Book Reviews, Lists, Discussions, and Displays

Tag: Dogs

Book Review: The Cul-de-Sac War

The Cul-de-Sac War – Melissa Ferguson – Thomas Nelson – Published 10 November 2020

♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

Bree Leake doesn’t want to be tied down. She’s had more jobs than she can count, and she plans to move as soon as the curtains fall on her less-than-minor stage role at The Barter—the oldest live performance theater in the US. But just when it’s time to move on again, Bree’s parents make her an offer: hold steady for a full year, and they will give her the one thing she’s always wanted—her grandmother’s house. Her dreams are coming true . . . until life at the theater throws her some curve balls.

And then there’s Chip McBride—her handsome and infuriating next-door neighbor.

Chip just might be the only person whose stubborn streak can match Bree’s. She would move heaven and earth to have him off her cul-de-sac and out of her life, but according to the bargain she’s struck, she can’t move out of her house and away from the man who’s making her life miserable. So begins Bree’s obsessive new mission: to drive Chip out of the neighborhood—and fast.

Bree isn’t the only one who’s a tad competitive, and Chip is more than willing to fight fire with fire. But as their pranks escalate, the line between love and hate starts to blur—and their heated rivalry threatens to take a hilarious, heartwarming, and romantic new turn. 

My thoughts

Aside from having my mouth open in stunned disbelief for the majority of this book, it is actually quite a fun read and quite amazingly hilarious. From gentle animosity to full out war, The Cul-de-Sac War is the very definition of a hate to love romance. With pranks.

Bree wants to hold down her job at the theatre and maybe, one day reclaim her Grandmother’s home as her own. The only thing standing in her way is job cuts at the theatre and her new, extremely annoying neighbour. Chip has just moved in, is planning to renovate the house and start his new construction company, away from the restrictions of his family’s company. But when his neighbour declares war, he has no choice but to retaliate. And he can’t help it if he is enjoying annoying Bree a little too much.

Continue reading

Book Review: The Dog Runner

The Dog Runner – Bren MacDibble – Allen and Unwin Children’s – Published 4 February 2019

♥♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

Ella and her brother Emery are alone in a city that’s starving to death. If they are going to survive, they must get away, upcountry, to find Emery’s mum. But how can two kids travel such big distances across a dry, barren, and dangerous landscape? Well, when you’ve got five big doggos and a dry-land dogsled, the answer is you go mushing. But when Emery is injured, Ella must find a way to navigate them through rough terrain, and even rougher encounters with desperate people…

My thoughts

What a superb, beautifully written book. Thought-provoking and action filled, The Dog Runner is an Australian, middle grade novel that is dystopian fiction at its finest. This will be sure to please teen readers and make for a fantastic class novel.

I loved every page of this book. I was a little worried about the dogs. As a dog lover, I don’t usually read books about dogs – I can’t handle any injuries or death. I am very happy to say (any maybe it’s a spoiler, but I think it’s important to share) that aside from a small injury none of the dogs are harmed or die. This book has a dog-happy ending. Can’t say the same for some kangaroos, snakes, possums or other small creatures. For those who don’t like hunting or animal deaths, there are quite a few descriptions of killing and preparing animals for food. It’s done with care, but with details.

MacDibble presents a society and world in which grass crops have all failed and animal farming has been destroyed. People in the cities and suburbs are fighting for food, waiting for deliveries from the government that aren’t coming. People are looting and rioting and gangs are roaming.

Continue reading

Book Review: Brave Like That

Brave Like That – Lindsey Stoddard – HarperCollins – Published June 2 2020

♥♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

Cyrus Olson’s dad is a hero—Northfield’s former football star and now one of their finest firefighters. Everyone expects Cyrus to follow in his dad’s record-breaking footsteps, and he wishes they were right—except he’s never been brave like that. But this year, with the help of a stray dog, a few new friends, a little bit of rhythm, and a lot of nerve, he may just discover that actually…he is.

Lauded as “remarkable” by the New York Times Book Review, Lindsey Stoddard’s heartfelt stories continue to garner critical acclaim, and her latest novel will have fans new and old rooting for Cyrus and Parker’s special bond and the courage it helps them both to find.

My thoughts

Brave Like That is the same kind of feel-good, heartwarming, uplifting book as Wonder. Brave Like That is utterly delightful to read and I can’t wait to share this with our middle-grade readers.

Cyrus knows very well the story of the night he was found on the steps of the firehouse. He knows how his father had every intention of finding him a new home but decided to keep him. Cyrus has grown up in that firehouse, just as much a part of the fire crew as his dad and the other firefighters. When he discovers a dog, which he names Parker, on the steps of the firehouse, on the eve of his own discovery, he knows that dog belongs with him. He just doesn’t know how to convince his dad, nor how to tell him that he doesn’t actually like football and he would never be brave enough to actually be a fireman. With football season just starting, a new student in school who is being bullied, changes in his friendship group, and the ultimate desire to fight for Parker, Cyrus will have to discover if he can be the kind of brave that stands up for what is right.

I adored everything about this book. It is so easy to read, the story just unfolds and I didn’t want to put it down. There are so many important messages in this book and while they are pretty clearly outlined by Cyrus, the book doesn’t feel self-righteous. Cyrus learns a lot in the book and I was cheering him on every step of the way.

Continue reading

Book Review: I Am Still Alive

I Am Still Alive – Kate Alice Marshall – Viking Books – Published 24 July 2018

♥♥♥♥

 

Synopsis

After
Jess is alone. Her cabin has burned to the ground. She knows if she doesn’t act fast, the cold will kill her before she has time to worry about food. But she is still alive–for now.

Before
Jess hadn’t seen her survivalist, off-the-grid dad in over a decade. But after a car crash killed her mother and left her injured, she was forced to move to his cabin in the remote Canadian wilderness. Just as Jess was beginning to get to know him, a secret from his past paid them a visit, leaving her father dead and Jess stranded.

After
With only her father’s dog for company, Jess must forage and hunt for food, build shelter, and keep herself warm. Some days it feels like the wild is out to destroy her, but she’s stronger than she ever imagined.

My thoughts

I Am Still Alive is a pulse-pounding survival novel, epic and wild. There is no better beginning to an action adventure story than the character informing the reader that they are still alive when they should be dead. The prologue certainly gets the heart racing and it had me hooked on Jess’s story.

Before, Jess has been flown to the middle of nowhere to live with her dad. Injured from the car accident that killed her mother, the last place she wants to be is living in the wilderness with a man she hardly knows. After, Jess is alive – barely. She must rely on her basic knowledge of the forest to build shelter, hunt for food and survive, with nothing but her dad’s dog, an empty rifle, a bow and quiver of arrows and her wits.

Continue reading

Book Review: I’ll Be Yours

I'll Be Yours

I’ll Be Yours – Jenny B. Jones – Sweet Pea Productions – Published 22 March 2016

♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

She’s the coach’s brilliant daughter, clueless about love. He’s the dethroned football star, ready to teach Romance 101. When dark secrets and sparks collide, there’s no playbook for what happens next.

The day Andrew Levin arrives at Washington High, Harper O’Malley knows he’ll make the perfect starter boyfriend. The school’s newest band geek is totally in Harper’s league, yet completely out of this late-bloomer’s reach. Between fitting in with a new family, scoring the first chair in band, and rescuing dogs for the local animal shelter, Harper’s never had the opportunity to hone her dating skills. But even though Harper’s love life is far from perfect, she’s got the perfect plan.

Harper knows she’s insane to agree to tutor Ridley Estes, a notorious heartbreaker and the star of her high school’s football team—but in exchange, he’s offered to school her in the game of love. Just when she sees promise with her crush, a football scandal rocks her family, her town, and Ridley’s entire future. Harper suddenly has everything to lose—her family, friends, and even her heart. When the dust of the scandal settles, nothing will be the same. Including the girl who asked the most popular jock to teach her about love. 

My thoughts

I initially passed over this book as I had previously read a book by Jenny B Jones and not loved it. Big mistake. After seeing many positive reviews and reading the synopsis (which sounded awesome) I knew I had to give I’ll Be Yours a try. And I am so glad I did, because I’ll Be Yours was truly enjoyable, touching, funny and has totally changed my mind about this author. Thanks to a kind soul who lent me a copy.

Harper is an O’Malley. Has been ever since she came to live with them when she was nine. But sometimes it’s hard to feel like an O’Malley when you look nothing like the rest of your family, nightmares keep you awake every night and you have no idea how to have a normal conversation with a guy you’re crushing on. When Harper’s world implodes, she turns to a boy she would normally have nothing to do with, Ridley Estes. Their lives have both been impacted and they strike a deal – she helps him get back his dream of a football scholarship and he helps coach her in how to get the guy of her dreams.     Continue reading

Book Review: The Unexpected Everything

The Unexpected Everything

The Unexpected Everything – Morgan Matson – Simon & Schuster – Published 3 May 2016

♥♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future.

Important internship? Check.

Amazing friends? Check.

Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks)

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life.

Because here’s the thing – if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

My thoughts

Clearly this is a highly expected book. You only have to see some of the hype surrounding this book to know that readers love Morgan Matson’s writing. And that hype, that excitement is so deserved. This book is outstanding. Nothing and everything like I expected and so much more. This is a story about friendship just as much as it is a love story. But it’s also about family, looking out for and learning to stand up to each other, and about being brave enough to step away from the expected, the planned, and experience something so unexpected it just might change your mind about everything.

Andie is your typical type-A personality. Everything in order, under control and planned to the last detail. It has to be because one little mess-up could have serious ramifications for her father’s political career. But as so often happens, sometimes things spiral out of control even for the most prepared. So when a financial scam rocks her father’s career and her summer internship is pulled as a result, Andie finds herself at loose ends. Luckily she has an incredible group of friends with which to surround herself, manages to find a job walking dogs which isn’t all that bad, and the cute guy she keeps running into has definite crush possibilities. But with her father always around for once and the cute guy looking for more than Andie’s standard three week kiss-and-breakup ritual, this summer is nothing like she expected.    Continue reading

Book Review: Sit, Stay, Love

Sit, Stay, Love

Sit, Stay, Love – Dana Mentink – Harvest House Publisher – Published 1 April  2016

♥♥♥♥

Synopsis

Take one abrasive professional athlete, a quirky out-of-work schoolteacher, and an overweight geriatric dog, and you’re ready for a lesson in love…Tippy style.

Pro baseball pitcher Cal Crawford is not a dog guy. When he inherits his deceased mother’s elderly dog, Tippy, he’s quick to call on a pet-sitting service.

Gina isn’t thrilled to be a dog sitter when her aspirations lie in the classroom. Furthermore, she can’t abide the unfriendly Cal, a man with all the charm of a wet towel. But with no other prospects and a deep love for all things canine, she takes the job caring for Tippy.

As Gina travels through Cal’s world with Tippy in tow, she begins to see Cal in a different light. Gina longs to show Cal the God-given blessings in his life that have nothing to do with baseball or fame. When her longing blooms into attraction, Gina does her best to suppress it. But Cal is falling in love with her too…

My thoughts

Sit, Stay, Love is an amusing and energetic romance. A professional athlete male lead character, a major-incident-prone teacher turned dog sitter and a very cute, very crazy little dog, plus faith, family and zealous fans, this book ticks all the boxes.

I’m always on the look out for new authors to read in Christian fiction, particularly contemporary, so I was very eager to try Dana Mentink’s book Sit, Stay, Love. I have never read anything by Dana before so she is new to me, even if she is already an author many times over.

How much can one dog change the lives of two people, one family and a baseball team?     Continue reading

© 2021 Madison's Library

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑