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text 2018-01-31 23:01
January Recap
Avenged (Ruined) - Amy Tintera
Shattered Minds - Laura Lam
Out of the Easy - Ruta Sepetys
The Dead List - Jennifer L. Armentrout
White Trash Zombie Gone Wild - Diana Rowland
Infinity + One - Amy Harmon
When I Am Through with You - Stephanie Kuehn
Our Kind of Cruelty: A Novel - Araminta Hall
Keep Her Safe: A Novel - K.A. Tucker,Roger Casey,Wendy Tremont King,Will Damron,Robin Eller,Simon & Schuster Audio
Cinder & Ella - Kelly Oram

A new year with new reads...and it's off to a good start.  Only one book under 3 stars and 1 DNF.  9 books rated 4☆ and above.  I changed up my review format this past month, I decided I wanted my process more simplified.  Who knows, maybe this one will stick.

 

 

 

 

(Audiobook) Avenged by Amy Tintera

Finish Date:  01/05

☆4.3☆Stars - Grade=A-

 

(Kindle eBook) Shattered Minds by Laura Lam

Finish Date:  01/09

☆4.2☆Stars - Grade=B+

 

(Audiobook) Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Finish Date:  01/12

☆5☆Stars - Grade=A

 

(Kobo eBook) The Dead List by Jennifer L Armentrout

Finish Date:  01/14

☆4.5☆Stars - Grade=A-

 

(Audible Audiobook) White Trash Zombie Gone Wild by Diana Rowland

Finish Date:  01/19

☆4.5☆Stars - Grade=A-

 

(Kindle eBook & Audiobook) Infinity+ One by Amy Harmon

Finish Date:  01/21

☆4.8☆Stars - Grade=A

 

(Audiobook) When I Am Through With You by Stephanie Kuehn

Finish Date:  01/23

☆3.2☆Stars - Grade=C

 

(Netgalley eARC) Our Kind of Cruelty by Araminta Hall

Finish Date:  01/26

☆4☆Stars - Grade=B+

 

(Audiobook) Keep Her Safe by KA Tucker

Finish Date:  01/29

☆4.2☆Stars - Grade=B+

 

(Kindle eBook) Cinder + Ella by Kelly Oram

Finish Date:  01/31

 ☆4.3☆Stars - Grade=A-

 

Plus 1 DNF...

Renegades by Marissa Meyer - This just had too many characters to keep track of and I had no idea what was going on, so I gave up at 28%.

 

11 books total, 5 Audiobooks, 3 eBooks, 1 combo audio/eBook, 1 eARC, and 1 DNF'd Audiobook.

3,483 Pages (including Audios)

 

 

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review 2018-01-28 17:13
It Only Looks Easy (Single Titles) - Pamela Curtis Swallow

For more reviews, check out my blog Craft-Cycle

I made the mistake of picking up a book with a dog on the cover. I almost stopped reading after the first chapter when the dog gets his by a car. As soon as Kat starts talking about how great her dog is on the first page, I thought, "Oh no, it's going to be one of those books." Thankfully, the dog doesn't immediately die or anything and the book isn't about Kat's grief over her dead dog. Hooray.

This turned out to actually be a pretty good book. I'll admit, it's a little more stretched out than I would have liked, but a lot happens. It isn't just about her dog getting hit by a car. It isn't just about dealing with the whole bike theft thing. It isn't just about tutoring the annoying girl in math or meeting the woman who accidentally hit her dog. It's a whole bunch of things rolled into one that helps Kat grow as a person and learn through experience. 

A good book for young readers, because a lot happens in a relatively short amount of time and Kat has to deal with some important, complex issues (fights with friends, reputations, making new friends, and of course the whole dog thing). This is a good book for kids who like to read.

And...(spoiler)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 The dog doesn't die at the end.

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review 2018-01-27 10:07
The Bee Friendly Garden: Easy Ways to Help the Bees and Make Your Garden Grow
The Bee Friendly Garden: Easy Ways to Help the Bees and Make Your Garden Grow - Doug Purdie

I think I mentioned in a post just after Christmas that MT got me bees for Christmas.  An old schoolmate of his runs a beehive management business, and either Tuesday or Wednesday next week, after dark, he's delivering our hives to us.  MT has decreed that all the bees will be named Barry.  I've pointed out that all the worker bees are female, which temporarily stumped him.  I'm sure by the time I finish this review he'll have rallied.  Stay tuned.

 

Anyway, my garden is pretty close to jungle status as is, but I'm always looking for excuses to plant new things, and our bees need to feel welcomed.  But I know not all flowers are bee friendly (size, shape, and whether or not they make pollen/nectar), so I wanted a list of particular plants the bees would love.  Our bee guy recommended this book, and MT bought it for me for my birthday, and I guilted him into giving it to me a day early, because he also gave me this cold.

 

The Bee guy did not steer me wrong.  This is a great book for anyone who just wants to attract more bees to their garden.  It's a tiny bit preachy - he's (rightfully) passionate about NOT spraying your garden - but there's a lot of compelling reason to preach it.  Without bees we can kiss about 80% of our food goodbye and bees are in serious decline world wide.  

 

The Bee Friendly Garden is strongly geared toward Australia, primarily in the chapters where he discusses native bees (some of which are SO cool), but more than half the book would be useful to anyone, as a lot of the suggestions are geared toward the European honey bee and the plant lists are almost universal in their availability.

 

I now have a list of plants to look for at the nursery.  Now I just have to find a place to put them.  

 

Update:  MT has named all the bees Betty.

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review 2018-01-13 23:50
4.7/5 STARS - GRADE=A (Upgraded to 5/5)
Out of the Easy - Ruta Sepetys

~MY THOUGHTS~

 

Out of the Easy is my 555th read on Goodreads, so in honor of that, I upped my 4.7-star rating to a full 5 stars…because my 555th read needs a 5-star rating. 

 

Ruta Sepetys writes such vivid, compelling characters that just reel you in.  Josie is no exception, nor are any of the other characters, even the skeevy ones.  Along with Lauren Fortgang's narration, the time period and the atmosphere is captured perfectly in Out of the Easy.

 

 

 

 

 

~BREAKDOWN OF RATINGS~

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plot~ 4.5/5

Main Characters~ 5/5

Secondary Characters~ 5/5

The Feels~ 5/5

Pacing~ 5/5

Addictiveness~ 4.3/5

Theme or Tone~ 5/5

Flow (Writing Style)~ 5/5

Backdrop (World Building)~ 5/5

Originality~ 5/5

Ending~ 5/5 Cliffhanger~ No

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Book Cover~ It's Doable…this one is better than the one with the yellow shirt.

Narration~ Very Good by Lauren Fortgang

Setting~ New Orleans 1950

Source~ Audiobook (Library)

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

 

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review 2017-12-20 19:55
Canadian classic storybook with lovely art
Baseball Bats for Christmas - Michael Kusugak

Disclaimer: review based off of NetGalley proof

 

I have a feeling I must have read this as a kid; seems to be a rerelease of a book from the '90s. Definitely has that nostalgic feel either way. There's a strong storytelling tone to it, and it's more storybook length than picture book. I'd recommend for early readers, elementary schoolers, or as a read-aloud to toddlers. Lovely, painterly art supports the story of a remote Canadian-Inuit community sometime last century. Fits in with other historical fiction efforts that convey a sense of a simpler time, making your own fun, community and family. The snowy landscape and Christmas references could make it a good holiday gift for children, and I could see it being a teaching tool as well for discussions of Canada's past, the experience of remote communities and First Nations.

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