Mar 16, 2018

Bloggiesta Spring 2018: To Do List

"The idea behind Bloggiesta is to spend four days working on perfecting your blog and connecting with other bloggers who are doing the same thing. Spread the word and get all your friends to come and fiesta with us!"
-Join in using the Button Below-

Bloggiesta Spring 2018  Officially Starts March 19 and until March 25!

Get your To-Do Lists ready!


Here is my to do list with a lot of the repeat offenders (I not for this event a lot of this would never get done):
  • Back up the blog !
  • Update my "Reviews by Author" Tab  
  • Cross post onto Amazon and Goodreads as needed
  • Update my TBR spreadsheet with recent books in/out 
  • Clean up my email inbox 
  • Do a mini challenge (or two)
  • Visit as many Bloggiesta blogs as possible (IF NOT ALL) to cheer people on :)
 (I will be using strike through to show the tasks completed)

Added Items:
If I think of anything else, I will add as I go down here:

    Mar 15, 2018

    Early Reader Review: Unicorn of Many Hats 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.

    Unicorn of Many Hats (Heavenly Nostrils, 7)
    Unicorn of Many Hats by Dana Simpson
    Series: Heavenly Nostrils
    Publisher: Andrew McMeel Publishing
    Publication Date:  March 20, 2018

    Format: Ebook



    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    In this installment, Phoebe decides to start the school year off right by offering a peace treaty to frenemy Dakota, Marigold Heavenly Nostrils becomes the unlikeliest of babysitters, and Phoebe is totally surprised to find out that her Secret Santa isn't Dakota or Max!
    I still haven't read the first books in this series but I am still really liking the ones that I am picking up as the story continues. This is another collection of Phoebe and Marigold, not a full story like the last one, but more like comic strips in one book. If you haven't read any of these, they aren't hard to pick up and just start - as long as you just go with the fact that Phoebe has a unicorn for a bestie.

    The illustrations are fun and vibrant, and the dialogue is clever and sarcastic and wonderful for a lot of age groups. I always laugh out loud when I am reading this series and I can't wait for the next one. 

    Mar 14, 2018

    Early Reader Review: Sugar and Snails by Sarah Tsiang

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

    Sugar and Snails
    Sugar and Snails by Sarah Tsiang

    Publisher:  Annick Press
    Publication Date:  March 13, 2018

    Format: Ebook



    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    A novel twist to a classic rhyme.
    Who says that little girls are made of “sugar and spice and everything nice?” Or that boys are made of “frogs and snails and puppy dog tails?” What if girls were made of “boats and snails and dinosaur tails?” And little boys of “flowers and swings and bumblebee wings?” When the traditional rhyme just doesn’t seem to fit the boy and girl visiting their grandpa, he comes up with a list of unusual alternatives. Soon the children are coming up with their own versions that challenge the old stereotypes with a whimsical list of ingredients. To add to the new quirky version are lively illustrations that beautifully capture the children’s imaginative flights of fancy. Young readers will delight in the small details of Sonja Wimmer’s vibrant art, and be inspired to think of their own silly examples of what ingredients they might be made of themselves.
    I was excited to have received this book for review because the synopsis was adorable and I love the concept of twisting classics. I have even been on a retelling 'kick' in the MG and YA books I have been reading.  

    This book was whimsically illustrated as it re-told the rhyme about girls being made of sugar and spice and boys being made of snails and puppy dog tails. The illustrations show the new rhymes - all were hilarious and cute. I really liked this spin on the classic. It allowed for girls to be made of dirty things, and boys to like flowers and balloons. I think it was really well done. The ending kind of drops off and leaves the reader hanging but it might makes for an interesting question to talk about - What are you made of?

    Mar 11, 2018

    Building the Book Pile #245: Another Slacker Edition

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

    Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

    Happy Tuesday Readers! It is snowing again here in VT and we might get another foot, but it depends on the path of the storm... fingers crossed it is only a few inches.

    Anywho, as you might have noticed, this post is REALLY late (hahaha), I have just been a slacker and lazy, there are really no other excuses for this late post. I knew I had to finish it and just didn't - what did I do instead? I played World of Warcraft and watched Psych on Amazon Prime, I went on a quest to find a very specific kind of coffee, and I had Taco Night with a group of friends. It was a good weekend. 

    Last week was still busy at work so I tried to relax more when I got home and thus not planning this week on the blog. But I do have a few things that will go up later this week, so thanks for sticking through this lull!

    How has your week been so far?
    Share about your week with me in the comments below!

      Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!
    None right now.

    Coming up on the Blog

    Early Reader Review: Sugar and Snails by Sarah Tsiang (Youth)
    Early Reader Review: Unicorn of Many Hats by Dana Simpson (GN)
    Bloggiesta To Do List

    Possible reviews, depending on my reading:
    Hardened Hearts by Various (Short stories, Adult)
    Maribel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett (MG, YA)

    Books Received this Week

     Today I'll Be a Unicorn  The Lost PathSimon and the Big, Bad, Angry Beasts: A Book about Anger Deep Water  Sugar and Snails

    Today I'll be a Unicorn by Dana Simpson - From Netgalley and Andrews McMeel Publishing
    The Lost Path by Amelie Flechais - From Netgalley and Lion Forge
    Simon and the Big, Bad Angry Beasts by Ian De Haes - From Netgalley and Flyaway Books
    Deep Water by Watt Key  - From Macmillan Children's Publishing
    Sugar and Snails by Sarah Tsiang - From Netgalley and Annick Press
    A friend also let me borrow volumes 1-8 of Saga ( I have read the first ones but will re-read and read the whole series)

    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!

    Mar 9, 2018

    Recent Reads: Dragon's Future by Kandi Wyatt

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

    Dragon's Future (Dragon Courage, #1)Dragon's Future by Kandi Wyatt
    Series: Dragon Courage Volume 1
    Publisher: Booktrope/Updrift, Audible Audio
    Publication Date:  February 22, 2017

    Format:  Audiobook



    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Every child of Woolpren dreams of becoming one, but only a few are chosen. Now, ten-year-old twin brother and sister, Ruskya and Duskya, have been selected to join an elite group of riders: dragon riders. Full of awe and excitement, the twins leave their mother, and their home, to train for their new lives.

    Fifteen years later, dragons are becoming extinct and riders are rare. One day, Ruskya is at the general store in town when a man announces that he is recruiting new dragon riders. Ruskya goes undercover, and discovers that there is another colony of riders with their own agenda—a quest to find a mysterious plant that could restore the dragon population, or destroy it. When a battle erupts between the two colonies, it’s up to Ruskya and his friends to fight for their dragons’ future, and their lives.

    Follow Ruskya’s quest as he finds courage and friendship in this exciting middle grade fantasy series by new author Kandi J Wyatt.
    I was very interested in this fantasy when I first read the synopsis. Dragons and riders and mystery, it was all so intriguing. I received the audiobook from a publicity agent and got into it pretty quickly. I found myself putting off listening to it and it took me a month to get through it, but it wasn't the story that was putting me off, it was the narrator of the audiobook. 

    The story is about a pair of twins that are chosen to be dragon riders, an elite group taken from their small village every so often. They are chosen by these dragons to ride them and they set off almost immediately into their new lives. 

    Later in the story we learn that there is another group of riders and they are looking for a way to find a mysterious herb that is said to help with new dragons and furthering the line. There is a lot of action in all this plot, but there are also a lot of characters - the twins, their dragons, their trainer and his dragon, their mother, the other townspeople and dragon riders and it made it hard to keep track of everyone. I think if I had read the book it would have been ok, but the narrator had the same voices for many of the characters and it was very difficult for me to keep track, on top of that the names were all very similar as well. That was my biggest issues though.

    The battle scenes were very good and the characters all grew to some extent. I liked the communication between the riders and their dragons and the mystery that unraveled through the story which made for good pacing. I loved the dragons! Overall it was a good tale and I enjoyed it, but it wasn't the best audiobook I have listened to in terms of the narration. I would have liked more depth in that.

    Mar 7, 2018

    Waiting on Wednesday: Sugar and Snails by Sarah Tsiang

    Sugar and Snails by Sarah Tsiang
    Publisher: Annick Press
    Publication Date: March 13, 2018

    Why I Am Waiting:
    This book just sounds like an adorable children's book... and I like remixing the classics.

    Mar 4, 2018

    Blog Tour: Review! The Super Life of Ben Braver by Marcus Emerson

    The Super Life of Ben Braver by Marcus Emerson
    Series: The Super Life of Ben Braver #1
    Publisher: Roaring Book Press
    Publication Date:  March 6, 2018

    Format: Hardback

    Source: From the
    Macmillan Children's Publishing in exchange for a honest review for blog tour. This in no way alters my opinion or review.



    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    Ben Braver is an ordinary kid. All he wants to do is finish his summer watching awesome TV shows and eating his favorite candy. But when some kid screams for help, Ben, like his favorite comic book heroes, tries to save the day. Let's just say it ends badly. But it does lead him to a secret school where kids with super abilities learn to control their powers. Ben's never had any powers—and never thought he could be special. So when he's offered a spot at the school, Ben realizes this is his chance to become the superhero he's always dreamed of. Packed with black-and-white art and comic strips throughout.
    The Super Life of Ben Braver is about a boy who one day gets attacked by a kid with super powers. Later he is recruited to join a school for the kids with super powers. There they learn to control them and hide them from the world. Ben is brought in without knowing his power and he has to figure it out in order to stay at the school. 

    This was a great middle grade read, Ben is a hilarious narrator of his own story and his thoughts are witty and truthful throughout the writing. He has fears and anxieties like normal kids do, just in a not-so-normal setting. He makes some great friends along the way and their relationships are out of necessity but also work really well in the story. 

    The story overall was a lot of fun too, a school for super kids (with X-Men jokes included), a strange illness in the school, maybe even a super villain or two. It was action packed the whole way through, I think younger readers will really enjoy it. I did and found myself laughing out loud at Ben and his crazy thoughts about how to bring out his powers. 

    It was a wild ride of a story and readers will have a blast with it.

    About the Author:

    Marcus Emerson is the author of the hit Diary of a 6th Grade Ninja series and the Secret Agent 6th Grader series. His career started in 2nd grade when he discovered Garfield. He grew up playing Super Mario Bros. 4, watching Thundercats, and reading comics like X-Men, Superman, and Wildcats. He lives in Eldridge, Iowa with his wife and children.


    Mar 3, 2018

    Building the Book Pile #274

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

    Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

    Book pile post is a day early this week... I have a blog tour post tomorrow and wanted it to have the spotlight. So Happy Saturday! It was a busy week and the start of a new month, which just shows me that I didn't get anything done that I wanted to last month (oh well...). I hope you all had a great week and are having fun this weekend. Depending on the weather we might make a trip to the museum and planetarium tomorrow, I am such a nerd but I am excited about it. 

    It is the beginning of Taking Control month, so I am going to work on my To Read list REALLY hard this month to try to make a dent in it. We will see how it goes :)

    How has your week been?
    Share about your week with me in the comments below!

      Giveaways  on Cover2CoverBlog!
    None right now.

    Coming up on the Blog

    Tomorrow:  Blog Tour w/ Review: The Super Life of Ben Braver by Marcus Emerson (MG)
    Waiting on Wednesday
    Recent Reads: Dragon's Future (Dragon's Courage #1) by Kandi Wyatt (YA, MG) 

    Possible reviews, depending on my reading:
    Hardened Hearts by Various (Short stories, Adult)
    Maribel and the Book of Fate by Tracy Barrett (MG, YA)

    Books Received this Week

      The Third Kind of Magic (Crow Magic Book 1) Unbreakable (Unblemished, #3)

    The Third Kind of Magic (Crow Magic #1) by Elizabeth Forest - for review from the author
    Unbreakable (Unblemished #3) by Sara Ella - from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson 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!

    Mar 2, 2018

    Recent Reads: Otherworld by Jason Segel

    Source: From Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.
    Otherworld (Otherworld, #1)
    Otherworld by Jason Segel and Kirsten Miller
    Series: Otherworld #1
    Publisher:  Delacorte Press
    Publication Date:  October 31, 2017

    Format: Hardback



    Goodreads Synopsis: 
    The company says Otherworld is amazing—like nothing you’ve ever seen before. They say it’s addictive—that you’ll want to stay forever. They promise Otherworld will make all your dreams come true.

    Simon thought Otherworld was a game. Turns out he knew nothing. Otherworld is the next phase of reality. It’s everything you’ve ever wanted.

    And it’s about to change humanity forever.
    Welcome to the Otherworld. No one could have seen it coming.
    I was hearing about this book long before I happened upon it myself, and after reading the synopsis I could only think of the show West World. If you are an adult, you might know what I am talking about. I am not sure how many Young Adult readers would have been (are) watching West World but this book is out to give them their own version with some tweaks. (I have also read a few posts saying that is is very similar to an older sci-fi book series called Otherland, but I have not looked into it or read those books).

    The book follows Simon, a wealthy kid that is trying to re-gain a friendship. He decides to buy her, Kat, expensive video game components just so he can maybe talk to her in the game. His plan doesn't go quite right and then a horrible accident happens and Kat gets put into the game without her approval and knowledge.  With Kat forced into this world, Simon has made it his mission/ adventure to get inside the game and bring his friend out safely. He is obsessive about it, which just means that his life just got more interesting. 

    There is a lot of weird, awesome, scary technology in this book. It all sounds very cool but mostly terrifying.  The story overall is very cool though, and it is made all the better by Simon. That being said, I didn't really like him. He is a flawed character with the best of intentions, most of the time, but only those that favor him. It was interesting to read from his perspective. He just wants Kat's approval and will do anything to get it, including throwing himself into this immersive game without fulling thinking about what could happen to him. 

    The world building throughout is very good. I liked reading about the different zones of the game and think that the overall idea of the game is pretty cool. I haven't read many books like this one, mostly because sci-fi isn't my go-to for young adult reading, but there are a few out there now. 

    I enjoyed the book, but because of all the world building and conspiracy building it all felt bogged down. It was a quick but slow read for me, I know that might sound odd - let me explain. When I sat to read, I blasted through about 3-4 chapters, but making myself sit to read was hard. It wasn't at the top of my list at any point. I expected this action packed ride all the way through and it just wasn't that. There were some days where it was just too difficult to get into it or want to get into it. (Might be me... Might be the book... sometimes you just can't tell).

    If you are into sci-fi, this book it a great one. It does build well and I think the game-building was really great.

    - I might add additional thoughts as I let this one sink in- 

    Mar 1, 2018

    March 2018: TBR Pile

    Ok so this month is Taking Control month. Gotta read a bunch of books that have been on the pile in the month of March. My goal is 10, it is far fetched but I am going to push it. If you are interested the sign up is open until Friday!

    Take Control 2018 Button

    These are the books that I NEED to finish and I will choose others based on how I am feeling.


     Otherworld (Otherworld, #1)  Dragon's Future (Dragon Courage, #1)  

    This one doesn't count for the challenge but I need to read it for a tour.
     The Super Life of Ben Braver

    What do you want to read this month?
    Have you read any of these yet? 
    If so, let me know what you thought!