Friday, January 20, 2017

Gracie Meets a Ghost by Keiko Sena

20 January 0 Comments
Title: Gracie Meets a Ghost
Author: Keiko Sena
Pages: 32

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Gracie hasn’t been able to see very well recently, so she decides to get some glasses. But, after playing on the mountain one day, she realizes that night that her glasses are missing. She heads straight out to look for them on the mountain–where a bored ghost is hiding in the darkness, waiting for someone to scare. Although Ghost tries to scare her, Gracie doesn't react by being frightened, not even little–because she can't see Ghost well enough to be scared without her glasses! Ghost really wants to see Gracie scared, so he helps in her search all night long and finally finds her glasses. But what happens when Gracie puts them on...

I've never seen a ghost story for children before, but this one is just so adorable!
Gracie is a bunny who can't see all that great, so she's gotten glasses. She gets teased by her classmates, but she's also secretly a little proud of them as well. Who doesn't love seeing better anyway?
Soon though, she encounters something that every person with bad eyesight has to go through at some point. She loses her glasses! When she goes back up to the mountain where she lost them while playing with friends, she encounters a very bored ghost. The ghost tries to scare her but it ends up backfiring because Gracie can't see! The ghost looks everywhere for Gracie's glasses in order to help her, just so she'll be able to be scared by it when she finally puts them on. The ghost finally finds them, but then something else happens to foil his plan!

I really like this story because it normalizes getting glasses for children who have bad eyesight. I remember when I was younger I was so embarrassed to get glasses, but over time I got used to them. I wish I had gotten this book back then. I probably would have felt a little better having them. The artwork in this book is great! The pages are shiny and have a very nice feel to them. The perfect amount of suspense for a child, with funny parts to it as well.

DISCLAIMER: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not sway my opinion of the book in any way.

#BabyLove: My Toddler Life by Corine Dehghanpisheh

20 January 1 Comments
Title: #BabyLove: My Toddler Life
Author: Corine Dehghanpisheh
Pages: 36

Synopsis from Goodreads:
In #BabyLove: My Toddler Life, a new children’s picture book by Corine Dehghanpisheh, a curious toddler loves to play… especially with his mommy’s smartphone!

When Mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment.  Mommy reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention.
Her simple reminder:  Put down our phones.

This book would be very fun to read to a child because of the rhyming in it. The message behind it is very real in today's world. Although it is good to capture moments, it's even better to live in them. All too often we hide behind phone screens and miss out on important moments and then wonder where the time has gone. The book can be read fast, and it has colors that would stand out to a child. It's full of praise so your child will feel wonderful when you're reading it to them.
I found it pretty cool that the perspective of the book is told through the phone screen, proving that we really do spend too much time on our phones. As soon as I got this book my best friend's child popped up into my head. I feel as if she's broken at least two of my friend's phones from her curiosity. I'll be sending this book on its way to those two so she can read it to her.

DISCLAIMER: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This doesn't sway my opinion over the book in any way.

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Never Let You Go by Chevy Stevens

19 January 0 Comments
Title: Never Let You Go
Author+Chevy Stevens 
Pages: 404
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
TW: Mental/emotional abuse

Synopsis from Goodreads:
Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship.Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought? 

This is the first book I've ever picked up by Stevens and I was not disappointed at all. The story is told through each character's perception of what happened all those years ago. 11 years have passed, and Lindsey Nash suspects that her ex-husband has come back to punish her after doing all that time in prison. He claims that he has changed (like every abuser does), but has he really? She thinks not. After all, people don't really change at their core, right?

A part in the book that really stuck out to me was when Lindsey's daughter was younger, after her husband comes home drunk one night and knocks her over onto the coffee table, her daughter begins to make excuses for him, that young. It really goes to show how abuse can become so normal after awhile it begins to not only affect you, but everything else in your life.

One of the other parts I really dislike about this book is the fact that Sophie, Lindsey's daughter goes behind her mother's back to write letters and even go as far as meeting up with her father, and lies to her mother about it. She is aware of how scared her mother is of her father, but she completely disregards it as if Lindsey should just "get over" the fact that he abused her. I do have to put myself in Sophie's shoes, though. She grew up without a father because of his alcoholism and the twisted events leading up to his arrest. Of course she's going to wonder why alcohol was more important than staying and being a good father and husband to his family. Even though she doesn't understand the emotional toll that abuse can take on someone, she has a right to wonder about her father regardless of the things that he has done in the past.

Another issue that I have with this genre is the abuse of animals. I've read two other books with the same subject matter and they all three have something to do with animals being mistreated, which hurts my soul a little more than hearing about the abuse of another human being. I have no idea what it is with these authors and animal abuse, but it's killing me!

ALSO, the twist in the book took me by surprise. Every time I thought I knew what the hell was going on, I was so terribly wrong. It was a literal jaw-dropping twist that I had no idea was coming. Kudos to Stevens for being able to actually leave me slack-jawed!

Stevens can create an immensely immersive story that leaves you turning page after page. I absolutely refused to turn it down. I needed to get to the very bottom of what was happening and nothing was going to stop me from finishing this book. Although the book does deal with a hard topic like abuse, and it made me cringe at times, and other times made me blindingly angry, I got through it.

DISCLAIMER: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not sway my opinions in any way whatsoever.

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Ice Twins by S.K. Tremayne

07 January 0 Comments
Title: The Ice Twins
Author: S.K. Tremayne
Pages: 306
Rating: 5/5

Synopsis from Goodreads:
One of Sarah's daughters died. But can she be sure which one? A year after one of their identical twin daughters, Lydia, dies in an accident, Angus and Sarah Moorcroft move to the tiny Scottish island Angus inherited from his grandmother, hoping to put together the pieces of their shattered lives.But when their surviving daughter, Kirstie, claims they have mistaken her identity--that she, in fact, is Lydia--their world comes crashing down once again.As winter encroaches, Angus is forced to travel away from the island for work, Sarah is feeling isolated, and Kirstie (or is it Lydia?) is growing more disturbed. When a violent storm leaves Sarah and her daughter stranded, they are forced to confront what really happened on that fateful day.

I picked up this book due to the hard subject matter. Not only was it hard to read about, but it was very intriguing. I learned a lot about identical twins that I hadn't known before I opened this book previously. This book is a sneaky thriller. At first you think it's just about a grieving mother, a husband who can't come to terms with his daughter's death, and an extremely confused little girl who has lost her identical twin sister. No. This book is so much more than just that. It'll pull you in with all of the little subtle secrets it slowly gives you, keeping you turning page after page.
Another thing I really loved about this book was the incorporation of the Gaelic language as well as the vivid imagery that came with the description of the uninhabited island that the family ended up moving to. It all just sounded so beautiful yet so, so lonely. 5/5 stars!

DISCLAIMER: I received this book in exchange for an honest review. This does not sway my opinions in any way.