Falling Up By Shel Silverstein [Book Review]

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Book Review: Falling Up by Shel Silverstein | Poetry | Reading | Childrens books | RachelPoli.com

I got the book at Barnes & Noble when I was a kid.

Summary:

Millie McDeevit screamed a scream
So loud it made her eyebrows steam.
She screamed so loud
Her jawbone broke,
Her tongue caught fire,
Her nostrils smoked…

Poor Screamin’ Millie is just one of the unforgettable characters in this wondrous new book of poems and drawings by the creator of Where the Sidewalk Ends and A Light in the Attic. Here you will also meet Allison Beals and her twenty-five eels; Danny O’Dare, the dancin’ bear; the Human Balloon; and Headphone Harold.

So come, wander through the Nose Garden, ride the Little Hoarse, eat in the Strange Restaurant, and let the magic of Shel Silverstein open your eyes and tickle your mind.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover portrays the title well and matches the illustrations used inside the book to explain the poetry.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I was very much into Where The Sidewalk Ends when I was a kid, so I ended up getting this book as well.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

Shel Silverstein upholds his reputation of writing silly yet witty poetry for kids. Each poem has the same premise of using the imagination and also having a certain rhyme or rhythm to it yet the content of each poem is vastly different from the last. The lengths of the poems vary, but they’re all quick reads and this is a book to keep turning the pages.Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a great book to revisit from when I was a kid. My nephew is about 2.5 and I’d love to read this book with him sometime. This is a great one for kids.

Falling Up by Shel Silverstein gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What’s right for you – just listen to
The voice that speaks inside.” -Shel Silverstein, Falling Up

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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Jozi Flash 2017 By South African Authors [Book Review – Blog Tour]

Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour | Flash Fiction | Anthology | Blogging | Books | RachelPoli.com

I’ve had the pleasure of hosting and participating in the Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour! This is a different review than most since it’s a flash fiction collection there’s no set plot or character cast.

Book Review: Jozi Flash 2017 by South African Authors | Flash Fiction | Anthology | Blog Tour | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

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

Summary:

It’s not quite the Gummi Bears, but it certainly bounces around a lot.

Jozi Flash 2017 combines the talents of ten brilliant authors with one gifted artist, to bring you a collection of 80 flash fiction stories across eight different genres.

From a children’s story about the folly of summoning dragons, to the horrors held in deliciously treacherous ice cream, the authors take you on journeys that weave fantasy and folklore together alongside practical detectives and everyday tragedy.

With stunning artwork prompts by Nico Venter, these South African authors have created an anthology that will leave you breathless.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I was immediately drawn in by the cover. The colors seem to shine right off the picture and I think they go well together. Plus, the idea of showing off the genres as “books” on a shelf is a nice touch.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I read the first Jozi Flash collection last year and was excited to hear they came out another one. I was eager to give it a read.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a flash fiction anthology so there’s no steady plot. Each author wrote a flash piece in each of the 8 genres presented in the book. Each genre had it’s own illustration and prompt that the authors needed to us for their story in that particular genre.

Each story is short and sweet (for the most part, depending on the genre). Even though each short shared the genre, prompt, and picture in common, each one was vastly different than the one before it. It was a great variety of quick reads.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was refreshing to read. It’s nice to bounce around the various genres. The book is about 160 pages long so it’s a great quick read – one you can pick up whenever you’re in the mood for a certain genre.

Jozi Flash 2017 by South African Authors gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“She pulled the trigger anyway. The click was as hollow as her hopes.” -Nthato Morakobi, Jozi Flash 2017

Download the book:

Chasing Dreams Publishing

About the Authors & Artist

Ten talented authors and one gifted artist joined forces to create an anthology of flash fiction stories that embody the multicultural melting pot that is South Africa.

For more info on the individual authors, take a look at their author pages here.

International Giveaway

Win free copies of eBooks by three Jozi Flash 2017 authors:

Beneath the Wax by Nthato Morakabi

1723: Constantine Bourgeois is a man of many secrets. Artisan by day, killer by night, he turns his victims into wax figures for his shop.

2045: Richard Baines works for the renowned Anthony Garfield Historical Museum. His mundane existence is a stark counterpoint to his fascination with serial killers and science fiction.

Constantine’s nightmares drive him to undertake a journey to uncover a long-forgotten secret. Richard’s research uncovers a company secret and the mystery of Madame Bourgeois.

Two men, two timelines, and truths that will only be revealed when they look Beneath the Wax

Dim Mirrors by Carin Marais

Dim Mirrors is a collection of 39 flash fiction stories that open windows into worlds of fantasy and nightmare. Interwoven with images from mythology and folklore are the themes of love, loss, and memory. The comical “Not According to Plan” leads to more serious and introspective works like “Blue Ribbons” and “The Destroyer of Worlds”, while mythology and folkloric elements come together in stories like “The Souls of Trees” and “Ariadne’s Freedom”. 

Sketches by Nicolette Stephens

Like art sketches, flash fiction stories are fleeting moments captured in a few hundred words.

In a world without men, the first boy child is welcomed as the saviour of his race; a cuckoo clock holds death and destruction in its beautifully carved figures; and a snowman holds a silent vigil of peace during war.

In this collection of 50 stories, illustrated with her artwork, the author delves into worlds of imagination and reality inspired by words and drawings.

Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour Giveaway | Ebooks | Reading | Book Review | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

*Terms and Conditions –Worldwide entries welcome.  Please enter using the Rafflecopter box below.  The winner will be selected at random via Rafflecopter from all valid entries and will be notified by Twitter and/or email. If no response is received within 7 days then I reserve the right to select an alternative winner. Open to all entrants aged 18 or over.  Any personal data given as part of the competition entry is used for this purpose only and will not be shared with third parties, with the exception of the winners’ information. This will passed to the giveaway organiser and used only for fulfilment of the prize, after which time I will delete the data.  I am not responsible for despatch or delivery of the prize.

Enter Here.

Jozi Flash 2017 Blog Tour | Flash Fiction | Anthology | Reading | Blogging | RachelPoli.com

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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Sigil By Aidan J. Reid [Book Review]

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Book Review: Sigil by Aidan J. Reid | Mystery | Suspense | Reading | Book Blogger | RachelPoli.com

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

Summary:

– EVERY VILLAGE HAS ITS SECRETS –

The sleepy Irish village of Ballygorm is shocked one bright summer morning by the tragic news that one of their own, a successful young builder and devoted family man has been found dead, hanging in an apparent suicide.

But Parish Priest, Father Tom Regan is sceptical. Inspired by his TV detective hero, Fr Regan uses his twin role as confessional confidante and the village’s religious figurehead to investigate the mysterious death and he suspects foul play.

Piecing the clues together, he finds that his outwardly pious and tight-knit community has been harbouring a murderer in a village where everyone is a suspect.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I do like the cover. I think the colors are pretty, despite the dark aura. It looks mysterious which is what this book is all about.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I’ve read a few things from Aidan before and enjoy his books. Mystery is my favorite as well so I was eager to jump on this.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

I found the plot unique in the sense that a priest is solving the murder – well, he’s taken it upon himself to follow the clues while everyone else brushes the murder off as a suicide.

This was certainly an interesting way to do things, however it wasn’t as believable as I thought it would be. The victim was hung with his hands tied behind his back, which should have been a red flag to everyone in town. Still, it was interesting all the same to watch Father Regan piece it together.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed following Father Regan around though I didn’t feel as though I could get close to him or anyone else in the story. All the characters were well written and had unique personalities, which was great. Though the book is told in third person omniscient, which it’s my favorite POV to read. It was hard to guess what people were feeling when it was told to me through the narrative or Father Regan “assuming” how they felt.

With that said, the characters were good, but I was able to see right through them.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The book is well written. The POV is not a personal preference of mine so it was harder for me to read, but it was still done well. Some chapters were told seeing other characters – such as the culprits – which was interesting. One chapter in particular was strictly dialogue. It wasn’t long, but I enjoyed that bit.

The story was easy to follow along – for the most part. There are a lot of twists, but that’s a good thing and it was done well.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a good read. I think I would have enjoyed it more if it was written in a different POV, though that’s just my personal preference. Definitely give this a read if it sounds enticing to you and if you enjoy a good murder mystery.

Sigil by Aidan J. Reid gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“He was used to people changing their behavior when he entered the room. They seemed to quickly become the best possible version of themselves.” -Aidan J. Reid, Sigil

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Be sure to check out other books I’ve read and reviewed by Aidan J. Reid such as his ROT series!

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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Let’s Talk About Love By Claire Kann [Book Review]

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Book Review: Let's Talk About Love by Claire Kann | Reading | Romance | Young adult | LGBT | RachelPoli.com

I bought the book from Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Alice had her whole summer planned. Non-stop all-you-can-eat buffets while marathoning her favorite TV shows (best friends totally included) with the smallest dash of adulting–working at the library to pay her share of the rent. The only thing missing from her perfect plan? Her girlfriend (who ended things when Alice confessed she’s asexual). Alice is done with dating–no thank you, do not pass go, stick a fork in her, done.

But then Alice meets Takumi and she can’t stop thinking about him or the rom com-grade romance feels she did not ask for (uncertainty, butterflies, and swoons, oh my!).

When her blissful summer takes an unexpected turn, and Takumi becomes her knight with a shiny library employee badge (close enough), Alice has to decide if she’s willing to risk their friendship for a love that might not be reciprocated—or understood.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I have nothing bad to say about the cover. I love the diversity, the font and coloring of the title, and of course, the pun.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

My sister bought this book. She read it and enjoyed it so I thought I would give it a try.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Alice is trying to come to terms with her asexuality. Or, she’s come to terms with it, but she’s only told her two best friends. Meanwhile, she’s trying to juggle what she wants to do with her life as her parents hop down her throat about law school and she’s trying to deal with her two best friends getting married when she can barely figure out how to date another human.

I found this story to be super involved and interesting to read about. As someone who doesn’t know a lot about asexuality, this was educational and it was great to go through Alice’s ups and downs with her.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I cared a lot about Alice. I really felt for her throughout all her struggles in the book. Takumi was a fun character as well and, while he did annoy me here and there, he was a great addition to the cast.

Alice’s best friends, Feenie and Ryan, were cool in the beginning. While they’re a great little family, I quickly got annoyed at their “quarrel” that lasted the majority of the book. Alice’s family wasn’t much better either. I felt like the tension between her and her family could have been done without.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book was easy to read and follow along with the plot and sub-plots. Despite my complaints about a few of the characters, this was a quick read for me and it was hard to put down.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a really good book. I’d definitely recommend it to anyone as it’s something all of us should learn and know about.

Let’s Talk About Love by Claire Kann gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“You can’t let one or two bad experiences stop you from being happy.” – Claire Kann, Let’s Talk About Love

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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Tails, You Lose (Witch City Mystery 2) By Carol J. Perry [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: Tails You Lose (Witch City Mystery 2) by Carol J. Perry | Mystery | Paranormal Fantasy | Reading | RachelPoli.com

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

Summary:

Her instincts may be killer–but can she catch one this wicked?

After losing her job as a TV psychic, Lee Barrett has decided to volunteer her talents as an instructor at the Tabitha Trumbull Academy of the Arts–known as “The Tabby”–in her hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. But when the school’s handyman turns up dead under seemingly inexplicable circumstances on Christmas night, Lee’s clairvoyant capabilities begin bubbling to the surface once again.

The Tabby is housed in the long-vacant Trumbull’s Department Store. As Lee and her intrepid students begin work on a documentary charting the store’s history, they unravel a century of family secrets, deathbed whispers–and a mysterious labyrinth of tunnels hidden right below the streets of Salem. Even the witches in town are spooked, and when Lee begins seeing visions in the large black patent leather pump in her classroom, she’s certain something evil is afoot. But ghosts in the store’s attic are the least of her worries with a killer on the loose…

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

Like the book before it, I enjoy the over. It shows off a lot of what the story entails and the woman on the front is pretty spooky, especially for a paranormal mystery.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed the first book and was eager to read the sequel.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Lee finds herself in wrapped up in another murder mystery as well as mysteries from the past. With the help of Pete, her detective boyfriend, her aunt, cat, and her students, they come together to unravel the secrets.

I found it interesting that Lee roped her students into the mystery – especially since some of them were questionable. It added a little more to the story since there were more characters to think about.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed revisiting the old characters as well as the new ones. The students acted exactly how students usually do. My only complaint was that Aunt Ibby and O’Ryan, the cat, didn’t seem to be in it as much as they were in the first book. O’Ryan had a big part at the end, but I missed them throughout.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This book is easy to read and the mystery is fairly easy to follow along with. There’s some stuff that happened in the past that was brought up for the present, which, I’ll admit, confused me here or there, but it was overall easy to read and follow along.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed this sequel. It was an interesting tail (sorry, not sorry) and I loved being with the old characters again. I’m looking forward to reading book three.

Tails, You Lose (Witch City Mystery 2) by Carol J. Perry gets…
4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Be nice. I’ve heard that he’s pretty much responsible for getting our funding.” – Carol J. Perry, Tails, You Lose

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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Halfway Normal By Barbara Dee [Book Review]

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Book Review: Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee | Middle Grade | Realistic Fiction | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I bought the book at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

A cancer survivor must readjust to “normal” middle school life in this hopeful novel from the author of Star-Crossed and Truth or Dare.

Norah Levy has just completed two years of treatment for leukemia and is ready to go back to the “real world” of middle school. The hospital social worker warns her the transition back may be tricky, but Norah isn’t worried. Compared with battling cancer, how tricky can seventh grade be?

Very. Everyone is either treating Norah like she will break at any second, or acting weird about all the attention she’s getting. Her best friend, Harper, does her best to be there for Norah, but she doesn’t get it, really—and is hanging out with a new group of girls, leaving Norah feeling a little unsteady. Norah’s other good friend, Silas, is avoiding her. What’s that about, anyway?

When Norah is placed with the eighth graders for math and science she meets Griffin, a cute boy who encourages her love of drawing and Greek mythology. And Norah decides not to tell him her secret—that she was “that girl” who had cancer. But when something happens to make secret-keeping impossible, Norah must figure out a way to share her cancer story. But how do you explain something to others that you can’t explain to yourself? And then, once you find the words, how do you move forward with a whole new ‘normal’?

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed the book cover. It’s simple and even though it doesn’t seem like it at first glance, it shows a lot about the book and the main character.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

My sister found this book and bought it. I thought it sounded interesting so I decided to read it.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

To be honest, I forgot what exactly this book was about. I bought it awhile ago and didn’t read the summary again before diving in. Reading a book about a younger cancer survivor trying to fit in again and be “normal” is a great idea. Norah is in middle school as well, of all things, which makes life more difficult for her.

I believe this is fiction inspired from a few real life people, but the plot was mainstream, heartfelt, and an important message.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I liked all the characters in this book, even the “mean” ones because they were exactly like how some middle school kids act. I wasn’t sure about Norah, the protagonist, a first, but after realizing she was 11 I understood her more.

Griffin, a new friend of Norah’s, was awesome too. He had little parts but they were important and made a difference to the story and to Norah herself.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The story flowed well and went at a nice pace. It was easy to read and quick at 243 pages. Though, I’ll admit, I wouldn’t have minded reading more.

The author used italics a lot – for thoughts and emphasizing words – which is fine, but the characters emphasized words a lot. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

I really enjoyed this book and it touched my heart even if it is fiction. I think the author did a great job portraying the characters and their woes. I’m looking forward to reading more from her.

Halfway Normal by Barbara Dee gets…
5 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“I couldn’t tell myself that only good things will be in my future, because how could you be sure of that, anyhow?” –Barbara Dee, Halfway Normal

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 White Giraffe By Lauren St. John [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: The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John | Middle Grade | Reading | Mystery | Fiction | RachelPoli.com

I bought it at Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

When Martine’s home in England burns down, killing her parents, she must go to South Africa to live on a wildlife game preserve, called Sawubona, with the grandmother she didn’t know she had. Almost as soon as she arrives, Martine hears stories about a white giraffe living in the preserve. But her grandmother and others working at Sawubona insist that the giraffe is just a myth. Martine is not so sure, until one stormy night when she looks out her window and locks eyes with Jemmy, a young silvery-white giraffe. Why is everyone keeping Jemmy’s existence a secret? Does it have anything to do with the rash of poaching going on at Sawubona? Martine needs all of the courage and smarts she has, not to mention a little African magic, to find out. First-time children’s author Lauren St. John brings us deep into the African world, where myths become reality and a young girl with a healing gift has the power to save her home and her one true friend.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

I love the cover. There’s something mysterious about it and I think the white giraffe and the night blue background contrast nicely.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

Fun fact: my favorite animal is the giraffe. I’m pretty sure my mom bought this book for me a few years ago simply because it was about a giraffe. Of course, this is the first time I’m reading it now.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Martine’s life gets thrown upside down when both her parents die in a fire that started in their house. She even lost the house. At only 11-years-old, she’s shipped to go live with her grandmother in Africa. That’s where she learns a lot about her family, herself, and the legend of the White Giraffe.

This plot had a lot of potential but, in my opinion, it wasn’t executed well. A lot of things happen that’s not really explained. There was a lot of build up but when the White Giraffe was in trouble, it just didn’t seem as intense as I think it was meant to be.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I felt as though I couldn’t get close to any of the characters. Martine’s grandmother had an awfully fast change of heart, Martine sometimes acted her age and then other times acted as though she was a lot older. Until her age was mentioned almost halfway through the book, I had trouble pinning her age down.

I really enjoyed Tendai though. He worked with Gywn, Martine’s grandmother, and he was kind to Martine and helped her along the way. I felt as though I learned more from him than anyone else.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

This is a middle-grade book so the writing is fairly simple and easy to read. Aside from Martine not really acting her age at times, this was well done.

However, my biggest problem was the description. Everything looks, feels, sounds, and smells “African.” I have no idea what that means and as someone who’s never been to Africa, I feel as though this was a missed learning opportunity for me – especially since the author states in her bio that she grew up there.

Other than that, the writing itself wasn’t bad. The pace was a bit too fast at times, but the plot was laid out and was there.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was just an okay read for me. There was a lot of potential and missed teaching moments culturally from the author, but it was still pretty well written and the idea of the plot was interesting. I don’t think I’ll be reading the rest of the series, though there may be some younger kids out there who would enjoy this.

The White Giraffe by Lauren St. John gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“No, little one, animals might scratch you, or bite you, or even rip you apart in hunger or fear, but only a man can crush you inside, in your heart, for no reason other than the color of your skin.” –Lauren St. John, The White Giraffe

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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Caught Dead Headed (Witch City Mystery 1) By Carol J. Perry [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: Caught Dead Handed (Witch City Mystery 1) by Carol J. Perry | Mystery | Paranormal Fantasy | Fiction | RachelPoli.com

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

Summary:

She’s not a psychic–she just plays one on TV.

Most folks associate the city of Salem, Massachusetts with witches, but for Lee Barrett, it’s home. This October she’s returned to her hometown–where her beloved Aunt Ibby still lives–to interview for a job as a reporter at WICH-TV. But the only opening is for a call-in psychic to host the late night horror movies. It seems the previous host, Ariel Constellation, never saw her own murder coming.

Lee reluctantly takes the job, but when she starts seeing real events in the obsidian ball she’s using as a prop, she wonders if she might really have psychic abilities. To make things even spookier, it’s starting to look like Ariel may have been an actual practicing witch–especially when O’Ryan, the cat Lee and Aunt Ibby inherited from her, exhibits some strange powers of his own. With Halloween fast approaching, Lee must focus on unmasking a killer–or her career as a psychic may be very short lived. . .

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover is dark and mysterious. It shows off a lot of what the book is about – the cat, for example – and even the title hints as well.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

If you know me then you know I love a good cozy murder mystery. I was asked by the author to read the series and gladly accepted.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

Like most cozy mysteries, Lee Barrett doesn’t have things going the way she wanted them to. She didn’t get the job she wanted. As she leaves her interview, she stumbles upon a dead body. On the plus side, the dead body was one of the workers so Lee ends up with a job in the end.

Things begin to get strange around the news station and, as Lee researches witchcraft and psychics for her job, she discovers some things about the people she works with and ends up investigating the murder case as well.

This adds a new twist on paranormal mysteries as Lee is pretending to be a psychic for her audience on her TV gig and find the true nature of her job as the people around her.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

All the characters were wonderfully written. I didn’t have a problem with any of them. They all had unique voices and personalities. Aunt Ibby, Lee’s aunt who she lives with, is an awesome character. She was very supportive and likable. I’m sure Aunt Ibby was my favorite character.

Every character has a purpose, though by the end of the book there were some characters who seemed to have disappeared. Scott Palmer, the man who got Lee’s job in the first place, had a lot of meaning the beginning and then just seemed to fall off the face of the earth by the end.

Oh, and O’Ryan the cat. He was truly my favorite, the MVP.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

I enjoyed the author’s writing style. There’s a good balance between dialogue and description, though more on the description end. The picture was painted well and the author had great knowledge of the setting of the book, Salem, MA.

The story flowed well and went at a nice pace with a good amount of tension and funny moments. It was an easy read and was a decent length at nearly 400 pages.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was a great first installment for a mystery series. It was a fun mystery to figure out and, now that it’s finished, I’m remembering some clues that would have helped me figure it out sooner. It was well put together. I’m looking forward to the next book.

Caught Dead Handed (Witch City Mystery 1) by Carol J. Perry gets…
Book Review Rating System | 4 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com4 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“She held up a well-manicured hand and began counting on cerise nail-polished fingers.” –Carol J. Perry, Caught Dead Handed (Witch City Mystery 1)

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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Username: Regenerated By Joe Sugg [Book Review]

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Book Review: Username Regenerated by Joe Sugg | Graphic Novel | Reading | Young Adult | Science Fiction | Fiction | RachelPoli.com

I bought a paperback from Barnes & Noble.

Summary:

Evie is safe home, but her heart remains in e.scape. She’s desperate to return, but the app that transports her has corrupted in the great reboot.
When besotted geek, Lionel, offers to help, he doesn’t just restore the gateway as she had planned. He opens up a series of revelations that calls into question everything Evie treasures in life. With a momentous discovery to be unearthed in the virtual realm, and an e.scape fugitive on the loose in reality, can our sidelined schoolgirl save not one world but two?

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover intrigues me (both the front and the back) because it shows off the main characters and even shows off how the story will go, though you don’t realize it until you read the book.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I read Username: Evie a while ago and enjoyed it. So I was interested in continuing with the series.

Plot | RachelPoli.com

I have to be honest. There’s a lot of build up to the plot and then not much happens. Evie manages to get back into e.scape and meets up with some old friends along with some new ones. When some people from e.scape end up reality, they mistakenly hunt for one of their own so he doesn’t destroy reality.

This isn’t a bad plot and it had a lot of potential, but it wasn’t executed as well as it could have been. There was a lot of build up to bring tense moments and then those moments ended up be pretty anti-climactic.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

I didn’t mind the characters. Evie was a little bland this time around as was her estranged mother. I think Mallory, Evie’s cousin, was my favorite character. She’s a pain but, in a way, she ended up being the real hero. The hero that no one else seems to recognize.

The coded characters from e.scape were good as well, but I felt as though I was expected to care about them by the end and there just wasn’t enough time for me to develop feelings for me.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

As a graphic novel, a lot of the story is told through the pictures. The art was my favorite part. I love the style. I wish I could say more about it, but I don’t know too much about art to sound sophisticated about it.

The dialogue is just as good too. The characters told the story well. My only nit-pick was that a lot of the characters had thought bubbles, usually with a sarcastic quip. I felt as though that was thrown in just for a chuckle, but it didn’t do anything to me. I didn’t care to be inside every character’s heads for no reason – especially when the pictures say it all with their facial expressions.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

This was still an enjoyable read though it didn’t live up to the first book. I definitely wanted to see more action and feel more tension. However, if you read the first book or if this sounds intriguing to you at all, feel free to give it a shot.

Username: Regenerated by Joe Sugg gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“A crush can be fun, until it becomes a monster.” –Joe Sugg, Username: Regenerated

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Abe Books

You can also check out my review of Username: Evie by Joe Sugg!

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 and check out my other book reviews!

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Psych: A Fatal Frame Of Mind By William Rabkin [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: Psych A Fatal Frame of Mind by Willaim Rabkin | Fiction | Mystery | Humor | Reading | RachelPoli.com

I bought the book on my Kindle.

Summary:

When the Santa Barbara art museum unveils its newest acquisition, the long-lost masterpiece by Dante Gabriel Rossetti isn’t the only surprise behind the red curtain-so is the museum’s curator. Dead. The case has everything Shawn likes: it’s bizarre, it’s baffling, and there’s a snack bar at the crime scene. But the investigation gets a lot less fun as he and Gus begin to realize that the clues are leading them towards a centuries-old cabal desperate to hide a terrible secret-and more than willing to kill the two detectives who are trying to reveal it.

My Review:

Book Cover | RachelPoli.com

The cover hasn’t changed from 3 previous books or the season covers from the TV show. They’re all similar with Shawn and Gus posing. It works but doesn’t really convey what the book may be about.

First Thoughts | RachelPoli.com

I loved the TV show and when I discovered the books, I had to give them a try. It’s been a while since I’ve read the first 3 books, but it’s easy to pick up where I left off.Plot | RachelPoli.com

Shawn and Gus find themselves in their usual pickle when they take on a case bigger than they think. This plot is filled with a lot of twists and turns with the characters – and yourself – changing your mind about who did it and who didn’t.

The plot itself wasn’t bad and it was well executed. The wrap up felt abrupt, but that’s mostly because of the POV choice, which I’ll get to in a moment.

Characters | RachelPoli.com

When a book is based off a TV series, it’s hard not to compare the book to the show. So, that’s what I’m doing. The characters all stayed true to themselves as they are in the show. I could hear all their voices in my head down to the correct tone.

My biggest problem was that three of the six main characters were barely in the book. Detective O’Hara, Chief Vick, and Henry, Shawn’s dad, barely had any parts. Even Lassie didn’t have many though a few chapters were in his POV. I missed them and wished I could have seen more of the whole team.

Writing Style | RachelPoli.com

The book flowed well and the plot was executed at a nice pace. Nothing was too fast or slow and everything was easy to read and clear to follow. I just didn’t care for the POV.

The POV followed Gus’s thoughts, which is actually fine by me. I don’t mind seeing it through his eyes, but Shawn is the psychic. Shawn is the main one who solves the mysteries based on his hyper-observant skills. Being in Gus’s mind, there wasn’t much “psychic” going on that I saw because I wasn’t inside Shawn’s head. That’s the major premise of Psych so it was a little disappointing to miss out on that.

Overall | RachelPoli.com

Overall, this wasn’t a bad book and it was a quick read. It’s just not my favorite.

Psych: A Fatal Frame of Mind (Psych 4) by William Rabkin gets…
Book Review Rating System | 3 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com3 out of 5 cups

Favorite Quote:

“Can you say that in English?” Shawn said.
“That was English,” Gus said. “In fact, it was more than English. It was specifically a point of English grammar, so you don’t get much more English that that.” –William Rabkin, Psych: A Fatal Frame of Mind (Psych 4)

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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