Year: 2020

Feb 20
Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold: Review & Giveaway

Red Hood by Elana K. Arnold: Review & Giveaway

Current Giveaways, Reviews 5 ★★★★

Amazon, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Google This book is a dark, brutal retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, an unflinching exploration of the victimization of women. It is not for the faint of heart, and I’m honestly a little unsure if I’d recommend it to the average YA reader. If you’re going to read this book, you need to know what you’re getting into. Not only are there many triggers in it, but Arnold pulls no punches when she depicts sex and violence (and menstruation, which is a big part of the story and is often described in vivid detail). That being said, it’s also incredibly powerful and will most certainly leave an impression. And the storytelling itself is masterful—I found myself flying through the book, eager to find out how the events would unfold. I was also surprisingly fond of the second-person narration (meaning that the story is told… Read more »


Feb 18
Six Degrees of Separation: Fleishman Is in Trouble to The Lunar Chronicles

Six Degrees of Separation: Fleishman Is in Trouble to The Lunar Chronicles

Six Degrees of Separation 10

Six Degrees of Separation is a monthly link-up hosted by Kate of Books Are My Favourite and Best. On the first Saturday of every month, a book is chosen as a starting point and linked to six other books to form a chain. Readers and bloggers are invited to join in by creating their own ‘chain’ leading from the selected book. The featured book is Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner. I’ve never heard of this book (I have a feeling this might be a theme for me with this meme since there aren’t many YA or children’s books featured), so I just went with the first thing that caught my eye on the cover and used that as my jumping off point: the skyscrapers. The city skyline on the cover of Fleishman made me think of a book with the ultimate skyscraper: The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee. This book is full… Read more »


Feb 16
Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 2/16/20

Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 2/16/20

Sunday Post 35

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 returned from the SCBWI conference in New York on Sunday night! The conference was fantastic! Lots of inspiration; plus, it was wonderful to meet with writerly friends!! I actually headed off to another SCBWI event yesterday! (This one was a meeting for the Illinois reps and a going-away celebration for our previous regional advisor.) Meanwhile, my youngest played in a Special Olympics basketball tournament yesterday, and their team won, so they get to go to State in March! (I actually ended up missing the tournament because of the SCBWI event and my husband is out of town for… Read more »


Feb 14
Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun: Review & Giveaway

Pippa Park Raises Her Game by Erin Yun: Review & Giveaway

Current Giveaways, Reviews 8 ★★★★½

You can purchase Pippa Park Raises Her Game at the following Retailers:   To sum this book up, it’s Mean Girls for middle graders with the addition of basketball and a big lie that threatens to blow up everything! I know this is a Great Expectations retelling, but honestly, as I was reading this, I couldn’t help but think of Mean Girls often—it just has that vibe (I guess I’d forgotten most of GA, which I read in my high school days, but that didn’t cut down on my enjoyment of the book). Pippa has just transferred to a private school from the local public school, and she feels like a fish out of water. She wants so much to fit in, but she isn’t really sure how. All of the kids in her class come from money, and they seem to have a bunch of expectations that she has no idea… Read more »


Feb 11
Bite-Sized Reviews of Don’t Read the Comments, Find Me Their Bones, Snug, and The Real Boy

Bite-Sized Reviews of Don’t Read the Comments, Find Me Their Bones, Snug, and The Real Boy

Reviews 28 ★★★★

  I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA contemporary, a YA fantasy, a graphic novel (adult, I suppose, though it’s appropriate for YA), and a MG fantasy. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I was incredibly excited to read Eric Smith’s newest, just because he is such an amazing presence on Twitter. I figured if half of his Twitter wit and intelligence showed up in his book, I’d be happy. Don’t Read the Comments is an astute commentary on the joys and very real dangers that come with being a major online presence. It also tackles topics like sexism and racism (in the online gaming world, but also in the “real world”) in a very realistic way. I think that teenagers today will easily be able to see their favorite You-Tube stars in Divya. She is charismatic in her gaming videos,… Read more »


Feb 09
Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 2/9/20

Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 2/9/20

Sunday Post 27

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 left for the New York SCBWI Conference on Friday! Hopefully I’m having a fabulous time there right now!! 🙂 Here’s what you may have missed on the blog since my last Sunday Post: The Wonders of a Writing Accountability Partner Malice by Pintip Dunn: Review & Giveaway – Still time to enter to win! January 2020 Monthly Wrap-Up (& Some December Updates Too) Book Blogger Birthdays and Blogoversaries: Here are the birthdays and blogoversaries for this week! I hope you’ll go wish these bloggers well on their special days! Make sure you check out the calendar to see what you might have… Read more »


Feb 07
January 2020 Monthly Wrap-Up (& Some December Updates Too)

January 2020 Monthly Wrap-Up (& Some December Updates Too)

Best of the Bunch, Monthly Recap 28

My Goings On in January: I started an eight-week workout class on Friday mornings, which is motivating me to be active—at least once a week. I went to the quarterfinals of the high school a capella competition in our area (think Pitch Perfect). It was really fun to watch!! What I watched: We’ve been watching the new season of The Good Place. (We still need to watch the series finale!) I love this show!! We went to see Frozen 2 in theaters and really enjoyed it. We finished watching all the Harry Potter movies as a family. I watched another season of Married at First Sight (season 7, I believe?) when I had a bad week and needing some mind-numbing entertainment. That show definitely fits the bill—it is horrible in many ways, but also weirdly addictive. Features & Discussions: I’m including December posts and reviews since I never actually posted… Read more »


Feb 05
Malice by Pintip Dunn: Review & Giveaway

Malice by Pintip Dunn: Review & Giveaway

Current Giveaways, Reviews 23 ★★★★½

A twisty time travel tale! This is one of those books that keeps you on your toes—Alice’s future self has contacted her because she needs current-Alice to stop a classmate from creating a virus that will decimate the population. You’re left not only wondering who will be a future evil genius, but also trying to piece together how future-Alice’s instructions will possibly stop the upcoming apocalypse. I love stories like this because it’s so fun to try and figure out exactly what’s going on. I actually had the villain pinned right from the start, but the book definitely threw me for more than a few loops by the end as the time travel aspect of the book got twistier and twistier. Alice is never sure who to trust—in the current world or from the future. I especially loved seeing her live out aspects of her future life and finally experiencing the whole timeline so she… Read more »


Feb 04
The Wonders of a Writing Accountability Partner

The Wonders of a Writing Accountability Partner

Let's Discuss, Writing Tips 22

I told you all in my 2020 Goals post that I’m trying to focus on writing goals over reading goals this year. That seems like it should be a no-brainer, but somehow while I typically don’t have any problem finding time to read, I always find a million excuses not to write. I have learned from “author Twitter” that this is not a problem that’s unique to me—take a quick scan across posts on social media and you’ll find that writers everywhere are finding creative ways to distract themselves: I’ve got a really important scene to write! This is going to be pivotal. I can’t wait to dive in! … Except the refrigerator needs to be organized. I can’t possibly leave the ketchup in that terrible spot for one more instant. And I should probably wash the extra spare sheets, just in case the regular spares get used. You never know when… Read more »


Feb 02
Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 2/2/20

Sunday Post: Book Pre-order Campaigns & Giveaways Galore – 2/2/20

Sunday Post 24

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): It’s been slow but steady with our home improvement projects this week. I’ll confess that my husband’s taking care of most of it. He painted the dining room with only minimal help from me (I helped paint the ceiling, but didn’t do all that much else), and we put up the new basement door. We LOVE the new darker craftsman style door and it makes us excited to get all the trim up too! Next Friday, I’m headed to the SCBWI conference in New York, so I’m not sure how that will affect my Sunday Post. As it is,… Read more »