Review: Given to the Sea

Title: Given to the Sea

Author: Mindy McGinnis

Date of Publication: April 11th, 2017


Goodreads Summary:

Khosa is Given to the Sea, a girl born to be fed to the water, her flesh preventing a wave like the one that destroyed the Kingdom of Stille in days of old. But before she’s allowed to dance – an uncontrollable twitching of the limbs that will carry her to the shore in a frenzy – she must produce an heir. Yet the thought of human touch sends shudders down her spine that not even the sound of the tide can match.

Vincent is third in line to inherit his throne, royalty in a kingdom where the old linger and the young inherit only boredom. When Khosa arrives without an heir he knows his father will ensure she fulfills her duty, at whatever cost. Torn between protecting the throne he will someday fill, and the girl whose fate is tied to its very existence, Vincent’s loyalty is at odds with his heart.

Dara and Donil are the last of the Indiri, a native race whose dwindling magic grows weaker as the island country fades. Animals cease to bear young, creatures of the sea take to the land, and the Pietra – fierce fighters who destroyed the Indiri a generation before – are now marching from their stony shores for the twin’s adopted homeland, Stille.

Witt leads the Pietra, their army the only family he has ever known. The stone shores harbor a secret, a growing threat that will envelop the entire land – and he will conquer every speck of soil to ensure the survival of his people.

The tides are turning in Stille, where royals scheme, Pietrans march, and the rising sea calls for its Given.

My Review:

This is the first book I have read by Mindy, so I don’t know how her writing normally is. I was anticipating this book so much, but I am not sure what the heck happened??? This book just felt really odd.

The characters! There were four view points here, and I could only tolerate Vincent. I still couldn’t connect with him, though. Khosa just felt really bland. I just didn’t feel anything for anyone! This book had me feeling robotic.


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Then all of these books have to make up their own phrases (Example: Tides), we get it, but just because of the whole sea thing, there could be a more clever phrase. Even though I didn’t connect with the story itself, I feel that others might since the story did seem original. So, the book does have that.


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Review: Bad Blood

Title: Bad Blood

Author: Demitria Lunetta

Date of Publication: March 14th, 2017


Goodreads Summary:

A girl discovers a family secret and a past full of magic that could both save her and put her in mortal danger in this suspenseful novel that’s perfect for fans of Katie Alender and Natasha Preston.

All sixteen-year-old Heather MacNair wants is to feel normal, to shed the intense paranoia she’s worn all year like a scratchy sweater. After her compulsion to self-harm came to light, Heather was kept under her doctor’s watchful eye. Her family thinks she’s better—and there’s nothing she wants more than for that to be true. She still can’t believe she’s allowed to spend her summer vacation as she always does: at her aunt’s home in Scotland, where she has lots of happy memories. Far away from all her problems save one: she can’t stop carving the Celtic knot that haunts her dreams into her skin.

Good friends and boys with Scottish accents can cure almost anything…except nightmares. Heather can’t stop dreaming about two sisters from centuries ago, twins Prudence and Primrose, who somehow seem tied to her own life. Their presence lurks just beneath the surface of her consciousness, sending ripples through what should be a peaceful summer. The twins might hold the key to putting Heather’s soul at rest…or they could slice her future deeper than any knife.

My Review:

Once I got past the title reminding me of Taylor Swift, I couldn’t help but be mesmerized by that magnificent cover! Heather has had a problem with cutting and had to spend time in a treatment center. Her aunt has cancer, and her parents let her go and visit her in Scotland, since they don’t know how much longer she will have. Why Heather’s parents just let her go all the way to Scotland without them when she has had a cutting problem is beyond me.

When Heather comes to Scotland, she begins to have weird dreams about two sisters that had magic of their own. Are the sisters real or just a figment of Heather’s imagination?

The book goes back and forth between present and past, and I loved the past scenes and all the betrayal and backstabbing that reeked havoc on my soul! I liked the MC for the present chapters and felt that Heather was relatable. There is also a dash of romance sprinkled in that felt nice since they were already friends before.


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When the magic starts, I felt like I was watching parts of The Craft, but without crazy Nancy. The magic aspects were interesting! I loved how there was an explanation about everything, and that this was a stand alone. At least I hope it is a stand alone, because it is hard to find those nowadays!


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February Library Finds

I didn’t grab just Valentine books (since I knew I’d be writing this afterward, most likely) but I’m glad I didn’t limit our haul by focusing on that theme. I’d of missed the coolest stuff we found this month that way.


My eldest daughter really connected with Rosemary Wells’ Yoko character, and we read and reread those books to her when she was very small. My son loved Max from Max and Ruby: possibly because he was often led around by his older sister, didn’t like to talk much, and had the same mischievous grin…And the magic of this writer isn’t lost on our toddler. “Love Waves” is one of my favorites and it deals with the bond between parents and their children while they are away from each other. The ways the mom and dad keep them in their thoughts all day until they can come home and see them again is poetic but very spot on. It’s beautiful, and a great starting book for Wells’ work. “Max’s Breakfast” is a fun little board book, short and funny, and there are several like this (which are all perfect for very young readers). maxsbreakfast



Jose Domingo’s visually striking “Pablo & Jane and The Hot Air Contraption” was just what my elementary school middle child wanted in a book. The comic book intro and scenes are not too wordy and have a nice pop art surreal feel, and the rest of the book is an awesome page search for needed objects and stuff. The style here isn’t common for children’s books, but that is a such a shame because I love this kind of artwork and so do my oldest children.


For my higher level reader, “The Wild Robot” by Peter Brown is a new book (with, I think, a really cool cover) that she loved. It’s about a female robot waking up in the woods and trying to figure out the world. It’s as amazing as it sounds, and my daughter finished it in just a few days. I can’t give enough thumbs up for this novel approach at characterization and world-building. I’d recommend this for kids that are comfortable with chapter books, and anyone with a love for science fiction. I have a particularly soft spot in my heart for this one because I’m old enough to have grown up with Osamu Tezuka’s Astro Boy, but seriously go get this book.



Making Faces: Review + Giveaway


About the Book:

Title: Making Faces

Author: Amy Harmon

Release Date: February 21, 2017

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press


Synopsis: The Spencer Hill Press release will have Bonus Content never before available.

Ambrose Young was beautiful. The kind of beautiful that graced the covers of romance novels, and Fern Taylor would know. She’d been reading them since she was thirteen. But maybe because he was so beautiful he was never someone Fern thought she could have . . . until he wasn’t beautiful anymore.

Making Faces is the story of a small town where five young men go off to war, and only one comes back. It is the story of loss. Collective loss, individual loss, loss of beauty, loss of life, loss of identity. It is the tale of one girl’s love for a broken boy, and a wounded warrior’s love for an unremarkable girl. This is a story of friendship that overcomes heartache, heroism that defies the common definitions, and a modern tale of Beauty and the Beast, where we discover that there is a little beauty and a little beast in all of us.

My Review:

I really liked this book! The book starts around 2001 when 9/11 occurred. I already felt connected because that is exactly where I was when it happened. I was at school and the teacher turned on the TV, and that is when we saw the planes crashing into the twin towers.

Making Faces is a gripping and emotional ride that still has its cute and funny moments. First off I loved Bailey! I loved how he wasn’t depressed about his condition of being confined to a wheelchair and not being able to lift his arms all the way up. He was the heart of this story.

Fern and Ambrose were really cute. They both had their own inner battles that they had to get through when dealing with their outer shell.

This book will leave you with all kinds of different emotions, but the thing is it felt real. Especially all the things with the army situation and what happens there. I definitely recommend picking this one up to read.


Goodreads link:



About the Author:


Amy Harmon is a New York TimesWall Street Journal and USA Today bestselling author of ten novels. Her books are now being published in 13 languages around the globe.

She knew at an early age that writing was something she wanted to do, and divided her time between writing songs and stories as she grew. Having grown up in the middle of wheat fields without a television, with only her books and her siblings to entertain her, she developed a strong sense of what made a good story.

Author Social Media Links:










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Review: Kingdom of Ashes

Title: Kingdom of Ashes

Author: Elena May

Date of Publication: October 30th, 2016


Goodreads Summary:

Myra never witnessed the Nightfall. She has only heard stories from the eldest among them; tales of the Old World and of the scientists who invented the WeatherWizard—a technological innovation that controls the weather. Unfortunately, the device also gave an ambitious vampire prince the means to cover the world in impenetrable clouds, allowing his armies to crawl out of their caves and conquer all.

Vampires rule over the New World, breeding humans for food. After fifty years of guerrilla warfare, the Resistance is fading, its supplies dwindling. They must rally and succeed—and soon—or all hope of restoring human civilization will be lost.

When Myra goes on a desperate mission to help the Resistance, she ends up a captive in the vampires’ palace. With time running out, she must find a way to stop Prince Vladimir, and every wrong step leads to the death of innocents. Her battle abilities prove useless, but Myra discovers she has another skill that can give her an edge over her captors. Now, Myra must defeat the vampire leader at a power game he has been playing for almost two millennia.

My Review:


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I don’t read a lot of vampire books unless they sound really good. This one was an interesting read because it was a dystopian set future with vampires. The beginning had my attention right away with this particular human group that does not go outside, with the exception of when a few go out to do a mission. The world is dying in most parts, and with the sun not out, vamps have control of it all.

The term WeatherWizard was odd, I felt it should have been called something different, but I can ignore the strange terminology. The lead character, Myra, I did like. There were times where she was kind of scatter brained. Like you have all this stuff going on in the world, but you are more concerned with writing while out on a mission???? Who would do that?

Once the vamps come into play, things get interesting. There were some slow parts and there was pretty much no romance, but I was intrigued where the story was headed when I was reading. The Prince is a character that I want to know more about! If you like dystopian or vampire books, you should check this one out.


What is your favorite vampire or dystopian book?

Review: A Cure for Wellness


IMDB Summary:

An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps but soon suspects that the spa’s miraculous treatments are not what they seem.



My Review:

I don’t even know where to start with this one. I was pretty pumped and liked most of it, but then things got really odd! I loved the sounds and visionary aspects throughout, though.

Lockhart was annoying, why he didn’t crutch his way out of there in the first place was ridiculous. I couldn’t connect with Hannah or why Lockhart was even bothering with worrying about her.

The only actor I liked was Jason Isaacs because he had that whole creep factor going on, and you didn’t know whether to trust him or not. Like I said, it was good until it got super strange in the end which could have been cool, but it did not work here.


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