Forgotten Places

Forgotten Places

If you like history and historical fiction novels with a hint of romance and a twist at the end this will be a good fit for you. 

Forgotten Places is a story loosely based on true events that happened back in the 1800’s in Van Diemen’s Land which is now Tasmania. An escaped convict Alexander Dalton has been hiding in the wilderness for 11 years, when out of nowhere Grace Ashwell, a nanny and a little girl, Violet, stumble on his hiding spot while on the run themselves. 

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Behind Closed Doors - Review

Behind Closed Doors - Review

It was just what I needed to get out of my reading slump, and really what motivated me to start writing reviews, again. You might have noticed my blog has been pretty quiet for the past few years. 

Right away I felt a weird vibe from the couple, the husband mainly. Plus from the synopsis it was clear that there was something fishy going on. No one’s life is THAT perfect, and we can clearly see that Grace is not so perfect on the inside, as much as she tries to portray the perfect facade on the outside.

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You - Review

You - Review

Disturbing and creepy are the first words that come to mind when I think of this book, and that's exactly why I would recommend this book to everyone. First of all, to teach women that creeps are out there and they need to be careful, but also to experience a story told from a perspective that many don't get to see.

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REVIEW: Across the Universe by Beth Revis


Take a trip across the universe with residents of Godspeed, a space ship that has been traveling to another planet for centuries.

I didn't know what to expect from this book, I haven't really heard anything about it before I read it. I had the third book at home, and I bought it because it was on sale, yea, I do that. Then I read the back of it and realized that it's the third in a series, so I ordered the first one and started reading. Well I listened to it while running. Either way it starts off with Amy and her parents getting ready to be cryogenically frozen, so that she can wake up in 300 years on a different planet, where her parents are going to help build a new life for people of earth (Because of course we have ruined our planet). Like any teenager she is scared and doesn't know what to do, should she go with her parents or should she stay and never see them again. She chooses to get frozen for 300 years, or so she thinks. When she wakes up she is in for a shock.


At first I didn't really care for Amy, she wasn't very whiny, she almost seemed too smart for a teenager. What teenager would want to save a whole ship and then teach them the ways of the earth. None, they're too busy doing whatever it is they do nowadays.

Now the ship is another thing all on it's own. It's huge, and by huge I mean gigantic, it has farms and cities and a lot of people, as well as the frozen people. And everyone talks so weird, "chutz"? That word bugged me so much I cringed every time I heard it. would the language and "race" change that much over that many years. Anywhere between 300-1000 years. I think, I can't really get it right since they never actually say how many years it has been.

Oh and Elder, what a big whiny baby, good thing Amy makes him realize what is going on by the end.


I wouldn't say it's predictable, I had other guesses, but I guess some people saw the ending coming. If you're a teenager read it, if not then maybe you should pass, because it is a bit immature.

REVIEW: IT by Stephen King


I don't even know where to start with this book, I was expecting a lot, I thought it was going to be the greatest book I have ever read, but that didn't happen. At first I was totally lost, I didn't know who was who, there were so many characters and each of them was telling his or her own story that I couldn't figure it out. Then once I understood what was happening, what the plot was and who the characters were, I liked it a lot. I wanted to finish it quickly, but that all went downhill when my audio book ran out from the library and I actually had to read the book. And back to square one. Confusion. The story went from bad to good to bad and then to shocking gross and disturbing. Then back to confusing and boring.

I really want to like Stephen King, I do. I have many of his books, but this one was just not my cup of tea. When you write about 10 year old having sex (a girl with about 5 guys) you have lost my interest. Ever since I read that I was grossed out and really wanted to just give up on the book. But then I got the audio book again and listened to it while I was running, if it wasn't for that I would not have finished it.

The idea of the story was good, a group of kids want to catch the monster or "creature" that has been killing children in their town. They are haunted by this monster and they give it all to destroy it, and they think they do, but when they are older the monster is back, and they have to do it all over again. The majority of the book is about them when they are young, about 10-13 years old. And jumps back to current time when they are all middle aged and reunited to destroy IT.

I don't get it, is there some deeper meaning to this story, because I don't see it. All I see is a lot of imagination from King and not much sense to it all. If you read let me know what you thought.

I will only recommend it to someone who really likes Kings other creepy books.


REVIEW: Spells and Sleeping Bags by Sarah Mlynowski


Like all the other books in this series, this is for young adults, I should say around 13-16 years old. But I wanted to step back in time and enjoy something that I would have loved when I was younger. This is the third book in the series so I won't go into too much detail, I loved this book. The first one was obviously good the second one was ok, but this one was my favorite. When I was young I always wanted to go to camp, but I couldn't since I had just moved to America from Poland and didn't really speak English for a little while and my parents sure didn't so I couldn't go to camp. I watched movies about camp and fantasied about being there. But no, never happened. And then this book came along and I was back to being a young teenager.

This book starts off right after the second one finished, a couple weeks maybe. And that's what I liked about all these books. There aren't any gaps in between the books that have to be filled in. Although the author does backtrack a bit and tell us what happens in the previous books, which I thought was a bit unnecessary. But I could live with it. It is for kids after all, they have short attention spans. Lol.

Rachel of course doesn't know how to control her powers and gets herself in a big mess. Another enemy, and her bf gets stolen from her. Ugh, the life of a teenager. But I'll let you read it and decide for yourself.



REVIEW: Remember Me by Sophie Kinsella


What would you do if suddenly you didn't remember your life? Would you get depressed, believe everything everyone is telling you about your life or would you seek the truth and find yourself? I personally love stories about memory loss, amnesia and stuff like that, just the idea of not knowing who you are is hair-raising, and so bizarre to me that I can't get enough. Yes, I'm a weirdo. Although in this story the character looses a part of herself, she gains so much more.

The books follows Lexi when she wakes up in a hospital after an accident, and doesn't remember who she is. Rather, the last 4 years of her life. The most crucial ones. To her shock she has a totally different life, lives in a loft style home, married a rich guy and she's now the boss of the company she used to work for. Oh and all her friends hate her.

Who could she have done in only four years to change her life so drastically. We follow her as she tries to piece together the pieces and figure out why she's the way she is. Is she happy, does she love her husband or her new life?

I really enjoyed this book, this was my first ever Sophie Kinsella book and I am now a fan.


I liked the characters, they were well written and developed, I liked each one of them. Although Lexi's mom could have been focused on just a tiny bit more. I feel like I hater her but don't know exactly why. Maybe the way she seems so cold has something to do with Lexi's father, but we don't get enough of that information. I really hated the husband, what a duche, it's all about the money and keeping a clean house.

I like how the book flowed. It wasn't too cramped up with detail, and it's a fun read. So if you're expecting to learn some big life lesson pick something else. This is like watching the Lifetime Network. It's a feel good story. I recommend it.

REVIEW: Just What Kind of Mother Are You


Image a perfect mom, someone who has everything under control, someone who is better than you. Now imagine being the person responsible for her daughters disappearance. Yikes!! The author does a terrific job with this story, it's not told from the perspective of the parents of the missing girl, or from the girl herself but from everyone else involved. It's not so much about her abduction, more about everyones lives and how they got affected by it. We get to see how the detective thinks, and the mother who is blamed for the disappearance, and the missing girls father, and we learn that he has a second family. Do any of these things have anything to do with her kidnapping. Because she isn't the only one that is gone. Or has she simply run away?

I really liked this book, I was constantly guessing what could have happened. Thinking everyone is a suspect, and never expecting the twist that the author throws at us. I guess some people could see it coming, guess what happened to the girl, but not me. It's not a huge book, I got through it pretty quickly, and it held my attention the whole time I was reading it. I think the characters were great, well developed and given that we only see glimpses of some they are still memorable.

I do recommend this book to others, I don't think this will be on my top favorite books of all time, but it was an enjoyable read and I'm glad I read it. So go pick up a copy and read it.

REVIEW: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn


I didn't really know what this book was about, I try not to read up a lot on books that I still haven't read. I just but them and then wait for the surprise. Since this book was so popular I just had to buy it, even though I ended up not reading it for a long time.I blame that on having a newborn at the time.

The book is about a missing girl, not a young girl, a married woman who goes missing, and her husband is trying to find her, he is devastated, and tries to uncover her past in order to help bring her back. And that's all I will say.

This book was great, definitely on my top list of books, it was dark creepy and gripping, I was constantly guessing what happened, and at one point I guessed right, but then changed my mind. Definitely kept me hooked. The characters were good enough where I wanted to find out more and more, but I think it's the story itself, the mystery that makes this book so great. The ending might make people angry or disappointed. But no matter how you think it could have ended, this is the only way. Any other ending wouldn't feel right.

I recommend this book to anyone who likes a little mystery, it's not a long book so you don't invest too much time in it if you hate it, but  I doubt you will. And yes, you are supposed to hate the characters.

REVIEW: Animal Farm by George Orwell

Ahh a quiet life on a farm…..until animals unite and take over. Of course like most people I have heard of this book, many times. It has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while, but I just never picked it up, until now. I was looking for something short and this book took about 3-4 hours to finish.

The story is about a farm, where the animals aren't treated in the best way. As some farms are, but on this farm the animals rebel. They fight the humans and win, taking over the farm and running it themselves. The come up with a plan, rules and all, to make this farm the best farm around. And any human is forbidden from stepping foot on it They want to be free, to do as they please, to have some control over their own lives. At first it seems like they are happy, like they can achieve anything they set their little minds to. But soon we learn that when the pig is in charge, everyone else suffers.

The animals live in communism, the pigs are in charge and the other "less intelligent" animals just work for them. They build and make food, and when they rebel they are killed.

I really enjoyed this book, it was quick and well written. Of course Orwell is a genius, so no wonder there. But I though, as with most classics that it was going to be hard to understand and difficult to get through, but I flew through this book in just a few hours. It's a great story and I think everyone should read it. You might just learn something about our own society, and that those in charge aren't always right.

Frogs and French Kisses by Sarah Mlynowski

This is a sequel to Bras and Broomsticks which I loved, and yes I know it's for middle school kids or High School but I liked it, so there. I like witches, witchcraft anything that has to do with powers. So of course I loved this book. And of course like any series, the first one is the best, and eventually they aren't that good. The fire dies out and we are only left with a glimmer of what the story one was.Though hopefully not with these books.

The story picks up only a couple weeks after the first book finished, so we get to see how everything ended and what was happening after the big embarrassment Rachel got herself into. Well she didn't learn her lesson that's for sure, she still goes and makes her sister do magic, for her own benefit, which in turn backfires, almost every time. She accidentally made Will fall in love with her. Will is Raf's brother, and she is in love with Raf. And that's what the book is about. I won't say more in case you haven't read it, or don't want to spoil the rest of the series.

I liked this book, not as much as the first one, but enough to make me pick up the third one. Which I'm almost done with, and it's great, so check back soon for a review on that one.

REVIEW: The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides

I didn't know what to expect of this book when I started reading it. I really didn't even know what it was about, I'm not sure I do now that I read it. But as much as I thought i would hate it in the beginning I grew to like it more and more towards the end. It's not a thriller and it doesn't keep you guessing and on the edge of your seat. But it slowly pulls you in, you find yourself caring about the characters, and wondering where life will take them, or why they are in the situation they are in. They go from stupid college students to smart grown people, and all you can do is smile. I wouldn't say this is anywhere close to being one of the best books I have read this year, and I'm not sure everyone would like it, I'm not sure why I like it. I usually prefer something with a kick, a good thriller, suspense, mystery, or just pure smutty romance. And this book falls somewhere between all of those. It's simply about life. I think it lacked a good climax, everything is on the same level of importance. The characters are well developed but not memorable. It's been only a couple weeks and I can't remember their names, or maybe it's just me and my memory sucks.

It's not a bad book, just not something I enjoy, and I would still recommend it to some people. But if you prefer a good page turner than this might not be for you.

ARC REVIEW: Urban Watercolor Sketching


Are you interested in watercolor? Do you sketch? Then check out this awesome book.

I received this book from bloggingforbooks for review, this is my honest opinion.

For those of you who don't know I'm an artist, I work in a graphic design field, but I really prefer to paint and draw. I have been interested in getting into watercolor more, because it's such a difficult medium I have always been a little afraid of it. I own a lot of watercolor supplies, just like book, I also hoard art supplies. I requested this book to get a little inspired and learn more.

I like this book a lot, and it's not the type of book you read front to back and then review. I flipped through it, and read a little here and there. Mostly I looked at the art and go some inspiration, some ideas for what I want to paint. I like the way it's laid out, it's fun and creative. The book offers a lot of information on color, hue, technique and a little bit of history, of paint as well as art itself. Everything in this book is sketched, it really shows that the author is serious about what he does. Also the book itself is a good size, as soon as I opened it I was wowed.  I will definitely keep this book on my table andgo back to it when I need some info. I recommend it anyone who is a painter, and artist, looking for inspiration and education. Go check it out!

If you are interested you can check out my art



REVIEW: Skip, Hop Dragon's on Top!

This is a funny little book for little kids to learn the concept of top and bottom. The illustrations are fun and the animals are cute. My baby liked to thumb through the pages, and she pointed to a few animals. But she's only 15 months so she didn't learn much yet. We'll try again in a couple months and see if she can understand a little more. Overall it's a great little book for kids, the only thing I would change, and I think this comes from the fact that I'm an artist myself, I would add some sort of background behind the animals. Maybe make them play in a meadow, or just add some trees behind them so it looks like they are in a place instead of a white background.

REVIEW: Weird Sisters by Eleanor Brown

See the characters spread their wings in this Shakespeare verse filled novel. The story is set in a fictional town of Barnwell, where the three sisters, Cordelia, Rose and Bianca, reunite back at home. Not under happy circumstances, their mother has cancer, and they all want to help a little. As well as run away from their problems but have no where else to go but home. From there we see how they struggle to put their lives back together while dealing with their sick mom.

I didn't really like this book, it had a poor plot and characters that I couldn't relate to on any term. I know that not every good book needs to have a climax, but the lack of it in this story really showed. There was nothing to look foreword to, and nothing to get excited about. The ending could have been predicted in the first few chapters. Also, the whole Shakespeare obsession, and their constant mentioning about how they love to read got old very quickly. I don't read Shakespeare, and most of the time I didn't know what the hell they were talking about. I thought I would like a book about book lovers, but they were just flat characters with too much free time.

The story is told from all of their point of views, as well as a narrator, as well as first and third person. It was weird. I don't even know how to explain it. But it was confusing and should not be done, ever.

Over all this story lacked a good story, the characters are developed but not memorable, or interesting. I don't think I will recommend this book to anyone, it's just not the type of story to keep you up at night.

REVIEW: Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin

Do you want to know where you go when you die? According to Zevin you go to Elsewhere. This is a delightful story about a teenage girl who to her own disbelief is dead. One day, she wakes up on a ship, her parents aren't with her, and she has no idea where she is headed. Soon enough she realizes she's dead, and her next stop, Elsewhere. This story takes up through her struggle as she tries to cope with the idea of never seeing her family again, and not being able to go back to her old life. She will start a new life though, in 15 years. Because in Elsewhere you age backwards, and once you reach 0 you are basically reincarnated.

THOUGHTS: Although I think Zevin did a good job capturing the spirit of a 15 year old girl whose life just turn upside down, she might have gone a bit too far. No one knows what goes on in a teenagers mind, but I think this one is a little too whiny. I wish we would skip over the whining and see the character when she is 8 or 3 and what her thoughts are like then.

The idea of reincarnation is something I've though of many times, and I don't know if it exists or not, some people claim to have memories of their past lives, others don't believe it because of their religious views. I believe that WE DON'T KNOW. So why argue, I like thinking that it does exist, and that we do get a second or how ever many chances, to do it all over again. To better your spirit, and reach some sort of Nirvana. Hmm maybe I should be Buddhist. This book has nothing to do with God, as far as I know there isn't one. They don't enter heaven through the pearly gates, St. John isn't waiting for them. It's simply a different realm.

But this is a weird interpretation of afterlife. They die, go to elsewhere, age backwards, and are reborn. But there is also a magic well, where you can try to communicate to the living. And when you succeed the sounds are carried through water. And message bottles arrive from the living through the river. I don't have a clue as to how that would work. It's like they are in a parallel universe connected to the real world by this river. It was all a little too much, the reincarnation part I really enjoyed the rest was a little too over the top. And I don't know about the whole romance thing between a 15 year old and a man who is aged backwards, which would make him in his 30's. I think if she omitted the romance part and focused more on the characters this would be a great book for younger audiences.

I still liked this book even though it has some issues, and would still recommend it to young adults. Mature audiences might find this book a little silly.

REVIEW: Where'd You Go Bernadette

Set in a rainy city, this is only the second novel by Maria Semple, who herself escaped California to live in Seattle. She is the former writer of Mad About You tv show, which I used to love oh so much. After Bee announces that her promised reward for getting good grades will be a family trip to Antarctica, Bernadette's agoraphobia intensifies. She already hates people, and being around strangers, not to mention other moms from Bee's school, she has to face being stuck on a boat with people, without an escape. She starts to act odd, even more then she usually does, and the drama between her and some other moms at the school gets a little out of hand when she accidentally destroys property. She hates this city, she hates the people that live here that hate the city, she hates being involved in school activities, even though she is a say at home mom, she claims to not have free time. She doesn't want to talk to anyone, she doesn't even make her own restaurant reservations, or buys groceries, she has service from India for that. Bernadette has issues, big ones, and most of them started when she was an architect a long time ago.

This book is written in epistolary form, ranging from letters to text messages. This is the way Bee, Bernadettes daughter tries to find out what happened to her mom, why she disappeared and where she is. It's supposed to be told from Bee's point of view, but since it is written in letters we get to hear everyones side. And that's not a bad thing. With Bee explaining in between the documents, this makes it easier to follow so many characters and ties everything together. Semple did a great job giving a voice to so many different characters and personalities. It was written well and some of the characters were likable it was even a little funny, but it lacked a big dramatic climax. After Bernadette disappears we only get to see Bee's side of the story and that's when it looses that spark. It was nice to see the characters from different perspectives,  I enjoyed reading about the drama and the gossip but when that changed I felt like it got weaker and didn't move along as quickly anymore.


I personally didn't like this book too much, I thought I would, at first I did, I liked the drama, kind of reminded me of Desperate Housewives, but then quickly lost it's spark. The climax, if there even was one, was not that interesting.  Since this book is about a middle aged woman who is going through some kind of midlife crisis I couldn't really relate to it, I'm not middle ages nor do I have any crisis. I'm am stuck in the in-between stage, too old for YA and too young for woman's fiction.

I would recommend this book to an older crowd, preferably in their 40's.

REVIEW: We Were Liars

This thrilling new contemporary suspense novel will leave you speechless.

Being a rich kid, and spending your vacations on a private island seems like a dream, but for Candence it's a nightmare. Something happened two years ago, and accident, which left her with memory loss. This is her story, as she tries to peace together the events that took place that summer.

Every summer her and her cousins come to the island to spend the summer. They call themselves The Liars: Cadence, Johnny, Mirren and Gat (Gat isn't blood related). But during summer 15 (they are 15 years old) something happens and Cadence end up in the hospital, with no memory of what happened. Her mom doesn't want to tell her, because it's better if she finds out on her own. Cadence returns to the island and to The Liars on summer 17, and that's when the story starts.

The story is told from Cadence's point of view, ranging in time from summer 8 till current events. The story feels almost like and dark fairy tale, the characters aren't exceptionally realistic, yet they seem to come to life in your imagination. And some of their actions are not that believable, but we also don't get a lot of detail on each character, we don't even get a lot about the main character. That is part of the reason why they don't feel real, because we know very little about them. I think that was part of the plan, make the characters more mysterious, since this is suspense/mystery novel. It's not something you need to really dissect and try to solve the mystery, this is not Nancy Drew, the truth always comes out in the end. So just read it till the end.

I really think this book should be read without knowing anything about it first, as it suggests, I feel like that way you will really have to dig in and find out for yourself what it's all about. I enjoyed it quite a bit, it's not the greatest suspense novel, nor is it very scary and mysterious, it's just the curiosity that wins over. While Cadence is trying to find out what happened, you will try and remember for her as well. I do recommend this book, because it's fun. And will leave you shocked. So read and enjoy and don't forget to Lie when asked how it ends.