Monday, January 13, 2020

Wonder (R.J. Palacio) Book Review

2018 Reading Challenge

11. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

August Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. 

Wonder begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

My Review:
There are several changes coming into Auggie's life, the main one being in going back to school after being homeschooled all his life. School can be a challenge for anyone - not just the schoolwork, but being accepted and when you're different from everybody else, bullying. And as Auggie expected, it gets off to a rough start as his classmates aren't used to seeing someone like him and give him a hard time. Throughout this story, August challenges his classmates to look beyond his differences and see that underneath it all, he's just like everybody else. I did appreciate the added change of views from other characters, so you could see their perspective at different points of knowing Auggie. You can understand their views before getting to know him, as well as how they came to accept him as a friend, as normal. The transformations of not only Auggie, but his classmates and family members alike, are awe-inspiring.

Change can be hard, but it can also be good. Before going back to real school, Auggie hid his face with an astronaut helmet. Whether or not he believed it at first, going to school and taking off his protection from the outside world was courageous and brave. He became vulnerable, but with that vulnerability came acceptance at the end. He became a one-of-a-kind character.

Everyone knows the old adage to not judge a book by its cover. Wonder spread the same adage except with a person. So just like books shouldn't be judged by its cover, people should not be judged by what they seem on the outside. It matters who they/we are on the inside.

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!


Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Sadie (Courtney Summers) Book Review

2018 Reading Challenge

10. Sadie by Courtney Summers

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she's left behind. And an ending you won't be able to stop talking about.
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 meager 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.

My Review:
I received an advanced reader's edition of Sadie before it got published last year and wrote a quick review about over on Goodreads, since I have an account there and those were the instructions. The following is what I wrote:

Compelling and suspenseful until the very end. I fell in love with the style of writing, as it was written in podcast form - a unique idea. I hope there's a sequel because I need to know what happened to Sadie!

I would like to thank Macmillan Publishing, St. Martin's Press, and Wednesday Books for sending me the advanced copy of the book, as well as what I was sent in the pictures.

Please feel free to check out my Goodreads page as well.

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!


Tuesday, July 30, 2019

A Bridge Through Time (Jennae Vale) Book Review

2018 Reading Challenge

9. A Bridge Through Time by Jennae Vale

Ashley Moore's life in San Francisco has hit a few snags, not the least of which involves sightings of a mystery man around every corner. Is she losing her mind or does he really exist? Her search for this grey-eyed stranger leads her to Scotland. There she meets a witch with a secret, a vindictive English knight who is bent on revenge, and she crosses a fog shrouded bridge into the arms of a 16th century Highlander.
Cailin MacBayne is no stranger to beautiful women, but has always managed to stay one step ahead of commitment. That all comes to an end when he meets Ashley. He doesn't care where this beautiful, yet unusual lass came from, he's just happy to have found her. Ashley cannot resist the handsome Scot and finds herself falling hopelessly in love. In the process, a secret is revealed, a battle is waged and Ashley must ultimately decide whether to return to her own time or give up her 21st century life to stay with the love she has found in the past.

My Review:
This was something I wouldn't normally read so I did struggle a bit to get through the book. The time travel part was confusing at first. I don't think it was portrayed as well as it could have been, at least when it happened, when Ashley crossed into 16th century Scotland. It was hard to get into the time period the book was set in, although I believe the author did a good job with the language of the 1500's. I couldn't really get into the story until closer to the end and I was left underwhelmed.

Do you like to read time travel books?

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!


Monday, July 29, 2019

I Am Malala Book Reviews

2018 Reading Challenge

7. I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Christina Lamb

8. I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick

Prompt: book about feminism

When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education.
On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive.
Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York. At sixteen, she has become a global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest-ever Nobel Peace Prize laureate.

I Am Malala is the remarkable tale of a family uprooted by global terrorism, of the fight for girls' education, of a father who, himself a school owner, championed and encouraged his daughter to write and attend school, and of brave parents who have a fierce love for their daughter in a society that prizes sons.

My Review:
I'm doing this a little different. Both of these books are about the same true story, except for the way it was told for their intended audiences. I have been awed by Malala's story from the beginning and have wanted to read these books for awhile. When I went to pick up I Am Malala for this particular prompt, I wasn't aware that there had been two versions, one for adults and one for young adults. Even though there's a young reader's edition, it would be remiss of me to mention that it's not suitable for young children, as well as it depends on the maturity of the child. I recommend this book to anyone 12/13 (middle school grades) and older.

I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban
This is the regular version of Malala's story. If you're into the history about Pakistan and the way it's been run as a country, you'll want to read this. It goes in depth of just that, of how Pakistan was before, as well as after, Malala was born. It is important to know the background to understand her story and why she fought for what she did.

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World
This is the younger reader's version. It lacks the rich history that the regular version provides. It gets to the essence of Malala's story earlier, while skipping out on some of the mundane parts or parts that gets in the way of relating to her story. This book was more understandable and easier to relate to than the regular version, which is why I preferred this over the other one.

I challenged myself to read both versions of I Am Malala to see what made them different. The only things really different was one delved more into the history and the other one didn't. While I mentioned above that I preferred the young reader's version, I feel that it's important to read both of them as a way of comparing and seeing what you like and don't like.

Malala was (and still is) a girl (adult now) who wasn't afraid to stand up for what she believed in, specifically for the right for girls to be educated in her country. And unfortunately, she almost lost her life for doing just that. Her survival and bravery are awe-inspiring - that it takes only one to make a difference and get their voice heard. It doesn't always mean that things will change immediately, if at all, but it can help. Malala's story shows that any one, no matter what age, can make a difference. 

Let me know if you read one or both of these and what you thought. Did you prefer one over the other if you read both? 

Happy Reading and Keep on Writing!


Thursday, July 18, 2019

Coming Back Soon and 2019 Reading Challenge

I'm going to be posting more regularly soon and catching up on book reviews from the rest of what I read in 2018, as well as what I've read so far in 2019.

This year, once again, I'm following (or trying to follow) the Popsugar Reading Challenge for 2019. I have already read a few books from the list of topics.

Keeping this short and simple. I'm getting ready for a comeback.


Saturday, April 6, 2019

My Blog's Name in Books

I was just looking for something fun to do since I haven't done a post in awhile. Saw this from The Bibliophile Girl blog.

My Blog's Name in Books Tag

1. Spell out your blog's name,
2. Find a book from your TBR that begins with each letter.

Note: You cannot add to your TBR to complete this challenge - the books must already be on your Goodreads TBR.

Note: I'm also changing this up a little bit and will be doing books from my TBR on my Kindle app, as well as from Goodreads.

W - Wicked by Gregory Maguire
      Write Me Home by Crystal Walton

R - Rabbit, Run by John Updike
      Reservations for Two by Anne Patrick

I - The Iliad by Homer
     If the Shoes Fit by Pauline Lawless

T - The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom
      The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

E - Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell
      Escape for the Summer by Ruth Saberton

R - Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
      Ready to Fall by Daisy Prescott

S - Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
      Straight by Seth King

C - A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
      Calming the Storm by Melanie D. Snitker

R - A Room With a View by E. M, Forster
      Rip Tides by Toby Neal

O - Out of Sync by Lance Bass
      Once Upon a Summer by Janette Oke

S - Summer of Dragonfly Changes by Joan Gable
      Sugar and Ice by Aven Ellis

S - Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks
     Searching for Faith by Kristen Middleton

I - In the Woods by Tana French
     In Too Deep by Tracey Alvarez

N - Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks
      Nine Line by Zachary J Kitchen

G - Gone by Michael Grant
      Given to Fly by K. L. Montgomery

S - Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
      Saving Gracie by Talesha Mitchell

There you have it.


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Happy 2019!

First, I wanted to start by saying Happy New Year! Hope that everyone has a happy and healthy 2019.

I do want to apologize for being missing in action on this blog. My life has been a whirlwind for the past couple of months as I started a new job in November as a police dispatcher trainee. This involved several steps before actually getting hired. I've been classroom training for nine weeks. It's been challenging, but overall I've been enjoying it and discovering a passion for dispatching. I am hopeful that this is the start of a new career path for me, but anything can happen in the training period. We're graduating from the classroom training Friday and getting ready to start live training for a few months. I don't know where this will lead me, but I remain optimistic that it will take me far.

What this all means for this blog? Well, I'll be posting my plans for a blogging schedule for 2019 in a few days, as well as a 2018 review.