I judged the cover

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I have to admit I love the cover of this book.

‘Noelle: A Novel’ by Greg Kincaid from my understanding is the 3rd book in this book series and the authors 4th book. Now can it be read as a stand alone. Sure it can BUT I have to say I feel like it might have helped me connected with the characters a little more if I had read the build up of this family. And maybe seen their past struggles in the pervious books.

Noelle focuses on the McCray family from Kansas. Its a Christmas story about Mrs Claus. Throw in some family drama and dogs and a lot of other families and more dogs. It does end on a happy note. Which I’m sure will lead to another book.

So its good. Easy read but it does make you want to hug your furry friend in the end.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

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‘Look’ this book up

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I expected  ‘What We See in the Stars: An Illustrated Tour of the Night Sky- by Kelsey Oseid’  to be a short little book with a few nods to the things we try and see in the stars at night. Or that this was aimed at very younger readers. Boy was I wrong. Imagine my surprised when this book came. Wow. Turns out to be a wonderful book that covers so many things about our night sky.

The cover, I just love the cover. You get a good overview of space, not just the constellations, the moon and sun, the north star, aurora’s, the planets as well as deep space ec. It also talks about Total eclipses (totality) which we had just had a chance to experience a few months ago. So really this book gives a great over view with just enjoy information to not overwhelm you.. As well as a nod to what might of might not be out there.

he art, the art is wonderful.

Now some people have said that this book doesn’t specify where to look for the constellations but in this day and age where the sky is always changing I am glad this was not included. Plus there are some amazing sky viewing apps out there.

In fact there is a great site that tells you when the international space station flies by: http://spaceweather.com/flybys/

So grab some blankets and look up.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Charm of Goldfinches what a title

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This is just such an adorable and charming book. I love it. I mean just look at the title: ‘A Charm of Goldfinches and Other Wild Gatherings Quirky Collective Nouns of the Animal Kingdom’ by Matt Sewell.

The illustrations are all land, air or water animals and they are just wonderful. Great detail and they really do pop.

The book has a few UK references which is not surprising.

The text is just enough information. In some you find some very cute moments such as a crocodile dundee nod, or the story about sharks. The joke about squirrels or rats…I will not spoil it all.

Its a small book yet charming and puts a smile on your face. You’ll flip through it a number of times. Once to really look at the illustrations, and then to read the text. And when its over you wish that there were some postcards to hang up. Charming just charming.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Not Earth Shattering

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At 5:36 p.m. on March 27, 1964 which was Good Friday, a magnitude 9.2. earthquake – the second most powerful in world history – struck the young state of Alaska. That is the book I wanted to read ‘The Great Quake: How the Biggest Earthquake in North America Changed Our Understanding of the Planet’ by Henry Fountain COULD have been such a good book but it will sadly never live up to what it could have been.

This book seemed to focus more on the people who were investigating the quake then the actual quake and survives. Unless the person who was researching the quake happened to be in Alaska at that time I want to know/picture/feel what it was like to be in a magnitude 9.2. earthquake.

The book also kind of time jumps which did not bother me so much but what drove me nuts is that I also found this book went into far more scientific research and detail then what I really wanted to read about.

You see this book could have turned out like ‘The Tunnels’ by Greg Mitchell or ‘Dead Wake’ by Erik Larson (side note comparing this book to ‘Dead Wake’ is an insult). Those two other books were page turners this one was not.  ‘The Tunnels’ and ‘Dead Wake’ were able to balance science/history and historic accounts that ‘The Great Quake’ seems to miss entirely and focus more on science.

Another flaw in this book is the author lists far to many names , so many you can’t keep them apart or remember who is who. For example lets say “Jim was looking back at Kelly, Mary while holding Sue…” instead of saying “Jim would never see two of his children ever again”. But I don’t need to read about Smokey or Tom, Jim, Tiny…ec

The sad part is you have to force your way past so many pages and when you finally make it to chapter 9 (yes I am not joking well over 100 pages into the book) do we finally get to the day of the earthquake and what if felt like.

Yes the book has some photo’s but I really wish they would have had more, or even some better comparisons. For a book so heavily focused on science there were not a lot of photo’s.

So what could have tuned into an amazing read was more like a science book you kind of skim.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Moving on up…

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Finally a refreshing book to read. If you are looking for a charming and funny book with a full dash of Indian culture then pick up ‘The Windfall’ by Diksha Basu.

The idea is simple. What happens when you come into a lot of money? Do things stay the same or do you ditch the old for the new? In the case of the Jha family its the story of them moving on up to a new neighborhood. A true “keeping up with the Jones” Indian style which I love.

I have fortunately had the opportunity to travel to India so I can picture it well.

But in the end the meals, the family drama could happen to anyone, anywhere in the world. Pick up this book. You learn about a culture you might not know a lot about and discover a great new author and book in the process.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Run Woman Run

I really don’t know what to say about ‘Woman No. 17’. I’m truly at a loss of how to review this book…maybe first have a drink or three??? Here’s my take on this book…it was a waste of good paper…! I’ve read better fan fiction…! I was expecting something else…! I mean the one good thing is I am willing to give any book a try but in the end I did not like this book at all. It was not for me.

‘Woman No. 17’ by Edan Lepucki is a book that I found myself putting down a lot just because it did not hold my interest. It took me longer to read then most books, its not a book I will ever read again nor do I think I will pick up a book the the same author. You start off with Lady and S (and no that’s not a typo) and already I’m wondering if I picked up a book I’m not going to enjoy. Sadly it turns out that just as I had guessed I did not enjoy this book.

I think my main issue with ‘Woman No. 17’ is the very unlikeable characters, the extremely unlikeable characters.

I mean it starts off kind of odd…I have no other way to describe it. But it turns very boring and well you don’t like or even connect or want to connect with any of these characters. And then S and Seth… you  know what just skip it.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Here and Gone needs to go away and return as a true mystery

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Told from multiply points of view, ‘Here and Gone’ by Haylen Beck starts with the basic idea of Audra running away with her two children from her awful marriage.  She gets pulled over in a small town, is arrested and suddenly the children disappear. You soon find out who has the kids and kind of why but once your over that shock the book starts to drag a lot.

Psychological thriller this is not! A bigger twist would have been had Audra really done something to the kids or better yet had no kids with her at all. Maybe it would have been better had the story only been told from Audra’s point of view, because you know she’s telling the truth and in a mystery book where’s the fun in that?!?!

I really liked the character of Danny, who has something like this happen to him a long time ago. Yet it felt like Danny could have solved this case a long time ago.

A lot expected things happen: Drug addict mother, abusive father, evil/cold mother in law, dumb cops…I mean the works. I almost feel like I’ve read or seen this before.

My issue with this book is that none of the characters are really unlikeable.

I didn’t want to spend time with them.

Sean and Louise (the children) are unpleasant. Louise might be younger but just never senses any danger.

The book was ok and would have rated it high but the ending felt very, very rushed and very forced.

Yes you find out that Danny got his revenge (yeah!!) but did he ever find his daughter? Is she alive or dead? How many other children did he save?

The dark web wants these kids but it never says for what…sure its for nothing good but still.

But the issue is that it just kind of ends not letting you know how many other kids had gone missing over the years.

Also some of the Forensic science seemed off.

Another issue is that Danny’s wife Mya killed herself but saying time and again that Mya was weak but Audra is not that felt very, very wrong. I did not like those comparisons at all.

The character of Collins is another sticking point for me. She has a very sick child at home and really needs the money. Yet she gets killed asap and there is never any mention of her very sick son. She gets killed and that’s it. There is also no way that she would treat these kids like that. It just didn’t seem to fit.

So all in all not the greatest mystery. I really was hoping for a big twist and in the end nothing really happens. You just know it will all end well. We are suppose to feel happy that this family survived but by never connecting with the characters it kind of feels like a let down.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Where’s the magic?!

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Where’s the magic?!

I was so excited to get this book ‘The Midnight Queen: A Noctis Magicae Novel’ by Sylvia Izzo Hunter. A tale filled with magic and mystery….I got anything but that.

The biggest issue with this book is that it starts out with a fight and your kind of lost as to what’s going on and who’s who. So many names and places being tossed about. Then its takes about 50 to almost 100 pages to get the mystery started.

As a reader you think ‘finally we get to the good stuff’….A possible assassination attempt, a missing princess, magic bring it on…and yet this book drags. There is no sense of urgency. There is just all this information being tossed at you, information instead of magic. I was expecting more magic but there are long, long, long moments of talking, where nothing happens and its just down right boring.

You have one or two funny moments such as Gray as an owl vs the window but it falls flat.

I did find Mrs Wallis funny, and I did like Joanna.

But its just I never connected with this book. I really could not find myself caring about Sophie or Gray.

Gray is nice and Sophie is smart but its an instant love story with characters I never connected with. I wasn’t interested in this journey they took.

Another issue is that the character of Gray stutters at first. Now instead of saying ‘gray, when nervous slightly stuttered’ one gets ‘h..h…h….hello sir..’ I don’t need to read all his stuttering.

I put the book down a number of times and had to force myself to finish it. A quick search informed me that there are two more books that follow this one. I shall not be reading them.

It was not a magical story for me.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Toss this book back into the Arena

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Arena, sounds interesting, Virtual Gaming is the new sport with gladiators being the players. That’s what you will find in Holly Jennings  book ‘Arena’.  That idea is all I liked. The rest of the book is awful.

The main character of Kali Ling, try as I might I could not connect with her or even really care about her issues or what happens to her or her team. I’m not sure why but the character never really popped for me.

The constant drug use was a put off. Its drugs, drugs and more drugs. The forced love interest is a  joke. This is romance? Wow from people who hate each other to lovers never read that before (rolls eyes). The sex scenes were laughable to say the least.

The only moment I thought was cute was that the new guy, rooke, would bring her a book and she’d drop it off the next day at his door.

The death of a player early on never hits home and the the rest of her ‘team’ never stand out. I can’t tell them apart and really you come to the point you don’t care.

I have read better fan fiction and other first time novelist then this book. Like say Ninth City Burning by J. Patrick Black see review https://theworldisabookandiamitsreader.wordpress.com/2017/06/26/finally-a-good-sci-fi-story/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true&calypso_token=5c531ad5-3bd4-487d-b7ec-a365b2a19440 

Its like the author was stuck in the Virtual Gaming world and wanted to stay there more then being worried about building the characters.

I mean your in a VR world and yet its always a castle? Why not  under water or a race way? Change it up?!?!

Also what’s suppose to make this team good? They don’t get along so why are they a good team? How long have they been together?

Why is Kali so good because I saw none of that. They almost lost because they didn’t view other teams as an issue. And in the end I almost wish they had lost because that would have been a twist I was not expecting.

Oh and while we are at it why should I care if this team wins or not? Well I mean unless you worry about them not making all this money or the sponsors dropping them. But they must win because of there dead ‘teammate’ and because of the fame and money. There are no consequences in the end. Now I’m not saying make this like hunger games but at least make it have some kind of consequence. Money should NOT be a consequence.

But wait Kali is SO good she wants to be a team owner and change the industry?!?!? Change what? But she will not take her team because they need to make names for themselves. Ummmm yeah.

In the end I found myself ready to hit the escape button.

Side note I read that this book got a sequel?!?! That I can guarantee you I will not be picking up.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”

Finally a good sci-fi story!

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‘Ninth City Burning’ by J. Patrick Black now this is what I call scifi. Humans fighting back against an alien invasion. Now your talking. Sure we never find out why we are fighting them but that’s besides the point.

I have to say the book description is not fully accurate. Jax to me was never the main character, neither is Naomi. To me the main character that connected everyone was Rae. As a reader I wanted to spend time with Rae and follow her story and how she has to switch from one culture to another. To be placed in a class with kids much younger then her. To me she was the most interesting part of the story, no one else.

Yes you follow a few other characters as well and you are able to keep them apart. A few times the description goes a little long with too much details. At times Kizabel has a little too much information. We get it. Or the battles yeah we really get it. Sure your creating a new world so I was ok with certain amount of detail but sometimes there was too much.

Sure never really know the reason behind the war but I loved the hints at valentines day. See someone didn’t get enough chocolates!!!

Jax’s past was missing but since I really wasn’t too into him I can easily overlook it.

I was bother that a moment was missing when Rae goes off to battle and her sister, Naomi, doesn’t say goodbye. Or at times I felt Naomi needed to be a little more worried about Rae. That really is one thing that bothered me about the book. These are sisters and I felt like it was always more Rae being worried about Naomi not the other way around.

The magic elements were kind of cool. Not really sure why there’s a link to the old glasses or certain older elements but hey its scifi. You just go with it.

I enjoyed how the book ends. Sure one could add another book or two but I will simply say please no. The book ends on a good note leave it at that. Don’t drag it out. But I would not be shocked if they’d made this into a movie.

Its a good scifi book that stands on its own.

“I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.”