The Bookshelf Corner

A creative space for all things books and writing….


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2017 Summer Reading List

Currently Reading: Slaves of Socorro by John Flanagan (Brotherband Chronicles, book 4)

Currently Reading: Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

(ARC) Blood Guard by Megan Erickson (Mission, book 1)

River of Dreams by Lynn Kurland (A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms, book 8)

Dreamer’s Daughter by Lynn Kurland (A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms, book 9)

Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen, book 2)

Battle Magic by Tamora Pierce (The Circle Reforged, book 3)

(2nd Read) Mastiff by Tamora Pierce (Beka Cooper, book 3)

Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan (Brotherband Chronicles, book 5)

The Ghostfaces by John Flanagan (Brotherband Chronicles, book 6)

 

♦ Happy First Day of Summer! I hope everyone has a great summer season! ♦

♦ What’s on your summer TBR list? ♦

♦ As always, happy reading and happy writing! ♦


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(NetGalley) Book Review: Waiting for Sophie by Sarah Ellis, Illustrated Carmen Mok

Thank you to NetGalley, Pajama Press, and Myrick Marketing & Media for providing me with an e-copy (of the ARC galley) to read and review.
Waiting for Sophie was recently released April 3, 2017.
I received an e-copy of this book after its initial publication.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Picture Book
Rating: 4/5
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Quote: “I want to smash it to smithereens and flush it down the toilet.”

 

My Summary:
Liam has been waiting a long time for his baby sister, Sophie, to arrive. He couldn’t be happier when she finally comes home. But in no time he starts to become impatient and wishes she would grow up faster so they can play and do more things together. Can Liam learn the virtue of patience?

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My Review:
A cute story that teaches children about patience. It’s especially perfect for parents to read to their small (only) child when there’s another on the way.

Carmen Mok does a wonderful job with the illustrations and I love the color palette she chose.

I found myself invested in the story, anticipating how Liam would deal with his disappointment about all the things Sophie can’t do. He has a typical reaction to Sophie and I was pleasantly surprised at how adorably proactive he became.

I think my favorite thing about this book was whenever the word “smithereens” was used – it’s such a quirky, funny-sounding word to include in a children’s book. However, I’m really confused about why the grandmother is called “Nana-Downstairs.” Is it that she lives downstairs in the house? I had a hard time getting past the oddity of her name which felt so out-of-place.

Sarah Ellis has a way with words; I would read more books by her.


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Library Mini Haul! & Slight Change To TBR List

An unexpected thing happened. My local library recently acquired Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley and Once and for All by Sarah Dessen!

I first found these books on NetGalley but one wasn’t available for request and the other I didn’t feel I met the publisher’s approval requirements. Later I saw that my library was ordering a copy of both titles, which made me so so happy that I immediately placed a hold on them. I was thoroughly surprised and didn’t expect them to become available so soon but I’m happy they did. However, this means I’m going to have to adjust my TBR list for the next couple of weeks.

Below lists what I’m currently (still) reading, what I plan to read next, and then what I’ll be reading afterwards.

CURRENTLY READING:

Image via Goodreads

Image via NetGalley | ARC copy

READING NEXT:

Image via NetGalley | ARC copy

Image via Goodreads

READING AFTERWARDS:

Image via Goodreads

Image via Goodreads

Reading 2 books at once is always challenging but reading 6 total in two weeks is certainly bananas! But I’m really excited to read all these books and can’t wait to write reviews for them. My Summer Reading List will be up June 21 – the first day of summer!

To stay up-to-date on all the books I’m reading, you can follow my Goodreads page.

To stay up-to-date on the blog, you can follow me on Twitter @bookshelfcorner.

Have a great day, everyone! And happy reading!

 


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(NetGalley) Book Review: Prophecy Awakened by Tamar Sloan

Thank you to NetGalley, Clean Reads, and Xpresso Book Tours for providing me with an e-copy to read and review.

Prophecy Awakened is a new book recently released April 25, 2017 and is now available in e-book format.

I received an e-copy after its initial publication.

 

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Paranormal Romance
Series: Prime Prophecy Series, book 1
Rating: 4.5/5 (Note: I gave this book 5 stars on NetGalley and Goodreads, which don’t have half rating)
Recommend to Others?: Yes
Favorite Passage: “Downstairs the front door opens and closes, and Mitch’s voice skips up the stairs. Stash lets out an excited bark and launches off the bed in a single leap. His jet-propelled body vaults through Noah as if he doesn’t pose a barrier. And he doesn’t, he’s unceremoniously bowled backwards from the bed. Stash streaks from the room without a second glance. Noah is nowhere to be seen.”

 

My Summary:
Eden St. James has never been able to fit in. Anywhere. Shy and self-conscious, and an uncanny ability with animals, she doesn’t expect her life at her new school to be any different. That is, until she makes eye contact with Noah Phelan.

Noah has felt lost for the past two years after his intended path in life mysteriously halts. It seems he can do nothing but continue on toward a partly uncertain future. But what he is sure about is the instant attraction he feels when he meets Eden, diverting his path toward something possibly truly wonderful.

Noah wants to see where this connection leads but Eden is hesitant to take a leap of faith. Can they solve the mystery of their unexpected connection?

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My Review:
This book was everything and then some – perfect for a paranormal romance-loving, wolf-obsessed, hopeless romantic like myself! One of my new favorite books ever and of 2017.

Tamar Sloan is a talented writer. Her writing is so wonderful, modern, lyrical, flowing and youthful. She puts together interesting and engaging details and descriptions that I can only hope to achieve with my own writings.

Prophecy Awakened has likable characters readers will love getting to know and just the right amount of romance. This story earned extra brownie points before it even began as it involves wolves (my spirit animal). Not to mention the cover is so pretty.

Eden was my favorite character as I could see much of myself in her. She’s brave and smart and quick-witted. But overall, she is a perfect protagonist to help tell this story. I loved the two dogs, Stash and Caesar – they’re so cute and playful and loyal and everything I love about dogs in general. I also liked that though you only get Eden’s and Noah’s POV, Mitch (Noah’s younger twin brother) and Tara (Mitch’s girlfriend) aren’t pushed to the background. You get to know and love them just as much as Eden and Noah.

As much as I loved this story there were still a few things that rankled me a little. There were one too many repeated phrases or similar descriptions of the same thing, most notably the word “heat” and its variant tense-spellings. Also, certain things happened in the story that would warrant an immediate investigation due to the significance, but it seemed like none of the immediate characters wanted to try to find the truth of the matter. It’s almost like they forgot about it or wanted to forget about it entirely. Why? I have no idea.

I like the things the author has done to differentiate her wolves from other books with wolves – for example, the shifting process, the size of the wolves. But it felt like there was some lack of strength of presence, something missing I can’t quite pinpoint. Perhaps it’s just a part of them blending in with the human populace? Perhaps I’m just used to the wild strength I’ve seen in other books involving wolves? But what is undeniable is the lovely sense of community and family you get from them.

Whatever issues I had with the story were far outweighed by my enjoyment of it. I was so engrossed in the story that I was reluctant (and sad) each time I had to put it down to go do something else. I can’t wait for the next book to come out. Prophecy Awakened was awesome to read and is a great YA novel to have on your bookshelf and TBR list.


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ARC Book Review: A Pattern for Pepper by Julie Kraulis

Thank you to NetGalley and Tundra Books for providing me with an advance copy to read and review.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Picture Book
Rating: 5/5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

My Summary:
Pepper needs a special dress for a very special occasion. But will she be able to find the perfect pattern that’s just right?

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My Review:
This book was so cute! Pepper is so adorable. She’s classy and sassy and knows what she wants just like any child. I got a Goldilocks and the Three Bears vibe from reading this story. I also liked learning about the different kinds of fabrics, which immersed me more into what was happening.

What I loved most about this book were the illustrations. My eyes swept over the pages, needing to take in every little wonderful detail and color. I love the way the pictures are laid out on the page and that sometimes you get a different angle/perspective of a scene. Interesting border choices are used as well that I found to be particularly complimentary to the story.

A sweet story that tells it like it is, I’d recommend it to child readers and anyone who enjoys children’s fiction. I definitely want to read more books by Julie Kraulis.

A Pattern for Pepper is set to be released August 1, 2017 by Tundra Books.


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ARC Book Review: Yak and Dove by Kyo Maclear, Pictures by Esmé Shapiro

Thank you to NetGalley and Tundra Books for providing me with an advance copy to read and review.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Picture Book
Rating: 5/5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

My Summary:
Yak and Dove are best friends until their polar-opposite differences come between them. Can they learn to accept each other for who they are?

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My Review:
This book was hilarious from start to finish! Yak and Dove had such a great concept and pretty illustrations.

It’s divided into three stories and is all dialogue, which I found refreshing. The font is distinguished enough between each character’s voice to easily follow along. I liked that this book was longer than the standard for picture books – I think the story would have had less of an impact if it had to be cut down.

I liked the book’s message that being friends with someone – or just interacting with someone – means accepting their differences as well because nobody is perfect. It made me think of the Maya Angelou quote, “We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike.” Also, the use of the word “horticulturist” might be too advanced for a picture book, but that could just be me.

Great story, lovely characters, interesting structure, immersive storytelling, wonderful illustrations. Yak and Dove is absolutely a book to add to your reading list.

Mark your calendars! Yak and Dove is set to be released September 19, 2017.


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ARC Book Review: Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin

Thank you to NetGalley and Blaze Publishing, LLC for providing me with an advanced copy to read and review.

Image via NetGalley

Genre: Young Adult Fiction/Contemporary, Romance
Rating: 5/5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

My Summary:
It’s senior year. Mitchell is the popular boy in school with an image to protect who can’t wait to leave the Indian Paintbrush Community Village for Sustainable Living right after graduation. Josie loves Paintbrush and would be perfectly happy spending the rest of her life there gardening – she thinks. The two long-time childhood friends begin to unknowingly take a more serious step in their relationship after “Mitchell’s mother makes a scandalous announcement” (from official book summary) and Josie starts to become fed up with one of her younger sister’s reckless behavior. Now they must navigate through the uncertainties of the present, figure out what they mean to each other, and decide what path their lives will take.

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My Review:
I really enjoyed reading this book.

What first caught my eye about Paintbrush was its cover. It’s so simple and pretty and I love the soft colors of purple, pink, orange, blue and green beautifully shaped into a flower against a white backdrop. I think it’s a perfect symbol for what the book is about.

The plot summary is what made me request this title. It sounded really interesting and just the right book for me.

Mitchell and Josie were great characters to get to know. All the characters were great – the Paintbrush community is full of all kinds of people you’ll just love. But these two just had something particularly refreshing about them that I haven’t seen in YA in a while. Their struggles and experiences, their growing relationship felt so real and relatable. They’re both 18, heading off to college soon, and trying to figure out life after graduation which is approaching fast. It’s such stressful and exciting time in a teenager’s life and I think the author perfectly captures this milestone of youth. The progression of Mitchell and Josie’s relationship – though rocky – was as lovely as the entire book.

The scenery in and around Paintbrush is gorgeous and vividly expressed. It made me long to see such landscapes and walk around in nature.

Hannah Bucchin’s debut novel, Paintbrush, was a delightful story that had me falling in love with the characters, on the edge of my seat with its plot, and feel all the feels with its touch of romance. This was a big win for me. And I look forward to reading more from her.

Paintbrush is set to be released July 11, 2017. You can learn more about the book and Hannah Bucchin author here.