Review: Redwall (Redwall #1) – Brian Jacques


Redwall (Redwall #1) – Brian Jacques

Redwall (Redwall, #1)

Title: Redwall (Redwall #1)

Author: Brian Jacques

Release Date: June 10, 1986

Publisher: Red Fox

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 352

Source: School Library

Redwall Abbey, tranquil home to a community of peace-loving mice is threatened by Cluny the Scourge – the evil-one-eyed rat warlord – and his battle-hardened horde of predators. Cluny is certain that Redwall will fall easily to his fearsome army but he hasn’t bargained for the courage and strength of the combined forces of the Redwall mice and their loyal woodland friends. . . . .

1 out of 5 stars


This book was soooooooooooooooooooooo slow it was painful to read. I liked the premise of the book and Matthias as a character was fun to read about. Other than Matthias as a character, there weren’t may redeeming qualities for this book.

The only reason I picked up this book was because I went to a local Little Free Library and found two books of this series. I was intrigued because it was a young adult fantasy series, and fantasy is one of my favorite genres, so naturally I decided to pick them up. I later found out that they were book numbers nine and eleven, so….

I picked up the first book from the library and it was so slow.

This book followed Matthias and his adventures to obtain the great sword of Martin. This was all that happened and I struggled to get through it. I don’t understand how this book has an average rating of 4.1 on Goodreads. IT WAS SO BORING.

I honestly don’t have anything else to say about this. I will not be continuing on with this series.

Also, 22 books in this series. No way is that even possible for me to read that much about small woodland creatures who don’t fight but end up killing the bad guys.

Review: Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #2) – Iain Reading


Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #2) – Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway's Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, #2)

Title: Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #2)

Author: Iain Reading

Release Date: September 11, 2013

Publisher: Createspace

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 246

Source: Author

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost is the exciting second installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This second book in the series continues the adventures of Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot who has decided to follow in the footsteps of her hero Amelia Earhart and make an epic flight around the entire world. After flying across North America Kitty’s journey takes her down south to Florida where she plans to get a bit of rest and relaxation before continuing on with the rest of her long and grueling flight. As Kitty explores the strange and magical water world of the Florida Keys her knack for getting herself into precarious situations sweeps her headlong into the adventure of a lifetime involving mysterious lights, ancient shipwrecks, razor-toothed barracudas and even a sighting of the great Ernest Hemingway himself. This exhilarating story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept across the landscape and history of the Florida Keys all the way from Key West to the strange and remarkable world of Fort Jefferson and the Dry Tortugas.

4 out of 5 stars


Huge thank you to Iain Reading for sending me a copy of this book and for the sweet message on the Amazon gift note!

Kitty Hawk, pilot of a seaplane, embarks on her journey around the world by first stopping in the Florida Keys. She flies down from Canada for her first leg of the trip, and finds herself on an island called Dry Tortugas in the Keys. She takes her plane there and sees a large building made of brick, a campsite, and the beautiful coral reef under the water.

Kitty camps at the campsite and makes some friends with fellow campers who happen to know a lot about shipwrecks from the Civil War era. Kitty falls asleep on a beach, and when she wakes up there are some curious things happening. She sees signaling with flashlights. And a boat out on the water in the pitch black. Hmm. Interesting. Kitty Hawk, being the detective she is, looks into these occurrences and find out some information that surprises her…

This book involves adventuring, sleuthing, snorkeling, and scary barracudas. I enjoyed this book because, like the first, there is adventure. This book had some Nancy Drew vibes which made my heart very happy as I will always love Miss Drew and her detective work. I flew through this book, and enjoyed it so much more than the first one. I loved that Kitty was on her own because it just showed the women can be independent. I think this set a good example for younger readers.

One of my favorite parts of this book was right at the beginning when she went to the Ernest Hemingway museum and was talking to James, the tour guide. It was nice seeing Kitty as a normal teenage girl. She was flirting with him, but she’s kind of awkward, but it was great. I love that she bought quite a few of Hemingway’s books. As a book lover myself, I love reading stories about people who also love books. Although I haven’t picked up any of the famous Hemingway works, I hope to now!

Overall I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

Huge thank you to Iain, again!

Series:

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1)

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: 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: The Almost King (Tellus #2) – Lucy Saxon


The Almost King (Tellus #2) – Lucy Saxon

The Almost King (Tellus, #2)

Title: The Almost King (Tellus #2)

Author: Lucy Saxon

Release Date: June 4, 2014

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 410

Source: Friend

Aleks Vasin is the youngest of four brothers, each with his path mapped out. But Aleks doesn’t want to work in his father’s shop and live with his family in a village in the westernmost corner of Siberene. And when he hears his parents fretting about money, he decides to save them the cost of his keep and leave.

First he heads south – though everyone tells him not to – to Rudavin, headquarters of the kingsguard, and he signs up for the army, little knowing what brutality it entails. After only a few weeks, Aleks realizes that this garrison is full of liars and thieves; he’s signed away four years of his life to a commander who steals his money and a captain who’s already hurt Aleks’s beloved horse. This is not a noble destiny.

After a brutal beating, Aleks escapes, hoping to find safety and a new life somewhere in the north. And there, this deserter finds love, adventure, and a skyship in which he might just prove himself a hero after all – if he can evade the soldiers who seek to capture him.

Prepare for another sweeping adventure in this second book in a unique six-book series. Each book is set in a different land within the Tellus world, with repeating characters and related, nonlinear storylines that combine to create a one-of-a-kind, addictive reading experience.

5 out of 5 stars


OH MY GOODNESS. I loved this book so much. On Goodreads it says I’ve been reading it for a while, but I read this in one day. 410 pages in one single day. Seriously this series is becoming one of my favorite series!

This is the second installment in the six book series (SIX BOOKS!). In this book you follow Aleks Vasin down to the south of his country where he tries to find what he wants to do. He enlists in the army because no one in his family has, and having four successful older brothers, he needs to take a different path. He quickly finds out that this military camp in the south of the country is brutal and violent. There has never been a chance that he’ll get to fight the way he wants to coming from this camp. He wants to travel. He has wanderlust that he needs to fulfill.

“His father had never had the wanderlust he seemed to have developed. He’d always been happy exactly where he was, doing the same job, keeping his quiet life in their minuscule village. He’d never wondered what the cliffs in the East looked like, or whether the palaces were really as breathtaking as they were in the newscasts, of how it would feel to fly through a storm. Not like Aleks had.” (p 28)

I know that is a long quote, but I couldn’t help but share it. By page 28 of this book I had already related to Aleks on so many levels. I have wanderlust. I want to travel. I want to see the world, just like he does.

After he finds out that the military camp he’s at will get him nowhere, he leaves before he’s killed. He searches for his enlistment papers to destroy them, and finds something else. A journal. Mysterious knowledge for an awful event that takes place in book one. *the connections make my heart so happy* He takes his horse and runs away as fast as he can. He comes across good luck by finding people willing to house him for free. He gets to his “final” destination in the north where he is looking for a job in order to support himself, and stumbles across a run-down shop with gadgets created by the owner, Luka. He finds himself working at Luka’s shop every single day, and then a huge opportunity comes up…

Seriously this book was so amazing. I loved the romance in this story. It wasn’t rushed, which I find YA relationships often are, so I appreciated that. There was adventure. There was action. There was an element of mystery. This book had something for everyone. The friendships in this book just warmed my whole person up with happiness. SO GOOD.

This being the second book in this series, I don’t want to spoil anyone, but please just read these books. They’re not very popular, and I’ve never seen anyone review or talk about these books. The third book comes out in March, and I can’t wait to read it. Just give it a try!

Series:

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Review: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) – Iain Reading


Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) – Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, #1)

Title: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1)

Author: Iain Reading

Release Date: December 3, 2012

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 262

Source: Author

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world!

3 out of 5 stars


Challenges Completed:

2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge

  • A book with a subtitle
  • A book with career advice
  • A book with pictures

Huge thank you to Iain for sending me his book to read! Like I always say, being able to connect with authors is my favorite part about blogging.

Kitty Hawk is just a normal teenage girl, except she loves flying her plane instead of driving a car. She loves being able to take adventures and travel where she wants, so she decides to follow another passion of hers and learn more about her favorite animal: the humpback whale. She decides to fly to Alaska to stay with her best friend’s family and research whales in the ocean and in inlets while flying her plane. Her adventurous summer of whale watching turns into a crazy adventure with gold smugglers after she finds herself in a sticky situation with some brothers and a cooler full of gold.

Starting off, this book was pretty slow for me. I didn’t really understand why she was going to watch whales and the title was about gold, so right away my interest wasn’t peaked. I would have enjoyed this book much more if she would have gotten involved with the Yukon Gold earlier in the story. It took half the book to even be introduced to the characters she would soon become friends with. After she had met the guys and had started the real adventure, I thoroughly enjoyed it! The second half of this book held my attention, and I’m excited to read the next book of this series.

Kitty was a cool main character to read about, and I liked the relationships she had with the brothers. I wanted her and Charlie to be a thing, so I can hope in the books to come. It’s my prediction that Charlie will insist upon going around the world with her, but all I can do is hope ;). Although it took me quite a long time to read this book, I am excited to read the series. I love adventure books, and don’t get a lot of them in my everyday reading life!

Thank you Iain Reading!

Series:

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #2)

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