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!

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!

What I Read this Week Sept 5

I finished three books and novella, and dnf’d two titles. All of the novels that I finished will have full reviews, since they are the first in a series.

Sins & Shadows (Shadows Inquiries, #1)

Sins and Shadows by Lyn Benedict (2*)

This will have a full review, but it was just okay. I was hoping to like it a lot more than I did. It’s urban fantasy, but nothing really stood out about it. Gods walking the earth and someone has to stand up and protect the innocents. I didn’t really like the main character, or any of the characters really. I didn’t completely understand the magic, and it seemed that the characters didn’t either.

Meg (Meg, #1)

The Meg by Steve Alten (5*)

This is the first in the series, and I picked it up because the movie was coming out. I enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to.  It was an adventurous, edge of your seat thrill ride. There is also meat to the story. If you like the animal attack stories than I think you will definitely enjoy this one.

Meg: Origins

The Meg: Origins by Steve Alten (4*)

I wasn’t really sure what to expect since I had just finished the first book. But, while it goes into details with Jonas’ history and the dive that changed his life, it was a bit more than that. It gave a broader perspective and alludes to things that may pop up later in the series.

Akata Witch (Akata Witch, #1)

Akata Witch By Nnedi Okorafor (5*)

This was the book that was selected from my book haul revisited post, and one that I read aloud to my daughter. This was an amazing story, I knew that I was going to enjoy it but it still blew me away. The only down side to this story was that I couldn’t inhale it since I was reading it to my kid.


2 Books that I DNF’d

Scion of the Fox (The Realms of Ancient, #1)   Children of the Bloodlands (The Realms of Ancient, #2)

First in a Series Review: The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol

The Apprentice Witch

The Apprentice Witch by James Nicol 

The Apprentice Witch #1

July 25, 2017 – The Chicken House

341 Pgs. – Middle Grade, Fiction, Fantasy

Source: Library

Click here for the Goodreads Summary.

I wasn’t sure what I was going to think about this, it kept popping up places so I decided to check it out from my library. In the end, I really did enjoy it. Arianwyn was an interesting character, though I was never sure of her age. (I thought that she have been 13ish, but then she travels and lives alone.) Though she is teased and bullied during school, she never acts like a victim.She is too trusting and always looking to help others- this is both her strength and weakness. In the end, she proves that she is stronger than she knows. The resolution comes as expected, but is paced nicely. While book one wraps up almost completely, there is an openness about it for more stories and adventures. I am curious to see what kind of trouble Arianwyn and friends get into next.

Always Shine!

Review: Dinner for Dinos by Ben Whitehous

Dinner for Dinos: Gulp, Guzzle, Chomp, Chew

Dinner for Dinos by Ben Whitehouse

June 5, 2018 – Thomas Nelson

20 pgs. – Children’s Fiction, Humor, Inspirational

Purpose: Review, #offmybookshelf

Source: Publisher, Booklook

3 stars 

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

This is a cute story that introduces table manners to little ones.  Dinosaurs are a universal favorite, and the pictures are bright and fun.  The second and fourth lines of the story rhyme, and the entire story has its own rhythm. My son liked flipping through the book and looking at the pictures, picking out the images that he could identify. Though this is not one of my son’s favorite books, it is one that he enjoys. I am glad that we have this one in our collection.


Always Shine!