Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013 - No comments

Eat This Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide

Rating: 5 Stars
Version: Paperback
Author: David Zinczenko with Goulding

Amazon Summary:
With more than 50,000 food products in the average supermarket, it's no wonder shoppers feel confused and overwhelmed. How do they know what to buy to eat healthier and avoid packing on pounds? And as food prices skyrocket, how do consumers know they're getting the best deals?

Luckily they have Eat This, Not That! Supermarket Survival Guide, the ultimate authority on packaged foods, produce, and dairy and meat products found in our supermarkets. Newly revised and updated with all-new nutrition facts and information, this expanded edition acts as a trusted bodyguard, steering buyers away from nutritional danger zones and protecting them with the power of knowledge. On every page, readers will find easy-to-follow tips and nutrition facts that help them make the best choices for cutting calories, shedding pounds, and even saving money!

The book's easy-to-carry format and highly visual design make it a perfect companion for the purse or shopping cart. And the information inside, based on extensive research and market reporting, will finally put the shopper in control of his or her family's diet and health.

I was given this book as a gift and I must say that it's not the type of book I usually pay any attention to, nor is it the type I take time to review. However, I started to skim through a few paragraphs here and there and the next thing I knew thirty minutes had passed! I found the illustrations, photos, charts, and graphs not only very appealing, but full of detail. Eat This Not That gives the reader many healthier options to swap some of their most common food choices. Topics range from where and how to shop in a supermarket to pantry staples and it even includes shopping guide to help save money. The book also includes detailed recipes to help you create dishes such as eggs benedict, burgers, chicken caesar, pizza, and much more. All of the recipes are designed to help the preparer make a healthy and delicious meal.
One thing I must say is that I absolute hate how books of this genre attempt to prey on peoples fears and make them afraid to eat. However, Eat This Not That helps the reader know what they are eating and  how to make a healthier version of it, not completely eliminate it from their daily lives. At first I was a little conflicted on how to rate this book, because its not something I would classify as loving or amazing. Yet, the amount of detail and information this book contains earned it a 5 star rating.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013 - , , No comments


Rating: 4.5 Stars
Version: Ebook
Author: Colee Firman

Short Summary (GR):
The Overseer’s Stone is destroyed and all of the Scattered Akori are back. That’s exactly what Addy wanted. The part she didn’t bargain for was being swept away, landing in a fascinating world just under the surface of her own. 
The search for a way back to Tremain proves to be a monumental task, with a roadblock at every turn. Unimaginable secrets from the past unravel, leaving Addy wondering if there’s anyone she can really trust. 
Will mistakes from Eva and Andrew’s past be the end of them all? Old enemies resurface, forcing Addy and Tanner to make impossible decisions that will change everything. 
Bonds are broken and new connections are forged in Sanctify—book two of the Unbinding Fate Series.

Author Colee Firman has supplied readers with a very compelling continuation to the Unbinding Fate series entitled Sanctify. The story continues from the cliffhanger ending of book one with Addy, Tanner, Jax, and Julz having landed in Greystone - a home away from home. The continuation of the story was very fluent and no time was wasted rehashing events from book one; a turn off to some readers. Overall, I have to say that I enjoyed book two much more so than book one. One reason is because both Addy and Tanner have powers now and they aren't afraid to use them. Their inherited powers are rivaled with the legendary Eva and Andrew, from which their abilities descend. As with book one there is a lot of romance, which was to be expected. Yet, instead of letting it dissuade me from the storyline, I found that it greatly enhanced it. I thoroughly enjoyed the action, mystery, and suspense Sanctify offered, partially the reason why I was able to overlook the romance. Don't misunderstand me, the romance in the Unbinding Fate series is no less than that of any other book, I just cringe when a story centers around romance. Hence, why I stay away from that genre of books. 
As a side note, I figured Addy would end up with Tanner and it definitely makes sense why she was attracted to Gage. Addy's life was a complete mess with her Grandfather dying, her best friends turning against her, and the Estate being attacked (I probably left a few others out). So, it's not unreasonable to see that she turned to Gage, her childhood friend, for support and reassurance. The fact that he scattered after trying to heal her simply added to the fuel. It was a catalyst as Tanner says. 
The only reason I don't give Sanctify 5 stars is because it took me along time to get into it. It took me a week to get to 50%. However, after breaking through some imaginary barrier, I ended up finishing the next day. 
Sanctify ends with another cliffhanger and it has me yearning to continue on to Book 3, Chasing Darkness. 

Read this book!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - , , No comments


Rating: 3 Stars
Version: Ebook
Author: Colee Firman

I came across this book via Pixel of Ink while it was on special.

Short Summary:
The story centers around a teenage girl named Addison Sanders who lives at her grandfathers estate. Addison is very well traveled, since the estate is teleported to new locations often - usually cold, isolated, and never the same place twice. However, Addison finds herself faced with a situation that violates previous precident. The new location is on the beach near a busy tourist town and is also a repeat of a prior location. Addison and her grandfather share the estate with the Akori, an immortal population of human-like people. They are overseen by Addison's grandfather, known as the Overseer. The Overseer has control over the Overseer's stone, which was created by two of the oldest known Akori. Since the stone's creation, much controversy has arisen and many seek to destroy it. Things become complicated when a human named Tanner becomes aware of the estate, which is usually shielded from human eyes. Her grandfather dies and while Addy attempts to claim the Overseer's stone, symbols appear on her neck. These symbols would kill the the average human, but instead it sets her off on an adventure full of mystery, flirtation, and deception.

Overall I enjoyed this story. It was a little slow towards the beginning, but picked up at around 55-60%. One thing that irked me was the time it took to uncover information surrounding the Akori and their powers; the estate, and the stone. However, by the end of the book all my questions were answered.  Also, I am not too fond of stories containing a lot of romance, which was abundant with Addison's character. But, if you enjoy fantasy and romance then this is your story. The book also needed a little more editing. There were a few grammatical errors I picked up on, but nothing major. Hey, my grammar isn't perfect either. I really enjoyed the concept of the the Akori and the estate because it was both unique and interesting.

This is book one of the Unbinding Fate series and I am in the process of reading book two: Sanctify.  I have recommend this book to others seeking a good read in fantasy and would definitely recommend it to anyone reading this review.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Mary Baker and The Eye of the Tiger

Author: D.M Cherubim
Version: Ebook
Rating: 3.5 Stars

I stumbled across this book not too long ago while looking for a decent fantasy read. The GR's (GoodReads) ratings and reviews appeared promising, so I decided to give it a shot. One comment in general caught my attention: 

"All you Harry Potter fans searching for a magical experience need not look further than D.M. Cherubim’s novel, Mary Baker and the Eye of the Tiger."

Do not be mislead by the above statement. The book does share similarities with the Harry Potter series, but only a few. For example, Mary Baker, much like Harry Potter, is brought up in a dysfunctional and abusive household. Also, much like Harry, Mary finds her escape in a school for magic. One stark difference occurs when defining the term Magic. Instead of wands and enchantments like in Harry Potter, Mary's school focuses on using angels and spirits as a medium to God's powers. At first I was skeptical, but I found Cherumbim's concept on magic refreshing - non-the-less interesting. 

Very Brief Summary:
Mary Baker is a young girl who resides with her selfish, rude, "gold digging" bully of a mother. As such, Mary finds her life very unpleasant, but is able to withstand the harshness of her situation with the help of a flurry of unnatural occurrences. For example, Mary receives random gifts in the mail and flocks of black birds seem to follow her. She is finally able to escape life with her mother when a distant uncle, who she met only once and is not allowed to talk about, passes away. In short, the uncle leaves Mary a great deal of his assets, the Eye of the Tiger, and an explanation for the unnatural occurrences. Shortly after, Mary attends a school for white magic and learns how to use the stone that was entrusted to her.

The story itself was a little slow in the beginning and I found myself annoyed by Mary's constant crying. Her situation is sad, but having the main character cry every few paragraphs was a bit overbearing. However, the story redeems itself by picking up in both speed and action towards the latter half of the novel. With this said, there were a few things that seemed a bit off to me. For example, the antagonist's, Zad and Selina, were supposedly well established sorcerers, so how is it that a few first year students were able to hold them off? Also, I will admit that I was surprised by the ending, but not in a good way. I feel as if the author was in a rush to finish the novel and decided on the easy way out. 

As a side note, I began the story without realizing it was intended as a children's fantasy novel. Due to this, I found that it was almost too childishly cliche for my taste. However, after realizing the target audience, I adjusted my opinion.

 would recommend this story to anyone seeking a light read in children's fantasy.