Can you believe it? I’m actually posting June’s classic in June! :O
Originally Published: 1868
My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Synopsis: In this first volume in The Original Elsie Dinsmore Series, sweet, motherless eight-year-old Elsie struggles with several bewildering problems. She has never known her mother, and her relationship with her father is filled with misunderstanding and tears. The young girl learns to depend wholly upon her faith in her heavenly father.
WHEN I Discovered This Classic
When I was little, I loved the A Life of Faith versions of the Elsie books. Growing up, they were some of my absolute favorites. I later found out they were an adaptation of this original series.
WHY I Chose To Read It
Ever since I found out there was another version of these books, I wanted to read them. I had heard the originals were a bit controversial, so I was curious to check them out for myself!
WHAT Makes It A Classic
Elsie’s faithfulness and Christian morals has been long admired. Plus, any book that has been in publication for nearly 150 years is considered a classic to me.
WHAT I Thought Of This Classic
I was unsure what to rate this book. For me personally, I enjoyed reading it, and being able to go back into Elsie’s world. I loved the A Life of Faith versions so much when I was little, and while there definitely were things I did not like in this real version, honestly, I still enjoyed this book, story-wise, just as much as the updated version. I also love Elsie’s perseverance. Her faith is definitely inspirational, and something I think all Christians should strive to be more like.
That being said, it was disturbing to read of the emotional, and nearly, physical abuse that went on in this book that was written off as stern but fair punishment. Poor Elsie is often under the impression that she is a terribly naughty child, when in actuality she is the most obedient child in a way that is humanly possible. I also found it creepy when a grown man told 8-year-old Elsie, “If only you were ten years older.” It’s even creepier to me, because I know they actually do get married someday! I realize the world was a very different place when this book was written back in the 1800s, before even slavery was abolished, but still…
WILL It Stay A Classic
I don’t know. There was a lot of problematic content in this book. I’m glad I had the A Life of Faith versions to read when I was little. If Mission City Press had not gone out of business, and those versions of the story were still being published, I think they would have eventually taken the original versions’ place.
WHO I’d Recommend It To
I would recommend this book to people who, like me, enjoyed the A Life of Faith books. It was interesting to read the similarities and the differences between the two. People who enjoy reading old-fashioned books would enjoy these as well. However, I would NOT recommend these books to young, impressionable children, who the books are really targeted for. The way most of the adults treat the children in this book is not good. If they want to read about Elsie and friends, they should stick to the adapted versions.
Hey everyone! Today I want to talk about my reading goals for this summer. I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, and I decided that since today is officially the first day of summer, it’s time for me to actually write it! Just to be clear, I generally count my “summer reading” from approximately Memorial Day to Labor Day. So, late May through early September.
1. Read at least 15 books
I realize that this is a bit of an ambitious goal being that I only read 17 books from January through May. I’ve done it before though, and I can do it again! I have a lot more time to read during the summer months.
2. Complete my library’s summer reading program
I love participating in my library’s summer reading program! It’s super easy to complete, too. All I have to do is read 26 days and do some sort of physical activity (swimming, walking, gardening, etc.) for 26 days as well. If I manage to read 50 days, I get an additional prize. Being that I read everyday, that shouldn’t be a problem for me!
3. Reread some old favorites
There are so many amazing books out there that I haven’t read, that sometimes I forget about all the books I already love. This summer, I want to reminisce and reread at least a few of my old favorites.
4. Read more classics
I’m already participating in ThePrettyBook’s 2016 Classics Challenge, so I already try to read at least one classic a month. However, I’d really like to try and read at least two a month this summer.
5. Conquer my TBR…or at least tame it…
My TBR pile is out of control, and yet I keep buying more books! My goal this summer is to actually read more of the books that I already own, so I don’t have hundreds of books on my shelves that I haven’t even read.
6. Participate in The Hedgeathon 2016 by Natalie @ Books and Quills
This looks like a really fun, summer readathon! There are 12 different challenges, but you only have to complete 8 to “win.” It started June 1st, and goes all the way through July 31st. You can read all about the Hedgeathon, its challenges, and how to participate by clicking here!
Well, that about sums up my summer reading goals. What are yours?
Also, I stumbled across this beauty of a GIF and just had to include it. That’s me every time I go to the library! Hahaha!
Title: Death by Design by Carolyn Keene
Genres: Mystery, YA, Children’s
Published by: Turtleback Books (December 1st, 1988)
Nancy Drew and her friend Bess Marvin travel into a world of fashion. Behind all the clothes though, there is someone determained to see the death of Kim Daley a fashion designer. A poison that was meant for Kim was given to Nancy. Know Nancy has only 72 hours to live. Can Nancy find the poisoner and the antidote before it’s to late?
What I Thought
For Nancy Drew, this book was dark! There were times when I was reading it and was like, “This is Nancy Drew?!” It was also very emotional and intense for an ND book. Although that may be the reason why I enjoyed it so much. I wasn’t expecting this book the be the way it, but I liked it. It was just different. Nancy is literally dying throughout pretty much the entire book, and as the story progresses Nancy starts to deteriorate more and more. There’s a lot of crying and intensity between Nancy, Ned, and Bess.
The actual storyline was very good too. There were a lot of different suspects with different motives, and I really love how the story played out! Even though the intensity was extreme for a Nancy Drew book, I really enjoyed it. There were a lot of special moments between Ned and Nancy too that I really thought went nicely with the story. You could really feel the gravity of the situation. The possibility that Nancy really could die was very prominent and realistic (even if I knew Nancy wasn’t really going to die!).
Just a head’s up, if you haven’t already thought this, I wouldn’t recommend this book to a young ND fan. It’s really too mature for the younger fans. I want to keep this review spoiler free, but I really want to add the poisoner attempts to kill him/her self at the end of the book! Like I said, there were times when I wondered what I was reading!
FUN FACT: The Nancy Drew computer game, Danger by Design, was inspired by this book (even if there aren’t that many similarities between the two, and the game is much less intense haha).
Overall, I really enjoyed this book, even if it wasn’t your typical Nancy Drew.
Review originally written July 2013.
I’m only doing a top 5, and I may be a day late, but I’m doing it anyway!
Today is Yesterday was Top Ten Tuesday – A weekly bookish list created by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic is:
Most Anticipated Releases for the 2nd half of 2016
Tales of the Peculiar
I’m a huge fan of the Peculiar Children series, so when I found out about Tales of the Peculiar, I just knew I had to buy it! It is set to release September 3rd, 2016.
The Fever Code
I know that the Maze Runner series sometimes has mixed reactions, but, for me personally, I loved it! They are so fast-paced, action packed, and full of mystery. Supposedly, “all will be revealed” with this book, and since The Death Cure left me with questions, hopefully this book will give me the answers! The Fever Code comes out September 27th, 2016.
This book sounds really interesting to me, plus, CHRISTMAS! I really enjoyed both 13 Reasons Why as well as The Future of Us, that he co-wrote with Carolyn Mackler, so I’m sure that I will enjoy this book as well. What Light will be released October 11th, 2016.
I admit, I have not read Six of Crows yet. That being said, it’s next on my TBR, and from what I’ve heard, I just know I’m going to love it, and then, of course, need the the sequel! Crooked Kingdom set to be released on September 27th, 2016.
Okay, so Wayfarer doesn’t release until 2017, but it’s very early January, and I’m very excited for this book, so I’m counting it. Wayfarer is the sequel to Passenger, and based on how much I loved the first book in the series, I know I’m going to love this one as well! It comes out January 3rd, 2017.
That’s it for this week! What are your most anticipated books for the rest of the year? Let me know in the comments. 🙂
Title: A Thousand Salt Kisses by Josie Demuth
Genres: YA, Romance, Fantasy
Published by: Wise Ink (April 29th, 2016)
Seventeen-year-old Crystal White is the new girl on Starfish Island. Dragged to the remote community by her environmental activist father, she is eager to find fun that doesn’t involve touching fish guts or listening to local folklore.
During a midnight swim with some new friends, Crystal is pulled out to sea by the waves. Convinced she’s going to drown, Crystal is rescued by Llyr, a handsome stranger. As she searches for him in the following weeks, she finds there may be more truth to the Starfish legends than she thought.
Over a sizzling roller-coaster summer, Llyr introduces Crystal to magic she’d only ever dreamed of. But as Crystal comes to love Starfish Island, it begins to drive her family apart. A nearby power plant is devastating local marine life, and her parents are stuck in the middle. As the magic and mundane parts of Crystal’s life converge, she finds herself risking everything to save Llyr, her family, and herself.
What I Thought
* I received this book in exchange for an honest review. A huge thank you to Wise Ink Creative Publishing and Netgalley.*
After I first read the description for A Thousand Salt Kisses, I knew I was going to like this book. It sounded like such a fun, summer-y read, and it definitely was! There were a few things that I found to be a bit problematic, but overall, this was a fun, easy read.
May was not my best reading month. I don’t know why, but 2016, in general, has not been my reading year. Hopefully now that summer is going to go into full-swing I’ll actually be able to read more!
Today is Top Ten Tuesday – A weekly bookish list created by The Broke and the Bookish! This week’s topic is:
Top Ten Great Beach Reads
The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
I feel like the Traveling Pants series is the ultimate summer series. It’s funny, sad, happy, thoughtful, and so much more. It’s one of those books that you can fly through quickly, which also makes it a perfect beach read.
The Summer of Chasing Mermaids
I found The Summer of Chasing Mermaids to be magical (even though it is not a fantasy and there isn’t any “real” magic), creative, and oh so fun. It’s very loosely based on The Little Mermaid, but it is actually a contemporary. When I read it last summer, it was one of the most original contemporaries that I had read in a while.
If you enjoy The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants series, then you will enjoy Peaches as well! They have a similar vibe, and they both explore the importance of friendships. This book, however, will give you a craving for peaches like no other!
Since You’ve Been Gone
While this book also explores friendships, Since You’ve Been Gone is unique, because the best friend has disappeared. This book is a lot of fun, filled with summer bucket lists and ice cream. It gives you that perfect summer vibe, which, in my opinion, makes it the perfect beach/poolside read!
Along for the Ride
This list simply would not be complete without listing at least one Sarah Dessen book! All of her books are the ultimate summer, beach/poolside read. They are seriously flawless. All of her books give you summertime vibes x 100. I chose Along for the Ride, because that was the first Sarah Dessen book I read, and I just remember falling in absolute love with all of the characters, the storyline, and the location.
The Christy Miller Collection
When I think of summer and the beach, the Christy Miller series is the first thing that comes to my mind. These books are so fun, memorable, and summer-y (the first book is especially beach read-ish, but honestly, the whole series is amazing)!
13 Little Blue Envelopes
This book is such an adventure! I love reading adventurous contemporaries in the summertime at the pool. This book is absolutely perfect for that.
This is What Happy Looks Like
Creative and fun, This is What Happy Looks Like is such an enjoyable read. I know most of the books on this list I have called fun, but that is what I enjoy reading on the beach (or in my case, the pool). Jennifer E. Smith is another author who never fails to disappoint me when it comes to summertime contemporaries.
The thing I love about Matched, is because it is so unlike most dystopians. There’s danger and action, but it is not so dark and heavy, like The Hunger Games or Divergent, for example. It is highly enjoyable and suspenseful at times, but in a more…easy-going(?) way.
Filled with action, suspense, romance, and the beach, Safe Haven makes a great beach read. This book is very fast-paced, and highly entertaining. While reading, I wanted nothing more than to be sitting on a beach chair in the North Carolina sun, with my toes in the sand (unfortunately, I wasn’t 😛 )!
That’s it for this week! Let me know what your favorite beach reads are! 🙂
Title: Within Reach by Jessica Stevens
Genres: YA, paranormal/supernatural, contemporary, romance
Published by: Sparkpress (May 17th, 2016)
Dying wasn’t on seventeen-year-old Xander Hemlock’s summer to-do-list. Finding ways to spend more time with his girlfriend, Lila, was the most critical thinking he planned on doing. But that was before he found himself trapped in a realm of only darkness with thirty days to convince Lila he’s not actually dead—well, not completely, anyway.
As Xan tries to show Lila she isn’t alone, she struggles to comprehend how her life has changed so completely. Six months ago her life was perfect: she was on her way to becoming a professional dancer, her parents were still married, and her boyfriend was alive. But now, with her anorexic tendencies stronger than ever, she must decide which is the lesser of two evils: letting go to be with a boy she doesn’t love, or holding on to the unreasonable, yet overpowering, feeling that Xan is still within reach…and trying to show her something.
Improbable and endearing, Within Reach is a story of two soulmates discovering that sometimes it takes more than one lifetime to get it right.
What I Thought
* I received this book in exchange for an honest review. A huge thank you to Sparkpress and Netgalley.*
After reading the synopsis for Within Reach, I was instantly intrigued. The story sounded very unique, Lila was a ballet dancer (my favorite!), and plus, look at that cover; it’s gorgeous! So, I think it is safe to say that I was quite excited to read this book. While there were certain parts in the book that I didn’t care for, overall I quite enjoyed it!