Middle Grade Mini Book Reviews

Our external reviewer Sara has been busy doing some middle grade reading so that she can be better acquainted to recommend books to the kids at the library she works at! Here are some of her reviews on some of the books she has picked up!

The Monster Sisters and the Mystery of the Unlocked Cave by Gareth Kyle Gaudin

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Synopsis: When a quiet seaside town is suddenly overrun by hundreds of giant monsters, two young sisters are the only ones prepared to handle the situation. Using their keen interest in architecture, local history, folklore and gymnastics, the two girls attempt to not only stop the monsters’ rampage but also figure out why it’s happening. The story is set in Victoria, British Columbia, and the city’s impressive history and creepy folklore add intrigue to the proceedings, as more and more monstrous guests arrive on this unceded Lekwungen Territory.

Review: Unfortunately, though this graphic novel seems to have a pretty entertaining idea, I found it pretty disjointed and difficult to read. The idea of the novel was really neat, and the idea to put little facts about Victoria was fun, but really pulled away from the story. There were also a few times where the story jumped around for no real reason and added in a narrator at the last few pages to tie everything up.  

Admittedly, I’m still working on appreciating the style of the graphic novel, but this one felt particularly difficult to get into the story. 

I wouldn’t recommend this book to the younger readers this book is geared towards. It does seem like it’s leading really heavily into a sequel, and I’m optimistic that perhaps a second novel from this author would be more successful.

Book Rating: 2/5


Shadow Island by Nancy Deas

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Synopsis: With nowhere left to live after losing his parents and working his way through a long list of relatives on the mainland, Ollie finds himself at his grandpa’s house in Sueo Bay, “home of the supernatural.” Miserable and intending to get away from the earthquake-prone, rain-soaked island on the next bus out of town, Ollie’s getaway plans are altered abruptly when he and three classmates discover something they shouldn’t have in a trailer in the woods.

The four unlikely friends come together in a mystery involving supernatural creatures, a ticking clock and one angry gym teacher to save themselves, the creatures and Sueo Bay from a darkness that is infecting the island.

If they succeed, will Ollie finally find a place to call home?

Review: I loved this one graphic novel. I thought the start was a bit abrupt, but I quickly forgot about this as I continued reading. It was a fun story that I think kids in this age group will absolutely love. The images were great, and I even approved of the text style (as a teacher, the all-caps style common in graphic novels does not help emerging readers). I think this could turn into a series most emerging readers would love to get obsessed with!

Book Rating: 4/5


Sid the Kid and the Dryer by Leslie Choyce

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Synopsis: Milton the washing machine and W. P. (Whirlpool) the dryer are being delivered to a new home in Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. The pair are excited to start their new jobs in the Crosby home, and are just getting settled in to the basement when “the kid” comes home from school. Sidney straps on a pair of Rollerblades, drags out a beat-up hockey net, and starts to practice. Every now and then a loud carrong echoes off W. P.’s shiny white enamel as the puck misses the net, prompting scolds from Sidney’s mother upstairs.

Eventually, the poor dryer needs to be replaced; it’s missing knobs and covered in dents. W. P. doesn’t want to go, and it’s up to Sidney to convince his dad that sometimes, being reminded of your mistakes is a good thing.

Review: I did not enjoy this book. It felt sort of strange, although I really loved the idea. It almost felt like this book hasn’t been seen by a publisher yet. I believe the illustration style would not be very popular with most of it’s intended readers, either, as the sort of almost-realistic style of illustrating seems to have fallen out of favour in the last decade. I feel like there other sports-adjacent picture books in this genre that readers would enjoy more.

Book Rating: 2/5


A Likkle Miss Lou: How Jamaican Poet Louise Bennett Coverley Found Her Voice by Nadia L. Hohn

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Synopsis: Jamaican poet and entertainer Louise Bennett Coverley, better known as “Miss Lou,” played an instrumental role in popularizing Jamaican patois internationally. Through her art, Miss Lou helped pave the way for other poets and singers, like Bob Marley, to use patois in their work.

This picture book biography tells the story of Miss Lou’s early years, when she was a young girl who loved poetry but felt caught between writing “lines of words like tight cornrows” or words that beat “in time with her heart.” Despite criticism from one teacher, Louise finds a way to weave the influence of the music, voices, and rhythms of her surroundings into her poems.

Review: I really loved the idea of this book. Being able to connect important historical figures with the reader in a natural way is something I really admire in children’s books. I think that the average child will love reading a story, only to discover that it’s about a real person. Unfortunately, I wished for more! I wanted more of what was in the author’s note at the end to be told in the story, where it will really engage the reader. I’d love to read more by this author.

Book Rating: 4/5



Wolverine and Little Thunder | Ki’kaw’ju Kaqtukowjik 
by Alan Syliboy

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Synopsis: From the bestselling creator of The Thundermaker comes another adventure featuring Little Thunder and Wolverine—a trickster, who is strong and fierce and loyal. The two are best of friends, even though Wolverine can sometimes get them into trouble. Their favourite pastime is eel fishing, whether it’s cutting through winter ice with a stone axe or catching eels in traditional stone weirs in the summer. But that all changes one night, when they encounter the giant river eel—the eel that is too big to catch. The eel that hunts people!

Book Review: I loved the illustrations and the idea of the book telling an indigenous tale for the readers. Unfortunately, the writing was a bit lacking. The story didn’t have much flow to it, and it kind of felt like nothing really happened. The excerpt of the book used on the inside cover almost told more of the story than the actual book! I wished for more connection to the reader, and a better development of the plot of the book. I just didn’t feel like this book lives up to some of its competitors in the genre.

Book Rating: 3/5


Olga: Out of Control! by Elise Gravel

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Synopsis: In this third installment of the series, Olga’s beloved companion, Meh, is now a mom! She has a litter of adorable babies that look like spring rolls. But the babies aren’t just adorable—they’re a handful! How can Olga stop them from covering her house in rainbow poop if she’s busy making sure they’re fed?

Can Olga keep it all under control?

Book Review: I’m not sure I really enjoyed this book. It felt a little bit too contrived. While I was reading, it felt like it was just a thinly veiled attempt to teach kids about the challenges of parenting and owning pets. This author writes as if they only think they know how to write for children, which is odd, as I’ve read other books by this author that are much better!

Book Rating: 2.5/5


Dragon Thief by Zetta Elliot

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Synopsis: Jaxon had just one job–to return three baby dragons to the realm of magic. But when he got there, only two dragons were left in the bag. His best friend’s sister, Kavita, is a dragon thief!

Kavita only wanted what was best for the baby dragon. But now every time she feeds it, the dragon grows and grows! How can she possibly keep it secret? Even worse, stealing it has upset the balance between the worlds. The gates to the other realm have shut tight! Jaxon needs all the help he can get to find Kavita, outsmart a trickster named Blue, and return the baby dragon to its true home.

Book Review: I loved this one book! I was a little worried about it being a sequel, as I haven’t read the first one, but it was still a great read, and I didn’t feel lost. I found the story engaging, and at the perfect level for the age group. There was action and a bit of magic, but mostly they’re was great relationships between the characters. I would recommend this one to any early reader!

Book Rating: 5/5



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If you are interested, I have this video detailing my opinions on the books that I read in February. Check it out if you want to see me talk about the books rather than read a review.

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Book Spotlight: Headliners

Lucy Parker fans rejoice! Her latest novel is here, and we’re thrilled to share Headliners, book #5 in the London Celebrities series! Read on for an exclusive excerpt, purchase details, and a chance to win a print copy!

Book Cover

Headliners (London Celebrities #5)

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Publication Date: January 20th, 2020

Publisher: Carina Press

He might be the sexiest man in London, according to his fan site (which he definitely writes himself), but he’s also the most arrogant man she’s ever met.

She might have the longest legs he’s ever seen, but she also has the sharpest tongue.

For years, rival TV presenters Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport have traded barbs on their respective shows. The public can’t get enough of their feud, but after Nick airs Sabrina’s family scandals to all of Britain, the gloves are off. They can barely be in the same room together—but these longtime enemies are about to become the unlikeliest of cohosts.

With their reputations on the rocks, Sabrina and Nick have one last chance to save their careers. If they can resurrect a sinking morning show, they’ll still have a future in television. But with ratings at an all-time low and a Christmas Eve deadline to win back the nation’s favor, the clock is ticking—and someone on their staff doesn’t want them to succeed.

Small mishaps on set start adding up, and Sabrina and Nick find themselves—quelle horreur—working together to hunt down the saboteur…and discovering they might have more in common than they thought. When a fiery encounter is caught on camera, the public is convinced that the reluctant co-hosts are secretly lusting after one another.

The public might not be wrong.

Their chemistry has always been explosive, but with hate turning to love, the stakes are rising and everything is on the line. Neither is sure if they can trust these new feelings…or if they’ll still have a job in the New Year.

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Excerpt

Their boss started turning her pen in circles again. “You are correct in that you’ve both knocked yourselves out of contention for the evening show. That position will be offered elsewhere.”

Sabrina released a long breath, and Nick closed his eyes momentarily.

“So that’s it?” she said, with a slight feeling of unreality. Despite the setbacks since the summer, apparently she hadn’t really expected this to happen. “We’re both out?”

“Of the evening programming, yes. Your nights are going to be considerably more open.” Hania looked past Sabrina again, as the office door opened. “But if you agree to my suggestion, you’re also going to have to start getting up a lot earlier.”

Nick turned his head first, and his entire body went still.

She swung around and was greeted with her own smiling face on a full-length poster board. Her printed image had been placed back-to-back with Nick’s, and someone had done some excessive editing, because she’d never leaned on him in her life.

Her gaze travelled from their glossy heads to the sarcastic advertising copy scrawled across the cardboard: ’tis the season for peace and goodwill. And miracles. Wake Me Up London with Sabrina Carlton and Nick Davenport, weekdays at seven throughout December.

They broke the silence with an unusually united sentiment.

“Oh, I don’t think so.” Sabrina physically retreated from the horrifying prospect.

“I hope that’s a bad joke.” Palpable outrage from Nick. His fingertips were digging hard enough into the arm of his chair that she could see his knuckles flexing. “I don’t mind the odd piece of human-interest filler—nobody wants doom and gloom 24/7 and there are people who deserve recognition—but the morning show has been egregious rubbish for years. If you seriously think I’m going to sit there and smile inanely while people with too much time on their hands argue about—what was one of their scintillating topics, the ethics of putting tutus on puppies?—you can think again. And why am I second billing on the poster?”

“Alphabetical and moral seniority,” Sabrina said breezily. He was so annoyed that she’d recovered a bit of composure in response. She inclined her head towards their chummy-looking cardboard selves. “And it pains me to state the obvious, but you’re literally the poster boy for inane smiles, Troy McClure. Bit late to change your brand now.”

Nick’s jaw had stopped twitching, but his eye picked up the slack.

From her seat close to the offending poster, a member of the social media team cleared her throat. “Er…is the plan to boost WMUL’s embarrassingly shit ratings by turning the set into a Hamlet-style bloodbath? Because it’ll be job well done in any scenario that puts them on the same couch.”

“I’ve worked for the network since I was twenty-one,” Nick said, slipping back into his shield of drawling amiability. It tended to net more wins. One may smile, and smile, and be a villain. “I’ve headlined alone for almost four years, and I’ve made a damn good job of it.”

“Yes, you have,” Hania agreed. “You’re excellent at your job. Witty, tenacious, attractive—the public accolades are spot-on.” Before Nick’s head could expand too far, she continued, “You also humiliated your boss in a public forum. If you wanted to keep your name on the evening billing, you should have exercised some discretion. You’re on such thin ice here that one false step is going to drop you right in it. I hope I’m making myself clear.”

She walked around her desk to sweep a glance up and down the poster board, before she leaned a companionable elbow on it. “Happily for us all, the public is fascinated with your obvious feud. You surmise correctly that Wake Me Up London is in a losing battle where the ratings are concerned. I have a feeling that the two of you could salvage that situation.”

Nick opened his mouth again, and Hania finished, “And you’ve got from the beginning of December until Christmas Eve to prove me right.”

Now Available!

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About the Author

Lucy Parker - Author Photo

Lucy Parker lives in the gorgeous Central Otago region of New Zealand, where she feels lucky every day to look out at mountains, lakes and vineyards. She has a degree in Art History, loves museums and galleries, and doodles unrecognisable flowers when she has writer’s block.

Her interest in romantic fiction began with a pre-teen viewing of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (Firth-style), which prompted her to read the book as well, and the rest was history.

Lucy Parker | Twitter | Instagram | Facebook | Goodreads

One lucky fan can win a print copy of Headliners! Click the link below to enter (US Only)!

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Blog Tour Schedule

January 20th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

Viviana MacKade (Spotlight) https://viviana-mackade.blog/

January 21st

Tsarina Press (Spotlight) https://www.tsarinapress.com

January 22nd

The Genre Minx Book Reviews (Spotlight) http://www.thegenreminx.com/

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

The Bookworm Drinketh (Review) http://thebookwormdrinketh.wordpress.com/

January 23rd

Wordy & Whimsical (Review) https://wordyandwhimsical.wordpress.com/

January 24th

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

I’m into Books (Spotlight) https://imintobooks.com

Cup of Books (Review) https://cupofbooksblog.wordpress.com/

***No Weekends***

January 27th

I’m All About Books (Spotlight) https://imallaboutbooks.com/

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://www.mybookishbliss.com

January 28th

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight) http://mistysbookspace.wordpress.com

Tales of a Natural Spoonie (Review) https://talesofanaturalspoonie.com/

January 29th

Where Dragons Reside (Review) https://kernerangelina.live/

Phantom of the Library (Review) https://phantomofthelibrary.com/

January 30th

Magical Reads (Review) https://magicalreads7.wordpress.com/

January 31st

Jessica Belmont (Spotlight) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Dash Fan Book Reviews (Review) https://dashfan81.blogspot.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours


It’s that time of year again where we tell each other about our reading goals and what we plan to accomplish for the upcoming year. Here is mine! (plus a Christmas haul)

My Visit To Harper Collins

I was recently in Toronto for a design conference and I decided that I would reach out to Harper Collins to see if I could come to visit. I was so happy when their blogger relations representative got back to me and invited me for a tour.

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I arrived at the office and was given a pass to go up to the 41st floor. The HC headquarters was amazing and haad the most beautiful view of the city. I could definitely picture myself enjoying working up there. Each person had their own little personal libraries at their desks which was fantastic as it showed off everyone what they were interested in as readers.

They showcase the books that are brand new out front in the lobby under glass tables and then have an entire wall with all their other books around the corner. It was a really fun time asking Marisol about how an author gets their books picked up by a publishing company and how books are chosen by the publishing company when they come in.

Marisol was amazing and even provided me with some ARCs to take home which was so cool. I honestly can’t wait to go to their next HC Frenzy event so that I can meet more Canadian bloggers and talk about books!

It was honestly a book blogger’s dream come true to visit this place where all the magic happens and I am so happy to be a part of Harper Collins blogging program!


December is here and now it is time for the moment we have all been waiting for….THE REINDEER READATHON! Coming at you with my TBR for this intense month of reading!


 

One of my authors that I follow regularly, Lucia Mann (, has put out another book called Endless Incarceration Sorrows. It will be releasing in January 2020 so keep an eye out for it!

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Book Spotlight: Wild, Dark Times

WDTimes Digital coverWild, Dark Times

Expected Publication Date:July 23rd, 2019

Genre: Urban Fantasy/ Paranormal

It’s the summer of 2012 and Elizabeth Megalos is a disillusioned art-school grad getting by as a bank teller in St. Louis. One evening, she’s attacked by a possessed coworker and saved by a mysterious, wise-cracking sorcerer named Eddy. He drags Elizabeth and Hugh—a skeptical scholar of the occult—to Europe, where he introduces them to his three magical celebrity friends. Once there, Eddy explains the group’s mission: preventing a Demiurge—a creature out of Gnostic Christian mythology—from fulfilling the visions of doom in the Book of Revelation. The Demiurge has been drawing power from the misguided beliefs in the Mayan apocalypse and is set to start the destruction on Dec. 21st, 2012. Through ritual magic and a series of psychedelic experiences, the group learns that Elizabeth is the key to taking down the Demiurge, though she can’t imagine how she will be the one to stop Armageddon.

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Excerpt

“OK. Seriously. Please. Tell me exactly who you are, what you’re doing, how you made my phone fly into your hand, and why the fuck my co-worker just assaulted me,” said Elizabeth, the last of her patience dwindling.

“You can call me Eddy,” he said. “The milk is for the protection spirit I called to keep us safe for now. As for your coworker… well, she’s possessed by a qlippoth, which is pretty much a vampiric assemblage of cravings, guilt, self-loathing, and a whole other mess of nasty emotional energies. Most are made when the sad and pathetic losers of the world jerk off to some of the sickest porn the bowels of the Internet can shit out. Obviously, there’s a fair number of these icky beasties around. This particular one’s been coalescing around your back alley. Probably feeding off of your used tampons or something. They like those. Used condoms and jerk-off rags too. Genital fluids are like bonbons for these things. And sometimes they’re able to possess people with very little emotional control and/or intelligence during certain astronomical phases. My guess is your coworker wasn’t exactly a shining example of emotional stability. As for the phone: involving the cops would just complicate things, so I used a little arcane prestidigitation to take it from you for the moment.”

“What the fuck are you talking about?” asked Elizabeth.

“OK, we need to skip past the whole ‘Spirits? Magic? Are you crazy?’ shit because we’ve got a hungry, demon-possessed hippie trying to break in and drink our nether juices, and I for one don’t want that chick anywhere near my junk.”

Available on Amazon

About the Author

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Austin Case received a Master’s Degree from the University of Amsterdam in Western Esotericism and Mysticism. His academic knowledge of the occult and other peripheral phenomena has given him a unique take on fantasy and speculative fiction.

Austin Case | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads


WildDarkTimes

Blog Tour Schedule

August 26th

Reads & Reels (Spotlight) http://readsandreels.com

Jessica Belmont (Review) https://jessicabelmont.wordpress.com/

Entertainingly Nerdy (Spotlight) https://www.entertaininglynerdy.com

I Smell Sheep (Spotlight) http://www.ismellsheep.com/

Tranquil Dreams (Review) https://klling.wordpress.com/

August 27th

The Faerie Review (Review) http://www.thefaeriereview.com

Breakeven Books (Spotlight) https://breakevenbooks.com

Touch My Spine Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://touchmyspinebookreviews.com

August 28th

My Bookish Bliss (Review) http://mybookishbliss.com

Didi Oviatt (Spotlight) https://didioviatt.wordpress.com

Shalini’s Books and Reviews (Spotlight) https://bookreviewsbyshalini.com/

August 29th

Inked and Blonde (Review) http://www.inkedandblondeonline.co.uk

Just 4 My Books (Spotlight) http://www.just4mybooks.wordpress.com

Scarlett Readz & Runz (Spotlight) https://scarlettreadzandrunz.com/

August 30th

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Interview) http://themagicofworlds.wordpress.com

J Bronder Book Reviews (Spotlight) https://jbronderbookreviews.com/

Blog Tour Organized By:

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R&R Book Tours


Rapid Fire Book Tag you say? I tried to answer these questions on the fly! Thanks to Dominic from Reading Fandom for tagging me to do this.

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The Write Reads Deserves A Big Thank You!

Hey Dave!

I just wanted to take today to thank you for everything that you do for the blogging community. If any of you don’t know Dave, he runs The Write Reads blog and blogging group. He has put together some of the biggest blog tours and he is a huge supporter of his fellow bloggers. Every day, he shares a blog post and review from 2 bloggers and then everyone in the group will retweet them.

These posts have seen significant traffic when it was my turn to be the post of the day and I am so grateful for being a part of this group. It wouldn’t be possible if Dave hadn’t come up with the idea to utilize a large group of bloggers to share each other’s posts so thank you, Dave, for being the amazing person that you are! You put in so much work every day to make sure that we all get the recognition we deserve and now it is your turn!

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He is also so welcoming. I remember just starting to blog and not knowing how to get any traction or where to share my posts and then enter Dave. He helped me when I was just starting out on my journey to becoming a Worpdress Master (lol jk, I don’t think I will ever get to that level).

Just reach out to this guy on Twitter and he will be more than happy to add you to his large list of bloggers he works with every day. He is one of the most supportive people I know and we are all happy to know he has our backs!

Thank you, Dave, for being absolutely amazing!


Watch my reactions to people’s assumptions about me!

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Blogger Recognition Award

Wow guys! I was nominated for the Blogger Recognition Award. How cool is that?!

Thank you to Proud Book Reviews for including me in their nominations! Go check out their blog for some great reviews.

Blogger Recognition Award Rules

  1. Thank the blogger for nominating you and give the link to their blog
  2. Write a blog post on your website showing the award
  3. Describe the story of why you started your blog
  4. Write two pieces of advice you have for new bloggers
  5. Nominate 15 more bloggers
  6. Notify each of your nominees that you have nominated them

How I started blogging…

Well, I like to read a lot. I talk about books a lot. It just so happened that a friend told me I should start a blog about books and share my thoughts/reviews with the world. This may have just been so they didn’t have to hear me ramble on to them about books. Trying to find me another outlet for my hysteria over books good and bad.

So I did start that blog almos 2 years ago and have absolutely loved it. I get to connect with so many like minded people and share thoughts. I have received so many free books from authors to read and review and am so grateful for them. I even made my way to Booktube and have been working with publishers so it has been a pretty great time.

Advice for new bloggers

  1. Don’t give up. It might seem hard at first if you have little to no engagement with the content you are creating but push through and keep working hard at it. If you really love the subject material, people will recognize your passion and take interest in what you have to say.
  2. Interact with other bloggers. This helped me get my start in the beginning because I talked with a bunch of different bloggers and learned from them. Some of them may even become your close online friends!

My Nominations!

I’m very curious to see if everyone participates and look forward to reading your posts. If you have already been tagged in this and have a post about it, no worries about making another one.

  1. The Bookworm Daydreamer
  2. Thoughts Stained With Ink
  3. Book Steff’s Bookish Blog
  4. Book Reviews For Bookish People
  5. Reading In Bed
  6. Storeys Of Stories
  7. Books And Munches
  8. Book Rambler

I only came up with 8 because a lot of them have already been nominated :P. I am very grateful for receiving this award and hope to see more awards/tags like this in the future. Talk to you later bookworms.


If you don’t know yet, I started a booktube so you should check it out! Here is one of my videos :).

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Update: Twitter Game is strong + Giveaway

Hey guys! I wanted to express my complete gratitude for all of you! I saw on Twitter today that I surpassed 1000 followers and am so excited to keep growing in the book blogger community.

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I enjoy being able to read so much and share my reviews with you. It’s so much more than reviews too. I get to connect with authors, publishing companies, book bloggers, and book tubers all over the world and share/collaborate with them. That is #thedream.

Because I am so excited about reaching this milestone, I want to throw another giveaway! This one will be a comic book bundle consisting of 8 different editions, a Spiderman bookmark, and some fun stickers.

Giveaway!-2

You can enter this giveaway by going to Rafflecopter or by clicking on the above image. It will also be live on Twitter and Instagram for extra entries!

I will also give extra entries to people that check out our Youtube channel and either comment on a video or subscribe! I will put the video below to make it easier for you.

Other than that, I just really wanted to get across that I am very thankful for all of you and will continue to create content and write reviews and be a part of this amazing community of bloggers.

Talk to you later bookworms!


As promised, here is the video with the giveaway in it!

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Happy Valentine’s Day

Happy Valentine’s day to everyone out there! Spend today with your loved one and do something special even if that is only watching a show together or just spending some quality time hanging out.

Or if you are single, don’t sweat it. Today is your day to celebrate you and your awesomeness!

This is a short and sweet post but just wanted to let everyone know to enjoy their day regardless of being in a relationship or not. We don’t celebrate ourselves enough and we all deserve it. Stay tuned for a review of the second book in a trilogy I am reading. It will be posted tomorrow :).

Sabon

Why I Buy So Many Books — Adventures of a Bibliophile

Hey bookworms. I read this post about buying lots of books and I completely relate to everything she says. It is my dream to own a room in my house (when I own a house as well) that is just covered wall to wall with books. It would be my own little personal library.

Check out her post to see why she keeps buying lots and lots of books.

Every time I post a book haul, I inevitably get a comment along the lines of “WOW! That’s a lot of books!” Yeah, I know. I buy A LOT of books. More than any person in their right mind would buy. Clearly, I have an addiction. But if I have to be addicted to something, […]

via Why I Buy So Many Books — Adventures of a Bibliophile


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Book Review: The Bird Queen’s Book

Our external reviewer Bonnie Humber has sent in her first review for the book The Bird Queen’s Book by T.L Frances. Bonnie is new to the reviewing team. She runs paint nights in the North Bay area if anyone is interested.

Synopsis: What would you do if you found a mysterious book written in a secret language?

Thirteen-year-old Denny’s life is far from easy. He’s at the bottom of the food chain at school, he works a mind-numbingly boring student job at his uncle’s shredding store, and, on top it all, he has to try out for the school basketball team—and let’s just say basketball’s not his strong point.

But one day, he finds an ancient book in an indecipherable language. Could it be a secret code? Or maybe even… magic?
As Denny starts spinning a fantasy tale around the book, the real world begins to fade from view. It won’t be long before his problems catch up with him, crashing down one by one…

When Denny, a young lad trapped in the mundane rut of his middle school life, happens upon an old mysterious book in his uncle’s paper shredding shop, he is compelled to give the unreadable tome meaning. Inspired by the cover and beautiful, foreign script, Denny escapes his day to day problems by writing a history for the Bird Queen’s Book. His new obsession quickly starts to take over, and affect his relationships with the people closest to him. Is Denny able to keep his loved ones close, or will he risk everything that’s real for a fantasy?

Although the language and imagery were rather basic, I enjoyed the concept and the personality of a few main characters. Although this book is meant for children, I still found this story to be too simple. The story would have been better for me if the plot had more substance. There are so many intriguing areas in this story that could have been expanded upon. For instance:

  • A thirteen-year-old boy with an imaginary friend
  • The history or reasoning behind the outlawing of magic
  • The love and acceptance of Denny by his friend Max, despite Denny’s behavior

I feel that if the plot had more substance on a sociological level, the story would be more enjoyable and less flat.

I was captivated by the plot twist of the imaginary friend. I found this character to be one of
the most developed, and when I realized they were not real, I was truly surprised and I loved it! I really wanted to know and understand more about this character once this twist was revealed.

“Don’t be an idiot”, I scold myself. “It’s just a book.”

I love this quote because as any good reader can tell you, there’s no such thing as “just a book”. I really feel that this story needs some fleshing out. But once that is done, I would definitely recommend it to any young reader.

Book Rating: 3.5/5

You can find this book on Amazon and Goodreads.

Disclaimer: This book was sent to us in ebook format to read and give an honest review.

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