Breathing Room

Author: Marsha Hayles
256 Pages
Published: June 5, 2012

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 Stars

Description from Amazon:

Evvy Hoffmeister is thirteen years old when her family brings her to Loon Lake Sanatorium to get cured of tuberculosis (TB). Evvy is frightened by her new surroundings; the rules to abide are harsh and the nurses equally rigid. But Evvy soon falls into step with the other girls in her ward. There’s Sarah, quiet but thoughtful; Pearl, who adores Hollywood glamour; and Dina, whose harshness conceals a deep strength. Together, the girls brave the difficult daily routines. Set in 1940 at a time of political unrest throughout the U.S. and Europe, this thought-provoking novel sheds light on a much-feared worldwide illness. Hundreds of thousands of people died each year of TB, and many ill children were sent away to sanatoriums to hopefully recover.

Kim’s Review:

This book was a simple narrative about a little girl who has active tuberculosis and goes to a sanatorium to rest and recuperate and to keep from spreading the disease. I liked the perspective of thirteen-year-old Evvy (pronounced like Chevy). She’s a sweet girl whose life is thrown upside down by her condition, she doesn’t even get to keep her stuffed bear with her in the sanatorium because of germs.

However, she moves from the scared little girl, ripped from her parents and twin brother to a mature teenager who is willing to sacrifice for her friends. And the heartbreaking journey of the patients of the sanatorium hit me right in the gut! I decided to ask Ivan about Evvy’s chart (yes there are pictures in this book! YAY!!) and his prognosis was not good. I did my senior college thesis on a local TB hospital back in Greenville, SC, so I knew a little about the stays of patients at these types of institutions.

Tuberculosis is a scary disease and my heart went out to these people. This is not an action-packed book, there isn’t any mystery or crazy drama. I would recommend this to history teachers, and they should absolutely have this book on their shelves, or to anyone looking for an easy, historical read.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

Another Owlcrate Unboxing!

During Black Friday Owlcrate was having a sale on past boxes! I had been planning to get a certain book anyways and Owlcrate had their April box on sale for $14.99 + $6.99 shipping! April box’s theme was Heard Over Heels and included the book I was wanting so I got it! I did a live unboxing on the Bookies Facebook page. Doing those live videos are always so much fun to do!

Here is the video of  the unboxing if you care to watch:

Here are all the goodies I got!

The box is here!!!!!

Here was the spoiler card that tells you where everything is from:

This is tea inspired from Anna and the French Kiss and from The Tea Spot. It is a blend of chocolate and cherry!  There was also  an art print with a quote from Evie Bookish! I really like this quote which is from Rhysand from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series.  I have never read the series.The picture does not do the print justice!  <3

Next, there was a candle from Novelly Yours which was inspired by couple from Rainbow Rowell’s novels.  There were three exclusive scents and my ‘couple’ is Levi & Cath and the scent was coffee, pumpkin, and chocolate.

There was also a keychain from Bookworm Boutique featuring a quote from Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda.  Which is the same author as the featured book for this month! The keychain says “The way I feel about him is like a heartbeat- soft and persistant, underlying everything.”  I really love the cute bag the keychain came in!

This is a sampler of the book Umberland. This was an Owlcrate exclusive and Umberland is the second book in the series.  Umberland was released May 9, 2017.

There was also a fabric headband from Toriarts.  It has quotes from Pride and Prejudice!

Also included was the monthly pin that Owlcrate sends, along with a letter from the author Becky Albertalli and a signed bookplate!  There is also a cute emoji sticker!

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Here is the featured book for April! The Upside of Unrequited:

Book Description from Amazon:

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love. No matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. If Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.
There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker, Reid. He’s a chubby Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him.

Purchase Link:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

This was another box I enjoyed opening, Even more so at the cheaper cost. I’m not a tea drinker or coffee fan, so I’ll be passing on the tea and candle, but I look forward to everything else.

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Santa Claus is for Real


Santa Claus Is for Real: A True Christmas Fable About the Magic of Believing
Author: Charles Edward Hall
209 Pages
Published: October 14, 2014

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars

Description from Amazon:

A heartwarming true-life fable from the Radio City Christmas Spectacular Santa—including his personal journey of discovering the magic of Christmas. Every year, over a million people attend the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, where they have the pleasure of seeing Charles Edward Hall don a traditional red suit and become the world’s most famous Santa Claus—a role he has played for twenty-seven straight years. But Hall wasn’t always such a jolly old soul. Believe it or not, this Santa was once a Scrooge. For the first time, Charles tells the inspiring story of his own transformation, from a wide-eyed child who once caught a glimpse of Santa through a frosty windowpane, to a young man who lost his faith in jolly old Saint Nick. It wasn’t until fate intervened, in the form of an unexpected role, a stage malfunction, and hundreds of letters from children, that Charles rediscovered his Christmas spirit. Ultimately, he realized Radio City was his life’s work, and that Santa isn’t just a role. He lives in the hearts of the millions who attend the Radio City Christmas Spectacular, and everyone who embraces the Christmas spirit. Santa Claus, in other words, is real. When Charles needed him most, Santa was there, with kind words and a special gift. As this delightful true-life fable proves, he is there for everyone. All it takes is a good heart, an honest joy, and a belief in the magic of Christmas.

Kim’s Review:

This has become one of my all-time favorite books. It has become tradition for me to listen to the audiobook every November. If you don’t believe in Santa Claus, then I guarantee you will by the end of this book. I still believe in Santa and Christmas is my very favorite time of year. Mr. Hall managed to capture all those amazing, warm, tender feelings that Christmas always seems to elicit.

My original Goodreads review was, “I have nothing to say! Everything wonderful, magical, unexplainable, awesome, compassionate, loving, everything about Santa is in this book! I laughed, I cried, I believed! A truly amazing book!!” This is the third year that I’ve listened to this book and that review has not changed at all. And to make it even more special, I decided to write a letter to Mr. Hall last year, thanking him for this book. I wrote the letter while sitting in my Grandmama’s hospital room. She had been put on comfort measures and it was only a matter of time. I had been taking the 10pm-2am slot at the hospital that was an hour away from my house, so I was struggling with exhaustion and grief, and I thought pouring my heart out in a letter would be comforting. And it was! As I was writing, I felt like Mr. Hall was actually listening to me. I thanked him for writing a book that touched me so deeply. I told him about coming from a background where Santa was not allowed because he took the place of Jesus. I told him that having faith in something not seen, is never a bad thing. I told him all about marrying someone who had never believed in Santa, but who I was slowly bringing around. (So far we’ve reached a compromise on Father Christmas.) I felt happy and relieved after I finished the letter and sent it out along with letters to Santa from my nephews. I wasn’t expecting an answer.

Unfortunately, very few authors and celebrities live up to the standards that we, their readers and fans, set for them. Mr. Hall exceeded my expectations. Less than a week went by, and I received a package in the mail. I opened it to find a physical copy of the book, with a beautiful note from Mr. Hall inside. I have no problem admitting that I broke down in tears. The man who played Santa in the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular, who knows Santa personally, who wrote the book that embodies the Spirit of Christmas in such a perfect way, took the time to not only answer my letter, but to send me a gift! I plan to add a letter to Mr. Hall to my annual tradition.

I would absolutely recommend this book to anyone. This is a perfect book for believers and nonbelievers, alike. Even Ivan, a proud nonbeliever, admitted that this book is awesome. If you haven’t managed to get into the Christmas Spirit, read this book. If you want an early start on Christmas, read this book. If you are struggling with faith, read this book. If you need someone to believe in you, read this book. “Santa isn’t an answer, he’s a friend.”

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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