Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday: BLANCA & ROJA by Anna-Marie McLemore (YA)


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme that used to be hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. I've missed posting these on a weekly basis and have decided to start doing them again. 
Waiting On Wednesday is where I/we get to "spotlight" the books that we are most looking forward to reading soon! 

Today's pick is... 

by Anna-Marie McLemore
Expected release date: October 9th, 2018
Published by: Feiwel & Friends (Macmillan)
Genre: Young Adult Fairytale Retellings/Magical Realism
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook


SUMMARY

The biggest lie of all is the story you think you already know.

The del Cisne girls have never just been sisters; they're also rivals, Blanca as obedient and graceful as Roja is vicious and manipulative. They know that, because of a generations-old spell, their family is bound to a bevy of swans deep in the woods. They know that, one day, the swans will pull them into a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan.

But when two local boys become drawn into the game, the swans' spell intertwines with the strange and unpredictable magic lacing the woods, and all four of their fates depend on facing truths that could either save or destroy them.

Blanca & Roja is the captivating story of sisters, friendship, love, hatred, and the price we pay to protect our hearts.


MY THOUGHTS

First of all, it's another Anna-Marie McLemore book.
Do I really need to convince you as to why I need this book ASAP?!?!?

Okay then...

It's a SNOW WHITE AND ROSE RED and SWAN LAKE retelling!!!

You all know how I feel about fairy tales, retellings, and magical realism!

Key phrases that are making me all jumpy and SO excited to read this:
- "... generations-old spell..."
- "... a dangerous game that will leave one of them a girl, and trap the other in the body of a swan."
- "... magic lacing the woods..."
- "... the price we pay to protect our hearts."

Just rip my heart out now and give me this book!!!


Is this book on your list too???
What are you currently waiting for???

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Waiting On Wednesday: GIRLS OF PAPER AND FIRE by Natasha Ngan (YA)


"Waiting On Wednesday" is a weekly meme that used to be hosted by Breaking the Spine. I'm sure that I am not alone in saying that we all miss her sharing her posts with us. If anyone knows what has happened to Jill and can confirm that she is okay, I'd greatly appreciate it!... Waiting On Wednesday is where we get to 'spotlight' the books that we are anxiously waiting to be released!!! The ones that we are dying to get our hands on and read into the wee hours of the night!!! And I am so happy to be able to start sharing my most anticipated reads again!


by Natasha Ngan
Expected release date: November 6th, 2018
Published by: Jimmy Patterson Books (Little Brown)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardback, eBook


SUMMARY

Each year, eight beautiful girls are chosen as Paper Girls to serve the king.
It's the highest honor they could hope for... and the most cruel.

But this year, there's a ninth girl. And instead of paper, she's made of fire.

In this lush fantasy, Lei is a member of the Paper caste, the lowest and most oppressed class in Ikhara. She lives in a remote village with her father, where the decade-old trauma of watching her mother snatched by royal guards still haunts her. Now, the guards are back, and this time it's Lei they're after - the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king's interest.

Over weeks of training in the opulent but stifling palace, Lei and eight other girls learn the skills and charm that befit being a king's consort. But Lei isn't content to watch her fate consume her. Instead, she does the unthinkable - she falls in love. Her forbidden romance becomes enmeshed with an explosive plot that threatens the very foundation of Ikhara, and Lei, still the wide-eyed country girl at heart, must decide just how far she's willing to go for justice and revenge. 

Trigger warning: violence and sexual abuse. 


MY THOUGHTS

If you didn't know, I am a huge fan of fantasy stories, my second go-to genre (my first preference being fairytales and magical realism)... 

Key phrases from the summary that caught my interest: 

- "...the girl whose golden eyes have piqued the king's interest."
- "...she does the unthinkable - she falls in love."
- "justice and revenge."

(Please be aware of the trigger warning.) 


What are you excited to read soon?!?!

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Review: WHAT I LEAVE BEHIND by Alison McGhee (YA)


*A finished-hardcover copy of WHAT I LEAVE BEHIND was sent to me for free by the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for an honest review. All thoughts here are my very own. Any problems, concerns, questions, etc. please contact me via email - thebumblegirl@rocketmail.com - Thank you!


by Alison McGhee
Expected release date: May 15th, 2018
Published by: Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books (Simon & Schuster)
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
Format: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook
Format read: Hardcover


SUMMARY

Trigger warning: Suicide, rape.

After his dad commits suicide, Will tries to overcome his own misery by secretly helping the people around him in this story made up of one hundred chapters of one hundred words each.

Sixteen-year-old Will spends most of his days the same way:
Working at the Dollar Only store, trying to replicate his late father's famous cornbread recipe, and walking the streets of Los Angeles. Will started walking after his father committed suicide, and three years later he hasn't stopped. But there are some places Will can't walk by: 
The blessings store with the chest of 100 Chinese blessings in the back, the bridge on Fourth Street where his father died, and his childhood friend Playa's house.

When Will learns Playa was raped at a party - a party he was at, where he saw Playa, and where he believes he could have stopped the worst from happening if he hadn't left early - it spurs Will to stop being complacent in his own sadness and do some good in the world. He begins to leave small gifts for everyone in his life, from Superman the homeless guy he passes on his way to work, to the Little Butterfly Dude he walks by on the way home, to Playa herself. And is through those acts of kindness that Will is finally able to push past his own trauma and truly being to live his life again. Oh, and discover the truth about that cornbread. 


MY REVIEW

*A finished-hardcover copy of WHAT I LEAVE BEHIND was sent to me for free by the publisher, Simon & Schuster, for an honest review. All thoughts here are my very own. 


Brilliant writing and composition - the author made me feel so many emotions that left me wanting to have a better attitude on life and the people around me.

WHAT I LEAVE BEHIND is another book that is going on my favorite shelf... 
I read this book twice in one day. TWICE! 

Written in 100 pages with only a 100 words per page, the author delivers a strong and moving story about a teen named Will who is coping with the loss of his father and the tragedies that surround him... 

Will is just a kid trying to get by. Every day he thinks of his dad, who committed suicide a few years ago. If it weren't for the note that they found, he would never have believed it. He doesn't talk to anyone about it, but he does try to cope with it with something that has always stuck with him, something that his dad used to do... we get to see Will go to work, his relationship with his boss and how Will tries to make his boss feel like he's something important, that he is being seen... we also get to see a small boy in Will's neighborhood and how Will tries to keep an eye on him and leaves the boy small trinkets thinking that it will give the little boy extra time to stay little and naive in thinking that there really is magic in the world, to have an imagination and play, before being disillusioned into the real world... and then there are the feelings that he is dealing with in regards to his best friend Playa. Playa who he hasn't been able to see yet; the guilt he feels about what happened to her and how he can help her. 

While reading this book, I couldn't help but think of how many people are out there that are in the same place as Will is. How important it is to take the time to truly see people and that it doesn't take much to give a person a little of your time - even if it is just a smile. The littlest thing can bring so much joy to a person... As a mom, all I wanted to do was reach into the book, grab Will, and give him a huge hug and a big ol' plate of freshly baked cookies and tell him that things will get better, it'll be okay. Even though he seems to have figured that out on his own, and I felt proud. I know I had nothing to do with how Will was handling things, but I was happy to see that instead of being a destructive teen, he was doing his best to bring happiness back into his life and into those he thought could use some too.

I do have to admit that I was a bit skeptical at first when I was told that this book was written in such a way - 100 words within 100 pages - surely this wasn't enough to tell someone's story. But it was and is! I feel that the format definitely gave me just enough of a glimpse into Will's life - I not only got to see his day to day routine but also got to see what he was thinking and feeling. The format very much felt like journal entries, but more... I was completely invested in learning about him and emotionally engaged and being there with him while he sorted out this period in his life. 

Will's personality shines, good and bad; where there was sadness, there was also hope. And I think that many people need to read this as a way to know that no matter where you are in life, a little positivity, the tiniest bit of kindness, can truly change someone's world.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Alison McGhee

Alison McGhee writes novels, picture books, poems, and essays for all ages, including NEVER COMING BACK (October 2017) and the #1 NEW YORK TIMES bestseller SOMEDAY, illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds. 

Her work has been translated into more than 20 languages. 

She lives in Minneapolis, California, and Vermont.



Review: SUPER SAURUS AND THE EGG by Deborah Underwood and Illustrated by Ned Young (C)


*An ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of SUPER SAURUS AND THE EGG was sent to me for free by the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for an honest review. All thoughts here are my very own. Any problems, concerns, questions, etc. please contact me via email - thebumblegirl@rocketmail.com - Thank you!

Written by Deborah Underwood
Illustrated by Ned Young
Release date: May 22nd, 2018
Published by: Disney-Hyperion
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: ARC 


SUMMARY

When Arnold's parents bring an egg home and tell him he's going to be an older brother, Arnold is not convinced. Arnold knows the egg could be anything... maybe even an EGG OF DOOM!

If a vampire-saurus flies out of the egg, Super Saurus will be ready!
If a plant-crushing robot stomps out of the egg, Super Saurus will be ready!
If Maud the Marauder jumps out of the egg, Super Saurus will be ready!
But what happens if the Egg of Doom turns out to be Arnold's new little brother or sister?

With the same wit, humor and charm that shines in SUPER SAURUS SAVES KINDERGARTEN, readers will be captivated by Arnold's super imagination.




OUR REVIEW

*An ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of SUPER SAURUS AND THE EGG was sent to me for free by the publisher, Disney-Hyperion, for an honest review. All thoughts here are my very own. Any problems, concerns, questions, etc. please contact me via email - thebumblegirl@rocketmail.com - Thank you!


SUPER SAURUS AND THE EGG is one of the most clever and unique stories to share with your little ones when they are expecting a new sibling! Especially if your kid is unsure about what to expect or feeling overly emotional or unsure. This book can help break the tension and make things a little fun, while slowly putting the situation into perspective too (by the parent/reader).

Arnold's parents have brought home an egg and share the news that he is going to be a big brother soon. Arnold is quite unsure as to what can be inside the egg and starts to explore other possibilities just in case they're wrong. What happens if it's the "egg of doom"? He goes on quite an adventure to prepare himself for what's to come... and in the end, he has quite a pleasant surprise and manages to get accept all the new things that happen once the egg hatches and reveals who was in there all along.

Arnold is so full of life and what I like to call innocent-sass, where he just tells you exactly what he thinks no matter what, and I totally support that! Especially in new situations where it is often difficult for a small child to express themselves with what is happening around them. Letting get creative and cope with how they feel on their own terms is really important. And I love how Arnold can help encourage a child to open their mind and explore their feelings.

The illustrations are SO COLORFUL AND FUN! Even as an adult, I couldn't help myself from getting caught up in Arnold's wild imagination - I felt like getting up with my 4-year-old and zooming around the room with him with every idea that Arnold came up with of what could possibly happen when the egg hatched!

SUPER SAURUS AND THE EGG is a super fun interactive book that will promote a huge amount of imaginative play! Definitely for the little ones who love "big stories" and want to create their own along with their own matching vibrant pictures.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Deborah Underwood

Deborah Underwood has written numerous picture books, including Interstellar Cinderella, SUPER SAURUS SAVES KINDERGARTEN, Part-time Princess, Part-time Mermaid, and the New York Times bestsellers The Quiet Book, The Loud Book, and Here Comes the Easter Cat.

Deborah lives in northern California



ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATOR - Ned Young

Ned Young is a self-taught painter and illustrator.

He illustrated SUPER SAURUS SAVES KINDERGARTEN, Jamie A. Swenson's Big Rig, and is the author and illustrator of the Zoomer series.

He lives in Brigham City, Utah.



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

My APRIL Book Haul, Wrap-Up, and MAY TBR (2018)


Hello, friends!!! 

Is it just me or was April just a really, really weird month? 
All the snow! It was so cold! And being that we were forced to stay in longer than usual because of the odd seasonal weather, I feel like I got nothing done - and no reading, writing or reviewing either, ugh! Adulting is so hard when you have so many responsibilities... 

But! I've decided to start fresh for May - I'm letting go of my old to-do lists and starting new and moving on! Now that spring has finally sprung there is a lot of prep work to be done around the house, for my kiddos and their end-of-the-year activities, projects I'm currently working on; and I'm hoping to revamp my Instagram and blog! And I'd like to also start getting myself ready for Book Expo, yay! I've been to BEA before - 3 times - but I only take the train in for one day which has always worked out for me. It's been 3 years since the last time and I'm a bit nervous for this year. But at least I have an idea as to what to expect and how to prepare.

Will you be going to Book Expo and/or Book Con this year???  

Now, let's talk about all the BOOKS I did get in April!!!


*My APRIL Book Haul*



*REVIEW BOOKS:
- THE CHANGELING by Joy Williams (A/Anniversary Edition HB) from Tin House Books 
- LITTLE WHITE LIES by Jennifer Lynn Barnes (YA/ARC) from Disney Books 
- GRACE AND FURY by Tracy Banghart (YA/ARC) from Little, Brown 
- WHAT I LEAVE BEHIND by Alison McGhee (YA/HB) from Simon and Schuster 
- ALL SUMMER LONG by Hope Larson (YA/PB Graphic Novel) from First Second/Macmillan 
- LOVE SONGS AND OTHER LIES by Jessica A. Pennington (YA/HB) from Tor Teen 
- LIKE NEVER AND ALWAYS by Aguirre (YA/ARC) from Tor Teen 
- SPIES, LIES, AND ALLIES by Lisa Brown Roberts (YA/PB) from Entangled Teen 
- SUMMER BRAIN QUEST: Between Grades Pre-K and K by Bridget Heos (C/PB) from Workman Publishing 
- BOYING UP: HOW TO BE BRAVE, BOLD AND BRILLIANT by Mayim Bialik (A/HB) from Penguin Books 

*BOOKS I RECEIVED FROM GIVEAWAYS OR AS GIFTS OR THROUGH A TRADE

- THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS by Margaret Peterson Haddix (YA/ARC) 
- THE STONE GIRL'S STORY by Sarah Beth Durst (MG/ARC) 
- DEAR READER by Mary O'Connell (YA/ARC) 
- WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT by April Genevieve Tucholke (YA/ARC) 


*BOOKS I PURCHASED
- MERMAIDS: The Myths, Legends, and Lore by Skye Alexander (A/HB) 
CRAFT A LIFE YOU LOVE: Infusing Creativity, Fun, and Intention Into Your Everyday by Amy Tangerine (A/PB) 
- SING, UNBURIED, SING by Jesmyn Ward (A/Book of the Month HB) 
- ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carrol (Classic/The Folio Societ HB)
- ALICE IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll (Classic/Norton Critical Editon PB) 

My APRIL BOOK OF THE MONTH Picks:
- CIRCE by Madeline Miller (A/HB) 
- ELEANOR OLIPHANT IS COMPLETELY FINE by Gail Honeyman (A/HB) 
- TOP TEN by Katie Cotugno (YA/HB) 


*What I read in APRIL*


- RISEN (Blood Eternal #1) by Cole Gibsen (YA/eARC) - 2 stars 
- CHARLIE AND FROG (A Castle-on-the-Hudson Mystery) by Karen Kane (MG/HB) - 4 stars 
- A FRIENDLY TOWN THAT'S ALMOST ALWAYS BY THE OCEAN! (Secrets of TopSea) by Kir Fox and M. Shelley Coats (MG/HB) - 4 stars 
- TOKOYO, THE SAMURAI'S DAUGHTER by Faith L. Justice (MG/ARC) - 4 stars 
- ASH PRINCESS by Laura Sebastian (YA/ARC) - 3 stars 
- BE PREPARED by Vera Brosgol (MG/Graphic Novel PB) - 5 stars 
- THE BOXCAR CHILDREN by Gertrude Chandler Warner(C/HB) - 


*My MAY TBR*


First, I hope to finish reading
- CRAFT A LIFE YOU LOVE by Amy Tangerine (A/PB) 
- AIRPORTS, EXES, AND OTHER THINGS I'M OVER by Shani Petroff (YA/ARC)

And then, I hope I have enough time to read all of these
- A COURT OF FROST AND STARLIGHT (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3.5) by Sarah J. Maas (YA/HB pre-order) 
- THE WICKED DEEP by Shea Ernshaw (YA/HB) 
- BRING ME THEIR HEARTS by Sara Wolf (YA/ARC) 
- SWEET BLACK WAVES by Kristina Perez (YA/ARC) 
- BOYING UP: HOW TO BE BRAVE, BOLD AND BRILLIANT by Mayim Bialik (A/HB)
- HOW WE ROLL by Natasha Friend (YA/ARC) 
- THE GAME CAN'T LOVE YOU BACK by Karole Cozzo (YA/ARC) 
- BRIGHTLY BURNING by Alexa Donne (YA/ARC) 
- LUMBERJANES: UNICORN POWER! by Mariko Tamaki (MG/HB) 
- RUNNY BABBIT RETURNS: Another Billy Sook by Shel Silverstein (C/HB)


Please let me know in the comments what you're reading... 
and leave your blog or book haul links too - I'd love to visit and see what you all have been up to!


ALSO!!!


I am currently a rep for BOOK KEEPER!!!

Do you need to protect your books, kindle/nook, journal/notebook, etc. when out and about? Then you should definitely check out BOOK KEEPER's 

Don't forget to use code BUMBLE10 to save some money ;) 


Many pretty prints and fabrics to choose from AND you can choose if you'd like a snap button to be added on for extra protection so your book doesn't slip out ;) 


Let me know what you've been up to - what you're reading - how you protect books!!!

Happy reading!!!
 
Imagination Designs
Images by LabyrinthofDreams