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review 2017-05-27 21:24
Nice Work If You Can Get It, Celia Imrie
Nice Work (If You Can Get It) - Celia Imrie

I enjoyed this book although it took a while to get into the story. I received this book for free and voluntarily chose to review it. My problem was keeping all the characters sorted. There were so many characters. This story did have a lot of action and interesting things going on. And although there were a lot of characters, they seemed to weave altogether. So this was part fun, part action and interaction and a real interesting ending.

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text 2017-05-27 07:08
My Personal Literary Canon: Begin at the beginning
Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret - Judy Blume
Then Again, Maybe I Won't - Judy Blume
Deenie - Judy Blume
Tiger Eyes - Judy Blume
Forever... - Judy Blume
The Luckiest Girl - Beverly Cleary
Up in Seth's Room - Norma Fox Mazer

I'm going to start with the books that on the surface might strike some as the most trivial, but realistically, because of the age I was when I read them, would have had the biggest impact.

 

Hands down, the undisputed winner for most influential YA writer has to be Judy Blume.  In my previous post I mentioned I didn't come from an open family.  When speaking about my adolescence, I cannot put too fine a point on this:  my entire sex education consisted of a short movie and forgettable lecture in 5th grade that left me horrified, and the works of Judy Blume.  

 

But I got so much more out of her books too.  Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret might have enlightened me on the more embarrassing aspects of puberty, but I also learned the importance of making up your own mind about your beliefs, and that there was no right answer for everyone.  I also noted the dangers of jumping to conclusions about people you don't know; that their reality is not mine.  

 

Then Again, Maybe I Won't taught me that while change was rarely welcomed, sometimes good and unexpected things came out of it.  Deenie was my personal adolescent nightmare writ large; scoliosis terrified me; after reading Deenie it still terrified me, but I could see how someone might survive it and own it.  Tiger Eyes taught me we all carry guilt, even for the things we aren't guilty of and can't control, and while that may be the nature of things, we should never stop trying to let it go.

 

Then, of course, there's Forever...  I doubt I have to list all that I learned from this book, but the most lasting lesson was this: I'm allowed to choose for myself.  I get to make my decisions on my own terms and I'm allowed to change my mind.

 

This, in my opinion, was Judy Blume's strength.  She never preached to her readers, either directly or indirectly.  She created characters that were confronted by the things her readers confronted, and then gave her characters the rational capacity to find the answers on their own. Adults don't play Yoda in her books; the kids reach their own conclusions, and as a result they serve as examples to their readers.

 

There are other teen authors from back in the day that come to mind:  Beverly Cleary, of course, although not for her much more famous Romana series, but for The Luckiest Girl.  At 16, Shelley leaves her family to spend a year in California with a family she barely knows.  While quite a bit of the book is dated now and even a little twee, what stuck with me all these years was her bravery in getting on that plane by herself, her openness to experience new things, and her unapologetic, unabashed delight in the world around her. I admired her for that - I wanted to be like that too, and I am, mostly. I'll forever be grateful to Beverly Cleary for Shelley.

 

Finally, there's Up in Seth's Room by Norma Fox Mazer.  Like Forever this deals with the weighty issues of first love and how far do you go?  This book fascinated me because it straddled two myths:  If you defy your parents you're automatically wrong, and if you're dating someone older, you're going to be unable to say no.  Finn is 15 and falls for a 19 year old.  She defies her parents after she's forbidden to see him, but she calls the shots with Seth.  She decides what she is and isn't comfortable doing and she sticks to her guns.  As a stubborn teen, Finn spoke to me in ways nobody else ever did.

 

I give my mom (deservedly) most of the credit for the strong-willed, independent woman I am today, but it's just as accurate to say these women deserve to share the credit with her; they went where she was unwilling or unable to go, and I doubt she could find much fault with their lessons.

 

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review 2017-05-26 15:59
My Review in One Word... Tumultuous
A Million Worlds with You (Firebird) - Claudia Gray

 

 

Book Title:  A Million Worlds With You

Author:  Claudia Gray

Narration:  Tavia Gilbert

Series:  Firebird Trilogy #3

Genre:  Science Fiction (Time Travel), YA

Setting: Present; including many different locales

Source:   Audiobook (Library)

 

 

Add to Goodreads

 

 

 

 

Book Theme Song

(link will take you to my tumblr post with video)

Just Give Me A Reason by P!nk --Paul's a little broken, but I think Marguerite can fix him…

Just give me a reason, just a little bit's enough

Just a second we're not broken just bent, and we can learn to love again

It's in the stars, it's been written in the scars on our hearts

We're not broken just bent, and we can learn to love again

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  4.2/5

Main Characters:  3.8/5

Secondary Characters:  4/5

The Feels:  4/5

Addictiveness:  4/5

Theme or Tone:  4.3/5

Flow (Writing Style):  4.5/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4/5

Originality:  5/5

Book Cover:  5/5

Narration:  4/5

Ending:  4/5 Cliffhanger:  Nada

 

Will I read more from this Author?  I would…if it sounds interesting.

 

⇝OVERALL RATING⇜ 

4.2/5 STARS

GRADE=B+

 

My Thoughts

 

The action in this is non-stop…Marguerite flits from one parallel universe to another…oh the places she goes...  

 

 

Always chasing her other self, or Wicked, as she names her other self from whichever universe is the bad one (I can't remember the name of it).  If only Marguerite could have been a little less whiny, I don't know if it's the way she's written or just the narrator's voice, but I was ready for this book to end.   Overall, this was a satisfying end to the series.  With plenty of drama, intense action scenes, smoochy love & stuff, and even some clones (that's clones not clowns) thrown in, it is thoroughly entertaining.

 

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review 2017-05-26 06:27
Age gap yum yum!
At Attention - Annabeth Albert
  • A Group Unicorn Review with Adam and Cupcake



    FOUR HEARTS--I've seen this author's work, perused the blurbs and I didn't bite.

    But this blurb was the prettiest show pony with SRAL approved buzz words and themes:


    widower still grieving after partner's passing (bring on the pain)
    widower has kidlets AND needs a manny
    manny is the widower's best friend's little brother
    best friend's brother has had a crush on widower since his teens
    AGE GAP
    NAVY SEAL


    RING A DING DING!!! GUESS WHO IS COMING HOME WITH ME?



    Of course, I lassoed the hell out of this book and gobbled all the words.

    Being as it's my first Annabeth Albert read, I'm not sure how it rates on the Annabeth Albert scale. If this was very on her A-game or there's better? *shrugs*

    I was entertained and had a great time reading At Attention.

    23 year-old Dylan gets a chance of his lifetime when his unrequited crush hires and moves him in his San Diego home for the summer. Dylan's crush, 34 year old Apollo needs a nanny to take care of his adorable 4 year old twins whole Apollo works on a naval base. This book can be read as a standalone, I wasn't lost. And I'm curious about the previous and future pairings.

    Dylan tries to tamp down his lusty feelings as Apollo works through his grief. Two years has passed but there is no time limit on grieving. And Apollo is a grumpy, more reserved bundle of emotions. He would take time to start to contemplate having feelings for another man. Luckily, Apollo's libido isn't broken. And try as he might, he can't deny the easiness he has with Dylan. The camaraderie and sharing his daily worries of being a single parent added more base to their friendship foundation formed with Dylan was just a teen.

    The story is a good mix of nerdy, adorable, (lightly) angsty, sexy and sweet. Dylan can't stop his feelings from blooming once again. Apollo sees his friend's kid brother in a new light, an adult. They try going the friendship route on equal terms, but their bodies won't be denied.

    The sex in this book?




    The sex was...hot. If I had to give it a flavor, it's hot vanilla custard. Sweet, varied and with a hint of spice. (highlights: intercrural (yay!), frottage, light domination/ control a smidge of exhibition) There is mirror sex but, it could've been hotter in my opinion. I might have been spoiled by a hotter mirror scene in another NA series I've read.

    The grieving and the time given for Apollo to work through his process was more important factor for me. Apollo plays hot and cold. The ghost of his lover is one he surrounds himself with daily and it's hard to break through. Dylan makes him crack through the shell. Plus, he's possessive and doesn't want any other guy getting Dylan's time. He wants it all to his self. That was bonus characteristics that I enjoy. The possessiveness and the control in the bedroom (of course).

    The best bonus of all? Dylan wasn't a pushover. And he spoke his mind even if might hurt, be it himself or Apollo. I'm #teamDylan all day!

    This story was really good. Not Earth shattering, or extremely memorable. For all themes it had going on, it worked. The writing is easy to read, all of the characters are likeable. All of them from kids to grandmas. I really liked how it ended, well maybe before the fluffed ending. It was added sugar I could have done without. But HEA lovers will totes lurve it.

    This couple totally worked for me and I see them having a long loving future ahead of them.

    Recommended for readers who enjoy contemporary, like the tropes I listed and wallow in second chance romance.

    Come join me as I ride my pretty pony into the sunset.



    #NoRegrets #teamDylan

    A copy provided via Netgalley for an honest review.
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review 2017-05-26 01:33
Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don’t Know What You’re Eating and What You Can Do About It
Real Food/Fake Food: Why You Don't Know What You're Eating and What You Can Do about It - Larry Olmsted

I eat fake food. I think that I am doing better at eating real food vs. fake food according to what this author considers real and fake food. I remember a while back, I was a garden virgin and was floored at how real garden food tasted. Seriously, I lived on Del Monte canned vegetables and hadn’t given any thought about how a pea or a green bean was grown. When a friend on Goodreads brought this book to my attention, I knew I had to read it. I live in the Midwest and I know that our beef is supposed to be good, but with all the different labels they are attaching to the packaging, what is good anymore? And eggs? People have chickens in their yards now, in the city! I am not ready for that but what’s with the brown eggs, free-range, grain-fed, grass-fed, etc.? Is there really a difference? Then there is cheese. I love cheese but cheese hates me, thanks to lactose intolerance. Not far from me, we have a dairy that makes cheese. Is this cheese better than the cheese in the store? What makes one cheese better than another? If I am going to be miserable, I want to be miserable with the good stuff. So, I hoped this book could help me.

 

The fact was this book help me just a bit. The author covered topics that I didn’t care about and he liked to repeat his topics a lot. I think the author likes Kobe Beef and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese a lot because these items were constantly written about over and over again. I know that I am not going to Italy to get my Parmesan cheese so this part was not helpful, I would love to go to Italy to grab some cheese but let’s be real now. To find a place that specializes in each type of cheese that I like and buy my cheese there? Well, I think a place that makes their own cheese is pretty specialized so this dairy that is close to me might fit the bill but they make different varieties. I also think Wisconsin (yes, you cheese heads) is a great place to get cheese but again, they make different varieties and I really like Shullsburg cheese (from Wisconsin) which I can buy in the store but again, they make different varieties. I don’t have the resources to travel and grab cheese from different places where they are specialized, I think I will stay with my current choices, they are fresh choices. The author covered topics like coffee, wine, champagne, olive oil and seafood. Topics that I was not interested in as they were not items I buy repeatedly. I did read most of these chapters though to see what the author had to say. He was showing us readers how sometimes fake food is slipped into life when we not looking. This novel became a buyer beware novel telling us to be mindful of wrong words, switched foods or food fillers in our food. So, I did learn that no product is safe on the market and that we all need to be vigilant and smart when making food choices.

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