Saturday, February 7, 2015

Graphic Novel Review of Cinderella Vol. 1 From Fabletown with Love by Chris Roberson

Read for: Graphic Novel Challenge
Synopsis: "When supernatural artifacts from the Homelands begin surfacing in the modern world, it falls to Cinderella, Fabletown's best kept (and best dressed) secret agent to stop the illegal trafficking. But can Cindy foil the dark plot before Fabletown and its hidden, exiled inhabitants are exposed once and for all? And how does her long lost Fairy Godmother factor into the equation?

Whether she's soaring through clouds, deep-sea diving, or cracking jaws, Cindy travels from Manhattan to Dubai and hooks up with a handsome, familiar accomplice who may be harboring secret motives of his own. Meanwhile, trouble brews back home in Fabletown when Cindy's overworked, underappreciated assistant decides to seize control of The Glass Slipper, Cindy's exclusive shoe boutique."

My Review: This seems to be a branch-off series from Fables. I wasn't too keen on this one. The illustrations are in the same to similar style of the original series which was nice. The storyline however was a little all over the place with memories and flashbacks but they weren't really well defined. I do like the idea of Cinderella being an assassin but you really didn't get to see much of that side. It was just a little confusing, a little slow and not really all that intriguing. I do have the next one so we will have to see how that goes before I purchase anymore.
My Rating: I wasn't super thrilled with this one, maybe it is the fact that I have read so many better Graphic Novels since reading Fables or this one just didn't hold up. Either way it is not at the top of my list.  I give it a rating of Two Paws.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Bedtime Story: Goodnight Football by Michael Dahl

Synopsis: "From the opening kick off to the final whistle, Goodnight Football will bring the excitement of afootball game to the youngest fan. The rhyming text, vibrant illustrations, and gentle ending willcapturethe love of the game through a child's eyes.A celebration of football, friendship, and family. This book is sure to be a touchdown for every football fan!""

My Review: As I have said before, we are huge football fans in this house and as soon as I came across this book I grabbed it. I have been saving it for the night of an important football game. Munchkin loved all the elements of the story, seeing the sites of a game as well as some of the plays. The book is also a great quality book with a hard cover and thick pages that are difficult for little ones to rip or crumple.
My Rating:  Can you tell that we are a little sad to see football season end? We really enjoyed this book and Munchkin had so much fun pointing out the familiar images. We give it a rating of Four Paws.
Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Beginning Reader Review of Kick, Pass and Run by Leonard Kessler

Synopsis: "Rabbit was the first one to hear it.
Duck was the first one to see it.
Cat was the first one to feel it.
But what is it? It turns out to be a football, and it leads the animal friends to discover the exciting game of football.

Young sports fans have cheered Kick, Pass, and Run for thirty years. Now Leonard Kessler has reillustrated his classic I Can Read Book in full color, bringing this popular tale to a new generation of beginning readers."

My Review: This is a great level 2 for beginning readers and football fans. The words and sentences are simple and the images help to prompt the reading. It also has a fun little introduction at the beginning with a diagram and common football terms. It is a little long and maybe should be read it short spurts to keep attention on the story but it can be read in one sitting. The animals are silly and the football game is fun to follow, even Munchkin got involved and was telling the animals that they weren't playing right and that what they were playing with wasn't a football.
My Rating: Even though this is a little longer than most of these beginning readers but the lines are all simple and the story is fun. I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Review of Stone Bay by Min Edwards

Read for: Mount TBR & Across the States
Synopsis: "Amanda Warner is a Texas girl from her cowgirl hat right down to her silver-tipped boots. She’s a successful woman, but romance has passed her by. On a whim to find that elusive spark that others seem to enjoy, she buys a new home... sight-unseen... on the Internet... in Maine. However, when she pulls up into the driveway of her new house, one that looks nothing like the online images, there’s a handsome stranger standing on her derelict porch. At that moment, she realizes she might have bitten off more than she can chew, in home ownership and romance.

Kevin Franklin, retired Army Intelligence officer, successful builder, has been unlucky in love throughout his life. He’s been more concerned with keeping family, friends and his country safe than finding a soul mate. Things may be changing for him though. When the new cowgirl in town walks into his life and into the house he was planning to buy for his sister, his luck takes a turn... and not always for the better."

My Review: I almost didn't make it through this one, at least 3 times I said I should just DNF this but then I could finish it that day so I pushed through. The story could have been awesome, a woman buys a house sight unseen, then gets a sexy contractor to refinish a 200 year old house, make some historical discoveries, etc. Instead you end up with extremely wishy-washy characters who are immature and with seemingly manufactured ways to create supposed tension with back and forth. Supposedly Amanda is this rather intelligent woman, had spectacular career as an archeologist, then had operated a bookstore/wine bar but turns out she can't handle even the slightest bit of pressure, turmoil, make decisions or even manage to sweep a floor. I'm sorry but she came off as having multiple personalities or something because what happened and what is said about her do not jive at all. Those are just a few of the inconsistencies in the story, there are many more including time frames that drive a reader insane.
My Rating: Inconsistencies and wishy-washy characters really killed a book with great potential. I am only giving it One Paw and a Stump Wag and it is only getting that high because I did manage to finish it.
Note: there are sexual encounters but they can be skimmed over and if you do read it I suggest you skim them because they are ridiculous.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Review of Poole's Paradise by John Vorhaus

Read for: Requested Review
Synopsis: "WHEN YOU'RE ALEXANDER POOLE, EVERYONE'S YOUR TEACHER A skeevy stereo salesman, master of the bait and switch. A flaky folk singer and his dog that reads Tolkien. A drug dealer loan shark with a passion for trees. A ballsy townie chick who turns you on to Springsteen. Your wiseass roommate whose favorite pastime is smoking your dope. Your first college girlfriend who has sex with you to confirm that she's gay. Even your one true love. Together they point you to paradise - Poole's Paradise - but what will it cost to get in?"

My Review:  When I first started reading this book I wasn't sure where it was going, thought maybe it would be a lot of random events in a college student's life. As it progressed however it became very interesting. It turned out to have a lot of deep thinking and unique philosophical ideas and concepts. I enjoyed the glimpses of music in the time period. The book takes you on quite an adventure and the twists at the end really caught me off guard but pleasantly surprised.
My Rating: This turned out to be a very interesting read that sucked me in more than I ever expected.  I really enjoyed it.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.
Poole's Paradise was sent to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.
You can find out more about John Vorhaus on his Goodreads Page or Website.
You can also obtain your own copy in digital or print format from Amazon or in print format from Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Review of Stone Fox by John Reynolds Gardiner

Read for: Across the States & Mount TBR
Synopsis: "John Reynolds Gardiner's action-packed canine adventure story of a thrilling dogsled race has captivated readers for more than thirty years.

Based on a Rocky Mountain legend, Stone Fox tells the story of Little Willy, who lives with his grandfather in Wyoming. When Grandfather falls ill, he is no longer able to work the farm, which is in danger of foreclosure. Little Willy is determined to win the National Dogsled Race—the prize money would save the farm and his grandfather. But he isn't the only one who desperately wants to win. Willy and his brave dog Searchlight must face off against experienced racers, including a Native American man named Stone Fox, who has never lost a race."

My Review: Once I started reading this book it all came back to me in a flash and I recall reading it years and years ago. I almost didn't want to finish the book because I knew it made me cry. I do seem to remember it being a long book to read but clearly as a young reader it must have been, but now it was a fast read. I enjoyed the story, Little Willy and Searchlight both show love, compassion, courage and heart. I am a little confused as to the grandfather's illness but for the age group of readers I guess it didn't seem to matter much. This is definitely one I look forward to sharing with Munchkin.
My Rating: I do recall loving this book as a kid and I thoroughly enjoyed it again as an adult. I really am looking forward to sharing this with Munchkin when he grows older. I give it a rating of Four Paws.

Monday, February 2, 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 Dragons of Spratt Ohio by Linda Zinnen
Just Not Ready Yet by Brooklyn James
By the Sea Book One Tess by Antoinette Stockenberg
T is for Touchdown by Brad Herzog (Bedtime Story)
Ewoks: Shadows of Endor by Zack Giallongo (Graphic Novel)
Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

The Books of Magic = 3pts
What I Fought For = 5pts
The Dragon in the Sock Drawer = 5 pts
Darkness = 3pts
Perfect Soup = 1pt
The Big Snow = 1pt
I Love You Sleepyhead = 1pt
Birth = 3pts

Currently Reading:

If You Lived Here I'd Know Your Name by Heather Lende - PB - on page 32 of 296
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff - Audio - 32%

 Books to be Read Soon:

West of Want by Laura Kaye (Mount TBR/Series)
South of Surrender by Laura Kaye (Mount TBR/Series)
East of Ecstasy by Laura Kay (Mount TBR/Series)
More Than Pancakes by Christine Depetrillo (Mount TBR/Rhode Island Authors)
Fish Perfume by Sammie Grace (Mount TBR/Rhode Island Authors)
Toe to Toe by Sammie Grace (Mount TBR/Rhode Island Authors)
The Queen's Dagger by Merilee Andelin Saunders (Requested Review)
Don't Forget Me Bro by John Michael Cummings (Requested Review)
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by JK Rowling (Mount TBR)


Total Points Earned

Pages Read/ Time Listened
6,658 pages read (877 this week)
12:31 listening time

Books Added to Shelves

The Princess of Sparta by Aria Cunningham - BookBub Freebie

Interesting Tidbits on the Web:



Wow! 55 books read last month! I cannot believe I managed to read that much, keep up at work, keep the house in some kind of order and potty train Munchkin! I don't have too much exciting planned for the month of February other than preparing for March.  March will mostly focus on local Rhode Island authors full of reviews, interviews and a few giveaways. It should be a month of fun.  That doesn't mean this month won't be full of fun though, I will have lots of new reviews, some nail art, some crafts and recipes to share with all of you.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

January 2015 Challenge Update

What a way to kick off the challenges for this year! January was a month full of books, it is always exciting to dive into that pile waiting for you and teasing you for the last few weeks.  So here is my update on my challenges.
Personal Re-Read Challenge
Personal Children's Book Challenge
13. Again!
15. Sweet Child of Mine
16. Mr. Happy
17. The Big Snow
18. Perfect Soup
19. I Love You, Sleepyhead

Personal Beginning Reader Challenge:
1. Charlie's Snow Day
2. Monsters Munch Lunch
3. Brave Dragon
4. Kick Pass and Run

Personal Read Across the States Challenge
Alabama  -
Alaska -
Arizona -
Arkansas -
California -
Colorado - Calves in the Mud Room
Connecticut -
Delaware -
Florida - Because of Winn Dixie
Georgia - Deep Dish
Hawaii - Birth
Idaho -
Illinois -
Indiana -
Iowa -
Kansas -
Kentucky -
Louisiana -
Maine - Stone Bay
Maryland -
Massachusetts -
Michigan -
Minnesota -
Mississippi -
Missouri -
Montana -
Nebraska -
Nevada -
New Hampshire -
New Jersey - The Fighting Ground
New Mexico -
New York -
North Carolina -
North Dakota -
Ohio - Dragons of Spratt Ohio
Oklahoma -
Oregon -
Pennsylvania -
Rhode Island - By the Sea Tess
South Carolina - Girls in Trucks
South Dakota -
Tennessee -
Texas -
Utah -
Vermont -
Virginia -
Washington -
West Virginia - Locking Horns
Wisconsin - Blankets
Wyoming - Stone Fox

Audio Book Challenge
1. The Fighting Ground
2. The Last Valentine
3. Deep Dish

Graphic Novel Challenge
1. Tiny Book of Tiny Stories Vol. 3
2. Blankets
3. Shadows of Endor
4. From Fabletown with Love
5. Books of Magic

Series Challenge
1. Hearts of Amenoi - Book 1

TBR Challenge
1. Girls in Trucks
2. Because of Winn Dixie
3. Athena the Brain
4. Nubiana
5. Persephone the Phony
6. The Fighting Ground
7. Aphrodite the Beauty
8. The Last Valentine
9. Artemis the Brave
10. By The Sea, Book One, Tess
11. Hickory Daiquiri Dock
12. Locking Horns
13. Stone Bay
14. Dragons of Spratt, Ohio
15. Deep Dish
16. Stone Fox
17. Dragon in the Sock Drawer
18. Birth

Requested Reviews
1. Dear Hank Williams
2. Jesper Jinx and the Sneezing Season
3. Calves in the Mud Room
4. Gooseberry Island
5. Dizzy Miss Lizzie
6. Just Not Ready Yet
7. Poole's Paradise
8. Darkness

Goodreads Challenge
Currently at 55 of 312 books for the year.

Definitely feeling well ahead of the game but I know that can catch up with me quickly, especially since I have chosen a lot of books outside my normal reading comfort zone for the Across the States challenge.  It will be another busy month for me!

For some of my other goals on the year:
I have written 3 postcards/letters (not including birthdays, Christmas or thank yous)
I have painted my nails every week (I decided I will have a special post once a month to share the best)
I have made all my weekly savings deposits (some even a little early)
Haven't done much extra fun with Munchkin this month, it was busy potty training but we did make thank you cards and some other little crafts
No date with Hubby so far (Valentine's does land on a weekend this year so it will be the first we have gotten to spend together in several years).

Points Earned this Month:  143
Points spent this Month: 0 (woohoo! No book buying is an accomplishment for me)
Pages Read this Month: 6,658 & 12:31 listening time