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Monday, October 3, 2022


Review: FALLING by Kris Bryant

 


Book Details

Title: Falling
Author: Kris Bryant
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books
Publication Date: May 1, 2019
Genre(s): Adult, LGBT, Romance, Contemporary
Pages: 300
Bookshop Purchase Link: https://bookshop.org/a/67041/9781635553734

Monday, September 26, 2022


Blog Tour: THE TROUBLE WITH ROBOTS Review + Giveaway

A middle grade book with queer rep and autistic rep?!? Yes, I knew that I needed to read this book. Getting to take part in Rockstar’s tour for this book is very exciting and I am so pleased that I was able to read this book. I was beyond excited to be able to host a spot on THE TROUBLE WITH ROBOTS by Michelle Mohrweis Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: THE TROUBLE WITH ROBOTS

Author: Michelle Mohrweis

Pub. Date: September 27, 2022

Publisher: Peachtree

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

Evelyn strives for excellence. Allie couldn’t care less. These polar opposites must work together if they have any hope of saving their school’s robotics program.

Eighth-graders Evelyn and Allie are in trouble. Evelyn’s constant need for perfection has blown some fuses among her robotics teammates, and she’s worried nobody’s taking the upcoming competition seriously. Allie is new to school, and she’s had a history of short-circuiting on teachers and other kids.

So when Allie is assigned to the robotics team as a last resort, all Evelyn can see is just another wrench in the works! But as Allie confronts a past stricken with grief and learns to open up, the gears click into place as she discovers that Evelyn’s teammates have a lot to offer—if only Evelyn allowed them to participate in a role that plays to their strengths.

Can Evelyn learn to let go and listen to what Allie has to say? Or will their spot in the competition go up in smoke along with their school’s robotics program and Allie’s only chance at redemption?

An excellent pick for STEAM enthusiasts, this earnestly told narrative features a dual point of view and casually explores Autistic and LGBTQ+ identities.

Reviews:

"Full of girl power without ever showing them as outsiders in robotics because of their gender, this brings a diverse team to the page and shows the various skills needed to make a team succeed."—Booklist

"Unsubtle but not overwrought, with genuinely inspiring kindness and collaboration found amid pain."—Kirkus Reviews

 

 

Rating: 5/5 stars

Review:

I absolutely loved this book. Michelle Mohrweis has a way of writing that immediately drew me in and kept me invested in these characters. Even when they were annoying or I thought that there was something I didn’t want to pay attention to. They have a pleasant way of writing that kept me calm and invested but also made the struggles of the various characters feel real and authentic. I am very much looking forward to read more books by this author.

These characters. I love all these characters. The major POV characters are Allie and Evelyn but there is also the rest of the robotics team, Evelyn’s moms, and Allie’s grandmother plus some various people in the school. All of these characters added to the story and none of them felt like a write-off. They all felt fleshed out even if their motivations weren’t made explicitly clear in the book. Varsha and DJ are probably my two favorite minor characters in the book and I absolutely love them. I will admit that my favorite side character is probably Ayleen even though they were only in the book for a handful of chapters.

Evelyn and Allie are both amazing characters and I found myself growing attached to them really quickly. I found it easier to relate to Evelyn than Allie, but I found Allie to be a more generally likeable character. Evelyn is an absolute sweetheart, but she struggles a lot with her interpersonal actions. I related to that very heavily so I had a lot of sympathy and understanding for her. Allie is kind of standoffish and angry a lot at first, but it’s written in an amazing way where you can see and feel the buildup. You understand what’s causing her to get angry and what she’s feeling when she gets mad.

The robotics in this book was absolutely amazing. I loved the author’s way of describing the robots and the process of working together as a team to build the robot and compete. It did leave me really wishing that I had a robotics kit, and I don’t so know I’m sad. The only thing that could have possibly made this book better would have been sketches of the robot and characters. I want the notebook they turned into the judges to be published as a standalone book so I can just geek out over it for a while.

I did have one minor issue with the book but it wasn’t anything to do with the writing or plot necessarily. I struggled at first to like all of these characters. Even Allie and Evelyn who’s POVs the book is told from. And it’s because these are messy characters. They are all going through things and they aren’t necessarily reacting well to the things going on around them. I really found that I had an issue with the first robotics competition they went to. Definitely because I understood where Evelyn was coming from and where the rest of the team was coming from, but I struggled to reconcile just leaving the area during the competition. This is all definitely personal to my own reading experience and I eventually grew to love every character on the robotics team. When they started working more like a team, it was amazing and they meshed so well together.

This book was everything that I wanted it to be and more. I think it’s an absolutely amazing debut novel and I am itching to read more by this author. There was only one thing that I really struggled with in this book but it was mainly in the beginning. By the time the middle of the book rolled around, I was over it and was invested in the growing friendship between these characters. This story was engaging and contained so many different things that I liked in it: queer rep, autism rep, robots, and rivals-to-friends. I was drawn into the story and it held my attention through the entire book and I found that the author’s writing style was engaging and soothing. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who’s even slightly interested, because I just love it.

 

About Michelle Mohrweis:

Michelle Mohrweis is a STEM Educator and space enthusiast. When not writing, they can be found launching paper rockets down the middle of their street. They live with their husband and two dogs in Colorado, where they enjoy hiking and hogging all the best spots beside the heater when it gets too cold. Follow them on Twitter @Mohrweis_Writes and visit them on the web at MichelleMohrweis.com.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | TikTok | Goodreads | Amazon

 





Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of THE TROUBLE WITH ROBOTS, US Only.

Ends October 4th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

9/19/2022

Ya Books Central

Excerpt

9/19/2022

@allyluvsbooksalatte

IG Spotlight

9/20/2022

@jael_and_jenessa_reads

Review/IG Post

9/20/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt/IG Post

9/21/2022

Lisa-Queen of Random

Excerpt

9/21/2022

#BRVL Book Review Virginia Lee Blog

Excerpt

9/22/2022

A Dream Within A Dream

Excerpt

9/22/2022

Kait Plus Books

Excerpt/IG Post

9/23/2022

Eye-Rolling Demigod's Book Blog

Review/IG Post

9/23/2022

GryffindorBookishNerd

IG Review

Week Two:

9/26/2022

Nonbinary Knight Reads

Review/IG Post

9/26/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

9/27/2022

Nerdophiles

Review

9/27/2022

Rajiv's Reviews

Review/IG Post

9/28/2022

Laurenreads._

IG Review

9/28/2022

Because I said so -- and other adventures in Parenting

Review

9/29/2022

@jacleomik33

IG Review

9/29/2022

One More Exclamation

Review/IG Post

9/30/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review

9/30/2022

Two Chicks on Books

Excerpt


Thursday, September 22, 2022


Review: IN THE ROLE OF BRIE HUTCHINS... by Nicole Melleby

 


Book Details

Title: In the Role of Brie Hutchins...
Author: Nicole Melleby
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: June 30, 2020
Genre(s): Middle Grade, LGBT, Contemporary
Pages: 266
Bookshop Purchase Link: https://bookshop.org/a/67041/9781616209070

Review: THIS IS OUR RAINBOW anthology edited by Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby

 


Book Details

Title: This Is Our Rainbow
Edited by: Katherine Locke and Nicole Melleby
Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: October 19, 2021
Genre(s): Middle Grade, LGBT, Anthology, Fantasy, Contemporary
Pages: 336
Bookshop Purchase Link: https://bookshop.org/a/67041/9780593303955

Wednesday, September 21, 2022


Review: CAN'T THINK STRAIGHT by Isabel Scheck

 


Book Details

Title: Can't Think Straight: LGBTQ(plus) Poetry
Author: Isabel Scheck
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: October 12, 2021
Genre(s): LGBT, Poetry
Pages: 45
Purchase Link: https://www.lulu.com/shop/isabel-scheck/cant-think-straight/paperback/product-mv998q.html

Monday, September 19, 2022


Review: THE BOY WITH A BIRD IN HIS CHEST by Emme Lund

 


Book Details

Title: The Boy with a Bird in His Chest
Author: Emme Lund
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: February 15, 2022
Genre(s): Adult, LGBT, Magical Realism, Fantasy
Pages: 308
Bookshop Purchase Link: https://bookshop.org/a/67041/9781982171933

Thursday, September 15, 2022


Blog Tour: DRESSING UP THE STARS

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the DRESSING UP THE STARS: THE STORY OF MOVIE COSTUME DESIGNER EDITH HEAD by Jeanne Walker Harvey & Diana Toledano (Illustrations) Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: DRESSING UP THE STARS: THE STORY OF MOVIE COSTUME DESIGNER EDITH HEAD

Author: Jeanne Walker Harvey & Diana Toledano (Illustrations)

Pub. Date: September 20, 2022

Publisher: Beach Lane Books

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 40

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&NiBooks, KoboTBD, Bookshop.org

 Discover the true story of how a shy miner’s daughter became one of the most legendary costume designers in Hollywood in this inspiring nonfiction picture book biography.

As a child in the small mining town of Searchlight, Nevada, Edith Head had few friends and spent most of her time dressing up her toys and pets and even wild animals using fabric scraps. She always knew she wanted to move somewhere full of people and excitement. She set her sights on Hollywood and talked her way into a job sketching costumes for a movie studio.

Did she know how to draw or sew costumes? No. But that didn’t stop her!

Edith taught herself and tirelessly worked her way up until she was dressing some of the biggest stars of the day, from Audrey Hepburn to Grace Kelly to Ginger Rogers. She became the first woman to head a major Hollywood movie studio costume department and went on to win eight Academy Awards for best costume design—and she defined the style of an era.

 

My Review:

A cute picture book full of amazing art. This children's book tells the story of Edith Head, an amazing costume designer.

I wanted to know more about this character because of what she did. I didn't know much about costume designers and even less about this specific one, but I wanted to learn more. This book was quite an insight into Edith Head's life.

The story was brilliantly told in this book. Especially the parts where she made mistakes and things didn't work. I love that that was included. It's possible to fail at the beginning but if you strive to get better, you might be able to do it.

The artwork in this was gorgeous. The art of her outfits and sketches were amazing. I loved the colors and the rather simplistic artwork. Not simplistic in a bad way, more that the entire pages weren't taken up by things that could steal your attention.

 

About Jeanne Walker Harvey:

JEANNE WALKER HARVEY studied literature and psychology at Stanford University and has worn  many job hats, ranging from being a roller coaster ride operator to an attorney, a middle school  language arts teacher, and a long-time docent for school groups at the San Francisco Museum of  Modern Art. She is the author of several books for young readers, including the picture book  biographies Dressing up the Stars: The Story of Movie Costume Designer Edith Head, Ablaze with  Color: A Story of Painter Alma Thomas, and Maya Lin: Artist-Architect of Light and Lines. Jeanne  lives in Northern California. Visit her online at JeanneHarvey.com.

 

Website | Twitter | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon

 



About Diana Toledano:

DIANA TOLEDANO is an illustrator, writer, and educator. She is also a Pisces who loves children’s books, patterns, and dancing her heart out. Originally from Spain, Diana (pronounced the Spanish way: dee-ah-na) grew up in Madrid where she studied art history and illustration. Now she lives in San Francisco with her husband and two fluffy cats. Her mixed media art seeks to capture the magic of the ordinary. Diana’s product designs, picture books, board books, and chapter books have been published and sold all over the world. Diana also teaches workshops for kids and adults. She enjoys doing school visits and speaking at conferences. Learn more at Diana-Toledano.com.

 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | Amazon | BookBub

 

Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of DRESSING UP THE STARS: THE STORY OF MOVIE COSTUME DESIGNER EDITH HEAD, US Only.

Ends September 24th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

8/31/2022

@jael_and_jenessa_reads

Review/IG Post

9/1/2022

Lisa-Queen of Random

Excerpt/IG Post

9/2/2022

BookHounds YA

Excerpt/IG Post

9/3/2022

Ya Books Central

Excerpt

Week Two:

9/4/2022

Just Another Teen Reading Books

Review/IG Post

9/5/2022

booksaremagictoo

Review/IG Post

9/6/2022

One More Exclamation

Review/IG Post

9/7/2022

Little Red Reads

Review/IG Post

9/8/2022

Two Points of Interest

Review/IG Post

9/9/2022

Nerdophiles

Review/IG Post

9/10/2022

Do You Dog-ear?

Review/IG Post

Week Three:

9/11/2022

RavenzReviewz

Review/IG Post

9/12/2022

pickagoodbook

Review/IG Post

9/13/2022

Write. Read. Live

Review/IG Post

9/14/2022

A Backwards Story

Review/IG Post

9/15/2022

Nonbinary Knight Reads

Review/IG Post

9/16/2022

For The Love Of The Page

Review/IG Post

9/17/2022

Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Review/IG Post

Week Four:

9/18/2022

@enjoyingbooksagain

IG Review

9/19/2022

Satisfaction for Insatiable Readers

Review/IG Post


Wednesday, September 14, 2022


Review: I LOVE YOU JUST THE WAY YOU ARE by Riley Rian

 


Book Details

Title: I Love You Just the Way You Are
Author: Riley Rian
Publisher: Self-Published
Publication Date: June 20, 2022
Genre(s): Young Adult, LGBT, Romance
Pages: 487

Tuesday, September 13, 2022


Blog Tour: QUEST KIDS AND THE DRAGON PANTS OF GOLD Review + Giveaway

I am super excited to be taking part in the QUEST KIDS AND THE DRAGON PANTS OF GOLD by Mark Leiknes Blog Tour being hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my review and make sure you scroll to the bottom to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: QUEST KIDS AND THE DRAGON PANTS OF GOLD

Author: Mark Leiknes

Pub. Date: September 13, 2022

Publisher: Union Square Kids

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 336

Find it: GoodreadsAmazon, Kindle, B&NiBooks, TBD, Bookshop.org

Comics artist Mark Leiknes delivers a laugh-out-loud story set in a fantastic world of dragons, rock creatures, and golden loungewear.

 The Quest Kids are ready for their first real quest. This time, they won’t oversleep, they won’t be put off by a little rain, and they won’t accidentally burn down the village that hired them. All they have to do is find the Golden-Fleeced Rage Beast, shave it, and make a really nice golden tracksuit to appease a furious dragon. Simple, right?
 
Meet the Quest Kids crew: Gil, a wizard (well, wizard in training . . . the beard isn’t his); Terra, a 700-year-old elf kid; Boulder, a rock troll who is more of a cook than a fighter; Ash, a flatulent pig-dog-maybe-lizard hybrid; and, Ned, the intrepid and overly optimistic leader with his own personal quest to find his missing parents. With humor, magic, mystery, and at least one acid swamp filled with skeletal alligators, Quest Kids and the Dragon Pants of Gold is a richly illustrated saga of fantasy friendship for readers from all kingdoms! 

Review:

“Young readers dipping their toes into fantasy realms will find plenty to enjoy here….The illustrations bounce along as quickly as the text, making this a bubbly read, one that quickly grabs attention and doesn’t require much hand-holding.... A rip-roaring good time.” — Kirkus Reviews

 

My Rating: 5/5 stars

My Review:

I don't know what to say other than "I love this book". I don't often get to read books like this that leave me laughing the entire way through. It was an honest pleasure and reminded me of some of the books I read when I was younger.

I was hooked. I loved the art in the book and the way the story was told. I absolutely adore how funny it was and how the story was 'narrated'. It was a unique ride and I was hooked from the beginning. I mean...how often do you see adventurers steal pants? I couldn't help but be enthralled by the unique style and story.

If you want a quick read, I'd recommend it. This book isn't for people who only want serious reads. But if you want to read something fun that will touch your inner child, give this book a shot.

 

About Mark Leiknes:

Mark Leiknes lives in St. Paul, Minnesota with his wife and three kids. He produced a nationally syndicated comic strip for eight years and now he writes and illustrates books that he hopes his kids will enjoy. And most times they do!

 

Website | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon

 



Giveaway Details:

1 winner will receive a finished copy of QUEST KIDS AND THE DRAGON PANTS OF GOLD, US Only.

Ends September 20th, midnight EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

9/5/2022

@jacleomik33

IG Review

9/6/2022

One More Exclamation

Review/IG Post

9/7/2022

Ya Books Central

Guest Post

9/8/2022

The Bookwyrm's Den

Review

9/9/2022

Nerdophiles

Review

Week Two:

9/12/2022

Eye-Rolling Demigod's Book Blog

Review/IG Post

9/13/2022

Nonbinary Knight Reads

Review/IG Post

9/14/2022

@froggyreadteach

IG Review/Read Part of Book Out Loud

9/15/2022

The Momma Spot

Review/IG Post

9/16/2022

@just_another_mother_with_books

IG Review


Review: FALLING by Kris Bryant

  Book Details Title : Falling Author : Kris Bryant Publisher : Bold Strokes Books Publication Date : May 1,...