Friday, September 29, 2017

Spinning Pages (27): National Geographic Kids Almanac


Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 




This week on Spinning Pages takes us straight into Nat Geo's 2018 Kids Almanac, where you can find all sorts of interesting information covering a ton of topics. It is actually worth checking out and a fascinating book to read section by section.

Initially, I was not going to feature this book on Spinning Pages. I was just not sure that there was a song that could be paired with, well, an Almanac, you know! Yet, as I was drafting future posts for the blog, a movie popped into my head which then reminded me of a certain song that would go with this book!!


Born to be Wild by Steppenwolf-
Like a true nature's child
We were born, born to be wild
We can climb so high
I never wanna die

Born to be wild
Born to be wild



Given that the cover features a shark, doesn't Steppenwolf's Born to be Wild fit perfectly!! Cover aside, I chose this song because the lyrics felt oh so right for a book that covers a wide range of topics. From new discoveries in the world of technology, history, and science as well as the sections on animals and the environment.

Not convinced that National Geographic Kids Almanac 2018 is worth checking out, then hop on over to my review to see why you should really give it a chance!!

If you're not familiar with Steppenwolf's Born to be Wild, then you are in luck because I've included the audio track that I found on the Youtube!!


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

I Want to Read It (72): Dino Records



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



Dino Records: The Most Amazing Prehistoric Creatures Ever to Have Lived on Earth! by National Geographic Kids, July 13, 2017. Published by National Geographic Kids. 
Curious which creatures ruled when dinosaurs roamed the Earth? Get ready to meet the record-setters, including the biggest, smallest, smartest, weirdest, deadliest, most notorious, and most mysterious of all time. You'll find fantastic firsts, including the first dinosaur fossils found and the first dinos in space. And you'll meet other rad, remarkable creatures that lived before, after, and alongside them.

Did you know that the largest fish, the largest turtle, and the largest flying animal that ever existed lived during the time of the dinosaurs? Or that mammals - no bigger than a small dog when dinosaurs roamed - eventually evolved into massive land animals? See who wins in head-to-head species smackdowns and enjoy games that complement the records.
Why

Do I really need to mention why I am interested in this book!! If so, then you must be new to my blog... 

You guessed it, I am still as obsessed with dinosaurs as I was when they first captured my attention (I believe I was ten). Really, anything that has to do with dinosaurs is sure to pique my curiosity; especially ones that deal with the fossil records or gathers together the oddest of the odd (I'm totally 'looking' at you Spinosaurus). 

I just think this one sounds fascinating and like something all dinosaur lovers would enjoy. Especially young children who have just gotten into dinosaurs. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: National Geographic Kids Almanac 2018


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, September 25, 2017

All About Middle Grade Review: National Geographic Kids Almanac 2018


National Geographic Kids Almanac 2018 by National Geographic Kids, May 9, 2017. 352 pages. Published by National Geographic Kids. Source: publisher.
Kids can have fun keeping up with our quickly changing world with the New York Times best-selling Almanac, packed with incredible photos, tons of fun facts, crafts, activities, and fascinating features about animals, science, nature, technology, and more. New features include three chapters on engineering and technology, space and Earth, and life sciences; a guide to New Orleans, just in time for its 300th birthday; an updated Fun and Games chapter filled with all-new games, jokes, and comics; all new weird-but-true facts, crafts, and activities; 18 Facts for 2018 feature in every chapter; updated reference material, and much more.


While it seems rather odd to be reviewing an almanac, even if it is geared towards children, I shall endeavor to be concise on why I decided to include it here.

  • Okay, I am putting the weirdness of talking about an almanac aside now. The reason I'm talking about Nat Geo's 2018 kids almanac is that it was actually pretty fascinating as it covered a number of topics that kids will find interesting. Some of which I'll talk about below.
  • A few things you'll see covered are, upcoming movies, otherwise known as Disney goes sequel crazy, science facts, there were some pretty interesting things, exploration, one should always be prepared for adventure, and wonders of nature. Honestly, this is not even half of what you'll find in the book; it's just the tip of the iceberg really. While there are a lot of subjects to peruse, the snippets are entertaining and educational which makes it really enjoyable to read. I really think the short interesting will light a spark with young readers; a spark that might lead them to do further research into any number of the cool things featured in the Almanac. 
  • My favorite sections were the ones about history, dinosaurs (is anyone really surprised), and space and earth. I mentioned this above, but the information is really fascinating and the pictures make for a nice addition. Overall, there was just a lot of information packed into this book; information that was not boring nor tedious to read through. 
Final Verdict: National Geographic Kids Almanac 2018- Entertaining and educational, makes this a pretty solid choice for those looking to learn some fascinating facts.

National Geographic Kids Almanac 2018 earns

A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Spinning Pages (26): If the Witness Lied


Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 




This week on Spinning Pages takes into the mystery surrounding the death of the Fountain children's father as they try to piece together the truth and mend their relationships after all their losses. This book is incredible, not just because Caroline B. Cooney is one of my favorite authors because she so deftly weaves the mystery and turmoil the kids faced as their tragedies were exploited. 

It took a road trip and placing my music library on shuffle to find the perfect song for If the Witness Lied. I could not be happier to be pairing a book by a favorite author with a song by my favorite singer. 

The Storm by Garth Brooks-
She's drowning in emotions
And she cannot
Reach the shore
She's alive but
Can she survive the storm?


A broken jewel box dancer
Lies in pieces down the hall
She's finding out the answers
Don't change nothing at all
It's time that
She stopped searching
For who's to blame or
What went wrong
The only thing
For certain is he's gone
She's got to move on
As I mentioned in my review of Caroline B. Cooney's If the Witness Lied, this book is wrought with emotional tension as the three elder Fountain children attempt to discover the truth about what happened the day their father died. For me, this song fits perfect for the feelings of each of the children, with the exception of Tris as he's too young, and how that lose nearly broke them.

If you get a chance to listen to the song, do it!! I highly recommend this song because it's haunting and just really good. I really wish you could listen to the audio for it, but the only place you can is through Amazon and only a 30-second clip.

You can see just why Caroline B. Cooney's If the Witness Lied was such an incredible, and impossible to put down, book to read by checking out my review!!

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Non-Fiction Review: The Story Cure


The Story Cure: A Book Doctor's Pain-Free Guide to Finishing Your Novel or Memoir by Dinty W. Moore, May 2, 2017. 224 pages. Published by Ten Speed Press. Source: Blogging for Books
A collection of cures for writer's block, plotting and characterization issues, and other ailments writers face when completing a novel or memoir, prescribed by the director of creative writing at Ohio University.
People want to write the book they know is inside of them, but they run into stumbling blocks that trouble everyone from beginners to seasoned writers. Drawing on his years of teaching at both the university level and at writing workshops across the country, Professor Dinty W. Moore dons his book-doctor hat to present an authoritative guide to curing the issues that truly plague writers at all levels. His hard-hitting handbook provides inspiring solutions for diagnoses such as character anemia, flat plot, and silent voice, and is peppered with flashes of Moore's signature wit and unique take on the writing life.



With the lack of Catholic books available for review lately, which saddens me, on Blogging for Books I have had to broaden my scope of books to try out. Which leads me to Dinty W. Moore's The Story Cure; it looked interesting so I thought I'd give it a chance.
  • I both liked and disliked this book, to be quite honest. On the one hand, he had some good advice for working out the kinks in one's story, I'll definitely be going back to some of the points in the future. Some of what he talks about. 'plot and structure' and 'your heart's story', had some good, commonsense advice for getting your story (whatever kind it may be) out of your head and onto paper. 
  • On the other hand, yes, I need an entirely new section for this part, I did not like how it was presented. While I could see why he used the language he did to illustrate what he was talking about, it at times just annoyed the daylights out of me. 
  • So, there is definitely a win-lose with the Story Cure. The win being that it has good information that can help you move forward in your writing by helping you to pinpoint the weak points in your novel. The lose, the presentation can be a little bothersome and dry in certain sections. 
Final Verdict: The Story Cure- Holds some commonsense advice for working through your story's problems. Though the format can be, well, a little dry sometimes. 

The Story Cure earns

A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

I Want to Read It (71): Pursuasion



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



Persuasion by Jane Austen, October 6, 2011 (originally published 1817). 252 pages. Published by Penguin Classics. Source: Own.
 Written during Jane Austen's race against failing health, Persuasion tells the story of Anne Elliot, a woman who - at twenty-seven - is no longer young and has few romantic prospects. Eight years ago, she was persuaded by her friend Lady Russell to break off her engagement to Frederick Wentworth, a handsome naval captain with neither fortune nor rank. When Anne and Frederick meet again, he has acquired both, but still feels the sting of her rejection. A brilliant satire of vanity and pretension, Austen's last completed novel is also a movingly told love story tinged with the heartache of missed opportunities.
Why

I have owned a copy of Jane Austen's Persuasion for an embarrassingly long time. I am not even sure why I have not gotten around to reading it yet, other than a lack of time, because my sister says it's a good story. 

As it stands, I have thus far only read Northanger Abbey and Pride and Prejudice. Hopefully, I will finally get around to reading it before the year is out. It sounds good, and I hate that it has sat on my TBR for years unread!!

If you've read it, if so, what did you think of it??? Should it be a high or low priority on my reading list?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Confessions of X


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, September 18, 2017

DNF Review: The Confessions of X


The Confessions of X by Suzanne M. Wolfe, January 26, 2016. 304 pages. Published by Thomas Nelson. Source: Publisher.
Before he became the sainted church father of Christianity, Augustine of Hippo began a love affair with a young woman whose name has been lost to history. They were together for over thirteen years, and she bore him a son. This is her story.

She met Augustine in Carthage when she was just seventeen years old. She was the daughter of a tile-layer. He was a student and the heir to a fortune. They fell in love, despite her lower station and Augustine’s dreams of greatness. Their passion was strong, but the only position in his life that was available to her was as his concubine. When Augustine’s ambition and family compelled him to disown his relationship with the her, X was thrust into a devastating reality as she was torn from her son and sent away to her native Africa.
First Sentence
There is a well in the courtyard where I sit that is not yet dry and at daybreak a young man in dark tunic comes to draw water.


Well, it seems that I have yet another book that I just could not get into. This will be really short because I just don't have much to say about it.


  • Sometimes, when I'm bored, I'll start reading through unsolicited books that arrive for review consideration. If I'm lucky, it'll turn out to be interesting enough to see through the end. Unfortunately, that was not the case with The Confessions of X


  • In theory, it could have been interesting to see what happened to the mysterious woman that St. Augustine loved before devoting himself to God and the church. Yet, it just was not something I could get into. The writing and storytelling were, to be blunt, really awkward and not captivating. I don't know, there was just something amiss with the way the writing flowed; it just felt weird and liked the sentences were oddly structured. More than the plot, it was the author's writing style that turned me away from delving further into the story. I even broke my reading rule and flipped through the book to see if the writing style improved in any way that would make me wish to give it another chance. 
  • As for the plot, I said above that the storytelling was not interesting enough to grab my attention. Personally, if you're going to write a book about some historical person, why not write about someone that's more known; sure an obscure person gives an author more leeway with telling the story howsoever they wish to bend it. Yet, writing about X just seemed a little grasping. 
Sidenote: Though if you want to read another confessions book, St. Augustine's The Confessions is brilliant!! 

Final Verdict: The Confessions of X- Awkward writing, made this a total no for me.

The Confessions of X earns
A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Spinning Pages (25): Apartment 1986/No More Dream


Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 





You should know by now that pretty much 95% of the songs used in this feature are going to be my favorite...okay! What can I say, I'm a music junkie and pairing them with books is really enjoyable. 

This week on Spinning Pages takes into the heart of New York City as Callie finds herself on the slippery slope of cutting school and how it can be difficult to start again. Along the way she makes a new friend and finds a new appreciation for her city and art.

No Mercy by BTS-
Why aren’t you saying anything?
You don’t wanna study
but you’re scared to quit school?
See, you’re already getting ready for school
Please grow up, you’re all talk dude,
you have a glass mentality, boy
(Stop) Ask yourself if you’ve ever
worked hard for anything

Hey you, what’s your dream?
Hey you, what’s your dream?
Hey you, what’s your dream?
Is that all your dream is?

(English lyrics are from Color Coded Lyrics)
In a weird sense, this song is perfect for Callie as she is currently struggling in school and decides to take an extended, unplanned, vacation from school. Not just in the missing school sense does BTS' No More Dream work, it also works in that she does not know what she really wants; it also works for her parents as they moved to New York for her father's 'dream' and things, well, they are not going that great. 

While I may not have loved this book, there was one thing that kept me reading till the end...if you want to see why I did finish reading Apartment 1986, as well as my full thoughts on it, then hop on over to my full review. 

You can also listen to one of my favorite BTS songs by watching the music video for their song No More Dream!! You know you want to!!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I Want to Read It (70): A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic by Lisa Papademetriou, October 6, 2015. Published by HarperCollins. Source: TBR.
Kai and Leila are both finally having an adventure. For Leila, that means a globe-crossing journey to visit family in Pakistan for the summer; for Kai, it means being stuck with her crazy great-aunt in Texas while her mom looks for a job. In each of their bedrooms, they discover a copy of a blank, old book called The Exquisite Corpse. Kai writes three words on the first page—and suddenly, they magically appear in Leila's copy on the other side of the planet. Kai's words are soon followed by line after line of the long-ago, romantic tale of Ralph T. Flabbergast and his forever-love, Edwina Pickle. As the two take turns writing, the tale unfolds, connecting both girls to each other, and to the past, in a way they never could have imagined.

Why

Even though I was not a fan of the last book of Lisa Papademetriou's, I am willing to give her writing another chance. In a stroke of luck, I happen to have a copy of this one, that I received for review consideration, waiting in my (never shrinking) tbr at home.

I rather like the idea of this book, of the two characters being connected through an old book even though they are on opposite sides of the world. I really looking forward to seeing how she'll weave their two stories together with that of the tale from history.

Have you read Lisa Papademetriou's A Tale of Highly Unusual Magic? What did you think of it??

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Apartment 1986


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, September 11, 2017

All About Middle Grade Review: Apartment 1986


Apartment 1986 by Lisa Papademetriou, April 11, 2017. 272 pages. Published by HarperCollins. Source: Publisher.
Callie never meant to let it go this far. Sure, she may have accidentally-on-purpose skipped a day at her fancy New York City prep school, but she never thought she’d skip the day after that! And the one after that . . . and . . . uh . . . the one after that.

But when everything in your real life is going wrong (fighting parents! bullied little brother! girls at school who just. don’t. get. it!) skipping school starts to look like a valid mental-health strategy. And when Callie runs into Cassius, a mysterious and prickly “unschooled” kid doing research at museums all across the city, it seems only natural for her to join him. Because museums are educational, which means they’re as good as going to class. Right?

Besides, school can wait. What can’t wait is the mystery of why her grandmother seems to wish she could travel back in time to 1986, or what she wants so much to relive there. As Cassius helps Callie see the world in a whole new light, she realizes that the people she loves are far from perfect—and that some family secrets shouldn’t be secret at all.
First Sentence
I am beginning to think that maybe I will be a philosopher when I grow up.



I'll give it to you straight, I did not enjoy this one as much as I was hoping to. In fact, I very nearly DNF'd it pretty early on; the only reason I saw it through to the end was that the side character's story that kept me around.
  • While I gather my thoughts on why Apartment 1986 was more of a bust than anything, I'll tell you what I did like about it. There is only one reason, or should I say character, that kept me reading till the very end-Cassius. From his personal story, and the reason he's "unschooled", made him not only an interesting character but also one with more depth than all the rest. I cannot tell you too much about his story as it would spoil the best part of the book. Just know that Cassius' story makes the book worth reading.
  • As much as I enjoyed Cassius' character and role within the story, my feelings on Callie are completely opposite. I really wanted to like her since she attempted to remain positive in all situations, but instead of being positive she was actually avoiding the whole situation, not only with her family but with her grades. Yeah, sure it can be difficult to accept hard times, but her forced positivity just made me sad for her. But what really bothered me was that the story lacked any true progression for her working through these feelings, it was more of a "bam" everything all better kind of thing. The whole thing felt like a disservice to Callie's character and the overall story.  
  • With the exception of a few details, I was not satisfied with the writing nor the overall story. The premise made it sound like there was going to be more to the story; 90% of it just fell completely flat. It just lacked finesse. 
Final Verdict: Apartment 1986- It's not a good when the side character steals the show. 

Apartment 1986 earns

A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Friday, September 8, 2017

Spinning Pages (24): Ban This Book/We're Not Going to Take It


Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 




This week on Spinning Pages takes us to a middle school embroiled in a fight against banned books. A book that I felt did a great job of balancing both sides of the argument and making a solid case for the opposing sides. One literally could not ask for a better set of song lyrics to pair with it than the following ones. I do hope y'all will enjoy the pairing as much as I do!!

We're Not Going to Take It by Twisted Sister-
We've got the right to choose it
There ain't no way we'll lost it
This is our life, this is our song

We'll fight the powers that be just
Don't pick our destiny 'cause
You don't know us, you don't belong

Oh we're not gonna take it
No, we ain't gonna take it
Oh we're not gonna take it anymore
I tell you, I have a pretty extensive memory when it comes to songs. That and my dad really likes classic rock, so I know more of them than one would believe. 

So, why Twisted Sister's We're Not Going to Take It for Alan Gratz's Ban This Book, well that is super easy. For one thing, not only is Amy Anne tired of having her books removed from their school library, due to one of the parents, but she is also tired of always being the dependable one who doesn't let their feelings be known. For me, pairing this book and song together is about how the banned book fight helped her to stand up for herself and take charge. 

Curious as to why I loved Alan Grat'z Ban This Book, you can see my full thoughts on it by checking out my review.

Maybe you've never heard Twister Sister's We're Not Going to Take It, or perhaps you have forgotten how the song goes...well, don't worry you can listen to it below!!

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

I Want to Read It (69): Driver's Ed



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.




Driver's Ed by Caroline B Cooney, August 1, 1994. Published by Delacorte Books for Young Readers. 

Three teenagers' lives are changed forever when they thoughtlessly steal a stop sign from a dangerous intersection and a young mother is killed in an automobile accident there.

Why

I have actually read Caroline B. Cooney's Driver's Ed numerous times. It was one of the first books of hers that I read when I discovered her writing thanks to, you guessed it, the library. It was one of the most chilling books I have ever read as the character must face the consequences of their very bad decision. A decision that not only impacted their futures' but also changed that of a young family's. 

It's one book that has stuck with me for the longest time. It's also one that I should probably look into buying one day to further my collection of Caroline B. Cooney books. 

I guess you could say that this edition of I Want to Read It is more about what I'd like to reread...or a recommendation to, if possible, read this book. Sure, it's rather old, but it is still a great read. Now I just need to locate a copy so I can satisfy my need to revisit it. 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: If the Witness Lied & Murder Among the Stars


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Vintage Reads YA Review: If the Witness Lied


If the Witness Lied by Caroline B. Cooney, May 12, 2009. 224 pages. Published by Delacorte Press. Source: Borrowed from the library.
Choices do matter and forgiveness is possible.
Jack Fountain knows that what’s happened to his family sounds like the most horrible soap opera anyone could ever write. But it happened—to Jack; his parents; his sisters, Smithy and Madison. And to his baby brother, Tris. What made it worse was that the media wanted to know every detail.

Now it’s almost Tris’s third birthday, and everything’s starting again. Aunt Cheryl, who’s living with the Fountain children now that their parents are gone, has decided that they will heal only if they work through their pain—on camera. The very identities they’ve created for themselves are called into question. In less than twenty-four hours their fate will change yet again, but this time they vow to not be exploited and to discover the truth. 
First Sentence

The good thing about Friday is-it's not Thursday.




You know that exciting moment when you discover that you, unexplainably, missed a release by a favorite author and have 'new' material from them to read, yeah, that was me last month. Seriously though, it was better than I could have hoped for.

  • So, I've been staring at the screen for three hours now just trying to put into words why If the Witness Lied was such a great book! First off, I read the entire thing in a bout two hours because I could not turn away from the tragic story of the Fountain children. They had the worst run of bad luck and I needed to see if they could get through the darkness surrounding the. As much as their sad story pulled me in, it was the mystery behind what really happened the day their father died and the broken relationship between the three older Fountain kids that really made this an irresistible read. 
  • As much as my attention was captured by Jack, Smithy, Madison, and Tris' story, there's not I can share with y'all in my review. Why, because so much of their story, like how they fell apart and went their separate ways, is something that should be read within the context of the book and not in a review. It's so emotionally packed that to really cover it here would, in my opinion, take too much away from a first read. All I will say is this, she really captured the raw feelings that each of them felt and the various ways they coped (or didn't) with what happened. 
  • Even with Caroline B. Cooney being ranked in, like, my top ten favorite authors (I can have as many top favorites as I wish)...I pretty much knew from the beginning what had actually happened and had a good idea how things would play out. The entire story was really well written, and in fact may be one of the best I've read by her, I just am really good at unraveling story plots and seeing how they'll play out. That aside, I really was swept away by the entire story. It had all the elements that make for a good read, especially on a raining day, with all the thrilling turns of events and the emotional turmoil throughout the character arcs. If I had not already returned it to the library, I would probably be reading it again just to reanalyze the story...and because it was that rare kind of epic book that you want to start over again as soon as you finish it.     
Final Verdict: If the Witness Lied- I'll admit it, I did not mind that this book tore my heart to pieces. It was well worth it! It perfectly balanced love (of family and difficult choices) and loss in a way that mixed so well with the mystery of what really happened that day. SO GOOD!!

If the Witness Lied earns

A copy of this book was borrowed from the library. All thoughts are my own.

Friday, September 1, 2017

[Blog Tour Edition] Spinning Pages (23): Murder Among the Stars/One Shot


Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 




This week on Spinning Pages is a special edition version. What's so special about it, well, this week's book and post is part of the blog tour for Murder Among the Stars by Laura L. Sullivan and Adam Shankman. 

Every single time that I thought I had the perfect song for this book, well, another one would come along and find itself more suitable than the last. After running through five, or so,  different songs that made think of certain aspects of the book, I have finally settled on the one.  

One Shot by B.A.P-
There’s only one chance as you walk on this dark path
Shine the light like Martin Luther King
Get your mind out fo’ the gutter
It’s too early for failure, you’re still young
One shot, one chance
There’s no second chance, don’t lose it, get ready now
Hell yeh, challenge yourself,
Spread your small self out, just do it

One shot!
Are you gonna give in?
Are you gonna be caught by the surrounding traps?
Only one shot!
Don’t run away,
Turn around and face your faces
After reading Murder Among the Stars, there were a few characters that I wanted to slap because they were playing a dangerous game in order to advance their careers. That aside, I chose B.A.P's One Shot (which happens to an absolute favorite of mine) because it made me think of the competition that Lulu and the girls were going through for their big shot at stardom.

I especially like this song for Lulu herself. There were times when she wanted to walk away from it all, especially when things were particularly dangerous, but she could never just give up. 

You can see my full thoughts on Adam Shankman and Laura L. Sullivan's Murder Among the Stars by checking out my review.

GIVEAWAY: Thanks to the awesome people at Simon Teen, one lucky US resident has the chance to win a copy of MAtS!! Just comment (and leave an email address or Twitter handle for contact) to enter. Giveaway ends 9/8 midnight est.

Tell me, what do you think of the song and book pairing this week??

You also have a chance to listen to the entire song of B.A.P's One Shot, as well as watching the dance version of the video. If you're really curious, there's also a dramatic version, as well.

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