Book Review, Books and Reading

Living Lies

living lies    Lane Kent returns to her hometown in Walton, Georgia hoping to start over with her son. Instead, she fights a deep depression and the discovery of a dead body. She must work with the local police to help them solve the case before the murderer strikes again.

This is Natalie Walters debut novel and I read it as part of a review team. I enjoyed reading the story and being part of the group. Ms. Walters did a wonderful job with the details and her story line. This is book one in her Harbored Secrets series and I already have the other books on my TBR shelves.

 

*All thoughts I have expressed are my own. I have not bee compensated in any monetary way.*

 

 

Book Review, Books and Reading

February Wrap Up

Good afternoon friends,

Sorry for the delay, I have been meaning to post this for a while and finally getting to it. February was another good reading month, 29 books total- 11 were “grown up” and the rest were read with my babygirl. My favorites of the month were-

“The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse” by Charles Mackesy

The illustrations are beautiful and the story is absolutely beautiful. I was able to read it in about half an hour and immediately handed it to my mom to read, and the next day I told a friend about it. The characters are so sweet, each with individual personalities. I recommend it to everyone!

 

“A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, The Songs and Poems of Mister Rogers”

It is a walk through my sweet childhood. All of the songs and poems from the beloved tv show, Mr. Rogers Neighborhood. The illustrations are so beautiful, the songs and poems are filled with encouragement and wisdom and kindness. My 3yo loved this book so much and I loved sharing it with her. Another book I highly recommend to everyone.

 

“The Land Beneath Us” by Sarah Sundin

A sobering WW2 story about a librarian who is assaulted and an Army Ranger who steps in to give her a love she has never known before. This story is filled with family drama, war drama, assault and its lasting results, orphans, and second chances. It was a book I read for review and I am so happy I was part of the team. It renewed my love for Sarah Sundin stories.

 

“Speak” by Laurie Halse Anderson

An all too real story of a high school girl who becomes an outcast for calling the police at a party. The real reason behind the call, however, becomes clear to us readers and her journey back to school and facing her peers and teachers becomes a trial I was supporting her on through the entire way. I quickly saw how this book has become a classic.

 

How was your February? What books did you read?

Book Review, Books and Reading

The Land Beneath Us

My February Beyond the Book group book was The Land Beneath Us by Sarah Sundin and oh am I happy this was the choice! This book has refueled my love for Ms. Sundin’s stories.

This is book three of the Sunrise at Normandy series and I was worried it would ruin the two previous for me, but fear not, fellow book lovers, there is just enough in the book to pique your curiosity to want to read books one and two (which I have already ordered and are on my shelves wanting to be read) without giving away the details. with that said, on with this tale.

It is 1943 and Private Clay Paxton is training with the US Army Rangers in Tennessee. He is still reeling from his brothers’ betrayal (which we get a glimpse at but books one and two go into better detail of course) and the only thing he is living for is his dream of death. Leah Jones is a librarian in Camp Forrest, trying to rise above her life as an orphan while also search for her missing sisters. When Leah is attacked and Clay saves her life he finds he has more to give. He offers a marriage of convenience and shortly afterward is shipped out. Can they learn to love each other? Will Clay’s dream of death come true?

Sarah Sundin is amazing at her details. I do not know where to start! I loved reading about a camp library and having Leah as a librarian was such a treat. We learn not only details about the war but also orphanages and their records, hospitals in the 1940’s, medical procedures, families. I enjoyed the story immensely and am looking forward to more from her.

 

Parental Guidance- Sexual assault (no details are given), stabbing, war fighting and injuries

 

Book Review, Books and Reading

January Wrap Up

Good Evening!

Can you believe it is February already?? Time is flying by so fast. This year, as with last year, my GoodReads challenge for myself is to read 100 books. In January I read 28. I think I am starting out pretty well. I read ten grown-up” books (basically meaning did not read with my three year old, lol) and eighteen childrens books with Babygirl. She loves stories just as much as I do and I am so happy about that. Our absolute favorites were-

CHILDRENS BOOKS-

Which Shape Should I Be by Pamela Kennedy, a story about people and how everyone is different but that is what makes us all so wonderful. It is a sweet story to help children learn about shapes and about being who you are.

 

GROWN-UP BOOKS-

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. Okay, so this one comes with two warnings from me. 1- You need to be in the right mood for this story. Definitely give it a try but you need to be in the right frame of mind for it. I think I would say it categorizes under magical realism. 2- Have tissues on hand.

Now that is out of the way, onto my thoughts about it. I read it in one sitting, just a couple of hours. I read while walking, read while eating. It has been quite a while since a story has sucked me in so much as this one did. And the illustrations in the book are amazing! Absolutely stunning!! If you have not read it yet, get yourself a copy or a loan from the library. And let me know what you think 🙂

 

What books did you read in January? Which ones were your favorite? I would love to hear about them 🙂

 

 

Book Review, Books and Reading

The Piper’s Pursuit by Melanie Dickerson

   1492 Hamlin is a town fraught with a plague of rats, a deadly beast, and children going missing. Katerina is determined to save her people even while fighting her own personal threats. When Steffan, the duke’s son, shows up seeking the reward for killing the beast, Katerina decides he might be the ally she needs. But is he who he really says he is?

 

Melanie Dickerson continues to give us fun, exciting fairy tale retellings. With a spin on The Pied Piper and bits of history, this story is sure to entertain fans of Ms. Dickerson, of fairy tales, of Disney movies, of adventures. I look forward to more from her and sharing them with you. The heroine is strong and determines never to give up- my kind of girl! This book is also part of the Hagenheim series, book 10, but the series does not need to be read in order.

 

*I received this book free from Thomas Nelson in exchange for my review. What I have expressed are entirely my own thoughts. I was not compensated in any monetary way.*

 

My Star Rating – ****

Parental Guidance- Fighting, Kidnapping, Murder

Book Review, Books and Reading

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

the memory house    Beck Holiday lost her father on 9/11, and with it her memories of him. Years later she is a NYC cop weighed down with a childhood she cannot remember and a relationship with her mother that was torn after her father’s death. When a letter arrives declaring Beck has inherited a house she does not remember visiting before, she decides to go and check it out. Nestled into a town Beck used to visit as a child, she is hoping to finally crack open the memories determined to stay buried. Decades earlier, Everleigh Applegate is trying to get her life back together after a tornado rips through her town and destroys her life. When she runs into an old friend she begins to dream of a better life. However, she is hiding a secret that could ruin the rest of her life if it was found out. Can either women learn to face their pasts so they can move forward?

 

This story spans between two lives and about fifty years yet they are weaved together so well. Showing how the choices we make each day can affect our lives, and the lives of others, for years to come. I enjoyed reading about the women and their lives- the good, the bad, the heartbreaking. How they overcame their struggles. Rachel Hauck wrote a beautiful story and I am glad I read it.

 

*I received this book free from Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson in exchange for my review. What I have expressed are entirely my own thoughts and I was not compensated in any way.*

Parental Guidance- Adult content, Tornado Disaster

Personal Star Rating- ****

Book Review, Books and Reading

Saving Amelie by Cathy Gohlke

saving amelie    Amelie, a four year old child born to an SS soldier during Hitler’s takeover of Germany, should be safe, right? Wrong. At first glance she is a “perfect” child, but for the fact she is deaf. There is no room for ones like her in the new order of things. So what is a mother to do? Contacting a friend, Rachel, she hopes and prays Amelie will be taken somewhere safe. Rachel is willing to help but she also has her own revelations to face. How will anyone get out alive?

 

I appreciated Ms. Gohlke’s research, she was very detailed in even the small things. Mentioning not only Jews and homosexuals were sent to camps but also other religions and groups of people who refused to salute Hitler as their supreme leader (Gypsies, Czechs, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc….). The characters and story were easy to follow. However, my one downside (my personal opinion), I felt the story was a bit too long. At over 430+ pages I felt it could have ended an easy 100 pages sooner. I found myself skimming those last chapters. My mom, on the other hand, did not think it was too long and enjoyed it right to the end. To each their own, right? 🙂

 

Parental Guidance- War-time setting, although not too detailed about the fighting; Death

Published by Tyndale House Publishers

My Star Rating- **1/2

 

*I received no compensation in exchange for my review, what I have expressed are entirely my own thoughts*

Book Review, Books and Reading, Favorites

Favorite Books of 2019

Another year has come to an end (can you believe it?!) and the 20’s are back in action! Who else is excited for this chance to wear Flapper dresses and search for Jazz Clubs? Until I find those I will have to stick with the fictional clubs. I hope you were able to read some very good books last year. My goal was to read 100 books in the year and I ended it with 158 books! My most read year ever! Here are my top favorite books of 2019-

blustery day  Winnie The Pooh and the Blustery Day by A.A. Milne

As far back as I can remember one of my favorite stories (and audio books) of all time has been this one. A windy day, a stormy night, and friends coming together to help each other. This is such a sweet story to read to, or listen with, your young ones. I no longer have a cassette player but it can be found on YouTube.

Published by Disney

 

cedar cabin  Secrets at Cedar Cabin by Colleen Coble

This story has stuck with me months after reading it. You have Bailey, a woman whose mother is murdered and now she has to go on the run, and you have Lance, a man determined to rescue his sister, Ava, who was abducted. This story is jam-packed with emotion, a roller coaster of shock and twists and turns. It presents a very real trouble we deal with all over the world- sex trafficking and who can we truly trust.

Parental Guidance- kidnapping, murder, sex trafficking

Published by Thomas Nelson

 

hollywood lost  Hollywood Lost by Ace Collins

Step back to the glitz and glamour of  1930’s Hollywood, a time when small town girls want to make it to the big screen. For Shelby, finding work in the wardrobe department is a dream job. Lurking in the shadows, however, is a murderer targeting women. I loved the details of the story, the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat, and the writing was fabulous!

Parental Guidance- Stalking, Murder

Published by Abingdon Press

 

the lost girls  The Lost Girls by Heather Young

Summer 1935- 6yo Emily disappears from her family’s vacation home. 60 years later Emily’s sister leaves behind a notebook of the story of that devastating summer and gives it to her grandniece, Justine. Thus begins a suspenseful, heart-wrenching look into the past. It had my heart pounding and kept me up at night from the first page to the final page.

Parental Guidance- Stalking, Death, Adult content, Abuse

Published by William Morrow

 

What books did you read last year? Which ones were your favorites? I would love to hear about them.

Peace and happy reading,

Kymberli

 

 

Book Review, Books and Reading

Which Shape Should I Be?

which shape should i be  This is such a fun and encouraging book. I have a 3yo niece and she loves this. Not only are the colors vivid and the pictures are so fun, but it also teaches children shapes and items and ultimately, what shape people are. The best part, everyone is shaped differently, and how wonderful is that! This is a good body positive book for young ones, and I am happy to have a copy of it on hand.

 

*Thank you to B&H for providing me a copy of this book. What I have expressed are entirely my own thoughts and I was not compensated in any monetary way.*

Book Review, Books and Reading

Band of sisters by Cathy Gohlke

   Maureen O’Reilly and her sister flee to America hoping to start a new life with the help of a family friend. However, they learn their father’s friend has passed away and they now have no benefactor. In desperation, Maureen gains her way into a department store as a sales clerk. She soon discovers there is more behind the doors than selling hats and accessories. Every woman in the city is in danger.

This story is a sobering tale of immigrants trying to make their way in a foreign city; of new rules, making friends, work, and learning who can be trusted and who cannot be. It is set in the early 1900’s but is sadly still prevalent today. Be careful who you trust. Human trafficking is still a very serious and real situation. Cathy Gohlke does an excellent job writing characters easy to like, and kept my interest through the entire story.

 

*I received no compensation in exchange for this review. What I have expressed are entirely my own thoughts.*