Month: January 2016

Jan 20
Bite Sized Reviews: The Map to Everywhere and City of Thirst by Carrie Ryan

Bite Sized Reviews: The Map to Everywhere and City of Thirst by Carrie Ryan

Middle Grade, Reviews 3 ★★★★½

Here are some quick reviews for books I haven’t gotten around to reviewing or that I just don’t have a ton to say about. Once again, I figure a few bite sized reviews together will be enough to feed your fiction addiction!  🙂 The Map to Everywhere by Carrie Ryan and John Parke Davis Series: Map to Everywhere #1 Published by Little Brown Books for Young Readers on 11/4/14 Genres: Middle Grade, Fantasy Pages: 448 Source: BEA My content rating: MG (Nothing inappropriate, a little bit of MG level violence) My rating: Wherever you need to go–the Map to Everywhere can take you there. To Master Thief Fin, an orphan from the murky pirate world of the Khaznot Quay, the Map is the key to finding his mother. To suburban schoolgirl Marrill, it’s her only way home after getting stranded on the Pirate Stream, the magical waterway that connects every world in creation. With the help of a… Read more »


Jan 17
Sunday Post & Giveaways Galore – 1/17/16

Sunday Post & Giveaways Galore – 1/17/16

Sunday Post 16

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on my blog and share news about what’s coming up in the week ahead. Last week on FYFA (and in my life): This past week, I got to attend the Truthwitch and Passenger author event at Anderson’s Bookshop (along with my mom, as usual). Not too much else new to report this week – I finished up that proofread I was working on and things are going well with the play. After I finished the proofread I actually had some time to catch up on replying and visiting the book blogosphere, which was nice! Here’s what you may have missed last week: Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira (The Book About Me as a Teenager) – Review Identity Crisis by Melissa Schorr – Review &… Read more »


Jan 15
What Blogging Has Done to My Bookshelves – Let’s Discuss!

What Blogging Has Done to My Bookshelves – Let’s Discuss!

Let's Discuss 87

Before I started blogging, believe it or not, my bookshelves were completely under control. I mean, I’m not gonna claim they were all neat and tidy, but they were reasonable. In fact, I didn’t buy myself all that many books. (I say myself because I did buy my kids tons of books – I think I was making up for the lack of books on my own shelves by completely overflowing my kids’.) I felt like I couldn’t justify the cost – not when there were libraries with all the books I could ever want just waiting to be read. That was then. Things have changed. The first real sign of change was when I went to BEA in 2014. I. Had. No. Idea. I mean, I know people said I’d come home with books – but BEA was like a booklover’s heaven, complete with authors and publishing reps to talk to. And then there… Read more »


Jan 14
Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake – Top Ten Reasons Arik is Swoonworthy & Giveaway

Thief of Lies by Brenda Drake – Top Ten Reasons Arik is Swoonworthy & Giveaway

Author Top Ten Lists, Giveaways (Ended) 9

I want to start this post by telling you all that I was planning on reviewing this book, but due to a snafu with the NetGalley widget I wasn’t able to access it. Still, the book seems so fun that I wanted to feature it on the blog and give you all a chance at the giveaway. I just wanted to clarify that this spotlight post isn’t an indication that I read the book and wasn’t a fan – on the contrary, I’m still looking forward to reading it at some point! Top Ten Reasons  Arik of Thief of Lies is Swoonworthy Arik Baine – Sentinel Age: 17 Battle Globe: Red (Fire) Description: Leader, strong silent type, and fiercely loyal. “Friends don’t think of each other the way I think of you. As it is, I can’t sleep at night worrying about you being here. The danger you face.” ~ Arik… Read more »


Jan 13
Identity Crisis by Melissa Schorr – Review & Giveaway

Identity Crisis by Melissa Schorr – Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 4 ★★★★

I really enjoyed Identity Crisis because I felt like it was a somewhat lighter take (though not too light) on what can be a very serious issue – and sometimes we need that. There are lots of “issue” books out there, and they’re all important, but they might not always feel accessible, especially to a younger YA crowd. This one does. The synopsis describes the book pretty accurately, so I’m just going to jump straight into my review  What I enjoyed: The issue of catfishing explored. Unfortunately, in today’s age of technology, catfishing is a very real issue – it’s far too easy for a person to pretend to be someone they’re not. And bullying in this way is certainly not unheard of – some kids may see catfishing as a fun “joke” and others might be using it to be intentionally cruel – but either way it’s not a laughing matter…. Read more »


Jan 11
Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira (The Book About Me as a Teenager) – Review

Bookishly Ever After by Isabel Bandeira (The Book About Me as a Teenager) – Review

Reviews 24 ★★★½

First off, I have to say that I’ve been dying to get my hands on this book ever since I met Isabel Bandeira at BEA in 2014 – she was sweet and fun and dressed in quirky bright dresses, and I could just tell that her book was going to be adorable, just like her. I was right. The book centers around Phoebe, who is a bookish introvert, much more comfortable living in her stories than in the real world. When she finds out that her friend Dev may have a crush on her, she has no idea how to respond. So she goes to her best source of relationship advice – her books. Phoebe decides that if she can pull off the actions (and sometimes, personalities) of her favorite bookish heroines, she’ll be able to finally get the guy. Of course, things don’t go quite that smoothly. What I… Read more »


Jan 10
Sunday Post & Giveaways Galore – 1/10/16

Sunday Post & Giveaways Galore – 1/10/16

Sunday Post 18

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer ~ It’s a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on my blog and share news about what’s coming up in the week ahead. Last week on FYFA (and in my life): It was back to work this week – well, school. Our homeschooling co-op started up and we’ve started working on that play I wrote. Right now, we’re just trying to get all the songs figured out, which is harder than I thought it would be! (I’m not writing the songs, by the way – we’re using contemporary Christian songs.) I’m excited to see it underway, though! I’m also hard at work on a proofreading project AND on that crazy gymnastics hospitality thing. Those of you who were around my blog last year (when I moaned and groaned about the hospitality job)… Read more »


Jan 09
Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn – Review

Firsts by Laurie Elizabeth Flynn – Review

Reviews 24 ★★★★

This book is so incredibly hard to encapsulate in a review because it brings up so many topics of discussion. This is the type of book that just makes me want to go on and on and on about my feelings because they’re so complex. I’ll try not to do that, but I make no promises. Simply read the synopsis and you’ll probably be able to tell right away why I feel so conflicted about certain aspects of this book. After all, the premise centers around a girl who sleeps with virgins with girlfriends to supposedly prepare them for their first time so that the girls will get the magical first time that Mercedes never had. There are SO many things wrong with this that I can’t even begin to talk about them (yeah, I will, though – in a minute). But, Nicole, you say. You gave this book four stars. How can that… Read more »


Jan 08
Year-End Wrap-Up Giveaway!!

Year-End Wrap-Up Giveaway!!

Giveaways (Ended), Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up 4

So, this is the final Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up of 2015. Now that people have linked up their December and year-end wrap-up posts, it’s time for the giveaway! I created this giveaway as a scavenger hunt to encourage people to visit the wrap-ups. There are entries for commenting on wrap-up posts and then there are additional entries for visiting specific posts and answering a question about them. Speaking of giveaway hosts, I have several bloggers who are joining me for this venture. Make sure you check out Emily’s blog next month because she’ll be hosting the giveaway (don’t worry – I’ll remind you when I post the link-up). Here’s a list of the bloggers who will be hosting the giveaway portion of the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up in the future. If you want to join us, just let me know in the comments and I’ll contact you with details! January – Emily @ The LitWit… Read more »


Jan 07
Replying to Comments on Older Posts – Let’s Discuss

Replying to Comments on Older Posts – Let’s Discuss

Let's Discuss 71

This post has been linked up to the 2016 Discussion Challenge One thing I’ve recently realized is that I have a hard time keeping track of comments on my older posts. I’m relatively good at replying to comments on my most recent posts – within the past few days or so – but when people go and comment on older posts, I often miss them for a while. I DO get emails about my comments, but I have to admit that sometimes I just get SO overwhelmed by emails (especially when there are TONS of notifications for a single post and I’ve already replied to most of them right from the post itself) that I end up deleting comment notifications if I haven’t gotten to them in a reasonable amount of time. Anyway, I end up going to older posts and realizing that there are several comments I’ve missed replying to. Of… Read more »