I don’t know about you, but nothing makes me want to read a book more than someone telling me I can’t or shouldn’t read it. Maybe this is why I love banned books so much. I just have to know what all the fuss is about! Today’s review is of the newly released Don’t Check Out This Book! by Kate Klise and M. Sarah Klise from Algonquin Young Readers. The book is an illustrated novel for young readers in grades 3 through 7. As the title suggests, it’s all about fighting censorship and corruption.
I love a good mystery. I especially love a good mystery with an unreliable narrator who keeps me guessing through the whole book. Sure, it can be fun to uncover clues alongside the likes of Hercule Poirot and read about how his mind works and connects the dots of a case. But there is also something so fun about reading two different first-person versions of events and trying to figure out which to believe, if either of them. That was the case with Michele Campbell’s newest psychological thriller, A Stranger on the Beach, which releases this summer.
Today I’m excited to talk about the first two novels in Disney’s Tangled series. Anyone who knows me knows about my love of all things Disney. Disney’s Tangled was a big hit with me. It was the first animated movie in a long time that had created such a buzz with both the kids and adults in my life. The movie was entertaining and funny, even earning a chuckle or two from my hubby who’s not exactly a Disney fan but watched it to humor me. 🙂
I’ve been a fan of Leila Howland’s writing since Disney kindly gave me an advance reader copy of her young adult book Hello Sunshine last year. I loved that book about an eighteen year old heading to Hollywood in pursuit of her dream, and I’ve been watching for Ms. Howland’s writing ever since. So you can imagine how excited I was when an author I love started a book series for Disney!
I have been hooked on Emily Giffin’s books since I read her debut novel Something Borrowed. For me, that novel established Giffin as one of the most real and relevant writers out there. Her characters and the situations they find themselves in are contemporary and relatable. The questions Giffin’s characters must ask themselves create journeys that are just so real. Giffins characters are people I know – friends, family, and even myself. Her books always make me stop and reflect. So of course I had high hopes for All We Ever Wanted, and of course, Giffin didn’t disappoint.
One of my bucket list items was to visit New York City, which I got to do a couple of years ago, at Christmastime no less! The city was magical, just as I’d imagined it would be. I, like all NYC lovers, have found myself thinking from time to time about what it would be like to live in the city. That is the premise of Ms. Poeppel’s sophomore novel, Limelight. In Limelight, we meet Allison, who has dreamed of living in Manhattan for years. When her husband, Michael, gets an incredible promotion at work, the couple decides to leave their lives in Dallas, Texas behind and move to Manhattan with their three kids and their cat. But things don’t go exactly as planned, resulting in a tangled mess of job hunting, school hunting, apartment adjustments, hormonal teenagers, celebrity sightings, and one spoiled young pop star.
“I could not believe that I had said the name at last. I waited, wondering what would happen. I had said the name. I had said the word Rebecca aloud. It was a tremendous relief. It was as though I had taken a purge and rid myself of an intolerable pain. Rebecca. I had said it aloud.”
Rebecca has been on my book bucket list for years. I have heard it referenced countless times and decided to find out what it was all about. In case you’re unfamiliar with the story, it is about a young woman who works as an aide/ companion for an older, wealthy woman. On one of their vacations, the young woman meets a middle-aged widower named Maxim and he ends up proposing. It all seems a bit magical, even though he is rumored to have lost his wife less than a year before in a tragic accident. But when the newlyweds return to Manderley, Maxim’s estate, the story takes on an eerie tone as the new bride feels haunted by Maxim’s dead wife.
“’Well, then, someone just tell me how we got here!’ Calvin’s voice was still angry and his freckles seemed to stand out on his face. ‘Even traveling at the speed of light, it would take us years and years to get here.’
‘Oh, we don’t travel at the speed of anything,’ Mrs. Whatsit explained earnestly. ‘We tesser. Or you might say, we wrinkle.’” – A Wrinkle in Time
I chose A Wrinkle in Time as my book bucket list pick for February for a couple of reasons. One, I’ve wanted to re-read this book for years. When I picked it up this month, it had been at least twenty years since I’d read it. I remember it having a science fiction and fantasy feel to it, but I was fuzzy on the details. Two, I wanted to brush up on the book before the new Disney film version releases in March.
I love New Year’s Eve/ Day! It is always so nice to get a fresh start. I often get the urge to clean and organize my house around the New Year holiday. This includes my bookshelves. I often rearrange them and round up a box of books to be donated to the library. I have a really hard time letting books go, so these are usually books that I finally read over the previous year and don’t feel that I will re-read them. Or they are books that served a purpose during certain periods of my life and are now no longer necessary. Cleaning out and rearranging my bookshelves always makes me anxious for new reads and nostalgic for some old reads, too. Here are my highlights from 2017 and my reading goals for 2018.