Book Title:
Because of the Sun
Book Author:
Jenny Torres Sanchez
Publishing Date:
January 3rd, 2017
Publisher:
Delacorte Press
Date Read:
January 11th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

From the backyards of suburban Florida to the parched desert of New Mexico, Because of the Sun explores the complexity of family, the saving grace of friendship, and the healing that can begin when the truth is brought to light.

Dani Falls learned to tolerate her existence in suburban Florida with her brash and seemingly unloving mother by embracing the philosophy Why care? It will only hurt. So when her mother is killed in a sudden and violent manner, Dani goes into an even deeper protection mode, total numbness. It’s the only way she can go on.

But when Dani chooses The Stranger by Albert Camus as summer reading for school, it feels like fate. The main character’s alienation after his mother’s death mirrors her own.

Dani’s life is thrown into further turmoil when she is sent to New Mexico to live with an aunt she never knew she had. The awkwardness between them is palpable. To escape, Dani takes long walks in the merciless heat. One day, she meets Paulo, who understands how much Dani is hurting. Although she is hesitant at first, a mutual trust and affection develop between Dani and Paulo, and Dani begins to heal. And as she and her aunt begin to connect, Dani learns about her mother’s past. Forgiving isn’t easy, but maybe it’s the only way to move forward.

My Review

Aside from being absolutely obsessed with the beautiful cover of this book (those colors mixing together, and the simple silhouettes of the people and water tower in the background) I was also drawn to the synopsis for this.  Because of … Continue reading

4.5 stars
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Book Title:
The Matchstick Castle
Book Author:
Keir Graff
Publishing Date:
January 10th, 2017
Publisher:
G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
January 12th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Brian can think of a few places he'd rather spend his summer than with his aunt and uncle in Boring, Illinois. Jail, for example. Or an earplug factory. Anything would be better than doing summer school on a computer while his scientist dad is stationed at the South Pole.

Boring lives up to its name until Brian and his cousin Nora have a fight, get lost, and discover a huge, wooden house in the forest. With balconies, turrets, and windows seemingly stuck on at random, it looks ready to fall over in the next stiff breeze. To the madcap, eccentric family that lives inside, it s not just a home it s a castle. Suddenly, summer gets a lot more exciting. With their new friends, Brian and Nora tangle with giant wasps, sharp-tusked wild boars, and a crazed bureaucrat intent on bringing the dangerously dilapidated old house down with a wrecking ball.

This funny, fantastical story will resonate with any reader who s ever wished a little adventure would find them.

My Review

The Matchstick Castle is a middle grade adventure that reminded me a bit of Alice in Wonderland because of the ridiculous things that were going on in it (more on that later), and while I really thought the theme would … Continue reading

3.5 stars
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Book Title:
This Book is Magic
Book Author:
Ashley Evanson
Publishing Date:
January 17th, 2017
Publisher:
Grosset & Dunlap
Date Read:
December 10th, 2016
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Make some magic in this colorful, interactive picture book from the author/illustrator of the Hello, World board book series!

Do you know that you're a magician? In this interactive book, use your fingers to perform all kinds of magic tricks. Tap a hat to make a bunny appear, recite a spell to make books bigger, say "Gone-zo!" to make a ship disappear, and much more. But beware: the clever magic tricks don't always turn out the way you'd expect!

Reminiscent of Herve Tullet's Press Here, kids and adults! are sure to want to read this book again and again as they perfect their magic skills.

My Review

Kids love magic! And they love it even more when they actually get to be the magician and make the magic happen!  So if you have a little one who adores magic and all things interactive, brightly colored, and fun, … Continue reading

5 stars
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Hi guys! Valentine’s Day is coming up! While I have to say that I spent my entire high school career more or less hating the holiday because I never had anyone special to share it with, it holds a special … Continue reading

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Book Tour

Life in a Fishbowl Author: Len Vlahos Publication Date: January 3rd, 2017 Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s Synopsis: In this hilarious and gut-wrenching story from Morris finalist Len Vlahos, a teen sabotages the reality show that has become her life. Fifteen-year-old … Continue reading

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Book Tour

Freeks Author: Amanda Hocking Publication Date: January 3rd, 2016 Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin Source: I received a copy of Freeks from the publisher in exchange for an honest review – Thank you! Synopsis: Welcome to Gideon Davorin’s Traveling Sideshow, where … Continue reading

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Book Tour
Book Title:
The Warden's Daughter
Book Author:
Jerry Spinelli
Publishing Date:
January 3rd, 2017
Publisher:
Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
December 24th, 2016
Source:
eARC from publisher via NetGalley - Thank you!

Synopsis

From Newbery Medalist Jerry Spinelli (Maniac Magee, Stargirl) comes the knockout story of a girl who must come to terms with her mother's death from inside the walls of a prison.

Cammie O'Reilly is the warden's daughter, living in an apartment above the entrance to the Hancock County Prison. But she's also living in a prison of grief and anger about the mother who died saving her from harm when she was just a baby. And prison has made her mad. This girl's nickname is Cannonball. In the summer of 1959, as twelve turns to thirteen, everything is in flux. Cammie's best friend is discovering lipstick and American Bandstand. A child killer is caught and brought to her prison. And the only mother figures in her life include a flamboyant shoplifter named Boo Boo and a sullen reformed arsonist of a housekeeper. All will play a role in Cammie's coming-of-age. But one in particular will make a staggering sacrifice to ensure that Cammie breaks free from her past. Master storyteller Jerry Spinelli spins a tale of loss and redemption like no other. The Warden's Daughter shows that kindness and compassion can often be found where we least expect it.

My Review

Stargirl was one of my favorite (if not favorite favorite) book that I’ve read, and I read that one when it first came out in 2000.  I was eleven, and made me fall in love with reading.  Because that book … Continue reading

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Book Title:
The Book Jumper
Book Author:
Mechthild Gläser
Publishing Date:
January 3rd, 2017
Publisher:
Feiwel & Friends
Date Read:
December 29th, 2016
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Amy Lennox doesn't know quite what to expect when she and her mother pick up and leave Germany for Scotland, heading to her mother's childhood home of Lennox House on the island of Stormsay.

Amy's grandmother, Lady Mairead, insists that Amy must read while she resides at Lennox House―but not in the usual way. It turns out that Amy is a book jumper, able to leap into a story and interact with the world inside. As thrilling as Amy's new power is, it also brings danger: someone is stealing from the books she visits, and that person may be after her life. Teaming up with fellow book jumper Will, Amy vows to get to the bottom of the thefts―at whatever cost.

My Review

As far as book covers go, this one is probably one of my absolute favorites.  I am so in love with everything about this cover – it’s so magical and swirly and beautiful! Cover aside, let me just say that … Continue reading

4 stars
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Book Title:
Love and First Sight
Book Author:
Josh Sundquist
Publishing Date:
January 3rd, 2017
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
December 27th, 2016
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

On his first day at a new school, blind sixteen-year-old Will Porter accidentally groped a girl on the stairs, sat on another student in the cafeteria, and somehow drove a classmate to tears. High school can only go up from here, right?

As Will starts to find his footing, he develops a crush on a charming, quiet girl named Cecily. Then an unprecedented opportunity arises: an experimental surgery that could give Will eyesight for the first time in his life. But learning to see is more difficult than Will ever imagined, and he soon discovers that the sighted world has been keeping secrets. It turns out Cecily doesn't meet traditional definitions of beauty--in fact, everything he'd heard about her appearance was a lie engineered by their so-called friends to get the two of them together. Does it matter what Cecily looks like? No, not really. But then why does Will feel so betrayed?

Told with humor and breathtaking poignancy, Love and First Sight is a story about how we related to each other and the world around us

My Review

As my first 2017 book, let me tell you that as I read more and more books that release this year, it’s going to take a lot for them to grab me the way that this one did.  Why?  It’s … Continue reading

5 stars
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Book Title:
Ever the Hunted
Book Author:
Erin Summerill
Book Series:
Clash of Kingdoms, #1
Publishing Date:
December 27th, 2016
Publisher:
HMH Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
Dece,ber 26th, 2016
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Seventeen year-old Britta Flannery is at ease only in the woods with her dagger and bow. She spends her days tracking criminals alongside her father, the legendary bounty hunter for the King of Malam—that is, until her father is murdered. Now outcast and alone and having no rights to her father’s land or inheritance, she seeks refuge where she feels most safe: the Ever Woods. When Britta is caught poaching by the royal guard, instead of facing the noose she is offered a deal: her freedom in exchange for her father’s killer.

However, it’s not so simple.

The alleged killer is none other than Cohen McKay, her father’s former apprentice. The only friend she’s ever known. The boy she once loved who broke her heart. She must go on a dangerous quest in a world of warring kingdoms, mad kings, and dark magic to find the real killer. But Britta wields more power than she knows. And soon she will learn what has always made her different will make her a daunting and dangerous force.

My Review

Lately, it seems like every time I pick up a super hyped up fantasy novel, I find myself either being bored, not relating to the characters at all, or thinking that the plot is just a rehashing of another dozen … Continue reading

2 stars
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