Wagging Through The Snow (Melanie Travis 21) By Laurien Berenson [Book Review]

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Book Review: Wagging Through The Snow (Melanie Travis 21) by Laurien Berenson | Cozy Mystery | Fiction | Holiday Reading | Book Blogger | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

I got it as a Christmas gift.

Summary:

Melanie Travis needs a little peace from her busy life this Christmas. But the usual holiday hubbub is a joy compared to the killer surprise she finds tucked underneath the tree . . .

With a demanding teaching job at Connecticut’s elite Howard Academy and five poodles scampering around the house, Melanie barely has energy for the upcoming Christmas rush. But she unwraps an unexpected challenge when her brother and ex-husband, elated by the recent success of their country cafe, make a spontaneous bid on a dilapidated pine tree farm. Although the ten-acre lot had been a popular seasonal destination while the original owner was still alive, it’ll take some sprucing up–and a small miracle or two–before the neglected place is in shape for December.

Unfortunately, the impromptu business venture goes cold when the group discovers a purebred Maltese whimpering in the snow-covered grove–right beside a dead body. Pete, a squatter who camped out on the land, apparently met his end after a fallen fir tree branch knocked him on the head. But as Melanie and Aunt Peg investigate Pete’s history and the terrible habit that cost him everything, it’s clear his death was no accident. Now, Melanie must run through a flurry of likely suspects and muzzle a dogged murderer in time–or she’ll be next on someone’s deadly list.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe cover is adorable with a Maltese dog stealing the show wearing a Santa hat. While the dog isn’t a huge part of the story, it’s still a piece of it and it matches the title pretty well.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI got this book as a Christmas gift. This is book number 21 in the Melanie Travis series, but it’s book number one for me. Thankfully, the books don’t have to be read in order, but I’m sure the characters are well established by now.

Plot | RachelPoli.comMelanie’s brother and ex-husband own and run a country cafe together and, when her simple-minded brother decides to go to an auction, he ends up with a Christmas tree farm. With Christmas around the corner, they decided to put the new business to the test – only to find a dead body in the woods behind the house.

Overall, this plot was one typical of a cozy mystery. Something good happens to the protagonist, they stumble upon a dead body, and then they investigate. The majority of this book was Melanie running around and talking to people to figure out who this man was, why he was out there, and how/why he died. Once it was revealed, there was a quick, tense scene at the end. That was all. So, this book was “cozy” at its finest.

Characters | RachelPoli.comI enjoyed all the characters. I felt they meshed well together and there was a good amount of personality. I certainly loved Melanie’s Aunt – she stole the scenes for me while reading. She had a fun, boisterous personality. I also loved Melanie’s brother – I love a good risk-taker.

Melanie’s ex-husband and husband were just kind of okay to me. Her husband especially didn’t seem to be in the book as much. I loved the pack of Poodles they own though. That was definitely a nice touch.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book is just shy of 200 pages. It’s a quick read and the words flow from one page to another. The pace was even throughout and while I would have liked to see more action, it was a relaxing read. The investigation was easy to follow, though I didn’t know who it was until the ending when it was revealed.

Overall | RachelPoli.comWagging Through the Snow was a pretty good read. I don’t think I know the characters as well enough as I should, but I think I’ll look into getting the first book sometime.

Wagging Through the Snow (Melanie Travis 21) by Laurien Berenson gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Life changes everyone. Some people learn to roll with the punches. Others fall down.” -Laurien Berenson, Wagging Through The Snow

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

Be sure to take a look at the other Book Reviews I’ve done!

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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Warriors: Omen Of The Stars: Sign Of The Moon (Book 4) By Erin Hunter [Book Review]

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Book Review: Warriors: Omen of the Stars 4: Sign of the Moon by Erin Hunter | Middle Grade | Fantasy | Reading | Book Blogging | RachelPoli.com

I got a hardcover copy as a gift for my birthday.

Summary:

The end of the stars draws near.
Three must become four to battle
the darkness that lasts forever. . . .

The dark forces that have driven a rift between the four warrior Clans are growing stronger. Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovepaw now know that unless they can unravel the true meaning behind the prophecy that binds them, the warrior code could be destroyed forever.

While Lionblaze remains focused on protecting ThunderClan from another deadly battle, Jayfeather receives a desperate plea for help from the Tribe of Rushing Water. He must travel to the mountains in search of answers that link the Clans to the Tribe in ways no cat could have imagined. But with the summons comes an ominous warning that suggests the power of the stars may not be enough to save the Clans.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe book cover matches the rest of the series and I like the colors. The colors match the cat that’s showcased on the front.

Plot | RachelPoli.comThis plot brings us right back to The Tribe of Rushing Water, which was a clan of cats that were from the second series of Warriors. We get to see some old friends and see how they’ve grown within the timeline of the books.

I will admit, however, I felt as though not much happened in this book. It was great to see some old characters and the main characters are still trying to figure some things out, but, for the most part, it seemed as though this book was all about building up for something bigger.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book was written well and similarly to the rest of the series. The chapters vary in length, but they’re all easy to read and quick. I felt as though there were some lulls in this book so some parts were definitely slow. Still, I enjoy the authors’ styles.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was another good book in the series. I wish more had happened, but I appreciate what did happen in the book and I’m looking forward to reading the next one.

Warriors: Sign of the Moon (Omen of the Stars book 4) by Erin Hunter gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Destiny isn’t a path any cat follows blindly. It is always a matter of choice, and sometimes the heart speaks loudest. Listen to your heart, because that’s where your true destiny lies.” -Erin Hunter, Warriors: Sign of the Moon (Omen of the Stars book 4)

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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2018 Reading List

I’ve kept up my usual quota of around 60 books for the year. I beat last year’s reading list by one book. I fell into a hardcore reading slump this year and actually got super behind in updating my reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. I honestly don’t know how all that happened. but I’m close to getting caught up and plan on getting completely caught up by the end of the year.

I’ve listed the books I’ve read and reviewed below. The last couple of books haven’t been reviewed yet, but have been read, which is why I’ve added them to the list but they have no link.

2018 Reading List | Book Reviews | Book Blogger | Blogging | Reading | Books | RachelPoli.com

1. Turtles All The Way Down by John Green
2. Amnesia by Breanna Brown
3. Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
4. Rot 3: Flossed and Found by Aidan J. Reid
5. Once and For All by Sarah Dessen
6. The Mystery of the Hidden Cabin by M.E. Hembroff
7. Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading
8. Rot 4: Plaque To The Future by Aidan J. Reid
9. Madam Tulip and the Knave of Hearts by David Ahern
10. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green
11. Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance by David Ahern
12. Rot 5: Gum but not Forgotten by Aidan J. Reid
13. Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost by Iain Reading
14. Rot 6: Filling Time by Aidan J. Reid
15. The Beast Within: A Tale of Beauty’s Prince by Serena Valentino
16. Fairest of All: A Tale of the Wicked Queen by Serena Valentino
17. I Am A Failure by Akhil Sharma
18. Here Lies Daniel Tate by Cristin Terrill
19. Poirot Investigates by Agatha Christie
20. On the Devil’s Side of Heaven by Roger Peppercorn
21. Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (Book 3) by Iain Reading
22. The Chronicles of Crallick by Brad C. Baker
23. Revolution: The Nora White Story (Book 2) by Yecheilyah Ysrayl
24. Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson
25. The Prince and The Dressmaker by Jen Wang
26. Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic by Iain Reading
27. Victor (The Eden East 2) by Sacha Black
28. Your Name (Books 1-3) by Makoto Shinkai
29. Psych: A Fatal Frame of Mind by William Rabkin
30. Username: Regenerated by Joe Sugg
31. Caught Dead Handed by Carol J. Perry
32. The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John
33. Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee
34. Tails, You Lose by Carol J. Perry
35. Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann
36. Sigil by Aidan J. Reid
37. Jozi Flash 2017 by South African Authors
38. Where The Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein
39. Falling Up by Shel Silverstein
40. Runny Babbit by Shel Silverstein
41. Successful Self-Publishing by Joanna Penn
42. Baby Blues: This Is Going To Be Tougher Than We Thought by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott
43. Look Both Ways by Carol J. Perry
44. Murder Go Round by Carol J. Perry
45. Grave Errors by Carol J. Perry
46. It Takes A Coven by Carol J. Perry
47. Kill The Beast by Michele Isreal Harper
48. The Loneliest Girl in the Universe by Lauren James
49. Cracked Open by Megan O’Keeffe
50. Wishtree by Katherine Applegate
51. Bells, Spells, and Murders by Carol J. Perry
52. Color Me Murder by Krista Davis
53. Trust (Children of Chiron 1) by Tabitha Darling
54. The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
55. Warriors: The Fourth Apprentice (Omen of the Stars 1) by Erin Hunter
56. Becoming Someone by Anne Goodwin
57. Even Salt Looks Like Sugar by Yecheilyah Ysrayl
58. Warriors: Fading Echoes (Omen of The Stars Book 2) by Erin Hunter
59. Warriors: Night Whispers (Omen of The Stars Book 3) by Erin Hunter
60. Yage (Tom Regan Thrillers Book 2) by Aidan J. Reid
61. Warriors: Sign of The Moon (Omen of The Stars Book 4) by Erin Hunter
62. Warriors: The Forgotten Warrior (Omen of the Stars book 5) by Erin Hunter
63. Warriors: The Last Hope (Omen of the Stars book 6) by Erin Hunter
64. Wagging Through The Snow (Melanie Travis book 21) by Laurien Berenson

Have you read any of these books? How many books did you get through this year? Let me know in the comments below. If you liked this post, please share it around.

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Yage (Tom Regan Thrillers Book 2) By Aidan J. Reid [Book Review]

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Book Review: Yage by Aidan J Reid | Tom Regan Thrillers | Mystery | Suspense | Book Blogger | ARC | RachelPoli.com

I received an ARC from the author.

Summary:

An ancient jungle medicine.

A lost backpacker.

Evil has found a new home.

In a small town on the border of the Amazon rainforest, a series of accidental deaths devastate the tourist economy. The victims, backpackers on the gringo trail, all share the experience of having recently taken the hallucinogenic medicine, Yage.

Fr Tom Regan is in Peru for missionary work. His niece is backpacking through the country. Their paths are on course to meet. At least, that was the plan…

In his second outing, Tom Regan returns in this race against time thriller, where he has to use all his sleuthing experience to piece together the clues before the jungle claims another victim.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe cover is dark and mysterious, just like the book itself. I enjoyed the colors and I felt the placing of the title, it’s font and size, worked well. Plus, it matches the cover of the first book, Sigil. This is a well designed cover.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.comI had read the first book in this series and enjoyed it, so I’ve been looking forward to this one.

Plot | RachelPoli.comYage takes the Tom Regan series up a notch. This story really raises the stakes for Father Regan and the people he loves. This was a page-turner and I found the retreat and the Yage drug to be great plot fodder. My only complaint would be that I felt the beginning of the story took a little while to get into the actual plot.

Characters | RachelPoli.comIt was great to read another story with Father Regan again. He’s a great protagonist and all the supporting cast – Father Gonzales, Chrissie, Louise, and the like – were all great as well. There wasn’t anyone who I felt was out of place or got annoying to the point where I didn’t enjoy them.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

I enjoy the way Aidan J. Reid writes his books. The description isn’t overwhelming but it’s informative and the dialogue flows and is realistic. The plot carries throughout the book. Once the beginning picked up, the book flowed really well and I enjoy reading the words as they’re written.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was another great read from Reid. I enjoyed reading about Tom Regan again and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series.

Yage (Tom Regan Thrillers Book 2) by Aidan J. Reid gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“All paths lead nowhere. Ultimately. But if you want to live a life worth living, choose the path with a heart. The path that is fulfilling. The path that connects with an inner part of your being.” -Aidan J. Reid, Yage

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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Warriors: Omen Of The Stars 3: Night Whispers By Erin Hunter [Book Review]

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Book Review: Warriors: Omen of the Stars 3: Night Whispers by Erin Hunter | Book Blogger | Middle Grade | Fantasy | Fiction | Blogging | Books | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I bought a hardcover copy a long time ago.

Summary:

After the sharp-eyed Jay and the roaring Lion, peace will come on Dove’s gentle wing.

The deadly battle between ThunderClan and ShadowClan is over, but the aftermath still echoes around all four Clans. As Dovepaw grapples with the knowledge that there are realms–and cats–her senses cannot reach, Jayfeather and Lionblaze are determined to figure out how StarClan could have allowed this fight to happen. Jayfeather soon finds the answer in the darkest of places, and he and Lionblaze prepare to do whatever they can to staunch the flow of evil into ThunderClan.

The ties that bind the Clans are slowly breaking in the face of the greatest threat that the warriors–and the warrior code–have ever known. As leaf-bare closes its grip upon the territories, Jayfeather, Lionblaze, and Dovepaw realize just how close the battle is, and how far they are from being able to succeed. And before the prey can run again, one more cat will be lost to the fight.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.comThe cover has been updated since the book was originally released, but I do enjoy the first edition. It’s simple, showcasing one of the main cats the book is about, with some context clues in the background. It’s not as pretty as the new cover, but as always, it’s well done.

Plot | RachelPoli.comA lot of this book revolves around the characters wondering if they did the right then when they decided to battle against ShadowClan in the previous book. They have doubts and are unsure of where to get next, especially since StarClan is telling them to break up and not converse with the other Clans anymore – not even the medicine cats.

The stakes are raised in this book and there are a lot of tense moments, which really sucked me into the plot.

Characters | RachelPoli.comThis book focused a lot more on Ivypaw as she’s the one being manipulated by the cats in the Dark Forest. Dovepaw and Ivypaw find out each other’s secrets and try to deal with them in the middle of surviving each day while trying to figure out the prophecy.

As always, these characters are fun to revisit and I enjoy following the two sisters alongside Lionblaze and Jayfeather, the two brothers, as they figure out how to help their Clan.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The writing style is similar to the other books. Some of the chapters are longer than others, but each one is a quick read and I found myself always turning the pages. The book left off on a deep cliffhanger with a surprise death that completely shocked me and threw me for a loop. So that was very well done.

Overall | RachelPoli.comThis was probably my favorite book of Omen of the Stars so far. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the series.

Warriors: Omen of the Stars 3: Night Whispers by Erin Hunter gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“It was never worth the blood that has been spilled here today.” -Erin Hunter, Warriors: Omen of the Stars 3: Night Whispers

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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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]

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. Thanks so much for your support!

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

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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

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Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

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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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