Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

Review: Calamity by Brandon Sanderson

June 14th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: February 16, 2016

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: ★★★★☆

About the book

When Calamity lit up the sky, the Epics were born. David’s fate has been tied to their villainy ever since that historic night. Steelheart killed his father. Firefight stole his heart. And now Regalia has turned his closest ally into a dangerous enemy.

David knew Prof’s secret, and kept it even when the Reckoners’ leader struggled to control the effects of his Epic powers. But facing Obliteration in Babilar was too much. Prof has now embraced his Epic destiny. He’s disappeared into those murky shadows of menace Epics are infamous for the world over, and everyone knows there’s no turning back. . . .

But everyone is wrong. Redemption is possible for Epics—Megan proved it. They’re not lost. Not completely. And David is just about crazy enough to face down the most powerful High Epic of all to get his friend back. Or die trying.

My Thoughts

I have to just say again what an amazeballs series this has been. I read all 3 books in the span of 4 or 5 days because I could not put them down. It’s been about a week since I’ve read them and I’m still telling everyone that they have to go read this series. A good friend started it the other day and finished book 1 the same day as well. So trust me, this is a must read.

Firefight really left me on the edge of my seat wondering what was going to happen next. Who was going to survive? What was David going to do? There were some twists and turns I didn’t see coming. While this book was good I did give it 4 stars instead of the 5 I gave books 1 and 2 as I felt the ending was a bit rushed. I was still left with some questions and while it looks like the series is now done I didn’t feel like every thread was wrapped up. Still a pretty satisfying conclusion. Could have been stronger but still a must read series and I can’t wait to read more from Sanderson.

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Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Fantasy, Young Adult | No Comments »

Review: Firefight by Brandon Sanderson

June 12th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Borrowed from the library

Publication date: January 6, 2015

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Babylon Restored, formerly Manhattan, may give David answers. Ruled by the mysterious High Epic, Regalia, David is sure Babylon Restored will lead him to what he needs to find. And while entering another city oppressed by a High Epic despot is a gamble, David’s willing to risk it. Because killing Steelheart left a hole in David’s heart. A hole where his thirst for vengeance once lived. Somehow, he filled that hole with another Epic—Firefight. And he’s willing to go on a quest darker, and more dangerous even, than the fight against Steelheart to find her, and to get his answers.

My Thoughts

If you read my review of Steelheart you know I immediately went looking for this book as soon as I finished Steelheart. I just had to know what was going to happen with Firefight and what up next for the Reckoners now that they had defeated Steelheart. Sometimes I feel like book 2 in series tend to be the weaker book as it tends to be a lot of setup for the culmination of a series in book 3 but this one definitely did not suffer from that curse.

We meet some new characters who were fine but Tia, Professor, and the rest of the original gang really hold my heart. Sanderson kept me guessing about this new villain, Regalia. I couldn’t decide if she was truly evil, was trying to fight the evil that came with her power or somewhere in between. The story line again was fascinating as we enter a new environment that is so different from what we saw in Steelheart. And then OMG, that ending! You definitely will not see it coming and just warning you, be prepared with book 3 on hand!

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Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Fantasy, Young Adult | No Comments »

Review: Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

June 7th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Purchased

Publication date: September 24, 2013

Publisher: Delacorte Press

Rating: ★★★★★

About the book

Ten years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

My Thoughts

If you’re looking for a new series to binge read I highly suggest you pick this one up and then clear your calendar. I was thinking for something different to read and this has been sitting on my Kindle for awhile. I’m glad I finally read it and glad that I had the weekend free because immediately upon finishing it I had to go get books 2 and 3.

If you love X-Men this series is right up your alley. It’s actually an interesting take on how would people behave if they were to suddenly develop special powers. Does power corrupt? Would people use their powers to help others? How would you react?

The main character, David, cracked me up. He’s not what you would expect from a typical hero. He’s kind of bumbling and comes up with the most hilariously random metaphors for every situation. I actually had to stop at times to laugh out loud and share his latest metaphor with my daughter. There were a few parts of the book that it killed me to stop reading to get some work done and the entire book was riveting. Definitely a must read series!

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Posted in 5 Star Books, Books, Fantasy, Young Adult | No Comments »

Podcast Thoughts: Jim Kwik – Activate Happiness in 5 Minutes with Alex & Mimi Ikonn

June 5th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

I’ve only recently started listening to Jim Kwik’s podcast and while out walking yesterday I listened to the episode about the 5-minute journaling. So many podcasts I listen to swear by journaling but I have to admit that it’s just something I haven’t been able to get into. I tried it after reading The Miracle Morning, I tried it after listening to Losing Weight with Phit ‘N Phat and it also came up during a parenting course I listened to but it just hasn’t stuck.

This 5 minute journaling did appeal to me. It wraps in several concepts I’ve been studying such as gratitude and listing things you are grateful for. It also includes daily affirmations which is something The Miracle Morning also stressed.  The other one that stuck out for me was reflecting on your day and look for the positive things that happened that day. They also suggest doing journaling first thing upon waking up and then right before bed.

I do want to try this so will see how it goes. To listen to the full episode you can check it out here.

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Review: Passion on Park Avenue by Lauren Layne

May 28th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Received for review

Publication date: May 28, 2019

Publisher: Gallery Books

Rating: ★★★☆☆

About the book

For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.

The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…

Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.

My Thoughts

I have to admit it pains me to give this book 3 stars because I love Lauren Layne’s writing so much but I have to admit this one just didn’t do it for me. The premise is interesting enough and I was curious to see how it would play out but neither main character got me invested in their story. Yes, I felt bad for Oliver for having to deal with his father’s condition, especially since he admits several times he didn’t actually like his father before he developed Alzheimer’s. Naomi’s character was lukewarm for me. I admire that she made so much of herself through hard work and her own grit but she just wasn’t as likeable as the heroines in other Lauren Layne books. Without caring much for either character I never really became invested in their relationship.

As for the storyline itself, it wasn’t bad but the ending was a big turn off for me. I didn’t care for the conflict, especially the way Oliver reacted. It made me actually dislike his character for being so cruel and brushing off Naomi’s feelings and past. I also felt like Naomi let him off too easily in the end and that he never truly felt remorse for the things he said to her.

The saving grace for me in this story was actually the supporting characters. I loved Naomi’s friends, Claire and Audrey, and I am hoping to see Clarke get his own book!

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Posted in 3 Star Books, Books, Contemporary, Romance | No Comments »

Blog Tour: Just One of the Groomsmen by Cindi Madsen Excerpt + Giveaway

May 19th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books


About the Book:

Addison Murphy is the funny friend, the girl you grab a beer with—the girl voted most likely to start her own sweatshirt line. And now that one of her best guy friends is getting married, she’ll add “groomsman” to that list, too. She’ll get through this wedding if it’s the last thing she does. Just don’t ask her to dive for any bouquet.
When Tucker Crawford returns to his small hometown, he expects to see the same old people, feel comfort in the same old things. He certainly doesn’t expect to see the nice pair of bare legs sticking out from under the hood of a broken-down car. Certainly doesn’t expect to feel his heart beat faster when he realizes they belong to one of his best friends.
If he convinces Addie to give him a chance, they could be electric…or their break-up could split their tight-knit group in two.
Hiding the way he feels from the guys through bachelor parties, cake tastings, and rehearsals is one thing. But just as Tucker realizes that Addie truly could be the perfect woman for him—he was just too stupid to realize it—now she’s leaving to follow her own dreams. He’s going to need to do a lot of compromising if he’s going to convince her to take a shot at forever with him—on her terms this time.

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The concern faded as a smile curved her red lips, somehow unsmudged despite the kissing and drinking. “Will just talks about your games so much, and I’d like to try my hand at it. I don’t think I could get my mother on board for poker at the reception, though. Pretty sure she’d have a heart attack if I even mentioned it. She thinks I’m crazy to be getting married here and moving here, and basically, she just thinks I’m plumb crazy. Which, when it comes to that sexy man over there…” Her gaze drifted to Shep and a dreamy quality entered her features. “I am.”“It’s nice to see, actually. And the townspeople will love you forever for having the wedding here and letting them be part of it.” Addie picked up one of the stray coasters and spun it to give her fingers something to do. “And I’m sorry about saying that wedding planning is boring. It just…”

“Is,” she supplied. “I mean for me it’s overwhelming, but like I said when I asked for your help, I know it’s not your thing.”

“I seriously don’t mind helping. But admittedly teaching you poker is something I’m way more qualified for.” It also gave Lexi more bonus points. Clearly she was embracing small town life and trying to fit into the group, and hopefully that meant things wouldn’t have to change too terribly much after they were married. It also gave her an excuse to text Tucker and ask him to bring by a deck of cards if he happened to swing by the bar to catch some of the game.

While Addie waited for his response, she and Lexi made yet another to-do list from the master to-do list. Addie took the items she thought she could handle, or at least could find townspeople willing to help make them happen. In a lot of ways, discussing everything that needed done and how they’d go about handling them highlighted their differences, but along the way, they also connected.

Which was probably why, when Tucker showed up and tossed a deck of cards across the room to Addie, Lexi felt comfortable enough to ask if she thought Tucker would be interested in Brittany. Evidently, the meticulous brunette couldn’t stop talking about the way he’d swooped in and offered his car, and how sexy he was.

What Addie wanted to say as she pulled the deck of cards out of the well-worn box was I’m not sure she’s his type. But his type had always been pretty Southern belles, ones who didn’t understand or care for Addie. So honestly, the bridesmaid was right up his alley, and now she was remembering that during the whole car-breakdown debacle, he’d requested she put in a good word. “Yeah, he’d probably be interested,” Addie said, and why did that make a pit form in her stomach?

It had to be because she’d been thinking about “what would happen if all her friends coupled off and she got left behind. But she forced herself to push that worry aside and say, “I’m sure he’d give her a call if you gave him her number.”

More gut sinking immediately followed, which was stupid. Well, not exactly stupid. They’d been apart for two years and it sucked. With him in a different city, and communication between them slowing to a trickle, there’d been a few times when she wondered if she was forgettable. Replaceable, even.

Mostly just on dark days when she’d been missing Tucker more than usual, or when she’d felt especially lonely. Part of the fault belonged to her, too. The roads went both ways and she could’ve made more of an effort. So she resolved to do better, even if he got a girlfriend. She’d also try to ignore the jealousy—jealousy she’d feel for anyone who took away any of her time with him.

She met his gaze, and he winked at her, a smug, semimocking grin on his lips that made it clear he was teasing her about her current wedding-planning situation. It also made her heart stutter the tiniest bit.

Underneath the table, she thumbed out a text.

ADDIE: FYI, I’m going to drag you with me to at least half these tasks, so wipe that smug look off your face.

TUCKER: Why don’t you come wipe it off for me?

A swirl went through her stomach. Because of the challenge—she loved a good challenge.

ADDIE: Oh, I’m coming for you. But it’ll be when you least expect it. Be afraid. Very afraid.

TUCKER: Unlike most guys, I’m not afraid of you.

Her mouth dropped. He did not just go there.


$15 Amazon Gift Card

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Meet the Author:

Cindi Madsen is a USA Today Bestselling author of contemporary romance and young adult novels. She sits at her computer every chance she gets, plotting revising, and falling in love with her characters. Sometimes it makes her a crazy person. Without it, she’d be even crazier. She has way too many shoes, but can always find a reason to buy a new pretty pair, especially if they’re sparkly, colorful, or super tall. She loves music, dancing, and wishes summer lasted all year long. She lives in Colorado (where summer is most definitely NOT all year long) with her husband and three children.

Connect: Site | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Posted in Blog Tour, Books, Contemporary, Romance | No Comments »

Podcast Thoughts: The Life Coach School Episode #244 Thinking Big

May 8th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Access The Life Coach School’s Episode #244 here.

As I mentioned in an earlier post I’ve been on the hunt to find books, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc. to help my kids grow and listen/watch things besides video game or random YouTube videos. I’ve stumbled across some great books and podcasts that have lead to some interesting discussions with my 8 year old and 11 year old. My 8 year old son and I listened to this episode while waiting for my 11 year old to finish practice and while this podcast is geared towards adults it had some great nuggets that my son was also able to apply to his life.

I found that both my kids will sometimes say that learning to do something new is “Impossible!” and that they will “never be able to figure it out” and want to give up trying. I’ve tried to point out to them that they’ve said this same thing when they were first trying to learn to ride a bike without training wheels or tie their shoelaces and now those things are pretty much second nature to them. In this podcast Brooke Castillo points out how beneficial and necessary it is to set “impossible goals” for ourselves and to think big because that is the only way we truly grow. It’s so easy to stay in our comfort zone and do the things we know we are good at and never venture beyond that but then you stay stagnant in life. She talks about business goals and weight loss goals but I pointed out to my son his big goals can be learning a new skill or right now he’s working on dealing with anger and frustration issues. Mastering that could be his big goal and we talked about how he could break down smaller goals to lead up to that ultimate goal, things he could do every day to work his way towards that goal and how to deal with potential obstacles to achieving that goal. I think having discussed those smaller steps and pointing out other “impossible goals” he has already achieved helped make his other goals seem more achievable even though they seem so big to him now. He did have me pause the podcast at some points to explain what certain words meant or to more fully explain a point Brooke made which I thought was great. He really listened to what she was saying and worked to understand how it could apply to him. This is a great podcast for both kids and adults.

Posted in Kids, Podcasts | No Comments »

Children’s Podcast Review: But Why? Episode: Why Is Money So Important

May 6th, 2019 by Debbie's World of Books

Access the But Why? episode here.

I’ve been working with my kids to read some self-development books or listen to some podcasts that aren’t necessarily video game related which is how they like to spend the bulk of their screen time doing and I stumbled across this great podcast called But Why? They have episodes on topics that are not only interesting to kids but also have some interesting nuggets of information. This episode was all about money and covered topics like the evolution of paying for items and services via bartering, trading shells for goods & services and eventually the creation of coins and paper money. It also talks about why people have to work, having to balance wanting things in life with how much money will it cost you, saving money and taking out loans to but things.

As we listened to the podcast my 8 year old, 11 year old and I discussed points that stood out to us. My 11 year old said she learned she never wants to borrow money because she doesn’t want to have to pay interest. So that lead to a discussion about does she really NEVER want to borrow money? Or are there situations where maybe the interest payment is worth what she could get by taking out the loan. My 8 year old was interested in why certain jobs pay more than others and how going to school and learning new things could affect the types of jobs he could get. They also loved that the podcast covered their question on why is the dime smaller than a penny if it’s worth more. I honestly didn’t know that answer myself and found the answer interesting. All in all, it was a great podcast and amazingly my 8 year old sat through the entire 24 minutes and was engaged the entire time.

Posted in Kids, Podcasts | No Comments »

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