Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Wendy reviews Sleeping Beauty and the Beast by Melissa Lemon

Sleeping Beauty and the Beast by Melissa Lemon

Genre: YA fiction
Content: Very clean
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Release date: June 20, 2014
# of pages: 294
Book blurb: 
Trapped in a cursed sleep, the only experiences Princess Eglantine has are the ones in her dreams. There she meets Prince Henry of Fallund, a neighboring kingdom on the brink of war. Meanwhile, Prince Henry's brother Duncan discovers a vicious beast imprisoned for murder. Captivated by her, he works to free her from both the prison bars she's locked behind and the ones surrounding her heart and mind. Sleeping Beauty and the Beast reinvents and seamlessly intertwines the classic fairy tales Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast

 My opinion:

This was a cute fairytale adaption of Sleeping Beauty that is a bit different.  The beast was not what I expected at first.   This is good for those of us who still like everything to be resolved easily and happily.   Easy read, good for youth.
Rating: ***

Bio: Melissa Lemon is the author of two other fairy tale retellings: Cinder and Ella and Snow Whyte and the Queen of Mayhem. She is also the author of a sweet romance called Blue Sky. Writing is just one of her passions. She also loves music, reading, baking and exercising. She is wife to a patient man, mother to three spunky girls, and warden to a tolerant cat named Matilda.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kim Reviews The Dreamsophere by Laura Stoddard

The Dreamosphere by Laura Stoddard

Genre: Youth Fiction
Content: clean
Pages: 202
Publisher: Cedar Fort

Brief synopsis:
What if dreams don’t disappear when we wake up? Haunted by her younger sister’s death, and her unwitting role in the incident, 11-year-old Gwenevere Stoker takes solace in the Dreamosphere—a dimension where all dreams still exist. But when someone begins destroying her dreams, Gwen must find the culprit—or risk losing all her happiness forever. Bask in the mystery and imagination of dreams in this touching, funny, mind-bending children’s tale that encompasses themes of grief, friendship, family, healing, and grand adventure!

"What do you think happens to your dreams after you wake up?"
Gwen shrugged distractedly, too disoriented by her sudden arrival in the remarkable setting to focus. "I dunno. They disappear?"

The unblinking gray eyes of her young companion flashed as she leaned forward. "Incorrect. Every dream you've ever had still exists. All of them. They reside in a dimension called the Dreamosphere. It's where we are right now, as a matter of fact. Each dream basically exists as its own world, or dream-orb. There are thousands and thousands of them, connected like drops of dew on a gigantic spider web. Every dream you've ever had, Gwen. They're all up here. And you can visit them any time you want."
Tabitha, the enigmatic child who shares this information, has some even more shocking news. Gwen’s dreamosphere is in danger. Someone has been hacking into it—destroying her dream orbs, erasing pieces of her past, and affecting Gwen in more ways than she realizes. Together, Gwen and Tabitha travel through the outlandish landscape of Gwen’s dream worlds to find the person responsible. What will happen to Gwen when all her dreams are gone? What critical clues lie within the pages of her dream journal? And what does Edgar Allan Poe have to do with it all?

 What I thought about the book:
This book was a little difficult for me to get into. I have read many sci-if books where you have to use your imagination quite a bit, but in this case, I found myself having to imagine what was going on in even the simplest settings.  The characters and plot are generally well set up and the story is a very unique one, a great idea for a book. However, some of the conversations left me assuming what else was said and done, so at times it was a bit hard to follow.  I found myself finally getting into the plot when the story climaxes, about 3/4 of the book in, but then everything happens so quickly that there is almost no time to get used to the way the story had developed and then it's over.
All in all, I think this book has a good genuine plot,  but I think it should definitely aim for a younger audience.


Author Bio: Laura Stoddard was born in Idaho and spent her formative years running amok in the great outdoors. She received her bachelors degree in English Literature from Arizona State University. After being rejected from the masters program for creative writing she decided that she didn't need a masters degree to tell her she could write, so she started really dedicating her time to finishing the story she'd started months earlier, with the goal of writing a complete novel, and getting it published. The result is her debut novel, The Dreamosphere, for which her own vivid, bizarre, and incomprehensible dreams provided the inspiration.  Laura is an adrenaline junkie and will try anything once--or twice--or maybe three times. She can already check whitewater rafting, going down in a shark cage, and skydiving (three times) off of her list. Oh, and getting Lasik. It was five minutes of terror. She enjoys hiking, rowing, reading classic literature, embarking on new adventures and hobbies, volunteering regularly, and spending time with family. She currently resides in Phoenix, Ariz.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Amy reviews Abraham Lincoln and Joseph Smith: How Two Contemporaries Changed the Face of American History

Abraham Lincoln and Joseph Smith:  How two Contemporaries changed the Face of American History by Ron L. Andersen

Genre:  Non-Fiction
Content: Some references to violence and mobs
Publisher: Plain Sight Publishing
Release date:  2014
Number of Pages:  333

Book Summary/Teaser:
What could Abraham Lincoln and controversial Mormon founder Joseph Smith possibly have in common? According to Lincoln Leadership Society president Ron Andersen, more than you would think. Using historical records from Illinois, where Smith and Lincoln were living in the 1840s, this book shows you new sides to the men, including their surprisingly similar views on God and their involvement with each others' politics. Find out how two young 'backwoods' boys crossed paths and led parallel lives before each was martyred for his cause in this exhaustively researched dual biography.
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Show moreShow lessMy Opinion:

I enjoyed the new information in this book.  I found that there was much I didn't know about the political history of the early church, as well as the past of Abraham Lincoln.  It was clear that the author had done a good deal of research.  There was, however, a skewed viewpoint in the telling of the histories, as well as some conjectures.  It is made clear what is fact and what is assumed however.  There was also some jumping back and forth from different time periods that gave the book a slightly unorganized feeling.  All in all, I think it is worth the effort to read!
Rating: ****

You can find it on Amazon:

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Kim's review of Diamond Rings are Deadly Things by Rachelle J. Christensen and Giveaway!

Diamond Rings are Deadly Things by Rachelle J. Christensen

Genre: Fiction/ Mystery (rated PG)
Content: Some mild violence and PG romance scenes
Publisher: Shadow Mountain
340 pages
Release date: July 8, 2014

Summary: Adrielle Piper knows how to plan a wedding, but when her biggest client and best friend is murdered 3 days before the wedding, Adri's world falls apart.  She moves to the posh resort town of Sun Valley, Idaho, and starts from scratch. Thanks to her impeccable taste and unique style, Adri's lands two celebrity clients and her business is headed for success, until someone vandalizes the specialty wedding dresses she imported. It is a race to uncover the secret hidden within the yards of satin and lace before Adri becomes the next victim.

What did I think about this book?
This book is a fun read. The characters are simple, but very likable.  The author gives great detail and leads you though the story while gradually making you care more and more for the characters. There is a great element of mystery surrounding the main character's tragic past.   The romances the main character develops are sort of a fun aspect of the story until it turns suddenly and you realize she is in great danger. I believe the mystery around the diamonds was a bit predictable, aside from one surprise element, but all in all this was a good read.


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