Thursday, April 27, 2017

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

My Not So Perfect Life

Author: Sophie Kinsella
Publisher: The Dial Press
Year: 2017
Genre: Adult Fiction/Romance/Chick-Lit
Age: 18+

I had heard a lot of good things about this book when it came out & I like the author from books I've previously read. I listened to this book on audio using the OneClick Digital app through my library, the reader has a London accent & she does a great job. Overall it was HILARIOUS & fun!

Katie (Kat) Brenner is a twenty something girl living in a very small flat in a suburb of London with two other roommates. She is from Summerset, a farm out in the country & must adapt to the busy city life quickly when she gets a job at a branding company called Cooper Klemo as a research assistant.

Katie has the boss from hell...her name is Demeter...that's in goddess of the harvest...

Demeter is the stereotypical corporate boss. Tall, skinny, well dressed, flawless hair, beautiful family, perfect house, etc. She is oblivious to the world around her & all the work that others do in order to make her happy. Katie tries to avoid drama & office gossip as much as possible. She finally gets close to Demeter one day when Demeter needs to get ready for an event & asks Katie to dye her roots. If you didn't think you couldn't sink any lower on the chain, think again!

In the meantime Katie has met a new guy named Alex, he's tall, dark, handsome, & her boss! Or rather her boss's, boss's, boss; that means he's also totally off limits.

Before long Katie's life starts to fall apart in front of her, between being fired from her job, her weird roommates, & her lack of finances she needs to get away. So she goes out to her parents farm where they have started up a new glamping business. Working in branding she helps Anderson Farms get off the ground. The business is booming, tons of London families come out on holiday, Katie is looking for a new job, and things seem to be going in the right direction. That is until Demeter & her family show up at the farm...

It's all down hill from there as they say. In a whirlwind week Katie & Demeter torment each other to no end, Alex surprises them both with a visit, & a mystery has to be solved before it;s too late for both of them.

In the end Katie finds out that having a not so perfect life isn't as bad as she thought!

Likes: This book was absolutely HILARIOUS!!! From the very first page where Katie is on the train & accidentally eats someone else's panini to her & Demeter falling into the mud in a swamp.

The reader for the audiobook was very good. She offered a variety of voices both male & female, as well as doing a great English country accent.

The story line is a little predictable as far as chick-lit romance goes but the author threw in a few upsets here and there that made it interesting down to the last page.

The characters are very relatable. We are all Katie at some point in our lives and there is ALWAYS a Demeter!

The farm where the glamping takes place sounds like an amazing vacation that I want to go on ASAP!

Dislikes: -


May 2017 TBR

This month I plan on reading 5 books, I know at least one of them will be an audiobook. I started listening to audiobooks at work because I can work at my desk & listen in my office. There's a chance the audio version of another one will be available but if I can't wait that long I might just inhale it in one night LOL. Click the link under the title for more info on the book...

A Court of Wings & Ruin by Sarah J. Maas
***I have been waiting for this book for over a year! I don't own any of the others so I'm expecting to see it on audio through my library but if not I will TRY to patiently wait until we get it..we'll see how it goes with that waiting thing!***

Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella
***I recently found out that I LOVE her books! So this one was available at my library & I'm going to give it a try. If I don;t like this one there is lots to choose from, she is a very good & accomplished author. ***

The Fairest of Them All by Carolyn Turgeon
***This one is for my reading challenge group, it was recommended to me by a co-worker. It's short & it's also an ILL so I will probably read it first.***

Wither by Lauren DeStefano
***This book has been on my radar for a few years & I'm excited to finally read it. It's available on audio through my library so it'll be my audiobook for the month***

A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
***I recently saw the new show on HULU & WOW! It was crazy. I'm looking forward to reading the book & seeing how the show turns out***

Stay tuned for my reviews later this month!

April 2017 Wrap-Up

This month I only read 2 of the books that were on my planned TBR but I did read 5 books total which is my best month yet for this year. Below is what I read including one I'm finishing today & one I'm finishing this week. Click the link under the title for more info...

Dragonwatch by Brandon Mull

Matilda by Roald Dahl

The BFG by Roald Dahl

I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan

My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella

Stay tuned for my final 2 reviews of this month & my May TBR soon!


Thursday, April 20, 2017

I Work at a Public Library by Gina Sheridan

I Work at a Public Library

Author: Gina Sheridan
Publisher: Adams Media
Year: 2014
Genre: Nonfiction, Short Story, Memoir
Age: Adult 18+

This book is obviously intended for those of us that choose (or are subjected to work with) the general public in a library setting. We as library workers hear it all! We are the connoisseurs of "There's no such thing as a stupid question". I originally heard about this book on Book Bub's Twitter page & I knew I needed to read it ASAP so...I got it for myself on ILL (hahaha evil laugh). These entries are taken from Gina's blog on tumblr the link is here. There isn't much I can say about this book as far as a "review" goes since there isn't really one story or plot per se. Just know that is was hilarious & absolutely true, I can vouch because I too hear most of these questions/conversations on a daily basis. Below are some of my favorites but because of copyright law I can't copy them verbatim on here so you'll have to get the book for yourself & some of them might be on her blog. There is definitely lots of great examples! The book can be bought here...


My Favorites

Chapter 1 004.16 Computers
Rude, How
Jobs, All the
United States, Google Versus

Chapter 2 025.52 Reference Work
Questions, Fielding
Autobiographies, Dragon
Dislikes, Likes and

Chapter 3 028.9 Reading Interests and Habits
Confused, Thoreauly
Titles, Questionable Book
Name, It's All in the

Chapter 4 031.02 Curiosities and Wonders
Dog, Service
Everything, Location is
Margaritas, Library

Chapter 5 153.733 Listening In
Calling, Name (Redux)
Fashion, Horror
Fairies, Book

Chapter 6 302.2 Communication, Failures and Disruptions of
Whiffy, Getting
W, A Through
Number, Personal Identification

Chapter 7 302.343 Bullying
Disease, Cataloging
Taxpayer, But I'm a

Chapter 9 611 Human Anatomy
Tooth, Missing
Snakes, Don't Like
Crack, Reference Room
Doctor, I'm Not a
Ass, Yiddish for
Let Go, Learning to
Fungus, Types of

Chapter 10 621.385 Telephones
Connections, Faxy
M, Rated
Voice, Having a Phone
Signal, Crossed
Typewriter, Needing a
Slower, Go

Chapter 11 808.879083 Children's Humor
Individuality, Enthusiastic
Prizes, All of the
Imagination, Using Your
Cars, Before
Questions, Profound
Cinnamons, Crime

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The BFG by Roald Dahl


Author: Roald Dahl
Publisher: Puffin Books (Original) Listening Library (Audio)
Year: 1982 (Original) 2016 (Audio & Movie)
Genre: Children's Fantasy Chapter Book
Age: JUV 10+

I originally read this book when I was a child & loved it, much like all of Dahl's others, Matilda being my favorite. With the movie coming out I figured I'd read it again & I decided to listen to it on audio during a recent trip. It didn't disappoint & was as fun as I remembered it being,The reader was very good & there was sound effects throughout which I really enjoyed. The movie was also spectacular! I'll include the book review & movie comparison below.
Sophie is an orphan living in London, her parents died when she was very young. She frequently can;t sleep at night & is up into the early hours of the morning, this time is refereed to as "The Witching Hour" it's the time when strange things happen. On this particular night Sophie sees a giant man with a trumpet going through the streets & peering into people's windows. The next thing she knows the giant has snatched Sophie & they are romping through the countryside.

They land in a very peculiar place that she learns is called Giant Country. The giant that took her is called the BFG or "Big Friendly Giant". The BFG isn't even the biggest giant around but he is the nicest. He doesn't eat humans at all like the others & he lives off of a disgusting vegetable called a snozcumber. He took Sophie because she had seen him & no human has ever done that. It isn't long before Sophie meets the other giants & almost gets eaten by one of them.

After escaping from the other giants Sophie learns what the BFG does during the day before he ventures into the city at night. The BFG goes out & collects dreams, he has quite the collection. Then he uses these dreams on people in London with his magic trumpet. The other giants go off at night to other countries & eat the human that they call "beans". People from different countries taste differently so they go all over the world. But Sophie wants to stop this practice...

Sophie hatches a plan to have the Queen of England help them defeat the giants & stop them from eating people forever. With the help of the BFG they create a special dream for the Queen to tell their story. From there the Queen agrees to use her army to help capture the giants & lock them up. It's a happy ending for everyone...except the giants!

Likes: The imagination in this story is astounding! From the dream catching to the BFG's misused words this is a fantasy story for all ages.

The sound effects in the audio version really enhanced the story. You can hear the BFG stomping through the countryside, the lid of a jar as it opens in the quiet of a London street at night, & even the distant humming of the dreams as they are being caught.

The giants getting what they deserve in the end is much like Dahl's other stories.

The movie adaptation of this story was amazing!

Dislikes: -


Movie-Book Comparison 

After recently listening to the book on audio & watching the new movie I decided to do a comparison between the two. Below are the differences I noticed & what I thought about them...

  • Taken
    • In the book Sophie sees the BFG using his trumpet when she first spots him, in the movie he's creeping around on the street & he sees Sophie in the orphanage.
      • This does not directly impact the story at all
  • Snozcumber
    • Absolutely disguisting in both formats!
      • I like that the movie depicted the vegetable accurately
  • Funny Talking
    • The BFG's mixed up words are present in both formats
      • It's funny to hear him talking in the movie & on the audiobook. He tries to get the words almost right but doesn't quite make it
  • Dream Storage
    • In the book the BFG just stores his dreams on a few shelves in his cave. In the movie he has a very elaborate storage area with thousands of dreams in a different part of the cave thats connected by a water feature. 
      • In the movie the whole story really comes to life so I like the dream storage depicted in the movie a lot better because it brings your thoughts to life on the screen
  • Landscape
    • The landscape in the book is almost desert like with yellow sand & blue rocks. Whereas in the movie it is more mountainous with green hills & rocks.
      • It would have been really interesting to see a landscape like the one from the books depicted in the movie, but the mountain area makes Giant Country seem less menacing 
  • Giants
    • In the book the giants don't wear clothes except for loin cloths & in the movie they each have their own outfts to go with their personality
      • This change does not really impact the story overall, it just adds to the imagination in the movie
  • Frogscottle
    • Fabulous in both formats! It's hard to believe that snozcumbers create this great drink when they are awful
      • In the movie the BFG gives everyone at the palace some when him & Sophie are with the Queen. It makes for an entertaining visit & it really adds to the story much like that giants clothes & the dreams
  • Almost Eaten
    • In the movie Sophie climbs into the snozcumber to avoid detection by one of the giants. In the book she does the same thing but ends up in the giants mouth, almost eaten!
      • The terror of almost being eaten in the book makes your heart race, but the scene in the movie was close enough to be scary 
  • Dreamland
    • Getting dreams is slightly different in both formats. The movie uses more imagination in the dreamland & the dreams themselves adding to the overall story. 
      • I love the dreamland & the dreams in the movie, they are beautiful, fun, & full of life!
  • Can You Hear Me Now?
    • The BFG's enormous ears were depicted well in both formats.
  • Dream Types
    • The same types of dreams are spoken about & used in both formats.
      • Seeing the BFG mix the dreams in the movie was really fun!
  • Sophie
    • In the movie the BFG takes Sophie back to the orphanage so the giants don't find her. Sophie ends up talking him into taking her back to help him defeat the giants. The giants in turn find Sophie's blanket & sniff her out, destroying the BFG's cave.
      • The book does not include this, in the book they just use the dream to get the Queen to help them. Overall it just shows how different the BFG is compared to the other giants & it also makes you feel bad when all his hard work is destroyed in the movie giving you a deeper connection to him. 
  • The Queen
    • Sophie has an idea to have the Queen help them defeat the giants using a dream in both formats
  • The End
    • In the book the giants are captured by the Queen's army & put into a giant hole in the middle of London as a spectacle. The BFG becomes the official dreamblower of London & gets a house near the palace. But in the movie the giants are out on a remote island in the middle of the ocean & Sophie gets adopted by the Queen.
      • I think that the time the book was written & the movie came out has a lot to do with this ending. At the time the book was written & in the UK I feel like that was an appropriate ending to put the giants in the hole. I like that Sophie is adopted by the Queen in the movie, it was a happy ending for everyone. 

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Matilda by Roald Dahl


Author: Roald Dahl
Publisher: Puffin Books (Original) Penguin (Audiobook)
Year: 1988 (Original) 2013 (Penguin Audio) 1996 (Movie)
Genre: Children's Chapter Book
Age: JUV 10+

This is my all time favorite book! I have read it cover to cover probably 200 times. This was my first time listening to it on audio & I really loved it. Kate Winslet does a great job telling the story in different voices.
Matilda is a young girl who is born into a family that really doesn't care for her. She has an older brother named Michael & her parents who all live in a small village in England. Matilda is left home everyday at a very young age while her mother goes to a nearby town to play BINGO. Because her parents did not send her to school until much too late she spends her time teaching herself how to read, learning math, & visiting the local public library. Her parents treat her awfully so she also spends her time teaching them lessons, especially her father who is a bad used car salesman.

Once she finally starts school Matilda is in love with it! Her teacher Miss Honey is lovely, kind, & caring. Matilda's best friend Lavender is also very bright & she helps her cope with the oddities that occur frequently at her school.

The school is overseen by an awful headmistress named the Trunchbull. She has a nasty habit of throwing children out of windows, or locking them in a dangerous dark closet called the chokey. She even forces a student to eat an entire chocolate cake while the whole school watches.

It isn't long before Miss Honey confides in Matilda who the Trunchbull really is & Matilda devises a plan to get rid of her forever. By using her new found "power" Matilda is the hero of the story & gets the happy ending she has always wanted & deserved.

Likes: Everything about this story is just amazing! Matilda is a bright & daring young child that is a true hero in our reality. She is able to use her bad situation to her advantage & create a better life for herself.

Matilda's love of the library inspired me from a very young age. I was also a child that frequented the library regularly after school & it gave me a greater sense of who I am today & enriched my life in a way that I can never quite explain much like Matilda.

Roald Dahl uses his very imaginative storytelling to bring the story to life through Matilda's powers & the contrast between good like Miss Honey & evil like the Trunchbull. He also uses humor to enrich the story of Matilda's struggles like when she super glue's her father's hat to his head, or Lavender puts the newt in the Trunchbull's water.

The movie was great as well! I remember seeing it when I was a child, it was very imaginative, funny, & close to the book.

Dislikes: -


Movie-Book Comparison

After recently listening to the book on audio I decided to also watch the movie & do a comparison between the two, below are some of the differences I noticed & what I thought about them...

  • The setting
    • Movie: America
    • Book: Britain
      • I think this has a lot to do with the ease of shotting the movie in California instead of in England. Over all I think the movie made the story more relatable by it being in America but I would have liked it either way
  • Matilda's age
    • Movie: Almost 6
    • Book: 4ish
      • The biggest impact this has on the story is that 6 is usually when your child has been in school/daycare etc for a year or two. This makes it seem like a lot more time has passed in the movie
  • The book
    • Movie: Moby Dick
    • Book: The Red Pony
      • This switch much like the setting has to do with the time period & where it takes place
  • The fuzz
    • Movie: Seen from begining
    • Book: Surprise at the end
      • The reader should be able to figure out that Matilda's father is a crook in every sense of the word. In the book it is a little bit of a surprise that he is in trouble with the cops, but in the movie you know it's coming because they are outside watching the house from day 1
  • The newt
    • Movie: Found by a group of kids (Matilda, Lavender, & Bruce)
    • Book: Found at Lavender house
      • This change doesn't make such difference. In the book it makes Lavender look like she acted alone & it was just her idea & in the movie we see Matilda bonding with her new friends which is nice
  • The chokey
    • Movie: Matilda ends up in the chokey
    • Book: Mentioned but not ever inside
      • The chokey is terrifying! Seeing it in the movie makes your skin crawl. The significance of Matilda being put in it makes it more real instead of a playground horror story like in the book
  • Matilda's powers
    • Movie: Powers used early to blow up the TV & scare the Trunchbull with the newt. Can't reuse them immediately
    • Book: Powers used for the first time with the newt & can use them immediately afterwards
      • I think being able to use her powers immediately does not make a big difference. The difference comes at the time when Matilda is able to first use them. Using them on her parents first in the movie shows the significance 
  • Lissy doll
    • Movie: Belongs to Miss Honey & Matilda helps get her back
    • Book: Lissy doll does not exist
      • The addition of Lissy doll relates a lot to Miss Honey & Matilda breaking into the Trunchbull's house & Matilda's powers. It is a good addition to the movie but changes the story overall so not having it in the book does not really effect the story
  • Scaring the Trunchbull
    • Movie: Miss Honey & Matilda break into the Trunchbull's house & Matilda comes back later to steal Lissy doll back while scaring the Trunchbull with a painting of Magnus, Miss Honey's father
    • Book: Newt in classroom & the ending with the chalk writing
      • Same as Lissy Doll
  • Practice
    • Movie: Matilda practices frequently with many things
    • Book: After the newt incident she practices with a cigar for the scare
      • In the book Matilda only scares the Trunchbull on purpose once so the type & frequency of practice goes with both forms of the story appropiately
  • The end of the Trunchbull
    • Movie: After the scare at the house & the break in the Trunchbull comes to their class & tries to frighten them into telling. Matilda fights back by using her powers & the Trunchbull gets kicked out of school via food fight then leaves town
    • Book: There is no scare or break in at the house just the incident in the classroom with the newt & the chalk then she passes out & gets carried out by the teachers & disappears
      • The kids throwing food at the Trunchbull & chasing her out of school has a lot to do with the setting of the movie versus the book. I personally like the movie ending a little bit better, justice is served in the end either way
  • Moving
    • Movie: Matilda's family is moving the Guam
    • Book: Matilda's family is moving to Spain
      • The location of the family is what changes the escape plan
  • Happily ever after
    • Movie: Matilda gets adopted by Miss Honey at her request & Miss Honey becomes the new principal
    • Book: Matilda gets a adopted by Miss Honey
      • Much like the end of the Trunchbull I think justice is better served with Miss Honey becoming the new principal in the movie

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa

The Iron King

Author: Julie Kagawa
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Year: 2010
Genre: Fantasy
Age: YA 13+

Meghan Chase is a half human/half faery sixteen year old princess who is about to learn the truth about her family, who she is, & what is waiting just on the other side of our world. Her brother Ethan is taken into the world of the fae called the Nevernever & replaced by an evil changling child. In order to get Ethan back,  Meghan's best friend & faery guardian Robbie Goodfellow takes her through the veil on a perilous adventure through the wyldwood filled with dangerous fae creatures, into a deadly faery nightclub in Detroit, & a meeting with a voodoo witch in New Orleans. The pair is accompanied by Ash who is the prince of the Winter Court, his mother is the dangerous Queen Mab of the Unseelie fae. The group is also getting tips from a cat named Grim who has a way of disappearing when things get scary.

They know that Ethan is being help captive by someone called the Iron King, but no one has ever heard of him before now. In order to get to the realm of the Iron King they must escape from Meghan's father King Oberon, the ruler of the Seelie fae & the king of the Summer Court. But trouble is brewing in the Nevernever: their journey is full of danger, a chilling winter landscape, & a few unexpected allies.

The realm of the Iron King is filled with the electronic waste of the human world & thrives upon the technological energy expelled from the other side of the veil. Normal fae can't handle iron, it is deadly to them. So the group must get in & out quickly in order to stay alive. Will they rescue Ethan & save themselves, or will they become a part of the Iron King's collection?

Likes: I have been reading more fantasy lately in the past year or so & because of that I'm starting to see a pattern in the stories of the fae. Names, characters, & places are becoming more recognizable & I am becoming akin to the ways of the fae & their kingdoms.

This particular story has some cool 21st century elements that make the story more relatable.

Grim the cat reminded me of the cheshire cat from Alice in Wonderland which is one of my favorites.

Dislikes: The story line was a little bit predictable but still enjoyable.

I'm also seeing a Twlight moment happening between Robbie, Ash, & Meghan...