Book Reviews

February 2024

2/19/24

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest by Ken Kesey

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up for a bookclub read.


I remember seeing the movie years ago, but only had a vague recollection of it. I realize that there was so much more to the story that wasn't covered in the book, and it made for a fuller telling of the story.


I recommend this book even though it is a little dated.


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The Little Mermaid by Dina Gregory

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I picked this up because it was a free offering on Audible.


I was not a big fan of the updated writing. I understand that it was told in order to allow modern children to better understand the story, but it felt distracting to me.


I neither recommend nor don't recommend this book. It was just ok.


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Dad Is Fat by Jim Gaffigan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I laughed my way through this book. Living in a small apartment with 5 children is challenging enough. Add any attempt to leave the house, and you've got hilarious stories. I enjoyed the whole book enormously.


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Okra Stew: A Gullah Geechee Family Celebration by Natalie Daise

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up on a whim from the library.


I found the story cute and was glad that there was an explanation of the language that I didn't understand. The illustrations were wonderful and you could feel the connection between father and child during the book.


I recommend this book.


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2/17/24

Arbuckle and Sloan by Greg Trine

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I picked this up in order to write an honest review.


The premise of this book was just silly. I understand the point the author was trying to make, but it was done in an unusual way that kind of fell flat.


I can't recommend this book to many people. It just wasn't really worth the time it took to read it.


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The Banned Bookshop of Maggie Banks by Shauna Robinson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I picked this up on a whim since it showed up on a library search.


I truly enjoyed this book. Mostly because of the book discussions. I do think that a lot of what I liked about this book is that the author seemed to know what books I enjoyed and didn't. I loved that I found someone else who isn't a fan of Pride and Prejudice like me! I loved the twists on classics that were done. Wonderful!


I recommend this book.


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Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I picked this up because so many people recommended it to me.


It fell flat for me. It seemed to kind of drone on and on and it took me several tries to get through it. I think that I was expecting more since so many people loved it. I didn't.


I'm not recommending the book, but I'm also not stopping anyone from reading it. It was just ok.


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Summer, 1976 by David Auburn

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up since it popped up on Audible as recommended to me.


I found myself falling in love with the characters. I loved traveling over the years with them. I wish the ending was a little more fulfilling, but it was still a good story and I could still relate.


I recommend this book.


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Juneteenth: A Picture Book for Kids Celebrating Black Joy by Van G Garrett

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up on a whim from the library.


The illustrations were great. The book depicted a child's vision of a Juneteenth parade. It briefly described what Juneteenth was about, but if I hadn't known, I wouldn't have become clear about what the holiday is about.


The book is good to show a child a remembrance of the parade, but not to teach about the day.


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2/3/24

Mommy Feels BIG THINGS by Danielle L. Forbes

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up in order to write an honest review.


I enjoyed this book because of the way that it explains feelings to children. It is important for children to know that they don't cause the feelings that others have, but they can know when the feelings are happening. The illustrations are great, especially the way that confetti is used as a physical object to represent the non-tangible concept of feelings.


I would recommend this book.


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Harlem at Four by Michael Datcher

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I picked this up from the library on a whim.


I enjoyed the book. The illustrations and the explanations were wonderful! I particularly enjoyed the glossary in the back which gave a better description of the events mentioned in the main text.


I highly recommend this book.


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Etta Extraordinaire by Roda Ahmed

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up on a whim from the library.


It was a cute story about a girl who is extraordinary. The illustrations are wonderful! I didn't give it full stars because it wasn't clear about what Etta was doing at the talent show, other than being extraordinary.


I would recommend this book.


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Boy: Tales of Childhood by Roald Dahl

My rating: 2 of 5 stars


I picked this up after realizing it was essentially Roald Dahl's autobiography.


While this was certainly a book written for adults, it was written in the same style that the author wrote his children's book. I could certainly tell where he got his adult vs. children ideas for his books.


I mildly recommend this book, but only for curiosity reasons. It is definitely for adults and not children, though, but only because of lack of interest from children.


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Cupcake Curveball by Grace Tilney

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up in order to write an honest review.


I really enjoyed the story. I picked it up and just couldn't put it down. I was disappointed in the ending, since it definitely needs a book 2 and I don't want to wait. I loved the characters and the flow of the text.


I did not give it 5 stars because of editing issues, such as obvious typos that should have been caught earlier.


I recommend this book.


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Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


This book sat on my TBR shelf for a long time. I finally got around to reading it.


I enjoyed it, especially since the characters from the author's other books are mentioned in it. I am glad, though, that I read Carrie Soto before I read this one, since I didn't like her character in this book, but she was ok in her own book.


I would recommend this book.


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January 2024

1/21/24

The Auction: A Reverse Harem Romance by Krista Wolf

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I enjoyed this book. Normally, we know where a book like this will end, and the journey is the story. This time, I wasn't sure what the characters would do. I enjoyed the change of pace.


I would recommend this book.


I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.


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Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up because of library recommendation.


I really enjoyed it, especially the ending. I loved that a different character took a turn telling their part of the story. It was a different type of story for me and I found it refreshing.


I would recommend this book.


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Kitchens of the Great Midwest by J. Ryan Stradal

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up because of library recommendation.


I really enjoyed it, especially the ending. I loved that a different character took a turn telling their part of the story. It was a different type of story for me and I found it refreshing.


I would recommend this book.


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1/15/24

She Memes Well by Quinta Brunson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up for bookclub.


I enjoyed the book for the most part. I didn't fully get into it until the epilogue which was only available through Audible. The epilogue was the best part of the book. It really tied the rest of the story together.


I recommend this book, but only if it includes the epilogue.


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Pecan Pie Baby by Jacqueline Woodson

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I picked this up because I love the author's work.


I really enjoyed how the child's point of view was written. I loved the illustrations and the way that the child and his relationships with this family were written.


I would recommend this book, especially to a family expecting a new baby.


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Big by Vashti Harrison

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I picked this up because it was recommended by an author.


This book sucked me in from the beginning. I felt all the feelings for the little girl. It was well written and the illustrations are wonderful.


I highly recommend the book.


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The Lover by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up because I knew that I liked the author and it was available.


I really enjoyed the story, but felt that it kind of got off to a slow start. About 3/4 of the way in, I mostly figured out what was going to happen, but I was still surprised at the ending.


I would recommend this book.


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B Is for Bellies by Rennie Dyball

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up on a whim at the library


It was a cute poem about loving your body as they are. It's a good message for children.


I would recommend the book.


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1/13/24

Mac the Vegetarian Cat!? by Jasmine Louisa Bungate

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I picked this up in order to write an honest review.


I enjoyed the illustrations and the way the story flowed. I loved the idea of a cat coming up with its own menu! I was very glad that the end made it clear where the author came up with the story, since I know that a fully vegetarian diet isn't a good idea for a cat.


I would recommend this to budding chefs and cat owners! It was a very cute story.


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The Giver by Lois Lowry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I dragged my feet on reading this book for a long time. So many references to the book come up in discussions of other books and I figured I should probably know what they are referring to.


As I was reading this, I was reminded a lot of The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9...) but from a different point of view. I was surprised to find that there were twenty years between the publications of the two stories. I almost felt the need to write a paper on them.


I would recommend the book to sci fi readers, even if it is only to give the readers a frame of reference for discussions.


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Yours Truly by Abby Jimenez

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I had this book sitting on my shelf for a while, so I decided to finally pick it up.


It was a cute story with a mostly predictable storyline, but, as with most romances, we knew where it was going. The story is in the journey, not the ending. There were a few spots that I didn't quite see happening ahead of time, and that was refreshing.


I would recommend this book.


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Our Pool by Lucy Ruth Cummins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


I picked this up on a whim from the library.


It is a beautiful description of a lazy summer day. The words and the illustrations are just perfect.


I would recommend this book highly.


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How to Spook a Ghost by Sue Fliess

My rating: 4 of 5 stars


I picked this up after an author talk recommended it.


This book had cute illustrations and a soothing rhythm. I liked the history of Halloween and All Hallow's Eve written for the readers to learn about.


I would recommend this book because it isn't too scary but still has the spirit of Halloween included.


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Kept: An American Househusband in Paris by Gregory E. Buford

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


I picked this up because I enjoyed the first book in the series.


I wasn't as happy with this book as I was with the first one. I felt that there was a lot of history thrown in to make the book longer. I was expecting more of the challenges of raising children in a place which doesn't have the same culture as your home country. There was some of it, but not like in the first book.


I am indifferent about recommending this book. If you're interested in history, you might like it more than I did.


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