Books

All Things Books: May Collection

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

All Things Books

May Collection


"You're off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way."  Dr Seuss, Oh, the Places You'll Go

Often we rush to the next thing. As children, we rush to the next year, birthday, grade, simply because it appears better. I was guilty of always wanting the next thing. Partly because I wanted to complete the step I was at, but also because the next thing always whispered of more. Maybe that is part of growing up in the '80's & '90's, maybe it's just life.  Now as a parent, I often tell my kids to just be happy with what we have right now, as they create lists for the next birthday, or Christmas, or summer, or grade... I could go on and on. Yet, the feeling that there are mountains ahead of us, and we just have to keep moving forward to reach the top of them, that drive is the same drive that results in the childhood pastime of dreams of what is next. While spring has been a season of enjoying the smell of flowers, maybe that means the end of spring can be focused on taking those steps for the next adventure.



All Things Books: May Collection


book series

Stars Above... A Sneak Peek

Saturday, May 28, 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:

Stars Above

Marissa Meyer



Stars Above  A Sneak Peek on Reading List



Goodreads Summary:


The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.



Sneak Peek:


"He had long ago determined that he would not let his birthright go unearned, that the history texts would not condem him as an worthy emperor. And while he may still have been plagued with doubts every single day, he knew deep down, that he was doing his very best." p 306







Initial Thoughts

I absolutely loved The Lunar Chronicles, so of course, I had to read this collection of short stories.  Granted I had already read a few of them!  Overall this is a fun collection of fan fiction - it is only for fans, if you haven't read Cinder or the rest of the series, then you probably won't care about these little side stories.




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

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:


Marissa @ Reading List

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. 

Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads


Alyssa @ Sunrise Avenue

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.


Twitter ~~ Google + ~~ Instagram ~~ Pinterest
Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads 


Karen @ Dino Hero Mommy

Karen is a reading teacher who loves to listen to books as she commutes to and from work. She prefers crime thrillers and mysteries but enjoys a good book from any genre. She blogs about her life as a wife and mom at Dino Hero Mommy.






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  http://forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com











Linking up with these fun hops, check them out!

adventure

Queen: The Blackcoat Rebellion - A Book Review

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Queen: The Blackcoat Rebellion #3

Aimee Carter


Well after almost a year, I have decided to finish up this series of book reviews... mostly because I don't like to leave things incomplete.

I wish I could say that I waited this long because the books were so amazing that I wasn't sure I could do them justice in my review and reflections... but honestly, this last book was not as good as the first, not even close.  I am fearful that this is a result of publishers pushing for a trilogy on a tight deadline that resulted in a hurried and flawed finale to the series.  (hear the disappointed sigh in that thought...)






Queen by Aimee Carter a Book Review on Reading List





Story Overview 


In this finale to the Blackcoat Rebellion, Kitty Doe continues on the rebellion side, as they surge to completely overthrow Daxton and his terrible reign. Mostly Kitty is beginning to learn that even if they make it through this change in her world, the resulting world will not be the wonderful world she dreamt of as a child - she is growing up with a more realistic, maybe even pessimistic view of people and what motivates them.

Knox steps into the role of strategy-maker as he leads large sections of the rebellion.  His decisions do not always sit well with Kitty which results in a large portion of the book where they are separated. These are the moments when Kitty starts to really, truly doubt if the rebellion stands a chance.  Her despair is palatable often through a good third of the book. 


Personal Likes

I did appreciate the fact that Kitty grew up a little bit - granted she could have grown up more- in order to actually make some decisions and act in this book. There were many scenes where we truly get to see inside her heart as she struggles to keep moving forward while the world seems to be completely destroyed, at least for her.

I still say Knox, as a character, is what made this book.  His character evolved through the entire series, and was able to seem true on many counts.  Honestly, if this story had been from his point of view, at least half of the time, this series would have been a thousand times more interesting.


Queen by Aimee Carter a Book Review on Reading List


 

Personal Dislikes


Overall this was rushed.  It was obviously in the transitions of the story - chapters jumped, characters seemed to suddenly have different vantages or thoughts that didn't fit... the signs of a rush piece.

The other disappointing detail of this book was Kitty - she never really evolved.  Yes, she experienced a ton, and should have changed more, but didn't. I wish I could be more specific on this, but overall I was just disappointed that this wasn't development as well as the first book was.



Reading List Rating


two heart rating on Reading List

I can only give this last book a two heart rating.  I am honestly surprised I even finished it, I guess I'm just that loyal to a series... Overall I would say, if you are not a huge dystopian/YA fan, then skip this one.





My Suggested Audience


As I mentioned in the previous two reviews, the whole Blackcoat Rebellion is violent.  The world is violent, the regime in power is violent, and of course the rebellion to take back the lives of the people is violent.  There is not a lot of focus on the communication side of politics and war in this book, just action, Kitty's emotions, and the fall out.  That being said, I have no issue calling this a Teen fiction, because it is honestly written for teens - but maybe older teens, 16 and up. 





Wondering Questions to Consider


While there are many hang ups I have with this series, I also know that the premise that started this series is one that is worth pondering.  Just because science and technology can offer ways to keep people's appearances looking a certain way, should we allow it to be used?  What would happen if a power group was able to use science and medicine to keep a figurehead young and alive in order to keep control over people? Where should humanity draw the line between science, medicine, and technology from morals and upright character?


"Sometimes you have to sacrifice your queen to capture the king." #Queen @Reading_List1




When was the last time you finished a book series simply because you started it? What are your thoughts on where morality should override the advances of science and technology? 



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



Marissa @ Reading List









***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.

**** Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher, BethanyHouse. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”





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Children's Corner

Perfect Devotionals for Young Warriors & Princesses

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Perfect Devotional for Preschoolers & Toddlers

Goodnight Warrior & Sweet Dreams Princess




It might surprise you, but I started this little blog as a way to stay connected to the adult world when I had my first kid.  I was sure I wouldn't write anything about kids, nothing...  Clearly that is not how it turned out!

As I have been going through the archives, pulling out some of Children's posts that have been hiding, I knew I had to share the first kids book to find it's way to Reading List...

Shelia Walsh is one of those Christian women who can really speak to other women.  Maybe it has to do with her amazing accent, but when she speaks, ears perk up and minds become engaged.  So it only makes sense that she would have put together some amazing kids devotionals. Goodnight Warrior and Sweet Dreams Princess are wonderful bedtime devotionals based on scripture.


Perfect Devotionals for Young Warriors & Princesses


About the Book


The idea of the book is to have small bedtime devotionals based on scripture on a nightly basis - you could easily use it at both nap and bedtime, or just one. The writing is simple and cute. Most importantly, it speaks right to your little warrior, and not at him. Granted some of the devotionals are still a little heavy - I mean we are talking about the Bible here - in those moments, parents can easily simplify the points to be understandable.

Each section is four pages long, two of them are devoted to a simple story from the Bible. Although not verbatim, it is close. The next two pages make up the devotion. Usually, the devotion has some questions about the story that you can discuss with your little warrior or princess. Finally, it ends with some form of prayer. A section can easily be read through in five minutes, so with some discussion in the devotion area, parents can easily get through one in about fifteen minutes, max.





Why We Like It


One of the main reasons why I like these books is that there are some less common stories in here. Sure there is the creation story, Adam and Eve, Jesus' birth, death, resurrection. However, there are also stories like Rebekah's and Esau & Jacob, which tend not to make the cut in the more common children's story Bibles.

Although I doubt my kids would second this, my favorite was "A Great Prayer" based on Psalm 23:1-6. The verses are paraphrased in a more conversational, or prayer like format. The devotion that went with it was very nice. It discussed how David was a shepherd before becoming king and how much God cares for us. My son showed some interest in it because we have been talking about sheep and shepherds, which meant he didn't mind spending a little more time talking about it! The devotion on this one ended with a prayer of praise - really great.

Something to keep in mind is that the two books are fairly identical as far as content.  The only real difference is that one is written to be read to a little boy, and one to a little girl - the devotions, topics, and stories, are the same.  So if you want to save money, no need to purchase both, as really we are all warriors.


Psalm 23:1-3




Title: Goodnight Warrior  [or]  Sweet Dreams Princess
Author: Shelia Walsh
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: October 2008
For ages: 3-7 (although I've read some to my 2 year old before)
Type: Prayer, Devotional, Children's book


Perfect Devotionals for Young Warriors & Princesses





Wonderful bedtime #Bible stories, #devotions, & #prayers for your warriors & princesses.  @Reading_List1



Tips and Tricks to help with Kids' Devotionals   

  1. Kasey shares 3 ways she has incorporated Bible time with her toddlers.
  2. Jenn has put together a wonderful list of 10 Bible verses every toddler and preschooler should know.
  3. Katherine has a wonderfully encouraging article about how her family has incorporated Bible devotions into their daily routine.
  4. Tara put together a wonderful list of resources that will help you engage young children in Bible verses and reading.
  5. Luke & Trisha have put together a great article on the importance of memorization for younger kids if you are looking for some motivation to get started on your own family devotion time.





Do you make it a priority to do some kind of Bible time with your toddlers and preschoolers?  What tips do you have for other parents who might be considering doing devotional time with their young kids?






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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adult fiction

Fury... A Sneak Peek

Saturday, May 21, 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:

Fury

Charlotte McConaghy




Fury a Sneak Peek on Reading List



Goodreads Summary:


When emotions are erased from the world, creating a civilization of mindless drones, only those with fury can survive.

On the same day each year Josephine Luquet wakes naked, shivering and covered in blood that is not her own. Under the cold gaze of the blood moon she is someone else entirely, but when dawn breaks her memories vanish and she is left with only an icy horror, a burning fury. Amid a sea of 'drones', she alone hasn’t been cured. 

Then she meets Luke. He isn’t like the other drones. With secrets behind his eyes, he is the only one determined to help Josephine discover the truth before the next blood moon rises. 

But time is running out. Is Luke willing to risk his life to be near her? Does he truly understand what violence she is capable of? 

Raw and full of passion, Fury is a story of love in a dystopian world, and how much we are willing to forgive in the struggle to remember our humanity.



Sneak Peek:

"I don't know when we became so obsessed with easy. Everything in the world is designed to create ease." loc 2284







Initial Thoughts

The concept of this story really intrigued me.  It has been on my to-read list for a while, then I won the whole trilogy!  I admit, the language in this is a little much (a ton of swearing) but still the characters were interesting, and their dilemma kept me interested.  However, this is a specific genre, and will only interest those fans of romantic, dystopian sci-fi/fantasy.




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

Meet the Hosts of Saturday Sneak Peek:


Marissa @ Reading List

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. 

Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads


Alyssa @ Sunrise Avenue

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.


Twitter ~~ Google + ~~ Instagram ~~ Pinterest
Bloglovin' ~~ Subscribe ~~ Goodreads 


Karen @ Dino Hero Mommy

Karen is a reading teacher who loves to listen to books as she commutes to and from work. She prefers crime thrillers and mysteries but enjoys a good book from any genre. She blogs about her life as a wife and mom at Dino Hero Mommy.






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  http://forfunreadinglist.blogspot.com











Linking up with these fun hops, check them out!

Books

National Readathon 2016

Friday, May 20, 2016

National Readathon Day

Fun freebies and reading apps


Have you noticed that every day is a special celebratory day?  There is national hot dog day, and national coffee day... national cake day... national Teddy Bear day... really I could go on and on...

But there are a few that I think are totally worth preparing for, even if they are not serious holidays...

Saturday, May 21, 2016, is National Readathon day!  The American Library Association has partnered with Penguin Random House to make the 21st official National Readathon Day.


adult fiction

Using Literature to Analyze the Darker Side of People

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Rose Society

Marie Lu


The news is full of the darkness in the world.  The horrible acts people commit against each other every day.  It can be hard to read, or watch, depending how you get your daily news.  As a mom, I often completely avoid the news most of the day, so as to keep my mind on the positive.  Yet, there is no denying the truth that this world is not a perfect place.

The world of literature often helps readers to really dive deep into different aspects of the human condition. So when the world is overflowing with the less admirable characteristics, it can be interesting to allow literature to take it to the full extent.  Allow stories to show us just how destructive it can be, in order to learn from it.




The Rose Society by Marie Lu a Book Review on Reading List





Story Overview 


This sequel to The Young Elites continued down the dark path that Adelina started on.   As she becomes consumed with the need to exact revenge on the Inquisition and the Daggers, her need for Enzo blinds her completely.  Her hope is to gain Enzo's strength and power so that the two of them can unite. Of course, if you've read The Young Elites you will know just how difficult this need for Enzo is - I will try by best not to spoil this for you if you haven't.  

The Inquisition are also moving forward with their plans, now with Teren as their leader.  His new position in the group leads them on a path that is surprising, at least for me... Not to mention Teren must find a way to stop Adelina since they know firsthand where her power and strength come from. 


Personal Likes


I was more prepared for the level of darkness of Adelina with this book, and so I enjoyed this one a little more.  The addition of Magiano was much needed for me. He is complex in a mysterious way throughout the book, which kept me reading.  Maeve was also intriguing, as she holds the key to one of the major hurdles of the story for all groups involved.

So often stories look at everything from the good side, the angle of good, placing a solid bad guy against a solid good guy.  Granted stories are more interesting when these sides have some layers and flaws, but overall the sides are clear.  The interesting part of this series is that almost each side is equally bad, with minor shimmers of good, once in a while...  It's like picking the best of the worst to root for, and still knowing the redeemable characteristics of all are so small it's almost not even there... isn't this an issue for many real life people and scenarios.


The Rose Society by Marie Lu a Book Review on Reading List


Personal Dislikes


As promised, this book has more action than the first.  Since Adelina's power is rooted in her hate and pain, it is not a pretty display of power.  The few times when the different sides clash are full of dark storms and violence - and if you have spent any time reading my reviews for the past year, you'll know my tolerance for violence is limited.  While I completely see how this is the point of the book, the exploration of dark forces, there are times when I really wasn't a fan.

The tension between Violetta and Adelina skyrocketed to the point of breaking in this book, and it broke my heart.  Their past is so full of horrible moments almost all at the hand of their father, that I had hoped they would find a way to pull themselves together, giving Adelina that glimmer that pulls at our heart strings... but at least in this book, that was not the case.


Reading List Rating


Three heart rating on Reading List

I am on the fence on this rating - it's somewhere between a three and a four heart rating.  The story is dark, and for that I feel like it deserved a three, however, Lu's writing is amazing, she spins stories that are visually amazing, so for that I want to give this a four...  






My Suggested Audience


This is marketed as a teen/young adult series.  And as far as the genre goes, dark fantasy, bordering on dystopian, I would agree.  However the exploration of the darker side of a character, an anti-hero who turns into a full-fledged dark-hearted villain, I might have to push the young adult side for the audience.  The power that each of these characters has is often pulled from darker elements, and therefore needs a more mature reader to realize that there is dark and light in the world, and exploring one side doesn't negate the other. If you are a fan of Marie Lu, you could really enjoy this book as her writing is amazing - just be warned that this is not your typical fictional series. 






Wondering Questions to Consider


Since this book series is looking into how dark a heart can become when tortured or abused, the mind can easily move into some of the topics of the world that are darker: How can the worst people in society also be offered salvation?  What would it look like to be in a world where there was no light, no redemption, no hope?    Also, the concepts of the family set up a great foundation for this series.  How do you forgive those closest to you when they do the unthinkable? How do you find healing in a world that can do the worst to its people?



"Fear motivates, more than love or ambition or joy." Agree or disagree? #TheRoseSociety @Reading_List1




How do you deal with the darker side of humanity?  Has the darker side ever worn you down? Do you ignore it completely, hoping to focus more on the light and positive? Are you a Marie Lu fan?  

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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