Source: Blog Tour


Oct 17
The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy: Spotlight and Giveaway

The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy: Spotlight and Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended) 3

Today I’m shining the spotlight on The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy, a YA fantasy with some truly unique worldbuilding. Imagine a world in which memories are used as a commodity … they can be stolen, traded, sold, even used as torture! Etta has basically sworn off her gift of being able to steal memories—until she needs it to save her mother from a horrific death. About the Author Lauren lives in the Chicago area, where she’s spent years working with youth, from young children to high schoolers. When she’s not writing, Lauren is usually with her family or exploring the city to find the best deep dish pizza. The Memory Thief, which was inspired by Lauren’s own journey with her mother, is her first novel. Author Links:         1 finished copy of The Memory Thief by Lauren Mansy + a poster and signed bookplate (USA only) a… Read more »


Oct 15
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia: Review & Giveaway

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 19 ★★★★★

Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD This book is absolutely packed with rich storytelling—both African and African American folklore that many middle graders have probably never encountered before. It’s difficult to even unpack how many different stories are rolled into this adventure and brought to life in a new way. (I’d actually love it if Rick Riordan Presents would do a companion that goes deeper into each individual tale, sort of like the Greek Gods companions that were done for the Percy Jackson Series). This book would be perfect to use in a classroom setting because I believe it will inspire kids to want to learn more about the folklore and mythology behind characters like Nyami, Brer Rabbit, John Henry, High John and Gum Baby. Tristan Strong is just getting over the sting of his first boxing match—and his first defeat. He feels like he’s let the adults in his life (who all have… Read more »


Oct 01
Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart: Review & Giveaway

Scars Like Wings by Erin Stewart: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended) 16 ★★★★★

This book is so engrossing and emotionally compelling that I read it in one evening! I was immediately drawn in by the concept: Ava is the sole survivor of a house fire that claimed the lives of her parents and her cousin—she’s now recovering from burns that covered over 60% of her body and living with her aunt and uncle, who are also trying to hold it together after the loss of their daughter in the very fire that almost claimed Ava’s life. Right there, you can see why the emotional stakes of the story are so incredibly high. Not only is Ava struggling to adapt to her “new normal” after being disfigured in the fire, but she’s dealing with the loss of her parents and the guilt of surviving when her cousin didn’t. The cast of characters is wonderful. Asad is a hilariously geeky guy (in a theater-geek sort of… Read more »


Sep 26
Cursed by Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller: Review & Giveaway

Cursed by Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller: Review & Giveaway

Reviews 14 ★★★★

Just the pitch for this book told me there was a whole lot to love: an illustrated YA King Arthur retelling from the perspective of Nimue (the Lady in the Lake). First of all, why aren’t more books for older readers illustrated? I didn’t stop loving artwork when I was a little kid, and I think many other people feel similarly, so I would love to see more illustrated books for older readers. But I digress… I’ll confess that I don’t remember much about the tale of King Arthur beyond the basics: the sword in the stone, King Arthur’s court, Guenivere and Lancelot’s shenanigans. None of that is in this book. This all takes place before you would get to the point of the knights of the round table, so if you go into this book looking for that story you might be disappointed. In fact, I have no idea if any of… Read more »


Sep 05
Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan: Review & Giveaway

Tiger Queen by Annie Sullivan: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 26 ★★★★

When I heard that Annie Sullivan had written a retelling of “The Lady or the Tiger” I was incredibly excited! I’d loved her unique retelling of “The Midas Touch,” and I had no doubt she’d do one of my favorite short stories justice. I distinctly remember reading this story when I was a teenager and being left with that agonizing open ending. I read the story again with my own students when I taught at my homeschool co-op, and one of our exercises was to write their own ending (and, yes, a few of my students did have the princess sick the tiger on her lost love). I was curious to see if Sullivan would leave us with an open ending as well or give us her own version of closure. Of course, I can’t tell you the answer to that. You’ll have to read to find out! Sullivan has created… Read more »


Jul 18
Before I Disappear by Danielle Stinson: Review, Giveaway, & Stinson’s Top Ten Addictions

Before I Disappear by Danielle Stinson: Review, Giveaway, & Stinson’s Top Ten Addictions

Author Top Ten Lists, Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 20 ★★★★★

You know how sometimes you start reading a book, and within just a few pages, you’re already saying, “I LOVE this!”? That was Before I Disappear for me. Right away, I could tell there was going to be something special in these pages—I was immediately wrapped up in the intrigue: What’s so odd about Charlie? What’s this music he’s hearing? Why have they had to move so much? What are they running from? What dangers are lurking in Fort Glory? Well, I’m happy to say that the book never let me down. I was riveted throughout. I don’t want to say too much about what happens because I think it will be more fun to discover on your own, but I will say that a whole lot of craziness ensues when Fort Glory disappears. But I also loved these characters. Both Ian and Rose are obviously broken in many ways,… Read more »


Jun 21
Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith: Review & Giveaway

Something Like Gravity by Amber Smith: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 34 ★★★½

A story of dealing with trauma and figuring out who you are after life has changed, this book has a powerful message of hope and healing. What Fed My Addiction: Chris’s realistic family conflict. Chris’s mother has a hard time accepting Chris’s transition. For one thing, she has lots of fears about her son’s safety out in the world, especially after Chris was already attacked before he even came out as trans. I know lots of people are going to see the mom as a horrible person because she didn’t immediately embrace Chris’s transition. But I’m going to get real honest here and tell you that when my daughter came out to us as trans, it wasn’t simple, even if I wanted it to be. And people take different amounts of time to wrap their heads around a gender transition. It’s hard not to fear this world and want your… Read more »


May 31
No Place Like Here by Christina June: Review & Giveaway

No Place Like Here by Christina June: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 24 ★★★★

Ashlyn has lived her life trying to measure up to her father’s expectations, but it’s always been a losing battle. So, even when he ends up in prison for tax evasion, he somehow still has a hold over her that she can’t quite break. She’s shipped off to work at a wilderness camp with her cousin—something she never would have chosen for herself—and she spends the summer wishing she could just go back home again. But the camp teaches her a few things about how capable she truly is, and she starts to realize that if she wants change, she’ll have to learn to speak up—as terrifying as that is for her. I felt for Ashlyn, and I could relate to her inability to speak up and her desperate need to avoid conflict. And I think almost any teen will understand Ashlyn’s sense of powerlessness in a situation that feels… Read more »


May 23
The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos: Excerpt & Giveaway

The Wise and the Wicked by Rebecca Podos: Excerpt & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended) 12

Today I’m sharing an excerpt and giveaway for The Wise and the Wicked. Epic Reads aptly calls it a lush, dark, and unforgettable story of the power of the past to shape our futures—and the courage it takes to change them. I’m reading this one now, and I’m loving the LGBTQ rep in the book. For now, I’m sharing just a little taste of what you can expect with this story … EXCERPT FROM EPIC READS WEBSITE (Click the link to read even more—all the way through chapter 4) In an old house built of bloodred bricks, with a tea shop in the converted front rooms, there lived three sisters and their mother. Solnyshko, the eldest, was willow-tree tall and sweet. Zvyozdochka, the middle child, was beautiful and sharp as a cut diamond. The youngest, Zerkal’tse, was small but hard, like an unshelled nut. Each was different as could be… Read more »


May 15
Shipwreckers by Scott D. Peterson & Josh Pruett: Review & Giveaway

Shipwreckers by Scott D. Peterson & Josh Pruett: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 6 ★★★★½

This book is a hilarious and perilous adventure, filled with action, goofy puns, and a nice helping of heart. When I read the author’s bios and saw that they write for kids’ TV, it all made so much sense–the book reads like an animated movie. It’s full of larger-than-life characters who make you laugh out loud (Captain Kevin Adventureson is incredibly clueless and yet full of himself, but he still manages to be lovable at the same time) and the kind of hold-your-breath swashbuckling adventures that keep you turning the pages. I promise you will never get bored when you read this book. But it doesn’t feature all that action at the expense of character development–I especially loved Mike’s journey toward understanding that it’s okay to take risks sometimes. He’s always been cautious and overprotective of his little sister Dani, especially since she got hurt when he was supposed to be… Read more »