Scrib'd vs. Amazon Unlimited: A comparison ( Based on the iPad Version)

Scrib'd vs Amazon Unlimited:

Scrib'd versus Amazon Kindle Unlimited
Battle of The BOOKS
Who Wins the Battle of the Books...

I have long been waiting for good services to come out that offer serious readers the chance to do what Netflix did for movie watchers.  I was surprised when it wasn't Amazon who lead the pack.  I suppose in their own way they thought that offering "Prime" members ONE whole book a month from their "Prime" Selection was the Reader's answer to Netflix, umm... nope... Wrong Amazon.  

If you truly are a "serious" reader, one who reads at least a book a week, the Prime version where you could only choose ONE book from a meager amount of titles, truly wasn't going to satisfy your reading needs.  Yet, when Scrib'd first came on the scene, I did look into it, and tried to search for a few of my favorite authors and none of the ones that I automatically look for were in the selection.

Ok...  So, let's disect it.
Scrib'd Monthly Service, $8.99

PRICE:

Ok.  So this is quite easy.  

Scrib'd:  $8.99/ monthly

Kindle Unlimited:  $9.99/ monthly

So, just looking at the two side by side looking at PRICE, Scrib'd is the winner.  Ok, but there's more to the services than just "money".  What reader's want to know is is it worth it?  No one wants to subscribe to a service and then there not be any of the book they are interested in be available...

Content:


Ok.  So, if you aren't a chick lit lover, I may honestly not be able to help you here.  I've primarily researched what I like and what I've found.

When Kindle Unlimited began, I immediately signed up for the "free trial", because heck it's free, right??  I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that Carole Matthews had quite a few books available on Kindle Unlimited...  Jill Mansell had one or two...  Milly Johnson:  zilch...  

I can't really tell you exactly what books are party of Kindle Unlimited.  As of right now there truly is no way to find the books that meet MY criteria when I search through Amazon.  They need to create a database for their Unlimited users and perhaps even it's own app.  Because the only reason I found that Ruth Saberton and Carole Matthews were a part of Unlimited, was because I was searching for them anyway.

Now, when I first looked into Scrib'd I mentioned that I had not found any content that really blew my socks off.  Last night I signed up through my "Swagbucks bar" (It's a really neat way to earn points that turn into Amazon Gift Cards or Visa Gift Cards, etc.  I have since beginning - I haven't been too active, I've cashed in for two $5 gift cards!  Not too bad)...  Anyway...  I signed up for the free trial of Scrib'd because I would be able to receive 900 points (equal to $10 in Amazon Gift Cards), plus I really had been wanting to try the service.

Once I was on the site and answered a few questions about my book preferences, it lead me to suggestions.  Let me say, the suggestions were RIGHT on par!  They pointed me to Milly Johnson, Paige Toon, Sue Welfare (I've not yet read her, but now I will!) and Hester Brown.  Plus some other books that truly looked to be MY kind of book!

My Scrib'd Library:  Featuring Paige Toon, Sheila O'Flangan & Milly JohnsonUI / Plus the Algorithms

The UI of Scrib'd truly far surpasses the Kindle App.  When I first received my iPad 1, I had both Kobo and Amazon Kindle apps on it.  However, the Kobo app was so pretty and I loved the way you moved around it.  The Kindle app, just seem so basic and generic when compared to other Reading apps.

You also can "shop" on the Scrib'd app, where the Amazon app, I guess because iTunes wanted to make it harder for Amazon to compete with the iBooks store, made it really difficult and users have to shop in the browser then go back and my Amazon is still trying to send stuff to a device I never have.

The Scrib'd UI is so similar in style to that of Kobo, and the ease in which you move around is really nice.  I think that Amazon really focused their money on their "kindle Fire" UI and those of us "hardcord apple" users have been kinda left in the dust.  It doesn't feel as if Amazon is putting money into making a nice system for us apple folks to use.  Where the Scrib'd app really feels really well made.

I love the books that Scrib'd has selected based on my preferences.  Amazon, just isn't fairing well, because their recommendations aren't just Kindle Unlimited, and I have to dig around to find the good ones.

MY VERDICT:

Scrib'd right now wins HANDS down!  I will probably stick with Scrib'd at least until I've read all that it has to offer.  I may end up cancelling my Kindle Unlimtied.  For the most part, the books available on Unlimited are usually the lower priced books anyway, the ones I can easily afford.  Plus, there really aren't many of the books that I want to read that are at this time being offered.  Since, I likely can't see myself paying $20 for two reading apps I will have to make a cut somewhere.

I'm sorry Kindle Unlimited, unless you change your ways and maybe dress yourself up nicer and show me more of what I want and like, then I think it's time we take a break....  

ON another NOTE:

I'd love to know how these apps affect my favorite author's pockets...  Afterall, I don't want them to be unable to feed their families because I'm using a book service.  I want to be able to have a discount, but not at the expense of authors who work hard to give me these delicious stories to escape from my own mundane life....

WHAT ABOUT YOU???

Have you subscribed yet to either service?? If you have, which one and why do you love it or hate it?  If you are an author, PLEASE tell me you aren't going to starve if I continue this dirty little habit??  I think maybe this is a great vehicle to catch up on a backlog of older stories, but I promise I will continue to purchase your new titles :)  Please don't hate me because I'm poor and cheap :)

Review: First We Take Manhattan by: Colette Caddle


First We Take Manhattan:

Synoposis:

In First We Take Manhattan, we meet Sinead and her family who are still mourning the loss of her sister Sheila almost a year ago.  Sheila, whose body was never found, vanishes into thin air.  Leaving behind Philip, her adoring husband;  Sinead her identical twin, and Max their brother as well as their dad.  

Sinead, Sheila's twin of course is probably taking the news harder than anyone.  A hat designer, who had been in business with Sheila, is finding it hard to find inspiration and struggles with just living.  She's shocked into reality when her brother Max (who prepares their finances), informs her that she's going to have to shut down the shop so that she can focus on the "design" aspect of the business or she will lose it all.

On the otherside of the world Krystie, a talented would-be designer, has just lost her job.  With no prospects she knows that there's only one answer:  Go home to Ireland with her tail between her legs.  Little does Krystie know that this is the answer to her prayers.  While she's wasted away years in the "Big City Lights" of New York working as a seamstress, it isn't until she heads back to Ireland that she might just find her true calling.

My Thoughts:

I had never had the pleasure of reading any of Colette Caddle's work prior to receiving this book.  I am so glad that I won this on Facebook and was able to immerse myself inside the fascinating world that Colette Caddle created.

This book was a lovely story about a family who has been ripped apart by the sudden loss of Sheila.  With no body and no hard concrete evidence it makes it hard for this family to move oThe family is stuck between mourning the loss of Sheila to hanging onto the thread of hope that she's still out there.  The question is, if Sheila is alive, what could possibly make her want to leave her old life behind.

Colette Caddle so masterfully told this story.  You know, it's hard for me to know exactly what it is that makes me enjoy a particular book so much.  This time though, it occured to me what it was that had me so hooked.  Ms. Caddle was able to leave an air of mystery throughout the entire book, when you found one piece of the puzzle you discoverd another piece missing.  This kept you unable to put it down, wanting to discover the answers to the every unfolding mysteries that were uncovered.

That's when you know it's a good book, when an author can give you JUST enough information to where you're not feeling exasperated, but you are working out the answers in your own head and SOMETIMES you might be right, but are thrilled when you discover you just THOUGHT you knew.  That's how it was for me with this book.  There were some elements that it didn't take me long to figure out, or well that I had at some point figured out prior to the answer being displayed.

Yet, there were other times when I was just DEAD wrong.  It happens OCCASSIONALLY that I'm wrong :)  I LOVED this book.  I loved the characters that Ms. Caddle created and the way she integrated them into the plot.  It was a story that felt seamless.  It was a relief after some of the books I've read (none that have been reviewed here) where the characters' weren't fully developed and the plots just seemed rushed or there was no "climax".  

In "First We Take Manhattan", you have a lovely story of a family broken, long kept secrets that are uncovered, newfound loves, friendship and self-empowerment and discovering what it is that makes you happy is something we all need to find and hold onto if and when we find it.

This is a DEFINITE 5 star book!  I cannot reitterate how much I loved this lovely, lovely story!  It doesn't appear to yet be available on Kindle, however it doesn't take that long to order and receive it from the UK or Ireland!  I got this book within a week of winning it!  If you haven't ever read Irish or UK literature / chick lit, I'm telling you that there's something so thrilling about the way these women tell stories!  I have found myself searching for new Irish and UK authors when my favs have all been read!

To purchase this on Amazon:


To Connect to Colette Caddle:




Thanks

Thanks again for tuning into my little ol' site!  I hope that you've enjoyed this review!  If you have, I would love to hear your thoughts on this book or if you plan to purchase it!


***  This book was won in a giveaway on Facebook!

The Stolen Girl by Renita DSilva: Book Review


BEHIND:

To those who follow me, let me please apologize to you for falling behind on my Book Reviews.  There are so many new and exciting things taken place and I'm struggling trying to find balance to it all.  I truly appreciate those of you who take the time to read my posts.

I am trying desperately to find a balance to everything!  So, I appreciate your patience with me.  I promise to try to be more consistent with SassyGalReads.  It is my first love.

The Stolen Girl:  Renita D'Silva

I actually came across this book, almost by pure chance.  I had seen the cover and liked it and commented about how much I liked it and was given the opportunity to review it!  Sometimes, being a book reviewer can really be one of the coolest things!  

This book is a little different than most of my "happy go lucky" chick-lit.  In "The Stolen Girl", we meet Diya, a 13 year old girl who shortly after the book begins, discovers that her "mother" has been arrested for kidnapping her.  She is "The Stolen Girl".  Diya, who has always had an extremely close relationship and attachment to her mother, is devestated.  The life that she's known is no more.

Of course, questions flood through her mind.  She's stuck between protecting the mother she's known her whole life, and questioning the foundation of all she's ever known.

Aarti, the mom who has spent the past nearly 13 years searching for a lost child, is all at once filled with relief as well as hurt when Diya doesn't form the instant bond she always imagined they would have.  

Then there's Vani, the one who has raised Diya her whole life, the one now facing kidnapping charges and deportation from England (where she fled) back to India where the crime was committed.

But things aren't always as they seem.  "The Stolen Girl" bounces back from present day to the past some twenty or so years to present day.  

This is a story about friendship, love, forsaking yourself.  It's also a story about some bigger topics, topics that are so serious and make you realize and appreciate the freedom we all enjoy.  It's a story about our possessions, the people that we hold dear and how we treat them.  How sometimes those we love are the ones that we hurt the most, how we try to possess those and hold on too tight, and how sometimes that's the very thing that pushes them away.  The author handled these subjects so gorgeously.  Her work is beautiful and touching.

When I first opened the pages, the way that it was written took some getting used to.  Like a lot of books, I read it and then put it down because I didn't think I was going to be able to "get into it".  However, I'm glad I picked it back up, because this TRULY was an awe inspring book.  The story was captivating.  I found myself unable to pull away from the story.  It's part mystery, part love, and part betrayl.

The lives of these three women will never be the same.  It's a story about forgiveness, and learning how to love.  This is a book I would love to just gab about and share all the delicious bits, but I can't find a way to do so, without giving the essential parts away.  It's a story that has some twists and turns that you don't expect.

Renita D'Silva, this is the first time I've experienced her writing, but she truly has been blessed with the gift of story telling.  She knows how to draw the reader in and keep them interested.  For someone like me, who has a very hard time finding new authors and new books that can captivate my attention, I appreciate when I can find an author that is able to draw me into the story and make me forget where I am, and lose myself inside the pages of story.

I literally bawled my eyes out while reading this book.  While it's different than most stories, it was a nice change of pace and sometimes I find that I need to break the monotany of what I'm used to.  If you love a good and truly touching story that has some mysterious elements this would be a good book for you!  I truly hope that if your reading this, you will consider giving this book a chance.

It really is a book that needs to be read.  If you have read this book, I would love to hear your thoughts on it!  What books are you usually drawn to, do you ever go beyond your normal "genre"?  I find that I have a hard time wanting to leave my happy chick lit genre, but I realize if I confine myself within one genre, I can truly miss out on some exceptional writing, story telling.

This is TRULY a 5 star book.  
o

NOTE:

I'll be extremely honest, I have struggled to post reviews on books that I don't find truly exceptional.  It's so hard for me to publish 3 stars and below, because I feel so bad and dont' want to hurt those author's feelings.  However, I realize that as a book reviewer it is my duty if I want to be taken seriously to commit myself to sharing the good, the bad and the ugly with my readers.

So, I am going to promise you from this day forward, even if I don't like a book all that much, I will begin to publish the reviews of ALL my findings.  

If you are a blogger, was it hard for you to publish reviews that were sometimes "less than stellar" performances by the author?  How do you handle those situations?



**  I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  However, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are my OWN, in no way does it effect my critique or rating.


Connect:

Follow Renita D'Silva:  


To Purchase: $2.99 ON KINDLE!


Birchbox Bloggers Book Club: Mindy Kaling (AUGUST)

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?  Mindy Kaling Birchbox August Book Club Review

BIRCHBOX:

Birchbox is a beauty subscription service that costs just $10/ monthly and subscribers receive 5 deluxe sized samples ranging from Haircare to Skincare to Cosmetics.  They also have a wonderful point system, in which subscribers can earn "birchbox points" to spend in their HUGE store, that has all kinds of fun stuff!

Birchbox Book Club:

Just recently, I believe in June, they started having a monthly book club.  This month's selection was Mindy Kaling's book, "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns).

BETTER LATE THAN NEVER:

So, for those of you who read my blog often, may have noticed that I have added a ton to my plate.  I've also been doing a ton of product reviews.  So, it's really taking some getting organized to learn to balance everything from my Book Blog to my Beauty Blog as well as my money maker "Selling jewelry".  It's really a hit or miss thing for me to try to figure out how to get everything accomplished.  I see other folks posting maybe 3 or 4 blog posts a day and am amazed at how wonderfully organized they must be!!

OK SO ON TO THE BOOK!

This book is a bit of a departure for my normal style of reading.  I tend to read mainly chick-lit fiction.  However, I truly did love this book.

It's a perfect book, for times when you don't have a lot of time to invest in a "story".  As it's mainly a book filled with lots of little stories.  The book was filled with lots of tid bits about Mindy Kaling's life!  Told through the mouth of Mindy, she can make even the most ordinary event sound hilarious.

The opening page, had me dying with laughter.  She definitely has a unqiue voice and a different perspective than a lot.  She doesn't seem to take herself too seriously and is able to "poke fun" at herself, which is always good for a laugh.

*** Excerpt taken from: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns
Thank you for buying this book.  Or, if my publisher's research analytics are correct, thank you, Aunts of America, for buying this for your niece you don't know that well but really want to connect with more.  There are many teenage vampire books you could have purchased instead.  I'm grateful you made this choice.

With an opening like that, how could it be anything BUT fun!  She also responds to the question:  "Is this one of those guide books celebrities write for girls?, with:  Oh, Hell no.  I'm only marginally qualified to be giving advice at all.  My BMI is certainly not idea, I frequently use my debit card to buy things that cost less than three dollars because I never have cash on me, and my bedroom is so untidy it looks like vandals ransacked the Antrhopologie Sale section.  I'm kind of a mess.

She definitely was able to push back the "celebrity Mindy" and make us feel as if she's just one of the girls.  I mean, sure she's been on several sit-com's and movies, but she's just like us...  Only not.

If you like light hearted books, that are fun with several little stories within, this is a book you would definitely enjoy.  I really enjoyed her writing style and her humor.  Anyone who can so eloquently laugh at themselves, is alright in my book.

There's a Best Friend's Right and Responsbilities Section for the important things Best Friend's should do for one anohter.  Things like, borrowing ALL your clothes (That's a given), be honest about how you look (GENTLY), trying to like ones' boyfriend, being there when your depressed.

She goes on to tell about her time on The Office, and how she got the role of Kelly Kapoor.  She basically gives us an inside look inside the mind of Mindy Kaling, along with some of the background on how she became the successful actress, but how she maintains to be just a "normal" girl who happens to be a Hollywood star.

I'm so not a nonfiction person, for the most part.  So, for a book that's nonfiction to hold my interest, it really takes an interesting and unique approach, and Mindy Kaling, certainly had that in Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns.  It's a book, I would definitely recommend to other folks!  It's a great GIFT book, as she so jokingly put it, it really is.  It's a book you could keep in your ahem "bathroom" for those times that you might be there for a little longer than usual.

I totally give this a Sassy Gal FIVE star rating!  It was so much fun, yet infomrative, it didn't have me nodding off as some books have been known to do!  It's a book that I think I could read, and reRead and get something a bit different each time.

TO follow Mindy on Twitter:  Mindy on Twitter
To learn more about Birchbox or to subscribe:  Birchbox.com
Follow Birchbox:  Birchbox on Twitter

To purchase this book:
Just $4.99 on Kindle!

 Did you read the August Birchbox book club selection?  If so, what did you think of Mindy Kaling's book and how would you rate it against other Non-Fiction works?

Thanks for once again tuning into another post!  I hope that you weren't bored to tears and maybe even learned something!  I would love to hear from you!  I like to know I'm not talking to myself!!  So maybe just a comment that says:  Yup, I was here, would be nice :)

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