DNF Review: To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

To Be Honest

To Be Honest by Maggie Ann Martin

August 21, 2018 – Swoon Reads

304 pgs. – Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

Purpose: Review, #Offmybookshelf. Kindle


I was given a digital copy of this title, free, in exchange of my honest opinion. 

If you want to read the Goodreads summary, click here.

To be completely honest, contemporaries -especially young adult ones- are hit or miss for me. It is not my go to genre, and I usually have to be in the mood for it. I thought that I would like this one and was especially interested in it since the main character is a plus size character.

I didn’t finish it because Savvy was just plain annoying.  She was whiny and unable to stand up for herself.  She was living in denial and talked from both sides of her mouth. She always talked about her sister being her best friend,  and how she was going to follow her (like a puppy) to Indiana State, despite the fact that she could get in anywhere and her sister doesn’t want her there. But then she would talk about Grace and her being her best friend. Yes, I realize that one can have more than one best friend. But I think that Savvy was just ignorant about things. And that annoyed me.

Yes I am sure that George (who suddenly arrived on scene and quickly replaces Mateo as Savvy’s secret crush) helps her come out of that mess and into her own person. The romance blooms, Savvy grows as a character and she learns important life lessons. I just didn’t want to stick around for it.


Always Shine!



Normally at this point in the week, I have a pretty good idea about what I want to read. Not this week. I have three library books that I’ve been waiting for from the library that I finally have my hands on but I don’t want to read them right now. I have e-books that I am behind on and really want to read, but again not right now. This beauty came this morning and I’ve already started it, so this is all that I know that I will be reading. The rest will be a surprise.


Kill the Queen (Crown of Shards, #1)

Kill the Queen by Jennifer Estep

Crown of Shards #1

Thanks Harper Voyager for sending this to me!

Always Shine!

Review: Sadie by Courtney Summers


Sadie by Courtney Summers

September 4, 2018 – Wednesday Books

311 pgs. – Young Adult, Contemporary

Purpose: Review, #offmybookshelf, Kindle

4 ****

I was given a digital copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest review. 

If you want to read the Goodreads summary, click here.

This is a pretty dark contemporary, so it’s really hard to say that I liked it. So I will say that I liked the writing skill of the author.  It’s an uncomfortable read, as you will likely come to the truth of what happened to a young Sadie long before she gets around to telling you.

I actually chose to listen this as an audiobook, and I’m glad that I did. Half of this story is told in the form of a podcast, as the journalist is trying to retrace Sadie’s steps in hopes of finding her.  I found this to be a heartbreaking story that is not only all too familiar, but all too real. It is as if Summers chose to used Sadie to tell an “any Jane” story.  Girls go missing all of the time. Girls are abused by relatives/friends of the family all of the time. Girls take the abuse to protect their younger siblings all the time. Truth be told, this same thing happens to boys as well. People invite monsters into their homes all the time. So frequently, that you would think that people would think twice before doing so. And it happens across socio-economic backgrounds.  (Stepping off soapbox…)

This was an uncomfortable story to hear, but I think that was the author’s intent. But I also think it is an important and powerful read. I like the balance between the search for Sadie and Sadie’s progress in her goal. It all comes together in a painful ending that is far from satisfying.  It is definitely worth checking out, and I will be looking into Summer’s backlist of books.

Always Shine!

What I Read This Week – Sept. 19

Looking back at my #fridayreads post, I am glad to say that I have finished two out of the three books that I wanted to. The third one I am in the middle of and will finish later today or tomorrow.

Stray Magic (Strays, #1)  This is the first book in a new urban fantasy series by Meding. This is an author that has been on my radar for a while now, and when Harper Voyager reached out to me to see if I wanted to review it, I jumped at the chance.  I will have a full review up on my sister blog shortly. But I ended up enjoying this one a lot more than I originally thought that I would. It starts as a typical urban fantasy and then shifts into something that grabbed my attention and wouldn’t let go.

Lugalbanda: The Boy Who Got Caught Up in a War: An Epic Tale From Ancient Iraq This is a book that I picked up as I was looking for supplemental material to go along with The Story of the World curriculum that I plan on using with my son next year or so. This is an Ancient Mesopotamian Tale, also it’s supposed to be older than the Epic Gilgamesh. It has been adapted into a children’s story, and I am grateful for the work that went into this. Tales from Ancient Mesopotamia are very difficult to find, so this is a selection by default. But I also liked the story, it gives a  nice brief glimpse into this culture.

Poison Most Vial This was book that I picked up on one of my many trips to the library.  It is about a girl (high school) who investigates the death of her dad’s boss when he becomes the prime suspect. I was expecting a mystery, but what I got was an introduction to forensics, toxicology specifically.  So, I ended up liking this so much more than I thought that I would. It is great for any kids who are interested in forensics and would like a glimpse that is a bit more realistic.

Sadie This was a Netgalley title, when I saw that it was available on Scrib’s I decided to go ahead and listen to it as an audio book.   I am glad that I consumed it this way, as part of the book is a podcast. It is not a happy contemporary, but I did enjoy this book. I am going to be reading more of Courtney Summers books, because this was really well done. There will be a full review of this shortly.


So what have you been reading?



Always Shine!

Review: God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers by Hannah C. Hall

God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers

God Bless Our Bedtime Prayers by Hannah C. Hall 

May 29. 2018 – Thomas Nelson

20 Pgs. – Children’s, Fiction, Inspirational

Source: Booklook, Publisher

5 *****

I was given a copy of this title, free, in exchange for my honest review. 

To read the book’s summary, click here.

This is a cute book with simple prayers that little children can say. It covers grateful prayers, prayers seeking help and prayers asking forgiveness. Each prayer has a scripture that is attached to it. The prayers rhyme. making them almost musical. The pictures are vibrant in their colors and my son enjoyed flipping through it to look at them. This is a puffy book with board pages, so my youngest was also able to enjoy it as well. I am glad to have this as a part of our collection.


Always Shine!

Review: Soccer School Season 1: Where Soccer Explains (Rules) the World

Soccer School Season 1: Where Soccer Explains (Rules) the World

Soccer School Season 1: Where Soccer Explains (Rules) the World by Alex Bellos and Ben Lyttleton

September 18, 2018 – Walker Books US

208 pgs. – Childrens, Nonfiction, Sports

Source: Publisher, Netgalley

3 ***

I was given this title, free, in exchange for my honest opinion. 

For a summary of this book, click here.

This was a fun book. I particularly wanted to check it out to see if it would be something that I wanted to used as a homeschool resource. And it is! This was fun. As hard as it may be to imagine using soccer to talk about everything from math to art, Bellos and Lyttleton does. It’s funny, and informative.  It’s not just facts, though there is a lot of those. Its anecdotes and illustrations.  No, they do not go deeply into each subject area. But they cover the basics and makes something that this not always interesting enjoyable and relevant. I do want to point out that if you do decide to pick this up and share it/read it, make sure that the interest in soccer is there.  It has to be a real deep interest, otherwise this is just another educational book that will not be used to its full potential.

Always Shine!

#FridayReads September 14

This week it was kind of hard to pick out what I wanted to read, because there are quite a few books that I’ve been wanting to read, a book I’ve been waiting on has come in at my library and I’m doing some reading to pair things with our homeschool curriculum. But I’ve settled on one from each format and then if I get to anything else it’ll be a bonus. All three are review books.

70D36F60-45B1-432C-87B6-4A4E02E2999C This is a title I received from Netgalley, it’s available on Scrib’d so I’m listening to it. Parts of it is like a podcast, so audio works for this one.

16C3F82B-FD44-4629-8AA1-96368F4A741D This is one that Harper Voyager sent me a while back. I’ve been wanting to pick it up since then, and I’m  currently reading it. This is a digital galley.


CBD9D5BE-0657-42A8-B97A-79FC74101B4E This is the final review book I’ll be reading this week and it’s a hard copy arc.

What are you reading this weekend?