Saturday, August 1, 2020

Graphic Novel Review of Beauty and the Beast by Jessica Gunderson and Illustrated by Thais Damião

Read for: Graphic Novel/ Requested Review/ Netgalley

Synopsis: "Revisit the tale of Beauty and the Beast. Beauty's father gets lost in the woods and stumbles onto a castle. He reaches for a rose to bring to his daughter--but there's a price. Will Beauty win her freedom, or be trapped in the Beast's castle forever?"

My Review:  Beauty and the Beast is one of my all time favorite fairy tales and of course Disney movies. I really enjoyed this graphic novel adaptation of the story. It combined some elements from the original story along with some elements from the more popular and common Disney version. Gunderson also added some diversity to the story. It is definitely meant for a younger audience, I think kids from 6-8 would really enjoy it. There isn't a lot of text on the pages, and the illustrations are simple and bold with a more standard panel format to assist younger readers with following the story. There were also great follow up activities at the end of the book, including discussion questions, writing prompts and craft projects.

My Rating: This is great adaptation of the story we are all so familiar with, I love the blend of some of the variation of the Beauty and the Beast story. I also enjoyed the unique take with the illustrations.  I give it a rating of Three Paws.

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

You can find out more about Jessica Gunderson and her books on her Goodreads Page. And more books illustrated by Thais Damião on their Goodreads Page.

Beauty and the Beast releases today, so you can now obtain your own copy in print format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or bookstore.

Friday, July 31, 2020

Bedtime Story: Lola Hopscotch and the First Day of School by Marie Whittaker and Illustrated by Lily Uivel

Read for: Children's Books & Requested Review


Lola Hopscotch is a bashful bunny who is confronted by mean-spirited children at school. Lola stands up for herself and overcomes her sadness, transforming her first day of school into a wondrous day of new friendship and adventure. This story deals with the issue of childhood bullying and rounds out with a wonderful communication hook, picturesque prose, and artistic illustrations by Lily Uivel. Lily captures Lola’s personality and surroundings perfectly as the little bunny triumphs past bashfulness and spreads kindness.

Feeling bashful about the first day of school, Lola Hopscotch is off to the playground. This timid bunny’s world is shaken when other children make fun of her long ears and big feet. 

But Lola has much to say and it’s time to play! She meets new friends and stands up for herself, even teaching the children how to play her favorite game. Can you guess which game is Lola’s favorite?"

My Review:  I really enjoyed this book, it was a great way to help soothe the anxieties of those littles starting school for the first time or returning to school after such a long break.  I love the way bullying is handled in this, how Lola Hopscotch doesn't reverse that anger, just continues to be kind. It was a great example of how everyone is unique and special in their own ways.  The soft pastel colors and illustrations are also very soothing, making for an overall great bedtime story.

My Rating: This is such a great story for this time of year. Even kids who have been in school for many years will have extra anxieties right now, there are so many questions about how to make friends and if their old friend will even still be friends.  This book will help ease the way.  I give it a rating of Four Paws!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author, the above is my honest review and opinion.

You can find out more about Lola Hopscotch, along with a lot of great anti-bullying tools, on their

Lola Hopscotch and the First Day of School released tomorrow on August 1st, so you can pre-order your copy in print or digital format from

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Review of Shielded by KayLynn Flanders

Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Anticipated Release

Synopsis: "For fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Furyborn comes a thrilling new fantasy about a kingdom ravaged by war, and the princess who might be the key to saving not only those closest to her, but the kingdom itself, if she reveals the very secret that could destroy her.

The kingdom of Hálendi is in trouble. It's losing the war at its borders, and rumors of a new, deadlier threat on the horizon have surfaced. Princess Jennesara knows her skills on the battlefield would make her an asset and wants to help, but her father has other plans.

As the second-born heir to the throne, Jenna lacks the firstborn's--her brother's--magical abilities, so the king promises her hand in marriage to the prince of neighboring Turia in exchange for resources Hálendi needs. Jenna must leave behind everything she has ever known if she is to give her people a chance at peace.

Only, on the journey to reach her betrothed and new home, the royal caravan is ambushed, and Jenna realizes the rumors were wrong--the new threat is worse than anyone imagined. Now Jenna must decide if revealing a dangerous secret is worth the cost before it's too late--for her and for her entire kingdom."

My Review: When I read the synopsis for this book I was really excited, I was looking forward to being sucked into a dangerous and magical world. I ended up struggling to stay focused on the story. I enjoyed the characters but wasn't super invested in them. It took quite a while to get the story moving along and the pacing was a bit all over the place, sometimes rushed and other times very slow moving. The world was interesting but it took quite a while to develop. Based on the writing, I would recommend this for younger YA reader just getting out of the Middle Grad books. I did love the sibling relationships throughout the story, the close family bonds were great to see. This is also clearly a first book in a series with a lot of open story lines.

My Rating: I think this might be a great book for those just getting into YA books, it has a little more simple story structure than most of the YA fantasy books I have read, and the writing style is a little more simple as well, but the story is still interesting.  I give it a rating of Two Paws and a Stump Wag.

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

This is KayLynn Flanders' debut novel and you can find out more about her on her Goodreads Page or Website.

Shielded was just released on July 21st so you can now obtain your own copy in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local bookstore or library

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Can't Wait for . . . Fable by Adrienne Young

Can't-Wait Wednesday is a weekly meme hoste at Wishful Endings, to spotlight and discuss the books we're excited about that we have yet to read. Generally they're books that have yet to be released. It's based on Waiting on Wednesday, hosted by the fabulous Jill at Breaking the Spine. If you're continuing with WOW, feel free to link those up as well! Find out more here.

I absolutely loved Adrienne Young's previous two books, and I think that she may end up being an auto-buy author for me. Now her newest book Fable is nearly out and from what I understand it has a bit of a pirate influence, and I am totally on board! I also understand that there are already ARCs out for the second book Namesake (I may need to get my hands on it).

Fable by Adrienne Young
Release Date: September 1, 2020

Synopsis: "As the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, the sea is the only home seventeen-year-old Fable has ever known. It’s been four years since the night she watched her mother drown during an unforgiving storm. The next day her father abandoned her on a legendary island filled with thieves and little food. To survive she must keep to herself, learn to trust no one and rely on the unique skills her mother taught her. The only thing that keeps her going is the goal of getting off the island, finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew. To do so Fable enlists the help of a young trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father.

But her father’s rivalries and the dangers of his trading enterprise have only multiplied since she last saw him and Fable soon finds that West isn't who he seems. Together, they will have to survive more than the treacherous storms that haunt the Narrows if they're going to stay alive.

Welcome to a world made dangerous by the sea and by those who wish to profit from it. Where a young girl must find her place and her family while trying to survive in a world built for men."

Who are some of your Auto-Buy Authors?

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Review of Steel Tide by Natalie C. Parker

Read for: Recently Added/ Audio Book

Review of Previous Book:

Synopsis: "The second book in a heart-stopping trilogy that follows the captain of an all-female ship intent on taking down a vicious warlord's powerful fleet.

Caledonia may have lost her crew, but she's not done fighting yet. After nearly dying at the hand of a powerful foe, Caledonia is pulled from the sea and nursed back to health by a crew of former Bullets that call themselves Blades. The Blades escaped Aric Athair's clutches and now live a nomadic existence, ready to disappear at a moment's notice should trouble come their way.

But Caledonia wants to do more than just hide. She wants to find the Mors Navis and her beloved sisters. She wants to continue fighting Aric's fleet and to take back the Bullet seas. She'll need to do everything in her power to convince the Blades that fighting is their only option, that there has to be a life better than the one under Aric Athair's reign, and that finding the women of the Mors Navis is the first step to revolution."

My Review: I really loved Seafire a couple of years ago but the cover change kind of threw me off the series. But with the final book coming out soon, I figured it was about time to pick it up. I had forgotten the cliff-hanger ending of the first book! This jumps right in a couple of days later. It was surprisingly easy to slip back into this world and series. The writing style is so smooth and the characters so vivid, it was really easy to recall several of the main characters. This was quite an adventure with a lot of suspense and action. I was a little worried at first that it wasn't going to be as focused on being on the water but we still got all the pirate-like feel of the first book in this one. It definitely brought me right back into the series and I cannot wait for the final book!

My Rating: I was so pleasantly surprised that I was able to really get back into this world so easily, even after reading the first book 2 years ago.  This was a great action book and didn't really suffer from the second book slump. There were revelations made, world and character development and movement in the story. I give it a solid Four Paw rating!

Monday, July 27, 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

A Whiskered Perspective by M.G. Spear
Lending a Paw by Laurie Cass
Sorry (Really Sorry) by Joanna Cotler & Henry Bliss (Bedtime Story)
Delta Force Defender by Megan Crane (Date Night with a Book)

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

Happy and You Know It
Lola Hopscotch and the First Day of School
Chicken on Vacation
Steel Tide

Currently Reading:

You Can't F*ck Up Your Kids by Lindsay Powers - Print - on page 98 of 320
The Ranger of Marzanna by Jon Skovron - print/ebook - on page 134 of 528
Book of Dragons by Various Authors - ebook - on page 283  of 576
Death by Dumpling by Vivien Chien - print - on page 109 of 328

Pages Read/ Time Listened
580:29 Hours Listened (21:18 listened this week)
16,551 Pages Read (434 this week)

Books Added to Shelves Recently: TBR
The Eyes of Tamburah (gift)
The Wolf in the Whale
~~~~~~~~~~March Birthday Waiver Books ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Rain Dragon Rescue
The Order of the Unicorn
All the Wandering Light
Life on the Leash
Phoenix Unbound
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 - UNHAUL
The Voyage to Magical North
I Needed a Viking
Smoke and Iron - UNHAUL
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End Birthday Waiver~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Hood (gift)
Scavenge the Stars
Hades & Persephone
Red, White & Royal Blue
Dark Skies
No Country for Old Gnomes (gift)
About That Kiss
The Ranger of Marzanna
A Heart of Blood and Ashes (gift)
The Girl and the Stars
A Choir of Lies
Loving Cara
This Will Kill That
One to Watch - READ
Woven in Moonlight
Steel Tide - READ
Girl of Fire & Thorns (gift)
Murder Past Due
Books Can Be Deceiving
Due or Die
Book Line and Sinker
Apple Cider Slaying
All My Loving
Fury of a Phoenix
Homicide in Hardcover (gift)
Unravel the Dusk
Ruthless Gods
Mexican Gothic
Happy and You Know It - READ
At Wolf Ranch (gift)


I have been having a hard time focusing on the books I have been picking up.  I think I am starting to get the rhythm back. It was a bit of a hectic week around here too so that didn't help. Hubby had to work a bunch because of people calling out at work. We had Munchkin's 1st Communion (which was kind of sprung on us after being canceled this spring). And of course it was hectic in the office after having a week of vacation.  But with all that said I am pretty happy with how the week went. 

In other news, we have started to move forward with possibly adopting another cat.  This has been the first time I can remember living without a pet ever since we put Niko down at the beginning of the month. It has been the longest month ever! We will miss him and Valerie both but we are ready to welcome a new furry member to the family.