Tag Archives: 4 stars

Book Tour
Book Title:
All the Wind in the World
Book Author:
Samantha Mabry
Page Count:
288
Publishing Date:
October 10th, 2017
Publisher:
Algonquin Young Readers
Date Read:
September 27th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Sarah Jacqueline Crow and James Holt work in the vast maguey fields that span the bone-dry Southwest, a thirsty, infinite land that is both seductive and fearsome. In this rough, transient landscape, Sarah Jac and James have fallen in love. They’re tough and brave, and they have big dreams. Soon they will save up enough money to go east. But until then, they keep their heads down, their muscles tensed, and above all, their love secret.

When a horrible accident forces Sarah Jac and James to start over on a new, possibly cursed ranch called the Real Marvelous, the delicate balance they’ve found begins to give way. And James and Sarah Jac will have to pay a frighteningly high price for their love.

My Review

Last year, I had the chance to read Samantha Mabry’s magical debut, A Fierce and Subtle Poison.  That book combined magical realism with relatable characters and an easy to get into plot, making it a real gem in the young … Continue reading

13 Comments
Book Title:
The Dam Keeper
Book Author:
Robert Kondo, Dice Tsutsumi
Book Illustrator:
Robert Kondo, Dice Tsutsumi
Book Series:
The Dam Keeper, #1
Page Count:
160
Publishing Date:
September 26th, 2017
Publisher:
First Second
Date Read:
September 18th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Life in Sunrise Valley is tranquil, but beyond its borders lies certain death. A dangerous black fog looms outside the village, but its inhabitants are kept safe by an ingenious machine known as the dam. Pig’s father built the dam and taught him how to maintain it. And then this brilliant inventor did the unthinkable: he walked into the fog and was never seen again.

Now Pig is the dam keeper. Except for his best friend, Fox, and the town bully, Hippo, few are aware of his tireless efforts. But a new threat is on the horizon—a tidal wave of black fog is descending on Sunrise Valley. Now Pig, Fox, and Hippo must face the greatest danger imaginable: the world on the other side of the dam.

Based on the Oscar-nominated animated short film of the same name, The Dam Keeper is a lush, vibrantly drawn graphic novel by Tonko House cofounders Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi.

My Review

First off, let me talk about how visually stunning The Dam Keeper is.  It has a hardcover format, and a dust jacket that is absolutely beautiful.  The gold lettering on the cover really adds to the book’s look, and the … Continue reading

4 stars
2 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
There's Someone Inside Your House
Book Author:
Stephanie Perkins
Page Count:
289
Publishing Date:
September 26th, 2017
Publisher:
Dutton Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
September 14th, 2017
Source:
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Scream meets YA in this hotly-anticipated new novel from the bestselling author of Anna and the French Kiss.

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

International bestselling author Stephanie Perkins returns with a fresh take on the classic teen slasher story that’s fun, quick-witted, and completely impossible to put down.

My Review

Wow. There’s Someone Inside Your House is the kind of book that just makes you sit back and think “wow” long after you have finished reading.  The book is such a thrill ride and it was so much fun, while … Continue reading

28 Comments
Book Title:
Spinning
Book Author:
Tillie Walden
Book Illustrator:
Tillie Walden
Page Count:
400
Publishing Date:
September 12th, 2017
Publisher:
First Second
Date Read:
August 24th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Poignant and captivating, Ignatz Award winner Tillie Walden's powerful graphic memoir, Spinning, captures what it's like to come of age, come out, and come to terms with leaving behind everything you used to know.

It was the same every morning. Wake up, grab the ice skates, and head to the rink while the world was still dark.

Weekends were spent in glitter and tights at competitions. Perform. Smile. And do it again.

She was good. She won. And she hated it.

For ten years, figure skating was Tillie Walden's life. She woke before dawn for morning lessons, went straight to group practice after school, and spent weekends competing at ice rinks across the state. It was a central piece of her identity, her safe haven from the stress of school, bullies, and family. But over time, as she switched schools, got into art, and fell in love with her first girlfriend, she began to question how the close-minded world of figure skating fit in with the rest of her life, and whether all the work was worth it given the reality: that she, and her friends on the figure skating team, were nowhere close to Olympic hopefuls. It all led to one question: What was the point?The more Tillie thought about it, the more Tillie realized she'd outgrown her passion--and she finally needed to find her own voice.

My Review

Here I am again, in love with yet another graphic novel.  I know, it seems like I really love every one that I read, but I promise, Spinning is so much more than just a graphic novel – it’s a … Continue reading

4 stars
3 Comments
Book Title:
All the Dirty Parts
Book Author:
Daniel Handler
Page Count:
144
Publishing Date:
August 29th, 2017
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Date Read:
August 20th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

From bestselling, award-winning author Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket), an eagerly anticipated, gutsy, exciting novel that looks honestly at the erotic lives and impulses of an all-too-typical young man.

Cole is a boy in high school. He runs cross country, he sketches in a sketchbook, he jokes around with friends. But none of this quite matters, next to the allure of sex. "Let me put it this way," he says, "Draw a number line, with zero is, you never think about sex, and ten is, it's all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex." Cole fantasizes about whomever he's looking at. He consumes and shares pornography. And he sleeps with a lot of girls--girls who seem to enjoy it at the time and seem to feel bad about it afterwards. Cole is getting a reputation around school--a not quite savory one--which leaves him adrift and hanging out with his best friend. Which is when something startling begins to happen between them--another kind of adventure, unexpected and hot, that might be what he's been after all this time. And then he meets Grisaille.

A companion piece to Handler's Why We Broke Up, the bestselling Michael J. Printz Honor novel, All The Dirty Parts is an unblinking take on the varied and ribald world of teenage desire in a culture of unrelenting explicitness and shunted communication, where sex feels like love, but no one knows what love feels like. Structured in short chapters recalling Jenny Offill's Dept. of Speculation or Mary Robison's Why Did I Ever, the novel gives us a tender, brutal, funny, and always intoxicating portrait of an age in which the whole world is tilted through the lens of sex. "There are love stories galore," Cole tells us, "and we all know them. This isn't that. The story I'm typing is all the dirty parts."

My Review

We’ve all read contemporary romance novels that were either slow burn romances or we learned every single detail about the relationship, including the dates, the conversations, and the special moments.  But what happens when we read a book that skips … Continue reading

4 stars
4 Comments
Book Title:
The Wrong Train
Book Author:
Jeremy de Quidt
Page Count:
224
Publishing Date:
July 25th, 2017
Publisher:
David Fickling Books
Date Read:
July 31st, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

Synopsis

Light the candles and shut the door, The Wrong Train is a deliciously creepy and scarily good collection of scary stories, complete with terrifying illustrations from Dave Shelton. Perfect for fans of Patrick Ness, R.L. Stine, and Emily Carroll.

Imagine you've just managed to catch your train and you realize it's the wrong one. You'd be annoyed of course, but not scared . . . Yet.

Imagine you get off the wrong train at the next station hoping to catch one back the way you came. But the station is empty. Again, you'd be annoyed, but not scared . . . Yet.

Imagine someone comes to the station, a stranger who starts to tell you stories to help pass the time. But these aren't any old stories--they're nightmares that come with a price to pay. And you want them to stop.

Scared yet? You will be.

My Review

While I typically don’t read a lot in terms of short stories, every now and again a short story collection comes along that really grabs my attention.  This is often the case when it comes to horror – so when … Continue reading

4 stars
2 Comments
Book Title:
Maybe in Paris
Book Author:
Rebecca Christiansen
Page Count:
240
Publishing Date:
June 20th, 2017
Publisher:
Sky Pony Press
Date Read:
July 18th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

Synopsis

Keira Braidwood lands in Paris with her autistic brother, Levi, and high hopes. Levi has just survived a suicide attempt and months in the psych ward—he’s ready for a dose of the wider world. Unlike their helicopter mom and the doctors who hover over Levi, Keira doesn’t think Levi’s certifiable. He’s just . . . quirky. Always has been.

Those quirks quickly begin to spoil the trip. Keira wants to traipse all over Europe; Levi barely wants to leave their grubby hotel room. She wants to dine on the world’s cuisine; he only wants fast food. Levi is one giant temper tantrum, and Keira’s ready to pull out her own hair.

She finally finds the adventure she craves in Gable, a hot Scottish bass player, but while Keira flirts in the Paris Catacombs, Levi’s mental health breaks. He disappears from their hotel room and Keira realizes, too late, that her brother is sicker than she was willing to believe. To bring him home safe, Keira must tear down the wall that Levi’s sickness and her own guilt have built between them.

My Review

Maybe in Paris was the kind of book that had a really strong premise, and I expected a lot from it.  As a book that features a character on the Autism spectrum, I really hoped for the best here, because … Continue reading

2.5 stars
1 Comment
Book Tour
Book Title:
The Special Ones
Book Author:
Em Bailey
Page Count:
304
Publishing Date:
July 18th, 2017
Publisher:
HMH Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
July 9th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Esther is one of the Special Ones: four young spiritual guides who live in a remote farmhouse under the protection of a mysterious cult leader. He watches them around the clock, ready to punish them if they forget who they are—and all the while, broadcasting their lives to eager followers on the outside. Esther knows that if she stops being Special, he will “renew” her. Nobody knows what happens to the Special Ones who are taken away from the farm for renewal, but Esther fears the worst. Like an actor caught up in an endless play, she must keep up the performance if she wants to survive long enough to escape.

My Review

The Special Ones was one of those really interesting (and incredibly creepy) sounding books that almost completely slipped under the radar for me, but once I heard about it, I knew it was the kind of book that I really … Continue reading

8 Comments
Book Title:
The Girl with the Ghost Machine
Book Author:
Lauren DeStefano
Page Count:
224
Publishing Date:
June 6th, 2017
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Date Read:
June 30th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

What if a machine could bring back the ones we love? From New York Times bestseller Lauren DeStefano comes a captivating middle grade of loss, love and hope.

In this beautiful and poignant novel, acclaimed author Lauren DeStefano tells a story of love and loss, and what it means to say goodbye.

When Emmaline Beaumont's father started building the ghost machine, she didn't expect it to bring her mother back from the dead. But by locking himself in the basement to toil away at his hopes, Monsieur Beaumont has become obsessed with the contraption and neglected the living, and Emmaline is tired of feeling forgotten.

Nothing good has come from building the ghost machine, and Emmaline decides that the only way to bring her father back will be to make the ghost machine work…or destroy it forever.

My Review

The Girl with the Ghost Machine is an interesting story about a grieving girl who lost her mother to illness, and who is afraid she is losing her father to a machine that he is trying to build to bring … Continue reading

4 stars
12 Comments
Book Title:
Reaper
Book Author:
Kyra Leigh
Page Count:
256
Publishing Date:
May 9th, 2017
Publisher:
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Date Read:
May 15th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Sixteen-year-old Rosie Wolf is sure when you die, you go straight to Paradise, until she wakes to discover she has died in an accident and that Paradise isn’t what she thought it would be.

Rosie Wolf was sure that when her dad died, he went to Paradise. After all, isn’t that where everyone went? But when Rosie wakes up in a strange hospital bed and finds out that she’s died in an accident, she learns things aren’t always what you think they will be.

Now her father feels further away than ever, and Rosie is left to deal with the Grim Reaper, who isn’t a man in a black cloak, but a beautiful woman with a bad attitude. The Grim Reaper tells Rosie that before she can move on to Paradise, she has to go back down to Earth and collect three souls. But Rosie quickly realizes it’s not so simple.

To complicate matters, Rosie meets Kyle, a boy who is different than anyone she’s ever known. He’s cute, smart, and funny. Rosie’s been warned to stay away from the living, but she doesn’t want to. What will happen if she doesn’t?

My Review

As far as one of a kind, completely original books go, Reaper is probably one of top ones that I have read over the years.  It was unexpected, and not at all like how I thought it was going to … Continue reading

4 stars
8 Comments