Saturday, April 11, 2020

Graphic Novel Review of Family Pets by Pat Shand & Sarah Dill

Read for: Recently Added/ Graphic Novel

Synopsis: "Ever since her parents died on her fifth birthday, Thomasina has been daydreaming that someday something amazing will happen in her life to make up for the hurt she's been through. But after turning sixteen, Thomasina begins to accept that her life will remain unremarkable... But when she wakes up one morning to discover that her foster family has been turned into pet animals and her favorite pet snake into a dashing young man, her ordinary life will turn into an extraordinary adventure!"

My Review: This book has been on my wishlist forever, so I figured it was time to pick it up. I love the art style in the book but was disappointed to find it all to be black and white. The story was fun and quirky, yet a little gut punch of emotional turmoil. It was quick, it was fun, I maybe would have read more in the series but am pretty satisfied with the way it concluded.

My Rating: This was fun and quirky, a nice blend of magic and comedy.  I don't know if it quite held up to being on my wish list for so long but it was a fun, quick read.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

Friday, April 10, 2020

Bedtime Story: The Elephants' Guide to Hide and Seek by Kjersten Hayes & Illustrated by Gladys Jose

Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley

Synopsis: "Elephants are great at many things...playing hide-and-seek is not one of them.

But The Elephant Hobby and Sport League is here to help all those frustrated, always "found" elephants out there with The Elephants' Guide to Hide-and-Seek. This handy guide offers sympathy, support and superior hiding solutions to elephants who long to overcome their size disadvantage when playing hide-and-seek.

A hilarious tongue-in-cheek book perfect for elephants and their best human pals."

My Review: I am always on the look out for new great Children's books and this one is definitely up there. It reads as if it is how to or tips for elephants playing hide and seek with kids but is clearly a nod at parents to help spark play again. I loved the illustration style of this book, it is bold and bright, young kids will love that part of the story. It is also silly which will have kids giggling away. I am sure this one will become a favorite!

My Rating: This was such a cute and funny read, but it also had a great message for the adults reading it to the littles. I definitely recommend adding this to your reading list and I 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. 

The Elephants' Guide to Hide and Seek was just released on April 1st, so you can obtain your own copy  now in print or digital format from Amazon or in print format from Barnes & Noble, or you can request it at your local library or bookstore and I am sure they will be happy to get it for you.

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Review of Hurricane Dancers by Margarita Engle for Poetry Month

Since it is Poetry Month, I would like to share either a book of poetry or one written in verse each Thursday.  I would also love to hear some of your recommendations and favorites!

Read for: Recent Addition/ Poetry Month

Synopsis: "Quebrado has been traded from pirate ship to ship in the Caribbean Sea for as long as he can remember. The sailors he toils under call him el quebrado--half islander, half outsider, a broken one. Now the pirate captain Bernardino de Talavera uses Quebrado as a translator to help navigate the worlds and words between his mother's TaĆ­no Indian language and his father's Spanish.

But when a hurricane sinks the ship and most of its crew, it is Quebrado who escapes to safety. He learns how to live on land again, among people who treat him well. And it is he who must decide the fate of his former captors."

My Review: After enjoying Firefly Letters by Engle, I wanted to track down more books in verse by her and came across this one. I really enjoyed this one with the various perspectives we get throughout the story. From the slave boy who has been shuffled around, to the privateer and the pirate ship captain, then to the natives they come across after the wreck. It is easy reading and can be enjoyed by readers of all ages, and the story keeps the pages turning to see what happens next. I love the descriptions of the different ways hurricanes are thought of by the different cultures. I enjoyed this one and it was a perfect book to pick up for Middle Grade March.

My Rating: I really enjoyed this book, it is written for Middle Grade readers but is very enjoyable as an adult.  I like the way the verse style lent to the theme of storms throughout the book. I give it a rating of Three Paws and a Stump Wag.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Borrowed Books Review- First Quarter 2020

A couple of months ago I saw a video by Brennalyn_Reads on Youtube where she talked about whether the books from the library were worth purchasing for her.  I thought this was a great idea! I have been trying to borrow from the library more often as I am try to cut back on the books that I purchase.  So I thought I would take a look back at the books I borrowed each quarter to see how many I decided were worth putting on my shelf and how many I am glad I borrowed instead of purchasing and wasting the money on a book I didn't enjoy.

So here are all the books that I borrowed January through the end of March:

This is a fantastic graphic novel and I am very glad the library had a copy for me to borrow, and I am glad I read it.  With that said though I don't think it was one I would add to my shelf, it is a wonderful book but I feel like it was one I would only read once.

Like with They Called Us Enemy, I really enjoyed this graphic novel. I loved the art style and the themes in the story but it wasn't one I would add to my shelf or re-read another time.

I was only able to borrow the audio book of The Ten Thousand Doors of January and I ended up DNFing this one.  The narration was extremely slow paced and the constant jumping around on the timeline was very confusing in audio.  Maybe if I had read it in print I would have enjoyed it more but I am glad I gave this a shot from the library instead of spending the money on it.

The Test was another audio book I borrowed from the library but this one was amazing!! It was such an intense ride that I had to order a copy for myself!

I had already unhauled both Cruel Prince and Wicked King but like so many others, I have an issue needing to finish a series that I started. So luckily my library had a copy available, so I was able to read it. I am glad I did, it was a good conclusion but I am glad I didn't spend money on it (I wish I had figured this out before I bought the first two books last year).

This graphic novel has been on my wish list forever but it is rather pricey, so I am glad I found a copy at the library and could try it before spending nearly $20 on it. This was so beautiful and I absolutely loved everything about it! I did end up tracking down a slightly used copy for less but it was still definitely one that needed to be on my shelves.

I DNFed the previous book by this author, so even with all the rave reviews I was hesitant. My hold from the library finally came through and it was amazing and one I definitely want for my shelves, I am still in the process of tracking down a copy (I would prefer to trade for it as opposed to purchasing outright).

So in the first 3 months of this year, I borrowed 7 books from the library, of those books I have decided to add 3 to my shelves.  This is definitely a great way for me to start to try books and series out before purchasing them, especially with the instability of the economy right now. I just have a issue with waiting several weeks or months for new releases. I already have a hefty stack of books to kick off April, many of which were books I was debating purchasing.  

I really enjoyed seeing this overview put together and I think to open my eyes even more as to whether books are worth putting on my shelf, I might do this with recent purchases as well.  Let me know if this is something you would like to see.

How do you use your library? Do you use it often? Do you end up purchasing any of the books you borrow?

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Review of Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Read for: Borrowed Books

Synopsis: "All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined."

My Review: I wasn't sure if this was a book I was going to enjoy, I DNFed Enchantment of Ravens, but I kept hearing about it being a book about books. I finally was able to get a copy from the library and am so glad I finally read it. I love the way the books had a personality, some grumpy, some evil, some flirty, etc. I did struggle with the world building a bit, it wasn't clear how or why Elisabeth ended up in the library. Nor was much of the world and magic outside of the library made clear throughout the book. Luckily, the characters were enough for me to stay invested in the story. I absolutely loved Nathaniel and Silas, there relationship was the best. There is a touch of romance but I feel that it is more about friendship than the love. There is also quite a bit of action and some court intrigue as well, all which I thoroughly enjoyed.

My Rating: I really enjoyed this book, I was so pleasantly surprised that I liked the characters and the story. I think it could have used a bit more world building but that may just be the fact that I am more used to adult fantasy books.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws.

Monday, April 6, 2020

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

Spindle and Dagger by J. Anderson Coats
Dewdrop by Katie O'Neill (Bedtime Story)

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

Spindle and Dagger
White Rose
To Be Taught, If Fortunate

Currently Reading:

You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids by Lindsay Powers - Print - on page 43 of 320
Love's Recipe by Mila Nicks - Ebook - on page 93 of 241

Pages Read/ Time Listened
251:24 Hours Listened (4:30 listened this week)
10,158 Pages Read (673 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
White Rose  - READ
Stealing Thunder (gift)
The Eyes of Tamburah (gift)
The Wolf in the Whale
~~~~~~~~~~March Birthday Waiver Books ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rain Dragon Rescue
The Order of the Unicorn
The Book of Boy
All the Wandering Light
Life on the Leash
Phoenix Unbound
Magic Bites
Fantasy Lover
Night Pleasures
The Midnight Lie
You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids  (gift)
Mary Shelley Monster Hunter Vol. 1
The Caged Queen
The Mum Who'd Had Enough
Ash and Quill
The Voyage to Magical North
I Needed a Viking
Smoke and Iron
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End Birthday Waiver~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Hood (gift)
The Worst Best Man
Scavenge the Stars
Hades & Persephone
Beachside Beginnings (gift)

I thought I was getting a hang of all of this at the beginning of last week, turns out not so much, then we received a curve ball when the school decided to go to a 4 day school week and take away our April Vacation. While I understand that we can't go anywhere and everyone is doing the best they can, we did have plans. We had work to do on the house and I haven't had any time to keep up with even normal chores lately. My husband has to schedule his vacations by November of the previous year, so now he has next week off but neither do my son or I, so again those jobs that take 2 people will not get done.  We are also having to cram in a full week of school work into 4 days while I work all day as well, and then Munchkin has Friday off and wants to play and do things together but I still have to work.  It is so incredibly frustrating to have to keep trying to adapt to these new schedules.

With all that said, there is a little extra joy this week with a bonus Bout of Books Readathon announced.  I am barely getting any time to read lately but I am going to try to make it a priority this week and get momentum back up.