Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Codecrafter: Review

Author: Erica Sandbothe
Publisher: Erica Sandbothe
Pages: 146


Tagg has come to Tilde for one reason: to become a Codecrafter, a sorcerer who can forge her own magic spells. The road isn't an easy one. Tagg must face infinite loops, ornery students, tricky lang-monsters, and the wrath of a powerful queen.

Above all, she will face what it means to be a Codecrafter.

For the words that Tagg is learning aren't just magical. They are computer science.

Codecrafter is set in a world where spells are software, magic is programmed, and one girl must use all of her skills to outwit an enemy bent on her destruction. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Tagg is a lordsdaughter who goes to Tilde to learn to become a sorcerer. She thought she would be completely safe in Tilde but quickly realizes that it's going to be much more difficult than she originally thought. Maybe she shouldn't have even come to Tilde. Her father is deemed a traitor by the queen so she is made fun of, teased, and there are people out to get her, maybe even kill her. She must worry about her safety and the safety of her father. She has a mentor who doesn't really treat her that great but she still does everything she can to learn spells and condecrafting to become a great sorcerer. Tagg is challenged to overcome her enemies with the little she has learned. But her will is very strong and she's not giving up without a fight.

This is a great story for kids and I'm sure my stepson is going to enjoy it so I'm excited to hear his thoughts on it. This book takes you  into a world full of magic based on math and programming, sorcerers, and unusual creatures/monsters. I really liked Tagg. She was a sharp girl who learned quickly and she wasn't afraid to take matters into her own hands if need be. I really enjoyed this one and I'm sure your kids will love it whether they are boys or girls. Check it out!

*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Monday, July 22, 2013

Candy and the Cankersaur: Review

Candy and the Cankersaur

Candy and the Cankersaur
Author: Jason Sandberg
Publisher: Jason Sandberg
Pages: 32


This is the sweet and funny tale of a young girl named Candy and a Cankersaurus Rex! Candy receives a dinosaur as a gift and is determined to train him to be a good pet.

My Thoughts:

Candy's father is always very busy so he decides to by her a pet to keep her company. The pet is a Cankersaurus Rex. The neighbor boy becomes extremely jealous of her and steals her pet dinosaur. Once he realizes how upset she is, they work together to get Cank back.

This was a really cute story about friendship and jealousy. My 4 year old daughter really enjoyed it. She wishes she had a pet dinosaur but says it would have to be nice of course! Most kids love dinosaurs so I'm sure that his would be a hit with your little ones.

*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Hush, Hush: Review

Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1)

Hush, Hush
Author: Becca Fitzpatrick
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Series: Hush, Hush #1
Pages: 391



Romance was not part of Nora Grey's plan. She's never been particularly attracted to the boys at her school, no matter how hard her best friend, Vee, pushes them at her. Not until Patch comes along. With his easy smile and eyes that seem to see inside her, Patch draws Nora to him against her better judgment.

But after a series of terrifying encounters, Nora's not sure whom to trust. Patch seems to be everywhere she is and seems to know more about her than her closest friends. She can't decide whether she should fall into his arms or run and hide. And when she tries to seek some answers, she finds herself near a truth that is way more unsettling than anything Patch makes her feel.

For she is right in the middle of an ancient battle between the immortal and those that have fallen - and, when it comes to choosing sides, the wrong choice will cost Nora her life. (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

So I was looking on Goodreads and this book has so many bad reviews! That's crazy to me because I absolutely loved it. Once I started reading this book I was hooked. It was almost addicting and it's a really fast read. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I absolutely loved Patch. He's all dark and mysterious and he even has a motorcycle. Total bad boy. That's my type so maybe that's why I liked him while others hated him. But it wasn't like he was a complete a-hole all the time or anything, he has feelings and he expresses that and he didn't kill Nora even when he could have so that doesn't make him such a horrible guy, right? haha. He might come off a little bad but deep down he's a softy, I just know it. He reminds me of my hunny. :) If it wasn't for him, Nora wouldn't even be alive. One person who I really didn't like was Nora's friend Vee. For some reason she really bothered me. She didn't really listen to Nora when she should have and she put them all in danger. I also didn't like the school psychologist or psychiatrist whichever one she was. I'm not going to say too much about her because I don't want to give anything away. But have you seen Pretty Little Liars? She totally reminds me of Meredith. If you haven't seen it then just ignore that statement because it won't make any sense.

I really like books about fallen angels and I think the author did a great job with this one. The plot was wonderfully done. There are twists and turns, things you don't expect and it's not totally predictable like a lot of other books out there. I'm definitely going to be reading the next one. Try borrowing this one from a friend or from your library. Maybe you'll be like me and enjoy it and if you don't you won't be losing anything but a little time.

*I borrowed this book from the library.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Story of Chester: The Monarch Caterpillar/Larvae: Review

The Story of Chester the Monarch Caterpillar Larva
The Story of Chester: The Monarch  Caterpillar/Larvae
Author: Susie Vanderlip
Publisher: Intuitive Wisdom Publications
Series: The Chester Series
Pages: 27
"The Story of Chester" is a PHOTO story book for children ages 3 thru 9 that tells the story in photographs and text about Chester, the real-life Monarch caterpillar, on his journey to find his life purpose - to become a beautiful butterfly. Chester, like all Monarch caterpillars, is a determined, ravenous and energetic larva. He has a spunky personality and devours leaves, flowers and seed pods. He sometimes eats cooperatively with his "brother and sister" larva, but sometimes other larva bully and bite him. They do NOT want to share their milkweed leaves with him.

When fully grown after two weeks of huge growth and rambunctious eating behavior, Chester leaves the world he knows on the milkweed plant to trek across the yard and up a tree to make his chrysalis, “a pretty green house, and he didn’t even know he could do it!” He emerges a gorgeous and colorful Monarch butterfly. But there is one thing more left to do. Now Chester the Butterfly must learn how to fly!

"The Story of Chester" teaches about the amazing life cycle of Monarch butterflies in a story format to engage children and promote a love of nature.
The Story of Chester is now in several school districts and used in second grade classrooms as part of their Life Science Curriculum, teaching about butterfly life cycle.

"The Story of Chester" has a companion MOVIE/DVD that parallels the entire book with live-action, real-life video of Chester and his life journey. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts:
This story follows Chester, the monarch caterpillar, around from the time he is a larva, through chrysalis, until he becomes a beautiful butterfly. Kids will learn a lot from this book such as what monarch caterpillars eat and how they become butterflies. They get to see real life photographs throughout the book and there is also a DVD that goes along with it. It's really fun!
This is a great book/DVD to use to teach your children about the life cycle of butterflies. I will definitely be using this with my daycare kids and my own munchkins. My daughter absolutely loved Chester! I'm sure this would also be great for schooling or homeschooling too! I would also like to add that 10% of book with DVD purchase goes to the Monarch Watch to educate and increase habitat for diminishing population of Monarchs. So if you get a copy you are not only helping your children learn about Monarchs but you are also helping Monarchs!
* I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Hoodie: Review


Author: S. Walden
Publisher: Penny Press
Pages: 223


Anton Robinson is a black high school senior six weeks shy of graduation. Six weeks shy of freedom. And six weeks shy of never seeing the girl of his dreams again. He’s resigned himself to this, albeit reluctantly and with a heavy heart, because he knows he has no legitimate reason to initiate a friendship with her. And he’s scared to. His love interest, Emma Chapman, moves in different circles, is clearly from a world of economic advantage, and just happens to be white. He cannot imagine she would ever be interested in a black boy from the ghetto. But his luck changes when he is paired with her for an end-of-term English assignment, and he hopes to flirt his way into her heart.

Emma never noticed Anton before the start of their project but quickly develops an attraction to him that is undeniable. Spending nearly every day together, they discover surprising similarities and sharp differences between each other that excite them and draw them closer until they find themselves embarking on a secret romance. They are too afraid of how their friends and family will react, but they recognize the impracticality of keeping their love secret. When they finally go public with their relationship, the consequences are shocking, swift, and life-changing.

This is a Mature YA novel that contains explicit language and some sexual situations.

My Thoughts:

Emma and Anton get paired up for an English project that lasts for six weeks. At first Emma does not want to be his partner and doesn't know how she is going to last six weeks having to work with him. They slowly end up falling in love with each other. Because they are different races and move in different circles, they are worried about how other people will react to their growing relationship. When they do decide to let everyone know they are romantically involved they suffer consequences that will greatly impact their lives. Will this tear them apart or make them stronger? Was it worth it?

This was a fantastic read even though the ending ripped my heart into a million pieces. I don't believe I have read a book regarding interracial relationships so this was a new topic for me. I think that these kinds of books need to be written because there is so much hate in the world. Emma is a rich white girl and Anton is black and living in the ghetto. They love and accept each other despite these differences but not everybody is accepting as they are. What they have to go through after getting the courage to let everyone know they are together is heart wrenching. Why can't people just be kind!? This was a beautiful story and I would recommend it. I think that people should just let others live their lives the way they want to. If that's not how you would live your life then that's fine. If you don't agree with it, that's fine. Live your life and let others live theirs. You don't have to like it. That's just my opinion.

*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Friday, July 12, 2013

Oh Brother!: A Nico and Tugger Tale: Review

Oh Brother!: A Nico and Tugger Tale.
Oh Brother!: A Nico and Tugger Tale
Author: Kimberly Sentek
Illustrator: Eumir Carlo Fernandez
Publisher: Trafford Publishing
Pages: 28


Two stories in one - double the reading fun! Meet Nico and Tugger, two dogs that became brothers. Their story is an endearing and fun look at sibling rivalry. - from two points of view.

My Thoughts:

This book has two stories. First you get Nico's side of the story and then you get Tugger's. Nico was an only dog and he liked it that way. He got all of the attention and didn't have to share anything. But everything changes when his little brother Tugger is brought to live with them. Now people pay attention to Tugger when they come over and he's always stealing Nico's toys and annoying him. Tugger was really excited to have a big brother but Nico would never play with him. To try and get Nico's attention he started stealing his toys.

Eventually the two of them grow to love each other and enjoy each other's company. Nico realized that Tugger's not trying to annoy him and steal his attention, he just wants to play. I Liked how this book told both sides of the story not just the big or little brother's side. Sometimes even dogs get a case of sibling rivalry. This would be a great book to read to a child who is about to become a big brother or sister. It will not only let them know that it's normal to feel that way but it also shows them the little brother or sister's side so they can understand better. I really, really, liked this story it was absolutely adorable.

*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.


Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Looks of an Angel: Review

Looks of an Angel

Looks of an Angel
Author: Lauren Elizabeth
Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing
Pages: 148


… The Siren went off, the one for which they have trained us all our lives. Which meant… Invaders! I flipped around, breaking the number one rule—don’t hesitate—to see a hovership coming towards our planet…

When Aly’s home planet Pluto is invaded, everything she’s ever worked for is put on the line. In the process of saving her not-so-much friend Matt, Aly is captured. Taken by the Neptwainians to their home planet. She will have to fight to stay alive as they put her through a series of life-threatening tests, changing her, morphing her into a different being. Was Aly picked at random or had someone been stalking her? (Goodreads)

My Thoughts:

Aly and her family live on Pluto and the planet is invaded. Aly and her friend Matt are captured and they are put through tests that change them into different beings. Aly doesn't even look like the same girl, her hair and eye color are different, she is taller, bigger, and stronger, and she now has wings. They force her to fight to the death against other experiments like her. Are these people just using her for their own personal entertainment?

This book was written by an 18 year old high school senior. It was compelling and very well written. I think Lauren Elizabeth has a bright future ahead of her as an author and I hope she continues with it. This book was definitely different from the other books out there right now. I don't want to give away too much so I don't spoil it for anyone just in case they want to read it. It left me wanting to know more so I am hoping that there's a second book.

*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.



Monday, July 8, 2013

Land of the Unaltered Blog Tour

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Land of the Unaltered (Confederation, #1)
Rose comes from the capital of the Confederation of Cities where its citizens live in luxury and the greatest fashion statement of all is being Altered. People change everything about the way they look as often as they do their hairstyle but Rose is different. Her position of privilege has made her an outcast and led her to suspect that something sinister is happening to the citizens and flees the capital along with a past that imprisons her in search of a fresh start in the Land of the Unaltered.

Flynn lives in the Land of the Unaltered and hates the capitol and everything it stands for. So when a spoiled capital girl is assigned to work with him, he wants nothing to do with her and is prepared to make her life miserable. But Flynn was not prepared for someone like Rose. She doesn’t fit the mold he expected and finds himself strongly attracted to her. As she continues to surprise and outwit him, they begin to forge a bond that is tested when they discover a secret that could change everything they know about Land of the Unaltered.  
Author's Links
Book Links

Interview with Leti Del Mar:

How did you come up with the title?
I loved the concept of remaining unaltered and loved the word.  I knew I wanted that word to be in the title of all 3 book in the trilogy. So I played around with it until I came up with Land of the Unaltered.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Yes.  I am a big believer in being comfortable in your own skin and not changing who you are for the sake of fashion or society.  Living in Southern California, so many of the people I know have had some sort of plastic surgery, but would have been just as beautiful without it.  I think true confidence and inner beauty are linked and I wanted to share this.

How much of the book is realistic?
Although my book is set in a futuristic and dystopian society, much of what my characters feel is realistic.  They deal with very real coming of age issues like insecurity, developing your own identity outside of your family, loss and love.

What authors have influenced your life most?
Jane Austen has been an immeasurable influence and I think because of her, my books will always have a strong sense of romance.  Agatha Christie has also influence me since I don’t just write romance.  There is always some sort of mystery or unsolved puzzle in my stories.

What book are you reading now?
I’m reading Summer Lane’s State of Emergency.  It is about the immediate aftermath of an electromagnetic pulse taking out all microchip technology in Los Angeles.  As a Angelino myself, I find the story captivating.

What are your current projects?
I am promoting my book, Land of the Unaltered, planning its sequel, Secrets of the Unaltered, and also working on a non-fiction work, How to self-Publish Your Novel in 12 Easy Steps.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
I find revision challenging.  I’m never satisfied and always want to go back and make changes.  I keep at it until I sick of my own work.  It is a big deal when I decide that I’ve had enough and stop revising.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing.  This is a marathon and not a sprint so pace yourself and keep on creating.

Friday, July 5, 2013

If You Were Me and Lived in... France: Review

If You Were Me and Lived In... France: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World

If You Were Me and Lived in France
Author: Carole P. Roman
Publisher: Createspace
Series: A Child's Introduction to Cultures Around the World #2
Pages: 28

"If You Were Me and Lived in...France-A Child's Introduction to Culture Around the World" is the second book in Carole P. Roman's remarkable series about countries all over the globe. With each book covering a different nation, Roman opens up a world of wonder while highlighting the fact that underneath it all we are far more alike than we might have imagined. Focusing on what life would be like from a child's viewpoint, she examines the diversity of the people who make up our planet. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts:
This is the second book in the series by Carole P. Roman which introduces children to different cultures around the world. In this book it tells kids what it would be like if they were a child living in France. They learn about what continent they would live on, what their capital would be, what their name might be, and what they would call their parents. They also get to learn about French currency, tourist attractions, what they would eat, and what sports are popular.
I really love stories that teach my kids something, whether it be facts or life lessons. This is a great series for teaching your children about life in other countries. They are able to learn a few things about what people live like in France and how it's different from or similar to the way they live. This book would be wonderful if you are teaching your kids about France or other cultures. The illustrations are bold an colorful. I really enjoy these books and so do my kids. They are informative yet fun. I would definitely recommend this series and we're looking forward to the 3rd book. It would be a great addition to your child's library.
*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Entangled: Review

Entangled (Spellbound #1)
Author: Nikki Jefford
Publisher: Nikki Jefford
Series: Spellbound #1
Pages: 303

Two months after dying, seventeen-year-old witch Graylee Perez wakes up in her twin sister Charlene’s body.

Until Gray finds a way back inside her own body, she’s stuck being Charlene every twenty-hour hours. Her sister has left precise instructions on how Gray should dress and behave. Looking like a prep isn’t half as bad as hanging out with Charlene’s snotty friends and gropey boyfriend.

The “normals” of McKinley High might be quick to write her behavior off as post-traumatic stress, but warlock Raj McKenna is the only person who suspects Gray has returned from the dead.

Now Gray has to solve the mystery of her death and resurrection and disentangle herself from Charlene’s body before she disappears for good. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts:
Graylee and her twin sister Charlene may look alike and both be witches, but that's where the similarities end. Graylee mysteriously dies in her sleep one night and wakes up 2 months later in Charlene's body. Their mother, who is also a witch, has someone do a resurrection spell so she can have both of her daughters alive but fails to mention that she wants them in separate bodies. So Gray is stuck sharing her sister's body and the switch every other day. While Gray has the body she has to dress like Charlene, act like her, and keep up with her social life. That means dealing with her loser boyfriend. She must also find out how to get back into her own body before she is gone forever. This is hard to accomplish when you only have a body every other day and your sister is working against you.
I did enjoy this book but I felt like there was something missing and I can't quite put my finger on it. Another problem I had, which is common in a lot of books these days, is with "instant love". For example, when two people don't really even know each other but then all of the sudden they share a glance from across the room and the stars align and they become madly and deeply in love with each other and begin to risk their lives in the name of love. How romantic right?
Anyways, enough with that rant. The book was a great idea but I think it could've been better. I didn't realize that it was self published until writing this post. I will be reading the second book sometime though because I have to find out what happens. Oh and the cover is absolutely beautiful, don't you think?
*I bought this book with my own money. :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

Dr. Scholl's For Her Ball of Foot: Review

Hey everyone! I know this post is completely off of my usual topic of books but I just thought I would share!

It's summer so that also means wedding season! I was sent a set of these Ball of Foot inserts by Dr. Scholl's For Her from Influenster to test out. I put them into some of my high heels and tried them out a little by walking around the house in them. They actually did make the shoes a lot more comfortable. I'm getting married next month and so is my sister so I have a few weddings I have to be a part of so I will definitely be using these.

Hopefully they will feel as good wearing them for hours as they did walking around my house for a bit. Have any of you ladies out there tried these? I'm thinking about getting some inserts for my tennis shoes as I have a very high arch but I'm not sure. Let me know what you think of Dr. Scholl's inserts and if you have any recommendations for me.

Have a great night everyone! Love ya! Keep reading!

Strangers on the High Seas: Review

Strangers on the High Seas (A Captain No Beard Story, #4)
Strangers on the High Seas
Author: Carole P. Roman
Publisher: CreateSpace
Series: A Captain No Beard Story #4
Pages: 32
When the Flying Dragon gets a new crew member, Captain No Beard soon discovers that every person is valuable in his or her own way.Responsible for his new crew member and baby sister, the Captain becomes unhappy with his situation and begins to think that being a captain is hard work.

However, when the dreaded Barnabas the Scurvey Dog begins to chase the Flying Dragon, the fearless Captain has to put aside his problems and keep everyone safe. In their race to escape, the Captain, his loyal First Mate Hallie, Mongo the Monkey, Linus the Lion, Fribbet the Frpg, and Polly Parrot soon find out that help can come from the most unlikely of places.

The Captain's new adventure is the charming fourth entry in the Captain No Beard children's book series. With a delightful message that teaches children not to judge a book by its cover, this exciting journey will excite young readers as well as teach them valuable life lessons. While stressing the importance of never marginalizing someone because they don't look like they can help or keep up, the adorable crew teaches children the importance of not talking to strangers. Filled with thrilling adventure, this amusing book will teach children the important lessons in their young lives, all while keeping then riveted from the very beginning. (Goodreads)
My Thoughts:
This is the 4th book in the Captain No Beard Series. Captain No Beard isn't too thrilled to have little Cayla on board today. (Isn't that an adorable way to spell that name?) He thinks that she's just a baby who doesn't know a thing about being on a ship or being a part of the crew and that she'll just get in the way. A strange ship with black sails and a scurvy dog approaches and the crew becomes worried. Little Cayla may just save the day when she does her duty. (Pun intended!) ;)
I am in love with this series so far. From the fun but meaningful messages to the wonderful and colorful illustrations, it's sure to put a smile on everyone's face. This story teaches children that they shouldn't speak to strangers and to be accepting of people, no matter how small or inexperienced. You may find help in the most unexpected way or places. The person who is small, doesn't know anything and a is a "nuisance" may just save your butt! This was an adorable book that had my kids and I laughing. I know they'll be wanting to read this one again.
*I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.