Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: Truly Tyler by Terri Libenson

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Series: Emmie & Friends #5
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Cliques. Crushes. Comics. Middle school.

Ever since Tyler started getting into art and hanging out with Emmie, his friends and teammates have been giving him a hard time. He wonders why can’t he nerd out on drawing and play ball?

Emmie is psyched that she gets to work on a comics project with her crush, Tyler. But she gets the feeling that his friends don’t think she’s cool enough. Maybe it’s time for a total reinvention. . . .

 

My Review: Truly Tyler was everything I hoped it would be. One of my most anticipated 2021 releases, I was very excited to read this next installment in the Emmie & Friends series. Tyler’s book was an absolute joy to read!

Truly Tyler continues the storylines from book 1, Invisible Emmie, and the new social dynamics Emmie and Tyler now find themselves in. Tyler is torn between his two passions, art and basketball. Meanwhile, the teasing both he and Emmie have been getting causes Emmie to not feel popular/cool enough and way out of Tyler’s league. The two then struggle with working together on their comic book project as well as the straining relationships with their friend groups.

This story was really absorbing. It’s way longer than all the other books but Libenson makes every page count with her engaging art style. She always creates a fun atmosphere to enjoy her stories within. The straightforward plot is woven together with timeless, relatable themes that throw you back to those awkward middle school days. Wanting to be yourself but at the same time fit in and be liked.

Tyler is a great main character. I liked learning about him as more than Emmie’s secret crush. I connected with Tyler feeling divided over having multiple interests and feeling pressed to decide on one thing to define who you are. Although Emmie is still that same insecure, awkward turtle from book 1, she grows even more so in this book. I liked how she comes into her own as a much stronger version of herself.

Truly Tyler was another excellent addition to the Emmie & Friends series. It was honest, delightful, and very entertaining. Libenson is a talented storyteller and illustrated. I hope there will be more books in the future!


More by Terri Libenson

Emmie & Friends
Invisible Emmie (#1)
Positively Izzy (#2)
Just Jaime (#3)
Becoming Brianna (#4)

Categories
Bookish Memes Waiting On Wednesday

Waiting On Wednesday – April 28, 2021

Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine where you spotlight a highly anticipated book.


Happy Wednesday, Bookworms!

I am supremely happy for Terri Libenson‘s next book, Truly Tyler, starring Tyler from the Emmie & Friends series!

Libenson’s books are a joy to read. She has such a unique, artistic way of telling the story. With each book I feel we get real, likable characters with realistic problems. Her graphic novels are always filled with humor and delightful illustrations.

I love that Tyler is getting his own book. It’s a great change of pace and I definitely will be reading this one asap.

Truly Tyler hits shelves on May 4, 2021.

Image via Goodreads

ABOUT: A story about being your truest self—and trusting your truest friends—from bestselling author Terri Libenson. Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Shannon Hale.

Cliques. Crushes. Comics. Middle school.

Ever since Tyler started getting into art and hanging out with Emmie, his friends and teammates have been giving him a hard time. He wonders why can’t he nerd out on drawing and play ball?

Emmie is psyched that she gets to work on a comics project with her crush, Tyler. But she gets the feeling that his friends don’t think she’s cool enough. Maybe it’s time for a total reinvention.


As Always, Happy Reading!!!

CONNECT WITH ME | Goodreads | Instagram

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: Becoming Brianna by Terri Libenson

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Series: Emmie & Friends #4
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Recommend to Others?: Yes

ABOUT: Middle school is full of challenges.

Everyone knows how much brainy Bri likes the spotlight (not). So why did she ever agree to something that forces her to learn a new language, give a speech, help organize a party, and juggle drama at school and home?! As the big event inches closer, Bri wonders if it’s all worth it. . . .

Told in alternating past and present chapters, Bri’s heartwarming story unfolds over the eight months leading up to her bat mitzvah–as well as over the course of the big day itself.

 

My Review: I loved the Emmie & Friends series so much and this new book has made me love it even more! Becoming Brianna had me hooked from page one. I was eager to see how she would overcome having a bat mitzvah (with only 8 months to prepare), middle school drama, and her best friend, Emmie’s, close friendship with someone else.

Terri Libenson is a very talented artist, writer, and storyteller. Her stories are always so captivating and relatable, tackling middle school aged issues big and small. She’s so good at juxtaposing the past and present. It’d be difficult for a reader to not walk away from this creative story without thinking at last one “been there, done that.”

I wish these books had been around when I was Brianna’s age. They would have helped so much – such as with public speaking – and made life a bit easier and more understandable. I wasn’t a huge reader then, but I’m positive this series would have turned me into a bookworm.

I loved getting to know Brianna and reuniting with past characters. I also loved the art – so imaginative and funny! I adored Rabbi Nosanchuk and Brianna’s friend Dev.

This was such a great read! When I received my copy of Becoming Brianna I was surprised by how thick the book was. The other books are much thinner. But the story never dragged. Everything fell into place quite nicely.

I’m so glad to have read this book and series!

Categories
About Books

#currentlyreading | Becoming Brianna by Terri Libenson

Happy Sunday, Bookworms!!!

What are you currently reading?

I’m reading one the books from my most recent book haul, Becoming Brianna by Terri Libenson, the latest book in the Emmie & Friends series.

I’m so thrilled to be reading this book! I picked up Invisible Emmie (book 1) on a whim at a Scholastic book fair and instantly became hooked on this series, the amazing art, and unique format to tell the story. I highly recommend this memorable series if you like middle grade books and/or graphic novels 😄

 

📘ABOUT📘 Middle school is full of challenges.

Everyone knows how much brainy Bri likes the spotlight (not). So why did she ever agree to something that forces her to learn a new language, give a speech, help organize a party, and juggle drama at school and home?! As the big event inches closer, Bri wonders if it’s all worth it. . . .

Told in alternating past and present chapters, Bri’s heartwarming story unfolds over the eight months leading up to her bat mitzvah—as well as over the course of the big day itself.

 

More Emmie & Friends

Invisible Emmie – book 1
Positively Izzy – book 2
Just Jaime – book 3

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: “Just Jaime” by Terri Libenson

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Series: Emmie & Friends
Rating: 5 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

ABOUT: Friends. Frenemies. Middle school…

The last day of seventh grade has Jaime and Maya wondering who their real friends are.

Jaime knows something is off with her friend group. They’ve started to exclude her and make fun of the way she dresses and the things she likes. At least she can count on her BFF, Maya, to have her back . . . right?

Maya feels more and more annoyed with Jaime, who seems babyish compared to the other girls in their popular group. It’s like she has nothing in common with Jai anymore. Are their days as BFFs numbered . . . ?

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

My Review:
Another fantastic read from Terri Libenson! Navigating friendships is a timeless, relatable endeavor.

I like that Jaime is her 100% authentic self through everything that happens and even acknowledges her flaws and how her actions might have affected others. Briana just wanted to fit in – appearances really matter at this age – and I liked that by the end she (and Jaime too) is changed for the better.

The author executes the realism of the conflict through well described and drawn internal/external conflicts. The reappearance of past characters was a nice surprise. And, of course, Libenson’s illustrations dazzled and delighted me.

I read this book in one sitting and I can’t wait to read her next book, Becoming Briana, when it comes out next year! Libenson writes great books and is a wonderful storyteller and illustrator. She expertly captures the essence of middle school life in all it’s great and terrible glory.

Categories
Book Reviews

Book Review: Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Rating: 4 out of 5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Summary (via Goodreads):
This is the story of two totally different girls—quiet, shy, artistic Emmie and popular, outgoing, athletic Katie—and how their lives unexpectedly intersect one day when an embarrassing note falls into the wrong hands.

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

My Review:
A pretty cool graphic novel featuring two very polar opposite kids and their experience in middle school.

Emmie is virtually invisible, seen and heard by no one but her best friend Brianna. This makes surviving the craziness of middle school almost impossible, torture even.

Katie is what you imagine the stereotypical most popular girl in school to be (minus the meanness). Life in middle school is easy for her, or “lucky” as she refers to it.

So when these two personalities intersect, it’s really interesting to see the shift in their lives. And all because of note getting into the absolutely worst person’s hands. It’s a back and forth of this is the worst thing and best thing that has every happened type of thing.

The story is well told. The artwork adds such a humorous dynamic to the whole situation. I really love the author’s illustrations and how she blends traditional text with speech bubble texts (like you’d expect in a real cartoon).

I liked how the story ended for Emmie but found Katie’s ending unrealistic (or at least a very rare thing to happen).

Terri Libenson has quickly become a favorite author/illustrator of mine. I can’t wait to read more books by her.

Categories
Bookish Lists TBR Lists

TBR At A Glance – 4/2/19

Royalty Free Image via Pixabay | Edited in Paint

CURRENTLY READING

The Consumption of Magic by T. J. Klune (Tales From Verania, book 3)

 

READING NEXT

Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown

All’s Faire In Middle School by Victoria Jamieson

Warrior of the Wild by Tricia Levenseller

A Wish Upon The Stars by T. J. Klune (Tales From Verania, book 4)

 

RECENT REVIEWS

Have Sword, Will Travel by Garth Nix and Sean Williams

Ungifted by Gordon Korman

 

REVIEWS COMING SOON

April 3Guardians of the Taiga by StacyPlays (Wild Rescuers, book 1)

April 8 – Catwad by Jim Benton

April 10 – Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson