Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Picture Book Review: Miss You Like Crazy by Pamela Hall

I received a free ecopy of this book from Netgalley and Tanglewood in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Miss You Like Crazy
Author: Pamela Hall
Illustrator: Jennifer A. Bell
Publisher: Tanglewood
Publication Date: April 15, 2014
Length: 32 pages
Format: pdf
Source: Netgalley


Synopsis:
Walnut and his mom agree that it would be fun if he could go to work with her, and they fantasize about the adventures they could share. Though it can't always happen, Walnut's mother assures him that he is always on her mind, and together they find ways to have a physical presence for each other when at work or school. This light-hearted story provides parents an opportunity to reassure children on their importance in busy parents' lives.

My Thoughts: 
Little Walnut wants to spend all day with his mom but she has to go to work and he has to go to school. At breakfast, they imagine all the things they could do together but afterward Walnut is still rather downtrodden. His mother explains that she carries him with her everywhere she goes and he can do the same. 

This is a cute little story about a mother and son who must spend their days at work and school when they'd much rather be together and how they deal with that. His mother has photos of Walnut at work, on her computer, and in a locket she wears. 

This would be a great book for children of parents who work a lot or kids who want to spend more time with their parents. It helps show that the parent is always thinking about the child and everything they do is to better their lives. 

These fluffy-tailed squirrels are adorably illustrated and the story is wonderfully light-hearted and modern. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday #96 - New To Me Authors I Read in 2016


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

Top Ten 'New to Me' Authors I Read in 2016

Jay Kristoff (Nevernight, Illuminae, and Gemina)
Technically Amie Kaufman was also a new to me author this year! I'm about to start Gemina sometimes this month but I loved both Nevernight and Illuminae!

Kelly Barnhill (The Girl Who Drank the Moon)
Oh my glob, this book was amazing! My favorite read of 2016! My only regret is not getting my hands on her other books! They are definitely in the cards for 2017 though!

Evelyn Skye (The Crown's Game)
I originally had no interest in this book but I kept seeing amazing reviews for it so I gave it a try and ended up loving it! 

Tahereh Mafi - Furthermore
I never bothered to read the Shatter Me trilogy despite its popularity but this one really caught my attention. It was wondrously weird. 

Tui T. Sutherland (Darkstalker)
This is the start to a prequel series to her original Wings of Fire series that I didn't know existed but now I want to read them all! If you like dragons, you must read these books! 

Michael J. Sullivan (Age of Myth)
This is another sort of sequel series to a previously written series. I loved this one so much I definitely plan on reading all his other books and can't wait for the next in this series! 

Naomi Novik (Uprooted)
I've known of this author for years but this is the first time I've read anything by her. This book was slow-paced but absolutely fantastic.

Ernest Cline (Ready Player One)
This is one of my favorite reads of the year. In my top 3. I'm really looking forward to the movie adaptation.

Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass Series)
I knew of this author before this year and had planned on reading Throne of Glass when it came out but wanted to read the series closer together so I waited. I'm glad I did because this series is amazing and I might have given up on it if I had to wait a year between releases. Just one more to go! 

Have you read any of these? What authors did you read for the first time this year? 

Monday, December 5, 2016

December 2016 TBR



Happy Holidays, lovely readers!

I had a horrible reading month in November and only finished 3 books so my plans to read some of the books I didn't get to in previous TBRs was pretty much destroyed.
December is such a busy month between holidays, birthdays, shopping for presents, baking, etc. that I doubt I will be able to get to too many more books this month. I have to read 4 more books to reach 100 books read for the year so that is my goal.

A photo posted by Lazy Day Lit (@lazydaylit) on

This is the TBR that I shared on Bookstagram for December but since then I have realized that my library books are almost overdue and I may not have the chance to read them! 

Need to Finish

A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab CR

To Read

Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Gemina by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff
Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones (eARC)

Series to Finish

The Magic of Oz (#13) by L. Frank Baum CR
Glinda of Oz (#14) by L. Frank Baum

And that's it! Maybe I'll have a good reading month. There are a lot of books I'd like to get to before 2017 but I think I'm just going to have to extend my 2017 TBR to include them. As for now, I have a ton of catch-up blogging to do so a small TBR is probably a good idea! 
I hope you all have a wonderful month! Whatever holiday you will be celebrating in the upcoming months, I hope it is amazing as well! 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Book Review: Empire of Storms by Sarah J. Maas

Title: Empire of Storms
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Series: Throne of Glass #5
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children's
Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 704 pages
Format: ebook
Source: Borrowed

Goodreads | Amazon | B&N

Synopsis:
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those who don't. 

As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear. 

My Thoughts:

"The world began and ended in fire."

This is the 5th book in the Throne of Glass series and there is really no way to review this without a few spoilers so if you haven't read these books, you probably shouldn't read this. Also, if you haven't read The Assassin's Blade you really should because a lot of stuff in this book only makes sense if you've read that prequel. 

I may have taken a little too long to write this review so the feelings aren't as strong and I've had time to mull over everything that I liked and didn't like about Empire of Storms. Even so, it isn't as fresh in my mind now so this probably won't be very long.

Ok, I have to start with what I liked least about this book and that is the erotica. I am not a big fan of 'smut'. I don't mind romance. I actually enjoy romance in fantasy. And I ship so many people in this series. And Aelin and Rowan are so freaking perfect. BUT, the sex scene in this was just too pornographic. We go from almost no hook ups to all out erotica in this and it was not ok. I mean, I felt all that sexual tension between them building and it was beautiful and then it began and it just got out of hand. It could have been perfect but it wasn't. It was just... too much. 


Also, this is probably my least favorite book in the series, besides the first book. I'm not sure now if it was just the smut or if there was something else that really bothered me about it (maybe the ending) but I just didn't get as much from this book as I did the previous three. 

But other than that it was pretty much amazing as usual. There's a ton of action, everything is escalating towards some great big war, and the characters are just as perfectly flawed and lovable as ever. 

Aelin and Rowan are basically perfect soul mates... and now I just want to cry need to shut up before I spoil things.

Manon is still my precious fictional lady crush and everything I hoped would happen with her and Aelin basically did in this book and she plays such an important role at the end. Even though it's upsetting, I still love her to bits. Plus the dark interest between her and a certain prince is basically everything to me right now (besides maybe Aelin and Rowan.)

Lysandra is once again so very badass and she puts her life on the line for Aelin and the others so many times that I just want to hug and cuddle her in her leopard form even though I'm pretty sure I'd be mauled to death for it. I'm sure Aedion feels the same way. 

Elide is a pretty new character, debuting in Queen of Shadows and I honestly didn't really like her all that much in this one but I did enjoy her and Lorcan's involvement. To a point. 


Seriously though, this series is so amazing and everything that happens in this book is putting us on the doorstep of a full out war that I actually can't wait to see unfold. I'm dying to read the last book but at the same time, I'm really afraid that Maas is going to destroy us all. We are at her mercy. 

My Rating: 4.5 stars

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Picture Book Review: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore by William Joyce

Title: The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore
Author: William Joyce
Illustrated by: William Joyce & Joe Bluhm
Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Publication Date: June 19, 2012
Length: 52 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed


Synopsis: 
Morris Lessmore loved words.
He loved stories.
He loved books.
But every story has its upsets.
Everything in Morris Lessmore's life, including his own story, is scattered to the winds. 
But the power of story will save the day. 

My Thoughts: 
Morris Lessmore loved words.
He loved stories.
He loved books. 

I was in love with this book in the time it took to read those first three very short sentences. This is a book for book lovers. From the story of a boy who loves to read, to a library full of flying books, this is the perfect book for readers of all ages. 

Morris Lessmore loves to read. One day he encounters a woman being carried on the wind by a bunch of flying books. She gives him one and it leads him to a grand library full of flying books that he then takes care of and reads. As the years pass, he writes his own story, and when he is too old to care for the books any longer, they return the favor and fly him away. 

The story itself is both beautiful and heartbreaking. The idea of living with and for books is something that I hold dear to my heart. The ending is very touching. 
The illustrations are wonderful with a warmth that gives a sense of belonging. I absolutely adored them. 

This is a book that I must have for my daughter's shelves. I can only hope that she will continue to love it for years to come and perhaps read it to her children some day!

Disney adapted this picture book into a short film that won an Oscar! It's only about 15 minutes long but if you haven't seen it, you can watch it on youtube! I highly recommend it! 

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Blog Tour: The Gardenia Curse by C.M. Savage

BeachBoundbooks is pleased to be coordinating a Blog Tour for the middle grade fantasy The Gardenia Curse by C.M. Savage. The tour will run November 7 - November 28, 2016.

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About the Book

gardeniacurse_1 

Title: The Gardenia Curse | Author: C.M. Savage | Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy | Number of Pages: 158 | Release Date: October 26, 2015

Book Description: Thirteen-year-old Eva Thomas finds herself in a life threatening mystery when her dreams become real. Night after night, she is transported to Dreamland, where an evil being, the Shadow, wants her dead. Can Eva save herself and her dreams before it’s too late? Exhausted from troubled sleep, Eva stumbles through her days in a new town where her grandmother is known as an eccentric and in a new school where a bully has decided Eva needs to be put in her place. Eva is left feeling alone and uncertain until she meets Alice, a quirky classmate with non-stop questions about Eva’s family. Is Alice a friend or is she after something more? 

In Dreamland, Eva is constantly on the run from the Shadow, even after she meets Herman, her dream-guide. Will Herman be able to protect Eva from the Shadow and shed some light on why the Shadow wants her dead? Or are Eva’s dreams destined to remain a nightmare? 

Mystery, evil and a touch of romance—all in a night’s dream.


What others are saying...

"In The Gardenia Curse, Eva’s adventure unfolds like a gardenia blossom, a little at a time, getting more intriguing with each pedal that unfurls until finally the full thing is open to enjoy." - Amazon Review 

"The Gardenia Curse is an exciting middle grade fantasy that easily captivates readers with it's imaginative plot and interesting characters." - BeachBoundBooks 

"The author really captures your mind and heart. I am looking forward to the authors second book to see what happens next!" - Amazon Review


About the Author

cmsavage

C. M. Savage began writing at a young age. She used a typewriter and crayons to write and illustrate her first book when she was in second grade and continued to write off and on through college. After traveling, she enjoyed working with birds of prey, mammals and endangered Hawaiian birds. She is a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, enjoys crafting and having fun with her family. She recently moved back to Bend, Oregon with her husband and two daughters. The Gardenia Curse is her debut novel. She is now working on the sequel.


Blog Tour Prize Pack Giveaway

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Prize: One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card or $25 PayPal cash prize(winner’s choice), a copy of The Gardenia Curse, and a Book Flower.
Giveaway ends: November 28, 11:59 pm, 2016
Open to: Internationally.
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, C.M. Savage and is hosted and managed by Stacie from BeachBoundBooks. If you have any additional questions feel free to send an email to stacie@BeachBoundBooks.com.

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Book Review: Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Title: Crooked Kingdom
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Series: Six of Crows #2
Publisher: Orion Children's Books
Publication Date: September 27, 2017
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 536 pages
Format: ebook
Source: borrowed


Synopsis:
Kaz Brekker and his crew have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn't think they'd survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they're right back to fighting for their lives. Double-crossed and left crippled by the kidnapping of a valuable team member, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz's cunning and test the team's fragile loyalties. A war will be waged on the city's dark and twisting streets--a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of magic in the Grisha world.

My Thoughts:
Following the big heist in Six of Crows, Kaz Brekker and his dubious crew are back to settle scores and take control of the Barrel, their money, and their lives.  

Ok, so I have mixed emotions about this book. I really liked it and gave it a solid 4 stars but afterward I was wondering if it should be more like a 4.5... I just can't bring myself to give it a full five stars and I feel terrible about that but I wanted so much more from it that I didn't get. That's a little unfair but there were also a couple of other reasons why I didn't 100% love it. (But mostly, yeah, I loved it.)

I remember thinking that the backstory for the characters in Six of Crows really started the book off slowly but eventually really had me attached to just about everyone. In Crooked Kingdom it seemed like that extensive character development was strategically placed just to slow down the plot, because otherwise it would be go, go, go with not a single moment to relax. So the flashbacks seemed really important to divy up the pacing but at the same time, a lot of it was stuff I remember from the first book and made me think that some of it was just filler. At times I just wanted to say, 'Get on with it. I already know this.' 

I also had a hard time getting interested in the beginning. Maybe it was the year gap between books, but then again it seems to be that way for a lot of people. I was hooked again as soon as the action picked up though. This is definitely the kind of book you can speed through just because you're dying to know what happens next. 

I was not disappointed in the continued theme of thieves, liars, and double-crossers in Crooked Kingdom. If any book will make you fall in love with a bunch of crooks and murderers, it's this one. Bardugo has you rooting for these Barrel thugs and wanting to squeeze hug them and push them together so they'll just flippin' kiss already

I'm kind of in love with how Bardugo wrapped up this duology. The ending wasn't as satisfying as I wanted it to be but it was still pretty amazing. I'm eager to see more about this world and the Grisha in the future (despite that I still haven't read the Grisha trilogy yet) and hope that Bardugo still has some stories to tell about them. 

My Rating: 4 stars