Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Me Before You (Me Before You, #1)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I cannot say enough wonderful things about Me Before You. There have only been a handful of times a writer has grasped me the way Jojo Moyes has. Her writing is captivating to say the least. I could not put this book down and immediately started the second in the series, Me After You, and can not wait until I get to read Still Me, next.

Will Traynor was a well-to-do man who never said “no” to an adventure until one day, crossing the street, he was hit by a motorbike and left paralyzed. Louisa Clark is a quirky girl with no direction, content in her mundane life. When Will’s mother hires Louisa to be his companion, both of their lives are changed. Filled with laughter, excitement, heartbreak, and love, this book is an emotional roller coaster that will have the reader crying from joy and pain.

Me Before You, actually made me cry. From happy, hopeful tears to flat out ugly crying with smudged mascara running down my cheeks. I will admit, the plot did not interest me but this has quickly become one of my favorite books of all time because of the way Jojo Moyes is able to grab a reader’s attention and keep it.

Recommended for those who like emotional stories. Good for fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife, and Everything Everything.

Purchase this book here! Now!

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Give Them Wings: Preparing for the Time Your Teen Leaves Home by Carol Kuykendall

Give Them Wings: Preparing for the Time Your Teen Leaves Home

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I received this book after winning a copy from the publisher. It was a contest I entered because I wanted to read this book. I would have bought it had I not won a copy. After reading it, I will buy more copies to pass along to friends and family. The author even included a sweet personal note

Give Them Wings: preparing for the time your teen leaves home, by Carol Kuykendall and Krista Gilbert, is a must read for all parents, especially moms. Carol Kuykendall wrote this after her kids left home for college and has recently updated the title with Krista Gilbert to include the extra things youth today deal with. Carol takes the reader through the teen years and how to prepare your child for the adult world they will face. She gives great inside on making connections and memories before they go but also being intentional about the things they need to know, such as using the Post Office.

Although my daughter is only nine years old, she is already beginning to separate from me and Carol reassured me this is a normal thing and I really feel easier about this new transition coming up. When I talked to my husband about our daughter not wanting/needing me so much anymore, he laughed and was like, “yeah…….” but for me, it was unexpected and devastating. I could not imagine a world where I’m not the center of my daughter’s life and its great knowing I’m not alone. I now feel like I can not take it personally and be a better mom, showing Gods love and grace in this season. Carol also walks the reader though the actual saying goodbye. I feel I can use her wisdom and apply it to my situation and make the most of a difficult time.

The only critique I have and the reason it does not get a full five stars is because I would have like a little more detail and stories about exact challenges and specific things the writer did. She did have one great part written from her son’s point of view and I would have liked to hear more of that voice as well. Other than that, this a wonderful guide. Carol and Krista do not put any pressure on the reader but instead, I felt as though they were holding my hand and facing my fears with me.

I highly recommend to those who have children entering the teen years (so they have time to prepare) but also for those whose teens are leaving the house or need to leave the house.

Purchase the book here at Focus on the Family.

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This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

This Is Where It Ends

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I read this book because it is a popular YA book at my school but most students weren’t finishing it. Other than being about a school shooting, there was nothing about this book that stands out. The characters are flat and predictable and the writing is below average.

Four students give their voice to tell the story about a day that changed Opportunity High. Ty feels alone after the death of his mother, the absence of his alcoholic father, and his sister following her own path, leaving him behind. He decides to take out his unhappiness on the rest of the students, during an assembly, where they are left trapped and subject to his sickening games.

This book was a quick and easy read and might appeal to reluctant readers but it does contain violence and gruesome death is described in detail. I would be careful of suggesting it to teens because of the subject matter. Parents, if your child reads this, I would read it also so you can have an open discussion about it.

I would not recommend this book.

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Being Judged

Do you feel like your scale judges you? I do! I also think that sometimes, it just displays a number without taking into account my hard work or my feelings. UGH!

Image result for clip art weight scale

Good news = I’m back to pre-birthday weight

Bad news = Not sure what’s making my weight go up and down. Anyone have any tricks out there for finding out what your body reacts to (carbs vs protein, gaining muscle vs losing weight, etc.)

It does appear that actually going down in weight will be very gradual for me. I saw a plotted graph from one WW’er and that seems like a good idea. I’m thinking about using that so I can visually see my downward trend more than just the ups and downs, week to week.


The Cast by Amy Blumenfeld

The Cast

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I recieved this book as a promotion and in turn am reviewing it honestly.

The Cast by Amy Blumenfeld is an emotional story of the ups and downs of friendship. It is told by alternaing characters and revolves around the main character, Becca.

When Becca received a cancer diagnosis as a teenager, her fiends rallied behind her and created a video to cheer her up; twenty-five years later, they are getting together again but have no idea about the changes coming to their lives. Becca is once again facing heath concerns and her marriage is being affected, Jordana is only now figuring out who she is, Seth and Lex will reunite with all of its complications, and Holly will face unforseen chanllenges.

The characters in the story are well-developed and you get a sense of who each one is. There is a lot of information about Jewish life and those details are interesting. There is a lack of action after the first chapter up until the final few and I had to really push myself to keep going. This book might appeal to middle-aged women but it just wasn’t interesting to me as I felt it was too slow.

Recommended for those who are interested in Jewish life and stories that revolve around loss and grief.

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Bloom by Kevin Panetta


My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC from the publisher and in return am reviewing it honestly.

Bloom by Kevin Panetta is not a book I would ever choose to read on my own; it is a LGBTQ oriented graphic novel. The story follows Ari, a teenager who is trying to transition into adulthood but doesn’t know what he wants in life. His family owns a bakery and has hopes he will continue the business but Ari dreams of being part of a band. In comes Hector, an understanding guy whose passion is baking but he always seems to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I found Ari’s character to be annoying. He is just a sullen teenager and his lack of a enthusiasm and never doing the right thing get old quickly. Hector, his love interest, seems too perfect and you wonder why he would even like Ari. Furthermore, the dialog is cliche and uninteresting. The only thing I enjoyed about the book, even a little, was the artwork. It’s done in blue-scale and is visually appealing.

I would not recommend this book.

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13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

13 Little Blue Envelopes (Little Blue Envelope, #1)

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I have wanted to read 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson for years. The premise of the book really appealed to me and I knew I would love it….However, I was disappointed. Although the writing is excellent, the actual plot leaves much to be desired.

Ginny’s “runaway” aunt Peg has just died and left 13 little blue envelopes with tasks for Ginny to complete. They send Ginny on an adventure in Europe. Along the way, she is supposed to learn about not only her aunt but herself as well. While going through the letters, the reader understands that Ginny should be gaining wisdom from her seemingly carefree aunt.

The idea of the book is wonderful but it lacks execution. Ginny seems to be going to all of these fascinating places in Europe and then nothing happens (maybe that’s the point but it still wasn’t well done). I also never really connected to the characters, no matter how hard I tried. Ginny was boring and her love interest, Keith, was a loser.

Would not recommend.

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