Tag Archives: book review

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August Book Update

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Hey all,

I made the goal to read 24 books this year. I’ve already reached that and then some!

Here’s the list of books I either read or listened to in July!

Romance with a touch of the paranormal
A delightful story involving a writer and her mostly dead editor. Loved the writing in this one.
(There is a bit of language in this one)
Old-School Sci Fi
I decided to try this classic. It’s slow, which is normal for the time, but has some very interesting ideas that I loved. Also, beautiful writing.
Romantic Comedy
I listened to this one and loved the narrators. Cute premise, great plot, and a satisfying ending. She’s sunshine and he’s a dreary day that needs a little light.
(There’s some language in this one toward the end)
YA/Middle Grade Fantasy
I listened to this one. Hilarious and fun, this book kept me laughing. It’s terribly ridiculous, and therefore charming. Kids will love it. You’ll never look at a librarian the same again.
Romantic Comedy
A movie star without a clue stays on an actual farm for the summer and re-meets the girl of his dreams. Plus, a kitten and icky farm substances. If this is your genre, read it!
Adult Fantasy / LITRPG
This reminds me of the Saturday morning cartoon Dungeons and Dragons, only so much better. A man from Earth thrown into a world of wizards, warriors, and leveling up. Seriously fun.

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Book Review: The Rise of Kyoshi

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Avatar, The Last Airbender: The Rise of Kyoshi

F. C. Yee’s The Rise of Kyoshi delves into the story of Kyoshi, the Earth Kingdom–born Avatar. The longest-living Avatar in this beloved world’s history, Kyoshi established the brave and respected Kyoshi Warriors, but also founded the secretive Dai Li, which led to the corruption, decline, and fall of her own nation. The first of two novels based on Kyoshi, The Rise of Kyoshi maps her journey from a girl of humble origins to the merciless pursuer of justice who is still feared and admired centuries after she became the Avatar.

Why did I read this book again?

Because I love Avatar: The Last Airbender, and I was curious about this book.

5 of 5


I thought the characters were well-represented. Kyoshi herself was the worst of the bunch, flipping back and forth between bossy and bratty to meek and humble way too much.

4 of 5

Did I care what happened?

Most of the time. I really liked her journey of discovering she was the Avatar. I didn’t love the second half of the book as much. The balance between outer and inner conflicts felt stretched too thin.

3 of 5

Plot Holes

There were no huge holes that I remember, and only a few things that annoyed me to the point of distraction. For instance, Kyoshi goes into the Avatar state like three or four times. That’s the only time she’s powerful for most of the book. Then, after some training that we don’t get more than a glimpse of, she’s suddenly dust stepping? Also, the total trust the thieves put in her wasn’t believable.

3 of 5

How many times did I yawn?

It got slow a few times. The romance was clunky, which was sad.

3 of 5

Cool Factor

I was expecting more in the way of bending, but that wasn’t what this book was about. After I shifted my expectations, I enjoyed most of it.

4 of 5

The End

Cliffhanger! I mean, most things were tidied up nicely, but then…they weren’t. Granted, I should have noticed that it was a book 1.

4 of 5

Overall Enjoyment

The world of Kyoshi is much more brutal than that of Aang, which I actually liked. Seeing her rise into the Avatar is fun.

The author seemed to soften or skip things that I wanted to experience through the story. I’m not sure if that was because they wanted to keep it YA, or what, but not seeing much of the training was annoying. How can a reader know if a character is growing if we don’t experience it?

4 of 5


That’s a Green Belt!

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Books Up for Awards

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We have a local-ish writing conference that hosts the Whitney Awards.

Since I write YA speculative and adult sweet romance I’ve been reading the finalists in both of those categories.

I just finished this one. I’m not normally into creepy ghosts stories involving dolls, but I LOVED it!

Seriously, one of the best “What the heck?” bombs dropped near the 30% mark, and a great ending.

Was it creepy? A few times, yes. But looking through the character’s eyes and knowing why she’s more curious than afraid (I’ll let you read it to figure out why) kept me glued to the pages.

The writing is vivid and haunting.

If you’re into awesome YA books, ghost stories, and amazing writing check it out!

A haunted doll museum.
An unsolved murder.
A girl with nothing left to lose.

Six months ago Aunt Victoria bought herself doll museum—a sprawling 25-room Victorian mansion filled with toys and playthings from every period of history. Now I’m going to live out the rest of my probably short life in a place listed as unlucky number thirteen in the official guide to the most haunted places in America.

I keep telling myself it’s all just a bunch of old stories. That I don’t believe in ghosts. That the noises I hear coming from the walls are just mice or rats. But I’m not so sure anymore. The dolls are everywhere. I can feel their glass eyes watching me from every corner.

They say a murder was once committed in this house.

I think the person who did it— their ghost—is still here.​

When tragedy strikes sixteen-year-old Wren’s family, she can’t see the point in starting over again, especially when her future seems so uncertain and her heart so heavy.

After she is sent to stay with her favorite aunt, who lives in a doll museum, Wren quickly discovers two creepily lifelike dolls hidden inside the walls of the old house. Dolls that were created to look like two very real people—a dangerously handsome young man and his mysteriously beautiful fiancée—a young woman he supposedly murdered a few weeks before their wedding day.

As Wren attempts to solve what really happened all those years ago—she begins to realize that not only are the dolls haunted—but one of them is dead set on making sure the truth will never be revealed. No matter the cost…

Fall in love with a haunting story of a murder set in the past, a thirst for revenge that just won’t die, and a sweet first love that transcends time.

Click HERE to go to Amazon

If you want to see the other Whitney Award Finalists, click HERE!

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Book Reviews: Attractive Nuisance and Under a Graveyard Sky

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Book Reviews Week Nine!

Also the final week of this round of reviews.

Romance book of the week: Attractive Nuisance: A Courtroom Mystery Romance by Jennifer Griffiths. I’ve known Jennifer for a long time, but haven’t read any of her newer romances, so I thought I would!

Science Fiction book of the week: Under a Graveyard Sky by John Ringo. This one is post apocalyptic, which I haven’t been focusing on, but a friend recommended it, so I thought I would try it.

Attractive Nuisance: A Courtroom Mystery Romance

The book I read in week 1 was a cozy mystery. I like those. I didn’t love the courtroom + romance aspect of this book. It felt like too much for this particular story.

I see now that I should have picked another book in this series, because this one has the worst reviews, and the book kind of deserves it.

Before I say what I didn’t like about it, I do have to admit that this book is a clean romance with some good dialogue and it did make me chuckle a few times.

Now the other end of the stick. Camilla, our main girl, is a seasoned attorney…and gets completely tongue tied and messes up a closing statement because a good-looking man walks into the courtroom. Ugh. The guy is annoying in a stalker sort of way, (maybe he was supposed to be charming?) and waits until the last few chapters of the book to show Camilla who he is. She annoyed me. He needed to be smacked. I did not enjoy anything about their relationship…mostly because there wasn’t one.

If that wasn’t enough, Camilla’s entire “hang up” is that she’s too old to start a family, which he wants. The entire book I thought she was in her late 30s. I mean, how many seasoned attorneys are…get this…27?

27? If this book hadn’t been on my Kindle I probably would have thrown it across the room. The guy does the math for her, and suddenly she sees the light? “I won’t die before the kids are 20!” Nope and nope.

There were also some serious plot holes.

Two and a Half Stars.

Rival attorneys Zane and Camilla fight for the same job—and attraction to each other in this enemies to lovers romance.

Prosecutor Camilla Sweeten desperately needs the promotion to Chief Deputy to pay bills. She’s meticulously prepared for every case, and she’s been picking up all the pieces where the last chief deputy blanked out. She deserves this, and she’s working like crazy to prove it.

Except, she’s plagued by a dream she had where she was kissing a hot attorney in the basement of the courthouse. And in the middle of closing arguments in an important trial—she sees someone in the courtroom whose face matches the guy’s from her dream.

Camilla’s brain gets on Wonder Woman’s invisible jet and flies far, far away.

If that’s not enough to lose her the job, her boss has just hired a hot, hotshot attorney from another county—the son of his college frat buddy. Marvelous. Camilla’s chances at the promotion are shot.

Attorney Zane Holyoak is a swaggering prosecutor who’s earned the nickname The Jury Whisperer. Against logic, he has followed his gut back to Yucca County, after swearing never to return. If he can get the promotion to Chief Deputy, Zane can finally prove to his dad he’s not a disappointment.

However, one majorly attractive obstacle stands in Zane’s way: the uber-capable Camilla.

When they’re assigned to tag-team prosecute an impossible case, these opposites-attract rivals must follow their heads and their hearts to uncover the truth.

Can they put aside their differences and also find love?

Under a Graveyard Sky

If a friend of mine hadn’t recommended this book, I never would have listened to it. The cover is somewhat awful, in my opinion, and doesn’t tell much about the story. The blurb doesn’t catch my attention either, but when someone says they’ve listened to a book multiple times, that gets my attention.

I listen to books while I walk in the mornings, and this book had me stretching for thirty minutes instead of ten after said walk.

The style is a bit strange. It’s almost like a movie—jumping from one thing and person to another, but I was rarely confused, and honestly the pacing kept me interested.

I admit, as a reader you have to suspend some disbelief when the 13 year old is too stupid for words. More than once. However, I went into this for an entertaining zombie apocalypse story, and I got it.

The story shifts tones when the Smith family decides instead of finding an island to live on, they want to rescue the survivors on the ocean around them. I loved this decision, and will likely read the next book. Which doesn’t happen very often.

Four Stars

(I’d give it five, but the two daughters are a bit unbelievable…but I still liked them!)

Zombies are real. And we made them. Are you prepared for the zombie apocalypse? The Smith family is, with the help of a few marines.

When an airborne “zombie” plague is released, bringing civilization to a grinding halt, the Smith family, Steven, Stacey, Sophia and Faith, take to the Atlantic to avoid the chaos. The plan is to find a safe haven from the anarchy of infected humanity. What they discover, instead, is a sea composed of the tears of survivors and a passion for bringing hope.

For it is up to the Smiths and a small band of Marines to somehow create the refuge that survivors seek in a world of darkness and terror. Now with every continent a holocaust and every ship an abattoir, life is lived under a graveyard sky.

That concludes Book Reviews Week 9!
I can’t believe I read or listened to 18 books in the last two months!

Book Reviews will now go to every-other week, unless I get really excited about something.

Thanks for playing!

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