What You Wish For by Katherine Center

Rating: 5 out of 5.
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

You know how everyone talks about an author, and you’re like hmmm…I haven’t read this author, there must be a reason everyone loves them? Well….That was Katherine Center for me. I haven’t read any of her books, but she’s ALL over the book world! So, I was really excited that I managed to snag her audio and physical book, What You Wish For! And what I wished for came true, this author ROCKS!

What You Wish For is categorized as romance, and I would agree, there is definitely a romance element, but it felt like SO much more than that. There is hope, grief, inspiration, and friendship all mixed into this beautiful story!

Continue reading “What You Wish For by Katherine Center”

ABCs and 123s for Boys by Tom McLaughlin

Welcome to the blot tour for ABCs and 123s for Boys hosted by Rockstar Book Tours!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The illustrations in this book were so bright and colorful! It’s a stunning collection of images that will keep children engaged through each page! My daughter and son were both delighted to call out the letters and numbers as we moved through the book!

How I Felt:

ABCs and 123s for Boys is a collection of lovely illustrations that correlate to a letter or number. My kids really enjoyed the scenes for each one. The names for the animals are all boy names, but that should not be a reason to restrict this to one gender. I would really like to stress that this book is completely perfect for boys and girls, so don’t be deterred by the title.

Continue reading “ABCs and 123s for Boys by Tom McLaughlin”

Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I really loved that this was a retelling, but it had really interesting twists. I absolutely LOVED the extreme changes to the Cinderella story that are revealed as the story progresses!

How I Felt:

Cinderella is Dead takes the reader to a world where the kingdom of Cinderella has turned into a cruel place where women are nothing more than property to be discarded at the whim of any man. All girls must attend an annual ball where they are chosen as wives. Those not chosen have 2 more chances at a ball, after that, it’s a fate worse than death, or maybe it’s just death. Either way, women live in fear, and men rule the day.

Sophia hates all of it. Her idea of happily ever after is with Erin, not with any man in the kingdom. After her required attendance at the annual ball turns into an escape to save her life, she decides that enough is enough. She’s going to bring down the king, and stop the horrible treatment of women.

Continue reading “Cinderella Is Dead by Kalynn Bayron”

Devolution by Max Brooks

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I loved the choices the author made to tell this story! It’s written like an actual journalistic investigation into an incident. The audio version was amazing because a cast of narrators was used to differentiate between the characters, and it was wonderful!

How I Felt:

Devolution is “A Firsthand Account of the Rainier Sasquatch Massacre”. A small group of people that have chosen to live secluded from society become trapped when Mount Rainier erupts leaving their escape paths covered in lava. I thought this was going to more about their need to run from the eruption, but that isn’t it at all. They are pretty much safe in their homes with the lava flows going down the other side of the mountain. The real danger lurks in the forest around them!

Continue reading “Devolution by Max Brooks”

This is my America by Kim Johnson

Welcome to the blot tour for This is my America hosted by Rockstar Book Tours!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

This. Book. UGH! It was amazing, and I loved every word, every page.

How I Felt:

This story truly impacted me. I stopped and started the reading of this to consider the words on the page. While this was a fictional story, it rings true over and over again. Tracy’s comments on the racial divides in our society were spot-on and continued to make me think. Her investigation into what really happened the night her brother was accused of murder gave so many opportunities to show readers some of the horrible injustices that are a part of America today.

The plot features a young girl, Tracy, who is trying to get her father’s death sentence overturned before it is too late. She relentlessly writes letters to Innocence X, an organization that assists people in their legal needs, but she has yet to hear back from them. Just as she is beginning to give up on them, her brother is accused of murder, and Tracy is reliving a nightmare for the second time.

Continue reading “This is my America by Kim Johnson”

Home Before Dark by Riley Sager

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The twists and turns that this book took me on were insane! I had absolutely NO idea what was going on, no guesses as to what the truth was. It was an amazing ride, and I loved it!!

My Synopsis:

Maggie’s father wrote a book that has haunted her every day of her life. As a young girl, her family bought Baneberry Hall, a secluded estate with a tragic history. Maggie doesn’t remember anything about their less-than-a-month stay in the home. All of her memories are from the non-fiction book, House of Horrors, written by her father. Maggie knows that everything in the book is a lie, but her parents will never discuss it.

When her father passes away, Maggie is shocked to learn that her father still owned the house, and she is now the owner of Baneberry Hall. Determined to understand what really happened during their stay in the home, Maggie moves in.

She is adamant that the ghost stories, snakes, and gruesome history were all a figment of her father’s imagination to create a best-selling book. When she arrives though, the things from her father’s book begin to seem less like a story and more like a foretelling of things to come.

How I Felt:

This is my first Riley Sager book! I know, I know. I’m so behind the times! But – I am with you all now, he is an amazing author, and I now need to read everything he has written!

Continue reading “Home Before Dark by Riley Sager”

Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Copy of Science Fiction with pink background and oversized moon with reflection in water
Oona Out of Order Cover with girl's face and book title
White library with lots of stairs and "Contemporary" text

What I Loved:

I LOVED everything about this book! The time travel was fabulous, Oona was a wonderful character, and the story unfolded with surprises big and small.

My Synopsis:

It’s New Year’s Eve, and the Eve of Oona’s birthday. She is partying with her friends and boyfriend to count down to the new year (and turning 19). The clock strikes midnight, and she awakes…in a new house and a significantly older birthday.

This is the beginning of Oona’s new life. As she turns a year older, she bounces to a new year in her body, sometimes older, sometimes younger. There’s no explanation as to why, it’s just the life she must now live.

As Oona travels from year to year, she finds struggles in the knowledge of things to come, and the unknown of what happened in years she hasn’t lived. This story takes the reader on Oona’s life as she experiences her life, out of order.

How I Felt:

I love time travel. I talk about my love of it all the time, so sorry, but here’s another FABULOUS time travel book! Holy moly, I enjoyed this book! The time travel was such an interesting twist. She can’t control it, and it’s not a one-time jump. She jumps at each birthday into another year in her life.

Continue reading “Oona Out of Order by Margarita Montimore”

Yummy Me Feels So Good by Lion I Am

Welcome to the Yummy Me Feels So Good blog tour hosted by iRead Book Tours!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

What I Loved:

The illustrations throughout Yummy Me Feels So Good are children’s artwork. My daughter really enjoyed looking at each page and discussing the drawing. It was a lot of fun and a great addition to the book!

How I Felt:

Yummy Me Feels So Good has a great message for children, and adults really, about the different “Me’s” that we experience. They are all a part of who we are, and we can embrace them.

Continue reading “Yummy Me Feels So Good by Lion I Am”

The Dirt Girl by Jodi Dee

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I absolutely adored the illustrations in this book! They are stunning with vibrant colors and wonderful details for the kids to really look at and enjoy!

My Synopsis:

Zafera is starting school for the first time. She’s different than the other children, but she doesn’t know it. They give her weird looks and talk about her, but she doesn’t notice any of it. She doesn’t know that the twigs in her hair and dirt on her clothes make her different. She’s a happy, healthy girl happy to be experiencing school and other children.

It’s time for her birthday party and she invites everyone! When the children get to the party they are all blown away by the location. Zafera’s home is beyond anything they could have ever imagined! Tucked into a hillside, it’s part of the earth. They play and explore the wonders of her home, and get to know Zafera for who she is, not what she wears.

How I Felt:

I really enjoyed the message this story provides. I liked that the children were not horrible to Zafera, it was more that they didn’t understand her. Her birthday party provided a wonderful opportunity for the children to see her in her own setting, and appreciate her.

Continue reading “The Dirt Girl by Jodi Dee”

Never an Amish Bride by Ophelia London

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What I Loved:

Can I give a book more than 5 stars? I loved every word of this story. The two main characters were adorable together, and I loved their relationship growth.

My Synopsis:

Esther Miller lost her fiance, Jacob, two years ago, and she’s still mourning him. Her wedding dress still hangs in her closet, and her heart is not open to others. She spends her days helping her mother teach the children, and making soap to sell in an extended family member’s store.

Visiting town, Esther bumps into Lucas Brenneman, her fiance’s older brother. Lucas went on his Rumspringa ten years ago and never returned. Now it seems he is back in Honey Brook and is working as a Physician’s Assistant. Esther immediately has questions for him. He might hold the answers she has been looking for to be able to move on from the loss of Jacob.

One meeting turns into two, then three, as they find an unlikely friendship. They both have internal struggles that they are trying to resolve and find solace in each other’s conversation and company.

Their relationship, however, would not be taken well within the Amish community, as Lucas is not part of the community any longer. Guilt and doubt overtake Esther as she tries to figure out where this “platonic” friendship could be headed.

How I Felt:

It has been quite a while since I have read an Amish fiction book, and I’m now kicking myself for falling away from this genre for so long! This was a beautiful, slow-burn romance filled with Christian themes, the strength of family, and some fabulously humorous scenes.

Continue reading “Never an Amish Bride by Ophelia London”

Damage in an Undead Age by A.M. Geever

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Damage in an Undead Age book cover - broken glass in the shape of a heart with zombie hand coming through.

What I Loved:

I loved the adventure that Damage in an Undead Age took me on! I enjoyed the new characters that were introduced and the twists created by their addition to the story! What I loved the most though, was the emotional journey that I wasn’t expecting. It was beautifully woven into the zombie apocalypse and left me unable to put the book down.

My Synopsis:

Damage in an Undead Age picks up just after book 1, Love in an Undead Age. The group has escaped on a boat and is healing from their injuries. They have Jeremiah, the crazy man that is immune to zombies, safely secured as they sail to their next destination in hopes of finding help to create a vaccine.

Unfortunately, help isn’t there and they must move on. Their next stop does have a lab where they can set up to start working on the vaccine. It turns out that they are not alone though. They’ll soon discover zombies aren’t the only dangerous thing around them.

How I Felt:

Damage in an Undead Age was so much more than a post-apocalyptic zombie story! The characters each have their own internal struggles that created such an emotional roller-coaster!

Continue reading “Damage in an Undead Age by A.M. Geever”

The Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale

Rating: 4 out of 5.

What I Loved:

I loved the game of cat and mouse that this story turned into. I was so drawn into how both characters were trying to one-up the other. It created this interesting, dangerous plot that I was enamored with!

My Synopsis:

Taylor Bishop has just been broken up with by her boyfriend, Angus Hollingsworth. Angus is an abusive man with an addiction to cocaine and Taylor needs to stay away from him. She’s heartbroken, but anger is beginning to boil within her over his treatment of her. She finds out he uploaded a sexual video of her to the internet, and that is the last straw. She is out for revenge, assisted by the book, The Art of War.

Taylor succeeds in executing some small-time revenge plans that she’s happy with, but wants to up her game. Then, Angus shows back up, heartbroken and extremely sorry…a changed man. And Tayler goes back to him. Ugh!

But, it becomes clear very quickly that Angus hasn’t changed at all, Taylor has. She sees through his lies now but soon realizes that she can’t just leave. This game of revenge that she started has another player, and he might just be better than her. Can she get out of this without losing the game…and her life?

How I Felt:

The Sunday Girl is a story of revenge. We know who the “bad guy” is and what is happening the whole time. So, this isn’t a thriller with twists and turns that surprise you, changing the direction of the story. It’s a thriller filled with escalating plans of destruction to each character that will have you on the edge of your seat!

Continue reading “The Sunday Girl by Pip Drysdale”