Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Man Called Ove

A Man Called OveGoodreads Synopsis:    A grumpy yet loveable man finds his solitary world turned on its head when a boisterous young family moves in next door.

Meet Ove. He's a curmudgeon, the kind of man who points at people he dislikes as if they were burglars caught outside his bedroom window. He has staunch principles, strict routines, and a short fuse. People call him the bitter neighbor from hell, but must Ove be bitter just because he doesn't walk around with a smile plastered to his face all the time?

Behind the cranky exterior there is a story and a sadness. So when one November morning a chatty young couple with two chatty young daughters move in next door and accidentally flatten Ove's mailbox, it is the lead-in to a comical and heartwarming tale of unkempt cats, unexpected friendship, and the ancient art of backing up a U-Haul. All of which will change one cranky old man and a local residents' association to their very foundations.

My Thoughts:

-    This book surprised me in the best way. I didn't expect to like it as much as I did. 

-    Ove is the most endearing grumpy old man I've ever seen. I couldn't help loving him. I love how fiercely loyal Ove is and how adamantly he will defend what he is loyal to.

-    I laughed out loud so many times throughout the book. There are hilarious moments, situations, and lines. 

-    There is a lot of language throughout the story, just FYI.

-    I feel like Ove was a lot older than 59. He should at least be in his 70s.

-    This was a fun and heart warming story. I highly recommend it. 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Trumpeter of Krakow

The Trumpeter of KrakowFrom Goodreads:    Set in 15th century Poland, The Trumpeter of Krakow is the story of a young boy’s admiration for the bravery of a long-dead youth and how this encourages him to remain loyal to his country, in the face of great danger.

Forced to abandon their farm to the invading Tartars, Joseph Charnetski and his parents flee to Krakow with the only thing that they managed to salvage—a priceless family heirloom called the Great Tarnov Crystal. Reputed to have strange magical powers that will guarantee victory to anyone who possesses it, the Crystal must be delivered to the king before it falls into the wrong hands. Only the inspiring example of the young trumpeter to Krakow, who met his death when he alerted the city to an invasion by the Tartars, gives Joseph the courage he needs to complete his mission.

My Thoughts:

-    Reading books written in the 20s has given me a whole new appreciation for modern editing and writing. 

-    Most of the story is okay, but my mind kept wandering away from the story. Sometimes I would go back and reread what I missed, but most of the time I moved on and just tried to figure out what was happening. 

-    I feel like this could have been a really fun story if the writing was a little different. 

-    I liked the setting a lot. I don't think I've read a book in 15 century Poland.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Check Me Out

Check Me OutGoodreads Synopsis:    Greta loves her job as assistant librarian. She loves her best friend, Will, the high school civics teacher and debate coach. She even loves her mother despite her obvious disappointment that Greta is still single.

Then she meets Mac in the poetry section of the library, and she is smitten. Mac is heart-stoppingly gorgeous and showers her with affection, poetic text messages, and free hot chocolate at the local café where he works. The only problem is that he seems to be a different person in his texts than in his face-to-face conversation.

When the Franklin Library is threatened with closure, Greta leaps into action. She arranges for a "battle of the bands" book jam, hosts a book signing by a famous author, and finally, stages a protest that raises more than a few eyebrows.

Through it all, she slowly realizes that it is Will, not Mac, who she turns to for support and encouragement. Mac has the looks; Will has the heart. How can she choose between them?

Check Me Out is a contemporary romance--with just a hint of Cyrano de Bergerac--that reminds us that it is what's on the inside that matters most.

My Thoughts:

-    When I heard this was a Cyrano type story at a library, I knew I had to read it. Sadly, I was a little disappointed.

-    I didn't like Greta. She was selfish and shallow. It would have been nice if her character had grown a little.

-    I didn't like Will either. I wanted to know why he was helping Mac. What were his motives in helping his cousin win over the girl he loved? It never explains. I don't think it was to get the girl.

-    I wish Dr. Silver had a more prominent role. He was the most interesting character in the whole story, and nothing really happens with him.

-    There were some fun moments, and it was an alright fluff book, but I was hoping for a little more.

Monday, April 23, 2018

Lost Stars

Lost StarsGoodreads Synopsis:    A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

Eight years after the fall of the Old Republic, the Galactic Empire now reigns over the known galaxy. Resistance to the Empire has been all but silenced. Only a few courageous leaders such as Bail Organa of Alderaan still dare to openly oppose Emperor Palpatine.

After years of defiance, the many worlds at the edge of the Outer Rim have surrendered. With each planet’s conquest, the Empire’s might grows stronger.

The latest to fall under the Emperor’s control is the isolated mountain planet Jelucan, whose citizens hope for a more prosperous future even as the Imperial Starfleet gathers overhead…

My Thoughts:

-    This book went by quickly. It was easy to read, and it was really good.

-    I liked seeing famous events from the original trilogy, and I enjoyed seeing them from both the Empire's side and the Rebel's side. It was cool to get both perspectives.

-    I liked both of the main characters, but they could get dramatic at times, and I rolled my eyes at a lot of the romance parts.

-    I can't believe this is my first Claudia Gray book. Her books have been on my TBR list for a long time, but I never got around to them. She does a good Star Wars story, so hopefully I'll like her other stuff.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Of Mice and Magic

Of Mice and Magic (Hamster Princess, #2)Goodreads Synopsis:    Princess Harriet is nobody’s hamster damsel in distress! Book two of this series for Babymouse and Princess in Black fans is filled with even more action and twisted fairy tale fun

Princess Harriet has absolutely no interest in brushing her hair, singing duets with woodland animals, or any other typical princess activities. So when a fairy tells a very bored Harriet about twelve mice princesses who are cursed to dance all night long, she happily accepts the quest and sets off with a poncho of invisibility and her trusty battle quail. But when she arrives at the Mouse Kingdom, she discovers there's more to the curse than meets the eye, and trying to help is dangerous business . . . even for a tough princess like Harriet. 

From the creator of Dragonbreath, comes a laugh-out-loud funny new comic-hybrid series, bursting with girl power and furry fairy tale retellings.

My Thoughts:

-    This was really fun and silly. I loved the different twists on an old fairy tale.

-    I love Harriet's snarky attitude, and I love that she takes charge and get things done. 

-    Gnome and I both had fun with this book, but Gnome wanted to read the rest of the series by herself. I won't continue the series on my own. 

Previous Book

Harriet the Invincible (Hamster Princess, #1)

Thursday, April 19, 2018


AcidGoodreads Synopsis:    The year is 2113. In Jenna Strong's world, ACID—the most brutal controlling police force in history—rule supreme. No throwaway comment or whispered dissent goes unnoticed—or unpunished. And it was ACID agents who locked Jenna away for life, for a horrendous crime she struggles to remember. But Jenna's violent prison time has taught her how to survive by any means necessary. 

When a mysterious rebel group breaks her out, she must use her strength, speed, and skill to stay one step ahead of ACID, and try to uncover the truth about what really happened on that terrible night two years ago. They have taken her life, her freedom, and her true memories away from her. How can she reclaim anything when she doesn't know who to trust?

Strong, gritty writing, irresistible psychological suspense, and action consume the novel as Jenna struggles to survive against the all-controlling ACID. Seriously sinister stuff.

My Thoughts:

-    This book was enjoyable. I don't have a lot to say about it. I didn't love it, but I didn't hate it. It was just good.

-    I haven't read a dystopian for a long time, and it was fun to read one.

-    I appreciate that this book is a stand alone. I like that the whole story is in one book. It helped the flow the book a lot. 

-    I wish the guy did more. I forgot his name, but Jenna's love interest was useless. He didn't do anything but exist. I wish he had a bigger role than dude is distress.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Smoky the Cowhorse

Smoky the CowhorseFrom Goodreads:    "Smoky, the Cowhorse" is the story of a horse - from his first hours on the prairie sod to his final years out to pasture. The reader follows the story, from range to ranch to rodeo, through Smoky's eyes. Winner of the 1927 Newberry Medal for children's literature.

My Thoughts:

-    This is the first Newbery Award Winner that I've read this year that I really feel deserved the award.

-    I loved this book. I got SO attached to Smoky. 

-    Smoky had an incredible journey. There were so many ups and downs, and I kept hoping that Clint and Smoky would be reunited. 

-    I admit it, I cried. . . a lot. I finished this on a Saturday morning, and I couldn't stop crying. I cried all through breakfast, and morning chores. My daughter thought I was crazy. My husband just laughed at me. 

-    I don't think this book is for everyone, but it touched my animal loving heart. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018


Endless (Shadowlands, #3)Goodreads Synopsis:    An unthinkable betrayal threatens everyone Rory loves in the third installment of our dark, thrilling Shadowlands series from New York Times best-selling author Kate Brian.

Rory Miller didn't just fall in love with Tristan Parrish. She fell in love with the idea of forever. He was the one who told her the truth about her existence in Juniper Landing: that her mortal life is over, and she will now spend eternity on the island, helping others in limbo move on.

But like Juniper Landing, a bright island with dark secrets, Tristan is too good to be true. The mysterious, heartbreakingly beautiful boy Rory thought she knew is responsible for unthinkable evil-sending good souls to the Shadowlands in order to get himself a second chance at life on Earth. He has already claimed Rory's friend Aaron and her own father, but when SPOILER Tristan sends her sister, Darcy, to the Shadowlands, too, Rory decides to take matters into her own hands. She will do anything to save her family, even if it means going to hell and back.

My Thoughts:

-    The ending wrapped everything up nicely, but it wasn't the ending I was hoping for.

-    I really wanted Rory to go to the Shadowlands and save her family, but no.

-    I wish they hadn't gotten rid of the serial killer so fast. The series isn't the same without him. There is still mystery and everything, but the suspense wasn't there.

-    I still don't care for any of the characters, and I don't really trust them.

-    The love triangle was awful!

-    I'm glad I read this series, but I probably wouldn't read it again.

Previous Book

Shadowlands (Shadowlands, #1) Hereafter (Shadowlands, #2)

Monday, April 16, 2018

Ivy and Bean Take Care of the Babysitter

Ivy and Bean Take Care of the Babysitter (Ivy and Bean, #4)From Goodreads:    The adventures of Ivy and Bean continue in the latest installment from series creators Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall. In Ivy and Bean Take Care of the Babysitter, the two girls hatch a plan to prove that Bean's big sister is the world's worst babysitter. Of course plans go awry, but fun ensues!

My Thoughts:

-    This was fun. I'm glad these books have grown on me. 

-    My inner child would love to be friends with Ivy and Bean. Turning a giant pile of dirt into a volcano sounds like so much fun. Exploring an attic and making a secret lair also sounds awesome.

-    My adult/parent side thinks that Bean is a pain. What is she thinking half the time? Ivy seems like a good kid most of the time, but Bean would be a hard kid.

-    All of me thinks Nancy is jerk though. I'm glad Bean stands up to her.

-    Gnome really liked this one.

Previous Books

1294383 1284021 108981

Friday, April 13, 2018

Harriet the Invincible

Harriet the Invincible (Hamster Princess, #1)From Goodreads:    Sleeping Beauty gets a feisty, furry twist in this hilarious new comic series from the creator of Dragonbreath

Harriet Hamsterbone is not your typical princess. She may be quite stunning in the rodent realm (you'll have to trust her on this one), but she is not so great at trailing around the palace looking ethereal or sighing a lot. She finds the royal life rather . . . dull. One day, though, Harriet's parents tell her of the curse that a rat placed on her at birth, dooming her to prick her finger on a hamster wheel when she's twelve and fall into a deep sleep. For Harriet, this is most wonderful news: It means she's invincible until she's twelve! After all, no good curse goes to waste. And so begins a grand life of adventure with her trusty riding quail, Mumfrey...until her twelfth birthday arrives and the curse manifests in a most unexpected way.

Perfect for fans of Babymouse and Chris Colfer's Land of Stories, this laugh-out-loud new comic hybrid series will turn everything you thought you knew about princesses on its head.

My Thoughts:

-    This was a fun and refreshing twist on an old fairy tale. Gnome and I both really enjoyed this one.

-    The book is unique. Some pages have illustrations and dialogue like a graphic novel, but most pages just have text like a regular novel. It was cool that they mixed the two. 

-    I like that Harriet just does whatever, and I love that she uses her curse to her advantage. 

-    I liked that this had a lot of twists on the Sleeping Beauty. I wasn't sure what was going to happen next.

-    There were a lot of funny moments. Gnome and I laughed throughout the book.

-    My only complaint is that the book is a little long. I think they could have shortened it a bit.