Kait's Bookshelf

Book Reviews and Literary Services


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Book Reviews: Nantucket Blue and Nantucket Red by Leila Howland

nantucket.jpgI’m not sure why but I tend to gravitate toward middle grade and young adult reads during the summer. Maybe it’s because summer will forever remind me of summer vacation and feeling young and free for two and half months. Maybe my adult self is subconsciously trying to recapture that feeling. Whatever the reason, I love diving into MG and YA books during summer, especially ones with a beach or vacation theme.

July might as well be Leila Howland month on my blog. I reviewed her book Hello, Sunshine in July 2017 and just reviewed her first two Tangled novels a couple of weeks ago. Howland writes for young readers extremely well. She doesn’t try to make her writing sound like it’s for young readers. Instead, she writes with an authentic voice, usually in first person, putting the reader right into the shoes of a seventeen or eighteen year old and all the butterflies, hormones, questions, and excitement that come with being young.

I decided to try another round of Howland books, this time a young adult novel, Nantucket Blue, about a teenage girl who spends the summer working on Nantucket Island, followed by the sequel Nantucket Red.

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Reviews of Two Tangled Novels: Rapunzel and the Lost Lagoon and Rapunzel and the Vanishing Village by Leila Howland

tangled-novels.jpg

Since I didn’t get to read many books in June, this post will serve as both a book review post and my June wrap-up. I did thoroughly enjoy All the Stars in the Heavens, and I did get to my book bucket list pick for June, The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I can’t wait to write my review of that book, though nothing I write will ever do it justice. If you missed All the Stars in the Heavens, you can go back and read my review here. My review of Diary of a Young Girl will be my next post so watch for that in the coming days.

Moving on to today’s reviews, 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 amongst 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 work since Disney kindly gave me an advanced 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!

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June Wrap-Up!

June Wrap UpSo my next post was supposed to be my review of Sisters One, Two, Three by Nancy Star, but I’ve decided to try a little something different. June has been an exciting month for me! Not only have I finally been able to dive back into my world of reading now that school is over, but I’ve been able to start taking on freelance writing and editing projects as well.

I am thrilled that I’ve been able to blog at least twice a week this month. I love sharing new books that I’ve discovered, and I’ve really enjoyed sharing writing and editing tips, too. Now that I’m back to posting regularly and will have several posts each month, I’ve decided that going forward, I will do a month end wrap-up post, recapping my posts from that month, giving readers a chance to catch up where they might have missed one or two, and highlighting my favorite read from the month. If you were looking forward to my review of Sisters One, Two, Three, don’t worry – it will be my next post – I promise! So, here we go, my first official month-end wrap-up!

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ARC Book Review: Hello Sunshine by Leila Howland

Hello Sunshine

Cover art is copyright of Disney-Hyperion

I was absolutely thrilled when I received an advanced reader copy of Hello, Sunshine from Disney-Hyperion because I’ve loved all of their young adult novels that I’ve read in the past. Hello, Sunshine did not disappoint. While this was the first book by Leila Howland that I’ve read, I can assure you that it will not be my last.

The synopsis of this book intrigued me right away. An eighteen year old prep school graduate finds herself doing the walk of shame through her school hallways and pretty much all over town when she is not accepted into any of the colleges she’s applied to. So she decides to do the next best thing and most logical thing in her eyes – move to L.A. to become an actress. What could go wrong?

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Writing Tips: Showing vs Telling

Showing vs TellingAll writers hear the phrase “show, don’t tell.” I know I’ve certainly heard this and although I feel like I’ve gotten the hang of doing just that, this phrase inevitably creeps its way back into my writing critiques. So, what exactly does it mean when an editor, reviewer, or colleague says these words to you? What do they mean “show and don’t tell”? Isn’t writing all about telling a story? Fortunately for me (and all of you!) I’ve had wonderful creative writing professors who have helped to break down this little dilemma for me.
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