Jun 21, 2021

Early Reader Review: Luna Howls at the Moon by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb

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

Luna Howls at the Moon  by Kristin O'Donnell Tubb  

Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date:  June 15, 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: 
The award-winning author of A Dog Like Daisy returns with a moving middle grade novel from the point of view of Luna, a Labrador therapy dog who accompanies her group therapy kids when they set off on an adventure across Austin, Texas.

Luna has always wanted to be a therapy dog at Therapy Dogs Worldwide. Now she’s a whisker away from reaching her fifty-visit pin that will make it official. But when her “clients”—the children who visit her—are put into a therapy group, Luna’s routine is upended.

Like the moon, Luna shows different faces at different times. And her clients each have different needs—Beatrice is tangled in knots of anger, Caleb rushes like a waterfall, Amelia carries fear heavy like a shadow, and Hector is quiet as a rock. To comfort the kids, Luna can be what they need her to be, but can she be everything to them all at once?

When Hector doesn’t show up to a session one day, the kids set off on an unexpected quest to find him. Luna joins to keep them safe, and they must work together to almost learn the truth.
Review: 
First off, I love a book that is about a dog... or has a dog in it. I just really love the dogs. This book is pretty neat in that it is not just about a dog but told from the point of view of the dog. This particular dog is a therapy dog working to get her 50 visits completed to make her training official. The other dogs are giving her a hard time but she is almost there and determined to finish her appointments. 

Luna works with kids and her trainer is trying to implement some group therapy sessions which she believes will help the four kids that she has been working with. At the first session one of them tells the group that he would bring a hoverboard to the next meeting, but then doesn't show up so the kids take it upon themselves to go and find him. Luna must decide if she is going to let her clients go off on their own or tag along on this crazy adventure. Pretty obviously she chooses to go and they are off on an unlikely run through the city with Luna at their side.

I really enjoyed reading this book from Luna's POV, she is so determined to keep her people safe and the way that the author writes her makes her so easy to follow along with. The author describes pain and grief well and while an adventure it is also a journey of healing. The kids all are struggling with things and coming together helps them each in different ways. It was great not only to read about the important role of a therapy dog but also to see therapy normalized in this book. 

I think readers will really enjoy it and learn a lot along the way.


Jun 20, 2021

Building the Book Pile #350



Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

The weeks are flying by. Charlie puppy had gained a full pound and is now 7.6 lbs of puppy fun and terror. He puts everything in his mouth since he is teething, has some allergies, and is potty training too. It has been a lot 😒😴😵

Luckily work is in its slower period. It use to be the "slow time" but now for some reason it is just 'slower' but not officially slow... the timeline seems to creep up a bit every year 😕 but work is good.

School update - I just turned in ANOTHER paper... no surprise but I only have 4 weeks left now with  3 discussions and 6 responses to those discussions, a final research proposal, a presentation, and a professional reflection to be done. It is SO close I can almost taste it ... the freedom... all the reading for pleasure versus for a technical paper... oooooh it is going to be so goooooooood. I have been reading more lately too though - this course doesn't have much required reading, so I have been taking advantage already 😉 I hope it is noticeable.

What are you reading this week? 
This week my TBR is Shipped by Angie Hockman and hopefully A Pho Love Story by Loan Le.

If you enjoy the blog and want to share some love and caffeine, you can buy me a coffee via Ko-fi
 


Coming up on the Blog

Early Reader Review: Luna Howls at the Moon (MG)

Early Reader Review: Poison Ivy: Thorns by Kody Keplinger (YA, GN)

Recent Reads:  The Umbrella Academy Volume 3 Hotel Oblivion -  by Gerard Way (GN)
 
possibly... Recent Reads: Guards! Guards! by Terry Pratchett (Adult)


Books Received Recently...
 



Have you missed anything lately?
Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

Jun 19, 2021

Recent Reads: The Umbrella Academy: Dallas by Gerard Way


The Umbrella Academy: Dallas by Gerard Way
Series: The Umbrella Academy Volume 2
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publication Date:  November 1, 2009



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: Paperback
Source: Borrowed from the Library


Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 
The team is despondent following the near apocalypse created by one of their own and the death of their beloved mentor Pogo. So it's a great time for another catastrophic event to rouse the team into action. Trouble is—each member of the team is distracted by some very real problems of their own. The White Violin is bedridden due to an unfortunate blow to the head. Rumor has lost her voice—the source of her power. Spaceboy has eaten himself into a near-catatonic state, while Number Five dives into some shady dealings at the dog track and the Kraken starts looking at his littlest brother as the key to unraveling a mysterious series of massacres…all leading to a blood-drenched face-off with maniacal assassins, and a plot to kill JFK!
Review: 
Um... what is going on? While not as disjointed as volume 1, this second installment of The Umbrella Academy is just as confusing and all over the place. This story centers around the newly reunited Umbrella Academy group and the assassination of JFK. 

Spaceboy is overeating in his depression and feeling lost, The White Violin is unable to walk or move due to volume 1 events, Rumor has lost her ability to speak and thus her power also from events, and Number 5 is being sneaky. While I liked seeing more of their personalities, I still felt like I didn't really have enough backstory to fully care about their plights. While I was interested in the overall story and Number 5's sketchiness was the only thing that pulled me through. 

I have the third volume and for posterity I will read it to see if this improves for me. I liked it but mostly for the weirdness, otherwise it was a very jumpy storyline.

Jun 16, 2021

Blog Tour: Review & Giveaway! Crownless by M.H. Woodscourt


About the Book

Crownless by M. H. Woodscourt
Publication date: June 19th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

A fugitive storyteller running out of time. A prince hiding from his mother. A kingdom on the brink of collapse. A search for a world of magic.

Convinced his tales are true, storyteller Jinji is determined to find the legendary fae realm of Shinac to save his world from a dread lord trying to cross over—before a fatal illness ends Jinji’s life.

Prince Jetekesh is caught between a controlling mother and his affection for his dying father—until he’s kidnapped and forced to journey with a delusional storyteller and a motley band of fugitives in search of a myth.

Hunted by the queen, hindered by a malady, and invaded by an enemy empire, Jinji and Jetekesh race across a crumbling kingdom to find the alleged gate between worlds.

But even if Shinac exists, how can a humble storyteller and deposed prince hope to stand against a devastating evil?


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

Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo / Smashwords


Crownless follows a cast of characters as they navigate through kingdoms, worlds, linage, understanding of each other, and attempts to survive. The centering of this tale is around a storyteller names Jinji. He has a price on his head for telling stories of the past, present, and future, or worlds that are mundane and magical realms. He is a strange one, able to pull people together and causing fear by just spinning tales. We also meet a prince named Jatekesh, his mother, a Blood Prince and his brother, a young girl names Rille, a king or two...some fae. It was a whirlwind of characters - they just kept popping up. 

What I enjoyed about this read was that each character had their own personality and even though there were a lot of them, you could tell them apart pretty easily. What made it extra interesting was that any time I thought "oh this us the bad guy" they surprised me in different ways, I couldn't just hate them throughout the tale, but only in certain bits and pieces of the overall story. I really wanted character to dislike but I found aspects in them all that were commendable and I really loved Jinji. Jinji is the star of this show - he is emotional, compassionate, I started to think of him as the therapist of this merry band of characters. He was a delight. 

The storyline, which I thought was going to be a pretty normal fantasy tale where the evil emperor cases all heck to break loose, was more layered and complex in ways that I could not have even imagined. The world-building fit in with it so well. It seemed at times a bit chaotic but it worked somehow. 

The book starts off a little slow, but give it a chance and you will fly through it. between the backgrounds you learn about the characters and how they are all woven together, you will enjoy this fantasy adventure. It will teach you to not always judge someone, that friendship can be found anywhere and that you should always have hope.


About the Author

Writer of fantasy, magic weaver, dragon rider! Having spent the past 20 years devotedly writing fantasy, it’s safe to say M. H. Woodscourt is now more fae than human. All of her fantasy worlds connect with each other in a broad Universe, forged with great love and no small measure of blood, sweat, and tears. When she’s not writing, she’s napping or reading a book with a mug of hot cocoa close at hand while her quirky cat Wynter nibbles her toes.

Learn more at www.mhwoodscourt.com



Find the Author 

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


Tour-wide giveaway (INT)
  • A signed paperback copy of Crownless + $20 Amazon gift card
  • 2x $10 Amazon gift cards

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Jun 15, 2021

Early Reader Review: It's Raining Tacos by Terry Gripp

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


It's Raining Tacos by Terry Gripp 
Illustrated by Peter Emmerich
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date:  June 22, 2021



https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/55200700-it-s-raining-tacos  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0063006472/ref=x_gr_w_bb_glide_sin?ie=UTF8&tag=x_gr_w_bb_glide_sin-20&linkCode=as2&camp=1789&creative=9325&creativeASIN=0063006472&SubscriptionId=1MGPYB6YW3HWK55XCGG2

Format: Ebook

Rating:


Goodreads Synopsis: 

A silly, fun tale in the vein of Mo Willems and Sandra Boynton, based on the kid-favorite, smash hit YouTube song "Raining Tacos," by Parry Gripp

It's raining tacos, from out of the sky.

Tacos, no need to ask why.

Just open your mouth and close your eyes.

It's raining tacos!

Taco-bout irresistible! Jam out to the catchy, toe-tapping tune “Raining Tacos” from YouTube sensation Parry Gripp, featuring everyone’s favorite treat!

This spec-taco-ular, goofy song, with new, never-before-sung lyrics, is perfect for sharing, so grab a few friends—young or old—and get ready to crunch your way to a good time!

Wildly fun and full of laugh-out-loud antics, this interactive sing-along is a zany romp sure to capture fans of Giraffes Can’t Dance and Dragons Love Tacos. Shell we dance? 

Before getting to the review... I wanted to share the Youtube song the synopsis mentions... in case you are interested... 😁



Review:
I did not realize this book was based on a YouTube song, even though it was attached to the email for the book form the publicist (whoops). So this review is kind of a before and after reaction having seen it.

Before I knew this was a song, it was a bit weird. The story is about a young boy having a birthday party and he is so excited about his party and eating pizza at his party... and then something goes wrong and they can't have the pizza. That is when it starts raining tacos. Not very realistic, which is perfectly fine, but it seems so normal in the beginning that the raining tacos is a bit odd. It also has a  rhyme scheme that at some points worked well and at others seemed to be broken and not follow it.

Knowing the song now, it makes a bit more sense, that there is a rhyme built in for the song/ singing part, but if you don't know about the song that it just feels off and weird. 

All that said, I am a lover of tacos... and birthdays ... and pizza and cake. So that is a big win from me. It was also illustrated in a a fun way with bright colors and bold shapes which were nice to look at and follow the story. It is very silly but also a good chance to teach young kids about adapting and changing if things go wrong, granted it isn't going to magically rain tacos to solve the problem but it is fun to think about.
 

Jun 14, 2021

Early Reader Review: Chunky by Yehudi Mercado

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

Chunky by Yehudi Mercado 
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Publication Date:  June 22, 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: 
In this full-color middle grade graphic memoir for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Jerry Craft, Yehudi Mercado draws inspiration from his childhood struggle with his weight while finding friendship with his imaginary mascot, Chunky, as he navigates growing up in a working-class Mexican Jewish family.

Hudi needs to lose weight, according to his doctors. Concerned about the serious medical issue Hudi had when he was younger, his parents push him to try out for sports. Hudi would rather do anything else, but then he meets Chunky, his imaginary friend and mascot. Together, they decide to give baseball a shot.

Hudi has found the cheerleader he never had, as Chunky cheers him on even when Hudi barely makes the team. Baseball doesn’t go well (unless getting hit by the ball counts), but the two friends have a great time drawing and making jokes. While Hudi’s parents keep trying to find the right sport for him, Chunky encourages him to pursue his true love—comedy.

But when Hudi’s dad loses his job, it gets harder for Hudi to chart his own course, even with Chunky’s guidance. Can Chunky help Hudi stay true to himself, or will this friendship strike out?
Review: 
Chunky is a graphic memoir from Yehudi Mercado that follows his childhood and struggles in a humorous way through using comic relief and an imaginary friend/mascot. 

Hudi is always told that he needs to lose weight but his love for food and lack of one lung prevents him from being the fully active child he might be, although he does try. The book follows his struggles and clumsiness through all sorts of sports in an attempt to appease his parents. Chunky appears as his mascot and humorous imaginary sidekick helping him along the way and being motivational when Hudi needs it. 

The graphic is adorable, enjoyable and relatable. it shows kids that they can flow their dreams and that sometimes you try everything to appease people and it just doesn't work the way you had hoped. I think that while Hudi's parents were trying help him be better and lose weight, they were not very understanding of him as a child - they forced him into sports event though he was clumsy and cause him injury and knowing that he had breathing issues. I know this was a memoir, but that didn't feel right. There were probably other ways for Hudi to work on losing weight while pursuing what he enjoyed like theater and comedy. 

Either way it looks like he made it out on the right side - writing a book about his childhood experiencing in a way that is relatable to the youth of today and trying to befriend those kids through comedy. 

Jun 13, 2021

Building the Book Pile #349



Welcome to Building the Book Pile!

Hello Readers, Bloggers, and Awesome people! 

Hi Friends! I hope your weekend is wrapping up nicely.  
This past week I attended the Edelweiss Bookfest, it was a lot of fun. I heard from some authors and learned about a lot of new books that are coming out this Summer and Fall and am super excited about them all. I am especially excited because I finish school in July and will have SO much reading time again.



This week I also made progress with my June TBR - I will post the full update soon but have been trying to track progress on my Instagram, so if you aren't following me over there - please pop over and give me a follow @Cover2CoverBlog

In home news - Charlie our puppy is settling in and Cooper (the cat) is finally playing nice and not just avoiding/hissing at him... so that is good. It has been a whirlwind of activity with all the puppy excitement and wanting to chew on everything (including my toes). School also progressing, I have 4 weeks left starting tomorrow so it is getting more intense - so much paper writing. This week's paper is very technical and will involve statistics which I am NOT fond of but once it all comes together it will feel great.

How has your week been? Read anything fun?

If you enjoy the blog and want to share some love and caffeine, you can buy me a coffee via Ko-fi
 


Coming up on the Blog

Early Reader Review: Chucky by Yehudi Mercado (MG, GN)

Early Reader Review: It's Raining Tacos by Parry Gripp (Youth)

Blog Tour: Crownless by M.H. Woodcroft (YA)

Recent Reads: The Umbrella Academy Volume 2 - Dallas by Gerard Way (GN)

Books Received Recently...
 



Have you missed anything lately?
Comment or leave me a link and I will see you online again soon.
Happy Reading!

Blog Tour: Review - The Reckoning by Marisa Noelle


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


The Reckoning by Marisa Noelle  
Series: The Unadjusteds #3
Publisher: Marisa Noelle
Publication Date:  May 6th, 2021
Page Count: 326 pages
Ages: 12-18

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: 
The final instalment of The Unadjusteds trilogy…

THE FIGHT IS NOT OVER.
A NEW NEMESIS HAS AWOKEN.

Sinister visions of an evil entity with looming yellow eyes haunt Silver’s dreams, threatening to destroy the new world she and her friends have created. The terrifying omens push Silver to experiment with her abilities, but awaken a burgeoning thirst for more power.

As Silver walks a fine line between good and evil, her friends become wary of her intimidating abilities. She finds understanding in a sympathetic newcomer, but their deepening friendship drives an even deeper wedge between Silver and her suspicious friends.

Tragedy strikes during preparations for the final stand, bringing a terrible choice. Grief drives Silver toward reckless actions that may doom the final battle. Can she repair the relationships with her friends and control her powers before her vision becomes reality? 
 
The below review will inevitably have spoilers for books 1 and 2 of this series, if you have not read them yet – please do not read this review unless you are ok with some things being spoiled.

Want to read about Book 1 and Book 2 - Reviews here!

  

        


[spoilers starting now!]
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The Reckoning is the third installment of the Altered series. It follows an eighteen-year-old named Silver that has been saving the world from evil people looking to wipe out populations, change everyone into genetically modified monsters, and just generally being mean. She has done a great job up to this point and it seems like the danger has passed. Everyone is trying to rebuild, refocus, and to mentally adjust to the new normal. Silver has it worse that a lot of others – she is burdened by a multitude of powers, some of which she does not even know are there, her mother is not doing well, and her father is off trying to find someone to help his wife. Silver is practically alone in this new world – her family is not there, and her powers make her dangerous and people fear her.

The beginning of this book is a bit slower than the others in the series, we are focusing on mental well-being and coping, and the realization that nothing will ever be the same versus action. The action comes later, closer to the end of the book. I liked the mental health focus in this story, I think it needed to be done given the amount that this team has been through in the past books. There as a lot of death and trauma.

I really enjoyed this series, especially how it all cam to an end. However, I had a lot of feelings about the relationships in this book, they were all a bit icky for me. Matt has always been a sense of calming for Silver, they have been through a lot and have had to grow up very quickly because of it all, but this book painted him differently. The book is told from mostly Silver’s point of view, but Matt in her eyes because less invested in her well-being and seemed to want to just wipe away what had happened, and that is NOT how trauma works. Silver must be responsible for so much and he is not helping her deal with or embrace anything. Then he takes a moment to talk about rebuilding the population as she is suffering not knowing about what is already inside her – not cool man! Not cool at all. I felt VERY off-put by the situation that he puts her in. What made it worse was that the second he touched her she became malleable and gave in, which that is characteristic of her in previous books, it was amplified here, and I needed less of that.

All that said, I really liked this conclusion. The ending was a slap in the face, in a good way. I did not see it coming and had an “Oh WOW!” reaction while I was reading. If you are looking for an action-packed, dystopian series, this is a great one to pick up.

About the Author
Marisa Noelle is the writer of middle grade & young adult novels in the genres of
science-fiction, fantasy & mental health including The Shadow Keepers, The Unadjusteds Trilogy (The Unadjusteds, The Rise of the Altereds, & The Reckoning), and The Mermaid Chronicles – Secrets of the Deep.

She is a mentor for the Write Mentor program that helps aspiring MG & YA authors. With dual citizenship, Marisa has lived on both sides of the Atlantic and uses settings in both the USA and UK as inspiration for her novels.

When she’s not writing or reading or watching movies, she enjoys swimming. In the pool she likes to imagine she could be a mermaid and become part of some of her make-believe words. Despite being an avid bookworm from the time she could hold a book, being an author came as a bit of a surprise to her as she was a bit of a science geek at school. She lives in Woking, UK with her husband and three children. You can find her on Twitter @MarisaNoelle77 or her website www.MarisaNoelle.com

Find the Author