September 19, 2016

ARC Review: Kids of Appetite by David Arnold

Kids of Appetite by David Arnold (Sept. 20, 2016)
352 pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Source: I received a free ARC at BEA. This did not affect my honest review.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon
My Rating:
Goodreads Summary: Victor Benucci and Madeline Falco have a story to tell.
It begins with the death of Vic’s father.
It ends with the murder of Mad’s uncle.
The Hackensack Police Department would very much like to hear it.
But in order to tell their story, Vic and Mad must focus on all the chapters in between.

This is a story about:

1. A coded mission to scatter ashes across New Jersey.
2. The momentous nature of the Palisades in winter.
3. One dormant submarine.
4. Two songs about flowers.
5. Being cool in the traditional sense.
6. Sunsets & ice cream & orchards & graveyards.
7. Simultaneous extreme opposites.
8. A narrow escape from a war-torn country.
9. A story collector.
10. How to listen to someone who does not talk.
11. Falling in love with a painting.
12. Falling in love with a song.
13. Falling in love.

My Review

Kids of Appetite is like no book I have ever read before. It was heartfelt, intense, hilarious, a poetically written tragicomedy. 

The story starts with Vic and Madeline in an interrogation room. The police are trying to discover who killed Mad's uncle, and Vic and Mad are doing everything they can to stall them. How do they do this? By telling the police their story that began 8 days earlier, before they knew each other, before they really knew themselves.

Vic is a wonderful kid who has a rare disease and is bullied and is just trying to come to terms with his father's death. Mad is dealing with a horrible home life, and the rest of the Kids of Appetite group are just as interesting and unique. Every character in this book is a strong and interesting character. You won't be able to help but fall for these courageous kids just like I did. We slowly get to find out about their backstories as the plot unfolds. David Arnold does a wonderful job at keeping the readers interested, at sharing just enough before throwing us back into the present, about showing us who these kids are. The plot is perfectly paced and the characters are wonderfully different.

Getting to travel New Jersey with Vic was a delight, even it was for sad reasons, spreading his father's ashes where he requested. The way every scene/setting was described brought me there with him. I could smell the meat at the butcher shop, I could feel the snow. I was there at the greenhouse. I was completely absorbed in the story. Even the way Vic's favorite song was described moved me. 

This book made me feel. It made me smile. It made me laugh. It made me feel for the Kids of Appetite. I won't be forgetting their story any time soon. I am highly recommending this book to anyone and everyone. I loved it. You won't find another one like it. It's filled with secrets, stories, love, and laughter. Read it and discover its uniqueness on your own. It will be worth it. Fans of his other work, Mosquitoland, won't be disappointed.

3 comments
September 18, 2016

Recently Added to My TBR Pile

I love seeing the books people add on their shelves on Goodreads and I certainly really love adding books to my own TBR pile. (Perhaps a little too much.) Therefore, I thought maybe that when I add some good stuff I would share it with you guys! Here are some of the recent books I have added to my Goodreads shelf. I include a short summary from Goodreads along with a link in case you what to add these bad boys to your own TBR pile. Anything I can do to help out my fellow book nerds. ;)

And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich (Sept. 6, 2016)
Goodreads

"When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt's home, it's immediately clear that the "blood manor" is cursed. The creaking of the house and the stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too--the questions that Silla can't ignore: Who is the beautiful boy that's appeared from the woods? Who is the man that her little sister sees, but no one else? And why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer?"

This Adventure Ends by Emma Mills (Oct. 4, 2016)
Goodreads

"Sloane isn't expecting to fall in with a group of friends when she moves from New York to Florida—especially not a group of friends so intense, so in love, so all-consuming. Yet that's exactly what happens. Sloane becomes closest to Vera, a social-media star who lights up any room, and Gabe, Vera's twin brother and the most serious person Sloane's ever met. When a beloved painting by the twins' late mother goes missing, Sloane takes on the responsibility of tracking it down."

Wait for Me by Caroline Leech (Jan. 1, 2017)
Goodreads

"It’s 1945, and Lorna Anderson’s life on her father’s farm in Scotland consists of endless chores and rationing, knitting Red Cross scarves, and praying for an Allied victory. So when Paul Vogel, a German prisoner of war, is assigned as the new farmhand, Lorna is appalled. How can she possibly work alongside the enemy when her own brothers are risking their lives for their country? But as Lorna reluctantly spends time with Paul, she feels herself changing."
The Continent by Keira Drake (Jan. 3, 2017)
Goodreads

"For her sixteenth birthday, Vaela Sun receives the most coveted gift in all the Spire—a trip to the Continent. It seems an unlikely destination for a holiday: a cold, desolate land where two “uncivilized” nations remain perpetually at war. Most citizens tour the Continent to see the spectacle and violence of battle—a thing long vanished in the Spire. For Vaela—a smart and talented apprentice cartographer—it is an opportunity to improve upon the maps she’s drawn of this vast, frozen land."


Kingdom of Ash and Briars by Hannah West (Sept. 15, 2016)
Goodreads

"Bristal, an orphaned kitchen maid, lands in a gritty fairy tale gone wrong when she discovers she is an elicromancer with a knack for shape-shifting. An ancient breed of immortal magic beings, elicromancers have been winnowed down to merely two - now three - after centuries of bloody conflict in the realm. Their gifts are fraught with responsibility, and sixteen-year-old Bristal is torn between two paths. Should she vow to seek the good of the world, to protect and serve mortals? Or should she follow the strength of her power, even if it leads to unknown terrors?"

Under Rose-Tainted Skies by Louise Gornall (Jan. 3, 2017)
Goodreads

"Norah has agoraphobia and OCD. When groceries are left on the porch, she can’t step out to get them. Struggling to snag the bags with a stick, she meets Luke. He’s sweet and funny, and he just caught her fishing for groceries. Because of course he did. Norah can’t leave the house, but can she let someone in? As their friendship grows deeper, Norah realizes Luke deserves a normal girl. One who can lie on the front lawn and look up at the stars. One who isn’t so screwed up."

Spindle Fire by Lexa Hillyer (April 11, 2017)
Goodreads

"Half-sisters Isabelle and Aurora are polar opposites: Isabelle is the king’s headstrong illegitimate daughter, whose sight was tithed by faeries; Aurora, beautiful and sheltered, was tithed her sense of touch and voice on the same day. Despite their differences, the sisters have always been extremely close.
And then everything changes, with a single drop of Aurora’s blood, a Faerie Queen who is preparing for war, a strange and enchanting dream realm—and a sleep so deep it cannot be broken."

The Valiant by Lesley Livingston (Feb. 14, 2017)
Goodreads

"The youngest daughter of a proud Celtic king, Fallon has always lived in the shadow of her older sister Sorcha's legendary reputation as a warrior. But when Fallon was a young child, the armies of Julius Caesar invaded the island of Britain and her beloved older sister was killed in battle. On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister's footsteps and earn her rightful place in her father's royal war band. But she never gets the chance."

What do you think? Do any of these sound good? Will you be adding them to your TBR pile or have you already?

1 comments
September 14, 2016

Library Loot #51

Library Loot is a weekly event co-hosted by Claire from The Captive Reader and Linda from Silly Little Mischief that encourages bloggers to share the books they’ve checked out from the library.

** Just a few great picks this week. I can't wait to read them all! I think I should just ignore being an adult for a bit.



My Library Loot

1. This will be my first Lori Foster book. I am in the mood for a romance.

2. I am always willing to give a Colleen Hoover book a chance. I do think the shattered flower cover thing is overdone though.

3. Look what just came out!

4. I love reading any and all kinds of books featuring witches.


7 comments
September 13, 2016

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne
328 pages
Genre: Fantasy - HP #8?
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
Source: I bought it of course.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:

Goodreads Summary: The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

My Review

Full Disclosure: I have been a Harry Potter fan since the beginning. This is going to be a very random/rambling review just like my thoughts. I wish you luck in trying to follow along. Sorry!

There are a whole lot of reviews of HP and the Cursed Child floating around the internet, among friends, between co-workers; and mine will just be another one in the pile, but I still want to throw my two cents out there. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child wasn't perfect. It wasn't exactly what I imagined it would be. I still bought it. I still read it. I still enjoyed it. I just wish I could see the play in real life.

I have heard a lot of people say that The Cursed Child reminded them of fan fiction, but I didn't really get that vibe. I will however say that I had a problem getting connected with everyone and such because of the format of the book, which made me think of this addition to the HP world as not quite official. With that being said, I think to me personally I am going to keep this separate than the rest of the books. It just didn't flow the same. I wanted more.

I did love reading about Albus and Scorpious though. That was an interesting friendship. I loved them! As for the original characters, you know our favorites... The Boy Who Lived and his best friends, they were not as well fleshed out and different than how I thought they were going to be. I did enjoy getting to meet them again while they are older, but how Ron was portrayed was the worst. I think I knew what they were trying to do, but it didn't quite work. Instead of coming off as a fun and dorky Dad, he came off as an idiot. Just saying.

The plot was fine. I liked parts of it and I was frustrated by other parts. I won't say more because I don't want this to to be a spoily review.

In the end, I am glad I read HP and the Cursed Child. It was still a solid read for me, even if I thought it could have been better. It wasn't really another book in the Harry Potter series but more of a semi-companion, if that makes any sense.

Did you read it? What did you think of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child?


1 comments
September 9, 2016

Mini Movie Reviews


This is going to be a new feature here on the blog! I love movies almost as much as I love books. (Almost, but not quite.) So I figured it was time I start sharing another passion of mine with you all. My husband and I get a lot of movies from the library and try to go to the theater as often as our wallets allow us. Here are some movies I have watched recently. See which ones made me smile and which ones bored me.


How to Be Single


I thought this movie was funny and sweet. I love Rebel Wilson. It's not the best movie I have seen, but I enjoyed it. It had some more serious moments around the funny ones, and I just really thought the characters were interesting and worth meeting.



The Boss

Not worth your time. I am a Melissa McCarthy fan so I was a little sad that it seemed to me like she didn't bring her A game for this movie. There were some pretty funny scenes, but other than that it was kind of a dud. I did enjoy Peter Dinklage and Kristen Bell's characters a great deal. With a more interesting plot and some better jokes this movie could have been golden.



Race

I figured with the Olympics currently happening now would be a great time to watch this movie. I know of Jesse Owens of course, but I wanted to know more so I was drawn to this movie. The acting was wonderful and the story was powerful. It was a little long, but I enjoyed it a great deal.



Batman vs. Superman

This movie had such great potential... that it just didn't live up to. Besides a few cool fighting scenes and Wonder Woman there wasn't much for me to like. I wasn't a fan of the plot. But the main thing I really didn't like... Lex Luthor. It really felt like Jesse Eisenberg was trying too hard and reminded me too much of a not-as-good version of the Joker.



Mother's Day

I actually thought this movie was fun and cute! I liked it better than I thought I would. It has a great cast. (I can never get enough Jennifer Aniston.) Next time you are looking for a light and fun movie this one should be your pick. I may even watch it again.



Me Before You


This was a good movie. It made me laugh and it made me cry. It wasn't as good as the book, but the acting was wonderful. I felt the chemistry between the two main characters and the family members of each were also spot on. I don't think it is the best movie out there, but it was good.


Now You See Me 2


How do I sum up my feelings for this movie in two words? Slightly disappointed. I was a big fan of the first movie, Now You See Me. The twist in the first movie was great and the magic was pretty freaking cool. As for the second movie, all of those elements were still there but it they were just not as good. I will say there were two really amazing magic type scenes and one hilarious Daniel Radcliff that make me recommend the movie to others.


Have you seen any good movies lately?


4 comments
September 7, 2016

Review: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan

The Hidden Oracle (The Trials of Apollo #1) by Rick Riordan
376 pages
Genre: Middle Grade/Young Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Disney Hyperion
Source: I bought it.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:

Goodreads Summary: How do you punish an immortal?

By making him human.

After angering his father Zeus, the god Apollo is cast down from Olympus. Weak and disorientated, he lands in New York City as a regular teenage boy. Now, without his godly powers, the four-thousand-year-old deity must learn to survive in the modern world until he can somehow find a way to regain Zeus's favour.

But Apollo has many enemies - gods, monsters and mortals who would love to see the former Olympian permanently destroyed. Apollo needs help, and he can think of only one place to go . . . an enclave of modern demigods known as Camp Half-Blood.

My Review

I can never have too many books set in Percy Jackson's world. This time around The Hidden Oracle focuses on a Greek God that is banished down to earth and turned into a mere mortal, and that god is Apollo.

I freaking loved this book! Apollo was hilarious. Since he of course was once a great and powerful Greek God, he was certainly self centered and a little full of himself throughout the novel, but he also got a chance to grow. I just loved everything about the main character in this book. We also get some special appearances from some of our favorite Camp Half Blood demigods!

Even though the plot of The Hidden Oracle was fairly similar to all the other Rick Riordan books, it still felt different because of the unique main character. I don't think fans of Riordan's other works will be disappointed.

Overall, The Hidden Oracle is a really entertaining read. I laughed out loud a crazy amount! It's not as good as the first Percy Jackson series, but it is a little better than the Magnus Chase series. I can't wait to see where the next book will lead us. I know I can't wait to get my hands on it. Side note: I freaking love this cover! Seriously.


0 comments
September 1, 2016

Short and Sweet Review: P.S. I Like You by Kasie West

P.S. I Like You by Kasie West (July 2016)
304 pages
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Point
Source: The library.
Purchase: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
My Rating:

Goodreads Summary: Signed, sealed, delivered…

While spacing out in chemistry class, Lily scribbles some of her favorite song lyrics onto her desk. The next day, she finds that someone has continued the lyrics on the desk and added a message to her. Intrigue!

Soon, Lily and her anonymous pen pal are exchanging full-on letters—sharing secrets, recommending bands, and opening up to each other. Lily realizes she’s kind of falling for this letter writer. Only, who is he? As Lily attempts to unravel the mystery and juggle school, friends, crushes, and her crazy family, she discovers that matters of the heart can’t always be spelled out…

My Review

It's safe for me to still say that there isn't a single Kasie West novel that I don't love. Her contemporary romance novels are the perfect thing to brighten any day. I know they always manage to put a smile on my face. 

I really liked Lily and her uniqueness and how loyal she is to her friend. She was a main character I could understand and enjoy reading about. Even her family was a hoot!

My favorite part of this book was the interesting romance. Although you can guess who her secret pen-pal is pretty early on, it is still fun watching Lily figure it out. The whole writing on the desk back and forth was just such a fun idea!

Now, let's get to the point. Do I recommend this book? I sure do! End your summer with this cute and adorable read!

6 comments
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