Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Review: Summerlost

Title Summerlost
By Ally Condie
Genre Middle grade Contemporary
Format Audiobook
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

It's been almost a year since Cedar lost her father and brother Ben in a car wreck. Her mother has decided to buy a summer home in Iron Creek. It's looking to be a long boring summer but then Cedar meets Leo who works concessions at the famed Summerlost festival. When Cedar gets a job there too her and Leo become fast friends as they become engrossed with the mystery of what happened to the famous Hollywood actress that got her start in the Summerlost festival and seemingly died of a broken heart.

First Sentence
Our new house has a blue door.

Trying to get out of my reading slump I decided to pick up some lighter middle grade books. I had success with the graphic novel Ghosts and decided to read this middle grade book by Ally Condie. This is her first middle grade book and I was interested to see what it would be like.

Condie writes beautifully. I like her style. At times it might have felt a bit too beautiful and flowery for a middle grade book but since I'm not a kid I can't say if they'd be bothered by it and I loved it so I didn't mind.

This book had a lot going on for a middle grade book too. It's dealing with grief and first love but it still manages to be a quick easy read.

My favorite thing about the book was the obsession Cedar and her brother Miles had with a soap opera their mother didn't know they were watching. I found it amusing and quirky enough to make the story not only memorable but believable. There were plenty of things I watched and read that my mother might not have approved of but that were my own little thing and I wasn't going to part with them for anybody.

A beautifully written and memorable story, I hope Condie continues writing middle grade. I found it utterly charming.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Review: Ghosts

Title Ghosts
By Raina Telgemeier
Genre MG Graphic Novel
Format Print
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️

Catrina and her family have to move because her little sister Maya is sick. The town they move to is even worse than Catrina was imagining. It's damp and foggy all of the time and all anyone talks about is ghosts. Maya loves the idea of the Day of the Dead celebration but Catrina doesn't want anything to do with it or the boy next door that's trying so hard to befriend her.

First Sentence

To get out of my reading slump I decided to pick up a graphic novel. And guess what? It totally worked. I flew through it and have been reading ever since! Wahoo!

I don't know why I'm so drawn to Telgemeier's books but I am. I like her artwork and I love that her stories deal with issues that kids can relate to. This one, for instance, has a lot going on. The MCs little sister has cystic fibrosis and probably won't live very long and when they move to a town that's seemingly obsessed with death Catrina is not happy. Moving to a new town is hard enough but having a future reality shoved in her face isn't easy.

The book still manages to be mostly light-hearted and easy to read in spite of its heavier subject matter and the artwork was beautiful. I kind of wish the town they moved to really existed.

While this one is geared to a younger audience it appealed to me too. I think it was a great read and can't wait to try Telgemeier's other books.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

TV Talk Sundays #5

Hmmm, I'm wondering if I should even bother doing this post anymore. Or maybe I should make it a monthly post. Oh well.

Back To Our Regularly Scheduled Programming
(On TV Now)
Jane The Virgin
They really amped up the drama here! I think this plot twist with Xiomara will be hard since my mother died of breast cancer. :(

While I'm not really a big believer in karma this episode made me smile. Those jerks deserved what they got!

The Good Doctor
No new episode this week. Sigh!

The Resident
This episode almost made me cry. Why can't doctors actually listen to their patients like Dr. Hawkins does in this episode? I can't tell you how many times I've been looked at like a disease or a problem rather than a human being, let alone a unique individual.


The Crown
I finally finished season 2! I loved that last episode. Especially when Phillip tells everyone to shut up and the photographer to take the photo. Now it's just the long wait for season 3.

Jessica Jones
It's back!!! Season 2 is here! I haven't started it yet but I will. I'm very excited, though it won't be as fun without David Tennant. I'm not sure if I'll love it as much.

Haven't watched anything else on Netflix, though my list is miles long.

Amazon Prime

 I finished season 1 of Victoria and enjoyed it immensely. I wish season 2 was on there too. I'll have to see if I can find another platform to watch it on. The romance between the cook and Nancy broke my heart. I loved the cook...thought I can't think of his name.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Review: The Five Thieves of Happieness

Title The Five Thieves of Happiness
By John Izzo
Genre Self Help/Nonfiction
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

What's keeping you from being happy? Does happiness come from outside sources or is it something found within. This book talks about five things that are stealing your happiness and what you can do to stop them and live a happy life.

First Sentence
A Thief is someone who steals what's rightfully ours.

(No Friday Flicks today. I saw Death Wish and, well, I figured you didn't care to hear about that one. It's a Bruce Willis movie. 'nuff said.)

In spite of my reading slump, I am making it through a few books. It didn't hurt that this one was so short. My friend recommended it and I'm glad she did.

Who doesn't want more happiness in their life? This book is great! It's short, not overly preachy, and actually has actions you can take. I've talked about how I hate when self help books just talk about your problem rather than offering solutions.

I loved how this book promoted open mindedness. It was my favorite thing about it. But I also thought it had a lot of truth in it. The thieves he talks about really do rob us of happiness. How do I know that? Because they've been robbing me of happiness my whole life!

Excellent little book. I'd highly recommend it to get you thinking.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Review: Eliza and her Monsters

Title Eliza and her Monsters
By Francesca Zappia
Genre YA Contemporary
Rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Eliza is an introvert. She keeps to herself and is just trying to survive her senior year of high school and escape to college. But Eliza has a whole other side to her. On line she is the creator of Monstrous Sea, a popular web comic. But keeping the two lives separate becomes increasingly hard when a new boy comes to school. Wallace is a fan of Monstrous Sea but he's also a fan of Eliza's. It's only a matter of time before Eliza's worlds collide.

First Sentence 
The origin post is open on my computer when I shuffle over to it in the morning.

Guys, I'm in the worst reading slump of all time! I did manage to make it through a book though. I'd heard good things about Eliza so I thought it might be what I need to get out of my slump. But while I did manage to read it the whole way through, I'm still in my slump!

This book is 380ish pages and for the first 300 pages not much happens. It's mostly introducing us to Eliza, her family and Monstrous Sea and then watching her and Wallace fall for each other while Eliza keeps her secret from him. Of course the shiz hits the fan and when it does the book became much more engrossing. I flew through the last 80-100 pages. I wish the whole book had been that good.

But I have to say, I'm not sure what everyone sees in this one. It was OK but not amazing. But I'm a horrible judge right now. I'm in such a reading slumpish mood that who am I to judge?

At my last book club this book got brought up and those who had read it were arguing about Eliza's parents. I hadn't read it at the time but I had to laugh at how strongly each person felt. Now that I've read it...sorry Suey, I have to take a stand against the parents. They weren't horrible but they were so clueless. And I didn't buy that they wouldn't have looked up their daughters web comic and seen how popular it was. The fact that they didn't....not good.

So while this one didn't get me out of my reading slump, it did manage to get me to finish which is very impressive these days.

Should you read it