Friday, July 14, 2017

Beauty and the Beast by Madame le Prince de Beaumont

✥Series/Trilogy/Stand-Alone, etc: Stand Alone
✥Release Date: 1756
✥Page Count: 187
✥Edition: Hardcover
✥Genre(s): Children's, Fairy Tale 
✥Date(s) Read
: 7/12/17-7/14/17
✥Rating: 5/5

I won't lie and sit here and say it has always been my favorite but I did like the Disney cartoon more than I did all the other fairy tales out there (Cinderella, Snow White, etc.-Although I loved Snow White for the 7 Dwarfs & how sweet she appeared to be in the cartoon. I may one day try to find the story to read it).

It wasn't until I sat down this time that I read the back/summary and realized this is a retelling. Maybe one day I will try to find an 'original' story to read. I do notice a lot of differences between this and the movie & cartoon. I know Disney makes changes from the "originals" too, many times to 'soften' up the story but this one really does have a difference. So, maybe there will be a hunt for a different version.

But I do like this version because it does show that beauty is more than just what's on the outside. I know there has got to be some level of attraction when you are dealing with someone but sometimes, once you get to know someone, you can't help but love them and there are many relationships and marriages out there based on just that: Growing into loving someone for who they are and what they do for you mentally, emotionally & spiritually first!

This is a reread for me for the Popsugar Reading Challenge this year for the "Read a book that the movie comes out in 2017". Although the movie has been out for a while and I've already watched it, I thought I'd reread the story anyway because it was just an easy read and I said I might read it again one day anyway, so, why not use this as the reason to do so? 

The happily ever after was of course a bit cringe worthy, but hey, it's a fairy tale! As an adult, I'd hope we'd all understand that happily ever after doesn't necessarily mean you won't have your issues, you'll just learn to work through them. That you understand relationships take a whole lot of work, respect, communication, maturity, laughter and love to make it through. And a whole lot of other things thrown in there to help each individual relationship. :-)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Due or Die (A Library Lover's Mystery #2) by Jenn McKinlay

✥Series/Trilogy/Stand-Alone, etc: Series-Book 2
✥Release Date: March 6, 2012
✥Page Count: 304
✥ Edition: Paperback
✥Genre(s): Cozy Mystery 
✥Date(s) Read
: 6/13/17-7/13/17
✥Rating: 3/5

I don't know what it is about these books that takes me so long to get through them. I like them well enough but not as much as I do the Cupcake Bakery Mystery series by the same author. I will more than likely finish the series because, as I stated, I do like them & I just want to see how they turn out but I won't force myself through them if I find myself just not enjoying them anymore. 

I like the characters a lot. Their friendships. Love interests, etc. But there is just something missing for me personally. They are very much worth the read if you haven't started on them already. And for those who have read them and loved them, I'm glad. Maybe if I had found these first, I would have enjoyed them more, maybe! I guess I was meant to find the others first so that these wouldn't knock me off of her writing a little, but I would hope that this would just let me see her potential. With Cupcake  Bakery, I know that I can love her writing and that this one just isn't doing it for me personally. I've become repetitive now, so I'll hush. :)

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Book Haul + A Few Movies June [30] & July 2017

Books bought from:
Julia's Cafe & Books: A fundraising division of Habitat for Humanity Charlotte

Couldn't find a decent summary

Movies also from:
Julia's Cafe & Books

*All MOVIE pictures obtained from IMDB*

Books Won

(won from Goodreads)

(Won from Booklikes)
Release Date: 7/21/17

*All BOOK covers were taken from Goodreads unless otherwise stated.*

Friday, June 30, 2017

Caramel Crush (Cupcake Bakery Mystery #9) by Jenn McKinlay


Series/Trilogy/Stand-Alone, etc: Series #9
Release Date: April 4, 2017
Page Count: 268 
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Genre(s): Cozy Mystery
Date(s) Read: 6/13/17-6/28/17
Rating: 5/5

It's been a couple of days since I've finished the book so I can't give too many of my original thoughts after I finished it but I can say that, as always, I loved this book! One of my favorites in this series. There have been a couple in the series that dragged a little bit, but overall, I am loving this series. One of my favorites that I have read since last year (I think I started the series at the end of 2015 early 2016). 

She said she is writing book 10 now, so, there is a good chance I won't be able to get to that one until next year. 😢 But, what else can I do but wait? Thankfully, I have the Library Lover's Mysteries series to keep me busy (another series by Jenn McKinlay) and some other cozies. I can finally move on to other cozies satisfied because I was able to read this and be happy. 😊

The characters in this series I love! From Mel (Melanie), to Tate, to quick temper Angie! One of my favorites wasn't in this one, my book crush. When I realized he wasn't in this one, my feelings were literally hurt! lol..And I missed him throughout the book too. Hopefully he will make an appearance at least in the next one. I missed him a lot and I hope he shows up in the next book, even if it's just random appearances.  

Can barely wait for the next book to come out and see what other shenanigans the characters will get themselves into & how many times I will giggle and say OMG to some of the things they say and do! 

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

All Fudged Up (A Candy Coated Mystery #1) by Nancy Coco

Series/Trilogy/Stand-Alone, etc: Series [1st book]
Release Date: November 5, 2013
Page Count: 332
EditionMass Market Paperback
Genre(s)Culinary, Adult Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Women's Fiction/Chick Lit, Thriller, Animals/Dogs, Contemporary                                
Date(s) Read: (Finished) 6/13/17
Rating: 4/5

*Recipes Included*
I love the main characters in the book. Nancy makes sure each one grows on you the way they should. I hope to get to know them well over the other books. 

It took me a bit to get into it. I think some had to do with the fact I didn't want to read much, so, I kept putting it down. Another part was, although it was good, it just took a bit for me to get into it and for it to really catch my attention. By the end of the book, I was loving it. Especially once some characters started coming in. And there are a couple of men in this book that are just, sigh, no words. One, I know for sure I have a semi-crush on. The other, I may end up with a crush on too if he continues on in the books. So, I guess I will just have to continue on until the end and/or unless I find myself not wanting to continue, which I hope won't ever be the case. There are a total of 4 full books out right now with the 5th due out this year. Then there is a novella/short story out on Kindle now. With what looks like another also due out this year as well. Both are Christmas books. So, I am looking forward to those as well. 

The dog on the cover?!? She of course is extremely smart for a puppy. I tend to find that the animals in books like this are extra smart, even as puppies/kittens. Now, as a person who has had puppies growing up, I know they can be trained and be smart by the time they hit a year old but many times, to be this smart, at such a young age, sometimes that can be a bit much but I guess some breeds can pick up on things very quickly, even being so young. I remember only ever having Shih Tzus and a Collie (my brother's dog), who both were extremely smart because of a lot of training and talking to them. But, none-the-less, I love that dog! Makes me want one! 

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Anne of Avonlea (Anne of Green Gables #2) by L.M.Montgomery

                                                                 Summary (From Goodreads)

Series/Trilogy/Stand-Alone, etc: Series [2nd book]
Release Date: 1909 (First published)
Page Count: 139
Genre(s)Classics, Young Adult, Fiction, Children, Historical    
Date(s) Read: [Finished] 6/11/17
Rating: (Book) 5/5 (Audio) 5/5

It's always at least a little hard for me to start and/or get through classics because I am so used to action and drama in my [modern, usually a lot of YA] books, but, once I start and/or I keep pushing through it, it can be hard for me to stop as well. Oxymoron? I guess so. Some books are easier for me to get through than others when it comes to classics. 

Green Gable series, I grew up watching them and I loved them dearly, so, when I read these books, I have the images of the mini series characters in mind.  Although I love the characters (had to grow to love some), my favorites have always been Matthew, Marilla and of course, Anne & Diana. Anne's quick wit and temper were always relatable to me because I have always had a bit of a quick temper. It took many years to learn how to manage it and not always allow it to get the best of me. I had to learn to just breathe and keep my mouth shut. Doesn't always work and I snap at people sometimes, especially those closest to me, but, I've gotten a tad bit better over these 42+ years. I loved Matthew's calm demeanor along with Marilla's honesty. Although it was always hard her to show love, you always knew she did. 

I do have books three (3) and four (4) here for when I am ready to move on. I'm not quite sure when that will be but it does need to be within the next year..I hope. I also have quite a few other classics I need to get into as well, that I need to get to quickly or otherwise, I may not read many of them. I tend to get rid of books that have been on my shelf too long and I am trying not to do that with most of them. So, I am not quite sure when I will get to the next two books because I do have so many modern & classics that I want to read before I get to them. I guess I will see what happens. 

(all book covers are taken from unless otherwise stated)

Friday, June 2, 2017

The Inn at Rose Arbor (Rose Harbor #1) by Debbie Macomber


Series/Trilogy/Stand-Alone, etc: Series [1st book]
Release Date: August 14, 2012
Page Count: 332
EditionMass Market Paperback
Genre(s): Romance, Fiction, Women's Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary
Date(s) Read5/29/17- 6/2/17
Rating: Book:  4.5/5   Audio: 5/5           Read by: Lorelei King

I can truly say that I enjoyed the story, a lot. All of the characters were amazing (although, sometimes, there was one character that got on my nerves, but I do understand where she was coming from). The 'coming of age' for all of them, was amazing of course. The learning to forgive yourself & others message I loved. There was quite a bit of cheese in this story, glad they had some wine because it would have gone well together. lol

The only thing I didn't like was the "he/she read my mind" moments, which seemed like there were a lot of them. One person would think something and of course, the other person would say it. The "I could feel something was wrong" moments were a bit much as well. 

Although I do believe it's possible that some can feel something is wrong/off, I'm just not quite sure how believable some things were in this story, like she was trying too hard almost. But, being the spiritual person I am, I believe anything is possible so I tried not to let that bother me. It was the "read my mind/say what I'm thinking moments" annoyed me. I think it's because it was being said too much. Yes, I've had people say what I was thinking/feeling without me even giving them a clue of what I may have thought (facial expressions, etc). 

Again, I really did enjoy the story & I will more than likely at least finish this trilogy/series. Will I go on to others after these? I'm not sure. I will have to see how I feel after I finish these. I do like her writing and see why she is so popular. This book was sweet & fun to read. I look forward to book two.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets (H.P.#2) by J.K. Rowling

Series/Trilogy/Stand-Alone, etc: Series [2nd book]
Release DateJuly 2, 1998
Page Count: 341
Genre(s)YA/Teen, Fiction, Fantasy, Magic, Childrens
Date(s) Read: 5/22-5/29/17
Rating Book: 5/5 Audio: 5/5 (Read by: Jim Dale)

I do believe that this one is my favorite so far. I found myself more interested in what was going on compared to The Sorceror's Stone. And I did like the previous, I just liked this one more. 

There isn't a whole lot that I can say that most do not already know, so, I won't drag this out with describing too much of what I liked about it. All of my faves are still my faves: Hagrid, Ron, Dumbledore but now, I have a new one. Dobby. I found him a bit of a pain but ever so cute and hilarious! Yes, I understood why he was a pain and I guess that wasn't his fault seeing that he did things for a particular reason. I do hope to see him in other stories (do not give me any type of spoilers. At All! Not even the smallest of spoilers. I like going into majority of my books blind). I'd like to be able to have his wit throughout some stories. 

There was one part I found hilarious but because they may seem kind of spoiler'ish and, well, for the rare few, like myself, who haven't read this series yet, I don't want to give any type of spoiler either, as, that drives me nuts. Which is why I don't read too many reviews before reading a book because the slightest thing can spoil me. But for those that have read them and have a good memory, I can just give one name and just think about towards the end of the book. Lockhart! I got a kick out of that one. 

Well, I guess I have run out of things to say for this book or maybe I'm just tired. So, I will hush my rambling and carry on. 😂

Tex by S.E. Hinton

                                                                Goodreads Summary

Series/Trilogy/Stand-Alone, etcStand Alone
Release DateJanuary 1, 1979
Page Count224
Genre(s)YA/Teen, Fiction, Classics, Coming of Age, Historical, Academic/School
Date(s) Read: [Finished] 5/28/17 
Rating 5/5

(Initially started this book in January but put it down and finally picked it back up to finish it this month)

This was a book that I thoroughly enjoyed. I only put the book down initially because I just wasn't in the mood for it at that time and I didn't want to try to force myself to finish it then having that to affect how I felt about the book. 

There was just something about Tex that I loved. He wasn't a stupid "kid", just, innocent. That innocence sometimes got him into situations he shouldn't have been in. He had a very good heart  about him & sweet. As the story went on and he began dealing with a lot of different things, he was able to learn from them and many times, stand up and handle it. He didn't seem to "run" from much but was smart enough to know when it was time to step away from a situation. Although, there was one particular person/place/thing that was hard for him to walk away from (I put it that way as to not give away too much just in case someone has yet to read it). He had a strong love for horses, especially his own. A very smart horse at that. They seemed to have a real understanding of each other. It appears that he had a great understanding of horses period.

Much of her books seem to have a lot of the same type of plot & characters. Absentee, addict and/or abusive parent(s) (not necessarily all of the above at the same time. Some may be just absentee or died. Another may be an addict of something, etc). A smart teen (high school age usually. About 11th or 12th grade) or young adult (18+) is ready to get out of the small down and do something different. Not wanting to be stuck.

Then, others, who don't mind being in the small town. They always find the positive in everything about the town. They would be happy being right there for the rest of their lives and/or if they choose to leave, fine, if not, fine. But, I always find myself loving the characters. The one who may be hardest on everyone, by the end of the book, you realize why they are so hard on them.

I remember seeing previews for the movies for her books when I was growing up but never watching them (this was in the 1980's). So, when I saw That Was Then, This Is now in the library, I picked it up & read it, not really expecting to enjoy it but hoping I would at least be able to get through it. Well, here I am 3 books later and she is now a new favorite author.

I own this one, Rumble Fish (not yet read) and The Outsiders. I hope to buy That Was Then, This Is Now soon (already read). There is another book by her [Taming The Star Runner], that I was not sure if I will read or not, I am still some what unsure but I am now really considering it even more. I have to look up the summary for that one again soon.

After I finished reading That Was Then, This Is Now, I went to watch the movie, I thought it was okay, but not a favorite. Maybe it's just because I am not really a big movie person anymore. One day, I may go and try to watch Tex & The Outsiders, but I won't push it.


This Gives Some Idea On How I Do My Ratings (and much of it goes by FEELINGS when I close the books)

5/5-Loved it. Amazing. Very few flaws, if any. *Potential favorite* 

4-4.5/5: Really, Really Liked it and/or loved it with just a few flaws. *Still has the potential to be a favorite*

3-3.5: Enjoyed it but wasn't great. Even more flaws than the previous rating

2-2.5/5: I only finished it to know how it ended. May have scanned a bit.

1-1.5/5: DNF'd it and I borderline hated it or, I flat out hated it. Chances are, I just scanned it/skipped chapters and/or read the ending. IF I did even that much. 

0/5: If I don't rate it/Zero rating, I may be considering sending the author a tweet or email telling them to stop writing! (No, I wouldn't be that cruel, but once I get to 1.5 and lower, that might be my mindset lol)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Throne of Glass (T.O.G. #1) by Sarah J. Maas

                                                       Summary from Goodreads (Opens in new window)

Series/Trilogy/Stand-Alone, etc: Series
Release DateMay 7, 2013
Page Count404
Genre(s): Young Adult, Romance, Fantasy
Date(s) Read: 4/12/17-5/22/17
Rating: 3/5

It took me this long to read it because I am still struggling to read, but also, I just wasn't feeling this book much. Maybe it was because of my lack of wanting to read, I'm not quite sure. 

It wasn't horrible at all. I actually love many of the characters. And naturally, I have one that I want Celaena to be with, although I do like both. I just think one is more naturally suited to her than the other (those who read the first book, may know who). And of course, seeing that this is the first book, things may change, I don't know, but that one, I do love him so. 

It took me a bit to really start liking Celaena, but once her personality really started to come out, the more I began to like her. By the end of the book, I began to see why people like her so much. I keep seeing people call her "bad-a**" and I kind of see that, maybe I will see more of it when I go on to book two (which I own). Whether I go on after that, I don't know. I will determine that after I read book two. Not sure when I will get to the second book but hopefully I will get to it before the end of the year. 

Friday, May 19, 2017

The First Wife: A Tale Of Polygamy by Paulina Chiziane

                                                     Summary (Opens in New Window)

Series/Trilogy/Stand-Alone, etcStand Alone
Release Date: July 26, 2016 (First published 2002)
Page Count: 494
Edition: Paperback
Genre(s)Women's Fiction, Culture-Africa, Feminism
Date(s) Read: 5/3/17-5/19/17
Rating 4.5/5   

This book was originally written in Portuguese by Paulina Chiziane then translated by David Brookshaw.

I happened to be walking around my favorite little used book store, Julia's Coffee & Books, then I happen to see this little short green book (short in height, not pages of course. As noted above). I take the book, along with others I had picked up along the way to look through. I finally get to this one, read a few pages and notice it's written almost poetically, and, it was beautifully written! Well, although I debated back and forth whether I wanted to get this book or not, there was just something that would not let me put this book back. I knew there was a chance of it making me mad and at some points, it did, but it wasn't always what I thought it would be. It was the wife, Rami, that sometimes made me mad with her going back and forth about what she should do. The more I read, the more I began to realize the why of why she did what she did and believed how she did. 

The culture and beliefs of men and women of the area, held a lot of beliefs many of us, in many parts of the world are just not used to seeing. We know it exists, but when you actually see or read about it, sometimes, reality just slaps you in the face and this book is that slap! 

The reason I gave this book a 4.5/5 stars is because some things were quite repetitive and could have been left out. Much of it seemed like it was just fillers and I found myself getting frustrated for those reasons and part of the reason it took me so long to get through it and why I kept getting bored. The other reason? Well, I am still not in much of a reading mood. I just read when I felt like it, some days I read more than others. Sometimes, I may only read a paragraph or a page then close the book and wouldn't pick it up for a couple of days. 

Saying all of that, I do think this is my favorite book of the year. Not because it was giving all the wonderful feels that normally favorite books give but because it made me think about my own life in some areas. Opened my eyes to other things that go on in this world or, maybe help me to remember/realize, things in our country aren't perfect, women sometimes get treated like dirt and we still have a long, long, long way to go, we have also come a long way as well (and not just with women's rights but also in race relations & human rights as a whole). That, dear people, is why I have to put this down as one of my favorites! Anything that can make me realize things about myself and how things could be better or worse, is a great reason to add it to My Favorite Things/Reads!

Beauty and the Beast by Madame le Prince de Beaumont

Summary ✥Series/Trilogy/Stand-Alone, etc :  Stand Alone ✥Release Date : 1756 ✥Page Count : 187 ✥Edition :   Hardcover ✥Genre(s)...