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Annalise’s Up and Down Day by Denise Jenne–Review by Bethanie

Annalise's up and down day

Annalise’s Up and Down Day

By: Denise Jenne

Genre: Children’s Picture Book

Such a sweet little book. We all have those days and little Annalise is no exception. The illustrations are beautiful watercolor media and the story is the perfect length for the attention span of a young child, which is who this book is written for.  I would definitely reccommend this book for parents of young children. It is a cute picture book. Thank you Ms. Jenne for sharing this book with me!

~Bethanie

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Welcome to the new Bethanie’s Books

This site is dedicated to those indie authors who love to write books for middle-schoolers. The contact form is on the ABOUT page. Have a book you think would be great for this age group? Let me know by filling out the contact form. I currently have reviews all the way out through March, but if you don’t mind the wait, let me know about your book so I may review it. I look forward to hearing from you!

~Bethanie

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So it has come to my attention . . .

It has come to my attention that there are some authors–Indie authors–that could be a little upset with me. However, I will not change my requirements for this blog. I have, however, made a decision. I will create a new blog for books that a more mature audience might read. This blog will stay middle-school and Children’s books. My new blog will make its appearance soon. Until then I will keep a list of the authors I have had to turn down for reviews. My new blog will be for readers ages 16 and up. The two main requirements on the new blog will remain:  no sexually explicit books or books that use explicit language. So, coming soon, look for Everley Dawn’s Novel Reviews. I have several I am going to move from my YA blog to my new blog. Thank you for your patience!

~Bethanie

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Earth 5 by Hustin Lindenhall–Review by Bethanie

Earth 5

Earth 5

By: Hustin Lindenhall

Genre: YA Sci-Fi

Parallel worlds and I go way back. I love amazing stories that go with them and this was definitely one of them! He made the unbelievable, believable.

This was not your run-of-the-mill parallel world story. It was thought-provoking in an eerie way. The one song that kept running through my mind as I was reading this book was Imagine–by John Lennon. As a matter of fact, Imagine could be the theme song for this book. It is a make-you-think book, just like John Lennon’s song is a make-you-think song. Would there be any need for competition if there was nothing to compete for? Of course not. If we all had one goal we would all work together to reach it.

I think Mr. Lindenhall is our start, at sixteen he has created an amazing story. Maybe there is still hope for our Earth after all.

I wish to thank Mr. Lindenhall for sharing his novel with me.

WRITING AND STORYLINE

The writing was kind of jumpy to begin with, but as soon as the story started getting into the main part it quit being jumpy. The storyline is rather unique. It was almost as if this really happened. He had me believing it. Colorado does have a tendency to be magical and who wouldn’t want to take in the beauty of the Rocky Mountains. I have been there and would love to go back.

Warning–This book does have some expletives in it. I believe the story could have been just fine without them. Some feel the need to use those in their stories. I think they can be taken out. Some may agree and some may not. It is their choice.

If asked, I would recommend this book. It had more deep thoughts in it than the most engrossing conversation with the most intelligent human on Earth. There are so many talented young people and I believe I have found one in Hustin Lindenhall. Never stop writing. I look forward to reading the next book! Happy reading!

~Bethanie

I was given a copy of this book for a fair and honest review. No monetary exchange was made.

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Spirit Within Club by Sahar Sabati–Review by Bethanie

Spirit within club--book cover

Spirit Within Club

Genre: Middle School age

By: Sahar Sabati

 

I am not sure how to take this book. It has a great message to share, but it also goes against the message it is trying to share.

Its main theme is to be accepting of everyone, yet the Spirit Within Club didn’t. The author seemed to pick on three groups, but I will not reveal them here. I will let the reader read the book and choose for themselves. There always has to be a bad guy or a group that is bad, yet no one tried to find out why the others were the way the were. If the book’s main idea is unity, then how can we have unity if we choose to leave some out?

I admire the author’s trying to make everyone love the book by buying into what everyone seems to believe–one group causing the problems, but it is not just one group. It is all groups fighting against the others because they believe what they do. She also brought out the fact that it is engrained by the parents of these children, and I will not say it isn’t. Who are our first teachers? OUR PARENTS.

WRITING AND STORYLINE

I believe the author meant this book to be rather religious, and I have no problem with that. I wish more would follow and stand by the morals of a decent society. The students in this book did. The way the students rally around Zeke both warmed my heart but made me cry at the same time. So I cannot and will not say this book is a bad book, because it isn’t. The main theme of accepting everyone as they are is a wonderful one, but maybe revisit what acceptance of all, the way they are and make the difference where you can in others lives. Age doesn’t matter.

For a seasoned writer, the writing could have been better, but if this is the first book the author has written, then they can always improve.

I will close with this. The writer was spot on with only taking one to make a difference and we all must take that first step. Well, seven friends have taken that first step. Who and how many can we add to it?

 

~Bethanie

 

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No monetary exchange was made.

 

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Monster Squad: The Iron Golem by Christian Page–Review by Bethanie

Monster Squad Iron Golemn

Monster Squad: The Iron Golem

by: Christian Page

Genre–Middle-Grade Sci-Fi

I must say that this was a very unusual book. It took every part of science fiction and wove it into something fun, comical, dramatic, and unlike anything I have read before. Mr. Page took something resembling an Avengers comic book and turned it into a novel, I was waiting on Captain America to be the narrator.

It was really strange to read this novel. Although no pictures, it turned into comic book form in my mind as I read it. It was also a very well-crafted, middle-grade novel, something I think middle-graders would enjoy reading. It was never void of action.

Superpowers, time-travel, well-known monster-related names. This novel has it all. I loved Mr. Page’s references to the older, well-known names such as Stoker, Frankenstein, and I promise I have heard the name Daschle Gaunt before, I just cannot place it in the realm of monster lore. Forgive me for those of you that might know exactly who it is. If you do, then you know what part of this novel contains, and forgive me for the possible spoiler. However, the only familiarity is the names, not for what they are known.

When reading this novel it was hard to put it down, but unfortunately my eyelids closing won out on that one, and I found myself with my iPad in my lap the next morning. The book was well-written for the middle-grade ages. It made me wonder if Mr. Page had a group of middle-graders cheering him on as he wrote it.

I am not one to give the story away by telling you what happened at every turn. I prefer the reader to find out for themselves what the story is about. So read it, parents or children. You will like it!

Storyline and Writing

I loved the way he wrote characters of different countries. Mr. Page made sure the reader knew these characters held the dialect of their country. They were very convincing. The storyline of the book was choppy. I believe I would call that the only drawback., but it helped explain other parts of the book. It jumped around to different times, then would go back to the main story. That was aggravating, but understood as I read further. So don’t stop reading. I promise it all turns out in the end. The writing only had a few errors in it, but nothing that took away from the story.

As far as my reading of it, I am new into the sci-fi genre, but with each new book I read in that genre it is definitely growing on me. Monster Squad: The Iron Golem was no exception. Although it didn’t quite end like I would have liked it too, it was still a very good story. At least there is another book after this one. Maybe it will end like I hope.  My favorite character was Dash. 🙂  Happy Reading!

~Bethanie

I was given a review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No monetary exchange was made.

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I’m So Excited– :)

Author's Mind   Columbus by Aimee Stewart

This is how I feel right now. I feel like I have been sent into a world of bookshelves that are full of the most amazing authors. I have several reviews coming up. Here is my list in the order they will appear:

The Only City Left by Andy Goldman

Bright Lights and White Nights by Andrew Carter

Quiznot by Russell Stoll

Genesys by Aaron Denius Garcia

The Least Envied by Sean DeLauder

Now, while some of these books have not even been published yet, I still look very forward to reading each and every one of them. To the authors that have entrusted me with a review of your book, thank you. I feel a reading binge coming on. I may have some of these reviews out before their promised date. We will see. Happy Reading!!

~Bethanie

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The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis

Map to Everywhere

No, this is not a review, just an excited post. I get emails from Books-A-Million about new books that will be coming out soon. Well, this one for some reason has really caught my eye. I absolutely cannot wait for it to come out. I am going to read it with my children and then I will let you know what I think about it. It looks really good and it is the beginning of a new series for middle-graders. I am always looking for those. I’ll have to tell you about another series that I happened upon too. We read that one too and it was GREAT! I hope this new one that is coming soon will be too.

If you want to check out availability and other info here is the link on BAM   http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Map-Everywhere/Carrie-Ryan/9780316240772?&ad=AD102314#overview .

 

Here is the Overview of it:

“Anything you need–The Map to Everywhere can take you there.”
To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it’s her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway which connects every world in creation (Apparently she “shouldn’t “have climbed aboard the mysterious pirate ship that sailed out of nowhere and into a dry Arizona parking lot. How was she to know?).
With the help of a bumbling wizard and his crew, they must scour the many worlds of the Pirate Stream to gather the pieces of the Map to Everywhere, but they aren’t the only ones looking. A dark and sinister figure is hot on their tail, and if they can’t beat his ghostly ship to find the Map, it could mean the destruction of everything they hold dear-not least of all themselves
In Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis’ first installment of a fantastical new series, adventure, magic, and hilarity collide in the treacherous skies and dangerous waters of the Pirate Stream. Heart-pounding escapades and a colorful cast of characters will have readers setting sail through this wholly original and unforgettable tale.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’m so excited!

Happy Reading!!

~Bethanie

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The Cat’s Maw by Brooke Burgess–Review by Bethanie

The Cat's Maw

The Cat’s Maw

by: Brooke Burgess

Genre: YA Fiction, Mystery, Horror

I cannot remember a book making me so very angry, so very sad, sometimes sick, and giving me a sense of foreboding all at the same time. In saying that, it was also very edge-of-your-seat-ish. So if Mr. Burgess wanted to write a book that can leave the reader feeling full of dread, yet dying to read the next book, then I guess he accomplished what he set out to do.

I love books with animals in them, especially cats. Cats have always lent an air of mystery to any family who happens to have one as a pet or more than one, whichever the case may be. This book reminds me a lot of the Warriors series by Erin Hunter. The main difference being that I would consider this more of a horror-type book than an adventure-type book. It is very Stephen King-ish.

WRITING AND STORYLINE:

The writing was fine, but less than I anticipated. Here is where I will probably not be liked. However I cannot make everyone happy, so I will do as I am expected to and give my honest opinion.

First of all let me say this. This book had a storyline, but there was not enough of the storyline in it. I will not give anything away but to say this. It seemed to be more human than cat and with a title like The Cat’s Maw, I just expected more of the cat theme than I read. Now, that being said, this was just the first book of the series so I may get more of what I am looking for in the next book or books, however many there might be.

I normally can read quickly through a book because it flows well. Please take this with a grain of salt, but for me the book did not flow well, and there seemed some parts that could have been left out altogether. A few of the characters I cannot see a place for in the book, and still others I think need more of a place in the book. Again, my opinion, others may not feel the same way. They may think it is great and for them it might be.

This was supposedly written for middle grades, but I would move it into the Young Adult range. Just because the book uses middle-grade aged children does not necessarily deem it middle-grade fiction. There were also a few words in it that most parents of middle-grade students would not want them to see. I am one of those parents. Some may not care, but some may. It will be left up to the parent to make that decision.

OVERALL:

The book itself was not bad. The only problem for me was the flow of the story. It jumped around way too much, but again, my opinion. Please, however, do not let this review sway you from reading the book. Not every reader is alike and therefore each has their own opinion. I appreciate the opportunity to read the book, and I will look for the next one to read. Happy reading!

~Bethanie

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. No monetary exchange was made.

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Indie Authors Review

UGH! I have had it with some Indie Authors! I am sick of everywhere I go–pages on Facebook, groups I am a part of, etc. beginning as something I was interested in, and ending up as nothing more than an advertising sludge pool. Am I an indie author, yes. Do, I want my books to be noticed, yes. However, reality is what it is.

Some Indie authors have inundated any and all outlets with their books. Some of the ones I have read are really, really good, and many others I have read are really, really bad. I don’t care whether you want to shoot me down for saying that. IT IS THE TRUTH!

Someone once said that anyone can be a writer, well they were wrong. Not just anyone can. That has been proved to me through some of the books I have read by some indie authors.

As a reader I have to wade through oceans and oceans of books to find what I like. Some I have come across, thinking I would like them, proved me wrong yet again. But my newsfeed is blown up by newer, better, more–yeah, right.

If you’re reading this you may be cussing me right now, and I really don’t care. If you know you can write, you aren’t cussing me. If you know you have room for improvement or are thinking I am directing this at you, then you know the answer to whether you can write or not.

Writers write because it is a need. They have withdrawal if they haven’t been able to write or they get writer’s block. It can break their heart. To finish a book is an accomplishment in and of itself. A writer’s work is part of their heart. It is a life they have borne from their imagination and just as if they have given birth to it in hard labor. It is difficult to let it go to the public for scrutinizing and critiquing. When you as a writer have been through this then you have a good book and I want to read it. Yes, some of you have sent me your books to read, and I am sorry, but the review is not here, because I do not give star reviews. I give the truth. If I believe you have put your heart and soul into your book, I am not going to tell you otherwise. I will say this. Care for it a little more and your review will appear.

To those indie authors who just want to say, look, I have written a book, good. Send me your fifteenth draft of it (I am not joking) and I will read it. Then I will know you have cared enough to send me your very best. Good luck, and best wishes!

~Bethanie

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