Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure by Allan Richard Shickman

Title: Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure
Written by: Allan Richard Shickman
Release date: July, 2007
Pages: 160
Source: Received by Earthshaker Books

My Feelings:


Description:
The hero, Zan-Gah seeks his lost twin in a savage prehistoric world, encountering suffering, captivity, conflict, love, and triumph. In three years, Zan-Gah passes from an uncertain boyhood to a tried and proven manhood and a position of leadership among his people. Themes: survival, cultures, gender roles, psychological trauma, nature's wonders and terrors.

My Review:
When Bonnie of Earth shaker Books asked me if I wanted to review these books I immediately said ‘yes’. I only read one book about the prehistoric, and it was a text book. So not a lot of fun there. I took the book with me on the train and read it on the rides to and from college. I am so glad that I said yes to the opportunity to read and review these books, because the first one is fun and enjoyable.

Zan-Gah is a very brave little boy. He’s desperate to find his lost twin brother and goes on this wild adventure to find and bring him back. On his adventure trough the rough landscape he’s challenged with the good and the bad and it’s up to him alone to deal with it.

The pace begins very slowly. The writer introduces us to the family, life and rituals and then when Zan-Gah goes away it went faster. A great way to get the reader interesting in Zan-Gah.

I thought that the writer did a amazing job describing the details of the places where Zan-Gah where. Also the descriptions of the people where exactly how I thought the people in this era would look like and acted. I did learned a lot about their lives and even though it’s for middle graders I enjoyed it very much.

This book is so much fun for young teens who would enjoy a good adventure book. My only complain is that this book is not translated into Dutch. The kids in my class would love to read this and they can learn so much from it. Because it’s very easy to read, I may even give this a try in the classroom and tell them about it.

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My Double Life by Janette Rallison

Title: My Double Life
Written by: Janette Rallison
Release date: May, 2010
Pages: 265
Source: Received from my mentor Lenore (IBBMP)

My Feelings:


Description:

Her whole life, Alexia Garcia has been told that she looks just like pop star Kari Kingsley, and one day when Alexia’s photo filters through the Internet, she’s offered a job to be Kari’s double. This would seem like the opportunity of a lifetime, but Alexia’s mother has always warned her against celebrities.

Rebelliously, Alexia flies off to L.A. and gets immersed in a celebrity life. Not only does she have to get used to getting anything she wants, she romances the hottest lead singer on the charts, and finds out that her own father is a singing legend. Through it all, Alexia must stay true to herself, which is hard to do when you are pretending to be somebody else!

My Review:
When you ask teenage girls what they dream about, a lot of them would say a celebrity life, full of glitz, glamour and designer clothes. A life in the spotlight. They don’t think about the drama, the pressure and the media that comes along with it. Neither does Alexia...at first.

Alexia’s character was really sweet and you could tell that she wanted only the best for others and herself. She was also very independent, smart and very grounded. A character that a lot of girls can relate too.

This book is filled with drama and it makes you want to read it even faster than you already are. Questions keep popping in your mind when she makes the wrong decision over and over again while trying to be true to herself. Is there going to be a happy ending for Alexia? Can love survive the lies?

I have to say that the writing is very good. It was easy to read and the characters were well developed. The comments of the grandmother were hilarious. They made me laugh several times very loud.

This book is the first one that I read written by Janette Rallison and I loved it. I took a look at her website and it made me add some more to my growing list of books.

All in all, I adored the book and I believe it’s perfect for the summer. It’s easy, light, fun and heart-warming. A story that makes you fall in love with the characters and hope for a happy ending.

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Dutch Cover Alert

This idea/meme came from Jenny at Wondrous Reads.

United States - The Netherlands

I have to say that I like the paperback version way better than the US hardcover. I don't like the Dutch cover. It's just black with a purple flower on it. They could have done a way better job on it. Why didn't they use the cover of the US one and just changed the titles? Anyway, I am going for the US cover this week.

Here you can find the description of the book!

Would you pick the Dutch or US cover?

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In My Mailbox (23)

Every Sunday or Saturday (depends on how I feel) I will show you the books that I bought, received or borrowed! This meme/idea is hosted by TheStorySiren.

The Books that I RECEIVED are:
-Zan-Gah, A Prehistoric Adventure by Allan Richard Shichkman (Earthshaker Books)
-Zan-Gah and the Beautiful Country by Allan Richard Shichkman (Earthshaker Books)

And from my mentor I got:
-My Double Life by Janette Rallison (Lenore)
-The Snowball Effect by Holly Nicole Hoxter (Lenore)
-The Body Finder (Body Finder, #1) by Kimberly Derting(Lenore)
I also got with these books a lot of bookmarks and a hairclip. Thank you so much Lenore, they put a big smile on my face when I arrived home from Gent. Thank you!

The Book that I BOUGHT is:
-Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson

The Book that I WON is:
-Hush, Hush (Hush, Hush, #1) by Becca Fitzpatrick (Jenny)
Thank you Jenny for letting the contest be international, I am looking forward reading it.

Zan-Gah: A Prehistoric Adventure & the Beautiful Country by Allan Richard Shichkman
When Bonnie of Earthshaker Books asked me to review these books I willingly said ‘yes’. I only read a textbook from college about prehistoric life and as it is not my favourite subject I am interesting if I find it more interesting with these books. I already read the first book and I liked it. The review is coming very soon.
Wintergirls by Laurie Halse Anderson
I bought Wintergirls, just because I heard such amazing things about it. I don’t know when I want to read this, it is very serious and deep, so I think I will wait when the exams are over and I have a lot of more free time. Though I can’t wait to start.


My Double Life by Janette Rallison
Lauren mentioned in her review that it got a happy ending, so I am definitely looking forward reading this. I haven’t started it yet, but it’s on top of the other books! Happy endings are my favourites.

The Snowball Effect and The Body Finder also sound amazing. I am in aaaaw that I got those books from Lenore and I can't wait to dive into them. :)

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I'm ba-ack!


I’m ba-ack! Yes, I survived a week in Gent with the students of my class. It was amazing and so much fun. Very much educational, I learned a lot about the history of Gent and took lot of wonderful photo’s that I can use in my classes.

The first day we arrived we had a lot of luck, because the weather was amazing. Not too hot, but also not too cold. We could go out without our jackets. Because The Netherlands was playing football on the telly, a lot of the students went to a square where a big screen was airing the game. Me and my best friend didn’t wanted to see it, so we went into the city. We sat outside on a terrace and had these amazing sandwiches with salmon. Our view was fantastic. FYI Holland won!

When the game was over,we all went for a walk with our teachers. They told us a lot about the city and we took a lot of pictures.
The next day we went to Brugge. We went with the train and it was as amazing as Gent. Here we got a walking tour with our teachers. Again lots of information. Me and my best friend went in the break to the tower and climb up 600 stairs. We made it, but I’m not going to tell you how. LOL. We also went into a few churches!

On the third day we went to a medieval castle in Gent. Medieval is my favourite subject to learn and read about. So I was really excited, when we went inside and looked around. Our guide was this female who knew a lot about the castle and she was telling with so much enthusiasm that time flew bye.

On Thursday we went to Ieper. This city was completely destroyed in World War I. The museum was great and left a big impression on all of the students. Here I bought a book about the War and a card with the famous poem on it. (Flanders Field)

And now we are back! The city was amazing and if you ever go to Belgium, you must see Gent. We have a few exams next week, so I’m not going to spend a lot of time on the internet. You can still enter my international contest till the 9th of July.

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International Contest

THIS CONTEST IS CLOSED.

So Monday 14th of June till Friday the 18th I will be on a excursion in Belgium. I am going with the students of my class and some teachers to Gent. The plan is to visit a lot of museums, learn about the history of the city and have a lot of fun. Yes we do have some free time! Three years ago I went to Antwerp, a big city in Belgium but I never been to Gent, so I’m pretty excited. I will make a lot of photo’s and when I’m back I will tell you all about the trip. This means that I will be missing in action this week and am not able to post any comments or posts. Sorry, but you have to miss ‘Dutch Covers’ this week. Promise I will make it up to you. How about right now!

You can WIN this fantastic, cute, adorable pink book called Kisses for Lula.
Nina, please tell us what’s the book about.


Well here’s the description:
This title features the hilarious twisting-turning plots and ludicrous escapades of a brand new star, Lula Bird! Lula Bird is gorgeous, funny and dreading her birthday because you can't turn 16 if you've never been kissed...So why does every boy in Hambledon run a mile the second she bats her eyelids? The fact is, they fear for their lives. Rumour has it Lula's been jinxed! And it's not as if that's her only problem: Lula thinks she has a stalker, her dad keeps sneaking out at night with a lady's handbag, and a mysterious theft is threatening to bring the town to its knees...

If that isn’t enough to convince you to enter this contest read my review here.

The rules:
- It’s international so everyone can enter
- The contest runs from today till the 9th of July
- Just fill out this form and you will be entered to win this book

How to get extra entries:
6 for old follower
4 for new follower
2 for tweeting, posting about it or put it on your sidebar, leave link
2 for leaving a comment on my review for this book

Good luck to you all and I’ll be back next Saturday!
Also if the form doesn’t work properly, you can e-mail me at Nina.happyendings@yahoo.co.uk Put your email and extra entries in it.
Or just comment on this post! No worries.

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Kisses for Lula by Samantha Mackintosh

Title: Kisses for Lula
Written by: Samantha Mackintosh
Release date: June, 2010
Pages: 360
Source: Received by Harper Collins UK

My Feelings:



Description:
This title features the hilarious twisting-turning plots and ludicrous escapades of a brand new star, Lula Bird! Lula Bird is gorgeous, funny and dreading her birthday because you can't turn 16 if you've never been kissed...So why does every boy in Hambledon run a mile the second she bats her eyelids? The fact is, they fear for their lives. Rumour has it Lula's been jinxed! And it's not as if that's her only problem: Lula thinks she has a stalker, her dad keeps sneaking out at night with a lady's handbag, and a mysterious theft is threatening to bring the town to its knees...

My Review:
When a package arrived at my house, imagine my surprise when I saw that this sweet book was in it. I haven’t heard anything about it, but one look at that adorable, pink cover I knew it was right for me. Okay, so pink is not my favourite colour, but it still shouts sweetness to me!

Lula Bird is fifteen year old and has mayor problems that she needs to solve before she turns sixteen. The girl has never been kissed, oh my, thinks someone is stalking her, what about that imagination and there’s something totally weird going on with her dad, can’t argue that. She has a couple of days before her birthday comes and with a reputation of being a jinx a kiss is the hardest problem she needs to take care of.
Thankfully there are two handsome boys who can be the possible candidates for Lula.

Lula Bird is such a fun character and with these teenage problems a lot of teenagers can relate to her. The arguments between Lula and her little sister are hilarious and so true. They reminded me of the arguments and fights I had with my older sisters.

The plot is cute and not at all predictable. I love that there are two candidates for her first kiss, but I was rooting the whole time for someone else. So imagine my surprise that it was someone else who kissed Lula.
The book is filled with short chapters and in every chapter something is going on. This made the book so much fun and easy to read. Also quite fast. I loved that I could take this book with me on the train and that I could end each chapter when I got out.

With fun dialogues, short chapters and a cute plot this book is right for every teenager on earth and for everyone who loves a lot of drama.

P.s. Wouldn’t Lula be the perfect little sister for Lola from the book/movie ‘Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen’?

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Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator by Janni Nell

Title: Allegra Fairweather: Paranormal Investigator
Written by: Janni Nell
Release date: July, 2010
Pages: 209
Source: Net Galley, Carina Press

My Feelings:


Description:
Allegra Fairweather here. Paranormal investigator. Got problems with specters? Shape shifters? I'm the woman to call. Just don't call me a Ghostbuster. The last guy who did that ended up flat on his back with my boot at his throat.
With my 99.5% success rate, solving the mystery of a bleeding rose that has sprung up on the shores of Loch Furness should have been an easy gig. But already I've heard the shriek of the local banshee, discovered two bodies (and then lost two bodies), and had a near-death encounter with a three-hundred-year-old ghost. And perhaps most dangerous of all, the hot pub owner who hired me now wants to show me exactly what's under his kilt.
Luckily, I'm ably assisted by my very own guardian angel. I'm grateful for his help-but he's also drop-dead gorgeous. A bit distracting when I've got a mystery to solve, and the clock is ticking...

My Review:
I think I found another kick ass series that I am going to follow. However the downfall is that it’s a e-book, so when I had to stop reading, I was sad I couldn’t take it with me on the train. But besides that I loved it.

Allegra Fairweather, isn’t that name so fun and it fits the girl so good, is a twenty five year old girl who has a unusual job. Yep that’s right, she’s a paranormal investigator, that tries to solve problems most people run far away from. Her step dad, a senator and mother decided not to expose the job from her daughter, just to be sure that it doesn’t cause problems for the senator. Her birth dad is out of the picture, and Allegra feels like she’s al alone. Well except that she has a guardian angel, Casper. And whenever danger shows up, he shows up as well. Allegra is a strong female character, I mean with a job like that you got to be, but she also has a sensitive side which we also get to know throughout the story.

When she finds herself across the ocean to solve a mysterious job, the problems become more bigger than she thought they first where. I have to admit that the mystery was really good, but it was quite easy to find out who the badass was. Nevertheless there was so much going on that I didn’t know how Allegra on her own would handle everything and solve the problems, this made me want to read on and on. .

The dialogue between the characters is witty and fun. I especially loved the dialogue between Casper and Allegra, it made me laugh out loud a few times. Why must there always be a forbidden love in such stories? They make me sad.

I hope that Janni Nell decides to make this e-book into a regular paper book, because a hardcover of this I would buy in a heart beat. Are you addicted to the paranormal world and would love to be a paranormal investigator like Allegra, this book is so up your alley. The ending is as amazing as the beginning and I cannot wait to see what comes next on the journey of Allegra. Janni Nell you got me hooked!

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Dutch Cover Alert

Normally on Wednesday, but because I have no time tommorow it's up today!
This idea/meme came from Jenny at Wondrous Reads.

United States - The Netherlands

I adore that they still used the red umbrella on the cover of the Dutch book. That makes me think that they really thought about the cover. I really love the Dutch cover, it reminds me of Mary Poppins. I don't know why, but it just does. I really like that you can see the houses beneath the girls legs on the US cover. But overall I like the blue, the light on the umbrella and the umbrella on the Dutch cover.

Here you can find the description of the book!

Would you pick the Dutch or US cover?

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The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall by Mary Downing Hahn

Title: The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall

Written by: Mary Downing Hahn
Release date: September , 2010
Pages: 160
Source: Net Galley, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

My Feelings:


Description:
When twelve-year-old Florence boards the crowded horse-drawn coach in London, she looks forward to a new life with her great uncle and aunt at Crutchfield Hall, an old manor house in the English countryside. Anything will be better, she thinks, than the grim London orphanage where she has lived since her parents' death. But Florence doesn't expect the ghost of her cousin Sophia, who haunts the cavernous rooms and dimly lit hallways of Crutchfield and concocts a plan to use Florence to help her achieve her murderous goals. Will Florence be able to convince the others in the household of the imminent danger and stop Sophia before it's too late?

My Review:
The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall is a short haunting story, that reminded me a little bit of Northanger Abbey. The dark road to the house and the exterior of it had a familiar touch which I adored.

Florence is a young girl who lives in a orphanage, but one day out of the blue she’s going to live with her great uncle and aunt at Crutchfield Hall. At Crutchfield Hall she finds out that she isn’t allowed to see her cousin James and feels that someone is haunting the place. It’s up to Florence to stop the ghost who is haunting her nephew and now starts to go after her too.

I liked the characters, especially the main character. Florence had a passion for books, especially books written by Jane Austen and Charles Dickens. When she curled up on the couch to read a book in the same room where her uncle sits reading, it makes me want to do this too. So comfy. I loved that the little girl reads such amazing classic books, a smart little girl.

The story was great, but it went a little bit too fast for me. I loved to learn more about the life Florence had in the orphanage. Also a little more depth would have been great. We didn’t learn the reason why she was in the orphanage in the first place and the feelings that she had.

All in all I really liked The Ghost of Crutchfield Hall. I do recommend this to younger teens and those who enjoy a short spooky story.

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Shadow of the Vampire by Meagan Hatfield

Title: Shadow of the Vampire
Written by: Meagan Hatfield
Release date: July, 2010
Pages: 368
Source: Net Galley, Harlequin

My Feelings:


Description:
Vampire princess Alexia Feodorovna has been undead for 125 years, so it's been a while since any man has made her pulse race. Until Declan Black. One look at his bronzed body and a fire like no other consumes her. Then she discovers that he's a dragon lord come to take revenge on the vamps who killed his parents. And claim a crystal said to imbue its owner with incredible powers. Alexia is ordered to torture and kill the dragon lord. Yet with each reckless encounter, she finds herself consumed by his fiery passion. A passion Declan battles, as well. Will he be able to resist the fire of lust she kindles within him and keep revenge in his heart? Or will he risk everything to quench the burning desire and claim the vampire as his own?

My Review:
Can I hear a woohoo!! So as you know the book is not my usual type to read. I only have read one book that kind of reminds me of this one and it’s called ‘A Highlander’s Temptation’ by Sue-Ellen Welfonder. I enjoyed that book a lot, so when I looked some books up at net-galley I decided to give this one a try. Oh my, am I glad I did that.

There are three groups living in this world, first there are the people, second the vampires and third the dragons. The people live in total oblivion, but the vampires and dragons know of each other and hate each other guts.

Vampire princess Alexia lives with her mother and almost step dad underneath, hidden from the sunlight. The dragons live high above in a cave. The details about these two places are really good described and you feel like you are there with the characters. When the vampires kill the queen and king of the dragons, their son Declan seeks revenge.

But in his journey to kill the vampires he get captures and the journey begins. He meets Alexia and they feel this strong connection to each other. I loved their connection and the scenes between them are very well written and GOOD!

Declan is as strong as Alexia and they both have been trough a lot. Alexia is brave, fierce and seriously can kick some major ass. They where just perfect for each other. Also I loved the sister of Declan and the whole time I couldn’t wait to read what she thought of the whole situation. I’m so glad that the second book is going to be about her. I just have to mention this, that she did made a huge mistake in the book! If you read it, you know what I mean.

The story begins with an action scene and seriously it never stops with the action. I loved it. It got me hooked from the beginning and when I had to stop because I had to go to work or college I didn’t want to stop. The story is so addicted, there is just so many going on that you cannot let it go.

This book is going to be bought, because I just adore it. I would recommend this to everyone who loves a story packed with action, strong characters, hot steamy scenes and again action!

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Pearl in the Sand by Tessa Afshar

Title: Pearl in the Sand

Written by: Tessa Afshar
Release date: September, 2010
Pages: 336
Source: Net Galley, Moody Publishers
Part of: Orbis Terrarum Reading 2010 Challenge
Author Place of Birth: Iran

My Feelings:


Description:
Can a Canaanite harlot who has made her livelihood by looking desirable to men make a fitting wife for one of the leaders of Israel? Shockingly, the Bible's answer is yes. At the age of fifteen Rahab is forced into prostitution by her beloved father. In her years as a courtesan, she learns to mistrust men and hate herself. Into the emotional turmoil of her world walks Salmone, a respected leader of Judah. Through the tribulations of a stormy relationship, Rahab and Salmone learn the true source of one another's worth in God and find healing from fear and rejection.

My Review:
Wow. This story is breathtaking and heart-warming. It has been a while that I read a story that was written in the bible and made out to be a book. I wanted to read this story as soon as I saw that gorgeous cover and I am so happy that I did.

Rahab was strong, mind set and didn’t let anything or anyone close to her heart. She had unbelievable strength and a deep love for her family that she sold her body for them. She didn’t asked for anything in return, but you could feel that she longed for something no one could give to her. She made the best out of the bad situation she was in. And one day a customer called Debir tells her about the God, who the Hebrews put their faith in. He’s different from the Gods they believe in Jericho. Rahab wants to hear everything Debir knows about this God and finds the God of the Hebrews fascinated. When she was younger her sister and husband give their only son to a priest to sacrifice him to their Gods. They believed that this was necessary to get a better life. When their lives didn’t became better, but worse, the trust she had in them changed. No longer did she believed in them as good Gods, but as blood thirsty Gods who want everything and gives nothing in return. The Gods of Jericho is so different from this new God she never heard of, this God is forgiving and kind to his people. To hear the stories about this God, she slowly opens her heart to him.

Salmone is a strong leader of soldiers of Judah.
With his parents murdered on a young age, he had to take care of his little sister Miriam. Taking care of her and the responsibility that comes with that made Salmone grew up fast. When he finds out that two of his best soldiers made a deal with a courtesan, he’s mad. He doesn’t want her and her family to stay with them. He thinks that they are going to cause problems among his people. But when he meets her and looks into her eyes, his feelings changes into something called love. But how could a hard stubborn men accept the past of this beautiful young woman?

The journey that lay ahead of them is a hard one, but if they put their faith in each other and God they will make it. I love this story so much. It truly is one of the best love stories, I read so far this year. It has such a strong message in it, that it’s hard not to tell it to you without spoiling it. If you haven’t read the bible or the story, and you are not religious this is still a really good story to read. Of course in every chapter, almost every chapter God has a place, so if you are not up to that, this is so not for you.

The title of the book fits the story so well, the scene with the pearl made me cry.
Another book that I will look out for in September.

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Dutch Cover Alert

This idea/meme came from Jenny at Wondrous Reads.

United States - The Netherlands

There are a lot of covers for this book, so I do hope I got the right US one. If not, please tell me, so I can change it.
I don't know what to think of the Dutch Cover, I mean what does the girl want to do before she dies. Really? I pretty much get the idea that it has to do something with a guy. LOL. I wished we could see their faces on the cover too, that would make the cover a lot better. The US cover is nice, but misses something. I also do not like the font they use for the title. I don't like both of the covers, so no country wins this time for me.

Here you can find the description of the book!

Would you pick the Dutch or US cover?

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