Thursday, November 17, 2016

Gilt Hollow: A Review

Willow Lamott’s best friend is a convicted killer, and no one in the small town of Gilt Hollow will let her forget it. Over four long years, she’s tried to fade into the background—but none of that matters when Ashton Keller comes striding into school, fresh out of juvie and
fueled by revenge. The moment their eyes meet, Willow no longer feels invisible. Drawn to the vulnerability behind Ashton’s mask of rage, she sinks deeper into his sinister world and begins to question whether he’s a villain, a savior, or both.
Ashton thought he wanted vengeance, until Willow Lamott stepped back into his life. Now he longs to clear his name and become the person she sees in him. But the closer they get to uncovering the truth, the darker the secrets become, and Ashton wonders if his return to Gilt Hollow will destroy everyone he loves.

Review: 

Gilt Hollow is a simple YA murder mystery. I can’t say it’s any more than that. The plot is simple a guy wants revenge on the people who put him in juvie for 4 years. And there is Willow the take charge then becomes so weak in a matter of minutes. There are definitely parts that I really enjoyed and did keep me in suspense.

The characters were hit or miss, I did for the most part enjoy Willow and Ashton. The other characters seemed to fade into the back then pop out a little then disappear. I guess that could have been the point as well. The book itself was a quick read but I felt parts of the book would come to a crawl with your typical Ya clich├ęs.

As I said before it is a simple murder mystery but I do feel it is a pretty good one. There are parts that seem to give the ending or the villains away. They are subtle but they are unfortunately there.  So if you like suspense/murder with your typical YA romance this is definitely recommended.




I was given this book in return for my honest review from booklook bloggers.


~Kellie 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Rad Women Worldwide: A Review

Rad Women Worldwide tells fresh, engaging, and inspiring tales of perseverance and radical success by pairing well researched and riveting biographies with powerful and expressive cut-paper portraits. From 430 BCE to 2016, spanning 31 countries around the world, the book features an array of diverse figures, including Hatshepsut (the great female king who ruled Egypt peacefully for two decades) and Malala Yousafzi (the youngest person to win the Nobel Peace Prize) to Poly Styrene (legendary teenage punk and lead singer of X-Ray Spex) and Liv Arnesen and Ann Bancroft (polar explorers and the first women to cross Antarctica). This progressive and visually arresting book is a compelling addition to women's history and belongs on the shelf of every school, library, and home. 

Review:

Rad Women Worldwide is the first sort of Feminist non fiction book I have ever read. I have to say I loved every minute of it. There were some women that I was familiar with but it was still exciting to read up on. Every women story is just a couple pages long but they are able to fill it with their lives, achievements and hardships.

I believe this is a perfect book for pro-feminists, feminists or someone who just wants to read about incredibly strong women.  This book opened my eyes to the so many who have shaped history, who have shaped America as we know it. Also a wonderful plus for this book is the illustrations that come with it that were done by Miriam Klein Stahl. It so nicely gives a face to these women who some I have never seen before.

I do believe this book also makes you feel like you can be strong, believe in something, help someone.  Also fight for what you believe and never give up.

If interested in this book or looking forward to any future work you can check out Kate Schatz’ website for more info. http://www.kateschatz.com/
You  can also check out http://www.miriamkleinstahl.com/ if you like the artwork.



I received this book for my honest review from the blogging for books program. 

~Kellie

Monday, September 19, 2016

Photographs From The Edge: A Review

Legendary nature photographer Art Wolfe presents an intimate, behind-the-scenes guide to the experiences, decisions, and methods that helped him capture images from some of the most exciting locations across the globe. 

Wolfe takes you from the mountains of the Himalayas to the sandy shores of Mnemba Island, with stops in the crowded streets of India and the alkali lakes of Africa along the way. You’ll learn the equipment, settings, and creative choices behind each photograph. From endangered species to cultural celebrations to natural wonders, Wolfe brings each subject to life through his stunning photography and the stories he shares in this one-of-a-kind photo safari.

Review:

In Photographs From The Edge shows off almost 35 years worth of beautiful photographs from Art Wolfe. These photographs were taken all over the world. Besides showing off his work, it also tells of Wolfes life, how he came up with his style.

Along with the beautiful photographs Wolfe adds a story to it, how life took him to this location, what he did to the photo. Each photo adds “The nature of the photo” that is what the culture is behind what’s in the photo. Another is “Photo tip”  which gives the reader or any photographer tips on how to handle or do certain things. I also really like how each photograph lists what equipment he used in each shot. I feel that was a really smart move.
It is a really well put together book, and it would a nice book for anyones collection.   


If your interested in this book or look at upcoming work you can just out Wolfes’ website. http://artwolfe.com/

I received this book for my honest review from blogging for books. (bloggingforbooks.com)


~Kellie

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The Loyal Heart: A Review

Robert came to Galveston to fulfill his promise to a dying man and look after his widow. He didn’t expect to find love in the unlikeliest of places.
Robert Truax, former Second Lieutenant and Confederate officer in the Civil War, made a promise to his comrade Phillip Markham. If anything happened to Phillip, Robert would look after his beloved wife, Miranda. She was his life, his world, his everything.
After the war, Robert is left to pick up the pieces and fulfill his pact. When he arrives at Miranda's home in Galveston, Texas, things are worse than he imagined. Phillip's name has been dragged through the mud, everyone in town believes him to be a traitor, and his widow is treated as an outcast. Even more disturbing is her emotional well-being. Miranda seems hopeless, lost, and so very alone. 
Robert had thought his duty would be simple. He would help Miranda as quickly as possible in order to honor a promise. But the moment Robert laid eyes on her, his plans changed. He's mesmerized by her beauty and yearns to help her in any way he can.
He makes it his duty to protect Miranda, turn her reputation around, and to find some way to help her smile again. But it doesn't prove to be an easy task—Robert knows something about Phillip that could shake Miranda to the core and alter her view of the man she thought she knew so well. 

Review:


The Loyal Heart was something I was hopeful for. It sounded like it would have good mystery. Unfortunately this book wasn’t for me. The characters were iffy especially Robert Truax was creepy to the point where he wouldn’t leave when asked. It annoyed me greatly. There were some characters I really liked, like Belle and the rest of the staff.

I feel the story went on to long, I feel like a little of it was predictable. There was definitely some enjoyable moments but not enough for me to completely like the book.




I received this book for my honest review from the booklookbloggers program. 
~Kellie

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Pop Manga: A Review

Manga artist and Pop Surrealism superstar Camilla d’Errico presents her first ever adult coloring book, filled with portraits, patterns, and the stunning artwork her fans and collectors have come to love.

This one-of-a-kind book offers you the opportunity to collaborate with d’Errico, adding your colors to her gorgeous black and white linework. Featuring everything from haunting and surreal character portraits to pages filled with patterns and designs all rendered in d’Errico’s inimitable style, Pop Manga Coloring Book is guaranteed to provide hours of coloring fun and excitement.


Review:

Pop Manga is probably one of the most beautiful adult coloring books I’ve ever seen. Camilla d’Erricos art is so wonderful to look at. I was able to review one of her art books a couple months ago. The pop manga coloring book has different things to color, her characters to random objects. And as always these types of coloring books let you take off the dust jacket and color on that as well. Another thing in this coloring book which I really like is d’Errico has this cute little blob character that pops up every couple of pages to remind you, that you don’t have to stick to a certain color. You can do whatever you want, you can use different materials to color with.

The one downside I have with this book is sometimes I feel like some of the artwork is unfinished. And I am ruining a sketch that is not completed, other than that it is a really wonderful adult coloring book, that is definitely unique.  

Here is Camilla D’erricos website if you’d like to keep up on her past or future projects. http://camilladerrico.com/blog/





I received this from the Blogging for books program for my honest review.
~Kellie

Monday, July 11, 2016

Doodletopia: Manga: A Review

The world's bestselling author of drawing and cartooning books, Christopher Hart, will show you all the interactive, artistic possibilities offered by doodling, designing, and coloring using characters, scenes, and crafts from the world of manga in Doodletopia: Manga.

Unlike other doodle books that leave you stranded, with no help at all, Doodletopia: Manga pairs fun doodle-based activities with the sort of insightful (and laugh-out-loud funny) advice and tips that countless readers have come to expect from cartooning master Christopher Hart. 

From dressing up super-cute chibis to designing your own manga mazes to completing manga scenes and making manga-inspired crafts like bookmarks, stationery, and more, the opportunities for creative expression are endless. So what are you waiting for? Pick up your pencils, pens, markers, or crayons, and start doodling!

Review:

This was my first How to manga book. I really believe is one of the unique ones. Doodletopia: manga is a how to and it’s a book where you can sketch and draw in book. Hart gives you spaces where you can practice or continue drawing what he has set up. Also there is extras like bits of stationary you can take out and write on. Or you can also illustrate your own bookmarks, which I love.

My one downside is I’ve seen a couple how to draw manga and I feel none of them really break it down in to extremely simple steps. This book included, it’s definitely a very fun and cute book. It adds more then just humans. It goes into chibis and cute little animals. It is also a very fun read.      

If your interested in this or any of Christopher Harts work or future work. You can check out his website. http://christopherhartbooks.com/


I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

~Kellie

Monday, June 20, 2016

Punderdome: A Review

Punderdome is a card game for pun lovers. I was excited to be able to review an actual game. I thought it would be a short sweet card game. A mashable review stated “Will replace cards against humanity at your next party” I really wish it would be as quick as cards against humanity but punderdome has a lot more components to it. Also I suggest more people the funnier it gets.  And it is ages 12+, so it’s a kind of kid friendly game.  So may the most terrible punster win.



I received this game for my honest review from the blogging for books program. (www.bloggingforbooks.com)

~Kellie

Thursday, May 26, 2016

The Beautiful Pretender: A Review

After inheriting his title from his brother, the margrave has two weeks to find a noble bride. What will happen when he learns he has fallen for a lovely servant girl in disguise?
The Margrave of Thornbeck has to find a bride, fast. He invites ten noble born ladies who meet the king’s approval to be his guests at Thornbeck Castle for two weeks, a time to test these ladies and reveal their true character.
Avelina has only two instructions: keep her true identity a secret and make sure the margrave doesn’t select her as his bride. Since the latter seems unlikely, she concentrates on not getting caught. No one must know she is merely a maidservant, sent by the Earl of Plimmwald to stand in for his daughter, Dorothea.
Despite Avelina’s best attempts at diverting attention from herself, the margrave has taken notice. And try as she might, she can’t deny her own growing feelings. But something else is afoot in the castle. Something sinister that could have far worse—far deadlier—consequences
Review:
The Beautiful Pretender is the second book in the Thornbeck series. I was excited to read the book about the Margrave. He is introduced just a little in the first book. This book I believe was very quick and to the point. In this first chapter Dorothea is gone and Avelina must go, so it definitely  starts the story quickly.

I can say this book was a pretty fast read, but on the downside nothing really surprising happened,  I mean at all. You know that sort of line in all romance books, when the protagonist says she will not fall in love? Who are you trying to fool, we all know what is going to happen.

I thought the characters were okay, I didn’t really connect with any of them or really care about any of them.  The Beautiful Pretender was a very short and sweet romance, and it’s also a Beauty and The Beast retelling.



I received this book for my honest review from the booklook bloggers program. (www.booklookbloggers.com)

~Kellie

Monday, May 9, 2016

Long May She Wave: A Review



Compiled from one of the largest collections of the American flag art in the world, these postcards showcase more than two hundred years of artistic interpretation and innovation. From patriotic banners and folk art curiosities to modern artistic masterworks. This historic cache of images has been lovingly curated and packaged by legendary designer Kit Hindrichs

Review: 
In this postcard collection there are 50 different designs and 50 duplicates. Each card is made out of a thick cardstock. Also each postcard has the description and year it was made or when the picture was taken. I feel unfortunately to say that I’ve never sent out a postcard and I think with these it’ll be exciting to do so. Also I make no promises to not use a bunch of these as bookmarks.

If you are interested in this or anything Kit Hinrichs has curated you can just out his website for future projects. http://www.studio-hinrichs.com/index.html


I was given the Long May She Wave postcards in exchange for my honest review from the blogging for books program. (www.bloggingforbooks.com)

~Kellie

Sister Dear: A Review

All Allie Marshall wants is a fresh start. But when dark secrets refuse to stay buried, will her chance at a new life be shattered forever? Convicted of a crime she didn’t commit, Allie watched a decade of her life vanish – time that can never be recovered. Now, out on parole, Allie is determined to clear her name, rebuild her life, and reconnect with the daughter she barely knows.
But Allie’s return home shatters the quaint, coastal community of Brunswick, Georgia. Even her own daughter Caroline, now a teenager, bristles at Allie’s claims of innocence. Refusing defeat, a stronger, smarter Allie launches a battle for the truth, digging deeply into the past even if it threatens her parole status, personal safety, and the already-fragile bond with family.
As her commitment to finding the truth intensifies, what Allie ultimately uncovers is far worse than she imagined. Her own sister has been hiding a dark secret—one that holds the key to Allie’s freedom.
Review:
After reading Laura McNeills Center of Gravity, I was beyond excited to read this. Sister Dear is full of twists and turns. Also I feel McNeill is very good at suspense. Another thing there is, is there are four points of view in this story. It adds so much more drama and mystery to the story. Allie has been put away for ten years for a murder she didn’t commit.
So I feel having the different point of views adds the mystery. Also I feel the entire book is so unsettling because it feels like any character could just snap. I really enjoyed the book, for the most part it was a very even pace through out the book. But and this is a big but, and happens to be about the end. For the last 30 pages or so it just crams the rest of the story. It was like “wait we are running out of book make everything go faster”. Also the very end like the very end of the epilogue end could have just been deleted. It was such an unnecessary part to the story. Inclosing I really liked the book and I cannot wait to see wait else Laura McNeill will publish.





I received this book in exchange for my honest review from the BookLookBloggers program. (www.booklookbloggers.com)

~Kellie

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Wonderland: A Review

Follow the White Rabbit into this imaginative coloring book inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, featuring intricate pen-and-ink drawings by acclaimed artist Amily Shen. Meet the Cheshire Cat, attend the Mad Hatter's tea party, and play croquet with the Queen of Hearts in this evocative tale that invites you into a strange and beautiful new world of coloring.



Wonderland should be added to your probably giant stack of coloring books. Wonderland is definitely a very fun and beautiful coloring book. Every page detailed and intricate. I was actually pleasantly surprised that there is a story in this coloring book as well. It’s not just Alice In Wonderland but it makes you a part of the story as well. Also there are even little games in the story you can take part in.

Lastly Wonderland is a beautiful coloring book, and probably a great book to have in your collection.


If you interested in this book or Amy Shens future projects you can check her website. http://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/authors/2136296/amily-shen/


I was given this book for my honest review from the blogging for books program. (www.bloggingforbooks.com)

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Life-Changing Magic: A Review

This gratitude journal from lifestyle guru Marie Kondo provides a space for you to notice and record the things that spark joy in your life each day. By asking yourself "Does this spark joy?" about not only the objects in your home but also the activities and relationships in your life, you can mindfully zero in on your ideal life. Peppered with inspirational quotes from The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, this 365-day, 3-year record is the perfect way to spark joy, one day at a time.

Review:

I wouldn’t call this a gratitude journal really besides a few quotes in the journal otherwise the journal is blank. I guess it’s up to the writer to make it one. So other then that it’s just a cute little paperback journal. Each day has six lines so you can write a short little summary or as Marie Kondo says “what sparks joy” to you. And it’ll be something fun to do for 3 years.  



Marie Kondo the author behind this journal also writes self help books so if you’d like to check out any of her other works you can check out her website. http://tidyingup.com/




I received this journal from the bloggingforbooks program for my honest review. (www.bloggingforbooks.com)



~Kellie

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Collage This Journal: A Review

This irrisistibly iteractive journal is filled with dozens of clever ideas for recording your life, such as "Make balloons out of photos from special and happy occasions" or  "Fill the genie's lamp with wishes." The author/illustrator's wonderfully layered photo-illustration montages invite readers to mix media, too, and make this keepsake truly their own.


Review:

If you love Wreck This Journal you’ll definitely like this. Collage This Journal puts you in different scenarios like “creature your perfect view” and “create your own tiny world” in a snow globe. I think projects like these are extremely fun and for me, they are kind of stress relieving.

The one downside about this is there are a lot of pages of friends and family memories. There are instructions saying to photocopy pictures which is something I can’t do. So I guess I’ll have to recreate them with something else. So in short, Collage This Journal is definitely something to do in your free time and if you have old magazines and newspapers you can finally put them to use.






If you’re interested in this or anything else Eleanor Shakespeare has worked on you can check out her website for further information or news on up coming projects. http://eleanorshakespeare.com/









I received this book from the blogging for books program for my honest review. (www.bloggingforbooks.com)

~Kellie

Friday, February 19, 2016

Light Of The Last: A Review

After an accident left him temporarily blind, Drew Carter didn’t just regain his sight. He now sees what others can’t imagine–an entire spiritual realm of mighty beings at war. 
 
Forget the gift, Drew just wants his life back. Part of that involves Sydney Carlyle, a woman he is inexplicably drawn to. When he’s offered the chance to become a CIA agent, it seems the way to redeem his past. The only problem–his visions of the supernatural realm are increasing in frequency. 
 
It’s up to the warrior angel Validus and his hand-picked team of heavenly agents to protect the unbelieving Drew. Validus now knows that the young man is at the epicenter of a global spiritual war, and the angels must use a millennia of battle experience keep Drew alive, for the Fallen want him dead.
 
Surrounded by spiritual warriors and targeted by demons, Drew’s faced with an impossible decision that will forever alter the destiny of America...and his own soul.

 Review:

The Wars Of The Realm has come to an end.  The Light of the Last starts right where The Cloak of the Light stops. We continue with Drew Carters story which I was beyond excited for.  He was the one point that I really enjoyed in the first book. I was extremely disappointed with the second book because he was not in the second book.

Light of the Last is filled with Drew going on secret missions. Also going through tons of training, and doing secret undercover things. Which most of it I’d say would have been interesting to read had it only not just swept over it and not really explained it.

I will unfortunately say I was kind of glad this series is over. The last two books in the series in my opinion did not live up to the first book status. I thought the first book was extremely fast paced, but each book after that slowed down. I will say if you enjoy a spy/military book with a Young adult feel then this is definitely a book series to read.

In the end it is a good series but only because it had that very strong main character, which I think Young Adult series kind of lack. So in closing it’s a series I will not miss.  


If your interested in the War Of The Realms series or anything else Chuck Black has written you can check  out his website to preview this series or check out upcoming works.



I received this book from the blogging for books program for my honest review. (www.bloggingforbooks.com)

~Kellie

Monday, February 1, 2016

Curio: A Review

Grey Haward has always detested the Chemists, the magicians-come-scientists who rule her small western town. But she has always followed the rules, taking the potion the Chemists ration out that helps the town’s people survive. A potion that Grey suspects she—like her grandfather and father—may not actually need.
By working at her grandfather’s repair shop, sorting the small gears and dusting the curio cabinet inside, Grey has tried to stay unnoticed—or as unnoticed as a tall, strong girl can in a town of diminutive, underdeveloped citizens. Then her best friend, Whit, is caught by the Chemists’ enforcers after trying to protect Grey one night, and after seeing the extent of his punishment, suddenly taking risks seems the only decision she can make.
But with the risk comes the reality that the Chemists know her family’s secret, and the Chemists soon decide to use her for their own purposes. Panicked, Grey retreats to the only safe place she knows—her grandfather’s shop. There, however, a larger secret confronts her when her touch unlocks the old curio cabinet in the corner and reveals a world where porcelain and clockwork people are real. There, she could find the key that may save Whit’s life and also end the Chemists’ dark rule forever.




Curio is my first steampunk novel and it did not disappoint. I tried to go into this book blind knowing very little about it and trying to avoid summaries and synopsis for this book. I must say the synopsis in the inside flap of the dust jacket is the best one to read. It’s vague and it doesn’t give a whole lot away.

I must say the first 40 pages went kind of slow, Grey just seemed like your typical YA heroine. It seemed like you knew who her love interest is right away. That was so not the case, once Grey was transported into Curio city I felt the entire book changed, for the better. It put the book into even more of a steampunk world. It gave it even more characters.

I really like the different point of views in the book first you have Grey who is in Curio city. And there is Whit in Mercury city, dealing with the troubles in the city. I like how the story flows, each chapter is much  more action packed and intense then the next. What I kind of liked and hated at the same time was like each chapter kind of had a cliffhanger or a twist so you quickly had to go to the next chapter to find out what was happening.

My only real problem I had with this book is that I unfortunately have no time or patience for series. Curio is a pretty long book and I kind of felt like it was going to get wrapped up nicely only to be surprised by more mysteries. Although, I am really excited to see where these characters go, and how a series like this will continue.




I was given this book for my honest review from the BookLook bloggers program. (booklookbloggers.com)

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Pop Painting: A Review

Get ready for a behind-the-scenes look at the painting tools, methods, and inspirations of one of the top artists working in the growing field of Pop Surrealism. For the first time, beloved best-selling author and artist Camilla d’Errico pulls back the curtain to give you exclusive insights on topics from the paints and brushes she uses and her ideal studio setup, to the dreams, notions, and pop culture icons that fuel the creation of her hauntingly beautiful Pop Surrealist paintings. 

With step-by-step examples covering major subject areas such as humans, animals, melting effects, and twisting reality (essential for Pop Surrealism!), Pop Painting gives you the sensation of sitting by Camilla’s side as she takes her paintings from idea to finished work. This front row seat reveals how a leading artist dreams, paints, and creates a successful body of work. For fans of Camilla and the underground art scene, aspiring artists looking to express their ideals in paint, and experienced artists wanting to incorporate the Pop Surrealist style into their work.


I’ve seen Camilla d’Errico over the years, her prints. And I even saw some of her works in some graphic novels. Pop Painting is absolutely filled with her beautiful works. Also this is going behind how Camilla d’Errico works, where she finds her inspirations.

Also something I found really cool about this book is 90% of this book is tips and tricks on how to make your art better. I thought it was a really neat and thoughtful thing to add into a book. I will not lie though when I say these tips may be helpful, but some of them might fly right over my head, being that I am in no way artistic.

Pop Painting is defiantly a beautiful  book, and is really something up and comings artists should have.



If your interested in Camilla d’Erricos work you can visit her website for news, books. And she also has a store where you can buy her artwork. camilladerrico.com




I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.