Squish: Super Amoeba

Squish: Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm & Matthew Holm

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Squish is like any other amoeba. He likes to eat tacos and hanging out with his friends Pod and Peggy. And when he isn’t eating tacos and hanging out with his friends, he has his head stuck in the pages of his favorite comic book, Super Amoeba.

Through Super Amoeba, Squish hopes that one day he can be like his favorite superhero – brave and courageous. But Squish is only a small amoeba, and he doesn’t believe that he could actually be a superhero. But when the big, bad bully Lynwood threatens to eat his friend Peggy, Squish needs to do something?

But what? Will little amoeba Squish be able to put aside his fear and save Peggy?

Squish: Super Amoeba is an action-packed graphic novel that is written and illustrated by Jennifer L and Matthew Holm.

The writing that fills the pages of this graphic novel is simple yet strong. It will excited and engage readers of all ages. And while the flashy images easily draw readers into this story, don’t let them fool you – both stand independently and both tell a great story.

The illustrations are drawn to perfection in shades of black, white, green, and yellow. The colors are eye-catching, making these already great illustrations stand out.

I loved Squish as a character. I love that he is easy to relate to. So much so that young readers will easily see themselves hidden within this big-hearted amoeba. Squish is smart, he’s thoughtful, and has the makings of a superhero. Through him, readers who pick up this book will learn what the word courageous truly means.

As an adult I wish books like this existed when I was a kid. Not just because it was a great read, but because it was seriously laugh out loud funny. Besides that, it’s full of cool science facts that will both amaze and gross out many a reader.

There’s a lot to love about Squish. This is only his first adventure, and I personally am so happy that there is a whole series to read and to love.

(Cover image from GoodReads)

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books I Wish Were Around When I Was in High School

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

Hello Readers!

Admittedly, I didn’t read a whole lot – for pleasure that is – while in high school. I basically read what I had to read. As an avid reader now, it always surprises people to find that I wasn’t always the reader I am now. I attribute that to the fact that there simply weren’t a ton of books that I actually wanted to read back in the late nineties.

What I did read were books like Fear Street, a few books by Poppy Z. Bright (my fave was a biography about Courtney Love), and whatever was assigned to me for school. Being the avid reader I am now, I truly wish there were books I read and love now around back them.

Specifically I wish these books were around:

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Wild Swans Ι Jessica Spotswood

Dreamland Social Club Ι Tara Altebrando

Dumplin’ Ι Julie Murphy

Since You’ve Been Gone Ι Morgan Matson

We Were Liars Ι E. Lockhart

Eleanor & Park Ι Rainbow Rowell

If I Stay Ι Gayle Forman

The Perks of Being a Wallflower Ι Stephen Chbosky

Shine Ι Lauren Myracle

Wintergirls Ι Laurie Halse Anderson

The books on this list are on here for one reason or another. Some are on here because I feel that, after reading, as much as I appreciate them now, I would have appreciated them even more as a teen because they would have shown me that things and people aren’t always what they seem to be, they would have helped me understand that you won’t always be who you were in high school. And still there are some books on this list that were just so good I just had to include them, because high school Nicole would love them just as much as now adult Nicole does.

What books do you wish were around when you were in high school readers?

Missing In Action

Hello Readers!

I know it seems that I’ve been missing in action lately, but I promise you I’ve been around. I’ve just been busy. With what? Well …. a lot actually.

In my real life (as opposed to my blog life I guess), I’ve taken on a new position that allows me to focus on children’s/youth librarianship. Because of that, I’ve been familiarizing myself with children’s books. Not so much picture books, because I feel like I have a great love, appreciation, and understanding of those, but more so middle grade books.

I’ve read some middle grade books, obviously. But I haven’t read widely. Now that I’m focusing more on youth services, I feel my lack of knowledge is a weakness. And I need and want to remedy that.

In preparation for a school visit, I asked my friend/colleague to suggest a few titles to me. We walked through the shelves at our library and I came out with a stack (literally!) of books. These are some of the books I read (and for fun, my thoughts on them):

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate – I don’t know what took me so long to read this one. But I finally read it, and I really loved it. I loved it for several reasons. One, I think I like books about monkeys. Two, it was a really deep and touching story. Three, I loved how this story, though fiction, was based on of real life events and that it’s a learning experience in a way for the reader. But as much as I loved it, I was also saddened by it, because of Ivan’s situation.

Jedi Academy by Jeffrey Brown – now if you know me you already know that I am NOT a Star Wars fan. I remember watching the original movies as a kid, and enjoying them for what they were, but not loving them. I know these books are popular with the kiddies so I decided to give it a whirl. And surprisingly, I REALLY liked it. So much so that I am actually considering reading the other books in this series just because. I liked that this book was a mix of text and comic style graphics. Besides that, I just really liked the story. I especially loved main character Roan.

Creepover: There’s Something Out There by P.J. Night – this book had NICOLE written all over it. To say the least, I LOVED it! This is a book about a group of girls who get together and tell creepy stories, and the repercussions of these creepy stories. This particular story focuses on a (made up) local legend of the Marked Monster, which reminded me of the Jersey Devil. I love that it reminded me of my fave local legend. I also loved that it had just the right amount of creepiness to give a kid the a case of the chills.

Diary of a Minecraft Zombie: A Scare of a Dare by Zack Zombie – This book was … interesting. It was a mash up of Minecraft (which I have absolutely no understanding of) and Diary of  a Wimpy Kid (which I love). It’s basically about a Minecraft zombie’s life. It wasn’t my favorite, but I can totally see the appeal. Maybe if I did like/understand Minecraft I would have liked this one more.

Squish: Super Amoeba by Jennifer L. Holm – I loved, loved, LOVED this book so much! I loved that it was fun comic that easily taught kids cool science things (I learned a lot from it myself, and I’m way older than the intended audience). Besides the cool science-y things, I loved that he wasn’t the traditional superhero. That he’s a good amoeba who isn’t afraid to do what’s right. And still, that he loves tacos, because who doesn’t love tacos!?

Owl Diaries: A Woodland Wedding by Rebecca Elliott – this is a book about an owl named Eva. Obviously I loved it because a) it’s about an owl named Eva and b) she’s super cute! And smart! And stylish! What more could I want from a book!

Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatues by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater – This book has been sitting on my self since it came out, and I just now got around it. And I’m glad I did! The writing is sharp, Pip is a great leading lady (she’s smart, brave, and unafraid to be herself no matter what), and it’s chock full of cool magical creatures like unicorns and fuzzles! (If you don’t know what a fuzzle is, you’ll just have to read the book). And I’ve read it via audiobook and the reader is really great!

So you see, I’ve been reading a whole lot! I’ve read all of those books within a week! Crazy, right?

In non-middle grade books I’ve also read A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness and The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Full reviews of both of these books are coming, but for now I will say this: WOW! And that wow! goes for both books for different reasons.

I’ve been busy reading, but I’ve also been busy cooking up features and future blog posts for this, and my new makeup/beauty-centric blog. I’ve been writing book and product reviews, I’ve been brainstorming new posts and features for both blogs.  (I won’t spoil anything, but a new feature is coming your way next week! And it’s a feature that I think you are really going to LOVE!).

So that’s it! That’s what I’ve been up to lately. That’s why I’ve been missing in action lately.

What have you been up to lately readers?! What books are you currently reading and loving and or hating? And do you read middle grade? If so, I’m taking suggestions!

 

 

 

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie!

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

Hello Readers!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is a freebie! That means that I can post about ANYTHING I want. So today, I’m going to post about the top ten books I feel that I should have loved but sadly didn’t.

Love & Other Perishable Items Ι Laura Buzo

Proof of Forever Ι Lexa Hillyer

Shiver Ι Maggie Stiefvater

Don’t Call Me Baby Ι Gwendolyn Heasley

Story of a Girl Ι Sara Zarr

I’ll Give You the Sun Ι Jandy Nelson

Between Us and the Moon Ι  Rebecca Maizel

Two Boys Kissing Ι  David Levithan

As Me How I Got Here Ι  Christine Heppermann

Truth or Dare Ι  Jacqueline Green

So there you have it, dear readers! All the books that I read that I truly felt that I would love. But after reading found out that I truly didn’t for one reason or another. What are some books that you thought you’d love but simply didn’t?

Love and Other Perishable Items

Love and Other Perishable Items by Laura Buzo

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Fifteen year old Amelia’s life is pretty mundane. School is boring. Home is boring, especially since her old sister left for college. And it seems that the only exciting thing about her life is her Saturday night hangouts with her best friend.

That is until she takes an after school job at the local Woolworth’s, aka the Land of Dreams.

It may only be a boring store, but within a few days of working there, Amelia already know that the employees who fill the check out lanes are anything but boring. They all seem older and hipper, even the kids that are Amelia’s age. But of all her fellow employees, there’s one she likes best of all: Chris.

Chris is older, wiser, and way cooler than Amelia. She doesn’t necessarily understand why he seems to have taken an instant liking to her, but she doesn’t question it. Each night they talk about books, about movies, and about feminism. The more they talk the more Amelia starts to fall head over heels in love with Chris.

There’s just one problem. Chris is older than Amelia – six years older. Amelia can easily look past it, but can Chris?

Love and Other Perishable Items, written by author Laura Buzo, is a contemporary romance that will let readers experience the roller coaster ride that is first love.

Buzo’s writing is simple yet strong.  Her words engage readers. So much so that the readers will instantly be invested in, not just the characters, but the story as a whole.  What really stood out, writing wise, is Buzo’s dialog. The back and forth banter is authentically real. Amelia sounds like a fifteen year old, instead of sounding like an adult stuck in a teen’s body.  Beyond that, there’s an ebb and flow.

The dialog was a great aspect of Love and Other Perishable Items. But an even greater aspect is main character Amelia. She’s an unconventional character that is wise beyond her years, yet innocently naive. She’s guarded, yet vulnerable. She’s honestly flawed, and real.  Fifteen year old Nicole would have seen so much of herself within this character. Heck! Thirty-three year old Nicole (sometimes) sees herself within Amelia.

But as much as I loved Amelia, I truly could not stand her male counterpart Chris. Truth be told, I kind of hated him. I found him to be immature, pompous, and at times mean-spirited. I didn’t like how it felt as if Chris was leading Amelia on in some way.

Honestly, my hatred for this character brought down the book as a whole for me. And I know it shouldn’t have. But he was such a key aspect of the plot, I couldn’t look past it.

But Chris was not the only aspect of Love and Other Perishable Items that brought my reading experience down. This book is written from dual perspectives … and it didn’t work for me.  Both Amelia and Chris have the chance to share their unique perspectives  and feelings for the same situations. I found this to be a bit repetitive. And I found myself only really caring about Amelia’s perspective, while skimming over Chris’s perspective, because ultimately this felt like it was her story, and Chris was just a good looking, fancy talking intruder.

Buzo’s Love and Other Perishable Items as a whole, for me, was an okay book. Going into it I expected more and when I didn’t get what I wanted I was let down. Even though I didn’t love this book I will say this about it: it offers a lot to readers. It’s funny, it’s realistic, and it’s chock full of romance.  And if that’s what you’re looking for in a book, than this may be a book for you! Reader it! And I’d love to chat about it!

(Cover image from GoodReads)

Top Ten Tuesday: My Top Ten Books of 2016

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

Hello Readers!

Have you survived the holidays? I sure hope so. With only a few days left of 2016, I’m taking the time today to look back at all the books I’ve read.

Today I’m going to tell all about my top ten books of 2016!

(P.S. This list isn’t in any particular order – all were equally awesome!)

Everything, Everything Ι Nicola Yoon

Love & Gelato Ι Jenna Evans Welch

The May Queen Murders Ι Sarah Jude

Reunited Ι Hilary Weisman Graham

My Sister Rosa Ι  Justine Larbalestier

Wild Swans Ι  Jessica Spotswood

All in Pieces Ι  Suzanne Young

Ghosts Ι  Raina Telgemeier

27 Magic Words Ι Sharelle Byars Moranville

The Lovely Reckless Ι Kami Garcia

Baby It’s Cold Outside: Read-A-Thon Challenge Day 6

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

Hello Readers!

I know it’s seems like I fell off of the Read-A-Thon challenge bandwagon. I didn’t. I’m still here, still reading, and still going strong.

Yes, I missed the last two days of posting. On Tuesday I was supposed to post about my favorite winter reads, and on Wednesday I was supposed to post some book spine poetry. I’ve decided that I am unfortunately going to have to forego the book spine poetry. While I tried and tried (and tried some more) to put together a poem made from book spines, but I failed miserably. So much so that I’m too embarrassed to show anyone.

BUT!

I have decided that I can (and will!) still post about my favorite winter reads! While I don’t love winter itself (I’m not a fan of being cold all of the time), I do think winter is the perfect time to cozy up on a plush couch, with a steaming cup of cocoa, and sink into a great book.

When I think of the perfect winter reads, I really only think of one. The quintessential winter read – in my opinion – is a favorite of mine: Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan. Set in New York City during the winter, two teens seem to fall for each other via a moleskin notebook.

Why is this a near perfect winter read for me? Well, first and foremost is the setting. Like I said it’s set in NYC during the winter. And if you know NYC in the winter you know it’s a pretty magical place. What makes it so magical? The decked out windows, the hustle and bustle of holiday shoppers on every avenue, and the undeniable sparkle the city has.

Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares is the kind of book that readers can, not only cozy up with, but really fall in love with. It will leave readers feeling warm and tingle-y, with a heavy heaping of hope.

I know, I know I’m gushing, but I can’t help it! That’s how much I love Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares.  If you haven’t read it, pick it up and do so. It’s the perfect time of year to read this awesome book!

Okay …. moving on to my progress report.

As of today, I have finished one book and am about fifty or so pages into another.

I finished Ask Me How I Got Here by Christine Heppermann. Since finishing that book I moved onto another book … a book that I’ve been looking forward to reading for quite some time, OCD Love Story by Corey Ann Haydu.

I am currently fifty or so pages into OCD Love Story. So far I am enjoying it, and curious to find out where the story is going to go. I really like the main character, Bea. Her voice and her outlook feels authentic and real. I really appreciate that.

Even though I am nowhere near finishing OCD Love Story, I am looking forward to reading more, and finishing it soon.

I’ve been thinking about my goal for this challenge. And looking back to last week I think I was a little over-confident. And maybe a bit unrealistic. Four books?! Who was I kidding!? I’m going to change my goal and hope that I finish two books instead of four. For me, two books in a week is a challenge in and of itself. And one that I’d be happy/proud to accomplish.

So there you have it readers! Two posts rolled into one!

To see what all the other participants are up to, head over to Read.Sleep.Repeat to find out!