Sep 25, 2016

Building the Book Pile #204

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!  A Weekly meme inspired by Stacking the Shelves

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Still getting the reading on but a little slower than last week. I have been trying to comment back to people here on my blog and I have been reading more of other people's posts lately too. I have been slacking on that a lot in general for the past few months.
I have also been spending some time coming up with  my to do list for the wonderful Blog Ahead challenge which runs in October and since I will be traveling Sept. 28-Oct. 3rd I really needed to set myself up for it.
In terms of life, this week was a rough one.  I had a few really upsetting emotional days and it was just hard to come out of that depressive slump - reading is still making me feel like my normal self though so I am going for it :) and yesterday I had a blast with some friends at the Great Vermont Corn Maze! 
Hope you all had a wonderful week. 

  Giveaways on Cover2CoverBlog!

Coming Soon... 

Coming up on the Blog...

 Recent Reads: DC Rebirth Harley Quinn #4 by Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti (Comic)
Blog Ahead To Do List
September 2016 Monthly Re-Cap
Release Day Blitz: Panther Moon by Beth Trissel (YA)  

Blog Ahead Begins on Saturday... 

Books Received this Week  

Curse of the Boggin (The Library, #1)   Stolen Away  Dead Girls Society
Stolen Away by Kristin Dearborn from the Author in exchange for review
Dead Girls Society by Michelle Krys from Netgalley and Random House Children's for review 

(NEW!) The interwebs this week...

8 Things Bloggers Don't Have To Do from The Geeky Shopaholic- this was a good one, if you are feeling pressured by blogging definitely give it a read. 

Holly over at The Fox's Hideaway talks about how 3 is her magic number - authors get three tries to pull her in  - do you have a number or do you just keep going for it?

Have you missed anything lately?

Week of September 18 - September 23

Comment and leave me a link to your Round-up/ STS/ Weekly...anything, post and I will happily stop by and say hello!
Happy Reading!

Sep 23, 2016

Recent Reads: The Underdogs by Sara Hammel

Source: From Netgalley and Macmillan Children's Publishing Group in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

The UnderdogsThe Underdogs by Sara Hammel
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
Publication Date:  May 31, 2016

Format: Ebook



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Everyone has secrets…

Who killed Annabel Harper?

When a popular teen beauty’s body is discovered by the pool at an elite tennis club, the regulars are shocked—especially twelve-year-old Evie and her best friend, Chelsea. While everyone else is haunted by Annabel’s death, Evie and Chelsea jump on the case, dogging the footsteps of the lead detective as he investigates. As temperatures soar ver the summer, tensions rise, fingers are pointed, and a heroic act sets in motion a chain of events readers will never see coming.
This book was SO good! The Underdogs is about best friends who try to find out  what happened to Annabel (a girl they know at the country club), how she died, and who is responsible. The story is told from the point of view of Chelsea, an adopted girl who is always energetic but has had some bad things happen in her past. She and her friend Evie are going to get to the bottom of the mystery, with the help of a detective who may or may not know they are spying on him and all his movements.

The author tells the story by alternating the timeline, you get snippets of 'Before' and 'After', before the anything happened and after Annabel was discovered dead. This book had a lot more than a mystery though. It was a mystery at its core, but it also addressed bullying and self-loathing, friendship, and even abuse. It was very deep for a Middle Grade read and it was all amazing. 

Chelsea and Evie build their friendship through this summer sitting around as their parents work at the country club, they are pretty much invisible and know everyone's secrets and they know they can help the detective figure out all the answers. But they have to deal with mean boys, Evie doubting that she will ever be anything more than lonely and fat, with parents forgetting them, and in Chelsea's case with her very strange and painful past. There is just SO much here.

The story line was very well crafted and the characters were all interesting - there was mystery behind all of them, all of which was put together at the very end. AND THE ENDING! Wow, just WOW. So you know how almost all mysteries have that beautiful twist ending? Well this one takes it up a notch, and the best part about it is that it doesn't even have to do with the murderer resolution... yea I have piqued your interest right?!... You should really read this book to find out!

Sep 22, 2016

Blog Tour Spotlight: Writing for Children and Young Adults by Marion Cook

Available as an ebook on September 20, 2016 and in paperback in October 2016!

About the Book:

In addition to the expert advice author Marion Crook shared in earlier editions of Writing for Children and Young Adults, in this vibrant new edition, Crook explains some of the nuances and choices about the writing world online.

As well, she revisits the fundamentals of writing: establishing character, creating lively dialogue and developing plot with updated worksheets and examples. This edition shows the writer how to begin a story, plan plot, develop and hone the work for an agent or publisher, and how to make the crucial submission for a book that agents want to represent and publishers want to buy!

Writing for Children and Young Adults helps you create the manuscript that sells!

Buy Links:

Telling stories is an ancient skill practiced in public at community festivals, around the campfire, in religious rites, and in private at the cradles of the young. It involves an innate ability to pick dramatic words in a way that paints a mental picture and gives the tale a sense of pace and tension. The story becomes important, even if only for a short time, to the one who hears it or reads it. It is a way of communicating excitement and the optimistic belief that the world is a remarkable and knowable place. Many writers have an enthusiastic following of readers who want to share in their adventures.

Telling stories is also an age-old method of communicating morality lessons to ensure that a point of view spreads in a palatable manner. Writing can be a way of instructing, advising, and guiding others. Most children don’t want to read stories that are written with such motivation, but many writers believe that teaching justifies their stories. A a “moral” story isn’t necessarily a good story. The danger in writing morality tales is that the writer may ignore the needs of children and write from behind a screen of righteousness that thinly hides a lecture. As you may remember from your school years, most of us hate lectures.

Stories also offer an illusion of control as if the world can be controlled by the way we interpret it. Most writers offer stories that have beginnings, middles, and ends describing life as neatly compacted and logical. Perhaps this illusion of controlled life gives readers a sense of order.

You want to write a book that will delight many years later. You want your book to be the best you can produce, written in a style that is uniquely yours, perhaps using ideas that have never been written about or in a format that has never been tried. Writing is about creating.

About the Author:

Marion Crook has written many books for young adult and middle-grade readers. Here, she offers advice on writing, publishing, and marketing. Crook’s background in child development education as a nurse and her Ph.D. in education give her solid knowledge, but she maintains that a keen observation of people, places, and events can be the author’s most useful tool. An experienced teacher and writer, she gives her readers clear and practical tips, with humor and obvious understanding of what it’s like to write and publish.

Find the Author

Sep 20, 2016

Early Reader Review: Razzle Dazzle Unicorn by Dana Simpson

Source: From Netgalley and Andrew McMeel Publishing in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Razzle Dazzle Unicorn: Another Phoebe and Her Unicorn AdventureRazzle Dazzle Unicorn by Dana Simpson
Series:Another Phoebe and her Unicorn Adventure (Heavenly Nostrils)
Publisher:  Andrew McMeel Publishing  Publication Date:  September 20, 2016

Format:  Ebook



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Get ready to be bedazzled!

Phoebe and Her Unicorn is back with more sparkles than ever! In this fourth volume, join in the adventure as Phoebe and Marigold confront messy rooms, trouble at school, and a nasty case of “Sparkle Fever.” Follow the pair back to Camp Wolfgang, where their old pals Sue (a.k.a. “Monster Girl”) and Ringo, the lake creature, remind them that being weird is WAY more fun than being normal.
I read another book in this series and very much enjoyed it so when I saw this one I was excited to give it a read. Razzle Dazzle Unicorn is another volume of short comics about Phoebe and her Unicorn, Marigold and the day to day things they do. The volume collects just about all the seasons touching on autumn and winter with Thanksgiving and Christmas then school and some summer camp too. I think that Marigold is a hilarious companion for Phoebe, what kid wouldn't love a magic friend? 

While this graphic novel is probably geared toward a young reader, I found it very funny and flew through it. Marigold and Phoebe are entertaining and sarcastic and there is a lot of comedy in a vain unicorn befriending a child. It is a very fun read.


Sep 19, 2016

Recent Reads Video Review: The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly

Source: From Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

The Lost Twin (Scarlet and Ivy #1)
The Lost Twin by Sophie Cleverly
Series: Scarlet and Ivy #1
Publisher: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date:  May 3, 2016

Format: Ebook



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Ivy, I pray that it's you reading this. And if you are, well, I suppose you're the new me...

When shy Ivy's troublemaking twin Scarlet vanishes from Rookwood boarding school, Ivy is invited to "take her place." But when Ivy arrives, she discovers the school's true intention; she has to pretend to be Scarlet. She must think like Scarlet, act like Scarlet, become Scarlet. What on earth happened to the real Scarlet, and why is the school trying to keep it a secret?

Luckily for Ivy, Scarlet isn't about to disappear without a fight. She's left pieces of her journal carefully hidden all over the school for Ivy to find. Ivy's going to figure out what happened to Scarlet. She's got to.

But the staff of Rookwood is always watching, and they'll do anything to keep their secrets buried...

If you don't feel like watching  - here is a written review...

The Lost Twin is the first book in a Middle Grade Mystery series bu Sophie Cleverly. It follows a girl names Ivy and is told from her point of view. Her sister Scarlet has been attending boarding school and recently has disappeared or might even be dead, they are not sure. The school matron asks that Ivy come to take her sister's place in her absence but she must become Scarlet in order to go. 

When Ivy arrives she is confronted with quite the challenge, Scarlet has many enemies and after finding Scarlet's diary Ivy believes that something very sinister took place at the school and resulted in Scarlet's disappearance. Now she must become her sister, take on the bullies, and find out what happened to her sister.

Ivy has a lot of self discovery in this story as she is trying to be Scarlet. She is normally the timid, clean, rule-following twin; now she must stand up for herself and others, be troublesome, and break some rules to find out what transpired at Rookwood. 

This book was very fun. The mystery elements were wonderful. We follow Ivy as she discovers diary pages with clues left behind by her sister, she is challenged every step of the way. I got a bit anxious as she had to explore places in the school that she should have been but it was very fun to follow. 

I really enjoyed this book and think young readers will love the mystery and trouble that these girls are up to.