Monday, July 31, 2017

Review: The Marriage of Opposites by Alice Hoffman #HistoricalRomance

Growing up on idyllic St. Thomas in the early 1800s, Rachel dreams of life in faraway Paris. Rachel's mother, a pillar of their small refugee community of Jews who escaped the Inquisition, has never forgiven her daughter for being a difficult girl who refuses to live by the rules. Growing up, Rachel's salvation is their maid Adelle's belief in her strengths, and her deep, life-long friendship with Jestine, Adelle's daughter. But Rachel's life is not her own. She is married off to a widower with three children to save her father's business. When her husband dies suddenly and his handsome, much younger nephew, Fréderick, arrives from France to settle the estate, Rachel seizes her own life story, beginning a defiant, passionate love affair that sparks a scandal that affects all of her family, including her favorite son, who will become one of the greatest artists of France.

My review:
When I first started reading this book, admittedly, I thought I was going to hate it. In general, I do not like romance novels, except this was not a romance novel but a Historical Romance Novel. So, I delved in and boy, was I surprised.

Rachel was a truly rebellious woman who at the time, was a dangerous thing. Women had no say in anything nor could own anything.  She also seemed to be a superstitious kind of person, which made her that more intriguing. Her friendships were few and she even was married into an arranged marriage but she never gave up her dreams.  Eventually, she would give birth to many children including one who would change the world forever with his impressionistic paintings.

The book kept me interested with the weaving of many characters that Rachel new or would come to know. Many secrets were kept throughout the book and only over time, and during Rachel's adult years, would those secrets eventually be revealed. The book was woven quite well!

*slight spoiler* I did find in footnotes from the author that some of the characters personalities mentioned in the book were made up. These people were found in notes and letters but did not mention what their actual roles were or if they were truly someone close to Rachel and her family. That was the only thing that I found to be quite disappointing of a rather great novel.

I will be reading more Historical Romance Novels in the future.
4 stars.

Disclosure: I obtained a copy of this book from my local library. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon

Where to find the author:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

July 2017 Kid Lit Blog Hop #KLBH #KidLitBlogHop

Hello, welcome back to another month of terrific children's literature. We welcome you to the July 2017 Kid Lit Blog Hop. This hop takes place every 3rd Wednesday of the month. It is designed to engage a  group of people who love everything that has to do with children's literature. Everyone is welcome to join us: bloggers, authors, publicist, and publishers!

Summer is winding down and the kids will be returning to school soon. There is still a number of Summer reads left for kids around the blogsphere. Let's show them off again on the blog hop and see what else you are reading!

***I recently read and reviewed a book about Miss Lena Horne. What an incredible woman she was. Read that review HERE.***

Have you seen the  Kid Lit Blog Hopper Facebook fan page? This page has all the news and information related to the hop plus ongoing posts, giveaways, news articles, etc. related to Kid's Lit. Check it out and of course, please like the page.

So for our hop, please make sure that your posts are related to children's literature only and add it to the linky. (Please make sure to add your direct post only) If you are a children's book author, feel free just to link to your blog. Once you are done, then hop around to visit others. Please follow the co-host and visit at least the one or two people above your link. Please leave a comment when you do visit, we all like those.

It would be appreciated if you grab the Kid Lit Blog Hop Badge and display it on your blog and/or your post. If you tweet and/or posted on Facebook about the blog hop, we can continue to grow this wonderful community.

Thanks for sharing your great children's books with all of us!
We will be around to see you.
Happy Hopping!

#Review: Sci-fi Junior High by John Martin, Scott Seegert #fiction #sci-fi #middlegrade

Presented by James Patterson's new children's imprint, this gleefully illustrated space adventure is a laugh on every page. That's a lot of laughs!

Kelvin Klosmo isn't just the new kid at school - he's the new kid in the galaxy! Welcome to Sci-Fi Junior High: an inter-galactic space station with students of all shapes, sizes, smells, and... slime content. As the son of Earth's two most famous geniuses, Kelvin isn't just the smartest kid in the world....he's the smartest kid in the UNIVERSE. At least, that's what everybody at Sci-Fi Junior High thinks. 

So, maybe Kelvin lied a little about being a genius to fit in. And maybe a mad scientist is about to take over the universe unless Kelvin can stop him. Maybe everyone is doomed. 

Well, at least Kelvin won't have to worry about math homework anymore.

Sci-Fi Junior High is an out-of-this-world story about friendship, accepting our differences, and the fight against evil... bunnies. Yes, evil bunnies - don't ask.

My review
I decided to pick up a copy of this book for two purposes, first, I like James Patterson and he was presenting this book and second, I wanted to read a pseudo-sci-fi book.

The chapter book was not exactly what I would consider sci-fi but it was based around a kid who was to live out in space, so, I guess it did qualify. This kid is a brainiac or so, his reputation proceeds him. He has brilliant parents, so, why wouldn't he be? The problem is, he isn't quite yet and that can get him in all sorts of trouble with his new found, and unusual, looking friends. I chuckled along with the way the main character tries to fit in but does so in such a haphazard way.

In the end, he turns out to be a hero anyway and isn't that what sci-fi is about? I really liked this book and its funky characters. I could see boys, in particular, liking the adventures of this crew in space. Oh, and one more thing, I could not help but totally laugh at the mad scientist. What a hoot!

Read it, you will like it.
4 stars!

Disclosure: I picked up a copy of this book at my local library. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon

Where to find the authors:
John Martin-Goodreads
Scott Seegert-Goodreads
Scott Seegert-Amazon

Monday, July 17, 2017

#Review: The Legendary Miss Lena Horne by Carole Boston Weatherford/ Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon #nonfiction #multicultural

Celebrate the life of Lena Horne, the pioneering African American actress, and civil rights activist.

Lena Horne was born into the freedom struggle, to a family of teachers and activists. Her mother dreamed of being an actress, so Lena followed in her footsteps as she chased small parts in vaudeville, living out of a suitcase until MGM offered Lena something more—the first ever studio contract for a black actress.

But the roles she was considered for were maids and mammies, stereotypes that Lena refused to play. Still, she never gave up. “Stormy Weather” became her theme song, and when she sang “This Little Light of Mine” at a civil rights rally, she found not only her voice but her calling.

My review:
"You have to be taught to be second class; you’re not born that way." 
What a powerful statement that was said by Miss Horne and one she proved time and time again through her actions and words. This book gives a complete account of her life from birth, career, and death(that can be found in bibliography notes).

Growing up, I often saw movies that featured Lena Horne and found her to be a talented and a beautiful woman. Her voice was lovely. 

Of course being of "privilege" I had no idea what her life was truly like or what she had to endure to be in those movies. This book gave me an insight to her complete endurance and fight for civil rights. She paved a way for the musical and movies stars of today, they should be grateful that she did. She did it with dignity and head held high. 

This book has opened my eyes further about this lovely woman and I am the better for it. I am only sorry that I never met her and that her voice musically and for civil rights is now gone. 

One would be amiss to not know about Miss Horne and this book should be in every classroom and homeschool room shelves.

5 stars!
Disclosure: I obtained a copy of this book at my local library. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. ~M.M. Hudson aka Naila Moon

Where to find the author:


Sunday, July 2, 2017

#Review: Back Pocket Coach by Diane Brennan & Alexandra Ross @RossCoach, @coachdianeb and @iReadBookTours #communication #backpocketcoach

Have you ever been in a situation that was emotionally charged and the stakes were high? And it was difficult to find the right words? Back Pocket Coach™ provides 33 power-packed communication strategies to support you in creating satisfying conversations that result in good outcomes for you and others. These just-in-time strategies will help you move through conversations masterfully, whether you're engaging with one person or a team of people. This book also introduces Game Changing Conversations, the 8-step process that prepares you for any difficult or high stakes conversation. 

My review:
This book was a very quick read and comprehensive as well. It has come at a time when I was actually having a struggle in the workplace. It not only gave good advice as to how to communicate with my boss but how she could communicate with me more effectively.

The book was laid out pretty well and the contents make it easy for quick reference. I could pick a strategy and go quickly to it without having to read the whole book again. This is certainly a nice little reference book to have especially for any manager.

4 stars.

Disclosure: I received a copy for free. The views here are 100% my own and may differ from yours. 
~M.M. aka Naila Moon

Where to find the authors: