An Alaskan Christmas | Jennifer Snow | Book Review

Hello my Wordy Friends! 

An Alaskan Christmas by Jennifer Snow is a contemporary romance novel set in the small town of Wild River, Alaska. The first novel in the Wild River series, this story follows Search and Rescue Lead Reed Reynolds and Surgeon Erika Sheraton and the trials and tribulations of a forced-vacation dalliance.

I listened to the audiobook version of this novel read by Melissa Moran. If you can find a copy of this book in print form, I would suggest that you read this book rather than listen to it. Melissa Moran narrated this book in a monotone voice that I found difficult to focus on. When characters spoke, she gave inflection, and it sounded good, but at other times… boredom city.

I debated throughout this story whether or not I should finish actually finish it. The story was a little hard to believe in some parts and having to listen to the “over the top” sex scenes were just painful. Overall, the premise of the story was enjoyable, but the character development for Erika was a bit all over the place. One minute she’s stuck up and stuck in her ways, the next, she’s reflecting and making amends, and then the cycle repeats. Typically people who are that self-absorbed don’t see how their comments or actions are taken and they wouldn’t immediately see the error of their ways and go out of their way to fix it. So that was a little whip-lash esque. The other characters in this novel didn’t give me the same feeling, so maybe that was just the way this particular character was, but really, it just smacked me of being unbelievable.

Also, I’m not sure why this was labeled as a “Christmas book” There is nothing really related to Christmas in it except that Christmas was two weeks away. There was no holiday cheer, but rather that other characters were participating in Christmas.

I’m giving this 3 stars out of 5. I’m also considering reading the second book in this series as I’m sure the next story that will be told will be between Reed’s sister Cassie and Reed’s best friend Tank. But I may actually “read” the book as then I can skim the sex scenes that I’m sure will be present! (I’m not a prude by any means, but seriously… some of it was just way over the top!)

Anyways, those are my thoughts,
Thanks for reading with me!
Kel

November wrap-up

Hello my Wordy Friends!

I’m a little late getting my November wrap-up out, but that’s because I’ve had lot’s going on!   School is wrapping up for the semester, a major house renovation is finally (after 4 months) complete, and now I can start working on December projects which include a party for 575 children plus their parents!  Decorating my home for Christmas, Christmas baking, and staff parties, just to name a few.  

I’m sure you’ve noticed that I didn’t follow my TBR at all this past month.  These books are still on my TBR, but I just couldn’t motivate myself to read these books so I decided to follow my whim this month.  Some of these books were required reading from school, and wouldn’t normally have picked up, while other books were written by some of my favourite authors.  

Monthly ranking:

If you have a chance, I really recommend that you pick up a copy of Truth about stories by Thomas King.  This was a really good book and I really enjoyed listening to King speak.

Some fun facts this month:

Books read: 5
Young Adult: 4
Adult Romance: 1
Pages read: 1608

YTD Books Read: 8
YTD Young Adult: 6
YTD Adult : 2
YTD Pages read: 2808

Thanks for reading with me!

Kel

One in every crowd : stories | Ivan E. Coyote | Book Review

Hello My Wordy Friends!

Today’s book review is for One in every crowd : stories by Ivan E. Coyote.  It was published in March 2012 and was another required reading for my Young Adult class, however, this one I really did enjoy. Although Ivan is a member as well as an advocate in the LGBTQ2S+ community, I didn’t find that their work to be overly that direction. Yes, it is about that community, but I felt that it was just a book about experiences and showing that everyone has anxiety and can find support in the most unexpected places or situations.

Ivan is a Vancouver, BC (gotta represent!) based spoken word performer, and this is a collection of their stories, drawn from personal experiences. Ivan is a transgender person, who identifies with the pro-noun them/their/they. Although technically born female, Ivan self-defines as “a primarily estrogen-based organism“.

I had the opportunity to briefly meet Ivan earlier this spring, but hadn’t heard them speak (I was working the event they were speaking at and wasn’t in the room) and at the time didn’t think I was missing much. (Sorry) Now, after reading this book, I am sad that I missed the opportunity to sneak onto the convention floor and listen.

The writing is a bit sloppy at times, but I have concluded that this is because it is a verbatim account of performed stories. I rated this four and a half stars out of five.

I hope that you will pick this book up. Thanks for reading with me! 

Kel


Summary: 

Ivan E. Coyote’s wry, honest stories about gender and identity have captivated audiences everywhere. Ivan’s eighth book is her first for LGBT youth, written for anyone who has ever felt different or alone in their struggles to be true to themselves. Included are stories about Ivan’s tomboy youth and her adult life, where she experiences cruelty and kindness in unexpected places.

Funny, inspiring, and full of heart, One in Every Crowd is about embracing and celebrating difference and feeling comfortable in one’s own skin.


Rating:

★ ★ ★ ★ +0.5 ☆


Summary sourced from Goodreads.   

All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own. 

Audacity | Melanie Crowder | Book Review

Hello My Wordy Friends!

Today’s book review is Audacity by Melanie Crowder.  It was published in January 2016.   

This is a story that is written in verse and not something I would consider reading unless (as it was) required for a course or other situation. I had no issue with the topic, and I would like to learn more about Clara and her quest for equal rights in the labour movement, but I don’t think that this book did her any justice. (see below my review for Goodreads summary)

I would like to clarify that I am a labour activist and I have been heavily invested in my local union as an executive officer, so it’s not as if the topic wasn’t of interest to me. Simply, the way the story was written was the problem for me. I actually found the first 50 pages extremely difficult to get through, and only when I started to speed read through the rest of the 350 pages (and therefore not try and interpret the story) that I was able to get through it. To clarify, I read the remaining 350 pages in a 90 minute period, whereas the first 50 pages took me about an hour.

For readers who enjoy poetry, I think you will enjoy this and get something out of it… it just wasn’t for me.

I rated this two stars out of five, due to the story premise being a good one.  

Thanks for reading with me! 

Kel


Summary: 

A gorgeously told novel in verse written with intimacy and power,  Audacity is inspired by the real-life story of Clara Lemlich, a spirited young woman who emigrated from Russia to New York at the turn of the twentieth century and fought tenaciously for equal rights. Bucking the norms of both her traditional Jewish family and societal conventions, Clara refuses to accept substandard working conditions in the factories on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. For years, Clara devotes herself to the labor fight, speaking up for those who suffer in silence. In time, Clara convinces the women in the factories to strike, organize, and unionize, culminating in the famous Uprising of the 20,000.
Powerful, breathtaking, and inspiring, Audacity is the story of a remarkable young woman, whose passion and selfless devotion to her cause changed the world.


Rating:

★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆


Summary sourced from Goodreads.  

All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own. 

The Alpha Drive | Kristen Martin | Book Review

Hello My Wordy Friends!

Today’s book review is for The Alpha Drive by Kristen Martin.  Published in November 2015, this book is the first book in the Alpha Drive series.  

I have been following author Kristen Martin on YouTube and Instagram for quite a while, and I always leave her channel feeling optimistic, motivated and happy, so I thought it was high time that I read some of her actual stories!

This story is set in two worlds.  The world in which the main character Emery lives is called Dormance which is actually a world where all the inhabitants are living in an induced coma.  

The story does have some plot holes, but the idea of the story is still captivating.  I wasn’t sure how someone whose is in a coma can interact with other people in a coma, but then again, this is fiction, and anything goes!  

I thought the character Rhea, Emery’s roommate, was a bit on the creepy side especially at the beginning of the book. But as the first couple of chapters were a bit “all over the place” I chalked this creepiness up to the fact that this was a debut novel, and the author was still working out her writing kinks. After the initial chapters, the writing smoothed out and I no longer continued to question the plot or characters.  In fact, I rather enjoyed the story and I am looking forward to finding out what happens in the next installment in this Young Adult dystopian series.

I have given this three and a half stars out of five and only expect the series to get better from here!

Thanks for reading with me!

Kel


Book Summary from Goodreads: 

It’s the year 2055 and an anarchist organization has taken control with the aim to create a world-class society. Half of humankind is unknowingly living in an alternate reality called Dormance . . . and there are no plans to wake them up.

Sixteen-year-old introvert Emery Parker is one such dormant. An academic scholar who avoids ruffling feathers at all costs, Emery finds herself being transferred to a boarding school on the outskirts of Arizona. Little does she know, a family secret has the power to change the course of the future. When she’s approached with an opportunity to free the dormants, she sees no other choice but to accept, even though failure could mean having her memory wiped clean.

But when tech-savvy Torin Porter reaches out to her from the other side, Emery begins to question everything she was told about Dormance. If her family’s secret falls into the wrong hands, the world as she knows it will be faced with irreversible consequences. Now Emery must play both sides to uncover the truth about her family’s past or risk leaving mankind to live in an unconscious reality. 


Summary sourced from Goodreads.   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27174561-the-alpha-drive?from_search=true&qid=lqgP2XkYx9&rank=1

All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own. 



Meant to be yours | Susan Mallery | Book Review

Meant to be yours

Author: Susan Mallery

ISBN:  9781848458017

Pages:  384

Publication: October 22, 2019


Summary: 

Wedding coordinator Renee Grothen isn’t meant for marriage. Those who can, do. Those who can’t, plan. But she never could have planned on gorgeous, talented thriller writer Jasper Dembenski proposing—a fling, that is. Fun without a future. And the attraction between them is too strong for Renee to resist. Now she can have her no-wedding cake…and eat it, too.

After years in the military, Jasper is convinced he’s too damaged for relationships. So a flirtation—and more—with fiery, determined Renee is way too good to pass up…until his flame becomes his muse.

Renee is an expert at averting every crisis. But is she finally ready to leap into the one thing that can never be controlled: love?


Review:

The fifth book in the Happily Inc. series is not one to be missed. Susan Mallery has built a idyllic cast of characters in this unique town that I always enjoy visiting. This time we see Renee and Jasper build a relationship despite their different challenges. Challenges that, I must admit, were a little far fetched, but as long as you disregard that, I think you’ll enjoy this romantic story.


Rating:

★★★★☆


Summary sourced from Goodreads.   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43180342-meant-to-be-yours?ac=1&from_search=true&qid=bMidEDTpiM&rank=2

All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own. 

The Truth About Stories

The truth about stories : a native narrative

Author: Thomas King

ISBN:  9780816646265

Pages:  184

Publication: March 2, 2005


Summary: 

“Stories are wondrous things. And they are dangerous.” In The Truth About Stories, Native novelist and scholar Thomas King explores how stories shape who we are and how we understand and interact with other people. From creation stories to personal experiences, historical anecdotes to social injustices, racist propaganda to works of contemporary Native literature, King probes Native culture’s deep ties to storytelling. With wry humor, King deftly weaves events from his own life as a child in California, an academic in Canada, and a Native North American with a wide-ranging discussion of stories told by and about Indians. So many stories have been told about Indians, King comments, that “there is no reason for the Indian to be real. The Indian simply has to exist in our imaginations.” That imaginative Indian that North Americans hold dear has been challenged by Native writers – N. Scott Momaday, Leslie Marmon Silko, Louis Owens, Sherman Alexie, and others – who provide alternative narratives of the Native experience that question, create a present, and imagine a future. King reminds the reader, Native and non-Native, that storytelling carries with it social and moral responsibilities. “Don’t say in the years to come that you would have lived your life differently if only you had heard this story. You’ve heard it now.”


Review:

 To my surprise and delight, especially since this was assigned as reading for a course I am taking, this was a lecture series I very much enjoyed.  It is available as a five part audio lecture that has since been converted into a book, but you can listen to it for free on the CBC website or purchase the print version through Amazon.  Thomas King is a dual Canadian/American citizen and had many thought-provoking statements.  King is an amazing story-teller and had me laughing out loud (and since I was at work… that really wasn’t a good thing!)  

This book transcends both the Canadian and the American border, and really when it comes to indigenous affairs in North America, there really is no border.  Give this a read, you won’t be disappointed!


Rating:

★★★★★


Summary sourced from Goodreads.   https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/196430.The_Truth_About_Stories?from_search=true

All opinions and thoughts expressed are my own.