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?



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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?



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