Book

Book Chat {November 2020}

Hi y’all,

I cannot believe I haven’t done a book chat since June! This book chat is super long, and it’s not even complete. I’ll be doing another post to share even more books that I’ve read since June.

Trust Me by Margaret Watson- 4.5/5 stars

Raine Taylor is concerned about one thing: catching her sister’s killer. Connor Donovan, local detective, is called about a disturbance…little does he know how that little disturbance will change his life. Raine’s one goal in life puts her at risk, can Connor save her?

Loved this one! The story has a variety of twists and turns which I love. When you think you have everything figured out, there’s another twist!

Hometown Calling by Lexy Timms-4/5 stars

The girl best friend is getting married-to someone else. I’m a groomsman, and do not want her to marry this guy. Hometown Calling is the story of a groomsman, who never spoke up for himself, finally figuring out who he is meant to be with, but is it too late?

This book was almost too predictable. It’s definitely cutesy and if you’re the girl next door, super relatable. However, the storyline is obvious in most parts. However, the characterization definitely draws the reader in.

I Temporarily Do by Ellie Cahill-4/5 stars

She’s supposed to move across the country. Then, she gets scammed and has no where to live, no money, and no backup plan. Her best friend is also moving across the country, and just got dumped by his fiance-the fiance he needs to live in married student housing. Now, he’s got no backup plan…or does he? Together, they navigate grad school and figuring our real life when they have all odds stacked against them.

This book has a typical yet unique storyline. While it follows traditional relationship stereotypes for books, it definitely has twists that keep the reader on their toes. There is great characterization and the reader is drawn.

The Lone Star Lawman by Justine Davis-5/5 stars

Shane Highwater, local Police Cheif and most upstanding citizen of Last Stand, Texas. Liliana Jones, the local reporter, begs to differ. She’s convinced that Highwater did something to cause her boyfriend to have a major accident. Highwater will do everything he can to prove she’s wrong.

If I could (which I guess technically I can since this is my book chat) this book would have like 7 stars. The characters have such storylines and it’s like you’re living in Last Stand with them. The town itself reminds me of Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. Added bonus, the characters are just as loveable and unique. While the events that occur in the book aren’t 100% relatable, the characters and the complete story line really draw in the reader.

Head Over Heels by Cindy Procter-King-4.5/5 stars

Magee works for her family’s advertising business. Yet, she can’t seem to do a good job and it’s looking like serious nepotism for her to have her current position. She has to do something-and fast. Justin, a serious mountain biker and almost client needs her help. Together, they create an arrangement. However, that arrangement might not be as solid as they think.

Another book that truly draws the reader in. The events are super relatable and you never know when you mind find yourself in a similar situation.

Always: A Sweet, Small Town Romance by Leeanna Morgan-4.5/5 stars

Mallory was a top figure skater, until she got injured. Grant Byers does it all: cattle rancher, Search and Rescue volunteer, and he’s a former Navy SEAL. Grant puts it on himself to keep Mallory safe, when the same person that injured her arrives in Bozeman Montana.

Challenging the Cowboy by Jeannie Watt-4/5 stars

Zach will continue running the Marvell family ranch until his dies. He’s already been doing it since he was fifteen. However, Finley has other plans. She’s a trainer a little down on her luck. She needs a job to stick, Zach needs help with his brother now working his own ranch, too. Finley may, or may not, fit the bill.

Great story line! Zach and Finely both have their challenges, which could define them as both individuals and as a couple.

This is Crazy by Natasha Madison-5/5 stars

Zara Stone has been (unwillingly) around hockey her entire life. Her dad was a pro player, and now two of her brothers are. Zara is crushed after her ex-bf posts an engagement picture and wedding announcement (3 months after their breakup). Evan, a pro hockey player, is the perfect date to crash said ex-bf’s wedding. She and Evan hit it off, making Zara reconsidering the whole self induced no hockey player ruler.

LOVE LOVE LOVE! Zara is relatable and chases after her dreams, and Evan is fully supportive making such a positive book model for #relationshipgoals.

Chasing Hannah by Melissa Ellen 3.5/5 stars

Hannah has done everything to keep her job, but instead of the promotion, she gets the boot. She heads home for her BFF’s wedding, and runs into the person she never wants to see ever again. Opportunity comes knocking, but it might not be enough to get her to leave her hometown after all.

I think I always joke about being from small town USA, but Hannah is definitely from there more so than I am. This story almost seems a little forced in parts.

Jersey Girl by Rhonda James-5/5 stars

Cassie has come to campus after a disaster year. Her brother is a hot shot hockey player on campus, destined for the pros. So is his best friend and roommate, Brantley. Brantley has been a player both on and off the ice, but Cassie might just be the girl to change him. However, Brantley has to get the big brother’s seal of approval, and fear might just keep them apart.

This book is relatable to anyone who has a protective older brother. I loved how this book faced a wide variety of relationships issues and kept it real.

Cowboy in her Courtroom 1/5 stars

She’s seeing someone on a personal note…little does she know he’s about to end up in her courtroom. He’s not a good guy, and is being accused of a pretty serious crime. Yet, she’s his alabi.

Y’all, as a person who loves a good crime and mystery book, I could NOT get into this one. Everything seemed fake and I think I read like 10% of the book before having to put it down.

All of Me by Heatherly Bell-4/5 stars

Ivey Lancaster is back and is trying to persuade the local hospital to start a midwife program. Her ex-boyfriend is the doctor she has to convince. They will have to get past years of hurt in order to seal the deal.

This book has such a good plot line and fantastic characterization. This book keeps the reader engaged and asking “what will happen next?”.

Choosing Happily Ever After by Elena Aitken- 4.5/5 stars

Hope Turner is a wedding planner and event host extraordinaire. Levi needs a job now that he’s back in town. Hope needs help. Levi might just be the man for the job.

As we see Hope go through a bunch of different things, Levi is there for her every step of the way. He steps up to the plate big time for the love of his life-even if Hope doesn’t see it.

Three Dates by Grahame Claire-5/5 stars

Muriella doesn’t date. Stone thinks she’s beautiful. Stone convinces her to go on three dates. His mission: to sweep Muriella off her feet.

I am obsessed with the characters in this book! You are brought into the story and the characters’ lives. In turn, they become a part of yours. I loved this book so much, I ended up getting the next book in the series Heartbreaker. These stories rope you in and are so relatable. If you don’t read any other books I recommend, these are a must read.

Heartbreaker by Grahame Claire-5/5 stars

Mulaney has a secret, the business isn’t doing well. She can’t figure out why though. Easton has a secret, too. His is very different from Mulaney’s. Together, there secrets define their relationship with each other, and those around them.

Again, LOVE this book! As you read, you are drawn in and make deep connections to the characters and their stories. Another must read on this list. Grahame Claire absolutely nails it!

What have you been reading lately? Do you have any must read books?

xx,

Lindsey

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Book

June Book Chat

Hi y’all,

Can you believe it’s almost the end of June? Me neither! I had a few assignments to finish up for school which is why today’s post is so late.

I did talk about the children’s books I read for class here.

However, I didn’t read only for class this month.

The Start of Us by Lauren Blakely. Girl and guy are best friend, but nothing more….right? Maybe not. This is part of a trilogy and I have only read this one. Definitely a story that captivated my attention and makes me want to read more. 4/5 stars for stereotypical ending.

Marrying Mr. Perfect by Lizzie Shane. The nanny is “just helping out” until the perfect doctor can get his life together after his wife’s sudden death. Yet four years later, she’s still there. Her best friend thinks she has the best solution: find Mr. Perfect the perfect wife. Highly recommend-5/5 stars. An absolutely delightful read. It is definitely based off The Bachelor Franchise so if you’re into that you’ll love this book. I loved how this book played out.

Part Time Lover by Lauren Blakely. Marketing extraordinaire goes on vacation, well not a real vacation, it was to make sure she knew the best way to promote a new company. She doesn’t expect to find a good looking guy on a dock in Denmark. Jokes on her! Except, they don’t meet up later due to a fluke error. They don’t meet the next day….but a year later they do. Now, he needs her….at least for a while. 5/5 Highly recommend. It’s an unique plotline that keeps you entertained the entire way through the book.

Her Best Friend’s Keeper by Calle J. Brookes. She’s been on the down low in the Texas State Police office for the past few years. And that is just how Gabby likes it. Her quiet space isn’t quiet for long. New boss rolls in and her entire world is flipped upside down…for the second time in her life. Y’all 7/5 stars if that is a thing. This is absolutely an amazing book and I loved every second of it. Go run and grab this book right now.

Swipe Right for a Cowboy by Karen Folley. Y’all, this book. Girl needs a guy for a wedding date to her half sister’s wedding-to her ex bf. The guy she matches with-isn’t who she expects. 5/5 stars-this book is entertaining and makes you fall in love with all the characters. You really like you’re a part of the book. Go grab it!

Ayden by Melissa Belle. Ayden is the best friend-you know the person you’re not supposed to fall in love with. Bella’s love life is in shams after her bf is outed publicly. She heads home to the east coast, to find her parents’ relationship is in shambles. She’s working a minimum wage job instead of following her heart…but is it worth it? 5/5 stars-another fantastic book! I couldn’t put it down and loved every second of it.

Timid by Devney Perry. Willa has lived in town her whole life, and when she’s a teenager Mr. Hotty himself, Jackson Page, shows up. However, he doesn’t give her the time of day. Willa’s life is not going exactly how she planned, even though she now has her dream job. All she wants is Jackson’s attention. Over time, Willa and Jackson get to know each other, but nothing is what it seems. This story ends up being a great mixture of romance and mystery. 4/5 stars for a predictable ending.

What have y’all been reading?

xx,

Lindsey

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Book, grad school, teaching

Book Chat: Children’s Books

Hi y’all,

You all seem to love my monthly book chats so I wanted to share with you some children’s books, too. As a Reading teacher, I absolutely love sharing new books with my class and I’m so glad y’all love to read as much as I do.

These books were all assigned or I picked them for my Children’s Literature course I’m taking for grad school at UVA. I have finished all but 3 for the class, but I still wanted to go ahead and share them so if you wanted to request them for your classroom you had time to.

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearnace of Amelia Earhart by Candace Fleming. |This book is one that I haven’t read yet, but the synopsis on the back of the book says “What happened to Amelia Earhart? On May 21, 1937, the most famous female pilot of all time, Amelia Earhart, set out to do the impossible: circumnavigate the globe at its widest point, flying 27,000 miles in all. Just six weeks later, her plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. More than eighty years have passed since that fateful flight, and the plane has never been found. Discover the thrilling life and tragic end of America’s most famous trailblazing flier with this impeccably researched and masterfully crafted book from acclaimed author Candace Fleming.

Lemons by Melissa Savage. |5/5 stars |This is one book that I chose to read for a book trailer assignment. This is the story of Lemonade, or Lem as she’s better known. Lem is sent to live with her only living relative when her mom passes away. What did Lem want? To stay in the city and to definitely not live with her grandfather and his Big Foot obsession. She did not want to join the BigFoot Detectives Inc. and she definitely didn’t want to become friends with anyone.

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo | This is another book I haven’t read yet. I picked this one because it’s written by the fabulous Kate DiCamillo and I’ve loved all the books I’ve read of hers. The synonpsis for the book reads, “once there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit couldn’t move or speak, but he could watch and list, and he was very pleased with himself and his owner and his house. And then, one day, he was lost”.

The Red Pencil by Andrea Davis Pinkney | 2/5 stars | Honestly, my rating of this book is low because it’s written in poem form and I dislike books written in this style. It’s harder for me to follow along and I feel like I miss a lot of description. I do think the story is important to share (I would have just picked a different format). This is the story of Amira, a young lady living in Sudan. She wants to be like the girls that go to school and learn; however, it doesn’t appear to be in the cards for her. Instead, her family flees Sudan to head to a refugee camp. Danger lurks around every corner, and Amira can’t seem to find peace.

El Deafo by CeCe Bell |4.5/5 stars| Loved this book. This is an autobiographical graphic novel. The main character faces the huge struggle of being deaf in a hearing world. However, she learns to adapt and deal with all the trials and tribulations life throws at her. This book is absolutely wonderful for sharing to help students understand each others differences, no matter what they are. I love the fact this book is a graphic novel because it helps to make the text accessible to all students.

Chains by Lauren Halse Anderson | 5/5 stars | This book is absolutely wonderful. This is the historical fiction story of a slave girl named Isabel. Isabel believes she should be free; however, she is sold to a new family, a Loyalist family. She and her younger sister are shipped up to New England, months before the Declaration of Independence is to be signed. Will Isabel ever gain her freedom? There are more books in the series; however, I haven’t read them yet.

Listen, Slowly by Thanhha Lai | 3/5 stars (so far | Disclaimer on this one, I haven’t finished it yet, but I am having a difficult time finishing it. This is the story of Mai as she deals with spending her summer in Vietnam. This surfer girl from SoCal would rather be back in there, instead of in a foreign country where she doesn’t speak the language. Worse? She doesn’t really know when she’s going home because she’s helping her Bai (grandmother) find her long lost grandfather who was a POW during the Vietnam War. Mai is definitely a relatable character in this middle age book; however, I have found the plot hard to get into.

What books do you share with your classes?

xx,

Lindsey

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Book, teaching

Book Delivery

Hi y’all,

I wanted to do this as an unboxing on YouTube, but unfortunately my internet won’t allow that.

Anyway, I got my books for the semester for Children’s Literature and I wanted to share with you what I’ll be reading over the next two months.

Listen Slowly by Thanhha Lai

“A California girl born and raised, Mai can’t wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War.

Mai’s parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn’t know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.”

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo

“Once, in a house on Egypt Street, there lived a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The rabbit was very pleased with himself, and for good reason: he was owned by a girl named Abilene, who adored him completely. And then, one day, he was lost. . . . Kate DiCamillo takes us on an extraordinary journey, from the depths of the ocean to the net of a fisherman, from the bedside of an ailing child to the bustling streets of Memphis. Along the way, we are shown a miracle — that even a heart of the most breakable kind can learn to love, to lose, and to love again.”

El Deafo by Cece Bell

“Going to school and making new friends can be tough. But going to school and making new friends while wearing a bulky hearing aid strapped to your chest? That requires superpowers! In this funny, poignant graphic novel memoir, author/illustrator Cece Bell chronicles her hearing loss at a young age and her subsequent experiences with the Phonic Ear, a very powerful—and very awkward—hearing aid.
The Phonic Ear gives Cece the ability to hear—sometimes things she shouldn’t—but also isolates her from her classmates. She really just wants to fit in and find a true friend, someone who appreciates her as she is. After some trouble, she is finally able to harness the power of the Phonic Ear and become “El Deafo, Listener for All.” And more importantly, declare a place for herself in the world and find the friend she’s longed for.”

Chains (The Seeds of America Trilogy) by Laurie Anderson

“As the Revolutionary War begins, thirteen-year-old Isabel wages her own fight…for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.”

The Red Pencil by Andrea Pinkney

“Life in Amira’s peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when Janjaweed attackers arrive, unleashing unspeakable horrors. After losing nearly everything, Amira needs to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. She begins to lose hope, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind — and all kinds of possibilities.”

Amelia Lost: The Life and Disappearance of Amelia Earhart

“On May 21, 1937, the most famous female pilot of all time, Amelia Earhart, set out to do the impossible: circumnavigate the globe at its widest point–27,000 miles in all. Just six weeks later, she disappeared over the Pacific Ocean. Eighty years have passed since that fateful flight; and still, Amelia’s plane has never been found. Discover the thrilling life and tragic end of America’s most famous trailblazing flier with this impeccably researched and masterfully crafted book from acclaimed author Candace Fleming.”

I also have some picture books I will have to read, but I did not purchase them as I would not really be able to reuse them in my classroom library.

What books are you trying to find for your library?

xx,

Lindsey

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*all descriptions are from amazon.com for an accurate description of the books

Book

April 2020 Book Chat

Hi y’all,

Can you believe that April is over?!? It seems like it flew by! I just finished my grad school semester and have about a 6 week break before the Summer term starts. Since I’ve had a little bit more time on my hands, I’ve been reading non-stop.

Screen Shot 2020-04-29 at 12.41.00 PM

 

Some of these are by authors I love. Others were recommended or were free on the Apple Bookstore. I did read a few on the Libby App (any I got from the Libby app, I noted it so you know where to find it).

Falling for You: A Sweet, Small Romance by Leeanna Morgan

5/5 Stars

Natalie Armstrong, an artist, comes back home to Sapphire Bay to rejuvenate herself after years of living in Europe. Getting away from some personal issues is a bonus.

She heads home to her grandparents cottage-now her’s. Upon her return, she learns that half the cottage has been rented out to Gabe, a former NYPD detective. Gabe is also running away from his own dark memories. Will the pair be able to live peace?

My thoughts:

This book was absolutely wonderful! It had a beautiful plot that was filled with unforeseen twists. The story captivates the reader from the very beginning and is a book you won’t want to put down.

 

Saving the Sheriff by Kadie Scott

4/5 Stars

Cash Hill is struggling with trusting anyone outside of his family with a pretty good reason. His wife died, but on the day of the accident, she left Cash a note saying she was leaving him. Cash wasn’t overly shocked by this, after all, he had only married her because she was pregnant after a one-night stand and he was trying to do the right thing. Now, Cash’s paternity of his daughter is in question, and his deceased wife’s best friend, Holly, isn’t helping matters. Can Cash and Holly put their differences aside? Can Cash fall in love after all?

My Thoughts:

This book has a typical cowboy romance plot. Cash’s daughter does throw in some extra twists and turns that are not convenient for Cash. He tries his best to stay away, but soon finds out he can’t. Scott develops her characters beautifully, it’s like they’re all with you in person! The only fault with this book is that it’s very typical.

 

Lucky in Love by Carolyn Brown

4.5/5

Beau wants to settle down, and he thinks he’s found the right girl. Except, he can’t get off another girl off his mind-the one he had a one-night fling with at a wedding…about a year ago. Beau ends up inheriting his aunt’s ranch, and is trying to make a go off it. Being Beau, everything at the ranch was working perfectly, the same couldn’t be said for his love life. His girlfriend, soon to be fiancé, has no interest in ranching, just money. Millie, and her daughter, come to help her grandparents for the summer. Little does she know; a certain cowboy has moved in next door to the Lazy Z Ranch.

My Thoughts:

Beau and Millie have such a fantastic relationship dynamic as they find out how compatible they really are. I love how the two characters are developed and how relatable they are. Both are well off financially, but their story is so rooted in love and based on things that happen all the time (like custody issues) that it is something everyone can understand.

just for you

Dancing with Fireflies by Denise Hunter

3/5

This is the story of Jade and Daniel and is a follow up to Barefoot Summer. Daniel is in local politics, with family pressure for more. Jade has moved back home after spending a year in Chicago. Unfortunately for Jade, not only do her dreams not come true, but she ends up traumatized after an incident that leads to a permanent change. Jade struggles to make ends meet, and Daniel finds a way to help her out…in more ways than one.

My Thoughts:

As you know I absolutely adored Barefoot Summer. I wished I could say I had the same feelings about Dancing with Fireflies; I feel like it was lacking in comparison to the first book. I loved Madison and did not feel the same connection to Jade. I felt like Jade constantly wanted to be pitied even though she kept saying she didn’t.

*borrowed on the Libby App

 

The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena

4.5/5

By the same author as An Unwanted Guest and A Stranger in the House. I wanted to read this one because I loved A Stranger in the House (this one is a 5/5 book).

Anne and Marco have it all: a great relationship, home, and baby Cora. Everything is not always as it appears though. Anne and Marco both have their own skeletons in the closet and they will quickly come to light. They aren’t the only ones hiding things, and it only gets more complicated.

My Thoughts:

I love Lapena’s mysteries. I just requested a hold via the Libby app for An Unwanted Guest. My only real complaint is that the ending became predictable as you keep reading. There are plenty of twists in the novel, and I love how many different characters are involved throughout the story.

*borrowed on the Libby App

 

The Sheriff Catches a Bride by Cora Seton

5/5

Welcome to Chance Creek, where everyone knows everyone’s business. Rose is the county’s good girl, and she’s constantly afraid of disappointing other people…to the point that she’s disappointed herself.

Cab doesn’t date, because the girl he wants is engaged to someone else. When he finds out she isn’t happy, he’ll stop at nothing to prove that he’s the one for her, including saving her life.

My Thoughts:

I absolutely love this book! I love all the twists and turns and the characters that were introduced, especially the ones you never thought would appear! I love how all the character’s lives are intertwined, just like in any small town. I could totally see myself in Chance Creek.

 

Butterface by Avery Flynn

1/5

The story of a party planner kissing a guy at a party. He pretends they’ve been in a relationship for months. She ends up meeting the whole family, even the mob-connected brothers.

My Thoughts:

I hate to say this, but I barely made it a chapter into this book. I just couldn’t get into it. It came recommended on Apple Books, so I thought I’d give it a try and it wasn’t the book for me.

 

The Cowboy’s Rebellious Bride by Laurie LeClair

4/5

Hannah is used to defending herself. She might be the best bull breeder and trainer around, but in a male-dominated world, she constantly has to prove herself. Cody needs to save the family ranch, and there is only one way to do it.

My Thoughts:

I loved this book, except for it being predictable. It’s another small town story where everyone knows everyone’s business, except in this case they really don’t. There were times I felt really bad for Cody as he is trying to help his family without dragging other people into it. I loved how we got to know all the characters and how they intertwined.

What books do you recommend? Leave me a comment below, I’d love to check them! If you’re read any one them, let me know what your thoughts are!

xx,

Lindsey

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Note: Book Cover images courtesy of Google Images.