What is your favorite genre to read?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Vicar's Daughter



The Vicar's Daughter
by
Josi S. Kilpack

Blurb:

"Cassie, the youngest of six daughters in the Wilton family, is bold, bright, and ready to enter society. There's only one problem: her older sister Lenora, whose extreme shyness prevents her from attending many social events. Lenora is now entering her third season, and since their father has decreed that only one Wilton girl can be out at a time, Cassie has no choice except to wait her turn. Evan Glenside, a soft-spoken, East London clerk, has just been named his great-uncle's heir, and though he is eager to learn all that will be required of him, he struggles to feel accepted in a new town and in his new position. A chance meeting between Evan and Lenora promises to change everything, but when Lenora proves too shy to pursue the relationship, Cassie begins to write Mr. Glenside letters in the name of her sister. Her good intentions lead to disaster when Cassie realizes she is falling in love with Evan. But then Evan begins to court Lenora, thinking she is the author of the letters. As secrets are revealed, the hearts of Cassie, Evan, and Lenora are tested. Will the final letter sent by the vicar's daughter be able to reunite the sisters as well as unite Evan with his true love?"

My Review:

This is a fun new addition to the proper romance genre! It is well written, has good character development, and a sweet love story. Although I usually liked Cassie, there were times when I wanted to scream at her; she could definitely be strong willed and had a tendency to make poor choices. Lenora was more complex than you think she will be the first time you meet her, and she could also drive me crazy at times. Evan was a great character. I actually liked him a lot. He wasn't perfect, but he was a gentleman and did his best. I like how he protected his family, and how he felt he had to take care of them. This story was a bit predictable, and cheesy in some parts, but that's what we love about romances, right? I think it ended a little too perfectly, but that doesn't mean I didn't like the ending. :) If you're a Josi Kilpack fan, or if you enjoy the proper romance genre, you will definitely enjoy this book. It was entertaining and was a cute story.

This book is clean! There may be a kiss or two, but the only scandalous thing in the book are a few secret (clean) letters. Boy am I glad times have changed for dating and marriage!

Rating: PG (It's clean!)

Recommendation: YA and up

Disclosure: I did receive a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.


Wednesday, April 12, 2017

The Magnolia Story



The Magnolia Story
by
Chip and Joanna Gaines
(with Mark Dagostino)

Blurb:

"Sometimes the messiest stuff and the biggest mistakes can take you someplace wonderful. With the help of their hit TV show, Fixer Upper, the husband and wife team of Chip and Joanna Gaines have transformed the seemingly everyday work of renovating homes and flipping houses in Waco, Texas, into something much more. With their fun personalities, good humor, strong love of family, and unique design style, they've managed to capture the hearts of Americans from all walks of life. It all happened so quickly, their ever-multiplying fan base has been left to wonder: Who are these people? Where did they come from What's the secret to their success? And should I pack up and move to Waco, too? From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together to the project that nearly cost them everything, The Magnolia Story offers a peak behind the curtain of who Chip and Joanna are today. This first book also includes stories and photos from the childhood memories that shaped them and the twists and turns that led them to the life they currently share: on the farm with their four kids and countless farm animals, and in their ever-expanding roles and entrepreneurs, designers, and good neighbors. It also answers (in hilarious detail) the one lingering question that fans of the show always ask: Is Chip really that funny? 'Oh yeah,' says Joanna.' He was, and still is, my first fixer upper.'"

My Review:

I have a confession to make. Yep, you guessed it. I'm an HGTV addict. I may watch a few too many shows on that channel. (When I'm not reading, of course!) Fixer Upper has always been one of my favorites. I think that Chip and Joanna seem so sincere, and you can feel the love they have for each other and their children just radiating through the tv waves. When I saw this book at the library I grabbed it. And now it's four days late, so I better review it and get it back to the library quick! I really enjoyed this book! It is written from both Joanna and Chip's perspectives. There are two different fonts representing each of them, and it's easy to read. The voice they have is great. I love how much importance they put on their family, and the importance they put on their marriage. Their voices in this book are great. They say that individually they are good, but together they make each other stronger, and I love that! They didn't have perfect childhoods, and not everything has come easy to them, but they work very hard, and they dream big. They have some fun stories from their childhoods, and also from their marriage. The big houseboat surprise is hilarious. I liked that they made it clear that they are not perfect. They have disagreements, they have made a few poor business choices, and they each have areas they need to improve in, but they do their best, they forgive each other, and they always put family first. This book is well written, has a positive voice, and is inspirational. I love that they discuss how God has blessed them, and the miracles they've witnessed in their lives. 

Rating: G (Clean!)

Recommendation: 5th grade and up (My daughter is in 5th grade, and I'd be fine with her reading it. I don't really think she'd care to, but it is appropriate.)

Monday, April 3, 2017

Alcatraz vs The Shattered Lens (Book #4)


The Shattered Lens 
(Alcatraz vs the Evil Librarians: Book #4)

by

Brandon Sanderson

Blurb:

"Alcatraz Smedry is on a mission to save the day! The boy with all the wrong Talents has a lot to prove and, as always, little time in which to do it. In this final adventure, Alcatraz faces an army of librarians--and their giant librarian robots--as they battle to win the kingdom of Mokia. If the librarians win the war, everything that Alcatraz has fought so hard for could end in disaster. With his incredible Talent for breaking things, some explosive teddy bears, and the help of his friends, Alcatraz must face the glass-shattering gigantic robots, an entire army of evil librarians, and even his own manipulative mother! But will he be able to save the kingdom of Mokia and the Free Kingdoms from the wrath of the librarians before everything comes crashing down?"

My Review:

This series has definitely become one of my all-time favorites! I love the humor, wit, and creativity in these books, and this one is no different. For example, this is part of the Author's Forward: "This is my story. Or, well, part four of it. Otherwise known as 'The part where everything goes wrong, and then Alcatraz has a cheese sandwich.'" Hahaha!!! Seriously. I haven't ever laughed out loud so much in a book before. Explosive teddy bears? Magic glasses? Dragons as cabs? The wrong Talents that actually wished for and celebrated? Who comes up with this stuff? So fun! As usual, there is trouble in the world and Alcatraz feels the need to save the day. Sitting back and letting things play out is not his strong suit. This book is a continuation of all the fun that happens in the first three books, and I thought it was great. There are a few surprises, and definitely some creative uses of magic and lenses. There are, of course, lots of evil librarians, but there are lots of good guys too. If you want lots of action, fun, humor, wit, giant robots, and lots of breaking things, this book is for you! If you enjoyed the first three then you for sure need to read this one! If you haven't read any of these books yet, go brave the evil librarian at your local library and pick up book #1. I promise you won't be disappointed!

This book contains quite a bit of fighting because it's a war. It's not overly graphic, though. There isn't any profanity or "intimacy." Alcatraz may be naked for a short while; however, it's not because of anything inappropriate. There might be a small kiss?

Rating: PG (For minor fighting of those evil librarians.)

Recommendation: 3rd grade and up