The Bookshelf Corner

A creative space for all things books and writing….


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Must-Read Books I Need To Read Soon

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Biography | Published: June 6th 2017 | Publisher: Atria Books

I love Kevin Hart. From what I know about him, I feel this will be a very interesting, very funny, very inspirational book. And the cover is amazingly adorable.


Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Image via Goodreads

Genre: Young Adult Fiction | (To Be) Published: October 10, 2017 | Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers

I know this one isn’t out for another two months but I’m very interested in reading it. The title, synopsis, and author are what make me want to read this. I have a feeling it’s going to be a great read.


Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow

Image via Goodreads | Ed Published March 29, 2005 by Penguin Books

Genre: Biography | (First) Published: April 26, 2004

You know I love the Hamilton musical. Biographies are definitely not a genre I like to read – even though I love history. But I’m too curious about this book. I loved the musical so much and the story is just so fascinating that I want to read the inspiration behind it.


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Double Book Release Day!!!

HAPPY BOOK RELEASE DAY! to two wonderful new books:

A Pattern for Pepper by Julie Kraulis and All Things New by Lauren Miller


Thank you again to NetGalley, Tundra Books, and Three Saints Press for providing me with e-ARCs to read and review.

*title/author links lead to my book review of each book*


Image via NetGalley

A Pattern for Pepper by Julie Kraulis

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

 

Book Summary (via NetGalley):
Pepper is getting a dress made for a special occasion. It’s the first dress that has ever been made just for her, and she wants it to be perfect. But what pattern is right for her? Pepper is particular, and nothing works at first. Dotted Swiss? Too plain. Houndstooth? Not enough color. Pinstripe? Too glum. As Pepper learns about each fabric, she finds a reason why it’s just not the one. Will Pepper ever be able to find the perfect pattern? 
Julie Kraulis takes readers on a journey through gorgeous patterns and their origins–from the mountains of Switzerland to the green grass of Scotland–in search of Pepper’s ideal pattern. The incredible illustrations make for a dress, a character and a book that are impossible to forget.


Image via NetGalley

All Things New by Lauren Miller

Publisher: Three Saints Press
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Recommend to Others?: Yes

 

Book Summary (via NetGalley):
From the author of Parallel and Free to Fall comes a novel about how it feels to be broken and what it means to be real.

Seventeen-year-old Jessa Gray has always felt broken inside, but she’s gotten very good at hiding it. No one at school knows about the panic attacks, the therapy that didn’t help, the meds that haven’t worked. But when a severe accident leaves her with a brain injury and noticeable scars, Jessa’s efforts to convince the world that she’s okay finally crumble—now she looks as shattered as she feels.

Fleeing from her old life in Los Angeles, Jessa moves to Colorado to live with her dad, but her anxiety only gets worse in the wake of the accident.  That is, until she meets Marshall, a boy with a heart defect whose kindness and generous spirit slowly draw Jessa out of her walled-off shell and into the broken, beautiful, real world—a place where souls get hurt just as badly as bodies, and we all need each other to heal.

All Things New is a love story about perception and truth, physical and emotional pain, and the messy, complicated people we are behind the masks we put on for the world.


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Blog Milestone: My 200th Post! + Book Review Blitz

This is unbelievable as I just celebrated my 100th post back in February of this year! It’s crazy to think that I’ve done another hundred posts within five months.

Thank you, all, for stopping by my blog and reading my posts and all them other good stuff. Please enjoy another short series of book reviews in celebration of this milestone. Title links lead to a Goodreads summary of each book.


Image via Goodreads

Deadly Little Secret by Laurie Faria Stolarz

Touch, book 1 | Published by: Hyperion | (First) Released: December 8, 2008

Young Adult Fantasy

This five-book series is really good. It’s been a long time since I read it but it’s still one of my favorites. The set-up of the first book you may find familiar – curious girl and mysterious bad boy rumored to have committed murder – but there’s more to it than what the summary provides. There’s more to our main character, Camelia, than you or she realize. All I’ll say is, Camelia has a uncanny talent for art. There’s a lot of suspense in each book – all of which builds upon each other – and the tension will have you on the edge of your seat. Not to mention all the covers are simply beautiful.

 


Image via Goodreads | Cover Reprint November 15, 2006 by Scholastic

Magic Steps by Tamora Pierce

The Circle Opens, book 1 | Published by: Scholastic Press | (First) Released: March 1, 2000

Young Adult Fantasy

It would not be a book review blitz without mentioning a book by Tamora Pierce. Magic Steps is the first book of the The Circle Opens quartet which takes places a few years later after the Circle of Magic quartet. Our four main characters – Sandry, Tris, Daja, and Briar – are now (I believe) teenagers and off on their own. This book focuses on Sandry and it’s my favorite of The Circle Opens books. She happens upon a boy, Pasco, performing unusual magic as he routinely dances a ritual to help the fishermen bring in a bountiful catch. Because she is the one who discovered this clearly untrained mage, she must be the one to teach him – as the rules dictate. But soon they must work together to discover who is killing a clan of merchants in Emelan. Sandry has grown and matured so much and is really coming into her own person. Her thread magic develops and strengthens in a cool way in this book. Despite a few gruesome parts, it’s a really enjoyable story.


Image via Goodreads

Another Chance To Dream by Lynn Kurland

de Piaget, book 1 | Published by: Berkley Publishing | Released: December 1, 1998

Historical Romance, Fiction

Ah, the book that (chronologically) began the wonderful de Piaget series. Rhys de Piaget must earn money, title, and land in order to be with his love, Gwen, who is betrothed to another. Like all of Lynn Kurland’s books, Another Chance To Dream is a very sweet and romantic tale. Rhys and Gwen are such lovely characters and the plot is really good. In publication or chronological order, this book can be seen as an origin story of the de Piaget series but not so far back in time as there’s a book centered on each of Rhys and Gwen’s children when they’re older.

 


If you’re new to The Bookshelf Corner and want to learn more about it, check out the About Me page. You can also follow me on Goodreads to keep up to date on the books I’m reading, as well as by checking out the side bar on the blog or the Currently Reading page. TBC is also on Twitter @bookshelfcorner.

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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ARC Book Review: All Things New by Lauren Miller

Thank you to NetGalley and Three Saints Press for providing me with an e-ARC to read and review. All Things New is set to be released August 1, 2017.

Image via NetGalley | Published by Three Saints Press

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

 

Book Summary (via NetGalley):
From the author of Parallel and Free to Fall comes a novel about how it feels to be broken and what it means to be real.

Seventeen-year-old Jessa Gray has always felt broken inside, but she’s gotten very good at hiding it. No one at school knows about the panic attacks, the therapy that didn’t help, the meds that haven’t worked. But when a severe accident leaves her with a brain injury and noticeable scars, Jessa’s efforts to convince the world that she’s okay finally crumble—now she looks as shattered as she feels.

Fleeing from her old life in Los Angeles, Jessa moves to Colorado to live with her dad, but her anxiety only gets worse in the wake of the accident.  That is, until she meets Marshall, a boy with a heart defect whose kindness and generous spirit slowly draw Jessa out of her walled-off shell and into the broken, beautiful, real world—a place where souls get hurt just as badly as bodies, and we all need each other to heal.

All Things New is a love story about perception and truth, physical and emotional pain, and the messy, complicated people we are behind the masks we put on for the world.

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

My Review:
Beautiful, poignant, and honestly portrayed, All Things New is an enchanting story that gives hope for a brighter today and an even brighter tomorrow.

I underestimated how good All Things New would be – it was unbelievably fantastic!

The part before Jessa’s accident was annoying and I’m glad the author left that behind and didn’t physically drag it into the rest of the story. Jessa’s accident was heart-stopping and gave me pause. Afterwards, the story picks up and from then on it’s really difficult to stop reading (but why would you? it’s such a great book!).

What Jessa is going through is unfortunately more common than not. How she thinks, feels, behaves, and perceives things is exactly what someone with panic attacks and anxiety experiences. It’s an honest and raw portrayal of teenage mental health issues and mental health in general. She is a very relatable character even if you haven’t fully experienced all that she has.

I love Marshall – he is the bright spot in Jessa’s darkness, a bright spot we sometimes forget we have or feel we don’t have in our lives. Usually, someone with such a sunny disposition is a little off-putting for me in stories. But not Marshall. I think his heart condition, once he began to understand what it really meant, made him have a different, more positive outlook on life – sort of like Chris from the television show Parks and Recreation. Marshall is a great character. Silly, funny, kind. I’m glad that – although this is a love story – the focus wasn’t squarely on him; that he would be the end-all-fix-all – but on Jessa. And yet, I wish there was more development between Marshall and Jessa.

I am so thankful Lauren Miller wrote this story and that it will be shared with the world as it shares an important message. The story and writing is beautiful. The characters are raw and real. You will feel all the feels. 2017 has been a great year for new books so far and All Things New just made it better!


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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