What's Going On Here?

There are SO MANY wonderful book review blogs out there and I can't compete with them, that is for sure. So this is not a book review blog. This is just a way for me to organize what I have read so that I can be better at matching the right book to the right person. The blog title comes from the brilliant mind of the most talented woman who ever lived, Ms. Judy Garland. The full quote is, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else." That is what I hope to do here and in ever aspect of my life.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Sometimes Free Should be Free

Rebuttal was free.  And yeah, I am glad it was free.  It wasn't terrible. Goodness knows I have paid for terrible things.  But this was short and not terrible, but not particularly interesting or new.  It reminded me of When Dimple Met Rishi in that the two main characters both want to do something with their futures that their parents find to be wastes of time.  And they encourage each other to take a stand, and make a choice.  But yeah, it was had all been done before (like everything, right?) but there wasn't anything new or exciting here to make it stand out.

Monday, July 17, 2017


So was Orphan Island one big metaphor?  I think it was just too smart for me. I have read reviews from people I really respect and admire, like  Czechgirl, who absolutely loved this book, so I am sure I just didn't understand it.  I really had a hard time getting through it because I found the main character to be so unlikable and I really didn't get to know the other characters enough to care about them, though some did seem likable.  I wonder if this is one of those deals where the author had more in what she wrote, but the publisher made her take out a bunch so that they could make it into a sequel.  That is what happened to my friend and her husband with their book Claws.  They weren't too happy with the final product because it was so different from what they had written and was to be made into two books or even three.  The book sold very well!  But the publisher lost a big client during the time the whole thing was coming out, Cornelia Funke, so they didn't end up doing a sequel.  Funke reunited with Chicken House this year, but still, it just goes to show you that money changes everything.
Again, however, everyone else really seemed to love OI for what it was, so it probably was just me. They are saying it is Newbery worthy, so I probably need to take another look.  But there were so many unanswered questions.  Which is great!  But it just didn't pull me in enough to warrant me wanting to ponder the answers.  Again, probably all on me.

Softly and Tenderly

Jesus is calling, calling o sinner, come home.  I love that song.  Never heard it until my internship at my church in seminary.  Love that song.  Especially this version.  I love Anne Murray.
Of course that brings me to Openly, Honestly!  a 1.5 but a FREE one!  Whoa! I would have paid for it, before and after reading it.  I love Rafe.  I love Ben, too.  And I love Claire Olivia.  Can't wait for the next one!

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Election Stress

The Tapper Twins Run for President is the third in this series I have enjoyed so much!  Once again, I love the love between these two siblings, even though they have their normal spats.  And the format of the books are great!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Should Have Known!

I love A.S. King.  She is just such a neat, original, brilliant writer. I started Me and Marvin Gardens without realizing that it was written by A.S. King.  Now I know why,  as I look at the cover! It has her full name!  Yeah, I guess I should have figured it out, but I didn't until I saw it listed under A.S. King on goodreads!  Ha! Well when I started this book I loved it right away and I could tell that it was more than a middle grade novel.  It is weird, it is deep, it is awesome.  Now this has to be a Newbery contender!

First of all, great cover!

It was the simplicity and cuteness of the cover that caught me.  I really loved Openly Straight.  Sexuality is not an easy thing at any age.  And what I really liked about this book was the way Rafe, the main character, grew and changed as the book progressed.  His parents were super cool and funny!  I also really liked the ending.  Seemed very realistic to me.  And I am really looking forward to the next one.  And I see there is a .5!  So I will have to read that, too!

A Secret Secret

Bob Shea has a series, Ballet Cat, and I LOVE these books.  And the first one is my favorite.  Which has NOTHING to do with It's Not Like It's a Secret, other than they both have "secret" in the title and they were both great book. This is a story of first love, of parents of self-discovery, of stereotypes and prejudice and Japanese culture and Asian culture and LBGTQ life and straight life and high school and communication and confusion and Latino culture and faithfulness and American culture.  This is just one, really great book.  I could see that there could be a danger in it being about TOO many things, now that I have listed them, but really, it isn't.  It is just really realistic, because real life is about a lot of things going on at once, too.  Great, great book.

Friday, July 14, 2017


I wasn't feeling One Amazing Elephant.  I was feeling some parts of it.  I liked the way in which the whole mother-daughter thing was addressed.  I just...I don't know.  It was a little too The One and Only Ivan for me.   I did like the alternating viewpoints, between the elephant and Lily but I think that one of the big reasons I like that was because the elephant's chapters were so short and I just wanted the book to move along quickly!  But I was reading this one and again, that is hard for me, so that probably took away a lot of my enjoyment of it.  I didn't like that the bad guys were all smokers.  I am not a smoker any more, but I do think that smokers get a bad rap.  I mean, smoking IS bad for one!  But not all smokers are evil.  In fact, I think all of the smokers I know are super kind people!  So it was hard to see that the bad guys were all smokers.  I just don't think this has Newbery power.  I would have given it 3 and 1/2 stars though, if 1/2 stars were allowed.