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The House of the Stone... A Sneak Peek

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 

Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List  a glimpse into what I am reading currently

Current book:

The House of the Stone: The Jewel Series

Amy Ewing

The House of the Stone: The Jewel Series  by Amy Ewing   Sneak peek Saturdays on Reading List

Sneak Peek:

"Emile is here. I didn't notice him come in, but I'm so grateful Frederic won't be taking me back to my cage that I almost start crying again.  Almost."  p 105

Thank you to A Daily Rhythm for inspiring Reading List's Saturday Sneak Peek link up!

Here are some rules if you decide to join in:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
 BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so we can all add your book to our To-Be-Read lists!

This particular link up will be open for a month, so stop by often to share a new sneak peek, and grow your own TBR list!

Sneak Peek Saturday

Marissa at Reading List

Linking up with these fun hops:

Making your home sing MondaysWhat Joy Is MineThe Life Of FaithMe, Coffee and JesusStrangers and Pilgrims on EarthBook Review Blog HopBook Review Blog Hop


Cozy Reading Spot #109

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Welcome to Cozy Reading Spot! 

This is your chance to share your posts, and then grab your favorite drink to curl up with and read other's posts.  You are welcome to share posts that tell us what has been on your heart, mind and bookshelves - yes that means just about anything goes.  As book lovers, we love to read, so share something for us to read today!

Please link up all you've got!  

This is an open link up, not just a book link up...

There are just a few small requests I have. 
  • Please link to a direct post, and not just your home page (I will use my discretion on leaving links up that do not follow this as the idea is to link to your blog posts...).
  • I wish I didn't have to say this, but please keep it clean. I know books can range the gamut on adult content, but please keep your review and images clean for this one. This does apply for all types of posts, this is an open link up, so you do not have to leave a book review, or book related post - just link up something that share what you've been writing on your blog... only keep it clean
  • Please include a link back to the hop in your post - the button codes are part of the flair page, but a text hyperlink is just as good! This simply allows others to join in the fun, and isn't that the whole point?                                         
  • Also, since I'm not doing features right now, I'm trying to give shout outs on Facebook,  and pinterest, so follow along and get to know the community more. 

Of course, this is a Hop - so hop around and check out the rest of the book lovers and writers and get to know someone!  Building community is the joy of blogging, right?

And on that note - send out a quick tweet to invite all your friends to the hop real quick - Tweet This!

Cozy Reading Spot  {Reading List}

** If you're reading this from your email, click over and join us!  Reading List

The fine print: Please understand that by linking up with the Cozy Reading Spot, you are agreeing to allow Reading List to feature you in a future post.  That includes a link to your post, and a picture you've used on that post.  You are also allowing Reading List to share any post you link up with pinterest, facebook, twitter and/or google+.  Also, by posting in this hop, you are allowing your email address to be used for a weekly reminder of the hop - your email will not be used for any other purpose, period.

Linking up with these great hops:

Book review

The Jewel: A Book Review

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

The Jewel

By Amy Ewing

Have you ever spent time on Goodreads?  Yes it is another social media site, but this one is for books!  Of course you could guess I love Goodreads.  One of my biggest reasons to spend time on the site is that they actually give good recommendations on books to read.  I pick the genre I'm interested in at any given time; it looks at the books in that genre I've read; and gives suggestions.  Yeah yeah, I hear you, even Amazon gives recommendations.  Somehow Goodreads does a better job of recommending books that I actually enjoy.

While I have a stack of books to read and review, I wanted a quick read.  So I went on search for a new quick read.  And Goodreads suggested The Jewel.  There was a gorgeous cover and it was available on my library app.  So away I went...

The Jewel by Amy Ewing a Book Review  on Reading List

Story Overview 

The Jewel ,** book one in The Lone City series by Amy Ewing, takes the reader into a small world where royalty controls the society, while depending on the lowest level of society to provide girls to carry their royal offspring.  Yes, young girls in the poorest sections of society get tested when they come of  age (when menstruation begins) to see if they have compatible genes to carry the unborn children of the royal and upper class women.  These girls are whisked away from their families and sent to a special school that teaches them how to behave as a proper surrogate for a future royal house.  The royals see these surrogates as barely more than pets that will provide offspring, nothing more than a living incubator.

Violet Lasting and Raven Stirling are best friends while in training as Auguaries. The Reckoning and the Auction is upon them when they will find themselves bought by royal families and forced to carry a child.  They will be stripped of their freedom and their identity, given a number and separated from each other.  Neither of them knows exactly what is in store, but they are sure it will not be pleasant.  They have a feeling it will be horrible and painful.  Even in their wildest expectations they could not have pictured the reality of the world they are being thrown into. 

Personal Likes

I was surprised at how fast this book pulled me into the crazy world that is run by those in The Jewel, the upper crest of this dystopian world. Even while the Jewel is dripping with riches, there is a dark tone the permeates the story.  This story is told through Violet Lasting, or rather Lot #197, as she prepares for the auction and what follows.  I loved her voice. I could quickly feel her fear and was hoping what lied ahead of her would not be as bad as she thought.

The aspect of slavery is explored on so many levels in this book.  Violet, 197, is bought by the Duchess of the Lake, who is part of the founding houses of the society.  Surprisingly enough, the Duchess is actually one of the nicer women in society when it comes to their surrogates.  And still Violet is treated like a pet - dressed up, dolled up, led by a leash at social events, told when and how much to eat.  While this was uncomfortable to read, it allows the reader into a world that many in first world countries never understand, and yet there are so many in slavery even today.

The Jewel  By Amy Ewing   A Book Review on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

My biggest dislike of this book was reading about the unbelievable amount of oppression.  It is so hard to read, and yet, as I mentioned, I feel that it is important to read books that allow us to experience aspects of humanity we might never understand otherwise.

Another issue I had with this book revolved around Violet's love interest, Ash.  He was employed by the Duchess as a consort for her niece. He was supposed to help train her in the practice of being courted in order to attract a husband who would keep her in high society.  His job was not supposed to cross the line of physical intimacy, yet he had some experiences in order to keep his employer (the Lady of the house) happy.  So there are a few scenes where he shares some of his work with Violet that are a little much.  Violet starts to feel the need to show her interest in Ash more and more physically, which eventually leads to the startling ending.

Reasons to Read

This book is worth reading for those who are into dystopian and science fiction. Since the book deals with ownership and essentially slavery, this could be a good book to allow readers to see the devastation that happens to people when they are bought and sold for any reason.  The ability to see the story through the eyes of a young girl who loses her freedom completely opens the eyes and heart of the reader.

Since the book is part of a series, there will be time for Amy Ewing to develop the characters and world even more, so for readers who enjoy detailed fictional worlds and complex story lines this could be a good choice.

Reading List Rating

Four heart rating on Reading List

I'm giving this first book a four heart rating because I really did enjoy this book.  I understand that there will be some that are not as into this book as the subject matter could easily turn readers away. However, I enjoyed it and look forward to the rest of the series to come out. 

My Suggested Audience

This book is a teen book, and I agree this is certainly a teenage book. There are some very mature subject matters that fill these pages - the issues of societies built on the back of servants and slaves, the idea of medically impregnating women against their will (very similar to rape) and abuse. As I mentioned earlier, the ability for readers to experience the extremes that human behavior can lead to in books helps develop empathy towards those that need help, so for that reason, I do think this could be a good read for teens. However, parents should be aware of the subject matter in this book in order to discuss the issues with their teens.  That all being said, maybe hold off on this particular series until your teen is closer to 16 rather than 13.

For those older audiences, if you were a fan of Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale, this book could interest you.  Of course for those fans of The Selection Series, or Delirium even, this book could be a fun read as well. 

“This is how The Jewel operates. Status is our sole occupation. Gossip is our currency.”  #TheJewel @AmyEwingBooks @Reading_List1

Have you used Goodreads to find your next read? If you enjoyed the classics, do you use those titles to help you find modern retellings ever? 

I'd love to hear from you, please leave me a little note!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing this book, please consider using the affiliate link here or above and support Reading List in the process. Thank you!

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you! If you would like your book reviewed on Reading List, email me: the link is at the bottom of this page.

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Trace and Learn, a Special Children's Corner

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Children's Corner

With school now in full swing for so many, I keep hearing parents lamenting how their kids simply have no desire to read, or write for that matter.  They discuss how their kids simply want to watch movies and cartoons, or play video games.  Granted some say how their kids would rather be outside playing, and hey, I'm all for the outside time.  But let's be honest, there takes a level of intentionality when it comes to raising children who do want to read and write.

That purpose and focus on raising kids who love books starts young.  Take the time to really look through some books, at your library or local bookstore, and find books that will engage your youngest kids.  Really as soon as kids can sit in your lap, they can start to listen to books as you read to them.  Find books that engage them.  Books where you can help them touch the pictures and feel textures, books that have flaps... or books that allow them to trace!

The Motion Adds

There is something amazing that happens when we physically write something with our hands.  The act of writing connects so many different parts of our brains that we are able to remember it more clearly.  So when it comes to teaching how to write, teachers (moms are always teachers!) often put out copy work for kids to trace in order to learn.  The question is, what about those younger kids who aren't really holding writing tools well, or at all, yet?  Do we have to wait?  

Of course not!

We started our journey of writing with our youngest, with tracing in this super fun book, P is for Princess.  Yes, very girly, but she loves it!  Each page is full of colorful images, and tons of flaps to flip over and learn new words for the letter of the page.

The reason why I love it?

Each page has a letter, and that letter is indented, so I can gently guide her finger through the letter. My boys even even enjoy how specific the traceable letters are because there are numbered lines in the letters that tell you the order of the steps.

This is the kind of book that you could spend hours on with your kids. Even better, they could spend hours with this book while you get something else done.

The Options (well some of them)

While I'll admit, I was shocked that there aren't a million of these books out there, then again maybe I'm not searching correctly, I have discovered some fun options in books.  

  1. Disney Princess P Is for Princess **
  2. A Is for Apple (Trace-and-Flip Fun!) (Smart Kids Trace-and-Flip) **
  3. 1 2 3 Count with Me (Trace-and-Flip Fun!) **
  4. Wipe Clean
Of course the internet is a great resource, because there are a ton of fun printables you could use to practice tracing as well.  We often print these out then place them in clear sheet protectors and use erasable markers to practice.  Of course the finger tracing method is always an option for the younger kids. 

Have you taught your kid through tracing?  What is your go to traceable practice?

Marissa on Reading List

**If you are considering purchasing any of these books, please consider using the affiliate link here or above, and support Reading List in the process. Thank you!

***If you're interested in writing a book review on Reading List, please message me on the Facebook page! If you're curious about a book, ask me...  I love to hear from you!

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