What if Love is the Point? (Launch Team Book Review – Part One)

Ever wondered what it’s like to be rich & famous? Are fame & fortune all they’re cracked up to be? If not, then what’s the point? In their new book, boybander Carlos & Spy Girl Alexa answer those questions & more.

I’m a major fangirl, aspiring podcaster, self-published author, & most importantly, a devoted Christ-follower. As such, Alexa & Carlos PenaVega are 2 of my favorite celebrities. Seeing they were launching a team to read their new book had me pumped! Idk how a launch team works. Idk if it’s first come first serve, all are welcome here, or a select number of people who get to join. Either way, it felt like a risk to ask to be on the team. I didn’t expect to get an invite. I figured thousands of people, if not more, would be asking to join. So, when I saw the email to join, I was SO excited! It’s always such an honor to get an invite into someone’s story. It’s why I do what I do. I share my story, so you can be a part of it, & so I might be a part of yours too. That’s exactly what Carlos & Alexa have done with this book! Why? Because Jesus invited us into His story & when we invite Him into ours everything changes for the best. That doesn’t always feel true, but it is.

There’s a time & place for philosophy & theology. This isn’t it. Both often leave more questions than answers. In this book, Carlos & Alexa give us the only answers that matter–love & Jesus.

Some might complain most of the book is their stories & not “the point.” I would argue that’s not true. If love is the point, then you have to get to know people & you have to get to know Jesus. How would you get to know people & Jesus without hearing their stories?

Maybe I’m biased. Maybe being a fan of BTR, Spy Kids, DWTS, & Hallmark made me love this book more than I would’ve otherwise. I don’t think so though. Alexa & Carlos were vulnerable & raw in this book. They were amusing & straightforward. I will recommend this book to anyone & everyone interested in the lives of child stars, heartthrobs, & what truly matters. I gave this book 5 stars, not for the writing, but for the story & the answers because love IS the point.

For a more detailed review keep an eye out for TWO podcast episodes coming soon!

Pride & Prejudice – Book & Movie Review (January19, 2019 – Archive)

As a hopeless romantic, I can have no qualms with any telling of Pride & Prejudice. I can have however have a favorite. While neither movie was better or worse than the other and certainly not better or worse than the book, I do have a clear favorite. In part because I prefer simple, modern writing and partly because I already knew most aspects of the story, it took me at least five attempts to read the book for the first time. After the fact I was happy to have done it and have now read it again. That said, and I NEVER say this, I actually prefer the movie to the book. Both movies took creative liberties that seemed odd, especially the six-hour BBC production, but I actually enjoyed the 2005 movie to the BBC production or the book. Perhaps it’s because it’s shorter and thus easier to digest or maybe because it caters to the wants of a rom-com fan, but probably because I didn’t have to deal with the insufferable Mr. Collins or Mr. Wickham for half as long as I was forced to do so in the book and BBC production. As, I must admit, I only like the series because of Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth and I wish that we could get their story with dealing so much with the others, though I understand that would make it a much different story, so I’ll tolerate it. As I do though, it will likely only be through watching the 2005 movie instead of reading it or watching the BBC production. All the same, I recommend everyone read and watch each production at least once in their lifetime! 😊

Artemis Fowl (2018 Archive)

Book 1:

My primary job is delivering for Uber Eats. That means, I spend a lot of time sitting in my car. I’ve decided to spend that time listening to audiobooks. After listening to the Harry Potter books, I decided to listen to Artemis Fowl, because my best friend raved about them, and because I had never read them before.

To be honest, I’m not entirely sure how I feel about this book. In the beginning, it was confusing to go back and forth between views, but by the end it made sense. It is exciting and intriguing, and even though I really didn’t like any of the characters, I am now listening to the second book! So far, it seems like the perfect series for middle school boys, and anyone who likes Kid’s books. I have a 12 year old brother whom I think will really like these books! I’m gonna challenge him to read or listen to them this summer!

Emoji Review: 🙃🤷🏼‍♀️👍🏼

4 out 5 ⭐️ review

The Arctic Incident:

Perhaps, the series gets better with every book. I certainly liked this one much better than the first one! I even started to like the characters. 🙂 No complaints for this book and not much in the way of praise either, except that I liked it more than the first. And of course, I still think it’s a great series for middle school boys! 🙂 Emoji Review: 👍🏼😊

4 out of 5 ⭐️ rating

The Opal Deception:

Generally, I either immediately like a series or I don’t like it all. When I do like the series, I expect it to get better with every book (or season if it’s tv). With Artemis Fowl it’s different.

It’s not that I disliked it in the beginning, but I also didn’t like it. I was intrigued, but not attached. This is a new concept for me. Generally, if I’m intrigued, then I’m immediately attached. With Artemis Fowl, it’s been a slow attachment. With every book, I’ve grown more and more attached to each of the characters. And yet, I there’s one character I haven’t grown attached to. When something happens to this character, I feel nothing. A little sad for the other characters, perhaps, but nothing for this character. All the same, I’m really growing quite fond of these characters and each adventure is getting more and more intriguing!

The Lost Colony:

As a Christian, I firmly believe that demons are always evil. Therefore, I found it hard to justify the somewhat goodness of some of the new characters in this book.

With or without the demon characters, this wasn’t one of my favorite of the books. There were several scenes in which I was gasping or holding my breath, but I was neither here nor there in the like or dislike of this book. 🤷🏼‍♀️

The Time Paradox:

This may have been my favorite of them all. It’s always fun seeing characters affected by time travel. Artemis and Holly were quite amusing through this book’s adventures.

The Atlas Complex:

This one didn’t leave much impression on me. I felt rather indifferent throughout the whole story… 🤷🏼‍♀️

The Last Guardian:

I’m surprised to say that by the end of this series, I actually cared about all the characters! I didn’t like any of the characters in the beginning, but they slowly grew on me and by the end I liked them all! I will say that I was a bit disappointed with the end of this book. While the main plots were all finished, I still felt like there was something missing in the end. 🤷🏼‍♀️

#bookreview #ArtemisFowl #HollyShort #Elves #Demons #Fairies #dwarves #Butler #Elves #Fairies #Dwarves


Ever After High – Book Review (2018 Archive)

The Storybook of Legends & The Unfairest of Them All:

I’m a sucker for a good fairy tale, especially if it’s a retelling and even more so if it’s the telling of the original character’s kids. Obviously, I loved this before I even opened it. I’m not generally biased though. I may love a story going into it, but that doesn’t mean I’ll love it by the end. That is what happened with this book though.

I absolutely love Raven Queen and Apple White. While their stories are a bit cliched, that’s the entire point of the book. I think Shannon Hale did a fabulous job of making this story unique, while also making it as cliche and cheesy as it was supposed to be!

I love all the characters, but my absolute favorite character in the entire series is Madeline “Maddie” Hatter! Quirky characters are always my cup of tea (pun intended 😏), but I especially love Maddie and not just because I feel like she and Luna Lovegood could totally be best friends! Haha. There’s just something about Maddie that I adore! I can’t really explain it. Oh, and Dexter is adorkable too! Haha.

I could do an entirely separate review just for the “hexcellent” puns and word plays sprinkled on every page, but I won’t. Hexcellent (I’ve seriously been thinking this way too often 🙈) Whatever After, and One Reflection are just a few of my favorites!

As each page flipped, the smile on my face and in my heart grew bigger and bigger! The story may be simple and intended to make little girls want to buy the dolls, but it’s still a great book! It’s supposed to be cheesy, so there’s not much one could complain about!

I’m a firm believer in no spoilers, so you’ll have to read the book yourself to see why I feel the way I do about it! 🤓

Emoji Response: 😁❤️😂

5 out 5 ⭐️ rating!

A Wonderlandiful World

I really wanted to love this book as much as I loved the first two, but I couldn’t. Except for a few references to the first two books, this book often felt like a different story altogether. This was largely due to the fact that it was narrated from the point of view of two entirely different characters than the first two. I understand the story is carried on in the tv show and books written by someone else, but I wish we had a bit more closure or explanation or something with Raven and Apple’s story in this book. It just wasn’t the same.

That said, I still loved it! And I will say, it was a bit more unpredictable than the first two, which I kind of liked actually!

If you read my first two reviews, then you won’t be surprised that I especially loved Maddie’s part in this book! I think it was really quite clever! 😁

And of course, the puns were still just as #hexellent as before! Haha.

I’m a firm believer in no spoilers, so you’ll have to read the book yourself to see why I feel the way I do about it! 🤓

Emoji Response: 😁❤️😂

4 out 5 ⭐️ rating!

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (with SPOILERS, duh!)

“Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.” I’ve waited YEARS for this story! As the story began, I must admit, I was feeling rather disappointed in how it was written. Most of the first act left me feeling disappointed and I almost dreaded continuing the story. It felt a lot like a fan fiction to me. I have no problem with fan fictions, but when I’m reading a story by the original author, a fan fic feel is not pleasant. Toward the end of the first act, things started to pick up some. I was getting into it more. Still, I wasn’t really feeling it much. It still seemed a bit… well, I guess still like a fan fic, a better quality fan fic, but still a fan fic. Finally, when Scorpius found himself in the Land of Voldemort, that’s when I really started to get into the story. I could see and feel how it was definitely a story by J.K. Rowling. It finally started to have the same feel that the original series has.

The Land of Voldemort hit me in the feels like a ton of bricks. Not only did I have to come face to face with Umbridge again, but I also had to come face to face with Voldemort again. Just thinking either name makes my skin crawl. Worse even still is that I had to come face to face with Snape again! The feels! I can’t even. My heart hurts so much! I’m not a huge fan of Snape, because I don’t care how in love he was or what he did or didn’t do to ‘redeem’ himself, he was an ass! Still, it sucks that he had to die. I feel like he could have redeemed himself in a better way than death by proving his character could be better. So, yes, his death did hurt! It hurt more when his soul was sucked from him just after Hermione and Ron’s souls were sucked from them. I know it wasn’t technically them, but I don’t care, seeing alternate worlds where Ron and Hermione were not only not married, but also killed by Dementores was AWFUL. It still hurts! I was SO GLAD when I read about Ron asking Hermione to renew their vows in the real world. It also hurt a LOT to see Cedric again. I wasn’t expecting to see him so up close and personal. My heart still hurts.

To be honest, I’m not a fan of Albus Severus Potter. He’s a jerk. I don’t care if he’s only shown from the ages of eleven to fourteen, he was a jerk. I do however really like Scorpius. It was a pleasant surprise to see that J.K. Rowling decided to redeem the Malfoy name in such an endearing way. It wasn’t enough to have Scorpius not be a jerk like his father once was, he was a genuinely sweet and lovable kid. His father. Oh. My. Gosh. I’m kind of in love with his father. Draco was a jerk for a really long time, but he was also incredibly misunderstood and lonely. He was in the most hated Hogwarts house. He was rejected by the one boy he hoped would be his friend—Harry Potter, and his parents were well-known Death Eaters. I always felt he redeemed himself the tiniest bit toward the end of the series. I also feel that he has officially redeemed himself in this new story. He still seems to have a few jerkish qualities, but he also seems to try to be kinder. As for Harry Potter, I like that we saw him from a third person point of view in this story rather than a first person point of view. We were able to see his flaws a bit more clearly, but we were also able to see the strengths that we’ve always known and loved. That is why Ginny married him after all. He saw her when few other people saw her. He loved her, even before he loved her, because that’s who he is. He was the unloved boy under the staircase, so he tries to love everyone. He fails in big ways sometimes, but his heart is almost always pointed in the right direction.

I love Ginny Weasley/Potter so much! I wish she had been shown a bit more in this story and in the previous stories too. If this is going to be last story we ever get from J.K. Rowling then it would have been nice to see more of her, but at least we saw her. We didn’t see any of James Sirius or Lilly Luna Potter, which irritates me a lot. We also didn’t see any of Hugo or much of Rose Granger-Weasley. We saw a bit of Rose, but only because she’s the same age as Albus and Scorpius.

What really got me into the story though was after Scorpius was able to get back to the real world with Albus and their families. Delphi. Dude! She came out of nowhere didn’t she? I suppose, maybe I should have at least had an inkling of an idea that she was the darkness in Albus’ world but beyond thinking she wasn’t the greatest of influences, I didn’t think much of her. Then she revealed who she really was. She revealed that she was evil and Harry and company learned that she was Voldemort’s daughter! Dude! How crazy is that? I suppose, maybe it’s not too crazy. Bellatrix always did love Voldemort just a little too much, but still! I was quite glad that it was a new villain and not actually Voldemort who was making Harry’s scar hurt. I didn’t really think it would be Voldemort, but I wasn’t sure of who or what else it could be. I must admit, my heart broke for Delphi when she revealed that what she really wanted was to see and talk to her father. No matter how good or bad our parents may be there’s always a part of us that wants to prove ourselves to them and often the desire to prove something to them is overpowered or multiplied in power by the desire to make them proud.

My heart broke all over again when Harry talked about always being an orphan. Then it shattered as he listened to his parents be murdered while squeezing tight to Ginny and Albus’ hands. I don’t know if my heart will ever be able to be mended again, but there’s only way to find out. I’m going to reread all of the books again! Then I’ll probably watch the movies and anxiously await the release of “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” It may not be a Harry Potter story, but I feel like it’s almost better in its own way, because it’s a brand new story with brand new characters!

I was not a fan of the first act really at all. The second got better, but really the whole first part of the book was rather dull and not entirely interesting to me. I loved Part Two so much though that it doesn’t really matter what happened in Part One. Draco Malfoy is a nicer better man whom I love. Harry Potter is the same troubled soul with a heart of gold that he’s always been. Ginny Weasley shed an interesting light on who she was as a young girl—someone who, like Draco, envied the friendship Ron, Hermione, and Harry shared. Hermione is still a badass and Ron…well, to be honest, Ron seemed a lot more like the idiot from the movies than the sarcastic and sometimes clever friend from the books. I guess I wasn’t really a fan of his character in this book. Albus, though a jerk through the bulk of the book, ended the story as someone who seemed like he would grow into a great wizard and an even greater man. Scorpius stole the show though. He is one of my top favorite characters from all of the books. Will I read this book again? I absolutely will! Was it my favorite? No! It wasn’t! “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” is my favorite book—because I love Ginny and Harry and that’s when they get together. Still, whether my favorite or not, I’m glad I read it. I’m glad it was written. I WILL read it again.