Review: Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World – Bob Goff


Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World – Bob Goff

Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

Title: Love Does: Discover a Secretly Incredible Life in an Ordinary World

Author: Bob Goff

Release Date: January 1, 2012

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 2224

Source: Friend

As a college student he spent 16 days in the Pacific Ocean with five guys and a crate of canned meat. As a father he took his kids on a world tour to eat ice cream with heads of state. He made friends in Uganda, and they liked him so much he became the Ugandan consul. He pursued his wife for three years before she agreed to date him. His grades weren’t good enough to get into law school, so he sat on a bench outside the Dean’s office for seven days until they finally let him enroll.

Bob Goff has become something of a legend, and his friends consider him the world’s best-kept secret. Those same friends have long insisted he write a book. What follows are paradigm shifts, musings, and stories from one of the world’s most delightfully engaging and winsome people. What fuels his impact? Love. But it’s not the kind of love that stops at thoughts and feelings. Bob’s love takes action. Bob believes Love Does.

When Love Does, life gets interesting. Each day turns into a hilarious, whimsical, meaningful chance that makes faith simple and real. Each chapter is a story that forms a book, a life. And this is one life you don’t want to miss.

Light and fun, unique and profound, the lessons drawn from Bob’s life and attitude just might inspire you to be secretly incredible, too.

4 out of 5 stars


As being an avid reader goes, people around you want you to read their favorite books, so they loan them to you and you read them. This was what happened to me. I wouldn’t have picked up this book on my own, but one of my friends told me to read this because it’s her favorite book of all time.

I enjoyed this book and loved the messages behind the stories in it. This book was set up as every chapter told a story from Bob’s life, then he related it to how God is the strongest part of anyone’s life. He has the saying that “love does” what other things cannot. Love is the universal language to which everyone can relate, and through his stories he tells about all the times he’s been tested but just remember to love.

I really loved the first couple chapters of this book. My favorite two chapters were near the beginning, actually. My first favorite was about Bob during high school and how he just wanted to leave. So he walks up to his friend’s house and tells him to let everyone know that he had left to go live in the western United States, and the friend just comes along with him. He came with for support for Bob even though they weren’t very close and showed his love and support for his friend. I loved this chapter because it was about a strong friendship. That’s what I find YA books missing. A real and strong friendship. Even though this isn’t YA, I thought that this was refreshing to read about.

My other favorite chapter was about Bob and his wife Maria and their kids. They have three kids, and the parents made a deal with the kids that if they wrote letters to the leaders of the countries of the world to have a meeting and got a ‘yes’ response, that they would go and meet the leader. I thought this was a super cool concept because letters are something I love sending, and the idea that they could possibly travel around the world to just be friends with these leaders was very interesting to me. So the kids get responses of ‘nos’ but got quite a few ‘yeses’. They actually went and visited these political leaders and actually got to know them. The purpose of them going was to become friends with them. I just thought this was a very cool idea. I loved this chapter because they got to travel, and it was all about friendship.

I’ve decided that I just need more friendship books in my life ;) They make me so happy. Anyway, I really liked this book. I loved that this was a Christian book without being too… I don’t know. Preachy, almost. I loved that this was more about Bob’s relationships and how he tied them to God and his beliefs than being a Bible study. Definitely pick up this book if you like self-help/Christian books!

Review: The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4) – Lemony Snicket


The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4) – Lemony Snicket

The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4)

Title: The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4)

Author: Lemony Snicket

Release Date: April 15, 2000

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Format: ebook

Page Number: 208

Source: Overdrive

Dear Reader,

I hope, for your sake, that you have not chosen to read this book because you are in the mood for a pleasant experience. If this is the case, I advise you to put this book down instantaneously, because of all the books describing the unhappy lives of the Baudelaire orphans, THE MISERABLE MILL might be the unhappiest yet. Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are sent to Paltryville to work in a lumbermill, and they find disaster and misfortune lurking behind every log.

The pages of this book, I’m sorry to inform you, contain such unpleasantries as a giant pincher machine, a bad casserole, a man with a cloud of smoke where his head should be, a hypnotist, a terrible accident resulting in injury, and coupons.

I have promised to write down the entire history of these three poor children, but you haven’t, so if you prefer stories that are more heartwarming, please feel free to make another selection.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket


3 out of 5 stars

This was the first book that I borrowed from Overdrive, and I highly recommend using that app if your library offers it! It’s so cool because you just borrow ebooks from the library as if it were a normal physical book. It’s quite cool. Anyway, the book.

The Miserable Mill is the fourth installment in the Series of Unfortunate Events books, and this series hasn’t been enthralling me. I have rated each of these books 3/5 stars, so this one was pretty average for me. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it.

I always forget how incredibly short these books are. I finished half of this book yesterday, so it was a very quick read. I enjoy Klaus the most from the siblings. He’s the bookish one who usually defines words, but he was hypnotized for most of this book from the eye doctor.

These books are quite strange in their nature because they’re pretty morbid. They are funny at some points because there are jokes that are for the adults reading to the kids. I thought that there were some funny parts.

This book was about the Baudelaire kids having to work at a wood mill, and of course come across Count Olaf eventually. This was slower than the first three, and there wasn’t as much action, but I look forward to reading more of this series.

Series:

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)

The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2)

The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3)

Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #6-10) – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman


Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #6-10) – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Title: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-5)

Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman

Release Date: November 15, 2016

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 642

Source: TBR Pile

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. These ten short stories give an epilogue to the Mortal Instruments series and provide glimpses of what’s in store in the Dark Artifices.


Pale Kings and Princes

5 out of 5 stars

Ahh! Sizzy Sizzy Sizzy. They’re back. My favorite couple is back together. I KNEW IT. I mean I’ve read Lady Midnight so I knew some stuff, but it’s so cute omg. This has been one of my favorites so far because I finally got what I wanted, and the way it happened was so cute. If you hadn’t guessed it, Simon and Isabelle are now dating again. Everything is great, and I’m loving life. I really liked what happened in this novella because I learned a little more about the characters from Lady Midnight, and the reason they did some of the things they did. I’m really glad that I read this after I read Lady Midnight because I would have been a little confused had I not. I love the little connections Cassandra Clare makes while still adding new content to the world. It’s great. I love it.

 

Bitter of Tongue

4 out of 5 stars

I have to say, I really don’t like Sarah Rees Brennan’s writing style. It’s strange to me that I could recognize that it wasn’t Cassandra Clare the whole time, but I could tell from the beginning of this novella. The conversations weren’t what they usually are. They were choppy and very awkwardly written. I think that it was Brennan who wrote the conversations, but that’s just an educated guess. Overall I think this was a great addition to the Shadowhunter world as a whole. Again, I’m VERY glad that I read Lady Midnight before reading these novellas. I would have been so confused because the characters are from The Dark Artifices series, and I wouldn’t have gotten how important this story was if I hadn’t read the first installment of The Dark Artifices series. I’ve always been curious about the land of faerie throughout Clare’s novels. It confuses me, but in a good way. It’s always deceptive, but it’s always magical. This sounds strange, but when I’m reading about the land of the faeries, it feels fuzzy. Not confused fuzzy, but the way that the world is written feels softer than the harsh Shadowhunters world. It’s strange to explain it, but I love learning more about it. I am so excited to finish this book and then re-read Lady Midnight before Lord of Shadows comes out in March!

 

The Fiery Trial

4 out of 5 stars

I was kind of confused throughout this one if I’m being honest. I knew that it had something to do with parabatai because I remembered that they called it the fiery trial, but I got confuzzled when Clary and Simon just randomly started hallucinating. It made sense after it was explained, and the story of it ties up loose ends in the stories, but I was not following for approximately 5 pages. The end of this just made me sad because Emma and Julian just went through the parabatai ritual, but they should love each other romantically, not in a parabatai way. Ugh. It makes me so sad seeing a love so pure not being able to work out. Again, I cannot wait to re-read Lady Midnight because I will catch onto so many things I had missed in the first frantically quick reading. Reading these novellas does remind me why Cassandra Clare is my favorite author, so that’s making me quite happy.

 

Born to Endless Night

5 out of 5 stars

This was the story about how Alec and Magnus got their son that is mentioned in Lady Midnight. THIS WAS SO CUTE. My favorite scenes included: Simon walking in on Alec and Magnus, Simon declaring his love for Isabelle, and Jace being his sassy arrogant self. I really loved this novella. It was so cute because it was about the baby warlock that Alec and Magnus are now the parents to. Malec and Sizzy are my favorite OTPs from The Mortal Instruments, and I’ve always loved the dynamic between Magnus and Alec. They love each other so much, and you saw Alec first learn to love because of Magnus, and Magnus finally feeling real love because of Alec. It’s just so cute. I really enjoyed this one, and again, it makes me want to reread Lady Midnight (shocker) because I will know so much more now. I am really sad that I will be starting the last one next, but alas, it had to happen eventually.

 

Angels Twice Descending

5 out of 5 stars

That was not what I had expected from the ending, but it was a nice conclusion in a way. I’m very sad. I won’t spoil, but I’m very sad. I really enjoyed this one, and I do have to say that the way it ended made sense for the storyline, but I just didn’t want it to happen like that. Ugh ugh ugh. I really enjoyed everything about this one, even the ending. Sometimes being sad is the only satisfactory way to feel. I loved what Simon said to George about being brothers. That part made my heart happy. Overall, I really enjoyed the second have of this book, and loved being thrown back into this amazing world. I can’t wait for more of it.

Series:

Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1)

The Lost Herondale (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #2)

The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #3)

Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

The Evil We Loved (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #5)

Pale Kings and Princes (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #6)

Bitter of Tongue (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #7)

The Fiery Trial (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #8)

Born to Endless Night (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #9)

Angels Twice Descending (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #10)

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two (Harry Potter #8) – John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J. K. Rowling


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two (Harry Potter #8) – John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two (Harry Potter #8)

Author: John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J. K. Rowling

Release Date: July 31, 2016

Publisher: Little Brown Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 343

Source: Library

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

4 out of 5 stars


The final installment to the Harry Potter series, and I have to say, by the end I was pleasantly surprised.

I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews on this book. Some love it and think that it was a great addition, and some thought it was pointless and full of plot holes. I didn’t love it as much as the first seven books, but I did enjoy it.

At the beginning I was confused as to why this was a thing because I felt like it was tainting my way of seeing Harry and the rest of the characters, but by the end I was thoroughly enjoying it. I don’t know if this was a very detrimental addition to the story, but the storyline was quite interesting.

Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy are best friends, and then Harry is an ass for two seconds and forbids them from being friends because he and Draco weren’t very friendly with each other. At the beginning I was kind of traumatized because they were making Harry to be really mean and it made me sad. He is part of the golden trio. He can’t be mad and not accepting of his son. Anyway, Albus and Scorpius decide to go and save Cedric Diggory because Albus overhears a conversation between Harry and Amos Diggory, Cedric’s father. It follows the two friends as they try and figure out how to save some blood from being shed, then getting out of a very sticky situation.

I don’t want to spoil anyone because this is the last book in the series and I know not everyone has read it, but I really loved the ending. It showed how selfless Harry is, and how much Ginny loves him. And how perfect Ron and Hermione are for each other. It also had some redeeming qualities for Draco, too.

I do have to say, I’m quite sad that this journey is over. This was one of the first series I had ever started, and it will always *ha* have a special place in my heart. I can’t wait to read the Harry Potter books to my kids and instill a love for reading in them. It’s okay, I’m only seventeen. It’ll be awhile ;)

Series:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7)

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Review: A Mad, Wicked Folly – Sharon Biggs Waller


A Mad, Wicked Folly – Sharon Biggs Waller

A Mad, Wicked Folly

Title: A Mad, Wicked Folly

Author: Sharon Biggs Waller

Release Date: January 23, 2014

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 431

Source: Library

Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
           
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky is torn. Just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

4 out of 5 stars


I picked this book up on a whim while I was at the library, and I’m so glad I did! I’m not going to lie, the reason I first picked this book up was because of the cover. It’s beautiful, and simple, and classic looking. I love the yellow dress on the front, as well. Then I read the synopsis, as one does, and was immediately pulled in.

It was set in London in the 1900s. It’s about an artist. A seventeen year old girl poses nude for her art class, gets sent home, finds her muse, is betrothed to a man…

Oh gosh it was so fun to read.

After picking this up from the library I went to Goodreads to see some general reviews, just to get a feel as to what I was about to read, and was a little nervous.

One of the first reviews I skimmed was a girl freaking out because of the first few sentences of the book:

“I never set out to pose nude. I didn’t, honestly.”

And people were so angsty about this. I don’t understand what the issue is. It is supposed to be sarcastic sounding. I feel like sometimes people look into things like this too much. It was that she never thought she would, but she ended up posing. She didn’t regret it at all, and I think that that showed a strong character.

Near the beginning when I found out she was betrothed to this guy, I was really against the other love interest, Will. I was being somewhat judgey of Victoria because she knew she shouldn’t be drawing this other guy, but I couldn’t dislike him. Wow. William Fletcher was my favorite character in this story because he was so happy and so encouraging to Victoria. If it weren’t for him she probably would have given up on her dreams of being an artist. Her family didn’t believe in her, and made it impossible for her to create, so she turned to Will and I’m so glad she did.

Their relationship was so cute. There were so many parts of this story that my heart just felt so happy and full. All of you know the feeling I’m talking about. The one where you almost have to make a high pitched noise because your heart is so happy. Cause yeah, same. I think the reason I liked their relationship so much was because it reminded me of my relationship. My boyfriend is supportive of me just as Will was to Victoria, and it was just so cute.

This book took a turn that I didn’t think it would take, but I really enjoyed it. I was not expecting to get a heavy suffragist theme, but I really enjoyed it. The women were fighting for equal rights, and I really respected that. I couldn’t have been put in Victoria’s place where she had to be prim and proper her whole life just so then she could be respectable in her class. I would be a suffragist because, I too, believe in equal opportunities for men and women.

I really love historical fiction, and this book just reminded me of that. I really enjoyed reading this, and loved that Sharon Biggs Waller had some of the history in the back of the book. I love when authors actually research their writing to make sure it’s historically accurate.

Overall, I really liked this book. It was a relatively fast read, and it put me in a historical fiction mood again! Pick up this book if you want a cute romance and a strong female lead.

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Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) – J. K. Rowling


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) – J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7)

Author: J. K. Rowling

Release Date: July 21, 2007

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 784

Source: TBR List

It’s no longer safe for Harry at Hogwarts, so he and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, are on the run. Professor Dumbledore has given them clues about what they need to do to defeat the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, once and for all, but it’s up to them to figure out what these hints and suggestions really mean.

Their cross-country odyssey has them searching desperately for the answers, while evading capture or death at every turn. At the same time, their friendship, fortitude, and sense of right and wrong are tested in ways they never could have imagined.

The ultimate battle between good and evil that closes out this final chapter of the epic series takes place where Harry’s Wizarding life began: at Hogwarts. The satisfying conclusion offers shocking last-minute twists, incredible acts of courage, powerful new forms of magic, and the resolution of many mysteries.

Above all, this intense, cathartic book serves as a clear statement of the message at the heart of the Harry Potter series: that choice matters much more than destiny, and that love will always triumph over death.

5 out of 5 stars


I still can’t believe that it took me this long to finally read this final book. I really enjoyed it, just the same, though.

One thing. I think that the first 200 pages of this book were veryyyyy slow. It didn’t remind me of the fast pace of the first part of this series. I understand that it was probably because Harry didn’t know what to do, so Rowling wanted to capture that with her writing style, but it was a little hard to get through. Not much happened at the beginning, but it was great overall. The last half redeemed itself.

I don’t want to talk too much about this, as it is the 7th book, but the Battle of Hogwarts. Woah. It was so intricate and well thought out. Voldemort was ready to be the winner that he believed what Narcissa told him at the end.

SPOILERS

Continue reading

Review: November Snow (Bad Bloods #2) – Shannon A. Thompson


November Snow (Bad Bloods #2) – Shannon A. Thompson

November Snow (Bad Bloods, #2)

Title: November Snow (Bad Bloods #2)

Author: Shannon A. Thompson

Release Date: September 19, 2016

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Format: eBook

Page Number: 275

Source: Author

Fans of Red Queen and The Hunger Games Trilogy will love this new series by Shannon A. Thompson.
When Daniel and Serena unite, their accidental relationship becomes the catalyst for a twelve-year war to continue. Exposing the twisted past of a corrupt city, Daniel, Serena, and everyone they know will come together to fight. But Serena has another battle. After a political rumor threatens their lives, Serena must leave her family and join the political front against her will. To survive apart, Daniel has to separate his love from his hatred and join forces with his worst memory to secure Vendona’s war. But very few of them will survive to see the last day. Bad blood or human, a city will burn, snow will fall, and all will be united by catastrophic secrets and irrevocable tragedy.

3 out of 5 stars


Huge thank you to Shannon A. Thompson for sending me this book to read and review! I’m sorry it took so long to get this review up! I’m a lazy reader lately ;)

This is the second book in the Bad Bloods series, and we’re immediately pulled back into the world of future America, politics, and bad bloods. Serena and Daniel are separated throughout this novel because Serena is needed for the new presidency. Serena has one wish, and it has to be seen through in order for the two flocks to live in harmony. What she doesn’t know, is how much pain it will cause to the others.

I don’t want to say too much about this book, because it is so closely related to the first, and neither are very long. It shouldn’t take too long to read both! I really loved this world of Vendona. It’s future United States, and it was taking place during an election *kind of similarly to what has happened in the recent past with a few not-so-great candidates…* Anyway, one candidate will fight for the bad bloods, one will have them all killed. Serena goes to help to try and make sure that no more bad bloods will die. While she’s helping out, she learns crazy new information that helps both her and the rest of both of her flocks.

There were quite a few parts in this book that should have been elaborated on more. I was confused when Jane was talking about the directions being changed, and figured there would be more said about it, but then there wasn’t. I was a little disappointed with that.

I really enjoyed the vulnerability, friendships, and love that happen throughout this book. I love when the stereotype of men not being able to cry is broken. Anyone can cry; people are human. I really liked the vulnerable side you saw to some characters.

Overall, I enjoyed this duology. I still have to say that the Timely Death Trilogy has been my favorite of Shannon’s books I’ve read, though. Please check out something from her, she’s an amazing author!

Thanks again, Shannon, for allowing me to read this book and for being one of the first authors to contact me!

Series:

November Rain (Bad Bloods #1)

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