Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Picture Book Wednesday: Say Something

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Everyone has something to say.

I loved this book. It's the perfect book to start social justice warriors young. It's all about finding your voice, inclusivity, and speaking up. It's about listening. It's a timely topic and an important read. The message is sweet and the art is wonderful.

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

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Graphic Novels

This week's topic is a freebie, so I'm talking about Graphic Novels. Thanks to my co-worker Mary, I've read a lot more of them in the past few years. These are some of my favorites I've read this year.

New Kid by Jerry CraftKristy's Big Day by Gale GalliganCrush by Svetlana ChmakovaThe Divided Earth by Faith Erin HicksClick by Kayla Miller

Sunny Rolls the Dice by Jennifer L. HolmGuts by Raina TelgemeierStargazing by Jen WangMooncakes by Suzanne  WalkerMeg, Jo, Beth, and Amy by Rey Terciero

Bloom by Kevin PanettaIllegal by Eoin ColferFence, Vol. 1 by C.S. PacatKiss Number 8 by Colleen A.F. VenableThe Tea Dragon Society by Katie O'Neill

Mera by Danielle  PaigeUnder The Moon by Lauren MyracleBlack Canary by Meg CabotTeen Titans by Kami Garcia

What are some graphic novels you've been enjoying lately?

Monday, July 29, 2019

Graphic Novel Review: Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy

Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy: A Graphic Novel: A Modern Retelling of Little Women
A modernized version of Little Women where four sisters in a blended biracial family must work together to overcome life's challenges.

My Thoughts: I love the story of Little Women, so I grabbed this as soon as I saw it on the shelf. And I devoured it. It was SO GOOD. Of course I cried my way through the sad parts. It remains true to the original storyline but modernized. For example: Mr. March is in Afghanistan and the girls send him emails instead of letters. It did only cover the first novel of Little Women. I'm hoping that the second volume is in the works and will cover Good Wives (although I realize that might be too hard to do in the modern YA world). Perfect for handing out to readers who enjoy either graphic novels or for readers who love Little Women.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A must have graphic novel for school and public libraries. 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Movie Review: Second Act

Maya's annoyed at being passed over for a job because she doesn't have a degree. She leaves the company, seriously annoyed. On her birthday, she makes a wish that book smarts equals street smarts. The next thing she knows, she's being called in for an interview. Little did she know her best friend's son did some creative thinking on her resume and applied for the job for her. She knows she has the skills, but can she keep up appearances?

I really liked this movie. 

I loved the group of female friends.

 I enjoyed watching her struggle through the company's test and how to that turned out. 

I like Zoe and her story. I loved her art.

I loved the rowing scene - that was funny.

Overall a fun movie about second chances. 

Friday, July 26, 2019

Review: Serious Moonlight

Serious Moonlight
After an awkward first encounter, Birdie and Daniel are forced to work together in a Seattle hotel where a famous author leads a mysterious and secluded life in this romantic contemporary novel from the author of Alex, Approximately.

Mystery-book aficionado Birdie Lindberg has an overactive imagination. Raised in isolation and homeschooled by strict grandparents, she’s cultivated a whimsical fantasy life in which she plays the heroic detective and every stranger is a suspect. But her solitary world expands when she takes a job the summer before college, working the graveyard shift at a historic Seattle hotel.

In her new job, Birdie hopes to blossom from introverted dreamer to brave pioneer, and gregarious Daniel Aoki volunteers to be her guide. The hotel’s charismatic young van driver shares the same nocturnal shift and patronizes the waterfront Moonlight Diner where she waits for the early morning ferry after work. Daniel also shares her appetite for intrigue, and he’s stumbled upon a real-life mystery: a famous reclusive writer—never before seen in public—might be secretly meeting someone at the hotel.

To uncover the writer’s puzzling identity, Birdie must come out of her shell…discovering that the most confounding mystery of all may be her growing feelings for the elusive riddle that is Daniel
. - Summary from the Publisher

My Thoughts: I really liked this book. I loved the references to Clue, Mystery Mansion, and Nancy Drew. I love how the mystery brought Birdie and Daniel together. I enjoyed the moments in the diner and of course my mouth drooled while they were eating pie. I liked how their relationship started off quickly but then they became friends and shared confidences. But they both held back from each other - emotionally and with secrets that of course eventually came out. I love how Birdie gained independence. I loved her attempts at swearing. I enjoyed the different family dynamics and how that made the characters more fleshed out. I loved Mona and her relationship with Birdie. A sweet romance with a side of mystery. 

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation:  Grab this one for your romance collection, but hand it out to your mystery readers too. 

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Review: Stealing Home

Stealing Home

Ryan has her future all planned out. She's going to college and then coming home to take over the family business - the minor league baseball team. Eventually, she hopes to be one of the youngest female General Managers. So what if she has to work her butt off to earn the players' respect. So what if they see her now as the manager's daughter and not as part of the team. She loves baseball.

Until she learns her mother's looking to sell her shares for the team. Now everything could change and Sawyer could lose everything.

Maybe she can lean on the new recruit Sawyer. The chemistry between them is off the charts, but a romance between management and players is forbidden. Can Ryan save her future?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book - for the female twist on a sports romance. I loved seeing the inner workings of a baseball team. We have a minor baseball team in my town and I could picture the behind the scenes moments there. I loved the moments between Ryan and Sawyer - they had great chemistry. I loved how they decided to help each other. I loved Mia and her family. A fun sports romance that's perfect for summer.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: ARC sent for review
Library Recommendation: Grab this one for your school and public library for a sports romance.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Picture Book Review: When You Are Brave

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When a young girl moves, things can be frightening. But she calls up her courage and becomes Brave.

A sweet message that will resonate with parents and children on how to be brave every day. All it takes is a little seed and something magical can grow from it. There will always be dark times, but there will also always be a light. I loved the palate of the artist's colors and how they made the illustrations pop. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Settings

This week's topic is settings that grab my attention:

Boarding School
Road Trips
Europe (England, Paris, Rome)
Charming Small Town
Winter Wonderland
New York City
Somewhere I'm not familiar with - but makes me want to visit.

Monday, July 22, 2019

Cover Reveal: Crave

Book Details:
Title: Crave
Author Tracy Wolff
Publisher: Entangled 
Release Date: April 2020

About the Author:
Tracy Wolff collects books, English degrees and lipsticks and has been known to forget where—and sometimes who—she is when immersed in a great novel. At six she wrote her first short story—something with a rainbow and a prince—and at seven she forayed into the wonderful world of girls lit with her first Judy Blume novel. By ten she’d read everything in the young adult and classics sections of her local bookstore, so in desperation her mom started her on romance novels. And from the first page of the first book, Tracy knew she’d found her life-long love. Now an English professor at her local community college, she writes romances that run the gamut from contemporary to paranormal to erotic suspense.

About the Book:
Crave is a romantic and thrilling tale of forbidden love, about the undying battle between feeling nothing and feeling so much, it could destroy everyone you love. 

Sunday, July 21, 2019

Saturday, July 20, 2019

On Your Radar: Black Canary (27)

Title: Black Canary: Ignite
Author: Meg Cabot
Publisher: DC Zoom
Release Date: October 29, 2019

Why It Should Be On Your Radar:
* Meg Cabot
* Danger
* Super Powers
* Trouble follows Dinah
* Middle Grade Graphic Novel
* Rock Band
* School Drama
* Secrets 
* Saving the World
* Junior Police Academy 

** ARC signed at BEA

Friday, July 19, 2019

Cover Reveal: Deadly Little Scandals

Today Freeform Books, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, and Rockstar Book Tours are revealing the cover for her upcoming YA Mystery Book, DEADLY LITTLE SCANDALS, which releases on November 5, 2019! We're also revealing the new cover for book 1 in the series, LITTLE WHITE LIES! Check out the awesome covers and enter the giveaway!

On to the reveal! 

Title: DEADLY LITTLE SCANDALS (Debutantes #2)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Pub. Date: November 5, 2019
Publisher: Freeform
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 352

"Think of the White Gloves like the Junior League-by way of Skull and Bones?"

Reluctant debutante Sawyer Taft joined Southern high society for one reason and one reason alone: to identify and locate her biological father. But the answers Sawyer found during her debutante year only left her with more questions and one potentially life-ruining secret. When her cousin Lily ropes her into pledging a mysterious, elite, and all-female secret society called the White Gloves, Sawyer soon discovers that someone in the group's ranks may have the answers she's looking for. Things are looking up... until Sawyer and the White Gloves make a disturbing discover near the family's summer home--and uncover a twisted secret, decades in the making.

No one is quite who they seem to be in this twisty, soapy, gasp-inducing sequel to Jennifer Lynn Barnes' unputdownable Little White Lies. 

Title: LITTLE WHITE LIES (Debutantes #2)
Author: Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Pub. Date: November 6, 2018
Publisher: Freeform
Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Audiobook
Pages: 390

"I'm not saying this is Sawyer's fault," the prim and proper one said delicately. "But."

Eighteen-year-old auto mechanic Sawyer Taft did not expect her estranged grandmother to show up at her apartment door and offer her a six-figure contract to participate in debutante season. And she definitely never imagined she would accept. But when she realizes that immersing herself in her grandmother's "society" might mean discovering the answer to the biggest mystery of her life-her father's identity-she signs on the dotted line and braces herself for a year of makeovers, big dresses, bigger egos, and a whole lot of bless your heart. The one thing she doesn't expect to find is friendship, but as she's drawn into a group of debutantes with scandalous, dangerous secrets of their own, Sawyer quickly discovers that her family isn't the only mainstay of high society with skeletons in their closet. There are people in her grandmother's glittering world who are not what they appear, and no one wants Sawyer poking her nose into the past. As she navigates the twisted relationships between her new friends and their powerful parents, Sawyer's search for the truth about her own origins is just the beginning.

Set in the world of debutante balls, grand estates and rolling green hills, Little White Lies combines a charming setting, a classic fish-out-of-water story, and the sort of layered mystery only author Jennifer Lynn Barnes can pull off. 

I can't wait for this book and I love the redesigned cover! I'm a sucker for ANYTHING Jennifer Lynn Barnes writes! And who's the new girl?
About Jennifer: 
Jennifer Lynn Barnes (who mostly goes by Jen) is the author of more than a dozen critically acclaimed young adult novels. She has advanced degrees in psychology, psychiatry, and cognitive science, including graduate degrees from Cambridge University, where she was a Fulbright Scholar, and Yale University, where she received her Ph.D. in 2012. Jen wrote her first published novel when she was nineteen-years-old and sold her first five books while still in college. In additional to writing YA novels, Jen has also written original pilot scripts for television networks like USA and MTV, and she is one of the world's leading experts on the psychology of fandom and the cognitive science of fiction and the imagination more broadly. Jen is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma, where she holds a dual appointment in Psychology and Professional Writing.

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a paperback of LITTLE WHITE LIES, US Only.

Giveaway ends July 31st, midnight EST.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

Review: Spill the Beans

Spill the Beans (Whatever After #13)

* Book 13 in the Whatever After Series *
After a terrible soccer game, Abby attempts to cheer her brother up with a trip to a fairy tale. Jonah isn't interested, but when they finally land in his favorite fairy tale, he begins to perk up.

Of course things go terribly wrong and they make a horrible deal with a trader. They do run into the giants who seem nice and not at all mean. Abby doesn't know what to do, but she knows that she must outsmart the trader and help Jack.
My Thoughts: I really enjoy this series - for so many reasons. I love Abby and Jonah and their relationship. I love how they fall into fairy tales and mess them up trying to help. I love that Jonah finally found himself in Jack in the Beanstalk. I enjoyed how he worshiped Jack and how that made Abby feel. I seriously disliked the trader. Looking forward to the next book in the series. 

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: If you don't have this series in your library, you're missing out!

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Picture Book Review: Because

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A little goes to a musical event that changes the course of her entire life.

A wonderful picture book about how one event can change and influence your life. Because is a sweet and inspiring story with wonderful illustrations that showcases the power of music and ambition. This book would make a great conversation starter about the future.