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After the Fall (How Humpty Dumpty Got Back Up Again) - Dan Santat, Dan Santat

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is an absolutely beautiful book. I picked this up at the library because I am obsessed with fairy tale and nursery rhyme retellings. This is by far one of the best ones I have read. I loved the simplicity of the story, but the complex mental struggle Humpty Dumpty goes through.

This is a book about facing your fears. It is about literally getting back up on the wall after you have fallen down. I really enjoyed the ending. After reading some other reviews, it looks like some people were confused about the ending. My interpretation is




that he was able to face his fears so he "hatched" into a bird (the thing he idolized throughout the book). This may have been a metaphorical transformation or a literal one, either way it is beautiful and wonderful and I just love the message. If I squint, I guess I can see how some people may have interpreted it as a bird running into him and knocking him off of the wall again. But before the transformation (or the collision if you will) you can see the shell start to break and feathers come in. Seems pretty obvious that he is hatching into a bird.END SPOILER

Anyway, gorgeous book. I loved the contrast of light and dark in the illustrations. Beautiful pictures. I really enjoyed this book and highly recommend it to all of my fellow nursery rhyme lovers.

I Hate Everything - Matthew DiBenedetti
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I saw this book at the library and was instantly pulled in by the interesting cover and intriguing title. 

This was an entertaining book. I am not creative enough to write an "I hate..." review so I'm just going with the standard style. 

This is a huge book that is actually a pretty quick read. Each page lists a few things that the author hates along with some entertaining illustrations. 

It's kind of fun to read this book, especially when you get to something that you hate as well. You get all excited that someone else dislikes the specific thing that you dislike. 

Some of the things hit you kind of hard ("I hate that superheroes don't really exist. I hate that villains do."). Others are just weird and funny ("I hate that I didn't find the One Ring that will rule them all."). I especially enjoyed seeing the trail of thought in the statements ("I hate that rainbows only come out when it rains. I hate that I'm only happy when it rains. I hate when songs get stuck in your head. I hate when MY iPod plays a song I really don't like. I hate that I don't have a good P'P'P'Poker Face."). 

Overall, a fun book. Good coffee table book or one of those books you put on your shelf to see if people ask about it. Entertaining read. Works well for people trying to meet their yearly reading challenge.
The Botany of Desire: A Plant's-Eye View of the World - Michael Pollan
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A fascinating read with a very unique perspective. I really liked that Pollan looked at evolution from the plant's perspective. It was so simple, yet so novel and interesting. I especially enjoyed the chapters on apples and potatoes.

There is a lot of information packed into this book, from historical events such as tulipomania and the potato famine to modern-day advances in the growing of cannabis and the safety of GMOs. It was all very interesting, with various themes pulling all of the information together. 

At times the book does get a little repetitive, but it is an fascinating mix of interviews, personal experience, and history. The book does get a little sexual for my taste (we get it, plants have sex too), but it's nothing too graphic. 

Overall, a good read that I found entertaining and informative. A wonderful look a plants from a unique point of view.

Review of Whispers and Echoes Issue 3

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

As a contributor to this collection, I feel it would be unfair for me to give it a star rating, but I do want to share some of my thoughts on some of the pieces and the anthology as a whole.

I love the idea of a collection of small things, short fiction and poems that can be read in one sitting. It is a great way to get a little reading in for busy people. This is a perfect break during a hectic day. 

My favorite piece in this anthology is Sammi Cox's To Simply Be. It is a wonderful reminder to us all.

You can also read my flash fiction story Losses and Gains as well as my four poems, Driving in the DarkGoneIn my Head, and Isn't It? in this collection. 


You can read it all for FREE here: https://www.wattpad.com/story/123125047-whispers-and-echoes-issue-3

Hope you enjoy! And happy reading!


Source: http://www.wattpad.com/story/123125047-whispers-and-echoes-issue-3
The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making - Ana Juan, Catherynne M. Valente
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Overall, this was an interesting book. As others have said, it is very whimsical and fantastical in its events, characters, and descriptions. Similar in style to The Wizard of Oz series and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, this is the story of a little girl wondering around a strange fairy land and the adventures she has there.

A lot of odd and interesting things happen. There are tons of great descriptions and it is definitely creative. However, I just didn't really get into this one. There were so many cool ideas in it, but I didn't relate to September and much of the narration was rather winding for my taste. Really great world-building, but it just didn't quite piece together for me by the end. 

There were definitely parts I enjoyed, especially meeting the bizarre menagerie of various characters along the way. But I guess I just couldn't really get into the plot. I mostly just felt along for the ride on this one. 

I am planning on listening to the second audiobook (currently in transit to my local library) and hope the story is more developed than this one.
ABC Kids - Simon Basher
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A very clever alphabet book. As with many alphabet book, this one dedicates one page spread to each letter. The impressive thing is that it also creates a sentences using only words that start with that letter. This is even more remarkable later in the alphabet, especially for x, y, and z.

I'll admit some of the sentences are a little weird. "Kitty's kangaroo kicks koalas" was maybe not the best sentence to include. I know there's not a k-verbs. But maybe kisses? I think that may have gone over better than kicks. 

Cute illustrations. Some are weird, but overall this is a cute alphabet book. 
Lulu and the Witch Baby - Bella Sinclair
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

A humorous and adorable tale about a little witch who does not get along with her baby sister.

I feel like this is such a relatable story, wanting your baby sister/brother to disappear. I personally don't have siblings, but I have read enough books and seen enough movies to know that at some point, most kids feel this way. 

This is a considered an I Can Read! level 2 book for developing readers. Personally, it seems kind of lengthy. The sentences and story are simple, but it is a very long book. From what I can tell, this is an older book that was readapted and given a super cute makeover. This version appears to be much cuter than the original. 

Since this book was already written then given a level rating (as apposed to writing the book with the plan of it being a level 2), it makes sense that the length doesn't quite fit. I think it still works, just be aware that it may be best to read the book in parts instead of all at once. 

Adorable illustrations and a fun story. I actually really enjoyed this witchy tale.

Whispers & Echoes Issue 1 Review


As a contributor to this anthology, I do not think it would be fair for me to give it a star rating. But I would like to share some of my thoughts on my favorite pieces.

This is a simple collection of short work including stories and poems. I love the idea of putting little pieces together, because it creates a beautiful work that people can enjoy in very little time.

Some of my favorites in this collection are Joy Pixley‘s Unburied,Kimmy Alan‘s Traveler, and Sammi Cox‘s Tapestry of Life and The Princess in the Library.

My own short stories A Necessary BreakupLife is But a Dream The SnowstormA Soul Reflected, and Empathy are also included in this anthology.

Hope you enjoy. 




Source: http://www.wattpad.com/story/102029681-whispers-and-echoes-issue-1

Whispers & Echoes Issue 4 Review

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle


As a contributor to this collection, I feel it would not be fair for me to give it a star rating, but I would love to share some of my thoughts on this beautiful anthology.


A wonderful assemblage of short stories and poems that cover various emotions, themes, and topics. I especially enjoyed Sammi Cox‘s Ashes and Dust and Not Forgotten as well as Reena Saxena‘s The Hallowed Writer.


Five of my poems are included in this anthology: BarefacedBlank,Don’t Feel a ThingMonsters, and Good Morning, I Love You.


I hope you enjoy the latest installment of the Whispers & Echoes series and check out some of the previous issues.


Happy reading! 




Source: http://www.wattpad.com/story/138589131-whispers-and-echoes-issue-4
There's a Dragon In Your Book - Tom  Fletcher
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

This is such a fantastic book! I really enjoyed this one, because a) I'm a sucker for dragons and b) I love books that encourage the reader to engage with it, not just read but also participate. 

Very simple concept, but really well done. The book starts with an egg that hatches into a baby dragon. The text is filled with certain actions to help with the adventure such as flapping the book like dragon wings. A fun way to make the book even more engaging.

Plus, the little dragon baby is absolutely adorable. All of the illustrations are very well done.

I really enjoyed this book. Highly recommend, especially for my fellow dragon-lovers.

Heartstrings Sale!

Great news!
Starting today you can get the Kindle edition of my novel, Heartstrings, for only 99 cents!
A great middle-grade adventure that can be enjoyed by children and adults alike. Perfect for some rainy day reading.
The sale only lasts for one week so, get your copy here.
Paperback copies are also still available.
Enjoy! And happy reading!
Hero of the Month! (DC Super Hero Girls) (Pictureback(R)) - Mona Miller, Random House
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

For an introduction to the characters in the DC Super Hero Girls show, this is actually a pretty entertaining book. The book tells about the Hero of the Month award, which students at Super Hero High can earn for being helpful or doing good deeds. Then it goes through some of the past winners such as Katana, Bumblebee, Wonder Woman, and Batgirl. There is a brief blurb about each student as well as place of origin, powers, and specialty. 

There are also tons of cool pictures throughout the book. This definitely makes me want to watch the show. The movies have been on My List on Netflix since they were first added. Maybe I'll finally get to them this weekend.

New Poems in Whispers and Echoes Issue 4

Hooray for new poems!


Five of my poems have been included in Whispers and Echoes Issue 4. This rainy weather is perfect for curling up with a good read.


You can read them for FREE on Wattpad


or on the Dreaming Spirits Press website


Hope you enjoy!


Five Little Monkeys Bake a Birthday Cake - Eileen Christelow
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I don't think I'll ever like these books as much as I could. I always feel like they should rhyme. They always get 5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed stuck in my head and then feel lackluster against the fun rhymes.

The story itself was okay. Definitely wouldn't recommend letting monkeys (or children) use the oven by themselves, even if firefighters may or may not have ideas for how to fix the mess. Cute illustrations. It's obviously one of those books that is not meant to be taken seriously but I take a little seriously because I can only imagine how terrifying it would be to wake up to find firefighters in your bedroom after your children almost set the kitchen on fire. 

Attention, Kindle and e-book lovers!


I have good news for you. If you are interested in checking out my first novel, Heartstrings, the e-book will be one sale for one week starting next Friday.


Take advantage of this deal to get the e-book for only 99 cents 10/5 to 10/12.


Paperback copies are also available on Amazon.


Happy reading!




Source: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07FZSF2B2?pf_rd_p=d1f45e03-8b73-4c9a-9beb-4819111bef9a&pf_rd_r=K7VJN35JPB8HS247HT2Q
Doll Bones - Holly Black
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I didn't know much about this book before reading it. I had seen the cover before and I like Holly Black's writing so I picked up the audiobook at the library. I am often too lazy to read the back of books (plus I feel like it spoils some of the surprise) so all I knew about this book was what I saw on the cover.

This is a coming-of-age story with the major twist of a creepy doll that may or may not be possessed. The three main characters are slowly growing up, developing new interests, and changing. There was an interesting dynamic within the friend group, which was interesting. It felt very realistic. The group fights a lot, which gets a little dull to read (probably because I'm an adult and their problems don't seem like that big of a deal to me), but the other element of the story was really interesting. 

I really liked Black's fantasy writing such as all of the game play. Very creative and realistic. It really reads like three pre-teens playing. And of course there is the whole doll thing. Great descriptions. I like that it was kind of vague whether or not the story was true or not. There were clues and coincidences, but there is definitely a struggle to figure out if it is all real or not throughout the book. Loved the idea of the quest. 

As with many coming-of-age stories, there were some not-so-good things as well. Lying, bullying, peer pressure, leaving without telling guardians where you're going. Many of the friendship-based issues had some sort of apology/solution, but there was still quite a bit that felt like it was unresolved, especially the whole lying-to-guardians-and-traveling-to-a-different-state-without-telling-them thing. Yes, in the realm of fantasy that flies, but not so much in the real world. 

Overall, a really interesting read. I especially liked the doll's potential backstory. Very creepy and unsettling. Worth the read.