Posted in Discussion

February Goals

I know I need to catch up on my reading in February, and hopefully I will. I’m hoping I will have time to to read a little a bit while I’m focused on holding the readathon.

Try and read at least 10 books in February

This is the same goal for every month. I think I’ll hit it because of the Readathon. I’ve planned out a lot of books to read, For all the Readathons I’m doing my own and Royal Readathon I’ve got 22 on the list for the month, but I plan to double up, in several place so doubt I’ll be reading anywhere near that number.

Work on the Readathon in February

I’ve already done a lot of work ahead of the readathon. So now I’m just waiting for people to sign up and we’ll have a good time. If you guys have any questions I’m here, we’ve got a great prize package. It doesn’t matter if you’ve actually seen the show, you can probably find clips on Youtube. But we are going to have fun either way.

Start doing research and rough drafting for my novel

I said I wanted to do more writing this year and I need to put myself on a schedule if I’m going to get anything done. There is a lot of research to be done, I pretty much know how the story goes but I need to get the details figured out. I should probably do an outline. Anyway, that’s something I want to start working on this month.

Keep posting every day

I know I’ve done this well in January and I want to keep up the habit in Feburary. The daily posting has been showing in my numbers and I want to keep my numbers up and hopefully go above the month before. I want to see the curve go up and do the reverse of last year. And that takes posting

Posted in Chopped Readathon

Example: Meal for Chopped Readathon

Since the meals for the Readathon seem to have confused some people. I’m going to do an example here of four books I’ve read and a dish that would come from them, that fulfills the prompts.

Also I’m not sure how Youtube works internationally but I’m pretty sure you could catch an episode of Chopped there or at least a clip. But anyway I’m going to do an example with four books I’m not reading for the readathon and for our easiest category Appetizers, I’ll do examples for the harder categories if needed but you guys will have to let me know if you want if you want that.

Pizza-Violets are Blue

Violets Are Blue by [Barbara Dee]

Twelve-year-old Wren loves makeup—special effect makeup, to be exact. When she is experimenting with new looks, Wren can create a different version of herself. A girl who isn’t in a sort-of-best friendship with someone who seems like she hates her. A girl whose parents aren’t divorced and doesn’t have to learn to like her new stepmom.

Amazon: Violets are Blue

Strawberry-Book with a Red Cover

Over a year since being entrusted with Ginseng’s care, Greta still can’t chase away the cloud of mourning that hangs over the timid Tea Dragon. As she struggles to create something spectacular enough to impress a master blacksmith in search of an apprentice, she questions the true meaning of crafting, and the true meaning of caring for someone in grief. Meanwhile, Minette receives a surprise package from the monastery where she was once training to be a prophetess. Thrown into confusion about her path in life, the shy and reserved Minette finds that the more she opens her heart to others, the more clearly she can see what was always inside.

Amazon: Tea Dragon Tapestry

Milkshake- Soulswift-two people go on a quest

Soulswift by [Megan Bannen]

Gelya is a Vessel, a girl who channels the word of the One True God through song. Cloistered with the other Vessels of her faith, she believes—as all Ovinists do—that a saint imprisoned Elath the Great Demon centuries ago, saving humanity from earthly temptation.

When Gelya stumbles into a deadly cover-up by the Ovinists’ military, she reluctantly teams up with Tavik, an enemy soldier, to survive. Tavik believes that Elath is actually a mother goddess who must be set free, but while he succeeds in opening Her prison, he inadvertently turns Gelya into Elath’s unwilling human vessel.

Now the church that raised Gelya considers her a threat. In a race against the clock, she and Tavik must find a way to exorcise Elath’s presence from her body. But will this release stop the countdown to the end of the world, or will it be the cause of the earth’s destruction?

Amazon: Soulswift

Leftovers-Eva Evergreen Semi Magical Witch-A book you started but never finished

Eva Evergreen, Semi-Magical Witch by [Julie Abe]

Sometimes all you need is a pinch of magic…

Eva Evergreen is determined to earn the rank of Novice Witch before her thirteenth birthday. If she doesn’t, she’ll lose her magic forever. For most young witches and wizards, it’s a simple enough test:

One: Help your town, do good all around.
Two: Live there for one moon, don’t leave too soon.
Three: Fly home by broomstick, the easiest of tricks.

The only problem? Eva only has a pinch of magic. She summons heads of cabbage instead of flowers and gets a sunburn instead of calling down rain. And to add insult to injury, whenever she overuses her magic, she falls asleep.

Amazon: Eva Evergreen Semi Magical Witch

The Meal

You can draw, write, or, do any sort of artistic or written expression you can think of.

The meal for this is actually a drink, its a red and blue tea that shifts color as as you watch, you can see a storm forming above the tea. Drinking the tea will tea will give different looks you’ll look like a zombie, a mermaid, and a tiger etc. Drinking this tea will also make birds spontaneously appear on the branches in the trees in the tea garden around where you are drinking. The garden also has embroidered flags and a special tree in the center with a special kind of berries that might occasionally fall into your tea. You take in the whole garden and the tea and feel a special kind of magic.

Now lets break this down, the tea is from Tea Garden Tapestry. The shifting colors are from the red color book and the blue in the storm from Eva Evergreen. The shifting looks are Violets are Blue. The birds are from Soulswift where they were an important plot point. The flags in the garden are also from Tea Dragon. The special tree is from Soulswift which was a very important plot point as were the berries.

Now do you all have a better idea of what I’m thinking about for the meals? If not please comment.

Posted in backlog reviews, Recommendations, Reviews

Making Friends Review

Making Friends is a very cute graphic novel for the middle grade set about a Danielle, who is having issues with friendship ever since she got got to middle school.

Summary

Danielle needs a perfect friend, but sometimes making (or creating) one is a lot easier than keeping one!

Sixth grade was SO much easier for Dany. All her friends were in the same room and she knew exactly what to expect out of life. Now that she’s in seventh grade, she’s in a new middle school, her friends are in different classes and forming new cliques, and she is totally, completely lost. What Dany really needs is a new best friend! So when she inherits a magic sketchbook from her eccentric great-aunt in which anything she sketches in it comes to life, she draws Madison, the most amazing, perfect, and awesome best friend ever.

The thing is, even when you create a best friend, there’s no guarantee they’ll always be your best friend. Especially when they discover they’ve been created with magic! And this isn’t the only problem magic causes Dany is going to need all the friends she can get to save her school and her friends from a sketch gone wrong.

Amazon: Making Friends

Review

This is a really cute book you can understand Dany’s troubles whatever age you are, given the power of a magic sketchbook. It would be hard to limit yourself on this power. I love some of the group of friends Dany makes along the way and the conflict between Dany and her newly created friend who has to establish herself away from Dany. It’s a good example of boundaries and independence which is always good when show in work for this age group. I like the fact that the group in the end can be interdependent but no co-dependent. Also the Sailor Moon/She-Ra-eque fight at the end was lovely and that’s the kind of content I need in my life. Very good graphic novel, can’t wait to read the rest in the series. 5/5

Posted in Monthly Reads, Wrapup

End of the Month Wrapup

So we are almost at the end of the month, I can’t believe we are almost done with the first month of the year. Maybe because I was in a cast this time this year that time seems to pass a little differently. Anyway I’m looking forward to February because the Chopped Romance Dinner Readathon. But I wanted to take a look back at my goals for January and see how I did.

Read 10 books in January

I’ve only read like 4 books but I’ll probably finish 6 by the end of the month. Migraines strike again, lots of sleeping and naps because I’m behind on my Botox. I went to my new neurologist yesterday so hopefully they can start giving me Botox shots soon!

Keep Posting Regularly

I’ve posted most every day this month, sometimes twice a day. So this goal I have on lock.

Work on things for my readathon

I dropped clues, my co-host and I figured out prompts, I did announcements for the Readathon coming up, and clue. I have a prize package together and finally I have TBRs up for the books I’ll be reading. I feel like I got at lot done for this goal. If you’re interested in the link to the readathon here.

Spend January planning out my readathons for the year.

I have a better handle on at least the next few months that have announced their dates. I’m sure a few more that have promised to come back this year will announce their date closer to the readathon. In which case I’ll take part in those. I’m also taking part in Pondathon II and some of their author quests and side quests all year.

Organize and clean out the categories on my blog

This one I didn’t really get around. I added a few more categories based on things I’m doing but I still need to rearrange stuff and clean stuff out.

Did you accomplish your January goals? How was you reading for this month? In a slump like me or are you miles ahead on your goal. Tell me in comments!

Posted in Announcements, Challenges

Companion Quest: Pondathon II

As well as my other Readathons I’m taking place in the year long Readathon by blog The Quiet Pond. They are having authors join them a companion to their larger quests this time the have Racquel Marie, author of Ophelia After All. The book is about

Ophelia After All by [Racquel Marie]

A teen girl navigates friendship drama, the end of high school, and discovering her queerness, called a hilarious and heartfelt comedy by author Raquel Marie.

Ophelia Rojas knows what she likes: her best friends, Cuban food, rose-gardening, and boys – way too many boys. Her friends and parents make fun of her endless stream of crushes, but Ophelia is a romantic at heart. She couldn’t change, even if she wanted to.

So when she finds herself thinking more about cute, quiet Talia Sanchez than the loss of a perfect prom with her ex-boyfriend, seeds of doubt take root in Ophelia’s firm image of herself. Add to that the impending end of high school and the fracturing of her once-solid friend group, and things are spiraling a little out of control. But the course of love—and sexuality—never did run smooth. As her secrets begin to unravel, Ophelia must make a choice between clinging to the fantasy version of herself she’s always imagined or upending everyone’s expectations to rediscover who she really is, after all.

Amazon: Ophelia After All

Since the book has roses as a central plot point we were supposed to make a rose after our favorite book cover. We could write draw, make a description of the rose, and then put the book cover with it.

Here is my best attempt at a rose modeled after Shannon Messenger’s Keeper of the Lost Cities Nightfall. I really liked this challenge because I got to draw a bit, which I should really do more of. I can’t wait to get the pride rose prize for my garden. And I really enjoyed this companion challenge!

Posted in Announcements, new releases

Friendships, Thrillers, and Body Positivity

This week has lots of great books coming out, from books about friendships to thrillers and books about about body positivity, we’ve got a little something for everyone.

All My Friends (Eagle Rock Series, 3

Middle-schooler Bina has everything she’s ever wanted. She has new friendships and a new band whose song is about to be featured on her favorite television show.

But being in the spotlight is hard. When Bina and her band are offered a record deal, her parents are not thrilled. Now, Bina is barely speaking to her mom and dad. To make matters worse, Bina and her best friend, Austin, are still awkward around each other after their failed first date.

Can Bina untangle the various melodies in her heart? Or will fame go to her head?

Amazon: All My Friends

The Ghoul of Windydown Vale

In this action-packed mystery from award-winning author Jake Burt, Copper Inskeep holds Windydown Vale’s deepest and darkest secret: he is the ghoul that haunts the Vale, donning a gruesome costume to scare travelers and townsfolk away from the dangers of the surrounding swamps. When a terrified girl claims she and her father were attacked by a creature – one that could not have been Copper – it threatens not just Copper’s secret, but the fate of all Windydown.

The Supervillain's Guide to Being a Fat Kid by [Matt Wallace]

Max’s first year of middle school hasn’t been easy. Eighth-grade hotshot Johnny Pro torments Max constantly, for no other reason than Max is fat and an easy target. Max wishes he could fight back, but he doesn’t want to hurt Johnny . . . just make him feel the way Max feels.

In desperation, Max writes to the only person he thinks will understand: imprisoned supervillain Master Plan, a “gentleman of size.” To his surprise, Master Plan wants to help! He suggests a way for Max to get even with Johnny Pro, and change how the other kids at school see them both.

And it works! When Master Plan’s help pays off for Max in ways he couldn’t have imagined, he starts gaining confidence—enough to finally talk to Marina, the girl he likes in class who shares his passion for baking. He’s finally starting to gain friendships. With Master Plan in his corner, anything seems possible . . . but is there a price to pay for the supervillain’s help?

Amazon: The Supervillain’s Guide to Being a Fat Kid

Posted in Challenges, Chopped Readathon, Readathons, TBR

Sweet Dessert Chopped Romance Readathon

So we’ve come to the most difficult part of the Readathon. The Sweet portion, you’re in for a bit of a challenge but if you’ve made it this far we know you can do it. I’ll show you what I’m reading for this portion of the readathon.

Champagne-A Protagonist with Anxiety

Quintessence - Best Middle-Grade Books About Anxiety

Three months ago, twelve-year-old Alma moved to the town of Four Points. Her panic attacks started a week later, and they haven’t stopped—even though she’s told her parents that they have. She’s homesick and friendless and every day she feels less and less like herself.

But one day she finds a telescope in the town’s junk shop, and through its lens, she watches a star—a star that looks like a child—fall from the sky and into her backyard. I’ve been waiting to read this sweet story for awhile now I’m glad I finally get the chance.

Amazon: Quintessence

Ring Pops: A book where someone gets married or a wedding shapes the plot.

Rouge Princess

Rogue Princess by [B.R. Myers]

Princess Delia knows she must choose a prince to marry in order to secure an alliance and save her failing planet. But she’d much rather have a shot a true love than an arranged marriage. She’s going to chart her own course in life so she steals one of her family’s spaceship and decides to runaway, only to find a stowaway. But who would have thought a princess on the run from an arranged marriage and a poor stowaway looking to find a better life off planet may be the only ones able to stop a planet wide rebellion.

Amazon: Rouge Princess

Baked Alaska: A book with a surprise.

Healer of the Water Monster by [Brian Young]

Nathan likes to spend time with his Nali during the summer in the Navajo Nation. even though he knows he’s in for a pretty uneventful summer with no electricity or cell service. On night when he gets lost in the desert all that when Nathan encounters a Holy Being from the Navajo creation story. A Water Monster and it needs his help!

Amazon: Healer of the Water Monster

Yuzu-A book with a sweet and tart protagonist

Long Lost by [Jacqueline West]

Eleven-year-old Fiona has just read a book that doesn’t exist.

When Fiona’s family moves to a new town to be closer to her older sister’s figure skating club—and far from Fiona’s close-knit group of friends—nobody seems to notice Fiona’s unhappiness. Alone and out of place, Fiona ventures to the town’s library, a rambling mansion donated by a long-dead heiress. And there she finds a gripping mystery novel about a small town, family secrets, and a tragic disappearance.

Soon Fiona begins to notice strange similarities that blur the lines between the novel and her new town. With a little help from a few odd Lost Lake locals, Fiona uncovers the book’s strange history. Lost Lake is a town of restless spirits, and Fiona will learn that both help and danger come from unexpected places—maybe even from the sister she thinks doesn’t care about her anymore.

Amazon: Long Lost

Posted in Announcements, Chopped Readathon, Readathons, TBR

Fancy Entrée Romance Dinner Readathon

For this round @OliviaTempleto6 and I wanted to make this the most fancy and decadent round. Like you were really having elegant dinner. Not to say dessert isn’t also fancy but you will definitely fill up on books here.

Steak and Lobster-an expensive book or one the looks fancy.

The Storyteller

The Storyteller by [Kathryn Williams]

It’s not everyday you learn you might be related to related to Anastasia or that the tragic princess actually survived her assassination attempt and has been living as the woman you know as Aunt Anna. I love the design on the cover and the idea of the book and the idea behind it. That’s why I’m choosing it for this prompt.

Amazon: The Storyteller

Edible Glitter-a book that has magic or a fantasy

Echoes and Empires by [Morgan Rhodes]

The battle or war in this case isn’t directly against a thing or another person, it’s against magic itself and those who practice it. When Josslyn Drake finds herself infected with a dangerous piece of magic in world where it, not only illegal but dangerous and deadly she must ally with the unlikely Jericho Nox, who offers her a deal: his help extracting the magic in exchange for the magic itself. Will deal be worth it or will Josslyn find herself in more trouble than she imagined as she learns about the world, magic and things she never expected.

Amazon: Echoes and Empires

Spaghetti-Good Friendships or Multiple Points of View

Another Kind

Six not so human kids have been kept in the Playroom, a government facility that was has been protecting them. Or at the very least keeping them safe from the eyes of the judgmental word where some would consider them nothing more than animals. They are at home there until a security breach forces them them into the real world and the path of the Collector.

Can the group band together to thwart the Collectors plans, or will they end of the next part of his collection?

Amazon: Another Kind

Dark Chocolate Truffles-a book from a darker genre mystery, horror, thriller.

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves

Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves: A Novel by [Meg Long]

On a frozen wasteland of a planet, a girl is on the run with a wolf who is born to be a killer but bound to be her guide. As they fight to escape ice goblins, giant bears, and a ruthless leader intent on trapping them both, one question drives them relentlessly forward: where do you turn when there is nowhere to hide?

Amazon: Cold the Night, Fast the Wolves

Come back tomorrow and check out the final and most difficult portion of my TBR, the dessert.

Posted in Feature, Readathons, TBR

Romance Dinner Readathon Appetizer TBR

So we just launched our Chopped Romance Dinner Readathon. Now I wanted to be a good host and show you my TBR early.

Appetizers for the Romance Dinner Readathon

Pizza-A comfort read

Flashback by Shannon Messenger

Flashback (Keeper of the Lost Cities Book 7) by [Shannon Messenger]

Shannon Messenger’s books are comfort reads of mine I’ve read each of them a number of times. This will probably be my only long book for the readathon though because I will be focusing on you all. In this one the Neverseen hit Sophie and Fitz particularly hard. But Sophie and her friends are never going to give up and decide it’s time to fight back. In this showdown there will be more at stake than ever!

Strawberry-Book with a red cover

Lies My Memory Told Me by [Sacha Wunsch]

In a world where memories can be shared Nova can’t trust her own memories in this thriller, after she meets Kade a boy that makes her question the system and doesn’t seem to trust her.

Amazon: Lies My Memory Told Me

Milkshake-Two People Go on a quest

The Bone Spindle by [Leslie Vedder]

In this gender bent version of Sleeping Beauty Fi and Shane are two treasure hunters looking to break a curse in Briar Rose’s kingdom as well as pick up some treasure in the process. Billed as a cross between Sleeping beauty and Indiana Jones, this book has everything you want, romance, adventure and possession.

Amazon: The Bone Spindle

Leftovers-A book you started but didn’t finish

That Thing about Bollywood

That Thing about Bollywood by [Supriya Kelkar]

You know how in Bollywood when people are in love, they sing and dance from the mountaintops? Eleven-year-old Sonali wonders if they do the same when they’re breaking up. The truth is, Sonali’s parents don’t get along, and it looks like they might be separating. Dealing with this separation along with her little brother Ronak, Sonali, has a magical twist coming on and it’s about to shake up her life and her family!

Amazon: That Thing About Bollywood

Come back tomorrow for my Entrée TBR!

Posted in new releases, Recommendations, Reviews

Salaam with Love Review

Now I’m going to preface this with the fact that I’m not Muslim so any errors I make are my own. But I love halal romance just because as an ace person I know I’m less likely to encounter things that are triggering. That doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy the plots as well and learning and apricating Muslim culture. I really liked Salaam, with Love especially do to the sweetness of the romance between the two leads.

Salaam, with Love by [Sara Sharaf Beg]

Summary

Being crammed into a house in Queens with her cousins is not how Dua envisions her trip to New York City. But here she is, spending the holy month of Ramadan with extended family she hasn’t seen in years.
 
Dua struggles to find her place in the conservative household and to connect with her aloof, engaged-to-be-married cousin, Mahnoor. And as if fasting the whole day wasn’t tiring enough, she must battle her hormones whenever she sees Hassan, the cute drummer in a Muslim band who has a habit of showing up at her most awkward moments.
 
After just a month, Dua is surprised to find that she’s learning a lot more than she bargained for about her faith, relationships, her place in the world—and cute drummers. . . 

Review of Salaam, with Love

I’m going to say I love halal fiction and here’s why, being ace I know it’s safe to read. I know it’s not meant for me, however I appreciate it none the less. Because I don’t dislike romance I just dislike how showy most YA is.

Now as for the story it is lovely, it deals with important issues but it like Islamophobia but it mostly focuses on a normal family during Ramadan and one girl trying to connect with Allah.

Dua’s faith is the thread that connects everything in this book. Which makes sense because the book is about Ramadan. She often questions her feeling for Hassan because she thinks she shouldn’t be focusing on romance during Ramadan.

I also like that Hassan and Dua’s romance comes about naturally. As someone who reads a lot of non-halal YA it was nice to see the characters who are not just in your face about romance especially the men.

I really loved the respect and care Dua and Hassan showed each other. And the last scene is pure cuteness another a plus from a new to me author who I will surely be watching for more.

Come back tomorrow for my Chopped Romance Dinner TBR!

Amazon: Salaam, with Love