Book review

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers book review

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers book review @ Chocolate and Chapters

Fallen AngelsFallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers

My rating: 5 of 5 stars ★★★★★
Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult
Source: Purchased

Richard Perry joins the Army during the chaos of the Vietnam war after his plans for college fall through. He leaves behind his gentle younger brother and alcoholic single mother in Harlem, NY. Upon arriving in Vietnam, Richie’s not sure what to expect. Soon, he sees the war up close for himself. The blood, brutality, panic, and terror. He forms deep friendships with the men he fights beside and has good reason to wonder if he’ll ever make it back to Harlem alive.

I have an extremely difficult time writing books review for books I love. I feel like anything I might say about the book would be trite; that I couldn’t possibly explain my thoughts well enough to convince people of just how special a particular book is.

And this book is no exception.

I finished this book last night and this is still how I feel:

Fallen Angels by Walter Dean Myers book review @ Chocolate and Chapters

The story starts out quickly. We’re thrown into the action with Richie as he arrives in Vietnam. He’s getting to know the men he’s going to fight beside, getting used to Army life, and thinking often about his brother and mother back home.

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Bookish talk · Discussion · Personal thoughts

5 ways I WON’T be reducing my TBR pile

A couple days ago I wrote about my shamefully long TBR list. As I said there, books are pack animals and breed like beautiful, shiny-covered rabbits. I have a lot of them.

Since then, I’ve been thinking:

How specifically (besides reading what I own, obviously) can I effectively reduce my TBR pile?

I did lots of searching and reading tip posts on other people’s blogs. There were plenty of helpful ideas, but there were also a lot of “yeah right…” tips. Without further ado, here are…

The 5 reducing-your-TBR suggestions I WON’T be following:

 

1. One blog suggested going through your TBR so vigilantly that you reduce it down to 10 books. 10 FREAKING BOOKS. 

Upon reading that, this was my reaction:

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Book review

On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves book review

On the Island (On the Island, #1)On the Island by Tracey Garvis-Graves

My rating: 3 of 5 stars ★★★
Genre: Romance, Contemporary
Source: Library

Anna Emerson is 30 years old. She’s an English teacher and in a stagnant relationship. When she’s offered a job as a private tutor for the summer for a rich family, she accepts. Her student will be 16-year-old T.J., who isn’t happy to be spending his first healthy summer with his family on a far-away tropical island. Unfortunately, Anna and T.J.’s seaplane crash-lands in the ocean on the way.

The current pushes them in the course of a uninhabited island. They must find the basic necessities that we take for granted in our daily lives: water, food, shelter. They battle storms, injuries, animals, and the possibility that T.J.’s cancer could come back. Neither are prepared for the danger that is now a part of their everyday lives.

So you’ve probably wondered something while reading the above summary: “So the kid is 16 years old, the woman is 30 years old, and this is in the ‘Romance’ genre???”

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Believe me, I wondered the same thing. So for the sake of lessening the creep-factor, let me tell you something that some people might think is a spoiler, but I think is necessary information: They are on the island for a long. time. He gets older. So that’s good news.

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Bookish talk · Discussion

It’s Monday! What are you reading? July 17

It’s Monday! What are you reading? is a place to share what you’ve been reading and what’s coming up next. And to add books to your own TBR pile, of course! (This awesome challenge is from Emma at Emma’s Bookish Corner, who found it from Kathryn at Book Date.)

It's Monday! What are you reading? @ Chocolate and Chapters

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

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Book review

How Toddlers Thrive by Tovah P. Klein book review

It's Monday! What are you reading? @ Chocolate and Chapters

How Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children Ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong SuccessHow Toddlers Thrive: What Parents Can Do Today for Children Ages 2-5 to Plant the Seeds of Lifelong Success by Tovah P. Klein

My rating: 3 of 5 stars ★★★
Genre: Nonfiction, Parenting
Source: Purchased

How Toddlers Thrive explains why the toddler years are different from any other period during childhood, what is happening in children’s brains and bodies at this age that makes their behavior so turbulent, and why your reaction to their behavior—the way you speak to, speak about, and act toward your toddler— holds the key to a successful tomorrow and a happier today. (From the Goodreads summary)

I am very aware that this book will only interest a limited audience. But as a mother of a squishy toddler, I thought I’d throw my opinion in the ring anyway.

This parenting book is different than all the other ones I’ve tried. It’s low-key and provides detail into how toddlers’ brains are developing and how that affects their behavior. She gives plenty of every-day, relatable examples.

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Personal thoughts

Homemade Moon Pies: The perfect companion for your summer reading

I am from California.

When I was younger, I was completely captivated by the American South. It’s a region that is romanticized in literature all the time. In college, I met a Southern boy who pronounced “foil” like “foll” and told stories about the tobacco fields of his childhood. His family admitted that watching “The Beverly Hillbillies” was like watching home videos. And I fell in love.

We live in North Carolina now. Specifically, Eastern North Carolina… where all Nicholas Sparks’ books are set.

There is one thing I’ll never deny about the South: Their food is uh-may-zing. Like, so darn good.

One of those amazing food items is moon pies. Yes, you can buy them pre-packaged in plastic, but you can also make them…

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Book review

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey book review

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey book review @ Chocolate and Chapters
The 5th Wave (The 5th Wave, #1)The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

My rating: 5 of 5 stars ★★★★★
Genre: Young Adult, Dystopian
Source: Purchased

When a series of massive catastrophes hits Earth, society is flung back into the Dark Ages. Everyone is terrified. Most people are dying. Only a few months ago, Cassie was a silly teenage girl. Now, she has to find a way to survive on her own while running from “Them.”

At the same time, a young man known as “Zombie” lives through the devastatingly fatal plague. When he recovers, he struggles to find his place in the world while grappling with debilitating guilt.

You know those books that you’re not super excited to read, but they have good reviews so you finally pick it up? You start the book sort of grudgingly, expecting something petty, trivial, and dull. This usually happens to me with YA dystopians: Legend, The Selection, and Matched, just to name a few. I was not impressed with any of them.

I expected the same thing from this book.

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