Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Disney's The BFG - Teaser Trailer





I saw this trailer a couple weeks ago and I am so excited for this movie now. I absolutely loved this book as a kid. I get chills every time I watch this preview. It looks so good.



Do you have a favorite childhood book you would love to be made into a movie?

Winter break

The Christmas season is always crazy busy around here. Sorry I haven't been keeping up with any new posts this month.

My goal for this coming year is to get some more reading time in. I have one book waiting and plan to add more soon!

I also recently joined influenster, a site where you can receive free products to try and review. If I ever get lucky enough to receive a box I'll be sure to share it here.

It's totally free to join. If you are interested in earning free stuff, here's a link to sign up:

influenster.com/r/1486348


Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Lake House


The Lake House
by Kate Morton

I have been anxiously awaiting for a new book by Kate Morton. She is such a fantastic author and I love reading her stories. She finally released a new book in October and I was so excited to read it. I planned on reading it during our cruise but I ended up not having any extra time for reading. I finished it last week. It took me two days to read it. Once again she has written a captivating story that is full of intrigue, hidden secrets and history. I loved every minute. At one point my husband told me that it must be a good book because every spare moment I had the book in my hand. I even found myself skipping my favorite show on television so I could finish the story and find out the truth about the past.

This book follows the story of a family whose young son went missing on midsummers eve years ago. It jumps between the present and the past and tells the story from the perspective of several different people. At first I thought that it might be confusing with so many different points of view but it really helped the mystery develop. Every time I thought I had figured out what happened to the little boy, there would be a new development that would change the entire situation. I love a good mystery that keeps you on your toes like that. I didn't completely figure it out until I was about 90 percent of the way through the book.

One of the main characters was a detective who decides to try and solve this case years later. I loved that this book was not only the historical fiction that  I have come to love from Kate Morton, but it was also a great detective/ crime drama as well. This was such a great read. I was seriously tempted to start from the beginning again, as soon as I finished it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Elizabeth Smart


My Story
Elizabeth Smart, with Chris Stewart

I keep forgetting to post about the books I finish. The past couple weeks have been a little crazy with Halloween activities and prepping for our up coming cruise. I actually downloaded this book to have reading material while on vacation but I ended up reading it in two days. I started reading it because I figured it was a Non-fiction story and those always take me a while to get through. Not the case with this book at all. I flew through the story and found my self completely caught up in her story. What a horrific experience she went through.

 I think that way it was written really helped the story flow. This has been by far my favorite Non-fiction book about crime. I have read several others, about some pretty awful situations, but they were written much more academically, making them, at least for me, less reader friendly.

As I was reading this story I found my heartbreaking for her. I cried multiple times reading about what she had to endure. I cried even harder when she was rescued. What an ordeal. I found her perspective very interesting, especially trying to understand why she was unable to escape or even talk to others, while she was held captive. I also found her hope and faith very touching. Especially when she talked about her Grandfather being there, in spirit, for her. I am amazed that instead of blaming God or wondering why he would let such terrible things happen, that she chose to believe in God and his ability to keep her alive. Like she says, God has give people free agency, so he can't stop all the evil that is in this world but there were moments of true mercy and help that I am sure came from Him.

I remember when this story was in the news and I have always admired how well she seems to have adjust back into her life. I am glad that she was willing to share exactly what she went through. I can't imagine reliving that ordeal anymore then she had to.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

What Alice Forgot


What Alice Forgot
by Liane Moriarty

I have been so busy with life that I almost forgot to post about this book, which I finished over a week ago. I usually try to write about the books a read sooner so they are fresh in my memory so I will try my best to remember my impressions of this story.

First things first, I thought this was a great read. The concept was so interesting to me. Imagine waking up from an accident and forgetting everything that has happened during the last ten years.  In the story, Alice wakes up after bumping her head, and thinks that she is still pregnant with her first child. When she finds out that she has 3 children and is getting a divorce, she just can't believe that her life has changed so much. She finds that she doesn't really like everything about who she has become. Would your life be what you expected? Would you be surprised by the person you have become or the path your life has taken in those ten years?  I wonder if I looked at my life from my 25 year old's perspective, would I want to change things about myself? Really fascinating stuff for me.

I flew through this book. I found myself quickly drawn into her story. And I really liked how her amnesia changed the course of her life. I thought the ending of this story was perfect. In fact, I think that the ending is what really made this book such a great read. I really hate it when you put so much time into a story's characters and then it doesn't work out the way you envisioned, so I was extremely happy that was not the case for this book. The ending really did make the book that much more enjoyable for me.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Black Ice


Black Ice
by Becca Fitzpatrick

SO I was a little nervous to read this book. It got a lot of really terrible reviews on Goodreads. A lot. But I really enjoyed her Hush Hush series so I decided to go ahead and give it a try.

In this book two teenage girls find themselves trapped in the snow, in the mountains of Wyoming, and at the mercy of two guys who take them captive. Will her ex boyfriend be able to find them and rescue them in time?

This was a very entertaining book and I really enjoyed reading it. I definitely don't agree with most of the reviews I saw on Good reads. There were a lot of complaints about the main character falling for a bad guy or being spoiled and stupid but I couldn't disagree more. I found her to be resilient, smart and determined. She was put in a tough situation and came out stronger. Sure some of her earlier decisions weren't great, But she is a teenager. They don't always make great decisions but if they are smart they learn from their mistakes. Also I didn't feel like the guy was really a bad guy and he showed that by the way he treated her and how he tried to protect her. Also I have thing for the guys in her books.  I always seem to really, really like them. I know some of you felt the same way about Patch in her Hush Hush series. I'm I right? Her books/ characters are definitely my guilty pleasures of the Young Adult genre.

Just like Hush Hush, this was a fast, fun read. I didn't want to put it down. She does a great job of keeping the story moving. I really enjoy her style of writing and this book did not disappoint in that department. My one complaint would be that I found it to be very predictable. I figured out who the murderer was very early into the story. Other then that this was a great read.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Magic Kingdom for Sale/Sold


Magic Kingdom For Sale/ Sold
By Terry Brooks

I picked up this book because it seemed like a really fun premise. Tired of his day to day life as a lawyer and missing his wife, Ben comes across an advertisement for a Kingdom and decides to buy it.  Once he arrives in his newly acquired Kingdom, he soon discovers that he is now a King of a land in turmoil. Problem after problem pile up and he must decide if he as the courage and determination to be King or if he should go back to his normal, boring life.

I though this was a fun story. The Characters were interesting and the story intriguing. I really like that through out the book Ben learns about himself and what he is capable of doing. This was a really unique take on a fantasy world.

I did take me a while to get through this book. I'm just not a huge fan of his style of writting. I found myself skimming though the slower paragraphs. But other then that I like the story and the outcome. The story line kept me interested enough to keep going.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The Book of Lost Things


The Book of Lost Things
by John Connolly

I'm just going to start by saying that I loved the ending of this book. It has such a great message and really brought the story full circle. It made me tear up and really just made me happy. I don't want to get too much into what happened or the message the book is trying to tell, because I feel like that would take away some of the magic from the reader. It's one of those things that needs to be discovered and enjoyed on one's own. I'll just say that anyone who has felt loss, disappointment or jealousy of any sort can relate to this book.

It did take me a little while to get into this story. It develops relatively slowly and at times I found myself not sure what to think. There are references to fairy tales through out the book, but they are very dark and disturbing. Even more then Grimm's versions. I really wasn't sure where this story was going and worried that I wasn't going to like it. For a while it just seemed so sad and upsetting, but in the end I loved where the story led. It was well worth the time it took to read!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Heiress of Winterwood


The Heiress of Winterwood
by Sarah Ladd

This was a fun, quick read. It only took me about a day to get through it. The story quickly drew me in and captured my interest. I really love the regency time period (reminds me of Jane Austin, who I love) and I was intrigued by the characters.

I didn't realize this was a Christian romance when I started reading it, so that was an interesting twist for me, having never read one of those before. I can't say that I really loved that aspect of the book. I felt that she was a little heavy handed with all the religious meanderings. I think she could have portrayed the same idea with a little more subtlety. Don't get me wrong, I like religion. I love my church and have a strong belief in God. I just thought it was all a bit too much in the book. I'm not sure I can even explain very well why I didn't like that aspect of the story. Oh well. It is what it is.

And did anyone else reading this book wonder how she didn't realize that Edward was just after her money the entire time? I mean why did she ever agree to marry him in the first place? I just thought that was a bit odd. She makes it sound like at first he was a true gentleman but we never get to see that side of him so it was hard for me too believe that she was so naive at first. Especially since she is such a strong, independent character.

I did enjoy the book. And liked how the true romance unfolded. There was plenty of intrigue and action. It little bit of scandal. All the things that keep a story interesting.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Winter Sea


Winter Sea
by Susanna Kearsley

I really enjoyed this book. Sometimes a nice romance is just what I need and this was a good one. I liked both the story about the past and the story about the present. I liked how they complemented each other and had some parallel events. So often with these historical fictions I find myself less interested in what is going on in the present and much more interested in the history but I found all the characters through out the story engaging. But I have to admit that the historical sections were my favorite parts. It did take me a few chapters to really get into the story but once I did, I didn't want to put it down. I wanted to keep reading to find out what happened next.

I loved the setting of Scotland and I learned a little about History I didn't know before which I love. I find history so fascinating and love learning new things.

I do have to say that I thought the ended was very predictable. I knew very early on in the book how the story was going to end. There was a brief moment towards the end that I thought maybe I had it wrong but then it all worked out just the way I thought it would. I actually didn't mind that I guessed the ending. Sometimes it is nice to read a book where everyone ends up with exactly who they should end up with. That's what makes it a good romance!


Wednesday, August 5, 2015

All the Light We Cannot See


All The Light We Cannot See
by Anthony Doerr

I was supposed to read this book for book club a couple months ago but there was a very long hold list at the Library. I didn't receive the book until about a week ago. I really wanted to like this book but I ended up being a bit disappointed. Especially with the ending. For some reason I did not like the ending at all. I think it might be because I spent so much time getting to know these characters and building up to how it would all work out, and then it wrapped up so quickly. There were just a couple chapters at the end about the characters years later after the War had ended. It just wasn't enough and was kind of a let down for me.

Also I know that this was a story about WWII and a lot of people suffered and died but I found the ending of this book especially depressing. Maybe he was trying to illustrate the damaging efect of war. Either way I became so invested in the characters, I just didn't like how they ended up.

This was also a hard book to get through. It was very long and jumped between characters so often that it seemed to take a long time for anything to happen. The story follows two main characters, with one other person thrown in about half way through. One chapter would be about the blind French girl, marie-Laure, and the next would be about Werner, the intelligent young German boy. The chapters are very short, which I actually really like, but it also meant that not much happened thus making the story move slower. (Short chapters are great for reading when you have kids because it was easy to squeeze a few chapters in between taking care of them.)

What I liked about the book was the new perspective I got about World War two. It was so interesting to read about what it was like in France and also what it was like to be a member of the Hitler youth. It is a good reminder that not everyone was thrilled with what was happening in Germany but there was little they could do about it. Especially the young and poor. I became very attached to the two main characters and liked how they ended up being connect in the end. I just wish it had ended slightly differently.


Monday, July 13, 2015

Quiet


Quiet; The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking
by Susan Cain

 I was really interested in what I could learn fromm this book. It often feels like people who don't have introvert tendencies don't really understand how I see the world. I think it's easy to mistake quiet, as snobby or socially awkward. I do agree with her that much of our society feels like extroverted characteristics are desirable. I liked how she point out the many positives of being introverted. How, despite the prevailing opinion, introverts make great leaders.

The two sections I got the most from was when she talk about Religion and raising children. It is so true that Churches often lean towards its more extrovert members. I can see this everyday. It really do think we need to make an effort not to make people feel obligated to participate or even guilty for not wanting to do certain things. I much prefer to sit quietly in the back of class and just observe. Speaking or praying in front of a group cause me a great deal of anxiety. There have been times when I've avoided going to class for fear that I might be forced into giving a prayer. I say forced because I think people expect everyone to be willing and even want to participate so then I feel guilty for saying no. After reading this section it made me realize that I don't need to feel bad. There are other things that I can contribute that are much more in my comfort zone. That doesn't make me less of a member or less spiritual. It just means that I contribute in different ways.

I thought the section about raising kids and helping them navigate their school years as introverts was really interesting. I think a lot of parents, extroverted or introverted, could gain some insight from this chapter. I am always happy to learn things that may help me keep my kids happy and successful.

But this book was so hard to get through. I had to check it out twice (6 weeks) to finish it and the only reason I really got through it was that I had two other books waiting for me to read. Books that I was really looking forward to reading. This book was just really slow and a bit repetitive. I wish there was more about how we change societies views to be more excepting of introvert characteristics. It just seemed like she keeping going on and on about how under appreciated they are with no real answer. It wasn't until the last couple pages that she even mentions how to help.

So, yes I though it was interesting and a learned some new things from this book. But I also got bored of it quickly and struggled to even finish it. I'm really not sure how I would rate this book so I'll just leave it at that. :)

Friday, July 3, 2015

Dad is Fat


Dad is Fat
Jim Gaffigan

This is a series of essays about his life as a parent. I found him to be very funny, which made for a great read. I imagine that this would be an awesome audiobook. I kind of wish I had gotten it as an audiobook because I think it would be even more amusing being read by him.

I can really relate to his sense of humor and his opinions on raising kids. Many times I laughed out loud because I knew exactly what he was referencing. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars on Goodreads was because I can't really compare it to some of the amazing, can't-put-it-down, fictions that I love so much.  Each section is a separate anecdote or story, so it was nice though to be able to read a couple essays here and there, when I had time. It's not a book you have to sit down and read straight through.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Room


Room
by Emma Donoghue

This book tells the story of a kidnapped women and is told through the eyes of her five year old who was born during her captivity. This was fascinating look into what life would be like for someone forced to live in horrible circumstances. At first I was unsure if I was going to enjoy reading a book from a five years old perspective. Let's be honest, five year olds can be annoying. Once I got used to the way he referred to the world around him, I didn't really mind that he was the one telling the story. I didn't even bother me when he talked about breastfeeding. It really showed what the world would look like to someone who had never been been outside of an eleven-by-eleven room.

This was a really quick read. It only took me a day to finish it. I found it to be thoroughly engrossing. I really wanted to find out what happened to the boy and his Ma. If you are looking for something different, that will make you look at the world with a new perspective, this would be a great book to choose.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Harry Potter



I know it's been a while since I posted about any books I've read. Last month the book for my book club was Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. I decided, since I hadn't read the entire series in years, that I would attempt to read all the books in May. I flew threw the first two books, reading them in a day or two. Then the books started getting longer, and my baby stopped sleeping, making it difficult to find time to read. I was getting worried that I wouldn't finish before our book club meeting. I finished book 6 the day before. I figured that was close enough since that was officially the book we were reading. I then tackled and finished number 7 last week.

I loved rereading this series. I don't think I will ever get tired of it. I'm always amazed about how authors come up with such imaginative stories. These books are full of fantasy, adventure and good story telling. I can't wait until my kids are old enough to enjoy them with me!

 I was kind of surprised how different the books were from the movies. Clearly it has been a really long time since I read the books. I've seen the movies much more recently. Even though there are some differences I still enjoy the movies too!

What series do you enjoy rereading from time to time?

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Martian


The Martian
By Andy Weir

This book was a fantastic read. It was our selection for book club this month and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This is a story about an Astronaut who gets stranded on Mars. I think I enjoyed this story so much because he was such a great character. I loved his attitude about the whole situation. He was faced with probable death but still maintained a positive attitude. Plus he was hilarious. I laughed outloud on numerous occasions. I haven't done that with a book in a really long time!

Be warned there is quite a bit of language in this book. And when I say language I mean the F-word. A lot. So if that bothers you this might not be the book for you. That being said I still really enjoyed this book. It was so well written. Believable and thoroughly entertaining! I'm looking forward to seeing the movie with Matt Damon. Could be a really great movie.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

UnDivided


UnDivided
by Neal Shusterman

I finished this book a couple weeks ago but life got crazy so I'm just now getting to this post.

What a great ending to this series! I thought that he did a perfect job of wrapping up the story. This series was so good and I love how it makes you really think about the Sanctity of life. It shows how easily public opinion can be swayed by media. I thought it was very thought provoking. Yet another series written by Neal Shusterman that I would highly recommend. I think he is right up there with some of my all time favorite authors!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Marie Antoinette


Marie Antoinette: The Journey
By Antonia Fraser

This was our Book Club read for the month of March. I was finally able to finish it this week. It is a really long book, plus we went on vacation, so it took me a couple weeks to get through the entire book.

I found Marie Antoinette's story to be quite fascinating. She really seems to be a misunderstood historical character and a victim of the era she lived in. The first part of the book moved rather slow for my taste. In fact the entire book was a hard for me to get through because of the style of writing. The best way I can think to describe it is that it is a very scholarly book and is written like a text book. There were times I wasn't even sure I understood what was being described. But I pushed through and as her story began to unfold I became more and more interested in finishing the book. I can't say that it became easier to read but it was definitely more interesting when the Political turmoil began. I knew what her fate was going to be but it was really fascinating to read about all the events that lead up to that moment. Really I felt very sorry for her by the end.



Thursday, March 19, 2015

Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude


Once Upon a Cool Motorcycle Dude
by Kevin O'Malley, Carol Heyer, and Scott Goto

My son brought home this book from the Library yesterday and at first glance I thought it looked kind if strange. Then I read it and discovered a delightfully, fun book. I loved reading this story and my boys that it was hysterical. In the book, two different people try to tell a fairy tale, a girl and a boy. I loved the different perspectives. I changed the way a read it based on who was telling the story and it made for a really entertaining read. Seriously, we laughed the entire way through this book. Really fun! If you haven't given this story a try yet, you should. I promise your kids will love it.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The One


The One
by Keira Cass

Anyone else think this cover is gorgeous?

I really enjoyed the last book in the Selection series. It was such a quick, fun read. I can really use those kind of books right now. With three kids, I'm finding it difficult to find the time to read so anything that only takes me a couple of days to get through is great.

This final book really cleared up any confusion I had about who America should end up with. After reading it I'm not sure why I ever wavered in the first place. It seems so obvious now who she was destined to fall in love with.

My one complaint would be that the ending was a little too abrupt. It seemed to get really exciting in the last chapter or two. I remember think that there didn't seem to be enough pages left to read for the story to be able to wrap up satisfactorily. While I actually liked the way it ended, I do wish we could have learned more about the rebellion and find out if the events of the last chapter truly made a difference in their Country.

I did learn that there is a fourth book, which is set 20 years in the future. Maybe it will answer any questions I had about the future of the characters and their country? I guess I will have to read it to find out.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

UnSouled


UnSouled
by Neal Shusterman

 I didn't realize that the last two books in this series were available until a couple months ago. I immediately moved them up on my  To Be Read list. This is such a unique and interesting series and I was excited to see how it ended.

It has been quite some time since I read the first two books and I thought I may need to reread them so all the characters and events would be fresh in my mind. I read a little synopsis on line and ended up being able to get right back into the store, with out any problems.

I really like this series. The first two books Unwind and Unwholly were so thought provoking and this one was just as good. I really like how he includes real news articles through out the book that showcase just how a world like this could be possible. It seems so terrible that people would allow children to be unwound (killed) as an answer to problems but these articles truly showcase how that kind of thinking can work it's way into our society.

Now I need to request book 4 so I can find out what happens to everyone!


Monday, March 9, 2015

The Elite

Having three kids has made it difficult to keep this blog up to date. I always feel like I am at least a week or more behind in posting the books I've read.

This one I finished over a week ago.


The Elite
by Kiera Cass

This is book 2 in the Selection series. I enjoyed this one just as much as the first book. It was a quick, fun read. Really just what I need with my busy schedule and house full of kiddos!

I feel like she has done a good job of keeping me guessing about what is really going on and what is going to happen next. I still haven't decided who I think America should end up with. Usually I have a very clear side I am on in these books with love triangles but I keep changing my mind as the story progresses. It's not like Twilight, where I was always team Edward or The Hunger games, where I rooted for Peta the entire time.

I'm excited to read the rest of the series so I can find out how it all turns out.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Sarah

We decided to continue with our book club this year. We weren't organized enough to have a book for January but we did manage to meet and pick out all the books for this coming year.

The book for February was


Sarah
by Orson Scott Card

It was really interesting to read someones take on what life may have been like for Sarah and Abraham. The Bible verse are pretty brief and only give you a small glimpse into their life.

This was a slow starter for me. It took me forever to get through it. There were parts I really enjoyed and liked the perspective he gave the story. There were other parts I didn't care for as much. I almost stopped reading after the first chapter because it bothered me that Abram at age 20 was telling a ten year old girl how beautiful she was and that he was going to marry her. It bothered me that she was talking about how she loved him. Now maybe back in the day it was normal for people to start thinking about marriage that young but in the book she is portrayed as a ten year old. For me that is way to young. If anyone in their 20s looks at my daughter when she is ten and tells her how beautiful she is and that he plans to marry her I would think there was something very wrong with them!

 I am glad I kept reading. The rest of the story was much more believable. I really liked the part when they were in Egypt and had to pretend she was his sister. The scriptures don't explain much about that and I liked the way it was explained in the book. I know this is a fictional story but sometimes it is nice to take what life may have been like to help understand the scriptures a little better.


Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Selection


The Selection
by Kiera Cass

When I was looking for a new book to read I came across this series. At first I was a little hesitant to read it because it got so many bad reviews on Good Reads. I saw it while browsing the shelves at the Library and decided to go ahead and give it a try.

This story is set in the future where World War has caused the downfall of the United Sates and a new country with a caste system has emerged. 35 girls are chosen to compete to be the Prince's wife. America is chosen to be a part of the competition but doesn't really want to be there, at least not for the same reason as all the other girls. She just wants to help her family.

I ended up really enjoying this book. So much so that I finished it in under 2 days. This was a fun read. It probably helps that I wasn't looking for something deep or thought provoking. I think sometimes people take themselves too seriously. I just wanted something entertaining, that didn't take me forever to get through. This book was perfect for that.

I liked the characters and I'm interested finding out more about the world they live in. What are the Rebels really looking for? This is another dystopian novel with a love triangle and for once I'm a little torn who she should end up with. I really like the prince but I feel like her boyfriend,who is in a lower caste, is at such a disadvantage that I kind of want to root for him.

Anyway, I liked this book and will definitely the rest of the series.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Fault in Our Stars



I put off reading this book for a really long time. John Green is an excellent writer (you can read my reviews of a couple of his other books here and here) but I just wasn't sure if I was up for reading a cancer book.

We watched the movie a few weeks ago and I decided that I really needed to read the book. I enjoyed the movie way more then I expected.

Turns out that the movie followed the book really closely. It was kind of nice reading it with the knowledge of things to come. I liked the characters in the book just as much as I liked them in the movie. I also thought the author did a great job of portraying what it was like to be dying of cancer and what it was like to lose some one. Such a touching and honest look at a subject that can be so hard to deal with. I can see why this book is a best seller. I would recommend this book to everyone!