Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer TBR pile

This week's topic is summer's TBR pile - because I included June books in the Spring TBR pile, I'll just include July and August books. Especially the ones I dream about reading by the pool (I wish I had a pool.)
meme from The Broke and the Bookish 

Tween Reads:
No Place Like HomeBest. Night. Ever.The Countdown ConspiracyRoyal Crush (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, #3)Ghost of a Chance (100 Dresses, #2)
A Dash of DragonLights, Camera, Middle School! (Babymouse Tales from the Locker)Mrs. Smith's Spy School for Girls

YA Reads:
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons, #1)In Some Other LifeThe League of American TraitorsFollow Your HeartJust Friends
Kissing Max HoldenChanges in LatitudesLucky in LoveWesley James Ruined My LifeI See London, I See France (I See London, I See France, #1)
Hello, SunshineComing Up for AirBombshell

Adult Reads:
You Say It First (Happily Inc., #1)On Her Majesty's Frightfully Secret Service (Her Royal Spyness #11)

Monday, May 22, 2017

Review: Journey Across the Hidden Islands

Twin sisters have spent their last year apart, each training for her future. Seika remained in the palace, learning her role as heir of the kingdom while her sister Ji-Lin learned how to become a warrior to protect her sister. In their world, the two must make a journey across the Hidden Islands to reform the bond between the dragon that keeps their world safe. The princesses believe that day will be far in the futures, so they're stunned when their father sends them on their way.

Little prepared for the journey, they arrive at the first island and realize something is amiss. Monsters are attacking the people, who are in hiding. The earth shakes, causing damage. There's something drastically wrong. How are these two Princesses supposed to save the world?
My Thoughts: I adored this book. I felt bad for the sisters first for their separation from each other and their strict lifestyle and then because they were forced into this journey without proper preparations. I love how they started to bond again after so long apart. I adored Alejan (the flying lion). He added humor and bravery into the novel. I loved how these two sisters grew into their positions and how they wanted to change the world. I love that they never stopped trying, even after all the hardships that came their way. A wonderful novel filled with adventure, action, danger, bravery, friendship, humor, and growing up. 

Cover Thoughts:Amazing
Source: ARC sent for review
Library Recommendation: Perfect for both public and school librarians - grab this one.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Review: Someone Else's Summer

Most days, it used to be Anna, Storm and Cameron together. But then Anna grew tired of being the third wheel and sought out other opportunities. Now her sister, her best friend, is dead. And she's left to pick up on the pieces and move on.

One night while in her sister's room, she discovers a list. Her sister used to create lists all the time, but it's been a while since Anna and Storm completed a list together. Now Anna feels compelled to complete the list her sister will never get the chance to start.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. Since it's all about lists, here's 10 reasons why I liked this book:

I didn't see the end coming, but I liked it. It's realistic and understandable. Oh, I forgot about the camera when making my lists. I loved the picture part. Reading this book made me want to write my own list of summer moments. 

Cover Thoughts: Perfection - a moment captured in time with a Polaroid.
Source: ARC sent for review

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Review: Dragon with the Chocolate Heart

Aventurine loves her dragon life, but she hates being cooped up in the caves waiting until her scales are hardened so she can escape danger. Annoyed at everyone, Aventurine  decides to take matters into her own hands and show her family that she can survive.

She escapes through a hole in the mountain case, hurting her wings as she maneuvers outside. But when she encounters a human, she's distracted by the smell of hot chocolate.

After she drinks the chocolate, her form changes into a human. Without her dragon form, Aventurine isn't sure what to do next, but she knows that she finally found her passion - chocolate. Armed with barest hint of knowledge, she makes her way towards the city to become an apprentice at a chocolate house. Can she survive in the city with her limited knowledge of humans?
My Thoughts: I adored this novel. First for the dragons - I loved the family squabbles. I loved Aventurine learning more about the human world. Her limited knowledge made me laugh. The secondary characters brought life in to the story. Greta added humor. Marina added motherly affection. I adored Marina and her knowledge of chocolate. I liked that she feared success. Silke added friendship and sass. I love how she knew how to obtain information and how she pushed herself forward. I adored the two princesses and how Aventurine immediately understood their behavior based on her own siblings. I loved reading about the chocolate houses and the politics of the town. Of course, this book made me crave chocolate - how could it not? I was sad when it ended because I desperately wanted more - and there is more coming! 

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: ARC sent for review
Date Released: May 30, 2017
Library Recommendation:Be sure to get this one for both your school and public library. It's so charming; readers will gobble this one up!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Review: Batgirl at Superhero High

In providing tech support for Super Hero High, Barbara Gordon knows the inside scoop on the school. She badly wants to attend, but her father is dead set against it. She doesn't have any superpowers and he's worried about her.  She makes a deal with him and starts on a trial basis.

Since she's behind, she has a lot of work to catch up on. Plus, everyone still comes with her with tech questions. When she's selected to be on a reality show featuring her technology skills, she can't say no.

But will her technology skills bring about her downfall and give her father a reason to bring her back home?
My Thoughts: I was really happy to have a Batgirl book, she's been in the shadows the last two books and I'm glad she came into her own here. I loved that she didn't have any superpowers. I liked that she relied on her own skills. She has a giant heart and tries to help everyone. I like how everyone at the school comes together in friendship and in times of need. A great addition to this series and I'm looking forward to seeing who the next heroine will be. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Book sent for review
Library Recommendation: Perfect for both public and school libraries.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

On Your Radar (7)

Title: Perfect Ten
Author:  L. Philips 
Publisher: Viking Books For Young Readers
Publication Date: June 6, 2017

Why it Should be on Your Radar:

M/M Romance
Not an issue book
Wiccan spell
Frank about Sex
Bad relationships
Falling for people - easily
The list of 10 items to look for in a relationship

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Blog Tour: Dragons Love Tacos 2

Our dragons' favorite snack is in danger of going extinct in this laugh-out-loud, time-traveling sequel to the New York Times bestseller Dragons Love Tacos.
Listen, don't freak out, but I have some terrible news: There are no tacos left anywhere in the entire world! That's a huge problem because, as you know, dragons love tacos. We've got to do something! I know, let's fire up that time machine in the garage and go back in time, to before tacos went extinct. Then we can grab lots of tacos and bring them back with us. Just be sure you don't grab any tacos with spicy salsa. You remember what happened last time…

Check Out the Book Trailer:

Where would you go if you could travel back in time? 
If I had to search for tacos, I would go back to Ancient Rome  

Dragons could use shields to save their tacos from being eaten by anyone else. Or they could pile their tacos high on the shields like a plate to bring them back to current times to plant taco trees.

Shield Facts: 
1. Were designed to protect against swords and spears
2. Shields were curved to protect your body better
3. You could knock someone over with your shield
4. You could kneel and use your shield for cover while fighting
5. You could use the shields together to build a wall so your enemy couldn't get through.

Make your Own Shield:

Adam Rubin is the New York Times best-selling author of a half dozen critically-acclaimed picture books including Secret Pizza Party and Robo-Sauce. He spent ten years working as a creative director in the advertising industry before leaving his day job to write full time. Adam has a keen interest in improv comedy, camping and magic tricks.

Daniel Salmieri has illustrated many fantastic picture books, including the New York Times bestseller Robo-Sauce. He grew up in Brooklyn, New York, constantly drawing and painting images of ninja turtles, dinosaurs, and fighter jets (not in the same scene...), and graduated from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Enter for a chance to be one (1) grand prize winner and receive a set of Dragons Love Tacos and Dragons Love Tacos 2 (ARV: $17.99 each), or to be one (1) of five (5) second place winners to receive Dragons Love Tacos 2 (ARC: $17.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on May 1, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 2, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Moms

This week's topic is in honor of Mother's Day. I'm using this week to highlight books I've read this year with great mothers. 
meme from The Broke and the Bookish 
The Hate U Give by Angie ThomasHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

These were by far the best (and not just this year)

What to Say Next by Julie BuxbaumWhen Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya MenonThe Other F-Word by Natasha Friend
The moms in these books stood out to me too.

What about you? What great moms have you read about lately?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Review: By Your Side

Autumn has big plans for the weekend - they include finally making a certain boy her boyfriend. They do not include being locked in the library for three days without any supplies. With her bag in Jeff's car, Autumn returns to the library to find a bathroom. All her friends believe her to be in a different car and leave without her. Autumn returns from the bathroom to discover no way out.

At first, she thinks she's alone, but then she discovers a classmate there. Only Dax isn't there by accident. Being in the library over the weekend is better than being in his latest foster home. Thankfully, he has supplies because it's cold there and the hunger pains don't go away any time soon.

To pass the time, Autumn and Dax play games, watch TV, and talk. As the weekend progresses, Autumn realizes that everyone's view of the resident bad boy is wrong. Before she knows it, Autumn cares about Dax. But will she revert back to normal once they escape the library and get back to reality?
My Thoughts: Of course, this one grabbed my attention as the characters were stuck in a library. It took me a tiny bit to suspend reality that the doors were locked from the inside too, but I loved the library scenes. I loved exploring the library. I loved the moments uncovering items in the staff room. I really loved the truths shared between Dax and Autumn. And their little moments together. I enjoyed the moments after the library too - even though they both returned to reality, they were still connected in someway. I felt terrible for Autumn as she struggled to find her equilibrium after that weekend with Jeff and his friends. Super cute romance!

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library

Library Recommendation: Who doesn't want a romance about getting locked into the library? Order this one! 

Friday, May 12, 2017

Mini Review: Strong is the New Pretty

Photographs of girls being girls - with quotes about themselves. Girls of all ages showing off their skills, their fearlessness, and their interests.
One of my favorites from the book.

Great photographs: a mix of action shots and posed photographs
Great quotes from the girls about their beliefs, their strengths, their joys all about being girls and awesome.

A wonderful celebration of girls and their strengths

Perfect for libraries and for gifting.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

On Your Radar (6)

Title: Moxie
Author:  Jennifer Mathieu
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: September 19, 2017

Why it Should be on Your Radar:
Feminist Read 
Feminist Revolution 
Peaceful Protests
Zine Pages
Girls Uniting 
Making a Difference
Using your Voice

I couldn't stop reading this book, it really struck a cord with me. It's the perfect read to counteract the views politicians have about women and how they want to control us. Read it, pass it on, and become a Moxie Girl too

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Picture Book Review: A Year at a Construction Site

A year at building a school.

Lots to see in this one. The illustrations are great, peeling back layers so kids can see the steps it takes to build a school. Plus there are objects to search for on every page, allowing kids to our over the illustrations and really take a good look at them. Perfect for one on one sharing.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Wishes

This week's topic is things you want to see more of in books. 
Here's my list from 2014 and I have to say, it hasn't really changed much

meme from The Broke and the Bookish 
Diverse Books
Positive Girl Friendships
Fun Romances
More books with Royals
Female Athletes
More Dragons
Characters who craft
Feminist females
Longer biographies (YA nonfiction) of female athletes, musicians, and/or actors

Monday, May 8, 2017

Mini Review: HeartStone

A Pride and Prejudice Retelling with Dragons

How it's Different:
Jane and Lizzie's sister dies before the books open
Merybourne Manor
Charlotte's happiness with her husband
The battle at the end

The Feel of the Book is the Same:
It follows a similar plot line (obviously details have been changed to fit the dragon)
Lydia/Wickham story is a bit different - which I liked
The tension between Aliza and Alastair is spot on

I really enjoyed this retelling! 
I wouldn't mind other Austen novels set in this world too! 

If you missed my Q and A with the author, check it out here.