Monday, February 27, 2017

Mini Review: Once Upon a Cruise

Mini Review: Once Upon a Cruise by Anna Staniszewski

Ainsley never wanted to spend her summer on a fairy tale cruise--especially since, instead of lounging by the pool, she's running around the ship doing favor after favor for her cruise director mom.

Things aren't all bad--it's good to see her mom acting confident again after the divorce, and she's learning a lot about obscure German fairy tales and how to fold towels into entertaining shapes for little kids (um, yay?). There's also a guy who's super cute, even in a dorky dwarf costume--if only Ainsley could get Prince Handsome to stop babbling about himself long enough for her to say more than 'hi' to the cute dwarf!

But once the cruise starts, things start to go wrong: the laundry turns pink, the kitchen runs out of food, the guy playing the Pig King is always in Ainsley's hair, and her mom expects her to be in a hundred places all at once. Is this fairy tale cruise under a wicked curse? Or can Ainsley stand up for herself and make the cruise end happily ever after?
-summary and cover via Goodreads

Mini review: This was such a fun Middle Grade book! Getting to read about Ainsley, and everyone on board the cruise ship was fun! I would love to read a sequel about how the rest of the summer goes! Definitely recommend it if you're looking for a fun read! And it's perfect for summer! :)

I checked this book out from my library.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Review: Archie Vol. 2

Review: Archie Vol. 2 by Mark Waid and Veronica Fish

The all-new ARCHIE adventure continues! Superstar writer Mark Waid teams up with the best and brightest artists in comics to bring a modern take to the legendary Riverdale cast of characters. The book will captures the bite and hilarious edge of Archie's original tales in a modern, forward-looking manner, while still retaining the character's all-ages appeal. If classic Archie is a Saturday morning cartoon, this new series is prime time!
-summary and cover via Goodreads

The plot: This was fun! I liked learning more about all the characters in this one, and after that cliffhanger ending I'm looking forward to Vol. 3!

The characters: I've been reading Archie comics for years (They were what introduced me to comics and graphic novels when I was about ten.), and Betty and Jughead have always been my favorites (And Sabrina the Teenage Witch, but she's not in this new version of the world. At least, not yet.), and I'm happy to say that they are still my favorites in this series, too! And unpopular opinion time, I've never really liked the character of Archie all that much. But in this series I actually have been liking him! And Veronica is entertaining! I would love to read more stories about some of the supporting characters, too!

The art: I like it!

The cover: It's good!

Overall: I've been a fan of Arche Comics for years, and last year when I read the first volume of this new Archie comic, I really liked it! (And I wasn't sure I would, because I was so used to the old style. But I hoped I would like it!) This 2nd volume was even better! I like the drama in it, and there were parts that made me laugh! And after reading the first issue of the new Betty and Veronica that was included in the back of this Graphic Novel, I'm looking forward to reading it, too! Definitely recommend this series, if you're an Archie fan! And even if you aren't, this is a really good series that I think people should try! :)

I checked this book out from my library.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Interview With Stephanie Kate Strohm!

Today on on the blog I'm happy to present an interview with YA author Stephanie Kate Strohm! Ms. Strohm is the author of multiple YA books, which include It's Not Me, It's You and The Taming of the Drew! I have read and loved It's Not Me, It's You (Here's my review!), and I think it is a perfect read for Valentine's Day! :)

Here's the interview!

The bold font is the questions I asked, the regular font are her answers, and the bold italic font is my comments about her answers.

It's Not Me, It's You was written in such a unique style for a YA book, and it worked perfectly for the story! Where did the idea come from to write it that way?
It actually wasn’t my idea! My genius editor at Scholastic, Matt Ringler, came up with the concept to write a YA love story as an oral history. I didn’t even know what an oral history was when I first heard about it, but thanks to some trusty Googling, I learned all about it, and now I couldn’t imagine Avery’s story being told any other way. This was such a fun format to write in – I really enjoyed getting to write in so many different voices, and I especially love Avery’s voice because she always butts in and has to have the last word! 

It was a really fun format to read, too!

Which character from the book do you feel you're most like?

My friends now would probably say I’m most like Avery, but back when I was in high school, I wanted to be someone like Avery but I acted a lot more like Cressida. One thing I did share with Avery was a total obsession with the prom – although my prom was definitely not as romantic as hers ended up being! My senior prom was in an aquarium, though, which was REALLY awesome. And that sort of inspired me to take Avery’s prom in the direction it ended up going in – even if there aren’t any fish at the prom in It’s Not Me, It’s You!

Random question! What's your favorite chick flick?
This is a hard one! But if I had to pick just one favorite…Legally Blonde. I love Elle and her journey and the way she comes to take pride in and embrace her intelligence even after everyone underestimated her. I’m also a huge fan of Clueless, as you can probably tell from the book. Cher was a major inspiration for Avery in It’s Not Me, It’s You.

If you can talk about it, what are you working on now?
Well, the sequel to It’s Not Me, It’s You comes out in September! It’s called The Date to Save and it tells the story of the most insane Homecoming weekend in the history of high school. It also takes place at San Anselmo Prep, so you’ll see some familiar faces and get to meet lots of fun new characters! I’m working on something else brand new right now that I can’t really talk about yet, but I’m very excited about it.

Yay! I'm so looking forward to The Date to Save!

What are some YA books you've enjoyed recently?
I loved A Study in Charlotte by Brittany Cavallero, so I’m really looking forward to reading The Last of August – it’ll be out Valentine’s Day! The New Guy (and other senior year distractions) by Amy Spalding and My Unscripted Life by Lauren Morrill have also been recent faves. Oh! I was also lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari – definitely a debut to look out for!!!

The Best Kind of Magic sounds good! *adds to TBR list*

Thank you so much to Ms. Strohm for letting me interview you! :)

Author bio: Stephanie Kate Strohm is the author of Pilgrims Don’t Wear Pink, Confederates Don’t Wear Couture, The Taming of the Drew and It's Not Me, It's You. She graduated from Middlebury College with a dual degree in theater and history and has acted her way around the United States, performing in more than twenty-five states. Although she was born in New York, she currently lives in Chicago, and doesn't discriminate against any type of pizza. When she's not writing, she loves baking, walking her dog Lorelei, taking dance cardio classes too seriously, and playing board games with her husband.

Here are a few links:

Happy Valentine's Day 2017!

I hope everyone has a happy Valentine's Day, and that you get to eat lots of chocolate, too! Personally, I'm looking forward to tomorrow when all the candy gets discounted! :)

Happy Valentine's Day!!!!!!! :)

Monday, February 13, 2017

Valentine's Day Reads!

I thought in honor of Valentine's Day tomorrow, I would post a list of a few of my favorite contemporary YA romances here today! These are all excellent reads that I enjoyed a lot! :)

I'm not going to list the couples from the books however, because I don't want to spoil anybody on who they end up with. :)

Here we go!

I also love The Distance Between Us and The Fill-In Boyfriend by her, but I was trying to not list more than one book per author.

Do you love any of these books? What would you recommend reading for Valentine's Day? :)

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Review: It's Not Me, It's You

Review: It's Not Me, It's You by Stephanie Kate Strohm

One high school girl's comedic examination of her dating past as told by the friends, family, and boys who were involved!

Avery Dennis is a high school senior and one of the most popular girls in her class. But a majorly public breakup with the guy she's been dating causes some disastrous waves. It is right before prom and Avery no longer has the perfect date. She runs the prom committee, how could she not show up with somebody?

Post-breakup, Avery gets to thinking about all of the guys that she has ever dated. How come none of those relationships ever worked out? Could it be her fault? Avery decides to investigate. In history class she's learning about this method of record-keeping called "oral history" and she has a report due. So Avery decides to go directly to the source. Avery tracks down all of the guys she's ever dated, and uses that information, along with thoughts from her friends, family, and teachers, to compile a total account of her dating history.

Avery discovers some surprises about herself and the guys she's spent time with -- just in time for prom night!-summary and cover via Goodreads

Plot: I really love how the story in this book was told! It was really unique and worked very well for this story! I also really loved getting a glimpse into all of her past boyfriends. This book had me laughing so much!

Characters: I really liked reading about Avery! And Hutch! Love him! It was easy to get a good grasp on everyone's personality. All the characters personalities were developed really well. Everyone in the story, from the big roles like her best friend Coco, and her enemy Bizzy, to the smaller roles like her ex-boyfriends, and her parents were really well done. It was easy to distinguish between all of them, and I was never confused when a name was brought up again.

The cover: It's really cute, and I like it a lot!

Overall: I'm already able to tell that this is going to be one of my top ten reads of 2017! It was so good, and I laughed so much while reading it! The way the story was told was so unique. I highly recommend this YA book to everyone! :)

I checked this book out from my library.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Mini Review: Snow White: A Graphic Novel

Review: Snow White: A Graphic Novel by Matt Phelan

Mini review: Going into this book, I hadn't heard much about it. I had seen it mentioned somewhere, and since it was a fairytale retelling and a Graphic Novel, I thought it looked interesting! I'm glad I'm read it! This is a retelling of Snow White, set in 1928 New York. There's not a lot of words in it, but the art tells the story really well! And I liked the updates to the original story, to make it fit in the time period this version takes place in! If you like fairytales, I definitely recommend trying this Graphic Novel! :)

I checked this book out from my library.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

January 2017 Wrap-Up!

I've decided that I want to start posting wrap-up posts at the end of every month! And yes, I know it's February 2nd, but that's not too far from January! :)

Books Reviewed:
Review: Wrong About the Guy

Blog Events and Other Posts:
Happy New Year 2017!
Books I'm Looking Forward to Reading in 2017!
Bookish and Non-Bookish Resolutions for 2017!
My Favorite Graphic Novels From 2016!
My Favorite TV Shows, Movies, and Music of 2016!
Top Ten Books I Want to Read Soon!
Fan Art Returns!
Top Ten Favorite Graphic Novels Read in the Past Year!

Here are all the posts from the Debut Author Event 2017!
Debut Author Event 2017
Interview With Elly Blake!
Interview With Kristen Orlando!
Interview With Patricia Bailey!
Interview With Alyson Gerber!
Interview With Heather Maclean!
Interview With Rebecca Ross!
Interview With Heather Fawcett!
Interview With Mary E. Lambert!
Interview With Katy Upperman!
Interview With Carter Higgins!
Interview With Kes Trester!
Interview With Wendy McLeod MacKnight!
Interview With Kate Watson!
Interview With Ellie Terry!
Interview With Caroline Leech!
Debut Author Event 2017 Recap Post!

Blog Posts I Liked:
Here are some posts I enjoyed reading in January! :)

YABookNerd blogged about Golden Globes fashion from this year, and the dresses are so pretty!
Also, I added some Picture Books to my TBR list, thanks to her TTT about ones she has loved!
Alexa Loves Books review of I Capture the Castle has now made me want to read the book!
I totally agree with this post at Paper Fury's blog, 10 Things You Should Regularly Tell Bookworms!
And I know most of you probably don't read any craft/food blogs, but this 3 ingredient funfetti dip at I Heart Naptime is something I'm looking forward to making!

(This is just a small amount of posts I read in January. I read a lot of blog posts, and like a lot of them, but I didn't want to go overboard and list too many here.)

Blog Life:
I hosted a debut author event on my blog and had so much fun with it! I'm thankful to all the authors who participated in it, and to everyone who helped promote it! And I've gone back to blogging regularly again, which makes me happy! I'm also beginning to think ahead a little bit to the 2nd annual Yay For Middle Grade Books! blog event that will be happening on my blog in May! (I know it's early, but I like to plan ahead.) Any traditionally published MG authors are welcome to participate in it! (And if you were part of it last year, feel free to be part of it again this year!) I'm planning on posting a sign-up sheet at the end of February or beginning of March, but if you're interested in maybe participating in it, and have questions about it, don't be afraid to ask me! Here's last years wrap-up post, for those who are interested. I would love to either interview you or have you guest post! :)

Real Life:
January was pretty good, but we did have a terrifying storm. It was one of the scariest I've ever experienced, and that's including the hurricanes that have gone through here. My family and I were very blessed that we were kept safe during it. We celebrated my Mom's Birthday (Happy Birthday, Mom!) this month by going out to dinner, and that was fun! January was pretty good! (If you don't think about the news at all.) I also wanted to put in this post that I'm attempting to write! I'm not good at it (at all), but I'm having fun with it! :)

What was your January like? :)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Upcoming Books With Covers I Love!

I was browsing my TBR list, and began to think about how many books were releasing with covers I love! And I decided I would share a few of them here, just for fun! So here are twelve covers that I really like! :)

These aren't in any particular order.

I just really like this cover, and I want a skirt like that!

This is neat looking!

I love the vintage look of this cover, and the skyline in the background!

I love carousels, and this cover is so fun!

I like how eye-catching the title is on the cover!

This reminds me of a movie poster, and I love getting a glimpse at each character in the book!

This one is fun!

I like the colors on this cover, and how it reminds me of the beach!

I like the look of this one, and I like that it's an illustrated YA cover, because it feels like there aren't as many of those!


I like how bright this one is!

I like the illustrations on this one!

There are more covers that I like that release this year, but at the moment, these are the ones that stand out the most to me! :)

Do you like any of these? What covers do you like the look of? :)