Thursday, July 6, 2017

Baby Girl Ray #2 Name Reveal!

We have finally decided on a name for our newest little girl. We are about 18.5 weeks away from meeting this little sweetie, and we're so happy to finally have a name for her.  So without further adieu.....

We love Kaitlyn because she can keep it at the full name to be professional but she can also shorten it up to Katie if she'd like a nickname. We will never use Kate, unless it's what she ends up preferring when she's older.

As for her middle name, it was my grandmother's middle name. I've always had a special bond with this grandma, down to the fact that I got married on her birthday and then she passed away on my birthday. So her middle name is extra special to me.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Book Review: The Fairy-Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm #1)

The Fairy-Tale Detectives (The Sisters Grimm #1)
by  Michael Buckley, L.J. Ganser (Narrator)
Date Read:  3/16/17
Rating: ★ ★
   

Oops, I never wrote my review of this book! I enjoyed it. I listened to it as an audiobook, so it took a little time to get in to it, especially because it’s told from a girl’s perspective, but it was a male narrator.

The story itself was pretty good. I liked the twist on the fairytale world and real world. It was very reminiscent of the TV show Once Upon a Time. Once thing I loved about the show is how not everyone you thought was a villain is actually a villain and vice versa. This book does a good job of that as well.

Sabrina was a little obnoxious and annoying at the beginning of the book. I tried to remember the fact that they’ve had a hard life with losing their parents mysteriously and all the different homes they’d been put in. But all that happened before the book, so you still couldn’t quite relate to it. I think of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events. Now those are kids you could feel sympathy for and root to get a happy ending.

However, once Sabrina got over that and accepted fairy tales are real and who her ancestors were, the story got pretty good. I liked a lot of the characters that we were introduced to. You weren’t quite sure who was going to end up being a good guy or bad guy.

I look forward to continuing the series!

Book Review: Beheld

Behld
by  Alex Flinn
Date Read:  3/20/17
Rating: ★ ★
 

To say I’m disappointed in this book is an understatement. Actually, to be honest, Beastly has been Flinn’s best novel I’ve read. All the subsequent ones I’ve read had left something to be desired.  But I think this has been the worst.

It’s possible a lot of that has to do with there being 4 stories jammed in to this one book. You never really get attached to any of the characters or sucked in to any of the stories. I think my favorite would have been the first story about Kenda and the Salem Witch Trials. I wish she would have just done one story and focused on that – and if she’d focused just on the Little Red Riding Hood story, there probably wouldn’t have been insta-love. After that, Kendra was hardly in the book as you progressed with each story. 

I felt that you understood the characters the most in the last story, but it was a bit boring. It was an ugly duckling story, but very loosely. Kendra was barely in this book except to make Chris blossom in to someone handsome.

I pretty much hated the two stories in the middle and didn’t recognize either of the fairy tales.

This book was really hard to get through. There was a point where I almost didn’t finish it. But I’m a stickler for trying to finish what I started and I really wanted to like this book because of how much I loved Beastly.  I don’t think I can overlook the fact that I don’t particularly enjoy Flinn’s writing anymore. If she continues writing, I’m not sure I’ll pick up her books.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Book Review: Ella Enchanted

Ella Enchanted
by  Gail Carson Levine
Date Read:  2/7/17
Rating: ★ ★ 
  


Wow, it's been a while since I've posted a review! It took me a LONG time to get through The School of Good and Evil #3. In the meantime, I've listened and completed Ella Enchanted too. Here is the review for the latter.

I actually really enjoyed this book. It took a while to get used to the narrator – she sounds like a 12 year old girl!  But once I got used to it, it worked and I was able to get in to the story.

I’ve seen the movie several times and enjoyed it. But the book is really different than the movie. The main character names and the obedience curse are about all that they kept for the movie. I really liked that Ella and Char knew each other for a long time and were good friends. You could really see how their feelings grew for each other. No insta-love here.

The one thing that I didn’t think the book captured was just how horrible being obedient could be – in the movie, someone tried to use her to harm another person. That never happens in the book – she just considers it when she’s contemplating making a move on her feelings for Char.  I think the book should have capitalized on that more. And it made more sense in the movie how she was able to break the curse herself. In the book, she broke it on the THOUGHT of someone using her in that way, so it just didn’t feel as strong enough a reason to break the curse.

The other languages were odd as well. I couldn’t keep straight which was which. Maybe it wouldn’t have been as strange if I was reading the physical book, but listening to it just kind of jarred me out of the story.

The parts with her step-sisters and step-mom are believable. I liked how much time the story took to build all of these relationships, whether love or disgust. I noticed the Cinderella elements more toward the end of the story.  This was a fun, easy to read (listen) fairy-tale retelling. I’m looking forward to reading the book with my daughter one day and then watching the movie with her to identify the differences.
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