The Bookshelf Corner

A creative space for all things books and writing….


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August Happenings!

Happy August, everyone!

It still kind of feels like it’s June but, no, it’s legit August 3, 2017 – which is just mind-blowing. We have 5 whole months left of 2017 and there’s still so much to accomplish! There’s not a whole lot happening this month but I will be engaged in try-hard mode to get stuff done. I’m really behind in a lot of things.

Here’s what’s happening this month:

 

The Blog
I will be posting Tues/Thurs/Sat for the next two weeks, then every day from the 19th to 26th. Afterwards, I will be taking a personal no-obligations vacation until September 1st.

The Bookshelf Corner was nominated for three awards this month – very exciting! Thank you, thank you to Laura @ thebookcorps and Mischenko @ ReadRantRock&Roll for nominating me. That was very kind of you. In case you missed those posts, you can check out the awards I was nominated by Mischenko here and by Laura here.

The blog also reached a huge milestone of publishing its 200th post and did its first interview with new author Hannah Bucchin, whose debut novel, Paintbrush, was released last month!

 

The TBR List + Novel Updates
I have made no progress with either which is really disappointing. Work has been tough, that is, I’m more often than not very tired afterwards. I am going to do my best (try-hard mode!) to make substantial progress by next month.

Once I finish my summer reading, I have an exciting Fall TBR list (sneak peek) planned that I can’t wait to get started on.

 

Book Recommendation of the Month

The More I See You by Lynn Kurland
(de Piaget, book 7)
Published by Berkley Publishing, October 1, 1999

Image via Goodreads


As always, happy reading and happy writing!


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Fall 2017 TBR List – SNEAK PEEK!!!

I’m super excited about the books I have planned to read this coming fall (that is, want to get through). Each month – September to December – has a “theme” I guess (but not really). There will likely be a few NetGalley books randomly throughout. Grouping the books this way just made sense and felt organized. It took away some of the pressure I usually feel when compiling a TBR list. Below you’ll find a TBR list for each month (note: this isn’t the official list; it’s still a work in progress):


September – Books by Tamora Pierce
She has so many great books that it was hard to make this list. Spending a month reading her books is going to be so much fun!

Magic Steps (The Circle Opens, book 1)
The Will of the Empress (Circle Reforged, book 1)
Lioness Rampant (Song of the Lioness, book 4)
Lady Knight (Protector of the Small, book 4)


October – Catch-Up On Book Series
I have a lot of book series I need to catch up on since I won’t have time for them this summer.

Dreamer’s Daughter by Lynn Kurland (A Novel of the Nine Kingdoms, book 9)
Scorpion Mountain by John Flanagan (Brotherband Chronicles, book 5)
The Ghostfaces by John Flanagan (Brotherband Chronicles, book 6)
Forever by Maggie Stiefvater (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, book 3)
Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard (Red Queen, book 2)


November – Picture Books
This month will be all about picture books. I really enjoyed all the ones I read earlier this year that I wanted to make time to read some more.

How To Babysit A Grandma by Jean Reagan, Illus. Lee Wildish
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Press Here by Hervé Tuliet
The Wonderful Things You Will Be by Emily Winfield Martin
Lilly’s Big Day by Kevin Henkes
Chicken in Space by Adam Lehrhaupt, Illus. Shahar Kober
Dragons Love Tacos 2 by Adam Rubin, Illus. Daniel Salmieri
Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty, Illus. David Roberts
If You Give a Mouse a Brownie by Laura Numeroff, Illus. Felicia Bond
Wolfie the Bunny by Ame Dyckman, Illus. Zachariah OHora
The Pigeon Wants A Puppy by Mo Willems


December – Newly Released Books
These are all books that have already been released this year but I haven’t had a chance to read/acquire yet. This may or may not happen but I won’t know until it gets closer to this month.

Shadowstorm by Dianne Slyvan (Shadow World, book 6)
Thirteen Rising by Romina Russell (Zodiac, book 4)
Siege of Shadows by Sarah Raughley (Effigies, book 2)


That’s all for today!

Have you read any of these books? If so, what did you think of them? If you have any book recommendations, let me know in the comments below; I’m always on the hunt for new books to read.

And, as always, happy reading!


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Update: Summer Reading List

This summer has been super busy for me, which has left me more often than not really tired and with little time or energy to focus on reading. So I’ve decided to shorten my summer reading list to something that works better with my schedule this summer. The books that were on this list previously I’ll save for the Fall season.

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

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

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

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

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

As always, happy reading!

 


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Book Release Day Special: Interview with Debut Author, Hannah Bucchin

Thanks to NetGalley and Blaze Publishing, I had the opportunity to read an ARC copy of Hannah Bucchin’s debut young adult contemporary/romance novel, Paintbrush, now released TODAY!


Mitchell Morrison and Josie Sedgwick have spent their whole lives at the Indian Paintbrush Community Village, a commune full of colorful characters tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, and they aren’t particularly close—at least, not anymore. Josie wishes she could spend all of her time at Paintbrush planting tomatoes, hiking the trails, or throwing giant communal birthday parties, while Mitchell can’t wait to escape the bizarre spiritual sharing and noisy community dinners. Luckily for both of them, high school graduation is just around the corner.

But when Mitchell’s mother makes a scandalous announcement that rocks the close-knit Paintbrush community, and Josie’s younger sister starts to make some dangerously bad decisions, the two find themselves leaning on each other for support—and looking at each other in a whole new light. Their childhood friendship blossoms in to something more as they deal with their insane families, but as graduation approaches, so does life in the real world, forcing Josie and Mitchell to figure out what, exactly, their relationship is—and if it can survive their very different plans for the future.


Paintbrush was such a great read for me that I immediately wanted to learn more about it from its author. Doubly thanks to Blaze Publishing and Hannah Bucchin for agreeing to an interview.

 

The Bookshelf Corner: First off, congratulations on publishing your first novel. Paintbrush was such a lovely read and so very you. Based on your author profile, I can see aspects of yourself woven into the setting, scenery and characters. How did this story come to be?

Hannah Bucchin: Thank you so much! This was really a story inspired by place – during my very first visit to the mountains of North Carolina almost four years ago, I was so inspired by the beautiful scenery and vivid culture of the area. The more I visited, the more I fell in love, and the more the story and characters took shape in my head.

 

 

TBC: Family and community are big parts of your novel and they’re presented in a way that’s welcoming and familiar. Was there anything from your life that helped to create these elements?

HB: I’m extremely close with my family, so writing about a tight-knit community came pretty naturally to me. I also had a very close group of friends in college – we essentially spent every waking moment together for four years. These relationships helped to inspire the group dynamics of the characters in Paintbrush – the inside jokes, the constant chatter, the way you sometimes can’t decide if someone’s little quirks are annoying or endearing (or both). With both my family and my friends, I love being part of a group where everyone knows everyone else’s flaws and secrets and decides to accept each other anyway, and these are the kind of relationships I tried to create in Paintbrush.

 

 

TBC: Senior year of high school, deciding where to go to college, and figuring out what to do with your life are very stressful things, as Mitchell and Josie demonstrate. How did you go about senior year and deciding on what to do after graduation?

HB: I remember feeling like a scattered mess my senior year when it came time to make a decision about college. It took me forever to pick a college, and then forever to decide what I actually wanted to study. And then when I actually got to college, I still changed my mind about four different times. The end of high school felt so monumental, and I remember feeling like there was just one right choice –  like I would only be happy at one college, or studying one particular thing, and if I messed up and chose wrong then my whole life would be ruined. If I could go back in time I would tell myself that it’s okay to figure it out as you go along. I never thought I would end up going to college in North Carolina, 500 miles away from home in a state I had never even been before, but it turned out to be the perfect place for me.

 

 

TBC: Besides young adult fiction, what other genre(s) do you like to write and/or read about?

HB: I love to read anything and everything – my favorite books range from Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey to the entire Game of Thrones series to anything Sarah Dessen has ever written. But as far as writing goes, I almost always stick with YA Contemporary. It’s the genre that feels the most truthful to me, and the genre that has affected and changed my life the most.

 

 

TBC: What inspires your writing – authors, books, music, etc?

HB: Other books! Music, but not necessarily the lyrics – more like the feeling you get when you listen. Movies. The people around me. So much of it is place – sometimes when I’m in a unique or beautiful place, it’s like I can see the story coming to life around me.

 

 

TBC: Paintbrush is being released this summer, which I find to be great timing as it’s the perfect summer read. What’s on your summer To Be Read list?

HB: So much! A Million Junes by Emily Henry, The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord, The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, Once and For All by Sarah Dessen. Also The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead, Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld, Swing Time by Zadie Smith.

 

 

TBC: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

HB: SIT DOWN AND DO IT. Seriously. The actual sitting down and writing is the hardest part. Don’t get too bogged down in world-building and character profiles and meticulously detailed outlines. Just sit down and write. Getting the words onto the page is the hardest part. You can always edit later.

 

 

TBC: I believe Paintbrush will be a success with many readers who will no doubt be looking for more books by you after reading it. I know it might be early, but what’s next for you? Any books you wish to publish in the future?

HB: Yes! I can’t reveal too much detail now, but my current WIP takes place in a small town on the coast of Maine and follows the story of two very different sisters as they try to fix their broken relationship over the course of a summer.

 

Thank you so much, Hannah Bucchin, for your time!

Hannah Bucchin, Author

 

Learn more about the author on her official website

 

Follow Hannah Bucchin on Instagram

 

 

 

 

Read My Review of Paintbrush here


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Book Review: Once and for All by Sarah Dessen

Image via Goodreads | Published by Viking Books for Young Readers

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

 

Book Summary (via Goodreads):
As bubbly as champagne and delectable as wedding cake, Once and for All, Sarah Dessen’s thirteenth novel, is set in the world of wedding planning, where crises are routine.

Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

Sarah Dessen’s many, many fans will adore her latest, a richly satisfying, enormously entertaining story that has everything—humor, romance, and an ending both happy and imperfect, just like life itself.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Review:
This is the first book I’ve read by Sarah Dessen and I loved it. Once and for All is a beautiful story of love, second chances at love, and if happily-ever-afters exist.

This novel really pulls at the heart-strings, especially with what incites the conflict and every obstacle that follows. What made me pick up this book was that it involved wedding planning and the premise seemed really interesting. Those two things combined surely would make a great story, right? It did. Also, let’s not forget that the cover is simple but gorgeous.

Every character I loved and had something wonderfully special about them.

I’ve read stories with cynical main characters before but Louna – which, by the way, I love her name – has to be my favorite. There’s just something really likable about her that I can’t quite fully describe. She’s a cynic – and understandably so as you get further into the book – but her character is just so…on point and dynamic that her notions about love don’t deter a hopeless romantic like myself.

Ambrose I have a love-not-so-love feelings toward. I did not care for Ambrose for a majority of the story – probably because of his personality and overly cocky presence. But he’s not all bad. He has his moments. His character in the story is one thing that makes this story so good. In the early chapters of the book, I couldn’t see what effect he’d have on Louna by the end but his influence worked its way in well. Where their relationship ends up by the story’s conclusion I was 90-95% satisfied with.

Natalie Barrett (Louna’s mom) and William (Natalie’s partner at the company) are just darling. I loved them both and their back-stories. I found myself rooting for them as much as Louna. They are three lovable cynics. Louna’s best friend, Jilly, is great – the kind of friend everyone needs – and I love what the author chose as her family background.

I liked that the wedding planning business aspect was present throughout the entire story. I have no experience in that area but the weddings depicted in Once and for All I have no doubt have actually happened in real life. It was like watching an episode of Say Yes to the Dress. The story also flips back and forth between past and present a few times. I really enjoyed (contrary to the feels felt) those chapters that took place in the past and how Dessen placed them within the storyline so perfectly and with great affect.

As stated previously, this is my first time reading a book by Sarah Dessen. I’ve known about her books since (I think) This Lullaby was published and know her and her books are really popular. I never read any of her books way back then was because I was very much enthralled in fantasy worlds and knights and magic and shifters for a very long time (still am).

But I saw Once and for All on NetGalley. The cover looked so pretty so I was curious to see what it was about since I also recognized the author. I was very intrigued by the premise and wanted to read more. I’m glad I did. I have been missing out. Sarah Dessen is truly a talented writer and has a beautiful way of telling a story and crafting characters. Once and for All was a fantastic read and one of my favorite books of 2017 (so far). I highly recommend reading this book. I’m definitely going to check out her other novels.


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Beautiful Covers For New Anticipated Books

I’m a bit late to this but the covers for two books I’m looking forward to reading were recently revealed! I am so in awe of these beautiful covers. Just gorgeous. Sadly, these books won’t be released until early 2018. But for now enjoy these lovely book covers!

Heart on Fire by Amanda Bouchet
Kingmaker Chronicles, book 3
Publisher: Piatkus
Release Date: January 2, 2018

Image via Goodreads

Such a pretty and beautiful cover! Loving the blend of colors, especially where the power is emanating from Cat’s sword. She looks strong and stunning on this cover, like an Amazonian gladiator. This is sadly book three of the trilogy but I anticipate an epic conclusion to Cat and Griffin’s story.

Past Reviews: A Promise of Fire (Book 1) | Breath of Fire (Book 2)

 

Tempests and Slaughter by Tamora Pierce
The Numair Chronicles, book 1
Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers
Release Date: February 6, 2018

Image via Goodreads

Interesting and stunning cover. I am loving this cover. I have a guess of what the feather symbolizes but the dripping of gold has me at a loss (perhaps related to where the story takes place?). I might have to re-read the Immortals quartet again where Numair is primarily featured. I’ve been waiting for Numair’s story (from his younger days) to be told for many years so I have high expectations. But if it’s anything like this cover and author, it’s going to be fantastic.

Past Post: My Literary Hero: Tamora Pierce


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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! ♦