Tuesday, March 3, 2020

The Transfigured Hart by Jane Yolen

Is what Richard saw in the woods really a unicorn? 

Beloved fantasy legend Jane Yolen (The Devil's Arithmetic; Sister Light, Sister Dark) offers an unexpected answer in this perfect jewel of a coming-of-age story. The Transfigured Hart bridges the wondrous in-between world where adults rediscover childhood wonder and children discover new favorite tales.
(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
 I have read a few of Jane Yolen's books, and greatly enjoyed them. One of my reading goals is to eventually make my way through all of her books. Recently, I decided to pick up The Transfigured Hart by her because I've owned it for a while. Unfortunately, it was the first book of hers that I didn't like.

It made me sad that I didn't enjoy The Transfigured Hart. I found the book to be boring. To me, it was almost pointless to read because it felt like nothing happened throughout the entire story. All throughout the book, it was leading up to what felt like an epic finale with a huge plot twist. In reality, the ending was incredibly underwhelming. It was so disappointing. In fact, the only reason why I'm giving the book two stars is that I liked Richard, the male main character. I found his love for books and reading to be very relatable.

I really wish that I loved The Transfigured Hart, but unfortunately, that wasn't the case. Other than the male main character, I didn't like the book at all. I still plan on reading the rest of Jane Yolen's books because I enjoyed the other ones that I've read. I'll try The Emerald Circus next in hopes that I like it better. 

I give The Transfigured Hart: 2/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://www.janeyolen.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jane.yolen
Twitter: https://twitter.com/janeyolen
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5989.Jane_Yolen

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Driving Mr. Wrong Home by Shirley Jump

Can a feisty four-legged matchmaker help four best friends find the romance of their dreams?
When a handsome man from Gabby's past agrees to a cross-country road trip, her master plan to re-launch her art career quickly morphs into an unexpected, romantic reunion.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
Over the past year or so, I've made it in a main focus in my reading life to read books that I've owned for a long time. I have books that I acquired in 2010-2015 that I still haven't read yet. While reading those books, I've really enjoyed a series of short stories about a dog named Charlie. I've put off reading the last book for a while now because I don't want the series to be over. I finally decided to finish the series with Driving Mr. Wrong Home. After finishing it, I thought it was just an okay book.

There were a few things that I enjoyed about Driving Mr. Wrong Home. First and foremost, I loved Charlie. He absolutely cracked me up. I loved how cute he was, and how he kept finding sneaky ways to bring the two main characters together.

However, there was also quite a bit that I didn't enjoy about the book. There were quite a few scenes that were over the top cheesy. Typically I don't mind a little bit of cheesiness in the romance books I read, but these were just too much. I found myself rolling my eyes quite a bit while reading this book, just because of how ridiculous some of the things were. A certain scene with a helicopter sticks out in my mind. It was so ridiculous. There's no way that type of thing would happen in real life.

Even though I had mixed feelings on Driving Mr. Wrong Home, I am sad to see this mini series come to an end. I will miss Charlie, and all of the silly trouble he gets himself into. I will also miss reading about the way he brings random couples together. Hopefully I am able to find quick stories like this that have a similar theme somewhere else.

I give Driving Mr. Wrong Home: 3/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://shirleyjump.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shirleyjump.author
Twitter: https://twitter.com/shirleyjump

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Thursday, January 16, 2020

My Dad Thinks I’m a Boy?! by Sophie Labelle

'My Dad thinks I'm a boy named Stephen who likes wrestling and fishing. But that's what my Dad likes.' Stephie is 7 years old. She likes bugs, books and spaghetti. Also, she's a girl... which should be pretty easy to understand, right? Well, not for her Dad! He's been mistaking her for a boy since she was born and struggles to see her for who she is. This powerful and uplifting comic book for primary age children and their families humorously portrays a situation that is often too common, where a trans child is forced to negotiate between their true self and their parents' love. With amusing illustrations, and a useful guide for adults, it's the perfect book to help show children that no one else than ourselves gets to decide who we are.
(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
It is so hard to find LGBTQ+ books for children. Finding books for children that represent transgender people is almost unheard of. When I finally found one, My Dad Thinks I'm a Boy, I knew I had to get a copy to read. I try to keep resources in case someone I know might be transitioning, or thinking of transitioning, and needed the books to help with that. I think this is a great resource that will help people understand what it's like to be transgender.

Not only is this book a great resource for children to understand more about what it's like to be transgender. I think it's also a great resource for adults as well. The explanations are incredibly simplified, and straight to the point. The book makes things incredibly easy to understand, whether the reader is four years old, or one hundred and four. I think this would especially be a great resource for a parent that is having a hard time understanding their child being transgender, and everything that goes along with that, no matter how old their child is. The discussion guide in the back of the book could be a great tool to open up a civil discussion between a child and adult about some misunderstandings they might have.

I really enjoyed My Dad Thinks I'm a Boy. It's a transgender positive book for children and adults alike. I think it could really open up a discussion between transgender people, and those that don't quite fully comprehend what betting transgender means, whether that be family or friends. I think the book is an incredibly valuable resource that should be added to libraries everywhere.  

I give My Dad Thinks I'm a Boy?!: 5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://www.serioustransvibes.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lasophielabelle/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/assignedmale
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/labellesophie/?hl=en
Tumblr: https://assignedmale.tumblr.com/

I received this book from the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Come Tumbling Down by Seanan McGuire

The fifth installment in Seanan McGuire's award-winning, bestselling Wayward Children series, Come Tumbling Down picks up the threads left dangling by Every Heart a Doorway and Down Among the Sticks and Bones

When Jack left Eleanor West's School for Wayward Children she was carrying the body of her deliciously deranged sister--whom she had recently murdered in a fit of righteous justice--back to their home on the Moors.

But death in their adopted world isn't always as permanent as it is here, and when Jack is herself carried back into the school, it becomes clear that something has happened to her. Something terrible. Something of which only the maddest of scientists could conceive. Something only her friends are equipped to help her overcome.

Eleanor West's "No Quests" rule is about to be broken.


(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
From the moment I read Every Heart a Doorway, I have been addicted to Seanan McGuire's writing. I have read most of her books in a single sitting because I love her writing so much. I thought for some reason that her Wayward Children series had ended with the previous book that was released, In an Absent Dream. Therefore, you can imagine how excited I was to find out that there was a fifth book in the series that was recently released. As soon as I found out about Come Tumbling Down, I knew I had to read it right away. I thought it was an excellent addition to one of my favorite series.

Down Among the Sticks and Bones was definitely my favorite book in the Wayward Children series. When I found out that part of Come Tumbling Down took place within the same door, I was excited. It felt great to be reunited with some of my favorite characters that I had really missed. It almost felt like coming home after being gone a really long time. I especially loved that we got to see more of Jack. She's always been one of my favorite characters in this series.

Another thing I loved about Come Tumbling Down is that the reader gets to explore more of my favorite door. In this book, the reader sees a completely new side to this door that's never been seen before, and I loved every second of it. I don't want to go into too much detail because I don't want to spoil it for those that haven't had a chance to read the book yet, but it was something that I never expected, and it added so much to the world. I hope that Seanan McGuire does that for other doors in other books in this series too.

Come Tumbling Down was an almost perfect addition to the Wayward Children series. My only complaint that I have is that I would have liked to see a little more of Jill, and her perspective on things. Otherwise, I absolutely loved this book. It held all of the magic and wonder from the previous books in the series, and was a fantastic display of Seanan McGuire's addictive writing style. I hope she continues to write even more books in this series, and expands even more on this universe that I love so much.  

I give Come Tumbling Down. 4.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: http://www.seananmcguire.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/seananmcguire
Twitter: https://twitter.com/seananmcguire
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/seananmcguire/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2860219.Seanan_McGuire

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

Her Halloween Treat by Tiffany Reisz

Trick…or wicked treat!

It was a devastating dirty trick—Joey Silvia just found out her boyfriend of two years is married. What. A. Dick. Joey knows her best chance to get over one guy is to get under another. Of course, heading home to her family's remote cabin in Oregon poses some challenges in the "available men" department…until she discovers this cabin comes with its own hot handyman!

Holy crap, Chris Steffensen. When did her brother's best friend turn into a hard-bodied pile of blond-bearded hotness? He's the perfect Halloween treat—and a surprisingly dirty rebound guy. For a couple of weeks, anyway. Except that Chris has other ideas…like proving to Joey that this blast from the past is a whole lot more than a naughty Halloween hookup.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
Over the last few years, I've read quite a few of Tiffany Reisz's books. I've loved every single one that I've read. I've read all of he Sinners series, and the spinoffs. Some of her Sinners series I've even read multiple times. I recently found out that she wrote a few books under the Harlequin Blaze imprint, so I decided to pick up the first book in the series, Her Halloween Treat, and read it. I thought it was an enjoyable, sexy read.

When you hear someone talking about Harlequin books, the first think you probably think about is cliches that make you wan t to roll your eyes, and a lot of fluffy, non substance writing. That wasn't the case with Her Halloween Treat at all. The book was a bit cheesey at times, but in a sarcastic fun way. I especially enjoyed the banter between the main character, Joey, and her best friend, Kira. They cracked me up together. The banter between Joey and the love interest, Chris was also great. They had incredible chemistry that just rolled off of the pages, especially during the incredibly sexy parts of the book.

Sometimes while reading romance novels, the characters can kinda feel cookie cutteresque, like they don't have much personality because the book is more about sex than the plot. That wasn't the case with this book at all. The characters all had very well fleshed out personalities and backstories. Joey's brothers backstory was absolutely heartbreaking. Even though he's only a side character, Tiffany Reisz puts so much detail and emotion behind everything that he went through as a teenager that the reader feels like they're experiencing it first hand.

All in all, I really loved Her Halloween Treat. It didn't surprise me that much that I loved the book, considering how much I've enjoyed the author's other books. However, it did make me more open minded about reading more Harlequin books in the future, as it's a genre that's not something I usually pick up. I definitely plan on binge reading the rest of the Men at Work series, and reading a few other Harlequin Blaze authors too.  

I give Her Halloween Treat: 4/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website: https://www.tiffanyreisz.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/littleredridingcrop/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/8thcirclepress
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/tiffany_reisz/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4480131.Tiffany_Reisz

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

A story of love and demons, family and witchcraft.

Nova Huang knows more about magic than your average teen witch. She works at her grandmothers' bookshop, where she helps them loan out spell books and investigate any supernatural occurrences in their New England town.

One fateful night, she follows reports of a white wolf into the woods, and she comes across the unexpected: her childhood crush, Tam Lang, battling a horse demon in the woods. As a werewolf, Tam has been wandering from place to place for years, unable to call any town home.

Pursued by dark forces eager to claim the magic of wolves and out of options, Tam turns to Nova for help. Their latent feelings are rekindled against the backdrop of witchcraft, untested magic, occult rituals, and family ties both new and old in this enchanting tale of self-discovery.

(Synopsis from Goodreads). 

My Thoughts:
I've been wanting to read more graphic novels this year. It's something that I love to do, but don't do very often for whatever reason. I heard quite a few people on booktube talk about how good Mooncakes is so I decided to check it out. Unfortunately, I ended up not enjoying it as much as I had hoped I would.

Mooncakes had so much potential. The graphic novel is full of things I usually love reading about, such as witches, shifters, and LGBTQ+ characters. Unfortunately, the story fell flat for me. Throughout reading the graphic novel, I was confused because parts of it didn't seem to make sense. It almost felt like there was another book in the series that came before it that I should have read. However, when looking on Goodreads, it appears to be the only book in the series. There were references to things that had happened to the characters previously and inside jokes between them that I didn't get at all.

The other thing that I didn't like about Mooncakes was that the main characters didn't have distinct personalities. They were just cookie cutter and plain. Other than their physical abilities, there was nothing to make them stand out from other characters in the graphic novel, or characters I had read about in other books. In fact, I had to go slow and keep looking at the art work to remember which character was which because their personalities were so similar. I had to backtrack several time in the story line because I kept getting them confused.

I really wanted to love Mooncakes. It has all of the elements that I usually love in a story line. However, this graphic novel just wasn't for me. I found it confusing, and hard to distinguish between the characters. I would like to give this author another try in the future though because I know a lot of people that did love this graphic novel.

I give Mooncakes: 2/5.

Want to know more about the authors?
Suzanne Walker
Website: https://www.suzannewakeenwalker.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/suzusaur
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/suzisaur/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7008509.Suzanne_Walker

Wendy Xu
Website: http://www.artofwendyxu.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/angrygirLcomics
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/artofwendyxu/

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Regretting You by Colleen Hoover

Morgan Grant and her sixteen-year-old daughter, Clara, would like nothing more than to be nothing alike.

Morgan is determined to prevent her daughter from making the same mistakes she did. By getting pregnant and married way too young, Morgan put her own dreams on hold. Clara doesn’t want to follow in her mother’s footsteps. Her predictable mother doesn’t have a spontaneous bone in her body.

With warring personalities and conflicting goals, Morgan and Clara find it increasingly difficult to coexist. The only person who can bring peace to the household is Chris—Morgan’s husband, Clara’s father, and the family anchor. But that peace is shattered when Chris is involved in a tragic and questionable accident. The heartbreaking and long-lasting consequences will reach far beyond just Morgan and Clara.

While struggling to rebuild everything that crashed around them, Morgan finds comfort in the last person she expects to, and Clara turns to the one boy she’s been forbidden to see. With each passing day, new secrets, resentment, and misunderstandings make mother and daughter fall further apart. So far apart, it might be impossible for them to ever fall back together.

(Synopsis from Goodreads).

My Thoughts:
Colleen Hoover is one of my favorite authors. I read Hopeless when it was first released, and have been addicted ever since. Therefore, it was no surprise to me that I loved her latest novel, Regretting You.

Regretting You is definitely in my top five books of the year. There's so much that I loved about the book. First of all, I love how Colleen Hoover can write crazy plot twists. I didn't read the synopsis at all, so what happens towards the beginning caught me completely by surprise. There were a few things after that that completely shocked me too. There's a certain thing that's revealed in the middle that I didn't see coming at all. I had to stop and re-read that part to make sure I was reading it right.

Also, I love the relationships that she creates between characters, whether it be a family dynamic or a relationship dynamic. Morgan and Clara might not always have the perfect relationship with all of the chaos surrounding their lives, but when it comes down to it, they have each other's backs. I like that the author shows that real side to all of the relationships in the book. Love, whether it be family or romantic, is always messy and complicated, but one hundred percent worth it in the end.

In fact, the only thing that keeps this from being a five star book is the ending. I found it to be a little lackluster after all of that build up, especially the way the school project ended. I just expected more. Other than that, I absolutely loved Regretting You. Although at this point, I'm pretty sure Colleen Hoover could re-write the phone book and I'd love it. I can't wait for her next release.  

I give Regretting You: 4.5/5.

Want to know more about the author?
Website:  https://www.colleenhoover.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorColleenHoover/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/colleenhoover
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/colleenhoover/
Snapchat: https://www.snapchat.com/add/colleenhoover
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5430144.Colleen_Hoover

I received this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. I was in no way compensated for this review.