Modern Macrame by Emily Katz

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An all-inclusive macrame guide!
Thanks to NetGalley and Ten Speed Press for the opportunity to read and review Modern Macrame by Emily Katz!
An informational and instructional guide to all things macrame. From the history of macrame to plant hangers to wall art, and more, can be found in this book of creativity. Photographs accompanying detailed instructions show tools and supplies needed, macrame knots and making macrame ropes and mounting. When I hear the word “macrame”, I think of the 1970’s plant hangers and bell bottom jeans, but the macrame creations in this book are streamlined and not just for hanging plants. The decorations and wall hangings are delicate and trendy. I especially love the swing! The daybed is fascinating and beautiful and the rugs are versatile. An all-inclusive macrame guide, 5 stars and happy creating!

Learning to Breathe by Janice Lynn Mather

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This book still brings tears to my eyes, just thinking about it.  A truly touching story dealing with tough issues!
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review Learning to Breathe by Janice Lynn Mather. Indy comes from a dysfunctional family except for her loving grandmother who would do anything for her, but she’s not always close enough to help and doesn’t own a phone. Indy has been sexually abused and ended up pregnant and she feels alone, with no one to turn to. She’s living with her Uncle, his wife and her two cousins. Her Uncle cares for her but he’s gone a lot on business. Aunt Patrice treats Indy with disgust. Her cousin Smiley is friendly to Indy but busy being a teenage girl. Her cousin Gary is the one who abuses Indy. This story holds many messages in its pages: you don’t know who you can trust; don’t judge quickly or make assumptions; there are good people in the world; perseverance and resilience are important skills; friends can be found in the most unexpected places and your choices are your own to make. Truly a touching story dealing with some tough issues, 4 stars!

 

Phoebe Will Destroy You by Blake Nelson

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5 stars for the story of the mysterious Phoebe and the lovable Nick!
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review Phoebe Will Destroy You by Blake Nelson!
Nick visits relatives for the summer, getting a break from his mother and her alcoholism. Nick and his parents live in a college town and his parents both work for the university and since his mother returned from rehab, she seems bored and distant to Nick and her husband. The relatives he visits live in a laid back town and he’s looking forward to seeing them and being in a different environment. Nick meets quite a few new people, makes friends and they have interesting experiences together, but there’s one person that gets into his mind more than anyone else- Phoebe. She’s a complete mystery and that’s a big part of why Nick finds her attractive and appealing. Nick imagines a future with Phoebe but it always involves changing some part of Phoebe’s life to create that future. The ambiguity of the ending left me hoping that Nick is enjoying his present and continues to enjoy his future with or without Phoebe in it. 5 stars for the lovable Nick!

From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon

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A journey of trials, errors and growth filled with charming characters!
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review From Twinkle, With Love by Sandhya Menon!
Unique storytelling in the form of diary entries by Twinkle, as she relays the happenings in her life, let us know what makes her tick. Twinkle’s charming and calmly optimistic outlook on life shines as she addresses her entries to famous women that she admires. She wants to be a filmmaker and in the process of making her film, ends up hurting several people. She feels overwhelmed and has to step back and reevaluate everything. A journey of trials and errors and growth filled with charming characters makes this realistic fiction story a keeper, 4 stars!

Save the Date by Morgan Matson

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Realistic fiction filled with the strength of family!
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review Save the Date by Morgan Matson!
Reminiscent of Cheaper By The Dozen and Sixteen Candles since chaos seems to surround the Grant family and a family member is getting married during this story. The mother created a comic strip depicting the lives and happenings of the family members and it’s now coming to an end. Charlie, the main character, has a crush on her older brother’s best friend, Jesse and he knows it. Everything that can go wrong with the wedding seems to happen and the Grant family is past their elbows in stress. Their family is literally falling apart and breaking up while they are featured on tv as being the perfect family. The story comes around in a complete circle with the family members airing their grievances and struggling to work them out. Consequences seem to bring everything into the open in this realistic fiction drama filled with chaos and contention and also the strength of family, 4 stars!

DIY KIDS’ Dress Up by Jessica Near

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Thanks to NetGalley and F+W Media for the opportunity to read and review DIY KIDS’ Dress Up by Jessica Near. Sewing Instructions for twelve costumes and templates are detailed and included, all costumes are made with felt. Felt is versatile, doesn’t need hemming and holds its shape well. These attributes make felt perfect for costume making. A tools and materials list starts off the book and helps get the costume maker prepared and ready to create. Tips are also included, such as using a razor to de-pill your felt. Colorful illustrations accompany each detailed pattern. Fun and inspiring for dress up play, 5 stars!

Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com by Nancy Hendrickson

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Thanks to NetGalley and Family Tree Books (F+W Media) for the opportunity to read and review the Unofficial Guide to Ancestry.com by Nancy Hendrickson. Informative guide showing the basics plus so much more on how to use the ancestry.com website. Instructions and information of layout, memberships, searching tips and all the different ways to find information on ancestry.com-military records, census records, primary sources, wills, tax information, school directories and church histories are included. Getting DNA results and interpreting them and other websites to connect to for even more information and research, each discussed within their own chapters and are also a large part of this book. Insets, photos and helpful images show what can be found on this website, full of historical and genealogical information, to bring fruition to your family history work. 5 stars for a book that will guide you every step of the way during your family history research and more!

 

STEAM Play & Learn by Ana Dziengel

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Creative entertainment!
Thanks to NetGalley and Quarto Publishing for the opportunity to read and review STEAM Play & Learn by Ana Dziengel. This is a wonderful book filled with twenty projects, ranging from easy to difficult and all geared towards science, technology, engineering, art and math. Fun and helpful illustrations bring this project book to life and the detailed instructions are perfect! I love the STEAM applications and notes following each project. A must-have book for anyone wanting a little creative entertainment in their lives- 5 stars!

All That I Can Fix by Crystal Chan

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Sad, harsh, funny and enlightening all at the same time!
Thanks to NetGalley and Simon Pulse for the opportunity to read and review All That I Can Fix by Crystal Chan. After reading the synopsis, I thought the story would be harsh and depressing. It’s both of those with a bit of humor added into the mix. It’s almost a desperation humor and a way for the main character, Ronney to deal with his rough life. He’s fifteen and pretty much like a parent to his younger sister Mina, who’s extremely smart. Their mother holds a job and brings home a paycheck but she’s deeply depressed. Their father flubbed a suicide attempt and only has use of one of his arms. He’s depressed and mostly hangs out in his bedroom. Ronney helps with home repairs and his little sister’s homework. He’s in love with his best friend but she’s dating his other best friend, Jello. Ronney’s life is full of complications and he’s barely dealing. The zoo animals are set loose and Jello wants to safari and do a photo shoot with all of the loose animals he can find. This adds comic relief to the story and also danger. The story is sad, harsh, enlightening and funny all at the same time, 4 stars!

Hypertufa Containers by Lori Chips

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Thanks to NetGalley and Timber Press for the opportunity to read and review Hypertufa Containers by Lori Chips. Hypertufa containers or troughs are made from cement, peat moss, perlite and fiber mesh and they are frost-resistant and meant to bring miniature alpine plants up close for better viewing. Photos and detailed instructions and information give everything needed to create your own hypertufa containers. The only thing missing is your imagination and supplies! A list of categorized plants is included along with a glossary and zonal information. Helpful and creative-4 stars!