I cannot stop crying. Sepetys debut novel tells the chilling and lesser-spoken-of tale of the displacement, forced migration, and forced labor of Lithuanians (and Latvians, Estonians, and Finns…) into Siberia by the Soviets in World War II. While our narrator, Lina, is only 15 years old when our story begins, Sepetys refuses to shy away from the more horrific elements. This is not a pretty book. I might even describe it as unflinchingly...

  Somehow, in all my excitement in October (aka: Overwhelming Busyness), I never managed to post my review for Anne of Ingleside! Well, better late than never right? It’s hard to believe there are only two books left after this… The 6th book in the Anne of Green Gables series, Anne of Ingleside finally introduces us to the Blythe children. It feels like a long time coming, but finally, Anne and Gilbert have their own little mi...

  Well. This book taught me something I can’t believe I didn’t know about myself until reading this book: I don’t like hard science fiction. Hard Sci-Fi waves technically accurate science into informed speculation by using intricate details to back-up the writer’s speculations.  While reading, when I found that I was incredibly engrossed in some parts and not others, I started to question why. I discovered two reas...

  I have nothing against short stories, but I tend to gravitate away from them when picking up a book to read. When I read short stories I am never disappointed. But for some reason, my fingers always itch for a novel. Perhaps it’s that addiction to character development? Who knows. What I do know, is that when my book club needed a last minute book added– I knew what I wanted on the list: A Tyranny of Petticoats. The story be...

  I recommended this to one of my book clubs for purely selfish reasons. A few different bloggers kept raving about this series over the past year on their blogs. It came up again and again– I knew I just had to check it out, but I didn’t want to read it in a vacuum. I was nervous this debut novel wouldn’t do anything for me. With such passionate followers for the series in the blogosphere, I wanted friends to help me se...

  I’m just going to get this out of the way — Yes, this 1940 Newbery Award winner certainly has some representation issues. Yes, Call It Courage does play on all the noble-savage action-adventure boy serial tropes, such as those in the Tarzan serials. Yes, it portrays sexism, bullying, and submitting to peer pressure in a positive light. Yes, it does fall into a bit of a predictable storytelling mode where our protagonist magi...

  I am a HUGE Rainbow Rowell fan. I am drawn to realistic characters, character-driven stories, and character/relationship development over the course of a story. This is what Rowell is known for! But I had never read her debut novel Attachments. Why? Part of it is that I didn’t want the magic to end. Now I have no more Rowell books to read! But part of it is also that it’s a debut novel– will I love it just as much? Wil...

  My Kids Lit Book Club met on Saturday, August 19th, the weekend of the Charlottesville white supremacist riots, feeling dejected. We had just finished reading an assortment of Dear America books, focusing on what young girl’s lives were like as America was coming of age. We felt dissatisfied with these books written by white men about women of color which didn’t feel authentic, and we felt like we were trapped in a world whe...

  One of my friends, Sarah Stern, is a comic artist. For her day job, mostly, she is a colorist and she is amazing (for real – check out her website!). Recently, Sarah announced that she will be doing the coloring for Zodiac Starforce: Cries of the Fire Prince. Obviously, that meant I had to immediately run out and read all the previous Zodiac Starforce comics to prepare for the Sarah Stern Coming. It was everything I had hoped it w...

  I firmly believe that there are times in your life when you read a book and it is perfect. Why? Because this is the exact moment in which you needed that book.  I might have found Dumplin’ at that exact right moment in my life. Willowdean’s journey of self-acceptance speaks to everyone who has ever felt insecure and frustrated with themselves. And perhaps… This journey was one I needed to see from the outside for once. All m...

The Rithmatist
Book Review / June 30, 2016

Title: The Rithmatist Series: Rithmatist, #1 Author: Brandon Sanderson Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Tor Teen Release Date: May 14th, 2013 Format: Audiobook Pages: 378 Source: Library Illustrator: Ben McSweeney (Rithmatics Images) More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings...

The Diviners
Book Review / June 26, 2016

Title: The Diviners Series: The Diviners, #1 Author: Libba Bray Genre: Paranormal Fiction Publisher: Little Brown Books for Young Readers Release Date: September 18th, 2012 Format: eBook Pages: 578 Source: Owned Evie O’Neill has been exiled from her boring old hometown and shipped off to the bustling streets of New York City—and she is pos-i-tute-ly ecstatic. It’s 1926, and New York is filled with speakeasies, Ziegfeld girls, and rak...

How to Be a Woman
Book Review / June 25, 2016

Title: How to Be a Woman Author: Caitlin Moran Genre: Non Fiction- Feminism Publisher: Harper Release Date: July 17th, 2012 Format: eBook Pages: 322 Source: Owned Though they have the vote and the Pill and haven't been burned as witches since 1727, life isn't exactly a stroll down the catwalk for modern women. They are beset by uncertainties and questions: Why are they supposed to get Brazilians? Why do bras hurt? Why the incessant t...

Red Rising
Book Review / June 21, 2016

Title: Red Rising Series: Red Rising, #1 Author: Pierce Brown Genre: Science Fiction Publisher: Del Rey Release Date: January 28th, 2014 Format: eBook Pages: 382 Source: Owned "I live for the dream that my children will be born free," she says. "That they will be what they like. That they will own the land their father gave them." "I live for you," I say sadly. Eo kisses my cheek. "Then you must live for more." Darrow is a Red, a mem...

What If?
Book Review / June 15, 2016

Title: What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Author: Randall Munroe Genre: Non-Fiction Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Release Date: September 2nd, 2014 Format: Audiobook Pages: 303 Source: Library Randall Munroe left NASA in 2005 to start up his hugely popular site XKCD 'a web comic of romance, sarcasm, math and language' which offers a witty take on the world of science and geeks. It now has 600...

Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol. 6: Lanterns for the Dead
Book Review / June 8, 2016

Title: Lone Wolf and Cub, Vol 6: Lanterns for the Dead Series: Lone Wolf and Cub, #6 Author: Kazuo Koike Genre: Graphic Novel Publisher: Dark Horse Manga Release Date: March 31st, 2001 Format: Trade Paperback Pages: 283 Source: Library Illustrator: Goseki Kojima First Published: February 27th, 1999 The legend of Lone Wolf and Cub continues to grow in this latest chapter of Koike and Kojima's epic samurai masterpiece chronicling the w...

El Deafo
Book Review / June 4, 2016

Title: El Deafo Author: Cece Bell Genre: Graphic Novel Publisher: Harry N. Abrams Release Date: September 2nd, 2014 Format: Paperback Pages: 248 Source: Library Starting at a new school is scary, even more so with a giant hearing aid strapped to your chest! At her old school, everyone in Cece's class was deaf. Here she is different. She is sure the kids are staring at the Phonic Ear, the powerful aid that will help her hear her teach...

May in Review
Month in Review / June 2, 2016

Newsworthy I had an incredibly busy May. May is my birthday month (yay me!), so obviously there were birthday celebrations. Including a Mother/Daughter trip to Savannah, Georgia. We met in Savannah the weekend after Mothers Day and the weekend before my birthday. It was lovely. I also went home for Memorial Day weekend. That was quite a bit of driving, but thanks to David’s driving we got there and back safely. Because of all t...

All The Light We Cannot See
Book Review / May 31, 2016

Title: All The Light We Cannot See Author: Anthony Doerr Genre: Fiction Publisher: Scribner Release Date: May 6th, 2014 Format: Audiobook Pages: 530 Source: Library From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II....

Out of the Dust
Book Review / May 27, 2016

Title: Out of the Dust Author: Karen Hesse Genre: Historical Fiction Publisher: Scholastic, Inc. Release Date: January 1st, 1997 Format: Paperback Pages: 256 Source: Owned When Billie Jo is just fourteen she must endure heart-wrenching ordeals that no child should have to face. The quiet strength she displays while dealing with unspeakable loss is as surprising as it is inspiring. Written in free verse, this award-winning story is se...