Book Review “Simply The Wildside”by Amber Joy

Simply the wildside cover

Available for purchase through Amazon.

Wonderful Tales from a Park Ranger’s wife & mother of two wildlings. Join them on their amazing journey of leaving life in Middle America and transitioning to life in the wild. Stories of triumph, humor, tears and the belief that nature provides education in ways nothing else will. Laugh along with the little wildlings as they learn their way through life and with uplifting words you may be inspired to follow your own dreams in life.

As the Ranger’s Wife, she documents their journey along the way. Creating community, inspiring others to dream, and raising boys.

Find out more on Mrs Joy’s website  “Simply The Wildside”

First Lines: Thinking back it’s hard to say when it all got started. It started on the farm back in Middle America…No. It started in the city. Perhaps.It was when I was darting around the country in college just to get out and go someplace different. Maybe…


This is one of those books that make you look up from the page and look adoringly upon your children with a bit of wistful hope. 

Being a parent is never easy. There is a running internal debate over each and everything we do. From discipline to life lessons, we are always second guessing ourselves.

This was one of those books that calm that inner turmoil. It helps you take a step back and let yourself enjoy the memories being made instead of constant questioning. 

Amber has a sweet writing voice and her stories have that soft edge that puts you at ease and helps you fall back into love with life. Her love for her family shines like a beacon through her stories. The whole book almost has a glow to it. It’s clear that Amber put her heart into every word. 

I love her parenting philosophy. It is similar to my own. Like her, I will often stare upon my playing children and marvel at how they work through life’s little puzzles.

The part of this book that resonated with me the most is in the chapter “What Are We Teaching Our Children”. In this passage Mrs. Joy discusses how we as a society fear touch and alienate ourselves from touch in general. We fear touch and interpret even the most innocent of touches as creepy. It’s comforting to have someone hug you when you are sad. I love what Mrs. Joy wrote about losing our voices as well. Sometimes we just want to scream to the mountain tops. We shouldn’t squash our children’s voices. Let them be loud.

“The Pressure Of Time” passage is something that I have addressed in my own writings on this blog. Learning doesn’t just happen in a strict classroom. Each and everyone of us learns all kinds of things every day  just by living. Let’s encourage our kids to slow down and explore. Let’s encourage our kids to be curious. Don’t put so much pressure on someone so small. They are only little for a little while.

I enjoyed every little anecdote in this novella. I highly recommend this novella for parents.  I would love to sit down with this author and listen to the kids squish in the mud and have a cup of tea knowing that another mom is just like me. 

Absolutely a 5 star book .

5 stars

This book is available for purchase through Amazon.

“Simply The Wildside”


The Technical Data:

Title: Simply The Wildside : On Raising Boys | Author(s): Amber Joy |

Publisher:  Amber Linthakhan / Publication Date: 10-21-2015 |Pages: 84 (Paperback Edition) | ISBN: 978-0692561379 | Genre(s): Parenting / Adventure |Language:English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 4-27-2016 | Source: Copy From Author


WWW Wednesday – April 27th 2016

Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This prompt comes from Sam over at Taking On A World Of Words. Leave a comment with your list or a link to your blog! Click on the covers for more information about each book.

www wednesday

What are the three W’s?

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What are you reading next?

book banner

Currently Reading

Simply the wildside cover

Thoughts: I am well into this little gem and it’s full of great parenting advice and sweet anecdotal stories.

Eboracum Cover

Thoughts: I am about 20% into this book and so far I’ve definitely been drawn into the story. Already some action!


Kyle evans cover

Thoughts: I loved it! Check out my review “Kyle Evans Review”.

Next On The List

The Keeper and the rulership cover

Eclipsed by shadow cover

www wednesday

What’s on your list?

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Delights

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly prompt from The Broke and the Bookish. I’m going to try and not be cliche but sometimes being cliche is just how real life goes. Let me know in the comments what your bookish delights are.

1: Reading alone and uninterrupted.

reading gif 1

To those of you who don’t have children, this is a luxury you have that I rarely if ever have. I love my littles and the hubs but they have a nasty little habit of needing 40 thousand things every time I pick up a book. I miss being able to completely fall into book land. 

2: Not having to worry about the image on the cover.

scared baby gif

I read a lot of fantasy books. They don’t always have kid-friendly covers. Scary mutant monsters or evil looking trolls aren’t the best images for itty-bitty minds. I feel like I’m back in high-school with my paper-sack book covers.

3: A plot twist so good you have to verbalize it.

say what

You know those books that spend about half the book building to something and you are pretty sure you got a good handle on what’s coming and then….BOOM. You realize you knew nothing and your entire mind is blown. It’s that moment when you literally have to verbalize your surprise regardless of who is around…or if they care.

4: Characters that are so well written you feel like you’ve lost your best friends when the book is over.


This is especially true with a series. You’ve spent countless hours with these characters. You’ve fought imagionary battles together. You’ve gained and lost love together. Then….it’s all…over? It’s soul crushing.

5: A romance novel so good your spouse suddenly resembles Prince Charming.

snow white and prince charming

Don’t get me wrong. I love my husband. He’s a great guy. But, like most couples we argue. Sometime’s we don’t even really know what we are fighting about. It happens. But, you know it’s a good romance novel when you look up from your book and that sweaty greasy mechanic man of your’s suddenly has a glow and you aren’t uber pissed at him anymore. I think all guys secretly give a silent “hell yeah” when they see us looking at the romance section in the book store.

6: Series Books

book meme 1

I love them. They have a special place in my heart. Sometimes one book is just not enough. I need 5 or 6 or 7. Ha Ha…really though..there are worlds I am just not ready to leave.

7: Reading to my kids

pirate quote

Sharing something that I love so much with my children is amazing enough. But, watching their little eyes light up is just about the most rewarding feeling ever. Even my 4 month old love’s books. She will get real quiet and make the cutest faces at the pictures. My two year old has almost as many books as I do. It’s a wonderful thing.

8: Used Book Stores

You never know what kind of treasure you can buy for 25 cents.

9: Book Clubs

I love having people that I can gush about books with.

10: Book Readings by the Author

The best part of this is getting to see the original voice of the story. 


What’s on your list?




Discussion Topics: Bad Reviews

Bad Book Review Meme

As a book reviewer who reads a shit ton of books, I am bound to run across at least one really crap book. It happens. It puts me as a reviewer in a really tight spot. I know how much blood, sweat and tears goes into just writing a novel. Not to mention the vulnerability of submitting it to the whim of a reviewer. 

When reviewing a book I try not to let all of those thoughts cloud up my mind. I need to be honest. I need to look at the book with an open mind. I need to read it as it is, and not as I want it to be. Because I want every book I read to be awesome. I want all of these authors to do well. I want to love your book.

Reality can sometimes be a bitch though. Because I don’t always love your book. Sometimes it is downright horrible.

When I come across a book with issues, I always try to let the author know via email first. I tell them honestly what made it bad and what I think could make it better. A lot of times it really just needs a good editor. 

Here is what I most want authors to take from this post. Any criticism that I make of your work is honestly and truly constructive.

I want your work to be great! I want it to do well! 

Let me know your thoughts on the matter. 

discussion image

Guest Post: “Why I Wrote The 2nd Chewy Noh” by Author Tim Learn

Tim Learn is a wonderful man that I think has a lot of very insightful things to say. AlliesOpinions is honored to host him for our very first guest blog feature. 

AlliesOpinions recently reviewed Mr. Learn’s second book in the Chewy Noh series entitled “Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter”. Check out the review and grab the book for yourself on Amazon HERE.

Be sure to wander on over to Tim’s blog as well. “Tim Learn Blog”

Why I Wrote the Second Chewy Noh

Chewy Noh winter cover edit

Writers always find reasons for writing the books that they do. Sometimes it’s for the mere fact to entertain either themselves or their audience—but an audience is always better. And sometimes, the audience is whom the author wants to reach.

When watching TV with my wife, she likes to point out which actresses or singers she thinks are beautiful. And as she is Korean, she most often points out girls with large eyes and a nice complexion. Every country has their standard of beauty. The problem, however, arises when I contradict her. These girls aren’t beautiful to me. Maybe because I’m a quiet person and like people of the same ilk, or because I tend to be a bit more serious and like a person who levels me out—I usually point to the ones that look quiet and have friendly faces. Nonetheless, my wife thinks I have horrible taste in women. I’m not sure if that’s ironic or not.

What I can say is that after teaching here, in Korea, for almost ten years, I’ve seen many students. I haven’t liked all of them, and believing a teacher should do so is a myth. It’s treating them differently that a teacher should avoid. But there have been some that I find particularly endearing to me, and they tend to be quiet and friendly looking—among them a few girls.

Now don’t get me wrong, I love girls in every different type they come in. Girls are awesome. Boys scare the teacherly nerves out of me. They don’t listen. They fidget constantly and do everything in their power to not do homework. I should know—I still am one.

But when it comes to girls, there’s one type that pierces my heart every time: the young, soft-faced ones that, for some reason in the environment they live in, feel they aren’t pretty. It devastates me, only because they’re usually the ones I like the most. And even worse, they should never have to feel that way. I can attest for a fact that not one of my boy students has ever brought up such claims—not once! But time and time again, my female students feel they are less than adequate in one area or another. It defies reason.

And so that’s where Chewy Noh 2 comes in. I wrote the character Su Bin in it to voice this dilemma. Su Bin is degraded for her looks—even by family members—with most saying, “At least, she’s smart.” This may seem exaggerated, but it’s not. One parent actually said this about their daughter and I couldn’t sleep for days. Who would ever think this way or even say these thoughts in front of their child?

Now, I don’t want you to get the wrong impression. Not all Koreans think like this, just as all Americans or Canadians or wherever you’re from are not all enlightened individuals. This lack of self-esteem is a problem with every little girl in the world. The Korean-type does not hold a monopoly on it. And I hope, with Su Bin’s character and the feelings she shares in Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter, some girl here or there might relate, realize, “Hey, it’s not just me,” and like Su Bin comes to see, every environment has a different ideal of beautiful. Somewhere out there, someone will think you’re amazing, no matter how the rest of the world looks at you.

Guest Post Image

To submit your guest post request, please follow the instructions via our “Review Policy”.


Book Review “Kyle Evans And The Key To The Universe” by Rob H. Hunt

Kyle evans cover

Some kids love adventure, and dream of being a hero. Ten-year-old Kyle Evans is not one of those kids, but when a giant hole appears in his bedroom and swallows his mom, a hero is what Kyle must become.

Kyle sets out on the journey of a lifetime, and discovers along the way that Battle Droids are scarier than Search Droids, Kranken are more terrifying than either of these, and you should never stand still near a Burgly Bug. But more important than any of this, Kyle learns that sometimes a cat is not just a cat.

Kyle Evans and The Key to The Universe is the first book in an exciting adventure trilogy that takes a boy, his cat and his friend Sofia across the universe, gradually revealing their amazing destiny.

First Lines: Kyle Evans lived in a small, comfortable house in the town of Moorefield. He lived with his mom and pet cat – Bootles – and nothing exciting ever happened to him. This was exactly how Kyle liked it because he did not enjoy surprises.

This story was incredibly unique. Not because of the space travel. Because let’s face it, there are tons of books about that. Not because of the talking cat/alien. Lots of those too. 

This book was unique because it’s main character isn’t looking to be a character in anything….ever. It’s not often that you find a main character who flinches from adventure but handles it so well…if reluctantly. 

The pace of this story is perfect for it’s age group. It continuously moves but not overwhelmingly so. It’s a well paced series of interesting and exciting events that hold the readers attention without becoming tedious or expected. After about halfway through the book you get the feeling that things are going to continue to be a bit hectic. I enjoyed that there was a lot going on but it stayed original.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the zoo planet and it’s odd choice of zookeeper species. If someone were to ask me what species of animal would be best for running a zoo, I would think frogs would be last on my list. If they were on my list at all. Wonderful choice by the author. Very unexpected. 

I LOVE Bootles character. He is witty and smart. He is clever and self depreciating. He is so complex! That’s not an easy thing to achieve with a talking cat/alien. He added so much to the story. 

On top of everything I love about this book, the thing that I have to say I am the most happy about is that as an adult I really enjoyed reading it. I am actually really excited about the next book. It is not easy to write a book for middle school kids that appeals to adults as well.

I give this book the full 5 stars!

5 stars

Click here to check this book out on Amazon!

The Technical Data:

Title: Kyle Evans And The Key To The Universe | Author(s): Rob H. Hunt |

Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services / Publication Date: 3-2-2016 |Pages: 164 (Paperback Edition) | ISBN: 9781522986799 | Genre(s): Science-Fiction / Children |Language:English |Rating: 5 out of 5 |  Date Read: 4-20-2016 | Source: Copy From Author

WWW Wednesday – April 20 2016


Welcome to WWW Wednesday! This prompt comes from Sam over at Taking On A World Of Words. Leave a comment with your list or a link to your blog! Click on the covers for more information about each book.

www wednesday

What are the three W’s?

What are you currently reading?

What did you recently finish reading?

What are you reading next?

book banner

Currently Reading

Kyle evans cover

Thoughts: I am more than halfway through this book and it’s awesome! 

Anything and Everything Cover

Thoughts: I’m not very far into this book but so far it’s pretty random.

Completed Books

Chewy Noh winter cover

Thoughts: I really enjoyed it but found it lacking in some respects. I gave it 4 stars. Check out my review “Chewy Noh Book Review”

not your mothers goose cover

Thoughts: I loved it! Hilarious to the max! Check out my 5 star review “NYMG 5 Star Review”

Next On My List

Eboracum Cover

Thoughts: I LOVE historical novels. I am really looking forward to reading this one!

The Keeper and the rulership cover

Thoughts: The description sounds really interesting and the cover is beautiful!

book banner

what’s on your list? 





Top Ten Tuesday – Books That Will Make You Laugh

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt comes from “The Broke and the Bookish”

I don’t read a whole lot of funny books so, I think ten is shooting a bit high. Instead, I’ll aim for five. These books are in no particular order. 

Click the covers for more information about each book.



1: Not Your Mother’s Goose

not your mothers goose cover

This book had just the right amount of sarcasm and sass. I really enjoyed it. To see the review I wrote, click on the title “Not Your Mother’s Goose”.

2: Why Do Men Have Nipples?: Hundreds of Questions You’d Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Martini

Why Do Men Have Nips Cover

I confess, I have not yet read this book. Honestly though, with a title like that… how could you resist?

3: The Insect Hotel

The Insect Hotel Cover

This book has both humor and life lessons. It’s written for children but is also enjoyable for the adult. To see the review I wrote, click the title “The Insect Hotel”.

4: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened

Lets pretend cover

This is another one I have yet to read. It’s hanging out on my really freaking long to-read list. Ah, the problems of a book blogger. So many books and not near enough time.

5: Hyperbole and a Half

hyperbole and a half cover

This is another one on my to-read shelf. I’m looking forward to eventually reading it. *Looks at mountain of to-read books* Someday…someday I will conquer them.


What books have made you laugh out loud ( literally )? Let me know! I’ll add them to the mountain of to-read books I will eventually be crushed under! 

Book Review “Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter” by Tim Learn

Chewy Noh winter cover

Click Here To Buy!

Chewy Noh has many problems. Besides his mom becoming a mu-dang—a Korean fortune-teller possessed by his dead grandmother who can read minds—the school bully, Kent, is still on the warpath to get Chewy kicked out of school. With his secret ability to win at everything, none of this bothers him until he starts disappearing for no reason while a mysterious force attacks his fellow students, and he must scramble to figure out what’s going on before he becomes its next and final victim.

First off, I must admit that I knew nothing about Korean myth or culture before this book. I don’t think I’ve read anything from a Korean’s  perspective. This was a delightful first for me.

Mr. Learn’s writing style is easy to follow and fun to read. I enjoyed getting to know Chewy, Clint and everyone else who plays a part in this book. There were a few things I felt like I was in the dark with. I believe this is the second book in the series so that probably explains my confusion at certain references or events.

Chewy is an interesting character. He is of two worlds culturally. It was an interesting thing to watch him maneuver. 

One of my favorite things about this book is that it addresses racism and acceptance in very inadvertent ways. The message and struggle is there but, it’s a part of the story instead of the whole story. I think it adds a complexity that I really wasn’t expecting.

I found a lot of the Korean culture portrayed in this book very interesting. It sounds like a very complex system to live with. 

Since this is a series I’m not going to knock it too hard for not having a solid ending. I will say that I was a bit disappointed. I felt like a lot of loose threads were left but, like I said, this is a series so I’m not going to take points off.

The one thing that bothered me the most about this book that I can’t really get over is that Chewy’s power was to be great at tests. That seems really short-sighted to me. Why was his wish so specific? Why not make a broader wish and just wish to be able to absorb all knowledge easily and have a perfect memory? Maybe that’s a bit complex for the age group this book is targeted for. I felt like that aspect of the story could of been used a bit better to add to the plot. 

I really enjoyed the story. I think it has great messages for it’s age group. The writing style was fun and easy to follow for the most part. The only thing that’s keeping it from getting the full five stars is the plot falling a little short. 

With these things in mind, I am rating this book at 4 stars.

4 star

The Technical Data:

Title: Chewy Noh and the Phantasm of Winter | Author(s): Tim Learn |

Publisher:  Amazon Digital Services / Publication Date: 7-15-2015 |Pages: 314 (Kindle Edition) |
ISBN: 9781505851458  | Genre(s): Urban Paranormal / Young Adult |Language:English |Rating: 4 out of 5 |  Date Read: 4-14-2016 | Source: Copy From Author

Happy Endings – The Divide is REAL.

book quote 1

For serious readers I have realized there is a bit of a divide on this issue. I have noticed other bloggers actually tick off points on a review if the ending wasn’t happy/sad.

As readers, we get very involved in our stories. These are not just characters. They are little pieces of ourselves that we invest into every story. Each story changes a bit about us. After finishing a really great book, we emerge from our reading cocoon with a bit of a different world view. Every story weaves it’s way into our psych. 

Since we get so involved in stories, having the perfect ending is imperative. Don’t leave loose strings. Don’t hold out! Give us closure! Please!

I realize that every story shouldn’t have a happy ending. Some stories need that sadness to imprint on us. Some stories just can not end happy. 

Some stories even have a mixed bag kind of ending. Where some things ended well while others just didn’t. 

However, some stories have the heavily sought after happy ending. Where everything is tied up nice and neat with a pretty bow of happily ever after. 

Why the obsession with happy ending?

For me, reading is an escape from the soul crushing grind of daily life here in reality-land. It keeps me from getting bitter and grinchy. Each happy ending plants that seed of wistful hope that things can be beautiful and good. Sadly, reality-land often isn’t a very good place to be. 

Between working amazingly long hours for abysmally low wages and trying not to drop kick your angsty two year old, life can get tough out here.  

I need those tiny little seeds of happy. 

What side of the debate are you on?