The Dyno Dinosaur Family Presents: Waves of Kindness Review

The Dyno Dinosaur Family Presents: Waves of Kindness

This picture book shows children the power of kindness. Sister Dyno wants to be able to spread kindness to others, but she doesn’t know how. She thinks that she is too young to be able to make a difference in the world. Mother Dyno shows Sister Dyno that every little action she does can make a difference in the world and make people happier. These waves of kindness spread from person to person until everyone is happy.

I loved this metaphor in this book and I think it could be useful for both children and adults. The illustrations were colorful and bright, and the story was educational for readers of all ages. I definitely think that you could use this book to teach your child about kindness and spreading generosity to others. I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a picture book about family, kindness, and happiness.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 books.

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After the Green Withered Blog Tour Plus Review

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After the Green Withered

They tell me the country looked different back then.

They talk of open borders and flowing rivers.

They say the world was green.

But drought swept across the globe and the United States of the past disappeared under a burning sky. 

Enora Byrnes lives in the aftermath, a barren world where water has become the global currency. In a life dominated by duty to family and community, Enora is offered a role within an entity that controls everything from water credits to borders. But it becomes clear that not all is as it seems. From the wasted confines of her small town to the bowels of a hidden city, Enora will uncover buried secrets that hide an unthinkable reality. 

As truth reveals the brutal face of what she has become, she must ask herself: how far will she go to retain her humanity?

After the Green Withered purchase links:

https://www.amazon.com/After-Green-Withered-Kristin-Ward-ebook/dp/B07D2X7YSY (Affiliate Link)

https://books2read.com/after-the-green-withered 

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This book really made me think about how much water I am using on a daily basis. Enora’s generation does not even know what it is like to have enough water to live comfortably. All of the previous generations wasted water until there was barely any left, and now humanity is surviving on the last droplets. Enora does blame the previous generations for ruining her world, and she doesn’t want to give birth to any children in order to keep them out of this suffering world. But she keeps looking forward, questioning everything, and never settling for what the barren world was giving her.

I wanted to cry as I was reading about how they had to live in this time. Everything was dry, dirty, and gritty. No one alive at the time knew or could remember what it was like to live with water. The government took advantage of this and grew into power while helping people to control their water usage.

Enora was such a smart character. She knew that something was up from the point that she was offered a way to basically join the government’s army, and she never believed their propaganda. All of the actions scenes were accompanied by her conflicting inner thoughts as she wondered what she was really doing. She even explored with the new characters that she met along the way, finding out the secrets about her government.

The only thing that I didn’t like about this story was the slight love triangle that I think is starting to appear. I don’t know for sure, but it could even be a love square! I just personally like my YA characters to be tied down to one person or another to eliminate unnecessary drama, so this disappointed me a little bit. But the book did end on a cliffhanger, so I don’t know how these relationships are going to change in future books. I can’t wait for future books!

This book moved so smoothly throughout each chapter. It wasn’t so fast-paced that I got lost, but it wasn’t so slow-paced that the author was describing every tree that Enora passed on a walk. I read the book almost completely in one sitting and verbally said “that’s it?” once I reached the end. I was on the edge of my seat, Ward had me hooked!

Overall, this was one of the best, if not the best YA dystopian novels that I have read in a long time. I was already planning out scenes for the movie as I was going through it, it was great! I would recommend it to anyone looking for a brand new YA dystopian science fiction/fantasy read.

I received a copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 books

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image7About the Author

Kristin Ward has loved writing since middle school but took thirty years to do something serious about it. The result is her Best Indie Book Award-winning novel, After the Green Withered, followed by the sequel, Burden of Truth. She lives in a small town in Connecticut with her husband, three sons, and many furry and feathered friends. A SciFi geek to the core, she is fueled by dark chocolate and coffee and can be heard quoting eighties movies on a regular basis.

 

Kristin Ward Twitter: http://twitter.com/YA_Author

Kristin Ward Website: https://www.writingandmythreesons.com/

End of the Last Great Kingdom Review

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In Sulphurium the enlighten, whose with magic, are tested at the edge of adulthood to see if they have what it takes to become mages. For Leaf, an orphan who has not awaken his powers yet the trials are insurmountable. However, by the skin of his teeth Leaf manages to pass and is reborn as Mage Brimstone. Just as Brimstone becomes comfortable with his new life, the Order arrives and turns his world upside down. Their intent is to use him as a political and military pawn. Brimstone and friends will need to learn quickly if they ever hope to survive.

The Brimstone Chronicles is a dark fantasy series following the life of the Mage Brimstone. The story is fast paced and filled with unique characters and captivating creatures. Be warned this series is not for the faint of heart. Death and suffering lie around every corner, and not even the innocent are safe.

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I truly wanted to enjoy this dark adventure story with teenaged characters, but I felt as if I wasn’t truly connected to any of them. Each character had a unique trait, but their general personalities were sort of bland. By the end of the book, the only character that I truly knew was Brimstone. The rest had melded into one big pile of “Brimstone’s friends.”

Also, dark fantasy does not mean that all of the characters have to come off as being nearly soulless. Brimstone is cruel in this book by the end, and he is not even remorseful about it in the least. You would think that a 13-year-old would have some sort of physical reaction to such violence. I mean, he seems to be the slave boy at the beginning of the story, and those memories that he lost could have been of great suffering, but this was never explained. He didn’t even seem to be that strong at the start of the novel, constantly being bullied, so how is he this beast of a man who would never listen to anyone but himself by the end. Only a few months have passed!

Overall, I didn’t really like this novel, it could have definitely been more for me, but I did like the premise. I might still read the sequel to see if anything gets better and to find out what happens to Brimstone and his friends

I received a copy of this book and reviewed it through the Online Book Club. https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?f=21&t=98323

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

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Stalking the Billionaire Celebrity Review

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Stalking the Billionaire Celebrity (Sweet Bay Billionaires #2)Beau Bennett has it all — a billion dollar bank account, movie star good looks, and the lead role in a new, hit movie. But none of it satisfies the ache he feels for something more.​

Fledgling reporter Cara doesn’t have the same infatuation with Beau as everyone else, but she is obsessed with getting her name under a headline, and getting back at Beau for ruining what was supposed to be her big break.

When Cara discovers Beau hiding from a media scandal at the Sweet Bay Resort, she knows fate has given her a second chance at the story of a lifetime. She poses as a housekeeper, hoping to catch the playboy billionaire in a compromising situation so she can write a scathing article, exposing his many indiscretions. If only Beau would cooperate.

Instead of trouble, Beau finds the meaning that he’s been looking for in small town life and the spunky housekeeper who turns up everywhere. And Cara finds herself falling for the kind, generous man who’s more hero than heartbreaker.

But when Cara’s true intentions are revealed, can she convince Beau to give her a second chance?

It’s been a while since I’ve ever read a “hate to love” romance, but this one really hit the spot.

Beau is not the typical “billionaire romance” love interest. I’ve never had such an interesting first scene of a book. He is hungover from partying the previous day, doesn’t want to get in a private jet because of his bad memories about his parents’ death in a plane, and has a panic attack in front of an airport. Then he goes to a drug dealer that he sees out of the corner of his eye to try to get something that would allow him to calm down and get on the plane. I guess I’ve never seen a vulnerable billionaire in a romance novel like this? It actually made me like him more. For once, the main character wasn’t being a complete jerk to the main female character before falling in love with her 30 pages later! This book was off to a good start.

Cara was the one who hated Beau at first. He was supposed to be her big break, but he never showed up. Now, she decides to pretend to be a maid to try to get some dirt on him. Is he actually a drug addict, or is it something else? When she enters the room and he is actually friendly to her instead of treating her like a maid, she immediately knows that something is up. Beau might not be the man that the media is making him out to be. I loved the scenes where the two of them would just hang out with each other all day, making small talk and having fun in the small beach town.

I constantly wanted the pair to work out in the end. They had chemistry from the very start of the book, and it only increased as the story went on. They were friends first, albeit for a short time, and then they became a romantic pair. I could see that they would be a good long-term couple.

One of my favorite parts of the book was when Cara was with her friends. None of them seemed toxic, they all just wanted to support each other and have fun. They never left anyone out of the group, even if she had children and couldn’t stay out as late as the other women. I want to have a group of friends as supportive as they were!

The last thing I want to talk about is how this book connects to the other book in the series. I won’t spoil anything about that book, but you will see how the couple fares in this novel, along with a few tidbits about their lives after the book ended. You will also see how the town reacted to the resort, if they accepted it or not. I hope that this continues to the next novel, so I can see what happens to all these characters. Maybe it will be someone else from the friend group who ends up marrying a billionaire!

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new adult romance novel. It’s also a clean romance novel!

I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 books

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Princess in the Spotlight Review (Princess Diaries #2)

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Princess in the Spotlight (The Princess Diaries, #2)She’s just a New York City girl living with her artist mom…
News Flash: Dad is prince of Genovia. (So that’s why a limo meets her at the airport!)

Downer: Dad can’t have any more kids. (So no heir to the throne.)

Shock of the Century: Like it or not, Mia Thermopolis is prime princess material.

Mia must take princess lessons from her dreaded grandmére, the dowager princess of Genovia, who thinks Mia has a thing or two to learn before she steps up to the throne.

Well, her father can lecture her until he’s royal-blue in the face about her princessly duty–no way is she moving to Genovia and leaving Manhattan behind. But what’s a girl to do when her name is Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo?

So, I thought that Mia couldn’t get worse, and she surprisingly doesn’t. But she doesn’t get much better in this book.

Mia’s mother is pregnant, something left out of the official Goodreads synopsis. But it is revealed on the fourth page of the book, so it isn’t much of a spoiler. Rather than being supportive of her mom, Mia is at first upset at her mom for having ANOTHER child out of wedlock. Which isn’t really her job to judge, as she is still only 14, but I digress. Luckily, she eventually warms up to the idea and decides to be her mother’s caretaker. She has to make sure she doesn’t drink or eat anything unhealthy so that her baby sibling will stay healthy as they grow. Throughout the book, there are scenes where she literally gives away or throws out things that her mother has bought that she deems are “too dangerous” for her to eat while pregnant. And you never see anything about her mother’s reaction to these events! Why isn’t this addressed? I know if my teenage daughter threw out things I had bought with my own money, or gave them to neighbors, we would be having a serious talk. It would have been more mature for Mia to go to her mother and have a discussion about healthy eating, instead of just throwing everything away and hoping that her mother doesn’t notice. But instead she gets rid of the food, and her mother seemingly has no reaction.

The only other thing that seemed really unrealistic was when Mia was writing in her diary for English class. This diary would be given to her teacher at the end of the semester. She is writing about her favorite TV show, Baywatch, and she says that she wishes her breasts were as big as Carmen Electra’s. No one would write anything like this in a journal they are turning in to a teacher. A classmate of mine wrote a fairly mild curse word in a timed class essay without even realizing it, and was given Saturday detention because of it. No way that half the stuff Mia writes in the English journal would fly.

The main drama of this book was when Mia went to do an interview as a princess and completely flopped. Did she not practice questions for the interview beforehand? She couldn’t answer any of the questions and gave far too much personal information out to the public. I can’t believe that her strict grandmother would allow her granddaughter to go out there without proper training, embarrassing herself and her country in the process. It just doesn’t seem in-character for her. But this “drama” is what connects her more with Lilly’s brother, her secret crush, and simultaneously damages her friendship with Lilly. Because of COURSE Mia promised her first interview to Lilly’s public access television show and then forgot about it later on. I don’t even remember this promise being discussed earlier in the book, did Lilly just lie to try to make Mia feel bad? I don’t even know.

There were two things that I truly enjoyed about this book. I thought that Mia was a bit more tolerable, and she didn’t do as many things to make me outright hate her. Her father also redeems himself a bit, so I enjoyed that storyline. I even started to think that the third book might have been one that I slightly enjoyed! But a few sentences at the end of the story made me certain that the third book of the series would be just as bad as the last two. I can’t wait to finish it and give all three back to the used bookstore where I bought them.

Overall Rating: 2 out of 5 books

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The Princess Diaries Review + Movie Comparison (Princess Diaries #1)

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The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1)
Mia Thermopolis is pretty sure there’s nothing worse than being a five-foot-nine, flat-chested freshman, who also happens to be flunking Algebra. Is she ever in for a surprise.

First Mom announces that she’s dating Mia’s Algebra teacher. Then Dad has to go and reveal that he is the crown prince of Genovia. And guess who still doesn’t have a date for the Cultural Diversity Dance?

When I was around 10 years old, I saw the Princess Diaries movie on TV. I instantly fell in love with it, and I adored Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. When I saw the first three books in the series at a local bookstore a few years ago, I decided to pick them up. It took me forever to get around to reading them, but I had high hopes for them. Boy, was I disappointed.

For starters, the book is very, VERY different from the movie. Here are a few of the major differences.

The story takes place in Manhattan instead of San Francisco, which should have made the story more relatable to me as I live fairly close to Manhattan.

Mia’s father, the prince, isn’t dead like he is in the film. He is infertile because he has had testicular cancer, but it hasn’t killed him. At least, cancer hasn’t killed him yet, I don’t know if he ends up actually dying later in the series. This changes the story entirely. Now, when Mia’s mother dates someone else, she also has to deal with her ex-boyfriend being around a lot as he tries to teach her daughter to be a princess. He also just has a bunch of random girlfriends that Mia has to deal with every time she went to visit him. In the movie, Mia’s father is portrayed as a “good man,” and the cause of his death is not discussed.

Another difference is that Mia knows her grandmother, and her grandmother is portrayed as a horribly mean woman. Julie Andrews may have been strict in the movie, but she wasn’t a bitter old woman. She was the one who told Mia that she was a princess in the movie and the one who supported her. I hated the grandmother in this version, and even if I did read the rest of the series, I don’t think that she will redeem herself. One of the reasons why I enjoyed the Princess Diaries movie was because of Mia’s relationship with her grandmother, as she taught her grandmother how to be a regular person instead of a royal. That would never happen in this series, as Mia doesn’t have a good relationship with her grandmother at all.

So those are the main differences, and some of the issues that I had with the book at first. Now, let’s talk about the characters in the book.

Mia was honestly annoying even before she was a princess and got her “makeover.” Her “inner diary dialogue” irritated me as I was reading this book the entire way through. On page 7, she says “How come nice people like Princess Diana get killed in car wrecks but mean people like Lana never do?” When I read that, I thought, “Wow, that’s harsh.” But I continued on, thinking she would get better eventually. We’ve all thought mean things about bullies before. 4 pages later, she says that she hopes that she notices if the school “hot guy” starts sexually harassing her someday. Sexual harassment is not something that most girls wish for, but I let it go and continued to read.

What automatically made me lose most of my respect for her was when she talked about the Blind Guy. This Blind Guy had a game of asking women to walk him across the street, just to feel them up on the other side and pretend it was an accident. When I heard this, I automatically went “Wtf?” Like, I’ve been to New York many times and have never seen anything like this happen, but even if it did, someone would report it. Especially if he was doing it repeatedly to women of all ages, including underage high schoolers. But Mia doesn’t feel bad about this in any way, no, she says “Just my luck, the only guy who’s ever felt me up (not that there’s anything to feel) was BLIND.” Like, what 14-year-old girl thinks that after ACTUALLY being sexually harassed/assaulted by a grown man on the street.

Then there were other small things about Mia that irritated me throughout the book. Her dad gives her five bucks to tip the bathroom assistant, she only gives the assistant one because she feels she deserves 4 because her allowance every week is only 10. This was in 2000, and you could get a full fast-food meal for less than 5 bucks!

Lilly is Mia’s best friend who runs her own TV show. A running joke throughout the book is how she has a foot fetishist named Norman as a stalker, who keeps sending her gifts to get her to take off her shoes during the show. I don’t know how someone can not take a grown man stalking a 14-year-old seriously, but in this book, it’s just a joke. I could stand Lilly in the movie, but I didn’t like her that much in this movie. She was so addicted to creating her show that she would get mad at Mia whenever Mia couldn’t help her make an episode. Mia never actually blew Lilly off, she never did anything to sabotage the show, she was just occasionally busy with her princess duties. But this didn’t matter to Lilly. If you weren’t 100% beside her in everything she did, you were against her, even if you were her best friend. I couldn’t stand this character trait, and I honestly wished that Mia would just make new friends and drop Lily.

The two things that I actually liked about this book were Tina and Josh. Josh is the love interest and school hot guy, and the main focus of the movie is how he goes out with Mia one time. This is not the main focus of the book, thank God, even though the scene basically plays out the same way. If I had liked Mia as a character, I would have enjoyed getting to know her more instead of just focusing on her going out with someone.

Tina was also a really unique character, with her overprotective father and teen romance novels. She had a bodyguard like Mia, and Mia decided to become her friend whenever Lilly decided to stop speaking to her. I think that she was honestly my favorite character in the series, as she was always supportive of Mia and never super-judgemental like Lilly. I hope that Mia and Tina stay friends throughout the series, and don’t end up having to go their separate ways.

Overall, I definitely would not recommend this book, just watch the movie. Mia in this novel is not a good role model for teen girls, and she is not even a realistic 14-year-old. And trust me, it does not get better. This was only about a month of story, as the next book picks up in October of the same year!

Overall Rating: 1.5 out of 5 books

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