Source: Library


Oct 23
Bite-Sized Reviews of Cybils Nominees: Race to the Sun, Skunk and Badger, The Dragon Thief, and The Forgotten Girl

Bite-Sized Reviews of Cybils Nominees: Race to the Sun, Skunk and Badger, The Dragon Thief, and The Forgotten Girl

Cybils, Reviews 1

As my regular readers know, I’m a round one judge for the Cybils Awards in the Middle Grade Speculative Fiction category. Because of that, I’ve been reading LOTS of books lately! I’m not allowed to share any details about our process for choosing the finalists, but I am allowed (and encouraged) to review the books as I read, so I figured I’d share four of them with you today. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book is like every other Rick Riordan Presents book, and I mean that in the best of ways: almost every RRP book I’ve read is fun, action-packed, and culturally rich. The MC is usually a child of a god or mythological figure and learns of their awesome supernatural powers as the book progresses. You can say it’s a formula, but there’s a reason that my youngest has… Read more »


Oct 17
Bite-Sized Reviews of Cybils Nominees: A Wish in the Dark, Ghost Squad, Scritch Scratch, & Midnight at the Barclay Hotel

Bite-Sized Reviews of Cybils Nominees: A Wish in the Dark, Ghost Squad, Scritch Scratch, & Midnight at the Barclay Hotel

Reviews 12 ★★★★★

As my regular readers know, I’m a round one judge for the Cybils Awards in the Middle Grade Speculative Fiction category. Because of that, I’ve been reading LOTS of books lately! I’m not allowed to share any details about our process for choosing the finalists, but I am allowed (and encouraged) to review the books as I read, so I figured I’d share four of them with you today. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book absolutely blew me away! Right off the bat, I was hooked by the premise: a middle grade fantasy retelling of Les Miserables set in a Thai-inspired world. I mean, how cool is that? Now, I have to say that Les Mis the musical is an absolute all-time favorite of mine and I’ve seen it a bunch of times. Someday I will actually read the tome it… Read more »


Sep 08
Bite-Sized Reviews of My Life in the Fish Tank; Girl, Serpent, Thorn; Flamer; and Graceling

Bite-Sized Reviews of My Life in the Fish Tank; Girl, Serpent, Thorn; Flamer; and Graceling

Reviews 11

  I’ve got four reviews for you today: two YA fantasies, a MG contemporary, and a YA historical graphic novel. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! A compelling story about grief and mental health, My Life in the Fish Tank examines how secrecy and shame can be the root of pain. When Zinnia’s brother is in an accident, her whole life changes, not because he’s hurt but because it reveals an issue her family had been unknowingly dealing with for a very long time—her brother is bipolar. Now, Zin’s parents have asked her to keep her brother’s mental health issues private, while her friends seem to be expecting her to unload her grief on them—it all leads to Zin feeling like she’s under the microscope and like she can’t win, no matter how she responds to the circumstances. This book deals with mental… Read more »


May 21
Bite-Sized Reviews of Lucky Caller, Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions, The Princess and the Fangirl, and Insignificant & Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus

Bite-Sized Reviews of Lucky Caller, Peasprout Chen: Battle of Champions, The Princess and the Fangirl, and Insignificant & Momentous Events in the Life of a Cactus

Reviews 28

  I’ve got five reviews for you today: two YA contemporaries, a MG fantasy and a MG contemporary duology. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! Everyone raves about Emma Mills, and I just needed to see what all the fuss is about. She seems to be the new big name in contemporary YA. So when I saw that Hoopla had a few of her audiobooks available, I decided to give one a listen! This book is a wonderful representation of the many facets of family. I loved that it showed a complicated family relationship without getting overly dramatic or angsty. Nina’s mom’s remarriage is mostly okay with Nina and her sisters—but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have any reservations. Their relationship with their dad is even more confusing: they don’t see him much since he moved away, and they don’t seem to be… Read more »


Apr 15
Bite-Sized Reviews of The Darkest Star, Efrén Divided, Awesome Dog 5000 vs. Mayor Bossypants, & Pretty in Punxsutawney

Bite-Sized Reviews of The Darkest Star, Efrén Divided, Awesome Dog 5000 vs. Mayor Bossypants, & Pretty in Punxsutawney

Reviews 31

  I’ve got four reviews for you today: two YA paranormals, a YA contemporary, and a MG humorous sci-fi. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This was my favorite JLA book that I’ve read in a while. I really love JLA, but I was starting to worry that I might have been getting the teensiest bit bored with her formula—a girl starts to fall for a somewhat gruff, pompous alien (or Origin, or demon, or gargoyle or… ) and chaos ensues. The latest books have the added benefit of a secret that the girl doesn’t know about herself but the guy does. Well, I don’t know if something (besides the formula) was different in this book or if this was just the exact sort of distraction I needed right now, but this book definitely worked for me. I started listening on an extra-long trip… Read more »


Mar 20
A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen: A Little Light Pandemic Reading, Anyone?

A Beginning at the End by Mike Chen: A Little Light Pandemic Reading, Anyone?

Reviews 26 ★★★★★

I don’t review many adult books on the blog anymore, but I couldn’t resist spreading the word about this one. Just read the synopsis and you’ll see why this is either a perfect read for these times or an absolutely horrible one—depending on your personality. If you’re like me, and you’re more than a little fascinated by all things pandemic and can’t get enough, you should read this book immediately. However, if you get stressed out by the mere thought of the damage a worldwide pandemic might do, you might want to skip this one (or at least wait to read it until the worst of COVID-19 has passed). I actually started listening to this book at the end of January, not knowing that talk of an actual pandemic was right around the corner. By the time I got to the end of the book (I listen in the car,… Read more »


Mar 13
Bite-Sized Reviews of Freaky in Fresno, Descendant of the Crane, Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom, & A Dash of Trouble

Bite-Sized Reviews of Freaky in Fresno, Descendant of the Crane, Frazzled: Everyday Disasters and Impending Doom, & A Dash of Trouble

Reviews 14

  I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA paranormal, a YA fantasy, and two MG reads. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This is one of those books that’s just plain fun to read (or listen to, as I ended up doing). It takes the basic Freaky Friday premise and gives it a modern twist by making it about two cousins who couldn’t be more different. Ricki is a horror film buff who desperately wants to save her local drive-in theater—and share a perfect first kiss during the drive-in’s big night. Lana, on the other hand, is a blossoming beauty YouTube star who cares much more about her follower count than anything going on IRL—or at least that’s what Ricki thinks. When the two switch places and Ricki has to live Lana’s life for a day, she realizes that there’s a… 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 38 ★★★★

  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 »


Jan 15
Bite-Sized Reviews of Every Other Weekend, Storm and Fury, The Afterlife of Holly Chase, and All of Me

Bite-Sized Reviews of Every Other Weekend, Storm and Fury, The Afterlife of Holly Chase, and All of Me

Reviews 30 ★★★★

  I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA contemporary, two YA paranormals, and a MG book contemporary in verse. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I had no idea this was going to be such an emotional read! I’ll confess that at first, I wasn’t sure if I was going to like these characters: Jolene is rebellious(ish) purely for the sake of aggravating her stepmom (who I really sort of felt sorry for) and Adam comes off as a bit holier than thou and is horrible to his dad. If you’ve been around the blog for long, you know that I sometimes have trouble with “unlikeable” (to me) protagonists. There’s even a hint of almost-cheating involved in the story. So, it’s a testament to Abigail Johnson’s writing ability that she soon had me wrapped up in these characters’ lives and wrapped around… Read more »


Oct 30
The Fire Keeper by J.C. Cervantes: Review & My Sestina Poem About the Book!

The Fire Keeper by J.C. Cervantes: Review & My Sestina Poem About the Book!

Poetry, Reviews 10 ★★★★

In this fun follow-up to The Storm Runner, Zane finds himself in a whole new predicament—not only does he have to save his father, he’s also got to save a whole host of godborns who he endangered in the first place! When Zane wrote the original book, he sent it out into the world as a call to the other godborns (only a godborn should have been able to read it—which I thought was a clever way to get the reader engaged with the story—as if they must, in fact, be godborn too if they were reading the book). Only it turns out that his battle cry backfired and revealed all the godborns to the gods, thus putting them in danger. Oops! This book explores shifting relationships: from friends who might be more, to absentee parents who have the chance to become involved in their kids’ lives, to new friendships, to enemies who could… Read more »