Monday, January 31, 2011


Hi Everyone!!
I just posted '2' NEW book reviews here on my Book Review site!!!  One is a Children's Book called "Sam, the Grouchy as Usual Bear"  AND
a Young Adult Reader, called "Friends of Choice"!!!
Remember, only "1" post shows at a time!  All you need to scroll down and click on the MONTH you want to read, such as this month is 'January', (today is the LAST day of January!)  Click on it, and it will bring up ALL the Posts!
I don't know about you, but . . .  January FEELS LIKE THE LONGEST MONTH OF THE YEAR!!!!  Even though my birthday is in January, the 6th, it is still soooooooo long!  I am GLAD February is here tomorrow!  It is always a short month!  By about the end of February, I am ready for March!  Then, March is a TOUGH month for me!!  I am SO tired of Winter by then!  April, to me, always brings the HOPE of Spring!  We have a saying in Michigan, the weather changes from minute to minute!  Last year, it SNOWED ON MAY 8th!!!  My Mother, Bless her Heart, it was her Birthday. She was fighting Pancrearic cancer on this birthday.   (She just passed away on 9-27, so it is STILL hard!  I STILL want to call her, or I think to myself, 'I've GOT to tell her about this or that!'  It's been hard.  I think it will always be hard.  It's my Mom.  I miss her dearly!  I will say it again - I feel like I have had a decade, at least, of her life stolen from me.  She was ONLY 66.  Pancreatic Cancer is HORRID!  It truly is a NASTY cancer.  VERY nasty!  ALL cancer's are bad when they are terminal, but, this one seemed to just suck the life out her SOOO fast.  She was a TRUE fighter!  I honstly don't know if "I" could have done what she did. 
*****How do you feel about these months of the year?  January through March/April?   I'd be interested in knowing!  Let me know!
Don't forget to read my 2 NEW book reviews!!!!

Children's Book Review

Sam, the Grouchy Bear as Usual   by May Lattanzio 
I loved this Children’s Book, and I enjoyed it very much.
There are just a few suggestions I have for the author.
The title of this book, and the reason the bear has no mouth does not mean the bear is “grouchy”.  That did not make sense to me.  The bear just didn’t have a mouth.  A lot of bears’ mouths are not easily seen.  The stitching gets lost in the furry hair of the bear, so it does look like they don’t have a mouth, but that does not make them look grouchy.  Or, if the author is going on the basis that the bear is ‘grouchy’ because he is free to all children, and no one picked him, then that should be explained more clearly.
I don’t know what age group the author is specifically targeting with this book.  It confuses me somewhat because of several issues.  One, being the above, and the rest I will list.
From a kid’s standpoint, (on the PDF version, on page 8, at the very top,) the author should explain that Arianna, the older woman who made the bear, had one last thing to sew on the bear, threaded the “eye” of the “needle” to sew the bear’s heart on; not to sew red thread on the bear’s eye.  Kids do not know a sewing needle has an ‘eye’ and they might think the author threaded the bear’s eye, and not the ‘eye of the needle’.  Her intention is to sew the bear’s heart on his chest, but I can just hear kids worrying and asking, “Why is the lady being mean and threading the bear’s eye?  Why it will be red?  Will it hurt the bear?”
In “my” opinion, I think the beginning of this book hardly has enough pictures, then towards the end of the book it is filled with pictures.  Most children like the parents to read books to them.  This is what I remember when I used to read a book to my children when they were little; I see myself snuggling into bed with them to read them a bedtime story, or two, or three, or four!  All ages of children are going to listen to the parent read this book because the story IS good.  However, children LOVE pictures in books, and they are going to want more pictures throughout this book, not just a lot of them towards the end of the book as it seems to be in this book.
“I” don’t like the quality of these pictures in this book.  They are not being detailed enough.  They look almost like a ‘Watercolor’ type picture, without details.  Kids like the details of pictures a lot.  They will study the pictures, look at them, and look at them over and over again.  I believe my children would have lost interest with this book because of the lack of the pictures in the beginning of this book.  Most of the time when you read a child a book, especially in the beginning of the book, this is the most important part of the book to have pictures, as it really holds their attention.  Without pictures in the beginning of the book, I would be afraid they will lose interest right away.  I feel that is how important pictures are.  You can’t hold a child off, waiting, to ‘see’ the pictures.  Children want things NOW!  They can’t wait.  No pictures equals no interest.  With pictures ALL through the book, they can ‘see’ the story as well as ‘hear’ the story, and imagine how the story is going along.  They learn ‘imagination’ this way.  Without pictures, the imagination is gone.  You might think ‘without’ pictures they would develop an imagination more so, but I found this NOT to be true.  With the pictures, you get stopped on every one.  They study them, talk about them, ask you questions about them, ask you how the picture relates to the story, and more.  They learn this way.  You, the parent, want to finish reading the book, but can’t because the children get stuck on the pictures.  This is good because the pictures help the child enjoy the book that much more,  as well.  Again, this has been my experience.
One other thing, as well; some of the words are far too big for children to understand.  On the same page as mentioned above, the word “distress” is used.  Children are not going to know what the word ‘distressed’ means.  I, as the parent, would have to stop and explain what a lot of the words mean in the story.
I say the above opinions based upon the experience of reading to my own two children when they were little.  They both would lose interest in a book if there were not enough pictures and knew they could not understand some of the words.  They would tend to not pick certain books for me to read to them if they could not understand the ‘big’ words in the book.  Every time I would read that book, they would ask end up asking me over and over again what certain words mean, ‘if’ they even chose that book. 
Other than that, I think the storyline is excellent.  I like it a lot.  It just needs to be fine-tuned some more from a child’s standpoint.
As long as these points are addressed, I think this is a winner of a book.

Book Review!!! Friends of Choice by Linda Nelson

Friends of Choice    by Linda Nelson
I thought the author had a nice and easy style of writing, good for young adults to follow.  The author also caught the main character’s teenage, whiney, angst against her mother true to life, as well when Karla, the main character, just wanted to get out of the new house.  The author hit the nail on the head with that one!  Great job!
I did enjoy that part because it is so true to life.
I did feel as if the book dragged out a little too long in places, such as the move Karla had to make because her parent’s decided to move to accommodate her father’s new job.  It just seemed to drag on a little too long, such as driving to the new house, the packing and unpacking at the old house then the new house, etc..
As Karla started at her new school the very next day after moving to her new house, she met a new friend named Carol, right away.  Carol was a popular girl, among the Jocks and Cheerleaders.  Karla, I think, felt special that she fit in so well with this crowd.  However, looking back, she did NOT fit in, as the other kids in the group pretty much just ignored Karla.  I felt the friendship thing with Carol dragged on a little long.  If that could be expanded on, explaining to us ‘more’ of what Carol was planning, it would have been good.  I was NOT expecting what happened at the end of the book to happen.
In my opinion, Karla really should have normally made other ‘new’ friends in other classes besides ‘just’ Carol outside.  Karla had other classes where she would have befriended other new friends, and this should have been expanded upon.  Someone, naturally, would have told Karla to be careful around Carol, as it sounded as if Carol had a reputation, and had done things to other new students who came to her school from the ‘rival school’, Karla’s old High School.  Karla didn’t have any idea just exactly what Carol had set her up for.  If Karla had made other friends in her other classes, which normally would have happened in other classes that Carol was NOT in, someone would have said something about CarolCarol, being so popular, would NOT have gone unknown as she would have had some type of reputation.  There had to be some talk of Carol’s reputation, especially since she was into drugs.  It seems when another teenager is into drugs, other teenagers in the school are aware of it.  This could have tipped Karla off at least a little bit if she had made more friends in the other classes.  This is where the book needs to be expanded upon.  We kept reading about how much Karla wanted to get out and go meet Carol here or there, or when Carol ignored Karla, and Karla’s feelings were hurt.  When that happened, Karla would have already made new friends she could have hung out with other than CarolCarol took up a large part of the book, too much.
This is where Young Adults will lose interest if a book doesn’t hold their interest long enough or explain situations enough.  I know when I was a teenager, if things were not moving long and fast enough, especially if I could not understand them, I would have put the book down.  Although, the move to the new house might have made me put the book down because it was so drawn out, as well as the friendship with Carol and no other new friends.
As I said in the previous paragraph, this is where Karla’s making new friends in her other classes should have come into play, and given Karla some ‘gut feeling’ that something was ‘off’ with Carol.  Details in this section of the book would have helped the reader understand more about ‘why’ Carol wanted to be friends with Karla so bad.  Karla was getting confused about this and a little worried about some of the things that Carol did right away.  Carol, and only Carol, took to Karla right away.  I was leery of Carol right away, and when a football player finds interest in Karla immediately, with just a smile; it seemed strange and to fast.  Football players like the popular girls.  Karla was not popular the first day of classes.  Carol was the ‘only’ one in this crowd that would give Karla the time of day.  Some of the other kids could have been brought in to this story instead of ‘just’ Carol.  It might have made more sense at the end if this were described a little better, especially with how the end ends.  We never hear from Carol in the book until the very end.
When Karla’s friends from her old high school and neighborhood came to spend the night, and the one girl mentioned her parent’s taught her to follow her gut with people and friends, I thought the author was going to go further with this and get Karla thinking more about these new friends and using her gut more, but she did not.  Karla did keep feeling a little uncomfortable about them, even to the point where she did not want her old friends to meet her new friend, Carol, afraid her old friends may not like her new friend.  That, right there, was her gut working.  The author should have expanded on this. 
The author used Karla’s ‘gut feelings’ nowhere  I think the author should have taken it somewhere to show that Karla did have more gut feelings about these so-called new friends, just like the friends she ‘chose’ from her old high school.  The book is called “Friends of Choice”, and perhaps Karla could have thought about the ‘choices’ of the friend’s she was making, especially when it came to Carol.  Carol was so quick, Karla didn’t even get to make a choice.  Carol made herself Karla’s friend.  Karla knew something was off because Carol was keeping Karla pretty much a secret.  Karla’s new friend’s friends having no interaction with Karla at all?
There was not enough exploration of ‘new’ friends for Karla in this book to be called “Friends of Choice”.  Karla did not get to make ‘Friends of Choice’, as they were made for her..  Carol seemed to take over and be ‘it’.  Again, if Karla had made more new friends, then I could see the name of the book fitting in more so than what it does now.  “IF” Karla had made other new friends, they would have warned her about Carol, and it would have made the book even more interesting about choosing friends.  Maybe some new friends could have given Karla a warning about some of the new friends because what happened was entirely unexpected.  It seemed as if it was mentioned anyone who came from the ‘rival high school’ had something done to them, but we are kept in the dark about exactly what.
What happened at the end of the book?  This really bad thing happens to Karla, she gets gang-raped, and now all of a sudden this book is all about Carol?  What about Karla?  What about Karla’s condition?  What about Karla’s parents?  Where are they?  We are left hanging terribly.  All we are told is we don’t know if she is going to make it?  Why such a turn-a-round in the book?  I can understand a small chapter on how Carol felt, ‘if’ Carol had talked earlier in the book, but she didn’t.  She had no voice until the very end of the book.  We should have been left with something about Karla and her condition.  Some type of a resolution,   but we were left completely hanging.  I do see there is a sequel coming from this book, so I hope it is mentioned, or the sequel sold with this first book, so we will get to learn something.
As I said in the beginning, the author does have a talent for making her words flow, even though they were a bit lengthy at times, but this book lacks in this story in several places leaving Karla with virtually no choice in making friends, having nothing to do with the title.  It leaves us, with no resolution in the end as to Karla’s condition.
As I said, I hope the books (the original and the sequel) come out together so the reader knows there is some type of resolution; more about Karla.  Otherwise, they will be just as confused as we are as to why the book reverts to Carol.
I received this book from the "Members Giveaway" at in exchange for a review!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hi Everyone!

I guess my first post didn't post!
Well, I'll try again!
I haven't posted in a while because this Dry, Michigan Winter Air, drying my skin out so bad, I got a crack in the corner of my eye.  From rubbing it, it got infected, and I have only been able to read and write with '1' eye!  Have you ever tried that?  It is HARD!!!  So, I have been 'out of the loop'.  I want to apologize to anyone and everyone if I didn't get back to you if you left messages for me, but I couldn't really function.  I saw my Opthamologist yesterday, and he said I did a GREAT job of getting the infection OUT!!!  Now I need these new eyedrops they have that are Anti-Inflammatory drops!  Just like Aleeve or other anti-inflammatories, it is for the eye only! YEAH!!!  So I will start to use them today, and see how it goes!  My eye still keeps watering, but, I'm trying! The weeping eyet makes my vision so blurry!  So I am going to try to keep on!!  So, I am back!  I have some reviews to post!  Can't wait to get the posted!  I have since also gotten lots of NEW books to read!  Can't wait to read them!  I am SO glad to be back!  I will be posting reviews starting tomorrow!  I hope you all are taking care of your dry skin, as well!  I am globbing vaseline on my lips.  They cracked, too.  Aw, ol' man Winter!  Hands, too!  Who has NOT gotten attacked by ol' man Winter?  Reviews coming soon!

lauriehere: Hi Everyone!

Hi Everyone!

Just want to let you know I have not posted any new reviews because I have had an eye infection because of this dry, Michigan Winter air!  My eye cracked in the corner, I rubbed it, and got it infected.  I cleared the infection up, but it kept watering and was SO blurry, I could only use ONE eye to read and do everything with!  Boy, was that HARD!!!  Saw my Opthamologist yesterday, and there is a new anti-inflammatory drop out to help me!  Boy, am I HAPPY!!!
I have so many new reviews to post, I will be doing that within the next day or two!
To my followers who have contacted me through this site or through email, I apologize to you for not getting back to you right away.  I WILL be getting back to you ASAP!!  With only one eye, it has been hard!  So if you haven't heard from me, that is why.  I promise within the next day or two, I WILL be getting back to you or your blogs!  I promise!
Well, take care for now!  I will see you within a day or two!