Posts by Erik McManus | Breakeven Books

I am a Web Designer and Developer! Im very tall, love comic books, and I'm very outgoing. Check out my book blog Breakeven Books!

Book Review: The Bird Queen’s Book

Our external reviewer Bonnie Humber has sent in her first review for the book The Bird Queen’s Book by T.L Frances. Bonnie is new to the reviewing team. She runs paint nights in the North Bay area if anyone is interested.

Synopsis: What would you do if you found a mysterious book written in a secret language?

Thirteen-year-old Denny’s life is far from easy. He’s at the bottom of the food chain at school, he works a mind-numbingly boring student job at his uncle’s shredding store, and, on top it all, he has to try out for the school basketball team—and let’s just say basketball’s not his strong point.

But one day, he finds an ancient book in an indecipherable language. Could it be a secret code? Or maybe even… magic?
As Denny starts spinning a fantasy tale around the book, the real world begins to fade from view. It won’t be long before his problems catch up with him, crashing down one by one…

When Denny, a young lad trapped in the mundane rut of his middle school life, happens upon an old mysterious book in his uncle’s paper shredding shop, he is compelled to give the unreadable tome meaning. Inspired by the cover and beautiful, foreign script, Denny escapes his day to day problems by writing a history for the Bird Queen’s Book. His new obsession quickly starts to take over, and affect his relationships with the people closest to him. Is Denny able to keep his loved ones close, or will he risk everything that’s real for a fantasy?

Although the language and imagery were rather basic, I enjoyed the concept and the personality of a few main characters. Although this book is meant for children, I still found this story to be too simple. The story would have been better for me if the plot had more substance. There are so many intriguing areas in this story that could have been expanded upon. For instance:

  • A thirteen-year-old boy with an imaginary friend
  • The history or reasoning behind the outlawing of magic
  • The love and acceptance of Denny by his friend Max, despite Denny’s behavior

I feel that if the plot had more substance on a sociological level, the story would be more enjoyable and less flat.

I was captivated by the plot twist of the imaginary friend. I found this character to be one of
the most developed, and when I realized they were not real, I was truly surprised and I loved it! I really wanted to know and understand more about this character once this twist was revealed.

“Don’t be an idiot”, I scold myself. “It’s just a book.”

I love this quote because as any good reader can tell you, there’s no such thing as “just a book”. I really feel that this story needs some fleshing out. But once that is done, I would definitely recommend it to any young reader.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format to read and give an honest review.

There is also a new giveaway being hosted by us! Enter to win some traveling bookmarks and a logo sticker pack!

Enter here: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5760930a4/?

Good luck and thanks for reading our reviews 🙂 Comment below if you have read this book and what your thoughts are about it!

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s the holiday season in Canada where we eat our fill of turkey and drink our fill of wine, spirits or in my case … beer :). I love this weekend in October because I get to see my family and enjoy some nice rest and relaxation in the home that I grew up in. Usually, we go for a small hike or walk through the woods but the weather has been pretty drizzly so far this weekend so it has been spent inside with board games and the smells of delicious food filling the house.

I have been marking papers and reading a little bit but mainly catching up with old friends. I hope everyone out there is having a good Thanksgiving and are thankful for the important people they have in their lives. This applies to you too my American friends but in November 😛

I am thankful for my family and the friends that are pretty much family to me. For the people that just bring a smile to my face. And for all those books out there still waiting to be read 🙂

So with that, Happy Thanksgiving! Tell me about your Thanksgiving traditions if you have any in the comments below.


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How to Create the Purr-fect Writing Space — The Cat’s Write

Hey bookworms! Every once and a while, I like to share a fellow blogger’s post to highlight some of the amazing talents we have in our blogging community. I felt that this post was fun and could apply to reading spots as well as writing spots.

Check out Samantha Blann’s creative and fun post on creating the purr-fect writing space.

by Samantha Blann Ahh the writing space: that magical place where all your words fall onto the page. It might seem like a place that only exists in your dreams, but it’s real, I promise you. The purr-fect writing space is different for everyone: Some writers like loud, busy cafes, while others prefer quiet rooms […]

via How to Create the Purr-fect Writing Space — The Cat’s Write


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Book Review: The Wealth Taboo

We have another book review from our external reviewer Sara MacTaylor of the book The Wealth Taboo by Carlos Aguirre. Sara has been busy working away at her creations on her Etsy shop but has set some time aside to read for us.

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Synopsis: IS THE US EDUCATION SYSTEM FAILING YOU? ISN’T IT TIME YOU DISCOVER HOW THE SYSTEM WORKS YOU AND TAKES CONTROL OF YOUR LIFE?

When the education system in one of the richest countries in the world fails to teach you how to build wealth or, at the least, to have a wealthy mind, and the International Student Assessment (PISA) test demonstrates that American teens have average financial skills, you know that personal financial literacy is faulty. The education system, at all levels, teaches you to become a working bee. However, it does not teach you how to make money. YES, how to build wealth and have the lifestyle of your dreams. If you, like the average American, are part of a society that lives paycheck to paycheck, then you are a pawn of the finance system, a consumer chained by debt, allured by your false purchasing power, where ghost money is created by banks and financial institutions. A scary, shocking, and detrimental reality. You have not been prepared to understand and prevent falling into the finance system trap.

This book starts off with a very good premise, of improving the average millennial’s financial knowledge. Most of us do not receive much education at school regarding how many financial systems work, and so this is a really great idea to simplify and educate those of us lacking this essential knowledge.

Unfortunately, the execution is really lacking. He continually states the importance of improving our knowledge to improve our lives and the fact that various systems are taking advantage of the consumer, but almost never gives any concrete tips or statistics to actually improve our knowledge. Entire chapters feel like repetitions of the same lack of knowledge without actually educating the reader in that area.

This book is a great idea and touches on some great points of interest, but I feel like I didn’t learn what he was trying to teach me! I’d love some more concrete tips and tricks on how to actually improve in each of the areas he touches on. If this book gets revised I’d definitely be interested in trying this again.

Book Rating: 3/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format to read and give an honest review.


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Giveaway Winner

So I wrote this whole post, saved it, scheduled it and then went back to it to find out that the entire thing had been erased. Here I am rewriting the giveaway winner post……fun. Anyways, The giveaway winner of Tiger in Trouble by Eric Walters and some fun cartoon stickers is…..

Jose Maria Hazan

Congratulations on winning your prize. I will be in touch to get mailing information. Stay tuned for more fun contests that will be happening this month.

If you haven’t checked out my review for Trailer Trash – an 80’s memoir by Angie Cavallari yet, go read that post. She was a really fun author to review for.

Talk soon bookworms.


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Book Review: Trailer Trash – An 80’s Memoir

New book review up on the blog. This one is called Trailer Trash – An 80’s Memoir by Angie Cavallari.

Synopsis: Trailer Trash tells the story of Angie Cavallari, your typical girl growing up in the 1980s who finds herself cradled in an arm of a society that would be considered anything but your paradigmatic suburban neighborhood.

In 1980, Angie and her two siblings are dropped into a world of the poorest tenements during a decade where material wealth was worshipped. But these are not your usual run-of-the-mill Florida retirement occupants—these are tenants with issues that Angie soon realizes are the same that can happen anywhere—even under her own roof.

Her place in society is further confused by the fact that she doesn’t live in a trailer but nonetheless, shares a postage-sized backyard with a less-desired community by societal standards and attends a prestigious private school more than 45 minutes from her cinderblock castle.

After spending a decade living in a world of indiscernible differences, Angie’s family decides it’s time to pull up stakes, sell the trailer park and buy a double-wide trailer of their own in the Carnie Capital of World, Gibsonton, Florida.

Funny at times, nostalgic throughout, Trailer Trash hits on some serious notes and undertones about societal differences and the trials of surviving childhood in any decade and any environment.

I really enjoyed this book. The writer tells the story of her life with such ease and humor. It was very easy to read and cool to see how she grew up. I never knew what it was like to live in a trailer park but now I have some insight into it.

The author seemed to have a lot of guilt pushed on her about her weight as a child and that saddens me to know that her mother would make her feel like she had to look a certain way. We all have those relationships with our parents that regardless of how they unfold, tend to mold us into who we are today. If you read my last review for Fat Girl on a Plane, I talk a bit more about body weight issues and how we need to make ourselves feel empowered in our own skin.

At one point she talks about wolf spiders and if I was in that trailer where they were, I would be sleeping in a sealed tent outside. No way in hell would I be anywhere near those things…

My favorite character would probably have to be her grandmother. She could be a hardass at times but she seemed like a very fun woman. I don’t want to give too much away so I will stop there.

I would recommend this book to anyone who wants some light reading and to have a laugh. Angie will keep you smiling as you read how she took on life as a child and young adult in the world of trailer parks and all the fun/interesting people that come with them.

Book Rating: 4/5

You can find this book on Amazon or Goodreads or connect with the author on Twitter 🙂

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in physical format to read and give an honest review.

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Book Blogging for Beginners | Planning and Writing Posts — Adventures of a Bibliophile

Hey there Bookworms. I have been busy working away but I did stumble across this post which I found to be very helpful. I wish I had this when I was starting out. Take a read and follow this blogger 🙂

For me, at least, the most challenging part of blogging is actually writing blog posts. With a full-time job, it’s difficult to find the time and energy to blog (and still read enough to blog about). I’m sure most – if not all – of my fellow bloggers will agree: blogging takes so much more […]

via Book Blogging for Beginners | Planning and Writing Posts — Adventures of a Bibliophile


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Book Review: Fat Girl On A Plane

Aloha fellow readers!

I just finished Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly DeVos and it was phenomenal! This book presented a very positive message in a fun and entertaining way.

Books on a bookshelf

Synopsis: Fat.

High school senior Cookie Vonn’s post-graduation dreams include getting out of Phoenix, attending Parsons and becoming the next great fashion designer. But in the world of fashion, being fat is a cardinal sin. It doesn’t help that she’s constantly compared to her supermodel mother—and named after a dessert.

Thanks to her job at a fashion blog, Cookie scores a trip to New York to pitch her portfolio and appeal for a scholarship, but her plans are put on standby when she’s declared too fat to fly. Forced to turn to her BFF for cash, Cookie buys a second seat on the plane. She arrives in the city to find that she’s been replaced by the boss’s daughter, a girl who’s everything she’s not—ultrathin and superrich. Bowing to society’s pressure, she vows to lose weight, get out of the friend zone with her crush and put her life on track.

Skinny.

Cookie expected sunshine and rainbows, but nothing about her new life is turning out like she planned. When the fashion designer of the moment offers her what she’s always wanted—an opportunity to live and study in New York—she finds herself in a world full of people more interested in putting women down than dressing them up. Her designs make waves, but her real dream of creating great clothes for people of all sizes seems to grow more distant by the day.

Will she realize that she’s always had the power to make her own dreams come true?

So first off, props to Kelly for making a book that empowers people of all sizes. This is truly amazing. No one should ever be shamed or belittled because of the way they look or how big or small they are.

The main character, Cookie, is a strong female protagonist that doesn’t always have everything handed to her and she has to work hard for what she believes in. There are times when life becomes “unfair” to her but she always puts her best foot forward and strives on. She is very talented and a fashion guru. A lot of the clothes that she made in the book sounded very cool and the inner geek in me would hope that she would make some of these for men so I could wear some original Cookie Vonn.

I really enjoyed her best friend Piper. She was such a hoot! And she was from Australia which is epic because that is my dream destination to visit someday. Piper was the “giver of no f**ks” and I felt that she embodied that very well 🙂

Tommy kind of annoyed me a little bit because of how he would handle situations with Kennes being a complete asshole to the person he calls his “best friend” but that was just a minor detail.

This book is a rare one that will get a great rating from me! There are few out there that I would give 5/5 but I have to give it to this one! I am usually pretty generous with 4/5 but I found I couldn’t put this one down and would read it at every opportunity I had.

I would recommend this book to anyone out there who feels like they don’t like their body or are uncomfortable in their own skin. Let this book take you on a journey with Cookie to become empowered and feel positive about yourself because you are beautiful inside and out.

Book Rating: 5/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads. You can find the author Kelly DeVos on Twitter and Instagram.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley to read and give an honest review.

PS. If you haven’t seen it yet, check out my Giveaway Post where I am giving away a free book and some stickers!


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Giveaway Time

Hey bookworms!

It’s been a minute since I hosted a giveaway so here you go. I am giving away a copy of Tiger in Trouble by Eric Walters and some cartoon stickers to one lucky winner! You can enter on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter! This is your chance to get another book on your shelf and some fun stickers to put on stuff 🙂

A book on a table with one stickers around it

 

For extra entries, you can complete the steps on the Rafflecopter page! Just go to this link:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/5760930a3/?

Also exciting news, we now have another reviewer that will be joining the team to help out with our review list. Her name is Bonnie Humber and she recently celebrated the birth of her first child, a little boy named Alastor!

She is an artist and hosts paint nights for people in and around North Bay, Ontario, Canada! If you are interested in a paint night, you can contact her on her facebook page and check out the different options of images to paint.

Good Luck with the Giveaway! Get back to reading 😛


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What are you reading?

Hey bookworms.

I have been so busy lately that I haven’t made much progress in terms of reading books so I figured I would ask you all what you are up to! I want to know what you have been reading!


What are you currently reading? What have you recently finished reading? What do you think you will read next?

I want to know. Let us start a conversation and talk about it. I can tell you all the books I plan to read (better take a seat and grab a snack because it’s a long list) and you could tell me if you have read them or what you think of the book covers or whatever we decide to discuss about.

I’m going to get back to my current book Fat Girl on a Plane by Kelly deVos now and hopefully get a big chunk of it done. I’m excited to write a review for this one 🙂

Comment below and lets chat 🙂 Happy reading!


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