Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Two for Tuesday: 45 Pounds (more or less) by K.A. Barron and Will & Whit by Laura Lee Gulledge45 Pounds (more or Less)

45 Pounds (more or Less)


I wanted to love this more…the premise is, well, right up my alley *ahem*.  And it is not like this wasn’t good...well written, good story, well developed characters ect. ect. ect.  I just didn’t fall in love, with the story or the characters.  It was a tad predictable and just meh.

Book Description via Amazon

Release date: July 11, 2013

Here are the numbers of Ann Galardi's life:
She is 16.
And a size 17.
Her perfect mother is a size 6.
Her Aunt Jackie is getting married in 2 months, and wants Ann to be a bridesmaid.
So Ann makes up her mind: Time to lose 45 pounds (more or less).

Welcome to the world of informercial diet plans, wedding dance lessons, endless run-ins with the cutest guy Ann's ever seen—and some surprises about her not-so-perfect mother.

And there's one more thing—it's all about feeling comfortable in your own skin—no matter how you add it up!

Will & Whit

Now this I loved!  This is such a great graphic novel– beautiful illustrations, wonderful writing, and an amazing story.  Perfect for 6th grade and up.

Wilhelmina “Will” Huxstep is a creative soul struggling to come to terms with a family tragedy. She crafts whimsical lamps, in part to deal with her fear of the dark. As she wraps up another summer in her mountain town, she longs for unplugged adventures with her fellow creative friends, Autumn, Noel, and Reese. Little does she know that she will get her wish in the form of an arts carnival and a blackout, courtesy of a hurricane named Whitney, which forces Will to face her fear of darkness.
Laura Lee Gulledge’s signature visual metaphors will be on full display in this all-new graphic novel, a moving look at shedding light on the dark corners of life.

Praise for Will & Whit
"This sophomore offering shines as bright as the lamps Will surrounds herself with... Quirky, clever and insightful."
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

"Gulledge creates engaging characters (especially Reese, Noel’s precocious younger sister), and draws them with believable expressiveness… Gulledge’s values are wholesome, and her energy is up-to-the minute fresh."
Publishers Weekly

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Revenge of the Girl with Great Personality by Elizabeth Eulberg

“Applying butt glue to my sister’s backside is, without question, not the first way I’d choose to spend a weekend.”  Best opening line I have read in a long time.  That coupled with the title…I’m in love.  This is a “Toddlers and Tiaras” mixed with “Mean Girls” in book form.

Book Description via Amazon

A hilarious new novel from Elizabeth Eulberg about taking the wall out of the wallflower so she can bloom.

Don't mess with a girl with a Great Personality.

Everybody loves Lexi. She's popular, smart, funny...but she's never been one of those girls, the pretty ones who get all the attention from guys. And on top of that, her seven-year-old sister, Mackenzie, is a terror in a tiara, and part of a pageant scene where she gets praised for her beauty (with the help of fake hair and tons of makeup).

Lexi's sick of it. She's sick of being the girl who hears about kisses instead of getting them. She's sick of being ignored by her longtime crush, Logan. She's sick of being taken for granted by her pageant-obsessed mom. And she's sick of having all her family's money wasted on a phony pursuit of perfection.

The time has come for Lexi to step out from the sidelines. Girls without great personalities aren't going to know what hit them. Because Lexi's going to play the beauty game - and she's in it to win it.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Hallowed Ones by Laura Bickle

How could I not read this book…seriously, an Amish horror story, complete with talks about Rumspringa?!?  This is the first book in a planned series with the next one coming out in September (already have the order placed!)  I loved the premise and the setting…cornstalks just lend themselves to creepy (remember the movie “Children of the Corn” or “Signs”…shudder…)

Book Description via Amazon

Release date: September 25, 2012

Katie is on the verge of her Rumspringa, the time in Amish life when teenagers can get a taste of the real world. But the real world comes to her in this dystopian tale with a philosophical bent. Rumors of massive unrest on the “Outside” abound. Something murderous is out there. Amish elders make a rule: No one goes outside, and no outsiders come in. But when Katie finds a gravely injured young man, she can’t leave him to die. She smuggles him into her family’s barn—at what cost to her community? The suspense of this vividly told, truly horrific thriller will keep the pages turning.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole

“You and I are lucky.  We never had to worry about the first part, the visual sizing up.  We got to go directly to the interesting bit.  The getting to know the depths and breadths of each other’s soul.”


Sigh…this book…this freaking book…I don’t know if I can concisely talk about how much I LOVE this book.  First it is an epistolary novel, my all time favorite.  I think it stems from an early love of receiving mail and I am not going to lie, I still do.  Second, the time periods, WWI and WWII, there is just something about love during war time, it wrenches your heart that much more.  The story is set in the highlands of Scotland…I don’t think I need to say any more about that.  (If you’re not convinced that this is the *perfect* setting for a love story, check out this: http://www.isleofskye.com/)


I could go on and on…just read it…and if you’re not convinced see the reviews from, ya know,  “the professionals.”


Book Description via Amazon

Release date: July 9, 2013

A sweeping story told in letters, spanning two continents and two world wars, Jessica Brockmole’s atmospheric debut novel captures the indelible ways that people fall in love, and celebrates the power of the written word to stir the heart.

March 1912: Twenty-four-year-old Elspeth Dunn, a published poet, has never seen the world beyond her home on Scotland’s remote Isle of Skye. So she is astonished when her first fan letter arrives, from a college student, David Graham, in far-away America. As the two strike up a correspondence—sharing their favorite books, wildest hopes, and deepest secrets—their exchanges blossom into friendship, and eventually into love. But as World War I engulfs Europe and David volunteers as an ambulance driver on the Western front, Elspeth can only wait for him on Skye, hoping he’ll survive.

June 1940: At the start of World War II, Elspeth’s daughter, Margaret, has fallen for a pilot in the Royal Air Force. Her mother warns her against seeking love in wartime, an admonition Margaret doesn’t understand. Then, after a bomb rocks Elspeth’s house, and letters that were hidden in a wall come raining down, Elspeth disappears. Only a single letter remains as a clue to Elspeth’s whereabouts. As Margaret sets out to discover where her mother has gone, she must also face the truth of what happened to her family long ago.

Sparkling with charm and full of captivating period detail, Letters from Skye is a testament to the power of love to overcome great adversity, and marks Jessica Brockmole as a stunning new literary voice.

Praise for Letters from Skye

“A love story to the power of the written word.”—USA Today

“[A] remarkable story of two women, their loves, their secrets, and two world wars . . . [in which] the beauty of Scotland, the tragedy of war, the longings of the heart, and the struggles of a family torn apart by disloyalty are brilliantly drawn, leaving just enough blanks to be filled by the reader’s imagination.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“By turns lyrical and flirtatious, Brockmole’s debut charms with its wistful evocation of a time when handwritten, eagerly awaited letters could bespell besotted lovers.”Kirkus Reviews

Friday, July 12, 2013

Table for Seven by Whitney Gaskell

I would describe this as easy, breezy…a good summer read if you’re looking for something on the lighter side.

Book Description via Amazon

Release date: April 23, 2013

A warm and witty novel about friendship, fine dining, and learning that life doesn’t always turn out quite how we expect it to—perfect for fans of Barbara O’Neal and Nancy Thayer
On New Year’s Eve, Fran and Will Parrish host a dinner party, serving their friends a gourmet feast. The night is such a success that the group decides to form a monthly dinner party club. But what starts as an excuse to enjoy the company of fellow foodies ends up having lasting repercussions on each member of the Table for Seven Dinner Party Club.

Fran and Will face the possibility that their comfortable marriage may not be as infallible as they once thought. Audrey has to figure out how to move on and start a new life after the untimely death of her young husband. Perfectionist Jaime suspects that her husband, Mark, might be having an affair. Coop, a flirtatious bachelor who never commits to a third date, is blindsided when he falls in love for the first time. Leland, a widower, is a wise counselor and firm believer that bacon makes everything taste better.

Over the course of a year, against a backdrop of mouthwatering meals, relationships are forged, marriages are tested, and the members of the Table for Seven Dinner Party Club find their lives forever changed.