The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Roald Dahl

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Hello Readers!

About a month or so ago I was asked if I’d be interested in participating in a special blog tour to celebrate Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday! I, very obviously, jumped at the chance! Roald Dahl is a childhood (and adult) favorite. There is something so special about his books.

Because there are so many wonderful blog participating in this tour, we weren’t guaranteed the book we wanted. When choosing I snuck in two Dahl books that I haven’t read. And luckily for me,  I was given The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me!

Want to know what I thought of this never read before Dahl book?! Well keep reading!

Review:

Little Billy has but one dream: to own the town’s best candy shop. And he knows the perfect place for it: the old, boarded up show with the “for sail” sign hanging in the window. Day in and day out Billy sits, stares, and dreams about the day when it’s his.

Until the day that he notices the sign has been taken down, the boards that covered the windows removed, and the new renovations. Billy wonders who bought the old boarded up shop, and what they’re going to do with it. Upon further inspection he soon learns that the Ladderless Window Cleaners have moved in.

Since he can’t open his candy shop, Billy decides to help the ladder less winder cleaners who consist of Giraffe (the “ladder” of the company) Pelican (the water holder), and Monkey (the window washer).

Working for a ladderless window cleaning doesn’t seem as much fun as working in a candy shop, that is until the Duke requests Billy, Giraffe, Pelly, and Monkey to work for them.  There are hundreds of windows to wash – will the Ladderless Window Cleaners be up to the job?

The Giraffe and The Pelly and Me, written by author Roald Dahl, is a short story that will leave readers (of all ages) laughing.

This is a classic Dahl book. The writing is strong yet silly. Filled with just the right amount of charm, magic, and a bit of mayhem The Giraffe And The Pelly And Me, like all of Dahl’s books, let’s reader’s imaginations soar.

Because this book isn’t very long there wasn’t a large cast of characters. But that is not a bad thing! Why? Because the character were truly the best part of this book. Little Billy is the kind of character that readers will easily identify with. Through him, they will see that with a little work, hopes and dreams really can come true.

And then there’s Giraffe, Pelly, and Monkey. Even though they are animals, they are still relatable. Readers will get the chance to see just how much they trust one another, how they love and care for each other, and above all, how they stick together through good and bad. They are a shining example of what strong friendships are made of.

Besides the writing and the characters, another aspect I really loved, and felt that truly helped bring the story to life were Quentin Blake’s illustrations. Done in a sketch style (or what I presume is a sketch style) they add an additional layer of charm and a touch of whimsy. I particularly appreciated how they didn’t over power the book. Instead they helped readers imagine each moment of the plot as it unfolded.

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me by Dahl was truly a fun read! And whether you’ve read and loved other Dahl books or this is the first book you’ve ever read by him, you will not be disappointed!

Stealing Snow

Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige (received ARC from Publishers at BEA16)

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All Snow knows is life within walls. She’s lived in Whittaker, a mental hospital, practically her whole life. There she has friends like Vern who believe in her. She has found love in Bale, another patient. And she actually has a life. Out there, in the real world. Snow has nothing … nothing but a mother she resents and a father she barely knows.

Her life isn’t ideal, but it’s hers. Or is it?

Snow has never questioned her doctors or their motives, she’s never challenged her therapy sessions, she’s never refused any of the medication she’s been given. That is, until a strange boy and an even stranger dream convince her that Snow is more than this, and that she needs to get out of Whittaker.

When Bale suddenly goes missing, Sow take the opportunity to run away. She wants … needs to find Bale, but what she finds is a cold world filled with both magic and mayhem, that she is actually queen of.

Stealing Snow, written by author Danielle Piage, is a fantastical retelling of The Snow Queen.

Paige’s writing is solid. She’s managed to take a beloved story and make it her own. Through vivid descriptions, Paige excels at showing readers Algid, not just telling them about it. But no matter how vivid this unfamiliar world is, admittedly it wasn’t as fully developed as it could have been. As a reader, I struggled to find answers to the most basic of questions. Questions that should have been answered as the world unfolded.

At the start, I assumed that Stealing Snow would be a fast paced, action packed fantasy. And it was … the last quarter of the book. There was a lot of buildup, with very little payoff. Bluntly put: Stealing Snow was an extremely slow read.

As much as the pacing bothered me, the fact that there were not one, but three love interests, bothered me more than anything else. What’s worse that multiple love interests was the fact that they were all unnecessary. They did not add anything to the story.

Snow had so much potential to be the heroine that readers deserved. She had flaws, which made her vulnerable and easily relatable. But she lacked confidence. Besides that, there were many a moment where I simply wanted to shake sense into her. Because of this I was often left frustrated with her. While Snow wasn’t my favorite character, I will say this: the growth from start to finish was noticeable, and greatly appreciated.

I wanted more from Stealing Snow. And from all the hype, I expected more. I was disappointed. Even so, I’m curious about what’s going to happen to Snow in the upcoming books. Though I’m not sure I’ll read them, I surely hope that, not only will those burning questions be answered, but  that Snow will grow into the heroine she is supposed to be.

(Cover image from GoodReads.com)

Stars Hollow Monthly: A Subscription Box Review

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(The above image was created by me via PicMonkey.com)

If you know me, you already know I’m a HUGE Gilmore Girls fan. You know who my fave character is, besides Lorelei and Rory (it’s Lane). You know what team I’m on (team Jess 4 Eva). And you know my favorite episode (You Jump, I Jump Jack).

So when Emma (aka Miss Print) told me there was a Gilmore Girls themed monthly subscription box, I needed it in my life.

Put out by Lit-Cube, Stars Hollow Monthly offers fans one of a kind  Gilmore Girls themed goodies. From searching the Stars Hollow Monthly hashtag on Instagram boxes in the past have included everything from coffee to t-shirts.

August’s box was chock full of surprises. This box included:

  • A package of Boca Java coffee (because let’s be honest, what kind of Gilmore Girls box would it be without coffee?!?)
  • A ceramic Luke’s Diner travel cup (to put that coffee in, of course.)
  • A set of Dragon Fly Inn coasters. (so the Luke’s Diner travel cup does lent scuff the table)
  • A pill/trinket box that says “I’m afraid once your heart’s involved it all comes out in moron.” (To keep aspirin for the headache I’ll get from drinking all that coffee lol)

The first think I noticed was the packaging. The box was white, with stars and umbrellas around the four sides. It was whimsical, super cute, and total GG style. On the top there was the logo: the famed gazebo with Stars Hollow  Monthly written across it. I personally thought the gazebo was a nice touch.

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When I first opened the box, I received a takeout menu from Luke’s Diner. This pamphlet outlined information all the products that were contained in the box. Because I knew that going into this opening I read that last. I didn’t want the pamphlet to give away the surprises, I simply wanted to find out for myself what was in this box.

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It was packaged in hot pink tissue paper and white paper filler. Because the actual box is so pretty on the outside, keeping the inside packaging simple was a plus. Another plus: I didn’t have to dig around looking for the items. I simply peeled back the tissue paper and bam! Everything was neatly placed right before my eyes!

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While this box may not contain as many items as other subscription boxes hold, I felt that all of the items were quality items. When I first signed up, it was a bit hesitant. Thirty dollars was a lot to spend on a monthly subscription box I felt. But after seeing the potential of items that will be received – between the unique-ness and the quality – I feel that it was worth it.

There’s only one negative thing I can say about Stars Hollow Monthly: it shipped late and because of that I technically did not receive the box in August. But! I don’t hold Lit-Cube or the people who created this box responsible. They were professional and sent out e-mails explaining why the boxes went out late (they were having some issues with their shippers). I felt that the situation was out of the Lit-Cube people’s hands and they dealt with it the best they could.

All in all, the Stars Hollow Monthly box was a success! I’m already eagerly awaiting the arrival of September’s box!

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#ARCAugust Update (#3)

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(The above image was created by me via PicMonkey.com)

Hello Readers!

I’m back with another #ARCAugust Update! So sit back and relax ….

It took me longer than expected, but I finally finished the highly anticipated Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige. I don’t want to give away too much of my thoughts but I will say this: while I did enjoy it, I did struggle through it.  No matter my thoughts, I finished it!

Since finishing Stealing Snow, I have moved on to yet another highly anticipated book: Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I’m seriously only ten pages into this hefty book but I have a feeling that I am going to love it. And if you know me, than you know why I am going to love it!

With August coming to a close I am sad to announce that I probably will only have finished two and a half ARCs. But I’m hopeful that, if I put my mind to it, and I don’t waste time on Netflix/YouTube I could easily finish Heartless by the thirty-first! Do you think I could do it?

So, dear readers, what have you been reading? Please let me know in the comments! I’d love to hear.

#ARCAugust Update (#2)

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(The above image was created by me via PicMonkey.com)

Hello Readers!

I like to think that I started ARCAugust off with a bang. Within the first week I read a book and a half.  To recap, I read All in Pieces by Suzanne Young, and I read half of Danielle Paige’s Stealing Snow. At that point, I thought I was doing pretty well.

Now that we are two weeks into the challenge I feel like I’m losing steam. At the two week mark  still have only finished one book. BUT! I’m very close to finishing book two.

So, you’re wondering what;s taken me so long? Well, time hasn’t exactly been on my side. But more than that, I’m finding Stealing Snow, though enjoyable, a bit long winded. I don’t want to say too much (I’m saving that for the review!) but I will say this, because of that minor detail it’s taken me a lot more longer to read than I anticipated.

I am hoping to finish Stealing Snow (seriously) by the end of this week. Once finish I hope to move on to a book that seems to be on EVERYONE’S TBR list – Heartless by Marissa Meyer. As someone who is obsessed with all things Alice in Wonderland, I am super excited to since my (reading) teeth into this one! And speaking of Heartless, I want to send a big THANK YOU out to Miss Print for scoring me an ARC of this one! You rock!

Are you participating in ARCAugust? If so, I’d love to hear what is on your reading list, and how you’re doing! Please share in the comments!

#ARCAugust Update

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(The above image was created by me via PicMonkey.com)

Hello Readers!

As you know we are seven days into August. That means that I am seven days into Read.Sleep.Repeat’s ARCAugust challenge. In case you missed my original post, you can check it out and catch up here. For those who are following along on my challenge I thought  that today would be a great day to give you all an update.

Last week I started Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige. I’m about 120 pages in – and yes, even though I’m still weary, I am still enjoying it.  I hoped to be a bit further along than I am, but sadly I’m not. Due to a busy work week and feeling very tired once I get home from worked I just haven’t had the time or energy to pick it up.

Like I mentioned I’ve been super tired lately. And the past few nights I’ve slept terrible. So, because I didn’t want to turn on any lights in the wee hours of the (too) early morning, I started reading an e-arc on my phone (while not the most convenient,  it was what was at arms reach).  Sleepless night one (Friday into Saturday) I read about 15 percent of the book. And sleepless night two (Saturday into Sunday) I read the remaining 85 percent.  I wasn’t aware of how heart-wrenching this book was going to be. It was such a good book … but such a sad one.

It’s a week into the ARCAugust  and while I had hoped to make a bit more progress, I’m still happy that I’ve read a book and a half in a week. It’s like some kind of record (for me at least)!

Stay tuned for another ARCAugust update next week!

#ARCAugust

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(Images of book covers from GoodReads. The above image was created via PicMonkey.com)

Hello Readers!

And happy August! As a reader, a librarian, and a book blogger I get a fair share of ARCs. Some are set to me, some are given to me from friends (mainly Miss Print), and still some I’ve picked up at Conventions (like BEA and ALA). Either way, I have my fair share. And there are times that it feels like I will never, ever get to them.

Well, that’s about to change! During the month of August I will be participating in Read.Sleep.Repeat’s ARCAugust, a month long challenge which urges participants to read all the ARCS.

Now, I’ll be honest I know I will not get to every single ARC on my list. That’s not me being pessamistic, that’s me being realistic. I probably will only get to four of  these books. But that doesn’t mean I won’t strive for more.

The list of ARCs on my list are:

  • Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  • All in Pieces by Suzanne Young
  • Save Me, Kurt Cobain by Jenny Manzer
  • The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
  • Tonight the Streets Are Ours by Leila Sales
  • Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu
  • Highly Illogical Behavior by John Corey Whaley
  • The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics
  • Fans of the Impossible Life by Kate Scelsa
  • Wishing Day by Lauren Myracle

I know, I know — that’s a long list. Of that list I am aiming on reading at least four books and specifically those four are:

  1. Stealing Snow by Danielle Paige
  2. Heartless by Marissa Meyer
  3. The Accident Seasn by Moira Fowley-Doyle
  4. Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu

It’s only August 2nd and I am currently one hundred pages into Danielle Paige’s Stealing Snow. Going into ARCAugust, I wasn’t one hundred percent sure I was going to add this one to my ARCAugust list. Or if I wanted to read it at all. But the more I thought about it (and I was thinking about it a lot these past few days) I realized that I DID want to read it. As of right now, I’m weary of it because I am not a fantasy reader by nature. But even though I am weary, I am enjoying it.

Each week I will keep you updated on my progress.

Before signing off, I just want to thank Octavia and Shelly of Read.Sleep.Repeat for creating and for hosting such an awesome challenge. You girls are awesome!