Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Black Ice Review

Black Ice

TITLE: Black Ice
AUTHOR: Becca Fitzpatrick
PUBLISHER: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
FORMAT: Hardcover
PAGES: 392
SOURCE: Amazon Vine

INSIDE COVER SUMMARY: Britt Pfeiffer has trained to backpack the Teton Range, but she isn't prepared when her ex-boyfriend, who still haunts her every thought, wants to join her. Before Britt can explore her feelings for Calvin, an unexpected blizzard forces her to seek shelter in a remote cabin and accept the hospitality of its two very handsome occupants -- but these men are fugitives, and they take her hostage.

In exchange for her life, Britt agrees to guide the men off the mountain. As they set off, Britt knows she must stay alive long enough for Calvin to find her. Things get even more complicated when Britt finds chilling evidence of a series of murders that took place on that very mountain -- a discovery that may make her the killer's next target.

But nothing is as it seems in the mountains, and everyone is keeping secrets, including Mason, one of her kidnappers. His kindness is confusing Britt. Is he an enemy or an ally?

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This story wasn't what I wanted it to be. I feel like it could have been done a lot better. That being said, I did find myself wanting to keep reading to see what was going to happen next. The premise of the story pulled me in and had me interested, but I was frustrated with how naive the girls were and angry with how easily they trusted complete strangers. The story was dragged out a little bit in parts, but it was suspenseful enough to make me not want to put down the book.

CHARACTERS: Mason made me really angry. I wanted him to hurry up and explain himself. The way the book was going, I knew he was eventually going to explain some things, but he just dragged it out and waited so long. Britt and Korbie make quite a few decisions that don't make sense and are agitating.

COVER: I really like the cover, except for the guy on it. It would have been the perfect cover if it just had the scenery on it.

**I received a finished copy of this book from Amazon Vine for my honest review.**

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Book Haul #25

Click here to learn about Stacking the Shelves

It's been quite a while since I've posted a book haul, so there's quite a few books here, probably at least 4 months worth.

For Review:


These pretty books came from a library book sale for .25 cents each. Can't beat that!
These came from Goodwill.

These are from the Amazing Bookoutlet Black Friday Sale.

(If anyone can help me figure out how to make the formatting and placement of pictures work correctly on blogger please let me know as I have such a hard time with it)

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Runaway Clothes and The Royal Palm Book Blast

Mrs D - Book Blast Dec 2014 - collage


Book 1

Runaway Clothes by Mrs. D

Title: Runaway Clothes | Author: Mrs. D | Publication Date: May 1, 2014 | Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing | Number of pages: 44 | Recommended age: 6 to 10 Summary: An enlightening story about a little girl named Nika who didn't want to take care of her clothes and toys. One hazy morning when Nika opened her closet, she discovered that it was empty. Her clothes had disappeared! What had happened to her shirts and pants? Where did her favorite dresses, coats, and socks go? Why did they leave her with just her pajamas on this misty morning? Will they come back? Taking a closer look at her room, Nika starts thinking about her attitude toward her clothes and toys. "How easy it is to lose something you love so much." She learns an important lesson at the end of this story. Watch your children have a blast reading this story while learning valuable lessons.

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads


Book 2

The Royal Palm by Mrs. D

Title: The Royal Palm | Author: Mrs. D | Publication Date: October 21, 2014 | Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing | Number of pages: 40 | Recommended age: 6 to 10 Summary: A thought-provoking tale of the journey of a royal palm born on a tiny island surrounded by mysterious waters. This tender story explores the world of someone wrapped up in herself. Protected by her cousins, the short plain palms, the royal palm grew up beautiful, but very self-centered. Dreaming about life outside the island, she did not bother with her friends, who lived as one big family. Immersed in her own beauty, she only cared for herself, until one day a hurricane struck the tiny island. Then the royal p lam discovered the true meaning of family and real friendship. Inspiring story with valuable lessons to be learned and shared.  

Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Goodreads

The Buzz

Runaway Clothes: "Runaway Clothes by Mrs. D is full of delightful imagery. The words flow in such a fanciful way that children are sure to be immediately engaged and pulled into the story. Its endearing quality teaches young ones the importance of taking care of their valued belongings in such a way that they will not realize they are learning a lesson in the proper care of one's possessions. Excellently executed!" ~ 5 Star Review, HopefulSerenity, Amazon
Runaway Clothes: "Runaway Clothes is a whimsical and charming tale that educates children on the importance of taking care of their belongings... The delightful illustrations add to the enjoyment of the story... I highly recommend picking up Runaway Clothes." ~ 5 Star Review, Stacie T. BeachBoundBooks, Amazon
The Royal Palm: "As is the case with Mrs D's other books, the language is lyrical and colorful... Mrs. D effectively employs the techniques of alliteration, personification and analogy to communicate her message... Mrs D addresses many of the difficult issues children face in dealing with their peers in a whimsical, charming tale. Highly recommended." ~ 5 Star Review, Barbara M., Amazon
The Royal Palm: "A meaningful children's book by a fantastic writer Mrs. D! An unforgettable story that provides life lessons for our children! Mrs. D. is a very talented storyteller who knows how to convey magic into each of her stories. So far her magical books, full of delightful illustrations, never disappointed my children or I. " ~ 5 Star Review, Olga G., Amazon

About the Author: Mrs. D

Mrs. D, AuthorOlga D’Agostino (aka Mrs. D.), an award-winning children’s author, was born in western Ukraine. She lived in the historical city of Lviv, where she studied business in Lviv Business College. In 1992 she immigrated to the United States with her two small daughters and for years worked in her own business. In 2011 she began her career as a writer, focusing on writing children’s books that have meaning and provide valuable lessons. Two of her children’s books, The Trees Have Hearts and Good Morning, World, won Mom’s Choice Awards in 2013, and three are winners in the 2014 Readers’ Favorite contest. She is a member of SCBWI and speaks a few languages fluently. She lives in the famous town of Smithville, N.J., with her husband Patrick and a meticulous old cat named Nyda. Published children's books by Mrs. D. include Carlo the Mouse on Vacation, The Trees Have Hearts, The City Kittens and the Old House Cat, Good Morning, World!, Runaway Clothes, The Royal Palm, The Little Girl Praying on the Hill (short story) and Carlo the Mouse, Book 1: Too Many Rules for One Little Mouse. The full series of Carlo the Mouse and her new books The Mysterious Life Inside a Closet, That Is How Things Are (two connected stories: The Autumn Wind and The Kitten and the Sparrow), and her new book, The Cat Who Wonders, by Itself, and three rhyming stories in Who Is Most Important in the Fridge? will be published in the near future. Her books are available in print on Amazon and Barnes & Noble, and as e-books for most popular e-devices. She is presently working on her first novel, The Chinese Princess, and a short story, “A Taste of Bread.” For updates on Mrs. D.’s books, please visit her website:

Website | Author Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Goodreads | Amazon Author Page


* $50 Book Blast Giveaway *

Amazon $50 Gift Card Prize: One winner will receive a $50 Amazon gift card or PayPal cash prize (winner's choice) Contest ends: January 9, 11:59 pm, 2015 Open: Internationally How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. The winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If a winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Mrs. D and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway
MDBR Book Promotion Services

Monday, December 8, 2014

Horrorstor Review


TITLE: Horrorstor
AUTHOR: Grady Hendrix
PUBLISHER: Quirk Books
PAGES: 256
SOURCE: Netgalley

SUMMARY (FROM GOODREADS): Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour, dusk-til-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they'll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I love the idea of this book. I am obsessed with IKEA and they did such a good job making this book look exactly like an IKEA catalog. This book was terrifying. About halfway through the book, I started getting so scared that I had to limit my reading to where I would only read early in the day and only a few chapters at a time. I loved the whole reading experience. My only problem is that I think I would have enjoyed this book more as a physical copy to complete the whole "catalog" feel.

CHARACTERS: I feel like the development of these characters was done very well. I definitely learned more about each of them as the story progressed and even changed my opinions on a few of them before it was over.

COVER: They did such a great job with this cover. It's so incredibly creepy, but it takes you a minute to actually see that's it's creepy.

**I received an advanced reader's copy in the form of an e-book of this title from Netgalley for my honest review.**

Sunday, December 7, 2014

For Real Review

For Real

TITLE: For Real
AUTHOR: Alison Cherry
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
PAGES: 320
SOURCE: Netgalley

SUMMARY (FROM GOODREADS): No parents. No limits. No clue what they're in for.

Shy, cautious Claire has always been in her confident older sister's shadow. While Miranda's life is jam-packed with exciting people and whirlwind adventures, Claire gets her thrills vicariously by watching people live large on reality TV.

When Miranda discovers her boyfriend, Samir, cheating on her just before her college graduation, it's Claire who comes up with the perfect plan. They'll outshine Miranda's fame-obsessed ex while having an amazing summer by competing on Around the World, a race around the globe for a million bucks. Revenge + sisterly bonding = awesome.

But the show has a twist, and Claire is stunned to find herself in the middle of a reality-show romance that may or may not be just for the cameras. This summer could end up being the highlight of her life...or an epic fail forever captured on film. In a world where drama is currency and manipulation is standard, how can you tell what's for real?

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This story is so fun. I really enjoyed reading it and waiting to see what the next challenge would be for the contestants on the TV show. One of the best things about this book was seeing what would get thrown at the contestants next. This book was filled with the perfect balance of drama, laughter and touching moments. I would have given this book 4 stars, but I was a little bit disappointed by the ending. It wasn't a bad ending, I just felt like it needed to be expanded more.

CHARACTERS: The character development in this book is wonderful. I loved watching the main character, Claire, grow and develop throughout the story. I also liked seeing the relationships between all of the different characters.

COVER: The cover is cute. I like it.

Monday, December 1, 2014

November Wrap-Up

Real Book Challenge on Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare

In November, I read a total of 9 books bringing my total books read this year to 92. Of these books, 6 were "real" books bringing my total for the 2014 "Real" Book Challenge to 72.

"Real" Books:
Eve & Adam (Eve & Adam, #1)A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)Every You, Every MeBoy2GirlBlack IceBad Taste in Boys (Kate Grable, #1)

HorrorstörFor RealRutabaga the Adventure Chef (Adventure Chef, #1)

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Thousand Pieces of You Review

A Thousand Pieces of You (Firebird, #1)

TITLE: A Thousand Pieces of You
AUTHOR: Claudia Gray
PUBLISHER: Harper Teen
PAGES: 368
SOURCE: Amazon Vine/Publisher

BACK COVER SUMMARY: What if the universe is in fact a multiverse? Countless dimensions exist, all layered within one another. Each dimension represents one set of possibilities. Every possibility, every time fate flips a coin, splits the dimensions yet again, creating yet more layers of reality. It goes on forever, to infinity. There are patterns within the dimension. Mathematical parallels. People who have met in one reality will be likely to meet in another. Certain things that happen will happen over and over, in different ways, but more often than you could explain by chance alone. Call it fate.

From New York Times  bestselling author Claudia Gray comes a heart-racing, space-and-time-bending new trilogy that asks whether, amid infinite possibilities, one love can endure.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I'm having a really hard time writing a review for this one. I really love the idea behind the story of there being this infinite amount of parallel dimensions. And I also liked the plot of the story and where that was and continues to go, but for some reason I just wasn't sucked into the book. I found myself relieved when I was done reading because I knew I wouldn't have to pick it up again. That doesn't mean it was bad though, it just wasn't my cup of tea.

CHARACTERS: The characters were okay. I liked Marguerite the most, but I didn't really feel connected to anyone.

COVER: The cover is beautiful. Being totally honest, it's the whole reason I became interested in this book in the first place.

**I received an ARC of this book from Amazon Vine for my honest review.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Fulcrum Gallery Art Review

 photo fulcrumhome.png

I'm going a little bit off of my normal blogging topics today to talk about art. I was approached by a representative of Fulcrum Gallery to review my experience with their site and one of their products.

First off, there are so many choices on the Fulcrum Gallery website--I mean, tons! There are options for any taste and style you can think of. I have a fairly recent obsession with giraffes, and I knew I wanted to incorporate some giraffes into my print, so I started in the animal artwork category.

I chose an adorable giraffe image and I am in love with it! The customization of the piece was extremely easy and also really fun. There are a few basic premade options that you can choose from to order your piece. You can choose from a frame (black, silver, or gold), a canvas print, or an art print. Or, if you prefer you can completely customize your piece. I chose to customize my giraffe print. Once you choose customization, there are a ton of options. You get to choose your frame (there are black, brown, cherry, gold, silver and natural with multiple options per color). You then get to choose your mat(s). You can pick how many you want (1-3) and what colors you want to make each one. And last, you get to choose Plexiglass and glass with sub-options for each of those as well.

In the end, I decided to go with a natural frame (2 1/2" White Weathered Beachwood), no mats and non-glare acrylic Plexiglass.

I was so excited when I received my package in the mail. The packaging was quite a bit larger than I expected it to be, but it was packaged really nice and securely. The finished product is much lighter then I would have thought it was going to be, which could be because of the acrylic Plexiglass as opposed to having glass.

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I love the way it looks hanging on my wall. The frame compliments the print so perfectly and the whole thing was put together so nicely. The framed print comes with a hanger already attached on the back as well as a second piece that goes on the wall (plus instructions) to easily hang up your piece.

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Thursday, November 6, 2014

Eve & Adam Review

Eve & Adam (Eve & Adam, #1)

TITLE: Eve & Adam
AUTHOR: Michael Grant &Katherine Applegate
PUBLISHER: Feiwel and Friends
PAGES: 291
FORMAT: Hardcover
SOURCE: Bought (Book Outlet)

INSIDE COVER SUMMARY: In the beginning there was an apple. And then there was a car crash, a horrible, debilitating injury, and a hospital. But before Evening Spiker could regain consciousness, there was a strange boy checking her out of the hospital and rushing her to Spiker Biopharmaceuticals, her mother's research facility. Once there, Eve has to heal, and cope with an eerie isolation only interrupted by her overbearing mother, a strange group of doctors, and the mysterious boy who brought her there.

Just when Eve thinks she will die--not from her injuries, but boredom--her mother gives her a special project: Create the perfect boy.

Using an amazingly detailed simulation that is designed to teach human genetics, Eve starts building a boy from the ground up: eyes, hair, muscles, even a brain, and potential personality traits. Eve is creating Adam. And he will be just perfect...won't he?

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This book is set in San Francisco. I just moved away from the bay area about a month ago, and San Francisco is my favorite city, so I really enjoyed seeing the references to things in the city (In-N-Out, The Embarcadero).

The pacing of this book could have been a lot better. The main story line doesn't start to progress until about 1/3rd of the way through and it starts getting really good around the halfway point. I could already see where the story was going so I felt like it was just dragged out way too long. The ending was also really rushed and over very quickly. All that being said, I still enjoyed the story.

CHARACTERS: I didn't really have any strong connection with any of the characters. It wasn't that they weren't fully developed, I just didn't feel like I could relate to any of them.

COVER: I really like the cover. It's vibrant and eye catching and I love how the cover itself, under the dust jacket ties into the design as well.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Autumn Falls Review

Autumn Falls

TITLE: Autumn Falls
AUTHOR: Bella Thorne with Elise Allen
PUBLISHER: Delacorte Press
PAGES: 224
SOURCE: Amazon Vine

BACK COVER SUMMARY: With her fiery red hair, new-girl outsider status, and tendency to be a total klutz, Autumn Falls definitely isn't flying below the radar at Aventura High. Luckily, she makes some genuine friends--but she also manages to get on the wrong side of the school's queen bee.

When Autumn vents her feelings in a journal that belonged to her late father, suddenly her wildest wishes start coming true. Is it a coincidence? Or can writing in the journal solve all her problems? And if the journal doesn't work that way, is there a bigger purpose for it--and for her?

OVERALL IMPRESSION: I'd seen Bella in her Disney show, as well as in Blended and thought she seemed like a great, well-rounded person, so I was curious when I heard that she had a book coming out. I feel like the story that she wrote was fine, but could have been better. The idea behind the book is a good one, but I think Bella needs to work on her writing skills some more--although, I believe if she keeps at it, she can become a great writer. When I was reading the book, I could definitely tell that it was written by someone of a younger age by the way the words sounded as I was reading them in my mind. 

I enjoyed the resolution of the book. It was predictable, but still cute and fun to read. I hope Bella continues to work on writing as I would love to see what she can accomplish.

CHARACTERS: I really liked the character of J.J. He has a great personality, and I wish I could have seen more of him throughout the book. The main character, Autumn, was great as well. I felt like I really understood her and what she was feeling.

COVER: I have mixed feelings on the cover. I don't usually like covers with faces on them, but this one is only half a face. I really like how they painted the model's nails with the sparkly polish and the heart detail on her left hand.

Monday, November 3, 2014

October Wrap-Up

Real Book Challenge on Swoony Boys Podcast and Fiction Fare

In October I read a total of 10 books bringing my total books read for the year to 84. Of these books, 9 were "real" books bringing my total books for the "Real" Book Challenge to 66 books.

"Real" Books
Autumn FallsCharmed: Season 9, Volume 1Lindsey LostCharmed: Season 9, Volume 2Charmed: Season 9, Volume 3100 Sideways MilesThe Boy RecessionCharmed: Season 9, Volume 4Anya's Ghost

Cinder & Ella