Friday, February 9, 2018

Road to Eugenica by A.M. Rose

YA Friday! I've got a new release for you today Road to Eugenica by A.M. Rose.

The Story-
Drea is a normal teenager, but with a clumsy streak. She lives with her somewhat indifferent mom and loving dad. Her best friend Dylan is always by her side helping her through each awkward crisis. Then one day everything changes, she can suddenly understand different languages, use computers like a pro, and fight like a ninja! She only lets Dylan in on her secret as she tries to understand what is happening.

She has one other challenge in life, the green-eyed man. Since the time she was a kid she would randomly see him wherever she went and in her dreams, where she seems to be in some futuristic world, he is always chasing her. When new comer Maddox enters her life, pieces begin to fit together, but then the green-eyed man makes a real appearance and she can no longer consider him a figment of her imagination.

Now she is on the run with Dylan and Maddox trying to figure out who she really is, why she has these powers, and how the green-eyed man fits into it all.

My Thoughts-
I enjoyed this story. It was fresh and engaging. The mystery of who Drea really is and what in the world she is dreaming about kept me going to the end. Then there is the love triangle, Drea loves Dylan, but he doesn't want to be more than friends. Maddox likes Drea, and when Dylan makes his friend zone feelings clear, she decides why not? But, can she really trust Maddox? The book gives lots of hints that he knows more than he's telling. Great tension.

Then we have the visions that Drea has while sleeping. They appear to be real, she wakes up with a cut she got while in the dream, but the book is very unclear as to whether that is the case. Is she living two different lives? Is someone sending her visions of a possible future? Are these memories? That one question really kept me reading, unfortunately the answer doesn't come and when the dreams begin to happen as foreshadows of the present, I got confused. BUT, the dreams are still really cool and I enjoyed the mystery. Other answers are revealed, so that makes it worth it. Plus, the twists! Wow, there are some crazy twists right up until the last page. So good! I'm giving this book 4 stars!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Cover Love- Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe) by Neal Shusterman

Welcome to cover love Thursday where I show you some of my favorite book covers! Today I have a new release for you that caught my eye, and I'm not surprised, because book 1 made my list too- Thunderhead (Arc of a Scythe) by Neal Shusterman.

Jacket Illustration- Kevin Tong
Jacket Design- Chloe Foglia

Does this scream cool reaper to you? It does to me. Look at those fancy scythes, the tops eerily echo the outlines of the characters faces. Then, the two individuals themselves look like they are merging into one with their black capes fitting together like raven's wings. The only differences being their height and slight facial outlines. The green fire has me wondering what is going on. Obviously some sort of trial by fire in the story, but green instead of red, hmm? I am so intrigued. I need to buy this book!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Beatrice Zinker Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes

*Current Giveaway*

Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am reviewing Beatrice Zinker Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes. Don't forget to swing by MMGM central and check out the other middle grade blogs at Always in the Middle.

The Story-
Beatrice Zinker loves to be upside down. It not only helps her think better, but allows her to see the world from a different perspective. Her best friend in second grade, Lenny, is always there for all of Beatrice's crazy schemes. On the last day of school, Beatrice is awarded the "Best Upside Down Thinker" award from her teacher. A plan for third grade forms, and Lenny, as always, is along for the fun.

On the first day of third grade, Beatrice is ready for Operation Upside. Dressed in her ninja costume, she is eager to meet Lenny, who has been away all summer. But, the girl who walks into class doesn't look like Lenny. Not only is she not wearing her ninja costume, but she is dressed in pink, with curly hair and no glasses! What happened? Plus, she seems to have found a new best friend.

Beatrice doesn't understand what is going on, but she still prepares to secretly meet Lenny at recess so they can get Operation Upside started, but Lenny isn't interested and wants to play with her new friend. Beatrice is more confused than ever, but instead of giving up, she uses her topsy-turvy brain powers to think of a way to save her friendship and still run Operation Upside.

My Thoughts-
This book is  so fun to read. From the get-go Beatrice is a hoot,but not only that, she is kind and creative. I loved that her ability to be upside down all the time allowed her to think of how to fix different situations. In particular, she doesn't get cruel, mad or vindictive when Lenny doesn't seem to want to be her friend anymore. For most kids, their reaction would be upset, but for Beatrice it is just confusion and the thought, "How can I fix this?"

Beatrice is a character that a child can love. She represents the best part of friendship, someone that allows room for growth and doesn't bring jealousy to the table. In fact, her kindness becomes evident in the end when Operation Upside is totally revealed. It is a plan to find out the best about her classmates and then each day award one with an Upside award so that they feel special, just like she did when she got her award at the end of second grade.

I also need to mention the illustrations. I truly enjoyed watching all of Beatrice's upside down antics through the use of pictures. You can just imagine how it would feel to tie your shoe, but be upside down. The comedy evoked by the illustrations really adds that bonus content that kids will love. I'm giving this book 5 stars!

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Cover Love- The Last Girl on Earth by Alexandra Blogier

Welcome to Cover Love Thursday where I show you book covers that stood up and grabbed my attention. This is not a review of the book, just the outstanding cover. Today's pick is a new YA from Delacorte Press, The Last Girl on Earth by Alexandra Blogier.

Jacket design by Mallory Grigg
Galaxy- Robert Gendler- Getty Images
Sea- Jen Mayer- Getty Images
Silhouette- Ostill- Getty Images

I just love this cover. It screams loneliness and science fiction. The solo girl, the vast pink universe behind her, and the blue sea before her like she's at the end of the world. The colors are beautiful, complimenting each other and dividing the cover almost directly in half. The font is bold, very reflective of a sci-fi theme. The stars glitter in the background showing the vastness, yet emptiness of space, probably relating to how the girl feels all alone. I'm very intrigued, plus the little blurb at the top, "They thought they had destroyed humanity. They were wrong." Wow! Who are they? What happened? And why is this girl all alone? I'd pick this book up and check the synopsis right away! What about you? What do you think?

Monday, January 29, 2018

The Four-Fingered Man by Cerberus Jones (The Gateway #1) and GIVEAWAY

Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am reviewing The Four-Fingered Man by Cerberus Jones (The Gateway #1). It is a book I picked up at an Usborne book party :) To enter the giveaway fill out the rafflecopter entry below. If you don't see it click 'read more'.

The Story- 
Amelia's parents have decided to leave the city behind and reopen a run down hotel in the middle of nowhere. Her older brother has to be bussed to a high school 1 hour away! She is stuck in a combined elementary and middle school with only 40 ish kids in the whole town. The first friend she meets is Charlie, whose mom becomes the hotel's housekeeper.

Amelia is creeped out by the hotel's caretaker, Tom, a man with only four fingers! As Amelia and Charlie begin searching for clues about Tom, they begin to discover that something strange is going on at the hotel. There are weird guests who hide things, and people who arrive without cars or taxis.

The Gateway hotel is exactly what it is named to be, a gateway, but to where?

My Thoughts-
This is a fun and easy middle grade read, only about 140 pages long. Kids will love the set-up, an old hotel with falling down parts and creepy pictures. Caretaker Tom is a big mystery, everything he does seems to hint at something sinister, but the author does a great job keeping the suspense going until the end when Charlie and Amelia are ready to confront the secret of The Gateway hotel.

The tension is good for young readers, with just a hint of scariness, but done in an imaginative way. this is the first book in a series and sets the scene for many adventures that will put Amelia and her family in the middle of an intergalactic tug of war. Yep, aliens! It has me intrigued enough to want to jump to the second book, The Warriors of Brin-Hask. I'm giving it 4 stars!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Get to Know SkyRocket Press

Welcome to Inside the Publishing World Wednesday! Today I am spotlighting Skyrocket Press with an interview with its founder, Laurissa Reyes.

Skyrocket Press was founded in 2014 as a way to help authors wanting to self-publish achieve their goals. It began when a life-long friend of mine lost her husband to a sudden and unexpected illness. She was a talented writer, but had never had the opportunity to pursue publishing. We ran a Kickstarter fund to raise enough money to edit, design, and publish her first book, a collection of sci-fi short stories called Martian Goods.

Since then, I've worked with several other authors, offering affordable services and connecting them with professionals in the industry to help them create and publish top quality books. For the past four years, I've kept the business pretty private, but in 2018, Skyrocket Press is taking self-publishing to a new level.

We will continue to offer an array of reasonably priced author services, including developmental editing, line editing, proofreading, digital and print formatting, interior design, cover design, marketing, and ISBNs. We have a team of experienced editors and artists working together on every project to make sure each project reaches its fullest potential. New clients receive 10% off their first service.

In addition, Skyrocket Press has opened its first publishing imprint, which will publish and distribute non-fiction self-help and how-to e-books. This arm of our business follows the traditional publishing model, offering authors a generous 35% of net sales. Writers can submit their non-fiction manuscripts to Skyrocket Press for consideration, but we may also offer publishing contracts to our editorial/design clients if their project meets our criteria.

For details about Skyrocket Press's author services or how to submit to our non-fiction imprint, visit us at

Monday, January 22, 2018

History's Mysteries: Curious Clues, Cold Cases, and Puzzles from the Past by National Geographic Kids, compiled by Kitson Jazynka

Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am looking at a book from one of my favorite publishers- National Geographic Kids. History's Mysteries is a look into the puzzles and unexplainable events from the past.

Readers will get to look at vanished civilizations, strange myths and legends, unknown mummies and many more mysteries that have stumped historians and scientists. The photographs are top notch and the layouts are eye appealing. My favorite part is the layout of the book. Each new case starts with background information and then goes into details about the found object or legend. A list of clues is given and then theories are introduced on what may be the answer to original question. 

For example, a mummy was unearthed in the 1800's. When the historian unwrapped it, he discovered that the mummified specimen had been preserved in pain. It looked as if it was screaming in agony, its mouth open and nostrils flared. What had happened and why? The "detail" part explains the real mummification process, what should have been found after unwrapping the mummy and then contrasts the norm with the screaming mummy. Clues from an autopsy are listed and historical facts given. Then we have the theories. Perhaps this was a royal prince allowed to poison himself instead of face execution. Could it be a foreigner that was murdered and hastily buried to cover the murder's tracks? Who knows? Unfortunately, that's how most of the mysteries end, with theories no answers.

So, even though there are no big revelations, the best part is reading about mysterious I'd never heard of before. This book is full of puzzles that will have a child's mind thinking and imagining. It's like being a kid Sherlock. This book was a lot of fun and I'm giving it 4 stars!