Author: Emily

Starflight [Review]

Posted November 28, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

Starflight [Review]Starflight by Melissa Landers
on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Young Adult, Sci-Fi
Pages: 369
Goodreads
four-half-stars
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Life in the outer realm is a lawless, dirty, hard existence, and Solara Brooks is hungry for it. Just out of the orphanage, she needs a fresh start in a place where nobody cares about the engine grease beneath her fingernails or the felony tattoos across her knuckles. She's so desperate to reach the realm that she's willing to indenture herself to Doran Spaulding, the rich and popular quarterback who made her life miserable all through high school, in exchange for passage aboard the spaceliner Zenith.
When a twist of fate lands them instead on the Banshee, a vessel of dubious repute, Doran learns he's been framed on Earth for conspiracy. As he pursues a set of mysterious coordinates rumored to hold the key to clearing his name, he and Solara must get past their enmity to work together and evade those out for their arrest. Life on the Banshee may be tumultuous, but as Solara and Doran are forced to question everything they once believed about their world—and each other—the ship becomes home, and the eccentric crew family. But what Solara and Doran discover on the mysterious Planet X has the power to not only alter their lives, but the existence of everyone in the universe...

My Thoughts

Space themes are always tricky for me. I either love them, or I can’t stand them. I either have a desperate need to read the book or watch the movie, or I just sit there thinking, “Meh.” Starflight fell into the former. Its a book that initially drew me in by the cover…and held me with the story.

The only downside to this book was that pieces of the plot were a bit clichéd and predictable. Very little of the overall plot was a surprise to me. But the details and the journey to reach those overarching themes were interesting and entertaining. So, I didn’t find myself too disappointed about knowing what was coming next; I wanted to see how they got there. What paths did they take? What trouble did they encounter? That was what interested me most.

The secondary characters were also excellent. I loved discovering their personalities and the dynamics of the group. They were all so entertaining and I wanted to know the entireties of their backstories, every detail. I cannot wait for the sequel, Starfall, to release next year and tell the story of my favorite dynamic duo, Cassia and Kane. Honestly, these two together were hilarious, but I can’t wait to find out how deep their connection really goes.

Overall, Starflight was a great, entertaining read. It was a space book that (surprisingly) was able to keep me interested and flying through the pages of this book. It made me even more excited for the sequel. 2017 is already looking like an excellent year for new books, and I cannot wait to get my hands on Starfall in February.

 

four-half-stars
Emily
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The Magnolia Story [Review]

Posted November 27, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

The Magnolia Story [Review]The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines, Joanna Gaines, Mark Dagostino
Published by Thomas Nelson on October 18th 2016
Genres: Nonfiction
Pages: 208
Goodreads
five-stars
Buy on AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository

Are you ready to see your fixer upper?
These famous words are now synonymous with the dynamic husband-and-wife team Chip and Joanna Gaines, stars of HGTV s Fixer Upper. As this question fills the airwaves with anticipation, their legions of fans continue to multiply and ask a different series of questions, like Who are these people?What s the secret to their success? And is Chip actually that funny in real life? By renovating homes in Waco, Texas, and changing lives in such a winsome and engaging way, Chip and Joanna have become more than just the stars of Fixer Upper, they have become America s new best friends.
The Magnolia Story is the first book from Chip and Joanna, offering their fans a detailed look at their life together. From the very first renovation project they ever tackled together, to the project that nearly cost them everything; from the childhood memories that shaped them, to the twists and turns that led them to the life they share on the farm today.
They both attended Baylor University in Waco. However, their paths did not cross until Chip checked his car into the local Firestone tire shop where Joanna worked behind the counter. Even back then Chip was a serial entrepreneur who, among other things, ran a lawn care company, sold fireworks, and flipped houses. Soon they were married and living in their first fixer upper. Four children and countless renovations later, Joanna garners the attention of a television producer who notices her work on a blog one day.
In The Magnolia Story fans will finally get to join the Gaines behind the scenes and discover: The time Chip ran to the grocery store and forgot to take their new, sleeping baby Joanna s agonizing decision to close her dream business to focus on raising their children When Chip buys a houseboat, sight-unseen, and it turns out to be a leaky wreck Joanna s breakthrough moment of discovering the secret to creating a beautiful home Harrowing stories of the financial ups and downs as an entrepreneurial couple Memories and photos from Chip and Jo s wedding The significance of the word magnolia and why it permeates everything they do The way the couple pays the popularity of Fixer Upper forward, sharing the success with others, and bolstering the city of Waco along the way
And yet there is still one lingering question for fans of the show: Is Chip really that funny? Oh yeah, says Joanna. He was, and still is, my first fixer upper. "

My Thoughts

HGTV is my not-so-guilty pleasure. I watch it constantly. It’s my go-to channel whenever I turn on the TV as background noise. And my favorite of all has to be Fixer Upper. So, naturally, when I found out that Chip and Joanna were releasing a book, I was thrilled. Over the moon when I found out said book was releasing on my birthday. There’s no better birthday present that a book full of Chip Gaines’ jokes.

And this book didn’t disappoint. If anything, I love Chip and Joanna even more now. The Magnolia Story is full of behind the scenes information and tells the story of Chip and Joanna. I loved it. From the very introduction, and the tale of the not-so-fantastic house boat, it was clear that Chip and Joanna are the real deal. I loved getting to hear more of their story and finding out just how deep their love goes. There’s so much I didn’t know before, and now have the story to. Honestly, they set an unrealistic relationship expectation. No wonder I’m single.

If you’re a fan of Chip and Joanna or Fixer Upper, or just HGTV in general, then you definitely need to read this book. They’re so great, and this book only confirmed just how loving and phenomenal they are.

 

five-stars
Emily
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The Family Romanov [Review]

The Family Romanov [Review]

Posted November 26, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

My Thoughts Full confession: I think I was Anastasia in a previous life. I’ve always been fascinated by her story, and the story of Russia during the Romanov era. Also, I was addicted to the movie (even if my childhood self did think Rasputin was horrifying). That being put out in the open, the second […]

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Sinner [Review]

Sinner [Review]

Posted November 23, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

My Thoughts I’m such a sucker for Cole and Isabel. In all honesty, they’re probably my original OTP. So, imagine my surprise when I was scrolling through Instagram only to pass a fan art of the amazing pair. Naturally, the only way to handle that was to dig through my Kindle archive and reread Sinner. And, […]

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The Near Witch [Review]

The Near Witch [Review]

Posted October 30, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

My Thoughts V.E. Schwab is a brilliant author. After reading A Darker Shade of Magic, I knew I needed to read anything and everything she wrote. So, I started at the beginning. The Near Witch is an unique and eerie tale, and it’s hard to believe that this was Schwab’s first published novel. First, the writing is […]

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The Ex [Review]

The Ex [Review]

Posted October 29, 2016 by Emily in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

My Thoughts I suppose I should be calling this a DNF review. However, I did, technically, finish the book. But only by skipping through huge chunks of the story…just so I could see the answers to all the mysteries and questions presented in this book. I think my main problem with this book was the […]

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Why I Gravitate Towards Fantasy

Why I Gravitate Towards Fantasy

Posted October 5, 2016 by Emily in Discussion / 1 Comment

A few months ago, I wrote about why I thought I always gravitated towards reading series. Naturally, that post made me look over my entire book collection again. And I noticed something…I read a lot of fantasy. My shelves are overflowing with books detailing all sorts of worlds with any measure of characters. Then, I […]

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The Book Thief by Markus Zusak [Review]

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak [Review]

Posted October 1, 2016 by Emily in Review / 3 Comments

My Thoughts This week, my school held parent teacher conferences. As I talked with my coworker, she mentioned how one mother had questioned her choice of reading The Book Thief with her class of high schoolers. I was surprised by how instantly offended I felt. What did this parent mean, why did she choose The […]

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What Do You Do with an Idea? By Kobi Yamada [Review]

What Do You Do with an Idea? By Kobi Yamada [Review]

Posted September 29, 2016 by Emily in Review / 0 Comments

My Thoughts As an elementary school language arts teacher, I’m constantly reading children’s books, constantly scanning the children’s section at Barnes & Noble, and constantly looking for books that will hold my students’ interest while also passing on a valuable message. This book is it. Honestly, it’s amazing. I loved reading it, and my students […]

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