Thursday, January 30, 2020

REVIEW: A Week Without Tuesday by Angelica Banks

A Week Without Tuesday
A charming adventure full of magic and mystery, set in the land where stories come from.

Something is broken in the land of story. Real and imaginary worlds are colliding—putting everything and everyone in grave peril. Tuesday and Baxterr, at the request of the Librarian, and with the help of Vivienne Small, venture to find the Gardener—the one person who can stop this catastrophe. On their way, they'll meet friends and foes, and discover strengths they didn't know they had. Will they be able to save the land of story?

A Week Without Tuesday by Angelica Banks, with illustrations by Stevie Lewis, is the charming sequel to Finding Serendipity, a middle grade novel full of all the magic, mystery, and adorable illustrations readers have come to expect from this series.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

NOTE: This is a sequel to another book. To see my review for book one, look here.

After reading Finding Serendipity, I immediately put this book on hold at my library because I enjoyed it so much. I am happy to say that I enjoyed this even more than the first book and that this is my first 5 star read of 2020!

Just as Tuesday is becoming a writer, writing is taken away from her. Famous writers across the world are disappearing and then appearing in remote places far from home. So, Tuesday's father has forbidden her and her mother from writing, in fear of the same happening to them, but you cannot avoid writing and the place stories come from. Vivienne Small, the main character of Serendipity's books, is noticing that something is wrong with her world and calls for Tuesday and Baxterr. There is something wrong with the land of stories and if Tuesday doesn't fix it, that means no more stories can be written.

I absolutely loved the premise of the first book, Finding Serendipity. I loved how it was a book about books, but it focused on the craft of writing, and it was an imaginative take on how authors create their stories. But the adventure in the last book didn't fully capture my attention. I loved it, but I still felt the need to take breaks. I did not want a break from this book! I read it beginning to end in one afternoon because the adventure was so compelling!

This book really expanded the universe of writing from book one. We only really got to see the library and Vivienne's world before, but now we see how all of the writers' worlds are spaced together, and the danger that occurs when they get too close! It made for a very thrilling story! We also learn more about the Librarian, as well as who helps run the land of stories. It was just so imaginative, seeing how the land of stories functioned. I still have a few questions in regards to the worlds: Do screenwriters and playwrights create worlds here too? What about fanfiction? If someone writes fanfiction, do they create their own world or does it combine with the original world? I can't help but be curious about this world!

As thrilling as this book was, it was also quite amusing! The world is not as fun as the first book (although, there were also dangers in book one!), and there were very deadly situations, but it was all written in a rather amusing way. This book is written with that classic middle-grade charm that makes reading fun, even if you are anxious about the characters surviving a situation. Like the last book, this book also followed multiple characters, occasionally showing the real world while events happened in the land of stories. In the last book, I didn't feel as tense because we found out early on that the mother was okay. This book has tense moments on both sides, so the switches between worlds added tension and made me really want to keep reading!

Overall, I loved this book and I already put the next book on hold at my library! I honestly wish this land of stories would exist, because how fun would it be to be literally taken to another world, a world you have created (of course this sounds more fun when you're not writing a dangerous book)! But I'll just have to not-so-literary be taken to another world when writing.

I hereby give this book
5 Stars!
Meaning: A new favorite!

Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday: The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow

Waiting on Wednesday (or Can't Wait Wednesday) is a weekly meme, hosted by Wishful Endings, where we talk about the books we're waiting (a bit impatiently) for!

This week I am waiting for...

The Sound of Stars
Don’t miss this spectacular debut novel… Can a girl who risks her life for books and an alien who loves forbidden pop music work together to save humanity? This road trip is truly out of this world! A beautiful and thrilling read for fans of Marie Lu and Veronica Roth.

Two years ago, a misunderstanding between the leaders of Earth and the invading Ilori resulted in the deaths of one-third of the world’s population.

Seventeen-year-old Janelle “Ellie” Baker survives in an Ilori-controlled center in New York City. Deemed dangerously volatile because of their initial reaction to the invasion, humanity’s emotional transgressions are now grounds for execution. All art, books and creative expression are illegal, but Ellie breaks the rules by keeping a secret library. When a book goes missing, Ellie is terrified that the Ilori will track it back to her and kill her.

Born in a lab, M0Rr1S (Morris) was raised to be emotionless. When he finds Ellie’s illegal library, he’s duty-bound to deliver her for execution. The trouble is, he finds himself drawn to human music and in desperate need of more. They’re both breaking the rules for love of art—and Ellie inspires the same feelings in him that music does.

Ellie’s—and humanity’s—fate rests in the hands of an alien she should fear. M0Rr1S has a lot of secrets, but also a potential solution—thousands of miles away. The two embark on a wild and dangerous road trip with a bag of books and their favorite albums, all the while making a story and a song of their own that just might save them both. 
Release Date: February 25th, 2020

Why am I waiting?
When I first saw this book I went back and forth on whether I wanted to add it to my TBR or not. It sounded intriguing, but I worried that this was dystopian (and I struggle with dystopians now) and a society in which "art, books and creative expression are illegal" is one of my worst fears so I did not know whether I wanted to read that. But, I found myself wondering about the book and the rest of the synopsis sounds super fun. It is a road trip in space and yes, I am a sucker for that.
What book are you waiting for this week?

Monday, January 27, 2020

REVIEW: Finding Serendipity by Angelica Banks

Finding Serendipity (Tuesday McGillycuddy, #1)

When Tuesday McGillycuddy and her beloved dog, Baxterr, discover that Tuesday's mother ― the famous author Serendipity Smith ― has gone missing, they set out on a magical adventure. In their quest to find Serendipity, they discover the mysterious and unpredictable place that stories come from. Here, Tuesday befriends the fearless Vivienne Small, learns to sail an enchanted boat, tangles with an evil pirate, and discovers the truth about her remarkable dog. Along the way, she learns what it means to be a writer and how difficult it can sometimes be to get all the way to The End.

Goodreads / AmazonBarnes&Noble Book Depository

I say this a lot but I am an absolute sucker for books within books, so the concept of this book immediately intrigued me!

Tuesday's mother is Serendipity Smith, the famous author of the Vivienne Small books. The last book in the series is currently being written and Tuesday cannot wait for her mother to be done. But it seems to be taking her mother too long, so Tuesday goes into her mother's office and finds that she's gone, her window open and her story still unfinished. Tuesday thinks there is something wrong, despite her father's reassures. Her mother must be stuck at The End, so Tuesday starts her own story and gets swept into the world where stories are made.

This book has such a unique concept! So many books about books feature characters coming to life or people traveling in books (not that either of these are bad concepts because I still found them fascinating!), this book focused more on the writer aspect. The act of writing in this book can take you to a whole other world. In this word, though, it is entirely based on your writing. There are places that are meant to help you write, like The Library, but there namely is a place that is entirely the world in your book and you are meant to control it. I loved this concept and how it was portrayed. I admit I am jealous because I would love to literally travel to another world when I am writing and to live it (although, this might be frightening if you are writing a particularly dangerous book). I love all the little writer tidbits throughout the book, such as the library of unfinished books and the food writers eat.

Tuesday was a fantastic character! She has a strong personality and a lot of bravery for a kid her age. Sure, sometimes she doesn't feel brave, but it takes guts to go on this adventure to find her mother. I thought it was interesting how Tuesday was so positive that her mother was stuck at The End, because, yeah, that is a notorious place for writers to get stuck. But I think Tuesday really does change throughout the course of the book. She isn't on her adventure for very long, but she realizes how brave she really is and, more importantly, that she is a writer. Like I mentioned before, this book really shows a love for writing. In this book, Tuesday is so used to her mother writing that she associates writing with her mom. Tuesday did not consider herself a writer, but only writers can go into this world. I just loved how Tuesday came to this realization and how by the end of the book she had so much excitement for writing and this world she traveled to.

Overall, this was a fantastic book! It has a very unique concept and I loved how it showed writing! This was a really fun and quick read. I already have the next book checked out from the library and I hope to read it soon!

I hereby give this book
4 Stars!
Meaning: I really liked this book!

Sunday, January 26, 2020

New Releases in YA! (January 26th-31st)

Every week I list all (or almost all) of the YA books (and the occasional MG) that are coming out within that week!
P.S. Click on the book's cover for the Goodreads page!

Did I miss any books?
What books, if any, do you plan to read?

Saturday, January 25, 2020

Short and Simple Reviews: Wait Till Helen Comes, From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, and Second Chances

This is a place for books that I didn't fully review.
Maybe I listed my likes and dislikes, had a little short paragraph, or a few sentences to convey my feelings on the book, but whatever the "review" is, all of them are short and simple. (hence the clever name)

Wait Till Helen Comes: A Ghost Story
Twelve-year-old Molly and her ten-year-old brother, Michael, have never liked their seven-year-old stepsister, Heather. Ever since their parents got married, she's made Molly and Michael's life miserable. Now their parents have moved them all to the country to live in a house that used to be a church, with a cemetery in the backyard. If that's not bad enough, Heather starts talking to a ghost named Helen and warning Molly and Michael that Helen is coming for them. Molly feels certain Heather is in some kind of danger, but every time she tries to help, Heather twists things around to get her into trouble. It seems as if things can't get any worse.

But they do -- when Helen comes.
  Goodreads / Amazon  / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

This is a classic children's horror book that I never read as a child. I figured it would be the perfect Halloween read. I didn't love this as much as I was expecting--this book seems to be well-loved--but I think if I read this as a child I would have enjoyed it more. This was a fairly quick read, but I found myself frustrated with a lot of the characters, especially the parents. They just surprise the kids with a move, telling them that they won't be going to camp anymore, instead, they're going to be in the countryside living in an old church. There is no positive spin for the kids at all, they're literally moving so that Mom and Dave can work on their art (and ignore the kids all summer. Except to yell at them). Then they yell at Molly for not watching Heather and that's literally all she's supposed to do all summer. Molly did not choose to move, you forced her to move and then you force her to babysit because you have to paint all day? Michael (Molly's brother) was completely useless. He just runs off and never helps Molly. Molly gets incredibly distressed throughout the book and I really felt for her. She is also frustrated that no one will help her and no one will believe her that Heather is talking to a ghost. I also completely understood her fear of death and graveyards (this is coming from an adult who still holds her breath whenever she drives past a graveyard). She is really annoyed and frustrated with Heather, but she still has compassion for her, and I think it was really brave of her. She wants to make sure Heather is safe, even though Heather is making her life miserable. For a lot of the book, I did kind of speed-read because I thought Mom, Dave, and Michael were being ridiculous and I was feeling stressed for Molly. The last part of the book, though, was fantastic. It was haunting and I loved how Molly and Heather's relationship turned out. Overall, this is a decent ghost story. 
I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler

When suburban Claudia Kincaid decides to run away, she knows she doesn’t just want to run from somewhere, she wants to run to somewhere — to a place that is comfortable, beautiful, and, preferably, elegant. She chooses the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Knowing her younger brother Jamie has money and thus can help her with a serious cash-flow problem, she invites him along.

Once settled into the museum, Claudia and Jamie find themselves caught up in the mystery of an angel statue that the museum purchased at auction for a bargain price of $225. The statue is possibly an early work of the Renaissance master, Michelangelo, and therefore worth millions. Is it? Or isn’t it?

Claudia is determined to find out. Her quest leads her to Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler, the remarkable old woman who sold the statue, and to some equally remarkable discoveries about herself.
  Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Book Depository

So, this is a pretty classic children's book but up until now, I had not read it. I did not even know the title of this book, but the idea of kids running away to a museum has now been cemented into pop culture. I am trying to read more classic MG books so I decided to finally get around to reading this book! I did like this book and I can see why it has become a classic. I liked the siblings, although I liked Jamie more than Claudia. I did have to keep reminding myself that this book takes place in the 60s, so prices have changed. I do wish the mystery as more prominent, but this is a fairly short read so I understand why. The book is entirely narrated by Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. While I think it was an interesting way to narrate the book, I found her voice rather unlikable for some reason. Overall, though, I did like this book.
I hereby give this book
3.5 Stars
Meaning: I liked it, but it wasn't quite amazing

Second Chances (Everyday Angel, #2)

Meet a guardian angel like no other, from a writer like no other. Bold, rising star Victoria Schwab returns with the second book in this whimsical, inspiring, and clever middle-grade series.

There's more to Aria than meets the eye. She's a guardian angel. And to earn her wings, she'll have to help three different girls. . . .

This time, Aria comes to Caroline Mason. At her all-girls' prep school, Caroline is being bullied. She eats lunch alone and is picked on by her classmates every day. The ringleader of the mean girls is Lily Pierce. But Lily isn't an ordinary bully: she used to be Caroline's best friend.

When Aria arrives, she can see Caroline is suffering. But, to Aria's surprise, so is Lily. What is the story behind Lily's cruel actions? And can Aria help guide Caroline out of the darkness . . . and into better, brighter future? 

I loved the first book in this series, New Beginnings. It was such a powerful story, so well-written, and I absolutely loved it. I did not like this book quite as much. I still liked this book, but I think the plot was a lot more like so many other MG books, while the first one felt new. Two girls were best friends and then one decides popularity is better than friendship and starts bullying the other. It is a pretty common storyline in MG and I expected something more when starting this book. It is still done well and it shows both sides of bullying (since Aria must help both the girl being bullied and the bully). I still liked the guardian angel aspect and I liked how this book showed what real friendship can be [highlight to view spoiler]I also like that Caroline did not go back to Lily [end of spoiler]. I do plan on continuing the series.
I hereby give this book
3.5 Stars
Meaning: I liked it, but it wasn't quite amazing

Friday, January 24, 2020

REVIEW: Awakening by Christy Dorrity

Awakening (The Geis, #1)

Because some Celtic stories won’t be contained in myth . . .

A little magic has always run in sixteen-year-old McKayla McCleery's family—at least that’s what she’s been told. McKayla’s eccentric Aunt Avril travels the world as a psychic for the FBI, and her mother can make amazing delicacies out of the most basic of ingredients. But McKayla doesn't think for a second that the magic is real—it’s just good storytelling. Besides, McKayla doesn’t need magic. She recently moved to beautiful Star Valley, Wyoming, and already she has a best friend, a solo in her upcoming ballet recital—and the gorgeous guy in her physics class keeps looking her way.

When an unexpected fascination with Irish dance leads McKayla to seek instruction from the mute, crippled janitor at her high school, she learns that her family is not the only one with unexplained abilities.

After Aunt Avril comes to Star Valley in pursuit of a supernatural killer, people begin disappearing, and the lives of those McKayla holds most dear are threatened. When the janitor reveals that an ancient curse, known as a geis, has awakened deadly powers that defy explanation, McKayla is forced to come to terms with what is real and what is fantasy.

A thrilling debut novel based in Celtic mythology, Awakening is a gripping young adult fantasy rife with magic, romance, and mystery.

This was an ebook freebie I downloaded quite a few years ago. This was an okay read, but I don't feel strongly about it.

McKayla is a ballet dancer and spends most of her time dancing. When her eccentric aunt, who works as a physic for the FBI, comes to town chasing after an odd pattern of murders, McKayla figures it has nothing to do with her. Instead, McKayla starts to take an interest in Irish dancing, after seeing her school janitor dance. But when a woman involved in her aunt's case starts to take a strange interest in McKayla's sister, and McKayla starts displaying physic abilities, she realizes that there is more going on.

I have a thing that I do with ebook freebies (that have been sitting on my ereader for many years) where I read the first couple chapters and decide whether to continue. This book passed this test because the first couple chapter brought up enough intriguing elements, but halfway through, the story lost its steam and I had trouble continuing. It wasn't bad, I was just disinterested.

I am going to start with positives though. What made me want to read this book was its inclusion of Celtic mythology. While it took a while for some of the more fantastical elements, they were interesting and certainly new. I also liked how the book portrayed McKayla's interest in dance. This took up a big portion of the book, but so many other books I've read don't bother showing an MC's hobbies, so I liked how this one did. I also liked the MC's abilities, though I can't go too much into detail about that because of spoilers.

What I had difficulty with this book was mainly the pacing. Most of this book felt like a contemporary book with light paranormal elements. Whenever the fantasy elements come in, it felt out of place. Mostly because it takes a long time for the Celtic mythology to really show up, not just in hints, and when it does we sometimes got info-dumping. There are also a lot of filler scenes. All of these did not make me dislike the book, but it made it difficult to continue because it made things slow.

The characters were fine. I didn't fully feel connected to them or their interactions, but McKayla is a decent MC. Like I said, I liked that the book showed her hobbies and I liked how her physic abilities were portrayed. The only character I had trouble with was her little sister, who was supposed to be eleven but talked and acted like a 6-year-old.

There is romance in this book, but it was a small part of the story. I actually thought it was kind of sweet even though it frustrated me how long it took McKayla to realize that this guy liked her.

As for the ending, a lot of the story is tied up, but it does end in a cliffhanger that is meant to tie into the next book. Since the next book never came out (it was supposed to come out in 2014), I did feel like I wasted my time when I got to the end of the book.

Overall, I am really meh about this book. I think it had some interesting ideas, but the pacing was so odd. I wish I had stronger feelings for this book, but I just don't. I highly doubt I'll remember it a few months from now and if the author ever publishes the sequel, I don't plan on reading it.

I hereby give this book
2.5 Stars
Meaning: I almost liked it, but not quite

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Cover vs Cover: Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

This week's pick is...

Shadow and Bone (The Shadow and Bone Trilogy, #1) VS.  Shadow and Bone (Shadow and Bone, #1)
Original                           Redesign
I remember first seeing Shadow and Bone and not being impressed with the cover but now I have love for it. The new cover is a good cover, and I like the blue, but I prefer the architectural element in the original. I also am not a fan of the texture in the silhouette in the new cover but maybe that looks better in person. Overall, I do prefer the original but that might be a little bit because of nostalgia.
 Final Verdict: Original
What do you think? Give me your thoughts on which cover is the best!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Waiting on Wednesday: Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor by Ally Carter

Waiting on Wednesday (or Can't Wait Wednesday) is a weekly meme, hosted by Wishful Endings, where we talk about the books we're waiting (a bit impatiently) for!

This week I am waiting for...

Winterborne Home for Vengeance and Valor
New York Times best-selling author Ally Carter’s middle grade debut is full of mystery, mayhem, and friendship, and it will keep you guessing until the very end. 

April didn’t mean to start the fire. She wasn’t even the one who broke the vase.

She had absolutely no intention of becoming the only person who knows that Gabriel Winterborne, the missing-and-presumed-dead billionaire, is neither missing nor dead and is actually living in the basement of Winterborne House, sharpening his swords and looking for vengeance.

Now that April knows Gabriel Winterborne is alive, it’s up to her to keep him that way. But there’s only so much a twelve-year-old girl can do, so April must turn to the other orphans for help. Together, they’ll have to unravel the riddle of a missing heir and a creepy legend, and find a secret key, before the only home they’ve ever known is lost to them forever. 
Release Date: March 3rd, 2020

Why am I waiting?
I love reading Ally Carter's books and this one happens to be middle grade and I am on a big middle-grade kick lately (so there are two pluses right there)! This book looks like it will have a similar vibe to Carter's previous books but with a younger cast. The first part of the synopsis also sounds intriguing, that the MC discovers a presumed dead billionaire living in the basement. I already want to know more. Overall, this sounds like it will be a blast to read and I expect a lot of shenanigans!
What book are you waiting for this week?

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Recent Additions to My TBR

Hosted each week by That Artsy Reader Girl, it's a meme for listing the top ten for everything bookish.
This week we are talking about recent additions to our bookshelves and I decided to focus on the ten books I recently discovered and added to my TBR!

When Andra wakes up, she’s drowning.
Not only that, but she’s in a hot, dirty cave, it’s the year 3102, and everyone keeps calling her Goddess. When Andra went into a cryonic sleep for a trip across the galaxy, she expected to wake up in a hundred years, not a thousand. Worst of all, the rest of the colonists–including her family and friends–are dead. They died centuries ago, and for some reason, their descendants think Andra’s a deity. She knows she’s nothing special, but she’ll play along if it means she can figure out why she was left in stasis and how to get back to Earth.
Zhade, the exiled bastard prince of Eerensed, has other plans. Four years ago, the sleeping Goddess’s glass coffin disappeared from the palace, and Zhade devoted himself to finding it. Now he’s hoping the Goddess will be the key to taking his rightful place on the throne–if he can get her to play her part, that is. Because if his people realize she doesn’t actually have the power to save their dying planet, they’ll kill her.
With a vicious monarch on the throne and a city tearing apart at the seams, Zhade and Andra might never be able to unlock the mystery of her fate, let alone find a way to unseat the king, especially since Zhade hasn’t exactly been forthcoming with Andra. And a thousand years from home, is there any way of knowing that Earth is better than the planet she’s woken to?

Why I added it: I saw this when creating a cover reveal post and even though I read the synopsis, I didn't add it to my TBR, but I kept thinking about this premise and now I need to read it.

From the creator of the hit TV series The Bold Type comes an empowering and heartfelt novel about a future female president's senior year of high school.
Ava, CJ, Jordan, and Martha (listed in alphabetical order out of fairness) have been friends since kindergarten. Now they're in their senior year, facing their biggest fears about growing up and growing apart. But there's more than just college on the horizon. One of these girls is destined to become the president of the United States. The mystery, of course, is which girl gets the gig.
Is it Ava, the picture-perfect artist who's secretly struggling to figure out where she belongs? Or could it be CJ, the one who's got everything figured out...except how to fix her terrible SAT scores? Maybe it's Jordan, the group's resident journalist, who knows she's ready for more than their small Ohio suburb can offer. And don't overlook Martha, who will have to overcome all the obstacles that stand in the way of her dreams.
This is the story of four best friends who have one another's backs through every new love, breakup, stumble, and success--proving that great friendships can help young women achieve anything...even a seat in the Oval Office.
Why I added it: I like the premise, that this is a contemporary that shows four girls, one of which will be a future president (but we do not know who). I love books featuring positive female friendships and am always looking to add more of those to my TBR!

Sixteen-year-old Marigold "Goldie" Vance has an insatiable curiosity. She lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place, and it's her dream to one day be the hotel's in-house detective. When Walter, the current detective, encounters a case he can't crack, together they utilize her smarts, skills, and connections to solve the mystery...even if it means getting into a drag race, solving puzzles, or chasing a helicopter to do it!

Why I added it: After reading Lumberjanes and Giant Days, I was looking into BOOM! Box's other titles and this one came highly recommended.

Twelve-year-old Carley Connors can take a lot. Growing up in Las Vegas with her fun-loving mother, she's learned to be tough. But she never expected a betrayal that would land her in a foster care. When she's placed with the Murphys, a lively family with three boys, she's blindsided. Do happy families really exist? Carley knows she could never belong in their world, so she keeps her distance.
It's easy to stay suspicious of Daniel, the brother who is almost her age and is resentful she's there. But Mrs. Murphy makes her feel heard and seen for the first time, and the two younger boys seem determinded to work their way into her heart. Before she knows it, Carley is protected the boys from a neighbourhood bullly and even teaching Daniel how to play basketball. Then just when she's feeling like she could truly be one of the Murphys, news from her mother shakes her world.

Why I added it: I read Fish in the Tree by the same author and wanted to give her first book a try.

From Barbara O'Connor, the beloved author of Wish, comes a big-hearted story about the meaning of friendship, the challenges of growing up, and one lovable runaway dog.
Mavis Jeeter is fearless and bold, but she has never lived in one place long enough to have a real best friend. Her flighty mother has uprooted them again to another new home and taken a job as a housekeeper for the Tully family. Mavis wants this home to be permanent--which means finding herself a best friend.
Rose Tully is a worrier who feels like she doesn't quite fit in with the other girls in her neighborhood. Her closest friend is Mr. Duffy, but he hasn't been himself since his dog died. Rose may have to break a few of her mother's many rules to help Mr. Duffy--and find someone who really understands her.
Henry has run away from home, but he craves kindness and comfort--and doesn't know where to look for them.
When Mavis and Rose hatch a scheme to find Mr. Duffy a new dog, their lives and Henry's intersect--and they all come to find friendship in places they never expected.

Why I added it: Honestly, I am just a sucker for dog books

The Lunar Chronicles meets Rook in this queer #OwnVoices science-fantasy novel, perfect for fans of Marissa Meyer and Sharon Cameron.
A secret beats inside Anna Thatcher's chest: an illegal clockwork heart. Anna works cog by cog -- donning the moniker Technician -- to supply black market medical technology to the sick and injured, against the Commissioner's tyrannical laws.
Nathaniel Fremont, the Commissioner's son, has never had to fear the law. Determined to earn his father's respect, Nathaniel sets out to capture the Technician. But the more he learns about the outlaw, the more he questions whether his father's elusive affection is worth chasing at all.
Their game of cat and mouse takes an abrupt turn when Eliza, a skilled assassin and spy, arrives. Her mission is to learn the Commissioner's secrets at any cost -- even if it means betraying her own heart.
When these uneasy allies discover the most dangerous secret of all, they must work together despite their differences and put an end to a deadly epidemic -- before the Commissioner ends them first. 

Why I added it: I no idea what most of that synopsis says but I heard that there is ace rep, so now I need to read it.

Some stories cannot be told in just one lifetime. Harry August is on his deathbed. Again. No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes. Until now. As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. "I nearly missed you, Doctor August," she says. "I need to send a message." This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

Why I added it: This sounds like such a strange book and I am here for it. It is described as being reincarnation and time travel, which are both things I love reading!

GROUNDHOG DAY gets a hilarious French twist in this delightful upper middle grade novel about first crushes and friendship when an eighth-grade class trip to Paris goes horribly wrong and the worst day of one girl’s life keeps happening over and over.
Fourteen-year-old Eve Hollis is ready to push through her fears and finally let her crush know how she feels. And what better place to tell him than on top of the Eiffel Tower in the City of Love? But things don’t go as planned, and Eve is sure she’s had the worst day of her life— until she wakes up the next morning to realize the whole disaster of a day is happening again. She’s trapped in a time loop.
Desperate to make it stop, Eve will have to take some big risks and learn from her mistakes or she’s destined to live the most awkwardly painful day of her life over and over again, forever.

Why I added it: I actually wanted to add this to my TBR months ago, right after I saw the rights report for this on Publisher's Weekly, but it wasn't added to Goodreads until I was making this post! I love books with the repeating days trope! It is so much fun and I think it is interesting to see what kinds of shenanigans someone can get into while repeating the same day!

Ellen Cormier at Dial has acquired, at auction, world rights to Jake Maia Arlow's Almost Flying, which follows 13-year-old Dalia as she takes part in a summer road trip to several amusement parks and celebrates found family, first queer crushes, and the singular delight of roller coasters. Publication is scheduled for summer 2021; Jim McCarthy at Dystel, Goderich & Bourret negotiated the deal.

Why I added it: This is another book I saw on Publisher's Weekly. While all the information I have is from the rights report, it is enough to catch my attention. It just sounds like it has so many things I love, like road trips, amusement parks (I have been weirdly interested in amusement park history the past year), found family, and it overall just sounds adorable and fun. 

Following her father's death, Jane North-Robinson and her mom move from sunny California to the dreary, dilapidated old house in Maine where her mother grew up. All they want is a fresh start, but behind North Manor's doors lurks a history that leaves them feeling more alone...and more tormented.
As the cold New England autumn arrives, and Jane settles in to her new home, she finds solace in old books and memories of her dad. She steadily begins making new friends, but also faces bullying from the resident "bad seed," struggling to tamp down her own worst nature in response. Jane's mom also seems to be spiraling with the return of her childhood home, but she won't reveal why. Then Jane discovers that the "storage room" her mom has kept locked isn't for storage at all -- it's a little girl's bedroom, left untouched for years and not quite as empty of inhabitants as it appears...
Is it grief? Mental illness? Or something more... horrid?

Why I added it: When I first started reading the synopsis it sounded like the typical ghosty YA book, complete with moving to a dilapidated house, but the last few lines really hooked me and now I am curious.

What are your recent additions to your TBR?

Monday, January 20, 2020

REVIEW: Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer

Night of the Purple Moon (The Toucan Trilogy #1)

Thirteen-year-old Abby Leigh yearns for her family to be reunited - in Cambridge, not Castine Island where she feels like an outsider. Her younger brother, Jordan, is having no problem fitting in and making friends.

Everyone on Castine Island is anxiously awaiting the arrival of the purple moon, caused by a comet entering the Earth's atmosphere. Scientists expected this thrilling phenomenon and food companies are churning out purple-colored products in celebration of the comet’s arrival.

The morning following the comet’s debut Abby and Jordan make a chilling discovery: every adult on the island is dead. The children of the island band together to withstand their new circumstances, and the older kids quickly learn a gripping truth about their own ticking clocks. It's only a matter of time before they succumb to the comet bacteria, but can they raise the next generation to survive?
I have had this book on my TBR for quite a while and I was fully ready to take it off my TBR. Reading the synopsis, it just did not seem like my kind of book anymore. But, I decided to give the book a chance. I told myself that I would read the first few chapters and then decide whether I wanted to keep reading. And I became invested in the story. While I did not end up loving this book, I did like it.

The passing comet was supposed to be a night of excitement, but the comet exposes the Earth to a space bacteria. Abby wakes up to find her father dead, and her neighbors pound on the door saying that they have found their parents dead. It seems that every adult on the island is dead, the only survivors are those who have yet to hit puberty. Abby and the rest of the kids start their own society, but Abby fears what will happen to her, and the other children, when they reach puberty.

I don't go for post-apocalyptic books anymore. I used to really love these types of books, books featuring kids in a world without adults, but now they don't pique my interest. So I was surprised by how this book roped me into the story. I found myself wanting to know how these kids would survive. Parts of this story are very similar to other post-apocalyptic books, but it did still feel different. The age group was especially different because they were all pre-teens or younger, but they had to act older (I had to remind myself of their age sometimes). They did seem to act too old for their age at points, such as when it came to romance. They did feel more like teenagers than pre-teens. I also wondered about the puberty age shown in this book because it seemed like puberty was equal to being a teenager (13-14) when girls oftentimes start at 12.

The book was fairly short and a pretty quick read. Each chapter focuses on a certain point of time (like a day after, a week after, a month, etc.). I liked this format as it gave a slice of life of how they were trying to survive and it showed the community slowly progressing. The plot really changes in the second half of the book. Throughout the book, there is the ticking time bomb of puberty (and with that the space dust disease) and it certainly progresses the further along in the book we get. It kept me reading and it made me want to hope for the best for these children.

This book does have its fair share of dark moments, there is plenty of death, but there is plenty of hope in the book. I loved seeing how the community of children banded together and created a semblance of society and routine (even though not every child on the island joined the community). I loved how they kept their hope for the world and how Abby still tried to see the best in people even after seeing people at their worst.

Overall, I did end up liking this book. It was a fairly quick read and I found myself wanting to know what will happen to these children. This is the first book in a series but I will admit that I do not think I will continue. While I liked this book, I do not wish to buy more books. I do have some questions, but I like how this one ended.

I hereby give this book
3 Stars
Meaning: I liked it

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Joining Beat the Backlist 2020!

The 2020 Beat the Backlist Challenge is being hosted by NovelKnight! The challenge is meant to push us to read books published in 2019 and earlier!

I am also doing a challenge on Goodreads called the Cleaning Out the TBR Closet. In this challenge, I am trying to read books added to my TBR in 2013-2017. I mainly am trying to finish off my 2013 shelf! Because of that, my goals for this challenge are to not only read books published before 2020 but to read books I added to my TBR before 2020. I am trying to read books I add as I get them, but I want the books on my older TBRs to be the focus in this challenge as well.

At this time I have 715 books I own but not read, 175 ebooks I've yet to read, and 571 books on my general to-read list. So, it is difficult for me to list specific books or specific numbers because I just want to make a dent in these lists. It would be nice to get the ones I've read under 650, ebooks under 175, and general TBR under 550, but I always struggle with adding more (which is why I am joining the TBR Stackers group in this challenge).

I will update this post as I go along! 
Published in 2019
Published in 2018
Published in 2017
Published in 2016
Published in 2015
Published in 2014
Published in 2013
Published in 2012

If you wish to join the challenge, feel free to visit NovelKnight!

New Releases in YA! (January 19th-25th)

Every week I list all (or almost all) of the YA books (and the occasional MG) that are coming out within that week!
P.S. Click on the book's cover for the Goodreads page!

Did I miss any books?
What books, if any, do you plan to read?