#BookReview Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam

Carrying Albert Home by Homer Hickam is a seriously funny book that will take you on one wild adventure.

Books like these are always my favourites – they tell fun and inviting stories and welcome you into someone else’s world. I also identify as an ‘old soul’ so I get a real kick out of reading books about the past. This book, Carrying Albert Home, is about Homer’s parents taking a pet alligator back to Florida. Yes, you read that right, they are transporting an alligator. Along the way they get themselves in lots of trouble and difficult situations, all of which are hilarious!

This book did feel like it would fit into the niche market. It’s a fictional comedy based on true stories that weren’t exactly true… It’s so weird, but lovely. If you’re looking for a book that’s out of the ordinary, I think this book would be one excellent fit!

To be honest though… this book isn’t my type of novel. I did enjoy reading it as a change from my normal selection, but it just didn’t hit me as well as I wanted it to. The book is long and at times feels like too much. I had to put it down and pick it up a few times to really get through the story. It’s not boring and it’s written in a beautiful manner, it’s just not made for me as a reader. There will be readers out there who are dying to read this book, but it just isn’t my style. My rating for this book reflects the fact that it wasn’t a book for me. In reality, I think this book is a solid 4.0 for the average reader, but based on my rating score it’s a 2.

Overall, if I had to describe this book in a series of words they would be: quirky, spontaneous, eccentric, outlandish and zany.

2.0 out of 5.0 stars – it’s just not my type of book, but it is absolutely lovely and I highly recommend it.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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If you enjoyed this book, check out another book or review you might enjoy!
#BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller
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#BookReview A Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon

The Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon is one of the loveliest books I’ve read this year.

Family drama, generations of Irish men & ladies, comedy, tragedy and character growth. What more could a girl ask for in novel? Not much else!!

I was truly surprised by how amazing this book was, considering it has so few reviews. It’s by far one of my favourite reads and it will sit high atop my shelves. Kathleen MacMahon has a beautiful sense of writing style and her prose is just magnificent. I can’t get enough of this book and I want more by her.

This story follows the MacEntees – an Irish family with four generations of men and women trying to deal with a long, hot summer. Deidre and Manus were once married, but Manus is now with his male lover and at Deidre is grasping with the fact that she is now “old” and in her 80s. Alma, Acushla and MacDara are their children and they all have to grasp with their own choices too. Alma and Acushla married twin brothers, and somehow their lives are echoing each other. The girls’ children, Constance and Nora, are also dealing with their own lives choices. The entire book follows these characters one by one and lets us into a world of family drama, insanity and growth.

I would have loved to read a book like this in high school, when you have the opportunity to pick apart lines and themes within the story. I loved seeing how each character interacted and how life didn’t end up the way they quite expected it. Lots of humors is thrown in with the tragedy, family drama is addressed in a very real way, and this book shows just how tough life can be (yet also how fruitful and silly we can make it). In summary, it’s all about perspective.

Kathleen does a great job showing the differences between the generations and how they interact with one another. The conflict felt so real and the book felt like it could have been a non-fiction retelling (but it’s not!). I really want to read more by Kathleen because she has a real knack for story telling. I was so attached to these characters and I was furious that this book had to end (and in the way that it did! I cried! I never cry at books!).

I HIGHLY recommend this book if you love fictional dramas, stories set in Ireland, and books about being a family.

Five out of five stars! I would give it more if I could.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out another book (or review!) that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Someone You Love Is Gone by Gurjinder Basran
To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year Lunch by Diane Keyes- BOOK REVIEW
Quick Book Review: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Quick Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

 

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#BookReview The Pharaoh’s Builderb y Heather Perrywinkle Smith

 

 

The Pharoah’s Builder was an interesting read to say the least.

I thought this book had a lot of potential – Pharaohs, magic, Egyptian lore – all of those can make a super interesting story! Think The Mummy vibes! Unfortunately, this book just didn’t hit all the notes I wanted it too. And I don’t think the second book ever came out? I’ve been looking for it but I just haven’t been able to locate it.

My first big issue with this book was that 5 year old Milla (daughter to the Pharaoh) talks more intelligently than every adult I’ve ever met. She has class that no child I’ve ever met has (and I work with a LOT of kids). That tore me right out of the story. Sure, maybe it was a different time and kids acted like mini-adults, but it was just so hard to sink into this story when I pictured the many five year olds I’ve met.

The book itself ended on a cliffhanger, while I’d rather it have ended as a closed story that could have been continued. There were so many loose ends that had just been introduced only to be ditched. Bilal’s love affair with Lilli didn’t go further, the Pharaoh’s wife’s plans didn’t go into fruition, and the magic introduced into the story was only briefly touched upon. It reminds me of movies that are ready to start a franchise but forget that they are telling a story within the movie itself.

I seriously loved Heather Perrywinkle Smith’s writing and I wanted to see this story do well. I love Egyptian lore and the book sounded SO FREAKING COOL. I see so much potential with this story and with Heather’s amazing writing, I can only imagine how great it’ll get! Hopefully she writes the next book (or I’m able to find it!) and it continues this really interesting story.

My low score is because of two reasons: Milla speaking in a more mature manner than the adults of the story and the loose ends. This book would be a four out of five if it was a little more realistic but I just couldn’t get past those points.

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:

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Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

 

Check out some other books or reviews you may enjoy:

#BookReview The Stickman’s Legacy by Benjamin Appleby-Dean

#BookReview Sons of York by Lesley J Nickell

#BookReview The Black Mzungu by Alexandria Kathleen Osborne

 

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#BookReview The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

The Handmaid’s Tale is a book that I have been debating over since high school. Everyone I know from high school absolutely HATED this book (with a ridiculously strong passion) yet I had this feeling that I should read it anyways. After watching the 2017 television adaptation and LOVING it, I decided it was probably best to just bite the bullet and pick up this book. Of course, I had to remember to buy it to be able to read it and that took some time.

So, during this wonderous break from school and work I decided to indulge myself a little and pick up a book I REALLY wanted to read. Luckily, this book was within sight and reaching distance so I devoured it in under two hours. I binged this book SO HARD and it was SO WORTH IT.

If you’ve watched the television show, you know the basis. The show expands a lot more on the content (and changes some) but you’ve got the jist of the story. Offred is a Handmaid to the Commander and Serena Joy. Her “goal” is to get pregnant and give them a baby, and that isn’t going to well. So she hatches a plan with Serena Joy to be able to have a baby to get out! But… nothing ever goes to plan, and chaos ensues. That is the non-spoiler synopsis.

This book feels all too real even all these years later. It faces political, environmental and religious tones in such an amazing way that it really blew my mind. Margaret Atwood’s writing just adds to this story and gives it way more depth than I ever expected. Every little twist and turn makes me question who you can trust, if Offred is a reliable narrator (at times) and if this world can ever change. Unfortunately, you don’t find that last point out in this novel. The book ends rather abruptly and leaves me feeling cheated. I want to know what happens OH SO BAD. That’s the only reason I enjoy the television show just a little bit more – it expands a lot on the narrative and we will most likely get some kind of ending (eventually… it’s only at two seasons currently at the time I write this review).

You could definitely tear this book apart for “plot holes” – like… how did society crumble so fast? How could these women not over power some of these leaders? How did people let this happen? There’s so many questions that I want answered, but I don’t think that’s the purpose of this book. It felt like a warning tale, like 1984 by George Orwell or any of the Shakespeare tales. It’s a different take on society as a whole and is criticizing it in some way (and it’s also just really good fiction, let’s be honest).

My biggest flaw is how short this book is – I want more and I want to understand more. This world is just way too good, complex and big to not explore! I hear there’s another book coming out soon (oh please give us a sequel I want mooooore) but we’ll just have to wait and see.

Overall, this is a book that makes you think. I love books like that because I can sink into my chair (or couch… or bed…) and just let myself fall into the story. I escape this world and all of my worries and just take in this whole new world. I think Margaret Atwood is a seriously good author with ridiculous amounts of talent and I will for sure be looking for more books by her. Books like this make me SO happy that I love to read and have the time and ability too. Books like this make reading an absolutely breath taking hobby!

Seriously, if you love dystopian fiction, books that you can theorize and form conspiracies over or books that you probably would have read back in your high school English class- PICK THIS BOOK UP!

Five out of five stars.

 

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If you enjoyed this review (or book!) check out another you might enjoy: #BookReview Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

#BookReview I Am Radar by Reif Larsen

I am Radar by Reif Larsen is a character study of a black man born to white parents.

This book was very slow and hard for me to read, I have to be upfront about that. The book is written beautifully and Reif Larsen is a terrific writer, but I just couldn’t get into this book. It took me months to get through because it’s so packed full of narrative. It is packed full of science, relationship drama, history and major character conflicts and soul searching.

I wish I would have loved this book more, because I am amazed at Reif’s writing style. I fell in love with these characters, but then the story would switch up and go somewhere else. I just got devoted to Radar and his parents and then the story switched around and took me somewhere I didn’t want to go. I wanted to watch Radar’s life tumble in front of my eyes, but I didn’t get that. Honestly though, Radar and his parents were my favourite part of this story. Watching them grow and react to life was a real gem. I wanted way more of that, because I absolutely loved them.

If you like books that follow the entire story of a person, including their backstory and their family’s story – you’ll love this book. It truly is a cool character study. Following Radar is the main purpose of this book, but we learn so much more about other characters as well. It’s a fictional drama story that is written beautifully. That’s where it stands with me. It also includes great illustrations and historic notes making it feel more non-fiction than fiction at times. Oh, and did I mention lots and lots of science and radio waves?

I would definitely suggest this as a book for an English class. I’d love to see someone pick it apart and explain it to me. I was just not invested enough to re-read sections and to go back and understand a lot of the book. It’s not a book to just sit down and binge – it’s too full of knowledge and information. You have to be willing to go back and understand everything that’s happening to really get it. So, it’s just not for me at this point in time.

Overall, the over 600 pages were not my cup of tea. I think Reif is a wonderful writer and I hope he finds his readers! He’s too talented, I don’t want it to go to waste! Pick up this book if you love a good drama full of science and knowledge. I’m honored to have read this book, because it is really cool. I’m just not his ideal reader.

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Goodreads

 

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#BookReview Gene. Sys. by Aaron Denius Garcia

#BookReview – The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by EXO Books

Quick Book Review: Escape Vector and Other Stories by Bryan Young

 

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#BookReview The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis

The Magician’s Nephew was an interesting read that didn’t grab my attention well.

I wanted to read this book because I am really interested in older stories. The Chronicles of Narnia was introduced to me through the films and ever since I have been dying to pick up these books. So, I decided to start in “reading” order (at least, that’s what my book said). This book is the prequel novel, but it barely grabbed my attention to pull me into the series.

I think this book would be an excellent read to anyone’s child. Someone with a lot of imagination, who is also reading out loud, might be able to make this story sound far more intriguing than how it sounded in my head. If it weren’t for the history behind this book, I probably would have put it down. The story is cool, and the writing style is obviously dated, but it just didn’t grab me like I hoped it would.

The book seems to be more of a children’s fiction novel – it’s full of wickedly evil characters that don’t have much personality (other than being evil), the main characters are young and pure of heart, and Aslan is just introduced and barely used in the story.

There are obvious themes in the story – the daughter of Eve, the son of Adam – but I feel like it goes over the reader’s heads (at least, it did for me the first time through). I would have rather read this as an English project with a teacher walking me through all the satirical aspects and amazing references that C.S. Lewis introduced into this story.

Overall, this book is truly memorizing but I wasn’t as impressed at it as I wanted.

Two out of five stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Lost Treasure of Loma Grande by Richard Clark

 

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#BookReview My Little Pet Dragon by Scott Gordon

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My Little Pet Dragon is a unique children’s read full of fantastical fun!

I really liked the cover page with the CD art of the dragon on a skateboard. To me, that really stood out compared to other children’s books I’ve seen around recently. The entire book is continues to pack each page full of the awesome 3D art that’s on the cover.

Each page has just a few words on it and a 3D picture that matches the plot that’s carrying on.

I’d say the general age group for this book would be between 2 to 9 years old. The story is rather simplistic, but is extremely cute.

At the end of my copy, which was an eBook I found via BookBub, it has a story about how Scott got into writing. While I thought it was a touching story to include, I felt that it didn’t need to be in a children’s novel that a child might read themselves on a parent’s tablet or phone. As an adult I loved reading it, but it felt out of place (in my humble opinion). It is a motivational and inspirational set of words though!

The version I was reading also included lots of sneak peaks at his other books! While it does a great job advertising these books, it didn’t feel right sitting in a book that a child could be reading. You’re introducing them to a couple chapters and then they can’t necessarily finish it. As someone who has studied marketing, I understand the need to market and advertise your books, but it just didn’t mesh well with the way this book was set up. Maybe put sneak peaks as links at the end or on your website? Not in the book that ends up taking WAY more pages than the story itself.

The final bit (I promise!)… It asks to support the author on Patreon. Again, I totally understand the need to support artists and writers, but it felt out of place.

Overall, this book was really cute and I’d love to read more by Scott Gordon! I think he has lots of potential and he appears to have quite the catelogue!!

Four out of five stars!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about the author, Scott Gordon, on:

Goodreads – Scott Gordon

Scott Gordon’s Blog

 

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And if you enjoyed this book, why not check out another you might enjoy? Collection 1: #TopTens – Children’s Fiction Part 1