Thursday, September 29, 2016
From New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a laugh-out-loud funny and painstakingly real tale of friendship, furry creatures, and finding the place where you belong.
Alice Mayfair, twelve years old, slips through the world unseen and unnoticed. Ignored by her family and shipped off to her eighth boarding school, Alice would like a friend. And when she rescues Millie Maximus from drowning in a lake one day, she finds one.
But Millie is a Bigfoot, part of a clan who dwells deep in the woods. Most Bigfoots believe that people—NoFurs, as they call them—are dangerous, yet Millie is fascinated with the No-Fur world. She is convinced that humans will appreciate all the things about her that her Bigfoot tribe does not: her fearless nature, her lovely singing voice, and her desire to be a star.
Alice swears to protect Millie’s secret. But a league of Bigfoot hunters is on their trail, led by a lonely kid named Jeremy. And in order to survive, Alice and Millie have to put their trust in each other—and have faith in themselves—above all else. ~ Goodreads
Source: ARC received by publisher at ALA16
The Littlest Bigfoot is a very cute mid-grade book with sweet characters, great intentions and a positive message about body image.
Alice is 12, overweight, and a constant source of frustration to her perfect, high powered, parents. After failing to fit in at several schools, they send Alice to a new age-ish sounding boarding school located in the woods as a last ditch effort to *fix* her.
While swimming in the woods alone, Alice meets Millie, another young girl who feels like an outsider with her own family. You see…Millie is a Bigfoot. Instead of being big, brown and hairy – Millie is small and delicate with white fur.
Bigfoot’s believe that humans are scary creatures out to harm them. Yet Millie is obsessed with all things human and longs to be in their world and compete on a singing show.
It was nice to read about Millie and Alice's blooming friendship and the misconceptions that Millie had about humans – especially Santa Clause and the Tooth Fairy. Let’s just say the Bigfoot version of both is pretty scary!
There’s a third POV of a boy named Jeremy who believes he’s seen a Bigfoot and is on a mission to track one down. Which of course puts Millie and her family in danger.
I do wish the story was tad more tightly plotted. The three pov's, while interesting, take a while to come together and then the story suddenly ends on a cliffhanger (not a horrible one). It’s something that younger readers probably wouldn’t even notice though and that’s the intended age group.
I recommend this to readers - especially if you've never quite fit in or feel ignored by your parents (that was particularly heartbreaking to read – just love your kids people!).
Monday, September 26, 2016
A young man struggles to move forward after the death of his twin brother in this gripping, coming-of-age tale about loss, redemption, love, and the moment you begin to see the world differently.
Jacob Palmer died for three life-changing minutes.
And when he woke up, nothing was the same. Elijah, his twin brother, is dead, and his family is broken. Jace’s planned future is crushed, along with his pitching arm. Everyone keeps telling him that Eli’s in a better place, but Jace isn’t so sure. Because in those three minutes, there was nothing.
Overwhelmed by guilt and doubt, Jace struggles to adjust to this new version of the world, one without his brother, one without the certainties he once relied on. And then Thera comes into his life.
She’s the last girl he should be turning to for help.
But she’s also the first person to truly see him. ~ Goodreads
Source: Borrowed from a friend/purchased
I’m a lucky reader to have TWO Stacey Kade books released in one year (and within 1 month – the other being the NA title, 738 Days). I adore her writing and love the fact that she’s expanding into different genres and getting into some heavier topics like rape and grief – all handled with the same deft touch as her Ghost and the Goth and Paper Doll series, which are lighter in tone – yet still have a lot to say about society and relationships.
In For This Life Only, Jace is the rebellious *bad* twin, dealing with the death of his brother Eil, the *good* twin, in a horrific accident that also left Jace dead for 3 minutes.
As the son of the local pastor, Jace has to hold in his complicated feelings about the loss of Eli, the guilt he feels, believing that his parents wish it was him who died instead, and the fact that he didn’t see anything when he died. Appearances matter to his father and you can’t have a son questioning his faith or show a pastor's family unable to handle it’s problems to the other parishioners.
For This Life Only is a beautiful exploration of faith and grief. Don't be put off by the religious aspect. It is a strong and complicated factor in Jace’s relationships but it's very well done - respectful but not overwhelming or preachy.
There's a small subplot about his father’s church that I didn't love (I wish the focus stayed on the family) but I do see how it tied everything together and moved things forward in the end.
For This Life Only reminded me a bit of This Side of Salvation by Jeri Smith-Ready - another story that tackled grief and religion very well.
Thursday, September 22, 2016
Adulting 101 by Lisa Henry
The struggle is real.
Nick Stahlnecker is eighteen and not ready to grow up yet. He has a summer job, a case of existential panic, and a hopeless crush on the unattainable Jai Hazenbrook. Except how do you know that your coworker’s unattainable unless you ask to blow him in the porta-potty?
That’s probably not what Dad meant when he said Nick should act more like an adult.
Twenty-five-year-old Jai is back in his hometown of Franklin, Ohio, just long enough to earn the money to get the hell out again. His long-term goal of seeing more of the world is worth the short-term pain of living in his mother’s basement, but only barely.
Meeting Nick doesn’t fit in with Jai’s plans at all, but, as Jai soon learns, you don’t have to travel halfway around the world to have the adventure of a lifetime.
This is not a summer romance. This is a summer friendship-with-benefits. It’s got pizza with disgusting toppings, Netflix and chill, and accidental exhibitionism. That’s all. There are no feelings here. None. Shut up. ~ Goodreads
My thoughts: Between Nick’s no verbal filter, the really embarassing sex interuptions/fiascos and the wonderful cast of friends/family - I think I gigled almost the entire time reading Adulting 101. I was laughing out loud but it also has a lot to say about growing up, trying to map out your future when you aren't sure what you want and dealing with anxiety/social interactions. Well done! I need more books like this in my life.
Under Your Spell: A Romance Boxed Set of Masked Balls, Haunted Gardens, Magic, and More by Elana Johnson, Amanda Gale, G.G. Andrew , Sara Spencer, Rachel Shane, Bryn Donovan , Nicole Zoltack , Jessica Arden, Saskia Blake, Elizabeth Cole
Fall under the spell of ten up-and-coming romance authors. When the clock strikes midnight on Halloween, you’ll want to read every one of these all-new, original novellas. From enchanted gardens to mystic curses, you’ll find something to make your spine shiver and your heart beat faster. Fall in love with a cursed werewolf, a heartbroken ghost, a true southern gentleman, and many more. There’s something for everyone, with contemporary romance, historical romance, paranormal and shifter romance.
Everyday is Halloween with this spellbinding collection! ~ Goodreads
Source: e-arc provided in exchange for an honest review
My thoughts: I’ve only read the first four stories so far but they were quite good for getting into the fall/Halloween spirit.
#1 - The Killing Touch by Elana Johnson had an old fashioned kind of feel – a gentleman courting his love interest – but turns much darker after tradgedy strikes.
#2 – One Touch of Silver by Elizabeth Cole was a lot of fun. Cursed werewolves, gothic vibe, romance.
#3 – Sweet Lavvy by Amanda Gale was a bittersweet tale told by a mysterious man to a younger man making a big life decision as a warning not to take advantage of the love you have. Nice message but not as spooky as the rest.
#4 – To Hell with Love by G.G. Andrews. Andrews is the reason I read this antho and hers is my favorite of the group (so far). Fun, sexy, Greek mythology, curses, BOOKS and romance.
I do plan on reading the other 4 stories and reviewing on Goodreads – but probably closer to Halloween…mood reader lol but wanted to let you all know about it in the meantime.
Overexposed (In Focus #4) by Megan Erickson
Love runs wild on the Appalachian Trail in the latest from the author of Out of Frame and Focus on Me...
Levi Grainger needs a break. As a reality show star, he’s had enough of the spotlight and being edited into a walking stereotype. When he returns home after the last season of Trip League, he expects to spend time with his family, only to learn his sister is coming back from her deployment in a flag-draped casket. Devastated, Levi decides the best way to grieve will be to go off grid and hike the Appalachian Trail—a trip he'd planned to do with his sister.
His solitary existence on the trail is interrupted when he meets Thad, a quiet man with a hard body and intense eyes. Their connection is stronger than anything Levi has ever experienced. But when Levi discovers the truth about what Thad is hiking to escape, their future together looks uncertain, and uncertainty is the last thing Levi needs. ~ Goodreads
Source: ARC- via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review
Thoughts: It’s Megan Erickson people – go read it! Ok – you probably need a little more. Overexposed is another emotional, heartfelt addition to the In Focus series with the Appalachian Trail as a backdrop to Levi and Thad’s haunting memories and blossoming friendship/romance.The In Focus series is one of all time favorite LGBQT/NA series. This is book #4 but can be read as a stand alone and I’m REALLY hoping that a certain character, who’s kind of an asshole but I liked him, gets his own book.