Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read list

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog

Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read list

I don't read short stories a lot, but this book just looks wonderful! (And how rare is it to find books that focus on winter holidays?) :)

I LOVE these books! Looking forward to this new book a lot! :)

Hook's Revenge by Heidi Schulz
Looks like a lot of fun and I have been reading good things about it! :)

Another series that I love! I'm sad that's it ending, but I'm looking forward to reading the last book! :)

And even more books that I love! (And isn't the cover of this book amazing?) :)

I love these books and this looks like fun! :)

It looks interesting! :)

Star Wars: Jedi Academy, Return of the Padawan by Jeffrey Brown
I enjoyed the first book, looking forward to this next book! :)

Wildflower by Alecia Whitaker
It's been on my TBR list awhile now, looking forward to trying this book! :)

Have you read any of the books I listed? Do you want to? :)

Friday, September 19, 2014

Marvelous Musical Friday 26

Shake It Off by Taylor Swift

This is the first Marvelous Musical Friday I have done in awhile, and I figured the best song to get it going again would be Shake It Off by Taylor Swift! I LOVE this song a lot! :)

Do you all like it, too? :)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: The (Almost) Perfect Guide to Imperfect Boys

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine blog

This Wednesday I'm Waiting on: The (Almost) Perfect Guide to Imperfect Boys by Barbara Dee

In Finley's middle school, kissing frogs might lead to princes, if there were any frogs! Categorizing classmates leads to a battle of the sexes in this M!X novel from the author of Just Another Day in My Insanely Real Life.

According to Finley and her BFF, Maya, middle school boys can be put into three separate categories: tadpoles, croakers, and frogs. Per their official Life Cycle of Amphibian Boys, while tadpoles are totally not developed yet (read: boys who still love fart jokes and can't have a normal conversation with girls without making fun of them), a frog is the top of the boy food chain, evolved and mature. Sadly, not many boys have reached that elusive frog status at Staunton Middle School.

Finley thought she had everyone pegged, until Zachary Mattison enters the picture. After suddenly leaving the year before, Zachary's surprise reappearance at SMS forces Finley to see him in a new light. And when the official life cycle list falls into the wrong hands, it causes a battle between the boys and girls that turns into an all-out war, one that Finley isn't sure anyone can really win...

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Doesn't this book look like fun? I'm looking forward to it! :)

This book releases September 30th 2014

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Interview With Author Jess Keating!

Today Jess Keating, the author of How to Outrun a Crocodile When Your Shoes Are Untied (Here'e my review!), it's sequel How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel (January, 2015), and Pink is for Blobfish (2016) is here for an interview! For my first ever author interview, I'm very excited to welcome her to the blog today! :)

The writing in bold are the questions I asked, the normal font are her responses, and the italic bold writing is my comments about a few of the answers! :)

1. First off, I love your book! (Though, I think you know that already!) And I think one of the things I love best about it is how easy it is to relate to Ana. (Except for the fact that she lives in a zoo!) How did you go about creating the character of her? And did the premise of the book or the character come to you first?

Thank you so much, Jessica! You know, it's very weird looking back at how Ana came to be. The first thing I ever wrote about this book was the title, along with the image of a little girl dangling from a tree while a crocodile snapped under her feet. But I knew she wasn't actually scared of it, instead she was annoyed because it to her happened all the time!

After this initial snapshot of her popped into my mind, the rest of it came down to figuring out the nitty gritty details. I think when you're creating a character you want people to really relate to, finding out their faults and insecurities can be the quickest way to get somewhere meaningful. What are they afraid of? And what happened in their lives to make them so afraid? Everyone has insecurities, and I knew I wanted a character that kids would look to not only for laughs, but also some strength. In Ana's case, she happens to be a lot like me: she loves teaching people about animals. But, what if she was truly terrified of talking in public? And what if her family were absolutely insane and they lived in a zoo?! That is how the ball got rolling!

2. It says on your website that you have a degree in Zoology, how did that impact writing this book?

Great question! I can see now that I wouldn't have been able to write this series without my zoology background. (It's funny, because people often give me weird looks when I say I do use what I learned in school, even though I'm in the kid's book business!)

I think one of the things that people notice right away about Ana is that she's truly passionate about her life amongst the animals. She views things from a very peculiar perspective, and animals help her figure herself out. By the time I started writing How to Outrun a Croc, I had been in school for what seemed like ages, learning as much as I could about all sorts of animals. Getting to explore a character so deeply entrenched in the world of wildlife was my absolute favorite part of writing this book!

3. I love the animal facts in your book! (And the facts you mention on Twitter!) Just for fun, what's one of the weirdest and/or neatest facts you have learned about an animal?

I'm so glad to hear this! I couldn't stick with just one fact, so I've got the cutest and the grossest for you. The cutest animal fact I know is that penguins 'propose' to each other with pebbles! The male penguin will present the female with a pebble when he wants to be her man (...or rather, her penguin.) If she likes him, she will put the pebble in her nest and the two of them live happily ever after. How adorable is that?!

As for one of the grossest, I have to go with the sea cucumber. They look boring, but when they need to escape from predators, they will actually expel their innards out of their butts! Seriously. And because they're sea cucumbers, when they're done exploding their intestines out of their rears, they just regenerate the missing body parts! It's pretty disgusting, but also awesome.

The penguin fact is adorable, I love it! And I am both interested and grossed out by the sea cucumber fact!

4. The next book in the series, How to Outswim a Shark Without a Snorkel (Love the titles, by the way!) releases in January, is there anything you are able to tell us about it? 

Thank you! Hmm... I can say that I had an amazing time writing the second book. When I finished Book #1, I knew I had opened a can of worms. (I won't say any more, to avoid spoilers!) In the second book, we get to learn more about Ana and her friends, as well as a particular someone that might not be exactly who we think she is! *zips mouth shut*

I can also say that How to Outswim a Shark is jam-packed with even more animals, wetsuits (which are always embarrassing), super cute older boys, and a very special pact that causes a lot of problems for poor Ana.

It sounds very good! Looking forward to reading it even more now! 

5. If you're able to tell us anything about it, what are you working on now?

There are a few projects currently staring at me from their respective word docs! We just sold the third book in this series (yay!) so I've been lucky to spend even more time with Ana and the gang. I've also just finished up copyedits on my first nonfiction picture book with Knopf, called Pink is for Blobfish!

I'm also working on a project that I'm not allowed to talk about yet, but it might involve a goofy animal or two… (This likely won't surprise you!) *wink*

6. Middle Grade books (And MG authors!) are awesome! Who are a few of your favorite MG authors/books?

There are so many, and my list of favorites gets bigger every day! Some authors I've been loving lately are Lauren Magaziner, Anna Staniszewski, Cece Bell, Lisa Schroeder, Jo Knowles, Wendy Mass, Anne Ursu, Linda Urban, Tom Angleberger, and Nancy Cavanaugh! (Sorry, that was definitely more than a few. But they're all so great!)

I have read and loved many books by a lot of the authors you mentioned! And the ones I haven't read books by, I need to!

7. And for the last question I feel like this MUST be asked. What's your favorite animal? :)

People often think the answer to this is crocodile! But my favorite animal is one that hasn't appeared yet in a book: the wolf!
Ooh, the wolf is one of my favorites, too!

Thank you so much for having me, Jessica! Have a wonderful day!
You're very welcome! And thank you so much for answering all these questions! I LOVE your answers! :)

If you haven't read Jess Keating's book, I highly encourage you to try it! (And then you can join me in waiting on the next book!) It's very fun! And if you want to find out more about her, here are a bunch of links of places to find her online! :)

Find Her On:

Thank you again to Jess Keating for allowing me to interview her! :)

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Waiting on Wednesday: Crushes, Codas, and Corsages and Hook's Revenge

Waiting on Wednesday is hosted by Breaking the Spine blog

This Wednesday I'm Waiting on two books! :)

First, This Wednesday I'm Waiting on: Crushes, Codas, and Corsages (I Heart Band #3) by Michelle Schusterman

Former band director Michelle Schusterman ends her adorable series about middleschool band geeks with the perfect coda!

The band has been preparing for their big regional competition all year and it's time for all of their work to pay off. On top of preparing for competition, Holly is excited to go to the Spring Dance with Owen, but is he still interested after meeting a new girl at art camp over spring break? Holly and friends band together to have an amazing end to their seventh grade year.

-summary and cover via Goodreads

Love these books and am looking forward to this next book, too! :) 

This book releases September 11th 2014

And Two, I'm Waiting on: Hook's Revenge by Heidi Schulz

Captain Hook's feisty daughter hits the high seas to avenge her father's death at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile in Heidi Schulz's spirited middle-grade debut.

Twelve-year-old Jocelyn dreams of becoming every bit as daring as her infamous father, Captain James Hook. Her grandfather, on the other hand, intends to see her starched and pressed into a fine society lady. When she's sent to Miss Eliza Crumb-Biddlecomb's Finishing School for Young Ladies, Jocelyn's hopes of following in her father's fearsome footsteps are lost in a heap of dance lessons, white gloves, and way too much pink.

So when Jocelyn receives a letter from her father challenging her to avenge his untimely demise at the jaws of the Neverland crocodile, she doesn't hesitate-here at last is the adventure she has been waiting for. But Jocelyn finds that being a pirate is a bit more difficult than she'd bargained for. As if attempting to defeat the Neverland's most fearsome beast isn't enough to deal with, she's tasked with captaining a crew of woefully untrained pirates, outwitting cannibals wild for English cuisine, and rescuing her best friend from a certain pack of lost children, not to mention that pesky Peter Pan who keeps barging in uninvited.

The crocodile's clock is always ticking in Heidi Schulz's debut novel, a story told by an irascible narrator who is both dazzlingly witty and sharp as a sword. Will Jocelyn find the courage to beat the incessant monster before time runs out?

-summary and cover via Goodreads

The idea of this book has me totally interested in it! :)

This book releases September 16th 2014

What are you waiting on this week? :)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books in x Genre!

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish blog

I LOVE the topic this week, as I am  always trying to get people to read favorite authors of mine, especially the ones who I think are under-appreciated! But I wasn't able to settle on just one genre, which made me think that maybe I would go a little over ten this week, and list seven of my favorite authors who write Middle Grade, three that write Young Adult, and five that write Graphic Novels and Manga! :)

(And I know this list might not be some peoples idea of under-appreciated, but this is just me personally listing authors that I think don't get enough attention!)

Top Ten Underrated Authors or Books in x Genre!

First, Seven Middle Grade Authors:

Now, Three Young Adult Authors:

And last but not least, Five Graphic Novelists and Manga Artists:

All of the authors I mentioned in this post are amazing writers and I hope if you haven't read any of their books before, you might try one of them now! :)

And I would easily be able to keep adding to this list, but I figured I needed to just list fifteen! :)

What authors or books do you think are under-appreciated? :)

Monday, September 1, 2014

The Best Books I Have Read This Summer!

After seeing people on Twitter talking about what their favorites books they read this summer were, I thought it would be fun if I made up a post talking about my favorites in each genre I read this summer, too! I didn't think I'd have time to read much this summer, and while that's true, I managed to fit in some really good reads!

(What's funny though is that I made a TTT post at the beginning of summer listing ten books I was planning on reading. And I read only two of them. But the two I read were good, and I still plan on reading a few of the other books, at least eventually!)

Favorite MG Contemporary: 

A tie between 

Favorite YA Contemporary: 

Favorite MG Fantasy: 

A tie between 

Favorite YA Fantasy: 

Favorite MG Historical: 

Favorite YA Historical: 

Favorite Graphic Novel: 

A tie between 

Favorite Manga: 

A tie between 

Favorite Reread: 

A tie between 
Ouran High School Host Club by Bisco Hatori (Technically I didn't reread the whole series this summer, I began the reread in April or May, but I finished the reread this summer so I'm still listing it.)

Favorite Picture Book:

A tie between

This summer was the summer  of Middle Grade books, Graphic Novels, and Manga! I read the most of all three! :)

What were your favorite books this summer? What did you read the most of? :)