#BookReview Backyard Hullabaloo by Junia Wonders

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I was lucky enough to find this book for free via BookBub!

Backyard Hullabaloo is a fun and spunky picture book by Junia Wonders and Divin Meir!

What I liked about this book was that there was a little more reading content in it. The picture books I have been picking up lately had barely a sentence per page, but this book had multiple sentences and even paragraphs per page! Having a little more content made this book a little more fun and inventive when I was reading it.

We follow Mr. Bagoo, who overslept since his alarm clock didn’t ring! We also meet his neighbors along the way as he tries to get his chores done! Everyone seems to be in a bad mood for some reason! Mr. Bagoo and his neighbor aren’t getting along, and they must solve their issues with each other.

I also loved that there was no rhyming scheme to this book – it moved at a nice pace and didn’t feel forced. It was written in a tone that felt professional and yet humorous or child-like all at the same time.

The artwork was a style I don’t see to often – it looked like digital crayons! I really liked this different art style, especially since it felt like it belonged with the story. I couldn’t see any other art style fitting with the tone and silliness of this book!

Overall, I’d highly recommend this book! It’s a great picture book with a fantastic story! I could see this book easily being used for story time at a school!

Four out of five stars!

 

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If you enjoyed this book or review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Half Done Fun by Katja Vartiainen

 

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#BookReview Coming Out by Danielle Steel

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I found Coming Out by Danielle Steel at a local store that typically does not sell books. It was on sale, probably cheaper than it should have been yet it was in excellent shape! I always wanted to read something by Danielle Steel but never seemed to remember to pick up a book by her whenever I was out looking, so I decided to purchase this book.

This book was made in 2006, but it felt more along the lines of the 80s or 90s due to some of the comments within the book. There never seems to be a strict date of when this book is set, but some of the opinions don’t seem to be that of 2006 (or maybe my hometown was just way more open at that time). The comments about how bad tattoos are seem to date this book more than intended too, seeing as it is 2018 and tattoos seem to be everywhere and widely accepted. If anything, that would be my biggest con for this book! It dates itself with the opinions within!

I did really enjoy this book – it was a light, dramatic read that I could easily put down and pick it back up. The story follows a rich, upper class family as they intend to go to an exclusive ball in New York. The twin daughters are on opposing sides (one wants to go, the other doesn’t and decides to rebel), the Mother wants to go, the step Father doesn’t, and so on and so forth. There is some romantic drama, some family drama, some “rich” drama, and it all seems to work well within the story.

That being said, this book is hit and miss – if you don’t mind reading about privileged rich people with silly problems, it’s a good read! I didn’t mind that they complained about simple yet silly things, in fact I found it to be fluffy and funny at times. It felt like a soap opera I would watch on T.V. back in high school. The soap opera side is what kept me hooked, to be brutally honest. The drama was over the top, the reactions were big, and it felt like the perfect, stormy day read.

The book is relatively short and moves at a good pace to keep you interested. That is what also kept me interested in this book. I didn’t think that the book felt too long or too short. To me, the book was the perfect length. I also really liked that the title of the book has multiple meanings in the book! Tied in with that title, the ending took me by surprise! The ending did seem to suddenly stop, but Danielle tied in one of the small plot points to finish this book up.

Overall, I think this book was cute and is a nice, soft read. It is in it’s own little niche, so reader beware!!

Three out of five stars!

 

Check out of this book on:

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If you enjoyed this book or review, why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Jeep Tour by Gail Ward Olmsted

 

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Photo via Goodreads.

#BookReview Under The Visible Life by Kim Echlin

Under The Visible Life is a moving story by Kim Echlin that will knock your socks off!

To be blunt and up-front, this book was not the book for me. That being said, it was a truly mesmerizing story! It was very hard for me to get into this book but it was still beautiful nonetheless. I want to say that upfront since my rating is based off my opinion of the book (and I wasn’t pulled into the book) but the story is still a worthwhile read! I am sure many other readers will be able to connect with this story and fall in love with it in ways that I couldn’t. Kim Echlin is amazingly talented and I highly suggest this novel.

I did love that this story revolved around women and their realistic lives. The book didn’t feel over the top. It felt honest and real in ways that other books haven’t lately. I think this is how the book will sit well with people. Somehow, this story felt like I could have been hearing or reading a non-fiction novel. The struggles felt real and the characters felt like I could have walked by them on the street. Kim Echlin deserves a lot of recognition for just being able to do that in one book. It’s mind-blowing!

So, why was this book not for me? I found it really hard to sink into. I had to force myself to read each chapter and it felt way too slow. I like a fast paced book that gets me hooked, and this book is not that. It’s raw, real and slower paced. The book isn’t boring by any means, it just wasn’t made for me (which is a good thing!). As a reader, sometimes you have to admit that you won’t love ALL books. But that’s art! I can still appreciate how absolutely stunning this book was. And I will highly recommend it every single day because this book is definitely made for other readers!

I will say my favourite part about this book: it has a lot of culture. It will open you up to worlds you may not have known about before (Afghan culture, for example). Books that include other cultures (in a respectful manner, on top of just including them) are books that need to be read! So, I will shout from the hill tops that this book needs to be read! I liked reading about a culture that is not my own.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

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#BookReview Sons of York by Lesley J Nickell

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Sons of York by Lesley J Nickell was a beautiful read that I highly suggest to fans of historical fiction.

It’s a real shame that Lesley J Nickell has passed, because she was such a fabulous writer. This story had me hooked from the first chapter, and from then on I was obsessed. Historical fiction rarely gets me this excited, but Lesley managed to make me LOVE historical fiction. The romance and drama that was woven into the story was so perfectly sprinkled in!

The story followed Edward IV and his fictional mistress Janet and their affairs through the times. Janet’s story is full of tragedy, but the way Lesley writes this story makes you feel so connected to her and everything she goes through. I cared so much for Janet and I wanted her to have everything she ever desired even if she was given a bad hand at life. I wish there were more novels following this woman! Lesley created such a strong and powerful character that was also so soft and sweet. She even had me liking Edward IV (which I had a strong distaste for at the beginning).

I almost wish a ghost writer would come in and continue this beautiful series in honor of Lesley (similar to VC Andrews). This story is enchanting and full of potential! It’s a highly recommended book from me!

I did find the last few chapters not as thrilling as the majority of the novel, but that might be because I knew this beautiful book was coming to an end!

Four out of five stars

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy. #BookReview A Long Way Back by J. Everett Prewitt

Use the hashtags #SonsofYork and #BriarsReviews on twitter to talk about this review!

#BookReview Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

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I have been wanting to read books by Agatha Christie for years, yet whenever I made it to a bookstore I would get lost in the aisles and forget about my desires. Luckily for me, Kennett Branagh decided to remake Murder on the Orient Express. The movie was fantastic and everything I wanted it to be, which gave me perfect reason to find the book and give it a shot! And it was INCREDIBLE.

I’m amazed by how talented Agatha Christie was. The pure talent for writing shown in this book is so shocking, and it makes me desperate to read every other book she has written. Hopefully, I’ll be able to find them in my adventures!

This book is the 10th novel in the series, but it is very easy to pick up and start reading. I had no issue being pulled into the story and not wanting to put the book down. The language is a bit old fashioned (since it’s an older book) so there may be a disconnect for some present readers, but that seemed to be the only issue I could find when I picked this book apart.

In short, the plot for this book is there is a murder on the Orient Express train and Hercule Poirot (a wildly famous detective) is determined to solve it. The twist? Multiple suspects aboard a stalled train.

The book is fun, fast paced and wildly addicting. If you love a good mystery, trying to solve this story is absolutely delightful! Everyone has an alibi and Poirot can only find out information by asking questions and looking at their reactions (because…GASP!…there’s no electronic devices in the time period this book is set in). I knew the ending already from watching the movie, but trying to pick out the evidence that led to Hercule’s final thoughts was so much fun! I scrambled along the way and enjoyed every second of this book.

Overall, this book is a great read! If you want to read a classic, a mystery or just a fun book I really suggest this one! It’ll keep you hooked and make your head spin in circles.

Five out of five stars!

 

What is your favourite “classic” read? Comment below!

Did you enjoy this book review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

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#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

#BookReview Light My Fire by Katie MacAlister

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Aisling Grey is by far my favourite of all of the women in this dragon universe by Katie MacAlister! She is cute, sassy and the perfect female lead for this comedic, fantastical romance!

Drake and Aisling are definitely the “perfect” pair, at least in my eyes. Their relationship is definitely not “normal” by any means, but they work well together! As characters, they have the perfect mix of getting along, sexiness, and generalized drama and sassiness. I honestly couldn’t see this pair with anybody else! However Katie made this pair, she did really well!

Aisling is becoming a Guardian, while her lover is a dragon. They have since “mated”, so the story builds and gets more interesting from here. This is the second last book in the series for now, but I do hope we get more! Since I’ve read most of the dragon books, I can say she appears in future books but she isn’t the lead.

The comedy in this book is spot on and amps it up from the last book. It definitely keeps the plot moving forward with lots of funny quirks, mixed in with the sexy Drake, super cute romance scenes and drama thrown in throughout. While the story does leave off in a place that feels like it doesn’t need to be continued, I wish it would! These characters bond way too well together for this to be the absolute end. Maybe, if we’re lucky, Katie will one day continue this series. So, cross your fingers!

I would definitely recommend this book to readers who love romance with a lot of comedy in it. The book doesn’t take itself too seriously, with an abundance of jokes (and a lot of Jim, the main source of comedy, present again) throughout the book. The book has many fantasy elements (obviously – dragons), but isn’t a purely dramatized novel. It’s very fun, is borderline PG-13, and has ooey, gooey romance that makes you squirm and giggle along the way.

Overall, I love this book! I’ve read it way too many times to count and I’ll keep reading it! It’s one of those books I like to read when I’m having a bad day because it’s just so much fun! Katie MacAlister is the QUEEN of dragon books!

Five out of five stars!

 

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com – Light My Fire

Amazon.ca – Light My Fire

 

Check out the entire Aisling Grey series (which is apart of the Dragon Sept series): on Goodreads.

Or find out more about Katie MacAlister, one of my fave authors, on:

Goodreads – Katie MacAlister

http://www.katiemacalister.com/

Twitter – @katiemacalister

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out more of my reviews of Katie MacAlister books:

#BookReview Men in Kilts by Katie MacAlister

#BookReview In The Company of Vampires by Katie MacAlister

#BookReview You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister

Comment below – what is your favourite type of fantasy books?

And if you enjoyed this review, check out my twitter for urgent updates! @ReviewAlholic