Month: August 2019

Aug 30
Bite-Sized Reviews of Awesome Dog 5000, The Fourteenth Goldfish, The Third Mushroom, and A Boy Called Bat

Bite-Sized Reviews of Awesome Dog 5000, The Fourteenth Goldfish, The Third Mushroom, and A Boy Called Bat

Reviews 23

I’ve got four reviews for you today: one MG contemp and three MG science fiction books (or maybe one is fantasy? A superhero story with robots and … I’m just going with sci-fi). I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book is hilarious!! I literally laughed through pretty much the whole book. (My mom can attest to this, as she was sitting next to me when I read it. I kept stopping to read her funny quotes.) There were also cute little footnotes like this one: Book safety disclaimer: This dangerous trick should only be attempted by professionally trained stunt babies. I mean, if a book needs disclaimers like that, you have to know some amusing stuff is happening. There were a few of the typical fart jokes and butt jokes (those aren’t my favorite), but they were overwhelmed by the just pure funny… Read more »


Aug 27
August 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up & Make Me Read It Giveaway

August 2019 Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up & Make Me Read It Giveaway

Current Giveaways, Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up 11

It’s time for the August Wrap-Up Round-Up!  The July giveaway ends soon, so head over there for your last chance to enter! This is the link-up AND giveaway for our August wrap-up posts. If you don’t already know about the Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up, read the information below: Every month, at the end of the month, I’ll put up a monthly wrap-up link-up post where everyone can link up their month-end posts. There are no specific requirements for what needs to be in your post, as long as you have a book blog and your wrap-up summarizes your month in some way. The round-up will include a giveaway that encourages people to visit YOUR month end wrap-ups, giving entries for commenting and/or sharing. Anyone can participate in the giveaway—you won’t have to actually link up in order to participate. If you don’t already post a monthly wrap-up and want some ideas… Read more »


Aug 25
Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 8/25/19

Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 8/25/19

Sunday Post 36

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. This past week on FYFA (and in my life): I went to go see the musical Come From Away with my mom and mother-in-law last Sunday! The show was fabulous! I knew it was going to totally tug at my heartstrings, but I ended up being really surprised at how funny it also was. I spent a lot more time laughing than crying—a tough balance with a show about 9/11. We’re making headway on the deck! We had about half the new deck done as of yesterday. Some parts of it have been slow going (the old framing isn’t totally square, which has caused some difficulties), but Friday… Read more »


Aug 24
Updating the Blog (a Little) and I Need Your Opinions! Let’s Discuss.

Updating the Blog (a Little) and I Need Your Opinions! Let’s Discuss.

Let's Discuss 45

If you read my recap of the SCBWI conference I went to, you know that one of my takeaways was that I really need my name to be more prominent on my website. Because of that, I’ve decided to add it to my header. BUT when I added my name, I felt inspired to possibly make another little change …   What do you guys think? I thought it might be fun if my fox girl looked a bit more like me since my name is going right there next to her. And now that I have my purple highlights I thought, why not include them? (Yeah, I know, if I really wanted to capture my current look I’d shorten her hair too, but I’m not doing that.) I’m still sort of on the fence because the yellow-blonde hair really pops, and I’m wondering if the brown blends in a… Read more »


Aug 23
Bite-Sized Reviews of The Lady Rogue, The Silence Between Us, The Kingdom, and Sorry for Your Loss

Bite-Sized Reviews of The Lady Rogue, The Silence Between Us, The Kingdom, and Sorry for Your Loss

Reviews 20 ★★★½

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA historical fantasy, a YA sci fi, and two YA  contemps. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! If you’re a fan of historical fiction with a gothic feel and a paranormal twist, this book will make your heart happy. The story follows Theodora as she travels across 1930’s Romania with her ex (who she has no closure with) in order to save her father from a mysterious group of people who want to get their hands on Vlad the Impaler’s evil magical ring. Theodora is plucky and intelligent—a woman who holds her own in a man’s world. The romantic tension between her and Huck is palpable, which I loved. I did wish the magical elements had been a bit more pronounced throughout the book, but that’s just my personal preference. Things took a definitively supernatural turn… Read more »


Aug 20
Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Dual Reviews, Reviews 14 ★★★★

(No actual dueling—or even arm-twisting—was involved. Don’t worry, this is a dual review, not a duel review. Sorry if you’re disappointed.) Danielle Hammelef was the latest winner of my Monthly Wrap-Up Round-Up “Make Me Read It” giveaway, and she chose to make me read Hello, Universe by Erin Entrada Kelly. I’d bought this book since it was the 2018 Newbery Medal winner, and I was excited that Danielle chose it for us to read! Read on to see what we thought of the book… A quiet middle grade read about the connections between us and the mysterious ways that fate can bring us together.  What Fed Our Addiction: NICOLE SAYS: Valencia’s experiences as a deaf child. I think my favorite character in this book was Valencia. She’s got a certain strength to her, even as she’s dealing with difficult situations (like her best friend ditching her when it gets too “hard” to communicate with… Read more »


Aug 18
Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 8/18/19

Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 8/18/19

Sunday Post 40

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. These past two weeks on FYFA (and in my life): I’m back from my hiatus! I spent the last two weeks in LA—first on a family vacation and then at an SCBWI conference. And, surprisingly, I did almost no blogging while I was gone. Okay, I’ll confess that I did write one review that I had scheduled and finished a Sunday Post, but both of those things happened at the very beginning of the vacation while my husband and two younger kids were still stuck traveling (their flight got canceled). Other than that, I didn’t blog, didn’t respond to comments, didn’t even blog hop. There’s a teensy piece of me… Read more »


Aug 15
That’s a Wrap! (My Wrap-Up of the SCBWI 2019 LA Summer Conference)

That’s a Wrap! (My Wrap-Up of the SCBWI 2019 LA Summer Conference)

Book Events, Let's Discuss, SCBWI, Writing Tips 30

Hey, everybody, I’m back! I’ll confess that my brain feels a bit like pudding after all the amazing things I learned at the summer SCBWI conference—I think I need to give it all a little time to set. But so much wisdom was shared, and I’m feeling reinvigorated when it comes to my writing, which is always a good thing. I thought I’d share some highlights from the conference. This is just a tiny taste of everything I learned and experienced there. Inspiring Keynote Speakers: M.T. Anderson – He talked a lot about taking the familiar and making it unfamiliar and vice versa, and reminded us that the strangeness we seek is all around us. In our writing, we should show the world the invisible, what only we see. Darcey Rosenblatt – She told us about her incredible learning journey through SCBWI and how it has affected her career. Christian… Read more »


Aug 08
Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro: Book Blast Giveaway!

Watch Hollow by Gregory Funaro: Book Blast Giveaway!

Giveaways (Ended) 12

I enjoyed Funaro’s fun fantasy Alistair Grim’s Odditorium (which I dual-reviewed with Danielle Hammelef), so when I saw this blast for his newest book, I thought I’d jump in and give you guys a chance to win it! (In fact, I just might enter this giveaway myself.  🙂 ) The description for this book had me at “a host of magical clock animals.” Yes, please! Praise for WATCH HOLLOW “Filled with clever, magical, and instantly likable characters, Funaro’s excellent, fast-paced, and twisty mystery—packed with suspense, facts, magic, and an incredible, deeply thought-out world—will leave readers eagerly awaiting the next chapter.” ―Booklist (starred review) “A well-wound tale of good versus evil.” ―Kirkus Reviews “The magically sentient house, creeping woods, and resident monster establish the story’s shivery Gothic feel, which will more than satisfy readers in search of a pleasantly scary read.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books “There is magic, there is… Read more »


Aug 06
Cape by Kate Hannigan: A High-Flying Historical Adventure!

Cape by Kate Hannigan: A High-Flying Historical Adventure!

Reviews 14

This book is such a fun mixture of genres and formats: a historical fiction superhero novel with graphic novel elements! Right there, I was sold. This book will appeal to such a wide variety of kids, and I think it will get many of them reading about an era that they wouldn’t otherwise have thought they’d be interested in. The book is set in the US during WWII, and it highlights the real-life women (and a few men) who contributed to the war effort in truly unique ways! I actually felt like I learned a lot from the book (and the author’s note at the end), but it definitely doesn’t feel like learning while you’re reading. The superhero elements are incredibly fun, and many of the most active superhero sections of the book are told via graphic novel format (via the amazing illustrations from Patrick Spaziante). The book also features… Read more »