Even Salt Looks Like Sugar By Yecheilyah Ysrayl [Book Review]

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Book Review: Even Salt Looks Like Sugar by Yecheilyah Ysrayl | Novella | Fiction | ARC | Book Blog | RachelPoli.com

I received an ARC from the author.

Summary:

Wanda wants nothing more than to escape the oppressive upbringing of life with her abusive foster mother. Miss Cassaundra manipulates the system by bringing lost children into her home turned whorehouse and collecting the money. Wanda knows what it’s like to be abandoned and has no doubt that Abby is Cassaundra’s next case. When an opportunity arises that could save them both, Wanda must find a way to get the paperwork that will secure their freedom. But Cassaundra’s got eyes everywhere and no one can be trusted when even salt looks like sugar.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comI love the cover to this one. The title is the main focus and the color choices work well together.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI’ve read a lot from this author so I was eager to give this one a read when it came out.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

This novella faces some tough dilemmas. Wanda is in a foster home with Miss Cassaundra as her foster mother. Miss Cassaundra is only in it for the money taking more and more children in. Wanda takes a young girl, Abby, under her wing and devises a plan to free them both.

A lot happens in these short 60 pages but there is a clear beginning, middle, and end of the plot. It was well done and the plot was engaging and interesting.

Characters | RachelPoli.comAll the characters are well done. I loved the dynamic between Wanda and everyone else in her life – Abby, her best friend Rose, and even Miss Cassaundra. While I’d like to know more about them, I think there was a good amount of information about them for the story. Still, I definitely want to know more about Miss Cassaundra’s story.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This was certainly a quick read at 60 pages. Despite the length, it was easy to read this in one sitting. I sometimes get tripped up by the voices used for the characters, but it’s authentic and diverse so it’s certainly not a complaint.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was another great read from this author. I’ll be looking forward to her next one.

Even Salt Looks Like Sugar by Yecheilyah Ysrayl gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“You may not have a mama. But you smart. You can do anything you want.” -Yecheilyah Ysrayl, Even Salt Looks Like Sugar

Buy the book:

Amazon

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Becoming Someone By Anne Goodwin [Book Review – Blog Tour]

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Book Review: Becoming Somone by Anne Goodwin | Blog Tour | Short Story Anthology | Fiction | Book Blogging | RachelPoli.com

I received an ARC from the author.

Summary:

What shapes the way we see ourselves?

An administrator is forced into early retirement; a busy doctor needs a break. A girl discovers her sexuality; an older man explores a new direction for his. An estate agent seeks adventure beyond marriage; a photojournalist retreats from an overwhelming world. A woman reduces her carbon footprint; a woman embarks on a transatlantic affair. A widow refuses to let her past trauma become public property; another marks her husband’s passing in style.

Thought-provoking, playful and poignant, these 42 short stories address identity from different angles, examining the characters’ sense of self at various points in their lives. What does it mean to be a partner, parent, child, sibling, friend? How important is work, culture, race, religion, nationality, class? Does our body, sexuality, gender or age determine who we are?

Is identity a given or can we choose the someone we become?

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comI absolutely love the cover. The colors are so pretty together, the font of the title is simple but makes itself known, and the birds have a sense of symbolism to them. This cover was well done.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI enjoy short story collections. I love seeing different perspectives from different characters and this was no different. I’ve enjoyed Anne Goodwin’s work in the past and didn’t want to pass up this opportunity to read her latest.

Plot | RachelPoli.comThe plots vary from story to story and they’re very different from one another. There are a few that have similar themes, but each story is unique from the one before it and they were all interesting backgrounds.

Characters | RachelPoli.comAs the title and summary suggests, each of these stories showcase the characters “becoming someone.” Everyone goes through their own struggles and battles and we all have good times and bad times. The characters in these stories had their own troubles to deal with and life kept moving on for them. Some were easier to get through than others, but the characters were becoming their own within their short tales.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a collection of 42 short stories and no two are the same. The writing style for each differed as well, depending on the character. The POV varied and there was even one story where the narrator spoke in first person and wouldn’t give their name. It kept the book interesting and made me wonder what sort of story and character would await me on the next page. Overall, they were all well written.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis book is well written and is a good length at nearly 300 pages. There are definitely some stories that I enjoyed more than others, but they were all an experience nonetheless.

Becoming Someone by Anne Goodwin gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Loitering with a raspberry milk-shake in yet another coffee-bar, she was afforded multiple glimpses of men with flowing golden curls, but none adorning the head of her prince charming.” -Anne Goodwin, Becoming Someone

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About Anne Goodwin

Anne Goodwin’s debut novel, Sugar and Snails was shortlisted for the 2016 Polari First Book Prize. Her second novel, Underneath, was published in 2017. Alongside her identity as a writer, she’ll admit to being a sociable introvert; recovering psychologist; voracious reader; slug slayer; struggling soprano; and tramper of moors.

Website | Twitter | Amazon Author Page | Amazon Inspired Quill Page | Facebook Book Launch

Sugar and Snails by Anne Goodwin | Blog Tour | Book Review | Becoming Someone | RachelPoli.comCheck out Sugar and Snails: My debut novel is discounted to 99p or equivalent (Kindle version) throughout November viewbook.at/SugarandSnails

Blog Tour | Becoming Somone by Anne Goodwin | Book Blogging | Book Review | Short Story Collection | RachelPoli.com

Interested in this book? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Warriors: Omen Of The Stars: The Fourth Apprentice By Erin Hunter [Book Review]

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Book Review: Warriors | Omen of the Stars Book 1 | The Fourth Apprentice | creative writing | middle grade | fantasy | fiction | reading | book blogging | RachelPoli.com

I bought a hardcover copy from Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

The first book in this fourth series, Warriors: Omen of the Stars #1: The Fourth Apprentice, brings more adventure, intrigue, and thrilling battles to the epic world of the warrior Clans.

It has been foretold that Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and one other cat will hold the power of the stars in their paws. Now they must wait for a sign from StarClan to tell them which of their Clanmates will complete the prophecy.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe cover is simple showcasing a big of the background of the forest where the cats live as well as a head-shot of one of the main cats in the story. This is the first cover edition. It’s been updated since the book came out. The new one is pretty but I really enjoy the first edition cover.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comThe Fourth Apprentice is book one in the Omen of the Stars series of the overall Warriors series. Omen of the Stars is the fourth series which technically makes this book number 19 overall. This a series I’ve been reading since I was 11 and have gotten behind in. I’m eager to pick it back up again and continue the story.

Plot | RachelPoli.comThe cats of ThunderClan are getting over the events of the last book and are also grieving some deaths. Lionblaze and Jayfeather, two chosen cats from StarClan to fill a prophecy have lost their sister, Hazelleaf. They believed her to be the third cat in the prophecy, but she wasn’t.

Two cats of Firestar’s kin become apprentices and Jayfeather and Lionblaze work together to figure out which one of them is special to aid them in their quest. They discover Dovepaw is the one with the special powers and when she’s the one who knows why the lake is drying up, they go on a quest with other cats from the other Clans to fix it leaving Jayfeather and Dovepaw’s jealous sister, Ivypaw, behind at the camp where they both have to deal with other matters.

This plot is somewhat similar to some previous plots with slight differences, though it’s enjoyable with the different cast of characters.

Characters | RachelPoli.comDovepaw is one of the main characters in this story as she discovers her heightened senses and seems to be one of the few cats who can help fix their problem of the dried up lake from the drought and beavers blocking the stream. The chapters switch between Dovepaw, Lionblaze, and Jayfeather as they each deal with their own thoughts and problems.

Each of them have their own unique personality along with all the other many cats from ThunderClan and the other three Clans. It was nice to revisit these cats again, new and old.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

Warriors is a quick read. It’s about 300 pages long but the words are easy to follow along with and there’s always so much going on that that you keep turning the pages.

Overall | RachelPoli.comI started reading this series when the very first book came out when I was 11. This is the series that got me into reading in the first place and I was pleased to get back into the series again after so long. I’m looking forward to reading the next book of Omen of the Stars.

Warriors: Omen of the Stars: The Fourth Apprentice by Erin Hunter gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“I know what it’s like to have a power no other cat understands. It’s the loneliest feeling in the world.” -Erin Hunter, Warriors: Omen of the Stars: The Fourth Apprentice

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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The One And Only Ivan By Katherine Applegate [Book Review]

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Book Review: The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate | Middle grade | Fiction | Reading | Blogging | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

My mom borrowed it from her work’s library.

Summary:

Ivan is an easygoing gorilla. Living at the Exit 8 Big Top Mall and Video Arcade, he has grown accustomed to humans watching him through the glass walls of his domain. He rarely misses his life in the jungle. In fact, he hardly ever thinks about it at all.

Instead, Ivan thinks about TV shows he’s seen and about his friends Stella, an elderly elephant, and Bob, a stray dog. But mostly Ivan thinks about art and how to capture the taste of a mango or the sound of leaves with color and a well-placed line.

Then he meets Ruby, a baby elephant taken from her family, and she makes Ivan see their home—and his own art—through new eyes. When Ruby arrives, change comes with her, and it’s up to Ivan to make it a change for the better.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe cover is cute. I like the art style and the spotlight on Ivan and Ruby is sort of a metaphor in a way.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comThis is a book I’ve thought about reading so many times, but I’ve never picked it up. After reading Wishtree, my mom and I were talking about this book. So, she brought Wishtree back to the library and picked up this one.

Plot | RachelPoli.comIvan is somewhat happy in his “domain” at the circus. He draws a lot which sells at the gift shop. He has his friends Stella the elephant and Bob the stray dog. They’re as happy as they can be living within closed walls at the circus.

Ruby, a baby elephant comes along. Mack, the circus owner, buys her for the show in an attempt to get more visitors. Ruby is afraid and sad. She misses her life in the wild with her family. She makes Ivan remember what happened to his own family. Then they plan the escape.

Told through Ivan’s eyes, this is a heartwarming story and really opens your eyes to animals in the circus and even at the zoo. It’s true to life with poaching involved and will make you shed a couple of tears. This was a good plot with a nice message though.

Characters | RachelPoli.comAll the characters were well done. This book doesn’t have a big cast. There’s Ivan, Stella, Bob, and Ruby. Mack owns the circus, George is the janitor, and Julia is George’s daughter who hangs around the circus. She draws and often gives Ivan paper and crayons to color with.

All the characters are great and serve their own purpose. Mack is the “bad guy” of this story, though I sympathize with him. He wasn’t necessarily a bad man, but didn’t go about certain things the right way.

Overall, I loved all the characters.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book was very simple to read. It wasn’t written in blocks of text but blog-style. I think it was simple because it was coming from the voice of a naive gorilla who only knew the circus and his domain. This book is 300-pages long, but I got through it within a day. It was that quick and that good.

Overall | RachelPoli.comOverall, this was another great read. After reading two books from Katherine Applegate now, I’m looking forward to reading more by her.

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Memories are precious… they help tell us who we are.” -Katherine Applegate, The One and Only Ivan

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Trust (Children Of Chiron 1) By Tabitha Darling [Book Review]

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Book Review: Trust by Tabitha Darling | book review | book blogging | review copy | fantasy | adult fantasy | RachelPoli.com

I received a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Dying, centaurs return to Earth in the hopes that humanity can help. War breaks out instead. One centaur, Ieang struggles to keep the last infant alive, finds himself trapped on this planet and on the run. Desperate, he and his companion capture one of the enemy, a human, but will the woman care for the infant girl?

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comI like the art style of the cover. It’s simple but it shows the plot as well as one of the main characters and it works. I like it.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI don’t read much fantasy, but I’m always looking to try new things and this book sounded like it’d be an interesting read. When the author asked me to give it a try, I was happy to agree.

Plot | RachelPoli.comIeang, trapped on Earth with an infant of his kind, struggles to keep himself and the baby alive. He captures Brenda, a female human, to take care of the baby who Brenda names Aubrey. Together they learn the ways of each other’s cultures and ways of life. They get to know one another and teach each other new things.

I found this plot to be very unique. Honestly, it almost felt like a non-fiction book. I got the sense that, if this were based off real history, this would be a school-assigned book.

Characters | RachelPoli.comI enjoyed all the characters. Brenda and Ieang were great together. Even when Brenda finds her human family again they were well done too. Her father, Ken, and brother, Cody, are very stand-offish to Ieang. I definitely got a racism and prejudiced vibe from this story as well. The humans didn’t understand the centaurs and vice versa and therefore, they didn’t like each other. Still, it made for good storytelling.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book was fairly easy to read. I definitely thought the beginning was slow. I personally didn’t think the book picked up until about halfway through. Brenda and Ieang learning about each other was great, but I felt it lasted too long and some parts sort of dragged on for me. It wasn’t until Ieang was living with Brenda’s family and had to live as the humans do that things got interesting. I preferred them doing rather than just explaining to one another.

There was also a good amount of internal thoughts from Ieang but most of the time they were the same thought which got repetitive. There was also one or two thoughts that wasn’t in his POV as well which was inconsistent.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis wasn’t a bad book. I enjoyed the story and thought it was well thought out. The characters were interesting and it was certainly unique. While it wasn’t my favorite due to the voice sometimes as well as the beginning being slow, it was still worth the read. The imagination and world building is strong in this one.

Trust (Children of Chiron 1) by Tabitha Darling gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“This land was haunted, why did so many of these animals share aspects of his kind with four limbs and fur? It chilled him.” -Tabitha Darling, Trust

Buy the book:

Amazon

About Tabitha Darling

Tabitha Darling is wife to a robot builder and mom to a toddler. By day, she is a barefoot farrier, horse trainer, and riding instructor. She lives in Texas, with her husband, toddler, three horses, four ducks, six chickens, three geese, and three doves.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Color Me Murder By Krista Davis [Book Review]

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Book Review: Color Me Murder by Krista Davis | Reading | Cozy Mystery | Book Review | Blogging | Book Blogging | RachelPoli.com

I bought a paperback copy from Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

By day, Florrie Fox manages Color Me Read bookstore in Georgetown, Washington D.C. By night, she creates her own intricately detailed coloring books for adults, filling the pages with objects that catch her eye. There’s plenty of inspiration in her new apartment–a beautiful carriage house belonging to Professor John Maxwell, Florrie’s boss. He offers the property to Florrie rent-free with one condition–she must move in immediately to prevent his covetous sister and nephew from trying to claim it.

When the professor’s nephew, Delbert, arrives, he proves just as sketchy as Florrie feared. But the following morning, Delbert has vanished. It’s not until she visits the third floor of the store that Florrie makes a tragic discovery–there’s a trap door in the landing, and a dead Delbert inside. The esteemed Professor Maxwell is an obvious suspect, but Florrie is certain this case isn’t so black and white. Doodling clues, she begins to consider other colorful characters on the scene, all with a motive for murder. With a killer drawing closer, Florrie will need to think outside the lines . . . before death makes his mark again.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comI was looking in the cozy mystery section at my local Barnes & Noble and the book cover was what caught my attention. It’s black and white, yet completely eye-catching because it’s a color yourself cover. It reminded me of the adult coloring books and it piqued my interest.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI was looking for a new mystery series to get into and, when I saw the cover, I decided to give this one a shot. It sounded good and caught my attention right away.

Plot | RachelPoli.comThis cozy mystery is similar to most cozies. Florrie is the manager of a bookstore called Color Me Read. She’s an artist who creates adult coloring books. When someone is murdered in the shop, Florrie finds herself in the investigative rabbit hole.

As I said, this one has a similar plot to most cozy mysteries – the innocent, unsuspecting protagonist gets caught up in the murder and ends up spending their time trying to figure it out while being guarded by their love interest detective.

I didn’t mind it though. This plot has been worked and reworked so many times and each one is unique from the rest. I really enjoyed the overall atmosphere of this one.

Characters | RachelPoli.comThere are a lot of characters in this one, though it’s not difficult to keep them all straight. There’s a casting list at the beginning of the book which, I’ll admit, I found really useful. I didn’t think I’d need it, but I flipped back to it a couple of times – especially since I had to skip reading for a day. It was a nice refresher.

The characters themselves were fun. They all had their own personalities but they weren’t as unique and different from each other as I felt they could have been. Still, they were interesting and I absolutely loved their names. Florrie especially is a fun name.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a quick, easy to read mystery. It’s about 275 pages long and, with the special color me cover, the paperback is quite tall and bigger than most. The print was on the larger scale which was easy on the eyes and it felt like I was reading the book faster than I actually was.

The mystery overall is easy to enough to follow and it was great to get to attempt to solve the mystery alongside Florrie and her family and friends. It’s not confusing and everything at the end is neatly tied up.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis wasn’t a bad book. It’s the first in a series and, I’ll admit, it wasn’t my favorite. I felt the characters could have been more their own and more could have happened with the plot. However, it was a still a good read and I’ll look forward to picking up the next book in the series.

Color Me Murder by Krista Davis gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Loyalty is a great trait, Florrie, except where murder is involved. The truth always floats to the top.” -Krista Davis, Color Me Murder

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Bells, Spells, And Murders By Carol J. Perry [Book Review]

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Book Review: Bells, Spells, and Murders by Carol J. Perry | ARC | Reading | Paranormal Mystery | Cozy Mystery | Book Blogger | Blogging | Creative Writing | Witch City Series | RachelPoli.com

I received a paperback ARC of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Someone’s spreading deadly holiday cheer through Salem, Mass . . . 

Lee Barrett has landed her dream job at Salem’s WICH-TV. As the new field reporter, she’ll be covering events live as they’re unfolding. Next on her holiday checklist is an interview with the beloved chairman of a popular walking tour through Salem’s historic districts. But it may be his ghost walking this snowy Noel season after Lee finds him murdered in his stately offices, bloody Santa hat askew.

With her police detective boyfriend working the case and a witch’s brew of suspects–including some bell-ringing Santas–Lee chases down leads aided and abetted by her wise cat O’Ryan and some unsettling psychic visions of her own. When a revealing clue leads to another dead body, not even a monster blizzard can stop Lee from inching closer to the truth . . . and a scoop that could spell her own demise this killer Christmas.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comAs always, the book cover is always spot on with this series. The covers are eye-catching and it really showcases some events of what happens in the novel.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comThis is book number seven in the Witch City series. I spent my summer reading this series starting with the first book leading up to this latest release. I was looking forward to it.

Plot | RachelPoli.comLee starts her new dream job as a field reporter for WICH-TV when she finds the man she’s supposed to interview dead in his office. Between staying up with the case for her job, Pete, her detective boyfriend, and her natural Nancy Drew skills, Lee has a lot on her plate.

This was executed well even if the process is similar in a way to the other books. The author knows how to make it all unique from the other books. I will admit, I missed Lee investigating purely because she’s curious, wants to help, and has connections with her boyfriend. The TV reporter was certainly a nice touch but it was a definitely different. This isn’t a bad thing though. In fact, it was cool her job seemed to come full circle.

Characters | RachelPoli.comThe characters are well established at this point – Lee, Aunt Ibby, Pete, O’Ryan, and River North. They’re a great cast and Lee especially is a fun character lead.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

I love the way Perry writes. She’s spot-on with the cozy mystery aspect and the paranormal side is an awesome touch. The book is easy to read and follow along with, it’s fun, and there’s no scratching your head or hardcore confusion as you try to figure things out alongside the characters. Everything makes sense.

The book is a decent length but it’s a quick read and hard to put down.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis is another great installment to the Witch City series. I’d certainly recommend it.

Bells, Spells, and Murders by Carol J. Perry gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Mr. Doan characterized the man as ‘dumb as a brick but with great pipes.'” -Carol J. Perry, Bells, Spells, and Murders

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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Wishtree By Katherine Applegate [Book Review]

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Book Review: Wishtree by Katherine Applegate | Reading | Middle Grade | Fiction | Fantasy | Book Blogger | Book Reviewer | RachelPoli.com

I got the book from my mom, who borrowed it from her school’s library.

Summary:

Trees can’t tell jokes, but they can certainly tell stories. . . .

Red is an oak tree who is many rings old. Red is the neighborhood “wishtree”—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red’s branches. Along with her crow friend Bongo and other animals who seek refuge in Red’s hollows, this “wishtree” watches over the neighborhood.

You might say Red has seen it all. Until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red’s experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe cover is very pretty. It’s simple and says a lot about what the book will be about.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comMy mom had borrowed this from the library and once she was finished with it, she told myself and my sister that we needed to read it. So, I didn’t really get much of a choice, but I’m glad she gave it to me.

Plot | RachelPoli.comRed is a big oak tree as is the narrator of the story. He has a story to tell, a lot of them. However, as a tree it’s his job to shelter certain animals and people watch. This is the story of Red trying to understand his own place in the world as well as understand the world around him, especially humans. There’s a much deeper meaning to the plot that was well executed, but I won’t say much further due to spoilers.

Overall, this plot was very well done and has a special message that everyone can read and understand.

Characters | RachelPoli.comThe main character was Red the oak tree along with his critter friends which included opossums, skunks, and owls alike. His best friend was Bongo, a crow. It was a great cast bursting with many different personalities. They were all written in a unique voice that made the book comical as well.

The human characters were done simply, which worked well since we see them through Red’s eyes. However, we get just enough information.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book is a super quick read. The words just flowed right along throughout the book. It captures your attention from start to finish between the plot and sub-plot as well as the voices of the characters. It was certainly interesting to read a book from the POV of a tree.

The chapters are mostly short being only two or three pages long and some of them were broken up with pictures to illustrate the characters and aid the plot along.

Overall | RachelPoli.comEvery part of this book was well done. It was easy and fun to read and even though the story is over, I’d love to hear more from Red.

Wishtree by Katherine Applegate gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“It is a great gift indeed to love who you are.” -Katherine Applegate, Wishtree

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

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Cracked Open By Megan O’Keeffe [Book Review]

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Book Review: Cracked Open by Megan O'Keeffe | Poetry | Blogging | Book Blogger | Reading | Poetry Collection | RachelPoli.com

I received a free digital copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

A collection of love poems.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comI think the book cover is very pretty. I like the colors and it certainly looks like exactly what the title suggests – something is cracked open.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI’ve read my fair share of poetry collections so I was more than happy to give this one a try.

Plot | RachelPoli.comCracked Open is about the narrator getting over her lover. And… that’s pretty much it. There is a happy ending but it took a while to get there. This collection tells a story through its poetry from start to finish yet I didn’t feel as though there was a beginning, middle, and end.

Characters | RachelPoli.comI don’t have much to say about the characters. There are no names and not many gender pronouns used either. I could relate with the narrator since I’ve been through a break up before. I have to say, that part was captured nicely and accurately despite each of us going through it in our own way.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The poems in this collection were just okay for me. They were free verse – most of them not really having much rhyme or rhythm. With that said, the poems didn’t seem to flow well for me. I felt as though I was reading a letter written by the narrator to her ex instead of poetry. The words felt a little flat rather than poetic and while the emotion was well captured, it felt as though the narrator was just complaining to her ex rather than fully letting go of her emotions in a rhythmic poem.

Overall | RachelPoli.comCracked Open wasn’t a bad read. It’s short and sweet. I couldn’t connect with the poems that much though I did sympathize with the main character, whoever she may be. With that said, this was just an okay read for me.

Cracked Open by Megan O’Keeffe gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“We are not a love story
and we are not a lesson.
We were just two people wasting time
Comfortable in the in-between
hiding from our truths.”
-Megan O’Keeffe, Cracked Open

Buy the book:

Amazon

About Megan O’Keeffe

Megan O'Keeffe | Author | Cracked Open | Poet | Poetry Books | Book Blogger | Blogging | RachelPoli.comUp and coming Poet, Megan OKeeffe has been writing poetry for the last decade and has made the leap to publish her first collection. The love and support Meg received from her blog Debatably Dateable encouraged her to make this next step in her writing career. When she’s not writing, Meg is binging Brooklyn 99 or walking her dog Maverick. You may spot her touring the newest spot on Long Island, NY with her sisters and boyfriends.

Be sure to check out other Poetry books I’ve reviewed!

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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The Loneliest Girl In The Universe By Lauren James [Book Review]

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Book Review: The Loneliest Girl In The Universe by Lauren James | Reading | Young Adult | YA | Science Fiction | Science Fiction Books | YA Books | Book Blogger | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

I bought it at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Can you fall in love with someone you’ve never met, never even spoken to – someone who is light years away?

Romy Silvers is the only surviving crew-member of a spaceship travelling to a new planet, on a mission to establish a second home for humanity amongst the stars. Alone in space, she is the loneliest girl in the universe until she hears about a new ship which has launched from Earth – with a single passenger on board. A boy called J.

Their only communication with each other is via email – and due to the distance between them, their messages take months to transmit across space. And yet Romy finds herself falling in love.

But what does Romy really know about J? And what do the mysterious messages which have started arriving from Earth really mean?

Sometimes, there’s something worse than being alone . . .

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe book cover was what drew me to this book in the first place. It’s simple, but definitely works for a title that says, “Loneliest in the Universe.” I like the colors as well.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI picked up the book after checking out the cover and the title seemed intriguing too. When I read the back blurb I wasn’t quite sure, but it sounded good enough, so I decided to give it a try.

Plot | RachelPoli.comRomy is stuck on The Infinity, a rocket ship that blasted from Earth years and years ago. She’s 16-years-old and has never stepped food on solid ground, she has no idea what Earth is like, nor does she know any human contact other than from her parents, who are now dead. She’s on her own, waiting to get to Earth II to start a new world there. NASA is sending The Eternity with another human on board to keep her company and to make it to Earth II faster. But things aren’t going too well on Earth. The Infinity is old and falling apart. Romy is going stir-crazy.

This is science fiction, so I’m entirely sure how accurate any of this rocket ship and NASA talk is. I’m also not sure how realistic this would all be – though, like I said, it’s fiction. Still, it’s not a bad plot. It’s all easy to read and it definitely keeps you wondering what’s going to happen next. I enjoyed it.

Characters | RachelPoli.comRomy and J were great characters. I also really liked Molly, Romy’s therapist from Earth. I’ll admit, Romy did get annoying here and there, though given her circumstances, I couldn’t blame her.

She started to develop a crush on J which I wasn’t sure was needed. I couldn’t tell if it was there for the sake of a romantic subplot or if it was because Romy had read and seen a TV show with relationships in it and she was wondering too much what it felt like.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book was a quick read and certainly easy to follow. The chapters were short and they were broken up into days counting down until when the Eternity would arrive. Most of it was Romy trying to keep herself entertained or letters between her and J that took months to reach each other.

That was the one thing that confused me with this book – the time. Time is different in space but I sometimes felt it wasn’t going in order or it wasn’t matching up with the chapter headings.

Overall | RachelPoli.comOverall, this was a fun read. I found the plot and characters to be interesting and it was uniquely written. It was something a little different than what I typically read and I’d for sure look up more books by this author.

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“It’s hard to focus on the future when the past is so distracting.” -Lauren James, The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and if you enjoyed this post, please share it around!

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