Tuesday, October 28, 2014

christmas in the sticks (Giveaway)

"A Robertson Family Christmas" by Kay Robertson is the first fictional work done in the Robertson clan books.  This novel features Hunter, a Chicago teen, who wins a contest to spend Christmas in Louisiana with the Robertson family of Duck Dynasty fame.  Hunter comes from a divorced family and has been estranged from his father and brother.  His mother works most of the time leaving Hunter alone a lot.  He goes to West Monroe and learns that family is not just silence and ignoring, but of love, laughter, and faith. 
As usual, with books based on famous people, I will review this book on its own merit and not that of the show, the family, or whatever "scandal" is going on at the time.  Miss Kay has some help with writing from Travis Thrasher.  I am unsure on what level and how much help she received, but the writing is good.  The story starts off a little like a commercial for the family, but if I were writing on my own family, I would probably gloss over a few parts too.  After she gets into the novel, the family becomes a lot more real.  The only thing I didn't like was that she went back and forth between telling the story through Korie's (the woman of the house that Hunter stayed at) point of view and Hunter's.  I would have rather she stuck with one or the other, preferably Hunter since the story was primarily about him.  I would recommend this book, whether a fan of the show or not, as a good Christmas read.  To get in the spirit of Christmas I will have a giveaway!  I have two hard cover books to giveaway from Tyndale Publishers to two people who either comment or message me (dutchbunny5@yahoo.com) about their wackiest, most Robertson Christmas they have ever had.  The final day will be November 15.  I will announce the winners on November 17th. 
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from the publishers through www.bloggingforbooks.com and www.netgalley.com

Sunday, October 26, 2014

here come the pumpkins

"The Halloween Curse" by M. R. James is a mid-level grade school age (4-6 grade) Halloween mystery keeping with the tradition of RL Stine.  The text is an easy read, with not remotely possible scary scenarios.  In the town of Boo, two siblings, Amanda and Bill, are trying to figure out how the pumpkins are attacking kids and what is happening to the kids afterwards when they disappear.  Their prime suspect is Mr. Night, a new-to-town antique book store owner that they are following around. 
This book would be considered ridiculous to a middle schooler, with the antics being so impossible.  They wouldn't find it scary.  However, if the child were too young, you might wind up with a kid that is terrified of pumpkins.  The 4-6 grade level would not believe the story possible, yet still find it scary enough for a good read.  The text is easy enough for that age as well.  I received this book in the Member Giveaways on www.librarything.com

Saturday, October 11, 2014

the river review

"The River" by Beverly Lewis follows two formerly Amish sisters living in the world as Englishcers.  Tilly has a tense and difficult relationship with her father, leading to her leaving the Amish community shortly after her youngest sister, Anna, was killed in a accidental drowning.  Ruthie is Tilly's younger sister, and has left the Amish community 5 years later after a difficult breakup with Will, an Amish boy without good intentions.  The two sisters go back home to their parents anniversary party after years of no contact and have a reunion of sorts.  Not all goes happily, but the healing begins.
If you have tired of Beverly Lewis I encourage you to go back and give this book a try.  She really gets into the nitty gritty of the father-daughter relationship.  She dives into the humanity of the relationship, rather than the usual "amishness" of things.  Then she drops a bomb about 3/4 of the way through book. The ending will give you a tear or two.  Good book.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from Bethany House.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

early christmas

"Sweet Christmas Kisses" is a collection of 14 different romance novellas.  All of the romances are at a PG  level.  The novellas are all written by a different best selling author.  I will give a review on two of the stories:  Mistletoe in Maine by Gina Baird and The Christmas Promise by Melinda Curtis.  Mistletoe is a fair romance.  It's fairly predictable and quick.  A divorced woman and her two children decide to go to an Inn in Maine for Christmas.  While there she meets the Innkeeper, who is a widower and father of a teenage son.  The group along with the innkeepers mother, her much younger lover, and an ex-girlfriend all share a magical Christmas in winter wonderland Maine.  Christmas Promise is a much better book.  It is quite humorous and the reader becomes much more invested in the characters.  In Promise, the "bon-bon heiress" goes to Ecuador to try to resuscitate her family's cocoa beans.  While there she meets an American former Army soldier who is walking for his fallen friend.  To make things harder, he only has one leg.  I liked this couple and the writing.  As for the collection as a whole, the stories are all....well, sweet.  Which is the point.  I would recommend this as a good read for someone who wants to take a little mind-getaway.  You can also feel welcome to leave it laying out, because it is acceptable for teens and preteens to read as well.  I received this e-collection for free in exchange for an honest review from Sweet Kisses.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

NEGU review

"Never Ever Give Up: The Inspiring Story of Jessie and her JoyJars" by Erik Rees is a heart breaking, gut wrenching, amazing book.  The book follows Jessie Rees, a young girl with brain cancer on her 13 month battle.  It is told by her father, Erik.  He holds nothing back.  He is completely honest in the journey.  The book not only has a life changing topic, it is also written very well.  This is not just a book by a dad, but a book by a writer as well. 
This is an incredibly hard book to read.  It is so emotionally difficult.  When I agreed to be on the review team, my thoughts were that I could see how my husbands childhood with leukemia was like.  But there were too many years and science has advance so far, that there was little similarities.  However, I am the mother of a 9 year old with a life threatening heart condition.  So there were many things that I could relate to.  If you were to read and think he was exaggerating in parts, I can tell you he was not.  There were so many things he described that I had done myself.  Losing a child, or preparing to lose a child is the worst experience anyone can ever have. 
I received this book in exchange for an honest review and promotion from Handlebar Publishing.  I easily give it 5 stars.  This is a book you must read.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

this is how review

"This is How I'd Love You" by Hazel Woods is a novel centering on two pen pals during WWI.  Hensley lives with her father, a newspaper writer who plays chess via post mail with Charles, a privileged man serving as an emergency driver on the fronts in Europe.  As the two carry on the long-distance chess game, Hensley hijacks one of the letters and writes in the margins to Charles. The two being their own correspondence and quickly form a close relationship.  Shortly thereafter, she discovers that she is pregnant. The father is an actor that lied and used her to get his way.  As the two live separate lives, the novel follows them. 
This is a very interesting novel.  The ending is a bit predicable, but the storyline is well written.  The characters are a bit dramatic, especially Hensley, but keep in mind she is only seventeen.  Charles is every woman's dream man.  The research on gas use is especially intriguing.  I give it a B+.  I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from First to Read through Penguin.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Hear me roar!

"Roar: The New conservative Woman Speaks Out" by Scottie Nell Hughes, Director of the Tea Party News Network, is the author's view of the modern Conservative woman.  Hughes writes of the compare and contrast of the Democrat Woman and the Republican woman.  First, let me state that I am a Libertarian, which means Liberals think I am Conservative and Conservatives think I am Liberal.  So this is a fairly unbiased opinion of this book.  Secondly, this will be a review of the book and her writing rather than her views and opinions.  They are hers and she is entitled to them; I will be judging how she writes them. 
The book is well written; well researched; and well thought out.  She know what she wants to say and tries to connect with other women in how she says them, especially mothers.  Many of her points are valid.  She makes her points and then backs them up with research.  However, this book would have been much more enjoyable if it were not so "us vs. them".  She goes out of her way to compare the two parties' women when I would rather she had stuck to making the points of her own viewpoint.  She tends to lump women of each party together rather than have them stand as individuals.  I give it a B.  I received this book in exchange for an honest review from Worthy Publishing.