Contemporary Fiction

Starflight... A Sneak Peek

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Welcome to Sneak Peek Saturday on Reading List! 

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

Current book:


Melissa Landers

Starflight a Sneak Peek on Reading List

Goodreads Summary:

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.

When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

Sneak Peek:

"As soon as the words left his mouth several things happened at once.  Lara whipped around to face him, jerking her hair from his grasp.   Their eyes widened and locked.  And Doran remembered everthing."   p 68

Initial Thoughts

The ideas of family in this book are very interesting as Solara longs to be part of a real family - her desire to belong and be loved drive her, and she knows it.  For a young lady that is not typical, which makes this an interesting read.  Doran's story just adds to concepts of family and belonging as he is a complete opposite of Solara. While this is clearly science fiction, the concepts of belonging hold true - I am so interested in finding out what happens with these characters as they search for answers across universes. 

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

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:

Marissa, writes book reviews from a variety of genres and  shares thoughts on motherhood & life on Reading List. She loves to see what others are reading to grow her to-read list.  Marissa also enjoys photography and a new journal to fill. 

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Alyssa reads a variety of genres and writes about it at Sunrise Avenue. She is always looking for new bookish friends and recs'! Besides reading, Alyssa loves to bake and anything Doctor Who.

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Here are some rules if you decide to join in:

• Pick up whatever book you are reading (non-fiction, fiction, children's... really the sky is the limit)
• Open to any page you have already read
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page - make it interesting without flipping to a ton of different pages. 
 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!

Marissa at Reading List

Linking up with these fun hops, check them out!

adult fiction

All Things Books: April Collection

Friday, April 29, 2016

All Things Books

April Collection

"Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet."  L. M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Hands down Anne of Green Gables is my all time favorite book series.  It might be the standard I hold all other books against on some level.  And this quote is one of my all time favorites from Anne.  She is always optimistic about the future no matter what her circumstances are... well she tries to be anyway.  The frustration that can come when life isn't working out the way we had hoped can be hard to overcome, especially as spring brings flowers and sunshine into our lives, so this quote is the perfect thought to help us all look to tomorrow and try again.

All Things Books: April Collection

Now here we are at the end of another month. April flew by for me - what about you?  Maybe it has something to do with May approaching and that month is always crazy busy with the end of the school year and programs and such.

As I have been sharing each month this year, I have been finding some awesome articles on books, reading, literature and anything that has to do with books.  So in case you are wanting some quick reads, some new perspectives or even just some new suggestions for books to read, I would love to share them with you.

April's Collection

  1. For a while now I have been talking about how important it is for parents to keep searching for books for their kids to read as they get older even if they don't want to read.  So I have to share this great list that Kristan put together, even though it's just a fancy eBay add...  Books for Kids Who Don't Like to Read (this is for kids who are solid readers, chapter books and such...)
  2. Just in case you like to hear about research, The Reading Room shared the findings of what happened when UK Doctors Start Prescribing Books to Teens with Mental Health Issues.  This quick read will make you want to get your kids on a great path to enjoying books and reading. 
  3. Many of you are bloggers too, so here is a wonderful list of quotes from Classic Children's Literature that would make some gorgeous printables... 20 Quotes from Children's Books Ever Adult Should Know
  4. While we are looking at great quotes from Literature, how about this wonderful collection: 50 Of The Most Beautiful Sentences in Literature
  5. Caitlin says, "In order to raise readers, you must expose your children to a variety of positive reading experiences early on and often. These early experiences will foster a natural love of the written word. " in her post on the Top 10 Place to Read Aloud with your kiddos. 
  6. And for fun, I have to share this silly post from Glamour, where Leah shares 9 Books to Read by the Time Your 30... There are some great books in her list, and others, well I'm not sure they are that necessary to read... 

Tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it yet.  Anne of Green Gables   LM Montgomery

I hope you found a thing or two from that list that caught your eye, maybe you could reserve a book at your library, or add to your Goodreads to-read list.   If you want some encouragement as you find books you love, please join our group on Goodreads, we'd love to be there as you fall in love with books.  Please consider seeing yourself as a lover of books, and join in the goal of finding a book you love each month this year...  That means now you only have to read 8 books!  

"Tomorrow is always fresh, with no mistakes in it yet."  #AllThingsBooks @Reading_List1

What was your favorite from the round-up?  What would you add?  Is there something you want to see in May's round-up?

Leave me a note about anything to do with your book choices from April!

Marissa @ Reading List

**If you have a great resource for a book, a genre, or anything to do with books, let me know!  You are always welcome to share your posts on Thursdays here, but if you want to point me to a great resource, leave a comment, or shoot me a note.  I love hearing from you!

Check out these great blogs where I'm sharing this!

Cozy book hop

The Cozy Reading Spot #140

Thursday, April 28, 2016

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!

Last Week's Features

Marissa's Favorite

My favorite link from last week was by Beth at Pages and Margins: Fantasy Books for Grown Ups.  She has a list of Fantasy books and her thoughts on why it's worth reading. 
Fantasy Books for Grown Ups - The Cozy Reading Spot Feature

Most Popular

The most popular link from last week was by Sarah from Devastate Boredom: The 5 Best Trader Joe's Products You've Never Heard Of. She has a fun list of surprising products that she loves from Trader Joe's. 
The 5 Best Trader Joe's Products You've Never Heard Of  - A Feature on The Cozy Reading Spot

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 wish I didn't have to say this, but please keep it clean. I know books & posts can range the gamut on adult content, but please keep your posts and images clean for this one. 
  • Try to stop by another link and say hi. I know we are all busy blogging, reading and writing, not mention living our lives and keeping up with responsibilities - however, what makes the link up so fun is having new people visit your blog!  So spread the love and hop to at least one link for each link you leave.
  • 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?                    

Join #TheCozyReadingSpot - share your posts & find new friends! #BloggingFun @Reading_List1

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.

See where I link up!

Book review

The White Rose: A Book Review

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The White Rose

Amy Ewing

Recently on the radio (yes, I totally listen to the local radio while I'm in the car) they asked the question, "What do you still do now that you are older, that is considered too young for you?"  The examples they used included shopping at Forever 21, even though they are well into their 30s, or older..., one girl says she loves to play with Legos even though she doesn't have kids, the adult coloring fad came up (totally guilty)...

And I was tempted to call and say that I really enjoy the Teen/YA Fiction genre.

What about you, what is something you still do, and enjoy, that is not meant for your age group?

The White Rose by Amy Ewing

Story Overview

Amy Ewing starts The White Rose almost exactly where The Jewel left off. Violet needs to escape and rescue Ash, but she is unsure how.  Waiting for help, that comes unexpectedly from Garnet starts this sequel off with a bang.  You probably need to read The Jewel first, but grab this one also because you will want to keep reading!

The plot moves quickly as we follow Violet as she learns to control her gift.  The escape is not easy, as the chase is often suspenseful, but Violet, Ash, and Raven all, somehow, make it to a haven, called The Farm. While there, Violet quickly realizes that while she is an important aspect of the revolution, she needs to have a solid support system of people who are with her and willing to use their strengths for the cause.  

Personal Likes

I really appreciated the expansion of Ash and Raven's characters.  After reading The House of  hteStone, I had to know what would happen to Raven. Thankfully Ewing did a superb job of giving time for Raven's healing and development in this story.    Ash also took on a larger role in this book, making him a character worth caring more about - since he is the main love interest, he needed the extra dimension.

I was pleasantly surprised about the involvement of Garnet in this book.  I was curious about him in the first book, but there just wasn't much of him in it.  He seemed to be a more complex character then, and this sequel proves that is so.  It is interesting because there are times in The Jewel when you just want to smack him, or roll your eyes at his behavior, then during The White Rose, the times when he is in the scene is full of action that drives you to keep reading. 

The White Rose by Amy Ewing

Personal Dislikes

The subject matter surrounding Raven from The House of the Stone, was so delicate (pregnancy, surrogacy) that there were times in this book when I wasn't sure it would be alright -  granted it was handled well, and fit perfectly into the story line. Yet, I could see how this whole concept would be too much for some readers.

I really wish I had liked Violet in this story more.  As the female lead, I would have expected to enjoy every time she appeared, yet she came across as an annoying teenager more than one of the few fighting for change.  Granted, this is the current fad in the teen dystopian genre, so I should be surprised.  I'm just always expecting something different.

Reading List Rating

Four heart rating on Reading List

I am going to give this book four hearts, bordering on five.  It was a good enough follow up and certainly has me ready for the next installment. However, I'm not sure I am going to spend the time to read it again...  

My Suggested Audience

This is clearly a Teen series - so I would say fourteen and up is fine. That being said, please be aware that the subject matter, in general, is mature: slaves (called pets, but still...) are bought to become surrogates; violence against slaves (very reminiscent of all slave cultures); violence that one would expect from escaping slaves; and the build up violence to a major revolution  There are also some scenes with intimacy, granted I would put it at a PG-13 level, but it's still there.  The issues surrounding a pregnancy, starvation, and miscarriage are also in this book, as was the lead up from The Jewel - so think the psychological ramifications which can be tough to read. 

Wondering Questions to Consider

This book has to be considered dystopian in nature simply because of the horrid conditions these girls, and the mass workforce, are forced into. The ideas of how much power a government or ruling party should have certainly can come up. This book is unique in the fact that it plays with the ideas of science getting to the point where we can engineer children's genetics to be better and better... sounds a little familiar...  While there are many paths one could take when reflection on this book, and series, here are just a few: What lengths should people go to in order to have biological children if the science is there?  When is revolting the right thing to do?  How do you prepare to fight a battle that requires you to wipe out a society and their regulations completely?  

This is about a race of people enslaved and made extinct. #TheWhiteRose @Reading_List1

What is someone that is probably too young for you, but you do it anyhow, and you are not sorry?  Have you read a piece of fiction and really thought about the critique it is making on our actual society, even if it claims to have nothing to do with our society? What is your favorite book right now?

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 and support Reading List in the process. 

***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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Five Wonderfully Interactive Books for Toddlers

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

5 Wonderfully Interactive Books for Toddlers

Guess Who Books on Children's Corner

There is no doubt that toddlers have short attention spans.  When it comes to reading with your toddler, you might have to grab a stack of 10 different board books in order to keep them sitting with you for even fifteen minutes.   That's fine, but one of my secrets of getting my toddlers to sit with me for 15-30 of reading time are these fun Guess Who books.  We can spend 15 minutes on just one of them. 

5 Wonderfully Interactive books for Toddlers

Granted these are really just life-the-flap books - and there are so many of those out there.  Yet somehow, these fun books have the right amount of text per page to keep a toddler interested... and the famous characters probably help too!

About the Book

Most of the Guess Who books have a theme that can be used for any homeschooling lesson, or interest your child has at the time: Sea Animals, Farm Animals, Sofia the First, Elmo...   Each page has one lift-the-flap feature that is hinted at with a simple four line rhyme and then a question.  Many have a fun pop-out at the end of all the animals, characters that were found through the pages.  It is fun to review the names of the animals at the end and point to each one.

Why We Like It

I'll be honest, my daughter probably likes these books so much because of the familiar characters in many of them.  As the third child, she knows way more characters than the older two did at her age, and you know I refuse to feel bad about that.  I see it as a way to help build her stamina with sitting and reading.

Granted, there are also some super fun Guess Who books with animals that have no real connection to famous characters.  These are equally fun.

We are enjoying these books as a family because there are so many wonderful resources to make your own lift-the-flap book.  My oldest can make up his own stories.  Both boys enjoy using beginning, middle, end flaps to help retell stories they know.  The possibilities are endless!

Our top five:

  1. Guess Who, Sofia!
  2. Guess Who, Mickey!
  3. Guess Who Noah's Boat
  4. Guess Who Farm Friends
  5. Guess Who Ocean Friends

5 Wonderfully Interactive Books for Toddlers

5 wonderfully interactive books for toddlers & big kids. #books  @Reading_List1

Here are some wonderful printables and tutorials to make your own lift-the-flap books!  

  1. This is a fun Jesus flip-book idea - have your kiddos color each section, then write a verse or word for them to learn during the week.
  2. Who doesn't love the Very Hungry Catepillar? This one is a wonderful tool to help with reading comprehension, as your kids will write down a beginning, middle and end of the story in the flaps.
  3. There is a fun idea of a "quote kite" where you can have your older kids put in their favorite quote on each section of a little kite, or for younger readers, pick some new readers, then list new words for them to find... be creative with this one!
  4. While FlapperBooks are a little pricey, these books allow you to pick pictures of your family to be inserted into a life-the-flap book... maybe a fun keepsake from a family vacation?
  5. This is a generic flip-book where your kiddos get to write down the who, what, where, when & why of any book you are reading.  

How many lift-the-flap books do you own?  Are they a favorite for you kiddos?  Which one specifically do they love?

Marissa on Reading List

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

***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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The Rose & The Dagger...

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

I am so excited that THE ROSE & THE DAGGER by Renée Ahdieh releases today and that I get to share the news, along with an awesome giveaway!

If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Renée Ahdieh, be sure to check out all the details below.

This blitz also includes a giveaway for a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN and a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER and an awesome candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only!  So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.

Author: Renée Ahdieh
Release Date: April 26, 2016
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, & audiobook
Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | iBooks 

The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

Praise for The Rose and the Dagger:

“Above all there is the shattering, triumphant catharsis of love… In a story about stories, love is ‘the power to speak without words.’ Thrillingly full of feeling.”—Kirkus Reviews

“Fiery romance, a spirited heroine, shifting loyalties… With more than a few heartrending twists and turns.”—Booklist 


About Renée:
Renée lives in North Carolina (Go Heels!) with her husband Victor and their dog Mushu. Her YA fantasy novel, THE WRATH AND THE DAWN, will be published on May 12th, 2015. In her spare time, she likes to cook, dance salsa, and wreak havoc on the lives of her characters.

She’s also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, as well as an active member of theScience Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America.

Giveaway Details:
1 winner will receive a paperback of THE WRATH & THE DAWN, a hardcover of THE ROSE & THE DAGGER, and a His Calipha candle from The Melting Library’s Etsy Store, US Only.

Ends on May 3rd at Midnight EST!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Marissa @ Reading List

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