With No Regrets: A Book Review

Friday, July 31, 2015

There is no point in hiding it, I love a good love story.  So when the opportunity presented it self to read With No Regrets, I figured why not.  It was presented to me as a clean contemporary romance fiction. Since I've been on a YA/teen action sci-fi kick, I figured I could use the change.

I'll admit, this was not what I expected, but then again, I didn't really know what to expect as this is a genre I generally don't go searching for.  But Ford brought to life a group of characters that were all hurting and searching for answers in a way that drew me in.  I had to find out how each character fared.

With No Regrets  by Julie N Ford   a Book review on Reading List

Story Overview 

With No Regrets by Julie N Ford follows Finley as she tries to find her footing as life swiftly changes. She just divorced her husband of twenty years when she found him cheating, again. Her children have moved out to go to college. Which means she has plenty of time to finally discover what she wants out of life.

Her best friend, Cathyanne, seems overly interested in making sure Finley finds a real love in a hurry. So she gently, well not too gently, pushes Finley into going on a date with their gorgeous and younger fitness trainer.  Soon Finley is loving the active life Josh introduces her to, but she still longs for more.  

She is torn between a long time friendship with her Country Music star neighbor, Quinton, the fun life Josh offers, and the familiarity of life with her ex-husband, Roy.  All while trying to find her own path.  

Personal Likes

I enjoyed the change in voice in that made this a contemporary novel.  The topic of a uber-rich divorcee wasn't really my first choice, but as I kept going (I always read at least 100 pages on a book submitted to me, before deciding to put it down) and honestly I was into the characters before that point.  There was just something about Finley's inner dialogue about her life that interested me.

I also really clung onto the side characters.  Cathyanne, Finley's best friends, for some reason, really drew me in.  She was outgoing, and really loved Finley.  While I don't want to give away the big twist in the book, hint, it involved Cathyanne, I was shocked and moved.

The other side character that grabbed me was Quinton, Finley's next door neighbor. He was one of those characters that I wanted to dislike, or brush aside, but couldn't.  He just had a certain connection to Finley that kept getting pushed aside.

With No Regrets   by Julie N Ford    a book review feature on Reading List

Personal Dislikes

With No Regrets is certainly mainstream, which can be a shock to the system if you have been reading Christian books, both non-fiction and fiction.  So heads up, this is not really a Christian novel. There are many adult scenes in relationships outside of marriage, so if that makes you uncomfortable, you might want to avoid this.  Granted they aren't graphic, but I'll be honest there were some that just didn't read well for me.

Also I felt like I couldn't really get a hold on Finley.  She just didn't grab my full attention.  Yes I was curious how her love life would turn out.  Maybe it was because she is an older lady, and I haven't reached that point in life... not sure...

Reasons to Read

If you really enjoy romance and love stories, this could be for you.  Finley reads like a modern Southern Bell, living in Tennessee.  She loves gardening and coaxing plants to life.  So if you are into gardening, and being outside, you could really get into this one.

Also, if you are divorced, this could grab your attention. 

Reading List Rating

Three heart rating on Reading List

I'm giving this book a three heart rating. While I enjoyed it while I was reading it, and at times was very interested, I doubt I'll read it again.  For some, who really enjoy this genre, this will seem like an unfair rating.

My Suggested Audience

This book is probably best for women over thirty-five.  While you don't have to be divorced to like it, you might enjoy it more if you have been divorced... maybe...

This isn't a book for teenagers surely, it probably wouldn't interest teens anyway.  Also, if you want completely clean Christian stories, you might want to pass on this one. 

Are you into Contemporary Clean Romance books? Do you tend to read Christian Romance?  Share with me your favorite. 

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

Marissa @ Reading List

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***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!

****I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review from I'm a Reader, Not a Writer.  The above review is my own opinion.

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The Digital Book Novella Picks Up Speed

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Since you are spending some of your valuable time today reading this little corner of mine, I am willing to bet you enjoy reading at some level.  Am I right?

Do you wish you could find more time to sit back with a good book? Are you feeling like you simply don't have the time to read anything besides some short internet articles?

The Guard by Kiera Cass, Image from Epic Reads  Discussion on Reading List

I hear you, I really do.  I know so many who stop by here are sure I spend all day reading books since I review many and share even more on social media.  To be honest, I do read a ton.  I love books.  I love learning about culture and the world, even in fiction, through stories that others have experienced.  Recently I've been told this is a key part to why I'm an introvert.... But that's not the point.

The fact is that our society is seeing a dramatic shift away from reading books because it requires the reader to wait and work towards the reward of learning the story.  In other words, attention spans are shortening as we get more and more instantly. And publishers are realizing they have to adapt slightly in this new market.

19 Problems Only Book Nerds Understand    How publishing companies are helping to lessen the wait...  Discussion on Reading List

Enter the ebook novella trend. This is especially popular with the younger audiences of fiction, mostly those twenty-five and under.

Since I have spent the month of July thus far sharing from The Selection Series, I am going to use this as my example, just know this is not exclusive to this series.

Fictional series are becoming very popular, although the idea is not new.  Think Anne of Green Gables,  The Boxcar Children, The Hardy Boy Mysteries, etc. What is new, is how quickly readers want the newest edition.  Authors can only write so fast, especially authors who value writing well developed and edited pieces (these are my favorite authors by the way).  So what is a publishing company supposed to do?

Put out novellas to help fill in back story to the series of course!

In The Selection Series there are four novellas that add to the story through some of the side characters

  • The Queen - Find out how Queen Amberly's Selection process was. Side note, this is not the fairy tale you'd expect
  • The Prince - Get the back story of Prince Maxon, and who the first girl was that caught his eye.
  • The Guard - Dive deeper into Aspen Leger, the third corner of this love triangle.
  • The Favorite - This story gives more detail to one specific event from The Selection story, and it is only available as part of the collection book until Oct 2015... and it's the only one I haven't read yet
There was a high demand for more from author Kiera Cass, and the publishing copy could quickly turn out these quick little additions. While these were all originally released as ebooks, they are going to be available in print, Happily Ever After, come Oct 2015. 

To be honest, I really enjoy this trend.  I love rich, deep characters in fiction. In fact I expect a good author to put time into each character, not just one or two.  These short books allow for that to a new extent. 

The best part?   These can be read in just a couple of hours!  The perfect fit into crazy busy schedules.  

Why am I telling you this?   Well if any of the reviews I have shared this month intrigued you, but you do not have much time to devote to a long series, try one of these novellas and see if you enjoy the way Cass writes.  If you are still interested, then go for the series, you will already know that it won't be a waste of your reading time!

Is there a book series you would have loved to have gotten more details out of? A character you wish the author could have expanded on in this fashion?  

***If you are considering adding these books to your collection, please click the affiliate link below and support Reading List in the process.  Thank you!

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Children's Corner

Silly to a Whole New Level

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Children's Corner

Children's Corner on Reading List

My kids just love silly books.  They like silly pictures.  They enjoy hearing mom and dad say silly words as they listen to silly stories.  More than anything, they just like to be silly, and when they see it in a book, it's license to be crazy silly for a little while.

I'm guessing, if you have kids who are similar, you've shared the story of There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.  If you haven't, please check it out!

For those of you who have, you have to check out this book that has kept both of my boys laughing for days.

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog!

About the Book

This is an incredibly silly book.  The images are just as silly as the words.  While I first thought it was going to be too similar to the original, I quickly learned it is different.

The Old Lady is just going about getting ready for spring in a way no one would expect.  I mean we all start are gardening with swallowing frogs right?  Like the inspiration for this book, there is a sing-song quality to the prose that allows for young kids to be drawn in quickly.  

Why We Like It

This book is just plain fun.  We love how silly the words are and how hysterical the images bring the words to life.  Especially with two boys who love to explore outside, there is something that just drew them into this one and wrapped around their silly bones.

Of course now, they want to find frogs... I hope they won't try to swallow them!

Title: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Frog!
Author: Lucille Colandro
Illustrator: Jared Lee
Publisher: Cartwheel Books
Publication Date: December 2014
For ages: 5-8 (for reading difficulty), totally could be read to any child who loves silly books!
Type: Fiction

We found some super fun crafts and learning tools to go along with this book, check them out!

    1. For some story sequence practice for the little ones we loved these free downloads.
    2. Origami Jumping Frog instructions for the older kiddos.
    3. Frog Jump and math activities for some movement for the kids
    4. Poured Paint Planting Pots craft

Follow Marissa Writes's board Reading List Children's Corner Crafts on Pinterest.

All of these fun activities are linked in the Reading List Children's Corner Pinterest board.  Stop by and see what other fun activities are books have lead us to.

Are you kids into silly books?  What is their current favorite, or yours for that matter?

Marissa on Reading List

***If you are considering adding this book to your home collection, please click the affiliate link below and support Reading List in the process. Thank you so much!


With No Regrets... A Sneak Peek

Saturday, July 25, 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:

With No Regrets
By: Julie N Ford

Sneak Peek:

"Along her flowerbeds she'd planted alternating pansies of yellow, orange, and white that stretched out in both directions like a candy corn chain. Come Easter, purple and red would be added to create a spring rainbow of flowers."    location 1368 (e-reader)

With No Regrets by Julie N Ford  A Sneak Peek on Reading List

Join in the fun with these fun blogs...

Teaser Tuesdays  from A Daily Rhythm

Oh and here are some rules if you decide to join in:
Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• 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 that other Teaser Tuesday participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


If you want to just leave your two sentences, book title, and author just here, please do so in the comments.  I'd love to get a sneak peek of the book you're reading!

Marissa at Reading List

Book review

The Heir: A Book Review

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

As promised last week, I'm continuing with The Selection Series today, more specifically, The Heir.

I wish I could say I was in love with this one as the last three... but honestly, this book was a disappointment.  If you are interested in picking up on of the Selection books, I highly recommend you start at the beginning, or try one of the many novellas.

The Heir by Kiera Cass  a book review on Reading List

Story Overview 

The Heir by Kiera Cass is the fourth book in the Selection Series.  This book is the first to break away from America Singer's Selection process, as we are introduced to the family King Maxon and Queen America have.  This book dives into Princess Eadlyn Schreave's life, more specifically how she is the official Heir to Illea.

While Princess Eadlyn was raised in a new Illea that is in the process of shedding the caste system, she grows aware that the people are not so quick to let go of past wrongs.  She never figured she would have to go through her own Selection process... until her father asks her to do just that.

Eadlyn is a strong female lead to say the least, but her ability to go with the flow is completely lacking.  Eadlyn feels that the idea of even being married will take away from the power she should have as Queen.  She has the idea that being a wife will show the country that she is weak.  And that is where most of the conflict arises in this book.

Personal Likes

I so enjoyed the first three books, that I just had to read this one.  I guess it could be considered loyalty to the author.

My biggest like was that the setting and atmosphere from the first three were well maintained in this new book.  Obviously many years had past between The One and The Heir, but Cass spends many words on catching the reader up on all the lives of the characters from the previous stories. In that way, this is exactly what a fan wants.

Personal Dislikes

Unfortunately, I had some major dislikes with this book.  Mostly Princess Eadlyn was extremely hard to like.  It was as though she was written to have her mother's crazy stubborn naive teenager attitude blended with the spoiled nature one expects from a child raised in riches. Even knowing she is a teenager who is bound to come across a little naive and spoiled, this was a little over the top.

There was also an issue with the pace of this one.  It felt like the first two hundred pages were all introductory.  Granted much of that was on playing catch up on the original characters, but still, it started to drag.

Maybe that is what happens when we get our expectations up because of the previous book, there is bound to be some disappointments from reality.

Reasons to Read

The biggest reason I can think of to pick this one up, is if you have already read the first three books in the series.  Since Cass has already said this will be a five book series (not including the novellas out) that means there is still one more. So this is a prelude to that final installment.  When I think of it that way, this book is fine, it will just be a middle ground book that helps lead us into that final book.

Reading List Rating

Three heart rating on Reading List

I have to give The Heir a three heart rating.  There are some fun scenes and I enjoyed hearing more about the characters I grew attached to in the first three... but overall Eadlyn's behavior and inner-dialogues were just too frustrating to enjoy.

My Suggested Audience

This is a teen dystopian fiction book, that is suggested for fifteen year olds and up, and I have to agree with that as a starting age.  While this particular book is not as racy as the last one, the undertones are still there.

To be honest, even though I was completely disappointed in this installment, I do want to see how Cass finishes the series. So I will probably borrow the fifth book once it is released next year. 

What has been you favorite book series - dig deep into your childhood if you have to?

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!

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