Tag Archives: 5 stars

Book Tour
Book Title:
Dear Martin
Book Author:
Nic Stone
Page Count:
224
Publishing Date:
October 17th, 2017
Publisher:
Crown Books for Young Readers
Date Read:
September 29th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Justyce McAllister is top of his class, captain of the debate team, and set for the Ivy League next year—but none of that matters to the police officer who just put him in handcuffs. He is eventually released without charges (or an apology), but the incident has Justyce spooked. Despite leaving his rough neighborhood, he can’t seem to escape the scorn of his former peers or the attitude of his prep school classmates. The only exception: Sarah Jane, Justyce’s gorgeous—and white—debate partner he wishes he didn’t have a thing for.

Struggling to cope with it all, Justyce starts a journal to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But do Dr. King’s teachings hold up in the modern world? Justyce isn’t so sure.

Then comes the day Justyce goes driving with his best friend, Manny, windows rolled down, music turned up. Way up. Much to the fury of the white off-duty cop beside them. Words fly. Shots are fired. And Justyce and Manny get caught in the crosshairs. In the media fallout, it’s Justyce who is under attack. The truth of what happened that night—some would kill to know. Justyce is dying to forget.

My Review

It’s so very rare that I give a book a 5 star rating.  It really has to shake me to my core, make me question things, and be something that I believe everyone needs to read for me to rate … Continue reading

5 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Pashmina
Book Author:
Nidhi Chanani
Book Illustrator:
Nidhi Chanani
Page Count:
176
Publishing Date:
October 3rd, 2017
Publisher:
First Second
Date Read:
September 21st, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri's mom avoids these questions--the topic of India is permanently closed.

For Pri, her mother's homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she's ever dared and find the family she never knew.

In this heartwarming graphic novel debut, Nidhi Chanani weaves a tale about the hardship and self-discovery that is born from juggling two cultures and two worlds.

My Review

Pashmina was one of my most anticipated releases for this year – I heard about it months ago and haven been counting day the days until it releases.  I was so excited when I had the chance to participate on … Continue reading

6 Comments
Book Title:
Shimmer and Burn
Book Author:
Mary Taranta
Book Series:
Shimmer and Burn, #1
Page Count:
352
Publishing Date:
August 8th, 2017
Publisher:
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Date Read:
September 5th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

To save her sister’s life, Faris must smuggle magic into a plague-ridden neighboring kingdom in this exciting and dangerous start to a brand-new fantasy duology.

Faris grew up fighting to survive in the slums of Brindaigel while caring for her sister, Cadence. But when Cadence is caught trying to flee the kingdom and is sold into slavery, Faris reluctantly agrees to a lucrative scheme to buy her back, inadvertently binding herself to the power-hungry Princess Bryn, who wants to steal her father’s throne.

Now Faris must smuggle stolen magic into neighboring Avinea to incite its prince to alliance—magic that addicts in the war-torn country can sense in her blood and can steal with a touch. She and Bryn turn to a handsome traveling magician, North, who offers protection from Avinea’s many dangers, but he cannot save Faris from Bryn’s cruelty as she leverages Cadence’s freedom to force Faris to do anything—or kill anyone—she asks. Yet Faris is as fierce as Bryn, and even as she finds herself falling for North, she develops schemes of her own.

With the fate of kingdoms at stake, Faris, Bryn, and North maneuver through a dangerous game of magical and political machinations, where lives can be destroyed—or saved—with only a touch.

My Review

When I first realized that this gorgeous book was something I absolutely had to read, I had no idea that it was a duology.  I guess I missed that part, but for whatever reason, I thought it was a standalone.  … Continue reading

5 stars
12 Comments
Book Title:
Aftercare Instructions
Book Author:
Bonnie Pipkin
Page Count:
368
Publishing Date:
June 27th, 2017
Publisher:
Flatiron Books
Date Read:
July 12th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

It’s what we do after the hurt that matters.

“Troubled.” That’s seventeen-year-old Genesis Johnson, according to her small New Jersey town. She finds refuge and stability in her relationship with her boyfriend, Peter—until he abandons her at a Planned Parenthood clinic during their appointment to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. The betrayal causes Gen to question everything.

As Gen pushes herself forward to find her new identity without Peter, she must also confront her most painful memories. Through the lens of an ongoing four act play within the novel, the fantasy of their undying love unravels line by line, scene by scene. Digging deeper into her past while exploring the underground theater world of New York City, she rediscovers a long-forgotten dream. But it’s when Gen lets go of her history, the one she thinks she knows, that she’s finally able to embrace the complicated, chaotic true story of her life, and take center stage.

My Review

“The Thing I Wish I’d Known:      -I love you doesn’t come with any guarantees.” Aftercare Instructions was one of those books that I went into expecting to like, but not love as much as I did.  It was probably … Continue reading

5 stars
8 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Lucky in Love
Book Author:
Kasie West
Page Count:
333
Publishing Date:
July 25th, 2017
Publisher:
Scholastic
Date Read:
July 20th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

In this new contemporary from YA star Kasie West, a girl who wins the lottery learns that money can cause more problems than it solves, especially when love comes into the picture.

Maddie doesn't believe in luck. She's all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment --

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie's life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she's talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun... until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now, Maddie isn't sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn't seem aware of Maddie's big news. And, for some reason, she doesn't want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?

With tons of humor and heart, Kasie West delivers a million-dollar tale of winning, losing, and falling in love.

My Review

Earlier this year I read my very first Kasie West book, By Your Side.  I fell in love with that book from the very first page, and I instantly knew that I would read anything Kasie West wrote from that … Continue reading

9 Comments
Book Title:
Marigold Bakes a Cake
Book Author:
Mike Malbrough
Book Illustrator:
Mike Malbrough
Page Count:
40
Publishing Date:
July 18th, 2017
Publisher:
Philomel Books
Date Read:
July 10th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

Synopsis

For fans of Mo Willems' Don't Let the Pigeon... series. Baking the perfect cake is how Marigold spends Mondays. Being messy, noisy, and disruptive in Marigold's kitchen are how one finch, two pigeons, and three loons spend their Mondays!

Marigold the cat loves Mondays, for that is when he bakes cakes! With his favorite recipe in front of him, he rolls up his sleeves and gets down to it. He whips up egg whites . . . Easy. He adds a cup of milk . . . Peasy. The he sprinkles in just a pinch of . . . of finch?! That's not right at all! Neither are the smidgeons of pigeons or the spoonsfull of loons. Clearly a chase is in order! Yet all that leads to is a spectacularly messy kitchen. And no cake.

With a recipe comprised of equal parts humor and charm, author-illustrator Mike Malbrough has cooked up a scrumptious laugh-out-loud addition to the great tradition of interruption books. Perfect for fans of Mo Willems' Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus and David Ezra Stein's Interrupting Chicken.

My Review

As someone who reads a ton of picture books every year, for a book to really stand out and become an instant favorite, it has to have a wonderful story and illustrations that I can’t get enough of.  Plus, you … Continue reading

4 Comments
Book Title:
The One Memory of Flora Banks
Book Author:
Emily Barr
Page Count:
304
Publishing Date:
May 2nd, 2017
Publisher:
Philomel Books
Date Read:
May 4th, 2017
Source:
ARC from publisher - Thank you!

Synopsis

Seventeen-year-old Flora Banks has no short-term memory. Her mind resets itself several times a day, and has since the age of ten, when the tumor that was removed from Flora's brain took with it her ability to make new memories. That is, until she kisses Drake, her best friend's boyfriend, the night before he leaves town. Miraculously, this one memory breaks through Flora's fractured mind, and sticks. Flora is convinced that Drake is responsible for restoring her memory and making her whole again. So when an encouraging email from Drake suggests she meet him on the other side of the world, Flora knows with certainty that this is the first step toward reclaiming her life.

With little more than the words "be brave" inked into her skin, and written reminders of who she is and why her memory is so limited, Flora sets off on an impossible journey to Svalbard, Norway, the land of the midnight sun, determined to find Drake. But from the moment she arrives in the arctic, nothing is quite as it seems, and Flora must "be brave" if she is ever to learn the truth about herself, and to make it safely home.

My Review

The One Memory of Flora Banks is probably one of the best books that I’ve read to date – it was deep and told such an incredible story that was both heartwarming and heartwrenching at the same time. The One … Continue reading

3 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Shattered Warrior
Book Author:
Sharon Shinn
Book Illustrator:
Molly Knox Ostertag
Page Count:
256
Publishing Date:
May 16th, 2017
Publisher:
First Second
Date Read:
May 12th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - thank you!

Synopsis

Bestselling fantasy author Sharon Shinn delivers a gripping science fiction adventure with a sweeping romance at its heart.

It is ten years after Colleen Cavanaugh's home world was invaded by the Derichets, a tyrannical alien race bent on exploiting the planet's mineral resources.

Most of her family died in the war, and she now lives alone in the city. Aside from her acquaintances at the factory where she toils for the Derichets, Colleen makes a single friend in Jann, a member of the violent group of rebels known as the Chromatti. One day Colleen receives shocking news: her niece Lucy is alive and in need of her help. Together, Colleen, Jann, and Lucy create their own tenuous family.

But Colleen must decide if it's worth risking all of their survival to join a growing underground revolution against the Derichets.

My Review

I was never much of a graphic novel reader, but once I discovered a few that I liked, I’m pretty much hooked and want to read more of them.  When I was contacted about being part of the blog tour … Continue reading

1 Comment
Book Title:
Between Two Skies
Book Author:
Jamie O'Sullivan
Page Count:
272
Publishing Date:
April 25th, 2017
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Date Read:
April 29th, 2017
Source:
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review - Thank you!

Synopsis

Hurricane Katrina sets a teenage girl adrift. But a new life and the promise of love emerges in this rich, highly readable debut.

Bayou Perdu, a tiny fishing town way, way down in Louisiana, is home to sixteen-year-old Evangeline Riley. She has her best friends, Kendra and Danielle; her wise, beloved Mamere; and back-to-back titles in the under-sixteen fishing rodeo. But, dearest to her heart, she has the peace that only comes when she takes her skiff out to where there is nothing but sky and air and water and wings. It's a small life, but it is Evangeline's.

And then the storm comes, and everything changes. Amid the chaos and pain and destruction comes Tru a fellow refugee, a budding bluesman, a balm for Evangeline s aching heart. Told in a strong, steady voice, with a keen sense of place and a vivid cast of characters, here is a novel that asks compelling questions about class and politics, exile and belonging, and the pain of being cast out of your home. But above all, this remarkable debut tells a gently woven love story, difficult to put down, impossible to forget.

My Review

Between Two Skies takes us inside the life of a girl who had a happy life before Hurricane Katrina hit, and the aftermath that she is forced to deal with after the storm.  This book is heartbreaking, yet inspiring, at … Continue reading

5 stars
4 Comments
Book Tour
Book Title:
Girl Out of Water
Book Author:
Laura Silverman
Page Count:
320
Publishing Date:
May 2nd, 2017
Publisher:
Sourcebooks Fire
Date Read:
April 12th, 2017
Source:
eARC from publisher via NetGalley - Thank you!

Synopsis

Fans of Jenny Han and Sarah Dessen will fall in love this contemporary debut about finding yourself-and finding love-in unexpected places.

Ocean breeze in her hair and sand between her toes, Anise can't wait to spend the summer before her senior year surfing and hanging out on the beach with friends. Santa Cruz is more than her home-it's her heart. But when her aunt, a single mother, is in a serious car accident, Anise must say goodbye to California to help care for her three young cousins.

Landlocked Nebraska is the last place Anise wants to be. Sure, she loves her family, but it's hard to put her past behind her when she's living in the childhood house of the mother who abandoned her. And with every Instagram post, her friends back home feel further away.

Then she meets Lincoln, a charismatic, one-armed skater who challenges her to swap her surfboard for a skateboard. Because sometimes the only way to find your footing is to let go.

My Review

If you are looking for a fun summer contemporary that will have you racing for the beach and the warm sand, Girl out of Water is probably one of the best reads that will definitely perk up your summer days! … Continue reading

10 Comments