Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
Published by Feiwel & Friends in February 2017
Debut Author 2017

"A 17-year-old pirate captain intentionally allows herself to get captured by enemy pirates in this thrilling YA adventure.

Sent on a mission to retrieve an ancient hidden map—the key to a legendary treasure trove—seventeen-year-old pirate captain Alosa deliberately allows herself to be captured by her enemies, giving her the perfect opportunity to search their ship.

More than a match for the ruthless pirate crew, Alosa has only one thing standing between her and the map: her captor, the unexpectedly clever and unfairly attractive first mate, Riden. But not to worry, for Alosa has a few tricks up her sleeve, and no lone pirate can stop the Daughter of the Pirate King." - From Goodreads

Will you like it?
I wasn't entirely sure how to feel about this book.  There was a lot of telling vs. showing about the background of Alosa, and I'm not entirely sure it's my favorite way of finding out the backstory.

The action was awesome!  The last 1/3 of the book made up for the dancing Riden and Alosa do.  I loved how smart and strong Alosa was to get out of all of her scrapes.  She never let anything get in the way of what she wanted.

Overall, this book would be perfect for someone who likes a lot of action mixed with their romance.

Disclosure: I received an electronic galley of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle
Published by Chronicle Books in February 2013

Why do I love it?
There are no words!  Your kid can tell their own story using Molly Idle's wonderful pictures.

Age Range
I would go ages 4-6 with this book.  They're old enough to tell their own story, and be creative about it.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

February Picture Book Round-Up

Instead of combining all of my challenges together into quarterly update posts, I've decided on doing a monthly picture book round-up for my picture book challenge hosted by Becky's Book Reviews.  So here are the books I've added to my challenge list in February.

1. An Alphabet book
Take Away the A by Michael Escoffier

22. A Book by Gail Gibbons
The Fruits We Eat by Gail Gibbons

51. A Book Published in 2017
Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson

56. A Book by Laura Numeroff

81. A Book About Weather
Wolf in the Snow by Matthew Cordell

95. A Book About Another Country
S is for Shamrock by Eve Bunting

97. A Pop-Up Book or a Book with Cutouts, Flaps, or Foldouts

100. A Book That Has Been Adapted to a Television Series
Welcome to Trucktown by Jon Scieszka

102. A Book About Babies
Ready, Set ... Baby! by Elizabeth Rusch

Friday, February 24, 2017

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard
Published by HarperTeen in February 2017
Red Queen #3

"Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her lethal mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven Calore continues weaving his dead mother's web in an attempt to maintain control over his country—and his prisoner.

As Mare bears the weight of Silent Stone in the palace, her once-ragtag band of newbloods and Reds continue organizing, training, and expanding. They prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows. And Cal, the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare's heart, will stop at nothing to bring her back." -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
As we could expect, the third book in the Red Queen series was jam-packed full of action.  I enjoy this series immensely, and I can't wait to see how the series finally ends.

While I thought that Mare's imprisonment was important to the overall story, her time spent with Maven could have been cut down page wise.  It felt like I was just waiting for her to escape.  I knew it was going to happen, so why couldn't it happen sooner rather than later?

The ending was very interesting too.  Of course Cal has issues choosing sides.  He's had issues choosing sides ever since the first book.  I can't wait to see how that's going to play out.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

[February 2017] What I'm Watching

The BF & I are currently watching The Crown.  It's produced and found on Netflix.  It's based on the life of the reigning monarch of England, Queen Elizabeth II.

I am just fascinated by the royal family, especially now with the addition of Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge & Prince George and Princess Charlotte.

Are you as obsessed as I am?
Let me know in the comments!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Just Another Girl

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which shines a light on eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.  This week, my pick is:

Just Another Girl by Elizabeth Eulberg
Publisher: Scholastic
Date: March 28, 2017

"Hope knows there's only one thing coming between her and her longtime crush: his girlfriend, Parker. She has to sit on the sidelines and watch as the perfect girl gets the perfect boy . . . because that's how the universe works, even though it's so completely wrong.

Parker doesn't feel perfect. She knows if everyone knew the truth about her, they'd never be able to get past it. So she keeps quiet. She focuses on making it through the day with her secret safe . . . even as this becomes harder and harder to do. And Hope isn't making it any easier. . . .

In Just Another Girl, Elizabeth Eulberg astutely and affectingly shows us how battle lines get drawn between girls -- and how difficult it then becomes to see or understand the girl standing on the other side of the divide." - From Goodreads

I love Elizabeth Eulberg (she's also from Wisconsin!) and I can't wait to read this book!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

TTT: Books I Loved More Than I Thought I Would

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.  This week's theme features the eight books I loved more than I thought I would.

Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
Magicians and a game to the death.


Panic by Lauren Oliver
Another game to the death.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby
 Magical realism.

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
Ocean's Eleven meets fantasy.

Truthwitch by Susan Dennard
 Would you want the ability to see if anyone was lying?

Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
A rebellion, magic, and romantic tension!

With Malice by Eileen Cook
They say you murdered your best friend, but you can't remember anything.

These are my books I loved more than I thought I would!
Leave me your list or link in the comments!

Friday, February 17, 2017

Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich

Turbo Twenty-Three by Janet Evanovich
Published by Bantam in November 2016
Stephanie Plum #23

"Larry Virgil skipped out on his latest court date after he was arrested for hijacking an eighteen-wheeler full of premium bourbon. Fortunately for bounty hunter Stephanie Plum, Larry is just stupid enough to attempt almost the exact same crime again. Only this time he flees the scene, leaving behind a freezer truck loaded with Bogart ice cream and a dead body—frozen solid and covered in chocolate and chopped pecans.

As fate would have it, Stephanie’s mentor and occasional employer, Ranger, needs her to go undercover at the Bogart factory to find out who’s putting their employees on ice and sabotaging the business. It’s going to be hard for Stephanie to keep her hands off all that ice cream, and even harder for her to keep her hands off Ranger. It’s also going to be hard to explain to Trenton’s hottest cop, Joe Morelli, why she is spending late nights with Ranger, late nights with Lula and Randy Briggs—who are naked and afraid—and late nights keeping tabs on Grandma Mazur and her new fella. Stephanie Plum has a lot on her plate, but for a girl who claims to have “virtually no marketable skills,” these are the kinds of sweet assignments she does best." - From Amazon

Will you like it?
This is a classic Stephanie Plum novel.  Someone needs to get caught by Stephanie, she stumbles into a case much bigger than she thinks, funny stuff happens with Lula, Stephanie tells herself she should only see Morelli, then Stephanie kisses Ranger, then Stephanie ends up almost killed.  However, they are entertaining reads, and I definitely laugh out loud when I listen to them.

Keep writing, Janet Evanovich!

Disclosure: I borrowed the audiobook from my local library.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Cookbook Nook: One Pan, Two Plates

Published by Chronicle Books in August 2016

"One pan + fresh ingredients = dinner for two! With an emphasis on reducing prep time and the usual sinkful of dishes, cooking instructor Carla Snyder serves up the ideal couple's guide to simple, complete, and truly delicious meals--imagine Balsamic Braised Chicken Thighs with Figs and Creamy Polenta or Thyme-Rubbed Salmon with Shallots and Caramelized Cauliflower "Risotto"--that can be made in one skillet, in less than 60 minutes. With recipes for home-cooked pasta, grains, sandwiches, beef, pork, chicken, and seafood, plus wine or beer pairings for each dish, One Pan, Two Plates will nourish couples, from newlyweds to empty nesters, every night of the week." - From Goodreads

This book appealed to me by the cover, so I grabbed it off the library shelf.  Recipes inside ask for some non-standard ingredients, so I would really think twice about making an out-of-my comfort zone recipe.  

Pictures: Not every picture has a recipe.  That is truly one of my pet peeves.  The pictures that it does include are beautiful close-up shots.

I'm glad I grabbed this book from the library, but I won't be purchasing this for my home collection.

Disclosure: I borrowed this book from my local library.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Hunted

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which shines a light on eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.  This week, my pick is:

Hunted by Megan Spooner
Publisher: HarperTeen
Date: March 14, 2017

"Beauty knows the Beast’s forest in her bones—and in her blood. Though she grew up with the city’s highest aristocrats, far from her father’s old lodge, she knows that the forest holds secrets and that her father is the only hunter who’s ever come close to discovering them.

So when her father loses his fortune and moves Yeva and her sisters back to the outskirts of town, Yeva is secretly relieved. Out in the wilderness, there’s no pressure to make idle chatter with vapid baronessas…or to submit to marrying a wealthy gentleman. But Yeva’s father’s misfortune may have cost him his mind, and when he goes missing in the woods, Yeva sets her sights on one prey: the creature he’d been obsessively tracking just before his disappearance.

Deaf to her sisters’ protests, Yeva hunts this strange Beast back into his own territory—a cursed valley, a ruined castle, and a world of creatures that Yeva’s only heard about in fairy tales. A world that can bring her ruin or salvation. Who will survive: the Beauty, or the Beast? " - From Goodreads

I am so excited for the live action Beauty and the Beast movie!  I'm thinking that this book will be perfect to accompany the movie.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

First Chapter First Paragraph: King's Cage

First Chapter, First Paragraph is a meme hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea, where we share the first paragraph of a book we're currently reading or want to read soon.  My selection this week comes from King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard.

"I rise to my feet when he lets me.

The chain jerks me up, pulling on the thorned collar at my throat.  Its points dig in, not enough to draw blood- not yet.  But I'm already bleeding from the wrists.  Slow wounds, worn from days of unconscious captivity in rough, ripping manacles.  The color stains my white sleeves dark crimson and bright scarlet, fading from old blood to new in a testament of my ordeal.  To show Maven's court how much I've suffered already."

Based on this intro, would you read this book?  Watch for my review of King's Cage on Saturday!

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 13, 2017

By Your Side by Kasie West

By Your Side by Kasie West
Published by Harper Teen in January 2017

"When Autumn Collins finds herself accidentally locked in the library for an entire weekend, she doesn’t think things could get any worse. But that’s before she realizes that Dax Miller is locked in with her. Autumn doesn’t know much about Dax except that he’s trouble. Between the rumors about the fight he was in (and that brief stint in juvie that followed it) and his reputation as a loner, he’s not exactly the ideal person to be stuck with. Still, she just keeps reminding herself that it is only a matter of time before Jeff, her almost-boyfriend, realizes he left her in the library and comes to rescue her.

Only he doesn’t come. No one does.

Instead it becomes clear that Autumn is going to have to spend the next couple of days living off vending-machine food and making conversation with a boy who clearly wants nothing to do with her. Except there is more to Dax than meets the eye. As he and Autumn first grudgingly, and then not so grudgingly, open up to each other, Autumn is struck by their surprising connection. But can their feelings for each other survive once the weekend is over and Autumn’s old life, and old love interest, threaten to pull her from Dax’s side?" -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
This book was a little heavier than Kasie West's normal chipper rom-coms.  By Your Side deals with foster parents and anxiety.  I also really liked that the entire novel wasn't set in the library.  They leave halfway through and have to deal with their problems in the real world, not the isolated library.

I liked that the problems were real, not just ones that could be pushed under a rug and forgotten.  When Autumn finally has her first panic attack in front of her friends, the circumstances that brought it on also made my hands clammy.  Kasie West did a great job portraying anxiety and how crippling it could be.  I already have Kasie West books as must-reads, and this book solidified that for me.

Disclosure: I purchased my own copy of this book.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro
Published by Katherine Tegen Books in February 2017
Charlotte Holmes #2

"Jamie Watson and Charlotte Holmes are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other. When Charlotte’s beloved uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers.

So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other." -- From Goodreads

Will you like it?
I was totally shocked by the ending of this book.  I don't want to spoil anything, but a match is finally thrown on the Moriarty/Holmes feud.

Otherwise, Charlotte and Jamie are now navigating their own relationship.  There is almost too much angst with their relationship, and I had to keep reminding myself that they are only 16 in the book.  In a lot of the book, Jamie mopes around because he feels like he is unwanted.

Overall, this book was darker than the first.  I can only assume that the conclusion to this trilogy will be darker yet, and I really hope everyone does not end up dead.

Disclosure: I received an electronic galley of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Windwitch by Susan Dennard

Windwitch  by Susan Dennard
Published by Tor Teen in January 2017
The Witchlands #2

"In this follow-up to New York Times bestselling Truthwitch, a shadow man haunts the Nubrevnan streets, leaving corpses in his wake—and then raising those corpses from the dead. Windwitch continues the tale of Merik—cunning privateer, prince, and windwitch."

Will you like it?
I think I enjoyed this book slightly more than the first one.  I tend to enjoy second books, but not fully fall in love because they're just prolonging the action until the end of the series.  I think Dennard made a wise decision by choosing to shift her focus to Merik as the main character.  Of course, we still get time with the other characters, but we spend a lot of time with Merik.

I loved getting to know the characters more, and I think it will be interesting what roles some characters will play in the third and fourth books.  I know it seems very random now, but the threads that bind these characters will become clearer later in the series.  I just love putting together the pieces of the puzzles.

Overall, I can't wait to read more of this series.  I have loved how unique this series has been in terms of magic.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday: Stranger Than Fanfiction

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted at Breaking the Spine, which shines a light on eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.  This week, my pick is:

Stranger Than Fanfiction by Chris Colfer
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date: March 7, 2017

"Cash Carter is the young, world famous lead actor of the hit television Wiz Kids. When four fans jokingly invite him on a cross-country road trip, they are shocked that he actually takes them up on it. Chased by paparazzi and hounded by reporters, this unlikely crew takes off on a journey of a lifetime--but along the way they discover that the star they love has deep secrets he's been keeping. What they come to learn about the life of the mysterious person they thought they knew will teach them about the power of empathy and the unbreakable bond of true friendship." - From Goodreads

I love Chris Colfer as an author, and I can't wait to read something besides his Land of Stories series.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

First Chapter First Paragraph: Windwitch

First Chapter, First Paragraph is a meme hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea, where we share the first paragraph of a book we're currently reading or want to read soon.  My selection this week comes from Windwitch by Susan Dennard.

"There were advantages to being a dead man.

Merik Nihar, prince of Nubrevna and former admiral to the Nubrevnan navy, wished he'd considered dying a long time ago.  He got so much more done as a corpse."

Based on this intro, would you read this book?  Keep your eyes peeled for my review of Windwitch on Thursday!

Happy Reading!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends in January 2017

"In her first graphic novel, bestselling author Marissa Meyer extends the world of the Lunar Chronicles with a brand-new, action-packed story about Iko, the android with a heart of (mechanized) gold. When rogue packs of wolf-hybrid soldiers threaten the tenuous peace alliance between Earth and Luna, Iko takes it upon herself to hunt down the soldiers' leader. She is soon working with a handsome royal guard who forces her to question everything she knows about love, loyalty, and her own humanity." - From Goodreads

Will you like it?
 If you loved the Lunar Chronicles series, then you will love this book!  I loved seeing the graphic representation of all of my favorite characters.  Some of them looked how I pictured, and some of them were completely different from how I pictured them.  Either way, this is a must-read for Lunar Chronicles fans, and I can't wait until the second volume is released.

Disclosure: I borrowed a copy of this book from my local library.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February TBR

Here are the books that I'm planning on reading and reviewing in February.  I've got a good mix of back list, debut, and new books to keep up with my various challenges.

Daughter of the Pirate King by Tricia Levenseller
Debut Author Challenge.

By Your Side by Kasie West
New Release.

The Last of August by Brittany Cavallaro
New Release.

King's Cage by Victoria Aveyard
New Release.

Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
New Release.

Wires and Nerve by Marissa Meyer
New Release.

Snow White by Matt Phelan
Beat the Backlist Challenge.

The Bronze Key by Holly Black & Cassandra Clare
Beat the Backlist Challenge.