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Author Archives: hurleysview

Girl Wash Your Face: Book Review

 

Book Number One of Twenty Five.

The first book of the new year, I’m on track for a great new goal.  That is always a good feeling.  I’m doing my best to read every day, which is helping a ton with my writing because I’ve been writing every day.  While I’m sort of harsh with this book, I did enjoy reading it. Check out my review, that is originally posted on Goodreads.


Girl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to BeGirl, Wash Your Face: Stop Believing the Lies about Who You Are So You Can Become Who You Were Meant to Be by Rachel Hollis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I kept seeing this book talked about, so I wanted to get into and see what the fuss was about. I was blessed enough to have received a copy from a dear friend and dived right in. I read about a chapter a day. And got through the book rather quickly.

This was my first book experience with any sort of inspiration, go-get-em, self-help category.

My first take is the writer has a very personable, relatable voice. I really did enjoy the tone of the book. I felt as if I was reading a friend’s letter vs an authoritative voice. That is always something I like in a book. Reading it as if I know the person. That is why Twilight was so amazing to me the first time I read, I related to Bella. And why I had such a hard time with The Bell Jar, I didn’t relate to the narrator. I didn’t understand the perspective. (Though I loved it that book too.)

When it comes to the content of the book, I wasn’t overly thrilled. There were ideas I just didn’t agree with. The way she used the Bible didn’t sit well with me. There are times Hollis comes off as a perfect princess and others a poor pauper. It was hard to judge exactly how she saw herself. And if I can’t understand that viewpoint, I’m not sure I can take her advice. If she’s the expect teaching how to rise above these issues but isn’t giving a solid voice it’s hard to take it at her word.

While I do find it brave to put your life story on paper and share with the world, I’m not sure all her tactics are feasible for every woman. I did take good things away too. I loved her go-get-em attitude. Her way of inspiring any reader to start going after their dream was perfect. I felt encouraged to take a step in the direction of my own dreams. That part of the book was incredibly well done. I loved her inspirational tone.

Overall, it was not a waste of my time. But I don’t recommend it.

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Friday Night Life

 

It’s A Party

 

Tonight is a Friday night.  Since about 6:30 one of our neighbors has been in the house, playing with the girl.  There have been three or for fits of not getting along.  There have been ninja fights, secret agents, superheroes, and video games.  The boys are boys to a tee.  The girls are practicing their make up skills.  Supper has been scrambled eggs.  It’s been a normal night in this house.

I was never the party girl or the out every weekend girl.  But sitting home listening to the chaos was never something I imagined myself doing.  But tonight it’s the perfect night. I’m on the couch, at my desk, listening to them play.  It’s not always perfect but it’s a good night.  My kiddos are happy, healthy, and here.  I don’t know how I got so lucky with that.

I know that my life is good.  I complain and I feel stressed and burdened.  But my life is good.  It is full of love.  It is full of good things and good people.  I’m blessed beyond measure.

Tonight I blog because I want to get back to posting on here semi-regularly but also because I want to be more grateful with the life I have.  I want to share the good moments of parenting.  I want to know that these moments may frustrate me at the instant, but in the long run, they are precious.  They are things I will want to remember.  To cherish.

Tonight the party is ninja, swords, and superheroes.  But in the blink of an eye, the party will actually be parties.  That terrifies me.  I already miss them being so very little.  I don’t want to regret missing this fun play time for them.

Moral of the blog: cherish what you have when you have it.

that is all.

Anniversary Post

 

A Love Story

This is the picture of two kids who had no idea what life has in store for them. They have no idea how many late nights they will spend worrying about finances. They don’t know what it’s like to rock, shush, and do everything they can think to soothe a crying baby. They haven’t been scared to death when the word cancer is dropped. They haven’t picked up the phone to hear the other panicked and scared because of a car accident. They don’t know what it’s like to be so angry with the other, one of them is contemplating walking out the door. They don’t know how hard marriage is. These two kids are just feeling the first stirs of love. They only know that they love each other and they want to start their lives together.

Nor do they know that 13 years later, they will still be in love. They will still want each other. That when the bickering comes, they will work their way through it. They will still find each other attractive, even after 3 kiddos and many nights of delicious fast food. They don’t know how hard they are willing to work to have the house, the cars, the things for the kiddos. They don’t know what life is like when you are completely happy with your partner. That they are going to make it. These two don’t know what life is like. But they are starting their journey together.

There are so many things I wish I could go back and tell them. But one thing is for certain. I would never go back and change their start. Because theirs is one of the everyday stories. Their story is wonderful. Still going, changing, and developing.  Now, this picture is of a couple who are still loving each other after 13 years.  And they are ready for more chapters.  Happy Anniversary babe!  I love you!  I couldn’t do this without you!

Bridge to Terabithia Review

I finished this book back around Thanksgiving, but just now sat down to review it.  But the impact of this book is one that even though it’s almost a month later, I can still give you an honest review.


Bridge to TerabithiaBridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If I read this book as a child in school, I don’t remember. I can’t believe I wouldn’t remember reading this tale, so I’m certain I didn’t, which is a shame. Now, I know I saw the movie, and seeing the movie first, meant that I knew exactly what I was getting into when I read the book.

If you have never read the book, seen the movie then you have no idea how utterly heartbreaking this tale is. But no matter how many tears I shed, I would recommend this book to anyone who asks.

(Spoilers Ahead) Starting out reading this book, we meet ten-year-old, Jess. He’s your average boy who is growing up with chores and a harsh environment for dreams. There is work to be done, and bills that need to be paid, that leaves little room to explore his craft and art hopes and dreams. But the one thing that Jess has is his running. He wants to be the fastest boy in his class, and he has practiced hard to do just that. When the first day of school comes around, he’s ready to win, and then he meets Leslie.

The only girl who has ever been allowed in the races is also the only person who beats Jess in the race. Right off the bat, Jess is not a fan of Leslie. But the two are neighbors and due to the proximity or fate, the two do become friends.

Their friendship is what makes the book in my opinion. Relationships are the heart of every story, and this heart is big and wonderful. The friendship between Jess and Leslie is pure and perfect. Leslie sees Jess for everything he can be. Jess sees Leslie as a window to the world he doesn’t know. She has this life of imagination and exploration that he’s never known.

With their friendship, the two create this world, Terabithia. It’s their kingdom, their special place to be who they want to be. They learn how to open up to each other. Terabithia is a place for them to pretend, be artistic, have adventures and just have fun. Be kids. A place that is needed for Jess. Leslie brings the story out of Jess. The only problem with is the rope they have to swing on to get to their side of the woods.

We go an entire year in their lives and see how their friendship develops and when it all ends, it’s totally heartbreaking. Everyone knows the pain of death, it leaves no one untouched. But to experience that at such a tender age is horrifying. I related to the book so much, because I lost friends young. Jess reaction to the news Leslie was gone, the guilt he felt about not inviting her, the pain he had. Not only was it completely and utterly well written, but it was also completely relatable.

Jess gets invited to go with his favorite teacher to see the museum, but he doesn’t invite Leslie to go with. He has a crush on his teacher, and the idea of a day with her is enticing. He has this perfect day, and when he gets home, he discovers that his entire world is upheaved. Leslie has decided to go Terabithia without Jess. The creek was high, the rope broke. Leslie is gone. Gone forever.

This book was a perfect read. No matter how sad it is. No matter how many tears I will cry when I read it again. I will read it again because this book teaches so much about life. The relationships that change you. The grief you feel. The way you live your life. This book is perfect.

Would I recommend this book: Yes.
Did I love this book: Yes.
Should you read this book: Yes.

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The Perfectionist Review

First and foremost I need to say, that having overdue library books is a very good motivator for getting a book read. Because I checked this book out from my local library in June, continued to renew it until I ran out of renewals and then was like, okay I’m going to read this.  But I’m glad I did.  Check out my Goodreads review below the line.


The Perfectionists (The Perfectionists, #1)The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I picked this book up, I did so because I had read “The Lying Game” series and loved Sara Shepard’s work in that series. I’m not ready to jump into the million books that comprise the Pretty Little Liars series, so with this one only have two books, I was game.

I decided to read the book in a day, a true and utter challenge for this mom of three who is constantly running and never stopping for long enough to read more than 10 pages at a time. Picking up the edition that only had three hundred and twenty-two pages, was a challenge I conquered though; which I feel incredibly proud of. Though I worry that I might have missed some of the details because I was so focused on reading quickly. But enough about the environment of reading, and onto the book itself.

(Spoilers Ahead) I appreciated that we saw the story from all sides of the situation. Not only did we have an overview of the story. But because of each chapter coming from a main character point of view, it’s easier to get a clearer picture of the emotional details. We see each girl through this lense of their environment and where they are all coming from. Creating this vortex of different viewpoints and an interesting weave of a story.

Nolan Hotchkiss is a grade a jerk and seems to rule the Beacon Heights school. He uses blackmail to hold the top status, no matter who it hurts. So, it makes perfect sense that this group of girls, from five different circles, would come together in an attempt of revenge. They have a plan that seems fool-proof but when Nolan ends up actually the dead, the guilt and fear the girls are drowning in, is overwhelming. While they all know that they did lure him away from the party, and did give him a pill. They are sure that they are being framed for a murder that they have not committed. Because of this one murder, all their lives are sent into a tailspin.

In an attempt to find the truth, the girls find themselves deeper and deeper into a cacophony of lies and problems. The police are looking at them as suspects, their hope and dreams are falling apart, their secrets are coming into light. Seeing how each girl deals with it, and how it strains their relationships is interesting. Shepard finds a way to weave a mysterious tale while examining the human relationships in a truly intriguing way.

When the girls find themselves at their teacher’s (Mr. Granger) house, finding naughty pictures of students, they know he’s a predator. It only makes sense that they assume he is the killer because Nolan did use blackmail. But things are not that simple. Granger seems to be the perfect suspect. A man who doesn’t what his after-hours exploits come to light. However, the twist at the ending of the book seems to rule that idea out. Granger is killed by an unknown person. The perfect girls seem to be the main suspects.

The ending of the book does not resolve any of these questions, but it is a thrilling tale and one that I was able to keep speeding through. I am looking forward to reading book two and am hopeful that this wonderful tale is brought to an interesting conclusion.

Would I recommend this book: Yes.
Did I love this book: Yes.
Do I need to read the rest of the series: Yes.

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The Princess Diaries Review

Reading as slowed down but it is still a part of my life.  AND If I’m reading, then I’m reviewing.  Below is my review of The Princess Diaries.  I borrow the book from the library and do intend to borrow the next one in the series.


The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1)The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

As a fan of the movies, I had some expectations when I finally sat down to read this book. While I know books and movies are two very different arenas, I had this idea laid out of this story. What a surprise it was to find out that the book was so very different.

Mia is the same lovable character that I met in the movie, and reading her private thoughts instead of seeing the situation laid out was a good experience. There was something engaging and quirky about the book Mia. Anne Hathaway plays her excellently, but book Mia was just different, and I LOVED that.

While the book is short, only 228 pages, it is still an engaging and fun read. It’s high-strung and dramatic at times; but, you are reading the thoughts of a high school freshman. It is always thoughtful and powerful because it explores the mechanics of relationships.

The displays of friendships and relationships play out nicely. While it is only high school, we never really outgrown the dynamics of clicks. And this book looks at how those clicks work. How Mia is sloshing through it. From being invisible to front page news. Seeing how others will use and bruise you and others will always have your back.

This book is a beautiful nod to friendship. It’s a well-written tale about a nobody who is a somebody. It’s a wonderful coming of age story about a girl who is learning her role. I’m excited to continue reading the series.

Would I recommend this book: Yes.
Did I love this book: Yes.
Do you need to read the rest of the books: Yes.

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Beautiful Redemption Review

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Yes, it’s another book review, because that is all I have been doing here lately.  Reading.  I have really gotten on my reading train again.  And since I had reviewed the first three books, I thought I’d share the last book review.  I have finished reading the main books in this series.  Now onto the secondary stories and spin-offs.

 


Beautiful Redemption (Caster Chronicles, #4)Beautiful Redemption by Kami Garcia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautiful Redemption

Now that I have finished the fourth book in the Caster Chronicles I am happy with the way the main story ends.

This review does contain spoilers, so read at your own risk.

At the end of Beautiful Chaos, I was frustrated with how the story ended. Not because it was bad, but because nothing was resolved. The neat and tidy ending I hoped for was not present. Thankfully, this book fixed that frustration. When Ethan dived off the tower it created a problem. I was curious how the next book would be written. Having both Lena and Ethan’s POV was very helpful. The multiple point of views solved the issues of not knowing what was going on in Gatlin, now that Ethan was not there.

The journey Ethan had to go on to find his way back was both adventurous and mundane. There had more to it. I know the boy had already been through more than enough; but, it felt too easy. There should have been more than a riverboat ride, hanging out with the gatekeeper and witty conversation with the villain. Fighting your way back to the land of the living should have required more.

However, I didn’t feel the same about Lena’s journey. Her side of things felt rushed, but intense. I loved seeing her in her pain, but not letting it consume her. That he love and passion for Ethan, guided her to him once more. Her friendship with Ethan’s family and friends blooming. Her determination to push all boundaries to find Ethan. Lena was a great character in the book. I loved how much more we saw of her.

I hated that Amma’s deal still stood at the end. But I appreciate that it wasn’t all well and good. That the characters had to lose someone, who was more than a secondary character. A lesson had to be learned for all. Sometimes stories focus on being happy rather than to push the boundaries.

Would I recommend this book: Yes.
Did I love this book: Yes.
Do you need to read the first three books: Yes.

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