Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Childrens (April 4, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 1681190087
  • ISBN-13: 978-1681190082


Juliet Young always writes letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother's death, she leaves letters at her grave. It's the only way Juliet can cope.
Declan Murphy isn't the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he's trying to escape the demons of his past.
When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can't resist writing back. Soon, he's opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither Declan nor Juliet knows that they're not actually strangers. When life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, sparks will fly as Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart.

Have you ever read a book that you knew after only the first few pages, the story and it's characters were going to merge with your heart strings and never really let go?  

Where you just had to finish the book  even though you wanted to read it ever so slowly to savor the reading experience of each page? 

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer is all of the above and so. much. more!

I fell in awe of Letter's to the Lost's  book-cover the minute I came across it a few months ago. When I went to pick up a copy of this book, I was a bit nervous wondering if this story would live up to it's beautiful cover.   I need not have worried because the story far surpassed the cover!

It had me spellbound and captivated from the first page to the last. It's well written plot and engaging characters struck such a deep chord within me that even after finishing it, the story is still swirling around in my heart  and mind. 

Letters to the Lost with it's it's gripping emotions of grief, loss and love has become one of the best books I have had the pleasure to read this year!

5 Stars!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Literally by Lucy Keating

  • Publisher: HarperTeen (April 11, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 0062380044
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062380043


Annabelle’s life has always been Perfect with a capital P. Then bestselling young adult author Lucy Keating announces that she’s writing a new novel—and Annabelle is the heroine.
It turns out that Annabelle is a character that Lucy Keating created. And Lucy has a plan for her. 
But Annabelle doesn’t want to live a life where everything she does is already plotted out. Will she find a way to write her own story—or will Lucy Keating have the last word? 
The real Lucy Keating’s delightful contemporary romance is the perfect follow-up for readers who loved her debut novel, which School Library Journal called “a sweet, quirky romance with appealing characters.”

I found the concept of Literally  - a character in a story realizing she is being written by an author and butting heads with said author to be uniquely refreshing and brilliantly creative! I was really interested to see how this book would turn out. 

Unfortunately, I was disappointed. While the plot was very creative and well written, the story fell short of what I had hoped it would be. I found the characters to be a bit shallow and the story-line never really moved me or engaged me.  I am sad to say - I went away from reading this book feeling "blah" about it. 

Having shared the above, let me also ask that all of you out there in blog land, make your own decision regarding Literally. Give this book a chance. What may not be my cup of tea might just be something you would love and enjoy to read!

  3 Stars 

I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own. Thank you to Harper Collins Publishing, Ms. Keating and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review this book. 

Thursday, April 13, 2017

One Hundred Spaghetti Strings by Jen Nails

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (April 11, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 0062427601
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062427601


  • Since Steffy was little, she and her older sister, Nina, have lived with beloved Auntie Gina. But when Steffy and Nina’s dad comes home to live with them, everything changes.
  • So Steffy does what she does best: She cooks her way through the hardest year of her life. But sometimes her life feels like a kitchen-sink meal—too many ingredients that don't quite work. All Steffy wants is for her family to be whole again. Can her recipes help bring them back together?
    Steffany Sandolini is…
    1 cup perseverance
    2/3 cup listening skills
    2 tablespoons talent
    1 teaspoon loyalty
    A dash of stubbornness
    And more ingredients she hasn’t thought of yet. How will she mix them all together?

I started reading One Hundred Spaghetti Strings by Jen Nails and at first, I was a  bit miffed because the start of the book really didn't engage me. Still, I decided to read on and boy, am I so glad I did!  

The story really picked up in the second chapter (or maybe I just began to understand what was going on  in the story). Once that happened, I was glued to the pages of this book to the very end. Half-way through this book, I took  a breather, shook my head and told myself, "how could I ever have thought I didn't like this story!?"  

I was deeply touched by Steffy, Nina and their family. While One Hundred Spaghetti Strings is not a smiley, everything is roses kind of book, it is about a family in chaos searching for healing both as individuals and as a family.  My hat goes off to Ms. Nails for creating such a moving story that is definitely Well Worth the Reading!

5 Stars

I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own. Thank you to Harper Collins Publishing, Ms. Nails and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review this book. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

In Over Their Heads by Margaret Peterson Haddix

  • Series: Under Their Skin (Book 2)
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 
  • ISBN-10: 1481417614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481417617
  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years

Release Date ~ April 11, 2017


Nick and Eryn must figure out a way to save the world without sacrificing their newly discovered family in this follow-up to Under Their Skin, which Booklist called “crisp, intriguing, and thought-provoking” in a starred review.

In Under Their Skin, twins Nick and Eryn successfully met their new stepsiblings, Ava and Jackson. But in doing so, the twins found themselves on a mission to discover how to prevent humanity from facing certain doom.

Now, their two families are joined together to save not only themselves, but everyone—human and robotic. Can they figure out how before it’s too late?

In Over Their Heads by Ms. Haddix continues the story of Nick, Eryn, Ava, Jackson and their blended family. It is an action packed, suspenseful novel that will have readers of any age mesmerized and eager to find out what happens at the turn of each page!

While Ms. Haddix's books are targeted for children ages 8-12, they can and are enjoyed by readers of any age.  What I most enjoy about her books is not only the lively, engaging stories she creates but also the way she weaves deeper themes/social issues into her stories. These themes expose the reader to social issues that are relevant in today's world and provides the opportunity to explore and  contemplate them.  This is no small feet for any writer to do!   

I highly recommend In Over Their Heads and can't wait to read more of Ms. Haddix's writings! 

5 Stars

I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own. Thank you to Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, Ms. Haddix and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review this book. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman

Ahoy Me Hearties ... It's finally here!

  • Series: Blackhearts
  • Publisher: Simon Pulse (April 11, 2017)
  • ISBN-10: 1481491059
  • ISBN-13: 978-1481491051

  • Synopsis
  • {Amazon}

Edward “Teach” Drummond is setting sail to the Caribbean as first mate on the most celebrated merchant ship in the British fleet—until he rebels against his captain. Mutiny is a capital offense and Teach knows it could cost him his life, but he believes it worth the risk in order to save his crew from the attacking Spanish ships.

Sailing on the same blue waters, Anne barely avoids the Spanish attack, making it safely to Nassau. But lawless criminals, corrupt politics, and dangerous intentions fill the crowded streets of this Caribbean port. Soon, Anne discovers that the man entrusted to keep the peace is quite possibly the most treacherous of them all—and he just happens to hold Teach’s fate in his terrifying hands.

Life and death hang in the balance when Teach and Anne are given a dangerous mission. It’s a mission that will test their love, loyalty, and devotion, forcing them down a path neither one could have ever imagined.

So many of us have been eagerly anticipating the release of Blacksouls by Nicole Castroman. I, for one am so psyched it's finally out I'm doing my happy pirate dance! (Sorry, no picture; a bit too embarrassing even for me ~ LOL.)  

My Thoughts on Blacksouls?





At times Heartbreaking

Edge of the seat moments 

My Overall Impression? 


Recommendation for others to read? 


I received this book for free. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are my own. Thank you to Simon Pulse Publishing, Ms. Castroman and Edelweiss for the opportunity to read and review this book.