2017 Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge

Tina has read 2 books toward her goal of 40 books.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

REVIEW for Touch the Earth by Julian Lennon

TITLE:   Touch the Earth

AUTHOR:  Julian Lennon

GENRE:     Picture book


Julian Lennon (son of John Lennon) is well known for his artistic abilities - music wise.  However, he has also, over the years, been an activist creating The White Feather Foundation  which mobilizes when it comes to different humanitarian causes.

Lennon has created this wonderful book for children called Touch the Earth.  

It is such a sweet, whimsical book with lovely illustrations and a deeper message that hopefully will touch the children who read it, if not now, then in the future. 

This book is about hope, love and togetherness and points towards peace and love - not violence and horror.

What a great little gem.

REVIEW for Run the Risk by Allison Van Diepen

Thank you to HarperCollins Children for approving me for an electronic copy of this book.

TITLE:                    Run the Risk

AUTHOR:               Allison Van Diepen

GENRE:                   YA

RATING:                  5 STARS

I have read ALL of this author's books and love all of them.

I immediately hooked onto this one, Mateo and Grace are wonderful characters and I like that Grace is smart and responsible and Mateo is - well - basically Grace, but with a darker past.
The writing is engaging, the story moves along at lightning speed and before I knew it, I was done.

Feeling frustration for Grace and a father who is not present and leaves it all on her, to a brother who struggles but can't see the path he is taking will kill him and to Grace herself who doesn't seem to know how to set boundaries.

Feeling frustration for Mateo who seems to have a purpose in life, is kind but can't seem to be "without" a gang.

Feeling admiration for both as they try to rise above all of it, while being kind, loving and responsible.

I loved, loved this book BUT I am starting to feel two things:

1)  That I need to start suspending my disbelief a little bit (some of the scenarios are a bit unrealistic) and
2)   This author use to write edgier stuff - StreetPharm comes to mind (like I said, I have been reading her stuff from day 1)
She needs to get back to more gritty - where NOT everything turns out perfectly.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

REVIEW for VIGILANTE by Kady Cross

Thank you to Harlequin Teen for giving me an electronic advance reading copy of this book.

TITLE:                    Vigilante

AUTHOR:               Kady Cross

GENRE:                  YA

RATING:                5 STARS

Okay, this book is terrific! but it only works if you can suspend your disbelief.

While this book is not a fantasy, I have to be honest and say that, in the *real* world this story would simply not stand up.  Having said that, however, the story was entertaining, at times sad and always, always a treat to read.

Magda is at the center of this storyline, but she rarely makes an appearance as the story is set after her death.  What propelled her death is what makes this such a compelling read and while the author sometimes goes "way out there", her take on rape and the rape mentality, especially from young men (and their parents it seems) is spot on and deserves to be pointed out.

At times, this book makes me teary eyed, but for most of it, I find myself voting and encouraging Harley with her crazy revenge scheme.  There are some seriously terrifying moments here when she gets the "heck" kicked out of her by the guys she is trying to get revenge on -and I love, love the message of female empowering throughout - there are not victims here.

The writing style is perfect, just down to earth and no flowery prose that goes on forever.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Sterline Stainless Steel Non-Slip Mixing Bowls with Lids, 4 Piece Set Includes .75 Qt., 1.5 Qt., 3 Qt. & 5 Qt REVIEW


One of the perks of having a blog is that sometimes you come across something that you love and want to share it with the people who read your blog!

I rarely do this, as you know that I mainly review books, but I discovered these bowls, in my quest to stock my pathetically stocked (tool wise) kitchen.

First off, they are all made of sturdy stainless steel with rubber on the bottom so they don't "slip or fall off" - (great touch!). 

Second, they are of various sizes (some even have the cooking measurements inside) (i.e. cup, etc. and all of them have lids that fit snuggly on.  I am in love with the smaller size, which is perfect for diced onions and is the bowl that I have used the most to date.

The lid, for me, was the least important thing as they did not look as though they would fit well on the bowls, but they actually do!  Easy to pop on and off, yet remarkably effective.

This is a great quality set of bowls and full worth the price of $29.99 on Amazon.ca.

Below is the product description from Amazon.ca.

Professional Cooking Supplies in Your Home!
Mix up your favorite dishes inside using this wonderful set of stainless steel mixing bowls. They come in a variety of sizes, perfect for your everyday needs. Use them to mix up salads, mix cake ingredients, wash fruit, whisk eggs, and so much more. Also, if you have any left-overs, place on a lid and you’re good to put it in the fridge! These high-quality kitchen tools are made from durable materials so you’ll have them for years to come.
What’s Included
4 non-slip, stainless steel mixing bowls:
                .75-Quart Bowl
                1.5-Quart Bowl
                3-Quart Bowl
                5-Quart Bowl
4 Lids
Our Promise Sterline is dedicated to 100% customer satisfaction. We offer a 2 year warranty on all our products.


Review for BONE BOX by Faye Kellerman


TITLE:                         BONE BOX

AUTHOR:                   Faye Kellerman

GENRE:                      Mystery

RATING:                    4 Stars

Once again Kellerman brings us another whodunit involving Decker and (thankfully back) Harvard.

Can I tell you how much I love the Peter Decker/Tyler(Harvard) team - they make the entire book for me. Its interesting to note how Kellerman is setting up Tyler as the "relief" for Decker and I love their almost father and son moments.

In this one, we even get to see Donnetti, Marge and Scott Oliver - all welcome additions, if only way too brief.

The story itself is interesting and had me guessing til the end. In true Kellerman fashion she molds a fairly interesting murder case and throws in lots and lots of "possible" suspects. I have always said that when I read her books, I need to be ultra focused because there are so many people coming in and out of the story at any given time.

Again, as per Kellerman's style, she writes smart stories, where Decker uses his brain rather than car chases to propel the solving of the mystery forward.

The writing is, as always, great - the author writes as though these characters are her friends (and ours) and it is always a joy to read her stuff.

But, for me......this story is about Decker and Harvard and even if there were no mysteries to solve, I would still read the books. The relationship is wonderful and Kellerman is at her best when she writes dialogue between these two.

UGHH! Again with Rina though. I have written about this so many times, but I wish she would go. She drags down the story because it feels as though Kellerman has to "make room" for this character in her stories and in doing so, she stops the momentum - all Rina does is get compliments, cooks and tags along with her policeman husband as he tracks down suspects in various cities. RINA DOES NOTHING for the story and I just wish she was written out completely. I know this will probably never happen, but I can always hope. Basically, when she has dialogue, I just skip over it.

Just once, I wish someone would call out Decker on this "hey Peter, do you think its professional to bring your wife on your investigations"....

So, in short - more Decker and Harvard and yes, more Donetti and NO MORE RINA please.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

REVIEW for Just Like You Said It Would Be by C.K. Kelly Martin

TITLE:               Just Like You Said It Would Be

AUTHOR:        C.K. Kelly Martin

GENRE:           YA


The powerful first chapter captured me and made me want to read more. The emotions Amira feels are so well written that it brought me right back to the moments in my life where I felt that sad, scared and lonely and missing "the guy".

Amira is a strong and smart character who forges ahead, despite not quite knowing what is happening around her at times, especially when she feels as though she is losing herself to "the guy".

"The Guy" - Darragh - I absolutely felt no connection with him at all. For me, he worked better as a part of Amira's imagination (as in chapter 1) and I way preferred the story when he wasn't a physical part of it. He worked best as a emotional memory for me, as I echo Amira's comment at one point where she accusing him of being a player. There are many ways you can be a player and to me, Darragh was ONE.

I did like the backstory of Jocelyn very much and would have loved even more of Amira and Joss. I like strong bonds of friendship in my YA.

The writing is just perfectly detailed and the writing when describing any level of emotion is excellent.

Although I did not like one of the major characters in the story, I still managed to fall in love with the story.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

REVIEW for HOPEFUL HEALING by Mackenzie Phillips

TITLE:           Hopeful Healing

AUTHOR:     Mackenzie Phillips

GENRE:         Self Help

RATING:        5 Stars

I read almost everything on addiction and recovery and to be honest, I never thought that Mackenzie Phillips would survive to write this book.

Hopeful Healing is a calming, soothing, loving testament to the power of recovery.

This book is not very large (about 200 pages) but I loved the tone and the embrace in which Phillips wrote this. 

Mostly essays, sprinkled with Phillips own experiences, although she does not go into much detail, preferring to focus on her mindset as she describes her hell into addiction.  She also describes her mindset and feelings about recovery and how she admits it wasn't easy at all.

She now works as an Addiction Counsellor and writes about the more practical aspect of rehab and how to choose one.

The strength is this book is obvious - Phillips comes at this from a very deep and personal connection to her own demons, but what I love most is that her writing is about loving yourself, forgiving yourself and finding hope that you can recover.

This book is like a warm hug.

Monday, January 2, 2017

REVIEW for My (not so) Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

A special thank you to the publisher for sending me an electronic copy of this book.

TITLE:             My (not so) Perfect Life

AUTHOR:        Sophie Kinsella

GENRE:            Chick Lit

RATING:          2 STARS

If I had to use one word to review this is would be "meh".

Kinsella has written a cute, perfectly harmless chick lit novel.  Don't get me wrong, I LOVE chick lit, but this one has no bite, its basically a cutesy story that is completely improbable with a main character that I will forget tomorrow.

I think what bothers me the most in this novel is the fact that the main character is so, for the most part, whiny and ineffective.  I thought we had FINALLY come away from writing female characters with no backbone - I guess not.

Also, the "by chance" events that happen in this story, in order to propel the story forward are just too convenient and pat and absolutely would not happen in "real life".

I do like the way Kinsella writes though - down to earth, not too much detail to bog the story down.  I just wish she could figure out how to make her main characters strong AND fun at the same time.

Friday, December 23, 2016

MY SECRET SANTA from The Broke and the Bookish and Cookie Exchange at the Office

This year, for the first time, I decided to participate in an online (book related) Secret Santa Exchange. 

hosted and organized the entire process - so a huge thank you!!!!     Visit here

I love absolutely everything I received, which is pictured here:

3 amazing books, two ornaments with tea, gingerbread cookies, Christmas towel and candle

Soy candle - literary themed - Edgar Allan Poe

Soy candle - sandlewood Paddywax
My secret santa, @FleurDeMar was spot on with all these beautiful gifts.  Thank you!

We also had a cookie exchange at work - can I tell you how beautiful the table looked?

Saturday, October 29, 2016

REVIEW for Bridget Jones's Baby The Diaries

TITLE:           Bridget Jones`s Baby The Diaries

AUTHOR:      Helen Fielding

GENRE:         Fiction


I have been a Bridget Jones fan from the very first sentence, right through all the books and the movies. However, I had felt let down by the last book and despaired that the things I loved about the Bridget character were lost.

Fielding redeemed herself here - Bridget Jone's Baby the Diaries finds exactly the same funny, adorable and quirky tone that the first 2 books had. Full of funny thoughts and emotions, reading this book made me happy to find Bridget again.

If you loved the first 2 books, then you need to buy this one. BRIDGET IS BACK
Blog Design by Imagination Designs all images from the My Time kit by Studio Thaty Borges