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Showing posts from January, 2019

Book Review: My Sister's Boyfriend (Changes #9) by Katherine Applegate

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My Sister's Boyfriend (Changes, #9) by Katherine Applegate is part of the HarperCollins Changes Romance series that was published in the early 1990's. Even though it is part of a series, it is a stand alone book that has nothing to do with any of the other books in the series. As a teenager, I discovered another book in the series before this one, On My Own (Changes, #10) by Janet Quin-Harkin, and it led me to purchasing this particular book. The genre is romance, but I would classify it as romantic comedy.
Rereading this as an adult, I still found myself laughing at some of the same parts that I did as a teenager. Mainly those parts having to do with the little brother and the best friend Lucas. Even though this is a relatively short book geared towards tweens and teens, you still get a fairly good sense of character development. It was a well written book that still keeps my attention as an adult.
With that being said, there were a few things that I didn't particularly l…

Book Review: Good Enough To Eat by Stacey Ballis

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Melanie Hoffman, a former lawyer, has lost half of her body weight and opened Dining By Design, a gourmet take out cafe that specializes in healthy food. She's barely opened the doors when her husband announces that he wants a divorce and is leaving her for another woman . . . one that is double the size of Melanie. Surprised by this, she now faces financial hardships and finds a roommate in the most unlikely person . . . a twenty something woman with pink hair and a quirky personality. On top of that, she starts dating a documentary filmmaker named Nathan. With all the changes, Melanie realizes she still has a lot to learn about life and herself.
Good Enough To Eat by Stacey Ballis can easily be defined as chick lit. I might have mentioned in other reviews that chick lit is not a genre I normally choose for myself. However, one of the book clubs I was in briefly had picked this book as their monthly selection. I decided to read it because I liked the premise of the book. Unfortun…

Book Review: The Suspect (Kate Waters, #3) by Fiona Barton

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Two eighteen year old girls go missing while on vacation in Thailand during their gap year. Their worried families are thrust into the media spotlight, and all they want to know is what happened to their daughters. As journalist Kate Waters gets the inside scoop, she begins to wonder about her own son who she hasn't seen in two years. The story of the girls disappearance begins to unfold, and those involved find out that danger is closer than they know and the truth isn't always as it seems.
Let me begin by thanking Berkley | Penguin Random House for the free copy of The Suspect (Kate Waters, #3) written by Fiona Barton that I won on a First Reads Giveaway on Goodreads.com. I was thrilled to say the least when I found out I had been selected to read this book for my honest review. Not having read any of Barton's previous books, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I loved the premise of the story. What I already knew was that this was the third installment in the series,…

Book Review: The Icing On The Cupcake by Jennifer Ross

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Southern belle Ansley Waller's ultimate goal is to get a diamond ring, but her life is turned upside down when her fiancé calls off their wedding. Embarrassed by her predicament, Ansley leaves Dallas, Texas to live with her recently widowed grandmother Vivian in New York City. Tired of her granddaughter wallowing in misery, Vivian gives Ansley an ultimatum . . . get a job or go home. Ansley decides to open her own bakery, and before long, she's even dating. However, the men in Manhattan are vastly different than the ones back home, and her flirting falls flat. On top of that, someone is trying to sabotage her new business.
The Icing on the Cupcake by Jennifer Ross is not a book I normally would have picked up on my own, but it was a book club pick. It definitely falls into the categories of chick lit, cozy mystery, and beach reads. Let me begin with what I actually liked about the book. I enjoyed the recipes at the end of each chapter, and I swore I would make some of the reci…

Book Review: Choosing Sides (Sweet Valley Twins, #4) created by Francine Pascal

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The Unicorns have decided to start a cheerleading squad at Sweet Valley Middle School and call it the boosters. The caveat put forth by teachers are they must have open tryouts. Amy Sutton decides she wants to try out for the boosters. While that is happening, the basketball team is holding open tryouts as well, and the shortest boy in school, Ken Matthews, decides to try out.
Choosing Sides (Sweet Valley Twins, #4) deals with bullying yet again. Do you see a theme in this series? Bullying seems to be most prominent in the middle school years, so it isn't surprising that the Sweet Valley Twins books deal with this subject a lot. The underlying themes are friendship and standing up for yourself in this edition.
The Unicorns try to bully Amy because they don't want an unpopular, tomboy on the cheerleading squad. On top of that, Elizabeth is worried that if Amy makes the boosters, she won't have any more time to spend with her. Bruce Patman bullies Ken Matthews just because …

Book Review: The Haunted House (Sweet Valley Twins, #3) created by Francine Pascal

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The Mercandy mansion is said to be haunted because lights flicker in the windows at night, and the owners are never seen. Just ask anyone at Sweet Valley Middle School . . . they'll swear it is haunted. When Nora Mercandy moves into the house, rumors about her being a witch spread rapidly throughout the school. Elizabeth Wakefield sets out to solve the mystery of the Mercandy mansion and prove that Nora is just a normal girl.
The major theme of The Haunted House (Sweet Valley Twins, # 3) created by Francine Pascal is bullying. Because of rumors about the Mercandy house, people jumped to conclusions about Nora and began picking on her. Lila was the ringleader of it all and was merciless. The underlying theme is to not jump to conclusions. The majority of the students at Sweet Valley Middle School made assumptions about the Mercandy family because of things they had seen and heard. Those assumptions were gossiped about and spread around. Everything was easily explained had the stud…

Book Review: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls by Ann M. Martin

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The girls of The Baby-Sitters Club are no strangers to having weird things happen to them since they've started their club. However, nothing has been as weird or spooky as getting mysterious phone calls while on their jobs. Whenever they receive these calls, there is no one on the other line. Claudia, who loves reading mystery books, is determined it's the Phantom Caller who is a jewel thief operating in Stoneybrook.
In my need to reread my way through my childhood, I of course had to continue with Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls (The Baby-Sitters Club, #2) by Ann M. Martin. Let me begin by saying I liked it a lot better than Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club, #1) because it had a little mystery associated with it.
It did have a happy ending when they found out the prank calls were done by none other than Alan Gray. He had a crush on Kristy and wanted to ask her out to the Halloween Hop but didn't have the nerve to do so. Many people think that this partic…

Book Review: Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-Sitters Club, #1) by Ann M. Martin

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Kristy Thomas is a seventh grade student at Stoneybrook Middle School. She babysits in the afternoons after school and on the weekends. After Kristy witnesses her mother make several phone calls to find a babysitter for David Michael, she comes up with a great idea. What if parents could call one phone number and reach several babysitters at once? Excited by her plan, she recruits her friends Mary Anne Spier and Claudia Kishi and newcomer Stacey McGill to help her start The Baby-Sitters Club. Follow their adventures as they get prank phone calls, parents who lie, and more.

What can I say about Kristy's Great Idea (The Baby-sitters Club, #1) by Ann M. Martin? When I discovered this series as a child shortly after discovering the Sweet Valley Twins series, I was intrigued by the basis of the story and was excited to read the first book. I enjoyed it so much that I desperately wanted to start my own babysitting club but that wasn't in the cards for me.

As an adult, I was feeling…

Book Review: Teacher's Pet (Sweet Valley Twins, #2) Created by Francine Pascal

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Identical twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are auditioning for the lead role / solo in their dance recital. Elizabeth doesn't want to compete against her twin. Jessica knows she is the best dancer. The only problem is their ballet teacher never notices her because Elizabeth is teacher's pet. Who will land the lead role?
Teacher's Pet (Sweet Valley Twins, #2) is told mainly from the view point of Jessica Wakefield, and we get to see her personality more in depth than we did in the first book of the series, Best Friends. Jessica's prominent personality trait is that she is selfish and that is carried throughout the entire series. With that being said, I totally empathized with her in the scenario of the book. Spoiler Alert:  Elizabeth lands the lead role in the dance recital even though she doesn't dance nearly as well as Jessica does. With that being said, Jessica was a prima donna in their first ballet class, and Madame Andre holds that against her.
Who hasn…

Book Review: Best Friends (Sweet Valley Twins, #1) Created by Francine Pascal

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Identical twins Elizabeth and Jessica Wakefield are twelve years old and do everything together from sharing a bedroom to dressing alike and even doing the same things after school. When they start Sweet Valley Middle School, Elizabeth and Jessica realize that their lives are changing. Elizabeth wants to work on the sixth grade newspaper aptly named The Sixers, and Jessica is eager to join the Unicorn Club, a snobby club of the most popular girls. Will they continue to do everything together or begin to explore their individuality?
In elementary school, I so desperately wanted to win the Book It Program sponsored by Pizza Hut, but I found chapter books so boring. Every book my teacher recommended was so tedious that I found myself struggling to finish. I never made it to the minimum amount of books required to win a personal pizza from Pizza Hut through their reading program because books just weren't holding my interest. 
Around age 10, my mom and I stopped at a garage sale on t…