Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Mosquitoland by David Arnold

Mosquitoland by David Arnold
"I am a collection of oddities, a circus of neurons and electrons: my heart is the ringmaster, my soul is the trapeze artist, and the world is my audience. It sounds strange because it is, and it is, because I am strange.

After the sudden collapse of her family, Mim Malone is dragged from her home in northern Ohio to the “wastelands” of Mississippi, where she lives in a medicated milieu with her dad and new stepmom. Before the dust has a chance to settle, she learns her mother is sick back in Cleveland.

So she ditches her new life and hops aboard a northbound Greyhound bus to her real home and her real mother, meeting a quirky cast of fellow travelers along the way. But when her thousand-mile journey takes a few turns she could never see coming, Mim must confront her own demons, redefining her notions of love, loyalty, and what it means to be sane."- summary from Amazon

I absolutely adored this book; it's such a powerful and poignant debut. It's a compelling read and Mim is a character that I really enjoyed spending time with and watching her journey (both figurative and literal) throughout the book was great. The book at times could be a bit stream-of-consciousness, which I always enjoy, and I liked Mim's letters to her mom that she writes on her journey (along with some illustrations). Arnold's characterization of everyone is impeccable and even through short times with the secondary characters she meets on her trip, I really got a sense of who they were as a person and wanted to spend time with them and read their interactions with Mim.

Overall, a fantastically written debut and I am so excited to read what Arnold writes next!

FTC: Borrowed hardcover from library. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, September 28, 2015

My Pet Human by Yasmine Surovec

My Pet Human by Yasmine Surovec
"Oliver is an independent kitty. He has his run of the neighborhood and looks at his animal friends with their fussing humans with pity. But when a freckle-faced girl moves into town, Oliver sees the opportunity to train a human to provide him with a few creature comforts. And if he can help her adjust to her life and make a new friend, that's just all in a day's work. The real surprise comes, however, when Oliver needs Freckles just as much as she needs him."- summary from Amazon

This was THE CUTEST BOOK EVER. I loved it- Oliver reminded me so much of one of my cats Samson (both are tuxedo cats) and it made for a much more fun read. I will pretty much read any Yasmine Surovec book from here on out; she totally gets cats and what it means to own one (or several). It's nice to read books about cats from a cat lover, as it's one of my favorite subjects. There's a lot of humor, heart, and cuteness in this book. I highly recommend it.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark

Finding Mr. Brightside by Jay Clark
"Abram and Juliette know each other. They've lived down the street from each other their whole lives. But they don't really know each other--at least, not until Juliette's mom and Abram's dad have a torrid affair that culminates in a deadly car crash. Sharing the same subdivision is uncomfortable, to say the least. They don't speak.

Fast-forward to the neighborhood pharmacy, a year later. Abram decides to say hello. Then he decides to invite Juliette to Taco Bell.

To her surprise as well as his, she agrees. And the real love story begins."- summary from Amazon

This was such an interesting book, and a great concept to begin the novel at. I loved reading about these two characters (the story is told in a dual narrative, which I always love) as they grow closer, help each other out with their personal issues and the issue of what happened between their families, and eventually come to fall in love. It's a very well-written book.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Hold Me Closer by David Levithan

Hold Me Closer by David Levithan
"Watch out, ex-boyfriends, and get out of the way, homophobic coaches. Tiny Cooper has something to say—and he’s going to say it in song.

Filled with honesty, humor, and “big, lively, belty” musical numbers, Hold Me Closer is the no-holds-barred (and many-bars-held) entirety of the beloved musical first introduced in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, the award-winning bestseller by John Green and David Levithan.

Tiny Cooper is finally taking center stage . . . and the world will never be the same again."- summary from Amazon

Tiny Cooper was one of my most favorite parts of Will Grayson, Will Grayson, which Levithan co-wrote with John Green, as he was for a lot of people. So I was extremely excited to see that he was getting a spin-off book of sorts. I checked the book out from my local library and promptly read it in one afternoon. The book is written as the musical that we see glimpses of in WGWG, which makes for a quick, fun and interesting read. It's a fantastic glimpse into Tiny's life growing up and being himself. I highly recommend the book regardless of if you've read WGWG previously. It's good as a stand-alone, though there are some spoilers from WGWG toward the end so be aware of that if you plan on reading WGWG at some point.

FTC: Borrowed hardcover from local library. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Dragons at Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett

Dragons at Crumbling Castle by Terry Pratchett
"This never-before-published collection of fourteen funny and inventive tales by acclaimed author Sir Terry Pratchett features a memorable cast of inept wizards, sensible heroes, and unusually adventuresome tortoises.

Including more than one hundred black-and-white illustrations, the appealingly designed book celebrates Pratchett’s inimitable wordplay and irreverent approach to the conventions of storytelling.

These accessible and mischievous tales are an ideal introduction for young readers to this beloved author. Established fans of Pratchett’s work will savor the playful presentation of the themes and ideas that inform his best-selling novels."- summary from Amazon

I am a huge fan of Terry Pratchett and really enjoyed reading this collection of short stories from him over the years. From what I read, this is a combination of stories he wrote when he was younger as well as a few new ones. The artwork in the book too really adds to the stories and makes them so fun and playful. It's such a seriously good book and I highly recommend it to everyone.

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz

Not Otherwise Specified by Hannah Moskowitz
"Etta is tired of dealing with all of the labels and categories that seem so important to everyone else in her small Nebraska hometown.

Everywhere she turns, someone feels she’s too fringe for the fringe. Not gay enough for the Dykes, her ex-clique, thanks to a recent relationship with a boy; not tiny and white enough for ballet, her first passion; not sick enough to look anorexic (partially thanks to recovery). Etta doesn’t fit anywhere—until she meets Bianca, the straight, white, Christian, and seriously sick girl in Etta’s therapy group. Both girls are auditioning for Brentwood, a prestigious New York theater academy that is so not Nebraska. Bianca might be Etta’s salvation…but can Etta be saved by a girl who needs saving herself?"- summary from Amazon

I absolutely adored this latest book from Moskowitz. It's beautifully written, thought-provoking, and poignant with plenty of humor too. Moskowitz does a great job writing Etta's journey and including some fantastic side characters that I loved spending time with (particularly Bianca's gay brother James). There's several big-button issues dealt with in this book, which she handles very well, but the overall message of the book is learning to accept yourself as you are no matter if you're dealing with an eating disorder, sexual orientation, or whatever else. Love yourself, do your own thing, and find friends that will support you along the way.

FTC: Received e-galley from Edelweiss. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, September 14, 2015

The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson

The Shadow Cabinet by Maureen Johnson
"Rory and her friends are reeling from a series of sudden and tragic events. While racked with grief, Rory tries to determine if she acted in time to save a member of the squad. If she did, how do you find a ghost? Also, Rory’s classmate Charlotte has been kidnapped by Jane and her nefarious organization. Evidence is uncovered of a forty-year-old cult, ten missing teenagers, and a likely mass murder. Everything indicates that Charlotte’s in danger, and it seems that something much bigger and much more terrible is coming.

Time is running out as Rory fights to find her friends and the ghost squad struggles to stop Jane from unleashing her spectral nightmare on the entire city. In the process, they’ll discover the existence of an organization that underpins London itself—and Rory will learn that someone she trusts has been keeping a tremendous secret."- summary from Amazon

I absolutely adore this series from Johnson. It's sarcastic/funny just like her other books, but also very dark, very thought-provoking, and very supernatural. While I was not a fan of the two-year wait between the last book and this one, it was definitely worth the wait as the book is simply fantastic. The series as a whole is breath-taking and awesome, and I am really looking forward to the final book whenever it comes out.

FTC: Borrowed book from library. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.