May 25, 2018

Recent Reads: Switched by Jen Calonita

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

Switched (Fairy Tale Reform School #4)Switched by Jen Calonita
Series: Fairy Tale Reform School #4
Publisher:  Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Publication Date:  March 6, 2018

Format: Ebook


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Things at Fairy Tale Reform School are great. Rumpelstiltskin has been ousted, and everyone is buzzing about the fact that Beauty and Prince Sebastian (a.k.a. the Beast) have joined the teaching staff. Everyone, that is, except Gilly, who can’t seem to focus on anything but Anna. How is it that her beloved sister somehow went bad and joined up with Rump? And why doesn’t anyone seem to care? Sure, the Royal Court says they’re working on it, but they’ve got exactly nothing to show for it.

But when new kid Jack joins FTRS with tales of his own family being snatched by Rump, Gilly knows she’s in good company. Jack wants answers, just like Gilly. And if the Royal Court can’t get the job done, then maybe it’s time to break some rules...
Switched is the fourth book in the Fairy Tale Reform School series and I have been loving them. They are a middle grade series about a girl who is sent to reform school to become 'good', she uses her smarts and sometimes some dumb behavior to help save the school and her classmates. Throughout the series so far she has made lasting friendships, really began to think of the school as home, and continues to grow as a character in each book.

This book is also a continuation of the last one more so than the others have been. We left off with
Rumpelstiltskin trying to take over and that is where we pick up again, a few of the circumstances have changed but Gilly is out to save the day again. 

I loved the fairy tale characters brought into this one more then I have in the others - Beauty and the Beast have joined the staff at FTRS and Beauty runs the library (squeeee - so excite). It was a great addition and I really loved it. I am trying to keep this review spoiler free so I won't say too much more. If you haven't picked up the series yet and like retellings and middle grade books, I highly recommend this series! 

May 24, 2018

Recent Reads: Saga Volume 8 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga, Vol. 8 (Saga, #8)
Saga Volume 8 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Publisher:  Image Comics
Publication Date:  December 27, 2017

Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed from a friend



Goodreads Synopsis: 
After the traumatic events of the War for Phang, Hazel, her parents, and their surviving companions embark on a life-changing adventure at the westernmost edge of the universe.

Collecting: Saga 43-48.

Spoilers if you have not read the last few issues 

Note: Lots of Adult Content in this one

Another really sad and emotional issue for me. The family is trying to find a place to insure that Alana does not get sick (not going into more detail because I don't want to spoil big things).  Hazel makes a few new friends and it is so great to see her actually acting like a kid - being in this war has not been good for her.

This issue had a lot of really funny things mixed into it's heavy violence and just overall content. A fidget spinner reference is always funny, even more so because the fad has died down. Overall this issue really brought it back for me. I was having some reservations about continuing the series in the middle books but I am glad that I stuck it out. These aren't for everyone though- there is a  lot of sex, violence, and graphic content.

May 23, 2018

Recent Reads: Glow by Megan Bryant

Source: From Netgalley and Albert Whitman & Company in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Glow by Megan Bryant
Publisher:  Albert Whitman & Company
Publication Date:  March 6, 2018 (first Sept 1, 2017)

Format:  Ebook



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Lydia is thrilled to join the working girls in the factory, where they paint luminous watch dials for the soldiers fighting in World War I. In the future, these girls will be known as the tragic Radium Girls: factory workers not only poisoned by the glowing paint, but who also had to fight against men who knew of the paint's deadly effect. One hundred years later, Julie, whose life is on hold after high school, becomes intrigued by a series of mysterious antique paintings she finds in a thrift store. When she discovers their hidden-and increasingly nightmarish-glowing images, Julie is determined to learn more about them. As Julie's obsession mounts, truths about the Radium Girls-and her own complicated relationships-are revealed. Can she uncover the secrets behind the paintings before she puts herself and everyone she loves at risk? 
When I was offered this book for review I was very interested in the synopsis - the Radium Girls are not something I was overly familiar with but wanted to learn a bit more. This is a fictional story about a girl named Julie, that is going through some things in her life, she finds a painting and realizes that it glows in the dark. She makes it her summer mission to figure out how and why it does this.  

The author uses Julie's story alternating with letters from a young girl in 1918 to portray both the present tale and the past in some detail. While Julie is uncovering the mystery of the paintings in her story, the reader is also learning about girls working in a Radium factory painting dials on watch faces for men at war. 

I wasn't the biggest fan of Julie throughout the story - I was more interested with her leading me through the paintings and how she was finding them and trying to recreate them. I really loved reading the letters from Lydia in 1918 to her war hero Walter. They were interesting and it is where I learned about the Radium factory and what they did there. The author even has a note at the end of the book talking about the actual Radium Girls and how this story differs from the history but it was all very intriguing. 

I really, really enjoyed this book for the brushes with history and I would recommend it to anyone looking for something like this. It was still fiction but very good. It is also a coming of age story and in Julie's tale there is a lot of life lessons that come out of her locating the paintings. It was a quick read because I was so enthralled with it all.

May 22, 2018

Recent Reads: Saga Volume 7 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga, Vol. 7 (Saga, #7)
Saga Volume 7 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Publisher:  Image Comics
Publication Date:  April 4, 2017

Format: Paperback
Source: Borrowed from a friend



Goodreads Synopsis: 
From the worldwide bestselling team of Fiona Staples and Brian K. Vaughan, “The War for Phang” is an epic, self-contained Saga event! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. New friendships are forged and others are lost forever in this action-packed volume about families, combat and the refugee experience.

Collecting: Saga 37-42

Spoilers if you have not read the last few issues 

Note: Lots of Adult Content in this one

Volume seven of this series was a very sad one, but it was very good too. Alana and Marko are together and have Hazel too. There are new characters sharing their home too and it is a mix of cultures and races working together to survive. There are some struggles though and it is a very sad issue in the last few chapters but they are holding themselves together well enough.

I am a little upset about where this issue will lead in the next one but we will see. I have enjoyed this one a lot more than the last few volumes - there was more relationship building than straight violence.

May 20, 2018

Building the Book Pile #254

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

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 
It is a rainy weekend but we still managed to get a lot of chores done and this week was a pretty productive one as well. I read a few more books and got a bunch of reviews up :) 

Yesterday I also had some fun painting pottery with my friend and today is a family dinner night with the friend group - I'm excited.
How was your week/weekend?
Share about your week with me in the comments below!

  Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!   

Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads: Saga Volume 7 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Adult, GN)
Recent Reads: Glow by Megan Bryant (YA)
Recent Reads: Saga Volume 8 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples (Adult, GN)
Recent Reads: Switched (Fairy Tale Reform School #4) by Jen Calonita (MG)

Books Received this Week

The Language of Spells

The Language of Spells by Garret Weyr from Libarything and Chronicle Books for review.

Have you missed anything lately?

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!

May 18, 2018

Recent Reads: The Fishing Lesson by Heinrich Boell

Source: From Librarything and Eerdmans Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

The Fishing LessonThe Fishing Lesson by Heinrich Boell
Publisher: Eerdmans Books for Young Readers
Publication Date:  April 23, 2018

Format:  Hardback



Goodreads Synopsis: 
A hilarious read with an important message

A humble fisherman is taking a nap in his boat when a tourist interrupts him. The outspoken tourist points out that instead of napping, the fisherman could go out and catch more fish, which would eventually earn him enough money to buy a proper motor-boat. The tourist continues to embellish his idea, envisioning canneries, restaurants, and private helicopters. But the fisher­man has his own ideas about what success looks like.

With comic-like illustrations that emphasize the story’s humor, this funny and thoughtful book will inspire readers to celebrate life’s simple pleasures and enjoy the here and now. 
I was super nerdy the other night and read this aloud to my hubs while we were in bed (he puts up with my crazy). The cover for this is so vibrant and fun and the dust jacket comes off and is a mini poster - which I thought was SO creative and cool. The images throughout were just as fun and very detailed.

The book is broken up into panels across the two pages and tell the story of a sleeping fisherman who is woken up and given a fishing lesson by a tourist. The tourist does on and on about hard work and getting more in and out of life, and concludes his lesson saying that if the fisherman can do all that, then he can relax. The fisherman is patient with the tourist and listens to everything he has to say and in the end the fisherman has the last word. This book was hilarious and we both thought that the ending was a perfect one. 

May 17, 2018

Recent Reads: Saga Volume 6 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Saga, Vol. 6 (Saga, #6)Saga Volume 6 by Brian Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Series: Saga, Collecting Issues 31-36.
Publisher: Image Comics
Publication Date:  July 5, 2016

Format:  Paperback
Source: Borrowed from a friend



Goodreads Synopsis: 
After a dramatic time jump, the three-time Eisner Award winner for Best Continuing Series continues to evolve, as Hazel begins the most exciting adventure of her life: kindergarten. Meanwhile, her starcrossed family learns hard lessons of their own.

Collecting: Saga 31-36

I love to throw these graphic novels in between longer books. It is a nice break from all the words. Issues 31-36 were very good ones, Alana and Marko are loking for Hazel and so there are a few story lines going all of which kept my attention - sometimes one of them falls flat for me but this one was all good. We have parts with Hazel and her grandmother, then Alana and Marko, and then also with some reporters looking for Alana. Each issue in the collection had something to offer. The ending made me laugh out loud -it was a shock and a great end to this collection.  I think that in some ways the series is getting a little away from a lot of the politics, which has its pros and cons but I am still enjoying everything and will keep reading.

Just a reminder -this is an adult series there is a lot of violence and explicit content throughout.

May 16, 2018

Recent Reads: Damselfly by Chandra Prasad

Source: From Scholastic Press in exchange for review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Damselfly by Chandra Prasad
Publisher:  Scholastic Press
Publication Date:  March 27, 2018

Format: Hardback



 Goodreads Synopsis: 
In the wake of crash-landing on a deserted tropical island, a group of private-school teens must rely on their wits and one another to survive.

Having just survived a plane crash, Samantha Mishra finds herself isolated and injured in the thick of the jungle. She has no idea where she is or where anybody else is -- she doesn't even know if anybody else is alive. Once Sam connects with her best friend, Mel, and they locate the others, they set up camp and hope for rescue. But as the days pass, the survivors, all teammates on the Drake Rosemont fencing team, realize that they're on their own -- with the exception of a mysterious presence who taunts and threatens them. When their initial attempts to escape the island fail, the teens find they need to survive more than the jungle . . . they need to survive each other.

This taut novel, with a setting evocative of Lord of the Flies, is by turns cinematic and intimate, and always thought-provoking.
Lord of the Flies meets Mean Girls is only a starting point to describe this novel. Prasad pieces together a story with so many layers it is hard to express my feelings over, but I will try. I had a lot of emotions throughout this book but really I was frustrated a lot of the time. There were so many times I had to stop myself and breathe and try to refocus - but that frustration is what the book is meant to do (or at least that is how it felt to me).

The story is about a plane crash with a bunch of teens. They land on an island and are trying to survive/ get home. Time takes a toll on all of them and some of them descend into madness and turn against one another. There are boys and girls and the girls take charge, a good change of pace from most books - but they are still teenage girls who find ways to be underhanded and snarky throughout the tale.

Along with the feeling of unease the book gives you when it comes to the girl drama, there are other elements to throw you off as well. The main character is Indian (yay for diverse books! - loved that) and so are others in the party, one of them is even full-on racist toward the white people in the party. She calls them 'Pales' and talks about how the darker skinned students will be better off in this new environment. It was blunt and surprising, but I think it was acceptable for the book to address this as an issue - it appears everywhere so why not in a YA book.

The teens battle the climate, the lack of supplies, but also something else on the island as well. Overall, I think this last point wasn't even necessary in the overall story line but it did add to the drama.

If you are looking for a diverse book, some suspense, and girl drama (this is an understatement - there is a good amount of unnerving violence from them too), then this is a book for you.

May 15, 2018

Recent Reads: Unbreakable by Sara Ella

Source: Ebook from Netgalley and Hardback from Booklook Bloggers. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Unbreakable (Unblemished, #3)Unbreakable by Sara Ella
Series: Unblemished #3
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date:  May 1, 2018

Format:  Ebook and Hardback



Goodreads Synopsis: 
Eliyana Ember is stranded in a foreign country in the Third Reflection with no passport, the inability to mirrorwalk, and zero clue where the nearest Thresholds back into the Fourth or Second might lie. Her mind is a haze, her memories vague. She knows a wormhole from the Fourth sent her here. She remembers her mom and baby brother Evan. Makai and Stormy and Joshua . . .
Deep down El realizes she must end the Void once and for all. Is there a way to trap the darkness within its current vessel, kill it off completely? To do so would mean sacrificing another soul—the soul of a man Joshua claims is a traitor. But he’s lied to her before, and even El senses Joshua can’t be fully trusted, but one thing is certain . . .
The Void must be annihilated. And only the Verity—the light which birthed the darkness—can put an end to that which seeks to kill and destroy.

This was a great conclusion to this fantasy Young Adult series. I hit every emotion while reading - I was shocked, crying, so excited and so upset all through this book. 

This book, like the others starts out a little slow, but it builds as you read. You follow various perspectives including El, Ebony, Joshua, and Ky and travel with all of them on their journeys. El is stuck and trying to get back to her family and friends in their reflection, Joshua is stuck within himself, and Ky and Ebony are in the same reflection but on different routes to locate El and help the greater good. 

The world building was still wonderful in this book, it is amazing that even in book three of this trilogy that we are learning more about this world. Along with that there were SO many twists throughout this book! Every one was more shocking than the last. I liked where this ended the series and everything came together really well. 

My only dislike was that there were a lot of flashbacks that were hard to follow -were  people were back together and I had missed something or it was a flashback. And sometimes I was very thrown off by whose perspective I was reading, I think I was just so engrossed in the plot that I wasn't paying enough attention to who I was reading. Which is always an issues that I have and I feel like having to have the check - in in the chapter heading it makes it difficult to keep up with the flow of the plot. 

However, even with that the book was very good and it was an emotional conclusion to the series. It ended how I wanted it to with all the love and trust that needed to with the characters. If you are looking for a clean YA book series this one is a great one. (and bonus - these covers are GORGEOUS!)

May 14, 2018

Blog Tour: Review and Giveaway - Death Doesn't Bargain by Sherrilyn Kenyon

So excited to be helping with this tour! Pirate books for the win. Below you will find both the review for book 2, and if you have not picked up the series yet, book 1. Enjoy and make sure to visit others on the tour too!

Death Doesn't Bargain by Sherrilyn Kenyon
Series: Deadman's Cross #2  
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: May 8, 2018

(Haven't Read Book 1? - Keep scrolling for a review of Deadmen Walking)

About the Book

Death Doesn’t Bargain is the second historical fantasy title in New York Times bestselling author Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Deadman’s Cross series. Where Deadmen tell their tales, and every soul is damned or redeemed by the final choices they make.

The Deadmen are back...

But so are the demons who have broken free of their eternal prison and are bent on mankind's destruction. The worst of the lot is Vine, determined to claim their lives for taking hers. She will see the world burn...and has the perfect lure to destroy them all. One of their own.

Kalder Dupree has never known a day of mercy. Born to the cruelest of mer-races, he sacrificed himself for his crew and is in Vine's hands. He expects no mercy or rescue.

Yet Cameron Jack is determined to set Kalder free. As a Hellchaser, it's her calling, and she cannot allow even a not-so-innocent to be tortured for an act of kindness that spared her damnation.

To defeat evil, it sometimes takes an even worse evil, and Cameron is willing to do whatever she must to make this right. If Vine thought she had her hands full before, she hasn't seen anything nearly as powerful as Cameron's resolve.

Buy the Book Here:

"Kenyon (Born of Legend) puts the lie to the old adage “Dead men tell no tales” in the jam-packed, appealing first book of her Deadman’s Cross historical fantasy series." ―Publishers Weekly on Deadmen Walking.

Deadmen Walking (Deadman's Cross, #1)You can read the synopsis here on Goodreads for Book 1, Deadmen Walking.

The book begins with a girl named Cameron attempting to find her brother who is lost as sea and she finds herself on a ship full of demon-hunting deadmen in order to do so. That is where the story takes a turn, instead of focusing on Cameron an her story, we switch over and the main focus is about Bane, the captain and Mara, who is the ship - I know that sounds wrong, but trust me, that is what she is.

The book is full on demons and monsters and the light fighting the dark - and the dark fighting the dark and the whole thing is captured in this glorious world that the author has built. You feel in the thick of it all with the pirates and the battles and become very invested in the crew and their struggles. 

The plot of this one focuses on Bane and Mara, like I mentioned, and about an evil that is after them and using Cameron's brother to do so. I loved reading about Bane and Mara and their struggles and life together, it was a complicated mess of wars and magic and bonding the two of their souls. I was already sold on this book before the Epilogue and then I was fill-on blown away by the very end. I couldn't wait to grab the next installment.

If you are into pirates, their lore, demons, good versus evil, this book is very much for you. However, be warned - this is a New Adult/ Adult novel and there is explicit content.

So now on to what the tour is all about - Book 2, Death Doesn't Bargain!

SPOILERS if you have not read book 1. 
Death Doesn't Bargain (Deadman's Cross, #2)
In the second book of the Deadman's Cross series, we are again back on board with Captain Bane's crew. This time we are off to save a friend as well as save the human world from the demons we are tasked with taking out. We follow Cameron a lot more in this book than in book one. Kalder took her place in the last book and now he is trapped in the underworld, again to be tortured and Cameron is beside herself to get him back. Luckily for all, a deal is a deal. 

The world grows as we get to know Kalder's past, present, and future through this book and the world is just as detailed as the first. The characters are a bit more developed now and so there is less of that explanation but more threads are woven together for other monsters and demons to take shape.With that came some confusion - I have not read Kenyon's other books (I would like to now) so a lot of the lore that might have started in those was lost on me - details of races of magical beings and creatures were a bit lost on me and I found myself more confused in this book than in the first. There was also more dream and flashback in this book, without much notice. I found myself having to flip back and reread to make sure I was in the right place.

However, overall this was another fantastic adventure and another wonderful ending making me want more. This ending was a little more predictable, but at the second book in a series sometimes it is harder to shock and awe. This series and its world are fantastic and if you enjoy adventure (with pirates) and demons, and good versus evil, this book is for you. However, be warned - this is a New Adult/ Adult novel and there is explicit content - more so in this than the first book.

MAY 9th WEDNESDAY Bookish Lifestyle EXCERPT 
MAY 9th WEDNESDAY Playground of Randomness EXCERPT 
MAY 10th THURSDAY Crossroad Reviews REVIEW
MAY 11th FRIDAY A Dream Within A Dream REVIEW
MAY 12th SATURDAY Reading for the Stars and Moon REVIEW 

MAY 13th SUNDAY Bri's Book Nook REVIEW
MAY 14th MONDAY Cover2CoverBlog REVIEW - you are here!
MAY 15th TUESDAY Booklovers For Life REVIEW
MAY 16th WEDNESDAY Diane's Book Blog REVIEW
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MAY 17th THURSDAY Books A-Brewin' REVIEW 
MAY 17th THURSDAY Movies, Shows, & Books REVIEW 

About the Author
New York Times and international bestselling author, Sherrilyn Kenyon, is a regular at the #1 spot. With legions of fans known as Menyons (thousands of whom proudly sport tattoos from her series and who travel from all over the world to attend her appearances), her books are always snatched up as soon as they appear on store shelves.

Since 2003, she had placed more than 80 novels on the New York Times list in all formats including manga and graphic novels. Current series are: Dark-Hunter®, Chronicles of Nick®, Deadman’s Cross™, Nevermore™, Silent Swans™, Lords of Avalon® and The League®. Her books are available in over 100 countries where eager fans impatiently wait for the next release. The Chronicles of Nick® and Dark-Hunter® series are soon to be major motion pictures while Dark-Hunter®, Lords of Avalon® and The League® are being developed for television. Join her and her Menyons online at and



Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

3 Winners will receive a Set Copy of both books in the Series and a Pin (DEADMEN WALKING & DEATH DOESN'T BARGAIN) by Sherrilyn Kenyon.

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