Thursday, July 20, 2017

Review: Lights, Camera, Middle School!

Now in middle school, Babymouse joins the film club. She wants a shot at being famous. The club will be making a film. But the club can't decide on what type of movie to make: romance, drama, or detective. Babymouse wants to combine them all and make an epic film.

For her contribution in getting everyone on board, the club adviser awards her the role of Director. Plus since it's her vision, Babeymouse gets to write the screenplay.

Excited about the prospect, Babymouse goes hog wild creating her vision. But she forgot to think about what her vision will mean for everyone else. Can they really shoot a scene in Paris? What about those elephants? How big is their moving making budget anyways?
My Thoughts: Alternating between text and graphic novel panels, Babymouse hasn't changed much. Sure she's older, but she's the still lovable mouse who has problems with her whiskers, trouble with her locker, and gets carried away. I loved watching Babymouse struggle to figure out how to make the movie. I love how her friends and club members took their roles seriously. Of course Babymouse lets her power go to her head, but it's funny and sweet when it all works out. I adore Babymouse and can't wait to read more about her middle school drama.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: Book sent for review
Library Recommendation: Scoop this one up, your readers will thank you. 

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The Great British Baking Show

For the past two weeks, I've fallen down the rabbit hole of The Great British Baking Show (seasons 2 and 3). And it makes me want to bake...Everything.

It also makes me realize I could never be a baker on the show. And here's why:

I'm a traditional baker
 I don't play around and experiment with baking
When I do change a recipes, it's mostly because of spices I don't like
 I don't make up my own recipes
 I don't recognize many of the desserts they make
 I would lose it under that intense pressure
 They shoot the show in Britain (different measuring system)
I wouldn't want baking not to be fun anymore
I don't think I could handle Paul's criticism 

Clearly I wouldn't measure up, but it's fun to think about. 

But now I'm also critical of baking - in a Paul and Mary sort of way. But only just for fun.

Here's my most recent bake:

Blueberry Buckle:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Adult books for 2017 (So far)

This week is another freebie week, so I thought I'd continue with my lists of best books I've read so far this year. This week it's adult fiction. Enjoy!
meme from The Broke and the Bookish 

New York, Actually by Sarah MorganExclusively Yours by Shannon StaceyDawn Study by Maria V. Snyder
Caramel Crush by Jenn McKinlayAssault & Beret by Jenn McKinlayFudge and Jury by Ellie Alexander
The Hero by Donna GrantAbout a Dog by Jenn McKinlayAccidentally on Purpose by Jill Shalvis
Instant Attraction by Jill ShalvisLady Claire Is All That by Maya Rodale

Monday, July 17, 2017

Review: Once and For All

Louna's mom owns a wedding planning business with her best friend. Louna's seen it all - couples that won't last, couples that argue over the silliest things, and couples that just might stand a chance. Combined with that knowledge and the fact that Louna's first love ended in tragedy, she's not sure she believes in love.

When the annoying brother of a bride Ambrose worms his way into the planning business, Louna isn't thrilled. Ambrose, a serial dater, flirts with everyone.

The two of them come up with a bet. Louna needs to go on lots of first dates, but only first dates while Ambrose needs to date only one girl for seven weeks. Both of them think it will be easy - but both are wrong.
My Thoughts: I adore Sarah Dessen books and this one was amazingly good. I love few easter eggs I saw and I'm sure there are more that I missed. I liked the banter between Ambrose and Louna. I loved William and the dog. Both of them added humor to the story. I liked learning more about Louna's first great love and how that changed her. I loved the terrible first dates. I loved the writing, there were many spots where I went back to re-read the sentences because they packed a punch both in sentiment and in craft. Another winner from Sarah Dessen.

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Fun Fact: My boss got me a signed copy at ALA!
Library Recommendation: Buy this one for all libraries. It's a must have. 

Friday, July 14, 2017

YA Stands For

This is #IReadYA week 

I've written about my love for YA several times. You can read them here.

But this year feels different to me. Maybe it's all the talk about diversity in the field or maybe it's all the terrible political news.  

I really thought there would be the first woman President in the White House this year. And because of that, my reading shifted a bit. I've gravitated towards feminist reads. Here's a few favorites from past years.

Girls who rescue themselves
Girls who save the world
Girls who kick ass

I read these books. I buy them for the library collection. I talk about them online. And I try to put them into the hands of other readers. Because it IS important. It's something that I can do. With enough females acknowledging our powers, we Can change the world.  

And I look for authors with similar values. I don't have to look too far. 

Twitter has become so much more political in this last year. There used to be a time when authors didn't talk politics. That's no longer possible. With this country in a downward spiral, I'm happy authors are voicing their opinions and sharing tips to try to change our world.

Thursday, July 13, 2017

On Your Radar: (8)

Title: All's Faire in Middle School
Author:  Victoria Jamieson
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: September 5, 2017

Why it Should be on Your Radar:
* Homeschooling switch to middle school
* Renaissance Fair
* Bullying
* Friendship
* Siblings
* Finding your family/friends
* Being comfortable in your own skin
* Admitting when you're wrong

I Loved this book. I was so happy to get an ARC in the mail because I adored Roller Girl. I loved how this one showcased the Renaissance Faire - it's not something you see much in Middle Grade or YA books. Another winner from Victoria Jamieson. Can't wait to see what she creates next!

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Picture Book Review: Philomena's New Glasses

Philomena needs glasses to help her see the world more clearly. But once she gets them, her sister decides that she needs some too (even though she doesn't). Now all the sisters are wearing glasses. And then Philomena realizes she needs a case for her glasses. Audrey wants a case too, but she puts snacks in hers. Feeling the pressure, Nora Jane gets a handbag too. When will they stop competing with each other?
I really enjoyed this book. I loved the pictures of the guinea pigs. They were really sweet and entertaining. Wonderful pictures to pour over together. Plus the deleted scenes were super cute.

I enjoyed the three sisters and how they interacted with each other and how finally one of them spoke up. A great book about sisters and growing up and competing (or not.)

* Book sent for review
Library Recommendation: Great for school and public libraries.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Middle Grade Reads of 2017 (so far)

This week is another freebie week, so I thought I'd continue with my lists of best books I've read so far this year. This week it's middle grade reads. Enjoy!
meme from The Broke and the Bookish 

Real Friends by Shannon HaleBrave by Svetlana ChmakovaThe Stone Heart by Faith Erin HicksAll's Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson
Batgirl at Super Hero High by Lisa YeeSupergirl at Super Hero High by Lisa YeeJourney Across the Hidden Islands by Sarah Beth DurstThe Dragon with a Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis
Addie Bell’s Shortcut to Growing Up by Jessica BrodySpy Camp by Stuart GibbsOut of Tune by Gail NallCake Pop Crush by Suzanne   Nelson

I'm currently reading and loving these two:
Lights, Camera, Middle School! (Babymouse Tales from the Locker)The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match (The Great Shelby Holmes, #2)

Monday, July 10, 2017

Blog Tour: Paper Hearts

Title: Paper Hearts
Series: Heartbreak Chronicles #2
Author: Ali Novak
Pub Date: July 4, 2017
ISBN: 9781492653363

Felicity has her entire future planned. Ever since her older sister ran away, she’s had the full weight of her mother’s expectations on her shoulders. So she works hard to get straight As and save for college.
Except sometimes the best things in life are unplanned—like when Felicity meets a handsome, masked stranger while she is volunteering at a charity masquerade ball. She never thought he’d flirt with her. And she certainly never thought he’d turn out to be a member of the world-famous Heartbreakers band, Alec.
Then Felicity uncovers a shocking family secret. Suddenly, she, Alec, and her two best friends are off on a road trip to find Felicity’s missing sister. And she’s about to discover that unexpected turns have a peculiar way of landing her right where she needs to be…
 I really enjoyed the first book: Heartbreakers (here's the blog tour for that one) and I'm looking forward to reading book 2, doesn't it sounds good?

Buy Links:

About the Author:
Ali Novak writes contemporary young adult romance and is a recent graduate of the University of Madison Wisconsin's creative writing program. She wrote her first full length novel, My Life with the Walter Boys, at the age of fifteen. Since posting the story online, it has received more than 33 million reads and is now published by Sourcebooks Fire.

Chatting with Ali:
Describe yourself in 6 words.
1.        Creative
2.        Stubborn
3.        Sensitive
4.        Independent
5.        Reserved
6.        Nerdy

Describe Paper Hearts in 6 words.
1.        Sweet
2.        Funny
3.        Romantic
4.        Adorable
5.        Light
6.        Playful

Which character from the Heartbreak Chronicles has been your favorite to write and why?
JJ Morris, because his dialogue is incredibly entertaining to write.

If you could tour the world with any band, who would it be?
I would love to go on tour with Ed Sheeran. I know he isn’t a band, but hands down, he’s my favorite artist. One day I hope I can write romance novels at the level he writes love songs.

If you had to listen to one song and one song only for the rest of your life, which song would you choose?
Don’t laugh, but “Gold Digger” by Kanye West. I honestly don’t understand why I love it so much, but whenever it comes on my husband says I get a dopey smile on my face. I suppose I like it because it’s catchy and the lyrics are hilarious.

What books or authors inspire you?
Bookwise, I love Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I think it does an amazing job of capturing the butterflies in your stomach feeling that takes me back to high school. In regards to authors who inspire me, I grew up reading Sarah Dessen, so she’s always been someone I look up to.

If you had to choose one line from Paper Hearts as your favorite, which would it be?

Sounds great right? I know I'm looking forward to reading it! And lucky you, you can enter to win a copy ( US and Canada residents only please)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Adult Review: Dangerous Minds

* Book 2 in the Knight and Moon series *
When Emerson's Buddhist friend turns to him for help, Emerson can't do anything but help his friend discover what happened to his island. One minute Wayan was on a deserted island and the next minute, the island vanished. As Emerson and Riley start poking around, they begin to notice things aren't adding up and someone doesn't want them to keep asking questions.

Their questions lead them to the National Park Service where several hikers have been reported missing. Emerson's wild theories lead them down a trial from which they might not return.
My Thoughts: Another classic Evanovich - lots of action, danger, banter, and sexual tension. I liked the interaction between Wayan and Vernon - they added humor to the story. I liked learning more about the parks.

Cover Thoughts: I like it, but it doesn't quite capture the novel
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Yes - for all public libraries. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Adult Review: Exclusively Yours

 * First in a series * 
When Keri's boss finds out that she used to date the reclusive author Joe Kowalski, she threatens Keri's job in order to get a story. Reluctantly, Keri heads back home to face the man she left to pursue her career.

Joe isn't interested in giving an interview, but he can't help but feel that he and Keri have unfinished business. He creates a bargain where she joins him and his family on their two week camping vacation in exchange for answering questions. But he has limits; his previous love life and his family are off limits.

Keri isn't thrilled at the prospect of spending two weeks gathering information, but she's willing to do just about anything to save her job. But could the two weeks be more than she can handle?
My Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. I loved the Kowalski family, especially all the kids. I loved getting to know their stories and look forward reading more about them in future books. I really liked the issues between Joe's twin sister and Keri - and how they reacted to each other over the two weeks. Lots of grant banter and sexual tension in this one. I like the question about careers vs love and if you really have to choose between them or if you really can have it all. So looking forward to the next book in the series. 

Source: Gifted from my #Otspsecretsister
Cover Thoughts: Cute
Library Recommendation: Great for your public library.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Review: Little Black Dresses, Little White Lies

Harper can't believe her ears; Shift magazine just called her asking her to be a last minute replacement intern for the summer. It's a dream come true to be able to write for the teen magazine. It almost doesn't matter that she's going to be their dating blogger and she's never been out on a date.

After a few missteps at the office, things start looking up for Harper. She's got a hot boy to potentially date, a great new guy friend, and fodder for her blog posts (who cares if it's not exactly true?) She's taking New York by storm and isn't about to let anything stand in her way.
My Thoughts: I really liked this book. It reminded me a little bit of a YA version of Shopaholic. Parts were really cute, parts made me cringe, and parts made me happy. I loved Ben and the dog moments. I really liked the blog posts and wish we could have seen more of the interns' work. The pressures of the interns, their moments of friendship, and exploring New York made this one a really fun read. 

Cover Thoughts: Cute
Source: My Library
Library Recommendation: Great for both school and public libraries.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Picture Book Review: How Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln

Kate Warne fought to become a female detective - insisting that she could gather information that no one else could and in plain sight. She was right and it led her to help uncover a plot against the newly elected President Lincoln.
I love that Kate fought for what she wanted and became a detective. I like that she gathered information using her skills and disguises. A great nonfiction picture book for young elementary school readers and perfect for talking about women and achievements. 

Highly recommended for both public and school libraries.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Picture Books of 2017 (so far)

I know it's only Monday and this week's topic is a freebie, so I thought I'd continue with my lists of best books I've read so far this year. This week it's kids books. Enjoy!
meme from The Broke and the Bookish 

Powerful Ladies 

Martina & Chrissie: The Greatest Rivalry in the History of SportsBe a Star, Wonder Woman!I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her MarkFor the Right to Learn: Malala Yousafzai's Story
The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights ActivistFancy Party Gowns: The Story of Ann Cole LoweHow Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln: The Story Behind the Nation's First Woman Detective


Who Wants to Be a Princess?: What It Was Really Like to Be a Medieval PrincessThe Princess Who Had No Kingdom

And More!
WaitMy HometownMother Bruce
Bunny's Book ClubWhat the Dinosaurs Did Last Night: A Very Messy AdventureA Hat for Mrs. Goldman: A Story About Knitting and LoveNaptime with Theo and Beau

Have you read any of these?