Saturday, September 12, 2020

Graphic Novel Review of Mary: The Adventures of Mary Shelley's Great-Great-Great-Great-Great-Granddaughter by Brea Grant & Illustrated by Yishan Li


Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Anticipated Release/ Graphic Novel

Synopsis: "Angsty teenager Mary Shelley is not interested in carrying on her family’s celebrated legacy of being a great writer, but she soon discovers that she has the not-so-celebrated (and super-secret) Shelley power to heal monsters, just like her famous ancestor, and those monsters are not going to let her ignore her true calling anytime soon.

The Shelley family history is filled with great writers: the original Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, the acclaimed mystery writer Tawny Shelley, cookbook maven Phyllis Shelley…the list goes on and on. But this Mary Shelley, named after her great-great-great-great-great grandmother, doesn’t want anything to do with that legacy. Th2020en a strangely pale (and really cute) boy named Adam shows up and asks her to heal a wound he got under mysterious circumstances, and Mary learns something new about her family: the first Mary Shelley had the power to heal monsters, and Mary has it, too. Now the monsters won’t stop showing up, Mary can’t get her mother Tawny to leave her alone about writing something (anything!), she can’t tell her best friend Rhonda any of this, and all Mary wants is to pass biology."

My Review: As a big fan of Frankenstein, I of course had to read this one. I have to admit that this was not at all what I was expecting but that made it all the better. I loved the modern day setting but with the unique paranormal twist. This is also a great YA book as it speaks to the coming of age and family expectation tropes. I loved the paranormal and fantastical characters that we meet along the way. The color tones and illustration style also lent to the darker style of the story, it worked so well. I really hope that this becomes a series and we get more graphic novels in the future.

My Rating: I really enjoyed this graphic novel, it was a unique use of Mary Shelley's life and story (she doesn't actually have a great-great-great-great-great granddaugther, at least according to all my research).  I loved the paranormal twist and the quirky side characters that are added to the story. I look forward to more and give this one a rating of Four Paws and a Stump Wag!

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

You can find out more about Brea Grant and her books on her Goodreads Page.

Mary: The Adventures of Mary Shelley's Great-Great-Great-Great-Great Granddaughter is schedule to be released on October 6th, 2020 but you can pre-order your own copy in print format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at  your local library or comic book store.

Friday, September 11, 2020

Bedtime Story: Nate the Great Goes Down in the Dumps by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat


Read for: Munchkin's favorite series

Synopsis: "Nate the Great and his trusty dog, Sludge, have a tricky case to solve. Nate’s friend Rosamond has started a fortune-telling business, but her money box is missing. Sludge and Nate visit Claude, who helped Rosamond set up her business, and Finley, who collects boxes for his rat. They can’t seem to help! It looks like the only way to clean up this case is to get down and dirty in the dumps!"

My Review: We are always up for a Nate the Great adventure and I happened to find a copy of this at a local used bookstore. This was another fun case and Munchkin and I like discussing about halfway through where he might find it. The illustrations are always good for getting clues along with Nate the Great. Munchkin loves these books, they are easy to read for young readers and also help promote problem solving for the kids as well. These books are also timeless, unlike some of the other older books, these are still relatable for young readers.

My Rating: We love these books, and this one was no different. It makes Munchkin think, it makes him laugh but most importantly it makes him love reading.  I give this one a rating of Four Paws!

Good Night! Sweet Dreams!

Thursday, September 10, 2020

Review of The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson


Read for: Requested Review/ Netgalley/ Anticipated Release

Synopsis: "Narnia meets traditional Indigenous stories of the sky and constellations in an epic middle grade fantasy series from award-winning author David Robertson.

Morgan and Eli, two Indigenous children forced away from their families and communities, are brought together in a foster home in Winnipeg, Manitoba. They each feel disconnected, from their culture and each other, and struggle to fit in at school and at their new home -- until they find a secret place, walled off in an unfinished attic bedroom. A portal opens to another reality, Askí, bringing them onto frozen, barren grounds, where they meet Ochek (Fisher). The only hunter supporting his starving community, Misewa, Ochek welcomes the human children, teaching them traditional ways to survive. But as the need for food becomes desperate, they embark on a dangerous mission. Accompanied by Arik, a sassy Squirrel they catch stealing from the trapline, they try to save Misewa before the icy grip of winter freezes everything -- including them."

My Review:  I found the synopsis for this one to be very intriguing and was happy I was able to pick it up. It definitely gave me Narnia vibes but with a very different twist. It is slow moving with not a lot of climax but it was more focused on the characters. I really loved following the way Morgan and Eli's characters developed throughout the story and how their relationship changed the more they learned about each other. The Indigenous adds another element to the story, making it so different than other portal stories. The world is so atmospheric, you will feel like you are there, maybe a great book for winter vacation reading. I am definitely intrigued to read more in the series as they come out.

My Review: This was such a great book, I love that some readers will be able to see themselves in this book when there are so few available.  I also really enjoyed the way that Megan and Eli were able to grow throughout the story and adventure, it was a great start to a coming of age series.  I give it a rating of Four 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 David A. Robertson on his Goodreads page or Website.

The Barren Grounds was just released on September 8th so you can obtain your own copy now in print or digital format from Amazon or Barnes & Noble or request it at your local library or independent bookstore.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Can't Wait for . . . The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere


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.

Is anyone else excited that the new Christmas books have started releasing?! While browsing all the new and upcoming Christmas books, I found out that one of my favorite Holiday series, Christmas Hope (aka The Christmas Shoes series) was getting a new book! I am finally caught up on this series and can't wait for this next release!

The Christmas Table by Donna VanLiere
Release Date: October 6, 2020

Synopsis: "From Donna VanLiere, the New York Times bestselling author of The Christmas Hope series comes another heartwarming, inspirational story for the holidays, The Christmas Table.

In June 1972, John Creighton determines to build his wife Joan a kitchen table. His largest project to date had been picture frames but he promises to have the table ready for Thanksgiving dinner. Inspired to put something delicious on the table, Joan turns to her mother's recipes she had given to Joan when she and John married.

In June 2012, Lauren Mabrey discovers she's pregnant. Gloria, Miriam, and the rest of her friends at Glory's Place begin to pitch in, helping Lauren prepare their home for the baby. On a visit to the local furniture builder, Lauren finds a table that he bought at a garage sale but has recently refinished. Once home, a drawer is discovered under the table which contains a stack of recipe cards. Growing up in one foster home after another, Lauren never learned to cook and is fascinated as she reads through the cards. Personal notes have been written on each one from the mother to her daughter and time and again Lauren wonders where they lived, when they lived, and in a strange way, she feels connected to this mother and her daughter and wants to make the mother proud.

The story continues to from 1972 to 2012 as Joan battles breast cancer and Lauren learns to cook, preparing for the baby's arrival. As Christmas nears, can Lauren unlock the mystery of the table, and find the peace she's always longed for?"

What are some of your favorite Holiday/Christmas books? When do you start reading holiday themed books?

Tuesday, September 8, 2020

It's Not Monday Reading List

So yesterday was Labor Day and I didn't get a chance to post, but it is 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

#Frankenstein by Mike Bezemek
The Last Man by Mary Shelley
The Mortal Immortal by Mary Shelley
Little People Big Dreams: Mary Shelley by Mª Isabel Sánchez Vegara (Bedtime Story)

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

The Barren Grounds
All My Loving
Soul Riders: Jorvik Calling
Nate the Great goes Down in the Dumps

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 287 of 528
The Phoenix Empress by K. Arsenault Rivera - Audio/Print - on page 67 of 544
The Librarian of Auschwitz by Antonio Iturbe - Audio - 32%

Pages Read/ Time Listened
678:57 Hours Listened (15:52 listened this week)
20,739 Pages Read (336 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
The Voyage to Magical North
I Needed a Viking
The Overdue Life of Amy Byler
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~End Birthday Waiver~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Red Hood (gift)
Scavenge the Stars
Hades & Persephone
Dark Skies
No Country for Old Gnomes (gift)
About That Kiss
The Ranger of Marzanna
The Girl and the Stars
A Choir of Lies
Loving Cara
This Will Kill That
Girl of Fire & Thorns (gift)
Murder Past Due
All My Loving - READ
Fury of a Phoenix
Homicide in Hardcover (gift)
Unravel the Dusk
Ruthless Gods
Mexican Gothic


So I didn't get as much reading done as I wanted to last week. It was hectic week getting ready for Munchkin to go back to school today. I also might have gone on a bit of a book buying binge, a good friend and I headed down to CT to a glorious place called the Book Barn. It is a used bookstore that is so big they have 3 separate locations in town, and we visited them all! I haven't yet updated my recently added list with all the new books, that will have to be on next weeks list! 

But in the mean time, I hope to start getting back to a bit of a regular reading schedule now that Munchkin won't be in the office and in the car with me constantly. 

Happy Reading to all of you!!