Beginning of the Year Read-Alouds

As a teacher, the first week of school is an exciting, insane, and busy time (especially when beginning the year virtually!). It’s a time for getting to know new students, building classroom community, practicing routines, and establishing expectations. One of my favorite ways to accomplish all of these things is through picture books…

Book Review: “The Hypnotist’s Love Story” by Liane Moriarty

I was really excited to finally get to listen to this audiobook. The second audiobook I ever listened to was “What Alice Forgot,” also written by Liana Moriarty and narrated by Tamara Lovatt Smith! I loved “What Alice Forgot,” and Tamara Lovatt Smith was an incredible narrator (with a great Australian accent), so I couldn’t wait to experience this author-narrator team again. The summary describing a hypnotherapist, her new lover, and his stalker who is already stalking the main character without her realizing it was so intriguing. Unfortunately, this book didn’t live up to my expectations. Nothing really happened beyond the blurb on the back of the book; I kept waiting for more to happen but it never did. That being said, it was still entertaining enough and the hypnotherapy aspect was interesting and unique. Continue reading below to see my full thoughts on this book.

Spoiler-Free Review: “The Hypnotist’s Love Story” is a light novel with an interesting premise that doesn’t live up to its potential…

Cluster Review #4 (Books #12, #21, #22, and #25 of 2020)

Welcome to cluster review number four! This cluster of books I read while in the midst of binge reading many children’s books (mostly historical fiction). I was desperately reading as many children’s books as I could in order to figure out which (if any) I could use in a virtual learning setting (only one, it turns out. Though hopefully more this year!). In this post I will be reviewing the adult/young adult books I was able to read for my own enjoyment during this time. It was nice to have so much time to read, and overall I really enjoyed the books I ended up reading! They were a nice escape from our new normal. (There is actually one additional book that I read during this time, which is “Maybe You Should Talk to Someone” by Lori Gottlieb. I enjoyed this one so much that I am planning on reviewing it separately at a later time, so keep an eye out for that!)…

Book Review: “I Found You” by Lisa Jewell

If you listen to audiobooks, when do you most often listen to them? For me, I typically listen to them in my car during my commute to work. However, since starting to work from home in the spring, my consumption of audiobooks has drastically decreased. I realized that I really missed this effortless way to read (especially as I hit a slump in my reading of physical books as well), and so I’ve been trying to find a way to get into listening to books again that works with my new quarantine lifestyle. I’ve discovered that it’s a great way to make chores more pleasant! Not only that, but it actually motivates me to clean, do laundry, dishes, etc. because it gives me an excuse to keep listening to my audiobook! My apartment is the cleanest it’s been in months now. I chose “I Found You” by Lisa Jewell as my most recent listen because I listened to another book of hers earlier this year and loved it. And I’m so glad I did; it sucked me in right away and way very hard to “put down.”

Spoiler-Free Review: “I Found You” is an intriguing and suspenseful novel that will hold your attention all the way to the end…

Book Review: “The One and Only Ivan” by Katherine Applegate

“The One and Only Ivan” is a book that’s been on my radar for quite a while, and I was so excited to finally get to read it! I’ve heard great things, but I tend to be apprehensive about books featuring talking animals. However, this book was filled with so much heart and wit, I couldn’t help but love it.

Spoiler-Free Review: Based on a true story, “The One and Only Ivan” is a story full of heart about a silverback gorilla named Ivan…

Book Review: “The Meaning of Birds” by Jaye Robin Brown

I’m so excited to finally get to do a full review of a book I just finished reading! I went through a bit of a reading slump in July, so it feels good to be back on track. I started reading “The Meaning of Birds” in mid-July, but at the time I was juggling a new puppy and wedding planning, which didn’t leave me with much energy for reading. This book was different than any other young adult book I’ve read, so I’m really looking forward to sharing my review with all of you. In the next paragraph you can check out my spoiler-free review, and below that you’ll find a much more detailed review broken up into relevant categories.

Spoiler-Free Review: “The Meaning of Birds” is a heartbreaking, unique story about Jess, a teenager who loses her girlfriend, Vivi, suddenly and unexpectedly while still dealing with the grief of losing her father at a young age…

Cluster Review #3 (Historical Fiction Children’s Books, Multilingual)

Welcome to Cluster Review #3! Here’s why I ended up reading all of these historical fiction children’s books in quick succession: after Spring Break, I was planning on starting a historical fiction unit with my 6th grade Spanish literacy class. However, the week before Spring Break is when the quarantine began. I didn’t know whenContinue reading “Cluster Review #3 (Historical Fiction Children’s Books, Multilingual)”

Cluster Review #2 (Books 6-10)

For this second cluster review, I will be reviewing books 6-10 of my 2020 reading list. The majority of these (all except #6) are Audible originals, so the reviews will be relatively short. As an Audible member, you get two free Audible originals each month, and they can really be hit or miss. I haveContinue reading “Cluster Review #2 (Books 6-10)”

Cluster Review #1 (First Five Books of the Year)

Hello and welcome to my first cluster review! For this review, I will be giving brief overviews of the first five books I read in 2020. These reviews will be less thorough than the full reviews I will be doing in the future due to the fact that so much time has passed since I’veContinue reading “Cluster Review #1 (First Five Books of the Year)”

What to Expect

In the future, there are several kinds of posts you can expect to see as I get this blog up and running. Book Reviews Of course, the main purpose of this blog is to review books. Therefore you can expect to see posts with reviews of books that I have just finished reading. That beingContinue reading “What to Expect”