Book Review – Kids, Camels and Cairo by Jill Dobbe

Book Review – Kids, Camels and Cairo by Jill Dobbe

by Brittany 2 Comments

Book Review – Kids, Camels and Cairo

by Jill Dobbe

Average rating (all reviews) :


1 Review

 Rose Elliot
Findling Land, Book Blogger
 Brittany, Top Reviewer
BookGobbler & Brittany’s Pages



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One of the Best Travel Memoirs I’ve Ever Read

A little-known fact about me is that I spent part of a summer in college teaching abroad in Shanghai and Qingdao, China. In Shanghai, my team and I ran a three week ESL summer day camp for freshman nursing students. After that, a few of us went to Qingdao to help with a new ESL school. We got to do some informal, one-on-one tutoring as we introduced some neighborhood kids to English. It was a lot of fun! I would love to do something like it again and loving hearing about other’s experiences teaching abroad. So when Brittany texted me “Kids, Camels, and Cairo” as an option for this month’s buddy read, I jumped at the chance to read it.

“Kids, Camels, and Cairo” by Jill Dobbe provides an inside look at what life is like when living and teaching abroad. Dobbe and her husband are no strangers to teaching internationally. In fact, this book takes place after Dobbe and her husband had taken a three year break from teaching internationally, but continued to feel the pull of their past experiences and desire for more. Dobbe shares her experience as they navigated an international job fair, found her dream job as an elementary school principle in Cairo, Egypt, and as she and her husband traveled, lived, and worked in the Middle East.

Dobbe takes you with her as she explores the pyramids, rides a camel, visits the Dead Sea, and crosses cultural barriers as an administrator at an Egyptian elementary school. She shares her struggles, victories, mishaps, lessons learned (the easy and hard way!), and so much more. Reading this book felt like I’d hopped on a plane and gone to Cairo with her and her family!

My only complaints about “Kids, Camels, and Cairo” kind of go hand-in-hand. I was expecting her to talk more about her experience in the school itself. While she did share things here and there, the focus was more on her social and travel life. This was perfectly fine! It just was not what I was expecting, partly due to the book description. I also wish that Kids, Camels, and Cairo was about a hundred pages longer. If it had been longer, she could have included more of her school experience. Two years is a long time! I got a lot out of the story, but the shortness of the book left me wishing I had gotten much more.

Part of a buddy read, posted on  Finding Land, Rose’s Book Blog



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One of the Best Travel Memoirs I’ve Ever Read

Kids, Camels, & Cairo by Jill Dobbe has been one of the best travel memoirs I’ve ever read. Jill’s writing is concise and charming, I would seriously read anything that she writes. 

Jill and her husband decided to sell their house and teach abroad. They’ve done it before. After visiting job fairs, they decided on positions at a school in Cairo, Egypt. So one sunny day, they packed up their things and moved their lives across the globe.
The Dobbes experienced many difficulties, including language, religion, and culture. But they remained open minded and adapted really well. 

Jill’s book is part travel book and part memoir. I really admire people who write their own personal stories for others to read. It’s a brave act, in my opinion, as your personal actiones rather than your story – are then judged. Jill has approached this book so well. It might be the teacher in her, but everything she wrote in this book is so interesting: It flows so well from story to story and I soaked up every single word. I just wish it wasn’t so short!

This book could easily be 5 stars, but I rated it lower due to a personal disagreement with one decision she made, which overshadowed my experience. However, I’m not going to go into detail – read this fantastic book and judge for yourself!

Part of a buddy read, to be posted Feb 28th 2018, on Britanny’s Pages




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Book Review – Chasing Symmetry (Riley’s Peak #1)  by Tempeste Blake

Book Review – Chasing Symmetry (Riley’s Peak #1) by Tempeste Blake

by Brittany 0 Comments

Book Review – Chasing Symmetry

(Riley’s Peak #1)

by Tempeste Blake

Average rating (all reviews) :


2 Review

 Brittany, Top Reviewer
BookGobbler & Brittany’s Pages
  Julia Wilson
Christian Bookaholic



Britanny's Pages Book Review by Brittany

A Murder Thriller with a Shocking Twist!

Bianca James thinks she has her life together. She teaches art at the local college, dotes on her car Picasso, and she has a wonderful best friend. But when Bianca discovers a murdered woman in the school’s storage closet, things become a bit more complicated.

Finn Tierny has returned to Riley’s Peak to help take care of his father. He joins the police force and is part of the crew that responds to the murder scene. He is surprised to see Bianca, his former art teacher and his older brother’s ex-girlfriend.

Soon after the murder, Bianca begins to receive threats  and Finn does all he can to keep her safe. The two begin to fall for each other, even with Finn’s brother Dylan trying win Bianca back. Everything comes crashing down and Bianca’s life is put in danger in a clever twist of an ending.

Chasing Symmetry started off really strong, I flew through the first few chapters with the murder investigation and then it started to slow down. I had to put it down and come back to it later.
The novel stands as both a murder mystery and a love story. Police are trying to find the murderer and Finn is in love with Bianca, and wants to keep her safe.

As a love story, it wasn’t believable enough for me. Bianca is caught in two interconnecting love triangles. One with brothers Dylan and Finn, the other with Dylan and his now girlfriend Jewel. On Finn’s side, the narrative is that he comes back to town and immediately becomes protective of Bianca (obviously he’s already in love with her). And to be honest, he’s in love with a person he barely knows. The attraction seems to be all physical and that, for me, is a shallow base for a love story. Not to mention that she was his art teacher AND it’s his brother’s ex-girlfriend.

The murder mystery was a little on the slow end in the middle (hence my original 3 star rating), but the clever twist at the end upped my rating. The author introduces several characters that have the potential to be the murderer. It kept me guessing through the whole book and the ending totally blew me away.

If you are a murder mystery fan, definitely give this book a try and see if you can figure out the ending better than I can!

Chasing Symmetry gets 3.5 stars.

Originally Posted on Britanny’s Pages


Reviewed by Julia Wilson

Lies, Secrets And Shattered Lives

Chasing Symmetry by Tempeste Blake is a marvellous nail-biting contemporary murder mystery that intrigues from the start. Lives are easily shattered. The novel explores how a traumatic event can have far reaching effects. “He couldn’t stop blaming himself.” Unable to face the future except by looking through the bottom of a glass. Trauma changes lives.

Mothers are important. When mothers leave – either through choice or death – families are changed. Children need their mothers. Husbands need their wives. A mother is the glue that holds the family together.
Life can be cruel. Cancer robs us of our loved ones. Sometimes even before death as their personalities change. It is hard to watch as they slowly slip away.
The world sees one face but people are different behind closed doors. “The world was full of people hiding their true identities.” Many people are nursing secrets. There is power in prayer. “If you pray… pray. If you don’t, you might want to start.” Many turn to prayer in a crisis. For others it is a default setting.

Chasing Symmetry’s plotline was well thought out and cleverly constructed. The ending was jaw dropping. I did not see it coming but was totally brilliant. I was engrossed and guessing throughout. The characters were well drawn and realistic with their unique strengths and weaknesses. The main characters were very likable.

Chasing Symmetry is a brilliant read. It would translate perfectly into a movie. I cannot wait for the next book in the series.

Originaly Posted on the Christian Bookaholic