Source: The Publisher


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 9

  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 »


Aug 19
Two Books by Natalie Rompella: Secrets of Storytelling: A Creative Writing Workbook for Kids & Cookie Cutters and Sled Runners – PLUS Rompella’s Top Ten Addictions!

Two Books by Natalie Rompella: Secrets of Storytelling: A Creative Writing Workbook for Kids & Cookie Cutters and Sled Runners – PLUS Rompella’s Top Ten Addictions!

Reviews 10 ★★★★★

Today I’m featuring two books by Natalie Rompella: her newly-released kids’ writing book, Secrets of Storytelling: A Creative Writing Workbook for Kids, and her MG contemporary, Cookie Cutters and Sled Runners. Plus, scroll down to see Natalie’s top ten addictions! Natalie is a friend of mine from my SCBWI critique group, so I was excited to get this chance to feature her! Purchase Links: This workbook is perfect for the budding writer! Filled with interesting prompts and writing exercises, the book has a lot of the same insights you’d see in a writing craft book for grown-ups, but everything is written in a way kids can understand and relate to. I love that Rompella includes so many creative and clever examples with each exercise—I find that kids crave solid (and interesting!) examples when they’re learning a new writing concept. The book is more than just prompts, though. It contains valuable guidance… Read more »


Aug 15
The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed: Blog Tour Review

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed: Blog Tour Review

Reviews 12 ★★★★

Amazon, B&N One thing you need to know going into this book is that it’s more of a slice of life book than a story about the Rodney King protests. Everything that happened in Los Angeles during that time informed how Ashley felt and responded to the world around her, but don’t expect much of the plot to revolve directly around that. Most of the story is just about her typical high school life—relationships with boys, friendships, hopes for college, etc. It’s a character study of a black girl growing up with privilege (in many ways) and how that is juxtaposed with the central message that she always has to do better than those around her in order to be seen as worthy. Ironically, she struggles to identify with “the black kids” in her school, even though she is one, and this leads her to a crisis of identity in many… Read more »


Jul 08
Bite-Sized Reviews of Deeplight, More to the Story, The Female of the Species, and Knockout

Bite-Sized Reviews of Deeplight, More to the Story, The Female of the Species, and Knockout

Reviews 16

  I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA fantasy, a MG contemporary retelling, a YA contemporary and a MG contemporary in verse. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! A fascinating YA fantasy with incredible worldbuilding! Deeplight had me entranced from the very beginning. It reminded me of books by my favorite fantasy author, Robin Hobb, because of its unique worldbuilding and epic-but-not-overly-ponderous fantasy feel. Hardinge’s gorgeous writing accompanies incredible worldbuilding—the way religion and myth and healing magic are woven together is fantastic. Then there’s Hark himself. It’s easy to empathize with him, especially since he’s so obviously being manipulated by his best friend. Hark’s loyalty is both his greatest strength and his greatest weakness, and it’s interesting to see how that plays out throughout the book. Hark is one of those characters who always wants to do the right thing, but figuring… 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 »


May 15
The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar: Review & Giveaway

The Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar: Review & Giveaway

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 33 ★★★★

Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Google A portrait of coming out in a Muslim family, The Henna Wars explores the ways that our culture defines who we are—and the ways it can’t define us. Nishat knows that her family isn’t going to be happy when she comes out to them—after all, in her home country of Bangladesh, being a lesbian is punishable by death. But since her parents broke all the rules and married for love and then moved to Ireland for a better life, Nishat has hope that they’ll accept her. Unfortunately, acceptance doesn’t come easily—she’s basically told that she can’t be gay because she’s Muslim and that she’ll bring shame to the family. Meanwhile, Nishat is nursing a crush on Flávia, while also competing against her in a business competition where they both decide to apply henna as their business. Of course, Nishat is more than a little upset that she has… Read more »


Apr 28
Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi: Review and Giveaway (Plus, a Quick Review of Aru Shah and the Song of Death)

Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes by Roshani Chokshi: Review and Giveaway (Plus, a Quick Review of Aru Shah and the Song of Death)

Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 12 ★★★★½

Today I’m reviewing books two and three of the Pandava Quartet! Since this is technically a blog tour for the third book, I’m posting that review first, but you can scroll down to see my quick thoughts on Aru Shah and the Song of Death as well. Also, check out my review of book one, Aru Shah and the End of Time! You can purchase Aru Shah and the Tree of Wishes at the following Retailers: Amazon, Kindle, Audible, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org These books are such a fabulous foray into Hindu mythology! I adore how many tales Chokshi manages to weave seamlessly into her story—Aru and her sisters (and friends) meet so many characters from these stories on their journey, and each time the original story is reflected somehow in Aru’s tale. This makes Aru’s journeys through the Otherworld that much more exciting and interesting—a point that held true in this book as she went on… Read more »


Apr 17
Man Up by Kim Oclon: Review & Giveaway. Plus Author & Character Top Ten Addictions Lists!

Man Up by Kim Oclon: Review & Giveaway. Plus Author & Character Top Ten Addictions Lists!

Author Top Ten Lists, Giveaways (Ended), Reviews 16 ★★★★★

Today I have a super fun post highlighting my friend Kim Oclon’s debut MAN UP. Not only do I have a review and giveaway of the book, but I’m also featuring top ten addictions lists from both Kim AND David, the MC of her book (I think lists from characters’ perspectives are so interesting!). Read on to find out more!! Purchase Links: This LGBT story highlights the importance of taking control of your own destiny and your own narrative. David is going into his senior year feeling uncertain about his future—he needs a scholarship in order to be able to afford college, and baseball is his best chance for that. He’s been one of the star players on his team since sophomore year. But when a teammate goes to the coach with the accusation that David is gay, he has to decide how to handle it. Should he ignore it,… 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 18
Don’t Check Out This Book! by Kate Klise & M. Sarah Klise: Blog Tour Review

Don’t Check Out This Book! by Kate Klise & M. Sarah Klise: Blog Tour Review

Reviews 16 ★★★★

Don’t Check Out This Book! is a fun, tongue-in-cheek exploration of the serious issue of censorship. The story is told in an epistolary format, completely through emails, newspaper articles, notes, etc. It follows the travails of the new school librarian at a tiny school (in my home state of Illinois). Rita B. Danjerous (yep, all the names in this book are puns—it’s quite fun) has some wild ideas about books, mainly that kids should have free and easy access to them, even to those books that might be about more embarrassing topics kids are curious about but may not necessarily want to openly talk about. But she comes up against a whole lot of opposition, especially in the form of the new school board president (Ivana Beprawpa—read it fast. Hint, she’s very concerned with raising up kids who are “proper”). But Ms. Danjerous starts to win people over in her… Read more »