Saturday, October 25, 2014

Mysterious Saturday Review: Inherit the Word

* Book 2 in the Cookbook Nook series
The Cookbook Nook will be hosting the annual Grill Fest - a local cooking competition. Natalie's been the winner the past 8 years and she's looking for her 9th win this year.

During the first round of the competition, someone pulls the fire alarm in the building. Everyone evacuates the shop. When they return to the competition, it's clear that Natalie's missing. They find her body in the alleyway next to the store.

Jenna becomes involved in looking for clues when a close family friend becomes the prime suspect after fighting a day eariler with the deceased. Soon, Jenna's back to asking questions and trying to piece together the mystery of that day.
My Thoughts: Another winner in this series! I loved the cooking competition - so perfect given all the similar shows on TV. The grilled cheese combinations (among other treats) made my mouth water. i like that she's taking cooking lessons from her friends.  I loved the conversations about the long cookbook titles. I loved the talk of cozy mysteries, especially noticing the ones that I've read myself. I felt horrible for Jenna and dealing with her personal life. For the record, I thought something else happened entirely when I read that letter. Still I wasn't expecting that, I sympathized with Jenna. I'm glad she had the support of her friends and family plus that cute kitten of hers to keep her mind occupied.

Cover Thoughts: Fantastic
Source: My Library 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Review: Side Effects

Whitney's mom died and five months later, her dad disappears. Her life's turned upside down. Her oldest brother returns home from med school to pick up the pieces.

Everyone starts behaving differently. Whitney needs medication to help, but they give her hallucinations (often in the form of musical numbers).  Lexi (her sister) finds solace in guys and parties. Jason (her twin) gives up baseball. Sam just tries to hold on.

When the family finds out their home's in jeopardy, they make a last ditch effort to find their dad - together. 
My Thoughts: I love Jen Calonita's books. It's a good read that reminds me of the TV show Party of Five sweet and full of drama. Everyone in the family deals with the loss of their mother and then their father in different ways - not all of them good ways, but all of them are realistic. I like how they bicker and fight like family, but also how they have each other's back. Even though Side Effects mentions romance, bullies, sports, and friendship drama, it's mostly about family.

Cover Thoughts: Ok
Source: Sent for Review

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Mini Review: All Access

Tagline from PublisherYour Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Coolest People, Places and Things!

Set-UpThis book's divided into three categories: People, Places, and Things.

The Good:
I Love the Lift and Look Pages
Great facts (fascinating, gross, and weird) 
Love the variety
Loved the history blended with the currently world

The Bad:
I wish it was longer!
Overall: Seriously cool book that any reader would enjoy.
*Sent for Review

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What's On My Hold's List (93)

My Librarian friend Jess from I Read to Relax came up with a great idea.  It's to highlight the books on hold at the library. I usually have 20-40 items checked out at the library and another 20 items on hold. 

More Christmas Romances - here's the first post of this year's books.
The Lodge on Holly Road: 6th book in the Icicle Falls series - small town charm, great friendships, and hot romances.

Maybe this Christmas: I Love this series set in Vermont and it's a friends to lovers story!

Christmas on Chestnut Street: Set in Nantucket for a winter wedding. I love that cover.

What Christmas books are you looking forward to reading this year?

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Blog Tour: Double Vision: The Alias Men

I'm happy to be hosting a spot on the blog tour, I've read and loved the first two books in the Double Vision trilogy and super excited to see how it all turns out. FT Bradley's here to answer some questions about being a spy!

1 Would you like to be a spy? Do you think you'd be good at it?
I’d be a terrible spy… I’m almost six feet tall with red hair—everyone sees me coming from a mile away. No covert gigs for me. Also, I’m a bit of a chicken, so dangerous spy missions are not something I think I’d be good at. I’m more like Linc’s gadget guy Henry in the Double Vision books: I’d rather be safe.

But I love writing about the whole secrecy surrounding spies, and there’s a wealth of story material. If you look at history, there have been spies going back to Egyptian times. It’s fascinating stuff. Spies are cool.

I do love the idea of spies, but I'm not sure I could be one either.

2 Could you break a code if you needed to?
Uhhh, only with a decoding book of some kind, like Linc has in the first book, Double Vision. I had to learn about codes and ciphers for all three Double Vision books—and the code at the end of the third book, Double Vision: The Alias Men is a real whopper. If anyone reads the book and figures it out before Linc does, send me an email! I’d love to know.

3 If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
That’s a tough one—there are so many places I’d still like to visit. Italy is at the top of my list, though. Lots of places to visit, and excellent food. I’m big on food, so a lot of places on my wish list involve dinner…

 Do you have a favorite spy from history?
Famous chef Julia Child has to be at the top of my list. Who would’ve ever expected her to be a spy?

Something I find fascinating is that throughout history, it was often female spies who were most effective in their missions, because people just didn’t expect them to have their own agenda. I love digging into history for story material like that.

Yes, I love reading about female spies and what they did differently. 

What are you working on now that the final book in the Double Trilogy is over?
I’m working on a middle-grade mystery that’s a lot of fun, but it’s still in the early writing stages. I’ll keep you posted on the latest…

Oh good! 

About Fleur:
F.T. (Fleur) Bradley is the author of the Double Vision trilogy (Harper Children’s), a series of fun spy mysteries for middle-grade readers that School Library Journal calls "a must-read for mystery fans, including reluctant readers." She lives in Colorado with her husband, two daughters and entirely too many cats. For more information on F.T. and her books, visit

The Alias Men Blog Tour:
Oct. 6-10: The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow features Double Vision: The Alias Men with a review, author interview, plus a GIVEAWAY..!
Oct. 13: Linc hangs out at the great Erik’s blog, This Kid Reviews Books. Linc talks about spy techniques he picked up on his Pandora missions. And there’s another GIVEAWAY
Oct 13:
Middle Grade Mafia interviews F.T. Bradley about writing a trilogy.
Oct. 14: Double Vision: The Alias Men is released! Have a virtual party at the YA Sleuth blog…! And follow F.T. on Twitter @FTBradleyAuthor for more kid spy fun.
Oct. 16: F.T. Bradley gives you Five Ways to Bring MG into The Classroom at the Unleashing Readers blog, plus a GIVEAWAY.
Oct. 17: Linc is interviewed by Lizzy, Fairday and Marcus over at The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow blog. A fun post!
Oct. 20: The fabulous Ms. Yingling reviews Double Vision: The Alias Men on her blog for Marvelous MG Monday…
Oct. 21: Another favorite blog, YA Book Nerd, hosts F.T. Bradley and the Double Vision trilogy, plus a GIVEAWAY
Oct. 21: F.T. Bradley hangs out at Sleuths, Spies and Alibis
Oct. 24: F.T. Bradley gives tips for parents of reluctant readers, Seven Ways to Get Your Kid to Read, at Pragmatic Mom’s blog, plus a GIVEAWAY!
Oct. 25: At the Nerdy Book Club, find F.T. Bradley’s top 10 books for reluctant readers...

Giveaway: If you want to read these books (trust me, you do!), here's your chance. We're giving away the entire trilogy! in Hardcover! and Signed!
 US only please

Top Ten Tuesday: New Series

This week's topic is new series to read. I'm breaking my list up between older titles I still need to read and new titles coming out next year that I'm super excited about. Since I'm a huge series reader, it's hard to limit these, but I'll do my best.
Older Titles:
 Shatter Me 
Charmed Life 
Ever After High 
Map to Everywhere 
Model Undercover 

Shatter Me (Shatter Me Series #1)Caitlin's Lucky Charm (Charmed Life #1)The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High Series #1)
The Map to EverywhereModel Undercover: Paris

 New Next Year: 
Court of Thorns and Roses (no cover yet)
All Fall Down 
Shadow Study 
Orphan Queen 
Red Queen

Embassy Row #1: All Fall DownShadow StudyThe Orphan QueenRed Queen

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mini Review: Industrial Revolution for Kids

Tagline from Publisher: This educational activity book introduces young readers to the Industrial Revolution through the people, places, and inventions of the time, from the incredibly wealthy Rockefellers and Carnegies and the dingy and dangerous factories of the day to the creation of new forms of transportation and communication.

Includes: timeline, photographs, bibliography, recommendations (both books and places to visit), and 21 kid friendly activities.
The chapters break up discussing the changing of the times, factories and other new jobs, tenement housing and immigrants, jobs for kids, unions and strikes, hope for a better life, and cultural changes to the country.

The Good:
The photographs are amazing and they bring history to life.
The information ranges from very poor families to the very wealthy ones.
The revolution's broken up into two time periods and shown how society advances in each
It asks the question - was it good? Yes the technology improved some lives, but it also made things harder.

The Bad:
Overall Impressions: A great book for older kids/tween readers, which gives readers plenty to think about after learning about this historical time period. 

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Mysterious Saturday Review: Sealed with a Lie

 * Sequel to Two Lies and a Spy *
Kari and her brother Charlie are now living in Paris and attending an international school for spies. Kari's still reeling from finding out the truth about her parents, but she's trying to get by. Then the worst thing happens - someone kidnaps her brother.

She's not allowed to go for help;instead she must break a thief out of prison. Luckily, her annoying housemate follows her. Together, with her other friends, they hatch a plan.

Nothing is more important to Kari than her brother. She's desperate to know who took him and why. 
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book - for the action, the danger, the banter, and the friendship. I felt horrible for Charlie and his ordeal, I can't imagine what Kari felt as she desperately tried to save her brother. I enjoyed her banter with Evan - snarky, witty, and amusing. Gustav also added some humor into the story. Both the banter and the added humor blended nicely to defuse some of the tension in the story.  I'm curious to see where the story will go after the small cliffhanger.

Cover Thoughts: Ok
Source: My Library