Because you can't judge a book by its cover


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Novel Reaction will celebrate its fifth birthday/anniversary (what would you call the starting of a blog?! Anyways I digress) this June. I started Novel Reaction as a place to just post the occasional review and author spotlight, since then it has grown into so much more than I ever could have imagined when I started it five years ago. I remember when I started posting a review once a week and I was worried about having enough to say that I could continue to regularly post once a week (Haha! I should know my ability to ramble on and on better than that!).  For awhile there were five reviewers besides myself providing reviews, as a result of that I had the freedom to be really picky about what was posted review wise (I was trying to provide more clean romance novels even though I read a lot of the mainstream romance novels) but about a year ago I lost all of my reviewers except one (Jillian) to life events happening (jobs, kids, etc.) at about the same time and I even took a break for about year while I took the Arizona Bar (twice) and was ill with pregnancy. At first I was really disappointed that Novel Reaction was changing so much but then I realized that it is just like everything else in life, there are seasons when certain things make sense and then things change and that is okay. Novel Reaction is going to be changing again (but in a good way) in that I have decided to review a children’s book once a week.

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I love books! Obviously or I wouldn’t be here weekly writing reviews. I find myself in the fabulous position of sharing that love of books with my son (he is currently eight months old) and it has amazed me how at even such a young age I can tell when he really likes a book or just is okay with the book. With me reading so many children’s books (and some of them over and over and over again) I realize, more than I did as a child, that like all other genres there are some fabulous books out there and some not so fabulous books. I decided that I wanted to share the gems that I have found with you, my readers. In addition to providing my thoughts on the book I will provide my son’s reaction (as much as possible) to the book. If there are any books I need to read to him please share, this is a new genre that I haven’t spent any time with since my youngest sister (Jillian who reviews here) out grew them.


Just wanted to wish everyone a happy Mother’s Day! The older I get the more thankful I am that I spent as much time as I did with my mother (she passed away from cancer almost seven years ago) and the more appreciative I am of the women in my life who have willingly filled in when my mother couldn’t. Mothers come in all different shapes and sizes and relationships to us, so while not all of us may have biological children we may all be mothers in some way. I hope your day is filled with laughter and good books.

zebra regency novelsI was writing reviews (Hope Ramsay’s Last Chance series)  and getting ready for a couple of blog tours (Mariah Stewart and Jill Shalvis) and I realized that they were all small town feel good contemporary romance novels. I enjoyed all three novels and have read numerous other books in those series but it got me thinking about tastes in reading tastes changing. When I was in high school my mother belonged to the Zebra Regency Romance novels automatic mail lists (does anyone else remember those?!) and I devoured them every month, especially those about debutantes making their debuts. Now, numerous years later, (I’m not going to say how many years later but know that I didn’t have a cell phone in high school if that says anything) I find myself preferring novels where the heroines have a few more years under their belt.

I started to wonder what it is that changes our reading tastes? Why is that something that once we devoured now we find annoying or boring? The first answer is obviously life events in our personal lives. We change as individuals, surviving trials, loss, momentous moments of joy and life changing seconds. But even beyond this changing as an individual I think it also depends upon what is currently going in our lives. When I was pregnant I found myself only wanting to reread novels that I had already read, even authors who I eagerly await with baited breathe for their new releases I wasn’t really interested in reading. I don’t know if it was the uncertainty of pregnancy (so many things could go wrong), the exhaustion that is growing a human being so not wanting to have to focus intently, or what exactly, but that is all I read for nine months and then as soon as my son was born I eagerly grabbed new novels ready to read as normal.

Now I think this is different than being in reading phases (you know, that feeling of wanting to read a certain type or genre of book) but actually changing what you read. What do you think? Have you reading tastes changed over the years?

book club

Do you book club?

divergentWhen I lived in Salt Lake City I was super busy working full-time and going to school full-time (it was an insane time-period to say the least and it lasted about four years) but I was able to join a YA book club that I enjoyed so much! After all my English classes (I got my BA in English Literature) where I was required to read boring, heavy, and/or depressing novels that I didn’t get to choose, it was so fabulous to read something that was quick and fun (although some of the titles chosen were tough and emotionally charged). Since moving to Phoenix I realized that I was missing that discussion, laughter, and enjoyment of a book club (not to mention the food always associated with a good book club). So I decided to fix that by starting up a book club and we met for the first time this past week. While I am not usually a huge fan of dystopian novels I decided we should start of by reading Divergent by Veronica Roth. I also thought it would be a good novel to start with since the movie comes out in March.

conneryWe chatted about books, hot men, how much I love Sean Connery (I would pay that man money to read me tax forms…but I digress) and I was so glad I finally did what I had been talking about for so many months. What made me even happier about this was having several friends in the club tell me that they haven’t read anything for awhile but flew through the entire Divergent series. I love it that they are reading again! In my mind the whole point of a book club is to get people reading and expose yourself to books you might not otherwise pick up.

I have thought about starting on online book club but am unsure if a) people would actually come and b) what technology would be the best way to go about doing a book club. But what do you think readers? Do you have a local book club you belong to? Do you like the idea of an online book club? Let me know what you think!


Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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