Friday, May 31, 2019

Review: Phantom Wheel

Phantom Wheel (Hackers)

Six of the top teen hackers can't believe they're being recruited for the CIA - and an all expenses paid college tuition. All they have to do is compete for the prize. It sounds too good to be true - and that's because it is. Only one of them figures it out and walks away from the test.

The others take the test and wait patiently for weeks hoping they made the cut.

They don't see that they've been used.

When Owen figures it out - he reaches out to the others. Because they need to make the wrong they did right. Even it means losing everything. Together, they come up with a plan that might just save the world.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book, it was hard to put down. I loved the action and the danger; it kept me quickly turning the pages. I had to see what happened next. I loved that the six of them worked together and became fast friends. I loved the nicknames, the romances, and how they all made each other better. I really liked learning more about hacking too - I wish I had that skill set. 

Cover Thoughts:
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A great thriller with diverse characters and lots of twists and turns.

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Review: Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss

Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss

Lacey can't believe her dream's come true. She's acting in a Hollywood movie with a superstar. So what if said superstar is acting in this movie to heal his reputation after a scathing review. She's excited to gain experience.

But when things keep happening on set, it's starting to look like someone's out to get her. On top of that, she's having trouble showing chemistry with her co-star. Plus because she's under 18, she has to follow all these rules. And her father is making sure she follows each one of them - including her homework packets.

When she fails to produce her packets in a timely manner, her father hires her a tutor. Donavan couldn't be less interested in her or shot at the big time. He simply wants to get their time together over with. The more time they spend together, the more Lacey begins to rely on him.
My Thoughts: This is my kind of zombie book! I liked the zombies in the movie. I enjoyed reading snippets of the screenplay in between the story. I really loved the relationship between Donavan and Lacey - they had great banter (and chemistry). I liked how Lacey wasn't head over heels for her co-star. I liked the moments between her and her father. I really liked how the movie while fun, was a job for her, and she wasn't about to let anything mess that up. Another fun Kasie West book.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Another great read from this author - grab it for your library where her books and Hollywood books circulate well.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Picture Book Review: Chicks Rule


When she arrives at the rocket meeting, Nerdy Chick is stunned to learn girls aren't allowed. She's not about to take that lying down. She rallies the other girls and together they create their own club.

I loved this book which celebrates the differences of being female while bringing us all together. The chicks didn't become angry - instead they worked together to solve the problem. I loved that all kinds of chicks were included and how inspiring they were. The artwork is amazing.

Library Recommendation: A must have book for both school and public libraries. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: BEA ARCs

This week I'm changing up the topic. I'm at BEA starting tomorrow. Here are some of the ARCs I'm hoping to pick up because I can't wait to read them!

The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding, #1)Black Canary: IgniteThe Dragon WarriorDear Sweet PeaSLAY
StargazingAmerican Royals (American Royals, #1)Best FriendsPumpkinheadsBrazen and the Beast (The Bareknuckle Bastards, #2)

Are you going to BEA this year?
What books are you hoping to find out more about?

Monday, May 27, 2019

Review: Love, Penelope

Love, Penelope

Penelope is about to become a big sister. She's super excited. She can't wait to share the world with her new sibling. Her moms give her a journal so she can start writing to the baby. Penelope writes about her secret crush, things she loves (Warriors basketball), lying to her teacher, friendship drama, and so much more.
My Thoughts: At first, I didn't understand why this book was set in 2014-2015 but then the narrative took a turn. And it was amazing. I got it. And I loved it. I loved how Penelope loved basketball (even if it was the Warriors). I loved the friendship moments - both the good and the bad, but more importantly how they worked things out. I loved Penelope's two moms and the family dynamic. Obviously I didn't like Rick, but he was an important part of the story. I loved the letters to You (the not yet born sibling). I really enjoyed this read. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation:  A great read for your library and perfect for a Pride display!

Saturday, May 25, 2019

BEA Tips and Tricks

A few years ago, I wrote up a bunch of tips and tricks.

Here they are:

2013 Tips:
Your Pitch: why you're important to talk to

2014 Tips:
One Week Way: Get your face out there!

And here's my face. Say Hi if you see me :)

Friday, May 24, 2019

Debut Review: We Hunt the Flame

We Hunt the Flame (Sands of Arawiya, #1)
People lived because she killed.
People died because he lived.

Zafira is the Hunter, disguising herself as a man when she braves the cursed forest of the Arz to feed her people. Nasir is the Prince of Death, assassinating those foolish enough to defy his autocratic father, the king. If Zafira was exposed as a girl, all of her achievements would be rejected; if Nasir displayed his compassion, his father would punish him in the most brutal of ways.

Both are legends in the kingdom of Arawiya—but neither wants to be.

When Zafira embarks on a quest to uncover a lost artifact that can restore magic to her suffering world and stop the Arz, Nasir is sent by the king on a similar mission: retrieve the artifact and kill the Hunter. But an ancient evil stirs as their journey unfolds—and the prize they seek may pose a threat greater than either can imagine. - Summary from the publisher

My Thoughts: I've been wanting to read this book since Hafsah announced it! We've been social media friends for a long time and I was SO happy to see her book published. 

And of course, it's amazingly good. And it just became a NYT best seller! 

There's so much I love about this book. I love how the Hunter is a female and she takes care of her people. I love the newly formed friendships - even though they are tense at times. My heart broke for Nasir. So many pieces of the story are tropes and more I adore: assassins, enemies to lovers, feminism, banter and snark, high fantasy, magic, and fight scenes. I loved the plot twists and turns that I never saw coming. I can't wait to see what happens next!

Cover Thoughts:
Source: ARC sent for review
Library Recommendation: A must have for school and public libraries

Thursday, May 23, 2019

Review: The Lovely and the Lost

The Lovely and the Lost

Kira's childhood nightmares come back full force when she and her new family are asked to help look for a child in the woods. Kira was once found by the search and rescue dogs. She knows what it's like to be out in the forest alone - doing whatever it takes to survive.

Now, Kira wants to find the child. She's do whatever it takes. When her mother side lines her, she becomes irritated.  She starts digging into the past, searching for something that will help. But what she uncovers will change everything.
My Thoughts: I love Jennifer Lynn Barnes' books. I couldn't put this one down. I loved the combination of the mystery of the missing girl combined with the search and rescue team. I loved the dog characters and learning more about search and rescue training. I loved Kira and how she had trouble dealing with people. I loved her relationships with Free and Jude. They supported each other and understood each other. I loved the moments between Cady and Kira. Lots of great moments between them. I loved the action and the danger, but most of all, I loved Kira. I'd like to give her a hug - but I know she'd hate that.

Cover Thoughts: Intriguing. I love the way the clouds float inside the words.
Source: ARC
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your school and public libraries

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Picture Book Wednesday: I'm New Here

Three children move to a new place.

A sweet book as these children find their place with some help from new friends after struggling with language. A great message for any class with a new student. Nice illustrations. 

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

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Pairings

This week I'm going rogue with the topic. I'm pairing nonfiction books with fiction books - both of which I've read recently.

Every Moment After by Joseph MoldoverParkland Speaks by Sarah Lerner
Shoot Shootings and the aftermath

Lizzy Legend by Matthew Ross SmithThe NBA Playoffs by Matt Doeden

Basketball  and playing for the NBA

The Lovely and the Lost by Jennifer Lynn BarnesFind Momo across Europe by Andrew Knapp\

Find and seek - dogs and humans

Charlotte the Scientist Finds a CureLittle Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World
Making the World a better place - through science

The Opposite of Innocent by Sonya SonesShout by Laurie Halse Anderson

Terrible relationships that leave scars

National Geographic Little Kids First Big Book of WeatherThe Weather Girls
All about weather

Clearly I need to read more nonfiction. What books would you pair together?

Monday, May 20, 2019

On Vacation

Last week, we went to Florida to visit family. And it was so relaxing. 
Here are a few pictures:

A fun clock tower in Daytona

Daytona Pier

Mini Golf

Volcano Bay - a really fun water park

Dessert one night

Found in Daytona flea market 

Also at the flea market - perfect for a beach house
S'mores Martini 

Saturday, May 18, 2019

Nonfiction Review: NBA Playoffs


My team, the Celtics, might be out of the playoffs, but I still like seeing a great playoff game.

And reading about basketball. So I picked up this book, new to my library, and read it.

It was pretty good. I had one problem with the book:

The birth of the superteam didn't begin with James, Wade, and Bosh - it began with these three:

Photo Credit: The Boston Globe

The rest of the book had amazing photographs, great information, and lots of knowledge about the beginning years.

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

Friday, May 17, 2019

Cookie Book Tag

I spotted this one BookMarkLit and had to try it! I'm a huge cookie lover (Who isn't really?)
It was created originally by Sorry I’m Booked.

Chocolate Chip: a classic book that you love or really enjoyed
There are so many that I love, but here are the most important two
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Harry Potter, #1)Pride and Prejudice
Thin Mints: a fandom you really want to join or a hyped book you want to read
I can't wait for the next Friends graphic novel
Best Friends

Shortbread: an author you can’t get enough of
Again, SO many. Here are two favorites, I will read ANYTHING they write
Wrapped Up in You (Heartbreaker Bay, #8)No Judgements

Samoas/Caramel DeLites: an emotional rollercoaster
Warning: Sad Dog Story
The Bridge Home by Padma Venkatraman

Snickerdoodles: a book you may never stop rereading/loving
I don't do a lot of re-reading because there are SO many books I want to read, but this book from my teen years is one I try to read every few years.
Winter Dreams, Christmas Love

Soft Sugar Cookies: a book just as good as it sounds
Funny, sweet, and swoon worthy.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Graphic Novel Review: Under the Moon

image.png From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Myracle (ttyl) and artist Isaac Goodhart, comes a poignant coming of age graphic novel about a troubled teen who leaves her turbulent home life behind for a new start on the dangerous streets of Gotham City. A powerful story about domestic abuse, survival and self-discovery, Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale is an important read.

image.pngSelina Kyle is fiercer than she knows. But when her mom’s current boyfriend, proves crueler than all the others combined, Selina reevaluates her dismal life and since Dernell won’ leave, Selina must.

Life on the streets is rougher than Selina expects – until by chance (or fate?), she falls in with a heist-happy gang of street kids like herself. What Selena doesn’t see coming is how appealing life in a pack can be, and how tempting it is to accept the comfort that comes from trusting others. But trust leads to vulnerability, and vulnerability leads to weakness – and Selina Kyle refuses to be weak. Selina soon learns that figuring out how to survive is simple compared to figuring out how to be. - Summary from the publisher. My Thoughts: My heart aches for Selina and all that went through - from her mom's crappy boyfriend, to the death of her cat to living on the streets. The world can be cruel and life can deal crappy hands. But I like that Selina took herself out of a terrible situation. I enjoyed her learn Parkour. I'm glad that she found herself a family. I liked Bruce Wayne. I loved her moments with Rosie and how they interacted. I like how Selina came into her own. The art work is great and the colors intensify the story. I really enjoyed this book - I hope this story continues! Cover Thoughts: Awesome Source: Book sent for Review Library Recommendation: A great graphic for public library