Saturday, August 16, 2014

Graphic Novel Review of To Dance by Siena Cherson Siegel

Synopsis: "Dancers are young when they first dream of dance. Siena was six -- and her dreams kept skipping and leaping, circling and spinning, from airy runs along a beach near her home in Puerto Rico, to dance class in Boston, to her debut performance on stage with the New York City Ballet.

To Dance tells and shows the fullness of her dreams and her rhapsodic life they led to. Part family history, part backstage drama, here is an original, firsthand book about a young dancer's beginnings -- and beyond."

My Review: This was an interesting way to portray ballet and a ballerina's work to get to the top. I thought the illustrations were lovely but there were times they would start to portray something and I would want to follow it but the author chose to jump to something else. The ending was rather abrupt as well, it was almost as if the author didn't want to share anymore and just dropped the subject. While I would suggest this to young teen girls to deliver a message about working hard to follow their dreams, I don't think the ending would help with that message. Maybe I am being too critical as I am definitely the picture story of how plans change as we get older, but this one just didn't sit right with me.
My Rating: I definitely enjoyed the artistic quality to the story and the effort put forth to become the dreamed about ballerina, but I was rather disappointed in the ending. I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Bedtime Story: If Your Dreams Take Off and Fly and John Butler

Synopsis: "As a little boy drifts off to sleep one night, his thoughts set off on an adventure around the world. He dreams of vast oceans where dolphins leap through the waves; icy landscapes where penguins huddle for warmth and wild grasslands where hippos, giraffes and zebras roam free. John Butler captures each scene in detail, filling every landscape with a wealth of beautifully depicted animals and plants."

My Review: Another fantastic book to share with Munchkin. I loved the story and the illustrations are stunning! Munchkin loved finding the 'dream butterfly' on each page as it traveled around the world and saw many animals and sights. I have a feeling this might become a favorite bedtime story for both him and I as it is so soothing.
My Rating: Such a stunning and inspirational book, definitely getting to be a favorite! We give it a rating of Four Paws!!
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

After Dark Review of The Businessman's Tie by Deena Ward

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 ;)

Synopsis: "Part One of "The Power to Please," a dark, sensual series about shattering loss, redemption through transformation, and the miracle of selfless love.

Who knows where one night of passion might lead?

Recently-divorced Nonnie Crawford craves a new beginning -- it arrives in the form of an enigmatic, dark-eyed stranger she dubs The Businessman. He seduces her with a sizzling introduction to the thrill of submission. As the days pass, she can't forget him or the way he made her feel, so she seeks him out and soon finds herself at a BDSM club. There, she meets Michael Weston, a handsome, charming playboy who's keen to seize the reins left dangling by the absent Businessman.

Nonnie's ready to take chances ... perhaps too ready.

*Warning: adult material. Only purchase if it is legal for you to do so. This book contains explicit language and scenes of a sexual nature, including exhibitionism, S&M by secondary characters, and consensual domination and submission, which some readers may find objectionable.*"

My Review: I hate to say it but I was unimpressed with this one. It started out really great with an encounter in a bar, but after that things went down hill for me. The story seemed very choppy and didn't allow the story to develop. I had absolutely no connection with the characters and found Nonnie to be rather unintelligent. I was also unhappy with the conclusion but that is just a matter of opinion. I guess this just wasn't the book for me.
My Rating: Definitely not up to the level of books I am used to and I probably won't be reading more of this series.  I give it a rating of One Paw and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Review of The Secret at Haney Field: A Baseball Mystery by R.M. Clark

Synopsis: "Twelve-year-old April O'Day's summer has gotten off to a flying start. As the new bat retriever for the Harpoons, her hometown's minor league team, she's fetching bats and doling out great advice to players and coaches alike. In a word, she's becoming indispensable. But mysterious things are happening at Haney Field, which April and her best friend - and fellow baseball enthusiast - Darren Plummer are determined to uncover. As they quickly learn, this is no ordinary season. In fact, it's a whole new ball game."

My Review: I thought this book would be perfect for a summer read and would be great for those kids out of school. I also love the fact that it is a relatively local book for me and really enjoyed the mention of local towns and teams I recognize. It was a very interesting story line and concept and I think that was well done and will keep the readers turning the pages, eager to find out what happens. The main drawback for me was the lead character, April, she just felt like too much of a know it all and it really put me off with her instructions and almost cockiness. Thankfully the sub-characters really were great.
My Rating: I really was happy with the conclusion of the book and the message sent to this younger generation coming up about righting our past wrongs.  I kind of wished the main character, April, was a little more likable and maybe a little humble but that was offset nicely with the rest of the characters.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.
This book was sent to me by the author for an honest review. 
You can find out more about Mr. Clark and his work on his Goodreads Page or Website.
The Secret at Haney Field: A Baseball Mystery is due for release on September 16th, so keep your eyes open and get your hands on a copy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Audio Review of Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson

Synopsis: "Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn't believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she's ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland's inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she's always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it's the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who's everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart."

My Review: I have to say I don't remember reading Peter Pan as a kid or really even much of the movie so I think that really helped me not have any specific expectations. I listened to the audio version of this book and thought I would regret it as soon as I heard the narrator's high pitched almost whiny voice, but upon listening to it further and understanding that the book is written from Tinker Bell's point of view it seemed to fit. Now that I have finished it I am definitely glad I listened to it because if it had been a print version I am not sure I would have finished. Not a whole lot seems to happen and the pacing is very slow. Since it is told by Tinker Bell you are getting a lot of parts of the story second and sometimes third hand which really detaches you from the characters and storyline. I did find Tiger Lily to be a very interesting character and this portrayal of her really captured me since she seems to be such an introvert and observer. This was an interesting book but unless you are really into the subject matter of Peter Pan and elements of his story I am not sure I would recommend it.
My Rating: It was an interesting take but a little flat and oddly narrated.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Monday, August 11, 2014

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

Pegasus and the Fight for Olympus by Kate O'Hearn
Surrounded by Secrets by Mandy Harbin (After Dark)
Bedtime for Francis by Russell Hoban (Bedtime Story)

Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Dragon Slayer
A Storm of Passion
Little Bear's Friend
Animal Man
The Stork Reality
Currently Reading:

Mozart Season by Virginia Euwer Wolff - PB - on page 35 of 272
Cabin Fever by Diana Hunter - PB - on page 89 of 272
Buffalo Valley By Debbie Macomber - Kindle - 6%
My Heart to Yours by Michelle Zarrin - PB - on page 15 of

 Books to be Read Soon:

Bella Tuscany by Frances Mayes
The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss (Mount TBR)
Bathing and the Single Girl by Christine Elise McCarthy (Requested Review)
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke (Mount TBR)
Behind You by Carly M. Duncan (Requested Review)

Interesting Tidbits from the Web:



It is a holiday today here in RI and even though I have Munchkin with me all day, I am hoping to get more reading done today. While I have been reading a lot lately, I am noticing a slow down and predict that the month of September might end up being pretty quiet around here.  Hopefully I will have enough fun things planned for you to read while I disappear for a little while!