Saturday, March 30, 2019

Graphic Novel Review of Book Love by Debbie Tung

Read for: Graphic Novel Challenge

Synopsis: "Bookworms rejoice! These charming comics capture exactly what it feels like to be head-over-heels for hardcovers. And paperbacks! And ebooks! And bookstores! And libraries!
Book Love is a gift book of comics tailor-made for tea-sipping, spine-sniffing, book-hoarding bibliophiles. Debbie Tung’s comics are humorous and instantly recognizable—making readers laugh while precisely conveying the thoughts and habits of book nerds. Book Love is the ideal gift to let a book lover know they’re understood and appreciated."

My Review: I kept seeing this book and finally gave in and picked it up, perfect for my book loving heart. This is a series of short comic strips that non-sequential but all revolving around the reader life. It perfectly depicts life as a bookworm, from staying up all night reading to having a never ending TBR that we keep adding to. I love the simplistic art style too of just sketchy black ink. A fun book to add to any book lover shelf.

My Rating: I am so glad I picked this one up, it captures so many of my book loving moments and thoughts perfectly. I also adore the art style. I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Friday, March 29, 2019

Bedtime Story: How Many Trucks can a Tow Truck Tow? by Charlotte Pomerantz

Read for: Children's Book Challenge

Synopsis: "Now available for the first time ever in paperback—the beloved book that was named a Library of Congress Book of the Year in 1987!
 Follow the jaunty little tow truck as he rescues three fellow tow trucks."

My Review: If your child likes silly books and trucks this is a perfect book for them. It is a bit of a tongue twister to read aloud but the repetition will help get the young ones get involved. The illustrations are bright and bold to keep really young children focused on the story. While Munchkin is a little old for this one, we still really had fun reading it together.

My Rating: Munchkin has pretty much outgrown a lot of our picture books but we still enjoy a fun short read sometimes.  This was a great one that was a lot of fun, I wish I had read it to him earlier, it would have been a favorite to read again and again.  Kids will love the rhymes and repetition.  We give it a rating of Four Paws!

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Review of Refugee by Alan Gratz

Read for: Beat the Backlist/ Middle Grade March

Synopsis: "Three different kids.

One mission in common: ESCAPE.

Josef is a Jewish boy in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world…

Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994. With riots and unrest plaguing her country, she and her family set out on a raft, hoping to find safety and freedom in America…

Mahmoud is a Syrian boy in 2015. With his homeland torn apart by violence and destruction, he and his family begin a long trek toward Europe…

All three young people will go on harrowing journeys in search of refuge. All will face unimaginable dangers–from drownings to bombings to betrayals. But for each of them, there is always the hope of tomorrow. And although Josef, Isabel, and Mahmoud are separated by continents and decades, surprising connections will tie their stories together in the end."

My Review: I have been hearing really great things about this book so decided to finally pick it up for Middle Grade March. At first I found it really odd the way the 3 children's stories were told, alternating chapters between the three of them when they all take place in very different time periods and parts of the world. It does become clear later in the book and the way they are all interwoven at the end was amazing. You really get a feel for all the dangers and losses each child faced when attempting to run with their families to freedom and safety. It is also a very eye opening book, how does Middle Grade always manage to tackle these tough subjects so well (and YA readers can't handle it in their books)?!

My Rating: I enjoyed this book far more than I expected, I was a little thrown off at the beginning with the alternating chapters but it all came together beautifully.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Top 5 Wednesday: Books I Expected to Hate but Loved Instead

Top 5 Wednesday is a group on Goodreads hosted by Sam from Thoughts on Tomes on Youtube.

This week's topic is all about the books we did not expect to enjoy but ended up loving.  I try to make it a point not to pick up books I think I will hate, but sometimes it happens; I give into the hype or try a new genre or give an author a second chance.  Sometimes things go downhill and fulfill my expectations of disappointment but sometimes I get surprised and end up really happy with my choice to pick up a book.

So let's start this off with a bang shall we?

So I read the Thorn of Glass series first and absolutely hated Aelin/ Celeana, but had heard great things about these two books. Then Sarah J. Maas came to our local Barnes & Noble and I am never one to pass up the opportunity to see an author.  So I caved and bought these two, had them signed before I read them. I finally read them a year later when ACOWAR was coming out and joined the masses of obsessed readers.

So up until last year I had hated Sci-Fi, the only bit I could tolerate was Star Wars. But I kept hearing about this trilogy and several of my favorite Booktubers kept raving about it, and highly recommended the audio books.  So I gave in and decided to give them a try, I fell in love! I absolutely loved the audio books for this series and they have opened up the Sci-Fi genre for me.

I have been burned by royalty in YA before and have been really struggling with YA contemporary for the past few years, but I had received this book in a trade last year and was needing something I could give up on if needed. Then this book totally blew me away, I love the characters, I love the story and I can't wait for the next book to come out in May!

So this isn't really a case of I expected to hate them, but I never really had an interest in this series but again I had the opportunity to hear Kerry Maniscalco talk and she was so awesome, so I bought the books and had them signed. A year or so later I finally picked them up and ended up LOVING the books, I adore the characters, I love the mystery and thriller feel, I love it all.

Again I didn't expect to hate this book but it was a step outside my comfort zone and I expected to really struggle with it. Again, this was giving into the hype, some of my favorite readers loved this one so I gave in, knowing I was going to struggle a bit I decided to listen to the audio book while reading the physical book. This was one of the best decisions I made last year! This was one of the most beautiful love stories I have ever read, the characters were amazing, the setting was so rich, definitely a book I loved!

So what books have you picked up expecting to hate or dislike but ended up loving?

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Review of Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

Read for: Recently Added/ New Release

Synopsis: "How do you kill a god?

As her father's chosen heir, eighteen-year-old Rasmira has trained her whole life to become a warrior and lead her village. But when her coming-of-age trial is sabotaged and she fails the test, her father banishes her to the monster-filled wilderness with an impossible quest: to win back her honour, she must kill the oppressive god who claims tribute from the villages each year or die trying."

My Review: As soon as I heard about this book I knew I wanted to read it. While I wasn't a huge fan of the Daughter of the Pirate King audio books, I am always all in for Viking books. In my opinion this really isn't much of a viking story, other than the use of axes and honor system. Again, like the previous books by Levenseller, I was not a fan of the main character, Ras is over confident and abrasive and so selfish for the most part. I was also not thrilled to see yet again parents who simply use their children but no one sees it until it is too late, I am getting a little tired of the horrible parent trope. I did like how the romance didn't take over the story too much, though when it did take a front seat for a bit, it was awkward and threw me a bit out of the story. I did see the twist coming a pretty long way off but like how it played out in the end. With all that said, there is a lot of action, but spread out to allow the characters time to recover, and it keeps the pages turning quickly.

My Rating: So this was marketed as a Viking Fantasy stand alone with a badass female warrior; well it kind of fell through on the Viking aspect and while Rasmira is definitely a warrior and can be a bad-ass, I found her annoying.  Sadly, it didn't hold up to the hype that has been building for nearly a year, this was one of my most anticipated books of the year.  It was still entertaining with all the action so I will give it a rating in the middle of the road of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Monday, March 25, 2019

Monday Reading List

It is Monday again, and time to update with what I read last week, what I am currently reading and what to look forward to next week.

Reviews Posted Last Week:
Links will take you to my review

Voices: The Final Hours of Joan of Arc by David Elliott
The Crossover by Kwame Alexander
Start Your Engines by Ace Landers (Early Reader)

 Books Finished Last Week:
Reviews will be posted at a later date

Warrior of the Wild
The World According to Humphrey
Rogue Protocol
Pioneer Sisters

Currently Reading:
The Wild Robot by Peter Brown - Print - on page 173 of 279
Malice by John Gwynne - Print - on page 58 of 672
Binti: The Night Masquerade by Nnedi Okorafor - Audio - 22%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
196:41 Hours Listened (11:27 listened this week)
7,703 Pages Read (382 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Snow Gypsy

I don't know where the past week went! It was so busy at the office and at home but I don't really have anything to show for it.  I am finally getting caught up though after spending most of the previous week down with a migraine.  I will definitely be listening to more audio books in the coming weeks and I finish cramming for my first craft bazaar, I have a lot of work to do before it starts.  On that note, my TBR this month was kind of tossed out the window. I was doing really well focusing on Middle Grade March but I really needed some more mature reading content for a while, luckily I have had the Booktube SFF Short List books to focus on.

Did you see that the Dewey's Readathon is coming up in 2 weeks?! I feel like it is super early this year, usually it is at the end of April.  I will be joining, but again it will be mostly audio books.  Are you going to be able to join in? What books do you like to read during a readathon?