Book Review: The Jerk Magnet by Melody Carlson

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐(⭐)

Summary

Chelsea Martin has always been the ugly duckling wallflower, just doing her best not to stand out and get made fun of. Then her dad makes a big announcement – they’re moving to California, and he’s marrying his girlfriend. Her new stepmother helps Chelsea with a complete makeover – and now she’s getting all the attention. While this is great for her confidence and making new friends, it also means she’s getting a lot of attention from jerks who only like her for her looks. Hence she is dubbed the “jerk magnet”.

What I Liked

  • This book does a great job of addressing what it’s like to be judged by your looks from many different perspectives. She’s attracting both positive and negative attention with her new looks, but she watches and sees how people treat those like she used to be.
  • This book sort of introduces CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy) without directly stating it. The character just works to refine her thoughts through a more positive lens. It was really cool to see this thought process because while CBT is super important (especially if you struggle with anxiety or depression), it’s not often conveyed in characters.

Neutral Observations

  • This is a Christian book. Just putting it out there in case that’s not your thing. 🙂
  • The book was a little outdated in what it mentioned – it was written more for me in high school (10ish years ago) than for high schoolers now. Which is probably why I gave it 5 stars when I read it in 2012, but only 4 stars when I re-read it in 2018. (Examples include references to Robert Pattinson/Edward Cullen and “What Not to Wear”.)

What I Didn’t Like

  • There were a couple of phrases or moments that threw me off guard because they wouldn’t be considered politically correct. This author as a whole is great at addressing different mental issues (I mean, see the CBT part above), but described the main character’s thoughts as schizophrenic or socially retarded. Which I thought seemed incongruous with the rest of the book and with the author’s writings as a whole. (She’s one of my favorite authors, so please don’t hate her for the two words I found that just stuck out weirdly to me. Clearly I’m being nitpicky, and the other tens of thousands of words are great. :))

In Conclusion

If you want to read a high school level book regarding what it feels like to be judged by your appearances, this one is perfect for you.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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Update to Blog Pages

Hello! Hopefully I’ll have a “real” post for you later this weekend, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve completely re-done my book review pages. They’re much prettier and more visual than they were before. 🙂 You can access them from the main menu above. ^^

I’ve also added a page called “Reading Challenges” so I can keep track of my progress for reading challenges this year. This is probably more for me than you, but it’s there nonetheless. 😀

Enjoy!

❤ Annette

Book Review: It Had to Be Him by Tamra Baumann

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

Meg Anderson has always been a screw-up. Now she needs to move back home with her two year old and face her family and the town she grew up in. As the town’s resident troublemaker, she’s going to have a hard time convincing them to give her another chance. Josh Granger is a former FBI officer, who had to leave the love of his life, Meg, shortly after he found out she was pregnant. Three years later and he’s back, willing to do anything to win her back.

What I Liked

  • This is a re-read since I’m getting back into the series. So the fact that I was willing to read it again is huge. Also, I spent all day on the edge of my seat, waiting for breaks at work so I could find out what happened next. Even though I’d already read the book before. So there’s that. 😛
  • This book is so. dang. cute. Both the characters are more or less already in love, they just don’t trust that their future will work out. I liked reading a romance that was more about learning to trust the other person than questioning whether or not they had feelings for the person.
  • The characters were fantastic. Meg is tomboyish, confident, and resilient. Her grandmother is spunky. Josh is even-keeled. And throughout the book, the author shows each of their personalities through their actions and reactions. She doesn’t just say that the characters are that way. To be honest I feel like I don’t get to read authentic characters like that very often.
  • I admire the characters for the choices they made in the book. If faced with some of their situations, I know I would either shut down crying or try to fight back with a snarky remark. But the characters had the guts to face what they needed to face and not let retorts get to them (usually). And I found that pretty cool.

What I Didn’t Like

  • This book gets five stars from me, so I really don’t have any dislikes.

In Conclusion

If you’re looking for a great contemporary romance, this is the book for you.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

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DIY Gold Earth Bracelet

This bracelet is inspired by the one mentioned in Tin Star and The Stone in the Sky by Cecil Castelluci. It is present in both books and somewhat plays a part, but I don’t want to give away much more than that. 🙂

Supplies Needed

Gold colored chain
Gold colored lobster clasp
Gold colored jump rings
Needlenose Pliers
Wire cutters
Gold earth charm (I got mine on Etsy)

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Directions

  1. Cut a length of chain using your wire cutters. You can either measure by wrapping around your wrist (if it’s for you), or use a ruler to measure a standard size. (I used this pin as reference.)

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2. If your charm is set up with a hole perpendicular to the charm, you can just slide it on the chain. If the hole is flat with the charm, you will want to use a jump ring to attach it. (Jump ring directions are in the next step.)

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See how the ring is perpendicular?
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Right in the center 🙂

3. If your lobster clasp comes with an eyelet, open a jump ring with the needlenose pliers, slide the eyelet on, and then attach the jump ring (with eyelet) to the last link of your chain. Close with the needlenose pliers. If your lobster clasp does not have an eyelet, just attach the jump ring.

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4. Use the same method to attach a jump ring and lobster clasp to the other end of the chain.

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5. That’s it! Now you have your very own gold Earth bracelet.

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I hope you enjoy! I love jewelry making, especially since it’s often so simple!

❤ Annette

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DIY

Book Review: Warcross by Marie Lu

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Summary

Emika Chen is just barely scraping by, using her hacking skills to track down criminals as a bounty hunger. That is, until she accidentally glitches into the Warcross virtual championships. That’s when everything changes. We get to follow her as she uses her hacking skills and explores the different virtual worlds of Warcross, as well as the intricacies posed by its creator and most popular players.

What I Liked

  • I loooved the world. It’s ours, but slightly in the future, when virtual reality becomes easily available for everyone. Now there’s a digital layer on top of the existing world, as well as the super cool game of Warcross. Being able to control what you see out of your car windows, or talk to people who speak a different language (and see instant translation), or play a game that allows you to fly… how cool!
  • The last third of the book.

What I Didn’t Like

  • The first two thirds of the book? They weren’t horrible, but they were very slowly paced. If I didn’t want to discuss this book with my friends, I probably wouldn’t have pushed through to finish it at all. Don’t get me wrong, the ending, and the last third, is great enough that the book still got four stars from me. But man, it took a while to get there!

In Conclusion

If you have the patience to read 200 pages to get to some action, and if you love futuristic tech or hacking, then you’ll enjoy this book.

Find it on: Goodreads | Amazon (affiliate link)

April 2018 TBR

Let the reading streak begin! Here are the books I want to read this month.


Jerk Magnet by Melody Carlson

A re-read so I can remember the book before I move on to the next one in the series.

Mischief in Mudbug by Jana Deleon

The first one in this series was cute, it’s time for me to pick up the next one.

It Had to Be Love by Tara Baumann

Another series I’m trying to finish. 🙂

Who Glares Wins by Camilla Chafer

I loved the first book, not sure why it’s taking me so long to pick this up!

Twice Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris

Hopefully a cute sequel to wonderful fairy-tale first book.

 

 

What do you plan on picking up this month?

❤ Annette

April 2018 TBR

New on the Stack March 2018

I’ve been trying to cut back on my spending, which means a lot less book purchases. So there is not much to this post, sorry! As per usual, I will be linking this post up to The Deliberate Reader.

Clicking on the picture of the book will take you to the book’s Amazon page through an affiliate link.

Purchased eBook

Digging In by Loretta Nyhan

This must have been an Amazon First book, because I’m not sure where else it would have come from. I don’t remember buying it. 😛

Borrowed Through Kindle Unlimited

The Jerk Magnet by Melody Carlson

This is technically a re-read, but I want to finish the series and don’t remember this book enough to be able to move on to the next ones. 🙂

 

That’s it! What books did you pick up this month?

❤ Annette

March NOS