I Have A Reason...

Hey, guys, sorry for the radio silence for the last mouth. Things have been a little crazy since the release of Upon.
I have started a new job. I have made the move from special to general education. What this means, is that pretty much everything that I have used for the last four years, I can no longer use. So, yeah, I'm starting over.
I am still working on my books and writing reviews, but it may take longer than normal. My goal is to have Fairytale out in early 2019. I do have the first draft almost complete.
Keep checking back for sales! As the holidays approach, I do like to throw in free read weekends and teacherspayteachers sales.
Serena

Save the Date Book Review

Book: Save the Date
Author: Morgan Matson
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

To me, this is perhaps Morgan’s weakest book that I have read to date. There was just something about that didn’t make it as enjoyable for me as her previous books. It was over the top and at times, it was way to over the top for my liking. I just don’t know.

I did get into it as time went on, but it did take awhile. I did like the fact that it focused mostly on family instead of a romance. I know a lot of people were really disappointed with this, but I thought it was a nice change for young adult. Often times, we find that young adult tends to focus just on the romantic element of the story instead of the actual issue at hand. Here, Morgan does address the issue at hand. Charlie’s sister is getting married and the whole family is going to be together for the first time in two years. Yes, there is a bit of romance, but that is not the focus of the story. I did welcome this change.

I loved seeing the Grants come to life on the page. It was kind of hard to keep all of the characters straight. As time went on, it did become a little bit easier to figure out who was who, but it was still a challenge. I think had there been a little bit more character development, things would had been a lot easier. It was a fun ride though.

The plot was good, but at times, it felt just a little bit too over the top. I mean, I do like escaping from the real world and all of that good stuff, but it was just too much at times. I mean, there was more than one time where I actually found myself rolling my eyes, because it was just too unbelievable. It wasn’t that I didn’t like it, but I would have like to see it toned down just a little bit.

Overall, Save the Date wasn’t a bad read, but I think it is Morgan’s weakest novel to date. I am not done reading her books, but I think this is my least favourite.

Legendary Book Review

Book: Legendary
Author: Stephanie Graber
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

I will admit that I found this one to be a rather enjoyable and fun read, but it just wasn’t up to par with Caravel. The first half or so of the book was rather boring. It was so slow paced and poorly developed that I nearly stopped reading. It really wasn’t the characters or anything, but there was just something about it that I really didn’t like. It was just dry and a major turnoff.

Things did pick up though and the magic of  Caravel returned. We get to see a lot of old faces in some new rules. So, Legendary picks right p where Caravel left off. Only this time, we get to see the world through Tella’s eyes. Now, I will admit that Tella is not my favourite character. There is just something about her that I find really annoying. She owes a debt and quickly finds herself swept up by some major power players. I know she’s brave and all of that, but I have just never been drawn to her character the way I was to Scarlett’s. She just doesn’t have that element that Scarlett does.

I liked all of the returning characters. I liked how even though Scarlett and Julian are not the central characters, they are still there and it is clear that their story is not complete. I also liked seeing everyone come back and still have a central role to play. It was also like they had never left and were just simply frozen in time.

I really did like Jacks. There was just something about his dark nature that I found myself cheering for him and really hoping that he at least got a happy ending. He’s just that character that you hate to love. Well, no, not really…You do actually love him. He kind of reminds me of the Darkling. I just love how he knows what to do to get under Tella’s skin. I do hope we see more of him.

Okay, so, I didn’t give this a five star rating. The main reason was the plot. It wasn’t nearly as fast passed as Caravel and the magic was nearly gone. It felt like I was reading book one all over again, but only having it told to me from Tella’s point of view. I guess I was just expecting something a little bit more. The plot was slow to develop, which should not happen in a second book. I mean, I don’t know; it just didn’t flow as well for me. This doesn’t mean that I’m not going to read the next book, but this clearly was the middle of the series.

Overall, not a bad read, but it does have that second book feel to it.

The Taming of the Queen Book Review

Book: The Taming of the Queen
Author: Philippa Gregory
Rating: 1 Out of 5 Stars

I really tried guys, but I just could not get into this one. I have read Philippa Gregory before and went along with it. I did actually enjoy the Starz shows. However, this one had so many things wrong with it and I just could not go along with it.

This is one of the worst depictions of Katherine Parr that I have ever read. I am used to people hating on Anne Boleyn, but this was just no. I just could not get beyond more than a few aspects of the story. Yes, we all know that Katherine did give up the man who she loved to marry the king and she did write books. I do not disagree with any of that. However, I do disagree with the fact that Philippa treats her as trash and not as the person who history paints a picture of. Okay, Katherine is big into learning and that is mentioned throughout the book, but it just doesn’t come across the page.

Also, does every paragraph have to be about how awful Henry is? Okay, we all know he was a tyrant, but do we have to keep going over and over how bad he looked? There is nothing good about Henry in these pages. It also bothered me that he was called a killer. If you look at what other monarchs have done, you will find that maybe his actions really were not that far out there. It was just like the author was painting him as the only king who did send people to the block and he wasn’t.  We all know that Henry wasn’t the most kindest man, but still, let’s at least be accurate.

The author also made up a lot of stuff and put her in notes that it didn’t actually happen. I know this is historical fiction, but the things she added really did make Henry sound like a wife beater. Come on, I really don’t buy that. He wasn’t the best husband, but I don’t see him doing a lot of things that was painted in this book.

So, I’m moving on before I turn into a ranter. If you know anything about the Tudors, don’t waste your time and just move on to the next book.

I Do Not Trust You Out Now!

I Do Not Trust You

Summary:
Memphis "M" Engle is stubborn to a fault, graced with an almost absurd knowledge of long lost languages and cultures, and a heck of an opponent in a fight. In short: she's awesome.

Ashwin Sood is a little too posh for her tastes, a member of an ancient cult (which she’s pretty sure counts for more than one strike against him), and has just informed Memphis that her father who she thought was dead isn’t and needs her help.

From the catacombs of Paris to lost temples in the sacred forests, together they crisscross the globe, searching for the pieces of the one thing that might save her father. But the closer they come to saving him—and the more they fall for one another—the closer they get to destroying the world.


Purchase Link:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1250052300/ref=x_gr_w_bb?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=1250052300&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2


My Review:
Book: I Do Not Trust You
Author: Laure J Burns and Melinda Metz
Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Wednesday Books, for sending me this ARC. You know this is actually the second Wednesday Books book review I’ve written this month-so thanks and please keep them coming.

So anyway, yeah, this is for sure a lot different than most young adult books. I kind of got a National Treasure feeling from this action packed read. This book is a treasure hunt and full of lots of action. The pace is fast moving and the events are so quick that there really is not a wasted page. Not only that, but we have really smart characters, who use their brains to actually achieve something. Our main character, for example, knows a lot of languages, ancient cultures, and knows how to take care of herself. Not only that, but we get a little bit of religion, history, and archology. Now, let’s throw in some ancient relics that we have to hunt down to prevent a curse from being unleashed. What isn’t there to like?


Well, sadly, there was something missing from the story and I can’t really figure it out. Don’t get me wrong, I really did enjoy the book, but there was just something missing.

It wasn’t really the characters that were at fault either. I thought they were all well developed and complex. I mean, how many books do you read where we have a female lead in such an actiony role with a male sidekick? Not very many! I did like M, our main character, but at times, I really wanted to see her fail. It was almost like no matter what she did, she was good at. That is not something I like in books. I want to see them struggle a little bit-you know, have that little mental break down about midway through the book.

Ash was okay. It was very clear that he was the sidekick. Now, he is the one character that we really didn’t know that much about going through the story, which was fine with me. I like that little bit of mystery surrounding characters. It really adds to the story in my book.

I know that Laure and Melinda were trying to get some kind of romance going between Ash and M-if not, sorry, but that’s what it sure seemed like when I was reading. The tension that the authors were trying to get across the page just wasn’t there. I know they were trying to make them warm up to each other and all of that good stuff, but everything was just flat. I think had that part of the book been left out, then I may have bumped my rating up a little bit.
Now, the discoveries, as many people have pointed out, started out strong, but just kind of fell apart. It was almost like the story lost its momentum halfway through. The only way I can think of how to fix that is to maybe cut the story down a little bit. It’s only 320 pages, so really that should not have happened anyway. I don’t know, but it just felt like the story got really repetitive after awhile.

So, I do agree with the current Goodreads rating of a 3.41. I mean it is a good book, but there is just something missing from it that doesn’t drive such a promising book home. I will be reading more of Wednesday Books’, but I think I’m going to go back to more of Ruth Ware route. Anyway, I Do Not Trust You comes out on September 11, 2018.
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Why I'm No Longer Talking to White People About Race

Book: Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race
Author: Reni Eddo-Lodge
Rating: 4 Out of 5 Stars

Oh, boy, this is a tough one to rate and write a review about. If anyone gets offended by this, I really don’t care. Everyone has the right to speak their mind. I was a little on the fence about reading this one for a number of readings. The first thing is the title, which really doesn’t send a positive message. I know it’s dealing with a heavy subject, but still. The second was the points that Reni made. I just really don’t agree with everything that she said. The whole bit about white privilege really does bother me. I’m form Appalachia! We are all just trying to get by!

I did like how Reni did make me think. I liked how she did present a very real issue in the world and how she made it come across really easily. I like that she makes you question everything and really think about the whole as a whole. The terrorism attack in Kenya hit me, because I had no idea about it. She is right that African issues really are not covered in news and it is sad. I am, however, so sick and tired of all of the negativity from both sides. I don’t judge based on race, but on the quality of your character. I have met a number of people over the years-a lot of jerks and a lot of nice people. Race doesn’t matter to me.

I think what really needs to happen is the we need to stop talking about race, but people in general. Okay, let’s go back and talk about the whole me being from Appalachia thing. I am a teacher and have to go back and talk university classed to keep my licenses current. In one class, we were talking about the diversity of our schools. I pointed out that my school was 90% white, 6% Hispanic, and 4% African American with 98% of the students receiving free and reduced lunch. I explained that my town only has five hundred people and my school only has around a hundred students in it. This African American teacher turned and said that my school must be racist because of the lack of diversity and that we must be doing something wrong because of these numbers. I really had no idea how to response to that. I mean, she was making it seem like I was doing something wrong because I didn’t have diversity in my classroom. Instead of her looking at the facts that I am from an area with very high poverty levels and no job market, she just pretty much attacked me. There was another teacher from my district in the class as well and she did the same thing to her. I guess I just struggle with the whole double standard. I mean, had this book been written with the word black people on the cover, it would never had been published. I guess I’m just supposed to keep my mouth shut and deal with it, huh, because I’m white?

Reni doesn’t explore this in the book. She gives us a one side argument instead of looking at both. Okay, did she really look at why whites have this view? No! She just accused us all of being racist and that whites were only racists and that people of colour could not possibly be racist. Okay, then why not? Where’s your reasoning behind this? This is what really bothered me. There was nothing to support the arguments she made and she did not explore the other side at all.
Then, we get in our Trump bashing in the last chapter. Okay, Hilary lost, deal with it. Like it or not, Trump is the president and you need to respect him. I’m not saying that you have to agree with him, but the disrespect needs to stop. Do I agree with everything he says? Nope! Do I agree with some of his ideas? Yes! The whole bashing the right side, once again, does not spread a good message. You can disagree, but let’s be respectful about it.

Do I think there is a problem? Yes! Do I think it’s being handled good? Well…Um…No, if you want to know the truth. Okay, Reni did not have her facts straight about Mexico. I really don’t think American is against legal Mexicans, but those who sneak across the border, yeah, that’s a problem. Britain leaving the European Union? Okay, you don’t have to like it, but just because they left doesn’t mean that Britain is a racist country. I still don’t fully see what that has to do with race. Let’s keep going…The one thing that Reni didn’t address that I was really hoping she would was the NFL kneeling during the national anthem. I understand the right to protest, but this is not okay. YOU WILL STAND FOR THE ANTHEM! There I said it.

Okay, so we agree to disagree right? Which is why I gave this one a four star rating. Thanks for giving me some food for thought.

Sadie Out Now!

Sadie Out Now!
4 Starred Reviews from Kirkus, School Library Journal, Booklist, Publisher's Weekly!
"Sadie: a novel for readers of any age, and a character as indelible as a scar. Flat-out dazzling."--A.J. Finn, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Woman in the Window
"Sadie is an electrifying, high-stakes road trip. Clear your schedule. You're not going anywhere until you've reached the end." ―Stephanie Perkins, New York Times bestselling author of There's Someone Inside Your House and Anna and the French Kiss
"A haunting, gut-wrenching, and relentlessly compelling read." ―Veronica Roth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Carve the Mark and The Divergent series
Read this gripping novel about the depth of a sister's love with an ending you won't be able to stop talking about.
Summary:
Sadie hasn't had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she's been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.
But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie's entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister's killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.
When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie's story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie's journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it's too late.
Purchase Link:
About the Author:
Courtney Summers
GOODREADS AUTHOR
Born
Canada
Website
Twitter
courtney_s
Genre
Young Adult
Member Since
August 2007
URL
edit data
Courtney Summers was born in Belleville, Ontario, 1986. At age 14, she dropped out of high school. At age 18, she wrote her first novel. Cracked Up to Be was published in 2008, when she was 22 and went on to win the 2009 CYBIL award in YA fiction. Since then, she’s published four more critically acclaimed books: Some Girls Are, Fall for Anything, This is Not a Test and All the Rage, as well as an e-novella, Please Remain Calm which is a sequel to This is Not a Test. Her new novel, Sadie, is available now wherever books are sold. #findsadie
In 2016, Courtney was named one of Flare Magazine’s 60 under 30.
instagram: summerscourtney
twitter: @courtney_s
tumblr: summerscourtney.
official website: courtneysummers.ca
My Review:
Book: Sadie
Author: Courtney Summers
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars
I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher, Wednesday Books, for providing me with this ARC.
So, this book has been appearing on my feed a lot. To be honest whenever I put my name in for an ARC, I wasn’t even sure what Sadie was about. I was taken by surprise and this surprise ended up being a good one. I really enjoyed it. This is my first Courtney Summers book and I know I will be back for more.
Courtney digs into the darkest parts of the real world-parts that we really don’t want to go into. While most young adult books feature main characters who live a rather comfortable life, the characters in Sadie are faced everyday with struggles and darkness. We are taken into the deepest and darkest parts of a teenage girl’s mind-one that most people think doesn’t actually exist. We get to experience grief, hardship, hope, love, and fear. It is like you are a teenager again, expect I’m sure that many of us haven’t been through what Sadie has.
Courtney makes you feel really deeply for both Sadie and Mattie. You become a part of their daily lives and just simply really feel for them. Mattie is Sadie’s entire world and once she loses her, she will do anything and everything to make it right. I know, I know, you’re probably thinking we’ve had this a million times, but I truly did feel something for them. Everything is a lot more complicated than what it looks on the surface and you will find yourself drawn to them. I promise….
Sadie isn’t your normal young adult lead either. She’s not perfect. She has a severe stutter, which I think is a nice touch. How many strong young adult characters do we come across with a speech disorder? Not very many. And how many kids have them? A lot! I think it will draw a lot of readers to Sadie’s character…Anyway…She is determined to find out who killed her sister and will do anything to avenge her sister’s death. She is determined, loyal, and not afraid to get her hands dirty. Unlike so many characters, she does have to bring out the claws and it’s so heartbreaking. She is alone and has no one. Those who should be there for her aren’t.
I think what really adds to the story is the writing. We switch back and forth between Sadie and a radio show. Now, I personally thought that this was a nice mix. I don’t know if everyone else feels this way, but I enjoyed it. McCray is not really involved in the situation, but at the same time, he is. It kind of reminded me of those crime investigation shows on TV-can’t think of what they are called at the moment. Anyway….I thought it added an extra punch to the story.
So, we really don’t find out what happened to Sadie at the end. It really does make you wonder and leave you wanting for me. However, I don’t know if a second book is needed. Sadie going into the unknown just kind of fits her character.
There are a few trigger warnings though. This book does deal with drug abuse, sex abuse, and pedophilia. I would not recommend Sadie to younger readers.
Overall, a great read! I really enjoyed it.
This book comes out September 4, 2018.

The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look At England's Most Notorious Queen Book Review

Book: The Creation of Anne Boleyn: A New Look At England’s Most Notorious Queen
Author: Susan Bordo
Rating: 1 Out of 5 Stars

I should have just listened to my other history loving friends and not even bothered with this one. This is the most unprofessional book that I have ever read. I have read books full of typos and all of that good stuff, which doesn’t bother me. Granted the grammar is actually pretty good in this one, but there is so many other things wrong with it.

The first thing that really bothered me was how Bordo attacked other history writers. It is okay to disagree with them, but come on, don’t flat out attack them. Do it with some dignity and people may actually respect your point of view. However, just fault out attacking them and pretty much calling them idiots just does not get it and I am surprised that something like this was even allowed to be published. For example, David Starkey. Yes, many of you do know that I watch his documentaries online and I do consider him to be an expert on Henry VIII. However, he doesn’t treat the queens very well and is extremely arrogant. However, for Bordo to and say that those who read Starkey are not well informed is just low. Okay, that is just wrong. Then she goes on to attack historical fiction writers, which some are better than others, but still, there is nothing wrong with reading or watching that. However, if you are Natalie Domer, then life is good. Brodo, Domer is an actress, not a  historian, okay?


The facts are not even correct, which is not okay.  She comes up with these theories as to what was wrong with Henry and none of them make sense? ADD would had been present throughout his whole life as well, not just after he divorced from Catherine. Okay, it’s not something that develops overnight. I do believe that Henry did have McLeod Syndrome, which the author claims there is no proof of. Um…Yes, there is-actual doctors have studied the matter. ADD-where’s your proof on that?

I really did not like the treatment of Mary and Catherine. Calling Mary a spoiled brat for standing with her mother? Um…No, it shows what kind of a daughter she is for standing with her mother through all of the bad and good. I do actually applaud Catherine for not going down with a fight; it shows what kind of a woman she is. Also, Bordo seems to be claiming that it was Catherine who tore the country apart. No! It was Henry. Um, there is this little bit in history were Catherine defeated the Scots and killed their king while Henry was in France, but no Catherine did nothing for the country.

This book is just a mess and I know I will not be picking up anything else by this author.

Catwoman: Soulstealer Book Review

Book: Catwoman: Soulstealer
Author: Sarah J Maas
Rating: 5 Out of 5 Stars

I really have enjoyed the DC Icons books so far. I think they are all very well written and are doing a wonderful job with bringing new readers into the fandom. I also like how a lot of my favourite authors are writing these books. I am not going to lie, this is the only book in the series that I do own; I am really thinking about buying Wonderwoman.

So, let me start out by saying that I am huge fan of Sarah’s work. I have not read a book by her that I have not liked, which is mainly why I broke down and bought this one. I love her writing and world building. I know a lot of people did not enjoy this one because of the way she wrote Selina. Selina is not written as an overly tough character, but as one who actually has a heart. I personally did enjoy this; it was a nice touch to see a human side of a superhero instead of all of the flash that normally comes along with them.

So, Selina is trying to pay for her sister’s medical bills and really just trying to get buy. We actually get to see a main character struggle instead of just having everything handed to them-which may have been way I wasn’t really drawn to the Batman book. So, she gets this deal that will help her sister, which does change both of their lives. When, she is older Selina comes back but with some people trailing her who want to kill her-the usual Sarah J Maas stuff.

Luke is our male lead. He is an ex-Marine suffering from PTSD. I will say that Luke’s character just didn’t develop for me like it should have. The PTSD is mentioned a lot, but it just didn’t come across to me as well as it could have. We only get to see him really suit up as Batwings and don’t really see the struggle that he is going through. Of  course, he also serves as the romantic interest.

Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn just made this book for me. I really enjoyed their characters and how they preformed so well together. I liked how they were also a couple, which is something that I don’t think is too common in DC.

Not only that, but I loved the idea of three females together causing chaos. It’s not something that happens very much and I just enjoyed having that bond between them more than really anything in the book.

Overall, a good read. I do not recommend this one if you are looking for a more traditional DC Icons story. However, if you are looking for a different take on Catwoman, then this may be the book for you.