Monday, August 29, 2016

Upcoming Review: Last Man Out

Tommy loves football. He lives for it both on and off the field. During one of the most important games of the season, he hears the fire whistle. He knows his dad's out there battling the flames.

It isn't until afterwards that he learns the truth - his father didn't make it out. He always said be the first man in and the last man out, but not this time.

Now Tommy, his sister, and his mother must learn to live without him. Tommy becomes angry at the world and a little reckless. His sister Em quits the soccer team and shuts out the world. And their mom just tries to keep everyone together.
My Thoughts: I really liked this book. It made me tear up twice in the first few pages and it certainly tugged at my heartstrings a few more times. I liked the football moments. I liked learning more about Tommy's dad. He had great philosophies. I liked the moments between Tommy and his sister - how he tried to coax her out of her shell after the death of their father. 

The one problem I had was Tommy's age. The back cover of the ARC didn't mention Tommy's age and it wasn't until page 170 that it was mentioned. From the rest of the book, I thought he was older at least 14 if not 16 from the way he acted.  It changed the perspective of the book for me. 

Cover Thoughts: Great - Love the placement of the two helmets
Source: Book sent for review
Release Date: September 13th
Library Recommendation: Perfect for tween library collection - both school and public libraries. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Mysterious Saturday Review: Caught Bread Handed

 * Book 4 in the Bakeshop Mystery Series * 
Drama comes to Ashland - in the form of Jules's husband and in a new restaurant. Jules isn't sure what to do about her relationship. Should she forgive Carlos? Should they be reunited? She loves seeing him in her hometown, but is that enough?

The new restaurant in town is making everyone miserable. A fast food joint shouldn't be part of the community, especially without blending into the Shakespeare theme. When the owner is found dead - suspicions arise on the angry business owners.

Jules walked in after the murder. With so many people angry at the victim, it's going to hard looking for just one person who committed the crime.  
My  Thoughts: I really love this series - I love the town, the people, and the bakeshop. I love how Jules is torn between Carlos and the town and what direction her life will take. I love the new ideas for the bakeshop, especially for the chocolate festival (which means I can't wait to read the next book). With all the food describe, this book makes my mouth water. I admit that I enjoyed learning more about Carlos. I'm starting to warm up to him a bit more. A fantastic addition to the series.

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for cozy sections at all public libraries.

Friday, August 26, 2016

My Favorite Performances by Child Actors a Guest Post from Lygia Day Peñaflor

From Little House to Fresh Off the Boat: My Favorite Performances by Child Actors
by Lygia Day Peñaflor
In Unscripted Joss Byrd, Joss’s manager tells her to watch the 1973 movie Paper Moon to study Tatum O’Neal’s Oscar-winning performance. This serves as the gold standard of acting for Joss, and the film provides her with comfort and courage during tough times. In addition to Paper Moon, here are my other favorite performances by child actors (in no particular order):

Mae Whitman as “Bernice Pruitt” in Hope Floats
Fred Savage and Danica McKellar as “Kevin &Winnie” in The Wonder Years
Hudson Yang as “Eddie Huang” in Fresh Off the Boat
Melissa Gilbert as “Laura Ingalls” in Little House on the Prairie
Sara Gilbert as “Darlene Conner” in Rosanne
Quvenzhané Wallis as “Hushpuppy” in Beasts of the Southern Wild
Abigail Breslin as “Olive Hoover” in Little Miss Sunshine
Ricky Schroder as “T.J.” in The Champ
River Phoenix as “Chris Chambers” in Stand by Me
Todd Bridges as “Solomon” in Little House on the Prairie
Ke Huy Quan as “Short Round” in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Corey Haim as “Lucas Bly” in Lucas
Oona Laurence as “Leila Hope” in Southpaw
Jacob Tremblay as “Jack” in Room

UNSCRIPTED JOSS BYRD by Lygia Day Peñaflor
On sale August 23, 2016
Roaring Brook Press


ABOUT THE BOOK
In this affecting debut novel, a child actor struggles to find herself on a film set where only one thing matters: getting the money shot.


Joss Byrd is America's most celebrated young actress, and her next project is a hot new Indie film helmed by a renowned, charismatic director. But on the set of The Locals, Joss's life is far from glamorous. Her mother is domineering and relentless, her dyslexia makes it difficult to keep up with the constantly changing script, the boy playing her older brother doesn't seem to reciprocate Joss's crush, and the film's gritty subject matter terrifies her. Yet none of these things appear to matter to Joss's agent, director, or even her mother. Joss is just a cash cow, and no one cares what she has to do for the perfect shot-as long as she gets it somehow.


Author Lygia Day Peñaflor's draws on her firsthand experience as a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars in this affecting debut novel that explores the many demands made on young actors.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Lygia Day Peñaflor attended the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Seminar and received a scholarship to Southampton Writers Conference based on this manuscript. A graduate of Boston University and Columbia Teachers College, she is a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars. Her students have included the young casts of Gossip Girl and Boardwalk Empire as well as Jay-Z's reboot of Annie. She lives on Long Island.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Review: Mother Daughter Book Camp

* Book 7 in the Mother Daughter Book Club Series *
The summer before college Emma, Jess, Megan, Becca, and Cassidy become counselors at Camp Lovejoy in the wilds of New Hampshire. Besides looking after their darlings, they each have an activity to teach.

To combat the homesickness of the younger girls, the five friends decide to hold a book club at camp - reading Understood Betsy. Of course camp wouldn't be the same without hijinks and a little mayhem. 
My Thoughts: I'm glad this series came back for one more final book because I adore these characters (dare I hope for a spin-off series next?).  I loved learning more about the five friends' plans for the future. I liked the younger girls adjusting to camp. I love how the five adjusted along with the younger girls as it was their first time too. I really loved this series and the ending was fantastic.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A must have for libraries with the rest of the series

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Harry Potter Book Tags

A little while ago, I was searching for something fun for the blog and I came across these tags. SO of course I had to participate! Kimberly made these awesome tags - check her post out here.  I'm going to try to limit them to books read this year. And here I go...

HP Spells Book Tag


Grabby Hands on an Upcoming Release
Empire of Storms (Throne of Glass, #5)

Anything she writes, I will read.
Favorite series starter
The Queen of Blood by Sarah Beth DurstThe Rogue Not Taken by Sarah MacLean

So different and yet both so good.
Book that gave you the warm fuzzies
Wanderlost by Jen MaloneThe Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

travel - banter - dogs- romance 
What's not to love?

Book that made you cry - hard
Last Man Out by Mike Lupica
I cried about three times in the first 20 pages...but a really good book.
Heroine you'd want to protect you in real life
Crossing the Line by Meghan Rogers
Jocelyn has the skills, but hopefully that would never happen because I lead a quiet life.
A Book you wish you could make EVERYONE read because it's just that good
Where You'll Find Me by Natasha Friend

Trust me, just read it!
Book series you wish Never ended
Foreign Éclairs by Julie HyzyThe Crown by Kiera Cass

Loved both of these series and I understand why they ended, but I will miss them.
Book with an uplifting final message
The Girl in the Tower by Lisa Schroeder

A good heart is worth more than anything
An author who can always get you out of a reading slump
The Boy Next Door by Meg Cabot

Meg Cabot books always make me happy
Swoon worthy hero - aka my new book boyfriend
The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson

Clark!
Book that made you forget the rest of the world because you HAD to keep reading
Defending Taylor by Miranda Kenneally

So many books are like this for me, but Defending Taylor was the latest, And all Miranda Kenneally books are like that for me.

Book that made you laugh out loud
The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich

Janet Evanovich always makes me laugh. 
Book world where you'd love to visit
Because of Miss Bridgerton by Julia Quinn

I would love to visit with the Bridgertons 
Book with shocking twists and turns
The Long Game by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

This series always has me on the edge of my seat


Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday: Overdue TBR pile

This week's topic is Ten Books That Have Been On Your Shelf (Or TBR) From Before You Started Blogging That You STILL Haven't Read Yet  - I've been blogging for almost 8 years. I hope there's nothing on my shelves that I still haven't read, but I do tend to get behind with library books that are due....


ARC August is helping a little with that, although I have read several library books too. I love the idea of ARC August and will be attempting that each year. I guess I should really clean up my shelves, but it's just so hard :) So here are some books that I've been meaning to read for a while.
meme from The Broke and the Bookish 

Deception's Princess (Deception's Princess, #1)Pennyroyal Academy (Pennyroyal Academy, #1)Prodigy (Legend, #2)Spoiled (Spoiled, #1)Gods and Warriors (Gods and Warriors, #1)
The Jewel (The Lone City, #1)The Beautiful and the Cursed (The Dispossessed, #1)This World We Live In (Last Survivors, #3)Exquisite Captive (Dark Caravan Cycle, #1)Gone Too Far

Have you read any of these? 
Let me know!

Tween Tuesday Review: The Last Great Adventure of the PB& J Society

Annie and Jason are best friends - they do everything together. Until they learn that Jason's family has financial troubles and might be moving. Luckily Annie has lots of ideas on how to raise money to save Jason's house.

Except none of them work out the way she planned. But she's not about to give up. She can't lose her best friend. Can she find a way to save them? Maybe an ancient pirate treasure? Or maybe win the lottery. Or maybe...
My Thoughts: Oh man, this book was excellent and it seriously tugged at my heartstrings. I felt terrible for Annie and for the thought of her best friend leaving her. I like that she had a lot of ideas to help. She has a really big heart, even if none of the ideas turned out well. I felt terrible for Jason, for what his family was going through and for how his parents acted. I love how Annie and Jason befriendeMrs. Schuster. I loved the realistic ending.

Cover Thoughts: Really Cute
Source: From the Library
Library Recommendation: Highly Recommended for Middle School/Tween collections

Monday, August 22, 2016

Tween Review: Classy Crooks Club

AJ's stuck spending the summer with her strict grandmother while her parents travel to the Amazon for a research trip. Her grandmother wants to turn her into a proper young lady. She must answer to Annemarie, she must not skateboard or run in the house, her friends may not come over, and she must learn how to sew. AJ is sure this is going to be the worst summer ever - until she accidentally goes into the forbidden part of the house.

There she uncovers birds - lots of birds. Just to make sure, she didn't dream everything, she breaks into the room again to discover her grandmother and her friends where she learns the truth. These ladies steal things and they want her to help.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. In the beginning, I felt terrible for AJ as her summer looked dismal outside of her soccer practices. But as the book went on, her summer improved. I like how her relationship changed with the grandmother. I love how she learned new skills. I like how the ladies formed the club and how they rotated through their members. I liked the friendship drama between AJ and her best friend - how she couldn't tell her about her real summer and the misunderstandings. A fun book with a brave character who wasn't afraid to stand up for what's right. 

Cover Thoughts: Amazingly Good
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for tween sections