Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Update Post

Life. It's crazy sometimes, isn't it? I have been neglecting this blog for a while now, but I have some plans to get it going again. A have a few reviews I am planning on getting out this month, as well as some other posts related to readathons. I cannot wait for Dewey's 24 hour readathon that is coming up again soon! In short, I've been lacking in the blog department, but more content will be coming from me soon!

Chat with you then,

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon (April 2016): Update Post

Hello everyone! It's that time of year again; Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon is starting now! If you follow me on twitter (@blog_gal) you know that I'm super excited about this read-a-thon, as always. 

Before the readathon, I have read 

Mostly, I will be putting my updates on Twitter, but occasionally, I will come back here for a Mini Challenge and also update my reading status.

Are you joining in on the readathon fun? What does your TBR look like?

Opening Meme

1) What fine part of the world are you reading from today?
The wonderful state of Georgia in the good 'ol United States

2) Which book in your stack are you most looking forward to?
Probably finishing up Rachelle Dekker's The Calling

3) Which snack are you most looking forward to?
I don't have any planned, but I always love my lunch/dinner at work: Salad and Soup from Olive Garden.

4) Tell us a little something about yourself!
I am a Christian who loves blogging about books that are appropriate for all ages (no sex or foul language). Also, I am a forensic biologist :)

5) If you participated in the last read-a-thon, what’s one thing you’ll do different today? If this is your first read-a-thon, what are you most looking forward to?
I have never readathon-ed on a day I work, much less a day where I work at least 10 hours since its a double. I will be juggling work and reading today.

Mini Challenges

Mid-Event Survey

Closing Survey

Reading Progress and Book Thoughts

Hour 1 8 AM-8:59 AM

27 pages of The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

Hour 2 9 AM- 9:59 AM

82 pages of Fruits Basket (vol. 1, manga)

Hour 3 10 AM- 10:59 AM

Finished Fruits Basket (vol. 1)- 205 pages read this hour

Hour 4-14 11 AM-10 PM
~~Getting Read for Work, Commute, and Working~~
Plan: listen to audiobook while getting ready for work, commuting, and during lunch break

Hour 15 10 PM-10:59 PM

Hour 16 11 PM- 11:59 PM

Hours 17-22 12 AM-5:59AM

Hour 23 6 AM-6:59 AM

Hour 24 7 AM-7:59 AM

Overall Progress

  • 247/434 pages of The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker (27 pages during RAT)
  • 205/205 pages of Fruits Basket (vol. 1)
  • 70/435 minutes (approx. 49/309 pages) of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Audiobook- 0 minutes (0 pages) during RAT

Total pages for RAT: 231
Total books completed during RAT: 1

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon: TBR and Plans

Button made by:
Here it comes again! Dewey's 24 Hour Readathon is THIS SATURDAY! Have you signed up yet? If not, you can sign up for the readathon here.

Today, I am going to talk about my reading goals for this readathon and show you my TBR grab pile. My reading goals are pretty light as compared to previous Dewey's readathons. I am going to be working from 12 (noon) EST to around 9 or 10 PM EST, so I am not sure how many hours of reading I will be able to get in. I hope to read before I go to work, during my lunch break, after I get off work for a few hours, and maybe I'll even wake up early and read before church since the readathon ends at 8 AM on Sunday for me. I am hoping to read at least 5 hours on Saturday/Sunday morning. 

I will be cheering fellow readers on Twitter using the hashtag (#readathon). I plan on tweeting throughout the readathon (when I am not at work) and updating my progress there. I do plan on having a progress post here on my blog, but I will not be able to update that as frequently. Additionally, I will be doing some of the hourly mini-challenges and you can find those updates on my blog and on twitter as well.

Since I won't be able to read much, my TBR is also a little light. I want to continue reading Rachelle Dekker's latest book, The Calling, a christian dystopian novel. Honestly, this book is so good that I may have finished it before Saturday, but we will see. I  also plan on starting the audiobook of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone this week and continue listening to it during the readathon. Most likely, this will be the book that I listen to when I have my lunch break at work. Lastly, I may start reading No One to Trust by Lynette Eason. This is a christian fiction novel mystery novel.

If you are signed up for the read-a-thon, what are your goals and what are you reading?  I would love to hear about your read-a-thon progress during and after the read-a-thon! Comment below or tweet me at @blog_gal.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Children's Book Review Tuesdays: Do Not Open The Box

Title: Do Not Open the Box

Author: Timothy Young

Illustrated by: Timothy Young

Genre: Children's Picture Book

Why I Read This Book: I received this ebook from the Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my review.

About the Book (from Edelweiss):  

Benny spots a big cardboard box with a note taped to it saying, "Do Not Open." His imagination runs wild, and it's almost too much for a curious boy to bear. He thinks about all of the things, good and bad, that could be inside that box. A birthday robot? A wolverine? An entrance to another world? What should he do? This endearingly illustrated tale of a classic childhood dilemma has a surprise ending and offers a peek into a young boy's mind as he weighs tantalizing possibilities against the risks of breaking the rules.


Do Not Open the Box is a cute, imaginative story about the mysteries of what could be in a box labeled "Do Not Open". The illustrations are great! The story is intriguing, although somewhat bland. I think it would be a great bed-time story and could be really interactive with your children ("what do you think could be in the box?").

Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: 0-6 years

Overall Rating: 4/5

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Book Review: Angels Walking by Karen Kingsbury

Title: Angels Walking

Series Title: Angels Walking (Book 1)

Author: Karen Kingsbury

Genre: Christian Fiction

Date Published: September 2, 2014

Why I Read This Book: Karen Kingsbury. Enough said :)






About the Book (from Goodreads):  

When former national baseball star Tyler Ames suffers a career-ending injury, all he can think about is putting his life back together the way it was before. He has lost everyone he loves on his way to the big leagues. Then just when things seem to be turning around, Tyler hits rock bottom. Across the country, Tyler’s one true love Sami Dawson has moved on. 

A series of small miracles leads Tyler to a maintenance job at a retirement home and a friendship with Virginia Hutcheson, an old woman with Alzheimer’s who strangely might have the answers he so desperately seeks.

A team of Angels Walking take on the mission to restore hope for Tyler, Sami, and Virginia. Can such small and seemingly insignificant actions of the unseen bring healing and redemption? And can the words of a stranger rekindle lost love? Every journey begins with a step.

It is time for the mission to begin…


Karen Kingsbury has outdone herself with this novel. Maybe it is my love of baseball. Maybe it is my love of christian romance novels. Maybe it is my love of redemptive stories. I am not sure; all I know is this is an amazing Christian fiction novel.

Tyler throws out his shoulder pitching and finds himself out of a job with no insurance or money. He finds the only job he can (with the recommendation of an angel) as a maintenance man at a retirement home. A team of angels seek to do God's work and restore hope for Tyler and the other characters in this charming novel.

Angels Walking reminds me that there is hope in every situation. Maybe we need to get to our lowest point in life before we have a powerful encounter with God. Forgiveness, grace and love are the essence of this novel.

I recommend Angels Walking to everyone.

Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: Any Age

Overall Rating: 5/5

Monday, March 21, 2016

Middle-Grade Mondays: Ungifted by Gordon Korman

Title: Ungifted

Author: Gordon Korman

Genre: Middle Grade

Date Published: 2012

Why I Read This Book: I saw this book at my local Goodwill and I thought it looked very interesting.






About the Book (from Goodreads):  

The word gifted has never been applied to a kid like Donovan Curtis. It's usually more like Don't try this at home. So when the troublemaker pulls a major prank at his middle school, he thinks he's finally gone too far. But thanks to a mix-up by one of the administrators, instead of getting in trouble, Donovan is sent to the Academy of Scholastic Distinction (ASD), a special program for gifted and talented students.

It wasn't exactly what Donovan had intended, but there couldn't be a more perfect hideout for someone like him. That is, if he can manage to fool people whose IQs are above genius level. And that becomes harder and harder as the students and teachers of ASD grow to realize that Donovan may not be good at math or science (or just about anything). But after an ongoing experiment with a live human (sister), an unforgettably dramatic middle-school dance, and the most astonishing come-from-behind robot victory ever, Donovan shows that his gifts might be exactly what the ASD students never knew they needed.


Gifted is about an 8th grade boy who accidentally gets sent to a gifted school even though he is only an average student. The writing style of Gifted was very entertaining, but I had several problems with the book. Donovan is quite mischievous and almost never follows the rules. Gifted seems to show that lying and cheating are okay and I do not agree with this message. Also, gifted children are portrayed as always being socially awkward and having no common sense which is not always true.

Overall, the story and characters were very entertaining. Each character was unique and had their own personality. There were some really hilarious scenes in the book. I believe children of all ages (5-99) would find this book entertaining.

Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: Any Age

Overall Rating: 3/5

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Series Review: The Selection Trilogy

Series Title: The Selection (Books 1-3)

Book 1 Title: The Selection

Author: Kiera Cass

Genre: Young Adult Dystopian

Date Published (Book 1): April 24, 2012

Why I Read This Book: I have heard a lot of mixed reviews about this series, so I decided to listen to the audiobook version of the series from my local library.






About Book 1 (from Goodreads):  

For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.

But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.

Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.


The Selection series follows America Singer who is selected to be in a competition to marry Prince Maxon. This series has a cast system and America is from one of the lower casts within the system. The opportunity to become a princess and go from a 5 to a 1 would seem like a dream come true, but America is in love with Aspen who is a cast below her. Will she be able to give up her love of Aspen for the dream of a lifetime?

The basis of this series is amazing. I have always loved dystopian novels which fight the injustices in the political system, but some of the characters in this novel were really annoying. America was very indecisive throughout the series. I felt like this whole trilogy could have been one novel if it were not for her indecisiveness. The character development was amazing in this series. One character in particular made some amazing changes.

I would recommend this series to anyone who does not mind an annoying main character. Truly, the storyline and character development was great!

Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: 16+ for some intense scenes and some sexual references (although nothing sexual happened, some scenes made me uncomfortable)

Overall Rating: 3/5 (Book 1: 4/5, Book 2: 3/5, Book 3: 2/5)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Book Tag: Book to Movie Wishlist

Today's book related post is a book tag entitled "Book to Movie Wishlist". I found this book tag over at Dreamland Book Blog. The rules are simple enough: Name 5 books you hope are turned into movies. 

1. The Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins

I recently reviewed this epic fantasy (here). This is one of my all time favorite series. It follows Gregor, a young boy from New York City, who falls into a vent in his apartment's laundry room and ends up in a world full of humans, giant cochroaches, rats, and other creatures. This world, the underland, is in a war and it is prophesied that Gregor will have a major part in this war. This series has a 5/5 star rating from me!

2. Graceling by Kristen Cashore

Graceling is a fantasy novel about Katsa. Katsa is a graceling, a person who has an unusual talent. As the king's niece, Katsa is used to kill the enemies of her uncle. Graceling follows Katsa's journey where she finds out the secrets of her grace and how to control it.

3. The Choosing by Rachelle Dekker

I previously reviewed this book here. The Choosing is a Christian dystopian novel that follows Carrington who is about to go through the biggest ceremony of her life. The choosing ceremony is the day where young girls become wives. What I love about this book is the overall message. Our worth does not come from who we are married to or who we are; Our worth comes from a Father who truly loves us. The Choosing is full of action and adventure and is a perfect choice for any dystopian lover.

As another plus, the second book in this series, The Calling, comes out on March 8, 2016!

4. Pivot Point by Kasie West

Pivot Point is about a girl who can see the consequences of every choice that she will make. She sees how her future will be after every choice she makes. This book is absolutely AMAZING and would be the perfect movie.

5. Appaloosa Summer by Tudor Robins

My original review of this book can be found here. Appaloosa Summer is a contemporary YA novel about a 16-year old whose show horse dies in the middle of a show. She decides to spend her summer on an island working at a bed and breakfast in order to escape the grief of losing her beloved horse. This book left me in tears and I would love to see it on the big screen!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Series Review (No Spoilers): Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins

Series Title: Underland Chronicles

Book 1 Title: Gregor the Overlander

Author: Suzanne Collins

Genre: Middle Grade Epic Fantasy

Date Published (Book 1): 2003

Why I Read This Book: I read this series when I was younger and I LOVED it.






About Book 1 (from Goodreads):  

This irresistible first novel tells the story of a quiet boy who embarks on a dangerous quest in order to fulfill his destiny -- and find his father -- in a strange world beneath New York City.

When Gregor falls through a grate in the laundry room of his apartment building, he hurtles into the dark Underland, where spiders, rats, cockroaches coexist uneasily with humans. This world is on the brink of war, and Gregor's arrival is no accident. A prophecy foretells that Gregor has a role to play in the Underland's uncertain future. Gregor wants no part of it -- until he realizes it's the only way to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance. Reluctantly, Gregor embarks on a dangerous adventure that will change both him and the Underland forever.


Yes, this series is written by the beloved author of the Hunger Games. No, these series are nothing alike.

The Underland Chronicles is a middle-grade epic fantasy series about a young boy who falls through a grate in his laundry room in New York city and finds himself in a whole new world filled with humans, rats, giant cochroaches and giant bats. A prophesy foretells of a war that Gregor will take part in.

This entire series was perfect; I would not change a single thing about it. I read this series way before I read the Hunger Games series and I did not realize that these were written by the same author until recently. This series is filled with action, adventure, love, friendship, courage, and death. As such, I would not recommend this for young children, but I would recommend this to anyone above the age of 10. If you love fantasy, you will LOVE this series. Although it is written for a younger audience, readers of all ages will easily fall in love with this series.

Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: 10+ for some intense scenes

Overall Rating: 5/5

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Children's Book Review Tuesdays: David and Goliath

Title: David and Goliath

Author: Katherine Scully

Illustrated by: Simona Sanfilippo

Genre: Christian Children's Picture Book

Why I Read This Book: I received this ebook from the Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This in no way influenced my review.

About the Book (from Edelweiss):  

Can young David win against a giant? Read the story of David, the shepherd boy who fights the mighty giant, Goliath. These beautifully illustrated classic Bible stories are perfect for reading together as well as reading alone. The most popular stories from the Old Testament are retold in easy-to-read language and provide a perfect introduction into the Bible. The series allows children to become familiar with colorful stories from the Old Testament using the familiar picture story format. Whilst the language is simple and easy to understand, the detailed illustrations support the text and provide ideal opportunities for spotting things and for further discussion.


Making biblical stories relate-able and interesting to children might seem like a challenge, but David and Goliath makes it seem easy! This version of the biblical story of David's battle with Goliath is perfect for children. It shows that you can do anything with God by your side. This version is not too violent for young children. The illustrations are beautiful and engaging. It's perfect for children of any age!

Final Statements

Recommended Reading Age: 3-5 years

Overall Rating: 4/5

Purchase Link