Sunday, March 31, 2019

Reviews for Fresh Fiction

In the past month, I've reviewed three books for Fresh Fiction that I haven't talked about here:

Another wonderful addition to the Reluctant Royals series!"

A charming small town cozy mystery...that ends on another cliff hanger that will leave you eager for the next book

Saturday, March 30, 2019

Cozy Review: Till Death Do Us Tart

Till Death Do Us Tart (A Bakeshop Mystery #8)
* Book 8 in the Bakeshop Mystery series *

Jules is desperately trying to keep the wedding that's throwing her mother a surprise. She's disguised it as part of her party at her new vineyard. Even Carlos and his son are coming to celebrate; she's nervous about meeting Romero for the first time.

Her best friend Lance is back from his vacation, but he's not well rested. He's convinced that his brother is trying to murder his father and that he's being followed. He begs Jules to invite his brother and his entourage to the wedding so they can keep tabs on him.

When his father dies and a wedding guest collapses, things are looking poorly. Lance and Jules search for clues only to discover that the poisoned wine was given to the wrong person. The glass was meant for Jules.
My Thoughts: I adore this series - for the small town charm, the characters, and the bakery. Each book makes me mouth water and I have the strongest urge to go into the kitchen and whip something up. I loved seeing Carlos again - he might have won me over. I liked meeting his son. Of course, the wedding was amazing and I loved how everything came together. I loved that the whole town was involved. I felt bad for Lance, he's been through the ringer lately.  I can't wait to read the next installment of this series!

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: This series should be on your public library mystery shelves.

Friday, March 29, 2019

Review: Ana of California

Ana of California

Ana's running out of options; at fifteen she's been in foster care for years. She doesn't last at any of the houses or the group homes. Her case worker has one option left - she can travel north to a farm that needs help.

Ana agrees, although she knows nothing about farming. She lives on the farm with a brother and sister. Abbie's happy to have her, but Emmett doesn't believe she'll be of any help.

She makes several costly mistakes, but she works hard. She begins to enjoy the work and learn to love the farm. Just when she allows herself to hope, trouble finds her once again.
My Thoughts: I really loved this Anne of Green Gables inspired story. I loved being on the farm with Ana and the crew. I enjoyed their chatter and their banter. I loved Abbie and my mouth watered at all her baking. Emmett grew on me too. I love how Ana found herself a friend. I liked the forbidden romance. I liked learning about Ana's past and her time in the foster care system. Reading this one made me want to revisit Green Gables.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Gifted from my #OTSPsecretsister
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for school and public libraries - not because of the Green Gables inspiration (although adult readers will grab it because of that) but because of the foster family aspect.

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Blog Tour: Everlasting Rose

Title: THE BELLES (The Belles #1)
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Pub. Date: February 6, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 448
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB and NiBooksTBD
Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In the opulent world of Orléans, Belles are revered, for they control Beauty, and Beauty is a commodity coveted above all else. In Orléans, the people are born gray, they are born damned, and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful.

But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace, to tend to the royal family and their court, to be recognized as the most talented Belle in the land. But once Camellia and her Belle sisters arrive at court, it becomes clear that being the favorite is not everything she always dreamed it would be. Behind the gilded palace walls live dark secrets, and Camellia soon learns that the very essence of her existence is a lie—that her powers are far greater, and could be more dangerous, than she ever imagined. And when the queen asks Camellia to risk her own life and help the ailing princess by using Belle powers in unintended ways, Camellia now faces an impossible decision. 

With the future of Orléans and its people at stake, Camellia must decide—save herself and her sisters and the way of the Belles—or resuscitate the princess, risk her own life, and change the ways of her world forever. 
Title: THE EVERLASTING ROSE (The Belles #2)
Author: Dhonielle Clayton
Pub. Date: March 5, 2019
Publisher: Freeform
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 352
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD
In this sequel to the instant New York Times bestseller, Camille, her sister Edel, and her guard and new love Remy must race against time to find Princess Charlotte. Sophia's Imperial forces will stop at nothing to keep the rebels from returning Charlotte to the castle and her rightful place as queen. With the help of an underground resistance movement called The Iron Ladies-a society that rejects beauty treatments entirely-and the backing of alternative newspaper The Spider's Web, Camille uses her powers, her connections and her cunning to outwit her greatest nemesis, Sophia, and restore peace to Orleans. 
My Thoughts: A fantastic sequel that delves into revolution, secret societies, ending the slavery of the Belles, questioning what's beautiful, and sisterhood. I love Camille's bravery and her determination. I like how she comes into her own - how she started off in the Belles wanting to be the favorite and how that changed her. She grew up, became aware of the world around her, and took action. I admire her love for her sisters and how she believes the best in them. I loved the Iron Ladies. The danger and action made me turn the pages quickly as I had to see what happened next. 

I thought this was a trilogy, but it appears to be a duology. I really enjoyed this world and would be interested in more. 
About Dhonielle:
Dhonielle Clayton (“Dhon” like “Don” or “Dawn”) spent most of her childhood under her grandmother’s dining room table with a stack of books.
She hails from the Washington, D.C. suburbs on the Maryland side, but now lives in New York City. She was an extremely fussy and particular child with an undying love for Cheerios (honey nut only), pink lemonade, and frosted animal cookies. A self-proclaimed school nerd, she loved covering her books with brown paper and filled her locker with Lisa Frank stickers. She loved putting headings on her homework, odd-looking pens and freshly sharpened pencils, and numerous notebooks to fill with her research. On most Saturdays you could find her with her equally nerdy Dad at Crown Books and then the comic bookstore where she stocked up on her weekly reading material. Plus, she was so spoiled that her grandfather took her to the library after school almost daily.
She attended Our Lady of Good Counsel High School because her parents thought Catholic school would keep her out of trouble. She went to Wake Forest University, and studied pre-med until she received a fateful F in Chemistry. This setback prompted her to change her major to English, and earned a BA. She rediscovered her love of children’s fiction by re-reading Harriet the Spy, which pushed her to earn an MA in Children’s Literature from Hollins University and an MFA Writing for Children at the New School.
She taught secondary school for several years – at a pre-professional ballet academy and a private K-8 school. She spent most of her twenties in and out of America – living in London, Paris, a small Japanese town, Bermuda – and wandering the planet. She’s been on five out of seven continents, and has grand plans to reach all of them.
She is a former elementary and middle school librarian, and co-founder of CAKE Literary, a creative kitchen whipping up decadent – and decidedly diverse – literary confections for middle grade, young adult, and women’s fiction readers. She is also COO of the non-profit We Need Diverse Books.
What’s next? She will be enrolling in culinary school in New York City and plans to open up a restaurant in the city of her soul, Edinburgh, Scotland.

Follow the tour this week:
3/25/2019- Eli to the nthReview
3/26/2019- Smada's Book SmackReview
3/27/2019- Confessions of a YA ReaderReview
3/28/2019- YA Book NerdReview
3/29/2019- Falling for YAExcerpt

Believe Me: You want this book!
Giveaway Details: 3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE EVERLASTING ROSE
(US Only. Ends on April 2nd at Midnight EST)

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Picture Book Wednesday: Brave Ballerina


A picture book biography of Janet Collins - the first Black principal dancer at the Metropolitan Opera House. 

Janet Collins had dreams - big dreams. She worked hard to achieve them. I loved reading about her determination and her refusal to change herself because of the color of her skin. She didn't compromise her beliefs. I loved her strength. A fantastic story with wonderful illustrations that made me wish I could dance. 

Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your school and public libraries.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Graphic Novels

This week's topic is actually about audio books (which I can't read because my mind drifts), so I'm going to talk about Graphic Novels that I want to read.

Black Canary: IgniteBest FriendsPumpkinheadsQueen of the SeaShare Your Smile: Raina's Guide to Telling Your Own Story,
Kiss Number 8BloomLaura Dean Keeps Breaking Up with MeThe Divided Earth (The Nameless City, #3)Junior High Drama: A Graphic Novel

Just finished this one for a blog tour and it's Good!
Mera: Tidebreaker

Monday, March 25, 2019

Summer Reading Program: Universe of Stories (4)

The past couple weeks I've talked about programming ideas.
You can find them here.

But this week, I'm going to talk about some space books. This is by no means a compilation of books, just a jumping off point if you're looking for some new items to add to your collection. 

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Middle Grade Review: Lizzy Legend

Lizzy Legend

Lizzy's the best basketball player in her grade; she takes after her father. She's always working on her skills. When she finally makes the boy's team, she proud of herself.

But one day she answers a strange call. At first she thinks it's just another bill collector, but it turns out Lizzy's given a wish. She wishes never to miss a basketball shot again. Nothing but net - every single time.

That's when everything changes...
My Thoughts: I enjoyed this book - I'm always interested in sports books, especially ones with girl main characters. I enjoyed how Lizzy made her way to the top. I loved her relationship with Toby, he added some humor to the story. I liked Lizzy's attitude - even though every shot would go in, she still worked on her skills. I liked the format of the book - interviews mixed in with the story. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your sporty readers.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Middle Grade Review: Better You Than Me

Better You Than Me

Ruby doesn't want the life she has; it's all fake. She longs to be normal instead of a TV star

Skylar wishes to be cool. She's tired of being boring. Life would be so much better if she was Ruby. Ditching a terrible day at school, Skylar takes a tour of the TV studio. Knowing it's her one chance to meet Ruby, she sneaks away from the tour.

Ruby's not interested in meeting another super fan. But the two of them have a moment - where they share a snippet of truth.

And they change bodies....
My Thoughts: I enjoyed this Freaky Friday inspired book. I liked how both girls struggled with each other's lives and learned about each other's insecurities. I like how they tried to help each other become better versions of themselves. Of course I liked the ending and how everything worked out. I really liked Skylar's mother and how she was interested in getting her daughter to read. I loved the books they talked about, especially one of the author's previous books. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Grab it for your school and public libraries.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Top Ten Review: The Good Ones


A romance bookstore owner finds her own happily ever after with a single dad in a new romance series from the New York Times bestselling author of Every Dog Has His Day. - from the publisher

I flipping loved this book so hard.

Here are the Top Ten Reasons why:
1. Romance Bookstore
2. Chatting about Romance books
3. Taking a chance on your dreams
4. Friendships
5. Perry
6. Prince George
7. Spreading Kindness
8. Turrets
9. Banter between Maisy and Ryder
10. Secret Rooms

If you're a romance reader, grab this one. It's super good! I can't wait to read the next one in the series.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Library Read
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for your romance collections

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Picture Book Review: Planting Stories


A picture book biography of librarian and storyteller Pura Belpre.

Of course I loved reading this book, it's about a fellow librarian!
I loved learning about her storytelling - the puppets, the sharing of the cultures, and connecting with her patrons. I loved how she realized there were no books sharing her culture, so she wrote them herself. I loved the illustrations. A wonderful book to share.

Library Recommendation: A must have biography for schools and public libraries.