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The Reading Picnic

Grab a picnic basket and blanket, and I'll help you find something to read!

Currently reading

Tiger Lily
Jodi Lynn Anderson
Experiencing God: God's Invitation to Young Adults
Richard Blackaby, Henry T. Blackaby
Percy Jackson's Greek Gods
Rick Riordan, John Rocco
The Story: Teen Edition: Read the Bible as one seamless story from beginning to end
Zondervan Publishing, Anonymous

Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage

Becoming Sister Wives: The Story of an Unconventional Marriage - Kody Brown, Meri Brown, Christine Brown, Robyn Brown This review was also posted on my blog, The Hufflepuff Whovian. Check it out!

So I do have a major addiction to reality TV, and I really don’t have any shame in that. I also have an addiction to books whether fiction or non-fiction, which help me understand the human experience so much more. I’ve always loved the Browns and found polygamy so intriguing. I never really understood a “good” form of polygamy before their show, I’d only ever heard that “polyamory” was good and that “polygamy” could never work. To me, the Brown’s TV show proved me wrong. I found myself really identifying with these women. Seeing parts of myself in all four wives, having a favorite, liking some better than others, it seemed so natural to me. Ever since them, I’ve always said, that I truly believe that if polygamy is a life that consenting adults choose, go for it. Everyone has the right to choose the marriage and family situation they want to live in, and from what I’ve seen from the Browns, their kids are happy, and healthy, as well as encouraged to be their own person without judgement. Some of the best parenting I’ve ever seen…but onto the book!

The book is broken up into sections, and I really liked the fact that Kody didn’t…really write it. I was much more interested in the wives, their perspectives on things and how they differed. The book was divided into four parts: Matrimony, Sorority, Family and Celebrity. Each wife got their own chapter, and with the exception of the Matrimony chapters which were written by each wife and Kody, they were written by each wife exclusively. The chapters were in marriage order: Meri, Janelle, Christine and then Robyn.

I thought I would go into this book with just a few “highlights”. For those of you who don’t know, I read on my Kindle often, and I have the ability to highlight passages that I identify with or want to keep. I had FORTY highlights in this book, an unheard amount for me, and the majority weren’t just goofy things that I thought were funny, they were actual things I took to heart. This was one of my favorites.

“Religion is by nature elitist. Everyone wants to believe that his way is the right way. Too many people, regardless of their faith, are small-minded enough to imagine that their beliefs, their doctrines, and their rituals are the only way to be saved or to know God. I’m not self centered enough to entertain these thoughts. In no way do I imagine that my family members are the only people who got it right. God speaks to each of us in His own way. He calls a person in that person’s language and reaches individuals in terms they will understand. What I’m called to do is not what you are called to do. I don’t consider followers of another religion any less worthy in God’s eyes or mine. I don’t believe that what’s appropriate for one person, is necessarily appropriate for all. The principle is my calling. It’s probably not yours- and that’s fine with me.”

It was also really refreshing to see these women talk about times when it WASN’T perfect.

“This was not the celestial plural marriage I’d imagined. It was uncomfortable and disheartening”

There’s a million more and maybe at some point I’ll share them all, but this book was full of so much wisdom. I think a lot of what they talk about when it comes to their relationship with their sister wives relates to friendships between women as well. There was child rearing advice, and just…existence advice. I wasn’t expecting to find quotes that were pertinent to MY relationship with God or with my life, in a book from Mormon Fundamentalists.

It just goes to remind me, and us, that we have more in common than we don’t. I could relate to these women, see myself in them, see how I would be in the instances they describe and it was amazing.

I really loved this book! It took me a bit to get through, sometimes it was hard to read all the wives accounts because often they would talk about things that we had either seen on the show, or another wife had already discussed. Sometimes even both. I would give this book four stars, and I would recommend to anyone interested in the human experience. Pretty good!

Will Grayson, Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - 'John Green',  'David Levithan' So here's the thing about this book. I feel like I should have given it like... 2 1/2 stars but since that's not possible...I finished this book in two days, which isn't abnormal for me. But books I REALLY love, I find a way to do it in a day. The only exception to this is Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix which took me a mere 27 hours but I DIGRESS.

I didn't hate this book. I didn't love this book. I really only liked capitalized Will Grayson, and that was only toward the end. This book just really didn't do much for me. I don't feel like I wasted my time, but I also feel like I have other things I could have read instead?

ANYWAY some people may love this book, it just hits the right chord for them which is good and all, but I found myself barely highlighting anything and on top of that finding lowercase Will so obnoxious I made notes about it.

I only had one OMG moment and that was in regards to lowercase Will...I like for more OMG moments honestly. I also have a thing for when people make up nicknames for people so I did highlight "fucking witch ass bitch mussolini al-Qaeda darth vader non-entity" as well as "douchepants mcwater polo" so there's that.

I'll be interested to see where book club goes on this one, it was an especially close vote and I'm ready for "Cuckoo's Calling"

Confessions of a Guidette

Confessions of a Guidette - Nicole "Snooki" Polizzi So here's the reason this book got four stars. Because it was pretty much what I expected.

I didn't expect this book to change my life or my perception on things, and I will admit, I feel like Snooki and I could be friends despite the fact that I'm pale, so I enjoyed reading her book as something humorous.

It was short, easy to read and if this were the six trait rubric I would give her a six in voice because I read the whole thing in her voice the whole time. I enjoyed it, it was mindless reading and it was fun.



All's Fair in Love, War, and High School

All's Fair in Love, War, and High School - Janette Rallison The only reason this book has three stars is because it wasn't memorable. I remember all of the books that I loved (or most of them) and although I remember it from sitting on my bookshelf I can't remember anything else about it.

Please note: I am going through all of my read books with an attempt to star and review, at some point, all of these books will have a decent review, I promise.)

Zoey Fools Around

Zoey Fools Around - Katherine Applegate This series was the most soap opera series, but that's what made it great.

All the Truth That's in Me

All the Truth That's in Me - Julie Berry This amazing book was given such a short review because it was part of my "Flash Review" on my book review blog, The Hufflepuff Whovian.

This book started off difficult for me, it’s written in second person, I wasn’t always sure what the hell was going on, but oh. my. lord. THIS BOOK blew me away so hard, I recommended it to everyone I could. It’s that good, I haven’t met anyone who didn’t love it.

The House of Hades

The House of Hades - Rick Riordan I’m not exactly sure where to start with “House of Hades”. To be honest, I was slightly disappointed with the Heroes of Olympus series. Don’t get me wrong, I love them dearly and it will always be one of my absolutely favorite series, but I always wanted to see the characters grow more. It took me awhile to get through both “Son of Neptune” and “Mark of Athena”. Not sure if it was the length or because I didn’t sit down and commit myself to actually READING but they did take me significantly longer to get through. But “House of Hades”….oh this book.

The first thing that I LOVED about this book was the dedication and Rick Riordan trolling us all. Because really, he did at the end of “Mark of Athena”. But what the others really lacked was some really good character development. The only reason I could see this being was Riordan maybe? possibly? struggling with how to show character development in third person writing, or was slightly unsure. His other books that I’ve read, Percy Jackson series and some of the Kane Chronicles, were all written in the first person and I felt like I had seen substantial character growth in them. It also could be me, but either way, in this book, Riordan has mastered character development. Maybe he wrote the others to kind of just…make us wait for this, but “Son of Neptune” just kind of felt superficial, with no serious growth, and I spent almost all of “The Lost Hero” just wanting to know where Percy was. But with “House of Hades” it was more like character development on every page which was amazing. Seriously amazing.

I have three words to describe my feelings over this book: Nico Fucking Di Angelo. The rest will be at the blog for SPOILERS.

There's More to Life Than This: Healing Messages, Remarkable Stories, and Insight About the Other Side from the Long Island Medium

There's More to Life Than This: Healing Messages, Remarkable Stories, and Insight About the Other Side from the Long Island Medium - Theresa Caputo This obscenely short review for a book that deserves a book about how much it changed my life, but it was part of my "Flash Review" on my book review blog The Hufflepuff Whovian.

Yes, I love the Long Island Medium, and this book seriously changed EVERYTHING for me. I mean everything. Read this book.

Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man

Doctor Who: The Clockwise Man - Justin Richards This really short review was part of my "Flash Review" on my book review blog at The Hufflepuff Whovian.

LOVED Nine and Rose in this, and I thought their voices were flawless. I couldn’t help but think that the story probably would have been better as an episode of the show.

Belle de Jour: Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl

Belle de Jour: Diary of an Unlikely Call Girl - Belle de Jour This short, PG, non spoilery review was part of my "Flash Review" on my book blog The Hufflepuff Whovian

I am OBSESSED with England. Like I wish I was British, I wish I was Rose Tyler/Billie Piper, etc etc. So when I watched Secret Diary of a Call Girl I had to read this book. I read it in Billie’s voice, it was much more raunchy than I expected, but I finished it quite quickly. I found Belle quite likeable, and as a sucker to understand “the human experience”, I found myself congratulating her for ‘getting it’ and owning her body like she did. Go girl.

The Selection

The Selection - Kiera Cass This really short review was part of my "Flash Review" at my book review blog The Hufflepuff Whovian

SO I was really excited about the premise of this book. The bachelor meets dystopia meets royalty? Bomb. Sadly, these characters have ridiculous names and I found their reflections on the past America lacking in comparison to Scott Westerfeld’s “Uglies”. I am planning on reading “The Elite”, there were moments I was yelling at the dumbness of the characters, but I find myself rooting for Maxim or however his dumb name is spelled. UGH.


Gated - Amy Christine Parker This really undetailed review was part of my "Flash Review" on my book review blog The Hufflepuff Whovian.

SO my one weakness is Cults. Cults of any kind, all the cults. This was a fiction book about a girl whose sister went missing right before 9/11. Because of 9/11 her sisters disappearance is forgotten and her parents get prayed on by “Prophet”. It’s a quick read, really flawlessly done and intriguing to watch the character development. There were absolutely some shockers, and I just found out there’s going to be a sequel and I can’t wait.

Catching Jordan

Catching Jordan - Miranda Kenneally This book was reviewed as part of my first "Flash Review" on my book review blog, The Hufflepuff Whovian.

TRASHY YA ROMANCE AT ITS FINEST. I live blogged this on facebook and as trashy and typical as it was, I couldn’t put it down. Not “Anna and the French Kiss” good, but so good.


Prized - Caragh M. O'Brien This book was part of my first "Flash Review" on my book Review blog The Hufflepuff Whovian

So this series is my dirty little secret obsession. It’s dystopian but also with a scientific twist and this book didn’t disappoint. The universe O’Brien has created is actually super interesting, the male characters swooning over the heroine are actually DEVELOPED and not just there as a plot tool. I’m not going to go into TONS of detail since this is the second book in the series, but this series is seriously A+.

I Am Number Four (Lorien Legacies, Book 1)

I Am Number Four - Pittacus Lore This book was part of my first "Flash Review" on The Hufflepuff Whovian

UGHHHH I wanted to like this book. I really really did. The plot idea was amazing at first sight, seemed interesting, heard hype. But then the actual book. John was annoying, Sarah was THE WORST (I mean who just jumps on someone in the middle of a battle scene), and mostly predictable. I won’t read the rest of the series, but Henri was a badass, and now that I know James Frey wrote this book? Leaves a sour taste in my mouth.