Source: The Publisher


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 10 ★★★★★

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 29
Bite-Sized Reviews of Sick Kids in Love, Slay, Look Both Ways, Parker Looks Up, & Missions to Mars

Bite-Sized Reviews of Sick Kids in Love, Slay, Look Both Ways, Parker Looks Up, & Missions to Mars

Reviews 6 ★★★★½

  I’ve got five reviews for you today: two YA contemporaries, a MG book of contemporary short stories, a picture book and a non-fiction kids’ book. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book shines a (glaring) spotlight on ableism. The main characters, Isabel and Sasha both have chronic illnesses that aren’t life-threatening (at least not directly) but are serious. Isabel has rheumatoid arthritis and lives in near-constant pain. She decided long ago that she didn’t want to be in a relationship—her life is just too complicated, and she knows darn well that she’s not always the most cheerful companion. But when she meets Sasha, her feelings start to change. Sasha has Gaucher Disease, an illness that puts him in the hospital often. Isabel relates to Sasha in a way she hasn’t with anyone else—he understands her, and he understands the challenges of… Read more »


Nov 08
Bite-Sized Reviews of Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament, Becoming RBG, Friend or Fiction, and Catwad

Bite-Sized Reviews of Lexi Magill and the Teleportation Tournament, Becoming RBG, Friend or Fiction, and Catwad

Reviews 12

  I’ve got five reviews for you today: a MG sci-fi, a MG contemporary fantasy, and three MG graphic novels. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book is absolutely perfect for fans of The Amazing Race!! Of course, you don’t have to be familiar with the show to enjoy the book, but if you are, you’ll get that extra layer of enjoyment. I actually hadn’t read the blurb before reading the book, so I hadn’t expected the comparison—but I immediately found myself thinking, “This is a middle grade Amazing Race with a teleportation twist!” Everything I used to love about that show is in here: the interesting puzzles (which readers can try to solve right along with the characters), the travel to new sites, the race to the finish line, and even the backstabbing competitors. 🙂 (I actually didn’t realize that the show is… Read more »


Oct 18
Bite-Sized Reviews of Pet; Scars Like Wings; Paul, Big, and Small; and Serious Moonlight

Bite-Sized Reviews of Pet; Scars Like Wings; Paul, Big, and Small; and Serious Moonlight

Reviews 14 ★★★★½

I’ve got four reviews for you today: a YA fantasy and three YA contemps. I hope these bite-sized reviews will be enough to feed your fiction addiction! This book is wild and strange and sort of brilliant. I honestly had no idea what to expect when I started reading, and I’ll confess that at first I was confused about the worldbuilding. The book is set in a utopian society where all of the evil people in the world (or “monsters”) were eliminated by a group that’s referred to as angels. Everyone knows that monsters no longer exist, so when Jam accidentally releases a creature from her mother’s painting that says it’s there to hunt them, her parents say she needs to send it back before it causes unnecessary pain and suffering. The book holds a lens to the world and how easy it is to pretend that problems (even very serious… Read more »


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 10
Mightier Than the Sword: Review & Giveaway of a Uniquely Interactive Middle Grade Fantasy

Mightier Than the Sword: Review & Giveaway of a Uniquely Interactive Middle Grade Fantasy

Current Giveaways, Reviews 28 ★★★★½

A uniquely interactive middle grade fantasy adventure that puts the reader right into the story! I’ve never read a book quite like this before, and I doubt you have either. First off, the book is told in second person POV—“you” are the star of the show. The book starts out with you waking up in a strange world. You (conveniently) have no memory of who you are and your goal is to regain your memories and return home—wherever that may be. Except this place you’ve ended up in is … strange. And thus begins your fantasy adventure! The book incorporates lots of interactive elements. You discover that you are an actual human in a world of stories, and you therefore have the ability to write or draw things into existence. Because of this, you often get to create your own aspects of the world via a Mad Libs type fill-in…. 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 20
Picture Book Spotlight: Sulwe and Smarter Than a Monster

Picture Book Spotlight: Sulwe and Smarter Than a Monster

Reviews 14 ★★★★★

Today I’ve got two soon-to-be-released picture books under the spotlight. Check out these two adorable reads! This book is stunning in just about every way imaginable. The story follows little Sulwe, who struggles to see her own beauty because of the darkness of her skin. Sulwe wishes she could look more like her parents, more like her sister, more like the other boys and girls at her school. Like most children, she doesn’t want to feel different—and her dark skin doesn’t make her feel special or unique, no matter what her mother might tell her. It takes a beautiful fable about day and night to make her see how she brings beauty to the world. As a reader, your heart goes out to Sulwe, and it soars with hers as she discovers her true worth. The depth and detail of every illustration in this book is incredible. I’m amazed at how… 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 »