Monday, November 30, 2015

The Trouble with Destiny ~ Lauren Morrill (earc) review [@laurenemorrill @randomhousekids]

The Trouble with Destiny
December 8, 2015
272 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

It’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey...

With her trusty baton and six insanely organized clipboards, drum major Liza Sanders is about to take Destiny by storm—the boat, that is. When Liza discovered that her beloved band was losing funding, she found Destiny, a luxury cruise ship complete with pools, midnight chocolate buffets, and a $25,000 spring break talent show prize.

Liza can’t imagine senior year without the band, and nothing will distract her from achieving victory. She’s therefore not interested when her old camp crush, Lenny, shows up on board, looking shockingly hipster-hot. And she’s especially not interested in Russ, the probably-as-dumb-as-he-is-cute prankster jock whose ex, Demi, happens be Liza’s ex–best friend and leader of the Athenas, a show choir that’s the band’s greatest competition.

But it’s not going to be smooth sailing. After the Destiny breaks down, all of Liza’s best-laid plans start to go awry. Liza likes to think of herself as an expert at almost everything, but when it comes to love, she’s about to find herself lost at sea.
There were elements of The Trouble with Destiny that could have spelled trouble for me: While I understood why the Athenas needed to be on the cruise and a part of the competition, it seemed overly convenient that, of ten groups participating, two were from the same school. (With a third from their rival high school.) Maybe if that third group hadn't been mentioned or there was more said about the selection/criteria? Or, perhaps, it's just one of my pet peeves and no one else cared.

The idea of a cruise itself, though, was quite fun. It removed the characters from their everyday life and location and gave them not only the ship itself, but its amenities, a more confined setting and took away any complications from home or families. It put the characters in a sort of bubble. A very large, quite well appointed bubble, but still a bubble.

Liza clearly did not need the isolation in order to focus on the band and how much they need to win; it seems to be all she can think about. At least, at first.

Her character was one that I don't know why, precisely, I liked, but I did. She is incredibly anxious, but you can tell how much she wants her band to succeed, to win. It is clear she cares about her friends and keeping their relationships, tie together going. Even if it does not always show itself in the best way. She was distracted much, much too easily by a boy and it seemed obvious - only not at all to Liza - how that was going to end.

Even with Liza's obliviousness and the predictability, I did really like her and the story was cute. Some of what Liza learned about herself and how she came to those conclusions, added a nice bit of something more to the story. It was not all that I was expecting but it was sweet and fun and our main character being a marching band's drum major was something unique and different that played into her character well.

received, via NetGalley, from publisher for an honest review

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Waiting On Wednesday [@virgboecker @lbkids]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:

THE KING SLAYER (The Witch Hunter #2) by Virginia Boecker

Magic, suspense, and political intrigue collide in this sequel to The Witch Hunter, perfect for fans of Graceling and the Grisha Trilogy.

Former witch hunter Elizabeth Grey is hiding within the magically protected village of Harrow, evading the price put on her head by Lord Blackwell, the usurper king of Anglia. Their last encounter left Blackwell ruined, but his thirst for power grows stronger every day. He's readying for a war against those who would resist his rule--namely Elizabeth and the witches, wizards, pirates, and healers she now calls her friends.

Having lost her stigma, a magical source of protection and healing, Elizabeth's strength is tested both physically and emotionally. War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she'll go to save those she loves.

In this sequel to The Witch Hunter, Virginia Boecker delivers a powerful story full of action, suspense, camaraderie, and romance.

published June 14th by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


I absolutely enjoyed The Witch Hunter - you can read my review here - and am very excited for The King Slayer. I love the title (and the symmetry it has with the first book's title) and the cover (it's stark but also pretty . . . the red is a bit like blood/a rose/a wax seal) but mostly I can't wait to find out hte story inside.

The world and characters created in The Witch Hunte were so enjoyable, so well imagined and writen and I look forward to seeing them expanded.

"War always means sacrifice, and as the lines between good and evil blur once more, Elizabeth must decide just how far she'll go to save those she loves."

The time to join Elizabeth and her story again can't come soon enough!

That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post! Also, have a Happy Thanksgiving (at least if you're in/from the US, otherwise have a fantastic Thursday!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Santa 365 ~ Spencer Quinn (earc) review [@atriabooks @ChetTheDog]

Santa 365: A Chet and Bernie eShort Story (The Chet and Bernie Mystery Series)
Atria Books
November 24, 2015
add to Goodreads/buy from B&N/or Amazon

Santa doesn’t just deliver gifts—he takes them too!—in this delightful holiday e-short featuring New York Times bestselling sleuths Chet and Bernie.

He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. This year, jolly old St. Nick knows Bernie has been sleeping on preparations for a special Christmas celebration with his son Charlie. Enter Plumpy Napoleon, fresh from a short stint in prison, to save Bernie from the naughty list. Plumpy calls his latest business plan “Santa 365.” For a small fee (that only gets bigger), he’ll fill your life with holiday cheer, including elves, a festive party, gifts, and even a Christmas tree delivered right to your front door. Bernie signs on for the full yuletide experience. But after the blowout holiday bash, Bernie and Chet the dog discover one of Santa’s helpers helped himself to more than Christmas candy. The intrepid duo sets out to find the sticky-fingered perp and reclaim the stolen goods. Add in a surprise visit from Bernie’s mom, two elderly sisters seeking their own brand of justice, and an elf with a stocking full of secrets, and you have a Christmas mystery that only Chet and Bernie could possibly unwrap.
Whether you love that Thanksgiving is just about here and that it means Christmas is on its way . . . or you wish there were a few more weeks to go, you will enjoy 'Santa 365'.

In this e-only short story addition to the Chet and Bernie Mysteries series, Bernie celebrating Christmas with his son Charlie (and Chet, too, of course) when an opportunity presents itself. It may not be quite Christmas yet, but that's not stopping Napoleon - one of the crooks Chet and Bernie helped put away. Plumpy's new business, Santa 365, promises to bring the holiday cheer any day. For a fee, of course.

To make the holidays special for Charlie, Bernie agrees. The party goes mostly as planned, until a crime is discovered.

Now it's up to Chet and Bernie to crack the case and solve the day.

'Santa 365' is Christmas themed - with Santa, Christmas trees, presents and elves - but you don't need to be in a Christmas-y mood (or celebrate it at all) for this story. The focus is on Bernie and Charlie, the mystery and, as always, Chet's observations on the situation.

This story, as the author notes in the beginning, doesn't have to fit anywhere in the series, in particular. Some of the relationships or circumstances in the story may fit better between certain books, but it can be read whenever.

Chet's observations continue to be great: as per usual he has taken note of their finances, knows Bernie's the smartest guy around and is ready to grab any bad buy's pants leg.  A few of the lines did seem similar (if not the same) as ones in Scents and Sensibility the latest book,  Those may not be the same in the final version and,aren't noticeable if you don't read the novel and the short story close together.

'Santa 365' is a great read to get you in the holiday spirit . . . and then steal away some of that cheer. With Chet's brilliant and humorous observations and narration style, this is a read for fans of the series or new readers.

review copy received, via NetGalley, from publisher

Top Ten Tuesday: #WeNeedDiverseBooks [@diversebooks @RainbowBoxesYA[

This week's Ten:

This week is a Thanksgiving Freebie (). I decided to change my original theme to something I really am thankful for: Diversity in YA Books.

There is a lot of hate, negativity, cruelty, violence and judgement in the world. We really do need to be more accepting, welcoming and embracing of others and I love when some of those 'others' are present in what I read.

It doesn't need to be all sunshine, roses and rainbows; life/reality/the world is complicated and that's usually reflected. I just love books that reflect how diverse our world is. (And maybe they show someone that we're not all as different as they might think.)

10 of the Diverse YA Books I'm Thankful For 

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia
review // Goodreads

Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
review // Goodreads

Challenger Deep by Neal Shuserman
review // Goodreads

The Scorpion Rules (#1) by Erin Bow
review // Goodreads

This Side of Home by Renee Watson
review // Goodreads

This Shattered World (Starbound #2) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner
review // Goodreads

I Am J by Cris Beam
review // Goodreads

The Bermudez Triangle by Maureen Johnson
review // Goodreads

Hush by Eishes Chayil
review // Goodreads

Scarlett Undercover by Jennifer Latham
review // Goodreads

Please leave a comment and let me know what your Top Ten topic was for this week (and link me to it) and/or tell me some of your favorite 'Diverse' reads!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Doctor Who: Death Riders ~Justin Richards (earc) review [@JJCRichards @PenguinUKBooks @bbcdoctorwho]

Doctor Who: Death Riders
Penguin Books Limited (UK)
November 17, 2015
160 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The Galactic Fair has arrived on the mining asteroid of Stanalan and anticipation is building around the construction of the fair's most popular attraction - the Death Ride! But there is something sinister going on behind all the fun of the fair; people are mysteriously dying in the Off-Limits tunnels. Join the Doctor, Amy and Rory as they investigate . . .
Doctor Who: Death Rider was my favorite of the three Doctor Who titles I read this month (other reviews here and here).

Author Justin Richard's portrayals of the Doctor, Amy and Rory are absolutely pitch perfect. From their mannerisms to their speech, it wasn't even that it was easy to imagine them as the characters we know from the show: they were them.

I also loved the Galactic Fair. That it bore similarities to a county (or similar) fair someone could attend now, here made it that much better. The small changes in the carnival games, attendees, etc were quirky and fun. (And the best use of a probable, possible coconut.)

The mystery that the three have to investigate, what it presents as, the misconceptions, the side characters involved, the truth, how it has to be solved, etc was great. It felt very much like a Doctor Who episode.

If you have been wishing for a new adventure with Matt Smith's Doctor, then Death Riders is very much recommend. (It is even if you have not been wishing for one)

review copy received, via NetGalley, from publisher

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Doctor Who: System Wipe ~ Oli Smith (earc) review [@bbcdoctorwho @PenguinUKBooks]

Doctor Who: System Wipe
Penguin Books Limited (UK)
November 17, 2015
160 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The Doctor finds himself trapped in the virtual world of Parallife. As he tries to save the inhabitants from being destroyed by a deadly virus, Amy and Rory must fight to keep the Doctor's body in the real world safe from the mysterious entity known as Legacy . . .
System Wipe was a bit like Doctor Who meets Wreck It Ralph (and this spoilery third thing).

The idea of the Doctor being trapped in a virutal world - while Amy and Rory are in danger in the real world - sounded like a lot of fun.

I liked that the virtual world was not a straight, direct interpretation of the real world. How things operated were just different enough. I liked how the fact that it was virtual so the usual rules of physics, etc need not apply. That the Doctor (and others) were like gamers with abilities related to their 'levels' and skills was a nice addition.

Amy and Rory are separated from the Doctor for the majority of the story but i thought it worked well. All three are still part of the action, still in danger and still have to do something to save the day. Having them apart, though, lets readers see the virtual world and the real world, at the same time.

It did not always feel like a Doctor Who - at least not one starring the Eleventh Doctor, though. Our known characters (the Doctor, Amy, Rory) did not quite feel like the characters we know. At times, I actually pictured Ten and not Eleven as the Doctor. I am not sure if it was the dialogue, actions or that I defaulted to that and the character didn't bring me out of it.

Somehow, it felt like the how, what and why in System Wipe should have been the most logical of the three Doctor Who novel adventures I read. Yet, I still don't know that i completely get it; it didn't quite come together like I wanted.

System Wipe was still a fun, creative tale, just not quite as strong as I was hoping.

digital copy for review received via NetGalley, from publisher

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Doctor Who: Heart of Stone ~ Trevor Baxendale (earc) review [@bbcdoctorwho @PenguinUKBooks @trevorbaxendale]

Doctor Who: Heart of Stone
Penguin Books Limited
November 17/19, 2015
160 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

The Doctor, Amy and Rory are surprised to discover lumps of moon rock scattered around a farm. But things get even stranger when they find out where the moon rock is coming from - a Rock Man is turning everything he touches to stone! Can the Doctor, Amy and Rory find out what the creature wants before it's too late?

Doctor Who: Heart of Stone is a brand new* adventure starring the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory, in prose form.

If you loved Matt Smith's incarnation of the Doctor this is a chance to go on a new adventure with him (and Amy and Rory)> Heart of Stone can also be, easily, read by those less familiar with the show and characters. Of the Doctor Who titles out this month from Penguin, Heart of Stone seems to give readers the most introduction and information on the characters.

As I am quite behind on the show and have not watched all of the episodes with Matt Smith's Doctor, I was pleased that these titles aren't spoilery. There are one or two things (mentions of a location/time visited or character met) or something said about the characters' relationships that may be a little spoilery, but nothing much.

The new characters, including Ralph and Jess Conway, whose farm the moon rock is on, were fun additions. I liked that Heart of Stone gave us the Doctor, Amy and Rory interactions but also split up the new characters with the 'old.' As the Doctor - with help from the others - tries to piece together what is happening and how to save everyone, different characters had to work together. There was more of Rory in this title than I remember reading (or seeing) before.

I do not think the author had a perfect grasp of the characters' personalities. At times, it was hard to keep the character it was supposed to be in mind. It wasn't that it felt like some other character or necessarily unlike this Doctor or Amy or Rory; their voices just weren't spot on.

Heart of Stone is a fast, entertaining read with a out of this world mystery that fits very well with those fans have come to know and love from the television show. The moon rock and Rock Man have that great mix of seeming goofy or funny at their introduction but then proving quite dangerous. The way the characters, the Doctor's knowledge (and unique thinking) and science play into the hoped for resolution was great.

*well, first published in the UK in 2011

digital copy received, via NetGalley, for review

Waiting On Wednesday [@DIsneyHyperion @rahkan]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:

ENTER TITLE HERE by Rahul Kanakia

I’m your protagonist—Reshma Kapoor—and if you have the free time to read this book, then you’re probably nothing like me.

Reshma is a college counselor’s dream. She’s the top-ranked senior at her ultra-competitive Silicon Valley high school, with a spotless academic record and a long roster of extracurriculars. But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all.

What's a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does after agent Linda Montrose spots an article she wrote for Huffington Post. Linda wants to represent Reshma, and, with her new agent's help scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she’ll finally have the key to Stanford.

But she’s convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, then get a boyfriend. And she's already planned the perfect ending: after struggling for three hundred pages with her own perfectionism, Reshma will learn that meaningful relationships can be more important than success—a character arc librarians and critics alike will enjoy.

Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can’t always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip from her grasp, she’ll have to decide just how far she’ll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It’s pretty far.)

In this wholly unique, wickedly funny debut novel, Rahul Kanakia consciously uses the rules of storytelling—and then breaks them to pieces.pieces.

published August 2nd by Disney-Hyperion

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon not there yet, but check here soon


I seem to have read a few books (and short stories) lately that are books about someone writing a book and/or about authors. The book inside of a book idea is really fun and Enter Title Here, with its overachiever main character and all that she does to be 'regular' for her book is very appealing.

I look forward to how Reshma's book goes, what happens with her plan to be someone people would want to read about and what she learns about herself in the process.

(Plus? I really like that cover!)

That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

On the Run ~ Tristan Bancks (earc) review [@tristanbancks @fsgbooks]

On the Run
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
November 17, 2015
240 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/ or Amazon

When a twelve-year-old boy's parents discover millions of dollars deposited into their bank account, they take him and his sister on the lam in this fast-paced middle-grade adventure.

Ben has always wanted to be a cop, so he's intrigued when police officers show up at the door, asking for his parents. Then his parents arrive after the police leave and rush him and his sister into the car, insisting they are going on a vacation. Ben's a little skeptical—his family doesn't go on vacations. After they lose the police in a high-speed car chase and end up in a remote cabin deep in the woods, Ben discovers his parents' secret: millions of dollars were deposited into their bank account by accident, and they took the money and ran off. Ben isn't sure what to think. Are his parents criminals? And because he ran off with them, is he a criminal, too?

"Nature wasn't Ben's favorite thing -- freaky animals, insects, dirt. He preferred being in his room playing games, watching TV, eating. This had never been a problem because the Silvers had not left the suburbs in the twelve years since Ben was born." (pg 12)

Only, now it is a problem for Ben. With his parents claiming they're on 'vacation,' his seems to be hiding out in the middle of nowhere. If the noises and animal sounds weren't enough to keep Ben awake at night the question of what his parents did certainly is.

He knows something is not right - starting that they haven't ever done a vacation and he is pretty sure this isn't how they go, anyway and continuing to that bag of money his father tried to hide.

I liked Ben's character from the beginning. He felt familiar, though I still can't think of anyone he reminds me of. He loves making stop-motion movies, wants to be a cop when he's older and might be a little bit overweight. How these things play into how he sees and thinks about things was very enjoyable.

There were times that he felt younger than his age, mostly when it came to some of his expectations and what he believed about or from his parents. As the story progressed, however, I did feel that he fit his age better.

I thought his questioning of what was right and wrong; Were his parents criminals? Had they done wrong? Was he now a criminal too? Even if he didn't always like them, his father especially, was it right to go against them? To turn them in? It added to - and created some of - the adventure, dnager and mystery of One the Run.

One the Run is a thrilling adventure read that is willing to put its characters in danger, to force them to make tough decisions. It also, though, has quite a bit of self discovery, questions on loyalty and doing what's right.

I loved Ben's journey, from the beginning, safe in his room making his movie, through the adventure and danger of their 'vacation,' all the way through to the ending. Olive, Ben's younger sister, is a great secondary character. Her character and her quirks added humor, sometimes tension and definitely something extra to consider to the story; she was my favorite.

digital review copy received, thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

Top Ten Tuesday: 2015 Book Quotes

This week's Ten:
Top Ten Twelve Quotes I Loved From Books I Read In The Past Year Or So
(some of these may be, at least, slightly spoilery!)

“I didn't have the luxury of taking reality for granted. And I wouldn't say I hated people who did, because that's just about everyone. I didn't hate them. They didn't live in my world. But that never stopped me from wishing I lived in theirs.”
Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

“She is listening to her music, but I am listening to the world end. I just don’t know which one.”
– The Unquiet by Michaela Everett

“It's my experience that people are a lot more sympathetic if they can see you hurting, and for the millionth time in my life I wish for measles or smallpox or some other easily understood disease just to make it easier on me and also on them.”
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

“He thought the feud was live ash a boot heel could stomp out. He didn’t notice it burning down both their houses.”
The Weight of Feathers by Anna-Marie McLemore

“You had a pile of rocks, and you cleaned them up pretty and made a necklace. Meg got jewels, and she hung herself with them.”
I Was Here by Gayle Forman

“’Doesn’t that book always make you cry?’
‘One day it won’t,’ I say. ‘I want to be sure to be reading it on that day.’”
Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

“Over the next hour and a half, I came to the conclusion that Emilia Rhodes was either the devil incarnate or the second coming of Coco Chanel.
She suggested the second option herself.”
The Fixer by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

" a cul-de-sac where rainbows and unicorns came to die."
-Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

"I made a . . . what did Bernie call it? Mental note? Yes. I made a mental note to . . . do whatever you did with mental notes."
-Scents and Sensibility by Spencer Quinn

"'What can I say? I merely wish to smoke. Sparky can forgive that. You, on the other hand, wish to know things. And no one can forgive a girl for that.'"
-These Shallow Graves by Jennifer Donnelly

“If anybody was more than 99 percent stardust, it was Kit.”
Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard

“That's so not your business, it almost punches clean past the event horizon of Not Your Business and becomes Your Business again."
Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Please leave a comment and let me know your top book quotes of the year!

Monday, November 16, 2015

A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius ~ Stacey Matson (earc) Review + Excerpt + Giveaway [@JabberwockyKids @staxie]

A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius
Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
November 3, 2015
272 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

Arthur Bean writes through life's ups and downs in this humorous and heartfelt tale

Arthur believes that he is destined to become a famously rich novelist. The first step in his journey to literary greatness will be winning the school writing contest, which will also (hopefully) distract him from the untimely death of his mother. Unfortunately, Arthur can't come up with a good story, unlike his beautiful writing partner Kennedy, who he's sure will ditch her popular boyfriend and fall in love with him sometime soon. Even Robbie Zack, Arthur's nemesis, has an idea! As the competition draws closer, and as his father drifts further and further away, how far with Arthur go to win?

Have you read a book where you loved reading about the main character, but knew if they were someone in real life you would like them significantly less? That's who Arthur Bean was for me.

If he was someone I went to school with (and he did, actually, remind me of a few boys I did go to school with) or otherwise interacted with, I don't think I would have put up with him. He is incredibly self assured - to the point of arrogance and even cockiness. While it is annoying, at times, I did not want to fault him for it. Maybe he could have been humbled, but for where (and when) he was in life, it worked for him.

The sudden death of Arthur's mother and its aftermath was brought into the story in unexpected and very well done ways. Just as you would start to think of Arthur as a know-it-all, he would say something that made you realise just how much he was still grieving. We get glimpses into how his life with his father has been altered, how they're both different from before. Arthur's pain, grief and questions on how live this new life without his mother are worked in really well. It is there but thanks to Arthur's humor and exploits, the book doesn't feel heavy.

You get a thoughtful story without, at first, realising it.

I did, when I first finished the book, wish we had seen a bit more growth, or growing up, from Arthur. After a bit of reflection, however, I am glad that we did not see any more than we did. He is still in middle school, still has a lot to figure out and time to do it; who he was at the end of the book fit well with his age.

digital review copy received, thanks to publisher, via NetGalley

Praise for A Year in the Life of a Complete and Total Genius:

“[A] humorous coming-of-age novel.” –Publishers Weekly

“Arthur, like Sedaris, is at essence, a self-dramatizing memoirist with a subversive sensibility, viperous yet vulnerable, sharp-witted with a magnet eye for the ridiculous. His writings and personality also bring to mind Jeff Kinney’s hilarious mini-Machiavellian schemer and pretension-piercing fellow diarist, Greg Heffley.” –The Vancouver Sun

“Arthur is a sweet funny character and it is a lot of fun to join him on his journey through the ups and downs of junior high.” –Shelf-Talkers


The Next Great Bestselling Novel (Title to be announced)
By Arthur Bean

Once upon a time there was
There was once a
A long time ago
America is awesome! This is because
A boy and his unicorn sat on the grass and the unicorn could talk and said
Murder! There’s been a very violent murder!

Dear Ms. Whitehead,
As you know, I haven’t been in class yet, but my next-door neighbor Nicole suggested that I write you a letter since I will be starting soon. I don’t really know what to write to you. Maybe I will tell you a little about myself so that you feel like I started school at the same time as everyone else.
My name is Arthur Aaron Bean, but I normally just go by Arthur. I spent the summer at my grandparents’ house in Balzac. It was a long summer. I actually live in one of the apartment buildings pretty close to the school. I like to knit and watch movies, sometimes at the same time. I’m a very good multi-tasker. I like creative writing, so I hope that we will do that and that I didn’t miss it. I was probably the best writer in my elementary school, and I plan on getting rich as a novelist when I’m a grown-up. I don’t have any siblings, but my cousin Luke is kind of like my twin brother.
My most profound work so far is the heartwarming story called “Sockland.” In this short story, a little boy climbs into the dryer during a game of hide-and-seek with his older brothers. He is accidentally shrunk and crawls through the dryer vent into Sockland. Sockland is a land where missing socks go to live. He enjoys it for a while, but then finds that single socks are very boring, and needs to find a way to get home. He then gets the socks to help him by promising to send their partners through the tunnel, and he crawls back up into the dryer to rejoin humanland.
Mrs. Lewis said it was highly original and that I showed real promise in becoming the next J.K. Rowling. The secretary told me that I’m in a class with some of the people from my elementary school so that I would feel more comfortable. Actually, she didn’t say people, she said some of my friends. This may seem weird, because I wasn’t really friends with a lot of the people in my elementary school. Actually, most of my friends went to the Catholic school next door to our school, and so I saw them all the time. I did have a couple of friends like Oliver, but mostly I wasn’t friends with people in my elementary school class. Besides, who would want to be friends with guys like Robbie Zack? I’m not friends with people who spell thoughts as thots. Good luck with that one. He’s what my mother called “a handful of trouble with a capital T.”
Yours truly,
Arthur Bean

About the Author:

Stacey Matson has worked in a theatre program on Parliament Hill and written theatre pieces for the Glenbow Museum and for the All-Nations Theatre in Calgary. She earned her Master of Arts in Children’s Literature at the University of British Columbia. A debut novelist, Stacey lives in Vancouver, BC. Visit Stacey at

-runs through November 30th
-publisher run/sponsored
-US & Can only

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Something Like Normal ~ Trish Doller review #repost [@bloomsburykids @TrishDoller]

Something Like Normal
Bloomsbury USA Children's
June 19, 2012
224 pages
add to Goodreads/Buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

When nineteen-year-old Travis Stephenson returns home on leave from Afghanistan, it's not all a balloons and music - if even that is what his mom had to welcome him home with. After the happy welcome, Travis faces a much different reality: his parents' marriage is falling apart, his brother has pilfered his girlfriend and taken over his car and Travis keeps seeing his best friend everywhere. Only problem is Charlie died in Afghanistan.

It isn't until Travis meets - re-meets, really - Harper Grey in a bar, a girl that he has a sorted past with that things begin to look like they might be able to turn around for him. As he and Harper spend more time together, Travis seems able to deal with both his family problems and his own - and not just wait it out until he's back at base or in Afghanistan where he, oddly enough, seemed to feel more at home.

Maybe with Harper he won't be able get back to normal, but something like it just might do.

Something Like Normal is a brilliant, fantastic debut with a lead character like one I doubt you've ever read before and like one I doubt you'll ever read again.

I spent the beginning of the book trying to figure out who it was Travis reminded me of - which character. I went through every remotely military character from books, TV, movies and came up with nothing. I thought about male main characters or narrators and still came up with nothing. Know why? He doesn't remind me of anyone.

Continue reading . . .

I'll Meet You There ~ Heather Demetrios review #repost [@HDemetrios @FierceReads @MacKidsBooks]

I'll Meet You There
Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
February 3, 2015
400 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

If seventeen-year-old Skylar Evans were a typical Creek View girl, her future would involve a double-wide trailer, a baby on her hip, and the graveyard shift at Taco Bell. But after graduation, the only thing standing between straightedge Skylar and art school are three minimum-wage months of summer. Skylar can taste the freedom—that is, until her mother loses her job and everything starts coming apart. Torn between her dreams and the people she loves, Skylar realizes everything she’s ever worked for is on the line.

Nineteen-year-old Josh Mitchell had a different ticket out of Creek View: the Marines. But after his leg is blown off in Afghanistan, he returns home, a shell of the cocksure boy he used to be. What brings Skylar and Josh together is working at the Paradise—a quirky motel off California’s dusty Highway 99. Despite their differences, their shared isolation turns into an unexpected friendship and soon, something deeper.
What if all you had wanted, all you had worked at least four years for was within reach? Then, what if something you couldn't ignore, something that demands you notice, puts all of that in jeopardy?

Skylar is going to get out of Creek View. She isn't going to be one of those girls who stays in town, never going anywhere or being anything - she isn't going to live her mother's life. Skylar and one of her two best friends, Chris, even made a pact to ensure they both made it out of Creek View. They kept each other focused, they got the right grades, now they're both off to college in the fall.

The pact also involves no romance, though because, "Of course, romance was bad for GPAs," (pg 44). While that part wasn't hard to stick to pre-graduation, now, with her departure a few weeks away, it's the part of the pact Skylar may break.

Josh Mitchell is just back from Afghanistan. Home after losing his leg in an explosion, he's not the boy Skylar remembers. The 'It Boy' things revolved around in high school,

Continue reading . . .

Waiting On Wednesday [@randomhousekids @arwenelysdayton]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine
My pick for this week:

TRAVELER (Seeker #2) by Arwen Elys Dayton
For readers of A Game of Thrones and Legend: Traveler, the sequel to Seeker.
     Quin Kincaid is a Seeker. Her legacy is an honor, an ancient role passed down for generations. But what she learned on her Oath night changed her world forever.
     Quin pledged her life to deception. Her legacy as a Seeker is not noble but savage. Her father, a killer. Her uncle, a liar. Her mother, a casualty. And the boy she once loved is out for vengeance, with her family in his sights.
     Yet Quin is not alone. Shinobu, her oldest companion, might now be the only person she can trust. The only one who wants answers as desperately as she does.
      But the deeper they dig into the past, the darker things become. There are long-vanished Seeker families, shadowy alliances, and something else: a sinister plan begun generations ago, with the power to destroy them all.
     The past is close. And it will destroy them all.

published January 12th by Delacorte Press

add to your Goodreads shelf // pre-order from Book Depo // or Amazon


I really, really loved Seeker - the characters and the world along with what we learned of their world, What both the characters and the readers now know about being a Seeker and their lives in London - what was deception, what was truth - has me really excited to read Traveler.

I cannot wait to see the world (and tho characters) from Seeker grow and to see what sort of danger there is, what more we learn about the Seekers and what all happens!

That's my pick for this week, what's yours? Tell me in the comments and/or link me to your own post!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Books to Movies

This week's Ten:
Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I'm Looking Forward To/Still Need To Watch

Some of these are ones I didn't get to see in the theater so I am waiting on the Blu-ray, some I still need to rent/buy, some are coming out soon and others haven't actually been made (yet!) . . . but they all are ones I do still need to or very much cannot wait to see.

The Martian
Goodreads // iMDB // review // buy book // or MP3 CD

The Scorch Trials
Goodreads // iMDB // buy book // pre-order Blu-ray

Paper Towns
Goodreads // iMDB // buy book // buy DVD


Goodreads // iMDB // buy book // buy Blu-ray

Far from the Madding Crowd

Goodreads // iMDB // buy book // buy Blu-ray

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Goodreads // iMDB // buy book

Mockingjay Part 2
Goodreads // iMDB // buy book //buy Part I on Blu-ray

Goodreads // iMDB // review // buy book

Article 5
Goodreads // review // buy the book // or the series

The 5th Wave
Goodreads // iMDB // review // buy the book // or the series (only first two)

Please leave a comment and let me know what your top book to movie adaptations are - or the ones you're most looking forward to seeing (no matter when that may be possible)!
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