Category: ebook



Life as We Knew It (Last Survivors, #1)Life as We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Every now and then a person needs a good disaster movie or book. I’ve yet to figure out why. I think it is watching how predictable those in charge cause even more problems and how the human spirit can rise to the occasion in spite of everything. By the way, this one doesn’t have zombies. Imagine that!

I bought this Kindle book and its Audible companion quite a few years ago and just forgot about it. I don’t know what brought it to mind now, but I am glad I found it again.

Not only is the story engaging from the very beginning, Emily Bauer’s narration keeps it all alive. I love that this particular disaster stays rather calm in the crises as the mother tries to get her family prepared and she fiercely protects them.

The story starts with a family that is probably as familiar as our own, divorce included. It shows how love is still there even where the living together failed. And the children of this break up are not less well off, just different.

As the world becomes spread out because of the lack of working communication devices, the daughter keeps her diary going. It is through her communications with herself that we learn the story of life after the meteor hit the moon and causes tidal waves, earthquakes, volcanos and more. The global mess becomes personal as this teen tries to adjust from boys and kisses and proms to washing the laundry by hand and staving off hunger.

I highly recommend this book. There was a lot to learn here for all of us.

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Elphie Goes Trick or Treating (Elphie Books Book 3)Elphie Goes Trick or Treating by Hagit R. Oron

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book free of charge from the author. Thank you!

Do you have a child that is afraid of masks or other aspects of Halloween? I remember when my first was afraid of masks. The one that frightened him was made of rubber. I turned it inside out and said it was made of rubber. Then I picked up other things around the house made of the same substance. I don’t think it helped at all. This little story might have helped.

I loved how the parent let the little guy go out without his mask just so he could still have fun wth his friend. When the child got used to how everyone responds to the fun of the evening he decides for himself that wearing a mask is okay. It is always better to let the child come to his or her own healthy conclusions than forcing an issue. Wise messages are here.

I think that the only problem I had with the book was that it was written in first-person. For some reason that was jarring. I tried to imagine reading this story to a child reading the “I” statements would seem to take a child out of the story. If it is meant to be an early reader that might work. But books like this I would want to read aloud to my children long before they learned to read so we could talk about the subject matter.

Still, I do think this is a cute book. I love the little elephant, Elphie.

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Life After CoffeeLife After Coffee by Virginia Franken

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to thank NetGalley for letting me read this book. I liked the title and the premise of the story.

If you are under 45 this may be the book for you. Being a child of the 60s and the era of bra-burning, I was excited to see a book about a reversal of roles. Stay-at-home dad, mom travels for a high paying job. But I didn’t much like the characters. The dad seems the abandon the parenting job when the wife needs him to step up. She is left floundering with a couple young children after losing her job. She makes a lot of bad choices while her husband won’t see that his ‘back-up-plan’ won’t keep the family feed.

Look, I am glad we are in an era where this kind of story can be told and most of the reviewers LOVE it. The feminist in me is SO happy. But the humanist in me is still not satisfied with most of this story. I do love that the author researched about the finding and securing good coffee for the Starbuck’s obsessed. But for me, a tea-drinker, the story ended where I wanted it to start.

Still, I am giving this four stars for being modern and different. But YOU may just LOVE it.

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That's What Friends Are ForThat’s What Friends Are For by Sophia DeLuna

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a short review on a short book. It was sweet and I wish there was more. I read this a couple weeks ago but life got in the way of reviews. I hope you’ll give it a try. I have a glow as I am writing this so even though it was a long time ago, it left its bittersweet mark on me. Enjoy!

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The Empress' New GownsThe Empress’ New Gowns by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Oops! I thought I actually wrote a review on this book as I ACTUALLY DID write a review already. But there was a computer glitch and the computer shut down. Then, well, life happened and I forgot. Luckily a friend “liked’ the review so I came back to the page and saw what I wrote wasn’t there. Sorry.

Let’s see if I can remember the gist of it. First of all, I do a lot of reviews for Gita V. Reddy. I like her work and when I saw this one I picked it up. I think I actually paid for this one but it was cheap and an author does deserve compensation for their work. I just am on such a limited SS budget that I rarely can buy a book. My small amount won’t keep a roof over her head, but I hope my reviews help lead people to try out her books for their edification and entertainment.

As for edification… this book was a cautionary tale to the pride that can be in each of us. The original tale of the Emperor’s New Clothes is the first part of the story. But the next part should be read by preteens, teens, and new adults. Pride can be a good thing, but if we keep it in check we retain our humanity. Gita was clever telling the female version of the original story. I enjoyed it.

Most readers will find this story fun. For me, the formatting stopped the full enjoyment. Since I do most of my reading at night and always using the black background with white font, I found I couldn’t see the words. I had to change my background to a lighter color but then found it too bright. Luckily, I always use Text-to-Speech and that worked fine. But had this been a longer story I think I would have given up. I have to read while listening as my brain needs to be fully engaged to get into a story. But for most people, this formatting issue won’t cause them a bit of a problem and they well enjoy this story fully.

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Meantime GirlMeantime Girl by Sindhu S.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

When I picked up this book on NetGalley.com, I saw an interesting concept of a female Indian journalist. In the world of men here was a woman who could stand up for herself. That piqued my interest.

Instead, I got a woeful romance. I didn’t much like any of the characters. And I hate to admit it but this codependent romancy thing is so boring to me. It’s bad enough when the pursuit is for a single person, but when it’s for a married man, there has got to be a lot you can do with your time instead. And yes, I know smart women get themselves hooked in such situations, but I don’t really want to read about it. Not even on a higher-speed text-to-speech.

Sorry to be a Debbie Downer about this. It’s not my kind of book.

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Tangled LiesTangled Lies by Connie Mann

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It’s been a couple hours since I finished reading Tangled Lies by Connie Mann (which I picked up free for review from NetGalley.com). At first, I was very satisfied with the ending. Now I’m left with the curious feeling that there could be more. I always feel that about happy-ever-afters. But I’m left wanting more from the characters. I wonder how mom will be, I wonder about the rebellious teen. I’m trying really hard not to give spoilers here. Needless to say, I want more.

In the tags, this book is described as a Christian fiction. And that element was there but it didn’t feel like the author was proselytizing and it didn’t seem preachy. What I came away with was that these felt like real characters who just happen to have a certain belief system. But they used their heads to figure out problems, they were flawed and tried to be better people. By the way, we never get to see the reasons the bad guys are the bad guys. But it felt okay not knowing as we viewed the world through the main character, Sasha and her male counterpart, Jesse. Information the reader gets is from their eyes.

Oh, the other thing in the tags, romance. Yeah, it was there but it was adult and independent rather than the codependent garbage usually out there. I not only didn’t mind it, I was happy with the process of watching two people navigate love’s waters. See what I did there? A book about sea captains?

Which brings me to the next element. The water, boats and captains. YAY! I was very impressed with the female, Captain Sasha, and her skills (the author is a captain so knows a thing or two about that life).

My favorite parts of the book were who rescues whom, when and how each of the main characters deal with their lives, and how they struggle to survive what life throws at them.

Throw in a sassy teen sister, and a loving mother who has cancer and you have a story with depth. The author kept me interested, sometimes wishing I could read faster to see what happens next.

I highly recommend this book if you like mystery and suspense. Great job, Captain!

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Where the Carnies AreWhere the Carnies Are by Kayla Curry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book came to me as part of a giveaway from another author, Becca Campbell. Thank you!

Different. That is my favorite type of fantasy. It can’t be like all the others. This one fills the bill. The best part is that it is a book about a young woman who isn’t a teen, who grows to be a very strong person very quickly. Wow, I just had to delete a bunch of sentences that became big spoilers. Needless to say, this story is about Olive who stumbles into a life of carnies. But this isn’t Water for Elephants. This is more … well, see there? I can’t compare it to anything else I’ve read.

I would have loved to have read this as a young adult or even new adult. There are no gratuitous sex scenes. There is a lot of adventure and growing characters. It is a fast read and I couldn’t pull away. I wanted to see what happens next.

I think there may be a sequel, I hope so. I like the world and the characters Kayla Curry invented. But no cliffhanger here. Nice ending, just sad to see the story end.

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Super-Duper MontySuper-Duper Monty by Gita V. Reddy

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Did you ever have that niggling feeling that you had forgotten something? I kept forgetting that I had read this book recently and hadn’t written a review. If I hadn’t been given the book for that very reason, I wouldn’t have felt so badly when I did remember. Sorry it took me so long, Gita.

AND my memory of the book was gone. Part of it is my fibro fog is in full flare. Though I could remember that the book was cute, I know that Ms. Reddy tries to get a few lessons in there for the reader. I wanted to make sure I got it so I went back and read it again. It only took a few minutes. It was worth the re-read. Which proved to me that a child will want to return to this book often.

First, the illustrations are absolutely adorable! Abira Das (Illustrator) did a fantastic job! Second, the lessons were there. Here is a frog who is too happy-go-lucky for his own good. A lesson I tried to teach my own children was that if they wanted to wander beyond our yard they needed to have a sibling or two with them for the safety in numbers. So this educational moment would start a lot of conversations between parents and children. Or even students and teachers.

Then one could study amphibians, frogs in particular. Heck, one could even adopt a pet frog for a while learn about their growth, food, and other needs. And then make sure the children understand how important the proper environment and care is for any animal.

Last, it is a great early reader, one a parent could read aloud but the child could grow to read it independently all the while enjoying the fun pictures.

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North of HereNorth of Here by Laurel Saville

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disclosure: I was given this book from NetGalley.com for an honest review.

This book seems to get a variety of reviews. Some people hate it and some people love it. I seem to have fallen in the middle. The parts I didn’t like are about certain types of people or situations they get themselves into. The parts I like were the ones where I got to know the characters who grew deeper.

I live in the country now. I know about the grapevine. But I think the characters didn’t take stock in the stories that surrounded them. I liked Dix because he didn’t let anything affect him. He was steady.

Poor little rich people! GAWD! The main character, Miranda, was the poor little rich girl. Her mother was AWFUL! If that woman were poor, she wouldn’t have been able to crawl into bed and feel sorry for herself for so long. Poor people have to get up and go to work to be able to eat and keep a roof over their heads. A twenty-something daughter who has been raised by rich people was equally crippled. Why did it take her so long to take care of business? Because it had always been done for her. No poor adult could have lasted doing nothing. So I didn’t like her very much but I held out hope. Maybe Dax could help her.

I found myself confused as to why we brought up David who is Darius later. He seemed to have some good goals that went astray. Many have a hard time with the idea of the commune. I think there is a place for that type of living. Many who were raised poor learned about bartering services and stuff. Having lived in a large family I see the benefits of having many people and points of view around to make a rounded person. But in this case, I expected Manson would emerge from this kind of twisted thinking.

How to not put in spoilers here? I was shocked by what happened. Seems an educated woman would have been able to see through the garbage. But she missed out on the poor people’s common sense. Too bad.

The ending was great. I was surprised by the new partnership. We didn’t get enough of… um… trying not to spoil… the person who stars at the end next to Dax. We should have been given more of that point of view so the surprise wouldn’t have been so great.

I am curious as to what happened next. Letting properties decay sounds like a rich person answer. There are homeless people even in small towns. How about using these building for something useful?

There. I think I said everything and didn’t give away much.

This will not go down as one of my favorites, but I think I will remember it. Thank you, NetGalley for letting me read it.

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