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NetGalley Review: What’s All the Commotion?: A Book About Social Distancing

by Jessie Glenn,
Illustrated by Kevin King

Thank you Eldredge Books and NetGalley for the e-copy to read and review!

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Picture Book, Children’s Nonfiction, Health & Wellness
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Need a perfect conversation starter about Covid-19 for a child you know? “What’s All The Commotion” seeks to answer children’s questions simply and directly with an optimistic outlook.

Illustrated by Black Lives Matter muralist, Kevin King, the bright illustrations in “What’s All the Commotion” portray a diverse group of children and adults getting through social distancing, together.

The changes in children’s lives around the world due to the virus pandemic are startling and stressful in many cases. What’s All the Commotion? is a child psychologist vetted resource for parents, teachers, medical providers and other people with children.

 

My Review: What’s All the Commotion? is a good picture to help parents, guardians, and educators have an open discussion about covid-19 and the drastic life changes that have occurred.

It’s a very matter-of-fact book and simplistic with text and full color on one page and a beautiful, full color illustration on the other. The facts and information presented in this book is clear, concise and accessible.

I liked the tone of the story. It was inviting and welcoming, encouraging kids that it’s okay to have questions about what’s been happening and any fears or anxiety they’ve been having as a result of this virus.

What’s All the Commotion? is worth the read and also available on Kindle Unlimited.


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ARC Review: Set Fire To The Gods by Sara Raasch & Kristen Simmons

I won an ARC copy in Kristen Simmon’s birthday giveaway on Instagram.
Set Fire to the Gods is now on sale!

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Series: Set Fire to the Gods #1
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.

Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family’s taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn’t have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games. The fights put Madoc in Ash’s path, and she realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.

But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.

 

***This review ended up longer than expected. Feel free to just read the bold text. Thanks for reading!***

My Review: My heart is aflame with joy for Set Fire to the Gods, a riveting new YA Fantasy abundant with complex plots, elemental magic, and battles unlike any other.

I loved this book and its swoon-worthy title. “Set Fire to the Gods” has a lovely ring to it. And the cover is an elegant work of art that perfectly captures the breathtaking action to come.

Ash is a heroine unlike any other. She possesses an insurmountable strength to continue on after so much tragedy and with so much on the line if she fails. She dares to do the impossible, to bring down her god, no matter what it takes. At times she appeared a little childish (stubbornly reactive) at one moment and then collected (focused) in another. It made for conflicting views of who she was as a character. But I love Ash to bits and I can’t imagine any other to take on the conflict in this book and the larger conflict to come in the next.

Madoc is a family man with a big heart despite his upbringing. Everything he does is for his family’s sake, no matter the risk. He’s more passive than assertive, but I think figuring out what his gift is and how it could be used (and abused) kept me interested in him. He takes on such a heavy emotional toll that I wanted to give him a big hug and tell him things would be okay.

Ash and Madoc’s unintended interest in each other was so cute! After learning so much about them, they are exactly what the other has been secretly craving. I like the hint of romance in the background and that it wasn’t a primary focus but a silently wonderful addition to the plot.

Set Fire to the Gods really does embody the essence of Avatar: the Last Airbender and gladiators. The authors have created a cool take on the elements and even added some: the usual, earth, air, fire, water, but also plants and animals.

Another great thing about Set Fire to the Gods is that the gods physically exist on the same plane as humans and are an active part in the world and not a metaphysical one often seen in fantasy books. They are rooted in the elements they represent. The gods are immortal and humans mortal.

The class system simple but with great importance to the story. Those born with “energia” (the elemental powers) are the Divine and those without the Undivine and, as per usual of such distinction, the former lives an infinitely better life than the latter.

I really enjoyed reading Set Fire to the Gods. After so much tension and action and arena fights and that climatic scene (oh-my-goodness!), I am so excited for book 2.


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Weekend Writing Prompt #50

PICTURE PROMPT: Write a middle grade fantasy story based on the image below. Write the story in part prose and part verse.

 

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay

 

Eager to write more? Check out more writing prompts here!

HAPPY WRITING!!!
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August 2020 New Book Release

Happy Wednesday, Bookworms!

What August book releases are you most excited for?

There’s a pretty great lineup of amazing sounding book being published. This summer has been packed to the brim with them.

Today I’m spotlight my most anticipated August book releases that I think you may also be interested in reading.

*Images via Goodreads*

AUGUST 4

The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds
Young Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction

Set Fire to the Gods by Sara Raasch & Kristen Simmons
Young Adult Fantasy

 

AUGUST 11

A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation by Momochi, Misaki, Sando
Manga, Graphic Novel, Fantasy

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar
Young Adult Fantasy

 

AUGUST 18

Black Butler by Yana Toboso (Volume 29)
Manga, Graphic Novel, Dark Fantasy

Six Angry Girls by Adrienne Kisner
Young Adult Contemporary

 

AUGUST 25

The Blood King by Abigail Owens
Paranormal Romance

Inferno by Donna Grant
Paranormal Romance

Now That I’ve Found You by Kristina Forest
Young Adult Contemporary Romance


Be kind.

Stay safe.

Wear a mask.

Social distance.

Wash your hands.


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!

CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

 


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Top Ten Tuesday: Books with Colors In the Titles

Happy Tuesday, Bookworms!

Today’s Top Ten Tuesday prompt is: Books with Colors in the Titles. I really like this prompt but I had to deep dive into books I’ve already read to find ten.

My Top Ten Tuesday list includes (with review *links*):

 

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Last week I finished this and still cannot believe how good this book was! A must read! I’m not sure if I’ll have my review posted this week but next week at the latest.

 

Snow White with the Red Hair by Sorata Akiduki*
I adore this series and would recommend this series to anyone who is a fan of sweet, romantic, love stories with equally loveable characters. I’ve watched the anime in dub and it’s awesome. As for the manga, there are 8 volumes available in English with volume 9 to be published September 1, 2020. I have only read up to volume 7, but I look forward to reading the coming volumes hopefully later this year.

 

Black Butler by Yana Toboso*
This dark fantasy is one of a kind. It’s one of my favorite manga/anime of all time! Volume 29 is being published August 18, 2020. I am beyond excited because have gone wild within the past few volumes!

 

The Green and the Gray by Timothy Zahn
This is an old (very old!) favorite standalone of mine. I’m not that into sci-fi books but Zahn has a masterful way of telling a gripping story. I’d like to reread this book someday.

 

Black Moon by Romina Russell*
In Book 3 of the Zodiac series, the stakes raise to the next level. It’s sometimes hard to describe just how epic this series is. Book 3 really pumps you up for the next/final book. I highly recommend the Zodiac series if you love YA and sci-fi/fantasy stories.

 

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard*
I was blown away by book 1 – such complexity of plot, intense danger and detailed world building. This book was really good. However, I haven’t continued the story. It’s not because the book is bad. Far from it! It’s an intricately woven story that’s skillfully written. I just don’t see myself finishing it in the near future.

 

The House In The Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune*
Beautifully written and heartfelt with a lovable cast of characters, this story exceeded my expectations. It was slow at first and I wasn’t sure if things would get more interesting. But when it did I was 100% enthralled as by-the-books man, Linus, got to know the rat-tag group of kids who had been vehemently rejects, scorned, and feared by society. I love this book to bits!

 

Violet Eyes by Debbie Viguié
A retelling of “The Princess and the Pea,” is one of my favorite out of the Once Upon A Times series. I don’t remember much of the story, which is why I want to reread it at some point this year.

 

Scarlet Moon by Debbie Viguié
This is a retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood.” I know I liked the story but don’t remember why.

 

Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley*
A well-written but okay book. I didn’t enjoy it as much as I though I would and don’t think this story was for me. I think others will find it more pleasing.

 

What books did you put on your top ten list? Did you fine making this list easy or difficult?


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme originally created by The Broke and the Bookish, but is now run by That Artsy Reader Girl.


AS ALWAYS, HAPPY READING!!!

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#PubDayTuesday: Set Fire to the Gods

ABOUT: Ash is descended from a long line of gladiators, and she knows the brutal nature of war firsthand. But after her mother dies in an arena, she vows to avenge her by overthrowing her fire god, whose temper has stripped her country of its resources.

Madoc grew up fighting on the streets to pay his family’s taxes. But he hides a dangerous secret: he doesn’t have the earth god’s powers like his opponents. His elemental gift is something else—something that hasn’t been seen in centuries.

When an attempted revenge plot goes dangerously wrong, Ash inadvertently throws the fire and earth gods into a conflict that can only be settled by deadly, lavish gladiator games. The fights put Madoc in Ash’s path, and she realizes that his powers are the weapon her rebellion needs—but Madoc won’t jeopardize his family, regardless of how intrigued he is by the beautiful warrior.

But when the gods force Madoc’s hand, he and Ash uncover an ancient war that will threaten more than one immortal—it will unravel the world.

Review TBA


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August Happenings!

A Change of Scenery…

I’m in need of a change of scenery both for this blog and in real life. It’s a need that’s been building since March likely due to being out of work and home so much.

I’m thinking of changing the theme appearance of the blog, which is not unheard of as I tend to change its appearance to fit the season. I have been tweaking the site to make it more user friendly. I will for sure be rearranging my bookshelves (for the thousandth time!) and/or all of the furniture in the room that they’re in. Who knows.

 

More Summer Reading Adventures…

With only less than two months of summer left, I need speed up my reading or make an executive decision to remove books. I’m still reading Set Fire to the Gods and mostly likely won’t finish reading and post my review until later this week.

But I do have some exciting reading adventures planned for August. Next up, I’ll be reading:

Rose Petal Graves by Olivia Wildenstein &
Entangled by J. S. Scott

Smash It! by Francina Simone (ARC) &
Trial By Fire by Jennifer Lynn Barnes

Damsel by Elana K. Arnold &
Tristan Strong Punches A Hole In The Sky by Kwame Mbalia

The Last Second Chance by Lucy Score &
Knight of the Silver Circle by Duncan M. Hamilton


I wish everyone a wonderful reading month and continued good health. Have a great day!

As Always, Happy Reading!!!

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ARC Manga Review: A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation by Misake, Momochi, Sando (Volume 1)

Thank you to Diamond Book Distributer (Tokyopop) and NetGalley for the e-ARC to read and review! A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation goes on sale August 11, 2020.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Manga
Series: A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation
# of Volumes: 2 (ongoing)
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: When Lizel mysteriously finds himself in a city that bears odd similarities to his own but clearly isn’t, he quickly comes to terms with the unlikely truth: this is an entirely different world. Even so, laid-back Lizel isn’t the type to panic.

He immediately sets out to learn more about this strange place, and to help him do so, hires a seasoned adventurer named Gil as his tour guide and protector. Until he’s able to find a way home, Lizel figures this is a perfect opportunity to explore a new way of life adventuring as part of a guild.

After all, he’s sure he’ll go home eventually… might as well enjoy the otherworldly vacation for now!

 

My Review: A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation is an unusual but laid back read. I enjoyed this first volume a lot and feel the story thus far shows promise.

Lizel is calm, cool, and collected. He is also intelligent with wicked wits. But all in all he is a good guy with a good heart. People are drawn to his polite manner and nature. He literally behaves like he’s on a vacation until he can find a way home. There is more to this character I’m sure of it. We don’t know much about him – as he tells Gil, we haven’t asked the right questions.

I am in love with Gil. He’s stoic, calm but cautious, and sure of himself and his abilities. He is a stark contrast to Lizel, which provides a lot of comedic moments through the story. Gil, I think, is drawn to Lizel because of Lizel’s competency and how he keeps surprising him.

The world of A Gentle Noble’s Vacation Recommendation is easy to immerse yourself in. It’s world-building is pretty standard and the idea of adventurers and adventuring is explained well. The fantasy element is very appealing. You meet other interesting characters but I’m hoping that develops a bit more in the next volume.

I would continue reading this series because I am highly invested in the story. The art style is beautiful and I love Lizel and Gil together. Would recommend this series.


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[August 2020] BOTM: Alanna: The First Adventure by Tamora Pierce

Image via Goodreads

Title: Alanna: The First Adventure
Series: Song of the Lioness #1
Author: Tamora Pierce
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
2009 Edition Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Recommended?: Yes

Goodreads Summary: “From now on I’m Alan of Trebond, the younger twin. I’ll be a knight.”

And so young Alanna of Trebond begins the journey to knighthood. Though a girl, Alanna has always craved the adventure and daring allowed only for boys; her twin brother, Thom, yearns to learn the art of magic. So one day they decide to switch places: Thom heads for the convent to learn magic; Alanna, pretending to be a boy, is on her way to the castle of King Roald to begin her training as a page.

But the road to knighthood is not an easy one. As Alanna masters the skills necessary for battle, she must also learn to control her heart and to discern her enemies from her allies.

Filled with swords and sorcery, adventure and intrigue, good and evil, Alanna’s first adventure begins – one that will lead to the fulfillment of her dreams and the magical destiny that will make her a legend in her land.