Stacking The Shelves

(The above image was created by me via Canva for the purpose of this post. Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews)

Hello Readers!

As a book lover, I obviously love to buy books. Strolling through a bookstore, scanning the shelves, and picking up a new to me book (or a book I’ve been dying to read) is quite possibly one of my most favorite past times.

As of recently I’ve been trying to clear shelves and trying even harder to not acquire any more books than what is necessary. I’ve (somewhat) successfully cleared my shelves, finding new homes for old, beloved favorites. But I haven’t been so great at not acquiring any more books.

But then there was that pesky Amazon gift card that was just burning a hole in my pocket.  I couldn’t help but buy a book … or four. And then there are the books I’ve requested, and the books that simply showed up in my mailbox (THANKS Scholastic!).

  • Ramona Blue by Julie Murphy (bought)
  • No Good Deed by Goldy Moldavsky (received ARC from Scholastic)
  • When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon (bought)
  • The Cruel Prince by Holly Black (requested ARC)
  • I Believe In A Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo (bought – Miss Print said I’d love this book. That was enough to make me buy it. And if you’re wondering why she loved it so much, you should check out her review. Check it out here)
  • The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken (requested ARC)
  • Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia (bought- I’ve heard a lot about this book. But it wasn’t until I read Nicole’s (from Nicole’s Novel Reads) review. You can check it out here)
  • Dark Breaks the Dawn by Sara B. Larson (recieved ARC)
  • All About Mia by Lisa Williamson (receieved ARC)

 

Freebie Friday: Stars Hollow Monthly Review

(Pictures take by me, collage created via PicMonkey)

Hello Readers!

And happy Friday! Today, I’m going to be reviewing a Stars Hollow Monthly box.

Received: April 2017

Items Received:

  • In Omnia Paratus T-shirt
  • In Omnia Paratus Passport Holder
  • In Omnia Paratus (image from the Netflix reboot) Magnet
  • You Jump, I Jump, Jack Umbrella

Truth be told: You Jump, I Jump, Jack (season five, episode seven) is my absolute fave episode of the Gilmore Girls. So obvs, I LOVED April’s Stars Hollow Monthly box. But before I jump into my review, let me give you the scoop on Stars Hollow Monthly subscription box.

Hosted by Lit ube, the Stars Hollow Monthly is a Gilmore Girls themed subscription box. For just about $30.00 a month, subscribers received a box full of Gilmore Girls themed goodies. In the past there’s been everything from coffee to coffee flavored candy.

I’ve been a subscriber to Lit Cube’s Stars Hollow Monthly for over six months now, and while I find it a bit pricey I really do love this box.

April 2017’s box has been quite possibly my all time favorite box. Why? Because it was filled with all In Omnia Paratus things. The first item I noticed was a blue colored t-shirt that had an image of an umbrella with the words “In Omnia Paratus, Ready for Anything written just below it. It’s a unisex Gilden t-shirt, and it’s super soft.  I love t-shirts, especially ones with fun sayings/pictures, so this will get a lot of use.

Digging deeper into the box, I discovered an item that isn’t only fun, but an item I’ve been wanting for a while now … a passport holder.  Honestly, I’m not sure if its real leather or not, but that doesn’t really matter to me. It’s a deep plum color with In Omnia Paratus written in the bottom right hand side in silver. Since I love to travel, and have an upcoming trip later this year, I’ll definitely be putting this to good use.

Within this box was also an In Omnia Paratus magnet. The image on it is not from the original series, but instead the Netflix reboot. While I loved to Life and Death Brigade reunion that took place in the reboot, I didn’t necessarily get the music/dance montage. But still, I think the magnet is fun, and I really love the colors.

And finally, the last item that was in April’s Stars Hollow Monthly box was another useful item … an item that I tend to somehow lose all of the time.  An umbrella that readers “You Jump, I Jump, Jack” and below that “Honorary member of the Life & Death Brigade” . It’s an all black umbrella with white writing. I haven’t used this umbrella yet, as I’m too afraid that I’ll lose or leave it somewhere.

All of the items in the April 2017 Stars Hollow Monthly box I found to be of good quality, and all useful. And like I said, it’s by far my fave box I have received.

If you are interested in signing up for this subscription box, check out LitCube’s website for all the information!

Famous Last Words

Famous Last Words by Jennifer Salvato Doktorski

When sixteen year old Samantha “Sam” D’Angelo lands a paid summer internship at her hometown newspaper, she fully expects to be writing front page stories. But Sam’s expectations are far from her reality.

Reality is: Sam is an obituary writer.

While it isn’t the most glamorous position, it sure beats party hopping with best friend Shelby. And Sam hopes that if she proves herself she’ll be bumped up to staff writer.

And she thinks that she’ll get that chance to prove herself when she stumbles upon a front page story just waiting to be written. But will her budding office crush Tony, steal her thunder?

Famous Last Words, written by author Jennifer Salvato Doktorski, is a contemporary read about firsts: first job, first office crush, first front page story!

Doktorski’s writing is simply strong. There’s an ease to her words, one that allows the readers to completely be absorbed into her book from the start. 

Main character Samantha is a solid character, and even though she’s often wise beyond her years, she’s a typical teenager who flounders in awkward situations, who does silly things to get the guys attention, and who makes mistakes. All of these characteristics do not make her a bad character, they make her a realistic one. That’s why she’s so easy to relate to, so easy to sympathize for, and so easy to cheer on! As an adult reader, I personally saw a lot of sixteen year old Nicole within Samantha, and I think any reader of any age who picks this book up will see themselves within this strong female lead!

But Samantha isn’t the only stand out character. I found all of Doktorski’s characters to be, not only charming and relatable, but fleshed out and honest. I especially loved AJ. He brought heart and humor not only to Sam’s dull summer as an intern but to the book in general.

I enjoyed Famous Last Words for a number of reasons. But two aspects that captured my attention (and heart) immediately was that this book featured two of my favorite things: journalism (I was a journalism major in college) and New Jersey (my home state). Because of these two things I would have loved this book no matter what. 

Another aspect of the book that I personally enjoyed was the fact that I felt as if I was there, in the midst of the hustling newsroom alongside Sam. This fact helped me, not only connect with the overall story, but made me remember why I love writing and journalism so much. 

Doktorski’s Famous Last Words was a book I expected to like, but I didn’t expect to like it as much as I did. It’s smart, funny, and has the subtlest hints of a budding romance. There’s a little something for almost everyone. If you have the chance to read it, I suggest you do!

Around the Web (#2)

Hello Readers!

It’s no secret, me and fellow blogger Miss Print (or just Emma to me) are bffs in real life. So obviously I read her blog! Recently she posted about everything she’s learned from reading (YA) contemporaries for a month. It’s a really great/fun post, and you should check it out!

If you don’t know this already, I’ll tell you now: I kinda love makeup. Okay, not just kinda love it, I straight up do. I spend a lot of money on beauty products, and I’m not ashamed to admit that. And it always interests me to hear what others beauty routines are. Well Hello Giggles read my mind and posted this fun look into one of their contributor’s makeup life.

I’ve been hearing about Francesca Zappia’s Eliza and Her Monsters for a while. But it wasn’t until I read Nicole’s (from Nicole’s Novel Reads) wonderful review that I realized that I needed this book in my life.

I haven’t read any of Melina Marchetta’s books. And honestly, that’s a problem I think I need to solve! Looking For Alibrandi has been on my reading list for some time now. And after reading an article about its importance has confirmed my needing to read this book soon!

Just a fun quiz to tell you which character in Too Kill A Mockingbird you’d be based on how you would organize your bookshelves and what books you’ve read. If you’re curious I got Atticus Finch.

I stumbled upon some interesting (and vivid) study guides for classic pieces of literature on Pinterst. Here’s the guide for one of my all time faves!

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Book Dads

(Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke & The Bookish. The above image was taken and created by me for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

Today’s topic is all about the dads! But I’m going to add a bit of a twist. I’m going to list a few of my fave book dads first, and some of my least fave dads.

The Good:

The Hate U Give Ι Angie Thomas

I personally loved Star’s dad. He was definitely tough, through and through, but he loved his family unconditionally.

Wild Swans Ι Jessica Spotswood

Okay, so this isn’t about a dad, but rather a granddad. While Ivy’s granddad was tough on her, he did love her. He was there for her when her parents weren’t. And even though it was hard to see, he supported Ivy whole-heartedly.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before Ι Jenny Han

Lara Jean’s father is awesome! It’s been a long time since I’ve read this book, but the one thing I really remember is how much I liked him. He was simply a good dad, one who loved his girls to the moon and back. I also loved the relationship between him and his daughters.

The Not So Good:

I Hunt Killers Ι Barry Lyga

Jasper Dent’s father is a convicted serial killer.  But even though he wasn’t a great dad, he does manage to teach Jasper more than the family business. He teaches Jasper about who he is and who he wants to be.

All in Pieces Ι Suzanne Young

I read young’s book in one sitting late one night while I couldn’t sleep. It was a gripping novel with a main character, Savvy, that I truly loved and sympathized for. But one character I didn’t like was her father. He was just … mean.

The Serpent King Ι Jeff Zentner

Dill’s dad is just … crazy. Enough said.

(All the cover images from Goodreads)

Middle Grade Monday: A Road Trip Themed Booklist

Middle

Hello Readers!

I’ve posted booklists here on the blog before, but it’s dawned on me that I haven’t created and/or posted a themed booklist for middle grade books. So, for today’s Middle Grade Monday post I’m sharing with you a booklist I put together, with one of my favorite themes: road trips!

So without further adieu …

Popularity Papers: The Rocky Road Trip by Amy Ignatow

It’s summertime, and Julie and Lydia are going on a road trip! After all the ups and downs of their first year in junior high, they’re looking forward to seeing the sights and getting some new perspective on their quest for popularity. Papa Dad and Daddy will provide the transportation, and they’ll provide the entertainment.

At first Julie and Lydia use their Powers of Observation to catalog the traditions and oddities of each new location they visit, but soon their attention turns to parents and family and negotiating sensitive family dynamics. By the time the duo hits familiar streets again, they may have to accept some uncomfortable truths, but their journey is infused with the humor, heart, and truthfulness that Amy Ignatow is known for.”

Road Trip by Jim Paulsen

Dad and Ben haven’t been getting along recently and Dad hopes a road trip to rescue a border collie will help them reconnect. But Ben is on to Dad’s plan and invites  Ben’s thuggish buddy, Theo. The family dog, Atticus, comes along too and the story is told by Ben and Atticus. When their truck breaks down, they commandeer an old school bus, along with its mechanic, Gus. Next, they pick up Mia, a waitress escaping a tense situation. Only sharp-eyed Atticus realizes that Theo is on the run—and someone is following them.

Barfing in the Backseat: How I Survived My Family Road Trip by Henry Winkler

Hank’s dad has decided to enter a crossword-puzzle tournament, and he wants to make a family road trip of it! So the family piles into the car along with Frankie and Katherine the iguana (Hank and Emily each get to bring a friend). When they reach their destination, they’ll get to spend the day at a roller-coaster park during Hank’s dad’s tournament! The only caveat is that Hank has a homework packet to finish before they get there . . . which he somehow manages to lose at a stop along the way. Suddenly, Hank doesn’t feel so good . . . Can Hank and Frankie rescue the lost packet and get Hank on a roller coaster?”

From Texas With Love by Dan Gutman

The wackiest road trip in history continues in book four of the New York Times bestselling Genius Files series, following twins Coke and Pepsi as they dodge villains and visit weird-but-true landmarks from Texas all the way to Roswell, New Mexico! With the real-kid humor that has earned him millions of readers around the world, and featuring all new weird-but-true locations around America, this fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Genius Files series is absolutely batty!

After their explosive escape at Graceland, twins Coke and Pepsi are ready to resume their trip across America—only now in a convertible instead of the RV. They travel through Arkansas and Oklahoma, visiting weird-but-true tourist stops along the way, and finally end up in Texas, home of the Weird Capital of the Country, Austin. The twins’ many enemies—the bowler dudes, Mrs. Higgins, and Dr. Warsaw—all swear that they’re done chasing Coke and Pepsi for good. But when the twins start receiving more codes and ciphers from a mysterious robotic voice, they know someone‘s after them. They just have to figure out who before the mystery villain finds them first.”

See You In The Cosmos by Jack Cheng

11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

Drive Me Crazy by Terra Elan McVoy

Buckle up…

Lana and Cassie have met only once before, at the wedding of Lana’s Grandpa Howe and Cassie’s Grandma Tess two months ago. They didn’t exactly hit it off—in fact, depending on who you ask, that first meeting was either an embarrassment or a disaster—but they’re about to spend an entire week together, just the two of them and their honeymooning grandparents, road-tripping in Cassie’s grandmother’s Subaru.

Lana thinks a summer road trip sounds like fun, but the backseat is a crowded place for two tween girls with two huge secrets to hide, and this bumpy road to friendship is full of unexpected twists and turns. Like it or not, they’re in this together, full speed ahead on the adventure of a lifetime. ”

Sway by Amber McRee Turner

In this funny, moving novel, ten-year-old Cass takes a roadtrip with her dull-as-dirt dad, only to learn that he has a few surprises up his sleeve, including the power of Sway, a family secret that just might be magical.

The Someday Birds by Sally J. Pla

Charlie wishes his life could be as predictable and simple as chicken nuggets.

And it usually is. He has his clean room, his carefully organized bird books and art supplies, his favorite foods, and comfortable routines.

But life has been unraveling since his war journalist father was injured in Afghanistan. And when Dad gets sent across country for medical treatment, Charlie must reluctantly travel to meet him. With his boy-crazy sister, unruly twin brothers, and a mysterious new family friend at the wheel, the journey looks anything but smooth.

So Charlie decides to try and spot all the birds that he and his dad had been hoping to see together in the wild. If he can complete the Someday Birds list for Dad, then maybe, just maybe, things will turn out okay…

Equal parts madcap road trip, coming-of-age story for an unusual boy, and portrait of a family overcoming a crisis.”

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney

A family road trip is supposed to be a lot of fun . . . unless, of course, you’re the Heffleys. The journey starts off full of promise, then quickly takes several wrong turns. Gas station bathrooms, crazed seagulls, a fender bender, and a runaway pig—not exactly Greg Heffley’s idea of a good time. But even the worst road trip can turn into an adventure—and this is one the Heffleys won’t soon forget.

Zip by Ellie Rollins

A girl discovers adventure at every highway turn in this effervescent debut that’s Savvy meets Little Miss Sunshine

After Lyssa’s mother dies, her kind but clueless new stepfather moves with her to the suburbs of Seattle in the hopes of making a fresh start. But Lyssa feels lost and adrift in the rainy Northwest without her mom. And when she finds out that her old house in Texas is about to be bulldozed, something snaps inside her. Fiercely determined, Lyssa climbs onto her scooter and sets off cross-country to save her home.”

If you would like to participate in this #middlegrademonday, please share you middle grade, road trip themed book on Twitter, using the above hashtag!

(All summaries from GoodReads)

Splash Into Summer Giveaway (#1)

Hello Readers!

Today I have something special in store for you. If you couldn’t guess, it’s a giveaway! And not just any giveaway, the first giveaway in a series of four that I will be hosting within the next few weeks.

I’m not going to waste any time here, I’m just going to jump right into it.

The Prize:

The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic Sampler Prize Pack.

This prize pack includes:

  • A (advanced) sampler of Leigh Bardugo’s The Language of Thorns: Midnight Tales and Dangerous Magic
  • A set of four nail polishes that match the cover and the text color of The Language of Thorns sampler
  • An Owlcrate tote bag.

The fine print:

This giveaway is open to readers eighteen (18) years old and older, living in the United States only. It will run from today June 10th until 11:59 pm on June 16th. Winner will be notified via e-mail on June 17th, and will have forty-eight (48) hours to respond to e-mail with valid shipping address. If response is not received within that time frame, a new winner will be selected.

I’m hosting this giveaway through Rafflecopter, so please follow the prompts to enter.
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Good luck! And stay tuned for another giveaway soon!