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Book Review: The Thank You Book by Mary Lyn Ray


I saved this little gem until today, in the Spirit of Thanksgiving, THANK YOU to all the authors, readers and friends who share the love of a good book!
You are special.


Summary:
"Perfect for fans of Margaret Wise Brown and Pat Zietlow Miller’s Be Kind, The Thank You Book explores the many ways of being thankful that can fill a child's day. Timely, wise, and accessible, the poetic text and tender illustrations celebrate the powerful impact gratitude can have on our lives."

Thank you isn't just for learning manners.
It's also for when something wakes a
little hum
a little happy huminside you
and you want to answer back.


The Thank You Book explores the many ways we can be thankful for the pleasures great and small that await us every day. Tender and poetic, it reflects on the role gratitude can play in our lives and celebrates the powerful impact it can have on us.


Release Date:  September 2018
Age Group: Childrens, Picture, Read-Aloud
Source: Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
The Thank You Book's target audience may be children but this is such a sweet reminder to everyone to simply be thankful, in all things. 

"Thank You" and "I'm Sorry" are probably two of the hardest phrases for people to express to one another and yet they mean so much. Teaching young kids to say them may start out in an effort to teach a child good manners but it needs to progress into so much more. I think worldwide, we could use a good book full of Thank You's right now. Life is hard but it can still be happy.

This book is a sweet and gentle expression of simply being thankful for the big and little things, the good and the not-so-good times and everything in-between. I loved how the simple pleasures in life that we may take for granted were celebrated. I mean, I am pretty grateful for puddles. They sure brought me a lot of joy as a kid. They have also saved my sanity when all my kids were little and I'd yell "Go play in the puddles!" It's a real game-changer when you tell kids to go and get muddy.

Art.
The illustrations are beautiful and so detailed. I really enjoyed studying the pictures and finding little treasures (like the bear dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween!).

And I have to mention that the physical copy of this book, it is very nice quality! I know I am thankful for the good feel of a book. 

This would be a perfect book to gift for a new mom, preschool teacher, and/or makes a great read for a new Thanksgiving tradition. I paired my book with our Turkey on the Table this year. Even though it's for a much younger audience than I have, it was still fun to read and have the older kids teach the younger ones about being thankful.


Hats off to Mary Ray & Stephanie Graegin for creating such a sweet reminder of gratitude.

This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading

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Book to Movie Review: The House with the Clock in Its Walls


I am not sure where to begin... I'll start with two names: Jack Black & Eric Kripke. Now sprinkle in Eli Roth's debut into family entertainment and you have the oddest cocktail ever!

When you set out to scare, Eric Kripke is your man! One, glorious title Supernatural. Ahhhh, the Winchesters. Now combine Jack Black AND Kate Blanchet, pure magic!

I wasn't sure how in the world someone from the realm of Supernatural was going to hone it in for a "family" friendly scare but man did he deliver. The House with a Clock in Its Walls was everything!

Louis was weird and it was a celebration to watch. This movie was jam packed with themes: family loss, bullying, the underdog, persistence, believing in yourself and so on.

I left loving the color purple, wanting a ginormous fireplace, feeling the need to burn all dolls and a little afraid of Jack-o-Lanterns. It was G-R-E-A-T.

🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳
Scare factor according to The Mob

✔︎ Pre-teens: loved it.

✔︎ Middle schoolers: loved it.

𐄂 1st grader: had to sit in my seat and remind me he loved me and thought I "just needed a hug" right at that pumpkin filled moment. No crying. If your youngsters can't handle the Goosebumps flicks, you might want to wait until they are a bit older and desensitized.

🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳🎃🕷💀😳




THE HOUSE WITH A CLOCK IN ITS WALLS – In Theaters September 21

In the tradition of Amblin classics where fantastical events occur in the most unexpected places, Jack Black and two-time Academy Award® winner Cate Blanchett star in The House with a Clock in Its Walls, from Amblin Entertainment.  The magical adventure tells the spine-tingling tale of 10-year-old Lewis (Owen Vaccaro) who goes to live with his uncle in a creaky old house with a mysterious tick-tocking heart.  But his new town’s sleepy façade jolts to life with a secret world of warlocks and witches when Lewis accidentally awakens the dead.

Based on the beloved children’s classic written by John Bellairs and illustrated by Edward Gorey, The House with a Clock in Its Walls is directed by master frightener Eli Roth and written by Eric Kripke (creator of TV’s Supernatural).  Co-starring Kyle MacLachlan, Colleen Camp, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Vanessa Anne Williams, Lorenza Izzo and Sunny Suljic, it is produced by Mythology Entertainment’s Brad Fischer (Shutter Island) and James Vanderbilt (Zodiac), as well as Kripke.

Executive produced by William Sherak, Tracey Nyberg, Laeta Kalogridis and Mark McNair, The House with a Clock in Its Walls will be released by Universal Pictures.  www.housewithaclock.com

Genre: Adventure
Cast: Jack Black, Cate Blanchett, Owen Vaccaro, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Sunny Suljic and Kyle MacLachlan
Directed by: Eli Roth
Writer: Eric Kripke
Based on the Novel by: John Bellairs
Produced by: Brad Fischer, James Vanderbilt, Eric Kripke
Executive Producers: William Sherak, Tracey Nyberg, Laeta Kalogridis, Mark McNair

This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading

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Book Spotlight: Roald Dahl’s Book of Ghost Stories

If you are in need of a quick classic tale, this is the collection for you! 

This is not a work of Dahl himself but a compilation of some of his favorite ghost stories (and authors). He read close to 800 stories in the late 1950's/early 60's and these are the few that made the cut. Each short story is unique and unexpected. I loved the classic feel of each authors writing-- although I did not love every one I read. 

 

Who better to investigate the literary spirit world than that supreme connoisseur of the unexpected, Roald Dahl? Of the many permutations of the macabre, Dahl was always especially fascinated by the classic ghost story. For this superbly disquieting collection, he selected fourteen of his favorite tales by such authors as E.F. Benson, Rosemary Timperley, and Edith Wharton

Includes:
"W.S." L.P. Hartley
"Harry" Rosemary Timperley
"The Corner Shop" Cynthia Asquith
"In the Tube" E.F. Benson
"Christmas Meeting" Rosemary Timperley
"Elias and the Draug" Jonas Lie
"Playmates" A.M. Burrage
"Ringing the Changes" Robert Aickman
"The Telephone" Mary Treadgold
"The Ghost of a Hand" J. Sheridan Le Fanu
"The Sweeper" A.M. Burrage
"Afterward" Edith Wharton
"On the Brighton Road" Richard Middleton
"The Upper Berth" F. Marion Crawford


Release Date: October 1984

This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading

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Book Review: Uncharted by Erin Cashman

Summary: 
Seventeen-year-old Annabeth prefers the fantasy of her books and paintings to reality—because in reality, her mom is dead, and it was all her fault. When she accompanies her father to the funeral of some family friends who drowned, she’s surprised to find her grief reflected in the face of Griffin Bradford, the son of the couple who died. Griffin is nothing like the carefree boy she once knew. Now he’s irritable, removed, and he’s under police investigation for his parents’ deaths.

One night following the memorial service, Annabeth’s dad goes missing in the woods, and she suspects Griffin knows more about the disappearance than he’s letting on. He refuses to answer her questions, particularly those related to the mysterious “expedition” his parents took to Ireland, where they went missing for seven months.

Annabeth fears her father isn’t lost, but rather a victim of something sinister. She launches her own investigation, tracing clues that whisper of myth and legend and death, until she stumbles upon a secret. One that some would die to protect, others would kill to expose—and which twists Annabeth’s fantasy and reality together in deadly new ways.

Release Date: September 2018
Age Group: YA, Mystery, Folklore
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
I loved Uncharted right from the prologue! It was a unique storyline that did a great job of blending several genres, I actually had a hard time deciding where to "shelve" it. 

The Mystery.
Right from the start my mind was coming up with all sorts of theories, all of which were wrong. I've read enough dystopian and paranormal books that it takes all of 5 seconds for me to turn any character suspicious. Sometimes I feel like I'm re-reading a story plot, like running in a circle, but Uncharted was fresh and new. I kept thinking of mystery islands, every TV show I'd ever watched as a kid that had a treasure map and referenced my crime show toolbox too (I'll always have a little Nancy Drew in me)!

Character Development.
It's rare in a standalone book that I feel like I was adequately introduced to all the characters. But Cashman doesn't waste time and lets you know enough about each person to leave you feeling something-- suspicion, regret, loss, sadness, hope. 

Annabeth was raw and real. I felt for her, was sad for her, cheered for her bravery and was hopeful for her. That's a lot of emotions for one character in 400 pages! I really enjoyed her growth and development; she wasn't perfect and she knew it.

Griffin. He will be a book boyfriend of every teen girl that picks up Uncharted. He was good looking, broody with a tender side and tortured. Just how we like them, right girls?! I would love to read a novella of his back story. *cough, cough hint to Cashman*

Love.
You know I need a little love interest, always. I'm happy to report there was no love triangle or instalove. It was subtle and obvious from the outside looking in but it didn't take away from all the mystery or thrill.

Parents.
I LOVE that this book had two sets of parents that loved their children. They weren't absent or totally aloof to what their kids were doing. There was a protectiveness that I related to with almost all the adults attached to Griffin and Annabeth.

More Please.
So the big question... will there be a book two... or three?! I'm intrigued. I'm invested. I hope it gets weird(er). I want to experience the mystery.



This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading

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Movie Review: Hallmark’s A Novel Romance

image source: Hallmark Channel
Summary: Romance novelist Liam Bradley (Dylan Bruce) has already found massive success with three books written under the pen name Gabriel August, but he's mysteriously unknown to his legions of readers. With his first book written as a way to heal after a broken relationship, Liam has slowly become disheartened with writing strictly for romantic fantasy, something evident to a sweet, but honest, journalist who reviews books, Sophie Atkinson (Amy Acker), whom he meets by chance on a plane. The two begin a tentative relationship in Sophie’s home town of Portland, Maine, where Liam has come to find inspiration for his newest entry.

Liam’s agent puts him on the spot with a long-planned reveal of Gabriel August’s true identity, but Sophie doesn’t know of his public persona. The longer Liam avoids telling her the truth, the deeper a hole he digs for himself. Will their romance survive once his true identity comes to light?


Release Date: 2015
Age Group: Family
Reviewed By: Nat

Review:
I know you are asking yourself "Is she sponsored by Hallmark?" And the short answer is NOPE. But clearly they should consider it. Could you imagine getting to preview these gems early?! Seriously, I just got the chills. 😂

Now, why is this Hallmark movie one of my favorites? And why should it be one of yours? Isn't it obvious? It's about an author and reader, turned book blogger, which obviously equals all #thefeels.

Listen, they wrote this for us! 🎉🎉🎉 We are loved. We are appreciated. We are readers, (maybe) bloggers, lovers of HEA. And now we have our own movie. We have it all.

The plot is so relatable for any book connoisseur. It was clever and both funny & embarrassing. I couldn't imagine critiquing an authors work straight to their face. I think I'd choose death. Could you imagine looking Tahereh Mafi in the face and telling her that you didn't like how the last Shatter Me book ended? Her freaking stylish outfit and all that talent that oozes off of her would cause me to put my tail between my legs and say "Whatever you say Queen". And I might even bow. Maybe.

and that's why we blog! We get to type our honest (and hopefully tasteful) opinions. We know when an author is struggling. Work reflects like right?

I loved how Sophie evolved into the role of a book blogger. I was cheering for her and secretly coveting how freaking organized she made the whole process look. Seriously, her office assured that I'd never share my "where the magic happens" space. 

Now, does it portray publishing houses correctly? No clue, but I like to think when you walk the halls of my favorite publishing groups that there are butterflies and twinkling lights in the halls with books stacked everywhere and free for the taking.Yea, kind of like the Holy Grail.

A Novel Romance is scheduled to air in a few days so go record it and enjoy!


Visit the Hallmark Channel {HERE} for more moviedetails & times.

This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading

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Book Review: Surviving Adam Meade by Shannon Klare

Summary: Seventeen-year-old Claire Collins has a plan: get into college and leave North Carolina behind. What she doesn’t have is an idea for how to get rid of the local football star and womanizer extraordinaire—Adam Meade, who she can’t even avoid (despite many efforts), because Claire’s dad is the high school football coach.

Seventeen-year-old Adam Meade never fails. He always gets what he wants… until he meets Claire, the new girl who leaves him unnerved, pissed off, and confused. But there’s something about her that he just can’t resist…

With the bite of lemon meringue pie and the sugar of sweet tea, Surviving Adam Meade is a sexy and compelling young adult novel about two strong-willed people who think they know what they want but have no idea what they need.








Release Date: August 2018
Age Group: YA, Contemporary
Source: Review Copy from Publisher
Reviewed By: Nat

Biased Texan Clause:
Okay, so this book will be loved by all Texans/Natives simply because it is based on our states mandatory Friday night activity, HS Football or termed FNL= Friday Night Lights.

My kids had 28 tardies at the close of last year. I am chronically late to church each Sunday (which starts at 12:30pm). But this past week I got up at 5am sharp to get in line for our HS football season tickets... I was third in line.

Do I have a kid in HS? No. Can I name anyone on the team? Yes, one. Do I have a child in football? Nope. But I got my tickets (and a few extra because I require extra butt room)! See, we are a strange breed but honest about it.

Review: 
Surviving Adam Meade was a fun, feel good book and a great contribution to YA contemporary but without the standard guarantee of a HEA, which was killer good build-up for book 2. And that is another bonus, a BOOK 2!

Once I started, I read this sucker in one sitting, wanna know why? Because of page 13 and one snarky reply by the MC Claire: "I'd bring him a special water bottle filled with the tears of my enemies."

I loved Claire! I loved her spunk, her fire and her sassy mouth. She is exactly what I'd expect from a football coaches daughter but with the added bonus of teen heartache.

When Adam was introduced he was the typical jerk-jock and I just knew I was going to hate the guy. But the more he and Claire interacted the more I loved the both of them as a pair. I'm not sure I would have liked them apart, they had a certain fire about them. The kind of fire that screams "I will eat your first born but first KISS ME you fool!"

I also really liked how Adam's story unfolded, his character was the most realistic and endearing. He had real life tragedies and the world on his shoulders (sometimes literally).

The Ex:
The only complaint I have is that I didn't know enough about Seth, the Ex, to really spew hate-fire at the guy. I mean I know we hate him but I needed more backstory besides a break-up. Give me the dirt!

Surviving Adam Meade is filled with all the challenges of Senior year, the odd year between adolescence and adulthood. It is a fantastic debut novel and I cannot wait to dive into Finding Claire Collins.


This article originally appeared on I'd So Rather Be Reading