Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Summer Reads


This week's Ten:
10 Summer or Beach Reads
(8 Fiction & 2 Nonfiction)

The Witch of Painted Sorrows (Daughters of La Lune #1) by M.J. Rose
Goodreads // review



The House Between Tides by Sarah Maine
Goodreads // review


At the Water's Edge by Sara Gruen
Goodreads // review


Between You and Me by Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus
Goodreads // review


With Malice by Eileen Cook
Goodreads // review

A Touch of Stardust by Kate Alcott
Goodreads // review


Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
Goodreads


Love, Lucy by April Lindner
Goodreads // review


Kick Kennedy: The Charmed Life and Tragic Death of the Favorite Kennedy Daughter by Barbara Leaming
Goodreads


Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt
Goodreads







Please leave a comment and let me know what books you're planning to read this summer! (Or what you think are great summertime reads.)

Monday, May 22, 2017

One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter ~ Scaachi Koul (earc) review [@picadorbooks @Scaachi]

One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter: Essays
Picador
May 02, 2017
256 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

For readers of Mindy Kaling, Jenny Lawson and Roxane Gay, a debut collection of fierce and funny essays about growing up the daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada, "a land of ice and casual racism," by the irreverent, hilarious cultural observer and incomparable rising star, Scaachi Koul.

In One Day We ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter, Scaachi deploys her razor-sharp humour to share her fears, outrages and mortifying experiences as an outsider growing up in Canada. Her subjects range from shaving her knuckles in grade school, to a shopping trip gone horribly awry, to dealing with internet trolls, to feeling out of place at an Indian wedding (as an Indian woman), to parsing the trajectory of fears and anxieties that pressed upon her immigrant parents and bled down a generation. Alongside these personal stories are pointed observations about life as a woman of colour, where every aspect of her appearance is open for critique, derision or outright scorn. Where strict gender rules bind in both Western and Indian cultures, forcing her to confront questions about gender dynamics, racial tensions, ethnic stereotypes and her father s creeping mortality all as she tries to find her feet in the world.

With a clear eye and biting wit, Scaachi Koul explores the absurdity of a life steeped in misery. And through these intimate, wise and laugh-out-loud funny dispatches, a portrait of a bright new literary voice emerges."

I owe this book's cover and title a thank you. I don't read very much nonfiction that isn't historical  biography or memoir nor do I read many books of essays but because of the title and cover, I read this one - and really enjoyed it.

Through her essays, Scaachi Koul (a writer I was not previously familiar with) covers a lot of pertinent, current topics and issues. It is all through stories of her life: growing up, college, work, family, family vacations, clothes shopping, etc. Each essay finds a way to not  only give you a glimpse into her life, into who she is and how she's experienced the world, but to also highlight some 'issue,' all while being relevant to nearly everyone, in one way or another. Oh, and it is incredibly funny nearly the whole while.

From body image (weight, hair) to racism and sexism to rape culture to xenophobia to talking about yoga (versus, well, doing it), One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter covers tackles a lot of those hot button issues through how they've played a part in Koul's life but also how the affect us all. Her life, her story includes immigrant parents, being Indian, being a woman but none of that has to be true for the book to be relevant (and entertaining) to you. My grandmother lived her whole life in the Southern United States but several thing Koul's mother did or said, I could absolutely hear her saying or doing. (Especially the part around bust measurements.)

If you already read Scaachi Koul's BuzzFeed articles you likely know her writing - including about her father and his emails which are fantastic - but if not, do yourself a favor and pick up One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter.




Scaachi Koul's website & BuzzFeed articles






digital copy received for review from publisher, via NetGalley

Friday, May 19, 2017

Book Trailer Friday [@DisneyHyperion @DisneyChannel @descendants @MelissadelaCruz]

The third book in the Descendants prequel series by Melissa de la Cruz, Rise of the Isle of the Lost will be out May 23rd and The Descendants 2 will premiere July 21st on Disney Channel (in the US and Canada). So you have plenty of time to read the book (or books) before the show starts!

Here is the EW.com piece will what you need to know about the upcoming sequel: "Rise of the Isle of the Lost trailer introduces Uma before Descendants 2"

And here is the trailer for Rise of the Isle of the Lost:


Series on Goodreads // Amazon



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@DisneyHyperion @@kirstenhubbard[

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



RACE THE NIGHT by Kirsten Hubbard

"Without you, there'd be no hope for the world. Because you are the whole world."

That's what Teacher says, and twelve-year-old Eider knows she's right. The world ended long ago, and the desert ranch is the only thing left. Still, Eider's thoughts keep wandering Beyond the fence. Beyond the pleated earth and scraggly brush and tedious daily lessons. Eider can't help wishing for something more-like the stories in the fairytale book she hides in the storage room. Like the secret papers she collects from the world Before. Like her little sister who never really existed.

When Teacher announces a new kind of lesson, Eider and the other kids are confused. Teacher says she needs to test their specialness-the reason they were saved from the end of the world. But seeing in the dark? Reading minds? As the kids struggle to complete Teacher's challenges, they also start to ask questions. Questions about their life on the desert ranch, about Before and Beyond, about everything Teacher has told them. But the thing about questions-they can be dangerous.

This moving novel-equal parts hope and heartbreak-traces one girl's journey for truth and meaning, from the smallest slip of paper to the deepest understanding of family. The world may have ended for the kids of the desert ranch . . . but that's only the beginning.
Praise for Watch the Sky:

"Strong characters drive the carefully crafted novel. . . Hubbard's sparse, elegant prose captures the rural landscape's desolate beauty as well as its dangers and palpably expresses the family's escalating tensions. . . [An] atmospheric, ultimately hopeful novel."
-School Library Journal, starred review

"Hubbard writes fluently and accessibly. . . An absorbing tale."
-Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Haunting, tense, and moving. . . Caleb's efforts to safeguard himself and his family will stay with readers."
-Publishers Weekly

"Hubbard gets Jory's emotions just right. . . The pacing moves smoothly, balancing the everyday with the impending Crisis, and the ending ties up every loose thread. An excellent choice for discussion."
-Booklist

"The conclusion is a satisfying one. . . Timely."
-VOYA

published November 8th by Disney Hyperion

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


Why?

I really, really enjoyed Kirsten Hubbard's Watch the Sky (review) and want to read another Middle Grade novel from her. (I enjoyed Like Mandarin and Wanderlovetoo but they're YA reada, not an MG ones.)

I love the idea of this book - that the world's ended, but not quite, Teacher and Eider and their questions that, it seems, shouldn't be asked. I am curious to see what Eider's world is like, if we find out how it got that way and what she's able to find from Before - and what is Beyond.

Race the Night sounds like a magical, special read and I look forward to meeting the characters and finding out about their lives and world.


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

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The World's Greatest Detective ~ Caroline Carlson review [@carolinetc @HarperChildrens]

The World's Greatest Detective
HarperCollins
May 16, 2017
368 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon


By the end of our time together, someone in this house will be rich. Someone will be the World’s Greatest Detective. And someone, well, someone might be dead.

Detectives’ Row is full of talented investigators, but Toby Montrose isn’t one of them. He’s only an assistant at his uncle’s crime-solving business, and he’s not sure he’s even very good at that. But he sees his chance to prove he could be by entering Hugh Abernathy’s crime-solving contest in his uncle’s place.

Toby’s friend Ivy is the best detective around—or at least she thinks so. But she can’t show off her sleuthing skills and take the title because she’s not allowed to join the investigators’ ranks. Even though the competition is being held at her house.

Then a detective is found murdered before the games begin and his death becomes the World’s Greatest Mystery. And Toby and Ivy may be the only two who can crack the case.

In Caroline Carlson’s newest novel, hilarity and hijinks abound as the greatest detectives around try to solve the greatest mystery they’ve ever come across.

The World's Greatest Detective does a brilliant job having an almost historical, but entirely fictitious setting. It allows us to have the feel of the murder mystery in the big, grand house full of servants and social expectations and dressing for dinner - but without some of the restrictions. We get the atmosphere without being limited in who the characters can be or what they can do.

Science still gets to play a role in the investigation and in the character's methods of detecting, but doesn't feel out of place.

What I loved, maybe most of all, is that the book and when it takes place has that older feel, but that its world isn't quite as male dominated. As Ivy would no doubt remind you, there are still expectations put upon girls but women seem less restricted. There is a female doctor, several female detectives, and a scientist. The author does a great job giving younger readers a historical feel without subjugating the female characters.

I loved Toby as the central character. His past and how that affects how he behaves, his worries and his fears was fantastic. It added a bit of gravity to everything he did and got readers to pull for him eve more. It wasn't just about him looking for entertainment. (It gives him some great motivation, one of the 'Three M's' they try to uncover in the book.)

The mystery was nicely done and did a great job dropping hints, throwing out false leads and making you wonder just how - of even if - it would all be solved.








finished copy received from publisher for review consideration

Top Ten Tuesday: Mother's Day Edition


This week's Ten:
Mother's Day Freebie

8 Books With Bad Mothers


Night Road by Kristin Hannah

The Dead Inside by Cyndy Etler


Matilda by Roald Dahl


Macbeth by Shakespeare


Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow

Holding on to Zoe by George Ella Lyon

I Wanna Be Your Joey Ramone by Stephanie Kuehnert

Compulsion (Max Revere #2) by Allison Brennan


and 2 Books with Great Mothers


Harry Potter series by JK Rowling


Where You'll Find Me by Natasha Friend




Please leave a comment and let me know what book mothers would be on your list - I know there ware some I forgot about!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Waiting On Wednesday [@ms_lilyanderson @wednesdaybooks @GriffinTeen]

Waiting On Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine

My pick for this week:



NOT NOW, NOT EVER by Lily Anderson

The sequel to The Only Thing Worse than Me Is You, inspired by The Importance of Being Earnest.

Elliot Gabaroche is very clear on what she isn't going to do this summer.

1. She isn't going to stay home in Sacramento, where she'd have to sit through her stepmother's sixth community theater production of The Importance of Being Earnest.
2. She isn't going to mock trial camp at UCLA.
3. And she certainly isn't going to the Air Force summer program on her mother's base in Colorado Springs. As cool as it would be to live-action-role-play Ender's Game, Ellie's seen three generations of her family go through USAF boot camp up close, and she knows that it's much less Luke/Yoda/"feel the force," and much more one hundred push-ups on three days of no sleep. And that just isn't appealing, no matter how many Xenomorphs from Alien she'd be able to defeat afterwards.

What she is going to do is pack up her attitude, her favorite Octavia Butler novels, and her Jordans, and go to summer camp. Specifically, a cutthroat academic-decathlon-like competition for a full scholarship to Rayevich College, the only college with a Science Fiction Literature program. And she's going to start over as Ever Lawrence, on her own terms, without the shadow of all her family’s expectations. Because why do what’s expected of you when you can fight other genius nerds to the death for a shot at the dream you’re sure your family will consider a complete waste of time?

This summer's going to be great.



published November 21st by Wednesday Books

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


Why?

I wanted to read Not Now, Not Ever because of how much I loved The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You - and that was before I knew it was a 'sequel,' now I want to read it that much more!

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You was a fun, satisfying, happy, fandom filled ("a book that can give us David Tennant's Doctor-y hair, Buffy references, Veronica Mars love [and remind me I wanted to read Saga]"). Even more than the fandom references, though, I loved the characters and their story. I loved those characters and am curious (and eager) to see what we might learn of them in Not Now, Not Ever.

There is also so, so much I love about the new book's description. I love that Ellie has so many possible names, her family's history with the Air Force, her feelings about the Air Force, all that she's not going to do over the summer, and maybe most of all, what she does want to do.

I am looking forward to what happens in this story, who the characters are, what they experience and just reading this book that I know is going to be a great read.



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

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Marty Pants: Do Not Open ~ Mark Parisi review [@HarperChildrens @OffTheMarkComic ]

Marty Pants: Do Not Open (Marty Pants #1)
Harper Collins
May 02, 2017
256 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

“Funny and engaging. Marty Pants is a surefire hit!”—Lincoln Peirce, author of the Big Nate series

Move over, Wimpy Kid. Here comes the imaginative, the inquisitive, the unstoppable Marty Pants! Meet Marty in the side-splitting first book of a new series written by Mark Parisi, the award-winning cartoonist of the Off the Mark comic.

Marty Pants is different from your typical middle schooler. He has the soul of an artist, and as an artist, he notices things—the kinds of things other kids don’t seem to see.
So when Marty discovers a plot on his teacher’s computer to take over the world, Marty knows this is a danger he can’t just ignore. But no one, not his best friends Parker and Roongrat or his mother, father, sister, arch-enemy, Simon, or Chief of Police Pickels, believes him.

So, it’s up to Marty to save the world—his way.

This hilarious new series follows the endearing, frazzled, embarrassed, and, ultimately, fearless footsteps of literature’s most unlikely hero—Marty Pants.

You know what? I like Marty Pants. He is funny, he is imaginative, he is, honestly, a bit weird, but endearing, too.

Marty is an artist - it's why he wears black - but his teacher doesn't seem to understand his creative expression. Or, at least, he doesn't seem to grade it very well. It all makes a bit more sense, though, when Marty discovers who his teacher really is.

Now, to save the world . . .

Marty Pants: Do Not Open is a fun read whether you normally read MG books or not. It may not be full of life lessons or deep literature but it has a memorable characters, it is creative and original and a truly enjoyable read. Marty's relationship with his family is great (in that it's not always all that great). The dynamic between his parents, his father's love of old music, his hostile cat, Marty's sister - however she spells her name right now - and how they were all very real but also very humorous was fantastic.

The conclusions Marty comes to and the actions he decides to take because of them will be entertaining and, often, comical for both MG age readers and those older.

The illustrations add to the story, giving readers a visual for some of the crazier situations Marty finds himself in or to some of his more specific descriptions. They are a fun addition to the story and well placed.

I am definitely curious to see what Marty will get up to in the second book - and why he'll have done it.




Another Book You Might Also Enjoy: Mutant Mantis Lunch Ladies by Bruce Hale




finished copy received from publisher for review consideration

Top Ten Tuesday: Covers [@epicreads @MIRAeditors @DisneyHyperion @stmartinspress]


This week's Ten:

This week the Top 10 has a 'Cover Theme' so I decided to show you:

10 Covers that First* Drew Me to Their Book

*they are some of my favorite covers, but maybe not my top top - these are ten covers that are what first drew me to a book (some of my favorite covers I already knew the author or description or reviews before seeing the cover)



 A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
Goodreads // Review

Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

The Weight of Feathers by Heather Gudenkauf

The Secret Life of CeeCee Wilkes by Diane Chamberlain
Goodreads // Review

The Ring & The Crown (#1) by Melissa de la Cruz

Bad Taste in Boys by Carrie Harris

These Broken Stars (Starbound #1) by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner

Watch the Sky by Kirsten Hubbard
Goodreads // Review 

The Only Thing Worse Than Me Is You by Lily Anderson

Made You Up by Francesca Zappia

Apparently, I am fond of blue (and maybe pink) book covers?





Please leave a comment and let me know what cover themed Top 10 you did and/or what are some books that you first noticed because of their cover?

Monday, May 1, 2017

The Perfect Stranger ~ Megan Miranda [@MeganLMiranda @simonschuster]

The Perfect Stranger
Simon & Schuster
April 11, 2017
337 pages
add to Goodreads/buy from Book Depository/or Amazon

In the masterful follow-up to the runaway hit All the Missing Girls, a journalist sets out to find a missing friend, a friend who may never have existed at all.

Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later.

Determined to find Emmy, Leah cooperates with Kyle Donovan, a handsome young police officer on the case. As they investigate her friend’s life for clues, Leah begins to wonder: did she ever really know Emmy at all? With no friends, family, or a digital footprint, the police begin to suspect that there is no Emmy Grey. Soon Leah’s credibility is at stake, and she is forced to revisit her past: the article that ruined her career. To save herself, Leah must uncover the truth about Emmy Grey—and along the way, confront her old demons, find out who she can really trust, and clear her own name.

Everyone in this rural Pennsylvanian town has something to hide—including Leah herself. How do you uncover the truth when you are busy hiding your own?

Megan Miranda writes some great YA books (like Fracture), but after reading both All The Missing Girls and now The Perfect Stranger, I might like her adult books even more! Our main character Leah Stevens has run away to rural Pennsylvania for a fresh start, to get away from things in Boston. With her career as a journalist seemingly at an end, the threat of a lawsuit and her reputation in tatters, the peaceful, small town where they don't know her seems like it will work. Only Leah's roommate Emmy Grey knows anything about why Leah has left the newspaper and taken up teaching high school.

Then the quiet, peaceful town isn't so removed from the crime and death about which Leah used to write. A woman is attacked and left for dead - a woman who, if one wasn't careful, could be mistaken for Leah. Then, Emmy disappears.

Leah is a great character to have at the heart of this novel. We know something big, something bad happened in Boston. We know that it caused her to leave not only her job but the city, as well. I liked that we learn the history of just what 'that' was in increments. We're presented more with how anxious and worried it has made Leah about someone discovering who she was, what she did, than with the details and facts; it only adds to the tension and suspense.

This is a mystery that kept me guessing the whole way through. It would seem like something was revealed or explained, only to have it called back into question pages or chapters later. Between the unknown of just why Leah had to quit her job, what lead up to it (both immediately and farther into her past) and all of the questions asked when Emmy disappears, readers have to go more with who they can trust, what they believe and feel than with facts. (At least, most of the time.)

We know our main character is keeping secrets, it is just a question of how many of them she's keeping. And who has been keeping some from her.

The Perfect Stranger is a thrilling read, full of twists, turns and surprises that really will keep you guessing until the end.







digital copy received for review, from publisher, via NetGalley
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