#BookReview Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence

Who doesn’t love a book about a strong female character? Especially a girl like me who grew up needing some strong female influences!

Marie Curie and the Power of Persistence is a wonderful, little book that is a must read for children.

To begin with, there is a super, evil villain who has decided the best way to ruin the world is to stop the spread of knowledge! This monster is big, mean and scary and seems to be content with his super devious plan. In walks Marie Curie, a woman who will turn into a superhero scientist through her amazing intelligence and experiments! Our evil villain wants Marie Curie stopped before she can get too smart and stop his wicked plans. Along the way, we will learn how Marie Curie is full of persistence in many different ways!

This little book is a wonderful mix of fiction and non-fiction. There’s lots of learning opportunities about this super scientist scattered among the pages. Definitions, facts and timelines about Marie Curie and information about the things she studied and created are all available to see. I would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a good STEM book for their kids, especially since it’s about Marie Curie. She was a legend!

Also: references… in a children’s book… I LOVE IT.

On a side note, I thought the pictures were lovely and very unique. I haven’t seen this style a lot in children’s books, so I was impressed. It was colourful, fun and had lots of awesome details.

I am so thankful for this book. It is absolutely amazing and I wish I would have had books like this in my youth. Hopefully many kids are able to pick this book up or many educators get their hands on it! Seriously, we need more books like this – educational and fun!

Five out of five stars!

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Explore for giving me the opportunity to read this amazing book!

 

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Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Indigo

 

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#BookReview Succubus Blues by Richelle Mead

Hot diggity dang, I love this book!

Richelle Mead was one of my many high school guilty pleasures. I’d sneak off to read Vampire Academy over and over without a second thought. I always knew I wanted to read this series but it either continually slipped my mind or my local bookstores would sell out (and online bookstores wouldn’t have it available). So, I finally caved and remembered this book existed when I found book #4 at a local charity book sale. I bought this book full price (which is SUPER rare for me, I’m a deal hunter) and I do not regret it in the least! Especially since I am already hooked on this series. AND, I just ordered the second book FULL PRICE. Yes, ladies & gentlemen, I love this series so much already I’m buying the books FULL PRICE.

So, off to the review races:

Georgina Kincaid is a succubus. You know, the types of mythical creatures that lure men in with sex and intrigue. She’s sassy, a total book nerd and is totally the type of character I want to read about. She does have her flaws, her food source is energy from humans, but who doesn’t?

So, we meet Ms. Kincaid as she works at her local bookstore and learn that she is TOTALLY OBSESSED with Seth Mortensen (an author of her favourite book series that kind of sounds like Bones but sexier). One day, a man comes into the bookstore and she begins to rave about how she would totally be Seth’s book slave. And, wouldn’t you know it, SHE SAID IT TO SETH.

My gosh, I already was giggling because I totally saw it coming BUT IT WAS STILL FUNNY.

To keep moving along the plot: There is also many other immortal creatures hanging around – vampires, angels, demons, etc. Some of these are her friends, some are her bosses and some are just strangers on the street. Humans don’t know about them though, so SHHHH. Everyone seems to live in perfect harmony…. you know, until they don’t. Suddenly immortal creatures are dying and Georgina is pulled into the turmoil of figuring out who, what, why, when and how.

Meanwhile, Georgina is kinda into Seth but a hot guy Roman also comes into her life and chases her around the city. She eventually gives in, because he’s hot, and they dance (literally and sexually).

This book is absolutely marvelous for me as a reader. I totally dig Richelle’s writing style and tone, her books move at a relatively fast pace, and they are funny AND romantic AND sexy. This style might not be for everyone, but it is totally for me!

I could see some of the plot twists from a mile away, but I didn’t come to this book for some Dan Brown style mystery. I came for the love triangle, the sassiness and the fantasy. It felt like Vampire Academy but 18+, meaning more sex, more adult-like themes but all the drama and intrigue the YA universe gave me.

Is there negatives? Absolutely!
Georgina made some poor drinking decisions, couldn’t see some of the bad guys (even though it was painfully obvious) and has a bit of a ‘poor me’ complex. It’s been centuries since you’ve been in love darling, get over the mistakes you made and LIVE.

Other notes: for Georgina being a succubus who has sex with lots of men, this book is not the erotica you might think it’d be. It seriously felt like a good mix of New Adult and Adult romance novels. It’s more romantic comedy with fantasy than erotica.

Overall, I love this book. It was a fun ride that let me enjoy it. As long as you don’t take this book seriously, you’ll enjoy the ride to. I’d highly recommend it to any Richelle Mead fans (especially Vampire Academy fans).

Five out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:
Amazon.ca
Goodreads
Kobo
Indigo

Love fantasy? Here’s some other books you might like to!
#BookReview Haunting Violet by Alyxandra Harvey
#BookReview Scarlett by Marissa Meyer
#BookReview Avalon Hall by Ruth Miranda

 

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#BookReview Valyo Rising by R.A. Mendsen

A little birdie recommended Valyo Rising to me, and man they were spot on!

R.A. Mendsen has crafted one truly fantastical journey that will give you The Witcher and Game of Thrones vibe. And, if you LOVE LOVE LOVE fantasy, you’ll be totally addicted to this book.

Now, you need to keep in mind that fantasy is not a genre I venture into often. I haven’t found much luck with fantasy so I’ve avoided it unless I absolutely want to read the book. That being said, my views on fantasy are definitely not the end all, be all. I’m not some book reviewing wizard about what works in fantasy.

I’d like to use the word swashbuckling for this book because it seems fitting, but that gives me pirates vibe. The level of fantastical fun that Pirates of the Carribean gave me the first time I saw it was the same level of fun I had reading this book. It’s packed full of high stakes, maxed out fantasy and a wicked hunt.

Now, what is this book about?
The seventh son of the seventh son has always been said to have magical gifts according to lore, and in Valyo Rising this appears to be accurate. Our lead has visions of death and fear, and must try to survive in a brutal world with his siblings. There’s drama though, is the seventh child the magical one, The Valyo? Or is the seventh son? These siblings try to survive in a wicked world full of evil people, all the while trying to deal with the fantastical world elements coming at them from all angles.

This book is one hundred percent R rated, so I don’t recommend if you don’t like brutal scenes. I relate it to the rating Game of Thrones would have, for a comparison. This isn’t a book I’d go recommending to your middle grade and YA fantasy lovers. Dayne’s horror is absolutely brutal and should be read with careful eyes.

I picked two parts of this book I really enjoyed, even though the entire book is absolutely delightful:
1. Desyderia is a pretty name that I have no idea how to pronounce.
2. Linnea is sinister, scary yet sultry and I am totally enchanted by her character.

My biggest flaws were:
1. Similar names. I literally had to keep a little note to myself since I was reading this book on and off for weeks. Having lots of characters has always been a turn off for me, and similar names made it more confusing. Most fantasy readers are used to this though, so it shouldn’t be an issue for anyone else. The characters are well written and have lots to do on their own, so don’t be worried on that front.

Overall, this story about a group of kids trying to survive in a fantastical, dark world is a real hit! If you love epic fantasy then you’ll absolutely adore this book. I can’t recommend it enough! R.A. Mendsen has a way with words.

Be warned though, this book is long! Just the way epic fantasy should be.

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book from the author, R.A. Mendsen, in exchange for an honest review.

 

You can find out more about this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

You can find R.A. Mendsen on:
Goodreads
https://indiepublishauthors.wixsite.com/ramendsen

 

If you love fantastical fun, here’s some other books featured on my blog that you might enjoy:
#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Fantasy Reads, Part 1
Book Review: NYV: Punk by K.D. McQuain
#BookReview Bittersweet Symphony by Rebecca McNutt

 

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#BookReview The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne

The Heirs by Fran Hawthorne is a delightful, contemporary novel that lit up my bookshelf.

Eleanor’s Mother, Rose, has a terrible fall and is suddenly speaking Polish. For many years, Rose has kept her history of the war a secret and not shared a word to a single soul. This sudden change sparks interest in Eleanor and the hunt for a secret past begins. Family secrets are unlocked, drama ensues and life lessons are learned. Will her marriage survive? Will her Mother and her’s bond survive? Will her son ever enjoy soccer?

I found this book truly intriguing an addicting. It’s hard to tell which way this book is going to go right off the bat, which is why I truly enjoyed it. There’s so many secrets hidden and discussed, slowly being revealed as each chapter rolls on. Eleanor’s entire life seems to be falling at the seams, and yet she keeps her cool and manages herself through all of it. Not only was this book about discovering the past, it was also about taking control of your present and future! Eleanor has to manage taking care of her Mother while trying to be a wife and a Mother. Not all of her life is sunshine and roses: her relationship with her Mother is strained, her cousin seems to have a better relationship with Rose, her marriage isn’t in tip top shape, her son isn’t interested in sports, and there may be a man flirting with her! There’s so much going on for Eleanor and yet she handles it all like a pro (with some stumbles, but we all stumble once and a while).

Fran crafted this story wonderfully. I think enough information is released piece by piece, but it also moves at a fast enough pace to keep the reader interested. It’s full of contemporary drama and insights into the past (specifically World War ll).

I can truly respect this book. I found it super engaging and I definitely want more. I could analyze this book while also drifting off into another world that reflects my own.

I can’t find any real negatives about this book, if I’m being honest. I never studied much history or took a giant interest in it, so I felt like I didn’t connect with the history as much as my history buff friends could have. People who enjoy history might like the little splash of Poland that is thrown in.

Overall, I’d highly suggest this book. I think Fran has crafted one of the best books of 2020 and I will be singing it’s praises for years.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Fran Hawthorne, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
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Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Kobo

You can find out more about the author, Fran Hawthorne, on:
Goodreads
http://www.hawthornewriter.com/
Twitter – @hawthornewriter

 

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#BookReview Project Team Leadership and Communication by Samuel Malachowsky, PMP

Samuel Malachowsky has crafted an intelligent textbook packed full of management and leadership advice.

This excellent collection of ideas is the ultimate learning tool. Not only is there lots of information available in written form, but there is also supplemental learning tools within the book – questions, quizzes, definitions. There is also a curriculum available to provide education professionals an option for their courses.

I like the mix of Project Management, Team and Group Dynamics and Leadership styles, among other learning objectives taught within the book. I found that the books was made under the “keep it simple, stupid” principle – all of it was easy to read, follow and understand. If my university textbooks were like this, learning might be easier! Tiny case studies can also be found within the book to assist with these learning opportunities.

By no means is this a comprehensive learning tool. This book appears to be designed for an introduction into management techniques. Further reading will be done to grasp the more complex subjects, but I think Samuel did an excellent job introducing learners and readers to the basic concepts. I also am impressed with the logical order and how Samuel was able to make some of these difficult topics seem easy. In addition, this book focuses on some great best practices available currently in the industry.

To address the supplemental learning tools as someone who has a fondness for learning and has educated others in the past:
1. The learning objectives and questions supplemented each other really well. I like books that have questions that directly tie back to what is being learned. A+ for effort!
2. There are chapter slides available which I found very useful in an educational setting. I think those could be utilized well.
3. The chapter activities were super useful and well thought out. I think they’d be great for assignments and group dynamic opportunities.
4. The curriculum and mini-modules round up the extra material quite nicely.

Overall, I think this is a great learning tool and should be utilized by students, educators and business professionals who are looking to expand their knowledge on team leadership.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Samuel Malachowsky, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com
Barnes & Noble
Indigo

Find out more about Samuel Malachowsky on:
Goodreads
Lintwood

 

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#BookReview The Underground Toy Society Helps Ellie the Elephant

The Underground Toy Society series continues with a marvelous addition!

This time around, those pesky kids left Ellie the Elephant behind! But no worries faithful audience, the Underground Toy Society is going to come to the rescue!

My positives:
1. I love the opening picture of the book with two girls holding their stuffed animals and reading. It’s utterly adorable and gives you a great feel for what this book is going to be: heartwarming.
2. The squirrel drawing. That’s all. The squirrel itself is a positive. I think Chippy’s cute.
3. This children’s book is a little longer. It has paragraphs and a full story instead of the typical simple sentences with rhyming schemes.

My negatives:
1. As with the other books by Jessica, the aesthetic of children’s drawings may not please all readers. It is by no means a negative for me, but I can see some readers not enjoying it.
2. How did the mole get a bow and a skirt? Did someone leave them behind and Mindy decided to wear them? I need to know. This is crucial. It is not explained anywhere in the book!
3. This book didn’t have as much of a theme as the original did, but it’s still a marvelous little story.

Overall, this is a cute book and I’d highly recommend picking it up! If you’re looking for something different for your kids, then grab this unique book! The pictures are drawn by Jessica’s kid, she’s a self-published, indie author and it’s just a magical little series!

Four out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Jessica D. Adams, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check this book out on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

 

Check out Jessica on:
http://onesweetday48.wix.com/undergroundtoysociet
Twitter – @onesweetday48
Facebook
YouTube

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#BookReview Mighty Coconuts (Miss Tree Tales #1) by Deepa Remesh

Miss Tree Tales by Deepa Remesh is a wonderful series that is an absolute must read!

Book #1: Mighty Coconuts is a cute, little gem that should be actively sought out by avid readers. This middle grade novel is short but sweet, and delivering all the right messages.

Mia and Nik live in Texas, and boy is it hot! The nine and seven year olds are full of whimsy and adventure. When a storm seems to blow through, a woman appears and begins to teach the children wonderful facts about the local nature (think droughts, growth and greenhouse gases). These intelligent kids can keep up with Miss Tree with ease, and they learn a lot in the process. Miss Tree offers them a gig to help save the planet! Seedcopters, seed apps and lots of fun happen among the pages of this book – all of which is knowledgeable yet packed with fun! If you’re looking for a Green Thumb, this book is just for you!

The illustrations were cute and felt like they fit right into the story. I had an e-copy of the book, but I’m assuming the physical copies would look so much nicer. The quality of the pictures tend to rely on your device these days.

The best part of this book was the “Seeds for Thought” sections at the end of the chapters. These little blurbs provide useful and information and links for curious students to follow. One excellent quote from this book is, “Protect, Sustain, Conserve”, which perfectly sums up the goal of this read.

I know, personally, if I would have had books like this about biology back in my school days then I would have liked biology a lot more. I found the teachers were always bored with these topics and made it impossible for any of us students to learn. Deepa Remesh’s book makes me actually enjoy learning about biology. I’m sure many students and kids would appreciate help from educational books like this one. To top it off, it’s also just a good book in general!

I would recommend kids seven to thirteen read this book. Thirteen might be a little high, but I could see them reading this to their reading buddies. I’d even recommend this book for educational purposes within schools. It’s a different take on biology and conservation that I think would be a great asset and tool!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Deepa Remesh, in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.ca
Amazon.com

Find more information about Miss Tree Tales:
http://www.misstreetales.com/
Goodreads
Twitter – @misstreetales

If you liked this review, here’s some other books you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Underground Toy Society by Jessica D. Adams
#BookReview The Water War by Kevin Miller
#BookReview Monster Blood (Goosebumps) by R.L. Stine

 

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