Tag Archives: Book Review

Book Review: Immoral by Brian Freeman

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A difficult relationship between a deviously malicious teenage daughter and her mother center this book, and the relationships she harbors and spirits she destroys jerk your mind into having real opinions about these people. The book will take you across the country and join everyone into a web of crazy truths that will leave you saying “No F****ng Way” page after page! You’ll look forward to following rugged Jonathan Stride through his torn life of solving crimes and balancing love, while at the same time, becoming immersed in the lived of these characters, which are described very much like real-life personalities.

I don’t like to rush through books; I savor them, as i did with this book, which I spent a summer reading, and it was a very enjoyable time. I looked forward to reading this book at the end of each day, eager to know about the mysteries that awaited. Brian Freeman did a hell of a job employing twists and turns without confusing the reader, and his ability to intertwine these characters was immaculate.

This book was a great addition to my library. I am not much of a mystery person, but this book made it into my library.

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©C.J. Leger February 28, 2015

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Book Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry

This is, by far, one of the best and thought-provoking books in the young-adult and fiction genre. There are a plethora of books published about perfect worlds and societies, where change is unacceptable and cookie-cutter human beings have become part of forced living communities, as a result of the leadership’s fear of human will and their determination to right the wrong courses society had taken in the past. The giver is one of them, but unlike the many that surround it, it stands out as one of my top picks for meaningful and thought-provoking books appropriate for young adults and the young-adult genre.

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The book is centered around Jonas, a young boy who lives within a community of perfect individuals and families, void of sickness and differences, where, although, it is all they know, society is not actually what it seems.

Jonas’ curiosity throws him in the path of his mother and the chief elder, which spirals his life into a bubble of questions, revelations, and a thought-provoking analysis of his community and his life.

Once meeting The Giver, an older man who lives outside of the realm of Jonas’ community, he is faced with the reality of the “perfect” society in which he lives and is enlightened to the realm of possibilities that exist outside of the rules set in place by the elder community.

The Giver, which is the holder of all the memories associated with the community, walks a fine line between accepting his responsibility as the keeper of all these memories, advising the elders on their decisions, and exploring the possibility that maybe these memories are rightfully belonging to the members of this censored community.

I recommend this book to all individuals aged 12 and older, and for more context, I would recommend also watching the movie after you’ve read the book, as it does cast some critically acclaimed and academy award winning actors as well. This is my review on The Giver, and you can find this review posted on my LeafMarks, BookLikes, GoodReads, and BookBlogging profiles soon.

ISBN-10 0544336267
ISBN-13 978-0544336261
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Update: C.J. Leger LeafMarks Librarian

We love to keep you up to date with our accomplishments and expansions, so we are updating the status of C.J Leger’s online presence. As of February 26, C.J. Leger has expanded her online activities to include the titles of:

  • Professional Reader and Book Reviewer on NetGalley
  • LeafMarks Librarian

Currently C.J. Leger can be connected with via the following portals:

C.J. Leger will continue to review books here and on all of her reading networks and bring prepublication reviews, as well as updating the LeafMarks book database and networking with publishers for galleys.

-Katherine Satterthwaite

 

How to get Approved for a Galley by a Publisher

So you want to be a professional reader; that’s great. Just understand that its usually an unpaid position, and you will have to work hard to even get your first galley. But it’s not impossible. Follow these steps and learn the terminology and you will be on your way.

What is a Galley?

Essentially, a galley is a review copy of a book that either, has not been published yet or has, and is requested by a book reviewer and approved for release by the publisher.

In this scenario, the reader will read the book and write a review about it, however, publishers will not just give out galleys to anyone. I personally worked very hard for the current two I am reading, Rome’s Revolution and Stargazers, which were approved by Oxford University Press and Lion Hudson respectively.

How to Attract Publishers

Publishers just aren’t willing to hand out copies of their books to just anyone; you’ll have to show them that you have multiple viable avenues on which to place your book reviews. Galleys, of course, are usually requested by the reviewer, and publishers want to see that you are serious about reading, not just their book, but many books and not just looking to get free books to read just because you can. So establishing a good following and remaining consistent is key.

What are Publishers Looking for?

First, publishers do not want to waste any time, so make sure you have a VISIBLE email address on any of your social profiles or website. They are not looking to call and talk to you; they usually only want to communicate via email most of the time or need to have a contact email for their rosters.

Second, you will need to have at least either a Twitter account or a Facebook account, to which you can post your updates and publicize your content.

Sign up for book-related social networks such as GoodReads and BookLikes. Place your profile information on your website so that publishers know your reviews will be spread across many avenues and will get more attention drawn to their book.

Finally, be active on these networks. Publishers want to see a steady, lively flow of activity, which suggests you are an interesting candidate. The more activity you put out, the larger your following and your attractiveness.

Follow these steps and you will be sure to land a galley from a reputable publisher and hopefully make some connections along the way.

© C. J. Leger February 20, 2014

Book Review: The Greek Myths by Robin Waterfield

the greek mtyhsAll who read my blog know I am a fan of reference books. My library is comprised mostly of them. The Greek Myths: Stories of the Greek Gods and Heroes Vividly Retold by Robin Waterfield is one of my favorite, giving us a lesson in historical Greek myths, retold as if the reader was sitting in front of an ancient story teller.

Different from most reference books, this one stands alone as story book as it is written in story form, and was written along side Kathryn Waterfield.

This will be a short review, if you are looking for knowledge about Greek Myths, as they would have been told in their original era, with complete tellings of the Gods starting with the Titans, all the way through to the heroes of Greece, this is the book for you.

Learn More About The Greek Myths Here
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Book Review: Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

Not enough is said about the trials and tribulations of love when you’re in the military; and even less about the struggles one faces with aging family back home. But this books makes a perfect example about the real-life sacrifices and choices service members often have to make in order to serve.

Set in a comfortable and memorable beach background, John Tyree is portrayed as a lovable yet reluctant romantic, who falls for Savannah Curtis, and begins exchanging letters with her while deployed. John must face the challenge of dating Savannah in a long stance relationship while they both change as people, and manage the progression of his father’s Asberger Syndrome.

Nicholas Spark’s use of Johns relationship with Savannah strengthens the attachment of the reader, in his many mentions of Savannah’s training with Autistic children; a condition very similar to Asberger, and how she helps John along with things he did not understand about his father before she enlightened him.

The story also tears at the heart strings of anyone who has ever been in a relationship where circumstance often plays a large role in its outcome. Overall this book opens a door to readers about what it’s like to love so terribly strong, and how military life plays a part in who someone is at their core and how it helps them succeed; but all in return for an immense amount of sacrifice and experience.

Be prepared to be taken back to a time in your life when you were old enough to love anyone you wanted, yet young enough to still enjoy a carefree relationship, full of summer romance and memories with “that amazing guy” who wears a military standard and uniform to add to his appeal and lovableness. The story takes place in a time that everyone has encountered at one point or another, meeting summer love and making memories that never fade, long after both lives may have gone their separate ways. It enhances those “alone” moments in the rain and makes the reader feel a part of the events as if experiencing their own affairs all over again.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a tale of romance that encourages both excitement and sadness in the reader; for a well rounded experience.

© C. J. Leger September 16, 2014

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Book Review: World History by Phillip Parker

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Photo Courtesy of Amazon

Where do I start? I have been asking myself why no one has made a widely sold book that spans the entirety of our human history and explains it all. That was until I found, and fell in love with, Phillip Parker’s version, published in 2010 by Sterling Publishing.

Unlike most history books which only cover specific eras in great detail, this title brings us all the way back to the prehistoric age and covers the first ever recorded humanoid, Australopithecus; and travels down to Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus, before covering the well known Neanderthal.  The book spends less time detailing aspects of each era and can be used more like a timeline guide for history; speaking of which, the book does include a handy timeline conveniently placed at the commencement of the book and a reference guide towards the end; detailing every war, battle and ruler on respective tables.

In my personal opinion, this book is the perfect companion piece to any history text book used in college or high school. Most classes have a standard text book and a companion book to go with it; this book could eliminate all other companion books used for history courses, as it covers every era and presents all the reference guides one would ever need.

However, I’d also recommend this book for those not currently enrolled in a course, and seems to be the perfect alternative for someone who is interested in history, would like to know how and when certain things happened, but doesn’t want to spend too much time figuring it out.

On average, the book spends 1-4 pages on each civilization which is divided into 3 sections for each historical occurrence for that time period. But as the book is a reference for the whole of human history, it covers each culture various times throughout, as the centuries progress. It is divided into 7 main chapters that begin with the prehistoric world and ends in the modern world.

An example of its breakdown is seen clearer in the chapter labeled “The Classical World” which spans between 400 BCE to 600 CE, in which Celtic and Germanic Europe, India and The People of Steppes are all covered in 6 pages as follows:

Celtic and Germanic Europe 

  • The Celts’
  • Successor States to Rome

People of Steppes

  • The Scythians
  • The Huns
  • The Kushans

India

  • Chandragupta and the Rise of the Mauryans
  • Ashoka and Buddhism
  • Gupta India

Before entering into a periodical, 2 page centerfold examination of other interesting occurrences or relevant information, not directly covered in the book. There are a few of these that give the reader a bit more reference to understand what they are reading. This book is perfect for the person looking to get their information and go; all of these events were covered in just 8 pages and gave me the meat and potatoes of what I wanted and needed to know.

It covers the discovery of the Americas, all it’s voyages and details the great navigators of the time. Later on the modern world is covered, including the current world wars and conflicts. Everything you would ever want to know, about any time in history, is covered in this convenient 512 page book, that is small enough to fit in any small bag or purse.

The book comes complete with visual guides, pictures and captions relevant to the current text and opens with an explanation of what the meaning of history is.

Overall I would recommend this book, which I purchased at Barnes and Noble, and would recommend it as an essential companion piece to any history course.

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ISBN 9781435138957