Monday, September 11, 2017

Changes// On the Blog and In the Air //

I've been terribly behind lately in updating my blog, and for those of you who may have ever checked out my "Reviews" page and found that it hadn't been updated in quite a while, I apologize! I'm going to try to keep it orderly and up-to-date from now on. And I've also updated my design a bit. I felt like doing something new, and the header picture I wanted to use just so happened to be an Autumn photo, so that was perfect (and now I'm looking forward to orange, red and yellow leaves, coffee on a cold morning, and that crisp smell in the air that only fall can bring!). 

What are some of your favorite things about this new season we're heading into? 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

The Power of Words: Just Sayin', by Dandi Daley Mackall

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Rating: Three and a half out of five hearts ♥♥♥


Best friends Cassie Callahan and Nick Barton were happy their parents were in love and engaged- life was good. But then something happened, and it tore everything apart.  Now Nick, his younger sister and dad have moved away and Cassie's mom has left to work in California. Cassie is left alone, with her strict grandmother who doesn't seem to understand her. Cassie and Nick don't know what happened that drew their parents apart and put a halt to the wedding-no one will tell them anything! So, through their letters to each other, they concoct a plan involving a game show spin-off from their favorite TV show, and hope that this will bring them all back together.
My Review:

Told in an interesting, fresh new way, Just Sayin' tells the sweet story of an imperfect tween girl and her best friend who have the habit of spouting out witty, yet sometimes hurtful (and sometimes cheesy), sarcasm and insults. While the story is mainly about Cassie (and Nick, as well, although I think Cassie is still the main character), it alternates between many different letters, text messages, phone calls, etc. between various other characters as well, giving a wider picture of the story as a whole, instead of just showing Cassie and Nick's opinions and points of view. The story was sweet and yes, while at times it could be cheesy, it had some funny moments as well. You kind of just had to embrace the cheesy and just enjoy it. I also liked the fun, yet simple, cover- two words I would use to also describe the story itself. 
 Cassie and Nick, while being the type of kids I would normally not be able to relate to (seeming too sarcastic and rebellious to be realistic or relatable- I was never really into those types of books) I actually could feel for, as I had the opportunity of interacting with schoolkids earlier in the summer, and I could see bits and pieces of them in Nick and Cassie. So although the book and its characters may seem a bit over-dramatic or far-fetched at times, there are aspects of it that do ring true to our world today. I think tweens will be able to relate to Cassie and Nick as they try to figure out this world where they feel circumstances happen in which they have no control. It also shines light on the sometimes silly or unnecessary things that can tear adults apart, while kids normally see the reality of the situation through it all. I'd say, while maybe not appealing to all kids, this book is whimsical, imaginative, unique and encouraging, and teaches a good lesson (while not being overly preachy and having cool kids as main characters) about the power of our words, and how Jesus teaches us to speak life, not tear others down. 
 As a side note, this book may not be the greatest for really young kids, as they may pick up on the insults Cassie and Nick are prone to use. I'd recommend Just Sayin' for  ages 9-12.

Note: I got this book from Tyndale House in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.