Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Dead Air (The Kat Sinclair Files #1)

Review: Dead Air (The Kat Sinclair Files #1) by Michelle Schusterman

Kat didn’t believe in ghosts—until now. . .

When Kat Sinclair’s dad tells her his new job hosting the ghost-hunting TV show Passport to Paranormal means they’ll be living on the road and visiting the world’s most haunted places, Kat packs her bags without a second thought. But the ghostbusting life isn’t as cool as Kat expected. The cast and crew don’t always get along, the producer’s annoying nephew has unexpectedly shown up, and Kat thinks the show—and her dad—might be cursed. Kat decides to start writing a blog with “a behind the scenes look at the creepiest show on TV.” But she soon discovers that going behind the scenes may just reveal more than she really wants to know.

-summary from Goodreads

Plot: Very good! The mystery keeps you guessing!

Characters: Kat was a lot of fun! And Hailey, Oscar, Jamie, and all of the crew of the show are characters I enjoyed getting to know, and I look forward to reading more about all of them in more books!

The cover: Fun! :)

Overall: As a scaredy cat, I was a little worried that I would be too scared while reading this book (Ghosts!), but since I love the authors previous books (The I Heart Band books!), I really was looking forward to this new series and wanted to try it. I'm glad I did! Even though a few times I got a little (Alright, a lot.) creeped out, I managed to keep reading because it was just that good! I wanted to know what was really going on with everything! If you love ghost stories, mysteries, or just good Middle Grade books, give this a try! Recommend it! :)

I received a ARC of the book from the author.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Do You Want to Read a Middle Grade Book? Here's My Recommendations About Where to Begin!

I LOVE Middle Grade books! Love them. Because as much as I love YA, Middle Grade books are what makes me happy the most. And I have been asked before by people who haven't read MG books in a while what they should start with, I thought it would be fun to make a post about it! :)

Now, I'm not saying I'm an expert on MG books. Far from it. There are many, many, many that I haven't read. These are just a few MG books that I have read and enjoyed, and think others might enjoy, too. But I do feel like I know enough to write this post, and hopefully get someone who has never read or hasn't read in awhile (And maybe some of you fellow MG book fans will find a new book from this post!) Middle Grade books! :)

I'm going to list a few books per genre, then tell you a little bit about why I'm recommending them! Hopefully you'll find a book from this post to read! I tried to not list more than eight books per genre, but that was very hard! If you want more recommendations, let me know! :)

(A few of the books on this list I haven't read in a long time, and don't know how to explain the plot that well because of that. Just because what I wrote for some books is shorter than other books on this list, it doesn't mean that I don't love those books, just that I don't know what to write as well for them. Just know that if I included it on this list, I have enjoyed it, and highly recommend it!)

If You Love Contemporary Fiction:

A Horse of Her Own by Annie Wedekind
This is a really wonderful book! Jane is a character that is really easy to relate to, and getting to see her character grow and change over one summer is very fun! If you love horse books or camp stories, then this is one you need to try! (And if you want another horse book, I highly recommend the Phantom Stallion books by Terri Farley! Wonderful, and I eagerly anticipated each new book!

How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied by Jess Keating
Honestly, I think the only thing I need to say about this book is that it's about a girl who lives in a zoo! That right there should make you want to read it. But if you want to know more about it? Ana is very easy to relate to, all of her family and friends are entertaining, and you'll learn fun animal facts while you read it!

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall
The first book will always be my favorite! Getting to spend a summer reading about Rosalind, Sky, Jane, and Batty is delightful! And it always makes me laugh!

I Heart Band by Michelle Scusterman
A very fun series of books! From the first page I knew I was going to enjoy reading about Holly! If you love band, or just want to read a series of enjoyable books about a group of characters that are fun to read about, highly recommend these!

At Your Service by Jen Malone
About a girl whose father is the concierge at a hotel, who becomes a junior concierge to the kids of the people who stay there! Very fun!

Sugar and Ice by Kate Messner
A good book about a girl who wants to figure skate, but isn't sure she wants to deal with the competitiveness of the sport. If you want another figure skating book, I also recommend Breaking the Ice by Gail Nall!

In Front of God and Everybody by K.D. McCrite
A very good, fun book!

Saffy's Angel by Hilary McKay
This a book that will have you laughing out loud, and enjoying every minute that you spend with the Casson family!

Bonus Mentions Because I Want to Mention These Books: Gone Fishing by Tamera Will Wissinger,  The Madison Finn books by Laura DowerFish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly HuntAbby Spencer Goes to Bollywood by Varsha BajajLost in London by Cindy Callaghan, and Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen.

If You Love Historical Fiction:

Searching for Silverheels by Jeannie Mobley
It's set during WWI, and is about a girl in a small tourist town, who sets out to try and prove an old legend is true. Different from a lot of historical fiction I have read, and very interesting!

Ship of Dolls by Shirley Parenteau
This book is set in 1926, and is about a historical event that I had never read about before. (Read the summary of the book, it explains it better that I'm able to here.) Interesting, and Lexie is a main character that I didn't tire of reading about! (Bonus! This Fall a companion novel is being released that takes place in Japan, after the friendship dolls arrived!)

The Horse From the Sea by Victoria Holmes
This book might be a little hard to find, because as far as I'm able to tell it's out of print. But if you manage to find a copy of it, I highly recommend it! I don't remember the exact year it's set in, but it's about a girl who finds a horse from a shipwreck that happens off the coast of Ireland.

The Secret School by Avi
A book set in 1925. A girl who wants to become a teacher. When the current teacher leaves, and a new teacher is not found right away, she begins to teach the students with the hope that she will be able to graduate and go on to high school, to become a teacher herself.

Raiders From the Sea by Lois Walfrid Johnson
Vikings! Ireland! Adventure! This Christian book is a little bit Middle Grade, and a little bit YA, and very good.

May Caroline Starr Rose
A novel in verse, that is an interesting read about life on the prairie.

Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Hom
A book set in 1935, in Key West, FL. Very good!

If You Love Fairy Tales and Retellings:

The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High #1) by Shannon Hale
What if the kids of fairy tale characters went to school to learn how to take over their parents tales? And what if some of them didn't want to? This series answers those questions! Very fun!

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
This is a major classic Middle Grade book! A retelling of Cinderella, where Ella was cursed (Though the fairy thought she was giving her a gift.) with obedience at birth. Ella must do everything that she is told to. A very good retelling!

The Fairy's Return and Other Princess Tales by Gail Carson Levine
Another book by the author of Ella Enchanted! This is a bunch of short stories (there are six of them in the book.) that are retellings of different fairy tales! They are all delightful, and it's fun to try and notice the references in each one of how they all tie together.

Beauty and the Beast: The Only One Who Didn't Run Away by Wendy Mass
This is actually the third book in a series of companion novels of retellings, but I thought I would list this one because it's my favorite of them! A very fun, inventive version of Beauty and the Beast!

If You Love Fantasy Books:

Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George
I'm not able to recommend this book or series enough!

The Mark of the Dragonfly by Jaleigh Johnson
This was a unexpected hit for me! A interesting, different, and very good steampunk book, with a very strong female main character who is fun to read about!

A Snicker of Magic by Natalie Lloyd
This is a wonderful book, with characters that you'll love to read about! Not to mention wanting to read about the wonderful town of Midnight Gulch!

The Glass Sentence by S. E. Grove
A good book, with very interesting world-building! If you love reading books with totally original worlds in them, definitely read this book!

The Only Thing Worse Than Witches by Lauren Magaziner
A darling, fun, and entertaining book! If you love to laugh, try it!

Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger
Just an all-around good book! (And each book in the series just gets better!)

Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer
This is a very funny book, with an interesting version of fairies!

What books would you recommend for someone new to Middle Grade books? Are you new to them? Do you want to read any of these? Have you read any of these? And would you like to read more posts like this? :)

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Upcoming Books With Covers I Love

I was going through my TBR list and looking at all the pretty, fun, and amazing covers of books that are releasing anywhere from August to 2016, and thought it would be fun to do post showing all of you what a few of my favorites are! :)

All of the covers in this series are amazing! And even though Exile (with Everblaze being a near 2nd) is still my favorite, this one is pretty epic, too!

The If Only book covers are darling, and I think this one is my new favorite cover from the group!

Another If Only book! And look how darling it is, too!

I love the key, and the font!

This is very pretty!

I like the colors used with this!

That little fox!  The colors on it! Both the previous books in this series are fun, but this is my new favorite of them!

I like how different it is, and all the colors are very pretty!

What upcoming books have covers you love? Do you like any of these? :)