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Darkness Overturned - Estherschild

I received a copy of this book through Goodreads in exchange for an honest review.

This book just wasn't for me. There is no doubt that EsthersChild (Patricia Struntz) had a very hard life and overcame so much. She is a very strong person and I am glad that her faith in God was able to help her in her battle with abuse and other struggles.

However, I do not particularly like her writing. It was very simplistic with not that much insight. The story was interesting enough, but the writing just did not do it justice. I did like some of the metaphors she used such as the pottery example, but the rest of the writing was sub par.

I also found the name changes annoying. It is common in memoirs to change people's names, however instead of using actual names, Struntz chose to use weird nicknames such as GirlChild, BoySon, and Youngest for her own children. I personally think that one's own children deserve better, more creative names in one's own book. But that's just my preference. And some of the other nicknames seem to write off the character completely such as Crony and Heavy.

The writing is also a bit ignorant. It is homophobic without even addressing the homophobia. There is no discussion about it or learning about actual gay people. This was disappointing to me. I was also disappointed by how Struntz addressed autism spectrum disorders. In the book, there is a character with autism (I think, she's kind of unclear about it and doesn't really go into many details). Instead of trying to understand autism and the person involved, Struntz just writes him off as "simple" and is done with it.

I actually think that my favorite part of the book was the epilogue, which was written 19 years after Struntz originally wrote the book. This section seemed predictably more mature, but I related to it much more than the rest of the book. The actual book comes off as ignorant, immature, and doesn't really look at other's perspectives in the story, which did not pull me in.

Judy Moody, M.D.: The Doctor is In! - Megan McDonald, Peter H. Reynolds

Great book. I love this series so much and it doesn't depreciate as the books go on, which is the case with many series.

I really liked how some of the jokes from previous books made a comeback in this one (aardwolf). Very humorous and fun.

This is such an awesome series for young readers. I love Judy's character and all of her moods.


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I also run a crafting blog at http://www.craft-cycle.com where I teach you how to craft with recyclable items. 


Thanks for all of your support!

The Summer Spells anthology is available today. Check it out on Wattpad to read my humorous poem, "One More Page", and my flash fiction pieces, "The Last Strawberry of Summer" and "Glory Night."



Happy reading and welcome summer!


Looking for a little horror this summer? Check out Samie Sand's new anthology, Electromagnetism.

My short story, "From the Depths, is featured in it, because who doesn't love walking sharks?

And today and tomorrow, you can get a Kindle copy on Amazon for free! Sounds like a good deal to me.

Midnight On The Moon - Sal Murdocca, Mary Pope Osborne

One of the great things about this series is that even though this is the eighth book, it is still as fun to read as the first ones.

a fun, educational adventure. I absolutely adore this series.

I also liked how Annie and Jack's differences are celebrated especially in this book. Annie is a doer and Jack is a planner. They are themselves and try to show the other how to be more like them, but never force a change. I love that Annie can be adventurous, impulsive, and free-spirited and it is not seen as a bad thing. She is such an awesome female character for a children's series.

A great continuation of the series.

Redefining Realness: My Path to Womanhood, Identity, Love & So Much More - Janet Mock

This is an amazing book. I absolutely loved it.

Janet Mock is an inspiring individual. I loved her honesty in this book. She is not afraid to point out her own mistakes. I liked how she told the story from her perspective at the time, then added insight as she reflected on the situation as an adult. I think this was a great way to point out the flawed thinking of many gender issues such as what makes 'realness'. It also demonstrates how she was able to overcome the negativity that society teaches about femininity. In the book, she focuses a lot on intersectionality and calling out white cis culture, which is much needed in society.

This book is very well-written. While many of the events are difficult to read about, Mock's writing is so open and honest, that the reader feels personally connected to her. You root for her the whole time and just want her to be happy in herself. This book took me a while to read because that. You really have to let yourself be emotional while reading it and be in the right mindset to take it all in.

Her strength and knowledge is truly inspiring. Her journey was amazing, not just in a 'look how horrible this person's life was and now it's so great' way, but because of how she used her experience to call out society. She doesn't just pity herself; she stands by her decisions and how they helped make her into the person she is today.

Instead of just accepting a 'look how far I've come' story, Mock continues to fight for trans acceptance and dispel myths regarding gender and sexuality. I loved her commentary on "passing" and how she explained why she is not required to tell people about her assigned sex at birth. I also liked how Mock refused to just let people focus only on her 'transition' story, showing that there is life after the transition and that the transition doesn't just end with surgery.

A phenomenal read by a phenomenal and talented writer and human being. Amazing.

Judy Moody Predicts the Future  - Megan McDonald, Peter H. Reynolds

Loved it!

I am a huge fan of the Judy Moody books. They are easy to read, simple yet fun. Each one is filled with hilarious adventures.

I love Judy's character and that she is not afraid to be herself. The series shows young girls that it is okay to have other moods besides happy.

A great continuation of the series.

A very cute stories with hilarious misadventures.

The Little Human: How a Mermaid Lost Her Heart and Found It Again- A Middle Grade Fantasy Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen's The Little Mermaid (Water Children Book 1) - Marti Dumas, Stephanie Parcus
I am part of the launch team for this book.

I was very impressed by this book. I loved the story. It was a cool, new take on The Little Mermaid. The writing was simple and good for young readers. Each chapter page includes an illustration, which adds complexity to the book.

I really enjoyed reading about Amaya's character. She is very easy to relate to.

My favorite part of the book was probably the world-building elements of the School and other underwater places. Great descriptions and very creative.

This is a great start to an interesting series. I really want to find out what happens next.
The Lying Game - Sara Shepard

Despite its short length, this book felt like it took me forever to get through. It took me a week to finish and I was only able to finish it that quickly because I started binge-reading it just so it would be over. (Note: I hate not finishing books.)

This is a mash up of Jawbreaker, Pretty Little Liars, and The Lovely Bones. While I wasn't a huge fan of Pretty Little Liars, it was still an interesting read that made me want to find out what happened next. This one? Not so much. I really couldn't care less about any of the characters. They didn't feel real. They were all very two-dimensional and dull.

My biggest pet peeve about this book was the narration. Sutton is supposedly the narrator, but she refers to herself in the third person at times, then goes back to first person narration. This was very irritating. It read like it was originally written in the third person, then some first person comments were hurriedly added in without editing the rest.

The story itself was weirdly similar to Pretty Little Liars. I was hoping for something different, but it's the same rich teenage girls being absolutely horrible to each other and everyone else, just with long-lost twins thrown into the mix.

The plot was also surprisingly predictable and the cliff-hanger ending was a big letdown. I think it's pushing it to give this book a two-star review, but I don't feel like I hated it enough to give it one star. I'm sure there is something redeemable somewhere in the text; I just can't think of it right now.

Not a very good read. I'd recommend it to someone who enjoyed the Pretty Little Liars series and wants to read a regurgitated version of it.

I have the sequel to this book (hooray dollar clearance section), but we'll see if I work up the effort to read it.

The Day My Butt Went Psycho - Andy Griffiths, Miles Thompson

I remember trying to read the sequel to this book, [book:Zombie Butts From Uranus|903304], in middle school and not being able to get through it. I think I must have been a very literal child, because I just could not get over many of the descriptions, such as a butt having arms and legs and detaching itself from a human.

However, since then I have watched the TV adaptation of the books on Netflix. Either I have grown less literal as an adult or having seen the cartoon representation, I have an easier time picturing the characters. Either way I was able to get through this book and loved it.

I'll at admit, at times it is downright disgusting. But it never stops being amazing. Giant maggots, buttcanoes, and stink tornadoes, this is one of the grossest things I have ever read and I really enjoyed it.

The descriptions are very cartoonish and unrealistic, but very creative and funny. I really enjoyed all of the adventures Zack went on. This book is definitely unlike anything I have read before and it is worth the read.

For those who like silly and disgusting stories, give this book a try.

I can't wait to read the sequel.

Judy Moody Saves The World! - Megan McDonald, Peter H. Reynolds

I am a big fan of the Judy Moody series.

Judy is such a strong character. She's not afraid to be herself and stays true to her beliefs. She isn't scared to express herself and her opinions.

This is a great continuation of the series. I love that is it educational about environmental conservation, but is still fun and entertaining. I also love how McDonald worked in environmental language into the narration such as referring to the class as an ecosystem and using animal similes such as hooting like a howler monkey.

A wonderful, hilarious read.

Star Wars: Episode 1 - The Phantom Menace - Patricia C. Wrede

I was pleasantly surprised by this book.

I know the bare minimum about the Star Wars universe. It's something I've always been interested in, but the whole timeline of things really throws me off so I've never really been able to fully get into it.

This book was very well written. Good descriptions and fast paced, it is a great fit for young readers. Wrede doesn't bog down the narration with descriptions of scenery and characters. She gives basic characteristics, then carries on with the plot. This worked wonderfully.

I also really liked how Wrede shifted the focus of the narration between characters. By writing the novel in this way, she really expanded on the movie. It was great being able to get inside each character's head and see how they perceived the world.

This is a fantastic book, especially for young readers interested in Star Wars. Great read.

Judy Moody Gets Famous! - Megan McDonald, Peter H. Reynolds

This is a great continuation of the Judy Moody series.

A quick, but entertaining read, filled with humorous stories of how Judy tried to get famous.

I love Judy's character and how McDonald allows her to feel all sorts of emotions (not just happy), teaching kids that it is okay to be in a bad mood sometimes.

Very simple, but extremely funny.

Judy Moody - Megan McDonald, Peter H. Reynolds

Growing up, I loved reading Judy Moody books. And rereading them as an adult makes me more aware of why I love them so much.

Simple, yet humorous, this book is filled with silly stories about new pets, obnoxious brothers, and friendship.

What I really like about Judy's character is how strong-willed she. I all so like how McDonald writes about Judy's moods. Her bad moods aren't seen as a negative, but rather as a part of life. She shows that bad moods are normal. I remember really identifying with Judy when I was young and the idea that it's okay to be mad, but something good or funny is bound to happen soon.

It's not all princesses and sunshine like a lot of children's books specifically targeted to girls, which I really enjoyed as well. I like that Judy has male friends and it's not a big deal. She likes weird things like collecting doll parts and scabs.

Judy is a very empowering character, because she isn't afraid to be herself, and that is something everyone can learn from.

The Extincts - Veronica Cossanteli

I picked this up from the Little Free Lending Library, because I liked the cover. I am so glad I did. This is such a fantastic idea for a story. I loved this book.

I really enjoyed Cossanteli's writing. It was humorous and easy to relate to. She did a very good job of expressing George's character.

The plot was a bit slow in the beginning, but the world-building was fantastic so the book was never dull.

I love how Cossanteli incorporated extinct and mythical animals into the story as well as fairy tale elements such as the evil step-mother.

Awesome read. It is quite the adventure.