Thursday, April 27, 2017

All About Middle Grade [Boug Tour] Review: Posted


Hey there! Today, I am lucky enough to be participating in a blog tour (again) for one of my favorite middle grade authors, John David Anderson. I am so excited to be sharing my thoughts on his new book Posted with all of you today!! Keep reading to see why I think you will love it!! I huge thanks to the wonderful people over at Walden Pond Press for the chance to join in!!


Posted by John David Anderson, May 2, 2017. 384 pages. Published by Walden Pond Press. Source: ARC received from publisher.
From John David Anderson, author of the acclaimed Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, comes a humorous, poignant, and original contemporary story about bullying, broken friendships, and the failures of communication between kids.

In middle school, words aren’t just words. They can be weapons. They can be gifts. The right words can win you friends or make you enemies. They can come back to haunt you. Sometimes they can change things forever.

When cell phones are banned at Branton Middle School, Frost and his friends Deedee, Wolf, and Bench come up with a new way to communicate: leaving sticky notes for each other all around the school. It catches on, and soon all the kids in school are leaving notes—though for every kind and friendly one, there is a cutting and cruel one as well.

In the middle of this, a new girl named Rose arrives at school and sits at Frost’s lunch table. Rose is not like anyone else at Branton Middle School, and it’s clear that the close circle of friends Frost has made for himself won’t easily hold another. As the sticky-note war escalates, and the pressure to choose sides mounts, Frost soon realizes that after this year, nothing will ever be the same.

First Sentence
I push my way through the buzzing mob and freeze, heart-struck, dizzy.

My Thoughts


You know you enjoy an author's work when you say "yes" to reading, and participating in a blog tour, without even reading the synopsis! What can I say, John David Anderson's writing is just so good!!
  • Given how prevalent social media is with, well, everyone, I thought Posted was a timely book as it looks at how the things we say, and do, can have a ripple effect on not only your own life but also upon those around you. It was interesting to see the theme of the "power of words" used throughout the book; of course, things still spiraled out of control even when the use of cell phones was prohibited. I really enjoy how deftly he dealt with the blowout from the one student's action, that provoked the banning of their phones, and how they adapted. 
  • There were so many things to enjoy about this book, outside of the topic of the "power of words". If I had to peg two things that made me such a fan of this book it would be the characters, with how well they were written, and the small town backdrop, with all its quirks. I thought John David Anderson did an incredible job animating the trials that Frost and his friends faced and the slow, sometimes rapid, changes that occur amidst friends. So many things I wish to say about the characters and their story arcs, yet to say all I wish to say would result in spoiling the entire book. Just know this, Frost, Bench, DeeDee, Wolf, and Rose's story-lines are so well done; their voices just fly off the pages. 
  • This is one of those books that I believe will resonate with readers (even those above the "recommended" reading age). Why, because I believe that so much of what happened to the characters is something that the majority of readers have been through or themselves (changing friendships, navigating the cafeteria, and being on the receiving end of cruel or nice words). I may have mentioned this already, but he did a really great job with bringing the woes and tribulations of middle school, or if we're all honest just school/life, and how your tribe can help you survive it (because friends are awesome). 
  • The short of this review- READ IT!! Posted mixes a serious topic with friendship and hilarity. You do not want to miss out on reading it... trust me!! 

Final Verdict: Posted- Does a great job of showing how even the smallest word (or deed) can ripple out in either a positive or negative way. There are really no good words to summarize why this is such a great book; just that the powerful message contained within blended so well with the writing to create a truly great read.

Be sure to check out Ms Yingling Reads for today's other tour stop; and don't forget to visit the next two hosts, Maria's Mélange & Novel Novice tomorrow for more


About the Author:
John David Anderson is the author of Ms. Bixby’s Last Day, Sidekicked, Minion, and The Dungeoneers. A dedicated root beer connoisseur and chocolate fiend, he lives with his wife, two kids, and perpetually whiny cat in Indianapolis, Indiana. You can visit him online at www.johndavidanderson.org

A advanced copy of this book was received in consideration for review. All thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

I Want to Read It (54): The Gauntlet



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



The Gauntlet by Karuna Riazi, March 28, 2017. Published by Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers. Source: Wishlist. 
A trio of friends from New York City find themselves trapped inside a mechanical board game that they must dismantle in order to save themselves and generations of other children in this action-packed debut that’s a steampunk Jumanji with a Middle Eastern flair.

When twelve-year-old Farah and her two best friends get sucked into a mechanical board game called The Gauntlet of Blood and Sand—a puzzle game akin to a large Rubik’s cube—they know it’s up to them to defeat the game’s diabolical architect in order to save themselves and those who are trapped inside, including her baby brother Ahmed. But first they have to figure out how.

Why

Um, yeah, this sounds like one exciting read! I am 100% on board for giving The Gauntlet a chance because it sounds thrilling. That and I'm intrigued enough to want to know more about the game the characters get sucked into; that and whether or not they'll all make it out alive.

Have you read The Gauntlet, if so, what did you think of it? 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Curtsies and Conspiracies

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, April 24, 2017

A Vintage Reads YA Review: Curtsies and Conspiracies



Curtsies and Conspiracies (Finishing School, 2) by Gail Carriger, November 5, 2013. 310 pages. Published by Hachette Little, Brown & Co. Source: Borrowed from Library.
Does one need four fully grown foxgloves for decorating a dinner table for six guests? Or is it six foxgloves to kill four fully grown guests?
Sophronia's first year at Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality has certainly been rousing! For one thing, finishing school is training her to be a spy--won't Mumsy be surprised? Furthermore, Sophronia got mixed up in an intrigue over a stolen device and had a cheese pie thrown at her in a most horrid display of poor manners.

Now, as she sneaks around the dirigible school, eavesdropping on the teachers' quarters and making clandestine climbs to the ship's boiler room, she learns that there may be more to a field trip to London than is apparent at first. A conspiracy is afoot--one with dire implications for both supernaturals and humans. Sophronia must rely on her training to discover who is behind the dangerous plot-and survive the London Season with a full dance card.

First Sentence
Miss Temminnick.



My Thoughts

Months after finally reading Etiquette and Espionage I remembered to find the second volume at the library. Weeks after finishing it, I finally remembered to review it.... 

  • I cannot tell you guys how much I enjoyed this one! Between dying of laughter because Sophronia is hilarious and the bantering, which was on point, I found myself thoroughly amused and entertained. Add in further interactions between her, Soap and Felix, and you have a mess of trouble. Ah! It was just so fun to watch things unfold; especially since this book saw relationships taking new, and somewhat dangerous, twists. You'll get a taste of the witty dialogue if you check out tomorrow's Teaser Tuesday post.
  • It was nice to see Dimity have a slightly larger roll in book two. Even if that roll came with an unfortunate occurrence... Yes, I found myself really enjoying the way the characters balanced each other out. Plus, it was a nice change of pace to see Sophronia make decisions that would effect more than her curiosity. It really gave her some time to grow as a character; though she still has a long way to go into maturity (such a rash minded girl but that's what makes her so interesting, too).   
  • Again, I really love the world Gail Carriger created. Also that in Curtsies and Conspiracies that you learn more about Mademoiselle Geraldine's Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality and the teachers. The world and characters all blend in so seamlessly that it feels so natural, even when the characters start talking about things that are out of the ordinary. Thus far, I have found myself really enjoying my foray into the world and politics of this series.
  • Which leads me to the writing. Gail Carriger is nailing the witty banter!! The Finishing School series is turning into one of my favorite reads this year! Simply because I am getting immense satisfaction from the story, writing and characters. I'm actually excited to delve into the rest of the series...and maybe even finishing it in the next couple weeks.
Final Verdict: Curtsies and Conspiracies- Every bit as entertaining as the first installment...just with more witty barbs!!

Curtsies and Conspiracies earns


A copy of this book was borrowed from the library. All thoughts are my own.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

I Want to Read It (53):



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.




Theology and Sanity by Frank Sheed, September 1, 1993 (originally published 1946). Published by Ignatius Press. Source: Wishlist.
Vatican II issued an urgent call for the laity to take a more active role in the life of the Church. What should the life of the Christian believer be like? How are average lay Christians called to help save the world? How does theology fit into the picture?
One of Frank Sheed's most popular books, this ideal volume for the layman shows the practical aspects of theology in the life of a Christian believer. Logic, clarity, and simplicity permeate this eminently readable book. Drawing from his fifty years of street-corner preaching, as well as his long career as an author, lecturer and publisher, Sheed understands and communicates better than anyone the importance of theology and its relationship to living sanely in today's world. A brilliant synthesis of the Catholic view of life.

Why

I've been eye-balling this book from my mom's collection for months now! I keep contemplating reading it but have yet to find the time to fit it in. Right now, I'm really enjoying one of Frank Sheed's other books, A Map of Life, and am looking forward to delving further into his writing. Theology and Sanity sounds like a fascinating book; I'm really interested to see how he synthesizes theology and living in today's world (even though this was written way back in 1946)...

Are you a middle grade author, want your book to be spotlighted this year during the challenge on my blog? Than this post is just for you. All about Middle Grade Challenge

Sign up for the 2014 All about Middle Grade Reading Challenge.

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