Jul 4, 2022

Building the Book Pile #402

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

A late book pile post this week. We spent the weekend prepping for a get-together that is happening today. While it feels like we shouldn't be celebrating our country these days, it is an oppportunity to get people you love together and so that is what we are doing. Take care of yourselves.

Anywho, it was a slow blog week, but I have a bunch of future reviews prepped which feels nice and I got some reading done for the end of June. 

How was your June?
How was your weekend? 
If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi
 


Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads: Three Pockets Full by Cindy Rodriguez (Youth)

Recent Reads: Darling Girl by Liz Michaelski (Adult)


Books Received Recently...
 
   


Three Pockets Full by Cindy Rodriguez from Librarything Early Reviewers Program and Cardnal Rule Press for review

TikTok made me get these, but even though they are spicy, they are fun.



Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

Jul 1, 2022

Monthly Re-Cap (June 22) and TBR Pile (July 22)


Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Here is the progress from June
It was not as productive on the TBR Pile as I would have hoped but I read a lot of Random picks 😋

~~Books I Read in June 2022~~

          

~~Links to Some Reviews~~
Others will come later.
  1. Recent Reads: The Guest List by Lucy Foley - 4 stars
  2. Review - Marriage Unarranged by Ritu Bhathal - 4 stars
  3. Recent Reads: Beach Read by Emily Henry - 4 stars
  4. Early Reader Review: Silk Hills by Ryan Ferrier and Brian Level - 2 stars
  5. Recent Reads: Secrets of Camp Whatever by Chris Grine - 3 stars
  6. Recent Reads: The Doors to Nowhere by Chris Grine - 3 stars
  7. Recent Reads: The Unplanned Life of Josie Hale by Stephanie Eding - 3 stars





 TBR for July
looks like a witchy time for me 👻
  1. Wild is the Witch by Rachel Griffin
  2. Zatanna: The Jewel of Gravesend by Alys Arden
  3. The Further Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels
  4. The Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow
  5. From Bad to Cursed by Lana Harper
  6. RANDOM PICK from the ever growing shelves at home.

How was your June reading? Anything I should add to my TBR?
Feel free to share it in the comments below! I would love to know what you are reading!

Jun 29, 2022

Recent Reads: The Unplanned Life of Josie Hale by Stephanie Eding

Source: From Soucebooks Early review program in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.


The Unplanned Life of Josie Hale by Stephanie Eding
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Publication Date:  May 3, 2022



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook


Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 
If you're looking for:
Found family who always look out for you

A second chance romance with your high school crush

All the fried food that'll take your mind off your troubles

A chance to start over and do things your own way
Then The Unplanned Life of Josie Hale is exactly what you need!

When Josie discovers that she's unexpectedly pregnant with her ex-husband's baby (darn that last attempt to save their marriage), she seeks comfort in deep-fried food at the county fair. There she runs into her two old friends, Ben and Kevin. While sharing their own disappointments with adult life, they devise a plan to move in together and turn their lives around. Soon Ben and Kevin make it their mission to prepare for Josie's baby, not least by making sure Josie always has the food she's craving. Maybe all together they can discover the true meaning of family and second chances in life...
Review: 
This book is all about chosen families and I can really appreciate that. It was a cute rom-com of sorts about a woman named Josie. She is getting a divorce from her cheating husband but as soon as she leaves him and starts to settle in, she realizes that she is pregnant. Now with no partner, a baby on the way, no job because she moved, and now her parents are downsizing and kicking her out, she is in a pickle. Luckily she is home and she makes contact with some old high school friends who make a pact with her that they are all going to get it together.

This book made for a funny at times read. Kevin, Ben and Josie are great together and their little house is so fun. Overall the story was enjoyable but not super relateable for me. The most impact I got emotionally, was from the mother/daughter interactions. They were properly cringe and I really felt for Josie. The romance was a little far-fetched, high school crush come full circle... while pregnant. So at times the book felt a little dragging. It was cute though and I think it made for a fun read.

If you are looking for a light romance, with no spice, this is a good one to pick up. It became a feel-good, chick-lit feel by the end for me, so if that is to your liking with a little love thrown in, this could be for you.

Jun 26, 2022

Building the Book Pie #401

Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Happy Sunday folks! I had to travel for work this past week, we had a blast in New Orleans though. Even though we had a great trip, I am a bit down about what is happening in the country. 

Women's rights shouldn't be moving backwards but here we are. I understand that some, often for religious reasons, don't want abortions to happen, but as a woman that has had to have an "abortion" after a miscarriage I can say that sometimes they are medically necessary. There are a number of other reasons they might be medically necessary as well... I wish I could say that I am sorry to be bringing this up, but if we don't talk about it, it is a bigger issue. Things need to change. My body should be fully MY body regardless of the state I live in and it is scary. 

I hope that you and your loved ones are taking the time you need if this has impacted you. Our mental health is not great as a country already and this is just another burden we have to bear. 

How was your weekend? 
If you are interested in supporting my ability to stay awake and read please consider dontating - Coffee  is appreciated ... Ko-fi
 


Coming up on the Blog

Recent Reads: The Unplanned Life of Josie Hale by Stephanie Eding (Adult)


Books Received Recently...
 
 


My Self, Your Self by Esme Shapiro (Youth) - From Netgalley and Tundra Books for review

The Further Adventures of Miss Petitfour by Anne Michaels - From Netgalley and Tundra Books for review.



Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

Jun 23, 2022

Recent Reads: The Doors to Nowhere by Chris Grine

Source: From Oni Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

The Doors to Nowhere by Chris Grine 
Series: Camp Whatever Volume 2
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date:  June 7, 2022


https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook


Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 

Full of thrills and chills, Willow and her summer camp friends have more mysteries to solve in this sequel to the hit graphic novel, Secrets of Camp Whatever! 

When twelve-year-old Willow went to her weird new town's even weirder summer camp, she didn't expect to get caught up in an ancient mystery involving forest-dwelling vampires, living garden gnomes, and other completely bonkers creatures most people would never believe exist. Now she's not only involved, she's marked—too close to the heart of an ages-old quest for power and control than she should be, and too concerned about her new friends and the dangers they face to let them go it alone. With the help of a spell book and her scrappy crew of camp friends, Willow is about to step through a doorway to magic and discovery that will change her world forever.
Review: 
This is the second installment of Camp Whatever and it was crazy right from the beginning. We meet  up with Willow and her friends back home on in Nowhere for her birthday. Even though they are back, they are still in the thick of supernatural, fantastical things happening and now there is an ancient prophecy that seems to be starting.

I liked this book, it was good. Some of the same notes from my last review apply here as well. The illustration was still vibrant and detailed. There was still a lot of dialogue. The characters are more or less the same with the same issues and struggles and Willow is still a bit rude to people, which is a bit of a turn off. Overall the story was fun, action-packed, and moved quickly. It was an easy read, and kep my attention.

Now maybe this is becuase I am an adult reading it but I had some issues with the plot... (and they might all be made clear later in the series), but it seemed like Mr. Elric set the kids up. He knew about this prophecy, and still gave Willow her great great grandmothers book, which seems to be waht set this all further into motion. I struggle that this is the reason for the book and Elric doesn't full explain the reason for gifting the book. Just things I think about...

This installment was darker than the first and a little more violent, but overall I think Middle Grade readers will enjoy it.

Jun 21, 2022

Blog Blast w/ Giveaway! - The Starburt Effect by Kelly Oram


The Starburst Effect by Kelly Oram
Publication date: June 20th 2022
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult

About the Book 

Lily Rosemont lives next door to the biggest jerk in high school. Noah Trask has bullied Lily for years, and now he’s ruined her senior year by making her a target and turning the whole school against her. On top of that, her parents are getting divorced, and her world is falling apart around her.

After an accident on the football field leaves Noah with a traumatic brain injury, shattering his life as he knew it and leaving him with a whole heap of new disabilities, he’s no longer at the top of the high school food chain. In fact, he’s right down at the bottom with Lily.

In a cruel twist of fate, if Noah wants to graduate high school on time, he needs Lily’s help to complete a project—a book he wants to write about his experience. Lily’s not sure she can put aside her anger and hate for the boy who destroyed her senior year, but she desperately needs this project to get a scholarship to college.

It doesn’t take long for Lily to realize that the Noah who got injured is not the same Noah who survived the accident. He’s different. Way different. Slowly, Lily softens to this new Noah, but can she find it in her heart to forgive him? Can the two most unlikely people find friendship in adversity and help each other pick up the pieces of their broken lives?

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20


Authors Note: Noah suffers from a Traumatic Brain Injury which effects a lot of his speech abilities. He often mixes up words or can’t get them out correctly. If you see a wrong word in his dialogue, it’s not a typo, I promise. You’ll have to read the book to see how it all comes together!

Noah falls to his bed, lies back, and puts his hands behind his head, looking up at the faded glow-in-the-dark stars that have probably been on his ceiling since he was a little boy. “I like music,” he admits. “Can’t really follow lyrics anymore, but…” He struggles for a moment, then sighs.

“But you can still enjoy the music?” I guess.

“Yeah.”

There’s a hint of melancholy in his voice that makes me sad. How many things in his life have been affected, or even taken from him, because of his injury? His inability to follow a fast conversation or stay focused for long periods of time must make him miss out on so much.

Wanting to take his mind off of whatever’s got him down, I cross the room and push his arm, forcing him to make room for me on the bed. He scoots over, and it feels natural to lie down beside him as if we’re just two friends hanging out for the millionth time. “What else do you do?” I ask, staring up at the stars with him. “What are your hobbies now, besides listening to awesome music?”

He opens his mouth, then shuts it again. His brow furrows. Whatever he wants to say, he can’t come up with the answer. “I can’t remember the name,” he says with a grunt of frustration.

He leans up and reaches over me to grab a TV remote off his nightstand. My breath catches. I don’t think he meant to practically lay on top of me, but my body seems to come alive from his nearness. And have I mentioned before how good he smells? I need to find out what cologne he uses and then spray my pillow with it or something.

Oblivious to the chaos he’s just put my body through, he sits back, placing his pillow up against the headboard. I sit up with him, attempting to get my heart rate back to normal, while he finds whatever it is he’s looking for. Once the TV and a Netflix menu comes up, things seem to click back in place for Noah. “There it is.” He finds what he’s looking for in his Continue Watching list.

I grin at the show he pulls up. “You watch Bob Ross?”

He acts offended by the teasing tone in my voice. “Bob Rock is cool.”

I hold my hands up. “I don’t disagree. I just didn’t figure you for the type.”

He shrugs. “I like art. Plus, he talks slow enough, and it’s not over…over…”

“Overstimulating?”

“Yeah. Doesn’t hurt my head.”

It makes sense. Bob Ross is very slow and soothing. I’m sure it’s one of the few shows he can follow fairly well. He clicks on an episode and leaves the show on mute. For a minute, we watch Bob Ross paint the beginnings of a mountain landscape while The Mad Hatters jam out softly in the room. It’s nice. “You ever painted along with him?” I ask, pointing at the screen. “I’ve always wanted to try it. I bet you could follow along. Or at least you could pause and rewind as much as you needed.”

His eyebrows climb his forehead. He watches the screen, and after a few seconds, nods his head. “Maybe.”

“Could be fun.”

He perks up the tiniest bit, and there’s a touch of excitement in his voice when he says, “Let’s tire it. My mom will get us the…the…” He mimes painting. “She always wants me to try new things.”

“Sounds good. You, me, and Bob Ross.”

Noah nudges my shoulder with his. “Next weekend. It’s a date.”

I smile to myself. Painting with Noah sounds fun. I could play it off as a “friends” thing, but something stops me. Taking a breath, I force myself to take a chance on something that might be strange but could also be amazing. “It’s a date,” I agree.


About the Author

Kelly Oram wrote her first novel at age fifteen--a fan fiction about her favorite music group, The Backstreet Boys, for which her family and friends still tease her. She's obsessed with reading, talks way too much, and likes to eat frosting by the spoonful. She lives outside of Phoenix, Arizona with her husband and four children. 

Find the Author

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram



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Jun 20, 2022

Recent Reads: Secrets of Camp Whatever by Chris Grine

Source: From Oni Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Secrets of Camp Whatever by Chris Grine 
Series: Camp Whatever Volume 1
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date:  January 1, 2021



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: Ebook


Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 
Perfect for fans of Lumberjanes and Brain Camp, there’s more than mosquitos at Camp Whatever and Willow will need to face truths about herself and her family as summer camp dread goes head to head with the supernatural.

Eleven year-old Willow doesn't want to go to her dad's weird old summer camp any more than she wants her family to move to the weird old town where that camp is located. But her family—and fate itself—seem to have plans of their own. Soon Willow finds herself neck-deep in a confounding mystery involving stolen snacks, suspected vampires, and missing campers, all shrouded in the sinister fog that hides a generation of secrets at Camp ... Whatever it's called. 
Review: 
What a great start to a middle grade graphic novel series. The Camp Whatever series is about a girl named Willow and her friends and the fantastical creatures and magic they find while at summer camp. In this first installment, Willow is not happy about camp at all becuase she often feels different because she is deaf and wears hearing aids. Once arriving at camp Willow makes some friends and finds out some really cool things about Nowhere, where the camp is located. It is especially cool becuase there are magical creatures hidden everywhere. 

I liked this story, it was fun, action-packed, and had a wonderful fantasy theme. The characters are interesting and the drama and situations the kids are put in are intense but manageable. I always like middle grade in a graphic novel format, but I felt like there was a lot of telling versus showing in this one. Lots of dialogue, which is needed at times, but given the chance to draw things as well, you have more options.  The illustration was super vibrant with bold colors and detailed images. 

At the beginning of the book, it seems like Willows deafness will be a running theme, and while it comes up a few times it is not her whole personality and I appreciate that. I found that at times I resonated more with the other characters like Elric and Violet because sometimes Willow was mean and very quick to jump to conclusions. While she is often right, she comes off as a bit rude at times. While there is probably a reason for that response, the book doesn't really talk about it at all in a way that would make it a productive theme.

Overall, this was a fun start to a series. If you like middle grade and fantasitcal creatures, sometimes a little spooky, this might be for you. I have book 2 so I will post a review on that soon. 

Jun 14, 2022

Early Reader Review: Silk Hills by Ryan Ferrier and Brian Level

Source: From Oni Press in exchange for an honest review. This in no way alters my opinion or review.

Silk Hills by Ryan Ferrier and Brian Level 
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date:  June 14, 2022



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/27405327-pop-manga-coloring-book?from_search=true  https://www.amazon.com/Pop-Manga-Coloring-Book-Beautiful/dp/0399578471?ie=UTF8&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0399578471&linkCode=as2&redirect=true&ref_=x_gr_w_bb&tag=x_gr_w_bb-20

Format: ebook


Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 

This atmospheric and stylish mystery set in the Appalachian region is perfect for fans of Twin Peaks, The X-Files, and Sons of the Devil.

When Beth Wills comes to Silk Hills, a small Appalachian town that's seen better days since the mines were abandoned, she expected a bit of culture shock... But not like this! Beth is someone who has a talent for finding people who don't want to be found, and when she's called to Silk Hills by a local titan of industry, she can tell that something's not right. Little does she know...

Silk Hills was once booming, but the only reason people tend to come through town anymore is to buy Mothman merchandise. Before long, Beth finds out just how wrong things can get in the woods, as her search for a missing troubled youth finds her running afoul of the local drug trade, too-friendly creepers, a very sinister deer, and psychoactive moth dust.
Review: 
I am so confused... that is how this book started and how it ended for me, confusing. I received this book for review from the publisher, which I wholeheartedly appreciate. I was drawn to the interesting cover and a description involving Mothman. I knew it was horror so that I would also be a little weird, but I found the whole book to be off the wall bizarre and not necessarily in a good way. 

The plot had an eerie feel that went well with the genre and the illustration throughout also mimicked that eeriness and had the creepy small town aura. Characters were well recognized but were shaped a bit odd, but it fit the feel of the ebook.  The story itself was where this one lost me. There were rabid/possessed animals, a mothman...kinda, drugs from moths/ hallucinogens, moths in people, and other weird things that happened that at some point probably came together but I didn't understand it enough in the beginning to come full circle with it. I couldn't tell in the end if it was all drug-related, people provoked, or actually supernatural.

If you are looking for bizarre and like the horror genre, this could be for you, but it wasn't really for me. Will it stick with me for a while, probably, so there is something to be said for that. It is memorable in its creepiness, which is what a lot of horror is meant to convey.