Posted in Updates

Princess Reads Change of Plans

So I announced I was going to do a project on Princesses back in May, then totally felt uninspired by it. After trying to work out some post for the project I think I’ve figured out why. I’ve seen enough people do lists of retellings, not that those lists aren’t great and not that I don’t plan to include interesting retellings in my posts, however. I want to do more like things that are associated with the objects the princesses deal with in the movies. For Cinderella, glass slippers (shoes in general), balls, and dress. I also had so much fun with Pokemon I’m going to loop them back into this project.

Don’t worry I also haven’t forgotten about my Eevee project, that will hopefully be coming soon as well. Expect to see all of this beginning of July and end of July, I have a virtual summer camp I’m helping with in the middle of July but I’ll try not keep you all waiting. Thanks again for your patience.

Solara

Posted in Weekly Wrap-ups

Weekly Loaf

This week was rough, my sister had a scare with her health and so I’ve spent a lot of my time and energy with her as oppossed to reading. I’ve also got a summer camp I help out with every year coming up, so I have to get materials for that ready soon. We are trying to do it online do to Corona, so wish us luck in that new venture. I will be speaking mostly about neurodiversity.

I think I have now fallen into stress baking. I made some chocolate toffee cookies for my sister but they weren’t very pretty. This isn’t pretty either but I’m still proud of it because it’s probably my best apple pie so far. I’ve been watching the Great British Baking Show and while Mary Barry and Paul Hollywood certainly wouldn’t approve of it’s looks, it’s construction is spot on!

I hope to be back next week with more actual reading news as my library is starting to do a soft open so I can request books again. I’m really excited. I’ll be posting throughout the week after I finish my required materials for camp. Can’t wait to get back on track for the summer!

Posted in monthly goals

July Monthly Goals

  1. Give more attention to the blog.

I want to come up with more unique content. Maybe do a reading tag or something. Be more involved in the bookish community.

2. As always more followers would be nice

But I need to start enagaing with those followers more.

3. Get back to doing weekly reviews.

I miss them and it was fun to do.

4. Be more active across all platforms.

It’s just fun and it drive traffic up.

5. Try and improve from the month before.

June was by far not my best month. This my first year blogging, plus the covid so I don’t know if it’s just a slow time of the year. But I want to do better. So I’m hoping the things above will help me out.

Posted in monthly goals, Monthly Reads

June Monthly Wrapup

So I didn’t read much in June I’ve been focusing on baking a lot this month, and lets be real, Animal Crossing. So reading kind of fell by the wayside a bit however I intend to make July my best month yet. I have to point out however that June in reading terms was not very productive.

Now that we went over how I did in May we can see what to shoot for in June.

1. Get those stats back up!

Somehow my stats were even worse than in May. I think it’s that old blogger adage about posting too many reviews. I’m going to try to switch things up this coming month and do more book tags, more of the fairy tale stuff that got put on the back burner and more Pokemon fun!

2) Try to get 5-10 new followers

Managed to accomplish this one!

3) Interact more on social media

I think I’m gradually getting better with this one as I find the social media space where I fit.

4) Keep posting a couple posts a day.

I’ve kinda fallen behinds but I got ahead for awhile so now I’m going to try to get ahead for July

5) Try and get 500+ plus words on my novels. 

Trying to dive deep since I’m hitting to middle of the novel and motivation is tougher to come by.

6) Read at least 4 books a month. 

Okay so it’s not that I didn’t read, I just re-read old favorites I’ve read a zillion times and I’m not counting that on my reading tracker. The one new book I am working on is Verify by Joelle Charbonneau

So here is to hoping July is more productive reading and writing as well as baking wise.

Posted in Uncategorized

Review: Greystone Secrets 2: The Deceivers

Now I’ve been waiting since I finished the last first book for this book to come out. I wasn’t disappointed.

Greystone Secrets #2: The Deceivers

Greystone Secrets #2: The Deceivers by [Margaret Peterson Haddix]


Summary

This book is a mystery that will keep you guessing till the very end. After the first book, which I reviewed here both the Greystone kids and Natalie’s moms are trapped in the alternate world.

Everything in the other world is different, like a mirror image only darker, Evil. When their mother tried to fix an accidental kidnapping of kids with the same life details as the Greystone kids, a mix up that was caused by their mother trying to keep them safe. Their mother got trapped along with an ally, and Ms. Morales, Natalie’s mom.

Now the four kids must use all their skills from bravery to kindness to rescue everyone. But to pull of the rescue they have to go back to a world where telling the truth can be illegal and everything is done in code. Chess worries he’s not brave enough to face this other world and Emma wonders if she can crack the codes she needs to get them through this mess, and Finn, well he’s not sure if he can pretend to be okay.

As for Natalie it feels like they jumped to the past not another universe and the world contains some lies she wishes were true, but when faced with the truth will she know what to believe. The second book in this series doesn’t disappoint with the mysteries and the codes.

And examines the power of truth to twist the world.

Review

It is truth universally acknowledged that you have to be a pretty good writer to pull of four view point and jumping around in time. Haddix does it beautifully, it adds to the mystery, the viewpoints are clear and distinct so you can always tell who is ‘speaking’ at the time. I wouldn’t trust many writers to pull off four view points but Haddix does it very well.

The book also doesn’t suffer from second book syndrome, it keeps the level of excitement up though in a different way than I was expecting, over all this was a very different book from what I was expecting. I went into it antcipating high stakes drama, and the drama was high stakes but not in a car chases and running away from bad guys kind of way, it was very much about the interpersonal dynamics of one family, which in the end, I found myself more interested in.

I’d say it’s 4 stars just because while it has good pacing and great points of view it can lull at a few places.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Five Favorite Things

  1. Other Natalie
  2. The Grandmother
  3. Emma’s Codes
  4. Finn
  5. The secret passageways

Amazon:The Greystone Secrets: The Deceivers

Posted in Weekly Wrap-ups

Weekly Loaf

This week was pretty calm I’ve been mostly tired. I baked in the middle of the week and that tired me out.

Reading

I have a lot that I need to be reading but after finishing nine books last month I think my brain just needed a break and is busy making its way through old favorite such as

Flashback by Shannon Messenger

The only new thing I’m reading is Verify by Joelle Charbonneau since I’ve appreciated previous work from her, it’s a cool dystopian thriller. I’m really enjoying it.

Bread

I mentioned I made bread during the week, here are the photos from my second ever attempt.

Here is the bread at the start just the water and yeast.

Next once the dough has been created

Time for a rise

Just before the oven

Finally done

It was lovely to eat too. Hope you guys are having a good end of June I’ll try and be back next week with more exciting news lol.

Posted in Chapter/Picture Book Feature, Reviews

Review: The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family

The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family


Summary

Told from the perspective of the little sister, Faizah knows the first day back to school is going to be wonderful, she has her brand new backpack and light up shoes. But what’s most exciting and important is the fact that it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab. Her sister has picked out a beautiful blue fabric for her new hijab, Faizah thinks of it like the ocean waving to the sky.

But when people around Asiya and Faizah start to see hijab as something that isn’t beautiful. Faziah will have to find new ways to face down those who would take from the beauty of her sister’s special day.

With her new backpack and light-up shoes, Faizah knows the first day of school is going to be special. It’s the start of a brand new year and, best of all, it’s her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab–a hijab of beautiful blue fabric, like the ocean waving to the sky. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful, and in the face of hurtful, confusing words, Faizah will find new ways to be strong.

Written, illustrated and inspired by a trifecta of Muslim talent Paired with Hatem Aly’s beautiful, whimsical art, while Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad is best know for being one of the first athletes to wear hijab at the Olympics, last but certainly not least Morris Award finalist S.K. Ali has multiple books and award nominations to their name, including

Review

I’d been wanting to read this for awhile. I wanted a short uplifting picture book with Muslim characters. This group who put out the book does not disappoint, they get things right about the way Faizah acts age wise, yet she still manages to handle the situation with a maturity and grace that some grown-ups I know don’t possess.

It could be a five star read for the content or the illustration alone but together especially with the fact that Ibtihaj Muhammad was involved, I wish I could give it more than five stars. I will be gifting it to my new family addition when they are older.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Five Favorite Things

  1. Asiya Picking Out the Color of her Hijab
  2. What Faizah thinks of the color
  3. What Faizah thinks of the bullies
  4. How Faizah maintains her integrity
  5. The happy sibling-ness

Amazon: The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family

Posted in Monthly Reads, Uncategorized

Review: The Darkdeep

The Darkdeep

The Darkdeep by [Ally Condie, Brendan Reichs]

Summary

Timbers is a small Washington State town with not much going on, or so it seems. The only exciting place in Timbers is Still Cove, the off limits place where the mythical creepy Beast lives. The cove is also home to other terffiying legends that no one wants to find out the truth about.

Except Nico Holland doesn’t get a choice, when popular kids send his drone over a cliff, and he ends up accidentally following, his friends Emma and Tyler rush to his rescue, even Opal Walsh who usually runs with the popular kids feels bad about the bullying and runs back to help only to find Nico in this strange situation.

The four soon rescue Nico from the cove’s icy waters and discover a mysterious island hiding in the murky, swirling mists below. Though it appears they are by themselves, something about the island isn’t exactly right.

The group is more suspicious about the island when they find an abandoned houseboat filled with all sorts of abandoned things from old weapons and maps, to mysterious things in jars. But the basement of the boat holds the darkest secret of all.

A pool that can bring to life their imaginings, but there is a price for using it not only can it detect their wishes but it can dectect their fears, and before its over they will have to face down their darkest fears to put the ancient evil back in its place.

They will come face to face with unlikely allies to fulfill an ancient promise, but will that be enough to stop the mysterious monsters which are becoming stronger every time they face them.

Will friendship, and ancient magic and belief in themselves be enough to save the town they love?

Review

So I’ve been looking for a creepy but not too creepy thriller and I found it in this book. If anything need to tell you how I feel about the book I think I finished it in one night. My favorite character was Opal, I think she’s going to play a bigger role in the second book which I’m reading now and I’m looking forward to that.

Some of my favorite moments are when the Darkdeep is still calm and they are jumping in for fun and some of their favorite characters appear.

I also like the fact that they make up with an enemy to solve one of the island’s mysteries.

Overall I’d have to give it five stars it’s the creepiest thing I’ve read in awhile and I’m really enjoying the sequel.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Five Favorite Things

  1. Some of the group’s projection
  2. The houseboat
  3. Opal
  4. Facing their fears
  5. What each of their fear were.

Amazon: The Darkdeep

Posted in Weekly Wrap-ups

Weekly Review

Hi all! Just a quick check in. I really haven’t been reading much except old favorites what I have been doing is baking and starting a new video game from Nintendo’s Summer Sale.

Hope to be back to you next week with more books read and more things baked. Until then have a good weekend.

Posted in Recommendations, Reviews

Review: The Midwinter Witch

This book is special to my little blog I did my first review of the first book in the series so I’m very happy to review the last one. Though honestly I could read adventures about these characters for quite a while longer.

The Midwinter Witch 

The Midwinter Witch by [Molly Knox Ostertag]

Summary

You can find my reviews for the first two parts of the series here and here. Now I was just starting reviewing so be kind please.

As we left off in the last book Ariel has become a magical ward of the Vanissen family. She’s getting lessons in witchery, but some stuff just isn’t sticking she has questions about her past.

However those questions will have to wait as she joins Aster in the Midwinter Festival, a giant family reunion of the entire Vanissen family. Which includes competitions in witchery and shapeshifting.

Aster is excited to compete as a witch in the annual Jolrun tournament. He wants to show everyone he’s proud of who he is, but defying tradition always comes with a price.

Those questions about Ariel’s past might not be willing to wait, a strange woman is visiting her in her dreams claiming to be her family. She claims she knows the truth about Ariel’s past. While Ariel appreciates what the Vanissen’s have done for her this woman may be offering a place where she can truly belong.

However, this woman has dark secrets and when sinister forces tear apart the family reunion, will Ariel finally see that her place is among the Vanissens, or will she let dark magic draw her away from her newfound family.

Review

I’ll take 8 million more of these please. Seriously this series is like candy, it’s sweet in all the right places, hits all the emotional notes that it needs to hit, and shows the importance of family all while talking about defying gender roles! What more could you ask for? I’m pretty bummed the series is over but I figure that Knox-Ostertag will write something else great in the future so I’m here for that.

While there aren’t actually any LGBT  main characters (Charlie has two dads), Ariel and Charlie are strongly suggested as being a potential couple at some point. So that’s why I’m going to make this my second review for Pride Month. Also the book is written by and LGBTQ author and talks a lot about defying gender roles so I think it counts.

Five Favorite Things

  1. The Magic System
  2. Aster’s influence
  3. Ariel’s choice
  4. Charlie
  5. Aster’s mom

Overall these books always get 5 stars so it’s no different now. Great book, by a great author would love to read more work from them.

Amazon: The Midwinter Witch

Photo by Simon Migaj from Pexels