Book Review |

Mr. Popper’s Penguins by Florence and Richard Atwater

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I borrowed the paperback from the kid I babysit. The decision to review and all opinions are my own.

Title: Mr. Popper’s Penguins
Author: Florence and Richard Atwater
Genre: Fiction, Humor, Children’s

Series: Mr. Popper’s Penguins, 1
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication Date: November 2, 1992

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Baby Blues: This Is Going To Be Tougher Than We Thought (Scrapbook 1) By Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott [Book Review]

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Book Review - Baby Blues: This is going to be tougher than we thought (scrapbook 1) by Rick Kirkman and Jerry Scott | Comic | Humor | Reading |

I borrowed this from my Uncle a long time ago.

My Review:

Book Cover |

The cover itself is humorous. It’s all about first-time parents and showing two confused parents with a crying baby is perfect – as is the title.

First Thoughts |

I first read this a long time ago when I was little. I remember my sister reading it at our uncle’s house so I ended up picking it up as well.

Plot |

This is the first of many Baby Blues comics. Darryl and Wanda have just had a baby girl, Zoe. They’re first time parents trying to figure out the baby as well as other life things. Not that I’m a parent myself, but many of these strips ring true to life but put a funny spin on it.

Characters |

Darryl and Wanda are quite the funny characters and it’s fun to follow their story. Wanda can be a bit crazy at times, but it’s always funny and never really annoying. Poor Darryl just tries his best to help her along.

There are many other characters in here that come and go like Wanda’s sister, and they’re all great and add a lot to the story.

Writing Style |

This is, of course, a comic book, so the story is told in dialogue and drawings. Each “scene,” I guess you could call it is told in four panels. Or there can be sort of a mini-series and a longer story may be told me through a series of four panels. Everything makes sense and it makes for an easy read.

Overall |

If you’re looking for something quick, humorous, and true to life, pick up Baby Blues. It was fun to revisit this one and I’ll be reading the rest of the series soon.

Baby Blues: This Is Going To Be Tougher Than We Thought (Scrapbook 1) by Rick Kirkman & Jerry Scott gets…
Book Review Rating System | 5 Cups of Coffee | RachelPoli.com5 out of 5 cups

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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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Psych: A Fatal Frame Of Mind By William Rabkin [Book Review]

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Book Review: Psych A Fatal Frame of Mind by Willaim Rabkin | Fiction | Mystery | Humor | Reading |

I bought the book on my Kindle.


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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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 |

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)

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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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Thoughts On Life

Warning, This Is A Really Long Post…

Kris and I tend to have a lot of conversations about our future. For some strange reason, I was beginning to think about again this morning. Kris was home with me, but she was in the shower so I didn’t really have anyone to talk to about it. Except for Hunter.

Yes, he is sitting in a drawer. This pic was taken a while ago, though.
Yes, he is sitting in a drawer. This pic was taken a while ago, though.

He seemed to agree with me on half of the things I said, too. Well…he meowed a lot, anyway. But together, in the half hour Kris was in the shower, he and I took a long, hard look at life.

I was always the type of person to have a plan.  I always stuck to that plan no matter what and it was very hard for someone or something to change my mind.

When I was in first grade, I was six-years-old,  I loved my teacher a lot. Her name was Mrs. McCarthy. I have two memories from that class: one was that she had a beanie baby named Tiny. Every Friday one kid in the class was chosen to take it home for the weekend. Memory number two is that I remember telling her, “I’m going to be a first grade teacher just like you.” I kept half of that promise. I do want to be a teacher and have wanted to be a teacher ever since.

When I was in fifth grade, I was ten, my sister found the FanFiction website. I wasn’t really all that interested in it, but I wanted to copy her because I was an annoying little sister. I created a story for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles because that was my obsession at the time. The writing sucked, to be blunt. My spelling was terrible, I had no idea what grammar was, and for the most part there was no plot. I just threw a little girl into the turtles’ laps and based her off of me. As I got older, I took the story down and re-vamped it. It was popular and I continued on. I found the sister site, FictionPress, which is all original stuff. I posted a few things on there, came up with millions of novel ideas, and thought to myself, “Why post these on the internet when I could get them published?” That was when I got my start at writing.

But I still wanted to be a teacher. How was I to write and be a teacher at the same time? Mind you, at this point in time I thought authors made millions of dollars by just selling one book. I didn’t realize how difficult it truly is. But I thought writing was going to be so much work (which it is), so how was I to write full time all day every day and still be able to teach first grade?

“I’ll be an English teacher!” I finally came to a conclusion. I never really thought about what grade I wanted to teach, but I was gonna go with it for the time being. I love Spanish, too. There was some point in my life where I kept flip-flopping back and forth between being an English teacher and a Spanish teacher.

Then I got to seventh grade, I was 12. My aunt suddenly passed away from a brain aneurysm. She and the rest of my family were over for my birthday, seeming completely fine, and two days later she was gone. She left behind Jackie and Kat (who were 3 and 1 at the time) and my Uncle behind. Two weeks later we had to put my dog Casey down due to seizures. This was around the time Hunter came into the picture (he was a stray), but that’s another story for another time.

Most of my writing during that time was sad and gloomy. Most of the things I wrote on FanFiction was in the humor section and I got a lot of reviews with people telling me that my work was so funny that they printed it out to share with their friends and such like that. But when she left behind her daughters, there was no one else to watch them while my Uncle was at work, so we took them in. I was the youngest of three and then suddenly a middle child of five. It was the biggest change of my life and it’s not something I would wish upon anybody.

I love my cousins to death and I am glad we did what we did to help them and my Uncle out, but when you’re 12 it’s tough to see just how good of a deed you’re really doing. But ever since then, I was done with change. I didn’t care if it was good or bad, I didn’t need anymore surprises in my life.

But people tell you that when you get to high school, things change. Your friends, even yourself, changes. “That will never!” I declared. I had the best group of friends in the world. Alyssa, Mary, Christina, and Kerri. I had known Christina and Kerri since elementary school and Alyssa and Mary came into the picture in middle school, sixth grade.

But at the beginning of ninth grade, high school…things changed. Just like people told me they would. Mary moved to another town so she went to a different high school. Alyssa went to a vocational school. Only Christina, Kerri, and I were at school together, but while I had a few classes with Kerri, I never saw Christina around. I kept in touch with Alyssa and kept in touch with Mary through Alyssa. But as each day passed, we talked less and less. Now we get in contact with each other once every few months and never hang out anymore.

Junior year was the bulk of when everything happened. I had just turned 16 and while everyone else was learning how to drive, I said no thank you. I wasn’t ready for it and I wasn’t going to be for a very long time. Kerri changed drastically that year to the point that I haven’t spoken to her since. And I changed, as well. I knew what I wanted to do with my life, but I was straying from the path that I had been on so for so.

Long story short, after Christmas break, I did not go back to high school. I refused to go. My teachers were baffled, my parents didn’t know what to do, and I had no idea what had come over me. I hated the kids in my class, none of my teachers seemed to believe in me, and I was realizing that Kerri didn’t believe in me, either. We got in a huge fight because when she asked me what was going on with me, I told her I didn’t know because I truly didn’t know. She got angry at me thinking I was keeping something from her. That was the end of our friendship.

For the second half of my junior year I stayed home all day and went in after school to be tutored for a while to make sure I finished my junior year. I went into therapy where I was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder and had to be put on medication. I only had two teachers supporting me and the rest thought it was because I just needed to be in lower classes. I was put in the low classes all my life when I got A’s and B’s. I had to fight to get into the higher classes and now they were putting me down again. I had it with teachers. I had it with school. I was ready to drop out and not bother going to college.

My therapist found this “dual enrollment” program at a local community college. I was able to finish my high school diploma there and the courses would also count towards my degree. I went with it. And I’m glad I did. I not have my Associate’s degree in early childhood education. I’m starting my Bachelor’s in the Fall for English.

I hate change. I always hated it thinking I would never get through, but my entire life has changed in a million different directions and each time I adapted. I went from wanting to be a teacher, to an English teacher, to possibly a Spanish teacher, to finally deciding on being a preschool teacher (working towards owning my own preschool and being director) ,all while being a writer. I went from a group of four friends to just the one (Christina and I chat ever day). I went from being an almost high school drop-out to being a college graduate. And I have plans to get my Bachelor’s in English, Master’s in Business, and go back for a certificate in Special Ed. I went from being the youngest child to being one of the oldest.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that…I’m ready for anything else that life throws at me. I have a lot more schooling to get done and I have a ton of books to get published. Who knows what’s going to happen?