#BookReview Once Upon an Ever After by Angela N. Blount

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This memoir about Angeli and her long distance Southern boyfriend Vincent is an amazing read. I wasn’t sure about how much sense it would make to me, considering that this is a side novel to the original Once Upon a Road Trip (that I hadn’t read). Surprisingly, this novel was easy to follow and I didn’t need to read the first book (but I would really like to now!).

Kooky best friends, sneaking out to stay together and relationship woes are all featured in this book, and portray what a real relationship looks like: not perfection. This memoir made me fall in love with this love story, and felt very real and not fake (like some fiction novels make love and relationships out to be).

I would love to hear more about Anjeli and Vincent! The story telling is wonderful and doesn’t make you question what’s going on. It seemed very real and not forced. It was a believable story.

If anything, the author could have included more “action”, or situations the characters went through. I felt cheated for more interaction between Vincent, Anjeli and her family and friends. The story seemed a bit to short for me, but still great (since this isn’t the main novel about Vincent and Anjeli, and more of a set of side stories).

I did like this novel! But I wanted a bit more out of it. Overall, it was a good read I would recommend to others!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Also I loved that my copy was signed! I love signed copies!

 

What book has made you swoon lately? Comment below!
Check out another review you might enjoy: #BookReview – Apocalypse the Memoir by CS Oliver

Give me a shoutout on twitter using the hashtags #BriarsReviews #OnceUponAnEverAfter  @ReviewAlholic

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#BookReview Leaving Home by Duane A. Eide

It’s time for another quick book review!!

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Leaving Home was an interesting fictional read.

This novel follows Shane Stenlund after an unfortunate injury that led him to not continuing his secondary school career. He goes off to the big city and learns that life is much different in the city than on the farm.

The story was definitely interesting, although I did not see the big picture or what the theme was. It seemed like it was just meant to be a good, fictional read to escape from reality with. If there was a theme, maybe it just wasn’t very obvious.

The character development and plot pace was A-grade. I felt like the story built well over time and nothing seemed to come to early or to late in the story. If anything, I would have liked there to be more interaction with Shane’s family but that was not a big issue.

Overall, it was a good read. I was impressed with the book and would suggest it to anyone who wants a good book to escape reality with.

Four out of five stars, due to the lack of evident theme.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite book that is less than 100 pages? Comment below!
If you enjoyed this book review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview – Dancing with Fireflies by Clemens Carl Schoenebeck

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #LeavingHome to start a conversation on twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Return to You by Samantha Chase

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This romance novel is a fun page turner that I couldn’t put down! Return to You follows James Mongomery and Selena Ainsley as they slowly reconnect with each other. The two have a dramatic past that is slowly revealed throughout the novel, instead of most novels where it is all delivered up front. This wonderful idea by Samantha Chase gives the novel a little extra boost in making the novel more interesting. As a reader, it made me want to continue reading and discovering what happened to James and Selena in their past as it is explained and revealed chapter by chapter.

The novel focuses on the present day and how James and Selena learn about how their view of events is very different from each other. Their relationship and circumstances seem very realistic, and well thought out. I didn’t see any of the characters being over exaggerated or boring. The characters are an amazing aspect of the novel!

The plot line is also intriguing, but could have used a bit more action or drama. I found the plot line to be very predictable and obvious as the novel went on, and even made some of the chapters slow and boring. Once I was past those chapters, I became instantly interested in it again.

Overall, I felt like a little more action and drama could have been added, but it was a good quality book. The novel moved smoothly and kept me interested!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite romance novel series? Comment below!
Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Alejandro’s Sexy Secret by Amy Ruttan

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #TheMontgomeryBrothers to start the conversation on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview The Black Mzungu by Alexandria Kathleen Osborne

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The Black Mzungu was a fantastic non-fiction read about the author, Alexandria Obsorne’s, incredible change in scenery.

I was shocked by how much I liked this book. I rarely find myself enjoying non-fiction or biographies, but this novel hit all the right notes with me. The author does a fantastic job retelling her life story of marrying a man from another country and moving there. Each chapter details the ups and downs of moving to a third world country and building a home there.

There are a lot of cultural insights and introductions to Lindi, Tanzania. Different terms and traditions are introduced in this novel and it gives an absolutely incredible insight into a world that is different compared to a First World Country.

Overall, I was impressed. I didn’t see anything wrong with this novel – it moved at a good pace, each chapter had a different story to tell that connected the entire novel together and it seemed real. Nothing seemed out of place or out of the ordinary.

I loved this book! I would love to read more about the author’s life in the future!

Five out of five stars!

I received this boook for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite non-fiction novel? Comment below!
If you enjoyed this review, check out another you might enjoy: #BookReview The Year After by Ashley Wagner

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #TheBlackMzungu to start a conversation about this book! @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview The Longing by Wendy Lindstrom

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The Longing was a beautiful historical romance novel that kept me wanting more!

The novel follows a marriage of convenience between Kyle Grayson and the beautiful Amelia. When they find themselves married and unsure of where they romance would go, drama ensues.

Not only does this book follow the romance, but it follows a bit of woodworking business as well! This novel is great for anyone who loves a good romance that is not just purely romance, but wants an emotional ride.

This book is part of a series, so I found some of the references confusing. But, you do not need to read the rest of the series to fully understand the book. Wendy Lindstrom does a good job feeding in the information you need to know as it comes. If you have read the series, some of the plot twists will probably be easier to predict, but it’s not a major problem in the book.

I found the book to be a little slow, but I am used to fast paced romance in fast paced genres. It’s a slow read, but it’s emotional and dramatic, which helps this slow plot develop.

I would definitely read the rest of the series after picking up this book! I saw no major plot errors and the character development is drawn out well over the novel. Fantastic novel!

I rate this four out of five stars because of the slow moving plot. It does not hinder the story, but it makes it harder to stick to the book. If anything, that would be the only potential problem I can knick-pick about!

This book would be great for anyone who loves: historical romance, romance in general, emotional and dramatic reads (such as The Fault in Our Stars – but in an adult genre instead of YA), and historical fiction in general.

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

What is your favourite historical romance book? Comment below!
If you loved this book, then I highly suggest this book: #BookReview The Proper Proposal (A Regency Romance) by Sophy Hester

Use the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #GraysonBrothers on twitter to start a conversation! @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Single Chicas by Sandra C. Lopez

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Single Chicas by Sandra C. Lopez is a fabulous anthology full of heart warming, heart breaking and funny stories about latina women!

This is one of those gems you don’t find too often – a series of stories that you can relate to, even if it’s not about you. The collection ranges from stories about a brother getting married and changing, to a woman trying to figure out why she wasn’t “perfect” enough since her boyfriend dumped her, to a studious girl nicknamed “Virgin Mary” as a joke. The stories tell many different views of a woman’s life, and it was just so fantastic! Even when I couldn’t relate fully to one of the story’s, it felt like it matched many of my friends.

I highly recommend this collection! The stories are short yet sweet, and can easily be binged or taken one piece at a time. It’s a feel good series of stories that make will make you proud to be a woman (or know strong women)!

My favourite was definitely the first story, where the sister is wondering why Benny (her brother, Benito) is marrying a girl he barely knows. It feels like the relationship could be not only siblings, but when you question a close friend’s choicest since you know them so well.

All of the stories ranged from a 3 star to a 5 star rating (the ones I related to obviously being higher) but they all were fabulously written and a delight to read. I was never bored and never wanted to put the book down! There were definitely some Latina/Latino themes within this book, and I think they were addressed well! I don’t fit into that community, but reading the stories gave me a real insight into some of the traditions (and sometimes issues) that come from their lives. Seeing the rebellion and the changes in the women was relatable even if you aren’t in that community. I think it approaches the themes in a mature fashion, and it’s easy to read, relate to and understand.

You’ll want to pick up this series if you like – comedy, a splash of romance, drama, women’s fiction, or general fiction. The stories are rather sweet and thoughtful, and won’t bring your day down at all. I highly recommend it, and it is a definite must read in my mind!

Five out of five stars! I will definitely be on the lookout for more books and pieces of work by Sandra C. Lopez in the future!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Sandra C. Lopez in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Single Chicas

Amazon.com – Single Chicas

Amazon.ca – Single Chicas

Check out Sandra C. Lopez on:

Goodreads – Sandra C. Lopez

Sandra-Lopez.com

 

Comment below – have you read this book yet? Do you plan too?
And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this post! #BriarsReviews @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

Collection 1: #TopTens – Children’s Fiction Part 1

Welcome to my new collection of blog posts! This collection will be all about my favourite books in specific genres. My goal is to collect awesome books together to provide some new to-read novels for readers! There will be multiple parts to each collection since I have read so many good books by so many fantastic authors.

So to start us off, I’ve decided to introduce you to some epic children’s fiction novels. I’ve mixed in both chapter books and picture books for your children and middle grade enjoyment!

And here… we… go…

 

1. Unlimited by Kevin Miller

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Unlimited is a tale following a group of boys on a school field trip. These super smart boys embark on a journey to transmit a radio signal with their new radio station and creative show! But things go weary, since everyone is not totally impressed by this comedy/horror radio show over the airwaves…

This book is one of my top books of 2018 (and ever, to be honest). It blew me out of the water and really impressed me that it transcended the middle grade novel stigma! It was highly enjoyable and one of my top must reads. If you love adventure mixed with a pinch of comedy, then this book is for you!

Amazon.com – Unlimited

Amazon.ca – Unlimited

Briar’s Reviews #BookReview Unlimited by Kevin Miller

 

2. We All Fall Down by Eric Walters

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This tantalizing tale follows a ninth grade student named Will during the September 11th attacks. I read this book as a child and again recently as an adult. This book really impressed me with how it brought up the topic of such a tough time in history to children. I found it super respectful and a wonderful talking point. I’d highly recommend this book if you’re looking to explain one of history’s most tragic moments.

Amazon.com – We All Fall Down

Amazon.ca – We All Fall Down

Briar’s Reviews #BookReview We All Fall Down by Eric Walters

 

3. Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

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If you’re looking for an epic superhero tale, check out this super silly, teeny, tiny story! Hercufleas is a flea, and boy is he fantastic! This hero wants to help save the day from the big baddies, and they are much bigger than him! This middle grade novel is quite long, but is a truly remarkable read. It’ll keep you hooked, giggling and having a good time all throughout! I’d highly recommend this super fun book to introduce some very important themes, such as – it doesn’t matter how small you are, you can still do great things!

Amazon.com – Hercufleas

Amazon.ca – Hercufleas

#BooKReview Hercufleas by Sam Gayton

 

4. Ugly by Robert Hoge

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This motivational and inspirational tale is one of my most visited reviews on my blog! And for good reason! This truly unbelievable story is all about the author, Robert Hoge! He had a tumour on his face, which drastically changed his life – in both good and bad ways! His beautiful story is told perfectly for the eye’s and mind of a child, and it moved me! It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read and I will always recommend this incredible must read! Stories like this don’t come along too often!

Amazon.com – Ugly

Amazon.ca – Ugly

Briar’s Reviews Book Review: Ugly by Robert Hoge

 

5. Pandora’s Lunch Box: Don’t Open! by Richard Clark

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Richard Clark is the king of middle grade fiction (and picture books, but that’s in another list!). Pandora’s Lunch Box is a satire/parody of myth Pandora’s Box. This time around, Pandora’s Box is actually a lunch box! Pandora’s lunch box is suspenseful, magical and hilarious! If you’re looking for something you’ll be able to laugh at (due to unexpected adult humor through the satire of the myth) then I’d highly suggest this short yet sweet novel!

Amazon.com – Pandora’s Lunch Box

Amazon.ca – Pandora’s Lunch Box

Briar’s Reviews – Goodreads Review

 

6. Olive, the Other Reindeer by J. Otto Seibold

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Yes, I know, a Christmas book this early?! It’s never too early to prepare for the holidays! Olive, the Other Reindeer is my childhood favourite that I became instantly obsessed with! Remember that famous like.. “all of the other reindeer”? Well, what if that line was misunderstood?! Olive, the super, cute dog is ready to join in reindeer games with her unique skills! This short picture book will make your day and bring lots of goofy giggles!

Amazon.com – Olive, the Other Reindeer

Amazon.ca – Olive, the Other Reindeer

 

7. Bunnicula by Deborah & James Howe

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Another childhood favourite of mine (that we read almost every year in elementary school) is Bunnicula! This series is a fantastical novel that introduced me to horror (despite it not being that scary). This bunny with fangs has it’s own super, insane book that will blows your socks off! It’s unique and crazy – what bunny has fangs?! I’d highly recommend this series if you’re running out of good reads or want something a little different!

Amazon.com – Bunnicula

Amazon.ca – Bunnicula

 

8. The Paper Bag Princess by Robert Munsch

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One of my favourite childhood authors was Robert Munsch, and perhaps his greatest book (in my opinion) is The Paper Bag Princess. I read this book over and over to my reading buddy and I kept my copy until it literally fell to bits because I read it so much! Princess Elizabeth is supposed to marry a prince when a dragon attacks! She must outsmart the dragon, all the while wearing a paper bag! This creative story is a picture book and it’s a definite must read that I highly recommend!

Amazon.com – The Paper Bag Princess

Amazon.ca – The Paper Bag Princess

 

9. The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

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This is one of the earliest books I can remember from my childhood, and I still have it to this day! A little bunny is the main character of this picture book and all he wants to do is run away from his Mom! This story was published decades ago, but is still a classic! If you’re looking for a sweet read with lots of re-read value, and an instant classic – check this super cute book out!

Amazon.com – The Runaway Bunny

Amazon.ca – The Runaway Bunny

 

10. Grandma and the Pirates by Phoebe Gilman

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Grandma and the Pirates was my go to bedtime read as a kid. It’s hilarious and inspiring! Grandma makes some incredible noodle pudding, and it attracts some crazy pirates! They steal Grandma, and Melissa must save her! I always found this book to be so strong and made me feel like the hero at the end! Melissa was a smart girl who had to beat pirates! It’s a short picture book with lots of potential! I’m honestly surprised it has so few reviews on Goodreads to begin with! Everyone in my school had read this book a million times over back in my elementary school days! Check out what I declare the best book EVER and my instant classic from my childhood!

Amazon.com – Grandma and the Pirates

Amazon.ca – Grandma and the Pirates

 

 

That’s all for my first edition of #TopTens. I have more children’s books for another round, and many more genres to come – romance, horror, fantasy, etc. Let me know if you want to see a specific genre, or if you have book recommendations for me to read! If you have books I haven’t included, comment below and tell me what else to include!
I hope you enjoyed this and found some new books to read. Let me know how your reading adventures go!
For another day,

Briar

xoxo

 

Photos from Goodreads.