Around the Web (#15)

Around the Web

Who’s ready for a new book by the one and only Maureen Johnson?! I know I am! So much so that I can barely wait. If you’re as impatient as I am, check out these first two chapters!

Famous writers weigh in on the books they are most thankful for.

I couldn’t make it to Yallfest this year, but I can live vicariously through these photos!

Build a playlist, and let this quiz tell you which road trip themed book you should read! (I created my own list and it said I should read Looking for Group by Rory Harrison, which is about “A brave, timely YA about two misfit teens—one in remission from cancer, one in the throes of discovering her gender identity—who embark on a cross-country road trip.”)

Calling all Stranger Things fans! (I still haven’t watched Season 2)

I’ve always wanted to do a 24 hour read-a-thon. But I fear I wouldn’t follow through and it just wouldn’t work for me.  If you are like me, check out this interesting article.

YA books to celebrate Native American Heritage Month.



Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books On My Winter TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday

Hello Readers!

In all honesty — I haven’t picked up a book to read in weeks. Seriously, weeks. I have no excuse as to why, I just haven’t. Maybe it’s because I’ve been super tired, maybe it’s because I’ve been preparing for my upcoming overseas adventure. Maybe it’s because I’m too lazy by the time I get home from work, so lazy that all I want to do is stare blankly at a television screen.

Whatever the reason, my winter TBR list has been piling up. But today, I’m here to tell you the top ten books I am truly hoping to get to this winter.

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo: I never in a million years thought that I would want to read this book. Seriously, I generally do NOT gravitate towards superhero themed books.  But since seeing Wonder Woman with bff Emma (aka Miss Print) I’ve been obsessed with all things Wonder Woman related.

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater : Even though I am wildly backed up on my Stiefvater reading, I’m excited to read All the Crooked Saints, so much so that I’ve bumped it up to the top of my ever growing Maggie Stiefvater pile.

The Possible by Tara Altebrando: Author Tara Altebrando does absolutely no wrong in my opinion. I’m looking forward to enjoying her latest.

Family by Micol Ostow: In light of recent event related to the family, it’s about time I read this book that has been on my to be read list since it came out!

Dread Nation by Justina Ireland: Honestly, this one just intrigues me. That’s more than enough of a reason to add it to my winter TBR list.

Warcross by Marie Lu: The more I think about this book, the more I really (really!) want to read it. I’m certain I’m going to enjoy it, even though it’s a book that generally does not scream “NICOLE!”

Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson: This has been on my radar for some time. Besides the plot, there seems to be something pulling me towards this book. I’m happy I purchased it, because it’s at the top of my TBR pile.

Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman: I don’t know a whole lot about this book. All I know is what Emma told me about it, and she said that it was a book that she thought I’d enjoy.  Emma knows me pretty well, and I completely trust her … so that it is why it’s on this list.

Swing It, Sunny by Jennifer L. Holm: I recently read Sunny Side Up by Holm, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I love her writing style, I love her brother Matthew Holm’s illustrations.

Akame ga Kill Vol. 10 & Vol. 11 by Takahiro: This is the first manga (series) that I picked up. And admittedly I picked it up because I liked the cover. But I read it, and I found that I was quickly engrossed in the story. So much so that I have actually read the first nine (9) volumes of it. I’m excited to continue on to with this series about a group of assassin’s trying to take down the government.

(All cover images from GoodReads)

Freebie Friday: The Guilty Reader Tag

Food For Thought, Freebie Fridays, Random

(The above image was created by me via Canva for the purpose of this post.)

Hello Readers!

As you already know I am an avid YouTube watcher. And while I love YouTube, admittedly I do not necessarily love some of the booktubers. Even so, I find myself watching many a haul, review, or tag video.

While scrolling through YouTube I came across a tag that caught my attention. And even though I am NOT a YouTuber/BookTuber  (and even though I haven’t been tagged) I decided to break the rules and participate.

Today, I’ve decided to take part in the Guilty Reader Tag!

The Guilty Reader Tag was originally created and posted by ReadLikeWildfire.

This tag asks all those questions that we as readers are all too embarrassed and/or guilty to answer. Myself included.

But today, I’m putting my embarrassment aside and will answer all the tag questions for you!

The Guilty  Reader Tag

  1. Have you ever re-gifted a book?  Technically … yes I have. But I didn’t give it as a gift, so I’m not sure it actually counts as re-gifting. People know I love to read, and know that I love books. So I can’t help that I get a lot of them as gifts. When I read them, some I love, and some I don’t. The ones I do, I keep obviously,  but what am I supposed to do with the books I don’t. I can’t bring myself to throw them out (I feel like it’s a waste of paper and money if I did such a thing), so I end up trying to find a good home (other than mine that is) for it. As of late, I’ve taken to given books that I no longer want (including books I’ve been given as a gift) to my younger cousin.
  2. Have you ever said you read a book when you haven’t? When I was in college and had very little time to read and an even more limited interest in reading the assigned book I totally said I read a book when I actually didn’t. I’m not proud of it, but I had to do what I had to do.
  3. Have you ever borrowed a book and not returned it? No, mainly because I generally don’t borrow books. But true story: my local public library accused me of not returning a book when I was little. They even sent a note stating that I would be put in a debt collection agency if I didn’t return said book.
  4. Have you ever read a series out-of-order? Why yes, I have. Even though I don’t necessarily love series (I tend to start them and never – ever – finish them) I can openly admit that I have read a series, well a part of a series at least, out-of-order. And that would be The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis.
  5. Have you ever spoiled a book for someone? Not that I can remember, and if I did it was never intentional.  I have, however, spoiled a book for myself.
  6. Have you ever dog-eared a book? Of course I have. At one point in time it was a habit, one that I broke a long time ago.
  7. Have you ever told someone you don’t own a book when you actually do? Sadly … yes. We all have guilty pleasures that we are sometimes embarrassed to admit.  A long, long time ago Nicole Richie release a book titled The Truth About Diamonds. It was not a book I would typically gravitate towards, but I like Nicole Richie. I read it, and I even owned it for a very long time. But if anyone had ever asked me if I had owned it, I totally said I didn’t. Lesson learned: never be ashamed of what you read!
  8. Have you ever skipped a chapter or a section of a book? No … I don’t skim either. Mainly because I’m just no good at it. And if I skim or skip I end up being confused about what is going on within the story.
  9. Have you ever bad mouthed a book you actually liked? I haven’t bad mouthed, but I have downplayed my love for a particular book … or books.

So there you have it folks! There are all the things I’m totally guilty of!

If you want to check out ReadLikeWildfire’s original video, check it out here. If you want to partake in the tag, I encourage you to – no matter if you are a BookTuber or not.

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Want My Future Kids To Read

Top Ten Tuesday

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

Hello Readers!

Today I’m going to be talking about the books I would want my future kids to read. I approached this Top Ten Tuesday topic a bit differently than I normally do. This time, I thought about each book and about which stage of life my future kid(s) would read. Than after that, I thought about the books and why they mean so much to me — so much so that I would want to pass these reading memories down to them.

With that said, the first three books I’d want my future kids to read, are picture books that I absolutely adore. In fact, one of these books, is my answer to the what is your favorite book?

For Early Readers

Whistle For Willie by Ezra Jack Keats

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

All three of these books have shaped me and my love of reading in some way, shape, or form.

Whistle for Willie by Ezra Jack Keats has always stood out to me. Not only because it features a very cute weenie dog (which I just happen to love, and have loved since I was little obviously), but because it features Peter, a young boy who cannot whistle. Like Peter I share that trait. But more than that I loved how Peter kept trying. As a child, I was told by many a family member to try and to never give up.

The Heart and the Bottle by Oliver Jeffers is a modern classic. Oliver Jeffers and his body of work has been a big inspiration for me  as an adult. This book will forever hold a special place in my  book-loving heart. It was the first Oliver Jeffers book I picked up. It’s just a beautiful story and it constantly inspires me to push myself, to work towards my ultimate goal of becoming an author one day.

Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak showed me from a very early age the importance of an imagination. Life just isn’t fun without one. I loved how this book inadvertently talks about feels and emotions, and how child express those feelings and emotions.  Beyond that, I love how, to me, this book explores how children start to understand those complex feelings and emotions.

For Middle Grade Readers

Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland & Through The Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll

The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

I remember the first time I saw Alice in Wonderland for the very first time. I was mesmerized. After watching it, I soon after read it, and became even more enamored with the trippy book about a young girl who falls down a rabbit hole to end up in this crazy, alternate world.  I loved how this book transported me. It made me realize that books can do that – they can take me to new places I couldn’t even dare dream right from the comforts of my own home.

The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy – ever since I was little I’ve been fascinated with witches. That fascination was fueled by my love of learning as much as I could possibly learn about the Salem Witch Trials from a very early age, and my love of a television show than many people do not know of or do not remember: The Worst Witch. It was about a young witch, Mildred, who is really bad at being a witch – she’s clumsy, accident prone, and can’t seem to cast a basic spell. But she has heart, and she’s determined. I read these books much later but feel that they make, not only great reads, but great read-alikes to Harry Potter (but for a young set).

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis is another book that showed me that books can truly transport a reader to a different world. I liked how it was fantastical, yet super realistic. And I have always loved how it focuses on almost every child’s dream: to be royalty of a fantastical land!

For Teens

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keys

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

All three of these books I read during my freshman year of high school. All three are special to me, because I read them in a Literature class taught by a teacher I adored. This teacher was awesome! He believed in his students, even when they didn’t necessarily believe in themselves. He challenged us to think outside of the box, to challenge and stand up for whatever it was we were passionate about. He dared us to read everything and anything. Admittedly at this point, I wasn’t much a reader. I read because I had to (for school), not because I wanted to. Through reading these books in this Lit Class I understood how great reading was, how rewarding it could be, and how it could life changing.

For Adults

Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Suzanne

Geek Love by Katherine Dunn

Valley of the Dolls I read simply because I wanted to see why this book was considered the ultimate “trash” novel.  I thought the book was a great read. I didn’t find it trashy in the least. Then again, I read it many, many years after its original publication date (1966).  I found the book to be smart, raw and honest, and a portrait of a very specific time and the people who lived during that time. In many ways, this book was a study of the 1960s.


Geek Love by Katherine Dunn was a book my best friend said to me “YOU HAVE TO READ THIS!” It’s rare that she says this to me. Why? Because we are vastly different readers. But when she finds a book that she knows I’ll love, I listen to her.  And she was right! It’s about a family of circus sideshow performers … and if you know me, you know I need to say no more. I love the sideshow, and specifically in terms of this book, I love how it dissected family dynamics and how each member of a family plays a critical part to the unit as a whole.

(All book cover images from GoodReads)

Middle Grade Monday: The Bad Guys: Episode 1

Middle Grade Mondays, Reviews

(The above image was created by me via Canva for the purpose of this post.)

The Bad Guys: Episode 1 by Aaron Blabey

The Big Bad Wolf is sick … sick and tired of being big and bad. He doesn’t know how he or his fellow bad guys got this reputation, but he does know that he needs a plan.

Aha! He’s got it! He’s going to recruit some of his closest, baddest friends – snake, piranha, and shark and he’s going to start a gang. A good guys gang that is.

Together they will cruise town in a really cool car looking for trouble. And when trouble is found they will swoop in, save the day, and go down in history as the world’s greatest heroes.

There’s just one problem … no one will ever take these bad guys seriously? Or will they?

The Bad Guys, written by author Aaron Blabey, is a middle grade comedy that, even though is light on the plot, is heavy on the laughs.

Blabey’s writing is simple yet engaging. And what makes it so is that he doesn’t necessarily rely on words. And for young readers who are just diving into the great wide world of chapter books, that’s a great thing. Instead, he relies of comedic illustrations. These black and white illustrations are outstanding. They are full of life and emotion. They add an extra level of funny to this already funny book.

Beyond the illustrations, as a reader, I personally enjoyed the characters as a whole. Each character has a personality of their own – wolf is over enthusiastic and is a real hugger, snake is anxious to eat anything and everything, ferocious piranha has gas when he’s nervous, and shark … well he’s just a shark. Because the bad guys are so varied, young readers will easily find their favorite.

The Bad Guys: Episode 1 is just the first in a projected series. While this wasn’t my favorite middle grade read, I feel that this is a great book for young readers. They will love the superhero story that is at this books core, they will laugh – loudly – at the comedic elements, and they will look forward to each new episode.

(The cover image is from GoodReads)

Stacking the Shelves

Stacking The Shelves


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

Books Bought:

The First Rule of Punk by Celia C Perez

Mary McScary by R.L. Stine

Wonder Woman: Warbringer by Leigh Bardugo

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Allegedly by Tiffany Jackson

Books PreOrdered:

Meet Cute by Various Authors

Batman: Nightwalker by Marie Lu

Amerian Panday by Gloria Chao

Advanced Copies Received:

Ink by Alice Broadway

R.I.P. Eliza Hart by Alyssa Sheinmel

Dread Nation by Justine Ireland (Thanks for Emma/Miss Print for this one!)

Smart Cookie by Elly Swartz

Manga Bought:

The Girl From the Other Side Vol. 1 & 2 by Nagabe

Taboo Tattoo Vol. 1 by Shinjirou

Alice 19th Yuu Watase

Alice in Murderland by Kaori Yuki

I Am Alice: Bodyswap in Wonderland by Ayumi Kanou

Are You Alice? by Ai Ninomiya

(All book cover images from GoodReads)

Night Owls


Night Owls by Jen Bennett

Beatrix doesn’t have time. She doesn’t have time to hang out, she doesn’t have time to be an average teenager, and she especially doesn’t have time to fall in love.

The only thing she has time for is focusing on her goal: becoming a medical illustrator. Day in and day out she sketches, she draws, she hopes and prays that her request to study cadaver’s at the local university is approved, and she ensures that she is one step closer to winning that much-needed scholarship.

But while she is waiting for the night owl, the local bus home, she meets Jack – a mysterious stranger who soon turns Beatrix’s world upside down.

Through Jack Beatrix learns that art comes in many forms. She learns about life and love, subjects she thought she already knew so much about. But above all use, she learns all of Jack’s secrets – secrets that if exposed could put both Jack and herself in a lot of trouble.

Beatrix is head over heels falling for Jack, but is love worth the risk? Is he really worth putting her whole future on the line for?

Night Owls by Jen Bennett is a contemporary young adult novel, set against the vivid backdrop of San Francisco. Bennett has filled this novel with a whole lot of life, a whole lot of adventure, and most of all a whole lot of heart.

I really enjoyed the writing that filled this book. I found it extremely smart, descriptive, and utterly engaging. More than that, it’s inviting. Bennett doesn’t tell a story, she makes the readers feel as if they are a part of it. Reader’s will see the action, will feel all the emotions, and will connect with characters on different levels.

More than Bennett’s writing, I loved her cast of characters. Smart with main character Beatrix. Beatrix is vastly unique and interesting. She’s strong, and she’s full of qualities that set her apart from the many female leads in most young adult stories.

Then there’s Jack. He’s smooth and charming, but not overly so. Readers will recognize his flaws and faults, and will easily fall just as in love with him as Beatrix does. He’s smart, and I personally found him to be Beatrix’s equal in almost every sense. Through Jack readers will see that life is often difficult, and often messy. But it’s also beautiful, and full of adventures just waiting to be taken.

If these two characters aren’t enough to convince you to read this book, there is Beatrix’s family – her older brother and her hard-working mother. Even though they often didn’t see eye to eye, and they often bickered, they love and support each other one hundred percent. They family dynamic is rich and realistic.

Night Owls is a great book, and a quick read. I feel like there is a lot to offer to different readers. But even so, there is one aspect of this book, even though I expected, I didn’t necessarily love. And that is the insta-love aspect. From the moment Beatrix and Jack lay eyes on each other, as a reader, I just knew they were going to instantly fall in love. This is the one aspect I would say is unrealistic. But, admittedly, these moments of Insta-love, though cheesy were sweet.

I really enjoyed Night Owls, and after reading feel that it’s a book that a lot of readers will also appreciate as much as I did. It’s smart. It’s fun. And above all, it has a lot to offer.

(the cover image is from GoodReads)

Around the Web (#14)

Around the Web

(The above image was created by me for the purpose of this post via Canva.)

Thing you’d survive a post-apocalyptic world?! What role would you play?

Admittedly, I’m not the biggest Harry Potter fan, but even I can admit that this concept art is pretty beautiful.

THUG (go behind the scenes)

My in real life bff Emma (or maybe you know her as Miss Print) wrote this article/interview!!! And it’s awesome!

Great horror novels written by great women!

Read manga? Here are some new reads to add to your list.

Looking for diverse reads? This article has you covered!