Friday, August 31, 2018

Review: Royal Crown

Royal Crown (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, #4)
* Book 4 in the From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess series *
Princess Olivia can't wait until the royal coronation of her sister Mia. She's excited to have time in the palace with her best friend Nishi. Unfortunately, she also has to spend time with her nemesis - her cousin Lady Luisa.

Another cousin's trying to take the throne away from Princess Mia and no one knows if the coronation with actually happen. Tensions are running high throughout the palace.

Olivia's struggling because Nishi wants to babysit the kids staying at the palace to make some money for a new phone. Both she and Luisa bond over their boyfriends and their periods making Olivia feel left over - especially once they learn that Olivia and Prince Khalil haven't kissed yet. Will everything come together?
My Thoughts: It's no surprise here that I adore this series. Of course, I love seeing my favorite characters from the Princess Dairies series, but I also love the new characters. Olivia struggles much like Mia - over boys, girl drama, and her dreams. I like the interactions between Olivia and Lady Luisa and how that all works out. I liked seeing all Olivia's friends together at the palace. I enjoyed Grandmere as usual. She makes me chuckle. Another fun read from Meg Cabot!

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: This series is a must have for school and public libraries.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Review: Abby in Wonderland

Abby in Wonderland (Whatever After Special Edition)* Book 10.5 in the Whatever After series *
Abby's spending the day with her friends - and Penny. At Penny's house, she controls everything. Abby is not enjoying herself. When Abby and Frankie chase down a card from the game they're playing outside, Frankie falls down a rabbit hole.

Abby knows what happened, but she can't get the other girls to go back. All three of them jump in the rabbit hole after Frankie - and end up in Wonderland.
My Thoughts: I adore this series, this book was super cute. I did miss Jonah and Prince, but sharing the book secrets with others is a great idea. I find Penny annoying, but she did grow on me a little bit during this adventure. I enjoyed Wonderland, even though I've never read the book. The characters from the story were maddening and entertaining. I really enjoyed the tea party scenes - although I would hate to be a guest at it. So looking forward to what happens next between Abby and her friends - and of course, the next adventure.

Source: ARC sent for review
Cover Thoughts: Charming
Library Recommendations: Perfect series for school and public libraries - if you don't have them, go grab them!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Picture Book Review: Secret Agent Splat


Splat notices something just isn't right. He breaks out his tools and gadgets to solve the mystery.
I'm a sucker for spy books, so of course this one was on my list. It's super fun. I love the tools and gadgets Splat uses to solve the case. A fun friendship story with cute illustrations. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Top Ten Tuesday: Nonfiction Favorites

This week is all about nonfiction. I used to not read nonfiction that much, but I've tried to change that up a bit - mostly the fun nonfiction, coffee table type books. Here are a few that I've loved recently.
meme from That Artsy Reader Girl

Harry Potter: Diagon Alley: A Movie Scrapbook34212601

20774889The Dogist Puppies

Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black HistoryMarley Dias Gets It Done: And So Can You!

Born to Dance: Celebrating Moments of Joy, from Toddler to TeenLife Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles

Where Is the Grand Canyon?Sandwiches!: More Than You've Ever Wanted to Know about Making and Eating America's Favorite Food

And I'm currently reading and loving:
Chasing Light: Michelle Obama Through the Lens of a White House Photographer

Monday, August 27, 2018

Blog Tour: Kiss Me in Paris

About the Book:
Author: Catherine Rider
Pub. Date: September 4, 2018
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook
Pages: 216
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB and NTBD 

Serena has just flown all the way to Paris for a special pre-Christmas weekend with her sister, Lara. They plan to retrace the steps of their parents' long-ago honeymoon in Paris, and create a scrapbook for their bereaved mother to remember it by. 

It's supposed to be serious sister bonding...until Lara takes off with her boyfriend instead.

Jean-Luc is Serena's Plan B, a friend of a friend of Lara's, who has some space in a place where Serena can stay. Just like his latest relationship, his photography final has been an epic fail. He has one night to retake all his pictures if he is to stay in school. 

Jean-Luc can't stand Serena's loud voice or her bright orange sneakers.

Serena can't stand his haughty manners or the way his camera is always in her face.

Together, though, they set out into a cold night that will warm their hearts, creating unforgettable photos and fresh romantic sparks in the City of Lights.

About Catherine:
Two writers sharing a pseudonym. "Kiss me in Paris" (@KCPLoft, Sept 2018).

Follow the Tour:
8/28/2018- Sophie Reads YAReview
8/29/2018- Lisa Loves LiteratureReview
8/30/2018- Confessions of a YA ReaderExcerpt
8/31/2018- Moonlight RendezvousReview

Exclusive Excerpt: 

This is a most curious turn of events — a few minutes ago, I was looking forward to shaking off this American girl, but now, as she’s getting ready to leave, I want to follow her. She’s my best hope of getting good shots for my project. It could even be ironic — pretentious crowd shots where the sea of humanity obscures one’s view of the world’s greatest city.
Actually, that’s not a bad idea.
“Surely,” I say, “you would prefer someone who knows the city to go with you? What if you get lost?”
“I’m an expert at Google Maps.” But then she pauses, sighs, looks at me. Not withering or offended this time — more curious. “I guess if you want to tag along for a while, that’d be OK.”
For some reason, when she says “tag along,” I feel a bit embarrassed.
“But I warn you,” she continues, “I have a lot of places to get to and not a lot of time to get to them, so I think I’m probably going to be moving too fast for you to take any good photos of stuff.”
How does she have so much energy? I shrug, aware that I’m trying to make sure I don’t shrug too “Frenchly.”
“What is first?” I ask.

“The Louvre,” she says, crossing the room to where I left her suitcase. She sets it down and unzips it. Removes a pair of bright orange sneakers that change my opinion of her sense of style. “And we need to get going, because the whole mix-up with Lara has cost me too much time.”
She changes out of her boots into the hideous sneakers, then scoops up her cross-body bag and is out the door before I can even mentally list what lenses I should bring with me. I hear her voice over her footsteps as she heads back downstairs. I swear, I can hear her from the lobby!
“You coming or what?”
I can tell that this American girl, with the orange feet, is not going to slow down. And even though it feels wrong to venture out into the world with only a single lens on my camera — looking at the world with just one pair of eyes, mon dieu! — here I am running out the door after her, strangely eager to spend a day seeing a tourist’s Paris.
Just how badly do I not want to be alone today?

Sounds great right? You can win a copy!

Giveaway Details:
3 winners will win a finished copy of KISS ME IN PARIS, US Only.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Review: Library on Wheels


Mary Lemist Titcomb believed in education, but didn't want to be a nurse (She felt faint at the sight of blood) or a teacher. When she read an advertisement for a librarian, she knew she found her place. And she was right.

She worked in Vermont, at the Rutland Free Library. She built up her reputation so much that she was asked to move to Maryland and help start their library. So she did. When she realized that their population was so spread out, she created the first bookmobile and made sure everyone had access to books.
I loved this book; it was fascinating. I loved that she never backed down ever through people told her she wasn't good enough, she was just a girl, or she couldn't make it happen. She was good enough and of course she made it happen. She made the library come alive.

I never knew about this amazing woman who had ties to the town so close to where I grew up in Vermont. Here's a photo of the current Rutland Free Library, which is a different building than when Miss Titcomb was the librarian. 
See the source image
Photo Credit:

I almost didn't purchase this book for the library collection, but I'd so glad that I did.

Library Recommendation: Library on Wheels should be in public and school libraries!

Another great library read:
Miss Moore Thought Otherwise: How Anne Carroll Moore Created Libraries for Children

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Graphic Novel Review: Queen of Kenosha

Queen of Kenosha* First in a trilogy*
In 1963, Nina dreams of making it in the music world. She plays in dives around New York City, hoping against hope that her break will come. When a chance encounter with a man offers her a secret life on top of a struggling musician, she takes the chance.

Nina joins a secret agency taking down Nazis. But not everyone's happy to have a female on the team. Not everyone thinks she can get the job done. When her first mission goes sideways, Nina has to decide what she's willing to do for her new career, for her moral compass, and for herself.
My Thoughts: I really liked this graphic novel - I love the Nina's a struggling musician with dreams. I admired her patriotism - even when she had to make the tough choices. I loved the listening suggestions on each chapter. I liked the darker tones of the illustrations. A mix of slow everyday life with action and drama. And that ending! I'm eager to see where this story ends up.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Book sent for Review

Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Review: Baby Animals Moving


An informative book about baby animals.

Great photographs, cute animals, playful and fun to read. Great to share with others. 

Perfect for school and public libraries.
If you like this one, there are more in the series.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Blog Tour: Phantom Tower

About the Book:
Colm and Mal are twins so identical their own mom can't tell them apart, but they're different in just about every other way. Mal's a pragmatist while Colm's a dreamer, and they bicker and battle constantly. Neither brother is excited to be moving to Chicago for a fresh start with their mom just after their dad's death. But nothing cures homesickness like intrigue--and their new home, Brunhild Tower, has plenty of it: mysterious elderly neighbors who warn against wandering the building at midday, strange sounds in the walls, and an elevator missing a button for the thirteenth floor. 

One day, that button appears--and when the doors open on the missing floor, the boys are greeted by the strangest puzzle yet: a twin building that is stuck in time and bustling with activity. All of Brunhild Tower's former residents live on in this phantom tower, where the rules of the real world don't apply. But when the brothers and their newfound friends discover they're all trapped by an ancient curse, they must band together to set everyone free before it's too late.

About the Author:
Keir Graff is the author of The Matchstick CastleThe Other Felix, and a handful of books for grown-ups. When he's not making things up, he works as the executive editor of Booklist at the American Library Association. He lives in Chicago with his wife Marya and his sons Felix and Cosmo--in a building that looks exactly like Brunhild Tower.

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this novel. I loved the relationship between the twins, especially the telepathy idea that never quite worked. I loved exploring the new tower and the new city. I quite enjoyed Tamika - who wouldn't love a reader board gamer, and all around nice person? I liked the night she and Mal spent with her family. Lots of humor, danger, and action in this one.

Of course I enjoyed the idea of seeing ghosts and chatting with them.

Here's a list of ghosts I'd Love to spend 5 minutes with:
1. and 2. My Grandmother and my Grandfather
3. Jane Austen
4. LM Montgomery
5. Susan B Anthony
6. Alice Paul
7. Michelangelo
8. Da Vinci
9. Langston Hughes
10. Martin Luther King Jr.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Review: Cottages on Silver Beach

The Cottages on Silver Beach (Haven Point, #8) * Book 8 in the Haven Point series *
Megan can't believe that Elliot Bailey showed up at her cottages. She despises the man after the way he treated her brother. She wishes she could refuse his rental - but he booked online. She can't believe that she'll be living next door to him for two weeks.

Elliot just needs to get his mind off the work drama, finish his manuscript before the deadline, and hang out with his family. He doesn't need Megan living next door - the one woman who has the power to turn his world upside down.

He can't get her off his mind. Could now finally be the time to start a relationship with her?

My Thoughts: I adore this series, I'm always happy to read a new novel set in Haven Point. I loved the tense relationship between Elliot and Megan - especially their history. I love how Megan was protective of her brother and always there for her niece and nephew. I liked Megan's second job and how she lost herself taking pictures. I enjoyed the cross-over into Hope's Crossing. I loved the moments in the gallery and how Megan found her footing again. Of course I'm dying to know what happens next with Luke...

Cover Thoughts: Adorable
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Highly recommend this series for all public libraries and their romance section.

Saturday, August 18, 2018

Review: Cottage by the Sea

Cottage by the Sea
After a family tragedy, Annie's life comes to a screeching halt. Unsure of what to do with her life, she returns to a seaside vacation village from her childhood. After she sleeps through the night, she realizes that this place could heal her.

Quickly, she finds a job and moves into the cottage her family used to rent. Annie's hoping to find herself again and to get her life back on track. But what she doesn't imagine is finding herself a whole new family.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this story and I loved the seaside community. I loved Annie's relationship with Keaton. My heart ached for him and his family life. I just wanted to give him a great big hug. I really loved Mellie's character - I would have liked to learn more about her past. I enjoyed her banter with Annie. While this book tackles healing of all sorts - from several different types of abuse, it's a hopeful peaceful read.

Cover Thoughts: Gorgeous
Source: My Library

Library Recommendation: Debbie Macomber should be an auto-buy author for libraries.

Friday, August 17, 2018

If You Like Pins (17)

I read some fun picture books that inspired these recent pins.

Books Featured:
Puppy Puppy Puppy
Madeline Finn and the Library Dog

Books Featured:
The Library Book
Bunny's Book Club
Violet and Victor Write the Best Ever Bookworm Book
Bear's House of Books
Story Book Knight

Books Featured:
The Better Tree Fort
The Little Red Fort
The Fort that Jack Built
Fort Building Time
Up in the Leaves

Thursday, August 16, 2018

On Your Radar (15)

Title:  Ten After Closing

Author:  Jessica Bayliss

Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Publication Date: October 2018

Ten After Closing

Why it Should be on Your Radar:
* Dual Timelines
* Romance
* Strict Parents
* Art
* Thriller
* Action/Danger
* Family
* Domestic Violence
* Trust Issues
* Friendship

* reviewed for SLJ

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Picture Book Review: It's a Puppy Life


The life of puppies - in photographs.

An excellent book with amazing photographs. I love the playfulness of the puppies and how the book shares just one day in puppies' life. Plus there's a breed guide at the end of the book which showcases the puppies photographed. 

Perfect for those who love pups.

And for older readers, check out Underwater Dogs:

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Review: Good Luck with That

Good Luck with That

I reviewed Kristan Higgins' newest book over at Fresh Fiction - you can read the review here.

But I will say this:
Another winner of a book from Kristan Higgins. I've come to expect so much from her books and she never disappoints.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Blog Tour: Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding

About the Book:
Four Funerals and Maybe a Wedding (Her Royal Spyness Mystery, # 12)The date is set and arrangements are being made for royal amateur sleuth Georgie Rannoch’s wedding! At last, she will wed the incredibly charming, always mystifying Darcy O’Mara. With a dress in the works and a royal wedding party ready to waltz her down the aisle, Georgie’s next affair is finding a place to live with her betrothed after the big day.

But alas—house-hunting is harder than it seems! After visiting a series of less-than-glamorous lodgings, Georgie’s luck finally turns around when she’s invited by a close family friend to live in his grand estate in the English countryside. Georgie expects a life of luxury and elegance, but is met with a very different reality…

At Eynsleigh Manor, Georgie finds a gaggle of incompetent servants and a run-down estate. And when she wakes up in the middle of the night to find a gas tap running in her bedroom, Georgie suspects something rotten is afoot…will she have the chance to walk down the aisle, or will death get in the way of her happy ever after?

About the Author: 
Rhys BowenRhys Bowen is the New York Times Bestselling Author of the Royal Spyness Series, Molly Murphy Mysteries, and Constable Evans. She has won the Agatha Best Novel Award and has been nominated for the Edgar Best Novel. Rhys’s titles have received rave reviews around the globe.

My Review: This is book number 12 in the series and I've enjoyed reading them all. I loved this one for the wedding talk, especially the conversations about the dresses - and the princesses. I loved the moments between Lady Georgiana and her grandfather, he's a favorite character of mine. I also love Queenie; she's come into her own later in the series and I appreciate her.  I enjoyed learning more about Eynsleigh Manor - both the good and the bad. Of course I enjoyed the moments with the Queen and Fig. I can't wait to read what happens next!

If you haven't read these book, you're in for a treat.