Princess Harriet Hamsterbone is not your typical princess. She rather defeat monsters with her sword, have grand adventures, and figure out fractionsPrincess Harriet Hamsterbone is not your typical princess. She rather defeat monsters with her sword, have grand adventures, and figure out fractions than sit around the castle all day being princess-y. When Harriet learns of a curse placed upon her that means she will prick her finger on a hamster wheel, on her twelfth birthday, placing her in a deep sleep, she is ecstatic! The curse means that until she turns twelve, Harriet is invincible, so she sets out to have those epic adventures she always dreamed about. But curses can’t be avoided and on her twelfth birthday the curse is activated...although, in a most surprising and peculiar way!
Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible is a delightful and charming new furry twist on the Sleeping Beauty tale! Part novel and part comic, this amusing first book in Ursula Vernon’s new series is full of laughs, girl power, and sparkling storytelling. Young readers will be captivated by the never boring world Harriet lives in. A world that is filled with all kinds of animals, mythical creatures, and thrilling monsters. Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible is brimming with fun adventure, laugh-out-loud humor, and exciting twists.
With Harriet, Vernon does a spectacular job of creating a truly unique and unforgettable heroine! Feisty, sassy, clever, brave, and caring Harriet will have readers cheering and charm you completely. Harriet is the epitome of girl power and shows that there is no right or wrong way to be a princess or a girl. Vernon fills Harriet’s world with an amusing and entertaining cast of characters, from a snarky quail, silly parents, a couple of surprising princes, and a whimsical baddie.
Harriet’s grand adventures and story are perfectly captured in the witty and engaging comic like illustrations.
my final thoughts: Hamster Princess: Harriet the Invincible is a rollicking, clever, and captivating book that will amuse and inspire young readers. ...more
Mama Possum has trained her baby possums in their possum ways the best she can. She’s taught them the art of acting (especially acting dead!), how toMama Possum has trained her baby possums in their possum ways the best she can. She’s taught them the art of acting (especially acting dead!), how to find food, and most importantly, how to stay away from the three monsters: cars, people, and hairies (dogs). But when it’s time for the babies to go their own way, little Appleblossom and two of her brothers, Antonio and Amlet, just aren’t ready to walk away from each other. And when Appleblossom gets a little too curious, she falls down a chimney and gets trapped inside a people monster home. Antonio, Amlet, and a surprising newcomer, set out to rescue Appleblossom...meanwhile, Appleblossom learns that maybe not all people monsters are so bad.
Holly Goldberg Sloan’s Appleblossom the Possum is a sweet, charming, and unforgettable middle-grade read! With sparkling storytelling, endearing characters, and an exciting and amusing storyline, Appleblossom the Possum is a delight from beginning to end. After jumping into Appleblossom’s world, readers will never look at possums the same way again! With vivid imagery that engages all the senses, authentic possum behavior, and age appropriate humor and thrills, Sloan crafts a captivating and fun setting. Young readers will be fascinated by this world of possums and inspired to learn more.
Sloan does a wonderful job of anthropomorphizing her animal characters and given them such big, engaging personalities! With her curiosity, unexpected bravery, and clever thinking, Appleblossom is a darling and daring heroine. I love Appleblossom’s relationship with her brothers, intelligent Antonio and amusing Amlet. And Appleblossom and Izzy’s (her new people monster friend) surprising, tender friendship will just melt your heart.
From the protective hedges to high up a tree, into the big city, across dangerous roads, in the fascinating people monsters’ home, and everywhere in between, Sloan takes Appleblossom and readers on a dazzling adventure.
my final thoughts: Appleblossom the Possum is a simply adorable little book, full of memorable characters, big adventure, and a lot of heart. Readers of all ages will fall in love with Appleblossom!...more
In Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories, author R.J. Palacio returns to the wonderful world of Wonder with three new chapters told from the points ofIn Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories, author R.J. Palacio returns to the wonderful world of Wonder with three new chapters told from the points of view of bully Julian, oldest friend Christopher, and classmate Charlotte. These three characters’ lives have been impacted and affected by Auggie Pullman, and now they get the chance to tell their stories.
Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories, includes The Julian Chapter, Pluto, and Shingaling. These chapters are not sequels or prequels to the beloved Wonder, but instead, are captivating expansions of Auggie’s unforgettable story. If you’ve read Wonder, then you know Palacio crafts complex, stunning stories that are thought-provoking, heart-warming, and irresistible...and the three chapters in Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories are no exception!
In The Julian Chapter, we see much of the events in Wonder and beyond, from the point of view of Auggie’s most determined enemy, Julian. I’m sure many readers have very strong feelings about bully Julian, but I think they will be surprised by his story and POV. I love that Palacio doesn’t try to force readers to forgive, sympathize, or even understand Julian’s side of things, she merely shows (and wonderfully so) that people are often way more than what they seem. The Julian Chapter is equal parts heartbreaking, infuriating, and thought-provoking. With this chapter, Palacio’s grasp of human nature and her breathtaking way of capturing it, is really given the chance to shine.
In Pluto, Palacio focuses on Auggie’s oldest friend, Christopher, who has moved away. Pluto contains a lot of flashbacks to Auggie’s early years, as seen through Christopher’s thoughtful, honest eyes. Christopher’s story is such a relatable, authentic one, as he struggles to find his place and must deal with the emotional turmoil that comes with his parents’ divorce. I love that Christopher has impacted and affected Auggies life, with his pure; continual friendship, has much as Auggie has impacted his life.
Shingaling is Charlotte’s story and we see much of the events in Wonder through the perspective of Auggie’s female classmates. Charlotte’s story is an endearing and honest exploration of middle-school dynamics and the turbulence of trying to fit in, while staying true to yourself.
my final thoughts: While Auggie’s presence and influence is strongly felt throughout each chapter in this collection, I love that they are very much Julian, Christopher, and Charlotte’s stories, and that they further expand the spectacular world of Wonder. Fans of Wonder and Auggie will be thrilled by Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories and appreciate what R.J. Palacio continues to create. ...more
Princess Juniper makes a grand wish for her thirteenth nameday: her own country, made up of kids her age, to rule. When a troublesome kingdom invadesPrincess Juniper makes a grand wish for her thirteenth nameday: her own country, made up of kids her age, to rule. When a troublesome kingdom invades their country, Juniper’s father, the king, grants Juniper her wish and sends her, and a merry group of younguns, off to a quiet, lush part of the Hourglass Mountains. Princess Juniper and her subjects set out to make the newly dubbed Queen’s Basin the best country there is...but they soon learn that’s a lot harder than just dreaming about it. Princess Juniper’s nasty cousin Cyril makes big trouble and Juniper finds herself fighting for her beloved little country. And back at home at Torr, war is on the horizon. What’s a determined Princess to do?
This is the second middle-grade book I’ve read by Ammi-Joan Paquette, and she is quickly becoming one of my favorite MG authors! Princess Juniper of the Hourglass, with its charming characters, enchanting settings, adventurous spirit, and sparkling storytelling, is a pure delight from beginning to end! Paquette creates lush, vivid, and enthralling settings in Torr and Queen’s Basin. Readers will fall in love with the grand castle in Torr and be swept away by the dazzling Queen’s Basin, which, with its rooms carved into a mountain, tree hidey-holes, and beautiful landscapes, feels almost deliciously magical. This an unforgettable world that young readers will want to run away to and explore!
There are so many wonderful, wondrous, endearing characters in Princess Juniper of the Hourglass! Princess Juniper is such a fantastic heroine, who is smart, brave, adventurous, thoughtful, isn’t afraid to get dirty and work hard, and has an impeccable sense of fashion. Juniper is surrounded by a merry and eclectic group of kids, from clever Erick, fierce Alta, feisty Tippy, weasely Cyril, and more. I found this group of young characters to be utterly charming, amusing, and full of surprises.
Princess Juniper and her new friends set out on an inspiring journey; a journey that is filled to the brim with fun, excitement, friendship, new discoveries, and valuable lessons to be learned.
my final thoughts: There is so much to love and admire about Princess Juniper of the Hourglass, and readers of all ages will enjoy this sparkling tale. Ammi-Joan Paquette has written a truly spectacular story and I can't wait for book two! ...more
Fifteen year old Adam Stone lives in the harsh desert town of Blackwater and wants nothing more than to get out. His one chance of earning a one-way tFifteen year old Adam Stone lives in the harsh desert town of Blackwater and wants nothing more than to get out. His one chance of earning a one-way ticket to the luxurious world of Sky-Base is also a potentially deadly one: win the brutal Blackwater Trail byke race. Adam, along with the mysterious Kane and tough, gorgeous Sadie Blood, set out to ride this hellish race and find themselves pushed to their limits, hunted by dangerous foes, and faced with cruel truths.
David Hofmeyr’s Stone Rider is an entertaining, wonderfully crafted Young Adult novel that is part dystopian, part western, and all kinds of thrilling! While reminiscent of The Hunger Games, in its razor-sharp, thought-provoking look at class; humanity; and survival, and its unabashed brutality, Stone Rider offers its own unique and complex premise. Hofmeyr creates a bleak, yet entirely enthralling setting with his harsh desert landscapes and almost otherworldly seeming Sky-Base. Adam’s world is a gritty, unforgiving, and, at times, bloody, one. From the saloons selling surprising offerings and the sparse, broken feel of Blackwater to the high-tech world of bykes and Riders, drones, and space civilizations, I loved the cool mix of old-time western and futuristic sci-fi elements within Stone Rider.
What I like most about the characters in Stone Rider, is that they aren’t necessarily likable in a traditional sense. These aren’t characters I would want to be friends with, but I found them utterly engrossing and engaging. From earnest Adam, to mysterious Kane, capable Sadie, and a handful of nasty baddies, readers will be captivated by their stories.
Wickedly fast-paced, Stone Rider takes its characters and readers on an edge of your seat (or byke!) ride. Hofmeyr does an excellent job of creating suspense off all kinds, from explosive to quiet. Adam, Kane, and Sadie are definitely put through the hellish, bloody ringer and readers won’t be able to look away for a second of it.
my final thoughts: With its smart concept, exhilarating storytelling, and memorable characters, Stone Rider is an awesome debut and exciting Young Adult read. I can’t wait for the sequel!...more
As a fellow plus-size gal, reading Brittany Gibbons’ Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin...Every Inch Of It wasAs a fellow plus-size gal, reading Brittany Gibbons’ Fat Girl Walking: Sex, Food, Love, and Being Comfortable in Your Own Skin...Every Inch Of It was both joyful and surprisingly personal. In Fat Girl Walking, body image advocate and popular blogger, Brittany Gibbons, shares tidbits of her childhood and life, exploring what it means to be a plus-size woman in this modern world.
Through laugh-out-loud humor and with unflinching honesty, Gibbons’ memoir and essays are charming, entertaining, deliciously brash, and beautifully profound. Nothing is held back and no topic is off-limits in Fat Girl Walking. From a sometimes screwed-up childhood to bullies, sexuality, mental illness, financial troubles, and more, Gibbons tackles each topic with addicting humor, inspiring confidence, and simple truths. Things that society often ignores in regards to plus size woman (dating, sex, eating disorders, etc), are the things Gibbons bravely brings front and center.
I love that this isn’t a diet book, it isn’t the story of how one woman overcame her weight issues or learned to love herself despite her issues. Fat Girl Walking is a celebration of embracing your flaws and imperfections and loving yourself just the way you are.
my final thoughts: Fat Girl Walking is the perfect read for anyone who has ever struggled with their weight or for anyone who has simply felt not good enough. You won’t find any cheesy cliches are trite advice in this book, just hilarious stories, refreshing honesty, and a whole lot of inspiration!...more
Michael, the guy who has no idea what he wants to do with his life. Cora, the good girl who knows her future includes college and working in medicine.Michael, the guy who has no idea what he wants to do with his life. Cora, the good girl who knows her future includes college and working in medicine. These very different teens are brought together by the epic music festival, Woodstock. Cora, who lives in the town hosting the festival, is a volunteer at the med. tent, while Michael, with his girlfriend (who he may or may not want to dump) and friends, is there to witness all the musical greats he loves. Thanks to some trippy brown acid, Cora and Michael’s lives and futures collide during three unforgettable days.
The wild 60’s + epic music + sweet romance = one super groovy reading experience. Sarvenaz Tash’s Three Day Summer is such a fun, feel-good YA book. Drugs, rock and roll, sex, music, peace, and love...this is what Woodstock is famous for and Tash brings it to life in all its psychedelic, tie-dye glory! From the physical layout of the festival and town to the awesome musical acts, memorable moments, the volatile atmosphere surrounding the war, clothing, and dialogue, Tash does such a great job of transporting readers to 1969 and capturing this complex, fascinating time in history. You can tell that the author clearly did her research and did everything possible to make this setting and time feel authentic and real.
While the festival itself is so fun to read about, it is Michael and Cora’s stories that take center stage. I really like these two, both as individuals and as a pair. They’re both witty, charming, and interesting in their own ways. And I thoroughly enjoyed watching their sweet, addicting love story unfold. This is a romance that readers will root and fall for.
my final thoughts: With its vivid setting, excellent world-building, likable characters, and fun romance, Three Day Summer easily charmed me. This is the perfect read for anyone crazy about Woodstock or simply in the mood for a light, entertaining read. ...more
A runaway and pickpocket, Echo has no one until she is adopted by the Avicen, a magical race of feathered beings who live beneath the city. Echo surviA runaway and pickpocket, Echo has no one until she is adopted by the Avicen, a magical race of feathered beings who live beneath the city. Echo survives by selling the treasures she steals and has come to love the Avicen like family. So when the fate of the Avicen is threatened by an old enemy, Echo is determined to do what it takes to save them and to finally prove that she belongs with the Avicen. Ancient legend tells of the mystical Firebird, a creature who will bestow ultimate power to the one who controls it. Echo and a band of unexpected allies set out to find the Firebird before it falls into the wrong, very dangerous hands and end the bloody war...but this journey forces Echo to face truths she’s not ready for and makes her question everything she thought she knew about the enemy.
Melissa Grey’s The Girl At Midnight was such a pleasant surprise and such a joy to read! Grey has crafted a lush, fantastical world full of exciting elements, engaging characters, and lovely writing. The Girl At Midnight’s unique; refreshing premise is woven together with captivating and addicting storytelling. The world within The Girl At Midnight, from the enchanting Avicen to their fiery enemy; the streets of fascinating cities; and everything in between; is richly developed and described and fiercely beautiful. The fantasy elements, from magic doorways; enchantments; seers; fire conjuring; and more, are darkly whimsical and enthralling. While somewhat predictable, I found the story within The Girl At Midnight to be quite the page-turner anyway.
However, I have rather mixed feelings about the romantic elements in this book. There are some super cute flirtations and genuine feelings being explored between characters...these things I really liked! Although I wasn’t thrilled with the whole “love-triangle-ish-sorta-insta-love” thing the heroine experiences...fortunately, these romantic elements don’t dominate the story and didn’t hinder my ability to really dig the book!
And anything lacking in the storyline and the romance is made up for with the three main young characters: our heroine Echo and her two friends, Ivy and Jasper. I just LOVE Echo! She’s smart, funny, delightfully brash, independent, and feels refreshingly real. Ivy is full of as much feist and spunk as her BFF, Echo, and proves to be an admirable, brave heroine in her own right. Jasper, with his laugh-out-loud musings and adorable ways, is probably my favorite character! Grey fills this world with an eclectic and intriguing mix of characters, some- readers will fall in love with, some- readers will love to hate.
my final thoughts: With stellar world-building, wonderful storytelling, and fun characters, The Girl At Midnight is a fantastic addition to YA Fantasy...I will eagerly be awaiting book two! ...more