Books to Check Out-January 2015

Since I am doing a reading challenge for 2015 to get back into reading regularly, I thought I would start something new for this blog and share the books I read month to month. Under reach mini review, I’ve also posted my YouTube book talks. Feel free to check them out! Maybe you’ll find something that sparks your interest!

Can’t Look Away by Donna Coonercan't look away

I dunno how your library works, but my library has a section that has new releases on display. In December, I grabbed this book after reading the inside cover. If you are active on YouTube, you know about beauty gurus. I’ve watched videos made by girls who give beauty advice before, and though I personally don’t watch them often, the category on the website is huge. The book follows a girl who is one of these YouTubers after her sister is killed in a hit and run case. She moves with her family to try and start over, and the story follows what can happen when you put out so much of your personal life on the internet.

I personally had a very hard time liking the main character, but I enjoyed almost every other character in the story. It was a very quick read, and it gives a good perspective on why it’s important to be careful with what you say on the internet.

Overall rating: 3.5/5 Beauty Vlogs

Link to Book Talk:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Op55TVxGSiI 

Dragonsdale by Salamandra Drake2-Steves-157-208x300

I didn’t really have a horse phase as a kid, but I did have a dragon phase. From about 5th grade to 7th, I was constantly reading books about dragons, and this was my favorite one. This was a reread, and it was funny because I remembered almost all of the dialogue, since I had read this book at least eight times in grade school 😛 A big reason why I kept rereading it was because it was written by a 16 year old. If she could do it, why couldn’t I do it too?

The story follows a girl who works with her father in a dragon stable. She’s very good with the creatures, but she’s not allowed to ride them. It’s a good story about learning how to deal with bullies, working hard, and chasing your dreams. I highly recommend it to kids with active imaginations who enjoy magical stories.

Overall rating: 4/5 Dragon Scales

Link to Book Talk:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y86v8ccl0mA 

Tales from a Not-So-Glam TV Star by Rachel Renée Russelldork

The Dork Diaries Series is a series that is almost embarrassing to talk about for me, because I LOVE it. Seriously, it’s kind of sad. It’s the Diary of a Wimpy Kid for girls, and the art is so much better.

This one is the seventh book in the series, and to be honest, it was my least favorite. I still liked it, but it seemed the most superficial. I didn’t like how the main character was written, because I felt she was acting so out of character. But overall, it was still a nice read. I recommend this book to pre-teen/tween/middle school girls, or high school/college kids who want an easy, funny read.

Overall rating: 3/5 TV Stars

Link to Book Talk:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ql2aHpftC64 

Tales from a Not-So-Happily Ever After by Rachel Renée Russell51LjcPf6gsL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Yes, this is another Dork Diaries book. This is the eighth book in the series, and this was actually one of my favorites. It’s basically a bunch of classic fairytales jumbled up together into one really funny journal. It’s best to read the other seven first, but I feel that this one could be read alone (though it will spoil some stuff :P). Just go start reading the series right now.

Overall Rating: 4/5 Fairytales

The link above talks about this book too!

UnDivided by Neal Shusterman17950614

            Oh boy this series. This is actually the final book in a four part series, the first being Unwind. I have been invested in this series since about 2011, and I highly recommend reading these books all at once. The story is amazing: very thought provoking and intelligently written. But they drag on, especially when you are waiting year to year to read the next part. The series was originally only two books, but it ended up being four (I can’t imagine being his editor).

It discusses the Pro-Life/Pro-Choice fight, and what would happen if a new option came around to get rid of abortion: unwinding. Children between the ages of 13 and 18 can be sent to unwound by their parents or the state, which means that every part of their body, including blood and all internal organs, apart to be used in hospitals or for cosmetics. The child is technically left alive, as in their conscious is still intact, but anti-unwind citizens view it as murder. It’s a good reminder of how we can become so callused to awful things in our society, and the measures that need to be taken to stop injustice. Definitely worth the read, even though it does drag in a few spots.

Overall Rating: 4/5 Rewrites

Link to Book Talk:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTZGRdOwE4A 

This Star Won’t Go Out: The Life and Words of Esther Grace Earl by Esther Earl tumblr_myzmu3QbB81tp4avro1_400

The Fault in Our Stars is one of my favorite books, and this is a book about the girl who inspired John Green to write it. Esther Earl lost the fight to cancer at the age of 16, but not before living a wonderful life. The book is a collection of her journals, Caring Bridge posts, and stories from friends and family, including John Green.

This book a great reminder that you can live and extraordinary life just by loving the people around you. Esther was a follower of Christ, and she loved people to the best of her abilities while she was on Earth. It was a good reminder for me to love the people around me while I have the time, because you never know what tomorrow will bring.

Overall rating: 5/5 Tissues

Link to Book Talk:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwX0hSAtqos

Creative Time and Space: Making Room for Making Art by Rice Freeman-ZacharyCreative time and space

This is a great book for all types of artists. If you are trying to be an independent artist, give this book a read. It’s got some great tips for using your times wisely and making the best of the space you have. I really enjoyed it and I would recommend it to artists of all ages, mediums and talents!

Overall rating: 4/5 Paint Brushes

Link to Book Talk:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVRxxotjMK8 

I hope that one of these books sparked your interest! I hope to have more great books to share with you in March!

Until Next Time,

Abby

 

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