Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva

Professor Layton Movie Review Rachel Poli
via IMDB
Title: Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva
Starring: Yo Oizumi, Maki Horikita

Summary (from IMDB):

Layton and Luke are caught up in an adventure, when a masked figure steals an entire opera house and forces those in attendance to play a high-stakes game. The winner will receive eternal life, but it could mean death for the losers.

My Review:

Okay, I’m kind of cheating this month with my movie review. No, this movie is not about writing. Yes, this movie is based upon a video game series.

However, being a mystery writer I felt as though this movie would be fairly appropriate.

Professor Layton and his assistant, Luke, find themselves in trouble when a masked man takes over an opera house not allowing anyone to leave until they solve his riddles and he gets what he wants. Of course, no one knows his true motive and if you fail his riddles… Well, that could mean death.

Some of the riddles were easy to guess, some not so much. There was one that I was sure I was right and then Layton had to ahead and be smart and prove me wrong. It reminds me of when I’m writing my mystery series and I wonder if any readers will guess what’s going on or not.

The end of the movie is a complete twist, one that I had not seen coming. Yet when I knew the truth, everything else the movie made perfect sense. It really was a great mystery.

It’s a cartoon, it’s silly, but it was well worth the watch for me.

Professor Layton and the Eternal Diva gets  4 out of 5 stars.

Would I recommend? Yes.

rachel poli sign off

Twitter | Tumblr | Pinterest | GoodReads

Freedom Writers

Freedom Writers Movie Review
Via IMDB

Title: Freedom Writers
Starring: Hilary Swank, Imelda Staunton, Patrick Dempsey
Rating: PG-13

Summary (from IMDB):

A young teacher inspires her class of at-risk students to learn tolerance, apply themselves, and pursue education beyond high school.

My Review:

Based on true events and the book, The Freedom Writers Diary, this movie is inspiring and powerful. This movie shows just how writing can make a huge difference.

Erin Gruwell (Hilary Swank) is in over her head her first year of teaching. She has a classroom full of interracial freshman who are all against each other. She teaches them to love and respect each other no matter their color or race.

She gives them each a journal to write in every single day. She encourages them to write the stories of their lives and helps them realize that they do matter, they can make a difference whether it’s in their own life, a friend’s, or the world.

Erin taught them way more than English. She taught them history, how to be themselves, and how to really live in this world without being afraid. Because of her, they all were able to graduate high school and some of those students were the first to graduate in their families.

And it all started with a journal.

Freedom Writers gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Would I recommend? Yes.

One of the Few by Jason B. Ladd

Via Publishizer
Via Publishizer

Title: One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview
Author: Jason B. Ladd
Genre: Military/Religion
How I got the book: from the author in exchange for an honest review

Summary (from Publishizer):

His mission began with a realization: though ready to defend his country, he was unprepared for his most important missions as a husband and father. Drawing from his military experience as an F/A-18 “Hornet” Weapons and Tactics Instructor and a former F-16 “Viper” Instructor Pilot, Ladd warns seekers about spiritual apathy and teaches Christians tactics for withstanding spiritual attacks.

Birthed from a legacy of service, One of the Few speaks from the spirit of a man reborn—with the soul of a Marine, the mind of a fighter, the heart of a father, and a commitment to the Son. Join him as he uses fighter pilot fundamentals to embark on the greatest mission of all: the pursuit of truth.”

I’ve had the privilege of following some of the worlds greatest leaders, and the number of collaborators on this project is growing. I’m asking you to join us. The questions you ask along the way could bring you to people and places you never knew.

It might just be the beginning of your own journey to becoming One of the Few.

I used to laugh at Christians. Now I’ve joined them. I’ve led Marines in combat. Now I want to lead others to Christ.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This novel is inspirational as Jason B. Ladd tells stories of his time in the U.S. Marines and how he found his faith in Christianity.

The book was written well and formatted in a way that I haven’t come across before. The prologue was before the introduction and then it started on chapter one.

The novel came full circle with the epilogue touching base with the prologue and the last chapter continued from the first chapter.

The story touched upon real life events in Ladd’s life and connected them to what’s taught in the Bible. I enjoyed reading about Ladd’s life and how he discovered his faith thanks to his wife.

The book was split up into three parts. I have to admit the second part drew me out of the story a bit. There were a few chapters where I felt I was reading an essay about the Bible rather than reading about Ladd’s life. He always connected the Bible to his life, but the Bible was analyzed a lot.

Other than that, I thought One of the Few was a great read and definitely a book for anyone; especially if you’re a Christian.

One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview by Jason B. Ladd gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“I became acustomed to moving every few years; it was an exciting opportunity to travel the world.” –Jason B. Ladd, One of the Few

About the Author (from his website):

Jason B. Ladd is an author, speaker, and Marine providing a cultural apologetic focusing on leadership, parenthood, and worldview development. He helps people discover, understand, and strengthen their faith.

Twitter | Facebook | Google+

One of the Few: A Marine Fighter Pilot’s Reconnaissance of the Christian Worldview will be available on November 10, 2015.

Rippler by Cidney Swanson

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Title: Rippler
Author: Cidney Swanson
Genre: Science fiction and fantasy
How I got the book: Downloaded it onto my Kindle

Summary (from Amazon):

When Samantha Ruiz turns invisible in front of team mates on a rafting trip, she knows something’s wrong with her. According to her knowledgeable friend Will, she’s got a rare genetic disorder. Fearing a lifetime sentence as a lab-rat, Sam wants to keep her ability secret. But she also wants to know if there’s a connection between dark Nazi experiments on others like her and her own mother’s death eight years earlier. At the same time that Sam is sleuthing, she’s falling hard for Will. And soon, she’ll have to choose between keeping her secrets hidden and keeping Will safe.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

Interesting concept. The idea of having people ripple–having the ability to turn invisible–is pretty cool. I love the way Cidney Swanson created the ripple gene.

When they turn invisible they basically step out of their skin. They don’t feel hot or cold, hungry or thirsty. They can walk through things and each material (plaster wall vs. glass door) has a different feel to it and that was described pretty well.

Aside from the cool idea of rippling, the plot itself was okay. Someone is out there trying to kill people who can ripple. It’s not explained that much as the characters try to figure it out themselves. Also, this is the first book in a series so I’m sure it’ll be more explained as it goes on.

However, this book didn’t have a lot of information and the information that was revealed didn’t make a lot of sense to me.

The characters were alright. The protagonist, Samantha, was a hit or miss I think. She cried… a lot. That got annoying pretty fast.

Will, her friend, was 18-years-old. He didn’t act like it. He lives with his older sister (who was pretty cool) and she was pretty protective of him. The way they acted it made it seem as though Will was a lot younger than he was.

The novel was okay, but will I be going out to get the next book? Probably not.

Rippler by Cidney Swanson gets 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“I tasted all the bitterness of this choice, because if life were fair, I wouldn’t have to choose between them.” –Cidney Swanson, Rippler

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have a book recommendation for me, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the Contact Me page.

Gasp by Lisa McMann

2015-08-15 18.24.28

Title: Gasp
Author: Lisa McMann
Genre: Young adult paranormal
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

After narrowly surviving two harrowing tragedies, Jules now fully understands the importance of the visions that she and those around her are experiencing. She’s convinced that if the vision curse passed from her to Sawyer after she saved him, then it must now have passed from Sawyer to one of the people he saved.

That means it’s up to Jules to figure out which of the school shooting survivors is now suffering from visions of another crisis. And once she realizes who it is, she has to convince that survivor that this isn’t all crazy—that the images are of something real. Something imminent.

As the danger escalates in this conclusion to the Visions series, Jules wonders if she’ll finally find out why and how this is happening—before it’s too late to prevent disaster.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

Just like the first two books, the visions are still happening.

Jules has realized that when you save someone from a vision, you accidentally pass on the vision.

They saved a lot of people from the school shooting so now they have to figure out who they passed the visions to in order to stop the next tragedy.

Bed-ridden for a while due to the shooting, Tori finds it hard to help Jules and the gang solve the next disaster; especially since she’s the one having the visions. Ben, who they saved from the shooting, helps them along the way.

Together, Jules, her two siblings, Ben, Sawyer, and Tori solve the next tragedy.

It isn’t until much later they realize how Jules got the vision in the first place. I found the answer to that question to be very satisfying. It was great how Lisa McMann brought everything full circle.

There’s no explanation how the visions came to be in the first place, but that’s left up to the imaginations of the readers.

Gasp by Lisa McMann gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Too bad there’s nothing admirable about being a fraud.” –Lisa McMann, Gasp

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have a book recommendation for me, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the Contact Me page.

Crash by Lisa McMann

2015-08-15 18.24.05

Title: Crash
Author: Lisa McMann
Genre: Young adult paranormal
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

Jules lives with her family above their restaurant, which means she smells like pizza most of the time and drives their double-meatball-shaped food truck to school. It’s not a recipe for popularity, but she can handle that.

What she can’t handle is the recurring vision that haunts her. Over and over, Jules sees a careening truck hit a building and explode…and nine body bags in the snow.

The vision is everywhere—on billboards, television screens, windows—and she’s the only one who sees it. And the more she sees it, the more she sees. The vision is giving her clues, and soon Jules knows what she has to do. Because now she can see the face in one of the body bags, and it’s someone she knows. Someone she has been in love with for as long as she can remember.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

Jules tells the story about how she witnessed an accident–except the accident didn’t happen yet. She doesn’t know how or why, but she keeps having visions of a truck crashing into her family’s rival pizzeria.

She can see seven body bags. She doesn’t know who is going to die or when the accident is going to happen. She just knows that she needs to stop it somehow.

With the help of her brother, Jules figures out that one of the people in the body bags is her crush, Sawyer; who also happens to be the son of their family’s rival pizzeria. Knowing this new information, Jules knows that she needs to stop the accident somehow.

As the vision gets worse, Jules learns how to look closer at it and figure out certain details.

Long story short–and the novel is only 233 pages–Jules and her brother save everyone in the crash. Instead of seven body bags, there is one. The driver of the truck ends up dying due to a heart attack he had while behind the wheel; which was the cause of the crash in the first place.

The plot was interesting enough and the characters were fun, but the overall novel was kind of anti-climatic. However, that didn’t stop me from going out right away to buy the last two books in the trilogy.

Crash by Lisa McMann gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“My sophomore psych teacher, Mr. Polselli, says knowledge is crucial to understanding the workings of the human brain, but I swear to dog, I don’t want any more knowledge about this.” –Lisa McMann, Crash

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have a book recommendation for me, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the Contact Me page.

Savage Run by E.J. Squires

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Title: Savage Run
Author: E.J. Squires
Genre: Science fiction and fantasy
How I got the book: Downloaded it onto my Kindle

Summary (from Amazon):

Seventeen-year-old Heidi Cruise has one chance at freedom, but it involves breaking the law and completing Savage Run, a grueling, male-only obstacle course program. Nicholas Volkov has one goal: to make sure when he becomes president over the hierarchical society of Newland that he doesn’t follow in his tyrannical father’s footsteps. After Heidi registers for the program, Nicholas discovers that she’s a girl. Being a rebel in his own right, Nicholas doesn’t turn her in, but decides to help in any way possible. Heidi struggles through the obstacle courses in Savage Run. Physically and emotionally drained, it is only during downtime between events that she’s able to make sense of her world and get a little closer to the secretive Nicholas. But with the threat of death constantly barreling down on her, and with menacing contestants looming around every obstacle, it’s almost guaranteed that she’ll be killed before she manages to win her freedom

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This plot was interesting. In a world where women are degraded, Heidi decides to join the Savage Run–a cruel competition in which only boys are allowed to enter. The prize? Freedom.

She saves her friend from her master and together they pose as boys. Unfortunately, her friend gets killed and Heidi is in it alone.

Only a select few knows Heidi’s secret and keeps it for her, helping her along the way of the Savage Run.

This is book one of a series, so there’s obviously more to it. However, this book ended after Heidi completed the first phase out of three. Being under 300 pages, I felt there should have been more. The first stage took only a couple of chapters at the end. The beginning had so much build-up; sometimes it felt a little too much.

Heidi is the protagonist and to be honest, I didn’t like her all that much. I can’t enjoy a book if I don’t like the main character.

She was whiny and while she was going through a tough time, she repeated herself. A lot. Plus, I didn’t think she appropriately reacted emotionally to certain situations. For example, she kept getting angry and was stubborn with her friend Arthor (who was helping her along the Savage Run). Given the circumstances, she should have been more scared than anything else.

Will I run out to buy the next book right away? Probably not, but I would like to see how the series ends.

Savage Run by E.J. Squires gets 3 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“I think freedom is a gift, and what you choose to do with that freedom is what makes us completely free.” –E.J. Squires, Savage Run

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have a book recommendation for me, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the Contact Me page.

Anything Could Happen by Will Walton

2015-07-31 14.18.17

Title: Anything Could Happen
Author: Will Walton
Genre: Young adult gay & lesbian fiction
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

When you’re in love with the wrong person for the right reasons, anything could happen.

Tretch lives in a very small town where everybody’s in everybody else’s business. Which makes it hard for him to be in love with his straight best friend.  For his part, Matt is completely oblivious to the way Tretch feels – and Tretch can’t tell whether that makes it better or worse.

The problem with living a lie is that the lie can slowly become your life. For Tretch, the problem isn’t just with Matt. His family has no idea who he really is and what he’s really thinking. The girl at the local bookstore has no clue how off-base her crush on him is. And the guy at school who’s a thorn in Tretch’s side doesn’t realize how close to the truth he’s hitting.

Tretch has spent a lot of time dancing alone in his room, but now he’s got to step outside his comfort zone and into the wider world.  Because like love, a true self can rarely be contained.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This book has everything a 15-year-old needs to deal with in life; family, friends, death, life, relationships. For Tretch, things are a little more complicated.

Tretch is gay and he’s the only one who knows it. His best friend, Matt, doesn’t even know. But there’s a good reason for that; Tretch is in love with Matt.

It’s always nervewracking when you have a crush on someone and don’t know how to tell them how you feel. For Tretch, things are complicated because Matt is straight.

The timeframe in this book was winter break, just a couple of weeks. I can see it becoming much longer and turn into a coming of age story; it’s already on its way to that, anyway.

While Tretch came out to a few people throughout the book, it wasn’t a huge reveal. Everyone supported him of course, but no one had a huge reaction; good or bad. I felt as though there could have been more.

The book quick at 281 pages, but I think there could have been more. And yet, everything was wrapped up neatly so I can’t complain.

Anything Could Happen by Will Walton gets out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Because, right now, dancing in my room by myself, knowing I’ve got a whole life folding out ahead of me, with a million things to learn from it, I can feel only one thing.” –Will Walton, Anything Could Happen

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have any book recommendations for me, I’d love to hear them! Feel free to Contact Me.

I Am The Traitor by Allen Zadoff

2015-07-26 19.30.08

Title: I Am the Traitor
Author: Allen Zadoff
Genre: Young adult mystery
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

The Program has sent Boy Nobody on countless missions, instructed to kill whichever target he was given. But now, after going rogue, he is on his own mission to rescue his friend Howard, who was captured by The Program.

Boy Nobody manages to free Howard as well as Tanya, a mysterious girl who was being held with him. Putting their skills to the test, Howard and Tanya help Boy Nobody collect information about his father, eventually revealing a dangerous secret that teaches Boy Nobody a valuable lesson — he can’t trust anyone.

On the run from The Program, Boy Nobody must face his past, as he’s forced to decide where his loyalties lie.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

I have to say that this was a satisfying ending to the trilogy. I want more, but then the series would just be dragging on.

Zach saves his friend Howard from The Program and also an unexpected prisoner: Tanya. Zach doesn’t know what to make of her, but he allows her to tag along anyway.

Judging how the first two novels went, I wasn’t sure what to make of Tanya. Was she good? Was she bad? Was she going to live?

I was happy with the way things turned out; especially since I liked Tanya.

Point one for Zadoff; he created some strong female characters who could hold their own. I was impressed with that. You don’t see that too much these days.

This final installment was action-packed from start to finish as it picked up right where book two ended. The ending was not certainly something I expected. I felt like I should have seen it coming, but I didn’t; which is a good thing.

The ending was sort of a cliff-hanger, but not in a suspenseful way. It was more left as an imaginative way. You have a feeling where the characters will go from there, but it’s left to your imagination. You just know that they all got a happy ending.

I Am the Traitor by Allen Zadoff gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Women. There’s not a lot of information about them in the training manual.” –Allen Zadoff, I Am the Traitor

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have a book recommendation for me, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the Contact Me page.

I Am The Mission by Allen Zadoff

2015-07-25 08.30.44

Title: I Am the Mission
Author: Allen Zadoff
Genre: Young adult mystery
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

He was the perfect assassin.
Boy Nobody: No name. No past. No remorse. At least until he began to ask questions and challenge his orders — until he fell in love with his target. Now The Program is worried that its valuable soldier has become a liability.
Boy Nobody, haunted by the outcome of his last assignment, is given a new mission. A test of sorts. A chance to show his loyalty.
His objective: Take out Eugene Moore, the owner of a military training and indoctrination camp for teenagers. One target. Limited time frame. Public place. It sounds simple, but a previous operative couldn’t do it. He lost the mission and is presumed dead. Boy Nobody is confident he can finish the job. Quickly.
But when things go awry, Boy Nobody finds himself lost in a mission where nothing is as it seems: not The Program, his allegiances, or the truth.

The riveting second book in The Unknown Assassin series by Allen Zadoff delivers heart-pounding action and thought-provoking characters, as well as a new, exotic setting; a new mission; and new secrets to be revealed.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This is the second book to The Unknown Assassin series. It is decently thick so I wasn’t able to read it in one day, but it was still hard to put down nonetheless.

We follow the same protagonist as the first book, but his name is Daniel now; as his name changes with a new identity for each mission.

After a fellow soldier from The Program fails his mission to kill Moore, the head of Camp Liberty which a military base for teenagers. Daniel is sent in to complete the mission–without entering Camp Liberty.

The only way to kill Moore is to get close to him. Daniel enters Camp Liberty and completes his mission in three days, but is cut off from The Program. Since he entered the camp, they believed him to have betrayed them.

Things get complicated for Daniel as he is cut off and realizes some things about The Program; not good things, either. He meets an old friend along the way and also meets another soldier just like him.

Maybe he even finds love along the way?

That was my only problem with the book. It ended more-or-less the same as the first book. In the first book Daniel falls in love with a girl. He finds out she’s the enemy and kills her. In this book Daniel falls in love with Moore’s daughter. In the end, his mission changes and he has to kill Moore’s two children. His daughter ends up killing herself before Daniel can.

Throughout this book Daniel kept thinking off and on about the girl in the previous book. I have a feeling he’ll be thinking about both girls in the next book.

I Am the Mission by Allen Zadoff gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“The difference between a hero and a villain is a very thin line.” –Allen Zadoff, I Am the Mission

 

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’m reading next!
If you have a book recommendation for me, I’d love to hear it! Feel free to get in touch using the contact form on the Contact Me page.

Spelled by Betsy Schow

2015-07-02 20.23.29

Title: Spelled
Author: Betsy Schow
Genre: Young adult fiction
How I got the book: I bought it

Summary (from Amazon):

Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks―like Glenda Original ball gowns and Hans Christian Louboutin heels. But a forced marriage to the not-so-charming prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos and her parents stuck in some place called “Kansas.” Now it’s up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse…before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This book was hilarious. Dorthea isn’t your average prim and proper princess.

A curse hovers over her the females in her family, which means Dorthea is locked up in her castle all the time. She has never seen the outside world and doesn’t have any friends outside of the castle. She’s spoiled and doesn’t appreciate it.

When she has a wishful thought, it turns into a real wish and comes true–but not the way she expected. She ends up on an adventure with two unlikely partners to fix the world, magic, and restore the fairy-tale rules.

The humor was great and I loved the characters and their relationship with one another. The overall plot was interesting and unique in its own way. The writing style itself was unique as there are many puns based off of Disney and other princess’, as it is a reverse spin-off of The Wizard of Oz.

I love series’, but I as happy to pick up a standalone. As I got to the end of the book, it hinted that there will most likely be a sequel. I’m not 100% sure, but that was the vibe I got from the ending of the last chapter and the short epilogue.

As much as I loved the adventure and the characters, I have to say I think this book worked well as a standalone. But it seems as though it’s going to get dragged out into something more.

Spelled by Betsy Schow gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“No need to panic. I was the heroine in this story, so everything would get fixed somehow.” –Betsy Schow, Spelled

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’ll be reading next!

Memory Man by David Baldacci


Title: Memory Man
Author: David Baldacci
Genre: Mystery
How I got the book: Borrowed from my mom’s bookshelf

Summary (from Amazon):

Amos Decker’s life changed forever–twice.
The first time was on the gridiron. A big, towering athlete, he was the only person from his hometown of Burlington ever to go pro. But his career ended before it had a chance to begin. On his very first play, a violent helmet-to-helmet collision knocked him off the field for good, and left him with an improbable side effect–he can never forget anything.
The second time was at home nearly two decades later. Now a police detective, Decker returned from a stakeout one evening and entered a nightmare–his wife, young daughter, and brother-in-law had been murdered.
His family destroyed, their killer’s identity as mysterious as the motive behind the crime, and unable to forget a single detail from that horrible night, Decker finds his world collapsing around him. He leaves the police force, loses his home, and winds up on the street, taking piecemeal jobs as a private investigator when he can.
But over a year later, a man turns himself in to the police and confesses to the murders. At the same time a horrific event nearly brings Burlington to its knees, and Decker is called back in to help with this investigation. Decker also seizes his chance to learn what really happened to his family that night. To uncover the stunning truth, he must use his remarkable gifts and confront the burdens that go along with them. He must endure the memories he would much rather forget. And he may have to make the ultimate sacrifice.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

This novel was interesting until the very end.

It follows Amos Decker, a man who can’t forget anything due to a brain trauma that caused him to have an exceptional memory. Decker used to be a cop and then detective before his family–his brother, wife, and child–were murdered.

The killer was never caught until one day, years later, someone confesses. At that time a shooting occurs at the local high school killing several students as well as a couple teachers.

Decker is brought onto the case as a consultant as they realize both the shooting and the death of his family are connected.

The novel follows Decker as he tries to follow the killer’s clues, which are directed at him. The case is a lot more personal than anyone ever thought.

Overall, this was a great mystery to read. It was heavy, but all questions were answered by the end, the characters were well developed throughout the book, and the plot was complex enough that it wasn’t predictable but you were able to slowly figure it out along with the characters. Which, in my opinion, are the best types of mysteries.

Memory Man by David Baldacci gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“Damaged minds, even turned exceptional in some ways, are capable of many things. Some good, some bad.” –David Baldacci, Memory Man

Be sure to check out my Goodreads page to see what I’ll be reading next!

The Boy On The Wooden Box by Leon Leyson

2015-07-09 19.29.21

Title: The Boy on the Wooden Box
Author: Leon Leyson
Genre: Autobiography
How I got the book: I borrowed it from my mom’s bookshelf

Summary (from Amazon):

Leon Leyson (born Leib Lezjon) was only ten years old when the Nazis invaded Poland and his family was forced to relocate to the Krakow ghetto. With incredible luck, perseverance, and grit, Leyson was able to survive the sadism of the Nazis, including that of the demonic Amon Goeth, commandant of Plaszow, the concentration camp outside Krakow. Ultimately, it was the generosity and cunning of one man, a man named Oskar Schindler, who saved Leon Leyson’s life, and the lives of his mother, his father, and two of his four siblings, by adding their names to his list of workers in his factory—a list that became world renowned: Schindler’s List.

My Review (may contain spoilers!):

Inspiring.

Breathtaking.

This book is an autobiography written by Leon Leyson, a Jewish boy who survived the Holocaust. He was only ten-years-old when the Nazis took over.

Leon survived because of Oskar Schindler as well as the strength of his family.

It’s a quick, easy read and has more than enough information. The first chapter explains background on Leon, his family, and his life before the Nazis. The rest of the novel–up until the last chapter–is his experiences being held captive by the Nazis and working for them as well as trying to stick with his family as they keep getting split up.

There’s an afterward of letters written by Leon’s children as well as pictures.

It’s a sad tale, but has a happy ending. I think this is a story that everyone should read.

The Boy on the Wooden Box gets 5 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“A hero is an ordinary human being who does the best of things in the worst of times.” –Leon Leyson, The Boy on the Wooden Box

TTFN & L8R, G8R by Lauren Myracle

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Summary (from Goodreads):

After everything they’ve been through together, Angela, Maddie, and Zoe know they’ll be friends till the end–but sometimes the fates (or parents) have other plans.
With sophomore year and its troubles behind them, the winsome threesome is on cruise control, enjoying the well-earned perks of being sixteen. But then Angela (SnowAngel) gets some seriously bad family news :'( that threatens to change her life forever. On top of that, Maddie (mad maddie) decides to let loose her wild side 😛 and Zoe (zoegirl) struggles to keep a big secret from Angela :O. Will junior year pull the girls apart just when they need each other most? Only their instant messages reveal the full story…

I have to say that I enjoyed TTFN more than I enjoyed the first book, TTYL.

I was used to how the three main girls acted and I also felt as though the troubles they faced this time around were more realistic.

One of the main girls moves far, far away and of course it’s a big deal. Who would want to leave in the middle of their junior year of high school across the country leaving their hometown and best friends? The worst part was that the move was due to her father losing his job. So the move just added on more stress.

This was a great tale of how the three girls stuck together even though they were so far away from each other. There were great lessons to be learned as they were all still there for each other miles away.

TTFN by Lauren Myracle gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“mad maddie: on every single sitcom in the world, this is how problems start. some idiot plays dumb and doesn’t tell someone else what’s really going on, and then there’s mass confusion and mistaken assumptions and everything ends in chaos.” –Lauren Myracle, TTFN

Via Goodreads
Via Goodreads
Summary (from Goodreads):

Angela, Zoe and Maddie are finally seniors and ready for the great year they deserve. After two years of fighting, experimentation and some hilarious stories, they are prepared to enjoy the fruits of seniority – even though being top dogs at school means thinking about college, sex and even the impending end of their inseparable trio.

This is the third book in the Internet Girls series and I have to say that it hit home for me.

Angela, Zoe, and Maddie are seniors in high school and are dealing with the stresses of applying to colleges, getting accepted, and–the worst part–being apart from each other in different states.

One thing I didn’t enjoy in the book was that the three girls were at “war” with a girl named Jana in their class. They play pranks on her and she retaliates for most of their senior year. It took bullying to a whole new level and I felt like seniors shouldn’t be acting like that.

They also deal with what most 18-year-olds deal with: relationships. Zoe finds true love, Maddie stumbles upon it, and Angela realizes she doesn’t need a man to complete… someday her prince will come.

Ultimately, this book dealt with friendship and how truly important it is.

L8R, G8R by Lauren Myracle gets 4 out of 5 stars.

Favorite Quote:

“we’re our own destiny, that’s all. and 1 day we WILL be gone, so we better appreciate life while we can.” –Lauren Myracle, l8r, g8r

Check out my Goodreads page to see what I’ll be reading next!

Reading Books May Contain Spoilers

I’m sorry to say that there is no book review today (I’m off to a great start this month!) due to recovery from surgery last week, finishing up my school semester, and getting back to work. Next week I’ll clump the two book reviews together; especially since they’re part of a series.

In other news, I had to share this with you guys…

I went to the bookstore last night and while I was browsing a young girl–who looked to be about 10- or maybe 11-years-old–and her mother were in the same aisle as me. We were in the young adult section and the young girl picked up a book and held it in front of her mother’s face.

Mother: Oh, did you want to get that?
Girl: Yeah, I think the book sounds pretty good.
Mother: But honey… if you read the book, then you’ll spoil the movie for yourself.

I had to walk into a different section because I didn’t know whether to laugh or to be horrified. I mean, who says that?

Via Pinterest
Via Pinterest

The mother should be encouraging her child to read. She should be using the movie as a treat for finishing the book so they can discuss the differences between the two, which one they liked better, etc. The movie is rarely anything like the book, anyway.

Education aside, why were they in the bookstore in the first place? If she wasn’t planning on buying any books–because apparently books have “spoiler alert” written all over it–why were they browsing?

There is a media section that sells music and movies downstairs, so were they lost? I don’t know.

Am I thinking too much into this? Yeah, probably; especially since it’s none of my business. I was just baffled, I guess.

I saw the mother and daughter leave the store and they were carrying a bag, so maybe the daughter was able to get the book after all. I hope she did and I hope she enjoys it a lot.