Source: Purchased


Dec 06
Thunderhead and The Toll: More Proof that Neal Shusterman is Genius

Thunderhead and The Toll: More Proof that Neal Shusterman is Genius

Reviews 22 ★★★★★

If you’ve been around my blog for a while, you know that the Unwind Series is my absolute favorite series of all time. Neal Shusterman always manages to write books that are both exciting and philosophical—a difficult feat. Well, this latest series is no exception. I’ve already reviewed Scythe, so click the link to read what I had to say about the book (spoiler alert—I thought it was incredible with a small reservation about the way that the Scythes go about the business of killing). But, strangely I hadn’t read Thunderhead yet, despite my deep love for Scythe, so I’m going to start with a quick review of that one… Thunderhead was even better than Scythe (in my opinion) because it was less about the ways that the Scythes gleaned (though there were still some really interesting gleaning discussions—especially when it came to the way that Anastasia chose to do it)… Read more »


Nov 12
The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta: A Dual Review with Danielle Hammelef

Dual Reviews, Reviews 12 ★★★★

(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 The Serpent’s Secret by Sayantani DasGupta. I’d bought this book at a Scholastic Book Fair awhile back because it looked like such a fun MG fantasy. I’m so glad she made me read it! Read on to see what we thought of the book… An imaginative middle grade fantasy that weaves Bengali folklore into the life of an everyday sixth grader!  What Fed Our Addiction: NICOLE SAYS: The Bengali folklore! If you’ve been around my blog for long, you know that I’m a fan of books that focus on cultures that haven’t been in the mainstream a whole lot. This book definitely fits the bill. I hadn’t heard… Read more »


Sep 09
Bite-Sized Reviews of Vow of Thieves; Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss; The Okay Witch; and Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

Bite-Sized Reviews of Vow of Thieves; Fame, Fate, and the First Kiss; The Okay Witch; and Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea

Reviews 20

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA fantasy a YA contemp, and two MG graphic novels. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! First off, I didn’t realize when I started reading this that the series is a duology. So I was expecting perhaps a bit of middle-book syndrome and was surprised when the book didn’t feel sluggish in the least. In fact, I found myself eager to read this book every chance I got. The book starts out with Kazi very hurt and in captivity and then moves back a couple of weeks to show us how she got there. So, of course, I was eagerly reading to find out what happened and how she was separated from Jase. Surprisingly, it wasn’t one of those cases where it took us half the book to get back to where we’d started, though. No,… Read more »


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 26

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 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 »


Jun 04
Bite-Sized Reviews of I Love You So Mochi, Girl Against the Universe, Midsummer’s Mayhem, and Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray

Bite-Sized Reviews of I Love You So Mochi, Girl Against the Universe, Midsummer’s Mayhem, and Nikki Tesla and the Ferret-Proof Death Ray

Reviews 31 ★★★★

I’ve got four reviews for you today: two YA contemporaries, a MG contemporary fantasy, and a MG adventure. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! I picked this book up on a whim when I saw two glowing reviews from fellow bloggers (Dani @ Perspective of a Writer and Sam @ We Live and Breathe Books), and I’m so glad I did! This is the type of book that puts a smile on your face and makes you feel like all is right with the universe. The book is set (mostly) in Kyoto, Japan, and Kuhn does a fabulous job of making us feel like we’re right there with Kimi. There are so many cultural details that ground us in a sense of setting, and it’s easy to understand Kimi’s mixed feelings of blending in and standing out in a country that provided her heritage… Read more »


May 21
Bite-Sized Reviews of The Truth About Leaving, City of Ghosts, The Forever Song, & Educated

Bite-Sized Reviews of The Truth About Leaving, City of Ghosts, The Forever Song, & Educated

Reviews 22 ★★★★

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA contemporary, a MG contemporary fantasy, a YA fantasy and a memoir. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! Lucy has spent her whole life living for other people: when her mom moves for work, she sacrifices her own time and energy to help take care of her little brothers; when it’s time to think about college, she doesn’t consider anywhere but where her parents want her to go; when her boyfriend wants more of her time, she quits dance, her one true outlet. She doesn’t know who she wants to be because she’s never given herself a chance to think about it—she just fills whatever roles are “assigned” to her in life. This book is about Lucy finding herself in a sea of other people’s expectations.  When Lucy meets Dov, her perceptions of the world… Read more »


Apr 29
Bite-Sized Reviews of Hurricane Season, Release, Grim Lovelies and Story Genius

Bite-Sized Reviews of Hurricane Season, Release, Grim Lovelies and Story Genius

Reviews 16

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a MG contemporary, a YA contemporary, a YA fantasy and a non-fiction writing craft book. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! Hurricane Season is a poignant story of the complexities of loving a parent who struggles with mental health issues. Fig is used to having to take care of her dad. She’s used to him embarrassing him in front of her friends. She’s used to needing help (sometimes even from the police). She’s used to the questions and the worry that this time social services might actually take her dad away from her. She’s used to all of these things, but that doesn’t make any of it any easier to handle. The story follows Fig as she struggles to understand her dad and battles her own fears. Her story is heartbreaking and incredibly realistic. For instance,… Read more »


Apr 09
Spotlight on Author Danielle Hammelef: Danielle’s Top Ten Addictions & Info About Her Books!

Spotlight on Author Danielle Hammelef: Danielle’s Top Ten Addictions & Info About Her Books!

Author Top Ten Lists, Reviews 20 ★★★★★

So, lots of us in the book blogging community know Danielle Hammelef. She’s a regular presence in the comments section of so many of our blogs. And I’ve featured her here on FYFA on several occasions when she’s done dual reviews with me (after winning my Make Me Read It Giveaway). We all know that Danielle is a superstar. But did you know that Danielle is also an author? A while back Danielle mentioned to me that she wrote children’s nonfiction, and I was blown away by this revelation! This isn’t a genre that gets a lot of attention in the book blogging community, but ever since I found this out, I knew that I wanted to feature Danielle’s books here on the blog and give her a little bit of the attention she deserves. My first step was to check out all of her books that I could from… Read more »


Mar 21
Operation Frog Effect by Sarah Scheerger: Review & Scheerger’s Top Ten Addictions

Operation Frog Effect by Sarah Scheerger: Review & Scheerger’s Top Ten Addictions

Author Top Ten Lists, Reviews 6 ★★★★★

Operation Frog Effect is a story told in journal form–with eight (diverse) kids who are writing their experiences as the school year progresses. The kids use multiple formats. For instance, one writes mostly in verse while another does his journaling in graphic novel format. These different formats are sure to appeal to a wide variety of readers. Right from the start, I could tell that the characters were going to be incredibly relatable: the story starts with Emily, who’s confused by the fact that her two best friends didn’t sit with her on the first day of school. She’s sure it’s a mistake. Well, pretty sure. That beginning set just the right tone and let me know that this book was going to tug at my heartstrings and address situations that middle school kids face every day. It also tackles some tougher topics as well, like learning disabilities, immigration and homelessness…. Read more »