Saturday, September 7, 2019

Graphic Novel Review of Carmen Sandiego: The Sticky Rice Caper

Read for: Recently Added & Graphic Novel Challenge

Synopsis: "In this exciting graphic novel based on the Netflix series starring Jane the Virgin's Gina Rodriguez, Carmen Sandiego's globe-trotting capers introduce kids to the geography, culture, and history that is baked into every adventure!

Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? Headed to the island nation of Indonesia for her next caper! But just what is the mysterious lady in red after this time? Adventure awaits in this action-packed graphic novel starring the world's greatest thief."

My Review: I had to pick this one up for Munchkin to try to get him into Carmen Sandiego as much I am. I really appreciate how you don't have to know all the backstory before getting into this book, it has a break down of the characters and history right at the beginning. It is a fun and quick read full of action and adventure. While it isn't quite the same as when I was a kid, it does suit the current times. The artwork style will really appeal to this younger generation who are accustomed to computer graphics. This is a great read for all ages.

My Rating: I like how they have stuck to a lot of the classic Carmen elements but added new and modern elements to the story.  I also really like how they are releasing books in this series in multiple formats, the first book (Who in the World is Carmen Sandiego) was a novel, then Clue by Clue was an interactive novel and now a graphic novel, it will encourage reluctant readers who enjoy the story and characters to pick up other formats.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Bedtime Story: Don't Let the Beasties Escape this Book! by Julie Berry & Illustrated by April Lee

Read for: Requested Review/Netgalley

Synopsis: "It’s no ordinary day at the castle! This beautifully illustrated, silly picture book is a fun introduction to the medieval world and the illuminated bestiary 

Godfrey, a peasant boy who works for the lord and lady of the castle, finds a bestiary, or illustrated book of beasts, on the way to do his chores one morning. He begins inventing his own story, placing “Sir Godfrey” at the center of numerous heroic deeds. Sir Godfrey battles a lion, tames a unicorn, defeats a griffin, conquers a bonnacon, and triumphs over a dragon. Godfrey does not realize that each time he says the name of an animal, it magically emerges from the book, causing mayhem and inadvertently accomplishing his chores. The laughs pile up and the tension mounts: When will Godfrey realize that all this outrageous stuff is going on?
This book also contains engaging backmatter with information on life in the Middle Ages and a mini-bestiary drawn from original 13th-century manuscripts. Don’t Let the Beasties Escape This Book! is a humorous introduction to the medieval world."

My Review: This is such a fun children's book, I loved the art style, it really suited the story's setting. It is a great book to read with slightly older children as opposed to very young toddlers, as they will be able to grasp the lesson in the book better. Kids will see that their chore list might not be so bad since they don't have to clean up the barn or start the fire for dinner, but they will also see that imagination can make the job go quicker and make it a whole lot more fun. We really had a fun time with this book, and loved that at the end there are some great descriptions and history on the various beasties released in the book.

My Rating: We really enjoyed this one, even though Munchkin is pretty much done with picture books, he was still really able to get a lot out of this story! The illustrations were beautiful and fun to look at the details of the beasts.  We give it a rating of Four Paws!

I received a complimentary copy of this book via Netgalley. The above is my honest opinion and review.

You can find out more about Julie Berry and her books on her Goodreads Page or Website

Don't Let the Beasties Escape This Book releases on Sept. 10th but you can pre-order your copy in print format now on Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or bookstore. 

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Review of The Storm Crow by Kalyn Josephson

Read for: Recently Added

Synopsis: "In the tropical kingdom of Rhodaire, magical, elemental Crows are part of every aspect of life...until the Illucian empire invades, destroying everything.

That terrible night has thrown Princess Anthia into a deep depression. Her sister Caliza is busy running the kingdom after their mother's death, but all Thia can do is think of all she has lost.

But when Caliza is forced to agree to a marriage between Thia and the crown prince of Illucia, Thia is finally spurred into action. And after stumbling upon a hidden Crow egg in the rubble of a rookery, she and her sister devise a dangerous plan to hatch the egg in secret and get back what was taken from them."

My Review: I had received an early ARC of this in one of the book boxes but didn't actually pick it up until I received a finish copy. I was intrigued by the magic system in this one, and who wouldn't like riding a crow?! With that said it was very predictable, I had figured out most of the twists pretty early on which really took the excitement out of the story each time I got to the big reveal only to find out I already knew what it was. I did like the representation of the stages of grief and depression in this book, but it does take up quite a bit of the story, taking a lot of momentum out the story and took a lot of energy to read. I did appreciate that the romance didn't overtake the plot. It was a good book, very intriguing but I am hoping with more books that the writing improves and the future books become a little less predictable.

My Rating: This book did read like a debut book (which it is) and I do hope to see with more books and experience the complexity of the plots increase.  I do love the unique magic system and beautiful world, and it was a pretty easy read and would be great for those just entering the fantasy genre.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

Top 5 Wednesday: What You Want to See

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

So Sam who selects Top 5 Wednesday topics is still on a much deserved hiatus, so I thought I would post my own.  I want to flip the tables a bit on you.  Instead of me posting a top 5 something or other, I want to know the top 5 things you would like to see here.  October 1st I will have been blogging for 9 years and I feel like I need something fresh to break up all the reviews, but honestly I am drawing a bit of a blank.  

So what are the top 5 things you would like to see on my blog? Would you like to see more tags or memes? Or how about more personal posts like Fun with Munchkin and Crafty Times? Some book subscription box unboxings?  Or maybe you want recommendation posts or discussion posts.  I look forward to hearing what you would prefer to read on my blog and I promise to take everything under consideration and attempt as many as I can.

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Review of The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

Read for: Netgalley/ Requested Review & Highly Anticipated

Synopsis: "The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home."

My Review: I was so anticipating this book, it was one of my top releases of this year because I LOVED Sky in the Deep. It took me quite a bit to get into this one, which sometimes happens when you have a second book that is a companion and doesn't follow the same characters. I also really struggled to connect with the characters, part of it was in my mind Halvard is still the little boy we saw in Sky in the Deep and I struggled to wrap my brain around the fact that he is grown up (like when you see a family member when they are little kids and don't see them again for many years, in your mind they are always that little kid). Also, Tova was a bit mysterious and disconnected by the nature of her roll as Truthtongue, so I struggled to connect with her in any way. I did however really enjoy the way they each grew as characters throughout the book. It is a slow book as it is mostly driven by the characters as opposed to plot driven, but if you can sit back and let it take shape the wait is so worth it. Once again Young knocked it out of the park with the rich world and culture, diving deep into the various belief and religious systems. All in all a rich, beautiful book to savor!

My Rating: Even with the slow start and small difficulties I had, I really enjoyed the world and the story that built throughout this book. While I do still prefer Sky in the Deep, this one still earns a solid Four Paw rating!

 I was so fortunate to have received an eARC of this book via Netgalley. The following is my honest opinion and review. 

To find out more about Adrienne Young and her books you can check out her Goodreads PageWebsite and I highly recommend following her on Instagram as she is the sweetest person ever and gives some really amazing writing advice!

The Girl the Sea Gave Back releases today, September 3rd so go pick up your copy now in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local bookstore or library!

Monday, September 2, 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

The Storyteller by Traci Chee
Carmen Sandiego: Clue by Clue by Catherine Hapka
Star Wars: Pirate's Price by Lou Anders
The Pirate Queen by Emily Arnold McCully (Bedtime Story)
Escape the Sea by G. Bailey (Series Review)
Love the Sea by G. Bailey (Series Review)
Save the Sea by G. Bailey (Series Review)

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

Save the Sea
Pirate's Price
Clue by Clue
Glasgow Kiss
The Girl the Sea Gave Back

Currently Reading:
Realm by Alexandrea Weis - Ebook - 11%
Holy Sister by Mark Lawrence - Audio book - 36%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
428:43 Hours Listened (13:30 listened this week)
24,514 Pages Read (1,117 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Snow Gypsy Unhaul
Lost Boy
Year One
Girl Who Drank the Moon
King of Scars
Dactyl Hill Squad
The Darkdeep
Lord of the Fading Lands
Shadow of Doubt
Gates of Stone
A Conspiracy of Truths
Vortex Visions
Through the White Wood
Descendant of the Crane
Holy Sister
Dark Harmony
The Sea Queen
The Mountain of Kept Memory
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 1
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 2
The Sea King
Ride Hard
Ride Rough
Ride Wild
Force of Attraction
Primal Force
Rival Forces
A Rogue by Any Other Name
A Scot in the Dark
The Day of the Duchess
The Pirate Bride
Man Made Boy
This Monstrous Thing
Dear Santa
An Endless Christmas
Christmas Magic
Falling Softly
Christmas Town
The Christmas Star
Gris Grimly's Frankenstein
The Strange Case of the Alchemist's Daughter
We Hunt the Flame
Dreaming the Bear
A New Hope
The Monsters We Deserve
Strange Star
Ghostly Tales from the Lost Summer of 1816
The Bride Test
Storm and Fury
Queen of Ruin
Kingdom of Exiles
The Thankful Unicorn
Star Wars: Pirate Price
Clue by Clue
Honeybees and Frenemies
The Sticky Rice Caper
Lando's Luck
Turning Darkness into Light
A Monster Calls
Master & Apprentice
The Chosen
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend
Mortal Engines
Evvie Drake Starts Over
Merciful Crow
The Bridge Kingdom
The Girl From the Other Side Vol. 2


While I didn't feel like I got a lot of reading done this last week, I really did! I am so looking forward to this week, Munchkin finally goes back to school tomorrow, supposedly Hubby gets back to a regular schedule and life can get back to a normal schedule.  I also looking forward to this whole new month full of books, I have so many calling to me from my TBR shelf it is going to be hard to focus on the current reads.  I am ready to shift to the fall reads!!

What book are you most excited to read this month?

Sunday, September 1, 2019

August 2019 Challenge Update & September TBR

I cannot believe that August is already over! While it seems like it flew by, when I look back it also looks like it lasted forever with everything we squeezed into the month. I hope you all enjoyed this pirate filled month! I enjoyed reading all the books but I really feel like it is time to move on to a little more of a variety.  I am still doing pretty good on my challenges, I have fallen a little behind on a couple, mainly the Beat the Backlist challenge, if I had made it not just the books I owned I think I would be doing better, and I might open that up to backlist books I have borrowed, purchased and read this year. I also want to spend some time focusing on the books I have purchased this year and get that number of unread books down.  How are your challenges going?

Children's Books
30-40 books

Early Reader Books
30-40 books

Graphic Novel
25 books
Audio Book Challenge
50 books - (Caffinated Reader hosted)

Classic Books
5 books
1. Treasure Island

Big Books
10 books over 500 pages

RI Authors
20 books

Borrowed Books
30-40 books
15 books
9. Fire

Beat the Backlist
75 books - (Novelknight hosted) - only using books I already own
20. Five Years Gone
21. The Storm Crow (counting this because I received it last year)
22. The Storyteller
23. Treasure Island

The Never Ending Series
Warland Chronicles: Book1, Book 2, Book 3, Book 4,

Requested Reviews
No more than 25 new acceptances (& catch up on old requests)
20. One Year Home ( Direct Request)
21. Don't Let the Beasties Escape this Book (Netgalley)
22. Red Dove, Listen to the Wind (Netgalley
23. The Book Charmer (Netgalley) - DNF
24. Girl the Sea Gave Back (Netgalley)

Recently Added to Shelves
Limited purchases (must total less than 200) and read soon
1. Dragon of Ash & Stars - (Jan./ Jan.) DNF
2. The Snow Gypsy (Jan./ ) - UNHAUL
3. Book Nerds & Boyfriends (Jan./Feb. ) *
4. WarDance (Jan/ )
5. Warsong (Jan./ )
6. The Only Harmless Great Thing (Jan/Jan.)
8. Lost Boy (Jan/July)
9. Year One (Jan/ )
10. Girl Who Drank the Moon (Jan/ )
11. King of Scars (Jan/ )
12. Dactyl Hill Squad (Feb./)
13. The Darkdeep  (Feb./)
14. Voices (Feb./Feb.) 
15. Wicked King (Feb./March) 
16. Lord of the Fading Lands (Feb./)
17. Crown of Feathers (Feb./)
18. Argos: The Story of Odysseus as told by his Loyal Dog (Feb./)
19. 100 Hugs (Feb./ Feb.) 
20. Binti 2: Home (Feb./March)
23. Binti 3: Night Masquerade (Feb./March) 
24. Artificial Condition (Feb./March)
25. Rogue Protocol (Feb./March)
26. Trial of Lightening  (Feb./ May) 
27. The Last (Endling) (Feb./March)
28. Aquicorn Cove (Feb./Feb.) 
29. Thick as Thieves (Feb./ Feb.)
30. Aru Shah and the End of Time (March/) - DNF
31. Foundryside (March/ April)
32. Wundersmith (March/) - UNHAUL 
33. City of Ghosts (March/March) 
34. Saga Vol. 8 (March/ April)
35. Saga Vol. 9 (March/April)
36. Warrior of the Wild (March/March)
37. Book Love (March/March)
38. Queen's Shadow (March/March) 
39. A Curse So Dark and Lonely (March/May) 
40. Shadow of Doubt (March/)
41. Gates of Stone (March/)
42. In Her Sights (March/April)
43. Nevermoor (March/May)  
44. A Conspiracy of Truths 
45. The Wild Robot (March/March)  
46. The Resurrectionist (March/) 
47. Viper (April/)
48. Vortex Visions (April/) 
49. Through the White Wood (April/)
50. Descendant of the Crane (April/)
51. The Princess and the Fangirl (April/April)
52. Holy Sister (April/)
53. Rhapsodic (April/May) 
54. A Strange Hymn (April/May) 
55. The Emperor of Evening Stars (April/June)
56. Dark Harmony (April/)
57. The Black Bull of Norroway (April/May) 
58. We Rule the Night (April/) - UNHAUL
59. The Unbound Empire (April/)
60. The Opposite of Always (May/) - UNHAUL
61. The Sea Queen(May/)
62. The Mountain of Kept Memory(May/)
63. Metamorphica (May/)
64. Misfits of Avalon Vol. 1 (May/)
65. Misfits of Avalon Vol. 2 (May/)
66. The Sea King (May/)
67. Ride Hard (May/)
68. Ride Rough (May/)
69. Ride Wild (May/)
70. Irresistible Force (May/June)
71. Force of Attraction (May/)
72. Primal Force (May/)
73. Rival Forces (May/)
74. A Rogue by Any Other Name (May/)
75. A Scot in the Dark (May/)
76. The Day of the Duchess (May/)
77. The Pirate Bride (May/)
78. Pirate Stories (May/July) 
79. Man Made Boy (May/)
80. This Monstrous Thing (May/)
82. Dear Santa (May/)
83. An Endless Christmas (May/)
84. Christmas Magic (May/)
85. Falling Softly (May/)
86. Christmas Town (May/)
87. The Christmas Star (May/) 
88. Crazy Rich Asians (May/June) 
89 Once and Future (May/June)
90. Highland Crown (May/) - DNF/UNHAUL
91. Her Royal Highness (May/May) 
93. Seal's Honor (May/May) 
94. Gris Grimly's Frankenstein (June/)
95. The Case of the Counterfeit Criminals (June/) - UNHAUL
96. The Case of the Perilous Palace (June/) - UNHAUL
97. The Strange Case of the Alchemists Daughter (June/)
98. The Beholder (June/) - UNHAUL
99. Lovestruck (June/) - UNHAUL
100. We Hunt the Flame (June/)
101. Romanov (June/)
102. Dark Shores (June/ June)
103. Dreaming the Bear (June/)
104. A New Hope (June/)
105. The Trial of Joan of Arc (June/) - DNF
106. Midsummer's Mayhem (June/July)
107. Monsters (June/)
108. The Monsters We Deserve (June/)
109. Strange Star (June/)
110. Hephaistos: God of Fire (June/July)
111. Ghostly Tales from the Lost Summer of 1816 (June/)
112. Till There was You (June/July)
113. Sea Sirens (June/June)
114. The Bride Test (June/August)
115. The Kingdom (June/July)
116. Storm and Fury (July/)
117. Queen of Ruin (July/July)
118. Stepsister (July/August) *
119. The Lost Vintage (July/) - UNHAUL
120. Becoming the Dark Prince (July/July)
121. Kingdom of Exiles (July/)
122. The Beckoning Shadow (July/) - UNHAUL
123. The Thankful Unicorn (July/)
124. Star Wars: Pirate Price (July/August)
125. Spin the Dawn (July/July)
126. Clue by Clue (August/August)
127. Honeybees and Frenemies (August/)
128 The Sticky Rice Caper (August/August)
129. Lando's Luck (August/August) 
130. Turning Darkness into Light (August/)
131. A Monster Calls (August/)
132. Master & Apprentice (August/) 
134. The Chosen (August/)
135. The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend (August/)
136. Mortal Engines (August/)
137. Evvie Drake Starts Over (August/)
138. Merciful Crow (August/)
139. The Bridge Kingdom (August/)
140. Girl From the Other Side Vol. 2 (August/)

January Reading Stats:
I read a total of 29 books this month
4,271 pages read and 2 days, 3 hours and 28 minute of listening

Resolutions Check in:
1. Borrow More Books: Almost half of the books I read this month were library books so  - Big CHECK
2. Purchase Less Books: Last July I only purchased 9 books and this year I purchased 14.- :(
3. Read Big Books: I managed to read one big book this month, with plans for some longer/chunkier books over the next couple of months - CHECK
4. Re-Read More: I did re-read one of my favorites this month, I took my time and savored it slowly and it was a nice treat at the end of each night. - CHECK
5. Put Less Pressure and Stress on Myself: I did really push a bit this month because I really wanted to share all these pirate books all month but I did let a couple of days slide. I am looking forward to a little bit of a easier schedule next month. - :(


Now that Arrg-ust is behind me, my TBR can be just about anything! With that said there are some extremely exciting releases coming out this month that I really want to make sure I make the time for (I expect there will be spoilers all over the book world).

For fun
Holy Sister * Currently Reading
Misfits of Avalon Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
Strange Star
Turning Darkness into Light
Phoenix Empress
Evvie Drake Starts Over
A Monster Calls
Capturing the Devil
Dark Harmony
The Girl From the Other Side Vol. 1 and Vol. 2
Secret Hunger and Secret Need

and for requested reviews
The Truth About Cowboys
A Hero Born
Dragons In the Clouds
The Thankful Unicorn

So how are your challenges going? Are you behind on a few like me? Or are you right on track or even a little ahead of the game?