Kait's Bookshelf

Book Reviews and Literary Services


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Book Review: The List by Patricia Forde

TheListThe List has been on my radar for a few weeks now. I heard about it over the summer and included it in my list of Children’s and Middle Grade Reads for Fall. While I am not usually a fan of dystopian literature, this book was intriguing. It takes place after a great war of bright bombs (presumably a nuclear war) and after the Melting, in which Earth is devoured by water. Earth has been destroyed and what little remains livable has been inhabited by survivors desperate for water, food, and shelter. Letta lives in the survivor’s community of Ark, run by the intimidating John Noa. Noa forces everyone to speak a special new language called List. It is a language made up of only 500 approved words, words that are necessary for communication and survival. Any words that might put ideas into people’s heads, like artist or music or creativity, have been banished.
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Book Review: A Stranger in the House by Shari Lapena

a-stranger-in-the-house.jpgI read Shari Lapena’s debut thriller last year, The Couple Next Door. I loved it! After reading several books that promised to be the next Girl on the Train or Gone Girl but fell short, I had finally found a book that kept me turning the pages. I read it in just two days. It was original, full of twists, and impossible to put down. So you can imagine my excitement over her new book, A Stranger in the House, as well as my disappointment when it just didn’t live up to her first novel.
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August Wrap-Up!

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August was a fast month for me! It was filled with great new and upcoming reads. Back-to-school is happening all around me, and summer is winding down with the long Labor Day weekend. Fall is just around the corner, and the truth is that I can’t wait for it! It is strange not going back to school this Fall, and I’ll admit I felt a little sad on Monday when my Alma Mater started the Fall semester. As stressful as it was, I enjoyed my back to school experience. But I am thankful to finally be working full time in a field I love and excited to be able to really relax and enjoy a Fall season again (my favorite time of year!). There are so many books I am excited for this Fall, and I’ll be sharing them in the coming weeks. But for now, let’s recap the last of my summer reads with my August wrap-up!

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Books About Books

20170829_161548Some of my favorite books to read are ones in which the characters have an appreciation for books or in which books play a key role in a character’s life. And I love literary settings! It is obvious to me when reading if a writer has a real appreciation for books and isn’t just trying to sell copies. These are the books I love most because I feel a connection with the author and ultimately with the characters and the story. Below I have highlighted some books with literary settings or in which books play an important part of the story.
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Book Review: How to Find Love in a Bookshop by Veronica Henry

HowtoFindLoveinaBookshop

Cover art is copyright of Penguin Random House

How to Find Love in a Bookshop is a new release from Penguin Group, and I was excited to receive an advance reader copy from them in exchange for an honest review. The title of this book was enough to get me intrigued. I love books about books and bookshops! Past favorites of mine have included The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry and The Little Paris Bookshop.

I had hoped to add How to Find Love in a Bookshop to this list. It is about a woman, Emilia Nightingale, who is grieving the loss of her father, Julius, a bookshop owner. As Emilia tries to heal, she becomes involved in the lives of those around her, those who love the small town, the bookshop, and miss Julius. It sounded like a sweet read with a romantic twist, and I really, really wanted to love this book. But unfortunately, it fell short for me.
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Book Review: Click’d by Tamara Ireland Stone

Click'd

Cover art is copyright of Disney Book Group

I recently included Click’d in my post of upcoming Children’s and Middle Grade Reads for Fall. Click’d has been on my radar for a couple of months, and I was thrilled when Disney Book Group sent me an advance reader copy through NetGalley. The synopsis appealed to me because it’s about a young girl, Allie, who is interested in technology and coding.  Allie designs an app called Click’d which helps kids form friendships with other kids who share common interests.

Allie designs Click’d at a summer camp that is all about coding and plans to enter it into a Games for Good competition, once she proves how Click’d helps bring people together and make new friends. Her app quickly goes viral once school starts up and before she knows it, everyone knows who she is. She is famous in her school. But when she discovers that Click’d has a glitch, a big glitch, that could spell trouble for a lot of people, she’s forced to figure out a way to fix it ASAP or temporarily pull the plug, disappointing everyone and giving up her newfound popularity.
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Friday Firsts: Frog and Toad

20170818_173027I have decided to start a new blog series called Friday Firsts. Each post will feature a first book-related experience like my first mystery read, my first scary book, the first time I really fell in love with reading, etc. For my first Friday First post, I would like to talk about the first book I remember reading by myself.

The Adventures of Frog and Toad! 

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Book Review: What Do You Do With a Problem? By Kobi Yamada

What Do You Do With A ProblemI love picture books. I loved them as a child, and I still love them as an adult. When I went back to school, one of the first classes I took was a Children’s Literature course. One of the things I learned in that course is that picture books are designed so that the pictures are for the kids and the words are for the adults. I can see how that’s true with several picture books. There are jokes in certain books that go over kiddos’ heads but manage to give the adults a chuckle. (Shel Silverstein books come to mind!)

But, as an adult, I have developed a real appreciation of both the text and the illustrations in picture books. It’s not just an appreciation of the art that goes into these books, though the art is often what makes a few words on a page come to life. But it’s more about the life lessons that picture books instill in children while offering a gentle reminder to adults as well.

One such picture book is What Do You Do With A Problem? by Kobi Yamada, illustrated by Mae Besom.
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Book Review: The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

The Art of Hiding

Cover art is copyright of Lake Union Publishing

The Art of Hiding is a new novel by Amanda Prowse, releasing on August 22nd. I was invited to read an advance copy by Lake Union Publishing, so I owe them a big thank you for sending this book my way! I was excited when I received this book because I had not read any novels by Prowse before, and I love discovering new authors!

To be perfectly honest, I was a little disappointed after reading the synopsis. The book sounded, well, depressing. The main character, Nina, finds her world unraveling at the death of her husband (not a spoiler – the whole book is based on this event and the ripple effect it causes). It seemed rather sad and dark and reminded me of a novel I read earlier in the summer, Sisters One, Two, Three, which also had a depressing vibe up front. However, like Sisters One, Two, Three, I ended up being pleasantly surprised by The Art of Hiding.
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Book Reviews: New Reads from Theme Park Press

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It’s no secret to anyone who knows me that I love Disney. I grew up watching Disney films and have an uncle who was a Disney animator for years. So I was introduced to the magic of Disney at a young age and it stuck. As a grown-up Disney kid, I follow popular Disney sites, such as The Main Street Mouse, and was excited to learn that Michele, the voice behind the website, had written a book about her journey. I decided to look into the publisher of her book and found, to my delight, that there is a publisher dedicated to books about Disney. Theme Park Press proudly produces “The Happiest Books on Earth.” Having already purchased Michele Atwood’s Moving to Main Street, U.S.A. I browsed other Theme Park Press titles and was thrilled when they granted my request for a review copy of Murder in the Magic Kingdom by Annie Salisbury. Within a week, I had received two Disney themed book mail packages, and I couldn’t wait to start reading!
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