Rss

Archives for : novel obsession

Is a Worry Worrying You?

Everyone worries from time to time, and dealing with those worries often seems monumental, especially for children. Ferida Wolff and Herriet May Sevitz have addressed just this issue in their book, Is a Worry Worrying You? With beautiful full color illustrations by Marie LeTourneau, the book manages to discuss worries and introduce brainstorming possible solutions of how to deal with them in a light hearted manner, opening up further discussions. It’s a fantastic picture book and one that we have checked out from the library several times over the years due to the story alone.

Disclaimer: A complimentary copy was provided by the publisher.

Previously published at Living Peacefully with Children.

Made to Play!

If you are one of the many parents enthralled by simple handmade toys but are intimidated at the prospect of making them yourself, never fear! Joel Henriques will help get you started with the ideas in his new book coming out next October, Made to Play!: Handmade Toys and Crafts for Growing Imaginations.

Contrary to what companies may have you believe, children don’t need, nor truly want, lots of flashy toys which play by themselves (where is the fun in that, anyway?). Instead, simple toys which require healthy doses of imagination from the child open up realms of opportunity, creativity, and learning.

Craft challenged parents who previously felt left out when it came to making toys for their own children will be bolstered in this book, as the ideas are simple and easy for anyone to do. Turn a few supplies, often ones you already have on hand, into miniature toys that will delight your children and give you confidence to tackle more difficult projects.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book provided by Shambala Publications.

Previously posted at Living Peacefully with Children.

Bearded Women Stories

Dehumanized by a world  which has used their oddities for entertainment purposes, the women in Teresa Milbrodt’s Bearded Women Stories challenge our thoughts on genetic variances and humanity and how we view our own selves. With wit and charm, she beautifully weaves short stories about women who are as real as we, who are strong in the presence of adversity, and whose only desire is to live their lives, embracing those aspects which make them so different than those around them. These stories of women cause us to examine our own thoughts and challenge the big top freak spectacular.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Previously posted at Living Peacefully with Children.

The Sleepwalkers

Caleb’s life is all set. He has his plans laid out for after high school graduation until the arrival of a letter from an old childhood friend. Shortly after, he sets out on a road trip with his best friend, Bean, to find out what is going on. Arriving at his old hometown, he finds that secrets have been kept there for years.

J. Gabriel Gates’ The Sleepwalkers brings a new scene for teen horror. Reminiscent of Stephen King and John Saul, the story is artfully written and skillfully suspenseful. While I found I had many questions about some of the story’s end, it merely added to the disquieting feeling of the book.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Previously posted at Living Peacefully with Children.

The Fallback Plan

 

Esther has just finished college and moved back in with her parents. Recognizing that her childhood is now over, she realizes that the next stage in her life is ready to begin. Unfortunately, she doesn’t know what that next step is. Pushed into a babysitting job by her mother in an attempt for her to do something other than eat cereal in her pajamas, she spends a good portion of her time imagining that she is the mother of her charge and the lover of her charge’s father. The rest is spent smoking pot with some friends and sleeping with the guy she is attracted to but doesn’t like.

Leigh Stein’s The Fallback Plan is nothing if not consistent. Mirroring the main character’s aimlessness, the book drifts along without any real purpose. Perhaps those in a similar situation would find the book enjoyable, but it is hard to rally for characters who are apathetic about their own selves.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Previously published at Living Peacefully with Children.

Kade

Nine months ago, Kade Ryland was investigating a fertility clinic for the FBI. Now a baby sharing his DNA has shown up and he discovers that the other agent who had worked the case disappeared. It’s a race to find his previous partner and figure out how and what happened in Delores Fossen’s novel, Kade. Answers aren’t easy to come by or easy to accept, and what Kade and Bree find out will change their lives forever.

Kade is a different kind of romance novel. The main characters don’t have sex and never have. They focus mainly on the case and marginally on their child. The fast paced story line drives to the finish but the ending twist seems rather pat and more typical of a romance novel. I have to call out the marketing team on the book’s cover: someone dropped the proverbial ball.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Grave Mercy

Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers has it all: a strong plot, well developed characters, political intrigue, nuns as assassins, and a unique take on religion.

Ismae has always suffered. Given away in an arranged marriage to an abusive man, she barely escapes with her life. Seeking help from the herbwitch, she is smuggled to a secluded convent, one which serves the god of death. There she finds that not all nuns are soft-spoken servants. The Daughters of Mortain are skilled assassins, serving their lord. Ismae, herself, has been called by Mortain and excels at her new profession.

Along with learning about poisons and weapons, the young apprentices also learn about how to use their womanly ways in the service of death. While it seems stereotypicla that every book must focus on the sexuality of teenage girls, based on the tenor of the rest of the book, I can only assume LaFevers was making a statement through this.

While the book drags through parts, the overall story is darkly compelling.

 

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

The Shadowing

Callum Scott is predominantly a normal boy. He does well enough in school, plays rugby, and keeps a low profile. The only problem is that for as long as he can remember he has seen ghosts. Now his premonitions are growing and he is being chased by a large creature from another place. Life is about to get interesting.

Adam Slater’s The Shadowing: Hunted would be a mediocre paranormal young adult novel with characters who are screaming to be further developed. However, he has managed to weave new aspects into his brand new paranormal series which may just set the foundation for a great story.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Previously posted at Living Peacefully with Children.

The River Witch

 

A haunting tale of loss and healing, Kimberly Brock’s debut novel, The River Witch, is ripe with talent, showing both depth of plot and characters. Roslyn is broken. A car crash ended her ballet career. A miscarriage ended the chance at a family she wasn’t certain she wanted, leaving her feeling alone and confused. Set on an island in Georgia, where Roslyn has gone to seclude herself from the world, Brock has managed to portray a diversity of Southern culture to a group of readers with no personal experience of it. The book is bold and rash while bringing mixed tears of joy and sadness. If this novel is an example, Brock’s career is very promising.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

 

Bane: Book Two of The Coven Series

Having previously fled from her over-controlling father and the other witches of the dark coven, Jax Pherson is on the run again. Leaving those she cares about behind in an attempt to protect them, she and another rebelling witch, Egan, are on the search for a way to stop their families and covens. Gaining allies along they way, Jax and Egan realize that they can’t beat the evil alone.

Bane is the second book in Trish Milburn’s The Coven Series. While there were definitely aspects of the book that kept the story line of the series going with necessary scenes, the overall quality of the second book wasn’t to par with the first, White Witch. The plot meandered about and character development seemed stalled at the beginning before picking up towards the latter half of the novel. The book is short and still enjoyable to read but leaves readers hoping Milburn comes back stronger in the next installment.

Disclaimer: A copy of this book was provided by the publisher.