A Way to Garden by Margaret Roach

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Outstanding garden photos!
Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the opportunity to read and review A Way to Garden by Margaret Roach!
This book lives up to its subtitle- a hands-on primer for every season! Contents are broken into six bi-monthly sections that walk us through the life of plants and the growing seasons, from birth to death. The author invites readers into her garden and home, to see how much nature truly is in every aspect of her life. Beautiful photographs, accompanied by names of included plants, inspire! This book covers everything from browsing seed and plant catalogs, to different types of plants, to growing, canning and freezing and finally using the harvested goodies. Then onto benefits of trees, prevention and maintaining gardens. The enjoyment of seeing the author’s garden changing through the seasons is my favorite part. 5 stars for lush photos and valuable gardening tips!

How It Feels to Float by Helena Fox

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Original, thought-provoking story!
Thanks to Bookish First for the ARC of How It Feels To Float by Helena Fox and Dial Books. I received the book as a Bookish First winner!
Elizabeth, Biz, sees and hears her dad even though he’s been dead for many years. Biz lives in Australia with her single mother and younger twin siblings. She has a best friend named Grace that’s loyal to the point of vandalizing, on Biz’s behalf. They both receive warnings from the police even though Grace keeps saying that Biz was innocent. Grace’s family sends her away and Biz becomes more withdrawn. So, Biz starts therapy and a photography class. Her therapist advises Biz to stay in the moment and acknowledge her feelings and live. She meets new people and makes new friends as she spreads her wings. She also acknowledges the problems that have been buried deep inside. How It Feels to Float was a therapeutic read for me and I relished the professional advice given to Biz. I can see how this book might be triggering, especially if the reader is dealing with similar struggles. I really cannot sum this book’s effect in one word because it’s somewhat enigmatic.,thought-provoking, eye-opening and uniquely unusual! The revealing of the cause of Biz’s struggles was jittery and not explained as well as I expected it to be. I would have appreciated more explanation and feel that this would be more healing and helpful to those that have experienced the same traumas and for this reason, I rate this book 4 stars!

 

Prom-Wrecked by T.H. Hernandez and Jennifer DiGiovanni!

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Event after event of chaos!
Thanks to NetGalley and Entangled Teen for the opportunity to read and review Prom-Wrecked by T. H. Hernandez and Jennifer DiGiovanni!
The opening, showing the ragged and imprisoned state of the teen prom attendees, made me curious and the book didn’t let me down. The group of prom planners and prom goers dealt with a mountain of tumultuous events before the prom ever started and then prom was eventful with completely different issues. The characters are realistic, overwhelmed and anxious, just like real teenagers. Drama, of course takes a part in this story but so does maturity, loyalty and perseverance. Riley, Catherine and Owen are the three main characters, each with distinct personalities and Owen is in the middle of all the action. Fun and with a message of prevailing justice makes Prom-Wrecked an interesting read, 5 stars!

Artemis Fowl (2018 re-release) by Eoin Colfer

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Just as fun as reading it the first time!
Thanks to NetGalley and Disney Hyperion for the opportunity to read and review Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer!
The author has created a code at the end of the book for the readers to decode a secret message. The infamous prologue, introducing the twelve-year-old Artemis Fowl, opens the book. An enigma, a genius and a thief all wrapped in one, make up the preteen Artemis. Artemis’s bodyguard and all-around protector, Butler, takes his job seriously AND he’s very good at it. Artemis’s mother floats in and out of reality since her husband, Artemis’s father, has been missing. Artemis’s goal is to figure out what happened to his father. Holly Short is an elf who works as a leprechaun. She’s feisty and good at her job. Sometimes she butts heads with her boss, Commander Root. Artemis has discovered fairy secrets and captures Holly for ransom while she’s performing the ritual to restore her magic. Root gets Mulch Diggums, the dirt and rock devouring dwarf and thief, to infiltrate the Fowl mansion and rescue Holly. The elf community and Artemis each get more than they bargained for because of underestimating each other’s intelligence. This fun, adventurous fantasy is now being made into a movie summer 2019 for the U.S. and I can’t wait to see it! 5 stars!

Make It Easy Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

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Easy to decorate for all DIY-ers!
Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for the opportunity to read and review Make It Easy, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson!
You know with these authors, the cupcake creations will be nothing short of astounding! Cupcakes made as easy as possible, with cookies and other edible ingredients, turn out adorable and fun! The cherry blossom cupcakes set together beautifully to make a cherry blossom tree, ready to be disassembled by hungry cupcake eaters. Football players, droids, ballerinas and swans are just some of the decadently decorated cupcakes found within the pages of this book. These cleverly designed desserts are almost too cute or too pretty to eat! 5 stars!

The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

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Introspective retelling!
Thanks to NetGalley and Delacorte Press for the opportunity to read and review The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White!
The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein is a fresh and unique retelling of Mary Shelley’s classic story. I love the female protagonist, Elizabeth. Her background has been lonely and she’s always struggling to secure her place in the world, much like women of the time period the story takes place in. The mystery intrigued me and after Elizabeth’s background was set, the action and mystery picked up the story’s pace. Tragedy seems to strike all too often around the Frankenstein manor where Elizabeth was taken in as a young girl. Her favorite companion has always been Victor Frankenstein and he claims ownership and complete companionship of Elizabeth. The story becomes darker as it progresses, which makes it even more interesting to read. Historical fiction, horror, and a retelling earn 5 stars! Kudos to Kiersten White for her remarkable retelling!

Handmade Houseplants by Corrie Beth Hogg

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Beautiful DIY projects!
Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the opportunity to read and review Handmade Houseplants by Corrie Beth Hogg with photographs by Christine Han.
A helpful, wonderful guide for making houseplants out of paper, by adding paint, floral wire and a pot, to create plants prettier and healthier than the real versions. Lists of supplies needed, how-to directions and skills and techniques, help the artist make sure all of the details aren’t forgotten. Details such as plant buds and leaflets and many more, and that these details turn out perfectly. Instructions for maintaining and repairing paper plants includes cleaning tips and an assortment of fixing advice,bonus projects and templates are included towards the end of the book. 5 stars for this guide to paper plant perfection!

1,000 Books to Read Before You Die by James Mustich

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So many books, so little time!
Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing for the opportunity to read and review 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die by James Mustich! This book is organized alphabetically by authors’ last names. Some titles are used to organize the book alphabetically, such as the Qur’an which is a work of scripture. Many poets, historians and classics are listed and their books reviewed, as well as newer literary works and popular reads. Each author/work is summarized and evaluated, giving enough information for readers to be able to decide whether or not they want to read the book that’s being discussed. At the end of the book, lists can be found organizing the books differently, such as books to read before 12 years of age. A general index lists the titles and authors alphabetically for ease. A 1,000 books checklist is also included. 5 stars!

Creating Sanctuary by Jessi Bloom

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A creative way to build relaxation!
Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the opportunity to read and review Creating Sanctuary by Jessi Bloom!
Informative and inspiring, Creating Sanctuary shows and tells the reader about sanctuary around the world and gives us the knowledge and freedom to choose and create our own special healing and meditative spaces. The five steps to creating your sanctuary garden are to clear out space, improve the soil, manage the water, provide wildlife habitat and build the plant layers. Different styles and designs for planting (medicine wheels) and different relaxation techniques (forest bathing)are discussed, as well as celebrating the changing seasons. Eye-opening and helpful tips for every aspect of building a personal sanctuary, 5 stars!

Of Rioters and Royals by M.L. Greye

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I received a copy of Of Rioters & Royals by M. L. Greye from the author. Declan is vying to become a challenger to end the long-lasting feud that’s overrun the kingdom. He’s going to be a competitor in the fight for Princess Emry’s favor and to become her Knight. The first part of the book sets the background and world building and once Declan and Emry are introduced, I became invested! The two of them share a pull that draws them together, even though it’s been several years since they’ve seen each other. Declan seems independent and Emry is adventurous. In their world, different colors of eyes have specific skills and talents. Declan has teal eyes that give him speed. Emry’s eyes are silver and she can cast shadows and hide herself. They are both keeping secrets from each other and eventually they discover what those secrets are. If I say more, I might give too much away. Of Rioters & Royals is the first in the Swift Shadows series that continues with the sequel, Entwined Paths. Lots of intrigue and somewhat unknown backstories make a fun-to-read fantasy, 5 stars!