Review of the Magnolia Story by Chip and Joanna Gaines

28668633Title: The Magnolia Story
Author: Chip and Joanna Gaines

Synopsis:

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.”

Rating: I will be giving this book a 5 out of 5 stars. I have been a fan of their show since the first episode. The show has brought so much laughter and joy into my life that I was thrilled when my fiancé got me this book for our anniversary. As soon as you pick up this book you will be taken into their world. You get insight about their workings not only in their relationship but also within their family. You see the dynamics of this family and how special it really is to both of them. I really got to know theses two as real people and not just people I see on a TV show. So, if you are someone who can’t get enough of Fixer Upper and you want to know more about these two people and the life they have built for themselves then this is the book for you.

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Review of Belle by Cameron Dokey

BelleTitle: Belle
Author: Cameron Dokey

Series: Once Upon a Time Book 14

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Synopsis: Belle is convinced she has the wrong name, as she lacks her sisters’ awe-inspiring beauty. So she withdraws from society, devoting her time to wood carving. Secretly, Belle longs to find the fabled Heartwood Tree. If carved by the right hands, the Heartwood will reveal the face of one’s true love.

During a fierce storm, Belle’s father stumbles upon the mysterious Heartwood — and encounters a terrifying and lonely Beast. Now Belle must carve the Heartwood to save her father, and learn to see not with the eyes of her mind, but with the eyes of her heart.

Rating: I will be giving this book a 2 out of 5 stars. I was very disappointed with this book especially because Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite stories. This book only has the beast in the book for 25% of the entire book. The majority of this book is Belle’s family and background, which there is nothing wrong with that. I just feel that the author should have spent more time with the Beast then as well. This book was only 204 pages long. When you do finally get to the part about the Beast it feels like it is insta love and not the gradual love that I am personally use to when it comes to this tale. I wanted more in terms of how the Beast was seen and how Belle develops her feelings for him.

Review of Heartless by Marissa Meyer

heartless

Title: Heartless

Author: Marissa Meyer

Synopsis: Catherine may be one of the most desired girls in Wonderland and a favorite of the unmarried King, but her interests lie elsewhere. A talented baker, she wants to open a shop and create delectable pastries. But for her mother, such a goal is unthinkable for a woman who could be a queen.

At a royal ball where Cath is expected to receive the King’s marriage proposal, she meets handsome and mysterious Jest. For the first time, she feels the pull of true attraction. At the risk of offending the King and infuriating her parents, she and Jest enter into a secret courtship.

Cath is determined to choose her own destiny. But in a land thriving with magic, madness, and monsters, fate has other plans.

Rating: I will be giving this book a 5 out of 5. This book was beautiful. I truly love he original Alice in Wonderland and I always felt that there should be a reason as to why the Queen of Hearts is the way she is. This book does an amazing job explaining who she once was and how she came to be before Alice. If you are a fan of the original Alice in Wonderland then you need to pick up this book. Marissa Meyer has outdone herself and as she progresses in her writing career I look forward to seeing her talent blossom even more.

Review of Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Crown of Midnight 

Series: Throne of Glass Book 2
Author: Sarah J. Maas

Synopsis: 
“A line that should never be crossed is about to be breached. It puts this entire castle in jeopardy—and the life of your friend.”

From the throne of glass rules a king with a fist of iron and a soul as black as pitch. Assassin Celaena Sardothien won a brutal contest to become his Champion. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown. She hides her secret vigilantly; she knows that the man she serves is bent on evil.


Keeping up the deadly charade becomes increasingly difficult when Celaena realizes she is not the only one seeking justice. As she tries to untangle the mysteries buried deep within the glass castle, her closest relationships suffer. It seems no one is above questioning her allegiances—not the Crown Prince Dorian; not Chaol, the Captain of the Guard; not even her best friend, Nehemia, a foreign princess with a rebel heart.

Then one terrible night, the secrets they have all been keeping lead to an unspeakable tragedy. As Celaena’s world shatters, she will be forced to give up the very thing most precious to her and decide once and for all where her true loyalties lie… and whom she is ultimately willing to fight for.

Rating: I will be giving this book a 4 out of 5 stars. I had such a great experience with this book. The emotions were raw and this book was definitely a page turner. At first I was not too sure where the author was going with this series and the with the first book. After reading the second book and starting the third book I can see the direction the author is going in. I am definitely looking forward to the twist and turns that this author brings. If you are someone who likes fantasy, romance, and action then I would pick this series up. 


Review of The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon

Title: The Bone Season

Author: Samatha Shannon
Series: The Bone Season Book 1
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA

Synopsis: 

The year is 2059. Nineteen-year-old Paige Mahoney is working in the criminal underworld of Scion London, based at Seven Dials, employed by a man named Jaxon Hall. Her job: to scout for information by breaking into people’s minds. For Paige is a dreamwalker, a clairvoyant and, in the world of Scion, she commits treason simply by breathing.

It is raining the day her life changes for ever. Attacked, drugged and kidnapped, Paige is transported to Oxford – a city kept secret for two hundred years, controlled by a powerful, otherworldly race. Paige is assigned to Warden, a Rephaite with mysterious motives. He is her master. Her trainer. Her natural enemy. But if Paige wants to regain her freedom she must allow herself to be nurtured in this prison where she is meant to die.
The Bone Season introduces a compelling heroine and also introduces an extraordinary young writer, with huge ambition and a teeming imagination. Samantha Shannon has created a bold new reality in this riveting debut.


Rating: I will be giving this book a 5 out of 5 stars. First, let me start off by saying that this book was a cover buy. I don’t usually do this but for some reason this cover really got my attention and I felt compelled to purchase it. If that has ever happened to you I would love to hear what book you ended up getting. Overall, I truly enjoyed this book. The world building was amazing from start to finish. The different social structures and classes were really what stood out to me the most in this book as well as the magic. I was not even half way through this book when I went back to the book store to purchase the second book because I knew that once I finished the first book I would “need” to get right into the second book. If you like fantasy and books with beautiful world building then I recommend you pick this book up. Make sure you purchase the two at the same time. You won’t be sorry. 

Review of Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke by Anne Blackman

22838220Title: Conspiracy of Blood and Smoke
Author: Anne Blackman
Series: Prisoner of Night and Fog Book 2
Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Synopsis:

The girl known as Gretchen Whitestone has a secret: She used to be part of Adolf Hitler’s inner circle. More than a year after she made an enemy of her old family friend and fled Munich, she lives with a kindly English family, posing as an ordinary German immigrant, and is preparing to graduate from high school. Her love, Daniel Cohen, is a reporter in town. For the first time in her life, Gretchen is content.
But then, Daniel gets a telegram that sends him back to Germany, and Gretchen’s world turns upside-down. And when she receives word that Daniel is wanted for murder, she has to face the danger she thought she’d escaped-and return to her homeland.

Gretchen must do everything she can to avoid capture and recognition, even though saving Daniel will mean consorting with her former friends, the Nazi elite. And as they work to clear Daniel’s name, Gretchen and Daniel discover a deadly conspiracy stretching from the slums of Berlin to the Reichstag itself. Can they dig up the explosive truth and get out in time-or will Hitler discover them first?

Rating: I will be giving this book a 4 out of 5 stars. For those of you who are wondering, yes, I did read the second book before reading the first book and in all honesty I didn’t even know it was a series until putting this post together. This book just happen to catch my eye in the library which was why I picked it up. Knowing now that it is a series I will defenitly be picking the first book up.This book really kept me on the edge of my seat and it was a beautifully written historical fiction. If you like to read about World War II and are interested in historical fiction then you should definitely pick up this book.

Review of Strong Looks Better Naked by Khloe Kardashian

Title: Strong Looks Better Naked 

Author: Khloe Kardashian 

Publisher: Regan Arts 


Synopsis: 
Khloé Kardashian shares her secrets for finding strength of body, heart, mind, and soul with inspirational, revealing stories of her own struggles with weight, relationships, and her self-image.

In a culture that worships skinny, Khloé Kardashian writes with passion about the power of strength: a strong body becomes a strong mind, which builds to strength of heart, character, and ultimately strength of spirit. This is an inspiring book about how to create strength and true beauty in every area of your life, inside and out. The book features inspired personal stories from Khloé and practical how-to advice about building a strong body, mind, heart, and soul in your own life. 

Rating: I will be giving this book a 4 out of 5 stars. This book is not my typical choice when it comes to deciding which book to read. With that being said, I am so glad I did. I have been going through a very rough patch in my life when it comes to my weight and my insecurities especially since my father passed away. I was seeking a self help book to not only inspire me to get back to the weight I was at but something to help me cope and I have heard good things about this book so I decided to give it a try. This book addresses not only a persons body but their mind and how that can effect your body. It was a great experience reading this book because of the experience that Khloe had to offer and every time I read a passage about her father it made me stop to just sit back and think. If you are looking for something different for a diet book and want more then this is the book you should pick up. 

Review of The Broken Crown by Amryn Cross

 

Title: The Broken Crown 

Author: Amryn Cross
Series: Narrow Gate Book 1 
Publisher: Trouvaille Books

Synopsis: 

Princess Emilia Aurelius was only seven when she watched her mother die at the hands of her father—martyred for believing in the God of the Atlas Empire’s Insurgo rebels. At seventeen, exiled to a military out post where no one knows her true identity, she’s vowed to leave her royalty behind and explore the truth of the Insurgo rebels her mother loved.
When the Emperor of Atlas summons the princesses from each of the provinces to the imperial city to choose a wife for the crown prince, Emilia must leave her military life behind to join a royal court rife with cunning and intrigue. Navigating the waters of court politics and budding love are treacherous on their own, but Emilia fears for her life should anyone learn of her Insurgo sympathies. With an unlikely ally in the captain of the emperor’s guard, Emilia must uncover the truth of the Insurgos, start a revolution, and learn to become the princess she’s vowed never to be, all while protecting her heart from a prince who could sign her death warrant.  
Rating: I just wanted to take a moment to thank Sara from YA Bound Book Tours for sending me a copy of this book for my honest review. I will be giving this book a 4 out of 5 stars. This book was very interesting between the politics that were involved and the roamces that was presented. The poltical structure was one of my favorite parts within this book due to the different kingdomes and their dynamics for the overall empire. The compotition for the Prince was not always at the forefront of this book and I was ok with that, it was more so the struggles of Emila for not only her people but her religion. This book reminded me of the Selection meets the book of Esther. This book is like the Selection due to the compotition for the Prince, however,  it is like the book of Esther because Emilia is sent to deliver her people. 

Review of the Heart of Betrayal by Mary E. Pearson

Title: The Heart of Betrayal

Author: Mary E. Pearson
Series: The Remnant Chronicles Book 2
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. 

Synopsis: 

Held captive in the barbarian kingdom of Venda, Lia and Rafe have little chance of escape. Desperate to save Lia’s life, her erstwhile assassin, Kaden, has told the Vendan Komizar that she has the gift, and the Komizar’s interest in Lia is greater than anyone could have foreseen.

Meanwhile, nothing is straightforward: There’s Rafe, who lied to Lia but has sacrificed his freedom to protect her; Kaden, who meant to assassinate her but has now saved her life; and the Vendans, whom Lia always believed to be savages. Now that she lives among them, however, she realizes that may be far from the truth. Wrestling with her upbringing, her gift, and her sense of self, Lia must make powerful choices that will affect her country… and her own destiny.
Rating: I will be giving this book a 4 out of 5 stars. This book picks up right where it left off and let me tell you be ready, if you are going to read this book, to have your heart pulled out. There was so much going on between the politics and the romance that overall this book was amazing. The charcters become more developed and you get more into their back story and how they became the people they are, but you also get to see what is going on in Lia’s country. I truly enjoyed this book and if you have already finished the first one and you are a little hesitant to pick up the second one like I was, don’t be, this author does not dissapoint and this book went beyond even what I expected.

 

Review of A Court of Mist and Fury

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury 

Author: Sarah J. Mass
Series: A Court of Thorns and Roses Book 2
Publisher: Bloomsbury 

Synopsis: 

Feyre survived Amarantha’s clutches to return to the Spring Court—but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can’t forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people.

Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its dark web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms—and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future—and the future of a world cleaved in two.

With more than a million copies sold of her beloved Throne of Glass series, Sarah J. Maas’s masterful storytelling brings this second book in her seductive and action-packed series to new heights.
Rating: I will be giving this book a 5 out of 5 stars. This book was amazing from the very first word on the page to the last. The story picks up right where it left off  from A Court of Thorns and Roses. Between the continuation of the world building, character development, and the twist and turns within the plot it was jaw dropping. Going into this book I had a pict in my head as to what I thought was going to happen but I was beyond surprised with the romance and how things turned out. If you have not read this series yet then I have no idea what has stopped you. If you love fantasy, romance, and adventure then this series is for you.