My thoughts and opinions on… By the Book

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“By the Book” is my latest book in my repertoire. “By the Book” is written by the woman who is named Amanda Sellet. It is a romance book with a lot of references to older works in it. I felt a lot of things about this book… not all of them good.

So, what is “By the Book” about? Well, “By the Book” is about a girl who is named Mary Porter-Malcom. Mary Porter-Malcom is a freshman in high-school. On the first day of school, her old friend, Anjuli, rejects her friendship. Clearly, Anjuli thinks Mary Porter-Malcom is a stick-in-the-mud. The two’s old friendship will not play-on in high-school.

Later on Mary meets three other girls. The three girls become Mary’s new friends. The girls are named Arden, Terry (or Teresa), and Lydia. Mary becomes friends with the girls because she warns them against a resident bad-boy that Terry is eye-ing. The bad-boy’s name is Alex Ritter.

Mary doesn’t stop there. After she warns the three girls about Alex Ritter, Mary also begins to talk about other boys at her school. She connects the boys at her school to different scoundrels in other books. She warns the girls against the different Darcys, Heathcliffs, and Mr. Rochesters out there. The girls create a list of bad-boys. The list becomes the four’s holy-grail.

However, Mary has a secret. She is growing to like Alex Ritter… the number one bad-boy who she warned her friends against.

I had high hopes for this book. I liked the idea of Mary’s list of bad-boys who resemble a cad from another classic book. However, the list seemed forced. Mary comes off as judgmental instead of smart. Mary hides a secret from her new friends… and she doesn’t have to do so.

Arden and the other girls are friendly and real. I think she would have found a shoulder to lean on (or three shoulders to lean on) if she was up-front with her new friends.

I liked this book, but another thing that I didn’t like in it were all the references to other characters in literature. I know that the references may be what draw people to this book but I didn’t like the idea that there needed to be prerequisite reading to do before opening the first page of “By the Book.”

Like I said, I liked this book. But at the end of the day… I give it 3-stars. There was some promise in this book that wasn’t entirely fulfilled.

Always with infinite love,
Selena London

My thoughts and opinions on… New Year’s Kiss

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I read the book named, “New Year’s Kiss,” just in time to ring in the year 2022. The woman named Lee Matthews is the author of this book.

“New Year’s Kiss” is about a girl named Tess Sachs. Tess plans to stay at her family’s ski lodge named Evergreen Ski Lodge for a week right before New Year’s Eve. Tess is staying at the ski lodge with her sister, Lauren. Her grandmother, Loretta, is there to watch the two girls while they are on vacation.

Tess is a Type-A personality. But she decides to let her hair down when she meets a new boy who sits by the roaring fireplace at the ski lodge. The boy is named Christopher Callahan. He broke his leg while skiing and will most likely remain on the couch for the rest of his stay.

Christopher inspires Tess to do something unlike anything she has done before. He suggests that she writes a “bucket list” of things to do before the ball drops on New Year’s Eve. A “bucket list” is a list of things that a person should do before he-or-she “kicks-the-bucket.” In this case, it is a list of things to do before New Year’s Eve.

Tess writes ten things on her “bucket list.” Christopher helps Tess to finish the list. But Christopher is not the only guy to notice Tess. The changes that Tess goes through because of the list gets a new guy to notice her. The guy is named Damon. He likes Tess, too. This begins a separation between Tess and Christopher.

But the question is… can Tess finish her “bucket list” without Christopher before New Year’s Eve?

I really liked this book a lot. The book was about a girl who decides to be brave. Tess wants to do ten things she has never done before on New Year’s Eve because she wants to grow. And, luckily, Christopher is there to help her.

Another great thing about “New Year’s Kiss” is the relationship in the book between Tess and her sister. Her sister is named Lauren Sachs. Tess and Lauren have a testy relationship in the beginning of the story. But Tess and Lauren’s relationship de-frosts as the story continues. By the end of the book Tess and Lauren are closer and happier together.

One thing that I did not like about this book was the fact that the author, Lee Matthews, did not write more about the woman named Loretta. Loretta is Tess and Lauren’s grandmother. I would have liked to know more about her. I think “New Year’s Kiss” would be better if the author developed the character more than she did in the book.

In my opinion, this book gets a 4-star rating. You should pick-it-up and give it a chance. Maybe you can finish the book named “New Year’s Kiss” on your own bucket list before the next New Year’s Eve.

Always with infinite love,
Selena London

My thoughts and opinions on… Let it Snow

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Let it Snow is a great winter book for anyone who wants to read about love, about friendship, or about laughter. Let it Snow is a book written by three authors. The first writer is a man named John Green. Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson are the next two female authors.

Let it Snow is a book with three shorter stories in it. The great thing about these stories are that all the stories are connected. The book takes place on two different days during a snow-storm in a small town. The characters are different girls and boys who find love and have fun adventures in that town.

The first story is about a girl named Jubilee Dougal. John Green is the author who wrote this section of the three connected stories. Jubilee, or “Lee,” as she is sometimes referred to is on a train when a snow-storm hits. The train must stop because of the snow from the snow-storm. This doesn’t help Jubilee’s mood because she is also going through a rough time in her relationship with a popular and attractive boy named Noah Price.

Jubilee decides to leave the train to head to a waffle house. While she is at the waffle house she meets a boy named Stuart. Stuart is nursing a broken heart because of a bad break-up with his former-girlfriend named Chloe Newton. Can Jubilee and Stuart make it work with Noah in the picture and while Stuart nurses his broken heart because of the popular cheerleader named Chloe?

The next story in the book is about three friends named Tobin, the Duke (or Angie), and JP. The author named Maureen Johnson wrote this section out of the three different stories. In this story Tobin, the Duke, and JP are at home watching movies when they get a call from a friend who works at the waffle house. He tells the three that there are a group of cheerleaders staying at the waffle house during the snow-storm. The cheerleaders left the stalled train and went to the waffle house for warmth and sustenance.

Tobin, the Duke, and JP go on a dangerous journey through the snow-storm to make it to the waffle house. On the way questions arise between Tobin and the Duke. Is the two’s relationship more than friendship? Or does one person feel something while the other views the two of them as nothing more than friends?

The final story is about a girl named Addie. Lauren Myracle wrote this story. Addie (or Adelaide) is heart-broken because she and her boyfriend are at odds. Addie waited for her boyfriend, Jeb, at a planned location only to wait needlessly. Jeb did not show up. Addie has an argument with her friends named Tegan and Dorrie because of her bad mood as a result of her fight with Jeb.

So, Addie decides to do a kind deed for Tegan. Tegan waits for a special pet: a small teacup pig that she wanted for years. Addie agrees to pick up the teacup pig at Pet World for Tegan during her break at work in a local Starbucks. However, the teacup pig is sold to anther person unintentionally. The teacup pig is sold to an old woman named Mayzie.

Addie calls-up a friend who is named Charlie who she has history with to ask for a ride to Mayzie’s home. He agrees to take her to Mayzie’s home… however, the ride is unnecessary. Mayzie lives only minutes away from the Starbucks.

But will Mayzie agree to give-up the pig?

Let it Snow is a heart-warming series of stories. The stories are not only sweet and romantic… they are also funny and zany. I know the author, John Green, from his other novels. He wrote three of my favorite novels: The Fault in Our Stars, Paper Towns, and Looking for Alaska. This book definitely joins the bunch.

Lauren Myracle and Maureen Johnson also do a wonderful job with the two’s stories. The stories are full of wacky characters, fun times, love, and laughter.

I strongly recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a great read in this winter season.

I definitely give this book a 5-star rating. No questions asked.

Always with infinite love,
Selena London

December’s Once Upon a Book Club Box

Hi, there. I recently subscribed to a monthly book service. The name of the book service is, “Once Upon a Book Club.” In “Once Upon a Book Club” you receive a curated box every month. In the box is a new book. It also has other items in it that apply to the book. For instance, in this December box there is a copy of the book, “Jane Eyre” carefully wrapped-up. That is because this month’s book is a spin-off of the classic British story, “Jane Eyre.”

This book subscription service is great because you can get things that the characters in the book read, have, or refer to. Some of the items are also important items in the book that helped to move along the plot of the story. This book subscription service is wonderful because you get to really feel like you are a part of the book with all the additional items you receive in your monthly package.

This month, I received the book, “Within These Wicked Walls.” The woman named Lauren Blackwood is the author of this book. The main character of the novel is a woman named “Andromeda.” “Andromeda” is a witch-doctor that is hired to cleanse a beautiful mansion. The owner of the mansion is a man named Magnus Rochester. Andromeda has a decision to make: should she stay and help out this strange man, or should she leave with her tail-between-her-legs as quick as possible? Her decision will change her life forever.

These are the things that I received in December’s “Once Upon a Book Club” box. I have chosen the “Young Adult” box in particular. I received a beautiful green tapestry with the name, “Jane Eyre” written at the top. I also received a copy of the book, “Jane Eyre.”

I love this new book subscription service. I am excited every month to see the next book that is sent out to you. I also love the extra items in the book subscription box that help you to feel like you are inside of the book yourself.

This book service is a great thing to give someone for their birthday or for a special occasion.

Stay tuned to see January’s “Once Upon a Book Club” box.

Always with infinite love,
Selena London

Book News: The Hating Game is now a movie

Here’s some great news. The book, The Hating Game, is now a movie. The Hating Game is written by the author named Sally Thorne. It will be out in select movie theaters on December 10. The actress named Lucy Hale will be in the movie. The actor named Austin Stowell will play opposite of her in the movie.

The Hating Game is about a woman named Lucy Hutton. Lucy Hutton is trying to make-it at her job. She wants to succeed and to get a promotion at work. However, she has to contend with her enemy. Her enemy is her co-worker. He is named Joshua Templeman. The two sabotage each other and act passive-aggressively (and even aggressively-aggressively) to each other.

The Hating Game was a best-selling novel in the year 2018. It was a best-seller on the USA Today list in that year. It was published in more than twenty countries.

I can’t wait to see this movie that is based-off of the best-selling book.

Always with infinite love,
Selena London

My thoughts and opinions on… “Magnus Chase: The Ship of the Dead”

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It is time to talk about the last book in the “Magnus Chase” trilogy. The last book in the trilogy is named, “The Ship of the Dead.” The author, Rick Riordan, is the one who wrote this book.

In “The Ship of the Dead” the main character is a boy named Magnus Chase. Magnus Chase is the cousin of Annabeth Chase. Annabeth Chase is one of the main characters in the “Percy Jackson” series. However, this book is not about Percy Jackson or Annabeth Chase. This book is all about Magnus’ journey.

Magnus Chase begins his journey with his friends from Floor Nineteen in the Hotel Valhalla. The Hotel Valhalla is the place where warriors go if they die a hero in their previous life. The cast of characters on The Floor Nineteen are: Thomas Jefferson Jr., Alex Fierro, Halfborn Gunderson, and Mallory Keen. Magnus also goes on this journey with the Valkyrie that brought him to The Hotel Valhalla in the first book. Her name is “Samirah” or “Sam.” Finally, Magnus goes on this journey with the dwarf, “Blitzen,” and the elf, “Hearthstone.”

The journey goes off-the-rails almost as soon as it begins. Magnus and his friends are on a ship to sail toward the god, Loki. They are trying to stop Loki from casting off on The Ship of the Dead. If Loki begins to set sail on The Ship of the Dead, then, Ragnarok will begin. However, immediately, Magnus and his friends’ ship is commandeered. A giant and the giants’ daughters manage to grab Magnus and his friends so that the giants can eat them for dinner.

Magnus comes up with an idea to help the group to escape. As a result, Magnus must find a drink known as “Kvasir’s Mead” before he reaches Loki’s location and Ragnarok begins. The search for “Kvasir’s Mead” leads him and his group of friends toward death-defying situations.

I liked this book. That is how I feel about most of Rick Riordan’s books. However, the end of this book was lack-luster. Rick Riordan’s books are always fast-paced. They are always filled with action. However, I felt like the end of this book fell flat. I wanted more action at the end of the book to really show how Magnus has grown and developed over the course of the trilogy.

One of the things that I really liked in this book was when Magnus and Alex Fierro had an intimate moment before the last chapter. I feel like those two have promise.

“The Ship of the Dead” is the book that ends this trilogy; however, I definitely feel like Rick Riordan left the book open-ended. I predict that Magnus will have more adventures in the future. I will be happy to read all about them when I can.

I give this book a 3-star rating. It is a good book, but it is not one of my favorite Rick Riordan books.

Always with infinite love,
Selena London

Book News: American Girl has great books out there for your daughter




Do you remember American Girl? American Girl is a brand that makes dolls that come from history. There are even books that go along with the dolls themselves. The original American Girl Dolls are: Samantha, Josefina, Kristen, Felicity, Addy, and Molly.

American Girl has branched out from the company’s usual style. Now, American Girl has created books that are tailored for your daughters. There are American Girl books that are titled: Love Your Look, Understanding Families, The Care and Keeping of You, and even The Feelings Book: The Care & Keeping of Your Emotions.

These books are great for any young girl to help her to grow-up. I think you should check-out these books if you have a daughter, a niece, or a grandaughter. These books will also be great as birthday presents or as Christmas presents.

And, hey, maybe your daughter will want her own American Girl doll, too.

Always with infinite love,
Selena London

My thoughts and opinions on… “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor”

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Here is the next installment of the “Magnus Chase” series by Rick Riordan. This is the second book in the trilogy. The book is named, “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Hammer of Thor.”

In this book it has been six weeks since Magnus chase went on his first adventure. Now, he is getting used to his life… or, his afterlife… in The Hotel Valhalla. A new hallmate makes his… or her way into Magnus’ life. The new hallmate is named, “Alex Fierro.” “Alex Fierro” is gender-fluid. He/she is a shapeshifter so he/she changes genders depending on his/her mood. “Alex Fierro” informs people of the correct pronouns to use for him/her depending on what is going on inside him/her.

Magnus and Alex get pulled into a new adventure. This adventure also includes his two best-friends from the first book named Hearthstone and Blizten. Hearthstone or “Hearth” is an elf. Blitzen or “Blitz” is a dwarf. Finally, there is the Valkyrie named Samirah or “Sam.” Now, these four unlikely friends must come together to rescue Thor’s hammer. Thor’s hammer is named Mjolnir. It is a priceless artifact of strength… and Magnus fights tooth-and-nail to retrieve it.

The best part of this book for me was the end. Magnus and his friends come together in a dark cave to fight the giants that want to own Thor’s hammer. The giants have a scheme to free the evil god, Loki, from his chains. Magnus faces trouble. However, his hallmates from the Floor Nineteen of The Hotel Valhalla also come in to join the chaos in Loki’s cavern.

Like all of Rick Riordan’s book this was a fast-paced and wild ride. Magnus and his friends fall into little mini-adventures on the way to Thor’s Hammer. Magnus visits different worlds like Alfheim, the land of the elves. He goes to another land and sees the goddess, Sif. Sif is a beautiful and golden-haired goddess. She is the wife of Thor. Sif leads Magnus and his group to where they need to go to rescue Thor’s hammer.

I liked this story because of the funny dialogue that Rick Riordan writes masterfully. I enjoyed the first book a lot more though. I can’t wait to read the last book in the trilogy to see how Magnus saves the world from Ragnarok.

I give this book a 3-star rating.

Always with infinite love,
Selena London

My thoughts and opinions on… “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer”

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Some of you may know the author who is named Rick Riordan. Rick Riordan is the author of the wildly popular books named, “Percy Jackson and the Olympians.” The first two books in the series were made into two movies that stars the actor, Logan Lerman. Now, Rick Riordan continues with more adventure novels. Rick Riordan started a new book series based off of the Norse gods. The first book in the series is named, “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard: The Sword of Summer.”

I read this first book in the series, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. The main character in the book is a kid named Magnus Chase. Magnus Chase is funny and unapologetic. He is similar to Percy Jackson in this way. Percy Jackson is the main character in Rick Riordan’s earlier books. However, Magnus is a little more laid back than Percy.

Magnus Chase is the cousin of Annabeth Chase, another main character in Rick Riordan’s earlier books. Annabeth Chase has a cameo in this book. Though she only has a small role in this novel it is great to see her again.

In this book we learn that Magnus Chase is the son of a Norse god. He has two buddies named Blizten and Hearthstone. We later learn that Blizten, or Blitz, is a dwarf. Hearthstone, or Hearth, is an elf who is deaf. He speaks to Magnus through the art of sign language.

Magnus faces a lot of trouble in this book. Right away you learn that Magnus dies. He gets taken to The Hotel Valhala. The Hotel Valhala is the place where heroes go if they die in battle with a weapon in his or her hand. A valkyrie is the person who chooses the different heroes who are allowed to enter Valhala. It is also the place where the heroes who are children of Norse gods go to prepare for Ragnarok. Ragnarok is a period of time know as, “The End of the World.” If Magnus Chase does not complete his mission, then, Ragnarok will begin.

Due to Magnus’ heroic death he becomes an einherjar, or a warrior of Odin. He is taken to Floor #19 in Hotel Valhala where he meets his hallmates and his future friends.

However, things do not go well for Magnus. He must go back to Earth as an einherjar to complete a mission. He must stop the evil Fenris Wolf from escaping his chains. The Fenris Wolf is a mythological being. He is supposed to bring Ragnarok forward. If Magnus Chase does not complete his mission, then, Ragnarok will begin.

The first book in the Magnus Chase trilogy is a wild ride. Like Rick Riordan’s pervious books it is fun. It is fast-paced. And it is filled with hilarious one-liners that will make you laugh-out-loud.

Magnus Chase is a great hero. He is brave and he is kind. He thinks favorably of his friends, Blitz and Hearth. He does his best to win… no matter what.

If you have never read any of Rick Riordan’s books, then, this is a good place to start. I suggest that you pick-up this book so that you can start on your next at-home adventure.

Always with infinite love,
Selena London

Book News: Rick Riordan has begun a new book in the world of Percy Jackson

Rick Riordan is the author of the world-wide selling book series that began with “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightening Thief.” He recently released his newest book that is titled, “Daughter of the Deep.” He is also working on a new book that will continue on in the world of Percy Jackson.

This book has no name at the moment. However, the book is said to star the character who is named, “Nico di Angelo.” The book is said to continue on after The Trials of Apollo book series. In The Trials of Apollo, a Greek god falls to Earth because he is punished by Zeus.

However, Rick Riordan’s book based on “Nico di Angelo” will not be written alone. Rick Riordan asked the writer who is named Mark Oshiro to co-write the book.

This is what Rick Riordan had to say about working with Mark Oshiro: “To say that I’m excited about this project doesn’t do it justice. This is really new and different for me. Mark knows a lot about Nico and the Percy Jackson world. He also writes such heartbreakingly beautiful books. This was such an incredible and rewarding process that I’m just sorry I didn’t think of it sooner.”

This new book is said to be released in the summer of 2023.

It is great that there is still more to read about in the world of Percy Jackson.

Always with infinite love,
Selena London