Saturday, April 29, 2017

"The Kommandant's Girl" by Pam Jenoff

In The Kommandant's Girl by Pam Jenoff, Emma is a newly married woman when the Nazi's take over Poland.  Her husband goes underground to fight the takeover.  Emma wants to help too, but when circumstances give her a chance to do her part, it is very dangerous.  One false move means death for her and those she loves!

This is good stuff!  The story line is very good and I felt the tension grow.  The characters are very believable too.
(Gerard's review, 5+ stars)

We both also liked The Orphan's Tale by this author.

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, April 28, 2017

"Every Heart a Doorway" by Seanan McGuire

In Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire, the children find a way into a fantasy world, for a time at least.  Their parents send them to a home under Miss West's care to get their heads straight.  When Nancy arrives, strange things start to happen and it is up to Nancy and her schoolmates to get things back in order.

I got this as an audio book.  I enjoyed the different children and how they had to work together but give it only 4 stars because it is so short.  The book only has 170 pages.
(Gerard's review, 4 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

"The Dead House" by Dawn Kurtagich is Really Spooky and Creepy!

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich is a very dark, creepy book I just read for a change of pace. I was intrigued that it was about a girl with Dissociative Identity Disorder or multiple personality disorder. It is told in a very unique way through interviews, video transcripts, notes and emails. This is a psychological thriller with paranormal activity as well. I wish it was written in chronological order because I found it a bit annoying that I was reading parts dated “after the incident” before I even knew what incident it was referring to. Parts before the incident included dates and a countdown of days before the incident—quite an interesting way of creating some suspense, I admit. This book is an interesting and creepy mystery that drew me in. If you like strange and unusual mysteries with black magic, then you would most likely love this book. I did not like the ending at all! If you read this one, we’d like to hear what you thought of it.
 (Karen's review, 4 stars)

The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich is really creepy!  It tells the story of a diary that belonged to Carly Johnson.  This is a VERY disturbed mind for sure.  She tells of Kaitlyn, Carly's alter ego!  This book got me hooked because of all the strange goings on.  I just had to see how it all played out.

This author really knows how to play with your mind, that's for sure!  I won't be able to get this one out of my head for a while.  To me, this is even creepier than many of the Stephen King books I've read!
(Gerard's review, 4/20/17, 5 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

"BANG" by Barry Lyga

In Bang by Barry Lyga, Sebastian had a terrible incident when he was 4 years old. He has had to live with his actions from that day every day. Now he knows that there is a way to make it stop, and he has decided that it is time to do just that. I got into this book from page 1. The characters were well developed and very believable. It is a very quick read!
 (Gerard's review, 5 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

She has taken my words seriously and not treated me any differently.  A part of me imagined that learning about my past would either repel her or bring her closer to me, but she's acting as though she hasn't learned something horrific.
From page 161 of Bang by Barry Lyga.


Karen's:

(AL):  That's what made her case so interesting.  She had only one other alter, and that one was fairly normal, as far as alters go.
From page 55 of The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading.  Happy Reading!

Sunday, April 23, 2017

"The Art of Pickleball--Techniques and Strategies for Everyone" by Gale H. Leach

The Art of Pickleball--Techniques and Strategies for Everyone by Gale H. Leach is a comprehensive book about how to play Pickleball.  The material includes the rules, how to execute and when best to use different types of shots, etiquette, grips, footwork, doubles and singles, some drills and the mental game and strategies.  The author interviewed tournament players and presents different views on technique and strategy.  I believe anyone who would like to improve their game would find this book helpful.  One thing that made a lot of sense and really stood out to me that I came across in this book is that when playing outdoors, if one side of the court is at a disadvantage due to the sun or if playing on a very windy day, when you reach 6 points (halfway through a game) teams switch sides!  Having played outdoors on very windy days myself, this seems to be a very fair rule, one I had not heard before.
(Karen's review, 5 stars)  

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey

Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey is a predictable romance set in England during the 19th century. I read this because I came across a teaser that was humorous and just wanted a change of pace. It is somewhat humorous, but for the most part just dragged along with lots of conversation and very little action. If you are a fan of Pride and Prejudice, you would probably like this one. I didn’t care for it all that much.
(Karen's review, 3 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

"Hunted" by Meagan Spooner

The father in Hunted by Meagan Spooner has three daughters.  He wants the best for them and invests his entire wealth into a plan.  When that plan blows up, he must move with his daughters to the forest.  There he will go hunt the beast and regain some wealth.  When he does not come back for some time, the youngest daughter heads out to find him and help kill the beast.

I really enjoyed this book a lot!  Yeva, the youngest daughter, is a great character.  There are subplots that really add to the enjoyment of the book.  The ending was perfect and this is a stand alone!
(Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

"You promised not to run," he murmured.  "You did not promise not to try to kill me."
From page 164 of Hunted by Meagan Spooner.


Karen's:

"We will not mention having to pry you free from certain death, if you do not mention having seen us on this side of town . . . to anyone.  An easy arrangement, don't you think?"
From page 9 of Love, Lies and Spies by Cindy Anstey.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading.  Happy Reading!

Friday, April 14, 2017

"Winter Journey" by Diane Armstrong


Image from Amazon.com
Winter Journey by Diane Armstrong is based on a true story!  Halina is a forensic dentist.  She is taking part in a war crime investigation, but emotions still run deep and she finds herself in the middle of something that will probably not end well.  She is also about to discover something that will change her life as she knows it!  The ending is fantastic!  I did not see that coming at all. 

Some of the best books I read are non-fiction books on topics that I know little or nothing about.  WOW!  What a story this is!  Halina is a great character and the others are well developed as well, especially the priest.  LOVED IT!  This is my new favorite book of the month.
(Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 13, 2017

"PICKLEBALL Fundamentals--Master the basics and compete with confidence"

I was thrilled to find PICKLEBALL Fundamentals by USA Pickleball Association with Mary Littlewood because we are adding this sport to our church FOCUS sports camp for the first time this summer and I will be the director for it.  I was looking for a complete book that included tips, instructions and drills.  This book has it all!  It covers all the different shots and gives an explanation of when they should be used in a game.  Everything that is addressed is also shown with pictures or diagrams to help the reader understand.  It even has checklists as to what adjustments to make when you find yourself making the same error repeatedly.  I highly recommend this book to anyone who is serious about learning to play Pickleball well or anyone who is in a position to teach others how to play. 
(Karen's review, 5 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

"Horizon" by Scott Westerfeld (UPDATED)

Horizon by Scott Westerfeld is about eight young teens left to fend for themselves when the plane they were on crashed.  All the rest of the passengers are gone!  They are on land but don't know where because they were flying over the arctic, but when the plane crashed, they found themselves in a jungle! There is good action in this and I enjoyed all the characters.  There is going to be six more books in this series--should be interesting!

Note:  We went to play the game at scholastic.com/horizon, but couldn't figure out where the "jump" key was to get over the obstacles, nor did we see any explanation of how to play the game--very lame.
(Gerard's review, 4 stars)

Horizon by Scott Westerfeld is a mystery about eight teens who seem to be the only survivors of a very strange plane crash in the arctic.  Four of them were on their way to a robotics soccer championship in Japan.  The other 500 passengers on the plane are missing.  The teens find themselves in a jungle where strange things happen.

This is an interesting, fun read that leaves you with questions at the end.  Apparently this is only the first book in a series of seven.  It has adventure and lots of mystery in it that made me want to keep reading.  I was not satisfied with the ending because it only answered one of the questions that was raised--where are they?   I think kids would really like this one a lot!
(Karen's review, 4 stars) 

My favorite character was Yoshi.  If you've read this, who was your favorite character? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Teaser Tuesdays


Gerard's:

Halina sat up and shook her head in disbelief.  How could a vision have such power?
From page 46 of Winter Journey by Diane Armstrong.

Starbursts filled my eyes.  I was still blinded, but this time by the sudden glare of light.  
From page 26 of Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton (Sequel to A Rebel of the Sands).

Karen's:

I can hear all the moms out there thinking I've broken my own rules.  NEVER HAVE ANOTHER CHILD OVER FOR A PLAYDATE WITHOUT BACKUP CONTACT INFORMATION!!!
From page 17 of A Simple Favor by Darcey Bell.

When played correctly, pickleball is a game of finesse and soft, controlled shots at the net.  The ideal position for doubles partners is for both players to be just behind the non-volley zone line, facing the action on the other side of the net.
From page 18 of Pickeball Fundamentals by USA Pickleball Association with Mary Littlewood.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading.  Happy Reading!

Monday, April 10, 2017

"Traitor to the Throne" by Alwyn Hamilton

Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton is the follow up to Rebel of the Sands.  This book is SO MUCH BETTER than the first one.  It is not even close!  Amani is still her bad-ass self but the other characters are more developed and have a bigger role in this book.  The main story line is that a rebellion is underway to overthrow the sultan.  The action is good throughout and makes me want a book 3!  This is my book of the month so far!
(Gerard's review, 5++ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

We Agree: "The Great Pursuit" by Wendy Higgins is Really Great! (UPDATED)

The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins is the sequel to The Great Hunt. Aerity and her sister and cousin are amazing in this along with Pax, Tiern, Harrison and Lief and Furball!  This is full of adventure, suspense, fighting and romance.  The addition of Furball, a beast that was rescued from Rozaria Rocato by Harrison and Aerity, a very entertaining addition.

I loved Furball and how the women insisted he come along and stay at the castle.  In this book, I really got invested in the main characters who were very interesting and well developed.  The ending was fantastic and I loved how the plot developed and moved along.  There were no boring parts in this one for me!  I highly recommend this if you want an entertaining read with adventure and romance.  I think I will check into the Sweet Evil series by this author as well.   
(Karen's review, 5 stars)


The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins picks up where The Great Hunt ended.  Princess Aerity is to marry the man who killed the great beast.  But can she marry a man she does not love?  Soon Lochlanach is in great peril--can the royal family survive?

I thought this book was Fantastic!  It has constant action which made this book fly by for me.  I never knew what was coming next. I enjoyed all the characters very much!  The ending was perfect!  I am glad this story was finished in just two books.  LOVED IT!
(Gerard's review 3/23/17, 5++ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Friday, April 7, 2017

"Rebel of the Sands" by Alwyn Hamilton

In Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton, Amani is a young girl who wants out of her small town.  She will go to great lengths to make sure that happens.  She meets Jin in a shouting contest and she sees him as her ticket out of town, but little does she know she is about to go on the adventure of her life!

Amani is a great character who does not take gruff from anybody!  There is good action in this book but the last part has new characters introduced that got me a bit confused.  That being said, this first book by this author is well worth reading--on to book two!   
(Gerard's review, 4 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

"Tune My Heart to Sing--90 Devotions on Hymns from "Our Daily Bread"

Tune My Heart to Sing is a collection of 90 devotions on Hymns from Our Daily Bread that is very interesting if you are familiar with hymns. I really enjoyed reading about the background of different ones and as I’d read, the tunes would run through my mind. As you can see from the picture, I marked a lot of pages that had things that stood out to me. I think the scripture index at the back of the book is a helpful addition. I highly recommend this devotional book because they are short, only one page long, but all contain scripture passages related to the hymns.
(Karen's review, 5 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

"Roseblood" by A. G. Howard

In Roseblood by A. G. Howard is a retelling of "The Phantom of the Opera."  Rune has a very beautiful singing voice, but when she is done singing she gets very ill.  Her mom sends her to a French boarding school for the arts in hope that this will fix her.  There she is befriended by a young boy named Thorn.  What she does not know is that he works for the Phantom who wants Rune for himself.  Will the Phantom get Rune or will Thorn go against the Phantom which would mean certain death for him?

(Gerard's review, 5 stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Teaser Tuesday


Gerard's:

Calling cards to leave, strange novelties that would rive her to seek out the illumination only darkness could provide.  She would find him of her own free will; and she would find herself and her purpose, whether she was prepared or not.
From page 31-32 of Roseblood by A. G. Howard.

There's no way she could be mixed up in something bad.  There'seither been a terrible accident or some kind of mistake.
From page 136 of The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry.

Karen's:

"What I did today . . . I wish I hadn't been a part of it.  And I wish Lord Alvi would not have glamorized my role."
From page 34 of The Great Pursuit by Wendy Higgins.

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker.   Anyone can play along, so I thought  I  would play for fun! Just pick two sentences from the book you are reading.  Happy Reading!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

"The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die" by April Henry

In The Girl Who Was Supposed to Die by April Henry,  a young girl wakes up in a cabin.  She does not know who she is or what she is doing there.  What she does know is that two men are going to do something not so nice to her unless she does something quick.

This is a good short story.  It is just a little over 200 pages and kept my interest.  I liked the two main characters.  The story line is okay and the action moves along nicely.
(Gerard's review, 5 stars) 

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!

Saturday, April 1, 2017

"The Great Hunt" by Wendy Higgins

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins is a fun YA fantasy read about a princess whose father has promised she will marry whoever kills the beast that attacks villagers and has started even to attack close to the royals!  Many hunters come to the palace from surrounding kingdoms to hunt down this dreadful beast.  The other aspect of this novel is that some have magical power and some use it for good, such as to heal but others for evil, such as to kill.  The use of magic has been outlawed in most of the kingdoms, but the princess finds herself falling for one of the hunters who has magical powers, although he has hidden it well all his life.

I enjoyed this book and look forward to reading the second in this series, The Great Pursuit.  Princess Aerity is not your normal princess and I do like her; however, I don't understand why she just didn't explain her feelings to her father and work with the winner of the hunt to get out of marrying him since it is obvious he likes someone else more.  I also didn't understand why she didn't kill the evil woman who created the beast when she had the chance.  I found the list of the royal families in front of the book helpful.  Although this book has several kingdoms, it is not confusing as some others of this type are.  If you like fantasy books with a touch of magic and lots of relationship development, I highly recommend this one.  I found it to be entertaining as well as amusing and adventurous.
(Karen's review, 4 stars)

The Great Hunt by Wendy Higgins is a YA fantasy story I enjoyed. There is a beast in the land and it is causing rampage and loss of life. It must be stopped! The king decide that the man who kills the beast will get to marry the princess. I thought this novel was very good. It kept my interest for sure. I especially liked the relationship between the princess and one of the men trying to kill the beast. I thought the writing was really good too. I hope there is going to be a book 2. If that is so, I will be reading it too.
(Gerard's review 4/25/16, 5+ stars)

Have you read this one? What did you think of it? If you reviewed this too, feel free to share your link to your review in the comments. To find books on a specific topic, scroll to the bottom and click on the topic you want. Happy Reading!
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