Stacking the Shelves #33

It’s been almost 7 weeks since I’ve done a Stacking the Shelves, so this may be a little long.

For Review

Dangerous Dream by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (Netgalley)

Moonless by Crystal Collier (Author)

Divided by Elsie Chapman (Netgalley)


The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy

Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion (Audible)

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer (Audible)

Sloppy Firsts by Megan Mccafferty

The Trouble with Flirting by Claire LaZebnik

Spirit by Brigid Kemmerer

Spark by Brigid Kemmerer

Storm by Brigid Kemmerer

The Blue-Haired Boy by Courtney C. Stevens

Red at Night by Katie McGarry

Dorothy Must Die by Danielle Paige

No Place Like Oz by Danielle Paige

The Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen

Epic Fail by Claire LaZebnik

Water & Storm Country by David Estes (Signed Paperback)

Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor (Audible)

Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor (Audible)

Beautiful Darkness by Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl (Audible)


Review – Faking Normal by Courtney C. Stevens

Title: Faking Normal
Author: Courtney C. Stevens
Series: No.
Source: Personal Purchase

Description from Goodreads:

An edgy, realistic, and utterly captivating novel from an exciting new voice in teen fiction.

Alexi Littrell hasn’t told anyone what happened to her over the summer. Ashamed and embarrassed, she hides in her closet and compulsively scratches the back of her neck, trying to make the outside hurt more than the inside does.

When Bodee Lennox, the quiet and awkward boy next door, comes to live with the Littrells, Alexi discovers an unlikely friend in “the Kool-Aid Kid,” who has secrets of his own. As they lean on each other for support, Alexi gives him the strength to deal with his past, and Bodee helps her find the courage to finally face the truth.

A searing, poignant book, Faking Normal is the extraordinary debut novel from an exciting new author-Courtney C. Stevens.


I was interested in reading Faking Normal from the first time I heard of it. But after the Story Crush tour I went to, I was even more excited to read it. It just really sounded like a great contemporary, and it absolutely was!

I loved just about everything about Faking Normal. It was probably one of my favorite contemporaries I’ve ever read. I really felt for Alexi, and her developing relationship with Bodee just really struck me. They were both broken for completely different reasons, but they were really great for each other. There were some times when I got frustrated with her, but I also realized that there was something bigger going on.

Bodee was just amazing from the start. I can’t even explain it, but I just really loved him. The way that he just seemed to intuitively know what Alexi needed, almost at all times, was really sweet. The weird kid at school, Bodee was just an amazing guy with a dark past, and I loved him.

The mystery of who and what happened to Alexi was one of my favorite parts of the story. The reader finds out little bits of what happens at the time, and I’ll admit that I was completely fooled on the who. I really thought it was one person when it ended up being another.

I’m not going to lie: I cried during the big reveal, but it was a complicated cry. It was sad for what happened, but also happy tears for the fact that it was finally all coming out. It really just was a great ending.

I would definitely recommend Faking Normal. I thought it was a wonderful, emotional contemporary, similar to Pushing the Limits or Ten Tiny Breaths.

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Book-to-Movie Friday #14: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Book to Movie Friday is a new feature I’ve created here at Mommy’s Reading Break. (If you do something similar, let me know, as I’m unaware of any!) Since I see a lot of movies because they’re based on books, or vice versa, I decided it would be a good idea to add reviews (or mini-reviews) of movies based on books. A lot of us review the books and then see the movies, but I only see a handful of blogs actually reviewing the movies as well, so that’s something I want to add here.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets


I’m really struggling with what to write on this one. Chamber of Secrets might be my least favorite book in the Harry Potter series. I don’t know why, but I just don’t feel like it compares to the rest of the books. For that reason, Chamber of Secrets definitely isn’t going to be my favorite movie.

I struggle with this one a lot. You see, overall, Chamber of Secrets stays pretty true to the book. Most changes are minor, and there’s very little cut out that I actually miss. The ending is pretty cheesy, but other than that, like I said, it’s pretty true to the book.

So, for being true to the book, Chamber of Secrets probably gets 4.5 stars. However, I also find it to be a fairly boring movie. I tried rewatching it to write this post, and I found my attention wandering, and I had no problem turning off the movie so my husband could watch something.

I guess overall, I’ll give it 3 stars.

Review – Fire Country by David Estes

Title: Fire Country
Author: David Estes
Series: The Country Saga #1
Previous (Related) Series: The Dwellers Series
Next Book: Ice Country
Source: Personal Purchase

Description from Goodreads:

In a changed world where the sky bleeds red, winter is hotter than hell and full of sandstorms, and summer’s even hotter with raging fires that roam the desert-like country, the Heaters manage to survive, barely. 

Due to toxic air, life expectancies are so low the only way the tribe can survive is by forcing women to procreate when they turn sixteen and every three years thereafter. It is their duty as Bearers.

Fifteen-year-old Siena is a Youngling, soon to be a Bearer, when she starts hearing rumors of another tribe of all women, called the Wild Ones. They are known to kidnap Youngling girls before the Call, the ceremony in which Bearers are given a husband with whom to bear children with. 

As the desert sands run out on her life’s hourglass, Siena must uncover the truth about the Wild Ones while untangling the web of lies and deceit her father has masterfully spun.


I was very excited to read the Country Saga after reading the first three books in the Dwellers series. I had heard that each of David’s books get better. Unfortunately, I didn’t find that to be the case.

Honestly, I didn’t dislike Fire Country, but it took me a really long time to get into it. I had a hard time connecting with Siena, and I think the writing style was to blame. Fire Country is written in first-person narrative, told from Siena’s point-of-view. David goes all out with phonetic spellings, contractions, and made-up curse words. It may have just been a case of my state-of-mind at the time of reading, but it actually rubbed me the wrong way for a while.

However, I love David and his books that I’ve read so far, so I powered through. I did eventually get past the writing and was able to get lost in the story. By the last third or so, I was completely hooked and had to see what was going to happen next.

Overall, I’d say that I liked Fire Country, but it was definitely not one of my favorite David Estes books so far.

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