Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Top 7 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads


Top 7 Of My Most Recent 5 Star Reads 
I know it is supposed to be top 10 but I could only come up with 7! I haven't been reading enough great books apparently.

Furiously Happy
by Jenny Lawson

The Uninvited 
by Cat Winters 
The Only Child
by Guojing
Little Robot 
by Ben Hatke 


Roller Gilr
by Victoria Jamieson

 Viva Frida
by Yuyi Morales

 Finding Serendipity 
by Angela Banks


Wednesday, March 16, 2016

The Uninvited by Cat Winters

The Uninvited 
by Cat Winters 
343 pages
Published by William Morrow  
August 2015

Book Jacket Summary
Twenty-five year old Ivy Rowan rises from her bed after being struck by the flu, only to discover the world has been torn apart in just a few short days.

But Ivy’s life-long gift—or curse—remains. For she sees the uninvited ones—ghosts of loved ones who appear to her, unasked, unwelcomed, for they always herald impending death. On that October evening in 1918 she sees the spirit of her grandmother, rocking in her mother’s chair. An hour later, she learns her younger brother and father have killed a young German out of retaliation for the death of Ivy’s older brother Billy in the Great War.

Horrified, she leaves home, to discover the flu has caused utter panic and the rules governing society have broken down. Ivy is drawn into this new world of jazz, passion, and freedom, where people live for the day, because they could be stricken by nightfall. But as her ‘uninvited guests’ begin to appear to her more often, she knows her life will be torn apart once more, but Ivy has no inkling of the other-worldly revelations about to unfold.

My Thoughts
Cat Winters is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors. She is showing the world how a historical novel should be written, especially one with such emotional undertones. Although this is listed with YA book it is one meant for adults but it is one that has cross-over appeal for teens who loved In the Shadow of Blackbirds. This book also deals with the ramifications of the Spanish flu epidemic and World War I on a woman and the people around her. However, this books delves more into the hate and bigotry that German Americans faced in small towns. They are killed and it is called patriotic. This is what kicks off the book. 
Ivy leaves her home after recovering from the flu when she finds out that her father and brother have killed a German in town. Her leaving causes her to meet Daniel, the brother of the man her family killed. The guilt she feels makes her want to help him and quickly falls in love with him. This is where the more adult elements kick in. I do think that teens will still like Ivy. Her nativity is well executed with the time period and her homebound ways. She just wants to cut herself off from the pain and emotions that the outside world can cause, also she feels that her staying at home protects the people inside.  
There is much use of poetry in the book, especially Emily Dickinson. It parallels the book perfectly and echos Ivy's own secluded life prior to the flu. I think that Cat Winters does a great job of including it within the book without it seeming out of place as it does in other books I have read. 
I would highly recommend this book and Cat Winters' earlier books. I know I am going out to buy her newest!  

Book Pairings 
In the Shadow of Blackbirds by Cat Winter
The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni
Bellman & Black: A Ghost Story by Diane Setterfield


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Top Ten On My Spring TBR

What's on your TBR for this Spring?
Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke
The Dead House by Dawn Kurtagich
Boys Don't Knit (In Public) by T. S. Easton
 Draw the Line by Laurent Linn
The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure
Romeo and/or Juliet: A Chooseable-Path Adventure
by Ryan North  

Nobody Likes a Goblin by Ben Hatke

Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi

This Savage Song by Victoria Schwab

The Geek Feminist Revolution essays by Kameron Hurley


Monday, March 14, 2016

Fairies and the Quest for Never Land by Gail Carson Levine

Fairies and the Quest for Never Land
by Gail Carson Levine  
Disney Press
June 2010

Book Jacket Summary
Gwendolyn Carlisle loves fairies, perhaps too much. On her birthday, she receives the precious "kiss" necklace which has been passed down from mother to daughter ever since Peter Pan gave it to Wendy Darling. That night, Gwendolyn has the first of her visions-tantalizing, lifelike visions, almost as if she were actually in Fairy Haven. She sees animaltalent fairy Beck give a pie to wise Mother Dove and hears the voices of water-talent Rani and even Tinker Bell herself.

More than anything, Gwendolyn wishes she could be there. When she is just about to lose hope, Peter Pan comes at last and blows fairy dust on her. The instant they reach Never Land, she sets out to find fairies. But the fairies are not eager to meet her.

Then the evil Kyto, a dragon the fairies once helped to capture, escapes. He intends to destroy Never Land, starting with Fairy Haven. The fairies have but one choice: they must stop Kyto. As they set out on their desperate quest-a quest that could be their very last-the fairies must decide if Gwendolyn can help or hinder. . . .

Infused with magic and feeling, and bursting with excitement, this thrilling tale is the third in the celebrated series of illustrated novels from Newbery Honor winning author Gail Carson Levine and renowned illustrator David Christiana.

My Thoughts
Gwendolyn is an ancestor of Wendy but is not as enamored with Peter as her family. Instead she loves fairies and the "kiss" (the acorn button from the original story) shows them to her in her dreams. During her first trip to Never Land, Gwendolyn gets to meet Mother Dove and the fairies. However there is danger coming as Kyto, the evil dragon, escapes his confinement. Will Gwen's love of fairies put them in even more danger? 

Gwen is young and has typical bouts of anger with herself and with the elements around her. I do like that she is more spirited than Wendy and her mother. She sees the faults in Peter plainly but is still willing to go on an adventure with him. She also is not one to clean and be "mother" to the lost boys. She is a modern girl who is expected to be a Victorian one in Peter's eyes. They only touch on this a little but I thought it was well done!

This is the third and final installment of Gail Carson Levine's series. From this point out the fairy books are based on the movies. I would point out that the previous books have been very traumatic, even for me, but this one is tamer in depictions of violence and just general bad things happening to fairies.

Book Pairings
The Fairy's Mistake (The Princess Tales, #1) by Gail Carson Levine  
OMG: The Glitter Trap by Barbara Brauner & James Iver Mattson


Friday, March 11, 2016

Grace's Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up by Grace Helbig

Grace's Guide: The Art of Pretending to Be a Grown-up 
by Grace Helbig 
4 hours and 33 minutes
Simon & Schuster Audio 
October 2014

Book Jacket Summary
"One of the sharpest, funniest voices on YouTube" (Forbes), comedian Grace Helbig offers an irreverent and illustrated guide to life for anyone faced with the challenge of growing up.

Face it—being a young adult in the digital era is one of the hardest things to be. Well, maybe there are harder things in life…but being an adult is difficult! So Grace Helbig has written a guide that’s perfect for anyone who is faced with the daunting task of becoming an adult.

Infused with her trademark saucy, sweet, and funny voice, Grace’s Guide is a tongue-in-cheek handbook for millennials, encompassing everything a young or new (or regular or old) adult needs to know, from surviving a breakup to recovering from a hangover. Beautifully illustrated and full-color, Grace’s Guide features interactive elements and exclusive stories from Grace’s own misadventures—like losing her virginity solely because her date took her to a Macaroni Grill—and many other hilarious lessons she learned the hard way.

Amusing and unexpectedly educational, this refreshing and colorful guide proves that becoming an adult doesn’t necessarily mean you have to grow up.

My Thoughts
YouTuber Grace, It's Grace, put out a book about how to at least pretend to be an adult. I haven't seen her YouTube vids but I and a struggling adult pretending to know what I am doing on a daily bases.

 Maybe I can learn something, right?

Well... Not much learning going on but it was a humorous account of her life and the many things she learned. We are just not similar in personality. Different kinds of introverts and dealing with different kinds of stress. I did laugh quite a few times and I would recommend it to those who like funny stories.I did skip the recipe section because I am a vegetarian and one recipe included spam. Ick. That part was not for me. She also like to use the word butt a lot and talks about loose bowls. Kinda gross but I get where she is coming from. It's still a bit nasty when she talks about diarrhea all the time.

It's a good guidebook but I'm a bit old for it- even though I straddle the Millennial line. Maybe I should be the one giving advise rather than reading it. 

Book Pairings
Grace and Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It by Grace Helbig
Don't Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething's 
(Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood 
by Alida Nugent 
 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She's 30 
by Pamela Redmond Satran

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