Leap Into Books Giveaway Hop

Contests, Food For Thought, Random

Hello Readers!

I participated in this bunches of fun hop last year so I figured I’d participate once again. I mean, why not? Who doesn’t love to win free books?!?

leap into books

This hop around I’m giving one lucky winner the chance to win this:

A (used) ARC (advanced readers copy) of Fury by Elizabeth Miles and an assortment of bookmarks/swag.

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, 13 years old or older. Giveaway hop will run from February 28th (12:01 a.m.) until March 7th (11:59 p.m.).

To enter, simply leave a comment on THIS blog post only saying absolutely anything you want. Tell what book you’re currently reading, and what you like/dislike about it? Tell about the weather? Why you like the frog in the Leap into Books Giveway Hop picture? Anything at all!

When leaving your comment please make sure to leave a VALID e-mail address. Winner will be selected via random number generator and will get notified via e-mail on March 8th. Winner will have until March 10th to respond to e-mail with mailing/shipping information. If response e-mail is not received by then, a new winner will be selected.

There are many, many blogs participating, so please check them out!

Thank You to I Am a Reader, Not a Writer and Jinky is Reading for hosting a great giveaway hop!

Good Luck! And Happy Hopping!

Book of the Week: Crafty Chloe

Book of the Week, Children's

Crafty Chloe by Kelly DiPucchio Illustrated by Heather Ross

Published: 2012 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers

Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:

I consider myself a crafter of sorts, so I knew I would identify with Chloe.

Beyond that I love the look of total disgust on Chloe’s little dogs face. I don’t think he likes wearing his star hat.

Chloe isn’t only inventive, she’s imaginative.

From the get go I love how this book shows readers that not everyone is good at everything they do. But even so, it’s important to try!

Chloe isn’t very good at sports (neither am I). Chloe doesn’t particularly love video games (neither do I). And ballet? Well, let’s just say it didn’t work out for her (I wasn’t the greatest dancer in my dance class either).

Chloe can make anything – from macaroni necklaces, fancy flower hats, and a googly-eyed little brother.

Everyone LOVES googly eyes!

The dog’s name is Bert. It works for him!

Bert doesn’t always mind being Chloe’s model. She has a way of making him the most fashionable dog on the block! And Bert loves the attention.

I love how this book shows that hobbies don’t define a person.

Chloe is a well-rounded character that readers will identify with.

Like Chloe I have a friend named Emma. And if you didn’t know she runs a blog called Miss Print.

Chloe wants to make sure she gets Emma a GREAT birthday present. She knows that Violet, the Flower Girl doll is what her friend will LOVE.

But it seems London, a not so nice acquaintance of Chloe’s, already has plans on giving Violet to Emma.

London’s little dog looks just like London … mean.

Chloe assures London that she’s going to make something very purple, and that Emma is going to love it.

She makes her a necklace, but it isn’t right for Emma.

She makes a coffee mug, but Emma doesn’t drink coffee.

She makes a sock monkey, but it’s not birthday gift material.

Every idea that Chloe came up with didn’t seem … right.

Chloe is persistent and determined.  I love how this book shows that you should never, ever give up.

Okay, so Chloe wants to give up … but just a little. She fakes having the chicken pox … blueberry blue chicken pox.

But when Chloe’s mom points out that Emma will be having a pony at her birthday party, she knows she has to get better, and quickly.

When she hears the word pony, Chloe immediately imagines a white unicorn with lavender hair full of beautiful ruby-red flowers.

After some more thought, Chloe finally figures out what to make her best friend Emma. All night she was busy planning, gluing, sewing, and painting.

Chloe was a bit afraid that Emma wouldn’t like her gift.

But who is the first person Chloe sees at the party? London, with her nose turned up and her feel clicking away in her sparkly heels.

Since her nose is turned so high up, London doesn’t notice that her mean looking dog has gotten in her way. She trips and falls into a mud puddle.

Even though London acts mean, Chloe feels bad for her. Especially when her dog grabs onto Emma’s present and tears it’s dress.

Chloe is caring and compassionate. And always does the right things!

Chloe offers to cloth the now naked Violet Flower Girl doll with the dress she name.

Besides the dress, Chloe also makes a bed for Violet.

Emma loved everything!

I love how this book shows that friends love each other no matter what! Gifts don’t matter, friendship does.

The writing is charming, smart, and really fun.

The illustrations really bring the writing to life. I love how illustrator Heather Ross pays attention to the smallest of details. I think that that’s important in a picture book. For example, on the next to last page, behind a hugging Emma and Chloe, readers will spot London riding the pony, and not looking too happy.

I love how readers can learn to make all the fabulous crafts Chloe makes in the book by visiting: www.craftychloe.com 

Kiss My Book


Kiss My Book by Jamie Michaels


Ruby Crane’s life is about to start. Last year she was a mere freshman. But this year, she’s a newly published author. Or to the popular crowd – a rising star with a book and movie deal.

As if life couldn’t get any better Ruby’s scheduled to speak at the Literature Society, a prestigious society that only top-notch authors are invited to. Expecting it to be the night of her life, Ruby’s not worried about a thing.

That is, until celebrity reporter Samantha Golding asks her the one question every author fears most: “Ruby, why did you plagiarized your first book?”

With a ruined career and a damaged ego, Ruby retreats to Aunt Finney’s in Whispering Springs, NY. Ruby’s run away from everything, but did she run far enough? Or will her problems rear their ugly heads?

Kiss My Book, written by author Jamie Michaels, is a quick realistic read that readers will find both charming and funny.

Kiss My Book’s main plot is based on something I love – books! Jamie Michael’s writing is simple, clever, and engaging. She easily weaves famous book quotes and titles into the text.

Beyond good writing, Michael’s characters are real – so real they’re flawed. Admittedly, I was not a fan of Ruby’s. I found her to be pretentious and often whiney. But as the book progressed, Ruby did as well. Sure she doesn’t know who she is, or who she wants to be, but she’s fifteen. By the time the book wrapped up, Ruby quickly became a character that my inner fifteen year old could relate to.

Beyond characters, Kiss My Book was, above all things, unique. Never before have I read a book about books! If you love books, you’ll more than like this book! From the small town charm and wit to the budding romance, readers will find something between the pages that they will surely love.

Shorty Review: The Secret Garden


Title: The Secret Garden

Author(s): Frances Hodgson Burnett

Why Did I Read This Book: I realized that I’ve been deprived of classic novels. High school kind of ruined (all) of them for me. Wanting to dip me toes in the lake of classics, I started with one I always wanted to read.

Thoughts, Likes, and Dislikes: Admittedly I was NOT enjoying The Secret Garden. It’s third person, gets off to an extremely slow start, and was nothing like the movie I loved as a small girl. But than a friend clued me in: The Secret Garden is only enjoyable if listened to via audiobook or audiobook iPhone app. What I really loved about this book was the mystery – where is the garden? what flowers bloom within the ivy walls? who tends the garden? and what will Master Craven do once it’s discovered that the locked garden is no longer locked?

Recommend It: Yes, but only if you’re going to listen to the audio version, and not actually read the physical book.

Book of the Week: Forsythia & Me

Book of the Week, Children's

Forsythia & Me by Vincent X. Kirsch

Published: 2011 by Farrar, Straus, and Giroux

Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:

Can I just say: yellow! Everywhere! From start to finish! Love it!

The accents of blue are a perfect touch!

Yellow definitely represents Forsythia and blue definitely represents Chester – the spunky main characters!

I love the cheerful tone of this book!

Forsythia wears pink, heart-shaped glasses!

And her hair is styled like Pippi Longstocking – one of my most favorite characters.

I love how this book shows young readers that they can do great, amazing things no matter how young or old you are.

Forsythia does some pretty amazing things.

I love how Forsythia isn’t afraid to be herself, and to do what makes her most happy.

Some of the amazing things Forsythia does are: she makes plain cake beautiful, she’s a remarkable piano player (she can even play standing on her head!), she’s a ballerina, and an animal tamer.

Chester is amazed by Forsythia, as all readers will be.

But Chester is amazing too! And super cute!

I love how this book shows the bond of friendship.

When Forsythia doesn’t feel one, Chester sets out to make her better.

He bakes her a yellow cupcake with a blue “F” on it.

He plays the accordion and only messes up thirteen times.

He gives her flowers – forsythia to be exact.

He teaches her to dance like a pirate.

Forsythia is amazed by Chester, as all readers will be.

Before they both know it, Forsythia is feeling better, and Chester gets to see her perform her spectacular figure skating show, where she spells out “Chester” on the ice.

I love how this book shows that nothing can come between two good friends, and that friends are there for each other through thick and thin.

This book shows, that just because one person is amazing doesn’t mean the other is less than. Friends are always equals.

This story of friendship is heartwarming.

The writing is simple yet strong.

The illustrations are charming! Possibly my most favorite thing about the book! Well, besides Forsythia and Chester that is!

Whatever Happened to Janie


Whatever Happened to Janie by Caroline B. Cooney


Whatever Happened to Janie? That’s what everyone wants to know.

After finding out that she was kidnapped twelve years ago, and that Mommy and Daddy Johnson aren’t her biological parents, Janie’s life is more than a little disheveled. It’s downright upside down.

So when she’s forced by a court order to leave the only home she’s ever known and move in with her biological family in the wilds of New Jersey, Janie is miserable. Moving means leaving behind everyone she loves. Leaving means making room in her life and in her heart for people she barely knows.

Trying to put her best foot forward and make Mommy and Daddy Johnson proud, Janie tries her hardest to fit in. She tries to be pleasant towards Jodi, her older sister who wants so desperately to have some sort of relationship with her new-found sister. She tries to stay out of Stephen’s way, her old brother who is boiling over with Janie-filled anger. She tries to encourage and support the Brian and Brendan, the twins who share one identity. But most of all, she tries to accept her real parents.

But Janie isn’t doing such a great job at fitting in. There just isn’t enough room and love in her heart for another family, a family that she really doesn’t belong to. Will Janie find her place with the Springs? Or will she go running back to the Johnson’s?

Whatever Happened to Janie is the second installment in Cooney’s beloved Janie Johnson series. Picking up where The Face on the Milk Carton leaves off, this installment offers more.

Readers continue to learn and understand about Janie Johnson, the series main character. As much as the book focuses on Janie and her feelings the book also examines the feeling and the people around her. Specifically the Spring family, the biological family that Janie really belongs with.

By examining the feelings of her biological parents and her new brothers and sister, Cooney’s main character is brought to life. In The Face on the Milk Carton, I was left feeling that Janie was whiney and even borderline annoying. After reading Whatever Happened to Janie I have a better understanding of her. Not to mention how her feelings affected the Spring family.

What I really enjoyed about this second book is the fact that readers will get to learn, not only more about Janie, but more about all the characters involved. Once again Cooney does a fantastic job at really fleshing out a character. All of the new characters – the Spring family – introduced to Janie and into Janie’s world are realistic, and are flawed.

Cooney’s writing is, once again, the true shining star of Whatever Happened to Janie. She’s a real wordsmith who creates tension on every page. Besides the tension, Cooney answers all the burning questions readers have leftover from The Face on The Milk Carton, while introducing new ones in Whatever Happened to Janie.

To say the least, I enjoyed Whatever Happened to Janie a lot more than I did The Face on the Milk Carton. After reading I felt like all of Janie’s whining and actions in the first Janie Johnson book were finally justified.

Follower Love Giveaway Hop

Contests, Food For Thought, Random



Hello Readers!

Get ready to HOP! I’m participating in I Am A Reader, Not a Writer and The Reader’s Antidote’s Follower Love Hop. (Thanks for hosting such a great hop!)

For this hop I will be giving two lucky winners the chance to win one of these prize packs:

Prize Pack #1:

A (used) paperback copy of Ten Cents a Dance by Christine Fletcher and an assortment of bookmarks/swag.

Prize Pack # 2:

An ARC (advanced readers copy) of Shatter Me*, signed by author Tehereh Mafi and an assortment of bookmarks/swag.

(* Because this is an advanced readers copy there cover is completely artless.)

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only, 13 years old or older. This giveaway is open from February 5th (12:01 a.m.) until February 11th (11:59 p.m.)

To enter you MUST SUBSCRIBE\FOLLOW THIS BLOG! Besides that leave a comment on THIS post telling me why you enjoy reading book blogs. Also, in comment please confirm that you subscribe to this blog.

When leaving your comment, please make sure to include a valid e-mail address. Winners will be chosen via random number generator and will be notified by email on February 12th, and will have until February 14th to reply to e-mail with mailing/shipping address. If a response isn’t received by then, new winners will be selected.

Please, readers make sure to check out the other blogs that are participating in this hop.

Good Luck and Happy Hopping!

Book of the Week: Being Wendy

Book of the Week, Children's

Being Wendy by Fran Drescher Illustrated by Amy Blay

Published: 2011 by Grosset & Dunlap

Reasons why I liked this book, and chose it as Book of the Week:

First and foremost, the cover just caught my attention!

…. And the dog with a Jack Russell box around his middle!

… And the bird playing maracas!

Wendy Starbright lives in Boxville – a small town in a valley that makes sure it’s residents fit neatly into boxes.

There’s even a Box Factory at the heart of Boxville.

Not only do the people and animals of Boxville wear boxes, but even the trees are in boxes.

Each box says who you are. Officer Miranda Wrights box says “Police Officer”. Bella Fashionista’s box says “Fashionista”. Even the Dachshund ‘s box says “Dachshund”.

Wendy doesn’t know what or who she wants to be. Her box has a giant question mark on the front.

It’s not that Wendy doesn’t know who she is, it’s just that she doesn’t want to be labeled.

Wendy knows she’s different, she just doesn’t know how special she is!

Wendy can’t be labelled as any one thing since she has so many varying interests: playing guitar, shooting hoops, travelling and have adventures! How can she choose just one!?

Her box is too constrictive.

All of her friends have boxes inscribed with what they want to be. Hope wants to be a doctor. Joe wants to be a soldier. And Candy wants to be a Baker.

Wendy has a brilliant idea? To step outside of her box! Literally.

I love how this book really shows and illustrates the importance of thinking outside of the box.

Wendy does the unthinkable. One an early Wednesday morning, she sets out to school — BOXLESS! Gasp!

She causes quite a stir.

Without her box, Wendy feels most like herself than she ever has.

I love how this book shows readers that we people weren’t made to just have one “box” but many.

We should celebrate out unique-ness. And embrace out differences.

I love how, when dreaming of being a famous actress, Wendy looks a little like Marie Antoinette.

The Boxville way is: “To Choose a Box For the Rest of Your Life.”

Wendy is pointed and laughed at by her friends and her teacher for being herself.

The teacher also calls her a disappointment.

But she’s not a disappointment to her family.

I love how this book shows that family is always there for you! And they accept you for who you are, no matter what your box says.

Wendy’s family agrees one hundred percent with Wendy – boxless is the way to go.

Even though they ditched their boxes, they still have a use for them: loading all of their belongings into them and moving to Freedomland.

I love how this book shows young readers the importance of dreaming!

You can be anything you really want to be, as long as you put your mind to it.

No box can define you.

The illustrations are outstanding! The bright images leap off the page, and invite readers into the Wendy’s world.

The writing isn’t only smart and whimsical, it’s also charming.

This is the kind of book I want in my own personal library!

I love colors of this book: various shades of blue, red, orange, beige, and white.

Who says you can only follow one dream?