Saturday, June 30, 2018

Movie Review: Ocean's 8

Ever since this movie was announced, I've been waiting for it.
And it didn't disappoint.
It was funny and entertaining - with a few twists.
While I enjoyed all the characters, I think that Anne Hathaway stole the show. 
I liked the nods to the previous Ocean's movie - this wasn't a reboot. And I'm curious about Danny because I hope he's not there either.
I liked the cameos from actors from the previous movies - they were fun to see!

Friday, June 29, 2018

On Your Radar (13)


Title:  Wonderland
36950004Author:  Barbara O'Connor
Publisher: Farrar Straus Giroux
Publication Date: August 28, 2018

Why it Should be on Your Radar:
A Sweet Dog
Letting Go of the Rules
Helping Others
Fitting In - finally!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Graphic Novel Review: Scarlett Hart Monster Hunter

Scarlett Hart: Monster Hunter
Scarlett hunts monsters - for her job. She's carrying on the work her parents did before her - with the help of her butler. Because she's underage, the authorities refuse to allow her the job. She has ways of getting around them - that is until her archnemesis decides to take matters into his own hands. If caught, Scarlett could lose everything. But she's not ready to back down.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this graphic novel. I loved the monster hunting. I loved the mystery of what happened to Scarlett's parents. I really adored the relationship between Scarlett and Napoleon, the butler. I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next.

Cover Thoughts: Super Fun
Source: My Library

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Picure Book Review: Cooked Up Fairy Tale


William doesn't fit into the fairy tale world. He keeps cooking the characters food and changing the story.

I really liked this mixed up fairy tale. I loved the characters from fairy tales and how his cooking changed things in the stories. Of course things turn out just fine for William and he finds his place in the fairy tale world. I loved the illustrations. This is just a fantastic book. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Series Books

This week's topic is all about series books. I read a lot of series books; I always have. There's something comforting about seeing favorite characters again. Mostly when the topic of series books comes up, I talk about YA series. But this time around, I'm going to talk about romance series. Here are some that I'm interested in starting - some old and some new.

Blackberry Summer (Hope's Crossing, #1)Something About You (FBI/US Attorney, #1)Somebody Like You (Darling, VT #1)You're Still the One (Country Blues, #1)The Trouble with Dukes (Windham Brides, #1)
Older Titles

Wicked and the Wallflower (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #1)What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1)The Good OnesWelcome to Moonlight Harbor (Moonlight Harbor, #1)Deadly Sweet (The Spellwork Syndicate, #1)
New and Upcoming Titles 

Monday, June 25, 2018

Review: See You on a Starry Night

See You on a Starry Night
Juliet's parents are getting a divorce; she's moved with her mother and her sister to a beach town. Right off she meets Emma; the two girls become instant best friends. Emma's writing a message in a bottle and throwing it into the ocean. She has an extra bottle for Juliet.

It isn't long before Juliet receives a message - one from someone who's gotten her bottle. The email asks if she wants to join a club - a club that grants wishes for people.

Juliet and Emma can't wait to make someone's dream come true - but who can they help? It can't be just a simple wish. Focusing on someone else's happiness allows Juliet's mind to focus on something other than her unhappiness.

My Thoughts: I really love this book. I loved how Emma and Juliet became friends. I adored Emma's family - they were large and loud and wonderful. I loved their interaction - from their chore list to their helping people out. I really loved their ice cream shop. I wanted to eat ice cream along with the girls. I adored the bookmobile and the couple who ran it. I enjoyed the small town charm and how everyone knows everyone else (and their business). I loved the Starry Night Club. What a wonderful way to spread kindness and good cheer. I loved how the girls searched for people to help - even just little moments of kindness. We could all use a little more kindness. And a little kindness goes a long way. I too have paintings I'd like to live in. I felt bad for Juliet and her family - how sad they were at the changes in their lives. But sometimes change is for the best; this might be one of those times. While it doesn't take place in the summer, it has a summer novel feel with plenty of tugs at the heartstring, family and friendship drama, and hope. Another winner of a middle grade novel for Lisa Schroeder. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: ARC sent for review
Release Date: This book comes out tomorrow, so you don't have a long wait!
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your school and public libraries - because it's good and for the kindness club!

Friday, June 22, 2018

Review: Starry Eyes

Starry Eyes
Zorie and Lennon haven't been the same since the disaster of the homecoming dance. When Zorie agrees to go glam camping with her friend, she has no idea that Lennon (or boys) will be there. And she's not thrilled at the idea either. Her father hates his family and he's not shy about it.

Zorie and Lennon never really hashed out what happened the night that broke their relationship. But when the rest of the party ditches them in the middle of nowhere - they have more than enough time to address it. That is if they can make it out of the woods alive - after storms, wild animals, and getting lost.

Could their relationship be on the mend?
My Thoughts: I adored this book. I loved Lennon's moms. I loved the banter between Zorie and Lennon. I felt terrible for Zorie and learning about her father. I also hated her friends; they were terrible to leave her in the middle of nowhere. But I did love the adventure that came out of it. This book made me long to go hiking and see more of the outdoors, despite all the disasters that happened to them along the way. I loved that Zorie had a passion for the stars. Her astronomy friends were great. I didn't want this to end. I loved the romance, the stars, and the family dynamics. Another fantastic book by Jenn Bennett. I can't wait to read what she writes next!

Cover Thoughts: Love it
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A must have for public libraries!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Review: Why We March


Signs from the January 17th Women's March around the world.

Signs of hope, justice, equality for everyone.

Reading the signs of this book gave me so much hope for the world. And I'm not going to lie, I teared a few times over it and had to put the book down. With everything going on in our country right now, it was a great reminder of the good in people. 

There are so many great photos. I bought this one for the teen section at the library, hoping that they will learn from our mistakes and be the change the world desperately needs. Yes, I'm pushing my feminist agenda on them, but in reality, the library has something to offend everyone. And if this book offends you, that tells me all I need to know about you as a person.

Also keep up the good fight!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Picture Book Review: Super Manny Stands Up


What's Manny going to do when someone is mean at lunch?
Will he have the courage to say something?
A really important book with a great message about being brave and determined. Bullies won't stand a chance. Plus everyone can be both a sidekick and a hero. I loved the part about the invisible cape. 

Perfect for school and public libraries.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Top Ten Tuesdays: Pool Side Books

This week's topic is pool side books. I have two minds here: historical romance and contemporary romance books. So I'll share five of each I'll be reading this summer (not by a pool because sadly we don't have one).

I'll pretend this is my pool:

Image result for pool
photo credit:

Contemporary Romance
Rainy Day Friends (Wildstone, #2)Cottage by the SeaHow to Keep a SecretThe Cottages on Silver Beach (Haven Point, #8)The Real Deal

Historical Romance
An Affair with a Spare (The Survivors, #3)One for the Rogue (Studies in Scandal, #4)What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1)The Highlander's Princess Bride (The Improper Princesses, #3)Wicked and the Wallflower (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #1)

What types of books to you read by the pool?

Monday, June 18, 2018

Review: Elle of the Ball

Elle of the Ball
Elle's in the seventh grade but a recent growth spurt has made her life miserable. She's nearly six feet tall already. Her basketball game's suffering because of her new height.

She's also forced into a dance - a school tradition. She's so tall that she has a hard time dancing with the boys. She also can't find her rhythm. She's dreading the dance - from her lack of skills to her terrible partner to the dress she's forced to wear.

Why can't life be easy?
My Thoughts: A fun middle grade - about sports, fitting in, and trying to be yourself. I really enjoyed the first book of this series and I'm looking forward to more. I felt terrible for Elle - being at that awkward stage in her life and being so tall. While I was never that tall, I was also tall for my age. Plus of course, I loved the basketball parts of the book. And who didn't hate being told what to do by the school. I love how that worked out.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My library

Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your public and school libraries; it's perfect for your sporty readers

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Movie Review: Solo

See the source image

A few weeks back we went to see Solo.
And while I liked it, I had some thoughts.

The Good:
Lots of action and danger
Coming up with the name Han Solo
The Heist
The elaborate plans

The Bad:
Solo didn't have his swagger

My Thoughts:
I was talking with my husband afterwards and we thought that it's better to create movies based off other characters than the original ones. I loved the other spin-offs with Rey because I enjoyed getting to know her character. But it's really hard to replace Harrison Ford. It just didn't have the same feel.

But I would love seeing a movie about Qi'ra. She fascinated me. I think she stole the movie.

Friday, June 15, 2018

On Your Radar: (12)

Title: Princess in Black and the Science Fair Scare
38256484Author:  Shannon and Dean Hale
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Publication Date: September 25th 

Why it Should be on Your Radar:
Science and STEM 
Secret Identities
Team Work
Problem Solving
Pure fun!

Source: BEA book 2018
Cover Thoughts: Adorable

Library Recommendation: A must have for school and public libraries

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Graphic Novel Review: Hey Kiddo


Jarrett had a difficult childhood - his grandparents gained custody of him after his mom failed him too many times. As a heroic addict, she spent time in and out of jail. Jarrett's grandparents loved him, but they had their own issues too. He had no idea who is father was - until he sees his birth certificate in high school. But he does have a love for art and he's determined to prove himself.
My Thoughts: I started reading this in line at BEA and I couldn't put it down. It's sad, but powerful and thoughtful. I loved Jarret's fondness for art and how he didn't give up on his dreams. I liked learning about his family and how it functioned (or didn't function). I really loved the end notes. I loved learning about the coloring process of the book. The color scheme makes the book pop. In some ways, this was a hard book to read and know that it happened. I just wanted to give younger Jarrett a great big hug.

Cover Thoughts: Great
Source: BEA book
Release Date: September 25th 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Picture Book Review: Brother and Sister Books


What is means to have a sister - or a brother. Most of the time, it's great. Sometimes it's not.

I loved these books. They're fun to read side by side because you can see the similar page spreads and the different ones too. The message is great. As always, the colors and illustrations are vibrant and unique. There's a love letter at the end from Todd that is heartwarming.

I simply love his books; they're perfect for school and public libraries.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Traveling

This week's topic is all about traveling. I love it when a book makes me want to travel. I'll share a few recent reads and some old favorites. I adore travel romances, so I could go on forever, but I'll stop after 10. 

Side note: I also love books that make me want to travel to the fictional town. Like Stars Hollow. (I know that's a TV town, but you all know what I mean...)

Recent Reads:
Starry Eyes
Go hiking (I'm doing this later this summer)

See You on a Starry Night by Lisa Schroeder
Go to a beach side town

Not If I Save You First by Ally Carter
Visit Alaska

Royals by Rachel Hawkins
Visit Scotland

Some old favorites

What books make you want to travel?

Monday, June 11, 2018

Review: Lucky in Love

Lucky in Love
Maddie's got her life planned out; she studies hard to earn a college scholarship. After a lackluster birthday, she buys a lottery ticket. She's shocked when she discovers she's won. All of a sudden her life changes; she's no longer concerned about money. She has enough to pay for college. She can give money to her parents and her brother. Maybe it will turn their luck around.

She's also throwing money around by hosting a party on yacht one night, a clothing shopping spree, and a diamond necklace. Soon she's realizing that people are talking to her because of her money. Maddie's not sure who her real friends are after an article appears about her spending habits.

Her only solace is her job, working at the local zoo and hanging out with Seth, who doesn't know anything about her recent windfall. Sooner or later, she'll have to tell him. When she does, will everything change?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I liked the study parties, especially the snacks. There were times when I wanted to yell at Maddie about her decision, but I like how it all played out. I loved the moments at the zoo. I adored Seth and his banter with Maddie. Of course this made me think of all the things I would do if I won the lottery. There are a lot of ideas!

Cover Thoughts: Adorable - it sold me on the book before I knew what it was about.
Source: My Library
Final Thoughts: A fun cotemporary romance perfect for the summer

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Summer Reading Program at Your Local Library

Joining the Summer Reading Program at your local library is important for several reasons.:

For Your Child:
1. It helps prevent summer slide, reading just six books over the summer truly helps.
2. It helps give children time to read for fun - something they need to cement their love of reading. Let them choose to read whatever they think looks fun. 
3. There are TONS of programs at your library this summer - programs targeted for all ages.

For Parents:
1. Children model their behavior after parents, which means they need to see their parents reading. All of their parents. It doesn't matter what you're reading (although it's harder for them to recognize you're reading articles online). Let them see you reading; let them see you picking out books. I read before bed every night, but if your kids don't see you reading, you're missing a huge opportunity. Share your passion for reading with your kids.
2. Libraries have programs for adults too. (My library has a program where you read a book and get to pick out a free book. We also have weekly raffle prizes to local businesses)
3. Talk about books, authors, illustrators, and libraries - not in school based way but in general everyday conversation.
4. Read together 
5. Read aloud - it's fun for everyone. Plus you can talk about the story together.

For Your Library:
1. Summer is the busiest time of year for the library.
2. We count on summer to coast us through the lighter months (Winter in New England) when people don't come to the library as much.
3. We want you to come to our programs because we're hosting them for you.
4. But we want you to check out books; we need our circulation statistics to be amazing. 
5. Our summer numbers help boost us over the edge when it's budget time.
6. We want to help readers find books that they will love to read
7. Say hello to us, because we love it when we recognize library families. 

Also, some libraries have summer lunch for kids 18 and under, which helps replace the free lunch from school. If your library has it, it's available for ALL kids, no questions asked.

So head to your local library this summer, changes are they are doing amazing things!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Review: Life Inside My Mind

Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles
31 YA authors share their personal stories in small essays.

My Thoughts: Oh boy. This was a great book to read and to start conversations, but it was also hard to read because of the subject matter. I love that so many authors shared their stories and I hope that this book spurs conversations among teens. I hope they see they are not alone. I hope they find themselves sharing their own stories. There isn't any judgement here, it's all very matter of fact. I love that so many of the essays talked about what worked for them and how it won't work for everyone. I love how they advice readers to get help and figure out the method that might work best for them. This book is so powerful - from the number of authors sharing their stories to the range of mental illnesses shared. It's an eye opening read.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: ARC sent for review
Library Recommendation: A must have for middle school, high school, and public libraries.

Thursday, June 7, 2018


A Prom to Remember

Today is all about Proms. Here's a secret. I didn't go to either of my high school proms. In junior year, my friends and I decided to skip it and make our senior year awesome. But by the time senior year rolled around, I wasn't friends with them any more. I actually didn't really have friends my senior year of high school.

I did however go to a prom with a work buddy. It was awkward as anything because it was a small school and I'm an introvert. But I was excited to go and it was sweet. I had a nice time, but it would have been better if I had a friend or two there.

My mom made my dress and here I am posing with my sister. It's one of my favorite pictures together.

I've written a lot about proms and prom books, mostly because they are so much fun to read.

Here is ten favorite Prom books from 2011 and earlier 

Here's my If You Like pin about Proms