Posted in monthly goals

August Monthly Wrapup

Let’s see how I’ve done this month considering my initial goals.

1.Read a book this month.

As the final week of August ends I ended up with 6 books for the month. I feel like I’m back in my game. My family is finally doing better and while not completely out of the water, things have fallen into sort of a new normal.

2.Plan out post for August.

I planned out the last two weeks of August in advance. I’ve also planned out the first three weeks of September, so I’m ahead there. Perhaps that will give me time to work one reading more.

3. Try and work on my NetGalley Books

Okay, so I did go on NetGalley, to REQUEST more books. That request button should be illegal if you’re below a certain percent. I’ll probably never get my percentages above 20% something but I’ll try to actually improve them next month.

4. And forever my goal, more social interaction

Yeah, no this didn’t happen, getting back to blogging was a win. Let call this a goal for next month.

Photo by Corey Agopian on Unsplash

Posted in new releases

September New YA Releases

Fable: A Novel

Fable: A Novel by [Adrienne Young]

Fable is the daughter of the most powerful trader in the Narrows, and the sea is the only home she’s ever know. But after her mother dies her father leaves on a legendardy island filled with thieves and little food.

Using the skills her mother taught her she learns to keep to herself and survive. Four years later she has one goal getting of the island and finding her father and demanding her rightful place beside him and his crew.

Fable must take a risk though and trust a trader named West to get her off the island and across the Narrows to her father. But her father’s enemies have grown since Fable last saw him and when she find out that West isn’t what he seems, the two are going to have to work together to stay alive to survive more than just the dangerous storms that run through the Narrows.

Release Date: September 1st 2020.

Amazon: Fable

Even If We Break

Maybe I’m just a fan of her work after Before I Let Go and because we are headed into the spooky season but I’m really looking forward to Even if We Break.

The book is set around thriller set around a group of friend and a game and deadly weekend that tears them apart.

FIVE friends go to a cabin.
FOUR of them are hiding secrets.
THREE years of history bind them.
TWO are doomed from the start.
ONE person wants to end this.
NO ONE IS SAFE.

Are you ready to play?

Release Date: September 15th 2020.

Amazon: Even if We Break

Miss Meteor

Miss Meteor by [Tehlor Kay Mejia, Anna-Marie McLemore]

I know people are going to make comparisons to Dumplin for this but I think it’s going to have it own different charm. This is another book that I’ve been waiting to come out since I heard about it on Twitter as well. It’s also a collaboration between two previously successful YA authors.

Two girls are looking to break the mold for the Miss Meteor beauty pageant, after all no one who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla has won in it’s entire history.

But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest and her ex-best friend Chicky want to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect it’s about being genuine and sharing who you are with the world-and being comfortable with parts of yourself no one else understands.

But to pull off this unlikely underdog story, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and prove that girls like them are more than enough, they are everything.

Release Date: September 22nd 2020

Amazon: Miss Meteor

Are you planning on reading any new releases for September?

Posted in Reviews

To Night Owl From Dogfish Review

This book is super cute, I also like that the plot keeps you guessing as to how things are going to turn out. But really anyway you slice it it’s just a cute middle grade great for summer.

To Night Owl From Dogfish

Summary

Avery Bloom is bookish and afraid of many things, her biggest fear being deep water. She lives in New York City Bett Devlin is fearless outgoing and and loves animals and the ocean. They shouldn’t have anything in common, but they do. They are both twelve years old and being raised by single gay dads.

When their dads fall in love with each other they are in for an adventure. Their dad are seriously interested in each other and want to two girls to bond and find some common ground and become friends and possibly one day even sisters.

Avery and Bett are not on board for this idea but are forced to attend the same summer camp, they try not to talk in person but still communicate through email. Things soon don’t go as planned for Avery and Bett, or their fathers. They find themselves on a summer adventure that neither could have predicted.

Now Avery and Bett, who have given each other the nicknames Night Owl and Dogfish, can’t imagine life without each other, only trouble is now their dads are out of love.\

Will they be able to find a road, bumpy as it is to a happy ending, and end up finding a way to be a family. Or will their connection be stuck with email forever.

Review

Avery and Bett’s bond is really the heart of the book. They are both great characters and I love how their difference bring them together. I also love how their relationship forms natrally, they go from hating each other to being best friends but not in a way that feels forced.

I also love the cast of supporting characters. Finally I also love the main theme that you may find love where you least expect it and a family may not be what you expect. I love seeing more single parents who are gay. As I belive Avery says somewhere in the book, not everything comes in a pair this isn’t Noah’s Ark. But it’s just a nice change of pace to see a different kind of family you don’t see much especially in middle grade literature.

I love the bit of a twist ending at the end and the final family the girls end up with. It’s just a very sweet book and I’d totally read it again.

Amazon: From Night Owl to Dogfish

Photo by Chris Schog on Unsplash

Posted in new releases, Recommendations

September MG Releases

Fly on the Wall

Henry Khoo is tired of his family treating him like a baby. He’s not allowed to go anywhere without his, sister/bodyguard. And he surely CAN’T take a journey halfway around the world all by himself.

Except he decides he’s doing just that after his family’s annual trip to visit his father in Singapore is cancelled. Henry doesn’t want to be cooped up with his family who won’t let him do anything and his former best friend forever turned Not Best Friend Forever.

Plus he’s got a secret he can’t let get out, a secret that his life will be over if he’s caught. He’s the creator of an anonymous gossip cartoon and he’s on the verge of getting caught.

Wanting to prove his indepence and avoid punishment for his crimes Henry embarks on the greatest adventure ever. Hopefully it won’t turn into the greatest disaster ever.

Release Date: September 15th 2020

Amazon: Fly on the Wall

Three Keys (A Front Desk Novel)

Front Desk was one of my favorite stories of 2018 so I honestly have been waiting for this book since I heard it was announced.

Mia Tang thinks she’s going to have the best year ever, after all the trouble of the past she and her parents are finally the proud owners of Calivista Motel. Mia even gets to run the front desk with her best friend Lupe. What’s more she’s finally getting somewhere with her writing.

However she hasn’t seen what sixth grade has to throw at her.

  1. Mia’s new teacher doesn’t think her writing is all that great. And her whole class finds out she lives in a motel.
  2. Speaking of the motel it’s struggling and Mia has to answer to the Calvista’s many many worried investors.
  3. If that weren’t enough there is a new immigration law looming and if it passes it will threaten everything and everyone in Mia’s life.

This year may have new challenges to throw at her but if anyone has the key to handling these ups and downs it’s Mia Tang!

Release Date: September 15th 2020

Amazon: The Three Keys

When Life Gives You Mangos

Twelve year old Clara doesn’t know why vistitors call her island home exotic. There is nothing exotic about to her. She doesn’t see what the big deal is about eating ripe mangos off the ground, and running outside in the rain with her Papa during the rainy season. She also loves going to her secret hideout with Gaynah-even though lately Gaynah isn’t acting much like a best friend.

Clara only has one thing that is really out of the ordinary for her. Something has happened to her memory that made her forget everything that happened last summer after a hurricane hit.

Occasionally she has flashbacks, other times her Mama fills in the blanks, she only knows those aren’t her memories and it’s hard being different from everyone else. But Clara knows this summer is going to be different for her, the village is buzzing with excitement with a new girl who is not like other visitors. Clara doesn’t know it yet but this girl is going to make waves and give Clara a summer she won’t forget!

Release Date: September 15th 2020

Amazon: When Life Gives You Mangos

The Torchbearers

I’ve been very much looking forward to this one. I finished the first two in the series in probably two weeks, so I’m looking forward to see where the series is going.

After the Dark Halloween in the last book, the town of Timber is having a full blown monster panic! This is making life very difficult for the Torchbearers—Opal, Nico, Tyler Emma and Logan.

While they are all part of the group they each have their own tasks at hand. Nico is investigating the mysterious Rift and the strange natural phenomena that occur as a result of it, all while juggling worries about his dad’s potential work transfer.

Opal meanwhile has her hands full researching the founding Torchbearer Yvette Dumont and deciphering clues from another realm sent by the mysterious Thing in a Jar.

Emma meanwhile has started a wildly popular Youtube show that has brought her new found fame, but has also earned her some enemies. Logan is busy trying to unlock secrets of his own family history and what role it might have played in founding Torchbearer Order

Finally Tyler the self-proclaimed Beastmaster strives to find a way to communicate and not be eaten by the mercurial and deadly alien sea creature living in Still Cove.

But if their not bust enough something cryptic has surfaced in the Darkdeep and Questions arise and the friends find themselves at odds.

Then there is the enigmatic new girl who is new in town and has an agenda of her own. As the five friends discover shocking secrets about the Torchbearers, their houseboat houseboat hangout, the Rift, and the Darkdeep itself.

But as signs point to realms beyond the ones they know, their friendships are put to the test, are their bonds strong enough to hold up against this new threat.

Amazon: The Torchbearers

Release Date: September 29, 2020

Photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash

Posted in Weekly Wrap-ups

Weekly Review

Not much has happened this week. My friend in the hospital hit a good medical milestone so I’m super happy about that. I’ve gotten a fair number of post ready for the coming weeks on the blog so that’s also good news. I’m going to play DragonAge later in day and have spent most of the week leveling up my character, she’s a Dalish elf mage.

Reading

Pippa Park Raises Her Game

The Henna Wars

The Henna Wars by [Adiba Jaigirdar]

A Home for Goddesses and Dogs

Still mostly focusing on the three books above. Though I’ve had a few different ones I’ve read parts of, these are the ones I’m most focused on.

DragonAge

So since I’m not at my house I’m not baking as much as I was earlier in the summer, I am however playing video games, mostly DragonAge: Inquisition at this point. Though I’m hope to spend part of my time of Horizon Zero Dawn soon.

I’m really enjoying DragonAge, I’m in no way coordinated so having I have it set on easy but it still provides a nice challenge for me. I may do a book tag based on it at some point once I get further into the game. I also know the game came out in 2014 so I’m super late to that party.

Anyway my week has been pretty good, getting ready for fall and hoping for cooler temperatures, how about you?

Photo by Lukasz Szmigiel on Unsplash

Posted in Reviews

My Papi Has a Motorcycle Review

A love letter to her town and her family growing up.

Summary

Most days after his job in construction Daisy Ramona zooms around her neighborhood with her papi on his motorcycle. She sees the people and places she’s always known But she also notices the ways her community is rapidly changing

Despite the change that is coming Daisy knows the love that she feels will always be there despite whatever change may come.

Review

A love letter to her town and her family growing up Isabel Quintero puts a focus on the real people who built the town around her. The text makes subtle nods to gentrification that children can understand. The text also focuses on the importance of the forgotten voices of the people who did the work to make towns and cities like the one Daisy lives in with a special focus on immigrants.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Photo by Paula Morin on Unsplash

Posted in Reviews

Verify Review

I finished this book earlier in the summer but never got around to reviewing it. It’s a dystopia but it does interesting things with the genre. It makes changes to the world that seem like they could realistically happen from where we are in the world now. Which I think is Charbonneau’s point, either way it’s an intersting take on dystopia which I’ll go into more below.

Verify

Verify by [Joelle Charbonneau]

Summary

Meri Beckley lives in a world without lies, the Chicago she lives in has beautiful city pride project, no crime and and is in an era of hope in prosperity, over which the governor benevolently residisides. What is there to question after all?

But when Meri’s mother a public works artist is suddenly killed. Meri suddenly has question. Question no one else want to ask or even think about, and as she tries to get more into her mother’s state of mind in the last few weeks of her life. Meri quickly finds herself drawn into a shadowy organization that knows a secret history about the world, and her mother.

Meri is faced with the choice between accepting the world she’s always known or embracing this new order that the government doesn’t want anyone to see. A world where ones have power and she might be able to help change the world.

Because she’s not the only one with with question, one of teens in the shadow group had links to her mother and he disappeared right after she was killed.

As Meri learns about her mother world will she be able to help get their message out, or will the government stamp them out before they have a chance.

Review

I like Meri as a character but the book wouldn’t be half as intresting without the side characters who support her.

I really like her best friend from school who finds out the truth and suddenly wants to help despite the risk.

I also love the different characters within the shadow organization have book based names.

Finally I love the conculsion of the book, there is a twist and I think it really make sense for the characters and the plot.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Posted in monthly goals, Monthly Reads, Year of the Asian Reading Challenge

Weekly Review

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a chance to sit down and do a weekly review. The blog has fallen to maybe about third in line in importance. Basically my sister is having a rough pregnancy and so I’m have to step up and fill some roles in the family which haven’t left enough time for blogging.

Or honestly if they have left enough time for blogging I’ve been tired staying at my sister’s place, not sleeping as well not have as much time for reading. Anyway my blogging number have fallen but I’m going to try to get back to it.

So I can’t have been worried 24/7 only like 22/5 so what have I been upto other wise. I have been reading.

Books in Progress.

YA

Cinderella Is Dead by [Kalynn Bayron]

Middle Grade

The Henna Wars by [Adiba Jaigirdar]

In addition to reading I’ve been playing lots of Dragon Age Inquisition. I’m not super far into the game, only ten percent but I’m really enjoying it and I’ve leveled up a few times so I can’t wait to see where the game will go. I’m glad to get back to these weekly updates a look forward to posting more and taking part in some challenges as fall comes around.

Are you looking forward to the spooky season?

Photo by Kerstin Wrba on Unsplash

Posted in Monthly Reads, Recommendations, Reviews

Review: Summer and July

So I think we’ve established that my jam is pretty much cute middle grade. Now I’ll find something different every now and and again that I like but I always come back to cute middle grade. I’m going to review the book that I finished in a day. The perfect cute summer book, Summer and July.

Summary

Twelve year old Julliet isn’t looking forward to this summer. She and her mom are staying in the seaside neighborhood of Ocean Park, California. for a month. Her mother will work in the local ER, and Julliet will be on her own, nothing new there.

But she can be alone at home she doesn’t see why they have to go to the beach to for her to be by herself. After all her dad is off to Europe with his new girlfriend and her old best friend Fern, well her mom won’t let her talk to her anymore after Fern took the blame for Juillet goth girl clothes and “not real fears like sharks and rip currents and the number three.

Her mom wants her to expand her horizons during the summer by making friends and exploring the town. Juillet would much rather sit inside but then she meets Summer, a local surfer girl who knows all the cool things to do around town.

With Summer’s help Juillet begins to face some of the things that were weighing her down and come out of her shell. But sometimes the brightest sunniest people have the most painful secrets and when Summer reveals hers it’s Juillet’s turn to be the strong and supportive friend.

Review

First off I want to say I read the book before really looking at the author’s name, because I’d heard good things about the book in people’s advance reviews. I was shocked that this was not written by woman. I haven’t read Mosier’s other books but he has a deft hand at writing young women.

I also love that the book was coded as queer from the very beginning, Summer uses a surfer term to call Juillet cute, but Juillet does find out until the end of the book what it means. I also like that their relationship adds to their experiences but it doesn’t define them. It’s just something that happens organically with the plot.

Amazon: Summer and July

Photo by roman raizen on Unsplash

Posted in Monthly Reads, Reviews

Before I Let Go Review

Summary

Corey and Kyra were inseparable best friend in their tiny town of Lost Creek, Alaska. Corey was always the first one to stand up to support Kyra as she dealt with the struggles that came with her bipolar disorder. But as things get serious with Kyra’s disorder, Corey’s family moves away.

Corey makes Kyra promise to wait for and stay strong during the long dark winter. But just days before Corey comes to visit Kyra dies. Corey is understandably devastated and also confused because Kyra never seemed suicidal.

So Corey comes back to Lost Creek to mourn and try to find out what happened. But Lost Creek isn’t like she remembers. Especially in how they feel about Kyra. The town used to shun her because of her condition now they speak of her reverently, like a prophet and say her death was meant to be be, and push Corey away like a stranger.

The more she tries to get the truth, the more questions she ask the more her sus

Best friends Corey and Kyra were inseparable in their tiny snow-covered town of Lost Creek, Alaska. But as Kyra starts to struggle with her bipolar disorder, Corey’s family moves away. Worried about what might happen in her absence, Corey makes Kyra promise that she’ll stay strong during the long, dark winter.

Then, just days before Corey is to visit, Kyra dies. Corey is devastated―and confused, because Kyra said she wouldn’t hurt herself. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones, saying Kyra’s death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger.

The more Corey investigates, and the more Corey asks questions about Kyra and gets stonewalled by the town, the more she is lead to believe that Kyra’s death wasn’t an suicide or an accident, but murder.

But Lost wants to keep its secrets, can Corey learn the truth about Kyra’s death and survive her visit?

Review

Okay, so this book does a lot of things really well. The mystery is very well written, you suspect everyone but you don’t really know who did it till the end, which is nice because I can usually solve mysteries. It also has the spooky atmosphere of the town, down pat, you feel outcast reading as Corey deals with the townspeople. Even if they aren’t totally guilty, they are somewhat guilty because of reasons I can’t explain due to spoilers, they are surely creepy.

Two other things that were my favorite were the fact that it was nice to see an ace character as a lead character. It played only a little in the plot of the book but still we don’t get much page time anyway so to see an ace person as the lead, was nice.

Also to see a bipolar person treated respectfully and get page time, even though it was just in flashbacks is also rare. The whole book is basically an ode to treating bipolar people with respect and thinking about them, beyond their condition but being aware of the symptoms and not walking on eggshells around them and being scared of them.

It was a good mental health book about the dangers of objectifying people with mental health conditions.

That’s why I’m giving it

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Amazon: Before I Let Go

Photo by Martin Brechtl on Unsplash