Monday, September 30, 2019

Review: The Wallflower Wager

The Wallflower Wager (Girl Meets Duke, #3)
* Book 3 in the Girl Meets Duke series *
Penny never turned away a creature in need - even if that creature happens to be the Duke who just moved in next door. She met him a the most scandalous way possible, but that wasn't her fault. Not really.

The Duke of Ruin can't believe his good fortune that a lady lives next door. That will seriously improve the market for the house that he recently acquired and is fixing up to sell.

He doesn't count on the number of animals she houses and cares for. He doesn't count on her aunt giving her an ultimatum. He certainly doesn't count on kissing her. But once he starts, he finds it hard to stop.
My Thoughts: I really love this series. This book is a forking delight. I loved the banter between Penny and Gabriel. I loved the animals and how they wormed their way into your heart - like the hilarious parrot. This book made me laugh, made me smile, and it made me happy for us wallflowers alike. I hated Penny's secret, but I loved the way she handled it. I love the group of friends and their husbands. Really looking forward to the next book in the series. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute - I like the color scheme
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A must have series for your historical romance collection

Sunday, September 29, 2019

Connecticut Author's Trail Finale Event

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The author for the finale of this year's author trail was Luanne Rice, who just came out with an amazing YA novel: Pretend She's Here.


Ten Facts:
She got her start writing short stories
She had stacks of envelopes of rejections
She sent the stories to popular magazines and literary journals
Her first publish piece was called On the Rocks
As payment, she earned 10 copies of the magazine.
She writes about three sisters
She has two sisters
She left college because her dad was sick
Her family has a house in Old Lyme.
She writes about the area but under a different name, but people recognize it frequently

About the Book:
Pretend She's HereEmily Lonergan's best friend died last year.

And Emily hasn't stopped grieving. Lizzie Porter was lively, loud, and fun -- Emily's better half. Emily can't accept that she's gone.

When Lizzie's parents and her sister come back to town to visit, Emily's heartened to see them. The Porters understand her pain. They miss Lizzie desperately, too.

Desperately enough to do something crazy.

Something unthinkable.

My Thoughts: I couldn't put this book down; it was so engaging. I had to find out what happened and how it was all going to work out. It was creepy, suspenseful, and heart wrenching. I felt terrible for Emily as she tried to save herself. I really liked her relationships with her new friends. I liked how it all turned out and the aftermath. A great read for any time of year, but especially October. I don't want to see any more without spoiling it, but this book is all about friendships, survival, and being true to yourself. 

About the Author:
Luanne RiceLuanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty-three novels including CLOUD NINE, BEACH GIRLS, and THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF SISTER. LAST DAY will be out in February 2020. Five of her books have been made into movies and mini-series, many have been New York Times bestsellers and two of her pieces have been featured in off-Broadway theatre productions. She lives on the Connecticut shoreline.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Review: Wished

Wished (Fairy Tale Reform School #5)* Book 5 in the Fairy Tale Reform School Series *
Gilly and her friends are prepping for the next attack from Rumpelstiltskin. In fact, that's all anyone at school can talk about. Maxine's sick of it; she wants people to be happy.

In fact, when she discovers a genie's lamp, that's exactly her first wish. Suddenly everyone's happy fun and no one is worried, except Gilly. Now everything's out of control. Everyone's worried about putting on a musical and no one is worried about the school's defense.

Maxine knows that it's too much, but she's so tired of everyone being miserable all the time that she refuses to break the spell. Can Gilly convince her before it's too late?
My Thoughts: Another fun book in this series. I enjoyed the genie plot - and how wishes never quite turn out the way people expect. It's fun seeing my favorite characters again. I loved that Gilly didn't let others talk her out of her career choice simply because of her past - and that she had a chance to experience the job herself. I'm intrigued about her family history. I can't wait to see where this story goes next!

Cover Thoughts: Charming
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: High recommend this series for your school and public libraries.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Review: One Summer in Paris

One Summer in Paris
For their 25th wedding anniversary, Grace made reservations for a trip to Paris. But her husband surprises her when he asks her for a divorce instead. Grace's devastated, but decides to take the time in Paris for herself.

While walking near Notre Dame, Grace has her bag stolen. Everything, including her passport, is in there. Luckily, a young girl chases down the thief and recovers her items.

Grace can't begin to thank Audrey enough. Audrey's a teen from London who needed a break from her family. She traveled to Paris with no money, unable to speak the language, and a job lined up.

Once they meet, everything changes for both of them. Their opposite ways rub off on each other as they become fast friends. They support each other and teach other. Together, they're having one wonderful summer in Paris.
My Thoughts: I really liked this book. I felt terrible for Grace and her husband betrayal. I loved that she went to Paris anyways. This book made me want to visit Paris myself and stroll down the streets, drink hot chocolate in cafes, wander through the museums, and eat chocolate croissants. I loved the friendship between Audrey and Grace and how they both needed someone. I loved that they taught each other new things. I loved Audrey's romance, the moments in the bookstore, and Grace's grandmother. I know the ending seems realistic, but I wasn't a huge fan. 

Cover Thoughts: Perfect
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Sarah Morgan's books always circulate at my library. Grab this one for your travel book readers, your romance readers, and your summer book readers.

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Review: Pie in the Sky

Pie in the Sky
Jingwen isn't happy that his family moved to a new country; he feels like he's landed on Mars. He doesn't speak the language and misses home terribly. His mom works all the time and he's stuck watching his little brother most nights.

Finally, they come up with a plan to make themselves feel better - baking the cakes their father was going to use in their bakery. But Jingwen's only eleven and he's not supposed to use the oven. They bake the cakes in secret, but has the secrets pile up, so do all the lies.
My Thoughts: I went into this book thinking it was a graphic novel. And it is partly, but it's mostly prose mixed with graphic elements. I really liked this book, but it was really sad at points which I also wasn't expecting. I enjoyed the brotherly relationship - both the sweet moments and the annoying ones. I loved how the boys made (And ate) the cakes. I liked how Jingwen struggled to make friends. But mostly I just wanted to wrap Jingwen up in a giant hug and tell him things will get better. Of course I wanted to bake all thing things (and eat them) while reading this book.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: A great book for school and public libraries - for the friendship, moving to a new country, and navigating life after the death of a parent. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Picture Book Review: Peanut Butter and Jelly

Reginald isn't like the other zombies who only want to eat brains. He wants peanut butter and jelly. But the zombies think him weird. Can he convince them that he's right? 

While technically not a Halloween story, it's works for this time of year. It's all about zombies, food, and being yourself.  This funny book has a surprise ending and it might make you crave a certain food...or two.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Top Ten Tuesday: Fall TBR

This week's topic is our Fall TBR - so books coming out between now and the end of November. October is a pretty big publishing moth, so this list might get a Little Crazy...

How to Code a Rollercoaster (How to Code with Pearl & Pascal, #2)The Upper Case: Trouble in Capital CityIn the Spotlight (Ellie, Engineer #3)

Middle Grade:
OutlawsDear Sweet PeaRoll with ItMaybe He Just Likes YouRevenge of the Red Club
Give and TakeThe Dragon WarriorLegacy (Keeper of the Lost Cities #8)

SLAYMichigan vs. the Boys10 Blind DatesThe World of Throne of GlassJackpot
The Grace YearThe Library of Lost ThingsIn the Hall with the Knife (Clue Mystery #1)The Beautiful (The Beautiful, #1)Eight Will Fall
Queen of the ConqueredThe Guinevere Deception (Camelot Rising, #1)Deadly Little Scandals (Debutantes, #2)

The Widow of Rose HouseThe Bookworm CrushThe Duke's Stolen Bride (The Rogue Files, #5)Twice in a Blue MoonGlass Slippers, Ever After, and Me
FakerOur Year in Love and PartiesMy Fake Rake (Union of the Rakes, #1)The Princess Plan (A Royal Wedding, #1)Not the Girl You Marry
Twisted Twenty-SixWe Met in DecemberThe Bromance Book Club (Bromance Book Club, #1)Get a Life, Chloe Brown

A Dash of Christmas (Montgomery Brothers)Wrapped Up in You (Heartbreaker Bay, #8)A Wedding in DecemberChristmas from the HeartComing Home for Christmas (Haven Point, #10)
A Mrs. Miracle ChristmasRoyal Holiday (The Wedding Date, #4)The Christmas KeeperChristmas ShopaholicA Family by Christmas
The Candy Cane CaperA Cup of Holiday Fear (A Bakeshop Mystery, #10)Christmas Angels25 Days 'Til ChristmasThe Mistletoe Matchmaker
Finding ChristmasChristmas in Silver Springs (Silver Springs, #6)

Which one should I read first?

Monday, September 23, 2019

Review: Wish on all the Stars

Juliet is settling in to her new town. She's happy to have friends, but she misses her old life - mostly her dad and her best friend. But there are perks to her new town too - the beach, her friends, the ice cream shop, the bookmobile, and the Starry Beach Club. The club tries to help make wishes for others come true.

When Juliet and her friends hear that the bookmobile might be closing, they're devastated. They come up with a plan to stop it from happening. But nothing seems to be working.

Finally they come up with a brilliant idea - a craft fair. Emma and Carmen want Juliet to sell her paintings. The idea makes Juliet nervous. What if no one buys them? What if everyone hates them?

Carmen has a secret that she's holding on to tightly. When she finally reveals it, Juliet feels guilty for her own feelings. Can she summon her bravery and help Carmen feel better, let go of her insecurities about her art, and find a way to help save the bookmobile?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this sequel; I liked spending more time with these characters. I loved getting to know Carmen more. I felt so sad for her and her family and for their fears of deportation. I wish we could change things to make the world safe for everyone.  But there isn't any easy answers, which comes across in the story. 

I love how the girls came together to try to save the bookmobile. I liked their arts and crafts fair - it sounded great. I love how Juliet overcame her shyness about her art work and gave herself a chance. I loved the support from her friends and her family to help her overcome that shyness. I'm glad things are improving with her family and the outcome from the divorce. 

Yet another great story from Lisa Schroeder. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My library
Library Recommendation: Highly recommended for your school and public libraries.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

TV series: Four Weddings and a Funeral

Four Weddings and a Funeral:

Ok, so I know this isn't a movie but it is based on a movie.

This was a great mini-series - roughly 10 hours. It's the perfect show to binge.

The characters were terrible and flawed.
I started out hating some and them enjoying their growth along the way

I enjoyed the nods to movies - obviously to Four Weddings and a Funeral. But also Notting Hill and Love Actually. 

I loved the ending and how things turned out. 

I liked the politics, the acting, and game nights

The dirverse cast, costumes, and scenery were all great!

I loved the secondary characters.

I loved the Cameo by Andie MacDowell. I only wish Hugh Grant was in it.

I loved this idea and I hope they do the same thing with other movies.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Movie Review: On the Basis of Sex

The story of how Ruth Bader Ginsburg won her first case - a case that changed everything. 

Here's why I Enjoyed it:
* The Casting 
* Legal Drama
* That Interview 
* Power of Women
* Her teaching moments
* Jane Ginsburg
Ruth Bader Ginsburg's determination 
* The Cameo by Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself
* Her moment with the former Dean of Harvard and putting him in his place (Twice)

**Of course it made me want to go read a biography of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to learn more.

Friday, September 20, 2019

Review: Mr Lemoncello's All-Star Breakout Game

Mr. Lemoncello's All-Star Breakout Game (Mr. Lemoncello's Library, #4)
* Book 4 in the Mr. Lemoncello's Library series *

Mr. Lemoncello has a new game and he's showcasing it live on television. Of course Kyle and his friends want to be a part of it. Kyle and Charles have been fighting  - again. Kyle almost loses his chance to participate, but at the last moment he's awarded a spot to compete.

The new game will take place in an immersive world where each team must unlock the clues from five rooms, each room featuring a different book genre. The clues will allow them to open the lock to win the game.

Kyle and his friends will be competing again Charles and his teammates as well as a secret guest star team.
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book - I loved the library and the new game. I enjoy Mr. Lemoncello's love for books and how he wants the world to read for fun. I enjoyed the showdown moment between Kyle and Charles. I enjoyed how the game brought everyone out of their comfort zone. I love the book mentions and the bookish jokes. Of course, I'd love to visit this fictional library. 

One thing I don't understand is why Charles is still allowed to compete in the games. After his previous behavior, it seems like he would be banned...

Cover Thoughts: Fun
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Grab this fun series for your school and public libraries. The readers will eat them up.

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Blog Tour: The Lady and the Highwayman

About the Book:
The Lady and the HighwaymanElizabeth Black is the headmistress of a girls’ school and a well-respected author of “silver-fork” novels, stories written both for and about the upper-class ladies of Victorian society. But by night, she writes very different kinds of stories—the Penny Dreadfuls that are all the rage among the working-class men. Under the pseudonym Mr. King, Elizabeth has written about dashing heroes fighting supernatural threats and dangerous outlaws romancing helpless women. They contain all the adventure and mystery that her real life lacks.
Fletcher Walker began life as a street urchin, but is now the most successful author in the Penny Dreadful market, that is until Mr. King started taking all of his readers--and his profits. No one knows who King is, including Fletcher’s fellow members of the Dread Penny Society, a fraternity of authors dedicated to secretly fighting for the rights of the less-fortunate.
Determined to find the elusive Mr. King, Fletcher approaches Miss Black. As a fellow-author, she is well-known among the high-class writers; perhaps she could be persuaded to make some inquiries as to Mr. King’s whereabouts? Elizabeth agrees to help Fletcher, if only to insure her secret identity is never discovered. 
For the first time, Elizabeth experiences the thrill of a cat-and-mouse adventure reminiscent of one of her own novels as she tries to throw Fletcher off her scent. But the more time they spend together, the more she loses her heart. Its upper-class against working-class, author against author where readers, reputations, and romance are all on the line. (Summary from the publisher)

My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this Victorian Romance. I loved the dual perspectives. I loved the Penny Dreadful writing in between the story. I liked learning more about this style of writing. I loved the Dreadful Penny Society and how they helped children escape from the terribleness of life and gave them hope. I love how the network of children looked out for each other. I enjoyed the school life and the discussion of education females. I enjoyed the banter between Elizabeth and Fletcher. Lots of secrets, danger, and action kept me turning the pages to discover what was going to happen next.

About the Author:
Sarah M. Eden is a USA Today Bestselling author of witty and charming historical romances, including Foreword Review’s 2013 “IndieFab Book of the Year” gold medal winner for Best Romance, Longing for Home, as well as 2014 Whitney Award winner for "Best Novel of the Year," Longing for Home: Hope Springs. Combining her obsession with history and affinity for tender love stories, Sarah loves crafting witty characters and heartfelt romances set against rich historical backdrops. She holds a Bachelor's degree in research and happily spends hours perusing the reference shelves of her local library. Sarah lives with her husband, kids, and mischievous dog in the shadow of a snow-capped mountain she has never attempted to ski.