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Sweet Masterpiece

Sweet Masterpiece by Connie Shelton is a cozy little mystery. I downloaded this book for free off of BookBub. 

As Cozy Mysteries go, it was not bad. It was slow. The romance part felt lacking in actual feeling to me. I did not get into it or feel anything towards the characters. The main character is a baker. She owns her own company and makes cakes and cupcakes. I think that was my favorite part of the book. Her daughter remains a complete mystery. Her story line is definitely missing things and has the potential to be very interesting.

The mystery was good in the fact that at the very end when we find out the “who done it”, I was surprised. It was someone that was barely a character in the book at all. Interesting twist.

The magic was practically non existent. It is possible that, since this is the first of the series, they were simply introducing a magical artifact. Because other than being able to be more productive, and seeing plant dust, this object did nothing. They did not go into the strange way that it was found. Or it’s origins. No back story at all. And with how it was introduced a back story could have written itself. This was very disappointing to me. It is also the only reason that I will be reading book 2 of the series. Hopefully the magic will actually exist in that one and the romance will be more engaging and the mystery will be more fast paced. 

I always have high hopes though. I’ll keep you posted. 

I give this one a 2.5 out of 10.

 
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Posted by on February 15, 2017 in Books

 

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Anna Kendrick “Scrappy Little Nobody”

I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

Having watched some of Anna’s Vlogs on YouTube I expected her book to be funny. That’s why I picked it up in the first place. But to have had to look words up because I had never heard them before was awesome! Sad. But awesome! I’m not sure if it’s because authors dumb their writing down now, or I am just not picking very smart books to read. 😦 This hasn’t happened to me in years though. It’s also possible that it is because she is in a creative arts environment that uses different words then the tech world that I live in. But I don’t think that is the case. My father, who prides himself on knowing an exorbitant amount of words would be horrified. There were at least 3 that, even though you can figure out because of the context, I looked up because I was excited about them. Like finding a new path in a forest or a new book at the store. For example “quixotic”. Which means, exceedingly idealistic, or unrealistic and impractical. I should know this word!!!!! This is how absolutely ALL of my ideas are. They are quixotic. Which is also a crazy fun word to say. How did I go 37 years without knowing this word? I feel like I should use it way more often. Maybe I’ll change the name of my blog to “The Quixotic wonderings of an MS girl.” Of course I try to keep my crazy schemes to myself or the other crazy people that I know that might actually help follow through with one of them. I love those people! Just say it with me now.

QUIXOTIC!

Don’t you feel better now?

Then there was how comfortably she talked about other famous actors.

Like after she told us the story of feeling guilty for sneaking in to see the movie Iron man and then following it with this, “…when I found myself at dinner with Jon Favreau and Robert Downy Jr. a year later, I confessed my crime and insisted on giving them cash or buying them something on the menu of commensurate value.” That was crazy to me. Yeah I had dinner with Iron Man, no biggie. I loved this!

When she refers to herself as a Scrappy Little Nobody I think that she absolutely believes that. Of course she is not! But she has an antisocial way of thinking, or writing about her thoughts, that is very endearing. I think that if I ever met her in person I would never walk up to her and say “Hi. Love your work.” But after reading her book it is hard to not feel like you have somehow become friends. It helps that at the end she keeps making comments like “I can say this, we are friends now.” Like we were having a conversation, or went out for drinks. Not that we just read her Autobiography.

When I mentioned to my older brother that I was reading this book his comment was “She’s like 12, what could she possibly have to say about life already?”

A lot! The answer is a lot. I hope that she takes the traditional route and writes another one when she is way older. Plus I feel that if more people wrote books when they were this young then Auto/Biographies would be much more entertaining.

Final assessment, 5 out of 5. Definitely worth picking up and reading!

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2017 in Books

 

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Looking For Alaska by: John Green

Review of:

Looking For Alaska

By:

John Green

My review is 2 out of 5.

Why did you pick this book up?

I was made aware that one of the schools in my area was trying to ban this book. Apparently it was inappropriate due to sexual content. Come on! Who wouldn’t run out and read it now? That’s the problem with trying to ban books. It just makes them more desirable. Especially to teens. After reading this I would have to agree that I wouldn’t feel comfortable with my 13 year old boy reading it. It’s not that bad. I’m just a prude and when he learns how things like “blow jobs” happen, I don’t want to know. As his mom I hope that it doesn’t happen until college. But I am not ignorant enough to believe this. I just don’t want to know. However, there are no worries. My son wouldn’t pick this book up in a million years. There are no spies, guns, or fight scenes and there isn’t even a hint at humor.

Does this book keep you engaged?

No. This book is very slow. It took me forever to finish reading it because there was always something better to do than pick it back up.

Did you enjoy the tenor in which this book was written?

No. The tenor in which this book is written kept reminding me of “The Outsiders” by S. E. Hinton. It was depressing. While the ending is supposed to make you feel like there is hope in the future, this book had the opposite effect on my disposition. And that’s before the tragedy.

That said; this book was written very intelligently. I’m not even sure that a lot of middle-schoolers would have been able to follow some of the language that Green used. They would certainly have learned something though. Other than the afore mentioned questionable pieces.

Were the characters and the setting believable within the story line?

Yes. The whole story was entirely believable. Nothing crazy happened. Kids do crazy things. The only thing that I can’t imagine to be realistic is the Eagle. There is no way that that man did not see all of the smoking and drinking that was going on. Also, humanity is not that good. There is no way that in an entire school there is not one person that would rat out another for their own personal gain.

Would you read this book again?

No. I’m pretty sure that this is going to be one of the ones I bring to a used book store and try my luck with another unknown.

 
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Posted by on January 5, 2016 in Books

 

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Clash of Kings by: George R. R. Martin

  

Clash of Kings is the thrilling continuation of Martin’s series “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Like in the first book, if you try to assume what is going to happen next you will most likely be wrong. It’s as if Martin sat there and said, oh the logical and expected path would be this…. So….. Let’s do this instead. Not the opposite mind you, just the totally unexpected. 

While reading this series I feel like I am continually in this world. The separate books run so smoothly together it is as if they were one. And this book ended as if you were going to turn the page to the next chapter. I am very happy that I don’t have to wait for Martin to write the next one. I just need to run out and buy it. 

Tyrion Lannister is my favorite character. I love his whit! I keep secretly hoping that he will switch sides and join forces with the Starks. Or maybe side with Daenerys and her dragons. Love her too. Her strength when the world seems against her is impressive. One of my favorite parts of this book was when she went through the Palace of Dust. How many times do people need to try to kill this woman? Talk about having 9 lives. But Tyrion is such a good villain that when I want his side to lose I also want him to win. How can such an awesomely thought out plan fail? I would lose all faith in him. So of course he must win! But at what cost?

Then of course there are Arya Stark and John Snow. Arya is such a spit fire little girl. I really hope that her adventures don’t get her killed any time soon. I love reading about her sneakiness and her water dancing. 

By the end of this book John is set on a new and interesting path. There is now a whole new world that we get to see and be part of. Many times I thought that John had seen his last days. His story line in this book is like reading a scary ghost story. Haha! Pun intended. 🙂

There is of course one story line that drove me up the wall. The whole time I was like WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? I just wanted to jump in the book and shake Theon Grejoy. What an ass! Bran and his band of misfits were too smart for him though. The wolf dreams and ingenuity saved the day again. For a very broken little boy he may yet make a very interesting character. 

I am very interested to see how this progresses. Will these very different worlds collide? I’m assuming so, but when and how? And who will be on what side?

Winter is coming. 🙂

 
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Posted by on June 2, 2015 in Books

 

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On writting a review and a review

Review of :

We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

by: Karen Joy Fowler

Before I write this review I just have two quick things to say.

  1. I don’t like the rating of books, or anything for that matter, based on a 1-5 system. I can never figure out which number would be the best. Should 5 only be reserved for books that you absolutely love and would read over and over again? I only have a hand full of books that I feel that way about. But then giving the book a 4 doesn’t seem fair sometimes because I’m not saying that I didn’t like it. I did. Then I can’t give a book a 1 because if it was that bad, I wouldn’t have made it to the end. In which case I cannot truly assess whether or not it is only deserving of a 1. Do you see how the system is flawed? I unfortunately have not come up with a better system. For me it will be more like this:

–        Would you read this book again?

–        Why would you read this book again?

–        Does this book keep you engaged or do you find your mind wandering while reading?

–        Did you enjoy how this book was written or did it anger you though out?

–        Were the characters and the setting believable within the story line?

Those are the five questions that I think are (at the moment anyway) most important for me to answer/have answered when deciding whether or not to read a book. So I will write this review answering those questions for you.

  1. It was not my idea to read this book. I never would have picked this one up on my own. As previously stated I avoid the popular, top 5 list. Especially when it is something like The New York Times top 5. These books have a tendency to be sappy, or entirely too realistic, or self-help-esq. I joined a book club in my town and this is the book that they picked for the month. That being said I was horrified and pleasantly surprised all at once. Or at separate times actually. And the last 2 paragraphs did make me cry. Damn it! But don’t skip ahead!

So maybe I should add a 6th question

– why did you pick this book up? Because the reason that you start reading a book can taint your opinion of it.

Ok here goes;

I already told you why I picked this book up. I would like to add to that though. This is not the first book that I have picked up not of my own volition that in the end I enjoyed. This book reminded me of The Poisonwood Bible by: Barbara Kingsolver, which I picked up for similar reasons and have very similar feelings about even though they are hugely different books. (Holy run on batman)

I would read this book again. You must read this book more than once. Just like you must watch the movie “12 Monkey’s” more than once. Not because this book has anything to do with time travel or conspiracy theories. But because you are guaranteed to have missed something the first time around. And also not because I would give it 5 stars and it was so good that you just need to immerse  yourself once again. Just the missing things reason.

Did this book keep me engaged?

Here is where this book lost points for me. A lot of the time it was very slow. Not so slow that you lose heart and stop reading. The chapters are very short and very different. You just have to struggle through a couple of pages. There were also parts where I was like, I don’t care. How could this possibly have anything to do with the plot? BUT…..Best first chapter!

How this book was written was my favorite part. If this book had been written in a normal order it would not have been as interesting to me. It was the constant cliff hangers. The “what is going to happen next?” paired with “what happened to make this happen?” questions that kept me flipping the pages. I feel that this author wrote the story much the way people think. We run off on tangents. Interesting, thought provoking tangents. Then we remember that we forgot something from the beginning of the story. I loved that!

The characters and setting were definitely believable. The only thing that seems strange to me is how different the main character’s memories are to what actually happened. I mean, I definitely grandiose my memories. But they are never completely different from the reality of the actual events. I see the point of concluding that she blocked things from her memory due to trauma. I’m just not sure that I believe that a person’s perceived reality can be so much different from the truth when talking about their personal feelings on a subject.

Ok, adding a 7th question. Would I recommend this book to others? Probably not. For me it was entertaining and thought provoking. However, there are so many good books out right now that I would rather be reading. This is not one of my favorite books for escapism. I do however enjoy a good thought provoker every now and then. Throw them in with the fluff. Keeps the mind sharp.

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Books

 

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A Game of Thrones by: George R. R. Martin

If you are looking for a runaway train type of book, this is it.

This is one of the best books that I have read in a while.

At first I was very skeptical. I have found that most of these things that gather a following of young people, based off of the show/movie not the book do not hold much interest for me.  Follow that with the fact that in the beginning every chapter is introducing a new character and you have me not wanting to read it. However, many well-meaning people urged me to continue reading.

So, yes, every chapter is written by a different person. This does not hurt the continuity of the story line. If anything, it adds depth. You are seeing the story unfold from many different viewpoints. There were times while reading that I seriously considered skipping a couple of chapters until I got back to say, Dany’s view/story line. Don’t do this. There are things that happen to the other characters while you are away from, said character, that affect that person’s story line as well. If ever reading a book was like watching a movie this one is. It is as if everything is happening in real time and you can’t miss a second. Nobody stands still while the other is moving forward.

There are a couple of different paths that the story is winding down simultaneously, but all seem to meld into each other in a crazy harmonious way. It is baffling to me the different charts that Martin must have had to try to keep everything together.

While reading this book I made the mistake of starting to feel comfortable with the progression of the story. Mentally looking ahead and working out what is probably going to come next. I was always wrong. There were multiple times that I was taken aback. With heartfelt “No that can’t really have happened”. There must be some kind of trick or sorcery or something and in the next chapter we will find that it was just a ruse. It was not. There are other times where I was just gaping in astonishment. I believe that in the last chapter as I finished the last sentence, I actually said out loud “Oh Shit!”. Because people it is that good, and shocking, and you just won’t believe it.

Of course now I can’t wait to read book two. I also plan to watch season one of the tv series. I just hope that it doesn’t ruin the book for me.

 
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Posted by on May 24, 2014 in Books

 

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Fairest by: Gail Carson Levine

Fairest is written by the same author as Ella Enchanted. This fact made me very leery about reading it. While Ella Enchanted was a cute story, it was not one that I ever wanted to repeat. To be totally fair though, I only saw the movie, I did not read the book. And as we all know the books are almost always better.

This happens to be a book that I picked up at my sons book fair. The biggest problem with running/helping out with these events is the amount of money you end up spending on books. Or at least for me it is. I can’t help it. I’m surrounded by books, I read a little bit on my down time, and I’m supposed to just leave it there? Never to be finished? Especially when it has a $1.99 sticker on it?

Yeah that doesn’t happen. I buy them. Much to my husband’s chagrin. I spend almost as much on books as he does on electronic toys. Or what I consider toys. Alright, not really. These toys of his are very expensive.

Ok back to the book;

Fairest is obviously a fairy tale. It is a lesson to little girls everywhere that even ugly girls can get the prince. LoL! There is no point in this book where the main character feels like she is even the slightest bit pretty. She is an orphaned girl left at an inn in a fairy tale world where everyone is beautiful, except her. The Inn keepers keep her and raise her as one of their own along with their other children. She always knows that she is not actually their daughter. She figures that she is abandoned by her birth parents because she is ugly. There are times in the book that she is likened to an ogre.

Of course there is a plot twist or two. She ends up in a castle. There are magical mirrors and princes. My favorite part was the Gnomes. In any book that I have ever read characters with the characteristics that these possessed were referred to as Dwarves. So that threw me off. I love that they live in the mountains though. Not outside and on top of the mountains, but IN the mountains. Lots of large cavernous rooms and so many tunnels that you could easily get lost in them. Also precious gems are so common to them that they are everywhere. It sounds lovely.

And yes I understand that I got totally wrapped up in a book that is meant for 11 year olds. I feel that I missed out as a child though. I was never one of those little girls that loved princesses and dolls and make-up/dress-up and what not. I was the girl that couldn’t put down a horror book or a murder mystery. I also loved any book where mythical creatures lived in tiny spaces. That last one is a little strange and still kind of an obsession of mine. So these overly girlie books are new to me. Yes I finished this book in half a day. But it was a good half a day. And feeling the way I have recently, it doesn’t seem to be a bad way to pass the time. It was that or the wash. 🙂

 
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Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Books

 

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