Posted in Book Talk

How I Predicted the Twist in “Rock Paper Scissors” From the First Few Chapters (LOTS O’ SPOILERS!)

(I’ll give a clear warning before any spoilers begin!!)

Hey y’all! I finished the recent release Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney this week, a mystery with lots of secrets and various people scheming against each other. The ending was completely unsurprising because from early on I had a thought of what the “twist” would be, which proved correct. There were some clues along the way that backed me up, and I wanted to walk through a few of them as well as partially review the book itself altogether.

On a related note, I recently watched the 2004 movie The Village for the first time at my boyfriend’s excited suggestion. He fully expected it would blow my mind to discover towards the end (okay, spoiler for this 17 year old movie…) that it was not 1800s as the setting implied, but modern day with cars, medicine, wifi, and all that. So when he looked over at the reveal moment and I was just regularly watching, unfazed, he was pretty disappointed. 😅 Sorry love! But I think some of the reasons I saw that twist coming from VERY early on are the same reasons I nailed Rock Paper Scissors.

I’m not much of a detective, but I am an English major and voracious lifelong reader, so let’s put those skills to work!

Continue reading “How I Predicted the Twist in “Rock Paper Scissors” From the First Few Chapters (LOTS O’ SPOILERS!)”
Posted in Book Talk

October 2021 TBR: A Scary Good Month!

Hey y’all! I’m looking into October with may more books on my list than I will actually read, but that’s fine. xD Because of it, I have plenty of choices! It’s definitely a month where I try to read some thriller-type things outside my usual genres, and I have a few ideas for this month to continue that!

Plus when I say it’s planned to be a scary good month I mean that… pretty literally. 😁 In a sense that can be very cheesy and varied!

Scary

I know I took a few liberties with calling some of these “scary.” Or… calling probably any of them scary. But! They all have at least a slightly spooky thing about the name, cover, or plot!

Golden Boys Beware is a tricky one, because it’s actually one of my favorite books, Foul is Fair, but as a re-release with a new name and cover. Probably because the original cover is hideous, but either way I read this book at least once a year and usually in October because of the magnificent Macbeth-y mood of malignant witchy maidens.

Continue reading “October 2021 TBR: A Scary Good Month!”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: Why We Fly, 10/5!

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is Why We Fly by Kimberly Jones!
Expected Release: October 5, 2021

💡Heads up!
There’s a Goodreads Giveaway active for this book until 10/4/21 for US and Canada!

Why wait on this one?

  • I’m not usually into sports stories, but this one has more than just the sports, so I think I can get behind it. It sounds like Eleanor dealing with her injury is going to play into the sports angle a lot, and I’m super curious to see what Chanel’s “risky choices” are all about. The fact that it sounds like their show of solidarity seems to be what ends up causing a rift between them is intriguing because it’s not a story I can plot from A to B.
  • This pair also did I’m Not Dying With You Tonight which I really enjoyed and was really impressed by. There can be such magic when two authors write a book together, and they have worked out their balance on how to do it well. Kudos and can’t wait for more!
  • Any young adult or middle grade books that address racism, systemic or otherwise, are always going to be a read for me. The fact that these conversations are more common and accessible in lit for all ages is such an encouraging sign. I always want to read books like this to see where we’re at, and what ones I can recommend to fellow teacher friends (or buy for people’s kids, donate to libraries, etc!)

Summary

Two high school cheerleaders face the ultimate test when an act of solidarity spurs chaos. With a rocky start to senior year, lifelong friends Eleanor and Chanel have a lot on their mind. Eleanor is still in physical therapy months after a serious concussion from a failed cheer attempt. Chanel’s putting tremendous pressure on herself to get into the best colleges and starts making questionable decisions. But they have each other’s backs just as always.

Eleanor’s new relationship with star quarterback Three may be causing a rift between the best friends. When the cheer squad decides to take a knee at the season’s first football game, what seemed like a positive show of solidarity suddenly becomes the reason for a larger fallout between the girls.

Grappling with the weight of the school’s actions as well as their own problems, can the girls rely on the friendship they’ve always shared?

A bittersweet, sometime humorous, but always compelling look at issues of friendship, privilege, sports, and race.

Posted in Chatty, TL;DR

Beast Boy & my Teen Titans obsession

Hey y’all,

If you missed my recent Fast Forward Friday about it, Beast Boy Loves Raven came out yesterday! Oddly though, I actually hadn’t yet read Beast Boy, the second in the series. I’ve had a line on it from the library since it came out last year. I’ve looked at it multiple times and thought, I’m so excited to read this. I read a sample of it in Raven and couldn’t wait, yet once I had the chance, I WAITED!

I’m so glad I did though. 🥰 I finished Beast Boy this morning and was 100% in love with Gar. I hated that I had turned the last page because I desperately wanted to continue on the journey with him!

So THANK GOODNESS that Beast Boy Loves Raven had just become available! I dove immediately into it and plowed through in one sitting. One l o n g sitting, because I kept going back pages to check out the details, or examining all the background elements and characters. If you loved the others, you will preeeetty much definitely love this one. I really hope we see more of Tank and Stella from Beast Boy because I kind of fell in love with them too. Yet the monkey sticks around??

Continue reading “Beast Boy & my Teen Titans obsession”
Posted in Chatty

How the times have flipped!!!

Hey y’all!

I had heard of this new release that sounded super cute and just like what I was looking for: The Charm Offensive by Alison Cochrun. I’ll put the book details at the end, but it’s a lot of fake dating and reality TV and mental health and sexual identity and cute AF moments with truly loveable, whole characters.

So obviously I was incredibly pumped to read this, until I went to place a hold on it from the library and saw something like 82 people ahead of me and an estimated wait time that was “incalculable” because it was so long. 😅 That was dismaying, but then I remembered something:

Continue reading “How the times have flipped!!!”
Posted in Reviews

Review: Idol Gossip by Alexandra Leigh Young

Idol Gossip by Alexandra Leigh Young
Verdict: others did it better

Recommended: no
I have some other suggested titles in the review for books that tell this same story, but much better. This one was pretty generic and brought nothing new to the trope.

Summary

Every Friday after school, dressed in their new South Korean prep-school uniforms — sweater vests, knee-highs, pleated skirts, and blazers — seventeen-year old Alice Choy and her little sister, Olivia, head to Myeongdong, brave a dank, basement-level stairwell full of graffiti, and slip into a noreabang. Back in San Francisco, when she still had friends and earthly possessions, Alice took regular singing lessons. But since their diplomat mom moved them to Seoul, she pours herself into karaoke, vamping it up in their booth to Lady Gaga while loyal Olivia applauds and howls with laughter. Alice lives for Fridays, but when an older woman stops her on their way out one day, handing Alice a business card with a bow, singing turns serious. Could the chance encounter really be her ticket to elite status at Top10 Entertainment’s Star Academy? With a little sisterly support, backed by one of the world’s top talent agencies, can Alice lead her group on stage before a stadium of 50,000 chanting fans — and just maybe strike K-pop gold? Not if a certain influential blogger and the anti-fans get their way.

Delicious gossip squares off with genuine heart in a debut about standing out and fitting in, dreaming big and staying true — for avid K-pop fans and those just discovering the worldwide cultural phenomenon.

Thoughts

I came into this fully expecting that it would be very similar to other k-pop based books that have come out in the past few years. I was correct. If it were just similar, that wouldn’t be so bad. Unfortunately, this whole book was… meh.

Continue reading “Review: Idol Gossip by Alexandra Leigh Young”
Posted in Reviews

ARC Review: Lupina Book One: Wax by James Wright

Lupina Book One: Wax by James Wright
Expected Release: October 26, 2021

Recommended: sure
For an intro into a series that promises to give more (next time), for an interesting art concept (that you might have to squint at), for characters well-portrayed even in their silence

Summary

In the coastal town of Kote, recently brought under the yoke of the Addalian Empire, four-year-old Lupa spends her days getting bullied by her older sister and hiding behind her mother’s skirts. But when tragedy strikes, Lupa finds herself alone in a new world… alone until she’s found by the she-wolf, Coras, and sets off on a journey of discovery… and revenge.

Thoughts

I’ve come out of this book feeling like I’m more interested in the next installment. This one was a lot of setup and not much actually happening. I know the summary is all like, “she’s out for revenge with a badass wolf by her side” but that is more of a future thing it seems. Definitely no vengeance here.

I kept going because there were some interesting elements worked into the story and world lore, and the art intrigued me. It’s a little bit of a love / hate with the art though, because there were an unfortunately large amount of scenes where I truly could not decipher what was occurring. It was difficult to distinguish the amount of greys, blacks, and shadows to figure out what the scene was showing, which really took me out of the moment. On the bright side, it made me focus a lot on the art?

Continue reading “ARC Review: Lupina Book One: Wax by James Wright”
Posted in Fast-Forward Friday

Fast Forward Friday: No Words (9/28)

Hey y’all! In contrast to Throwback Thursday, I like to use Fridays to look forward to an upcoming release that I’m excited about! Today’s is No Words by Meg Cabot.
Expected Release: September 28, 2021

Why wait on this one?

  • Alright, a lot of what drew me in (besides the cover) is MEG CABOT!! That is a name from my childhood and teen years and twenties and still. It’s just such a comfortable thought, to read a Meg Cabot book. It’ll be something familiar, that I can trust to entertain me, without much possibility of breaking my heart.
  • It also doesn’t hurt that this sounds very much like Beach Read by Emily Henry, which was fab. Authors, and a book about books, and a warm sunny beachy destination, and two people with a past. Wait, which book am I describing again?
  • But seriously, lovers with a history. I adore that! I love getting to know their tidbits of how they knew each other, and watching it get fit into who they see now, and the decision of whether or not they want to learn more in the future. I don’t even know if they’ll end up being lovers! But it’s Meg Cabot. So I keep the faith. ^.^

Summary

Jo Wright always swore she’d never step foot on Little Bridge Island—not as long as her nemesis, bestselling author Will Price, is living there.

Then Jo’s given an offer she can’t refuse: an all-expense-paid trip to speak and sign at the island’s first-ever book festival.

Even though arrogant Will is the last person Jo wants to see, she could really use the festival’s more-than-generous speaking fee. She’s suffering from a crippling case of writer’s block on the next installment of her bestselling children’s series, and her father needs financial help as well.

Then Jo hears that Will is off-island on the set of the film of his next book. Hallelujah!

But when she arrives on Little Bridge, Jo is in for a shock: Will is not only at the book festival, but seems genuinely sorry for his past actions—and more than willing not only to make amends but prove to Jo that he’s a changed man.

Things seem to be looking up—until disaster strikes, causing Jo to wonder: Do any of us ever really know anyone?

Posted in A Picture's Worth

A Picture’s Worth: Paper Cranes

Hey y’all! Anyone remember the Picture’s Worth series last seen, oh, about a year ago? To be honest…. I totally didn’t. 🤣 But saw one pop up in my past posts and thought “OH YEAH those were fun why did I stop doing those!” And couldn’t think of any good reason, so here we go. 😊

Words have always carried more weight with me than images – give me a book over its movie any day – but I do love to see the beautiful images other people create when they’re in love with a book. That’s not my strength, but I can certainly appreciate it in others! So here’s a few of my faves based on what I’ve been reading recently.

Descendant of the Crane by Joan He

So, Descendant of the Crane is an older title by a few years that is totally new to me. What a fool I am for missing it! I’m about halfway through and quite intrigued by the world. It’s been a slower build, but I think the payoff will definitely be worth it. I have no idea if this is a series, but I hope so, because I think there’s a lot of exploring that could be done with it. So let’s check out how beautiful the cover is to match the book so far!! Descendant of the Crane here we come —

WHOOPS, that’s Descendants of the Sun, which my brain typed into Instagram on autopilot. 😂 Guess it might be time for a re-watch?

Back to our regularly scheduled programming…

@bookishwondergoth made use of the related decorative fan that came in an Illumicrate box, of which I am extremely envious. They did it better than I ever could have, though. xD

@agalaxyofpages has playing cards of the characters!!! Or just, decorative cards of the characters? And I think this was done with a digital cover, which makes this even more impressive to me.

@theseviciousdelights probably just casually has this lovely robe, but daaaaang did it perfectly complement the cover and aesthetic of the book!!

Rock Paper Scissors by Alice Feeney

Rock Paper Scissors is not a book I would have picked up if it weren’t for BOTM (judging by the editions in the photos, this is true for many people). The jury is still out on whether that instinct to avoid was correct or if BOTM will prove me wrong. Sadly… BOTM rarely delivers for me. Nonetheless, I’m a little ways into this and the setting is incredibly well established. Days are getting cooler here, and I deliberately read this one any time it’s under 65 F / 18 C just to help embrace that.

@myschedulesbooked created a definite mood with the colors and contrast here. I adore the very literal representation of the title ^.^ Even the rock is like, a very pretty rock. The rocks around my yard look more… rockish.

@read_with_lynne got the scissors just right! I love the way they obscure their eyes because I feel like that is representative of the way everyone in this book is hiding something. Or many somethings. Or maybe even their whole existence. And it took me three tries to spell “scissors” correctly even though I’ve written and read it 50 times in the making of this post. 😊

@completely_bookt took this thriller set during a blizzard in a remote church in Scotland… for a beach read. 😂 That’s one way to combat it! I wonder if the sunshine helped keep the chill from creeping over them while they read through this eerie book? They even mention wishing they’d read it when it was cold to set the mood so I guess I’m doing it wrong as well. Whoops!!

Judging by the covers, would y’all read either of these books? Or if you already did, do the insides match the outsides for you?

Ps I remembered why I stopped doing these. Embedding an Instagram post into WordPress is a nightmare. Bookstagrammers like to write very lengthy captions, which is great except for when you can’t hide the caption. 😅 I tried so many other workaround and custom code options, but it seems like they still crap out and default to showing a message saying “view this on Instagram” which… sort of ruins the point. Ah well. I think I found a workaround, and I really hope that they stay visible! I’ll check in on this and see what happens, which will probably determine if these truly continue or not.