Kait's Bookshelf

Book Reviews and Literary Services


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Book Review: The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser

Book Jumper“The idea was ridiculous and at the same time…tantalizing. Until now I’d only ever visited the world of stories, that world that held such fascination for me, in my imagination. But if there was a way of entering it for real…”- The Book Jumper

July was a great month. Not only has summer been in full swing with hot temps and blue skies, but I got to take a week-long summer vacay to visit some family in the scorching southwest. Vacation time for me usually equals reading time, so I was thrilled to catch up on some reads that I’ve been meaning to get to for some time. One of those reads was The Book Jumper by Mechthild Glaser.

I’ll be honest, I totally judged this book by its cover! I first saw this book in a bookstagram post. In case you’re not familiar with bookstagram, it’s a popular hashtag used on Instagram for book-related posts. I follow hundreds of bookstagram accounts, and I love checking out what others are reading. So when I saw a book titled The Book Jumper with cover art of a young woman standing on an open book and what appeared to be a book character rising out of the pages, I knew I had to check it out!

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Book Review: The Borrowers by Mary Norton

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Well, July is in full swing and that “summer vacation” feeling is in the air! I stated in my last post that I often gravitate toward middle grade and young adult books in the summer. I chose The Borrowers as my July book bucket list pick for this very reason. I figured that I would probably be in the mood for something light and imaginative, and I have wanted to revisit this childhood favorite for some time. It seemed like the timing would be perfect, and it was.

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Book Reviews: Nantucket Blue and Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

nantucket.jpgI’m not sure why but I tend to gravitate toward middle grade and young adult reads during the summer. Maybe it’s because summer will forever remind me of summer vacation and feeling young and free for two and half months. Maybe my adult self is subconsciously trying to recapture that feeling. Whatever the reason, I love diving into MG and YA books during summer, especially ones with a beach or vacation theme.

July might as well be Leila Howland month on my blog. I reviewed her book Hello, Sunshine in July 2017 and just reviewed her first two Tangled novels a couple of weeks ago. Howland writes for young readers extremely well. She doesn’t try to make her writing sound like it’s for young readers. Instead, she writes with an authentic voice, usually in first person, putting the reader right into the shoes of a seventeen or eighteen year old and all the butterflies, hormones, questions, and excitement that come with being young.

I decided to try another round of Howland books, this time a young adult novel, Nantucket Blue, about a teenage girl who spends the summer working on Nantucket Island, followed by the sequel Nantucket Red.

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Book Review: Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel by A.W. Jantha

“It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus…”

Hocus Pocus

I don’t often post reviews back to back, but today is the release day of Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel, and I just couldn’t wait to share my thoughts. This is going to be one of those posts where I date myself. I remember seeing Hocus Pocus in the theater when it released in July 1993 ~ 25 years ago! I saw it with my sister, brother, and friends. I was still a preteen, and I remember loving the movie. I laughed, I got nervous when Max lit the black flame candle, I screamed when Sarah Sanderson was found hiding in Dani’s bed, and I, like all other preteen girls, developed a tiny crush on Thackery Binx. For years, Disney fans have been begging for a sequel, but only if it includes the original cast, and I agree!

When I heard about the new book re-telling the original story with a new sequel included, I was excited yet a little hesitant, hoping that it wouldn’t ruin the original story and that the sequel would live up to my expectations. Well, the book releases today, and here is my review.

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Book Review: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Anne FrankI am so glad that I was able to fit in my book bucket list pick for June. I have wanted to read The Diary of a Young Girl for years. I didn’t get the chance to read it in high school like so many others did. I’m not sure why we didn’t read it other than maybe because Schindler’s List had released and become a huge success. We watched that film, an excellent film by the way, instead of reading Anne Frank’s diary. I don’t think one story is better than the other. They are both true and both equally moving. I do think that The Diary of a Young Girl should continue to be taught in schools because it is told in such a pure voice and really puts the reader right in the middle of the war. We can study World War II all we want, but we’ll never hear a more honest voice than that of a young Jewish girl in hiding. Anne’s story is something that touched my soul profoundly and something that I will never forget. No review I write will ever be able to do this book justice, but I will try my best to summarize why it was such a moving read for me.

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Reviews of Two Tangled Novels: Rapunzel and the Lost Lagoon and Rapunzel and the Vanishing Village by Leila Howland

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Since I didn’t get to read many books in June, this post will serve as both a book review post and my June wrap-up. I did thoroughly enjoy All the Stars in the Heavens, and I did get to my book bucket list pick for June, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I can’t wait to write my review of that book, though nothing I write will ever do it justice. If you missed All the Stars in the Heavens, you can go back and read my review here. My review of Diary of a Young Girl will be my next post so watch for that in the coming days.

Moving on to today’s reviews, I’m excited to talk about the first two novels in Disney’s Tangled series. Anyone who knows me knows about my love of all things Disney. Disney’s Tangled was a big hit with me. It was the first animated movie in a long time that had created such a buzz amongst both the kids and adults in my life. The movie was entertaining and funny, even earning a chuckle or two from my hubby who’s not exactly a Disney fan but watched it to humor me. 🙂

I’ve been a fan of Leila Howland’s work since Disney kindly gave me an advanced reader copy of her young adult book Hello Sunshine last year. I loved that book about an eighteen year old heading to Hollywood in pursuit of her dream, and I’ve been watching for Ms. Howland’s writing ever since. So you can imagine how excited I was when an author I love started a book series for Disney!

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Book Review: All the Stars in the Heavens by Adriana Trigiani

all the stars in the heavens“The ocean rolled out before her like a bolt of black velvet, while the stars overhead were fixed like silver sequins. The night sky was so clear it seemed that Loretta could see all the stars in the heavens.”

My first novel of the summer took me back to the Golden Days of Hollywood. As I stated in my May wrap-up, I’ve been leaning toward “comfort reads” lately – familiar stories, characters, and settings. I love reading about old Hollywood, and All the Stars in the Heavens was just what the doctor ordered. I found this book delightful. Not only was it one of my favorite genres, but the story featured real-life movie stars including Loretta Young, Clark Gable, and Spencer Tracy.

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May Wrap-Up!

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Well here in the northeast, we went from winter to summer practically overnight! May brought with it unusually warm weather – I can’t believe we had to use the air conditioner in May! But I have to admit that it felt great to finally get some sunshine and fresh air. My dogs were thrilled as well! They’ve had cabin fever for weeks now, waiting for the never-ending winter to finally cease. This month I was able to get my outside reading nook all set up, complete with flowers, birdbath, and fountain. Oh, and some good books to dive into!

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Author Profile: Emily Giffin

Emily GiffinLast month I was fortunate enough to receive an advance reader copy of Emily Giffin’s latest novel All We Ever Wanted. Reading her newest book reminded me of why I am such a fan of her writing. I always feel like I’m right inside the story, experiencing everything alongside her characters. Her characters often find themselves in relatable situations, usually involving relationships – romantic relationships, forbidden relationships, unconventional relationships, friendships, family relationships, etc. So I think it’s safe to say that just about everyone can find something or someone to relate to in her books.

The big bummer of going back to school in ’14 was that my read for fun time went out the window. This means that I had a stack of Giffin’s novels on my shelf that were long overdue and calling my name. Reading All We Ever Wanted reignited my spark for Giffin’s true-to-life stories. Now that I’ve graduated and have read for fun time once again, I decided to get all caught up.

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Book Review: Begin Again by Leeana Tankersley

Begin Again“You will not be left or abandoned. God will not be disgusted with you. Ever. In that way, God is not like the people in your life. God doesn’t tire of your struggle and your back-and-forth and your uncertainty. God doesn’t grow weary of your winding path.” – Begin Again

Well May has been an interesting month so far. Actually, 2018 has been filled with all kinds of surprises, and I feel thankful that I got through April in one piece. Within one week, my husband and two of our dogs each had surgery. They are all recovered and doing beautifully, but I was just about ready to collapse at the end of that week! On top of taking care of my family, I had my own health issues to contend with.

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis. It is an autoimmune disease in which my immune system is attacking my own body, specifically my joints. It is my second autoimmune diagnosis. I was diagnosed with Graves Disease almost 15 years ago. So between taking care of my family, working, and dealing with my own tests, doctor appointments, and adjusting to my new medication, I’m just thankful I’ve had time to read at all. Thanks to Baker Publishing Group (and Someone else I believe 😉 ), I ended up with just the right book at just the right time, Begin Again by Leeana Tankersley.

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