For What It's Worth

Monday, August 29, 2016

#BookMail–Between worlds by skip brittenham

I received this cool YA novel for review from Penguin Young Readers and it’s a little bit different since it also features Augmented Reality technology. Kind of like Pokemon Go. You download the app (available on iTunes and google Play) and see 3D images -13 in all.

Creatures that pop off the page, diaries, games, magic training and more make this a fully interactive experience for readers.

You can check out the Between the Worlds App website for more information.

I’ve included a few pics that I took using the app from my phone. (The screenshot function didn’t work for the 3D creatures so it’s Kevin taking a picture of my phone using the app) but it gives you an idea of what you will see.

I haven’t finished reading yet and I found the interactive element a bit awkward at times - you have to hover your phone over the page and it's (me) shaky at times but two things - 1) I don’t even play Pokemon Go so this isn't something I'm all that familiar with and 2) I’m not the intended age group for this book so I would love to see what readers age 12+ think of it. I’ll have to have my niece and nephews test it out.

As for the story, so far, it’s a pretty fun, action packed fantasy filled with cool monsters, adventure and a bit of romance.




About the book:
Misfit teens Mayberry and Marshall wander off during a school field trip to the forest, on a dare to find dusty local legend The Wishing Tree. But they get more than they bargained for when they find themselves in Nith, an alternate universe. Along with amazing new powers and furry friends, Nith holds danger and intrigue. With the help of the mysterious Aaron, these two friends try to find their way back home. But some of the inhabitants of Nith have other plans for the teens…

Together, Mayberry and Marshall must learn to control their new powers, escape their enemies, find their way home, and come to terms with their growing attraction. ~ Goodreads

*Have you guys tried any interactive books yet? I know there are a few out there but this was my first time giving one a try.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Blog tour review: unscripted joss byrd by lygia day penaflor

Roaring Brook Press

In this affecting debut novel, a child actor struggles to find herself on a film set where only one thing matters: getting the money shot.

Joss Byrd is America's most celebrated young actress, and her next project is a hot new Indie film helmed by a renowned, charismatic director. But on the set of The Locals, Joss's life is far from glamorous. Her mother is domineering and relentless, her dyslexia makes it difficult to keep up with the constantly changing script, the boy playing her older brother doesn't seem to reciprocate Joss's crush, and the film's gritty subject matter terrifies her. Yet none of these things appear to matter to Joss's agent, director, or even her mother. Joss is just a cash cow, and no one cares what she has to do for the perfect shot-as long as she gets it somehow.

Author Lygia Day Peñaflor's draws on her firsthand experience as a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars in this affecting debut novel that explores the many demands made on young actors.

Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | Goodreads


Unscripted Joss Byrd was a book that a publicist I met at Macmillan during ALA was VERY excited about. Once I got home and realized it was about a 12 year old girl (although this title is considered YA) I was a little leary. But no worries. Lygia Day Penaflor wrote a beautiful and engaging story that exposed the seedy underbelly of Hollywood, while also managing a nuanced portrayal of a 100% relatable 12 year old actress who struggles with dyslexia and her complex relationships.

On the surface this does seem to follow a few stereotypes – driven director, a mom that’s looking out more for her interests than Joss’s, crushes on co-stars but it’s done really well.

Despite the movie set backdrop, Unscripted Joss Byrd is surprisingly devoid of over-the-top drama but pulls no punches on Joss’s struggles to find her voice as a child actor who is basically the gravy train for a lot of adults who view her as a paycheck or as a road to an Oscar.

Watching Joss navigate the adults and co-stars and learn how to follow her own instincts to protect herself was a little heartbreaking at times but ultimately made me so happy to see that she had what it took (with a the help from a few friends) to find her own way on her own terms.

After I finished Unscripted Joss Byrd, I read that the author is a private teacher for young Hollywood stars. That expertise shows and gives this story a ton of heart rather than being *salacious just to be edgy*…while still being brutally honest about the industry and how hard it is on its young stars.

Well done! I read this one in just a few hours and still can’t stop thinking about Joss. In fact, I would love to read another story about her next movie making adventure. Don't worry about Joss's age - this is a story that will appeal to everyone. 

Lygia Day Penaflor_Author Photo
Lygia Day Peñaflor attended the Sarah Lawrence College Writers Seminar and received a scholarship to Southampton Writers Conference based on this manuscript. A graduate of Boston University and Columbia Teachers College, she is a private academic teacher for young Hollywood stars. Her students have included the young casts of Gossip Girl and Boardwalk Empire as well as Jay-Z's reboot of Annie. She lives on Long Island.

Website | Twitter

Thursday, August 18, 2016

ALA16 Book spotlight –September arc’s


SEPTEMBER ARC’S already??!!!

Yup! By some miracle, I’ve actually finished all my August TBR reads and it’s only the 17th. I figure I should get a jump on this towering pile.

I should be a good little blogger and do one of those fun polls where my followers pick my next book but I’m so contrary. Once you pick one I WILL NOT read it. It will become the very last book I want to read…because I HAVE to. lol


I’d be happy to accept your input. Have you read any of these yet? Read any good reviews? (feel free to leave a link) Looking forward to a particular book and want me to take the plunge first?

The ones I'm looking forward to are Girl Mans Up, The Littlest Bigfoot and The Queen of Blood. I've heard excellent things about all of them.