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Sunday, December 7, 2014

William Skakespeare's The Jedi Doth Return


Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
Storyline - Luke, Leia, Han, Chewy, and the droids are preparing to face their final battle against the Empire. Luke is struggling with the truth of his father while also discovering a secret that he has a sibling. Leia and Han work with local inhabitants of a planet to help the rebellion. Darth Vader will face a choice: his son or his master. It all comes down to this but will it be enough or will all fail?

Author - Ian Doescher

Publisher - Quirk Books

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Luke ponders an old tale that resembles Oedipus. Internal turmoil affects all the characters on what they should or should not do. Each character has to decide to give up or stand for what they believe in and the ones they care about, even if it means their life.

Personal Opinion - Honoring the story while also paying tribute to William Shakespeare, this book is funny, accurate, and, as others have put it, insightful. Trying to read R2 D2's noises and seeing beloved lines put into Shakespeare style made me laugh out loud. The story moved just like it did in the movie yet also provided a new lens to view the characters. Their monologues and when they spoke in their minds, gave new depth and insight into what the characters were thinking and feeling during different parts when they originally didn't have lines in the movie. So want to read the first two book and hope the Anakin arc will also be written in Shakespeare form.   

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Sunday, November 30, 2014

52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables

"There is One Spectacle Greater than the Sea:
That is the Sky;
There is One Spectacle Greater than the Sky:
That is the Interior of the Soul."
 
Bookworm's Ranking - 4.5 Worms
 
About - Author Bob Welch takes readers on a journey through the popular book, beloved musical, and famous movie, Les Miserables and examines some of the deeper lessons it shares. From sacrifice to loving your enemies, 52 Little Lessons from Les Miserables compare God's word with this Victor Hugo tale and how it calls readers to live a better life and see others as God sees them. The poor can teach us more than one might think.

Author - Bob Welch

Publisher - Thomas Nelson

Age Group - 15 and up

Personal Opinion - Wow, what a great book. A perfect devotional-type book that takes the story of Les Mis and examines lessons and examples that we can take and learn from for our own lives. Each chapter begins with a quote and summary before leading into what Jesus has taught us and/or personal experiences. It made me think of my own life and how I treat or react to others and what I could do to change. One chapter I am still debating over on some of its points but I was very happy with the whole book. A read for those who love Les Mis or using books/movies/popular culture as examples to dig deeper into their faith.

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through BookLook.

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Chew on a good book today!
 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Ruby's Tale

"A True Rags to Riches Story"

Bookworm's Ranking - 4.5 Worms
About - Ruby defies the stereotypes of pit bulls and shows the true nature of the breed. When adopted by her new home, she loves everyone she meets and goes on to host a radio show, perform in stage productions, and be a finalist in a Milk Bone competition. Her love abounds as she works as a service dog visiting others in nursing homes. Ruby might be a pit bull but she is not what someone would expect.

Author - Patrick Bettendorf

Publisher - Tasora Books

Age Group - 15 and up

Personal Opinion - With charm, humor, and honesty, Ruby's Tale is full of wonderful tales and lessons on dogs and their abilities. It made me laugh at her antics, happy at the change of people, and furious at the behavior of some people to dogs. Through her adventures, Ruby defies her breed's stereotype and inspires her owner and fans though her exploits on stage, radio, and service work. Ruby's tale is not the only one to grace the pages but also that of her owner, other dogs, and the experiences around them. This, though, at times made me wonder why Ruby's story was chosen to tell over one of the other dogs in their life and seemed to derail from what the point of the book was. But this is becoming one of my new favorite books and would gladly share it with friends and family.

Buy - Amazon, Barnes and Noble,

Awards - Indi Excellence Winner
                Book of the Year Finalist

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Chew on a good book today!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Knitting Reimagined


Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms

About - With simple designs, knitting modern clothing can become a work of art that allows the knitter to either follow the prescribed pattern or change it up. For levels for beginner, moderate, and advanced, designs from dresses, sweaters, and pull overs fill the pages for any occasion. Let the needles run wild.

Author - Nicky Epstein

Publisher - Potter Craft

Personal Opinion - Being a knitter between beginner and moderate, there were a handful of questions I had from the directions but were not clear in the book but my inexperience is what I will have to sum that up to. I will just have to buy a dictionary for the future. Anyways, this book is easy to use and has a guide in the back to demonstrate stiches if need arises. I like how the Nicky Epstein gives suggestions how to change the pattern because then I am not stuck just doing what is there on the page but can use my imagination. In fact, the patter I tried was so simple in nature yet looked cool that I did change it up a little. This book would be good for moderate to experienced knitters who want modern day patterns and a chance to use their creativity.

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through Blogging for Books.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Crater Trueblood and the Lunar Rescue Company

"Crater Trueblood has to Rescue
his Ex-Girlfriend...
and the Entire Human Race."
 
Bookworm's Ranking - 2 Worms

Storyline - Crater is doing just fine, mostly, without Maria as he, Petro, and Crescent develop and work their new company, Lunar Rescue Company, saving wayward people out in the dust. Maria is also doing just fine, mostly, working in her grandfather's business. But when she is kidnapped, Crater runs off to find her with his friends in tow. The earth is being threatened and it might cost Maria, Crater, Petro, Crescent, and several more lives to save it.

Author - Homer Hickam

Publisher - Thomas Nelson
 
Age Group - 15 and up
 
Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Characters risk their lives to help others, even if they are not particularly fond of one another. Some recognized their mistakes and tried to overcome them. Torture happened several times. Death and destruction.

Personal Opinion - This is the end of the story of Crater and his friends. Sadly, I wasn't that impressed. There was a lot of action and stuff happening but that is all it felt like, stuff was happening that  was leading up to something, everything was prepatory. Now, that might seem like all books do that to a point but it didn't feel like it was building the story and characters. It almost seemed like the reader should already know the characters so they were not developed much. A lot of the information was detailed about the spaceships and their workings and there almost seemed like too many characters being followed so it broke up the story. There was also one question from book 2 to book 3 that I didn't get an answer too. The book did challenge the idea of love and what we do in desperation as well as sacrifice to save others. Plus, the Gillie's personality is still fun as ever and his conversations are charming. Still is not really recommended, though, because it was not a well told story.

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Other Book Reviews for this Author - Crater, Book 1, Review
                                                             Crescent, Book 2, Review

Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free from the publisher through BookLook.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Awakening

"Kallie Andreas is a Mystery,
Even to Herself."

Bookworm's Ranking - 5 Worms
 
Storyline - Kallie is trying to remember her life prior to the last seven years but nothing is there. Happy with her life as a researcher for her museum until she tanks an important event. When an offer comes along to discover the secret to an ancient civilization, she doesn't have any reason to refuse. As she journey's across the glob, her discovery into herself, the real world, and the story she is writing are taking terrifying turns to meld together.

Author - Tracy Higley

Publisher - StoneWater Press

Age Group - 15 or 16 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Several attacks take place on the characters. Several are willing to put their lives at risk to save someone else.

Personal Opinion - One of the best Tracy Higley books I have read and I have enjoyed each book of hers. Taking place in modern times, this book looked at facing the past, finding truth, and loving others over ones self. Using ancient mythology and fairy tales through metaphors, the story captured the unrealness to the protagonist's point of view while also combining two stories of the ancient along with the present and their affects on each other. The twist to the story was excellent by leading up to it, almost suggesting it, but keeping the reader surprised. There was even a small discussion an differences in religion, which I usually dislike because they make the non-Christians like idiots, but this one was respectful to the different points of view even if they didn't agree with each other. There were a couple of times if felt the characters change their thought processes that seemed a little quick and the love story was highly emphasized. Not that romance is a bad thing but it got a little mushy-gooshy for my taste. Loved the strong female taking the lead, though. This book is a must read for those who like mystery, ancient civilization, and even a twinge of fantasy.

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Disclaimer - In exchange for an honest review, I received this book for free through Tracy's Caravan.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

East

"Rose Has Always Been Different "
Bookworm's Ranking - 4 Worms
Storyline - Rose is the youngest in her family and wilder than anyone. The love to explore and be free and create beautiful weaving makes her happy, even though it causes her family anguish. But when hard times fall on her family and a talking white bear makes her an offer which will help the ones she cares for, Rose is ready to sacrifice everything she holds dear. When her promise to the bear begins to challenge her curiosity, everything might fall apart. And a mysterious prophecy might be her undoing.

Author - Edith Pattou

Publisher - Magic Carpet Books

Age Group - 15 and up

Content - *May Contain Spoilers* Mother is really superstitious and, yet, despite her family telling her it is nonsense, most of the suspicion come true. Despite nothing happening, a girl knows someone is sleeping in her bed with her. Rose is willing to risk her life and freedom for the ones she loves.

Personal Opinion - Mixed with fairy tales and legends of the Inuit and Norse, East is one of the best fairy tale retellings I have ever read, blending these elements so seamlessly that it feels like this story could have happened in the real world. The cover is what first caught my eye for the novel... And the story does it justice. It enchants right away with suspense and characters whose concerns and experiences are relaitable. From the several points of view, the reader is given the perspectives and growth of each character which is masterfully done. East is written in straight forward telling but its building of  suspense and mystery kept me at the edge of my seat, wanting to know what happens next. There were a few slow spot but I wanted to know how it would end. Rose is an adventurous girl who dreams big and will not let anything stop her. The White Bear is a mystery through much of the novel yet it charming from what you do learn about him. That is actually one of my biggest complaints is that I wish we had gotten to know White Bear more with more of his perspective in the story. I wish I had seen more of his change, struggle, and growth. The only other thing that got to me was the novel began not doing the same time as the events of Rose and her family but it wasn't developed. But, East has found a place among the retelling of fairy tales that it rightfully deserves.

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Awards - A list can be found on the Author's Website

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