Book of the Week: Tiger in My Soup

Book of the Week, Children's

Tiger in My Soup by Kashmira Sheth Illustrated by Jeffrey Ebbeler

Published: 2013 by Peachtree Publishers

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

The title caught my attention. Without even knowing what the book was about I knew I had to read this book, just by the title.

The cover is just as eye-catching and attention grabbing as the title is.

Beyond that, the use of the colors green and yellow are carried throughout the book. Green just happens to be one of my favorite colors, so it’s like me and this book were meant to be, right?!?

The young boy, the main character, is wearing a strainer on his head.  And he’s fending over a hulking tiger with nothing but a wooden chair and a leather belt. He’s one brave boy!

The end papers show the little boy and the hulking tiger playing a game of hide and seek behind cans of alphabet soup.

I like soup.  So does the main character.

But he doesn’t like tigers in his soup.

Either do I.

The big sister is in charge – of the house, the lunch, and of our main character. But she’s too busy listening to music and reading her book to be bothered with “being in charge.”

The little boy likes to read, but he prefers when someone – his sister – reads to him.

She isn’t interested in his book about a tiger. She much rather read her own book.

I bet there are no tigers in her book. Or her soup for that matter.

Instead of having his sister to read to him, the little boys looks at the pictures himself. He looks at them right-side up. He looks at them upside down. He looks at them from back to front, and front to back.

But sometimes reading isn’t fun by oneself.

I love the little bird that accompanies our main character. He reads over his shoulder.

When he’s bored, the little boy seeks out his sister to ask her if she’ll read to him … now. And she still says no.

She’s paying no attention to him at all. Until he tells her he is hungry.

She makes him soup, and goes straight back to her own book.

I love that both of these characters are bookworms.

In the midst of the steam, it’s where the little boy notices that there’s something puffing up in his soup. And that something is a tiger.

And it seems that only the little boy can see the tiger.

Boy did that tiger look mean.

In order to protect himself, his sister, and his soup the boy stands up against the tiger. Stabbing him with his spoon, chasing him around the kitchen, pulling his long tail and until the tiger is dizzy with pain. He even launches a missile – a cracker – at him.

The little boy’s soup is officially cold.  His sister, not only volunteers to heat it up, but to finally read to him.

And when she roars, the tiger within her comes out.

The book truly shows the power of a child’s imagination.

The writing that fills this book is just as vivid as the illustrations that pop off the page.



My YouTube Addiction

Food For Thought, Random

I’m not ashamed to admit it dear readers: I’m addicted to YouTube. And you know what, I’m not alone. Word of the street is that teens today spend more time on YouTube than on Facebook (a colleague of mine shared this tidbit with me, and I figured I’d pass that information along, use it as you will).

I subscribe to a variety of YouTube channels, some of which are dedicated to books.  Some have absolutely nothing to do with books, but more about lifestyle, makeup, and the like.

So today, I figured I’d share with you just a few of my favorite YouTubers (and their channels), in the hopes that if any of you, dear readers are YouTube addicts youselves, you’ll share your favorites with me!

Book Related YouTube Channels (a.k.a. BookTubers):

The Readables: The Readables is a YouTube channel run by Priscilla. On it she reviews an array of books, book hauls, giveaways, and much more. I started following her some time ago simply because I loved her style of reviewing.

Little Book Owl: Little Book Owl is a YouTube channel run by Catriona. On it she reviews books, a lot of which I’ve read and reviewed myself, some of which are on my to be read list, and some I just plain curious about. That’s basically why I started following her. Besides reviews, she features Tag videos, haul videos, monthly reading wrap up videos, and many more. Little Book Owl also blogs!

ChapterStackss: ChapterStackss is a YouTube channel run by Katie. I started following Katie, not just because I liked her reviews, but because besides featuring books she also features some beauty and lifestyle videos. So views and subscribers get a little bit of everything.

Non Book Related YouTube Channels:

Zoella280390: Zoella280390 run by Zoe is a YouTuber who vlogs about beauty, fashion, and life in general. I started following her when I was prepping for my big London adventure, wanting to know some of the best places to shop and whatnot. On her channel Zoella280390 feautes beauty and clothing hauls, monthly faves, and funny tag videos.

Sprinkle of Glitter: Louise runs Sprinkle of Glitter, a YouTube channel dedicated to beauty, fashion, life, and sometimes stationary!  I started following her because I saw her featured in one of Zoella280390’s videos. Beyond beauty and fashion halls, Louise vlogs fashion look books, life advice videos, tag videos, and so much more.

Tyler Oakley: Tyler’s Channel is just downright hysterical. Every single video I’ve watched, I’ve laughed … a lot. On his lifestyle channel Tyler features YouTube challenge videos, tag videos, and much more!

So now that I’ve shared some of my favorite YouTubers, who are some of yours?!?

The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Spelling Trouble


The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Spelling Trouble by Frank Cammuso (received advanced readers copy from publisher in exchange for an honest review)


Salem Hyde is a witch. And being a witch she possesses many great, magical qualities. She’s good at flying. Whether by broom or by vacuum she can fly! It’s just the landings that kind of, sort of trip her up.  She’s good at casting spells. But sometimes, when casting, things go just a bit haywire.
Even though Sale is a master spell caster, she certainly isn’t a master speller. Even though her intentions are honest and good, it seems that when she tries to spell a word a spell gets cast instead. That’s why she turned the old crossing guard into a dinosaur.
Because of this Salem get’s in trouble, and she gets in trouble often. Dismayed and not certain as to what to do, her parents turn to Aunt Martha, the woman whom Salem has inherited her witchy powers from. Aunt Martha advises that Salem is in desperate need of an animal companion – an animal who won’t only be a friend, but also to keep a close eye of her when her parent’s can’t.
Desperate they try out Aunt Martha’s suggestion Salem’s parents hire a scaredy-cat named Percival J. Whamsford III, also known as Whammy. Salem doesn’t like the idea of Whammy hanging around, and to be honest, neither is whammy. But the more time the two spend together, the more Salem realizes that Whammy can really help her with all of her spelling troubles.
But Whammy may not feel the same way….
The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Spelling Trouble is book one in a graphic novel series, written and illustrated by Frank Cammuso.
First and foremost, Salem Hyde is a great character! This pint-sized witch if full of good-natured spunk. Always full of the best intentions, young readers will easily identify with her, will easily see a bit of themselves with Salem, and most of all will wish that Salem was a real life girl so they could befriend her. What makes Salem such a great character isn’t just that author Cammuso paints a vivid portrait in reader’s mind, but he creates a vivid illustrated portrait right there on the page.
Cammuso’s writing is rock solid. But what really makes this book are his illustrations! They pop off the page, even in the black and white advanced readers copy I read. Cammuso doesn’t over illustrate, nor does he over writes – aspects that readers of all ages will thoroughly appreciate. Instead, it seems that author/illustrator Cammuso let’s reader’s imaginations fill in any gaps. This let’s readers, not just read, but to feel like they are at the heart of the action!
Just under one hundred pages, The Misadventures of Salem Hyde: Spelling Trouble will surely bewitch all readers, and leave them wanting more. Thankfully this is book one is new series that is certain to be a sure-fire hit!

Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten Best Sequals … Ever!

Food For Thought, Random


(Top Ten Tuesdays is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. The above photo was taken and altered by me.*)

You may not know this about me readers, but I’m not into series or trilogies, or whatnot. It’s not that I don’t like them, but I have a real bad tendency to start a series (or trilogy) and never finish it. But the books on this list are all parts of series (or trilogies) that I have read and have enjoyed!

1.  Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

2. The Boy Book by E. Lockhart

3. Rebel Angels by Libba Bray

4. Clarity by Kim Harrington

5. Lola & The Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins (not so much of a sequel, but more of a companion. But still figured I’d include it anyways because it’s such an AWESOME book!)

6. Uncommon Criminals by Ally Carter

7. The Last Little Blue Envelope by Maureen Johnson

8. Where She Went by Gayle Forman

9. The Empress’s Tomb by Kirsten Miller

10.  Love, Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli

(*The above picture was taken and altered by me. Please do NOT steal it. If you want to use it for whatever reason, please ask and give credit first. Thank You!)

Book of the Week: Chamelia and the New Kid in Class

Book of the Week, Children's

Chamelia and the New Kid in Class by Ethan Long

Published: 2013 by Little Brown Books for Young Readers

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

Chamelia, a small lizard (I believe a chameleon) with a sassy sense of style.

I liked Chamelia from the moment I cracked open this book. She’s full of spunk, a real character, and one that young readers will easily identify with.

I love the end covers – they are striped in various colors and various patterns. It’s eye-catching.

Chamelia is a real star. She likes to dance, sing, and generally entertain all of her school mates and fellow friends.

No one ever steals Chamelia’s spotlight. That is, until a new student – Cooper – is introduced to the class.

Cooper  has a pompadour. And he wears red Chuck Taylors.

Cooper is very talented. A trait that everyone but Chamelia appreciates.

Cooper can paint, he’s good a soccer player, and everyone seems to love the games he makes up after school.

Everyone, to say the least, is impressed by Cooper.

Chamelia’s bicycle helmet matches her pants. Like I said, she’s a sharp dresser! (Cooper too is one sharp dresser!)

Everyone, except Chamelia. Who is a little jealous.

I love how this book shows that everyone gets a little big jealous every now and again. And that jealousy is a feeling that everyone, at some point in time, has experienced.

Chamelia can’t seem to shake Cooper. He seems to be EVERYWHERE! At school, the playground, even in the supermarket.

Chamelia does her best to ignore Cooper. But while she’s busy ignoring him, she fails to realize that, judging from his expression, he’s a little bit hurt.

Not used to living in the limelight, Chamelia hatches a plan to steal Cooper’s thunder, and take back the spotlight: on show and tell day, Chamelia will show he seashell collection, everyone will love her collection better than Cooper’s rock collection.

Everyone is very impressed by Chamelia and her seashell collection. Everyone is also impressed with Cooper’s rock collection, until  Chamelia starts to yawn, blow raspberries, stick her tongue out in disgust. Her plan was working!

But even though her plan was working, it didn’t make her feel any better. In fact, it made her feel worse.

This book shows young readers that it isn’t very nice to make someone else feel bad, even if it makes you feel better.

So, Chamelia decides to share the spotlight, and cheers Cooper on!

Before long, the two are as thick as thieves.

Together they sing, they dance, they entertain!

This is a story about friendship. And about how two unlikely people can end up becoming the best of friends.

What makes this such a great read, isn’t just the superb writing, but the charming illustrations.




Guilty Pleasures

Food For Thought, Random

Hello Readers!

I come across several book related links that I always mean to share but somehow always forget about.

Well, this ends here, readers!

As I was wasting time on Facebook recently I stumbled upon a post (by BookHounds I believe) about books as guilty pleasures. It was a BuzzFeed article that pointed out that, even though these books are AWESOME, they are also guilty pleasures. For those of you who don’t know, Google defines guilty pleasures as: “something, such as a movie, television program, or piece of music, that one enjoys despite feeling that is not generally held in high regard.” I appreciated that BuzzFeed pointed out that these titles are AWESOME, but if they are so awesome, why are they considered guilty pleasures?

In keeping with the BuzzFeed theme, while reading the above linked article, I stumbled upon classic cover art that has been reworked to include James Franco. I include this for sheer enjoyment.

This week on Twitter, I came across the Epic Reads YA Name Generator (thanks to Melissa over at YA BookShelf for originally posting this!) In case you’re wondering, my YA name is: Bella Prior.

So, there they are! I hope you enjoy these links dear readers!

Life After Theft


Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike 


When Jeff transfers to Whitestone, a prestigeous high school where he’s expect to, not only excel, but also wear a very stifling tie, the last thing he expects to find is a ghost.  Right there, smack in the middle of the main hallway, snapping her bubblegum (rather obnoxiously), with people walking both around and through her.

A year ago, Kimberlee Schraffer former queen bee and self-processed great swimmer, died in a freak drowning accident. Not only did the former queen bee leave behind a legacy, but also a cave full of stolen goods.

Convinced that her kleptomania is what’s keeping her tied to Earth, Kimberlee wants nothing more  but to move on, from this world into the next. But how could she when no one can see or hear her.

Until now.

Jeff isn’t the ideal candidate. But he’s the only one available. Kimberlee knows the only way she can truly rest in peace is if she returns every stolen item. And since she cannot technically touch anything, she enlists Jeff to take on this task.

Will he be able to right all of her wrongs?

Life After Theft, written by author Aprilynne Pike, is a straight up paranormal novel that, beyond being a lot of fun and laughs, is a read that will leave readers with some weighty questions.

What made Life After Theft such a great read was the fact that, for me, it was so unexpected. Up until this point I have never read any of author Pike’s books, so I had no expectations. I was simply looking for a book to read while on vacation.

What I found was a book that I was able to truly sink into. Maybe it’s partly because the plot line is unique and holds many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming. Pike’s breaths life into her characters, even Kimberlee. Jeff’s voice is authentic and endearing. While Kimberlee, though often snarky, is an great character that, even though readers will want to dislike, will wind up loving.

What made Pike’s Life After Theft  such a great read is Pike’s writing. Simply put, it’s a book that is well written. It’s strong, it’s witty, it’s engaging.

Beyond the solid plot and the realistic characters, Life After Theft will leave reader’s with many questions, questions that aren’t easily answered. Are ghosts real? Why can some see them and some can’t? Beyond that, the biggest question (I think, personally) is what happens after one dies?

Life After Theft was a really fun book that will leave readers (if they are readers like me) questioning both life and death. Beyond that, it will keep readers laughing, from start to finish.

Top Ten Tuesdays: Top Ten Books on My Fall TBR Pile

Food For Thought, Random


(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. The above photo was taken and altered by me*)

I’m going to be one hundred percent, completely honest with you readers. My TBR (to be read) pile is massive, and it steadily grows every single day.

So for fall I’m going to try my hardest to read all the books that I’ve been meaning to get to. The ones that I have had for quite some time, and have yet to get around time. So while this isn’t my full TBR list, this is a very small sampling.

1.  Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma

2.  Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

3. Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

4. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake

5. Prodigy by Marie Lu

6. Because It Is My Blood by Gabrielle Zevin

7. Queen of the Dead by Stacey Kade

8. The Madness Underneath by Maureen Johnson

9. Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood

10. Small Town Sinners by Melissa  Walker

(*The above picture was taken and altered by me. Please do NOT steal it. If you want to use it for whatever reason, please ask and give credit first. Thank You!)

Cover Reveal

Food For Thought, Random

Hello Readers!

I’m excited to tell you that today, here on the blog, I’m participating in something I have yet to participate it. A cover reveal.

Next month, author Stacey Kate (author of The Ghost and the Goth, Queen of the Dead, Body & Soul, The Rules) is releasing her fifth book, Bitter Pill. When I first heard about this on Twitter, I knew I wanted to participate. I read The Ghost & The Goth and really enjoyed it. I have all intentions of reading the rest of Kade’s books. But since I won’t be getting to them right this very second I decided that, in the meantime, I’d help her promote her latest book.

So you want to know what Bitter Pill is all about? From author Stacey Kade:

The truth is a bitter pill…

Rennie Harlow is having a bad year. She had a handsome husband, a good job, and a renovated condo in Chicago. Now, thanks to one “exotically beautiful” paralegal, she’s divorced, faking her way through a writing career, and living above her hypochondriac mother’s garage back in Morrisville, the small town she couldn’t leave fast enough at eighteen. On top of all of that, she just found Doc Hallacy, the local pharmacist, dead behind his counter. And the worst part is, he’s the third body she’s stumbled across this year.

Jake Bristol has lived in Morrisville his whole life. A former bad boy turned sheriff, he doesn’t believe it’s just Rennie’s luck or timing that’s the problem. He thinks she’s too nosy for her own good. The last thing he needs is her messing around with his murder investigation so that she can freelance for the Morrisville Gazette.  But as they both delve deeper into Doc’s death, they find that things don’t add up. This isn’t a robbery gone wrong or the work of a desperate junkie. Someone has a secret they’re killing to keep. The only question is—who’s next? ”

Sounds great, right!?! I know I’ll be adding Bitter Pill to my Goodreads to read list.

So without further adieu, here’s the beautiful cover to author Stacey Kade’s upcoming title, Bitter Pill:

Kade - Bitter Pill

Isn’t it beautiful?!

As if the cover reveal wasn’t enough, author Stacey Kade is hosting a giveaway for 3 e-arcs, $25.00 gift card to the e-retailer of winner’s choice, and an annotated arc of Bitter Pill. To enter fill out the rafflecopter below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good Luck! And Make sure to add Bitter Pill to you to be read list!



Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell (Advanced Reader Copy picked up from publisher at BEA 2013)


Cath doesn’t like change. And college has change written all over it.

She isn’t ready to face situations and people she isn’t entirely comfortable with. She isn’t ready to move forward and leave Simon Snow and his archenemy Baz behind. She isn’t ready to let go of her familiar and comfortable life.

The only thing that makes even the thought of college more bearable is the fact that her twin sister, Wren, will be right there beside her.  That is, until Wren announces that she needs her own space, her own life, and with that, a roommate that isn’t Cath.

Upset, Cath suddenly realizes that she isn’t necessarily cut out for college. Her roommate is an amped up, sharp – tongued junior who’s lean and oh so adorable boyfriend, Levi, is always hanging around. And worst that hanging around, he’s eating her granola bars and always pestering her to “hang out.”

As if Reagan and Levi weren’t bad enough, the dining hall and all its unspoken rules practically terrifies poor Cath.

As days turns into weeks, and weeks into months Cath begins to find her place. Reagan and Levi are slowly, but surely becoming friends.  She’s excelling in her advanced fiction writing class. And to top it all off, her fiction writing partner may be interested in her, for more than just her words.

But as problems arise at home, Cath’s world and life begins to tear at the seams. Will she survive? Or will college life get the best of her?

Fangirl, author Rainbow Rowell’s second young adult novel (to be published this year), is a coming of age about a girl, not only finding herself, but finding her place in the real world.

The writing that fills Fangirl, isn’t only spectacular, it’s honest. Rowell doesn’t beat around the bush. There are some pretty heavy subjects covered throughout Fangirl, ranging from mental illness to alcoholism. Addressing each and every hard-hitting subject, Rowell handles them all with honesty and grace.

Through Fangirl readers will realize that both college and life are difficult. And not only for Cath and Wren alike, but for anyone who’s ever experienced it. But besides presenting the hard realities of life, the writing that fills Fangirl is chock full of hope.  Through Cath, readers will understand that, yeah times may get tough, but eventually if you stick through it, will get better….eventually.

Fangirl is a character driven kind of book. Cath is a great character – period. She’s well crafted and full of relatable emotions. She’s the kind of character that sticks with you long after the book has come to a close. What makes her so great, so relatable is the fact that readers will be able to see, to almost feel, her development and progression from start to finish.

Readers will gain an understanding of who Cath really is, from the inside out. And that understanding doesn’t just come from great writing, it comes from the chapter breaks that author Rowell has included. In between each chapter, Rowell gives a short excerpt from Simon Snow or from on of Cath’s own  Simon Snow’s fan fictions. The juxtaposition of fantasy and reality works surprisingly well, and makes Fangirl even more believable.

As a reader, and a reviewer I could go on and on about Rowell’s Fangirl. It’s a great read, one that will leave readers Fangirl-ing and boy-ing all over the place. There really is something for everyone hidden within the pages – there a heavy dose of reality, there a touch of whimsical romance, and above all else, there’s a lot of wit and humor sprinkled throughout.