May 16, 2013
My Beautiful Hippie by Janet Nichols Lynch
Fifteen-year-old Joanne Donnelly is living on the edge of two very conflicting world. There’s the world in which she lives in full of middle class ideals and values.. There, Joanne strives to become a famous concert pianist.
But mere blocks away, there’s the world in which she longs to be a part of: The world of the counter-culture – the hippies – in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. There Joanne strives to find peace, love, and marijuana.
But what she finds is Martin, a beautiful hippie, that awakens emotions Joanne never knew existed within her. Head over heals, Joanne sets out to learn about and from Martine.
But Martin’s a long-haired hippy, who dreams of roaming the world instead of settling down to a life Joanne pictured for herself. In too deep, Joanne finds herself stuck in a world that she isn’t sure she wants to be a part of anymore.
My Beautiful Hippie written by author Janet Nichols Lynch is a coming of age story that never really comes of age.
Lynch’s writing is solid, providing a vivid backdrop and some rock solid facts. However, where My Beautiful Hippie excels at writing, it fails at pacing.
At only one hundred and ninety-two pages, My Beautiful Hippie is a book that should have flown by. But for me, I found it to be slow with no real end in sight.
As a reader, I could have dealt with the pacing, after all My Beautiful Hippie is not billed as an action-packed thriller. It’s a realistic read that relies too heavily on the realistic. It was like peering through a window into the lives of some terribly boring people.
My Beautiful Hippie’s main character Joanne is a character that I was rooting for up until the very end. She wants so desperately to break away from the ideals and morals she was raised with, to find her own life and freedoms within the world. But for every step she takes away from her parents ideals, she ends up taking two back.
For example, when Martin – the beautiful hippie and Joanne’s love interest – tells her of his plans to never settle down and roam the world – she asks why he doesn’t buy into the American dream (the house with the picket fence, two point five children, and a dog barking playfully in the yard) as if her parents way is the right way.
Even though Joanne fell short somewhere along the line for me, I will say this about her: she’s relatable. Like her reader’s will fully understand familial and societal pressures. Readers will fully understand wanting to step out of shadows of their parents and into their own light. And beyond that, readers will fully understand all the emotions that come with falling in love for the very first time.
What I did enjoy about Lynch’s My Beautiful Hippie was the portrayal of the Haight-Ashbury scene in San Francisco. The Hippie counter-culture and the time period in which they flourished has always fascinated me.
From My Beautiful Hippie I got a better understanding of the life in that area. I could picture the concert halls full up of marijuana smoke. I could picture the small coffee houses where people performed in the hopes of making a few buck. I could picture the park in which the hippies hung out around.
Even though I did like some aspects of this book, push come to shove, those likes didn’t outweigh the dislikes. My Beautiful Hippie wasn’t my kind of read. It fell short, and ultimately left me disappointed. Even though this book wasn’t the book for me, doesn’t mean it will not be the book for everyone. Check it out, read it for yourselves, and please feel free to discuss!
May 13, 2013
Published: 2012 by Tundra Books
Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:
The French Fry King himself is a dog. But not just any old dog, he happens to be a weenie dog! Or as the book refers to him as: “a sausage dog”.
His name is Roger. I just love human names for pets.
Roger is a thinker.
He thinks about things like: “if I had a human girlfriend, would we hold hands or paws? If humans were dogs, would they build dog house skyscrapers?” I often wonder if dogs actually think this way.
All the people around Roger seem so rushed and busy, so much so that they barely notice him. On young boy is playing with a rubics cube. An older gentleman is listening to some music on his iPod. An old lady, with a bag full of groceries, is busy chatting on her cell phone.
I really love how all the humans are portrayed as doing really typical, really mundane activities.
Roger wasn’t like other dogs. He was an individual! Unlike other dogs, he doesn’t like chasing the mail men, he didn’t like barking at cars. Instead, he wishes he could be an astronaut.
I love how this book shows young readers to embrace themselves for who they are.
There’s a little boy, running through the street, dressed as Batman. I love it!
The attention to detail is impeccable. For example, author/illustrator portrays a random woman, a passerby, with a magazine tucked neatly under her arm. But it isn’t just any magazine, it’s Elle. And from the looks of her, it’s not surprising that she reads such a magazine.
I like that Roger is a very cultured and informed dog. He likes to read the newspaper.
It’s while he’s reading that he discovers his life’s calling: to become the French Fry King!
He lives in a little silver trailer, where he spends his night peeling potatoes in trying to make all his french fry dreams come true.
His silver trailer home doubles as a food stand.
Sure enough, his french fries are a hit! And why shouldn’t the be? It’s pretty impressive that a dog made them!
Soon the little sausage dog is, not only rich, but also famous!
He travels all over the world selling his fries.
I love how Roger has an adventurous spirit!
I also love how author/illustrator illustrates all the native people of all the countries Roger visits.
With that, how each native eats his/her fry dependent on where they live. For example, in Kenya, the people dipped their fries in chocolate. In Vietnam, they dipped them in soy sauce. In Cuba, they were dipped in spicy salsa. And India they were served in curry.
There are about one hundred ways to eat a french fry. Preferably, I like mine with ketchup!
Roger soon finds out, even though his rich, famous, and loved he still isn’t happy. He still feels as if something is missing from his life.
He abandons his strand and stumbles upon Charlotte the Corn Cob Queen.
It suddenly dawns on Roger what exactly is missing in his life: a friend, a love! Someone to who likes him for who he is, not the French fries he makes.
The two fall in love, and besides living happily ever after, they combine their efforts to create Roger and Charlotte’s Royal Shepherd’s Pie stand.
“Life is beautiful!”
I love how this book shows that no one can really predict the future, that sometimes we have to accept life as it comes.
Roge’s writing is strong. It’s smart, and doesn’t underestimate the books young readers.
The illustrations are simple, refined, and really drive the story forward.
This was a really fun book!
Young children, I think, will love this book. I think they will truly identify with Roger, and his dreams.
May 11, 2013
A few weeks ago, on a rainy Friday I picked up a book. Going into the start of the book, I had a (very) brief moment of hesitation. Not because of the book itself, but because I wasn’t exactly sure it was going to be my kind of book. Within a few hours, I finished the book and was, well, surprised. It turned out this book was just the book I needed – it was smart, it was fun, and it was pink (one of my fave colors by the way.)
At this point, you’re wondering what book I’m referring to, right? If you read my latest review that you already know the answer – Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm. I don’t need to tell you, readers, just how much I enjoyed this book.
I enjoyed this book so much, I knew that I wanted to feature author Stephanie Kate Strohm on this blog alongside my review. I knew from the get go that she would be just as fun, energetic, and delightful as her debut novel.
Without further adieu ….
BookBandit (BB): Can you tell a little about yourself, and about your path as a writer?
Stephanie Kate Strohm (SKS): I didn’t grow up wanting to be a writer – I wanted to be an actress. I was always a big reader, though, and I enjoyed writing in school. After I graduated from college, I moved to New York to start auditioning, and ended up getting cast in a children’s theater tour. While on the road, I started writing a blog to keep my friends back home informed about my adventures. I found myself looking forward to writing the blog more and more, and decided to experiment with writing fiction – just for fun. As I started working on my young adult story (Twilight was super hot at the time, so I had the YA genre on the brain), I completely fell in love with writing. I found it was the thing I looked forward to the most every day. I couldn’t wait to get to the hotel every night so I could write. To my surprise, I completed a manuscript, and I decided to start sending it to agents. I knew the chances of getting something published were very small, but I felt like I had nothing to lose. After sending out lots of query letters, I found an agent who wanted to represent me, and she sold my manuscript to Houghton Mifflin Harcourt! I was very, very lucky. I followed a nontraditional path to a writing career, and I feel so fortunate do be able to do something that I love so much.
BB: What was the inspiration behind your debut novel Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink?
SKS: One summer, I worked at a living history museum, just like Libby does in Pilgrims. And believe it or not, there was a rumor that the museum was haunted – just like in Pilgrims! I started to wonder what would happen if someone tried to get to the bottom of the ghost mystery, and that’s how I came up with the idea for Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink. Most of my ideas come from something that really happened to me, then I start asking “What if…?” and the story develops from there.
BB: Libby is a history nerd, she openly admits and is proud of that (and why shouldn’t she be?!?) Would you consider yourself to be a history nerd yourself? If so, what is one history fact most people don’t know about, but you do?
SKS: Oh, I am absolutely a history nerd. A giant one! And I’ve been one my whole life. As a kid I was much more likely to put on a bonnet and play Westward Expansion that I was to play princess dress-up. Even now, out of school, I still love studying history, just for fun. Now the one fact…hmm…I’ll share one of my favorites! Mary, Queen of Scots, was the first woman reported to play golf! She even got in trouble for golfing too soon after her husband’s murder!
BB: At one point in Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink, best friend Dev mentions Libby’s love of Radiohead. What songs would one be most likely to find on Libby’s iPod (that is, if she has one)?
SKS: Definitely lots of Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson. Probably the Decemberists, because they sing about whalebone corsets. And Radiohead for those introspective moments.
BB: What is your favorite time period in history? Why?
SKS: The Wild West – American in the 1880s/90s. I think this fascination was born out of some Little House on the Prairie love, a healthy dose of Westerns, and a childhood obsession with sharpshooting phenom Annie Oakley. Of course, I know it wasn’t all saloon girls dancing on top of bars with feathers in their hair – it was a pretty grisly time – but even the grisliness is interesting!
BB: What was the easiest part of writing Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink? The hardest?
SKS: The easiest part was writing the dialogue – I really like all my characters (even the not so nice ones), and I just love writing them all talking to each other! The hardest part, for me, was dealing with the pacing of the plot. I struggled a lot with unspooling the events at a good pace and making sure the timeline all made sense. Luckily, I have a copyeditor who catches me on any timeline mistakes!
BB: What kind of research did you do for Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink?
SKS: I’d already done most of my research by living it – that summer working at a living history museum proved invaluable! Most of the additional research I did specifically for this book revolved around colonial wardrobes – many thanks to Colonial Williamsburg’s excellent fashion history website.
BB: If Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink were to be made into a movie, who would you want to see cast as Libby? Cam? Garrett? Ashling? Dev? And who would you want to create the wardrobe/costumes?
SKS: Aimee Teegarden as Libby and Nicholas Braun as Garrett (they were in Disney’s Prom, a movie I not-so-secretly love), Zac Efron as Cam (although he’s getting close to aging out of the part), Troian Bellisario (Spencer on Pretty Little Liars) as Ashling, and maybe Dev Patel as Dev (I didn’t consciously name Dev after Dev Patel, I swear). Milena Canonero would have to do the costumes – she did Marie Antoinette, and that movie has the best costumes of all time!
BB: Can You tell anything about any of your upcoming projects?
SKS: I’m working on a third book in the Libby series, and a brand new YA series that features less history and more theater. And of course, Confederates Don’t Wear Couture, the sequel to Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink, comes out June 4th! Heartache, haunting, and hoopskirts!
BB: What piece of advice could you offer aspiring writers?
SKS: Finish. Finish whatever it is that you’re working on. Don’t let your piece languish in a file folder forever. Finish it up, and let people see it! It’s scary to share your work, but it’s so important to take a chance on your writing, and on yourself. You never know what could happen!
Guys, isn’t she great! Stephanie Kate Strohm is definitely an author to be on the lookout for! For more information about her and her books, check out her blog here.
A big THANK YOU goes out to Stephanie Kate Strohm for taking the time out of her busy schedule to answer a few questions for the BookBandit Blog?
May 9, 2013
Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink by Stephanie Kate Strohm
Libby Kelting isn’t just a pink-loving fashionista, she’s a not - so – secret history nerd. She’s proud of the fact that she can spout historical factoids at the drop of a hat, and why shouldn’t she be!?
It’s all those factoids that helped her land an internship at Camden Harbor, a living history museum located in the wilds of Maine. There, not only will she have the chance to dress in period appropriate costumes, but she also will be able to pass along her love of all things history to the next generation of history buffs.
Excited about the summer ahead of her, Libby isn’t letting anything or anyone stand in her way. That is, until she meets her roommate Ashling. Cat-loving Ashling seems hellbent on making Libby’s experience at Camden Harbor and summer miserable.
In a desperate need to get away from Ashling, Libby volunteers to move out of the intern house onto a supposedly haunted ship with a Star-Trek loving, fresh out of college journalist, Garrett.
But once aboard, Libby finds more than she bargains for.
Full of laugh out loud moments and a touch of sweet romance, Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink is author Stephanie Kate Strohm’s debut novel.
Vividly descriptive, Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink will keep readers entertained and engrossed. Strohm’s writing is simple, yet strong. Often letting the storyline drive the writing, readers get a real sense of what Camden Harbor represents as a living history museum, just how cramped her shared room aboard the historical ship is. But above all those things, from Strohm’s expressive writing, readers get a sense of who the real Libby is – a fashionista who, not only takes pride in the way she looks, but who she is on the inside.
Speaking of Libby — she’s a great character! Richly created, Libby is open and honest, emotionally driven, and real. Far from perfect, Libby has flaws. And it’s exactly those flaws that make her realistic and relateable. She’s a bit clumsy, what with falling head first into a barrel, flashing her Hello Kitty undies to the world. She’s emotionally driven, always following her heart while sometimes forgetting to follow her mind. She’s an unlikely hero, who, when push comes to shove, always does the right thing.
Readers, young and old alike, will find out that a little bit of Libby lives within them. We’ve all known humiliate in front of hot guys, we’ve all experienced overwhelming emotion. Libby is an unlikely hero who readers will root for. That’s what makes her such a great character.
But Libby isn’t the only great character to full the pages of Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink. Cam is the perfect bad boy that every girl will fall head over heels for. Libby’s best friend Dev is simply fabulous. He’s the embodiment of true friendship – always there for Libby through good hair days and bad! And than there’s Garrett, who may not compare to Cam in the hot bad boy department, but he holds his own in the boyishly good-looking one.
There is a whole lot to like about Strohm’s Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink. What I enjoyed most about this debut was the fact that it was so surprising. Admittedly, judging a book by its cover, I wrongly assumed that this book would be a light, fluffy read – a good beach read. But what I found was the opposite. Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink is a book full of wit, smart writing, and charm – everything I look for in a good book.
At only two hundred and four pages, Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink will make readers crave more – more of Libby, more history-filled storylines, more fun. And lucky for us, Strohm has a new book out – Confederates Don’t Wear Couture – in June that is sure to please all fans.
If you’re looking for a great book, look no further than Strohm’s Pilgrim’s Don’t Wear Pink.
May 6, 2013
Published: 2012 by Little, Brown Books for Young Children
Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:
It’s a Lemony Snicket book — enough said.
I love how this book focuses on something that a lot of children are fearful of: the dark.
With that, I love how this book shows young readers that the dark isn’t anything to be afraid of.
The little boy (who readers later find out is named Laszlo), on the first page is shown with a flashlight, alone in the dark, and shining his light on the title page. Very clever!
I love how this book portrays the dark, not only a character, but an actual entity.
The dark lives with Laszlo.
They live in a house that is big. It’s roof often creaks. And there are many, many stairs to climb.
It takes the dark a while to reach Laszlo and his room late at night.
The dark is a bit of a trickster – sometimes it hides deep within the closet. Other times it shields itself behind the shower curtain. But mostly, the dark was in the basement.
As the story progresses, the dark creeps more and more onto the pages.
This book, without relying on time, shows the different between night and day. Day is often bright, while night is not.
The dark speaks. Reading this book I imagined that his tone of voice was deep and booming.
But in reality, the dark sounded as creaky as the old roof, as smooth and cool as the window, and even though the dark whispered in little Laszlo’s ear, it sounded far off.
Laszlo believes if he visits the dark in his room, maybe the dark wouldn’t visit him in his.
When the dark does visit Laszlo in his room he visits because he wants something. The dark wants to show Laszlo something.
I love how Laszlo sleeps with his flashlight instead of a teddy bear or some other stuffed animal.
Laszlo searches all over for the dark. But it’s not until he reaches the top of the basement stairs that he finds him.
I’ll admit: when reading this part – when the dark was loring Laszlo into the basement late at night – I was a bit scared.
Laszlo is brave. He shows readers that facing fears is a natural part of life and part of growing up.
In the basement, the dark asks Laszlo to step in, come closer. But to what?
To a small dresser situated in the middle of the dark room.
I love how this book offers an explanation of why people are afraid of the dark, and why the dark is the way it is. What are some explanations: “[...]The dark is always close by.” “Without a creaky roof the rain would fall on your bed, and without a smooth, cold window, you could never see outside.” But most of all, without the dark “you would never know if you needed a lightbulb.”
The dark asks Laszlo to open the bottom draw.
What’s in the bottom draw? It’s a mystery for all readers.
Inside the bottom drawer are lightbulbs. Lightbulbs fit for a nightlight.
Thanks to the dark Laszlo isn’t afraid anymore. In fact, the next day he visits the dark in the basement.
This is such a great book for everyone and anyone. Why? Because we all know what it’s like to be fearful of something.
Laszlo is a great character. He’s smart and easy for young readers to relate to.
The dark too is a great character. I love how he’s portrayed as being something foreboding. Even though, as it turns out the dark is a big ol’ softy!
This was a book that I was looking forward to for a while, has high expectations of. And it filled all those expectations!
May 2, 2013
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg
From the outside looking in, one would assume that Lexi is the girl that has it all. She has great friends, smarts that come naturally to her, but above all things, she has a great personality.
But Lexi often doesn’t feel like the girl who has it all. Stuck in her seven-year old sister’s shadow, Lexi feels as if she just doesn’t compare to the pint-sized beauty queen. In comparison, Lexi often feels unattractive and unloved.
Sick of living in a shadow of an often bratty seven-year old, Lexi decides to step out of the shadows and into the limelight. But not willingly. In the hopes of helping her friend Benny overcome his fear of talking to guys, Lexi decides to overcome her fear of wearing a dress and makeup to school.
Suddenly transformed into the girl she’s always wanted to be, Lexi soon finds out the beauty and popularity aren’t all what they are cracked up to be. Sure the popular crowd has accepted her as one of their own, and the guy of her dreams finally takes notice, but what happens if Lexi herself, doesn’t fully accept these new changes?
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality is author Elizabeth Eulberg’s four novel, and in all seriousness, has to be one of the funniest books I’ve read in a long time.
Eulberg’s writing is supreme. Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality isn’t only a fun read, it’s honest, packed with hard hitting issues like divorce, sibling rivalry, and even bullying. But most of all this book is full of relatable character, situations, and emotions.
Every girl, at one point or other has felt exactly what main character Lexi feels – as if they aren’t pretty or even good enough to land the guy of their dreams. Eulberg’s writing will strike a chord with all readers, and will show through Lexi, that sometimes reality is better than dreams.
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality is full of memorable characters that will leave readers wishing Lexi and crew were real people, wishing they could be friends with all of them. Lexi, is a strong character. She’s determined, smart, and yes, dare I say it — has a great personality.
But just like you and I, Lexi has flaws too. She tends to not see herself as others do. Her self-worth and confidence wavers here and there. But all of those flaws make her more likable, in fact she’s downright lovable.
Besides Lexi, there are characters like Cam and Benny, who aren’t just great characters, they’re great friends. Both of them bring out the best of Lexi. Cam keeps her grounded, while Benny builds her confidence.
Revenge of the Girl with the Great Personality is a five-star book. It’s the kind of book that will make readers laugh, cry, and experience every emotion in between.
April 29, 2013
Published: 2013 by Chronicle Books
Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:
There’s so much pink! I love it!
I admit, I haven’t heard much of this book, until I saw someone reading it across the room. I got a glimpse of the illustrations, and just knew that this was a book I wanted to feature here on the blog.
“Friendship is a beautiful dance.”
Before reading this, I never realized how graceful flamingos could be. Before I just thought they were a bunch of pretty, yet often loud, birds.
Flora and the Flamingo is a wordless book, one that relies on the illustrations to tell the story.
I love how this book shows that friendships can be forged anywhere and with anyone.
Little Flora imitates the graceful flamingo with poise and precision. When the flamingo stands proudly on one leg, so does Flora.
Flora wears flippers and a yellow bathing cap. Quite frankly, she’s adorable!
This book features pull down flaps, where readers can uncover “hidden” illustrations.
The flamingo flaps, Flora flaps. The flamingo doesn’t appear to be amused with Flora’s antics.
Flora becomes very sad when she realizes, although she can do most everything the flamingo can do, she can’t do everything.
Personally, I don’t like to see Flora sad. The flamingo doesn’t either.
To make her happy, the flamingo invites little Flora to dance.
Together the graceful pair sway and shimmy across the page.
Through the intricate dance the two becomes friends.
When the dance is done, the two leap into a giant pool of water, splashing and laughing.
Friends will always keep you laughing.
I really appreciated the use of white space throughout the book.
The illustrations are simple, yet the speak volumes!
I love how each page has the illustration of a cherry blossom.
Flora and the Flamingo is an elegant book. It’s sophisticated, it’s whimsical, but above all things, it’s a books that children will love to read.
Speaking of the illustrations, they are created with precision. They are simply beautiful.
I love how this book doesn’t underestimate children and their reading abilities.
I love how this book really sparks one’s imagination.
It’s the kind of book that I personally want to own, and keep in my own personal library.
Both children and adults who read Flora and the Flamingo will love and cherish this book.
April 25, 2013
Sick by Shel Silverstein
Said little Peggy Ann McKay.
“I have the measles and the mumps,
A gash, a rash and purple bumps.
My mouth is wet, my throat is dry,
I’m going blind in my right eye.
My tonsils are as big as rocks,
I’ve counted sixteen chicken pox
And there’s one more – that’s seventeen,
And don’t you think my face looks green?
My leg is cut, my eyes are blue -
It might be instamatic flu.
I cough and sneeze and gasp and choke,
I’m sure that my left leg is broke -
My hip hurts when I move my chin,
My belly button’s caving in,
My back is wrenched, my ankle’s sprained,
My ‘pendix pains each time it rains.
My nose is cold, my toes are numb,
I have a sliver in my thumb.
My neck is stiff, my spine is weak,
I hardly whisper when I speak.
My tongue is filling up my mouth,
I think my hair is falling out.
My elbow’s bent, my spine ain’t straight,
My temperature is one-o-eight.
My brain is shrunk, I cannot hear,
There is a hole inside my ear.
I have a hangnail, and my heart is -
what? What’s that? What’s that you say?
You say today is … Saturday?
G’bye, I’m going out to play!” “
Since this is the last Thursday of April, National Poetry Month, I decided once again to post a poem. Not just any poem, but one that holds very special place in my heart — Shel Silverstein’s Sick.
I love this poem. I loved this poem the minute I first heard it. Even if was older than the intended reading age. Sick, to me, really captures the spirit of a child. It’s whimsical, it’s free spirited, but above all things Sick is a poem that everyone can relate to – no matter how young or old you are. Beyond that, I feel like Silverstein’s poem really captures the sentiment of enjoying one’s childhood, not rushing to grow up.
On beautiful days, I think of Peggy Ann McKay. When I’m in work with the sunshine shining through the windows, I too wish I was outside playing. So on this beautiful Thursday, I hope all of you, readers, get a chance to get outside, bask in the sun, and have some good old fashioned fun!
April 22, 2013
Published: 2013 by Chronicle Books
Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:
Before this book was even published, I read an article about it. Just from that article I knew I wanted to read this book. I knew I was going to love it.
The cover of this book is simply adorable. I would love to get lost in all those book.
Speaking of the cover, I love how the white rabbit has a pocket watch. I, personally, love the Alice in Wonderland reference.
The frog is wearing a top hat. Very classy!
Inside this big book are several tiny books.
All the tiny books are various shades of the rainbow, and all tell an important part of a the story.
The first book is a red book with black dots, kind of like a little ladybug.
What a coincidence?! The main character in this little red book is a ladybug, and yes she’s sipping tea from a red tea cup.
The second book is a green book with a darker green, circular print.
And what do you know! The top hat wearing frog is in this little book – hopping from one lily pad to the next with a book in hand.
The third little book is the orange book. Of course it’s orange with a funky, almost abstract looking carrot print scattered about the cover. I wonder what creature will fill the page of this book?
It’s a white rabbit, and he appears to be running very late for a very important date. He is holding a book, maybe he and his friends are off to a book club?!?
The fourth book in the little yellow book, with a honeycomb pattern plastered on it.
But the creature in this yellow book is NOT a bee! It’s a bear. Afterall bears do like honey.
Bear has a yellow umbrella.
The fifth book is the little blue book, and it looks like there’s a castle printed on it.
And it’s in this fifth, blue book, where all the action takes place. The ladybug, the frog, the rabbit, and the bear meet up with a giant!
The giant is SO big he doesn’t even fit in the blue book.
But the giant isn’t a mean giant, he’s a reading giant. And one that likes to read about a ladybug, a frog, a rabbit, and a bear.
After all the friends are done reading they close all of their colored books.
The little books featured within the large book get smaller and smaller.
I love how the book has a very important message at the end of it: at the close of one book, make sure to open another.
The writing is simple (but in a good way), playful, and fun-filled.
The illustrations are full of life and color!
I particularly LOVE the very last illustration: a little library nestled inside of a giant old tree. Animals, people, and giants alike.
This is a really fun, charming book.
This is author Jesse Klausmeier’s debut, and it’s a really fun and charming one. Readers will definitely be keeping an eye out for her future works. I know I will.
April 20, 2013
Today I’m posting my review of Megan Miranda’s latest novel, Hysteria, as part of the Triple Threat Blog Tour!
Hysteria by Megan Miranda
Mallory doesn’t remember much about the night that she killed her boyfriend Brian. All she remembers is that she didn’t intend to kill him. Somehow, struggling to save her own life, Mallory managed to take someone else’s.
Living in the aftermath, Mallory only wishes she could go back to the way things were before – when she had friends who trusted her, parents who could actually stand to look into her eye, and see their daughter. Before, when she was not a cold-hearted murder.
So when her parents decide to ship her off to a fancy boarding school, Mallory doesn’t hesitate to leave her home, her former life, and her dark past behind.
Mallory soon finds out that no matter how far away she moves, she can’t escape her past. Not when girls, who could have been new friends, glare at her. Not when an egotistical classmate relentlessly hits on her. Not when Brian, her dead boyfriend, is haunting her and making her pay night and day for her actions.
So when a classmate, the same egotistical one who hits on her, turns up dead all suspicions and fingers point to Mallory. Finding herself once again living a nightmare, Mallory must do everything possible to prove her innocence, even if she can’t be sure of it.
Hysteria is author Megan Miranda’s second novel. Similar to her debut, Fracture, Hysteria is a novel that is as intriguing as it is intense.
Hysteria’s plot is one that hasn’t been seen before. Aside from the obvious uniqueness, Miranda’s execution of such a twisted plot is done with precision, and above all thing top-notch writing. She knows exactly when to dole out information and when to keep it hidden until just the right moment.
She’s crafted a novel that will keep readers guessing around each and every twist and turn. Beyond that, Miranda has created characters that, even though they are flawed, are realistic, easy to relate to, and warped enough to fear – but in the best way possible.
Mallory, Hysteria’s leading lady, isn’t an obvious hero. In fact, from the get go readers will suspect that she’s the villain. After all, she did kill her boyfriend – a plot point that’s out in the open from the very start.
Hysteria is the kind of book that covers a lot of ground in a short period of time. Sure this book is about how Mallory, who killed her boyfriend, finds a sense of normalcy in the aftermath. But beyond that it’s about so much more.
In just three hundred and thirty-six pages Hysteria manages to touch on some pretty heavy subjects: a teenage murderer, finding acceptance in an unacceptable situation, but above all these things, finding forgiveness in a not so forgiving world.
Hysteria is a one of a kind of book. One that readers will cling to, will ponder over, and will be left both satisfied and shook up once finished.