Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Song Of The Week #11

Hello, everyone! I hope everyone is having a great week so far! This week, there's not that much for me to update you guys on when it comes to life. This past week wasn't all the crazy or weird, if anything, it was pretty calm and relaxing. Which is always welcomed!

I can tell you, however, that yesterday I went shopping with three good friends of mine to blow off some steam before Monday arrived. It was such a fun day, we just went to different stores, to grab a bite to eat, and just jammed out to our current favorite songs. It was such a nice and refreshing little shopping day that lasted for a few good hours. Not to mention the weather was GREAT!

One of my goals for 2017 was to take more days like that to just relax and throw time out the window. I wasn't worried about being anywhere on time, doing something important, stressing about school work, it was just a really nice day out that I was in need of. I think it's awesome to sometimes just take a day off and not think about work, school, responsibilities. I highly encourage you out there to do the same every now and then to just take a deep breath and let the stresses go for a day. You'd be surprised how refreshed you'll end up being after the day is done. 

I know this post is pretty short, which is part of the reason why I really like making these, but to sum up this week's update: Just breathe. Jam out. Peace out!



Monday, January 30, 2017

Review: Not In Her Wildest Dreams by Dani Collins + GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

Hello, everyone! Today is my stop on the blog tour for Not In Her Wildest Dreams by Dani Collins hosted by Book Unleashed and I'm excited to be a part of the tour.

I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of this book tour.

Down below is my review for this book as well as the authors links, purchase links for the book, and finally a GIVEAWAY! I hope you all enjoy!

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Romance
Score: ❤❤❤
Page Count: 280
Book #1 of the Secret Dreams series
Publisher: Smashwords
Published: January 15th, 2017

Paige Fogarty never believed Liebe Falls’ golden boy, Sterling Roy, could want a No Good Fogarty, but one magical night, they kissed—ruining her already murky reputation. Fifteen years later, she’s still shunned, now as a professional accountant auditing Roy Furnishings. It’s a daunting task even before she’s forced to work with him.

Sterling made a fool of himself over Paige once. Never again. He only returns to the factory his mother calls his ‘legacy’ to ensure Paige doesn’t pull a fast one. When their chemistry blazes hotter than ever, he wonders if he misjudged her, but secrets come to light, including an embezzler she tries to protect, proving she’s still the wrong girl. So why does holding onto her feel so right?

1. I'm going to admit that this book isn't usually something I'd pick up but I thought it looked interesting and sometimes, you just have to take a chance on a book even when you're not too sure about it. I think it's a great thing to get out of your comfort zone every now and then and I'm really glad I was able to review this book for all of you. Here's my review:

2. I thought the story was intriguing. It was equal parts drama and romance which sometimes can create a bit of an unrealistic storyline but I think it somewhat worked for the characters and their backstories. There's a lot of angst between our two MC's, Paige and Sterling. Call it an old flame that was never put out but it created a good base for the romance without feeling like insta-love. I would have liked the romance to have been a bit more developed, however, but overall it was an enjoyable romance that we get in the story.

3. The characters were interesting, Paige being very stubborn and independent. I thought she was a likable character though I wasn't too attached to her. Same with Sterling. He was thought to be the typical 'Golden Boy' who came from a rich family by Paige and her family. They didn't exactly get along with each other at all in the beginning but the development between them as the story goes on has a nice pace. I also liked that this book was told in both of their perspectives since we get to learn about both characters and their families that way.

I think if you like books with angst, mystery, affairs, secrets and drama, you might enjoy this book. I'm not sure what elements I would've liked to see in this book in order for me to give it a five-star rating, it's a bit hard to put my finger on it. This book wasn't quite my cup of tea but I was glad that I got to read it in the end.

You Can Purchase The Book Here:

About The Author:

USA Today Bestseller Dani Collins is the author of thirty romances for Harlequin Presents, Montana Born and herself. Dani lives in Canada with her high school sweetheart. Join Dani's newsletter and receive Cruel Summer, a short ebook romance, as a welcome gift:http://danicollins.com/free-book/ 

Author Links:


Only In His Wildest Dreams (Book 2)

Synopsis: When Mercedes takes in her confused niece and nephew, jeopardizing the job she loves at a retirement community, she turns to the new handyman for advice. L.C. can fix anything and he’d love to be part of this misfit family, but he has a secret back home that Mercedes will never forgive.

Pre-Order: Amazon

Available February 1st, 2017


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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Review: Living In The Shallows by Tani Hanes + GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

Hello, everyone! Today is my stop on the blog tour for LIVING IN THE SHALLOWS (UK CRUSH #1) by Tani Hanes and I'm really excited to be reviewing it for you guys!

I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of this blog tour.

Down below is my full review of this book, the links to where you can buy yourself a copy as well as the author's links and finally, a GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter for a chance to win a cool prize. Read on, bookworms!

Rating: PG-13
Genre: Contemporary, New Adult
Score: 3.25 stars
Page Count: 313
Book #1 of the UK Crush series
Publisher: Kindle
Published: October 28th, 2016

Aileen Foster, a shy, 22 year old student from LA, thinks she has landed a dream job as an interpreter for some actors making a film in Japan. She gets a shock when she arrives in Tokyo and finds out that they are UK Crush, the hottest boyband around. She has been orphaned for most of her life, and it's a shock for her to enter their world of frank physicality. The boys come to love her, and Aileen is forced to look at her life and choices, and decide if she's ready to be brave and start living.

1. I thought this book looked like it could be a fun little contemporary read especially since I honestly think that any contemporary novel that has something to do with a boy band is worth reading. It's just way too entertaining sometimes. I've come across too many books that had to do with a boy band and ended up being very entertaining that now, I jump at the chance to read yet another. Which is what happened here. I'm happy to be reviewing this book for you all so I hope you enjoy!

2. I really liked the characters from the beginning. I thought our MC Aileen was a smart girl and very brave for taking a job halfway around the world at such a young age. She was feisty and although she was small and didn't come across as too intimidating, she was a force to be reckoned with and didn't back down too easily from a challenge. The boys of UK Crush were also entertaining, often smothering Aileen in hugs and messing with her like a good group of guy friends should. They looked out for her and often expressed that they appreciated her company, even giving her the nickname of Tink because she was petite. The relationship they had with each other was often fun and full of laughs.

3. I also appreciated the diversity of the characters, how they were all different races, came from different walks of life and cared about each other like a family. I also liked the setting of the book being in Japan, though I would have loved to have seen a little more scenery and descriptions of the things and places they saw since I personally love books set in Korea, Japan, China etc. I think it creates such a colorful atmosphere and I would've liked a little more of it in this book.

1. While I liked some things about Aileen's character, I did find her to be a bit of a crybaby about half the time which got pretty annoying. She cried with every emotion and though she admitted she was a crier, it just got a little tiresome. I also didn't like how she went from a shy and quiet character to being a flirt so quickly. It felt a bit extreme and unrealistic of a development for her character, not to mention that she only seemed interested in one of the band members yet she wasn't upfront about her feelings at all and kissed all of them, not seeing the damage she was doing or the big deal.

2. I also didn't buy the romance between Aileen and the two love interests. It was too much along the lines of insta-love, especially since they were confessing their love to Aileen after only knowing her for a WEEK. It was too rushed, out of place, and felt forced to hurry along the romance. It needed way more development and the love triangle just didn't work for me.

This book was a quick read and I think some people might end up really loving this book but I just wasn't much of a fan. I still recommend this book if you just want something quick and easy to read to entertain you or if you're looking for a contemporary story to try out. PLEASE NOTE: This book has some MATURE content and is in fact for New Adult audiences.

You Can Purchase The Book Here:

About The Author:

My name is Tani Hanes, and I am a 51 year old substitute teacher. I'm from central California and am a recent transplant to New York City. The most important things to know about me are that I'm punctual, I love grammar and sushi, and I'm very intolerant of intolerance. The least important things to know about me are that I like to knit and I couldn't spell "acoustic" for 40 years. I've wanted to write since I was ten, and I finally did it. If you want to write, don't wait as long as I did, it's pointless, and very frustrating! 

Author Links:

Diving DeepRead Preview of "Diving Deep" (UK Crush #2)

Synopsis: Fair warning: Birdie and Teddy are young, and really, really, in love. Like a lot. And they do a lot of stuff. All the time. Everywhere. So, if that kind of stuff isn't your thing, well, you know what to do :o)
Birdie never thought she'd fall in love with anyone, let alone a singer in the biggest boyband in the world. And she never, *ever*, thought he'd fall in love with her, either. Yet here she is, living with Theo Shelley, one quarter of UK Crush, in his London house. She has the biggest piano audition of her life coming up, to Hamilton Conservatory in New York City, but it's hard to focus on that when she's learning how to be in a relationship for the first time in her life.
Preview On Wattpad

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Song Of The Week #10

Hello, all you lovely people out there! I really hope you've all had an awesome weekend and week so far! Before I share with you guys this week's song of the week, allow me to share some quick little updates about myself and some fun things I've been working on lately. If you're interested in hearing what's new, keep reading or feel free to skip my rambles and listen to the music. Either way, I hope you enjoy!

The first update I have for you all is that I've added another artwork of mine to my online shop. It's been so long since I've painted anything in acrylics so I'm really happy with the piece I created as it has a very special and deep meaning to me personally and I really hope someone out there is able to see something in it that inspires them. If you choose to take a look at my shop, I REALLY appreciate it! Click the images to view these products and more.


The second update is that I've officially started blogging over at Of Wonderland this month and I'm having so much fun coming up with creative and original posts to entertain our readers. In case you haven't check them out yet, here are links to the posts I've written so far! 

So that's it for the updates! I really hope you guys enjoy your week and I'm sending you all my love and a million hugs! Enjoy this week's song! Fun Fact: this week's song inspired the above artwork.



Monday, January 23, 2017

Review: Distant Horizon by Stephanie Flint

Rating: PG
Genre: Fantasy, Dystopia
Score: 3.75 stars
Page Count: 320
Book #1 of the Distant Horizon series
Publisher: Infinitas Publishing
Published: October 27th, 2016

The Community is safe.
Unless you have superpowers.

Sixty years ago, a hallucinogenic plague annihilated half the world’s population, leading to the formation of the Community—an international government that promises its citizens safety, security, and efficiency. Every day, Community citizens swallow a mandatory pill to ensure their immunity to the plague. A year after graduating high school, they take the Health Scan.

Most pass, and continue with their lives. Others disappear.

Eighteen-year-old Jenna Nickleson hasn’t taken the pill since her senior year in high school. She feels more alive without it, and she hasn’t shown any signs of infection—at least, not until two days after a surprise Health Scan is announced and Special Forces arrive at her university campus.

Spurred by the recent string of hallucinations, Jenna searches for any inkling of what happens to those who fail the scan. Rumor has it that they’re sent away for treatment and, once cured, receive a menial job. But when she uncovers the cruel truth behind the plague, her ideal world is shattered.

Underneath the illusion of safety, Special Forces agents harbor a dark secret.

The plague is a lie.

1. Special thanks to Sara from YA Book Bound Tours for sending me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. Now, since I really love dystopian novels and any book set in the future, I was really excited when I got the chance to review this book. It sounded like a really neat concept and since I'm a sucker for books about conspiracies, I couldn't pass up the chance. Here's the review: 

2. The story was action-packed which kept the book moving forward, especially since there is quite a lot going on and the characters are having to overcome difficult obstacles. The rigid and strict society that our characters live in is reminiscent of other dystopian worlds I've read before so while it was a little cookie-cutter in that sense, I still thought it was a cool setting and an interesting world to learn about as the story progresses.

Image result for distant horizon stephanie flint3. I would describe the setting and overall feel of this book as DIVERGENT but instead with superpowers with a steampunk overlay and a dash of MATCHED. It was a pretty standard dystopian world, however, the book is laced with uncovering secrets and lies which made it interesting to read. I also liked the characters even though none of them really stood out to me but I was still invested in seeing what happened to them all. They were a very smart and clever group of kids so it was fun to see their problem-solving skills take action many times throughout the book.

4. The writing was also great and it is a fast-paced book so I would totally recommend it if you're a fan of other dystopian novels or a fan of action-packed sci-fi adventures. While not my favorite dystopian novel, I can't really put a finger on what I didn't like about the story itself. I think I would have given this book a higher rating had it been more original as like I said before, it was reminiscent of a lot of other dystopian novels. If the book had an element that was creative to its genre or a huge plot twist or two thrown in, I think I would have enjoyed it more. Otherwise, it was still a nice read. 

You Can Purchase The Book Here:

About The Author:

Stephanie Flint (formerly Stephanie Bibb) graduated from the University of Central Missouri with a Bachelor of Science in photography and a minor in creative writing. She merged the two interests into book cover design and photographic illustration, but she particularly enjoys writing speculative fiction and plotting her stories in the form of table-top RPGs with her husband, Isaac. They cofounded Infinitas Publishing in June 2015. 

Author Links

I hope you all enjoyed this book review! Read on, bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Favorite Music Artists At The Moment!

Hello, everybody! So, since I have a bit of an obsession with music, my Spotify playlists having thousands of songs among them, my MP3 player (I'm old school like that) holding about 10,000 songs (NOT EVEN JOKING) and my CD collection needing their own shelves, you could say at some point I would find my all-time favorite music artists. I do in fact have my all-time favorites, however, I've recently been checking out a lot of new artists that I've been meaning to listen to and stumbling upon others that have truly amazed me.

When it comes to music, I personally don't care who sings the song. Just as long as it's catchy, makes me want to sing along to it and maybe even dance a little, then I'm good. Of course, I will still rush to the store to pick up the newest album from so-and-so because I'm a dedicated fan like that.

So, before I ramble on too much, I'm here to share with you all my favorite music artists at the moment that have taken over my playlists and basically my life. When I find a new favorite band or singer, I tend to ONLY listen to their songs for a good couple of weeks. I know, I'm weird, but hey, when I find good tunes, I TAKE IT TOO FAR, OKAY?! Deal with it.


BTS- Okay, so, I've always been interested in the idea of Kpop but I never actually listened to any of it. Partly because I had NO IDEA where to start. I feel the same towards Marvel comic books and manga sometimes. There are just too many options for my brain to wrap itself around. Which is why I usually just pick up whatever the heck looks slightly interesting. I'm not even sure how I stumbled upon BTS, but I did and I'M OBSESSED. I plan to buy all their albums especially their new album "WINGS" which is so FREAKING. GOOD. Sometimes Spotify is just too good to me. 


DAYA- I still remember when I first saw the music video for her single "Hide Away" back when it had only 30,000 views (I'm SUCH a hipster) and I instantly fell in love with her voice! Ever since the release of her first single, I've been a fan and I plan to stay one. Daya is easily one of my favorite artists of 2016 and I can't wait to hear more music from her. If you haven't checked out her music, WHAT ARE YOU DOING READING THIS? 


NF- Rap is one of my favorite genres of music. I'm pretty much the only one in my family and group of friends who listens to rap. I'M GANGSTA. Once again, I'm not sure how I discovered NF's music but I fell in love quite quickly with his music. It's heavy, real, raw, and talks about subjects that most artists refrain from talking about in their music and I appreciate it for that reason. While all of his music is a bit dark, I LOVE it. Better yet, none of his music is explicit which I personally love because I don't care for profanity in music. Basically, he's probably my favorite rapper of all time. 


ALEXI BLUE- I do remember when I first saw the music video for Alexi's single "I Don't Wanna Wait" the week it released and I had no idea who she was or if I would like her music, I was just amazed by her pink hair. I want pink hair SO BADLY so her hair was enough to reel me in. When I watched the video and listened to the song, I WAS HOOKED. I ended up listening to all of her music in one day and now I'm currently obsessed with her new EP that just released a few days ago. 


JOJO- When I first saw one of her music videos pop up, it was for her single "Too Little, Too Late" and I recognized her from the movie RV. I didn't watch the video, however, which was such a huge mistake and I still regret it to this day. Fast forward a few years and it popped up once again and I decided to check it out. I had no idea what I was in for. I was INSTANTLY hooked from the very first verse of the song and I was blown away by her voice! I ended up ordering both her albums online, listening to every single song I could find by her, and feeling depressed that at the time, she wasn't making any new music due to problems with her record label. Now, though, she's made a comeback with a crazy good new album and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! I have the digital deluxe edited edition on my phone and it gives me life. 


JESS GLYNNE- Once again, one of her music videos popped up randomly one day and as the trend goes for me, I couldn't stop listening to her music. Her voice is just so unique and her songs are tons of fun to listen to, even the slower tempo ones that kind of make you want to cry a little bit. Not to mention all her music videos are really neat and so aesthetically pleasing to the eyes. If you haven't heard anything by Jess Glynne yet . . . Well, YOUTUBE IS THERE FOR A REASON. 


So that's it for all of my current favorite music artists! I have PLENTY of favorite songs at the moment so I want to know if any of you out there have any current favorite artists or songs. If you do, please let me know in the comments so I can check them out! Read on, bookworms! See you in the next chapter!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Song Of The Week #9

Hello, everyone! I hope everyone has had a fantastic week so far! I just have a few quick updates to let you guys know about before we get onto the song I chose to share with you all this week so keep on reading if you're curious to know what's new with me and this blog of mine.

First, I took part in the #DAReadathon, which is a Harry Potter themed read-a-thon and since I FINALLY read the first book at the end of 2016, I was so excited to take part in it along with the rest of the Of Wonderland ninjas. I didn't read as much as I would have liked, partly because I needed to read a few review copies during that time and because I forgot about the read-a-thon and later found it had already begun five days after the start date, WHOOPS. Anyhoo, here are my results!

I was able to complete two full books and get almost halfway through another which I'm currently still reading so I'm pretty happy with my score even though I would have loved just a few more points. I'm a bit competitive with myself.

Another update is that I designed a couple of bookish stickers and added them to my art shop! Just click on the images below to view them! I also have the designs available on other products. If you take a second to view them, YOU GET FIVE MILLION AWESOME POINTS!

I hope to design more bookish stickers in the next coming weeks so I'll be announcing any new ones here on my blog and on twitter so stay tuned.

That about wraps everything up on my end! What have you all been up to lately? Read on, bookworms! Happy listening!



Monday, January 16, 2017

Review: Anomalies by Sadie Turner & Colette Freedman + GIVEAWAY! (CLOSED)

Hello, everyone! Today, I'm so excited to present to you my post on the blog tour stop for ANOMALIES by Sadie Turner and Colette Freedman! I was lucky enough to be able to take part in this blog tour and I'm really happy to be a part of it.

I was sent a digital audiobook copy of this book in exchange for an honest review as part of this blog tour. 

Down below is my review of the book, links to where you can purchase a copy of the book for yourself, the author links such as their social media, and finally a GIVEAWAY! Be sure to enter for a chance to win a really cool prize. Read on, bookworms!


Rating: PG
Genre: Science Fiction
Length: 8h 5m
Stand Alone
Publisher: SelectBooks
Published: January 26th, 2016

In the future there is no disease. There is no war. There is no discontent. All citizens are complacent members of the Global Governance. But one summer is about to change everything.

Keeva Tee just turned fifteen. All of her dreams are about to come true. She’s about to make the trip to Monarch Camp to be imprinted with her intended life partner. One day they’ll have perfect kids and a perfect life. But in her happy, carefree life in the Ocean Community, something weighs on her mind. She hears whispers about “anomalies”—citizens who can’t be imprinted. No one knows what happens to them, but they never seem to come back.

When Keeva arrives at Monarch Camp, her worst nightmare becomes a reality—she is an anomaly. After they are imprinted, the people she loves begin to change, and she starts to doubt everything she’s ever believed. What if freedom and individuality have been sacrificed for security? And what if the man who solves all the problems is the very man who’s created them—and what if he isn't a man at all?

When Keeva finds a warning carved under a bunk bed she begins to understand: Nonconformity will be punished, dissent is not an option, insurgents will be destroyed.

1. I'm such a fan of dystopian novels it's not even funny. I've read quite a few of them such as the DIVERGENT series and DELIRIUM, and many others that I'm sure you've all heard of. When I read the synopsis of this book, there was no way I was passing up the chance to review it. I thought the concept sounded really cool and the fact that it was also an audiobook made it that much more appealing. I've been working on a lot of projects lately and sometimes I just want to listen to an audiobook to get some reading done while I go about my day. I'm so happy to review this book for you all today. Here's the review:

2. Keeva came across as a very strong female character which I am all for! It wasn't that she was great at hand-to-hand combat or that she could use a gun without any hesitation, she was strong in the sense that she was a fighter at heart. She knew what she believed in and never hesitated to question the way things worked in her world. She had a good head on her shoulders and I fully enjoyed the story from her point of view. Calix was the second POV in this book and I really liked his character. With a power hungry maniac for a father, it should have been easy for Calix to follow in his father's footsteps. Instead, Calix also questioned his father, his motives, and what affect his father's experiments had on the people of their world. He was a silent rebel and for him to be young, Calix was smart and a complementary POV to Keeva's.

3. The mix of a dystopian society and fascinating life forms was such a great blend in this book, I had a hard time figuring out how to explain the concept to someone who asked me what the book was about. It felt like an alienesque adventure but also not since there weren't actually any aliens. It was a futuristic story that had me on the edge of my seat at some points and mixed in with torturous experiments, kids on the run, an underground civilization that is believed to be nothing more than a fairytale, genetics having a huge part in the story, dark secrets, and twists and turns, it was a book I had fun listening to. The creativity of this novel was entertaining and refreshing and I'm excited for the next installment of the series!

4. Overall, I was just really impressed with this book. The scientific and futuristic mood and themes of this book were so interesting, the descriptions were simple to understand and imagine, even the explanations of the genetics and science of the world was easy for me to understand, science being my least favorite subject. The world building was strong, the writing was excellent, and the adventure was thrilling! I highly recommend this book if you're in the mood for an exciting sci-fi dystopian novel. I also highly recommend the audiobook as the narrator put on a fantastic performance, almost soothing me to sleep many times. As a final note, I also loved that there was only a tiny hint of romance in this novel, it allowed me as a reader to remain completely focused on what was going in the world of this novel without feeling like it was some sort of space-opera.

The reason why I didn't give this book a five-star rating is because while I enjoyed mostly everything about this book, I didn't enjoy that it was a little hard to get into in the beginning. It's the case with a lot of sci-fi novels so don't take it too seriously. I think if you give this book enough time to really get the ball rolling, it's worth the read and time in my personal opinion. 

You Can Purchase The Book Here:

About The Author:

Sadie Turner is a Los Angeles-based producer and writer originally from Brighton, England, who works in business development with several Hollywood entrepreneurs. She has various projects in development, and also teaches yoga. 

Author Links:

COLETTE FREEDMAN- An internationally produced playwright with over 25 produced plays, Colette was voted “One of 50 to Watch” by The Dramatist’s Guild. Her hit musical Serial Killer Barbie played to sold out shows in 2015 in both Los Angeles and New Zealand. 

Her play Sister Cities was the hit of the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe and earned five star reviews: It has been produced around the country and internationally, fifteen times including Paris (Une Ville, Une Soeur), Rome (Le Quattro Sorelle) and Australia. It is next up in Chicago August 2016. She wrote the film which is currently in post-production and stars Jacki Weaver, Alfred Molina, Jess Weixler, Stana Katic, Michelle Trachtenberg, Amy Smart, Troian Bellisario, Tom Everett Scott and Kathy Baker.

She has co-written, with International bestselling novelist Jackie Collins, the play Jackie Collins Hollywood Lies, which is gearing up for a National Tour.

In collaboration with The New York Times best selling author Michael Scott, she wrote the thriller The Thirteen Hallows (Tor/Macmillan).

Her novel The Affair (Kensington) came out January 29, 2013. The play of the novel earned both critical and commercial success as it toured Italy February through May 2013. Her sequel novel The Consequences (Kensington) came out January 28, 2014.

Her YA novel Anomalies (Select Books) came out February 9, 2016.

She also co-wrote the film And Then There Was Eve which is currently in pre-production and begins principal photography May 2016.

Author Links:


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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Review: #BabyLove: My Toddler Life by Corine Dehghanpisheh + Interview

Rating: G
Genre: Children's
Score: ❤❤❤❤
Page Count: 36
Publisher: My Art To Inspire
Published: September 20th, 2016

In #BabyLove: My Toddler Life, a new children’s picture book by Corine Dehghanpisheh, a curious toddler loves to play… especially with his mommy’s smartphone!

When Mommy finds him using her phone without permission, it’s the perfect teaching moment.  Mommy reminds her little one that what matters most in life is time together filled with love and attention.

Her simple reminder:  Put down our phones.

#BabyLove: My Toddler Life is the second book in Corine’s #BabyLove Book Series.  The first book in the series, #BabyLove: My Social Life, won the Next Generation Indie Book Award for Picture Books 0-5.

1. Special thanks to the publisher for sending me an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! When I was first contacted to review this little guy, I was actually a little excited. I think children's books are so fun to read, even though I don't actually read a lot of them, but I've been wanting to review more children's books to add to my selection of book reviews. I know that not everyone reads YA or NA books, but a lot of people also don't read children's books. I'm always wanting to expand my catalog of reviews to cover all genres and age ranges so this book seemed like a good place to start. Whether you're looking for a book to read to a little tot or simply curious about this children's book, I'm excited to review it for you all. 

2. I think this book talks about a pretty important topic that is taking the world by storm: social media. It's normal to have one or more social media platforms that you check in on every day, multiple times a day. If you're like me, you have more than one social media platform and tend to pay attention to all of them throughout the day, even checking your likes, comments, or followers without realizing it. It's easy to get so caught up in social media and miss the little happy moments because we're so busy trying to capture that moment in a picture or video to share with the world. This book takes a look at a mom who is constantly filming or snapping pictures on her phone of her baby to capture the moments but also showing that some moments need to be experienced without a camera in your hand. 

3. I think this book is a great lesson for kids and parents, showing us all that while social media is a fun way to take a load off after a long day, is can also make us miss out on the full effect of living in the moment. Kids are naturally curious about devices such as tablets and smartphones, especially when they see the people around them constantly using them. The book shows a baby being curious about the device, playing with it, and having a not so good outcome when the device gets damaged. We get to see the baby playing with mom's phone, her realizing that he's only following her example, and the mom seeing that maybe she should keep her phone away a little more often. All these points and valuable lessons teach both kids and parents that the world isn't just on a little five-inch screen. 

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Q #1: What inspired you to write this book?
Being a mom of a toddler inspired the writing and illustrations of my book.  As a mother first, I find it necessary to be mindful of my phone and overall screen time throughout the day.  

Since I work from home, I use my computer and phone regularly.  Some days are easier than others in finding the right balance.  It's difficult to explain to a toddler that Mommy is working.  She doesn’t fully understand the difference between personal and work time.  She just sees me using technology and not playing with her.

Q #2: Do you feel this book takes on an important topic that people need to be aware of?
I do believe that the book takes on an important and very relevant topic of parenting into today’s digital world.  Finding balance, making the best social media decisions, and leading by example is a constant challenge. 

As a parent, I know I want to create lasting memories.  Sometimes that means documenting a moment in a photograph or video to either keep private or share on a social platform. 

At other times, I don’t want to ruin a moment by trying to capture it with a recording or picture.  I just want to experience the entire moment including the feelings and smells and truly live it.

I think it is important to teach our children how to balance technology in life.  It’s getting more and more challenging as technology, and our connectivity continues to evolve.   

Q #3: Do you think social media is good or bad on some levels?
As with most things in life, there is always good and bad on some levels.  I don’t think social media is all good or all bad.  There are definite pros and cons.

An advantage of social media is using it to keep up with close friends and family.  We live away from our family and most of our close friends.  So, it is nice to see what’s going on with those we love, and they know what is going on with us at least on a surface level of course. 

I also find that social media can be positive for businesses.  I use it regularly to share information about my books.

Of course, there are also many negative aspects to social media such a bullying, security, and lack of in-person socialization and living in the moment. 

Q #4: Would you say people spend too much time on social media?
I can’t say that all individuals spend too much time on social media.  I am sure there are some who waste too much time or put too much value on the data of each post or their total number of friends. 

My hope is that most people enjoy a secure and balanced existence with social media.

Q #5: What is one thing you hope to accomplish with your children's books?
My first hope is that people enjoy the books. 

Secondly, I hope that the books start conversations and discussions at home or in schools.  Technology and social media is part of our daily lives.  At the same time, it is important to be mindful of our technology use and of what we are teaching our children. 

Q #6: What is your favorite social media platform?
At this time, my favorite social media platform is Instagram.  I am a visual person so it’s more in-tune with what I enjoy- pictures, short videos, little text.

Having said that, I do use multiple platforms including Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

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I hope you all enjoyed this book review! Read on, bookworms! See you in the next chapter!