Review: A Wedding in December

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Rating: ★★★½

I received this book for free from the publisher (Harlequin) as part of their bookstagram publicity campaign. 

I’ve read one other Sarah Morgan book and loved it so I was really looking forward to reading this one. However, I didn’t love this book as much as I thought I would. 

My main issue was the amount of inner dialogue. In the beginning of the book, so much time was spent just on the inner feelings of the 3 main characters. That could have been condensed down significantly. It wasn’t hard to grasp how the characters were feeling, so a lot of the inner dialogue felt repetitive and didn’t do much to advance the story. The book fee a little bogged down by it. 

The other thing I didn’t quite love was that the ending was a little anti-climatic. There was some stuff that happened off page that I wanted to see play out in the book.  

As for the things I liked, I did like the setting. It will give you massive vacation envy. It truly was a winter wonderland which made it perfect to read during the holiday season. 

I also liked that one of the storylines focused on the parents’ romantic relationship. That was refreshing to see. You don’t often see older couples in romance novels. 

Overall, this book didn’t quite meet my expectations, but it was still enjoyable. 

Review: One Day at Disney

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review as part of a blog tour.

When I first heard about this book I was beyond excited because I actually have the old One Day at Disney book that Disney put out in 2000. That book shows one day at the Disney parks. 

This book goes above and beyond the parks and shows cast members in all areas of the company. I loved the range of people and jobs they showcased. One of my favorites was Thomas Self, who checks the underwater mechanics of The Jungle Cruise. Who knew that Disneyland had divers to do that? My other favorite was Cyril Soreau, who is a fruit and Vegetable sculptor at Disneyland Paris. Aside from park jobs, jobs in Imagineering, television/film, hospitality, and live entertainment were all featured. 

The write-ups on each person were incredibly well done. I felt like I really got to know each person and what made them and their job unique. 

The book itself is a massive coffee table book that is absolutely gorgeous. The pictures are stunning. It is definitely a book you will want to proudly display. 

Overall, this book is perfect for fans of all things Disney. It gives fans an exclusive behind the scenes look into the magic of Disney. 


Title: ONE DAY AT DISNEY

Author: Bruce Steele, Bob Iger (Introduction)

Pub. Date: December 3, 2019

Publisher: Disney Editions Deluxe

Formats: Hardcover

Pages: 224

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD, Target, Disney Store

Disney+ Subscribers can watch the original documentary on December 3rd!

Discover what it’s like to report to work every day for The Walt Disney Company. Step behind the scenes to immerse yourself in one “ordinary” day at Disney. In addition to the book, the Disney+ team was on hand to capture stories along the way. A full-length documentary and 52 short-form episodes expand the profiles and delve deeper into the essence of what it’s like to be a Disney cast member.

On a Thursday in 2019, a small army of photographers and videographers scattered across the globe to capture what goes on beyond those tantalizing “Cast Members Only” doors – whether eavesdropping on historic endeavors or typical tasks. All the photos in this book were taken on that single Thursday, beginning early in Tokyo and following the sun around the world through Shanghai, Hong Kong, Paris, Madrid, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, and dozens of places throughout the United States. More than 40 hours after it began, the day ended as the sun set on the Aulani resort in Hawaii.

On that day, some 80 Cast Members agreed to open up their workshops, dressing rooms, kitchens, cubicles, TV studios, labs, locomotive engines – and some even more surprising and diverse work spaces. They also shared their stories: childhood dreams and chapters, career pivots and triumphs, workaday hurdles and joys. It was just a day in the life, as extraordinary as any other day at Disney. As any Cast Member can tell you, a Disney job is less a destination than a limitless journey. And for just One Day at Disney, we can all tag along for the ride.

Book & Documentary Trailer:

About Bruce:

Bruce C. Steele is a journalist and Disney fan with a long career of profiling the famous and the unheralded, from the pastry chefs at the Biltmore Estate to the stars of Disney’s Mary Poppins Returns. A Pennsylvania native and University of Alabama graduate, he started his career at a daily newspaper in Louisiana and most recently worked at the paper in his current home of Asheville, North Carolina. In between he was the executive editor of Out magazine and the editor in chief of The Advocate newsmagazine and also took time to get an MFA in film studies from Columbia University. He has lived in New York City and Los Angeles, where his husband was a Disney animator. He’s now a freelance writer and regular contributor to Disney’s twenty-three magazine. Apart from this book, some of his favorite past interviews have been Emma Watson, Sir Ian McKellen, Episcopal Bishop Gene Robinson and crawfish farmers in the Louisiana bayou.

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About Bob:

Robert A. Iger Chairman and Chief Executive Officer The Walt Disney Company Robert A. Iger is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Walt Disney Company. As Chairman and CEO, Mr. Iger is the steward of one of the world’s largest media companies and some of the most respected and beloved brands around the globe. His strategic vision for The Walt Disney Company focuses on three fundamental pillars: generating the best creative content possible; fostering innovation and utilizing the latest technology; and expanding into new markets around the world. 

Mr. Iger has built on Disney’s rich history of unforgettable storytelling with the acquisitions of Pixar (2006), Marvel (2009), Lucasfilm (2012) and 21st Century Fox (2019), as well as the landmark 2016 opening of Disney’s first theme park and resort in Mainland China, Shanghai Disney Resort. Always one to embrace new technology, Mr. Iger has made Disney an industry leader through its creative content offerings across new and multiple platforms, most recently leveraging cutting-edge direct-to-consumer technology to successfully launch the Disney+ streaming service on November 12, 2019 and ESPN+ in 2018. 

Disney’s exceptional entertainment experiences, widely diverse content, and unique skill in managing businesses in an integrated manner have led to strong results. During Mr. Iger’s tenure, The Walt Disney Company has been recognized as one of the “Most Reputable Companies” in both America and the world by Forbes magazine (2006-2019); one of the “Best Employers” in both America and the world by Forbes magazine (2019 and 2018, respectively); one of the “World’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune magazine (2009-2019); one of the “World’s Most Respected Companies” by Barron’s (2009-2017); one of the “Best Places to Launch a Career” by BusinessWeek magazine (2006-2010); and as “Company of the Year” by Yahoo Finance (2013). 

Prior to his current role, Mr. Iger served as President and Chief Executive Officer beginning October 2005 and President and Chief Operating Officer from 2000-2005. Mr. Iger officially joined the Disney senior management team in 1996 as Chairman of the Disney-owned ABC Group and in 1999 was given the additional responsibility of President, Walt Disney International. In that role, Mr. Iger expanded and coordinated Disney’s presence outside of the United States, establishing the blueprint for the Company’s international growth today. As Chairman of the ABC Group, Mr. Iger oversaw the broadcast television network and station group, cable television properties, and radio and publishing businesses and also guided the complex merger between Capital Cities/ABC, Inc. and The Walt Disney Company. During Mr. Iger’s years with ABC, he obtained hands-on experience in every aspect of the television business—including news, sports, and entertainment—as well as in program acquisition, rights negotiations, and business affairs. He began his career at ABC in 1974. 

Mr. Iger has been named one of the “World’s Most Powerful People” by Forbes magazine (2018); one of Fortune magazine’s “25 Most Powerful People in Business” (2006, 2007); one of the “Top Gun CEOs” by Forbes magazine (2009); one of the “Best CEOs” by Institutional Investor magazine (2008, 2009, 2010, 2011); MarketWatch CEO of the Year (2006); and “CEO of the Year” by Chief Executive (2014). Mr. Iger serves on the boards of the National September 11 Memorial & Museum and Bloomberg Philanthropies. In 2012, Mr. Iger became a member of the Academy of Arts & Sciences, one of the nation’s most prestigious honorary societies, which recognizes some of the world’s most accomplished scholars, scientists, writers, artists, and civic, corporate, and philanthropic leaders. 

Mr. Iger is a graduate of Ithaca College.

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Giveaway Details: 

3 winners will win a finished copy of ONE DAY AT DISNEY, US Only. To enter click here.

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

11/18/2019For the Love of KidLitReview/Feature
11/19/2019Pooled InkReview/Feature
11/20/2019HBB ReviewsReview/Feature
11/21/2019onemusedReview/Feature
11/22/2019FictitiouswonderlandReview/Feature

Week Two:

11/25/2019DevourbookswithdanaReview/Feature
11/26/2019Eli to the nthReview/Feature
11/27/2019BookHounds Review/Interview
11/28/2019What A Nerd Girl Says Review/Feature
11/29/2019Not In Jersey Review/Feature

Week Three:

12/2/2019BookishRealmReviewsReview/Feature
12/3/2019Savings in SecondsReview/Feature
12/4/2019Life Within The PagesReview/Feature
12/5/2019PopthebutterflyReview/Feature
12/6/2019YA Book NerdReview/Feature

Week Four:

12/9/2019Novel NoviceReview/Feature
12/10/2019She Dreams in FictionReview/Feature
12/11/2019She Just Loves BooksReview/Interview
12/12/2019NerdophilesReview/Feature
12/13/2019Paper ReaderReview/Feature

Week Five:

12/16/2019Here’s to Happy Endings Review/Feature
12/17/2019fictitious.foxReview/Feature
12/18/2019The Reading Corner for AllReview/Feature
12/19/2019Wonder Struck Review/Feature
12/20/2019Simply Daniel RadcliffeReview/Feature

Week Six:

12/23/2019Odd and BookishReview/Feature
12/24/2019Southern Girl BookaholicReview/Feature
12/25/2019Two Chicks on BooksReview/Feature
12/26/2019Thepagesinbetween Review/Feature
12/27/2019Two points of interestReview/Feature

Review: 10 Blind Dates

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Rating: ★★★★★

I received this book for free as part of a blog tour

This was such a cute YA Christmas romance! I honestly wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. 

First off, I loved the premise. 10 blind dates picked by family members is a hilarious idea. The execution was great as well. There were some cute dates and some OMG dates (like the one that her twin cousins set up). 

I also loved the emphasis on family, both with her immediate and extended family. I loved the bond Sophie had with her pregnant older sister, Margot. It was so heartwarming to see how much they supported one another. Additionally, Sophie’s extended family was insane, but so lovable. You couldn’t help but laugh at their craziness (like them placing bets on what time she came home from her dates). Despite that, they all cared for Sophie and wanted to help her get over her heartbreak. 

The pacing of the book was amazing. It was faced paced but at the same time everything was well developed and there was no insta-love. This book could have very easily dragged on in some parts, but didn’t. 

Overall, this was the perfect YA holiday read. It’s light, fluffy, and full of Christmas cheer! 

Review: The PLAIN Janes

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Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from The NOVL in exchange for an honest review. 

Please note that since this is an ARC, it only includes the first 2 installments and a sneak peek at the third installment. Therefore, my review is based only on these parts.

I really liked this graphic novel and the story it told. The book deals with many relevant topics such as terrorism and PTSD. I was happy that the book didn’t shy away with showing the mental effects that terrorism has on people. Jane’s mother is the perfect example of that. 

I liked how the girls came together to make a statement using art. Art is such an important tool in enacting societal change. 

I loved the artwork and stylization of the text. Both the illustrations and the text were clear and easy to follow. If you find graphic novels to be a bit distracting, you might want to try this one. 

I’m really glad that all the installments were put together in this book because they all come together nicely. For example, the first installment, “The PLAIN Janes,” sort of just ends abruptly. But the second installment, “Janes in Love,” really builds upon the first. I only got a sneak peek at the third one, “Janes Attack Back,” but from what I read, I think it will be a satisfying conclusion.

Overall, I enjoyed this graphic novel and am looking forward to seeing how it all ends. 

Review: Christmas by Accident

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Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free for review purposes.

This was such a cute Christmas read! 

The story was relatively simple and doesn’t go too in-depth, but it totally worked for this book. This is a great book to read if you are looking to get into the holiday spirit because it has a little of everything. There’s some romance, familial love and reconnections, a cute bookstore with a cafe, and a ton of Christmas spirit. What more could you want? 

I loved the two main characters, Carter and Abby. It was nice seeing the two of them come together and I loved how they were both bookish and into writing. The supporting characters were also great. One of my favorites was Carter’s coworker, Lenny. 

This book is also short enough to read in a day, so if you want to squeeze in a last minute holiday read, this is perfect.

Lastly, as a bonus, there are recipes at the end for holiday themed treats! 

Overall, this is a short and sweet Christmas romance with a lot of heart. If you are looking to read just one Christmas book this year, read this one! 

Review: Let It Snow

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Rating: ★★★

I received this book for free from Penguin Teen for promotional purposes.

I was really excited to read this because I wanted to watch the movie on Netflix. For once, I was good and actually read the book first. I haven’t watched the movie yet but I will at some point in the next few days so my review is solely based on the book.

As a whole, I found this to be underwhelming. I had such high hopes but it didn’t quite reach them. This book was originally published in 2008 and I felt like this was a very typical YA book from that time. There was nothing that really drew me in and made me fall in love with it. I also didn’t feel any sort of attachment to the characters. I felt sort of meh about all of them. 

As for the three stories, the best one was The Jubilee Express, followed by The Patron Saint of Pigs and A Cheertastic Christmas Miracle. 

I did like that even though they were three separate stories, they still felt cohesive, as if they were all a part of the same novel. I liked that some of the characters crossed over into the other stories. That helped tie everything together nicely. 

Overall, this book wasn’t what I was expecting, but if want a cheesy YA romance to read for Christmas, give it a shot! 


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Review: Dare to Be You

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Rating: ★★★

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

This book is basically a collection of quotes from famous women and a few men. The book is divided into short little chapters based on themes like being yourself and caring for the planet.

The selection of women featured was expansive. You had everyone from politicians like Nancy Pelosi and Stacey Abrams to actresses like Jane Fonda and Amy Poehler. 

At the end of the book there are short biographies of all the people who were quoted. I kind of wished that these bios were incorporated throughout the book to help break up all the quotes. It got a little tiring reading a bunch of quotes without anything there to mix it up. Having the biographies intermixed would help with that. It would also help give the quotes some context because I’m sure there are some people who read this book who won’t know who everyone is. Also, a lot of quotes would be more impactful if you knew the story behind the woman saying it. 

Overall, I would recommend this book to young girls and teens. I think this book would really resonate with them and would make a great gift.