Tag: book review

[Review] Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfearn


If I stay, he will kill me. If I leave, he’ll destroy Addie and Drew.

Jillian Kane appears to have it all – a successful career, a gorgeous home, a loving husband, and two wonderful children. The reality behind closed doors is something else entirely. For nine years, she has hid the bruises and the truth of her abusive marriage in order to protect Addie and Drew, knowing, if she left, Gordon would destroy her-destroy them.

When, in an act of desperation, she flees, her worst nightmare is realized, and she finds herself on the run with her two young children, no money, and no plan. With Gordon in hot pursuit, there is only one inescapable certainty: No matter where she goes, he will find her. Kill her. And take her children. (more…)

I Hope You Dance by Robin Lee Hatcher | Book Review

i hope you dance cover

I Hope You Dance

Robin Lee Hatcher

BOOK SYNOPSIS: Grant Nichols is a genius in the kitchen and a klutz on the dance floor. But his friend’s wedding is shaping up to be a shindig the likes of which Kings Meadow has never seen—including dancing. Lots of dancing. Then he learns that a local dance teacher, Skye Foster, is offering dance lessons for the wedding party. The first lesson is free, so what does he have to lose?

A former rodeo queen, Skye Foster teaches children ballet and tap during the day, but with the popularity of ballroom dancing and her own love of Country Swing, she’s been teaching adults in the evenings.

Grant and Skye are no match on paper. But when they step onto the dance floor, they create a melody all their own.

REVIEW: I Hope You Dance an extremely short and quick read–I finished it in less than an hour. Though I have to say that I really wanted to get this book over with. I have never felt so eager to close a book, and it made me guilty to think about it this way because I personally understand what authors go through to go about writing a book. I’m all for supporting authors and their hard work, but this book seriously makes me question how this author is published traditionally and why indie authors get so much backlash on their book quality as I’ve definitely read better indie books than this one. So let’s get down to it, shall we?

I love romance books. I do. I especially like the clean ones, the ones that are actually romantic. So no, I never caught on to Fifty Shades or Twilight. I preferred the standalone romance novels with cheesy, grandiose gestures and innocent friendships that blossom. I prefer the novels that are not quite romance books but have more substance to them. I Hope You Dance–well, it is certainly the former, as it is a very clean romance (being a Christian novel), but the latter? Not so much. I Hope You Dance is just about Skye and Grant and how they fell in love. To me, their romance “blossomed” in just a matter of days (I believe the book said they met for a few weeks… but it was only days after the first kiss that Grant proposed…). I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at multiple scenes in the book. It wasn’t just the fact that the entire plot in I Hope You Dance was clichéd–because I like clichéd–but there was a lack of something else. The book had just a single note to it. There was no backstory, no history for any character besides the obvious familial background. I didn’t feel connected at all to the characters, I couldn’t root for them, and honestly, I found the pair to be even a bit ridiculous.

Moreover, there is no real conflict in I Hope You Dance. Other than the small fight Skye and Grant had over how many kids they wanted about 15 pages before the end of the book. (Here, I rolled my eyes again.) But I guess you can say that Grant can’t dance and Skye can, so that’s another conflict for ya.

I feel like I should’ve known better when I read the book synopsis–the last line was sorta ridiculous and I should’ve expected this from the book. I guess if you’re a die-hard romance reader or you like books that have no complexity in plot or characters, then you’d like this one.

Basically… another book that wasn’t quite for me. Another disappointing book from Booklooks…. maybe my luck will be better next time.

For those reasons, I Hope You Dance received a rating of 2/5. It wasn’t entirely unreadable, but it wasn’t enjoyable at all, either.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

A Pretty Age by Barbara Mueller | Book Review

SUMMARY: A Pretty Age by Barbara Mueller is about two young women, Sophiny and Antoinette, at a convent boarding school in Concord, Kansas. When a missionary visitor comes to visit the school, a series of things happen that turn their lives upside down.

REVIEW: I do enjoy reading historical fiction, but I have to say that I could not bring myself to finish this book. I felt that none of the characters were particularly likable, and I didn’t feel like I could be invested at all into the story. The beginning was too drawn out, and I’m not sure what the rest of the book is like, but I read through about a third of it before deciding that I simply was not interested in the story. It’s hard for me to pinpoint this specifically, but I think I might’ve a problem with how the story was written. It was extremely confusing to read, and as a person who reads for fun, I just wasn’t interested in spending time and figuring out what the author was trying to say.

Though I really tried to like this book and get into it (and honestly, I’m not picky when it comes to reading material…) this book was simply not for me.

For those reasons, this book receives a rating of 2/5 stars.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

How It Went Down | Book Review

I used to do this on my old blog all the time, and I really want to start again. Due to school, etc, I haven’t had much time to read too many books. But I’d love to start again… trading Netflix for books! yeahh!! So here we go.

How it Went Down, by Kekla Magoon

FIRST IMPRESSIONS: The subject matter deals with a shooting of a 16 year old black teen by a white man, and what happens after. Considering similar, real life events that have happened in the past (and recently), I thought this was going to be a honest, and perhaps heartbreaking, depiction of the of the things that take place after a tragic event through a variety of people and perspectives.

REVIEW: The idea of this book was good–I think it deals with a subject matter that is tiptoed around (especially in today’s society, in schools, etc) and avoided. However, with that being said, I think the book failed in its execution. First and foremost, the thing that bothered me the most was the insane number of perspectives. It was incredibly hard to keep track of, and to get the most out of this book, I think it’s necessary to keep track of who they are, what relationship they had with Tariq, the boy who was shot, and their respective subplots. Since I was reading this book in my spare time, and usually before bed, frankly, I was too lazy to get out a piece of paper to keep track of them.

Secondly, I did not find the multiple subplots to be very compelling. I felt like I wasn’t really given a reason to continue reading the novel, or really connect with the characters, and I think some characters’ plot lines are even unfinished by the end of the book. I thought this many point of views were entirely unnecessary and took away from the effectiveness of the story and message as a whole. Had every character interacted, their plot lines intertwined in a significant way, it might have worked–but this book lacked that. I’ve read books before that executed the multiple POVs perfectly… one such book that comes to mind would be Party, by Tom Leveen.

With that being said, there were successful things about the book. If its intention was to evoke emotion, it did that, near the end. I thought the character Tina (Tariq’s sister), was perfectly done, her reaction was brilliantly portrayed. I liked how some of the characters were very dynamic. However, I still hold on to my point that there were a lot of characters in there that were completely unnecessary.

TL; DR: This book would get a SIX out of TEN. Its message, idea, and intention was great. Its execution, however, fell flat. It was an average read, not particularly memorable, but still good enough for me to finish reading.

Manic Pixie Dream Girl by Tom Leveen | Book Review

Imagesooo last year I met Tom Leveen (he was sooo cool hahha), and fell in love with his books Party and Zero. Naturally, when my sister picked up a copy of Manic Pixie Dream Girl, I was like, ‘yes!’. so here I am, 24 hours later. (:

Summary: The book starts off with 17 year old Tyler Darcy celebrating with his two best friends because he just got his first short story published in a literary magazine. But, instead of focusing on the celebration, there were several other things on his mind: including his girlfriend of two years, Sydney, and Rebecca Webb, a girl he’s been crushing on – no, obsessing over – since his freshmen year. Through flashbacks, Leveen takes us on a journey through Tyler’s highschool years and his final decision on whether or not to finally take action with his crush, or be happy with what he already has.

Review: I’m in love with Leveen’s writing, and the writing in this book was exceptional, as usual! Leveen is amazing at creating realistic characters – it’s not hard to simply fall in love with them. The characters are very real, and as a high schooler, I can say that I can easily see them as students at my school, etc. Character wise, my favorite was definitely Sydney, Tyler’s confident girlfriend, who, despite Tyler’s obssession with Rebecca, stayed with him. (Though she was probably just as confused and bewildered about the relationship as Tyler…) Each character is very unique as well – they don’t all fit in a stereotype, and they have their quirks and problems and stories. Real problems, real issues – if you’re a fan of character driven stories, then this is for you!

Now, as for the plot, I’m not quiteeee sure about. The ending wasn’t surprising, but it wasn’t wrapped off nicely either – I wish he could’ve given us some closure on the subject. I do, however, like the fact that the ending isn’t exactly all sunshine-and-butterflies. Although this is an easy read, I’m more compelled by the interaction between the characters instead of the actual plot. The plot, I think, was a little bit weak – I can’t exactly pinpoint what it is, but it wasn’t as intricate or fast paced as Party was.

All in all, I really enjoyed this book, and what stood out to me the most was definitely the characters. There are parts were I was smiling through the scenes, and then other parts where I could actually feel the characters’ hurt and sadness. It all just really came alive to me! The struggle between fantasy and reality, wanting something unattainable and not letting go of something you already have, the courage to act, friendship, drama… there were just so many really awesome concepts in this book that makes it hard to put down.

Overall, I rate this book a 4/5.