Saturday, June 20, 2015

Graphic Novel Review of Hinterkind Vol. 1: The Waking World by Ian Edginton

Synopsis: "The human race didn't get a happily ever after.

After 300,000 years at the top of the food chain, it took only seven months for humanity to become an endangered species.

The Blight killed nearly everyone, and changed everything. As skyscrapers sprouted forests and wild animals took overthe deserted streets, the planet's new rulers emerged from their age-old hiding places: elves and trolls, faeries and fauns, centaurs and satyrs--all the forgotten races behind countless myths and legends returned to reclaim the world they had lost to mankind.

Now, in a tiny village tucked away in what was once Manhattan's Central Park, two rebellious teenagers are about to discover the true nature of the world beyond their small island home--as well as the unseen menace that threatens both human and Hinterkind alike."

My Review: This started out as a good story, a familiar type but still interesting with unique characters. Then things took a turn for the weird, and I am not talking about the so called 'hinterkind' it is more the hinted at menace of the synopsis. There were definitely a few storylines going at once and they are easy to keep straight and you can see they will all interconnect at the end but I don't know if this one will keep me intrigued. I have the second volume so I will have to see after that one if there is any one character or idea that keeps me involved.
My Rating: This was familiar yet odd at the same time.  There are multiple storylines and locations to keep track of so in the future the series could get pretty complicated.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and A Stump Wag.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Bedtime Story: Pete the Cat: Rock On, Mom and Dad by James Dean

Synopsis: "Mom and Dad do so much for Pete that he wants to thank them with a special surprise. But what can Pete do that will show Mom and Dad how much he loves them? In this groovy story, Pete learns that the best way to say thank you is to mean it. Young readers will love watching Pete surprise Mom and Dad with something totally awesome."

My Review: This is a great book to read for either Mother's Day or Father's Day or really any day to remind kids how much their parents do for them and what they can do to show their appreciation. Of course in true funky Pete the Cat style, a unique gift is the best, even if it is a rock song. 
My Rating: This is such a perfect book to read for Father's Day! If you can get the Pete the Cat funk down too it is epic and little kids will be asking for it again and again. I give it a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Beginning Reader Review of Just Helping My Dad by Mercer Mayer

Synopsis: "Little Critter loves to help!

Little Critter(R) can't wait to spend the whole day with his dad--working around the house, going to the store, and being the world's best helper. Things might not always go as planned, but that doesn't stop Little Critter from trying his hardest! Just Helping My Dad is the perfect story for every critter who knows that helping out others isn't always as easy as it looks!"

My Review: I adore this book and it is perfect for the upcoming father's day. Little boys always want to help and be like daddy and Little Critter is no different. Sometimes helping isn't as productive as we would like but the time spent together is what counts. This is a great book for beginning readers, it has very short sentences with familiar characters and actions depicted in the illustrations.
My Rating: This keeps up with the standards set by previous Little Critter books. Little fans will be able to relate to this book as they read it. I give it a rating of Four Paws.
Happy Father's Day on Sunday to all the Dads out there!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

After Dark Review of Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston

I have added After Dark Reviews to my blog as a way of notifying you of a review of a book with Adult themes and scenes. From now on I will keep my reviews of all books I read that have explicit scenes in them for late night posts for those of you who prefer to avoid them or easy to find for those of you who seek them out ;)
Read for: Mount TBR & Series Challenge (Book 5 in series)
Synopsis: "Ten years after Blayne Thorpe first encountered Bo Novikov, she still can't get the smooth-talking shifter out of her head. Now he's shadowing her in New York-all seven-plus feet of him-determined to protect her from stalkers who want to use her in shifter dogfights. Even if he has to drag her off to an isolated Maine town where the only neighbors are other bears almost as crazy as he is...

Let sleeping dogs lie. Bo knows it's good advice, but he can't leave Blayne be. Blame it on her sweet sexiness -- or his hunch that there's more to this little wolfdog than meets the eye. Blayne has depths he hasn't yet begun to fathom -- much as he'd like to. She may insist Bo's nothing but a pain in her delectable behind, but polar bears have patience in spades. Soon she'll realize how good they can be together. And when she does, animal instinct tells him it'll be worth the wait..."

My Review: I really enjoyed the dynamics between Blayne and Bo. While it did take a bit to learn the characters, while Blayne played a part in earlier books in the series, I don't believe Bo was even mentioned (if he was it was simply in passing). I did really love Bo's personality, his schedule and lists sound so much like me that I was definitely able to understand his frustration with Blayne's complete lack of organization at all. I also really enjoyed the community in Maine, the characters there were unique and interesting in their own ways. The underlying storyline for the past several books about the pits made some big progress but didn't provide the tension that it should have, it was just background for me.
My Rating: It feels like Laurenston is finally starting to develop a more intricate storyline as opposed to just crazy characters meeting, having a bunch of sex and that is it. It gives me hope for the future books in this series.  I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Pen to Paper: Journal Letters

First I want to say sorry about the delayed post. I was absorbed in a rather lengthy book and forgot about scheduling some posts!
Did you all send a post card to anyone?  I sent out a few of the Munchkin postcards to family (they were supposed to go out months ago in the spring but oh well).
Since I have started this month talking about postcards I thought I would continue the rest of the month discussing other different ways to communicate via snail mail.  Today I want to talk about Journal Letters.
I have used Journal letters a couple of times in the past, once in junior high with a cousin of mine and then again it came in very handy when my brother was in the Marines and on deployment.  Journal letters are just like they sound, you take a notebook (it can be a simple lined one, a fancy journal pad or even one you make and decorate yourself - a 3 ring binder could be a fun way to add other things to the journal letter).  Then you write in the notebook to whomever you agreed to exchange with and send it to them.  Then they respond in the same journal and return it to you, and so on and so forth.
Some things to keep in mind about Journal Letters
~They are very handy if you don't have time to write a long letter but do have a lot to say.
~They are also handy if you have a hard time keeping track of everything you asked and responded to.
~They are fun because you can add things like pictures, movie stubs, anything you can tape or glue in it.
~Because you are sending a full journal they are a little pricy to ship back and forth.
~Because there is a larger commitment to it, it is best to be sure both parties agree to participate in a journal letter.
~It would be wise to agree that anything in the journal letter is kept private between the two of you. By its nature of being written in longer, it often times almost becomes a diary that responds to you.
~It is rather interesting to go back over the time and read what you have discussed or how you have changed. 
I don't currently have any one exchanging a journal letter with now. It is a huge commitment and can be difficult to find someone dedicated enough to respond and send it back.
Your Mission this Week: Send out 2 notes, postcards or letters.
Let's kick this up a notch. If you want to see if someone would like to exchange a journal letter that would be brilliant. But if not let's just start those letters flowing.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Re-Read Review of Om-Kas-Toe by Kenneth Thomasma

Synopsis: "life changes dramatically for the Blackfeet people in the early 1700's when a twin brother and sister discover a stange animal and succeed in bringing it back to the tribe."

My Review: This was a re-read from when I was a kid. It has been so many years since I read this book and it was great to read it again. I love the way Thomasma presents Native American history in stories and pulls young readers into the books. I found myself not being able to put this book down. The events that take place in Om's life are thrilling and so fun to read. I can't wait for munchkin to be old enough to read this book too.
My Rating: I remembered vague details about this book but it was just as engrossing the second time as the first. I have always enjoyed Thomasma's writing and this is just another great example.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Monday Reading List

Its Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by Shelia at Book Journey. Share what books you have finished in the last week, are currently reading and what might be coming up next!

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review
 The Novice by Taran Matharu
The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston (After Dark)
Tow Truck Trouble/ Lights Out by Frank Berrios (Bedtime Story)
Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Llama Llama Mad at Mama = 1pt
Llama Llama Home with Mama = 1pt
No More Hitting = 1pt
Amelia Bedelia Goes Camping = 1pt
Big Bad Beast = 3pts
Letters from Felix = 1pt
Swamp Thing Vol. 1 = 2pt
A Dangerous Path = 5pts

Currently Reading:

The Smoke Jumper by Nicholas Evans - Audio - 8%
Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes - Nook - on page 101 of 310
Irona 700 by Dave Duncan - Kindle - 26%

 Books to be Read Soon:

Sphinx's Princess by Esther Friesner (Mount TBR/ Series)
Sphinx's Queen by Esther Friesner (Mount TBR/ Series)
The Darkest Hour by Erin Hunter (Mount TBR/ Series)
Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes (Mount TBR)
Howl For It by Shelly Laurenston (Series/ Mount TBR)


Total Points Earned
   114 points + 15 points earned + 10 points for 10K pages = 139 points

Pages Read/ Time Listened
30,445 pages read (1,061 read this week)
80:38 listening time (10:12 listened this week)

Books Added to Shelves

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



Getting back into the swing of things only to have Munchkin go down with a cold and the asthma kick in. We had a lot of late nights and lots of snuggles so we read a few extra kids books this week instead of my books.  That is okay though since I did get started on a few more books that I hope to finish this week. It will be the last week the boss man is out of the office half the time so I better get as much reading as I can done ;)

I hope you enjoyed the few extra non review posts I put up last week. I didn't realize how many I had in a single week until too late, I will try to space them out a little better from now on but I do hope you enjoy them!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Story Stacks: Construction Books

Welcome to Story Stack, a new meme here on Eastern Sunset Reads!
For Story Stack I will put together a list of books based on a common theme, probably mostly children's books since this idea arrived as I struggled to organize Munchkin's overflowing bookshelves.
We have now officially arrived in the road construction season! Of course there are loads of books out there about construction and the big equipment used, and of course having a little boy and a diesel mechanic husband, we have loads of these books. Here are our top 10 Construction Books.
  1. Goodnight, Goodnight, Construction Site - This is a current favorite book and I read it at least once a day!
  2. Big Cat the Proud - I love this book it is small, yet sturdy and pocket sized! It is so handy to whip out in traffic or at a restaurant.
  3. Dump Truck - a dump truck shaped board book with real pictures and of course it has wheels that turn so you can read it and then drive it!
  4. I am a Dump Truck - it is a dump truck shaped board book, how can you beat that in a little boy's eyes?! (except of course #3 that has wheels)
  5. Dig In! - an interactive book with things to spin and slide. Not to ruin anything but they aren't building what you think they are!
  6. Roadwork - Building a road from the ground up with lots of sound effects to make.
  7. I'm a Bulldozer - all the great and powerful things bulldozers can do.
  8. If I Could Drive a Dump Truck - an interesting combination of illustrations and photographs all what you can do on the construction site.
  9. My Truck is Stuck! - Darn those pot holes, this truck gets stuck in one and the amount it takes to get out is crazy!
  10. A Hole in the Road - this is what we see all the time, patches for those pot holes.
So there you have it! Construction books for those road trip traffic jams or just for little fans!