Friday, May 11, 2018

Early Reader Bedtime Story: Unicorn Wings by Mallory Loehr

Read for: Early Reader Challenge

Synopsis: ""I wish I had wings." The white unicorn can heal wounds with his horn. He can make rainbows. But what he really wants is to fly. So he sets off on a quest--past birds and butterflies--to find wings of his own."

My Review: Again my little unicorn loving heart had to give into this one. I like how it doesn't take on too much of a girly feel and boys can enjoy it too. It did seem a little easy for a level 2 reader but it does have a bit longer sentences. We weren't a huge fan of the story itself but the art was beautiful in this one. 

My Rating: At a different time in Munchkin's life this might have been a better book to read but right now we struggle with the idea of being happy with what you have, this book set the complete opposite tone.  It was still a lovely book but not such a great message.  We give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Friday Face Off: Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth.

Friday Face Off was originally the brain child of Books By Proxy but you can check Lynn's Books the co-host for the most recent updates and topics.  The plan is to use the theme of the week and pick a book with different covers and pick the best.  I have been wanting to participate for some time but keep for getting, but when I saw this week's topic I knew I had to schedule the post right away.

This week's theme is Dinosaurs!

And I am already breaking the rules, the very first week because I instead wanted to take a Dinosaur book of the past with a Dinosaur book on this year's TBR.

So first we have the Dinosaur book of the past, with the sweet, helpful dinosaur utopia of Dinotopia

And now, currently on my TBR shelf for the year, the battle dragons of the Dinosaur Lords Trilogy

So the obvious difference is the herbivores and carnivores, they are obviously suited to different purposes, but if I recall correctly even most of the carnivorous dinosaurs in Dinotopia were friendly.  Dinotopia definitely holds a special place in my heart but I am looking forward to what appears to be a much darker read that is more my current preference with the Dinosaur Lords series.

So which covers do you prefer, judging by the cover would you pick any of these up? 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Review of Boying Up by Mayim Bialik

Read for: Requested Review

Synopsis: "Mayim Bialik, star of The Big Bang Theory and author of the #1 bestseller Girling Up, puts her Ph.D. to work to talk to teen boys about the science and pressures of growing up male in today's world. A must-have book for all teenage boys!

Why does my voice crack like that? What should I eat to build muscle? How do I talk to someone I have a crush on? What do I do if someone calls me names or bullies me?

Growing from a boy to a man is no easy task. Bodies are changing, social circles are evolving, hair is appearing in places it never was before -- and on top of it all, there's the ever-present pressure to conform to the typical idea of what it means to be "manly" and masculine. But it's easier to do if you're armed with facts.

Using personal anecdotes as an overly observant mother of two boys and plenty of scientific information from her life as a neuroscientist, Mayim Bialik, PhD, star of The Big Bang Theory, talks directly to teen boys about what it means to grow from a boy to a man biologically, psychologically, and sociologically. Using the same cool, fun, and friendly tone that she took in Girling Up, Mayim takes boys--and their parents!--through the challenges and triumphs of Boying Up today.

In six sections (How Boys Bodies Work; How Boys Grow; How Boys Learn; How Boys Cope; How Boys Love; and How Boys Make a Difference), she takes a look at what it means for boys to come of age in today's world, how can they take control of their paths, and what can they do to help shape the types of futures they want for themselves."

My Review: I have been a big fan of Mayim's Youtube channel for some time, I love the realistic parenting tips she gives, so when I was given the opportunity to read Boying Up I was thrilled. Right off the bat this book takes on a great conversational and light tone that really allows for her voice to come through. The tone of the book also makes it not seem like a nagging "you should do this, not this" that makes teens tune out. It has a lot of great information from body changes, to learning methods and emotional changes and coping methods. Munchkin is not too many years off from this phase of his life and this will definitely be a book that will be waiting for him to read. As a mom, it was a very helpful book to read, to get a little insight into what challenges he may face and how we can approach them together. I think what might be the best part of Boying Up is that it doesn't present a strict guys guy picture of becoming a man, there was a lot of representation and openness in the different ways boys might be as they grow into adulthood.

My Rating: This is probably one of the best non-fiction books I have read in quite a while.  I am so glad that this book will be out there for teen and pre-teen boys (and their moms) to refer to when needed.  I give it a rating of Four Paws.

I received Boying Up from the publisher, the above is my honest opinion.

You can find out more about Mayim Bialik and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website or you can check out her Youtube Channel that I follow.

Boying Up was just released on Tuesday so you can purchase your copy in digital or print format from Barnes & Noble  or Amazon or check with your favorite book provider, it is also available as an audio book.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Review of Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston

Read for: Recently Added & Love the Author

Synopsis: "Seventeen-year-old Ana is a scoundrel by nurture and an outlaw by nature. Found as a child drifting through space with a sentient android called D09, Ana was saved by a fearsome space captain and the grizzled crew she now calls family. But D09—one of the last remaining illegal Metals—has been glitching, and Ana will stop at nothing to find a way to fix him.

Ana’s desperate effort to save D09 leads her on a quest to steal the coordinates to a lost ship that could offer all the answers. But at the last moment, a spoiled Ironblood boy beats Ana to her prize. He has his own reasons for taking the coordinates, and he doesn’t care what he’ll sacrifice to keep them.

When everything goes wrong, she and the Ironblood end up as fugitives on the run. Now their entire kingdom is after them—and the coordinates—and not everyone wants them captured alive.

What they find in a lost corner of the universe will change all their lives—and unearth dangerous secrets. But when a darkness from Ana’s past returns, she must face an impossible choice: does she protect a kingdom that wants her dead or save the Metal boy she loves?"

My Review: This has been a highly anticipated book of my after reading Poston's Geekerella last year and loving it. I was a little hesitant though since I have often struggled with Sci-fi books, but I am familiar with the story of Anastasia. I did enjoy the action and characters in this story but once again I struggled with picturing the sci-fi elements, the worlds or space stations are just beyond my imagination. With that said I really became attached to the characters and loved their story lines. I particularly loved Jax! It was a good read, and I am sure it will appeal even more to other readers. I think an audiobook version would be a great listen.

My Rating: While I did really struggle with picturing the setting and ships in my mind, I definitely became invested in the characters.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Monday, May 7, 2018

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

If I Built a Car by Chris Van Dusen (Bedtime Story)
Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
Pete the Cat and the Lost Tooth by James Dean (Early Reader)
As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds
Goodnight Unicorn by Karla Oceanak (Bedtime Story)
The Jungle Book: Mowgli Stories by Rudyard Kipling (Audio Book)
Cars: 3 Tales of Speed by Disney (Early Reader)
Smuggler's Run by Greg Rucka
Ezra's Wookie Rescue by Meredith Rusu (Bedtime Story)
Star Wars Galactic Maps by Tim McDonagh (Graphic Novel)
I Got It! by David Wiesner (Bedtime Story)

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

Heir to the Jedi
Wonders of America: Rocky Mountains
Moving Target
Galactic Maps
Emma's Dream
Zeb to the Rescue
Ezra's Wookie Rescue

Currently Reading:

From a Certain Point of View - Audio - 38%
Boying Up by Mayim Bialik - Print - on page 93 of 208
The Joy of Less by Francine Jay - Audio - 46%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
215:39 Hours Listened (9:02 listened this week)
14,794 Pages Read (1,085 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
Plague of Giants by Kevin Hearne
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman
We Have Always Lived in a Castle by Shirley Jackson
To the Sky Kingdom by Tang Qi
Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher
Dead Man's Walk by Larry McMurtry
Luck Love and Lemon Pie by Amy E. Reichert
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
Ravenous by MarcyKate Connolly
Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly UNHAUL
The Astounding Broccoli Boy by Frank Cottrell Boyce
Terrier by Tamora Pierce
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
As Brave as You by Jason Reynolds
Smuggler's Run by Greg Ruka
The Lost Stone by Jordan Quinn
The Scarlet Dragon by Jordan Quinn
Sea Monster by Jordan Quinn
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson
Heaven on Earth by Jayne Rylon and Mari Carr
Into the Fire by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
Still Waters by Jayne Rylon & Mari Carr
Red Sister by Mark Lawrence
Reflections of Yesterday by Debbie Macomber
Sleeping Giants by Sylvain Neuvel
Heir to the Jedi by Kevin Hearne
Jedi Search by Kevin J. Anderson
Heart of Iron by Ashley Poston
Here Comes the Sun by Marie Force
Hermes: Tales of a Trickster by George O'Connor
The Witch's Curse by Jordan Quinn
Emma's Dream by M. Lee Prescott
Eko by Loren Walker
Moving Targets by Cecil Castellucci
Caging the Merrow by Heather Rigney
The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
This Dark Endeavor by Kenneth Opel
The Traveling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa
Greedy Pigs by Matt Wallace
Lustlocked by Matt Wallace
Black Powder War by Naomi Novik
Throne of Jade by Naomi Novik
The Scandalous MacKenzies by Jennifer Ashley
The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley
The Stolen Mackenzie Bride by Jennifer Ashley
Ladycastle by Delilah Dawson
Frankenstein Alive! Alive! Trio by Steve Niles
Frankenstein, Alive! Alive! #4 by Steve Niles
The Long Walk to Valhalla by Adam Smith
Hard to Serve by Laura Kaye
Mastering Her Senses by Laura Kaye
Theirs to Take by Laura Kaye
The Sapphire Affair by Lauren Blakely
The Joy of Less by Francine Jay
Nightblade's Vengeance by Ryan Kirk
Circe by Madeline Miller
Tomorrowland by Steven Kotler
The Wolf by Leo Carew
My Lady's Choosing by Kitty Curran & Larissa Zageris
Sweet Dreams, Sweet Death by P.K. Norton
Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young
Beyond the Darkened Shore by Jessica Leake
Defiant Heir by Melissa Caruso
True North by Marie Force
The Sorting Room by Angelina Singer
Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire
Dusk or Dark or Dawn or Day by Seanan McGuire
Frankenstein Dreams by Michael Sims
The Belgaraid by David Eddings
The Rhode Island Short Story Club presents The Club


Gosh, I cannot believe I managed to read as much as I did last week with how crazy it was! What a whirl wind week full of Tball, Children's Book Week, Star Wars Day, Free Comic Book Day and Touch a Truck!  The week definitely had me running non stop and stressed to the max but in the end I think it was all worth it! We spent pretty much the entire weekend in Star Wars mode. Munchkin got to watch the original trilogy for the first time and I think he is an even bigger fan now. One of the local libraries put on a spectacular Free Comic Book Day event, Star Wars style with crafts, games, scavenger hunt and special appearance by R2D2!

I think it might be time for a bit of a slow down around here LOL! 

I hope you enjoyed all the books I shared for Children's Book Week! I had so many more I wanted to share with you all that I might have to continue sharing throughout the next couple of weeks. 

I hope you all have a great week!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

April 2018 Challenge Update & May TBR

Can you believe it is May already?! I don't think I can even express what a fantastic reading month I had in April! Nearly all the books were at least 4 Paw books if not more. It was a very satisfying month for me reading wise. But I really gotta get cracking on setting up the RI Author month next year! I was hoping to have at least 3 to 4 author interviews for all of you but I haven't even come up with questions yet (or read some of the books yet).  But besides that I am definitely doing great on my challenges, the Audio book challenge is definitely blowing things out of the water this year! I do really need to to watch the books coming in though, I am pretty happy with the fact that I have read about half of the books that have come in so far but still there are too many coming in!

Children's Book Challenge:
30 - 40 books

Early Reader Challenge:
30-40 books

Graphic Novel Challenge:
23-28 books

Audio Book Challenge:
28-32 books

Classics Challenge:
5 books (1 re-read)

Series Challenge:
4 full series & 6 duologies
Memoirs of Lady Trent Series (5 books & 1 novella): Book 1Book 2Book 3Book 3.5Book 4Book 5 - COMPLETE
Butler VT/Green Mountain Series (9 books & 2 novellas): (Books 1-3 read in 2017) Book 4Book 4.5Book 5Book 6Book 7Book 8 Book 9 - COMPLETE (currently)
Nevernight Chronicles (3 books so far): Book 1Book 2
Winternight Trilogy (3 books): Book 1Book 2
Unicorn's Secret (8 books): Book 1Book 2Book 3Book 4
Ree Verakai Duology (2 books): Book 1Book 2 - COMPLETE
Ixian Chronicles: Book 1
The Selection Series (5 books & collection of novellas): Book 1Book 2Book 3
Kingdom of Wrenly (13 books so far): Book 1Book 2Book 3Book 4Book 5Book 6Book 7,
Compass Boys Series (4 Books): Book 1Book 2, Book 3

Requested Reviews:
No more than 25

TBR Challenge:
50-75 books that I already own as of 12/31/2017
28. Godsgrave

Books Added to Shelves in 2018:
As I read the books I purchase this year I will add a link (I will also note the month they were purchased/ read)
1. Plague of Giants (Jan./April)
2. Moonsilver (Jan./ Jan.)
3. Silver Thread (Jan./Jan.)
4. The Silver Bracelet (Jan./ Jan.)
5. Mountains of the Moon (Jan./ Feb.)
6. Practical Magic (Jan./)
7. I Love My Love (Jan./ Feb.)
9. Gods of the North (Jan./March)
10. We Have Always Lived in a Castle (Jan./)
12. Heart on Fire (Jan./ Jan.)
13.To the Sky Kingdom (Feb./ )
15. Letters from Wolfie (Feb./March )
16. Ketchup Clouds (Feb./ )
17. Dead Man's Walk (Feb./ )
18. Luck Love and Lemon Pie (Feb./ )
19. Beartown (Feb./ )
21. Listen, Slowly (Feb./March) - DNF
22. Ravenous (Feb./ ) - UNHAUL
23. Monstrous (Feb./March )
24. The Astounding Broccoli Boy (Feb./March )
25. Terrier (Feb./ )
26. Lonesome Dove (Feb./ )
27. As Brave as You (Feb./ March )
28. Smuggler's Run (Feb./Feb. )
29. The Lost Stone (Feb./March )
30. The Scarlet Dragon (Feb./ March)
31. Sea Monster (Feb./March )
32. Daughter of the Pirate King (Feb./ )
33. The Wolves of Winter (Feb./ )
34. Heaven on Earth (Feb./ Feb. )
35. Into the Fire (Feb./ March)
36. Still Waters (Feb./April )
37. Red Sister (March/March)
38. Reflections of Yesterday (March/)
39. Sleeping Giants (March/)
40. Heir to the Jedi (March/April)
41. Jedi Search (March/)
42. Heart of Iron (March/April)
43. Here Comes the Sun (March/April)
44. Hermes: Tales of the Trickster (March/ March)
45. The Witches Curse (March/March)
46. Emma's Dream (March/)
47. Eko (March/)
48. Star Wars: Moving Target (March/)
49. Caging Merrow (March/)
50. The Fifth Season (March/)
51. His Dark Endeavor (March/)
52. The Traveling Cat Chronicles (March/)
53. Greedy Pigs (March/)
54. Lustlocked (March/)
55. Black Powder War (March/)
56. Throne of Jade (March/)
57. The Scandalous Mackenzies (March/)
58. The Stolen Mackenzie Bride (March/)
59. The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (March/)
60. Lady Castle (March/)
61. Frankenstein Alive, Alive (March/)
62. Frankenstein Alive Alive Trio (March/)
63. Long Walk to Valhalla (March/April)
64. Hard to Serve (March/)
65. Mastering Her Senses (March/)
66. Theirs to Take (March/)
67. The Sapphire Affair (March/)
68. The Joy of Less (April/)
69. Nightblade's Vengeance (April/)
70. Circe (April/)
71. Tomorrowland (April/)
72. The Wolf (April/)
73. My Lady's Choosing (April/)
74. Sweet Dreams, Sweet Death (April/)
75. Sky in the Deep (April/April)
76. Beyond the Darkened Shore (April/)
77. Defiant Heir (April/)

March Reading Stats:
I read a total of 27 books this month
3,812 pages read and 2 days, 4 hours and 30 minutes of listening

Resolutions Check in:
1. Read Less Books: I read 27 books in the month of April this year (I didn't do a wrap up last year but I don't think it was less than this year! - Check!
2. Be More aware while reading: I have continued flagging or jotting down quotes, I haven't been great about noting character or plot points I like but we all start somewhere -  Check!
3. Read More Chunky Books (12 books over 450 pages in 2018): I read the biggest book so far this year at 626 pages as well as another over 450 pages and 2 more very close- Check
4. Use Library & Overdrive more: Guess what?! I am getting better at this, I borrowed 5 books this month that I don't own! - Check!
5. Purge & Re-organize shelves: I didn't DNF any books this month because all in all it was a fantastic reading month, but I did reorganize one shelf and put 14 Graphic Novels in the Unhaul pile as well as 10 other books from my shelves - Check!


Last month I read nearly all of the books on my TBR pile, except the RI author books, which I really needed to read!! That will be just about the only thing on my TBR this month so I can prep for next month.  I will also be re-reading some books in preparation for some of my most anticipated books being released soon!

Secret Hunger by Satin Russell
One White Lie by Jeannette Winters
The Red Racecar by Thom Ring
Eko by Loren Walker
Emma's Dream by M. Lee Prescott
The Sorting Room by Angelina Miller
Three Shoeboxes by Steven Manchester
Circe by Madeline Miller
The Reluctant Queen by Sarah Beth Durst
From a Certain Point of View (various authors)
The Trail by Ray K. Anderson
Mask of Shadows and Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller
Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
The Wolves of Winter by Tyrell Johnson

What books are you reading in May? Are you booked with finals? Heading out on vacation? Or pre-occupied with Spring Cleaning? How do you fit in reading time?