Review/ Seven Torments of Amy & Craig

About the Book:

Title: THE SEVEN TORMENTS OF AMY & CRAIG

Author: Don Zolidis

Pub. Date: October 2, 2018

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook

Pages: 352

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonAudibleB&NiBooksTBD

 

Janesville, Wisconsin (cold in the sense that there is no God) 1994

The worst thing that’s ever happened to Craig is also the best: Amy. Amy and Craig never should’ve gotten together. Craig is an awkward, Dungeons & Dragons-playing geek, and Amy is the beautiful, fiercely intelligent student-body president of their high school.

Yet somehow they did. Until Amy dumped him. Then got back together with him. Then dumped him again. Then got back together with him again. Over and over and over.

Unfolding during their senior year, Amy and Craig’s exhilarating, tumultuous relationship is a kaleidoscope of joy, pain, and laughter as an uncertain future-and adult responsibility-loom on the horizon.

Craig fights for his dream of escaping Janesville and finding his place at a quirky college, while Amy’s quest to uncover her true self sometimes involves being Craig’s girlfriend?and sometimes doesn’t.

Seven heartbreaks. Seven joys.Told nonsequentially, acclaimed playwright Don Zolidis’s debut novel is a brutally funny, bittersweet taste of the utterly unique and utterly universal experience of first love.

Do you remember you first high school love? I know I certainly do and I can still remember the day we meet. It was through a friend and she was down visiting her grandparents (who lived a few doors from my house) and she came over with him (they were cousins). He was visiting his grandparents from Ontario and we instantly hit it off. That was one of the best summers ever and looking back I realized that we were sort of like Amy & Craig with the exception that we never really broke up and got back together all the time. Yes we did drift apart but I think that was due to the fact he lived in Ontario and I lived in New Brunswick and we would always reconnect every so often and date and repeat the cycle. Not once did we say to each other that we were breaking up. I hope that makes sense LOL and just a FYI we are still friends today and talk every now and then.

Anyways onto the book and I quickly want to thank Rockstar Book Tour for allowing me to take part today and for sending me a eArc of the book to read for my review today.

At first I was a little confused because the book does flip back and forth from the past to present. It takes you through the first break up to the last one.

Craig is your typical guy who is  into Dungeons and Dragons and comic books. I instantly liked and could relate to Craig because he is that guy you see at school who is awkward and uncomfortable and you know he is not the kind of guy who would never get the popular girl except in his dreams but you still root for him just the same because you want the under dog to get something just once in his life right especially when your twin sister seems to get all the luck in everything she touches. She is the complete opposite of Craig.

Enter Amy said girl that ends up on again off again dating Craig. What Craig doesn’t realize is that yes Amy might be popular but there is more to her then she lets on and when he finds all this out will he still want to be with her?

Amy and Craig is on again off again more times then you can count and  towards the middle of it I have to admit I was getting over it and just wished Craig would put his foot down and say enough is enough I can’t do this anymore. But he loves her so much that I wondered how much more could he take?

Looking back now as I write the review this is very typical of a high school romance/situation and I think young adults would get this book much more then I would now.

This is a debut novel and I am excited to read more of his books in the future.

Review/ Words We Don’t Say

About the Book:

Title: WORDS WE DON’T SAY
Author: K.J. Reilly
Pub. Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pages: 288

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooksTBD

Joel Higgins has 901 unsent text messages saved on his phone.

Ever since the thing that happened, there are certain people he hasn’t been able to talk to in person. Sure, he shows up at school, does his mandatory volunteer hours at the soup kitchen, and spends pretty much every moment thinking about Eli, the most amazing girl in the world. But that doesn’t mean he’s keeping it together, or even that he has any friends.

So instead of hanging out with people in real life, he drafts text messages. But he never presses send.

As dismal as sophomore year was for Joel, he doesn’t see how junior year will be any better. For starters, Eli doesn’t know how he feels about her, his best friend Andy’s gone, and he basically bombed the SATs. But as Joel spends more time at the soup kitchen with Eli and Benj, the new kid whose mouth seems to be unconnected to his brain, he forms bonds with the people they serve there-including a veteran they call Rooster-and begins to understand that the world is bigger than his own pain.

Before I begin my review I quickly have to thank Rockstar Book Tour for allowing me to be a part of the blog tour and to Disney Hyperion for sending me a eArc of the book to read for my review today.

Words We Don’t Say is a debut novel about a teenage boy named Joel who is struggling over an incident that happened to him. He is struggling to move on and to be open with people. As the story progress you begin to discover what happened as its told through his point of view.

On the advise of his psychiatrist to start keeping a journal he decides that he would rather use text messaging but instead of sending the text he saves them all. The texts are to Andy (his best friend), Eli (the girl he likes) and the principal of the school. Through these text messages you can see the struggles he is going through.

The story mostly takes place at a soup kitchen where Joel has to do mandatory volunteer hours for school with Eli. Its through this that Joel realizes so much about the people who have to use it such as Rooster who is a PTSD suffering veteran who doesn’t speak but Joel takes a liking to him. He realizes through is actions of kindness that he can get through to him with patience. Its when he gives Joel a gun and a badge that things get crazy and exciting to read.

From there on things get interesting and I had a hard time putting the book down and pretty much read it in one sitting.

This book covers so many things that are going on in the world today and its nice to see someone bring them to light. We definitely need more books like this for our young people to read.

 

Review/ Lulu The Broadway Mouse

Review/ Lulu The Broadway MouseLulu the Broadway Mouse by Jenna Gavigan
Published by Running Press Kids on October 9, 2018
Pages: 256
Goodreads

Ratatouille meets Broadway in this charming new middle grade novel about a little mouse with big dreams.
Lulu is a little girl with a very big dream: she wants to be on Broadway. She wants it more than anything in the world. As it happens, she lives in Broadway's Shubert Theatre; so achieving her dream shouldn't be too tricky, right? Wrong. Because the thing about Lulu? She's a little girl mouse.
When a human girl named Jayne joins the cast of the show at the Shubert as an understudy, Lulu becomes Jayne's guide through the world of her theatre and its wonderfully kooky cast and crew. Together, Jayne and Lulu learn that sometimes dreams turn out differently than we imagined; sometimes they come with terms and conditions (aka the company mean girl, Amanda). But sometimes, just when we've given up all hope, bigger and better dreams than we'd ever thought could come true, do.

Before beginning my review I quickly have to thank HBG for sending me an advance reader’s copy of Lulu the Broadway Mouse to read and review.

I just have to say that I absolutely loved the book and devoured it in one sitting. I was completely drawn into the book instantly. I mean whats not to love it takes place in one of my favorite cities in the world, New York City.

This is a debut novel by Jenna Gavigan. Jenna is no stranger to broadway as she herself made her debut on at 16 years old along side Bernadette Peters in Gypsy. Since then she has appeared in various tv shows, movies and on stages in the east and west coast.

Jenna did an absolutely fantastic job with this box. After finishing it I instantly want to read more about Lulu and her broadway adventures so I hope there is more books in the work.

Lulu is our main character and she lives in the legendary Shubert Theatre along with her family. She loves living in this gorgeous theatre. If you have been to the theatre in NYC you know just how pretty and gorgeous they are inside. Her family works along side the humans in a unnamed musical and yes humans can actually hear the mice speak. Even though Lulu loves working in the theatre and helping out she dreams of one day making her broadway debut but she knows that will never happen because she is a mouse, but perhaps one day it could be a reality.

When Lulu finds out that her best friend, Maya will be leaving because the drive is too much for her parents into the city to make it  for every show especially since she is the understudy that has yet to make her debut she is upset. At first she’s not sure what to make of Jayne who is hired to replace Maya but before long the two become best friends and Lulu will do anything she can to make her feel welcomed especially when diva Amanda makes it know that no one will ever replace her.

This is where you know karma is a bitch and it will come and bite you in the butt when you least expect it and that is what happens. What will happen when things don’t go expected?

The story is told in Lulu’s point of view which was so much fun to read and I loved all the references to broadway shows including a little section at the back of the book with Lulu’s recommendations of things to see and do in NYC.

I loved that no matter how big or small you are dreams do come true if you believe.

Review/ Caveboy Dave: Not So Faboo

Review/ Caveboy Dave: Not So FabooCaveboy Dave: Not So Faboo by Aaron Reynolds, Phil McAndrew
Published by Viking Books for Young Readers on October 23, 2018
Pages: 256
Source: ARC From Publisher
Goodreads

From New York Times bestselling author Aaron Reynolds comes the latest installment of Caveboy Dave, a middle-grade graphic novel series perfect for fans of Captain Underpants.
Twelve-year-old Dave Unga-Bunga is having a great year: he survived his deadly Baby-Go-Boom ceremony, he's earned the respect of the villagers of Bleccchh, and he just invented ice cream and summer vacation. Before the ice cream melts, Dave and his friends spot a plume of smoke on the horizon (could there be another tribe nearby?) and suddenly Shaman Faboo--the glue that holds the village together--goes missing. With no one to tell them what to do or how to think, the village panics and elects Dave as their new leader. If Dave can't find Shaman Faboo and bring him back (alive), he'll be doomed to a life of boredom and something much worse: public service!
Not So Faboo, the second book in the Caveboy Dave series, delivers irresistible characters, big thrills, and even bigger laughs.

I quickly need to thank Penguin Random House Canada for sending me this unexpected ARC. I was under no obligation to read or review it. Since this was such a fun graphic novel to read I thought I would share my thoughts on it today.

Caveboy Dave Not So Faboo is a middle grade graphic novel and its the second book in the Caveboy Dave series.  Not quite sure if you can read them out of order but I was able to pick this up and follow the story and not feel like I was missing something.

I am not quite sure how to review graphic novels as its something I don’t tend to get a lot of.  I do enjoy reading them. If anyone has any tips on how to review a graphic novel please let me know.

The illustrations are perfect, eye catching and kind of funny when you read through it. I will definitely have to check it out the next time I am in Chapters because the ARC was in black and white.

The main character is a twelve year old boy named Dave Unga-Bunga and he is thinking this this has been the best year of his life so far.

Not to far into the book Dave and his friends spot some smoke off in the distance and this is the first time they have seen this. Could their be other people outside of the village of Bleccchh? They go looking for  Shaman Faboo because he will know what to do but when they go looking for him they discover he is missing. Where did he go?

The villagers start to panic who will run the tribe? They begin to panic because there is no one there to guide them or tell them what to do. Basically they need someone to tell them what to do, how to do it and to think for them.  Without really thinking about it they elect Dave to run the village until the Shaman comes back, if he ever comes back.

Without getting to far into the graphic novel and what is about I do have to say that this was a quick and fun read. I read it in one sitting. I did laugh so I would recommend it to any kids who like graphic novels and is looking for something new to read.

 

Review/ All The Things That Could Go Wrong

Review/ All The Things That Could Go WrongAll the Things That Could Go Wrong by Stewart Foster
Published by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers on September 4, 2018
Pages: 336
Goodreads


There are two sides to every story.



Alex's OCD is so severe that some days it is difficult for him to even leave his house. His classmate Dan is so angry that he lashes out at the easiest target he can find at school-Alex. When their moms arrange for the two classmates to spend time together over winter break, it seems like a recipe for certain disaster...until it isn't.
Once forced together these two sworn enemies discover that there is much more to each of them than they ever knew. Alex is so much more than his condition, and Dan is more than just an angry bully.

Before I begin my review I quickly have to thank HBG Canada for sending me a copy of this book for my review today.

This is the second book I have read my Stewart Foster. The first one was Bubble and you can click on the title to read that review.

One of the main character is Alex. I want to say he is your typical teenage boy but he is not. He struggles with his OCD on a daily basis. Every day is a struggle for Alex and no one completely understands his struggle and is viewed as that weird kid. He is trying his best to make things easier but its hard and this makes him  the perfect target to be bullied. These bullies make Alex’s life a living hell and a few times he was on the verge of speaking up but would back down in the end from pressure.

The other main character is Dan, who is almost your typical teenage boy. In the beginning I admit I really didn’t like him and bullying really bothers me because I don’t think anyone should be bullied. As the story progresses you begin to understand Dan more and tend to sympathize with him. Dan’s older brother and basically best friend is sent away leaving Dan alone and frustrated. Being unable to cope with all that is going on its easier to take it out on someone else and as the story progresses Dan begins to change his way of thinking when the shoe is on the other foot for someone he knows and loves. But will he change?

What will happen when two oblivious mother’s get involved thinking they are doing whats best for their son’s not knowing what is really going on when an adult is not around?

This is told in alternating points of view of Alex and Dan.

I highly recommend this book to everyone.

 

Review/ The Fear of Falling

The Fear of Falling
Amanda Cowen
Publication date: October 8th 2018
Genres: Contemporary, New Adult, Romance

When Ella Jones’ twenty-first birthday ends with a bang – literally – she never imagined it would be with her best friend since freshman year, Ryan Owen.

A year later, after their so called “mistake”, they’re still best friends and about to rock their Senior year at the University of San Francisco. But when Ryan returns from spending a summer in Australia and brings back a friend, Liam George, who takes an immediate liking to Ella, Ryan starts to question the Aussie’s intentions with his best friend. The trouble is, Ryan has a girlfriend of his own, and Ella and Ryan swore they would never cross that line again – until they do.

They try not to let their second slip up affect their friendship, but when Spring Break forces them to vacation under the same roof; and Ryan’s ex walks back into his life, Ella is shocked by a fierce stab of possessiveness. And when Ella continues to see Liam, Ryan finds himself plagued by unfamiliar jealousy. With their friendship strained for the first time, Ella and Ryan face an alarming truth: Maybe they can’t be just friends. Maybe they are falling faster than expected. And maybe, deep down, they want to.

Before I begin my review I quickly have to thank Xpresso Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of the blog tour today.

Amanda Cowen is a new to me author and after reading this I am curious about her other books.

I realized as I am sitting here that I don’t tend to read a lot of friends to lovers romance very often and not quite sure why I don’t because I am always that hopeless romantic person and feel as though if you love your friend and your friend loves you then why not try and take it to the next step, right?

Ella, Jonesy as Ryan likes to call her have always been best friends since the first day they met at college when they were mistakenly matched up as room mates. They do everything that best friends would do but never crossed that line until Ella’s birthday drunken night when they end up in bed together. I think deep down on some level they both really liked each other but were afraid to take that next step because do you risk a romantic relationship with your best friend?

After that night they both somewhat decide that it was a mistake and its best to move on like nothing happened but in reality something did happen and at times I just wanted to reach into the book and bang their heads together and tell them that what they both are looking for is right in front of them. Wake up and take that step.

I really enjoyed reading this but at times was frustrated with the cat and mouse game that they both kept playing with each other. They both were clearly jealous when the other was dating someone else.

I know its a risky step to take because what happens if things don’t work out can you still be friends in the end or will it be ruined?  I have never been in that position when anything has developed to anything more but I am sure its a risky and rocky step to make.

Review/ Me and Me

About the Book:

Title: ME AND ME
Author: Alice Kuipers
Pub. Date: October 2, 2018
Publisher: KCP Loft

Formats: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook

Pages: 248

Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD

 

It’s a perfect day for Lark’s dream date with Alec from school. Blue skies, clear water, a canoe on the lake. Alec even brought flowers for Lark’s birthday. Everything is just right … until they hear screams from the edge of the water.

Annabelle, a little girl Lark used to babysit, is struggling in the reeds. When Lark and Alec dive in to help her, Alec hits his head on a rock. Now Annabelle and Alec are both in trouble, and Lark can only save one of them.

With that split-second decision, Lark’s world is torn in two, leaving her to cope with the consequences of both choices. She lives two lives, two selves. But which is the right life, and which is the real Lark?

Me and Me is about how it feels to be torn in pieces, and how to make two halves whole again. This mind-bending novel from Alice Kuipers, expert chronicler of the teenage heart, explores loss and love, music and parkour, all while navigating the narrow space between fantasy and reality.

Before I begin my review I quickly have to thank Rockstar Book Tour for allowing me to be a part of the blog tour for Me and Me and to Kids Can Press for sending me a aARC of the book to read for my review today.

Alice Kuipers is a British born author now living in Canada and she is a new to me author. I was super excited to read Me and Me and to discover this new author even though she already has many books to her name.

As you know me I don’t judge a book by its cover but this time I have to say that the cover is pretty and very suiting for the book. I know if I saw this sitting on a table at a bookstore that I would instantly pick it up to see what it was about.

This was a pretty quick read and I managed to read it in the course of one rainy day.  I do admit a few times I had to put it down because I was slightly confused at first and had to go back and reread because it felt like I was reading the same story line in just a different way and I was and I will explain why in my review.

The main character is Lark and it’s her birthday. Her dream crush, Alec has asked her out. He arrives to pick her up with a canoe and flowers. I mean right there I instantly fell in love with Alec. What 17 year old guy thinks to show up with flowers?

Anyway at the lake she bumps into a little girl named Annabelle who she use to babysit for. The promise to meet up on the lake. Well things don’t go according to plan as Lark and Alec are out on the water they hear screams from across the lake. Annabelle is in the water struggling. Instantly both jump in to help but in the process Alec gets hurt. Lark instantly has to decide does she save Annabelle or Alec. Tough decision to make and what will she do?

This is where I said earlier that I was getting confused and felt like I was rereading the same story but just in a different way and that is because Lark’s world just got weird. Her world gets split into two different ways, one where she saves Alec and one where she saves Annabelle. Once I got the hang of the story line it all began to make sense.

If that wasn’t strange enough she begins to receive these weird messages and videos on her phone that instantly disappear once she reads it. She has no idea where this is coming from. Everyone she tells things she is losing her mind but she knows there is more to it and then she begins to realize what is happening and is racing to fix it before its too late.

This was definitely a interesting read because in this book we can actually read what happens when you make a decision and how it can affect your life afterwards. We all struggle with deciding do I do this or do I do that. So being able to read how Lark now only handles one way but the other way as well.

I would definitely recommend this book and I am curious about her other books and will need to look into reading more.