Review | Escaping Camp Ravensbrook by R.T.Johnson

Escaping Camp Ravensbrook

Title: Escaping Camp Ravensbrook
Author: R.T. Johnson
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: CreateSpace

Publishing date: 16th October, 2015
Pages: 148

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 

*Book received from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Katrina is a girl who is caught and captured and is sent to Camp Ravensbrook after her parents die. She’s treated terrible there, but Katrina has a secret. She has witchcraft powers she uses for good, but Katrina wants to find a way out of there. When she meets Peter, she realizes that he’s the right man for her. But she’s worried about the fact that he might not accept her witchcraft powers. Will they be able to make it out in one piece despite the horrors of a war going on? Or will they be sentenced to this camp forever?


My Take:

I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a smooth ride from the start to the end. No lows, no disappointments. ❀ ❀

Katrina is 16 years old when her parents are murdered and she is captured and sent to Camp Ravensbrook with her Aunt.

“Katrina looked out the small window at the very back of the truck and saw men lighting her home on fire. The place she grew up. The place she learned to walk, talk, read, and do magic, was slowly burning. Within moments, it turned into a pile of ash. Katrina felt tears form in the corner of her eyes. She bit her lip and held them back. Weakness could get her killed.”

Camp Ravensbrook is a women’s prison, the condition of the prison is horrible and the women are treated miserably. But, Katrina is no normal girl, she has witchcraft to help her. She uses this power to ease some situations in the camp. They are touching to read. Her encounters with the guards while using the powers are thrilling as well as funny to an extent.

She falls for one of the guards, Peter. I liked his character very much. She is scared to tell him about her powers, what if he turns her in or doesn’t want to escape with her or doesn’t want to help. She thinks of all sorts of what ifs.

“… Illness didn’t matter. Death didn’t matter. Chores had to be done. And, Katrina and Alice had to work on their plan to escape.”

The emotions are very well portrayed in this book. You can feel aΒ pretty strong connection with the characters which you don’t find in many middle grade books.

The lesson that this book teaches is of love and friendship. Some people might find the mention of rape in a book meant for middle graders uncomfortable but that was the truth of concentration camps. There’s no way to sugar coat reality. The language used is suitable for children so I don’t see any problem with the talk of rape being one of the evil things happening to women in the camp.

I liked the ending very much. I have read another book by the author, which was very good. This exceeds that book, the writing is much more gripping or maybe I enjoyed this book more than that. I would recommend this book to introduce the kids to the harsh reality in a light manner. πŸ™‚


Why would I pick it up?

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For the well written premise spun from reality and fantasy. ❀


My review of another book by the author:

 

Review | The Big Bucket List Book by Gin Sander

The Big Bucket List Book: 133 Experiences of a Lifetime

Title: The Big Bucket List Book: 133 Experiences of a Lifetime
Author: Gin Sander
Genre: Non Fiction, Self help
Publisher: SourceBooks

Publishing date: 1st January, 2016
Pages: 302

My Rating: 3/5 stars

 

*e-copy received from the author/publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Everyone has an extensive, daunting bucket list of things to complete β€œbefore you die.” But it’s time to stop listing and start living. The Big Bucket List Book will change the way you look at the world and empower you to reach for all of the big and little things you want to achieve. Gin Sander offers 133 fresh ideas for infusing your life with a bit of glamour, adventure and styleβ€”whatever your budget. Learn to make your next chapter the most enriching and personally fulfilling of them all…and maybe change the world while you’re at it!


My Take:

Everyone has an extensive, daunting bucket list of things to complete β€œbefore you die.” But it’s time to stop listing and start living.

True, we all have bucket lists.Β If you don’t then you are doing life wrong. πŸ˜›

Screenshot_2016-11-06-13-37-07-1This is exactly what I believe in and reading books that puts your thoughts into words is just wonderful. ❀

 

Screenshot_2017-06-12-17-23-38-1It’s not enough to just have a list. You made a list, now what? It is important to pursue those goals, to do everything in your power to achieve them.

 

This book does not tell you to live life king size, it tells you to enjoy each and every thing. It’s more about enjoying than going big. There is a wide range of activities in this book. Many of them are not something that I am interested in, few are local to US, and few are somethings that are already on my bucket list. Most of them aren’t going to interest a lot of people. So, the list is kind of hit or miss.

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More than the list, I liked this book for the message because doing various things, trying out different stuff makes our life meaningful and fun.Β This book is designed to get you engaged in your life so that you fully experience it on all levels.

Screenshot_2016-11-06-13-37-50-2This is something that has always fascinated me. More than visiting a place, I would love to be a part of it. How fun would it be to go about my day in a foreign country. ❀

It is good read and will motivate you to work towards your own bucket list, might as well give you some ideas. πŸ˜‰
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Why would I pick it up?

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To increase the list of my bucket list, for some inspiration and motivation. πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

Book Review | Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

 

Title: Eleanor & Park
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Publishing date: 26th February, 2013
Pages: 328

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 


Summary:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enough…Eleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…Park.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-oldsβ€”smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.


My take:

I read this book because of the hype surrounding it. I don’t know what I feel. I kind of have mixed feelings for this book. It was a good read actually, it went smooth and I liked the switching narration of Eleanor and Park. πŸ™‚

It’s been a while since I read this book so I had to search a lot and find out if people quoted something that even I liked and quoted in my copy because I lost all of my highlights. Reading those quotes made me connect to the book again on a personal level.

There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promises…

If you’ve ever been in love, true love, your first love, you will get what I am saying. It’s so nerve-wrecking and comforting at the same time. All those feelings leave you scared but that person drives all your fears away. First love is really a very pure experience and people who have experienced it are lucky. These quotes that I picked out are a mass acceptance because everyone seems to have loved these lines. I think it really connects with people. You go through these feelings when you are in love and it’s quite frightening until you know it is mutual, even then you need some time to digest the fact that you have such a wonderful person with you to hold and be held forever. ❀ πŸ˜€ ❀

This book had all those feelings, the words had feelings and lots of them to be honest. Just read these lines if you haven’t and you will understand… πŸ™‚

β€œI don’t like you, Park,” she said, sounding for a second like she actually meant it. “I…” – her voice nearly disappeared – “think I live for you.”
He closed his eyes and pressed his head back into his pillow.
“I don’t think I even breathe when we’re not together,” she whispered. “Which means, when I see you on Monday morning, it’s been like sixty hours since I’ve taken a breath. That’s probably why I’m so crabby, and why I snap at you. All I do when we’re apart is think about you, and all I do when we’re together is panic. Because every second feels so important. And because I’m so out of control, I can’t help myself. I’m not even mine anymore, I’m yours, and what if you decide that you don’t want me? How could you want me like I want you?”
He was quiet. He wanted everything she’d just said to be the last thing he heard. He wanted to fall asleep with ‘I want you’ in his ears.”

These words. ❀ Now that I read it again I know exactly what Eleanor meant. This fear of the person, that is giving you all these feels, not wanting you like you want them and leaving you is real. It’s only them that can drive that fear away and that’s what Park does. I love it how Eleanor opens up to Park and how Park tries to solve all her problems and wants her to experience the beauty of little things. May it be reading comics to her pace or making her a tape of the songs he thinks she might like or thinking about asking for batteries as Christmas present so that Eleanor could listen to songs… really, it’s the little things that matter in the long run. Park wins with flying colours in that aspect. Him kicking his friend’s ass for bullying Eleanor is an added bonus. I was impressed with that kick. ❀

β€œNothing was dirty. With Park.
Nothing could be shameful.
Because Park was the sun, and that was the only way Eleanor could think to explain it.”

These lines by Eleanor are something that every person in love feels. How you get comfortable with things you were uncomfortable with and how you start liking them. Love does get you to a new level of comfort with a person. πŸ™‚

β€œMy girlfriend is sad and quiet and keeps me up all night worrying about her.”

This reminds me of something. πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

β€œEleanor was right. She never looked nice.She looked like art, and art wasn’t supposed to look nice; it was supposed to make you feel something.”

Park really has a way with words. I don’t think he could have found better words as to describe the way Eleanor dresses. To be honest, her style is too loud for someone who doesn’t want to get noticed. The same goes for Park. The guy who was focused on not being noticed starts wearing eyeliner which will surely get him noticed, I felt like he did it to piss his dad off. I don’t know I just felt like the scene was forced.

The ending, when Eleanor realizes who the person was behind all those little mean notes she got and the night she goes to bed and finds it out had me on edge. The book made me nervous from that point. I was scared for everyone involved and the actual ending seemed bland in comparison to the climax. Eleanor spends considerable time with her dysfunctional family so at this point they were all an important aspect of the story, forgetting them completely once Eleanor is out of the mess wasn’t exactly a good idea. I wanted to know what became of her mother and siblings, how they were, and what about her stepdad? Through Park we do know that they left but that seemed like lazy writing. Instead of delving into their story, the characters just disappeared with a vague explanation.

All in all I loved the love they share and the bond they have but the story… I need more. I need to know what happened to Eleanor’s family and what became of Eleanor and Park. I felt it was kind of wrong on Eleanor’s part to not reply even once and then start the interaction after months. I know she had problems but you don’t leave the only person helping you miserable. I am not sure how I feel about the ending. I felt like there’s always hope for love and felt sorry for Park.


Why would I pick it up?

Because… Love! ❀

Blog Tour | Book Review | Better in the Morning by Fern Ronay

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Click on the banner to see the complete tour schedule. πŸ˜€

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for the book β€œBetter in the Morning” by Fern Ronay , hosted by Sage’s Blog Tours.

Let’s get on with the review, shall we?:)


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Title: Better in the Morning
Author: Fern Ronay
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Publishing date: 26th April, 2016
Pages: 280

My Rating: 4/5 stars

 


Summary:

Veronica Buccino has a plan: marry John DelMonico and quit her soul-sucking job as a lawyer.And when he tells her he has big news, she’s certain he’ll pop the question. But instead of
proposing, John informs her that he’s moving to London.

Heartbroken, Veronica feels lost. Salvatore and Antoinette, her dead grandparents, begin to visit her dreams in an attempt to steer her in the right direction. At their suggestion, Veronica takes a news reporting class, which leads to a challenging freelance assignment covering a conspiracy trial. She also begins dating an unlikely suitor: creative Syd Blackman.

Just when her love life and career are looking up, Veronica is tossed back to square one by an event that makes her question all her new choices.


My Take:

I had mixed feelings in the middle of the book but other than that this was a very enjoyable book for me. πŸ˜‰

When I started this book, I couldn’t keep this drama-packed story down. As the book reached the middle I started doubting the potential of the book because of the story going nowhere and giving no exact hints to what the book was exactly about. It kind of felt that the story was dragging with no exact goals. Veronica kept on messing up things back to back. I actually put it down, read another book and picked this back up. Good decision, I must say. πŸ˜€

She was kind of pathetic in the start.

Screenshot_2016-06-08-13-20-35-1

I like, how her character development takes place through and through. πŸ™‚

I am glad that I took a break instead of reading it in one sitting. Because when I came back to this book it did not disappoint me at all. It was like meeting a friend after a long time and realizing that you missed them more than you thought.

The message this book puts across is about happiness, about finding your true calling, and about working for it. I love fictions with such positive messages. πŸ˜€ You know what would have been bold for this book, bold and unconventional, if Syd didn’t realize he couldn’t stay without Veronica and he loved her and she moved on with her life. I guess, women’s fiction needs to always have some or the other cliche. I am not complaining, no!

Screenshot_2016-06-18-04-14-39-1

By the time I reached the end of the book, I kind of felt that this was going to have that bomb unconventional ending that leaves the readers gaping because of how unfocused that part of her life was. It was a simple mention like, it’s been a month since she last talked to him. Nothing too filled with emotions to make me think that he was important at that point in the book. But we all need a happy ending, so the author gives you that. πŸ˜‰

This book would’ve been something else if only Veronica spoke her mind. I swear, I would’ve loved her for saying the things she thought. πŸ˜€ Here are some examples-

Screenshot_2016-06-08-13-10-38-1
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Screenshot_2016-06-18-09-56-58-1

Screenshot_2016-06-18-04-17-01-1

Now, this start of the explanation that Veronica’s grandpa gives her for them giving her signs without knowing the future kind of made me scratch my head. Like, you can’t see the future but six months ago you knew that Veronica would be here and she would need to see your sign. How exactly does that work?

Screenshot_2016-06-11-06-48-11-1

I loved this line…

Screenshot_2016-06-11-07-29-57-1

…and this was just ❀ A perfect way to sum up the plotline and the title accuracy. ❀

Screenshot_2016-06-20-07-37-59-1

All in all, this was a good book, that kept challenging how I felt about the book. It’s a good read on how a person develops and learns from their mistakes and wrong decisions and moves forward. No matter what, the future is always bright for those who learn to trust it’s ability to make everything alright. πŸ˜€ πŸ˜‰


Why would I pick it up?

For the drama and the lessons and ofcourse, for Hurricane Veronica! πŸ˜› πŸ˜›


Author’s Bio:

Fern Ronay was born and raised in Belleville, New Jersey. She is a lawyer and CPA as well as a writer, reporter, and blogger. After six years in Manhattan and six years in Chicago, she now lives in sunny Los Angeles with her husband.

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In addition to writing novels, Fern authors the blog Stop and Blog the Roses and is a co-host on AfterBuzzTV. When she is not writing, reporting, or blogging, Fern can be found eating something, reading something, or running.

Meet the author: |Β BlogΒ |Β TwitterΒ |Β FacebookΒ |Β 

Blog Tour | Book Review | Cassia by Lanette Kauten

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Click on the banner to see the complete tour schedule. πŸ˜€

Welcome to my stop of the blog tour for the book β€œCassia” by Lanette Kauten Β , hosted by Sage’s Blog Tours.

Let’s get on with the review, shall we? πŸ™‚Β 


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Title: Cassia
Author: Lanette Kauten
Genre: Literary Women’s Fiction
Publishing date: 26th March, 2016
Pages: 228

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

 

 


Summary:

As a reporter living in Deep Ellum, all Tanya Falgoust wants is to be accepted as part of the underground arts district. But living among free thinkers and musicians doesn’t make her one of them. Then she meets the sensual, rebellious Cassia, a performance artist who struts onto the stage and into Tanya’s bed.

No one knows who Cassia is, but her beauty and talents as an actress and dancer captivate the local scene. Tanya is mesmerized, and they quickly form a relationship. A close friend warns Tanya about Cassia, but she brushes him off. But when Cassia refuses to divulge anything about herself, where she lives, or even her real name, Tanya starts to realize her friend was right. And the secrets her lover is hiding are deeper and more damaging than Tanya could imagine.

As the pull of their relationship deepens and becomes more volatile, Tanya must decide whether to break from her desire before she loses the one thing she wants mostβ€”connection to the musicians who have accepted her into their community.


My Take:

“Cassia” is one of the books that will make you keep the book aside and then reflect on what you just read. The intellectual discussion on art and it’s effect on humans and things in that tangent is something that most of the people will like reading.

Cassia as a character comes out really strong. Her confidence, her charm is not something you can ignore easily. I liked how she was mysterious about her past, dodged any questions that could reveal her past with philosophical counterbacks but yet was as transparent as they came. As a person she was open and outgoing.

Tanya on the other hand was kind of the typical natives who obviously couldn’t have resisted the charms of someone like Cassia. Β Tanya lets her emotions rule her decisions while Cassia doesn’t care what people think. Cassia came across as someone who wanted to change the society but realized at a very young age that she couldn’t so she put on a mask to deal with whatever came her way.

Cassia will keep you entertained while Tanya’s friends Rodney, Nick, and Bonnie are the much needed variety in the mix.


Why would I pick it up?

For Cassia’s Personality and some of the mind simulating discussions.


Author’s Bio:

I grew up in the suburbs of Dallas, TX, and moved all the way over to the next county… Pictureso, not very far. In high school, I was a serious and determined student with the goal of becoming a psychologist. However, an artistic desire awakened inside me during my late teens, and I became enamored with artists of all strains, and Deep Ellum became a home for my soul.

After a couple of years, I realized I would have to grow up eventually (actually, my mom realized that for me), so I went to nursing school and once again became a serious and determined student. While in school, I became fascinated with research, and after a few years of working as a floor nurse, I went into nephrology research and loved it!

Because just about everything interests me, I eventually picked up my long-dead hobby of writing, which I’m happy to say is now a budding career. My debut novel, HOUSE OF THISTLES, came out two years ago. I’m very proud of my latest, which takes place in an industrial arts neighborhood.

I’m married with two kids and a step-son, and I home school my youngest.


Meet the author: |Β WebsiteΒ |Β TwitterΒ |Β FacebookΒ |Β 

The Coffee Book Tag!

I was tagged by Deanna @ A Novel Glimpse. ❀ Β  I am not exactly obsessed with coffee but I still like my coffee strong. πŸ˜› Let’s get a cup of coffee and get on with this tag. πŸ™‚


Black: A series that’s tough to get into but has hardcore fans.

Before you guys throw coffee at me, I would like to say something in my defense. I’ve watched all the movies and for me reading the books after watching the movie takes out the fun. I know, I know, you will say that there is so much in the books that was left out in the movies. I agree, I totally agree but I still don’t have it in me to pick up the books… maybe someday but not in the near future.

Peppermint Mocha: A book that gets more popular during the winter or a festive time of year.

I don’t know about others but Christmas time always makes me want to read books that have some christmas-y theme. I will choose “A Christmas Carol” for this.

I am still to read it. *sigh* What am I doing?


Hot Chocolate: A favorite children’s book.

Racking my brain… can’t come up with any… Can I say, all? Does it count as an answer? Oh my God… Why can’t I think of a book?…


Double Shot of Espresso: A book that kept you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

Without any doubt, this has to be the book that kept me on edge the whole time. It’s seriously good.


Starbucks: A book you see everywhere.

With the new season out, it’s literally everywhere.


That Hipster Coffee Shop: A book by an indie author (a shout out)

The Museum: A Collection of Dark Poetry

This was sent to me for review and now is the only poetry book I own and I love it. I just love it. It is bone chilling and I got goosebumps when I read it.


Oops! I Accidentally Got Decaf: A book you were expecting more from.

After reading “The Fault in our Stars” and the high praising reviews for “Looking for Alaska” I had high expectations from “Looking for Alaska”. Expectations do hurt, man!


The Perfect Blend: A book or series that was both bitter and sweet but ultimately satisfying.

This book has emotions, you can feel the words, you can feel the characters… the story… the pain… the laughter… the… everything.


Green Tea: A book or series that is quietly beautiful.

Road trip, YES! πŸ˜€


Chai Tea: A book or series that makes you dream of far off places.

The way Anna keeps on talking about Paris. ❀


Earl Grey: A favorite classic.

No words needed! ❀


As for the tags-Β 

As usual you guys can do this now, later or never. Have fun with it. That’s all it’s about. ❀ πŸ˜›