#BookReview A Dog of My Own by Richard Clark

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Richard Clark has made yet another super cute novel!

This time around Jonas wants a dog, and by luck and chance he gets one! I thought the idea behind this story was super unique and I had never thought much about renting a dog before. It was a silly topic that I would have loved to read as a kid.

The book was an easy enough read, and would definitely be a perfect fit for any middle grade reader (or a story to read to younger kids). Who doesn’t want to rent a dog who’s super famous? I also think the adventures and shenanigans that Jonas goes on is epic and the perfect plot for this book!

The pacing of this book was awesome and it felt like the perfect length. I couldn’t see any real cons other than I want more from this author and soon! His characters are believable and lovable, and his stories are truly unique. I don’t know how Richard gets inside the head of a kid, but he manages to make it extremely realistic. It almost feels like a kid is behind this book (with the expertise of a great writer and awesome editor). Jonas is perfectly flawed (like any kid) and full of creativity and fun!

Even the ending was super cute and sweet! I kind of wish there were more adventures for Jonas, Chloe and Rascal on the way!

Five out of five stars! What a treasure!

 

Find out more about this book on:

Goodreads – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.com – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.ca – A Dog of My Own

 

Find out more about another book by Richard Clark, 8th Grade Fugitive on:

Goodreads – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.com – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.ca – 8th Grade Fugitive

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

 

Check out another amazing book by Richard Clark My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent:

Goodreads – Secret Agent

Amazon.com – Secret Agent

Amazon.ca – Secret Agent

 

If you enjoyed the review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Schmuck the Buck: Santa’s Jewish Reindeer by EXO Books

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Schmuck the Buck is yet another hit by EXO Books!

Recently, I’ve been on a picture books/children’s books binge so of course I would be interested in another goofy, picture book full of Christmas mischief!

This book felt like my inner sarcastic child’s dream of a Christmas story. Forget the main reindeer team! Those losers aren’t as school as Santa’s Jewish reindeer, Schmuck the Buck! His real name is Larry, but we call him Schmuck. Because, let’s be honest, those nasty reindeer who called Rudolph names picked on everybody else too!

This poor reindeer is the biggest nerd in his high school, but that doesn’t bring him down! He got a degree in Accounting and even went to Yale! This is the type of awesome I strive to be!

The humor was down right hilarious. I was almost laughing out loud from the silly jokes and gags that littered this book. Texting the parents about batteries? That is the kind of hilarity only the goofiest kids would think of!

I felt like this story was the perfect way to show kids that you don’t have to be the popular “Rudolph” character. You can be super cool and get your own starring role as a normal kid with different interests!

It is a little “longer” – there are small paragraphs instead of just one word on each page. I think it was the perfect way to tell this story though! It’s a real winner! I would love to see this book alongside all of the Rudolph merchandise in my local book stores.

I’m not sure where to rate this book. It is satirical and ironic, but it also was pretty G rated. I think some older kids would find this absolutely hilarious, while younger ones could just enjoy the pictures. I’d maybe suggest reading this to children aged ten and up, because they would probably get some of this humor. But, it’s definitely something adults would love to read!

Overall, I loved this cheesey, funny and lovable story! It’s definitely worth the read! I mean, who wouldn’t love a book with an HR reindeer named Shirley? That just seals the deal.’

Five out of five stars!

P.S. Shout out to Karina Shor the illustrator! I absolutely loved the pictures. They were classic and elegant yet childish and fun!

I received a free copy of this book from EXO Books in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles

 

Want to check out another book review of an EXO Book’s book? Then check out my review of The Last Day of Captain Lincoln! #BookReview – The Last Day of Captain Lincoln by EXO Books

What else do you want to see on my blog? Let me know in the comments below, tweet me at @ReviewAlholic or tell me on Facebook!

#BookReview The Lost Treasure of Loma Grande by Richard Clark

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This crazy adventure is another epic story by Richard Clark!

Half of this story is the actual adventure, while the other half is a journal. Having this dual point of view is a change from Richard’s typical story telling, but I found it worked perfectly within the story. Following Rudy and the wild shenanigans he goes on fit really well bouncing back and forth. All three of the boys in this story are hilarious and fun to follow along this epic journey. It almost felt like a cartoon I’d watch on the weekends when I was off from school as a kid! This is super high quality writing!

The action in this story continues at an excellent pace that keeps the audience engaged. I feel that this book is perfect for the middle grade audience! Although, I might not use this as a bedtime story. It’s so action packed that it seems like the perfect, middle of the day read to get everybody wanting to run and jump around! There’s also some truly incredible suspense (for a middle grade novel!) that really enhanced the story overall. I didn’t expect that from Richard Clark!

Some of the chapters are very short, yet they felt just long enough. The book is a light, soft read despite the exciting action among the pages. I would definitely recommend picking up this book if you’re looking for an Indiana Jones type read for your children! The comedy, action and adventure will really catch your young readers!

Four out of five stars!

 

Check out this book, The Lost Treasure of Loma Grande, on:

Goodreads – Loma Grande

Amazon.com – Loma Grande

Amazon.ca – Loma Grande

 

 

Find out about Richard Clark’s book HughTube, on:

Goodreads – Hugh Tube

Amazon.com – HughTube

Amazon.ca – HughTube

 

Check out another book by Richard Clark, The F.L.U.B Club on:

Goodreads – The FLUB Club

Amazon.com – The F.L.U.B. Club

Amazon.ca – The F.L.U.B. Club

 

Find out more about Pandora’s Lunch Box: Don’t Open by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – Pandora

Amazon.com – Pandora

Amazon.ca – Pandora

 

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

 

Check out another amazing book by Richard Clark My Best Friend Is a Secret Agent:

Goodreads – Secret Agent

Amazon.com – Secret Agent

Amazon.ca – Secret Agent

 

Find out more about another book by Richard Clark, 8th Grade Fugitive on:

Goodreads – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.com – 8th Grade Fugitive

Amazon.ca – 8th Grade Fugitive

 

Find out more about A Dog of My Own by Richard Clark on:

Goodreads – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.com – A Dog of My Own

Amazon.ca – A Dog of My Own

 

Check out the cover artist of The Lost Treasure of Loma Grande, Cliff Behum, on http://www.cliff.biz

If you enjoyed the review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#GuestPost Kelley Kaye Bowles Takes Over the Bloggity!

Today, on my blog, I welcome the fantabulous (yes, that’s a word) Kelley Kay Bowles/Kelley Kaye. We stumbled across each other, and I fell in love with her books! This amazing author has a cozy murder mystery series as well as one amazing YA novel that truly opened my eyes. When the opportunity came up for Kelley to spread the word about her novel, Down in the Belly of the Whale, I jumped at the chance! She had a really cool audiobook and was willing to share her experiences about making it. So, now is her time to shine! Here is Kelley’s guest post on my blog about her audiobook for Down in The Belly of the Whale.

Once again, thank you Kelley for taking the time to come join the bloggity!

Stay tuned…if you’re visiting on October 10th, 2018 then there is a free book in store for you….

 

When I was three years old, my grandma gave me a book. I don’t remember the title of the book, because I’m old now, but I’ve been assured it was a complex enough book – not a dick and Jane see Spot run, but an actual story.

So apparently what I did was rush up to my mother and say oh mommy will you read this to me?? To which she replied why don’t you read it to me?

So I did.

I guess it took a long time to convince my family that no one had read it to me before, that I just knew how to read, but there you have it. The birth of a story-loving, story-reading, storytelling monster.

Fast-forward to 2017. Insert 20 years of reading aloud to students in the interim, and plop me into a mix which includes a local publisher who is willing to take risks on an unknown. Then stir in a high voice which could pass for 15 (as long as you can’t see my wrinkles) a fancy microphone, a laptop, a chair, and a closet, and Voila! You have an audiobook!

The genesis of the Down in the Belly of the Whale audiobook actually has its own cool story. There’s an intense scene in the book involving a pretext call. You know the one I’m talking about! So during the editing process for the Belly manuscript, I’d just finished a rewrite which I felt really made the scene. . . pop. It actually made me cry, made my heart beat faster, basically affected me emotionally. Which was exactly what I wanted, ya know? So I called the publisher and read the scene over the phone.

She FLIPPED out, loved the reading so much, said, “You have to do the audiobook!” And I said,”YES!”

Ideally you go to a studio to produce a quality audiobook. But, ideally you have a budget with which to do that sort of thing—which I really did not. So we did the next best thing: punt. The publisher found me a high-quality microphone, and I’m one of those people who never gives clothes away (“Bellbottoms will come around again…it’s a cyclical thing!”) and therefore have a closet that’s chock full of sound suppression!

So every day, after the landscapers at my condo complex put their leaf blowers and lawn mowers away, I’d plug the microphone into my laptop and get into my closet. I’d close the door and sit down, do some deep breaths and tongue twisting exercises, and then launch into a chapter.

Each chapter got uploaded to my computer and sent to the publisher. After the first draft, we got into re-records, in some chapters where the voices weren’t consistent, or maybe with volume or pacing issues. I had to completely re-record the last eight chapters because of a mysterious, unidentifiable thump.

Anyway, the entire process took about six months. It was extremely draining. And interesting. And fascinating.
And FUN!

Check out the sample: https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B07FMCKD67/

So if you have a commute, or some housekeeping to do, or you’d just rather listen to stories sometimes, here’s an opportunity! Audiobooks are always less expensive when purchased with the actual, written word version. So today, on World Mental Health Day, “buy” Down in the Belly of the Whale for free on Amazon, and have some audio story time with me for only $7.49! Yay, BOOKS!

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon.ca – eBook
Amazon.ca – Audiobook

Amazon.com – eBook
Amazon.com – Audiobook

Barnes & Nobles – eBook
Barnes & Nobles – Paperback

Chapters/Indigo/Coles – Paperback

 

Find out more about Kelley Kaye on:
http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/
Twitter – @kelkay1202

 

Check out Briar’s Reviews on:
Goodreads – Down in the Belly of the Whale review
Twitter – @ReviewAlholic
Facebook – @BriarsReviews
#BookPlaylist Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles

 

If you enjoyed this book, check out my Top Ten list of other books you may enjoy (which this book is on!!!). Collection 2: #TopTens – Young Adult Part 1

#BookReview Poison by Punctuation by Kelley Kaye

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This sequel is another thrilling yet cozy mystery that is set in the halls of a high school!

We continue on in this book with Emma and Leslie in yet another pickle. This time around, a student was murdered! The suspense is excellent in this story – I felt myself being pulled in even farther into the story as each page went by. It really hooks the reader and makes them feel committed! Throw in some A grade comedy, fantastic character development and lots of education allusions and you’ve got one epic book!

These two sleuths are basically the adult versions of Nancy Drew! The wittiness and cuteness of this book makes it the perfect relaxation novel. I also found it to be the perfect binging novel (although you could easily put this book down and jump back into it). It’s also a G to PG rated book – there’s nothing graphic or overly worrisome. Teens and adults alike will easily be able to read and enjoy this book!

It was a real delight seeing Emma and Leslie and their fantastic chemistry together again! The two of them make the perfect best friends for a fun, cozy story! I can almost feel them radiating their positivity off the pages! And on top of that, they are hilarious! I also have a strong love for the secondary characters as well! The other teachers are all interesting and truly characters.

Hunter was a real breakout character for me. I loved seeing more of him in this novel and I hope in any future books he’s hanging around more!

I loved all the quotations between the chapters – that’s one major part of this series that raises it above all the others! The Shakespeare quotes always get me! I love it!

My final comment – I loved that adoption became a big part of this book. The awareness of adoption, while out there, isn’t spoken about enough (in my honest opinion). Thank you Kelley for expanding the conversation!

Kelley Kaye is the Queen of cozy, comedic mysteries! I will definitely be looking for more books by her and I highly recommend picking up this must read novel!

Four out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this novel from the author Kelley Kaye in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Poison by Punctuation

Youtube – Book Trailer – Poison by Punctuation

Amazon.com – Poison by Punctuation

Amazon.ca – Poison by Punctuation

 

Check out the first book in this series, Death by Diploma, on:

Goodreads – Death by Diploma

Youtube – Book Trailer – Death by Diploma

Amazon.com – Death by Diploma

Amazon.ca – Death by Diploma

Find out more about Kelley Kaye on:

Goodreads – Kelley Kaye or Goodreads – Kelley Kaye #2

YouTube – Kelley Kaye

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Twitter – @KelKay1202

Facebook – Kelley Kaye

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview My Best Friend is a Secret Agent by Richard Clark

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This book is serious fun! It’s silly, zanely and full of hilarity!

The pictures in the book are incredibly amusing, and go along perfectly with the story! The story is a little out of this world (a kid designing a microchip that goes on your tooth and make you a secret agent?!) but that’s why it’s so good! This is the type of creativity and imagination I needed in my childhood books! I’ve been waiting for this kind of awesome for years!

I’d say this book is a mix of secret agents, superheroes and comedy! Our lead is kind of the Q or Alfred to his best friend who’s the Batman or James Bond (less broody, of course). There’s also the cute love interest, the mean bully, and other school tropes you’d expect. It’s not as intense as those adaptions of spies (obviously), but it felt like the kid friendly version – with lots more silly commentary and goofy plot lines.

This book could easily be read to your child (maybe 6 years and up? Do 3 year olds know what secret agents are?…) or used as a middle grade book. It doesn’t seem to have some moral theme behind it, it’s most just for fun!

I could easily see this being the next kid’s television show with it’s awesome plot. It almost felt like the book adaption of a movie.

The worst part of this book was the cliffhanger! Now I have to get the rest of the books to know how it ended!!

Overall, this book is awesome! I’d definitely recommend this book as a fun read! It’ll have you giggling at every page!

Four out of five stars!

I found this book on Bookbub!

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Check out the author Richard Clark on:

Twitter – @RClarkBTD

www.mybestfriendsecretagent.com

Facebook

Find out more about the illustrator on:

Facebook

www.richtoons.com

Youtube – RichToonsTV

Twitter – @richtoonstv

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy! #BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

 

Photo from Goodreads.

Collection 2: #TopTens – Young Adult Part 1

This time around in my collection of top books I am tackling the Young Adult genre! Young Adult has always been a guilty pleasure of mine and I love to dive deep into this genre whenever possible. Listed below are ten YA books I would highly recommend you pick up, depending on your interests! I’ve tried to include a wide variety of topics and genres within. Stay tuned for part two, because one can never have too many YA novels.

 

1. Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

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The Arcana Chronicles by Kresley Cole is one of my favourite fantasy novels in the YA genre. I am still currently working my way through the series, but I wanted to include the first book (at the very least) on my top ten list! This is a dystopian novel focused around tarot cards. There’s drama, romance and typical YA insanity within this dystopia. I really love the dark and twisted universe Kresley has created!

Amazon.com – Poison Princess

Amazon.ca – Poison Princess

Briar’s Reviews Book Review Poison Princess by Kresley Cole

 

2. Eighth Grade Bites by Zac Brewer

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The Vladimir Tod Chronicles was one of my faves over a decade ago (it’s hard to believe it has been that long…). Back in the day when vampires were hip and cool, Vladimir Tod was rocking the YA world without glitter! Zac Brewer made a fantastic world that felt real with drama, a splash of romance, a teenage vampire trying to find his way in the world and lots of vampire politics. This book is perfect for those 12-15 year olds looking to get into the genre, or anyone who loves an epic tale! I still love these books to this day!

Amazon.com – Eighth Grade Bites

Amazon.ca – Eighth Grade Bites

Young Adult July Reads Book Review: Eighth Grade Bites by Zac Brewer

 

3. Splintered by A.G. Howard

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Splintered is an epic retelling of Alice in Wonderland! Alyssa seems to be crazy, but there’s something more to her story… This rich series is full of drama, romance and fantasy! This series is finished now, so if you want to binge it go ahead! This is easily one of the best retellings of Alice in Wonderland around (I do have another fantastic one lower on the list though…).

Amazon.com – Splintered

Amazon.ca – Splintered

Briar’s Reviews – Splintered Review

 

4. The Stars Never Rise by Rachel Vincent

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This paranormal dystopia created by Rachel Vincent is a stand out novel that blew me away! I was lucky enough to receive an early copy of this book and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel! Demons, exorcists and overall wild insanity is packed tight in this book. I have yet to find a book that compares to this unique thrill ride!

Amazon.com – The Stars Never Rise

Amazon.ca – The Stars Never Rise

Briar’s Reviews – The Stars Never Rise Review

 

5. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter

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Yet another retelling of Alice in Wonderland, but this one features zombies! I loved this retelling more than I can say on this page! The unique concept created by Gena in this book takes the reader on a wild ride. This dystopia follows Ali and her friends on a wild adventure against zombies. Throw in a super hot guy named Cole that will set you on fire, an action-packed plot and some epic side characters and you’ve got yourself a real winner!

Amazon.com – Alice in Zombieland

Amazon.ca – Alice in Zombieland

6. Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade

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Years ago, I admired this book afar in every book store I passed! I saved up all of my money and finally got my hands on this super cute, extra cheesey romance novel! The preppy girl is a ghost and the goth is a human, and the two of them fall madly in love! This series is a wild, fantastical ride that I still pick up as a guilty pleasure. This book feels more romance than paranormal, but it still has it’s paranormal aspects within it. If possible, pick up this whole series! It ties up quite nicely, if I do say so myself!

Amazon.com – Ghost and the Goth

Amazon.ca – Ghost and the Goth

7. Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

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This is another “classic” from my YA collection that I still pick up to this day! When I have a rough day and I want a cute novel to relax with, this book is it! This series is super sweet and definitely packs on the romance. It is also another vampire book I threw on this list, but the romance is where it hits you. There are two books in this series, and both will have you ready for some tissues, chocolate and everything else girly! I still think Lucius (our male lead) is one of the hottest YA leading males!

Amazon.com – Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

Amazon.ca – Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side

#BookReview Jessica Rules the Dark Side by Beth Fantaskey

 

8. Almost to Die For by Tate Hallaway

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This vampire romance was another hit in my books! I read this book alongside Jessica’s Guide to Dating on the Dark Side, and fell madly in love with Tate Hallaway! Unfortunately, this series didn’t continue after the second book and I am still upset about it. This YA novel features vampires, witches, fantasy and romance for every Twilight fan who wanted just a little bit more than the glittery yet famous vampires. This book still tops my YA list and I’ll pick it up on a rough day when I want a fun read!

Amazon.com – Almost to Die For

Amazon.ca – Almost to Die For

 

9. Pin Drop by Roz Monette

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Pin Drop is the most unique book on this list. It tops my YA reads since it is not your typical Young Adult novel by any definition. It touches on tough topics and social issues that some YA books run far away from. Mo is sarcastic and is easily relatable for most teenagers since her life is not perfect. If you’re looking for a YA novel that isn’t solely focused on dystopias, fantasy or romance than this book is for you! I’d highly recommend it, it’s fabulous!

Amazon.com – Pin Drop

Amazon.ca – Pin Drop

Briar’s Reviews: Pin Drop by Roz Monette Review

 

10. Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kaye Bowles

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I saved the best for last on this list! Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kaye Bowles is one of my recent favourites! This book also tackles some dark subject matter, which may not be suitable for all YA audiences. Self harm, destructive families, family illnesses are just some of the tougher subjects in this book on top of the typical high school problems. This book might be fiction, but it felt oh so real! This is the book I needed to read in high school to realize life isn’t always picture perfect. While this book tackles darker topics, it does it in a lovely way that opens your eyes to the realistic coming of age most teenagers are facing but in a YA territory. I’d highly recommend this book and I’d consider it one of the most important books to read on this list!

Amazon.com – Down in the Belly of the Whale

Amazon.ca – Down in the Belly of the Whale

Briar’s Reviews: Down in the Belly of the Whale Review

 

And that’s it for round one of my YA top tens! I have way more top tens to come, including Part 2 of YA and Children’s novels! What list or genre do you want to see next? Do you have any books not included here? Comment below or give me a shout out on Twitter (@ReviewAlholic) to let me know what I’m missing!

I hope you found a new book to read and you enjoyed this list, fellow readers! Let me know what you’re reading below!

Briar

xoxo

 

 

 

Photos via Goodreads.