Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Jane of Manchester by J. G. Dow




Summary

Jane's life on the face of it isn't really too bad...she has great friends like party girl Natasha who's always up for a laugh and her close pal Polly, always there for her and of course her loving parents, but things could still be better... 

Most people she knows are either married or have kids and she has been single a while now and wonders if a good man is ever to be encountered again. The single life is far from a quiet one for Jane however, as she is constantly getting dragged to night clubs and bars by Natasha and the crew as well as enduring a particularly boozy weekend away at the seaside! 

Jane loves a lot about her life, disregarding rude plumbers in her flat and dealing with annoying superiors and a smug sister, but as a certain someone takes her eye, is everything about to change and get a whole lot more serious or is the single life determined to keep her captive a while longer yet...



My Thoughts

When I received an email requesting a review for this book I was pleased to too it!  It sounded like a fun read.  And, while it was a decent read, I'm not sure it was exactly for me.  I liked it well enough, I just didn't love it.

Jane of Manchester was a bit slow for me.  The storyline was good, it just didn't seem to keep me super interested.  I get several review requests a day, so I read several books a month.  I have so many to read that I have a hard time reading one that I'm not really enjoying.  If I'm not loving it I feel like I need to move on to the next!  This book didn't exactly make me feel the need to DNF it but the thought did pop into my mind occasionally that I could be reading something else.

I do have to say that this book did have kind of a Bridget Jone's Diary feel to it.  That was cool.  It made me want to watch those movies!  All in all, I didn't hate Jane of Manchester but I can't say that it was my favorite either.  I think I give it a 3.5 stars.

*Note:  I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Penny by Peter Davidson




Summary

The life of a penny.


My Thoughts

Have you ever held a penny and thought about all the places that it has been?  Especially an old penny.  When I was a kid, when I would clean my room and, half the time, throw a penny in the trash if I saw it on my floor!  I've often wondered how many kids have done that and how many pennies are in dumps and landfills.

Well, this story basically follows a 1982, 95% copper penny.  You read several stories of the people that had the penny, ways it was spent (or stolen), times it was dropped or discarded, and many more.  There may not be many people like me who have literally looked at a penny and wondered where it has been, but clearly Peter Davidson is one.  And, honestly, even if you have never wondered it before, you will enjoy this book and it will make you think a little each time you hold a penny in your hand.

*Note: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  

Saturday, September 30, 2017

A Gleam of Light by T. J. and M. L. Wolf




Summary

In 1995, at the age of eight, Una Waters survived a terrifying encounter at 30,000 feet aboard Flight 564 from Dallas to Las Vegas. It changed her forever. After 21 years, and a decade away from the Hopi Reservation where she grew up as a child, a surprise plea for help brings Una back, to solve a mystery that threatens their traditional way of life. The U.S. Army's sudden interest regarding a cave discovery in the Sacred Peaks has triggered alarm, leading to violence. With the help of friends, new and old, Una must confront her painful past, seek proof to qualify the ancient site for protection under law, and stand up to a stiff-necked general, whose agenda is more concerned with retrieving a mysterious power source.


My Thoughts

Let me start off by saying that A Gleam of Light isn't my favorite genre book.  I don't often enjoy many science fictiony books.  They just aren't my preference.  With that being said, I'm still not sure that my lack of love for this genre is the reason that I didn't really enjoy the book.

I actually had a few issues with it.  Not major issues, but when you add them up it makes for a lower rating.  First, I think that there was just too much going on in this book.  Too many themes and circumstances.  Maybe if they were all in individual books, or ever a few per book, it could have been a little better.

Next, I had a hard time connecting with any of the characters.  Usually when I read a book I connect with at least one of the characters.  I can either picture the situation they are in as if I'm living it or I can feel as if I know the person and can somewhat sympathize with the character.  I never felt a connection throughout this whole book.  It was very disappointing to me.  It makes a book really hard to read.

There were cringe-worthy lines and sections of the book that made it especially hard to read.  I came across another reviewer who brought up one line in the book (They laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at them because they are all the same) and she mentioned that she has come across that statement enough times that she wonders if it could be considered plagiarism and even if it isn't, it is such a cliche line to be used yet again.  There was also a part where Una started crying because her friend was crying and it was referred to as being a "woman thing."  Not my favorite part, for sure.

I think that the only thing I enjoyed about A Gleam of Light was learning some things about the Hopi Culture that I hadn't heard of before.  I haven't read many books about Native Americans before so I found that pretty interesting.

All in all, I didn't really care for this book.  I hate posting negative reviews.  It's heartbreaking to say negative things about something that someone worked so hard at.  However, I have vowed to be honest in my reviews.  No matter how hard it may be sometimes.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the authors in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Before I Forget: A Boyhood of Little Drama by Tom Turkington




Summary

Tom Turkington grew up in a small Cape cod town in mid-century, middle-class America. "Before I Forget" accurately recalls and vigorously explores those times and the author's place within them. This is far more than a narrative of a moment in history. With thoughtful insight and good-humored reflection, Mr. Turkington examines closely the events and individuals that shaped his life. What started out as a simple chronicle of memorable moments in his boyhood became an affectionately rendered tale of growing up, wherein we will find our own moments, our own histories and ourselves.


My Thoughts

Before I Forget is a wonderful book about Tom Turkington's life, from a young boy to an adult.  This book is simply Tom telling his life story, his memories.  There are moments of humor and just plain wonderfully average days.

I love reading books that give you glimpse into someone's life.  It makes you look back on your own life and take a trip down memory lane.  Thank you, Tom, for letting us peek into your 'boyhood of little drama.'

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Gastric Girl: Seven Plus Years Beyond Bariatric Surgery by Nicola Travis



Summary

Ever wonder what happens after surgery? When the weight falls off and you become “normal”? That’s the catch. There is no normal. Life continues no matter what weight you are at. This memoir walks through a bariatric patient’s life after her surgery and the seven years that follow. The journey does not end after surgery. The emotional, physical, social and economic impacts of this surgery continues to affect both the patient and those that love her.


My Thoughts

While Gastric Girl: Seven Years Beyond Bariatric Surgery isn't the kind of book that I typically read, when I received the review request for this book I was immediately interested.  I have known a few people that have had weight loss surgeries, and there are questions that have come to my mind, but it feels weird to ask them such personal questions.  So, those questions that I have tend to go unasked.  With this book I was able to see what it is really like, what it feels like physically and emotionally, to go through this life changing surgery.

This book is a memoir.  It is personal to Nicola Travis' life.  I admire people who are brave enough and are willing to open up and tell their story to a bunch of strangers!  I'm not sure that I could do it!

Thank you, Nicola Travis, for sending this book to me and for sharing your story with everyone.

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Jake's Nature Guide: Rocky Mountains by Mark Danenhauer




Summary

Welcome to the Rocky Mountains! Parents, children, and nature enthusiasts alike will find Jake’s Nature Guide an easy-to-read, informative, and easily accessible guidebook on their adventures through the Rockies. Bring Jake along to help you gain a deeper appreciation of one of America’s most breathtaking areas! You will not only learn how to identify plants and animals, but gain fascinating insights along the way. For example, did you know that while gathering food a bee may fly up to 60 miles in a day?


My Thoughts

This isn't a novel that you can read front to back and then tell how you liked, or didn't like, the storyline and/or writing style.  Jake's Nature Guide is just what it says, a guide.  It is a book of facts and information about plants, bugs, reptiles, animals, and fish that you can find around the Rocky Mountains.

I enjoyed looking at the pictures and reading about the different plants and animals.  My son, who likes books like this, read it next.  He enjoyed it too!  I then passed it on to a little boy who was in my class last year because this type of book is perfect for him!

Jake's Nature Guide is definitely a great book full of facts and information.  It is obvious that I recommend it being that I have already passed it along to two other people!

Thank you, Mark Danenhauer, for sending this book to me!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, September 2, 2017

The Leftover by Brooke Williams




Summary

A reserved wallflower discovers that reality TV is the perfect backdrop to develop her confidence in this lighthearted rom-com. Megan Malone is the ultimate homebody. When her sister talks her into going on The Leftover, a local version of the TV show Survivor, she isn’t sure she’ll make it past the first vote. Meanwhile, Cane Trevino is nursing a broken heart by joining the show as a medic. With time away from his regular job and a dozen contestants to distract him, he hopes he can finally get over the woman he thought was “the one.”


My Thoughts

Let me tell you, I have been so excited to read this book!  It just sounds like the perfect, fun little romantic comedy!  And, since I have always been a fan of the show Survivor, this book really appealed to me.  The good news is.... it did not disappoint!!! Not in the least!

I absolutely adore Megan Malone!  I haven't read many books with characters quite like her. I mean, it seems like most books nowadays have the strong, warrior, I-Don't-Need-A-Man type of women.  And that's fine, but sometimes you want to read about an average, not a perfect and strong kind of girl.  Someone that the average girl can relate to.

The Leftover is such a fun read!  It's not intense.  It's not dramatic.  There's nothing sad or heavy in it.  It is just a really fun (I know I keep saying fun but that's what it is!), entertaining book!

I am so happy that The Leftover popped up on my tbr.  I really needed a good, fun (There's that word again) book!  Thank you, Brooke Williams, for sending this book to me!  I hope to read more from you in the future!

*Note: I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review.