The Sims by Rick Barba

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The Sims is a really good strategy guide for The Sims computer game. The book only covers the original game without any of the expansion packs and the author assumed that people have read the guide book that comes with the game itself.

The book covers everything about every aspect (making sims, items, jobs, point values, etc) of the game and gives a lot of fun and helpful tips for making the game better. I used some of them and I’ve been more successful in the game.

At the end of the book, the author tells you some places to make or get extras for the game. I’ve used some of them before (like The Sims Resource) and it was nice to see that they were included.

I don’t think many people still play this game since Sims 4 came out not too long ago, but it’ll be great for people who do. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

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Review of I Draw on Cats by A.R. Coffelt

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I Draw on Cats is a dot to dot puzzle book.  When I saw this book on Blogging For Books I thought it would be cute and fun. I was only right about the cute part.

The way the book is set up is odd. You go through the pages one way and then you go through them in reverse for more pictures. Some photos just have drawing on them, but most have a combo of drawing and dot to dots. A lot of the photos have two different sets of dot to dots that are different colors, but some overlap.

I think this book would’ve worked better if the backgrounds were placed so it looked more like the thing the cat was supposed to be. One of the first puzzles is of a cat wearing a parachute and, even after I finished it, I thought the cat was stuck in a spider web.

The cats are cute and some of the photos are funny, but I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone. I gave it 2/5 stars.

I received a free copy of this book from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

Heart of the Pack by Jenny Frame

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Heart of the Pack is a paranormal lesbian romance book with werewolves in it.  Some common themes such as a mate being chosen at birth and having to hide their identity from humans are used, but some new things are introduced.

I love the setting of this book. Wolfgang County sounds like a nice, welcoming place. Everyone cares about each other and they’re like a big family. They own businesses, have families and just happen to all be werewolves. These wolves are a little different because they can shift, or partially shift, whenever they want to. No full moon required.

The book is told from three different points of view, but it’s all written in third person. The first pov is the main character, Caden’s. She’s second in command of the pack and she’s a “lone wolf.” The second point of view belongs to Selena, an anxious newcomer who’s trying to escape her horrible family, and the third is the antagonist Leroux’s. She’s the leader of a pack of bad werewolves. The characters are well written and they each have their own distinct voice. It worked pretty well, but I wish Leroux was a little more fleshed out.

There are a lot of side characters and most of them (the main character’ mates, Selena’s family) are well written with the exception of the “elite wolves” (soldiers).  I honestly didn’t know what gender half of them were.

I like that the couples were a mix of gay and straight and that they used the terms “mater” (for the submissive wolves) and “pater” (for dominant wolves) regardless of gender. The way mating worked was a bit odd, but also different than what I’ve read in other werewolf stories.

The only things I didn’t like were the sex scenes and the fact that not much was done about the bad wolves. I get why the sex scenes were included, but they were awkward and creepy. “Fill up my belly!” weirded me out every time.

I gave this 3 out of 5 stars. I’d read a sequel if there was one. I recommend it to people who like werewolf romance stories. I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

If you’re interested in purchasing this book, you can find it here: http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Wolfgang-County-Jenny-Frame/dp/1626395667?ie=UTF8&keywords=heart%20of%20the%20pack&qid=1463453615&ref_=sr_1_1&s=books&sr=1-1

Go Big or Go Home: The Journey Toward the Dream by Scotty McCreery w/ Travis Thrasher

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According to Scotty McCreery, “Go Big or Go Home” is a travelogue, not an autobiography. He covers his life from childhood until now though.

He starts off talking about his childhood love for Elvis and how that influenced his music. He also talks about how the American Idol audition process really works. I thought they just sang in front of the judges, but apparently there are a few more steps that they don’t show on TV. It shows how determined he was. I liked learning how and why he chose the songs that he sang on the show.

Scotty comes across as a humble and down to Earth guy, despite the fact that he’s rich and famous now. He talks about his love of his home town of Garner, NC, sports (especially baseball) and music. It’s cool that he’s still such a fan of music even though he’s part of the industry now. You can tell he really appreciates all of the opportunities that he’s had. Another thing that I like is that he talks about the charity work that he does. He doesn’t brag about it, but he does promote some causes that are important to him. Maybe it’ll help them get some more donations.

Mixed in with the chapters are little blurbs from his fans, called “McCreerians,” from around the world. He has fans ranging from kids to grandmothers. My own Gramma was a fan of him, though she couldn’t remember his name and referred to him as the “cowboy kid” when we watched that season. While most of the book is positive, he talks about the time him and his buddies were robbed at gun point. He doesn’t really dwell on it, but he mentions how scared he was and how much more he appreciated life afterwards.

My favorite quote in the book is “We can’t ever get five minutes of our life back. We can remember them in the music, however. We can replay them and allow them to transport us in sound and lyrics. We can find comfort and joy in the melodies.” It perfectly sums up music’s ability to remind us of a time, place, moment or person.

I’d recommend this to anyone that’s a fan of Scotty. I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Fast Food Maniac: From Arby’s to White Castle, One Man’s Supersized Obsession with America’s Favorite Food by Jon Hein

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This book was a fun read. You can tell how much Jon Hein really loves fast food. He rates everything from food and drinks to uniforms and mascots. The book is split into two main sections: National Chains and Regional Chains.
For each restaurant, there is a menu board that tells you when the restaurant was started and where, how many locations they have in the US, their slogan, mascot and what food they’re famous for. He also includes what he thinks the best items to order are and if they have any “secret” items (which are discussed at the end of the book). After that, Hein gives a brief history of each restaurant, what he orders there and his memories of the place. Towards the end of the book he has Top 5 lists for every kind of food (burgers, chicken, pizza, etc) and restaurant items (drive-thrus, straws, uniform, slogan, etc). The last part is the “secret” menu items for each place that has those.
If you enjoy fast food, this book is for you. I liked comparing my favorites with his and learning some “secret” menu items.
I got this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review.

The Coffee Bean Challenge

Fellow WordPress book blogger Bookish In Bed tagged me in this challenge, so here goes.

Black: A series that’s tough to get into, but has a hardcore following.

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I read The Hobbit and then the first book in this series, but I gave up once the movies came out and I didn’t even see all of the movies. Maybe I’ll try again at some point.

Peppermint Mocha: A book that gets more popular during the winter or festive time of year.

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I don’t have this book anymore, but I loved it as a kid. I still watch the cartoon of it when it comes on around Christmas.

Hot Chocolate: A children’s book

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This is a cute book with a great message. It’s about learning to accept others and their differences.

Double Shot of Espresso: A book that kept you on the edge of your seat.

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This book is intense and very well written. The characters stuck with me way after I finished it. The climax of the book is crazy and shocking. If you like character driven thrillers, I highly recommend it.

Starbucks: A book you see everywhere

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This book has been everywhere lately. I see it on Goodreads, Facebook, Youtube, Books-A-Million and it was in the Penguin Teen sampler.

The Hipster Coffee Shop: A book by an independent author.

1119151215 Do you like noir mysteries set in the 1930’s about undead detectives? If so, this is a book for you.

Oops, I Accidentally Got Decaf: A book you were expecting more from.

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This book started off well and it was interesting, but then it just got repetitive.

The Perfect Blend: A book or series that was both bitter and sweet, but ultimately satisfying.

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I really enjoyed the House of Night series. They have  vampyres, magick, cats and love in them.

Green Tea: A book or series that is quietly beautiful.

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I loved everything about this book. The friendships, the characters’ growth over the course of the story, the descriptions, their fictional town of Stanwich, just everything. I was actually sad when I finished this.

Chai Tea: A book or series that makes you dream of far away places.

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New Orleans might not be considered a “far away place,” but the descriptions of the city in this book are so amazing that I felt like I could actually see the places they were going. If I ever get to go there, I’m going to take this book with me.

Earl Grey: A Favorite Classic

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I’ve loved this poem ever since I read it as a kid. If you’ve never read it, I recommend it. Especially if it’s a dark, rainy night in December.