabbit.

             My Rating ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆


                                             My Review 

Dynomike and his friends are participating in a talent show. Ms. Lippy beforehand tells them of the prizes. I had to laugh at the adorable expressions on Dynomike and his friends faces as they show disgust at broccoli lollipops, puzzlement at a canteen filled with sand reefs and joy at a steak dinner.
I like that this book gave Dynomike’s friends a chance to show their individual characters and talents.
As always they also learn a valuable lesson.


Book Review. Grandma's Face. Elaine McKay.

 Rating ☆☆ ☆ ☆ 




Grandma's face has a lot to say. It's her turn to put her grandchild to bed, but it's her cartwheeling eyes, her twitchy nose and the useful gap in her front teeth that make up the real bedtime story.




 My Review 
A charming short story, written in the style of a poem, and with illustrations by Lynne Bendoly. She did a good job of capturing the movements of Grandma’s face.
As a child, tucked in bed, readies herself for sleep, she makes observations of her Grandma’s face, who is bent over her bed. These expressions range from a twitchy nose to a frowning forehead and the incidents that may have provoked them. Humorous at times too, I enjoyed this clever and fun read. 



Saturday, 11 February 2017

The year of Uh



For the first time in their lives, nineteen year-old Nur De Dernberg and her younger sister Deirdre are leaving Seychelles, Africa. They’ve come to Boston for a year, but not to party with the college kids – they’re here to learn English. Nur, trapped by her inability to speak the language and her sister’s inability to speak in anything other than clipped wisecracks, finds herself in a strange country with nobody to talk to; she is dreadfully, existentially alone.

Until, that is, she goes to language class and meets Hyun-Woo. Despite sharing no common language, Nur feels something distinctly spark-like between them. Thus commences an awkward courtship...maybe? Is it a courtship? Does he feel for her the way she feels for him? Does he know how she feels? Then again, does she? Nur is beset by questions that would be easy to ask, if only she had the words. Those words are coming slowly, though, while her feelings for Hyun-Woo are thundering along at a more breakneck pace.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Book Review. Georgie. Malachy Doyle.


My Rating ☆☆☆

My Review 
Georgie is fiction but does capture the mind of a young and distressed child well. The language is in keeping with the age and education level of our protagonist Georgie. I liked Georgie. He obviously just needed the right person, place and time to process his past and what happened to his mum. 
Saying that I wasn’t convinced by the character of Shannon. The middle of this novel could have been longer and gone into more detail. The ending was unsatisfying. 
Read Georgie if you enjoyed the Tracey Beaker trilogy, by Jaqueline Wilson. 

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Book Review. The day my fart Followed me to Hockey. Sam Lawrence and Ben Jackson. Illustrated by Danko Herrera.


Rating ☆☆☆☆
My Review

Little Fart is the most adorable looking fart.
Little Fart is Timmy's best friend. Timmy is trying out for the hockey team and is worried he might not be good enough. Timmy doesn't want Little Fart coming with him to the try outs (understandably)
But Little Fart is obstinate and wants to help his best friend.
I had to laugh at what happens next.
This is a delightful story about the importance of friendship and I look forward to reading more in the series.


Sunday, 29 January 2017

Book Review. #Babylove: My Toddler Life. Corine Dehghanpisheh.




Rating  ☆☆☆ 
My Review: 


I didn't feel the message of this book, to put down our phones, really came across in My Toddler Life. This is a children's book by Corine Dehghanpisheh and the second in a series of books. My Toddler Life is playful and has a simple rhyming narrative, which is easy to follow. 

Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.com 
Author Website


Thursday, 26 January 2017

Book Review. Dynomike – Happy Shoes. Frankie B.Rabbit.

My Rating ☆☆☆☆
My Review 

This is a book perfectly formatted for your Kindle device. Happy Shoes is one in a series of books for children by Frankie B. Rabbit.
The narrative of the story is in rhyme and throughout the question is asked oh, what to do?
I love where Happy Shoes goes, with Dynomike having too many shoes he ‘decides to share because he has started to care.'

Faultless.




Other books available in the series



Author
Frankie B. Rabbit was born and raised underground; the underground rap scene that is. Walking alone through the rough soils of Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, New York, and now currently in New Jersey; he traveled most of the North East battle rapping other upcoming hip-hop artists at local night clubs to only find himself getting paid in vegetable scraps and free admissions. While, he was winning a majority of his freestyle rap battles, Frankie B. Rabbit was only participating for bonus money to keep his whiskers afloat. Frankie B. Rabbit’s talents were not self-fulfilling for him, and he was seeking to take his talents elsewhere; hopefully to make a difference.

So, while, his rap career was dragging with monotony, he enters, yet another, freestyle rap battle at B.B. Kings in New York City—which ended being his last rap battle after being defeated by an 8 year old second grader in the first round—his name was Dynomike!

“The lyrical niceness, my rhymes so tight I give nightmares to vice grips! This mic is five bucks, this night is five bucks, and Dynomike is — is priceless!” That was only one of the sixteen bars he dropped on Frankie B. Rabbit.

“That kid has some serious lyrics. I was in awe to see someone, especially at his age, have so much passion for something. I said to myself, this kid just gets it. . .” Frankie B. Rabbit’s defeat was more of an enlightenment. This moment, he decided to partner with the young rap phenomena and do something that would be fun, and more importantly make a difference—that’s when Frankie B. Rabbit’s children’s book career began; his defeat against 8 year old Dynomike, was his inspiration to write a series of children’s books--to do something that matters.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Book Review. Bright Minds Empty Souls / Uncaged Wallflower. Jennae Cecelia.

I Want to Know Why is the stand out poem in Uncaged Wallflower, a poetry collection by Jennae Cecelia. 
I like the letter that begins this book. It is nice to know where the author is coming from, and we share similar sentiments. 
I can definitely relate to poem Change, when author writes ‘Even as a child I would be frustrated when the store would move the aisle of supplies to a different location than before’
These poems made me think, contemplate and reflect. 
If you need some motivation you can’t go wrong with this collection of inspiring poetry.



Aw is my feeling towards Bright Minds Empty Souls.
With the odd poem being in second person perspective, these are mostly observations of love, from falling, to it ending and hurting.
I think Bright Mind, the title poem, is all too brief but I did like the metaphors and imagery. Childhood was one of my favourite poems, and Aggression.



Bio : 
Jennae Cecelia was born on February 16th, in St. Paul, Minnesota. She is the self-published author of the poetry books, Bright Minds Empty Souls and Uncaged Wallflower. Expressing herself through art – writing, drawing, painting, photography, has always been one of her strongest passions. It allows for her to share her emotions in non-traditional ways. Jennae is well known for her poetic soul and vitality. With years of unpublished work, she is most excited about creating ways to further enhance her reader’s experience.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Book Review. Butter. Erin Lange.






Butter is more than a book about a teen struggling with his self image and a crush. 
Protagonist Butter plays the saxophone, is overweight and pretends to be somebody he is not on the Internet. He loathes himself, but can he ever find the strength to change his life?
Butter tackles the subject of bullying, popularity and suicide.
Butter plans to eat himself to death on New Years Eve. There is a shocking moment when his new found ‘friends’ Trent and Parker are thinking his plan is a game, and ask if he has a bucket list. 
The suspense isn’t too long drawn out, and Erin Lange is a natural storyteller. Butter is, at times, a horrible character (with good reason) and I rooted for him. Some characters could have been more fleshed out, but that is my only criticism. 
Butter gives us something to think about, and it is good to read a male perspective on food and suicide. 


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Jack (Jack: Part One in the Trilogy Book 1)

Jack (Jack: Part One in the Trilogy Book 1) Gary Dorion 
A rollicking read from start to finish!  

Saturday, 7 January 2017

Book Review. North. Amanda Linehan.


In North by Amanda Linehan we are introduced to Jayne, who we have no real reason to like as she has just robbed the store she worked at. She is an unlikely heroine. She seems to be young and yet can handle a gun and hotwire a car.
Within three chapters we are given a good reason to not put North down and continue reading Jayne’s story. I like the characters. There is twist after twist and a teeth grinding finish. There is a slight romance that, thankfully, does not dominate the story.
Apart from Jayne, cop Savage also narrates North. This relationship between the two is the core of the book. Savage and her cop partner are a well used clichΓ©, the cop duo, but this peters out eventually.
I like the first real conversation between Jayne and Jack, who Jayne has kidnapped. He asks ‘do you ever wonder where people are going?' which opens up a thousand different possibilities. Jayne’s reply shows a lot of what her personality is like.
I am curious about Jayne at the finish of the book and wonder if Amanda Linehan could write more about her personal development and blossoming relationships.
North is a different type of young adult novel, that could so easily have been a disaster, but instead is a stand out novel and for any fan of its genre.


99p / 99c
Amazon.co.uk  or Amazon.com 

Wednesday, 4 January 2017

Fibles. M.R.Everette.

You are never too old for children's stories and Huntley loved these,  by M.R. Everette