Review: Alfie the Holiday Cat

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Title: Alfie the Holiday Cat
Author: Rachel Wells
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Avon Books UK
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: 
November 16, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

The Sunday Times bestseller returns for a fourth book! Alfie and his mischievous kitten George are back for more adventures – this time taking them a long way from home…

Alfie and George just can’t seem to keep out of trouble. So when they hear that their owners have got a new holiday home, they can’t wait to visit it and enjoy some new adventures.

But when they arrive, they don’t find the comfort they’re used to. Crumbling walls, peeling paint, dripping ceilings…this little Cornish cottage is clearly on its last legs.

Family and friends rally round to try and save the cottage – but it soon becomes clear that the locals don’t want them there at all. It’s up to Alfie and George to make sure their family is welcomed into the village – that’s if they can keep out of the way of the nastiest cat they’ve ever encountered…

Review:

This is the first book I’ve ever read that is narrated by a cat! It was so funny to see everything from Alfie’s perspective. He got involved with all of the human problems, and he also had his own cat dilemmas.

This is part of a series, but I didn’t feel left out even though I haven’t read any of the other books. At the beginning, it took me a while to learn who everyone was, especially since there were a bunch of similar young families and cats. Alfie also considers himself to be part of many families in the neighbourhood, so it was difficult to distinguish between them. But once they all went to the cottage, I was able to tell them apart.

I’ve never owned a cat, but my mom and I look after the stray cats in our backyard. It’s so heartbreaking to see them abandoned and living outside, but it isn’t possible to take them in since I have a dog. We do our best to keep them fed and warm, especially in the winter months. I kept comparing the cats in the story to our outside cats. We even have a mischievous cat named George, so I thought the kitten in the story was very funny!

This is a cute story for cat lovers.

Review: Siege and Storm

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Title: Siege and Storm
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Source: Purchased
Release Date: June 4, 2013
Rating: ★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Hunted across the True Sea, haunted by the lives she took on the Fold, Alina must try to make a life with Mal in an unfamiliar land. She finds starting new is not easy while keeping her identity as the Sun Summoner a secret. She can’t outrun her past or her destiny for long.

The Darkling has emerged from the Shadow Fold with a terrifying new power and a dangerous plan that will test the very boundaries of the natural world. With the help of a notorious privateer, Alina returns to the country she abandoned, determined to fight the forces gathering against Ravka. But as her power grows, Alina slips deeper into the Darkling’s game of forbidden magic, and farther away from Mal. Somehow, she will have to choose between her country, her power, and the love she always thought would guide her–or risk losing everything to the oncoming storm.

Review:

This is another great book in the Grisha Verse!

I love the way that Leigh Bardugo has built a world, but she doesn’t explain it too much. We are just thrown into it and have to learn our way around. But it feels so much more real this way.

Alina’s story moved very quickly in this book. It takes place in a short amount of time, compared to the first novel. She really changes and develops as a character.

The Darkling is such a mysterious character. He’s strange and hard to understand, but I want to learn more about him. Hopefully more will come to light in the next story.

I can’t wait to keep reading through all of Bardugo’s books!

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is Top Ten Books I’m Looking Forward to in 2018. Here’s my list:

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1. The Cruel Prince

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2. Batman: NightWalker

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3. Wires and Nerve, Volume 2: Gone Rogue

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4. Catwoman: Soulstealer

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5. Heart of Iron

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6. Children of Blood and Bone

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7. Unearthed

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8. Leah on the Offbeat

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9. Reign of the Fallen

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10. The Case for Jamie

(All images taken from Goodreads)

 

Review: Letters From Father Christmas

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Title: Letters From Father Christmas
Author: J.R.R. Tolkien
Genre: Children’s fiction
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Source: Purchased
Release Date: October 1, 1976
Rating: ★★★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

Every December an envelope bearing a stamp from the North Pole would arrive for J.R.R. Tolkien’s children. Inside would be a letter in a strange, spidery handwriting and a beautiful colored drawing or some sketches.

The letters were from Father Christmas.

They told wonderful tales of life at the North Pole: how the reindeer got loose and scattered presents everywhere; how the accident-prone North Polar Bear climbed the North Pole and fell through the roof of Father Christmas’s house; how he broke the Moon into four pieces and made the Man in it fall into the back garden; how there were wars with the troublesome horde of goblins who lived in the caves beneath the house.

Sometimes the Polar Bear would scrawl a note, and sometimes Ilbereth the Elf would write in his elegant flowing script, adding yet more life and humor to the stories.

This updated version contains a wealth of new material, including letters and pictures missing from early editions. No reader, young or old, can fail to be charmed by the inventiveness and “authenticity” of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Letters from Father Christmas

Review:

This is an amazing book! I just found it this year, and I wish I had read it sooner.

This is a collection of letters written by Tolkien to his children from Father Christmas. The letters are so sweet, that you can’t help but smile. Some say that “Father Christmas” couldn’t find stamps, or he was so busy he had to send the letter on Boxing Day. These parts demonstrate that they are being written by a busy father.

The stories in the letters become more elaborate as the children grow up. They start with just a short letter saying he hopes they enjoy their gifts. But once there are more children and they are older, Father Christmas tells them about his friend, the mischievous North Polar Bear, who chimes in on many letters too. There is also a big fight with Goblins which is described in detail.

These stories are a nice twist on the typical letters from Santa. They also show what an imagination Tolkien had. He didn’t just use it in his work, he brought his fantasies into his home life with his children. I think this book will be a tradition for me to read every Christmas from now on.

Bookish Naughty or Nice tag

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Merry Christmas everyone! Here is my first book tag!

I was tagged in the Bookish Naughty or Nice tag by Amber at Step Into A Book World. Her post is here.

The Creator is Jenn check out her post and blog here

THE RULES:

  • CREDIT THE PERSON WHO TAGGED YOU AND LINK THEIR POST

  • TAG THE ORIGINAL CREATOR AND THEIR POST

  • TICK THE ONES YOU’VE DONE

  • CROSS THE ONES YOU HAVEN’T

  • TAG MORE BLOGGERS!

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❌

 

Nice

 

✔️

 

Naughty

 

1.) Received an ARC and not reviewed it   ✔️
Unfortunately I’ve been approved for so many ARCs but I haven’t had time to review them all.

2.) Have less than 60% feedback rating on Netgalley    ❌
My goal was to get by 80% by the new year, so I’ve been reading tons of my ARCs. Unfortunately I won’t reach that goal, but I did get up to 74%. I’m hoping to get to 80% in early 2018.

3.) Rated a book on GoodReads and promised a full review was to come on your blog (and never did)  ❌
No, I always post my reviews on my blog first, then GoodReads.

4.) Folded down the page of a book  ✔️
I used to do that, especially when it was used book that I had to read for University, but I wasn’t too crazy about it. Now I never do that though!

5.) Accidentally spilled on a book  ✔️
I’m sure I have done this (I can be pretty clumsy sometimes), but never so much that the book wasn’t salvageable.

6.) DNF a book this year ✔️
Yes! I always try to finish books but I didn’t finish The Dark Tower by Stephen King. I just can’t get into it! I will probably be posting my first DNF review soon.

7.) Bought a book purely because it was pretty with no intention of reading it ✔️
Yep!  Sometimes they are just sooooo beautiful that I have to have it!

8.) Read whilst you were meant to be doing something else (like homework) ✔️
Of course! Pretty much all the time!

9.) Skim read a book ✔️
Yes, unfortunately I’ve had to skim many books lately because I’ve been so busy. I don’t like doing it, but I have to sometimes just to get the review out on time.

10.) Completely missed your GoodReads goal  ❌
I’m pretty good at this. I usually read above and beyond my goal. This year my goal was 125 books and I passed 280…

11.) Borrowed a book and not returned it ❌
No, I would never do that because books are so important to me. Plus, usually the person who lends it to me is on my back until I get it back to them!

12.) Broke a book buying ban ✔️
Yep! If it’s on sale and I want to buy it anyway, might as well get it sooner rather than later!

13.) Started a review, left it for ages then forgot what the book was about ❌
I try to write my reviews as soon as I finish a book, or at most a couple of days later so I still have it fresh in my mind.

14.) Wrote in a book you were reading ✔️
Yes, during University I had to write notes in my margins all the time!

15.) Finished a book and not added it to your GoodReads ❌
Nope GoodReads is very important! I always add my books right away!

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I guess I’m more Naughty than Nice this year! I hope Santa won’t hold it against me!

Since it’s Christmas Day, I won’t tag anyone, but if you want to do it, please feel free to tag yourself! And link back to my tag so I can see your answers!

Have a Merry Christmas!

Review: A Little Christmas Magic

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Title: A Little Christmas Magic
Author: Barbara Ankrum
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Release Date: November 6, 2017
Rating: ★★★

Goodreads Synopsis:

After nine, lonely years as a military wife, Holly McGuire has returned to her late husband’s home town of Marietta, Montana, to finally close that chapter of her life and begin again. She’s spent the last year rediscovering herself and she’s sworn off military men. All she wants is a child of on her own—no strings attached. But her plans are threatened when old, unwanted sparks ignite between her and her husband’s one-time best friend.

Buttoning up the past isn’t what Trey Reyes has in mind when he welcomes Holly to town. Secretly in love with her since day one, his old vow to his friend to watch over her, come what may, doesn’t include enabling a terrible idea. As the men of their old unit—the Band of Brothers—gather to honor her husband, Trey must take one last stand to win her heart and prove Holly wrong about him. Christmas in Marietta, with all the trimmings, may be just the ticket.

Review:

This was quite a unique story.

Holly goes back to her husband’s hometown in the hopes of getting pregnant. But it was such a strange situation. Women don’t usually choose their husband’s former friend to have a baby with. And even if they do, it’s done through IVF, not sex. I found that part of the story really odd and hard to believe.

Another part that was hard to believe was the angel/ghost who visited. Even when the identity of the woman was revealed, it was still unbelievable. It was also a little creepy since the woman knew so much about Holly.

However, the Christmas spirit was alive in this story. It’s a time for coming together. All the people from Holly’s husband’s life were brought together for the holiday season in this holiday story.