Faith Taking Flight

Reviews

Title: Faith Taking Flight (Faith Herbert Origin Story 1)

Author: Julie Murphy

Format Read: Physical Book, ARC (Release Date:

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Summary:

Faith Herbert’s life is far from exciting. When she isn’t hanging out with her friends, she’s busy doing one of three things: watching her favorite television show The Grove, writing about The Grove for her fansite, or working at the local veterinary clinic.

The most exciting thing about her life right now – besides the fact that she can fly – is the upcoming fair. While she loves the fair for what it is – the rides and the food – she’s exciting to have the chance to find a forever home for some of her favorite orphaned animals.  

Not only does she manage to find a home for one of her most favorite dogs, but she manages to find him a home with Dakota Ash, who just so happens to be the star of The Grove. And Faith’s celebrity crush.

From the moment Faith meets Dakota she’s immediately taken with her. But surprisingly, Dakota also seems interested too. In her, Faith Herbert. 

But something strange is happening in Faith’s small town. Something that coincidentally started when Dakota came to town. When her and the rest of The Grove crew showed up, many animals and people go missing. 

Faith may be able to fly, but will she possess enough super powers for figure out this mystery?

What Didn’t Work:

Faith Taking Flight was a book that I wanted to read mainly because Julie Murphy wrote it. And truth be told, her books are near perfection for me. And this, her upcoming book, was not surprisingly, near perfection. 

But there was one aspect that I struggled with while reading. Even though, in the end I truly loved this book, I found that there was a lot of build up to the action, and that build up was a bit slow paced. Once things got going though, they were off with a bang. 

What Did Work:

There was a lot that I loved about this book. So much so that I feel like I could easily gush. First and foremost, I loved author Julie Murphy’s writing. While the build up was slower than I would have preferred, the writing itself was strong. More than that, it was descriptive. I had no problem “seeing” the story unfold. Faith Taking Flight is a multilayered story. To say the least there’s a lot going on. But each plotline is thorough, and they all flow seamlessly into on story. Murphy truly is a master of her craft.  

Then there were the characters. I loved them. Each character was well crafted. They were diverse and realistic – had passions and flaws – that made them easy to relate to. And above all else they were strong – the kind of characters that you just know are going to come out on top, even when the tension gets so high it’s hard to see past it. 

Faith seriously is a superhero. Not because she possesses some a really cool super power, but because of her ability to love – love her family and her friends, her favorite television show, the animals she takes care of at her job. She’s the kind of character that readers will easily root for and will easily look up to. 

And still, I loved how different this book felt from Murphy’s other books. I felt it truly showed her range and her talent.

Recommendation:

I couldn’t recommend this book enough. If you are a fan of Julie Murphy, it’s a must. If you are a fan of superhero stories, it’s a must. If you just love a really great book, it’s a must.

Similar Books to Read After:

  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
  • We Are the Wildcats by Siobhan Vivian
  • I Am Princess X by Cherie Priest

(Book cover image from GoodReads)

Around the Web: May 20th Edition

Around the Web

The above image was created on Canva for the purpose of this post.

Did you hear? Rick Riordan has a new book coming out!

While you’re self isolating, have you watched any author events? Any author readings? 

“You can always count on me, and I can count on you!” More Baby-Sitters Club news!

You guys … Holly Black has a new book coming out!

Welcome Back Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor!

I’m excited to read What About Bob by Katherine Applegate, are you?

 

 

What I’ve …

Food For Thought, Freebie Fridays, Random

The above image was created on Canva for the purpose of this post.

Hello Readers!

I’m continuing on with my What I’ve series. What I’ve is a post where I share with all of you what I’ve read, watched, and listened to. This week, I’m sharing with you, what I’ve read, watched, and listened to during the month of February.

What I’ve … Read:

During the month of February I read a lot! I read a total of 20 books. These were a mix of picture books, middle grade books, and YA books.

The picture books I read were:

  • Little Owl’s Day by Divya Srinivasan
  • Spunky Little Monkey by Brian Won
  • Click Clack Moo I Love You by Doreen Cronin
  • Foxy In Love by Emma Dodd
  • Naptasrophe by Jarrett J Krosczka
  • Dinosaur Rocket by Penny Dale
  • Owl Sees Owl by Laura Godwin & Rob Dunlavey
  • Love and Kisses by Sarah Wilson

  • Don’t Call Me Bear by Aaron Blabey
  • Little Panda by Julie Abery
  • Biscuit Visits the Petting Zoo by Alyssa Satin Capucilli
  • Look! by Robie H. Harris
  • Elephants Can’t Jump by Jeanne WILLIS
  • No More Naps by Chris Grabenstein
  • Dinosnores by Sandra Boynton
  • Quiet by Tomie DePaola
  • Pignic by Matt Phelan

The middle grade books I read were:

  • Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
  • City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab
  • Tunnel of Bones by Victorial Schwab

The young adult books I read were:

  • The King of Crows by Libba Bray
  • Belles by Jen Calonita
  • Winter White by Jen Calonita
  • The Grass is Always Greener by Jen Calonita
  • Gem & Dixie by Sara Zarr

What I’ve … Watched:

On Netflix, I watched:

  • P.S. I Still Love You
  • The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Season 3

On Disney+, I watched: 

Random episodes of Chip & Dale’s Rescue Rangers, Gummi Bears

On YouTube, I watched:

What I’ve … Listened To:

Besides some audiobooks, I’ve been listening to my Disney playlist on Spotify.

I also listened to some (new to me) K-Pop at work.

The Mall

Reviews

Title: The Mall

Author: Megan McCafferty

Format Read: Ebook, advanced copy (Release Date: July 28, 2020)

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Summary:

After suffering from a terrible case of mono, Cassie is ready! She’s ready to spend the summer with boyfriend Troy. She’s ready to start working at the local mall.

But what she isn’t ready for is finding out that Troy has been cheating on her, nor for the imminent break up that follow. And she definitely isn’t ready to work alongside Troy either.

Forced to find a new job, and come up with a new plan, Cassie takes to the mall. And while she does find a new job at a clothes boutique, what she doesn’t expect to find is a new friend and a surprising adventure.

Through her new job, Cassie not only rekindles her friendship with former best friend Drea, but together they set out to find treasure that has been buried somewhere in the mall.

Will finding the treasure solve all of Cassie’s problems? Or will it cause more problems that she isn’t ready to deal with?

What Didn’t Work:

There was a lot that worked for me. The only flaw, if you would consider it a flaw, is Cassie’s boyfriend, Troy. He was a read dud. I didn’t like him as a character, but then again I don’t think you were supposed to like him.

In regards to Troy, I also didn’t love how he was the catalyst for Cassie’s change and growth. Yes, I thought it was great that she found herself, and grew into the person she wanted to be, but I wanted her to do this because she wanted to, not because of a guy.

What Did Work:

Megan McCafferty’s upcoming book, The Mall, is a really fun read. Especially if you are like me, and are from New Jersey.

McCafferty’s writing is strong, but possesses a real ease. As a reader I was quickly engaged in the story, and invested in the character outcomes. And for me, that says something. Most books I read take a while for me to sink into.

I loved (mostly) all of the characters. But my favorite was main character Cassie. Cassie was a strong character — stronger than she realized. She’s smart, motivated, and honestly flawed. I personally appreciate a flawed character mainly because I find that they are easy to relate to.

Another aspect of Cassie that I loved (even though I didn’t love the catalyst for this) was how much she grew and changed throughout the book.She truly found herself.

Drea was another character that I really liked. Not only was she the embodiment of NJ teens in the 90s, but she was full of surprises. At first, she comes off as superficial, but as the book progresses you find that she is a layered character who added a whole lot of fun, to the book and to Cassie’s life.

For me, the main appeal of The Mall for me, was the entire premise of the book. It was an ode to both 90s and New Jersey mall culture. I grew up in the 90s in NJ, so it was really fun to reminisce about hair schrunchies, and buying cassette tapes at the local Sam Goody store.

Recommendation:

Yes!!! This was a fun, quick read that I think will appeal to a lot of readers.

Similar Books to Read After:

  • Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
  • Tithe by Holly Black
  • Ms. Marvel, Vol.1 by G. Willow Wilson

(Book cover image from GoodReads)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Did Not Finish

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The image image was created on Canva for the purpose of this post.

Hello Readers!

A long time ago I would read every book I picked up. It didn’t matter if I loved it or if I hated it, I read it from start to finish. And then it dawned on me … why am I wasting time on a book I really don’t like? Why would I continue to read a book that isn’t bringing me joy? Once I realized those things I started walking away from the books that I started reading but wasn’t loving.

Today, I am sharing the top ten books that I have marked off as “DNF”. Those books are …

  • Stick Cat: A Tale of Two Kitties by Tom Watson
  • The Girl Who Owned a City by O.T. Nelson
  • The Cavendish Home For Boys and Girls by Claire Legrand
  • Lust by Robin Wasserman
  • Witch-Hunt by Marc Aronson

  • Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan
  • Modelland by Tyra Banks
  • Cherry Money Baby by John M. Cusick
  • Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
  • A Spark Unseen by Sharon Cameron

Do you have any books on your DNF list? Please share in the comments.

(Book cover images from GoodReads)

Freebie Friday: It’s Giveaway Time!

Contests, Freebie Fridays, Reviews


The above image was created on Canva for the purpose of this post.

Hello Dear Readers,

And happy Friday! Since I was on a hiatus for some time, I wanted to celebrate my blogging comeback with a giveaway for all of you.

So let’s jump right in!

What’s up for grabs?

The BookBandit Blog will be giving away a Leigh Bardugo prize pack containing:

  • A hardcover copy of Ninth House
  • A paperback, chapter sampler of The Language of Thorns with an accompanying Mermaid button
  • A Briarwick candle in the scent of Go Away, I’m Reading (orange scones and cinnamon buns scent)
  • And a Tor Teen Flaunt Your Fandom tote bag

How to Enter:

This giveaway is open to U.S. residents, 13 years old and older. To enter, leave a comment on THIS post telling me what the last book you read and loved was.

One winner will be selected via random number generator, and will be notified via email. If a response is NOT received within 48 hours, a new winner will be selected and notified.

This giveaway is open until 11:59 pm on May 15th. Anyone who comments after that date/time will be disqualified.

Please note that I received this copy of Ninth House at a library conference. The Briarwick candle was purchased on Etsy by me for the sole purpose of this giveaway.

Good Luck!

 

Belles by Jen Calonita

Reviews

Title: Belles

Author: Jen Calonita

Format Read: Audiobook

Rating: 4 Stars

Summary:

Isabelle “Izzie” Scott’s life is far from perfect. Bit it’s her life, and she loves it. She loves living in Harborside where she’s minutes away from her beloved ocean and community center. She loves living with Grams in their old house. She loves her friends, the ones who are more like family rather than friends.

But life is getting tougher and tougher each day. Money is tight. Grams is forgetting more and more. And with  forgotten memory, most of the adult responsibilities fall to Izzie.

While things aren’t great, they’re fine. That is, until Izzie finds out that Grams is going to live in a nursing home and she is going to live with some long lost uncle.

With a new family comes new challenges. Challenges Izzie can handle, it’s the newfound enemies that may destroy her. Will Izzie survive her new life?

What Didn’t Work:

There was a whole lot that I really enjoyed about Belles by Jen Calonita. But there was one very minor detail that bothered me. While I feel that author Calonita excelled at crafting this story, there were moments of predictability. There were quite a few twists that I saw coming a mile away. Even though there were predictabilities, I feel that they didn’t detract from the book.

What Did Work:

Going into this book, I was a blank canvas. I had no expectations. But I quickly found that I was immediately engaged and immediately invested in the going ons of the book.

Calonita’s well crafted story was also relatable. And her writing is rock solid. But where she really excels is in her characters and her her dialog.

What made her characters so great is that they are realistic. As are their problems. Each character has a personality all of his or her own. Some readers will easily click with, and others readers will clash with — just like you would find in the real world.

Belles is a rags to riches story. But instead of focusing on the parts where where the character thrives in his/her new environment, Belles focuses on the struggles, and the drama of it all.

I read the audiobook edition of Belles. I personally love it, and loved narrator Julia Whalen. I feel that her narration added an additional layer of personality to this story. Her tone and inflections were on point, and best of all, was her subtle Southern charm and twang.

Recommendation:

In all honesty, I picked this up on a whim. I based my decision to read this one based on the narrator. And I am really glad I did. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. So, yes! I would recommend it to you, dear readers.

Similar Books to Read After: 

  • Royals by Rachel Hawkins
  • People Like Us by Dana Mele

(Book cover image from GoodReads)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Bookish Items I’d Have At A Bookish Party

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The above image was created on Canva for the purpose of this post.

Hello Readers!

Not only do I consider myself a reader, but I also consider myself to be an introvert. That means, parties generally aren’t my scene. But if it was a party I was planning – specifically a bookish party – that’s a different story.

If I were throwing a bookish party, these are the top ten bookish items I would have at my party:

Food:

I wouldn’t serve a sit down meal, instead I would serve some bookish themed snacks, like:

Cheesy Broomsticks (Harry Potter)

Peeta’s (Burnt) Nut and Raisin Bread (The Hunger Games)

Green (Deviled) Eggs & Ham  (Green Eggs and Ham)

Frobscottle Drink (The BFG)

Miss Maudie’s Lane Cake (To Kill A Mockingbird)

There would also be party games and activities, like:

Pride & Prejudice – The Game

Make Your Own Book Page Bookmark 

Book Title Charades

There would also be tons of bookish decorations, like:

A Book Page Table Runner

A Bookish Wreath to Welcome Everyone

As an added bonus, I’d give all my guests a book themed tote bag and fill it with a book, a chocolate frog, and a book themed/scented candle to cozy up with.

This bookish party sound great to me! Makes me really want to throw one!

What bookish items would be at your bookish party, dear readers? Please share in the comments below!