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review 2019-04-05 08:13
The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel

This is a powerful story of an 8th-grade girl, Pipi going through a lot of stuff at school and at home.

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She’s holding onto many embarrassments from her past school years and is having a hard time letting go, to the point of being in a negative mindset toward the classmates who have been laughing at her, treating her like she is a virus, and being mean to her (in her eyes at least) since kindergarten, even feeling anger and jealousy toward the ones who haven’t really done that much to her, like Sarah who seems genuinely nice.

Pipi sees Sarah as a bad guy when the book starts because she is best friends and cousins with her main bully Kara. Pipi has to open her eyes and realize that there is more to people than what she sees. She is so focused on all the mishaps that happened to her over the years that she never realized everyone around her are having them as well.

She is so caught up in her humiliations that she thinks she needs to save younger children from having any. She has to realize when she tries to help the younger kids, she is taking away who these kids are and Pipi needs to learn who she herself really is!

There is a full range of emotion being expressed in this book and I enjoyed it fully. I love how funny it can be, but it can be just as sad as it can be hilarious. Annie, who is Pipi's niece, is the funniest 4-year old I've ever read about. This is a fast paced book. It has such heart and a scene or two made me tear up.

This book has every diverse group you could think of (small exaggeration, maybe?) and it works. It doesn’t feel too forced. I’m glad we’re starting to get more diverse children books.

I want to point out that Pipi's school has a strict dress code and it might be a sore spot for some people who are going through or did go through it. It's a very sexist mindset that our schools have. It’s the whole “she was wearing *that* so she was asking for it.” The girls have so many rules, but the boys rules are “must be clean and neat.” It is even quoted in the book that the girls are a distraction to the boys.

There is also some homophobia in this book, so be aware of that going in if that is a topic that would hit close to home.

The book is real. It’s raw. The ending packs a punch. It really tugged at my heartstrings. It’s not just a children book. It is and should be important for all ages.

I really loved this book.

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review 2019-03-23 05:26
Screechers by Kevin J. Kennedy & Christina Bergling

*This was kindly provided by the author for an honest review. Thank you for the chance to read your story!*

 

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Imagine you were the last of your kind and how you would feel. The authors describe this feeling very well, painting a vivid picture, with beauty and sadness. There is no dialogue when we are in the “Screechers” point of view because they do not talk like we do. The descriptions of the creatures are enough. Normally, I get bored and lose focus on description heavy passages, but these are action-packed and written in such a way that I am never bored.

The writing style is great; It did have a repetitive phrase that I found took me out of the story each time I noticed it, but other than that, I’m thoroughly impressed with this little novella.

I 100% genuinely love this story. It was part gross (in a good way), part heartbreaking, but also full of heart, hope and made me smile. The story itself is fast paced and easy to sink your teeth into. I really enjoyed it and hope to read many more from the two authors involved.

 

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Phil Beachler did the cover art. It is amazing!

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text 2019-03-21 11:50
I'm in the mood for "Creature Features" [Please Recommend!]

Can anyone recommend some "Creature Feature" books along the lines of Jaws, the Meg series, Jurassic Park, Congo, The Hatching, Skitter...etc.

 

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By creature, I mean animal, bug, alien, mythical, killer plant, you name it. Creature verses humans sort of thing. Cheesy B movie types welcome. All age ranges welcome (children to adult) Short story, novella or full length novels all welcome.

 

Feel free to promo your own book, but please include a couple other recommendations, too! I do do read and reviews, but I'm honestly nobody here (hah) and bookstagram. Lol Though my Instagram is leighas_life and I have over 100 followers, though lets be honest, half are probably spam. :/

 

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Thank you!

 

 

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text 2018-07-03 20:58
Reading progress update: I've read 61%.
They Call Me Crazy - Kelly Stone Gamble

I've read this book already, and have the physical book that the author sent me last year (around the time that I was getting ready to come here to Florida for vacation, which is a couple of weeks before I decided to spur-of-the-moment move here).  I started it on the plane, but never got around to reading more than the first couple of pages.  I saw it on my shelf, and was reminded that I hadn't gotten around to finishing it, and decided to come back and read this one again before I did.

 

I had forgotten just how good this one was.  I think I'll be re-reviewing it on my blog when I'm done with the second one and review that.  I feel like I missed a lot on my first read, so I'm glad something pushed me towards it again.

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review 2018-03-08 15:27
The River and the Ravages by J.M Lawler

Maybe mild spoilers. TW: Scene that is borderline rape, but isn't technically rape. Still unsettling/upsetting to read.*

 

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Summary:

Aaliya Reiner is made of strong stuff. But when her mother passes on, she seems to lose her grip on life. Things don’t seem to get better with her sister, Maddalena, who’s estranged and enjoying the benefits that come in a marriage of power and opulence.

Aaliya takes refuge in a passionate and hidden love affair, hoping to fill the void left by her mother’s death.

But desire can be deadly and the Kingdom of Traegos is becoming a dangerous place. When the dark web of politics and power begins to ensnare the kingdom’s inhabitants, choice and chance collide leaving Aaliya with only one option left to survive.

(spoiler show)

 

First off, I must say that this is so beautifully written. I really enjoyed the way the author described things, the setting and characters.

I liked the younger sister, Aaliya, but had a very hard time liking the older sister. First impressions stick with me, and Maddalena annoyed me from the get go. However, I think that might be what the author intended, so good job! But the girl got some brownie points from me as the story went on. The ending was quite unexpected for how the book began. I liked that a lot.

I loved how both girls had a distinct and different personality; you can tell which chapter belonged to who with no problem whatsoever.

I really disliked the sex scenes, especially the last one in the book.

Aaliya has this one sex encounter that caused me to cringe a lot. It's a horrible situation to be in. You got to do what you got to do, I understand, but still felt unneeded to be so graphic about it. [Trigger Warning: It wasn't rape, per say, but it also wasn't wanted sex. Sounds confusing, but it is what it is.]

Each person has their own idea of graphic. The sex/violence in books might be fine for some, but too much for others. I wasn't bothered by the violence. I'm just not an "erotica" fan for the most part and this book did have some juicy and descriptive scenes. I'm honestly not a prude at all, but I am asexual, so that might have something to do with my feelings.

There is also threesome sex (2 male, 1 female) for anyone wanting to know.

Overall, I believe many would like the book.

*Author sent me this to review. I am very thankful!*

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