chelle reads

also known as michellemengsbookblog (the first one)

PLEASE READ BEFORE MOVING ON

Hello everybody! I will not be posting anymore new content on my blog. This is due to personal reasons and my physical and mental health. I cannot continue book reviewing, but I will continue to read books and ARCs. It's just that the last few months have been stressful and incomplete. I am tired from all the deadlines I have to complete and it is starting to mess with me. I'm also still in school, which means that I still have to do my online classes. With all this in my schedule, it is ideal that I stop book reviewing. I don't know when I'll get back to it, but I know I can't do anymore on my blog. This means that all of my blogs, my bookstagram account, and my YouTube channel will stop for the time-being. I will also not answer any emails from my official blog email address. I'm sorry and I hope you all understand. I don't mean to cause trouble and madness (I know I signed up for a lot of blog tours and etc), but this is for the sake of me. And I need to love me. I've had enough of the anxiety. I just want to read a book without all the stress, read a book because I want to. Read again. Read purely in my opinion. So, I'm sorry. Farewell, friends...

-Michelle Meng

8:18 PM

Weds, May 20, 2020

69% battery

Mood: Tired

“I have a dead girl’s name.” -The Rules by Stacey Kade Walford High. The most prestigious school in the world. Where they offer a range of different electives, including Theater and Architectural Design, to Desktop Publishing and Marketing. Skills that can be introduced or improved for a student’s future career. Brooke is a 14 year old teenager that goes to Walford High. She is at an average height for her age with pale skin, black hair and hazel eyes. Only the best of the best are allowed to attend this community of education. But, Brooke doesn’t feel lucky at all. Why, you ask? Both of her parents are workaholics; they’re rarely home to eat dinner or to watch a movie with Brooke. Brooke always got jealous when her friends brought their homemade lunch to the cafeteria. Or when they got picked up after school by their parents. Brooke wanted that kind of attention being paid to her, she wanted to spend quality time with her parents too! The day went by as normal. Until History class, Brooke’s favorite. Ms. Hall, her teacher, assigns the class a new project to research about someone with the same name as yours. Brooke is curious, and maybe, a little bit interested. It sounded more like fun, it sounded different. “Now, class, we will begin brainstorming. Take out your computers and search around the internet. Write down three people you find and right after class, pick one of those three to use on your project.” Ms. Hall says. Brooke raises her hand. “Yes, Ms. Shaw?” “You never mentioned if the person we are going to research has to be dead or alive.” Brooke questions. “The person has to be dead. After all, it wouldn't be History class if the person wasn’t!” A few of Brooke’s classmates laughed, but, overall, the joke didn’t sound so funny. Brooke pulled out her computer. She typed in her log-in information and waited for Google to pop up. When it did, she searched one word: Brooke. A lot of websites went up. Brooke closed her eyes and clicked a random one. “There!” It was a community newsletter, featuring a pale-skinned, young girl, smiling at the camera. Hmm, Brooke thought, she looks very similar to me. Isn’t that a coincidence? Except the fact that she had brown eyes and bangs. My hair looks better braided, Brooke thought. It says here that Brooke Roberts was rewarded volunteer of the year. That’s nice, Brooke smiled. Brooke was too self-conscious to partake in any outside events, other than baking and roller-skating. Oh well, that's just me, Brooke thought. When it was time to go, Brooke put her computer in her backpack and walked out of class. The next day, in class, Brooke was excited to go back to researching about her doppelganger (lol). She didn’t know if the other Brooke was alive or not. But, probably not, Brooke thought, concerning the fact that the newsletter didn’t have any dates on it, last time she checked. That’s okay, Brooke thought. But, Brooke couldn’t deny her disappointment. The other Brooke looked friendly - Brooke could easily relate to her for no exact reason. Well, so much for researching. Now, Brooke wasn’t too sure about it. Again, the girl looked familiar, really familiar. As if… No! Brooke shook her head. It couldn’t be, that thought was just too absurd! “I have a dead girl’s name.” Brooke muttered under her breath. “That’s all it is.” As Brooke researched more about her, she realized how similar they both were, even though they did have different personalities. They both liked to roller skate, Brooke was pretty sure, based on a couple of photos on the newsletter website. Plus, they both had a thing for cats. Brooke could tell by all the kitty memes bombarding the social media page. “Oh!” There were dates. Right below the website pages. Funny how Brooke hadn’t noticed that before. Then, she saw the year. What? Brooke thought. Could it be? The other Brooke is alive! At first, Brooke was excited, she wanted to meet the other Brooke, which lived a couple of miles away. She did some more research (if you could call it that) and found an email address. I hope this is the right one, Brooke thought. Brooke wasn’t sure if Ms. Hall would allow her to continue the project regardless, but she did come all this way. Besides, Brooke pushed that thought away, she was going to meet the other Brooke! Nothing else mattered. Brooke smiled and sent an email. Hi Brooke, You might be wondering who I am and why I sent you this email. Well, my name is Brooke Shaw and I’m a freshman at Walford High. You might find that familiar? (at least the school name) I was researching about you for this project at school, this project means researching someone with the same name as you. When I chose you for my project, I found you really interesting. I wondered if we could meet up (chloe’s café at 83 nut drive?) You don’t have to though, we barely know each other. Don’t get the wrong idea, I promise I'm not a serial killer or something. I just feel like we have this connection, like I know you from somewhere. Is that weird? Sorry, if it is. Sincerely, Brooke Shaw Sent! Well, fingers crossed, Brooke thought. Because I definitely sounded like some creep online. Alas, Brooke did mean it, inside the email. No kidding, they had some sort of connection with each other. Could they be related? It seems reasonable, her parents never told her if she had any cousins. It could be the truth, but, her parents didn’t keep in contact with the rest of their family. Brooke sighed and went back to researching. “Class, by now, you should all be done with your research. Please start constructing your project. Whether that means, making a poster or creating a presentation.” Ms. Hall says, the next day. Brooke took out her art supplies and started drawing on a poster board she brought in. She made big loops around her writing and drew tiny stars in the empty spaces. Ms. Hall made it clear that they weren’t allowed to put any photos of the person unless given permission. Given the fact that the other Brooke was actually alive, Brooke thought it was important to tell Ms. Hall the beginning of class. Luckily, Brooke didn’t have to start from scratch again. Ms. Hall told her that it was alright and that it wasn’t Brooke’s fault for not knowing. “Next time, Brooke, you have to look for the small details. Got it?” “Of course, Ms. Hall. I’m sorry.” Brooke smiled as she closed her marker’s cap. The real question was, did the other Brooke see her email? Brooke opened up her computer and checked the email inbox. Then, she closed it shut. “On second thought,” Brooke muttered under her breath, “Maybe I’ll check my email when I get home. I have to start working on the poster board now, and, it’s likely the other Brooke, hasn’t even seen the email I sent her.” After school, Brooke took out her homework and her computer and started working. She flopped on her bed, after writing two essays and completing 6 pages of Algebra. It wasn’t much, she still had a lot to do. Plus, she had to toss out a bunch of stuff for spring cleaning later. “Let’s take a look.” Brooke grabbed her computer and powered it on. She sat up and clicked on email. There was a reply! Re: Hi Brooke Of course, we can meet up. We’re cousins! How about Tuesday? Also, don’t flatter me - 🤪 Thx, Brooke Roberts Brooke put her hands in the air. “Yes!” Then, Brooke read the email again. “She’s joking, isn’t she? I mean, how are we cousins?” But… It was a possibility, Brooke thought. “Why haven’t my parents told me that I have a cousin? It isn’t right!” Brooke shut her computer down. Her parents told her last night, when Brooke came downstairs, looking for answers. Brooke couldn’t forgive them entirely, for leaving her in the dark. It was nice though, to finally understand why. They were too busy to be with family anymore. That wasn’t a good excuse, neither the fact that they lived kind of far away. Brooke, honestly, didn’t know what to take from that. She was happy that her parents explained and herself finding the answers almost like fate. No, Brooke thought. I owe it to Ms. Hall for thinking up a strange, find-your-cousin-you-didn’t-know-existed project. And for that, Brooke was very grateful. It made sense on how the other Brooke would know about them being cousins, but Brooke was clueless. Brooke sent her a reply back saying that Tuesday would work and sorry for not knowing about the whole cousin situation sooner. Then, Brooke took her computer and shut it down. “Hi! You’re Brooke Shaw, right?” An energetic girl waved relentlessly while standing by the cashier at chloe’s café. “Yo-hoo, over here!” Brooke Roberts yelled again. Brooke walked as fast as her legs could manage, “I’m coming, I’m coming…” she muttered under her breath. “So, Brooke, right?” Brooke nodded, the nutty aroma of coffee slipping past her nose. Brooke was really tempted to order something, but not look rude in front of her cousin. “I’m glad we finally met,” Brooke Roberts grinned, “You see, I always knew I had a cousin. I just couldn’t - you know, find her???” “I have Ms. Hall to thank for that. This project is a lot…” Brooke said. “Ms. Hall, who?” “My History teacher.” “Oh, okay. Do you want to order something?” “Yeah, I do!” Brooke smiled, looking at the menu. “Go ahead, on the house.” “Wow, really?” “Yeah,” Brooke Roberts pointed her thumb at the cashier behind her, “That’s my big sis, she’ll do anything for me. Isn’t that right, Merina?” Merina rolled her eyes, “Whatever, don’t bother me.” Brooke Roberts giggled, “She doesn’t mean it, she’s actually the nice girl. Anywhoo, find a table for us. I recommend the ones by the window.” “Sure!” Brooke ordered and then, went to sit next to the windows. I wonder if Merina, her big sis, knows about me, knows that I’m related to both of them, Brooke thought. Did the other Brooke explain to Merina and her parents? To be real, Brooke didn’t want the answer for that. Brooke Roberts set down a cappuccino and a regular iced coffee down on the table. “I’m guessing, you have some questions.” Brooke suggested. The other Brooke grabbed her cappuccino and after sipping for a few seconds, answered, “Yep.” Brooke didn’t touch her drink yet. “It’s complicated. My parents, they’re really busy and well, I don’t know. I guess they don’t have time to see anyone in our family.” “That’s it?” The other Brooke didn’t look too happy. Brooke gulped. “I’m sorry, I really am. I didn’t want this, I… Well, I can’t blame them exactly. They did all they could to raise me. Besides, they make up who I am. I get that you’re probably angry and disappointed, but at least, we’re here. And we’re talking, so, we understand? I’m - what I’m saying is that I’m glad we met, as cousins.” Brooke Roberts didn’t say anything for a long time, she just sipped her drink and looked out the window. “You’re right, and that is well said...” Brooke Roberts put her drink down, “You don’t have to apologize for anything, Brooke. In fact, I don’t think anyone needs to! We’re cousins and whether we just found that out or we knew that fact for forever, we’re here. Drinking different types of coffee in a café, you’ve never been to, I’m guessing?” Brooke, suddenly embarrassed, said, “Um, yes, I’ve never been here before. It’s a nice place.” Brooke Roberts smiled, “Yeah, it is a nice place. And you know what?” She took her drink again, “I’m glad you’re here, regardless of everything and everyone.” Brooke nodded and took her drink too. “Me too.” After that, they toasted their drinks and talked about their hobbies the rest of the evening. When it was time to leave, both Brooke and Brooke exchanged phone numbers and promised to see each other again. It was like a start of a new friendship and, ahem, cousin-ship, they never had. Brooke was glad, she was happy. It seemed pure luck had brought them together, even though her parents took them apart. But, the other Brooke was right. There was no use blaming anyone, least of all yourself. All you had to do was start anew and make a change. Make things better than they were before. That’s all you need to focus on, Brooke thought. That’s all that matters. Walford High. The most prestigious school in the world. Where they offer a range of different electives fit to be improved or introduced to a student. Brooke is a 14 year old teenager that goes to Walford High. And we all know only the best of the best are allowed to attend this community of education. So, Brooke feels lucky everyday. She also feels grateful. For what, you ask? Her friends, her family, to anyone and everyone who supported her along the way. Now that is lucky!

Hey y'all! There's no more space on my blog, so please continue to my second website. Thx!

Michelle Meng

In Our Midst by Nancy Jensen

Basic Book Information

Price: $26.95

Publication Date: April 28th, 2020

Hardcover: 360 pages

ISBN: 978-1-950539-16-1

Summary: Drawing upon a long-suppressed episode in American history, when thousands of German immigrants were rounded up and interned following the attack on Pearl Harbor, In Our Midst tells the story of one family’s fight to cling to the ideals of freedom and opportunity that brought them to America. Nina and Otto Aust, along with their teenage sons, feel the foundation of their American lives crumbling when, in the middle of the annual St. Nikolas Day celebration in the Aust Family Restaurant, their most loyal customers, one after another, turn their faces away and leave without a word. The next morning, two FBI agents seize Nina by order of the president, and the restaurant is ransacked in a search for evidence of German collusion. Ripped from their sons and from each other, Nina and Otto are forced to weigh increasingly bitter choices to stay together and stay alive. Recalling a forgotten chapter in history, In Our Midst illuminates a nation gripped by suspicion, fear, and hatred strong enough to threaten all bonds of love—for friends, family, community, and country.

My Review

A fragile history of an immigrated family working in their founded restaurant. When panic spreads over the Nazi topic, people do harsh, regretful things. These things can impact our family, friends, and community. Will love stand to everyone's suspicions? Will trust become more complex as the minutes go on? Well, we know one thing for sure! Friends can turn to enemies and prejudice can turn to prosecution. Keeping their cultures and traditions is the only way to keep themselves happier as the days go by. Even when two FBI agents take Nina by order of the president and their beloved restaurant crumbles to pieces, they can still hold that small hope of seeing each other again. Beautiful, heartbreaking and a masterpiece. I loved this book and I hope you do too. Thank you!

Rating: 5 stars

 

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Velocities: Stories by Kathe Koja

Basic Information

Publish date: April 21, 2020

6 x 9 | pp 160

Paperback: 978-1-946154-23-1

US $15.95, CAN $20.95

eBook: 978-1-946154-24-8

US $7.95, CAN $10.95

Genres: Fantasy, Dark Fantasy, Short Stories, Adult Fiction

Summary: From the award-winning author of The Cipher and Buddha Boy, comes Velocities, Kathe Koja’s second electrifying collection of short fiction. Thirteen stories, two never before published, all flying at the speed of strange.

About the Author: Kathe Koja writes novels and short fiction, and creates and produces immersive fiction performances, both solo and with a rotating ensemble of artists. Her work crosses and combines genres, and her books have won awards, been translated, and optioned for film and performance. She is based in Detroit and thinks globally.

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Velocities-Stories-Kathe-Koja/dp/1946154237/ref=sr_1_1?crid=XAC8QNILYZNL&keywords=velocities+kathe+koja&qid=1582749690&sprefix=velocities%2Caps%2C161&sr=8-1

Add to Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48143727-velocities?from_search=true&qid=K90Koy02jp&rank=1

Book Review

I loved reading each clever, dark, and intriguing story. It still amazes me on how much exquisiteness is packed into this one collection. The tales impact you heavily with Koja's shockful, intense details. Compelling and almost strange, painful and breathtaking, whatever it may be. The stories, each story, has a deeper meaning. If you look for it. This heck of a ride roller coaster has been a fun one!

Though I've never read or heard of Koja's works before, I am sure, many will agree, that Koja is very interesting and tactful with her writing. We find protagonists solving problems, starting problems. There's a bit of romance mixed in with horror and mystery. A beloved maturity, a desperate longing, a way to let go. I promise you will not regret or forget any of the stories. They made me grimace, laugh, cry and, well, human. Simply put, there are no words to describe the feeling I'm left with after finishing Koja's Velocities. IT WAS SO GOOD doesn't do the book enough justice.

All in all, I highly recommend and encourage you to buy a copy. For yourself, your friends, your family, etc. It will truly make your day. Thanks for reading my review and let's tip our hats to Meerkat Press for the ARC! See ya all next time.

Mass Hysteria: Lunacy by Dawn Brazil

The ending was amaze-balls! Not only did it surprise me, but it also made me cry. I'm glad that I read this series 'til the end. At first, I wasn't too sure. But, folks, here's the lesson: don't regret what you can finish. Really. 

This book starts exactly where the second one left off. We see new problems appear. One of them is Tiffany's appearance at school. She's a character to hate, believe me. I feel sorry for Elizabeth, these times are at her worst. As for the culprit, as I have stated before, you'll be surprised! I had to rub my eyes twice to understand the truth. Huh? Huh? It was great. All in all, this series has a lot of potential. It also has problems that need to be fixed. I'm  hoping the fourth book can show a little of that. 

Rating: 4 stars

Read an exculsive excerpt and participate in the giveaway

Gouster Girl is the coming of age, risky affair between Valerie Davis a cute black girl from the South Side of Chicago and nerdy white Jeffrey Stark. But as their romance becomes more serious, so do the racial dangers.

Keith's Folk Songs Cover Reveal is here!

michellemengsbookblog is proud to present the second cover reveal of the new decade! Press the button to learn more about this upcoming book.

4 hearts for an inspiring parenting guide!

In Notes to My Son, you’ll discover twenty-five topics to inspire deeper, more meaningful conversations throughout your child’s life, even if your child is now an adult on their own.

Loving a Young Series, Henley

Being a wedding planner is hard, especially when someone is always trying to steal your business, and your family doesn’t support you. However, Roxanne Novak is determined to keep her business afloat. When Roxy’s in a car accident hurrying to meet a potential bride, she’s injured and scared, but paramedic Henley Young takes good care of her.

Henley loves his job and thrives on the adrenaline of helping people in need. Maybe that’s why when he meets Roxy, he’s inclined to help her with more than just medical care. Hooking her up with his older brother Wesley and his bride-to-be could be just what she needs. It might also be the start of something between the Lee and the spunky little wedding planner.

When a position at a country club is offered to Roxy, she finds herself rethinking her entire business plan. Excited to start someplace new, Roxy and Henley begin making plans for the future. Just after she starts her new job, Roxy learns of Lee’s past relationship, and everything she knew about him is questioned.

Can Roxy and Henley put the past to bed and move forward to something that might be more than what both of them had ever hoped for? The Loving A Young Series is about a family of six siblings finding love in today’s world.

Beast Heart by Kyle Richardson

Basic Book Information

Print Length: 280 pages

Price: US, $15.95 | CAN $21.95

Paperback: 978-1-946154-35-4

eBook: 978-1-946154-36-1

Genres: YA Fiction, YA Paranormal, YA Romance, YA Steampunk

Publisher: Meerkat Press, LLC

Publication Date: March 31, 2020

Summary: Book 1 of the Steambound Trilogy. When Gabby’s hand turns to steam, her mom hires an engineer to build a clockwork glove. It’s the last thing Gabby wants—if only she could be normal. But when her mom is attacked by something monstrous, normal is no longer an option. Now the only person she can turn to is a grizzled detective, who promises to help her become something more. Meanwhile, Kemple’s foster dad treats him like a slave. And the beatings are getting worse. So when a rebellious girl named Josephyn arrives—with a plan to escape to the city—he doesn’t hesitate. But there are creatures in Iron Bay whose slashes are worse than skin-deep. And as Kemple evolves into something inhuman, his search for a cure begins. They are strangers in a city where carriages rattle, airships rumble, and their own dark pasts continue to haunt them. Soon their paths will collide, and the girl who slays monsters will come face to face with the boy who is becoming a beast. 

My Review

This story starts off with a check in at the doctor's office. Gabby and her mom are sitting in the lobby, waiting for the doctor to call them in. Gabby, whose right hand, (the doctors say) is a "special case", is impatient.

I'm sorry to cut this off, but, can I just say, I LOVED THIS LITTLE MOMENT. Every kid hates going to the doctor's office, am I right? Well, I sure did! I remember when I was a kid, I was scared, nervous, and mad. Let's be honest, we all know the wait makes it worse. And I felt like this every time I got a check-up. So, I'm happy, even nostalgic, that Richardson included this. It was so cute, memorable, and relatable

Anyway, her mom promises her that there will be no visits after this one, so, Gabby doesn't have to worry. However, when they find out that Gabby's hand has turned to steam, things get complicated. You read that right. Mom is horrified and worried thus recruiting an engineer to construct a clockwork glove for Gabby. Looking back, I don't really know why Gabby was mad about that decision. I'd take a clockwork glove any day than having to wear an jar around my hand. But, moving on, Gabby is already an insecure/sassy kid. Gabby wants to be normal, not different. Peer pressure, am i right?

The strange mechinism was surely a sight to behold and that was probably the reason why her peers bullied her for it. The glove was strong and it would prove, later on, quite useful for certain situations despite it's bulky frame. 

Somewhere, far away, lies a boy named Kemple. Living with his foster dad has taught Kemple a lot of things. To be cautious, fearful, to obey and to deal with the abuse. The new girl, Josephyn, clearly doesn't know these rules. Or she does but chooses not to follow them. Kemple isn't exactly sure. She's rebellious, reckless and brave. But when Kemple takes a beating for her, Jesephyn realizes not to mess around. In fact, she tells him that they don't deserve this cruel environment. Kemple agrees, but he's not used to trouble or running away for that matter. His decision changes after Abner (drunk and asleep) gives them a chance to escape to Iron Bay. A city crowded with machinary, carriages, airships and people. Josephyn, with the idea, gives them both "excuses" and teaches Kemple how to steal. That is their only tactic on how to survive. 

Gabby, near by, faces a tragic incident. Gabby and her mom were preparing to go to a convention. The main reason for Gabby's excitement is that she's hoping that she'll find one inventor that will help fix her hand. Oh, the solutions! Sadly, her mom gets killed right before they leave, attacked by a monster. This in turn of events lead Gabby to a detective who has plans for her to take up her revenge.

As Gabby and Kemple grow older, they will soon meet. Will a warrior who slays beasts ever forgive her past and help a boy who is turning into a monster? It's a internal struggle for both characters as they try to find themselves. A desperate, delicate romance sided along with action, adventure and the go-to steam fun!

Some of my favorite parts were as mentioned (the doctor's office) and the kiss. I was cheering them on and you do not understand how much fangirl screams came out of me when they met. Like, this is a "meant to be" in my opinion. I also loved the fighting/chasing scenes because they were so intense and dramatic. Richardson does a great way with his characters, even Viola, for their emotions and dialogue. As a steampunk nerd, I think this book does a fantastic way of portraying the genre. Not once were there more details than enough of the machines at hand. This series has a lot of potenial, aka I can't wait for book 2! 

All in all, this book was amazing and kept me flipping pages faster than a speeding bullet (see what I did there?). Beast Heart stayed with me long after I finished reading. Meet cutes for one and the wild rides. 

Thanks for reading my review and a shoutout to Meerkat Press for an ARC. Bye!

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Hunted By the dragon Tour

Enter the giveaway and find out more about this upcoming book!

Go to Tours for info on this book and my review!

A perfect picture book

Read the review and the excerpt for this cute collection!

Yours, Jean by Lee Martin

Basic Information

Price: $26.95

Publication Date: May 26th, 2020

Hardcover: 240 pages

ISBN: 978-1-950539-14-7

My Review

What happened one day in Lawrenceville, Illinois, 1952, traumatized and affected the lives of everyone who came across Charlie and Jean. Jean was a new high school librarian who was nervous but prepared on her first day of school. More importantly, her first day without Charlie. Jean used to be engaged with Charlie, well, until she ended it. Jean knows that it was the right decision. Why? Charlie's temper and his drinking problems led her to a destructive, love/hate relationship. Of course, after she broke free, she still had to endure countless phone calls from Charlie and deal with him stalking her around town. You can say, folks, letting go is the moral here. Anyhow, Jean's parents find out and her father threatens Charlie to stop and stop Charlie did. Hey, Jean thought he did! But, your past can get to you somewhere, somehow. 

So, Charlie arrives at the school, following Jean around. It is obvious that he wants Jean to be his again and he even begs her to wear the ring. Jean, frightened, surprised, and definitely annoyed, says no. After wasting what could have been, Jean has learned to never offer Charlie a second chance, that was her promise. Charlie gets angry and shoots her. This, in turn, undergoes a series of changes for all the characters. Who's more heavily impacted? It depends on what you think, to be honest.

Moving on, I especially enjoyed the realistic depictions of each and every character. As for the plot, it was very detailed and complex. You can tell how Martin put in long hours for this novel. When a character resolves a problem, you want to salute them for their possible solution. And if a character is down, you want to encourage them. Basically, I was cheering each character to the finish line! 

Mary Ellen was my favorite character. She was Jean's landlady and she was Jean's friend. I loved her determination because of the way she fought for justice. Even when she was faced at the trial, she was willing to speak up for herself and Jean. Her fate was decided in the end (no kidding), but instead of moving away and keeping to herself, she forced people to look her in the eye and went about town as she normally would. This shows how she isn't ashamed of her relationship with Jean nor the fact that she'll probably be the rumor of the neighborhood. Tough situations don't weaken Mary Ellen!

I was also inspired by Robbie and her kindness. Instead of moping around with jealousy, she tried to actually help with Millie's family crisis. All in all, a lot of strong emotions when reading this book. Personally, I think that's a good thing! Martin's work of art portray's powerful messages and real, delicate characters. I would highly recommend that you check this book out, it's a great read. Thank you to Michelle Dotter and the rest of the team at Dzanc Books for offering me an ARC. Be sure to check out the YouTube video of my book review and I'll see you all next time! Bye!

Rating: ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

 

 

The Rebound by Lynn Stevens

The Rebound by Lynn Stevens

Publication date: December 4th 2019

Genres: Romance, Sports, Young Adult

Description: Rachel Westbrook has it all: looks, money, prestige. What she doesn’t have is a good reputation. She’s tired of being the rebound girl. When her friend Vicky proposes a blind-ish date with Adam Marshall, Rachel thinks she might actually have a chance to turn things around. Then she sees Adam checking out his ex-girlfriend Heather. She knows how to play this game. She’s played it before. But Adam doesn’t want Rachel to be just his ruse to get over his ex, he wants to help Rachel change her reputation. They make a deal to fake a relationship until they can both move on. Now Rachel’s falling for an unavailable guy. She focuses on her three-person basketball team to keep her sane as they prepare for a tournament they need to win. Except Adam’s on her mind more than he should be. Adam opens up to her, and she’s not sure if it’s authentic or all part of the game. When tragedy strikes, can she turn to him for a shoulder to cry on? Or would that only lead to more heartache? As Rachel discovers things aren’t always what they seem, she has to figure out if what she has with Adam is legit or if she really is just another rebound.

Review:

The plot was quite slow sometimes. I felt like the author was forcely pushing the drama between Rachel and Alex.

It was, after all, a cute romance with drawbacks to it. So, I guess I shouldn't have been that judgey towards it. I mean, it's not everyday you see a sport-related romance theme going on.

It was quite interesting to be honest.

It just had some small flaws.

The Curious Case of Simon Todd By Vanessa C. Hawkins

Title: The Curious Case of Simon Todd

Author: Vanessa C. Hawkins

Genres: Fantasy Satire/Steampunk

Publisher: Books We Love Publishing

Date of Publication: August 1, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-2286-0372-6

ASIN: B07FTGCX3W

Number of pages: 475

Word Count: About 143,600

Cover Artist: Michelle Lee

Tagline: An unlikely hero, freshly dead and turned ghost, stumbles into a quest for dragon treasure and must battle wizard mobsters to aid his lovely neighbor and group of ragtag friends: one of which is the aforementioned dragon in disguise.

Book Description: Simon Todd is an everyday accountant, who after unceremoniously falling from his neighbor's roof, somehow finds himself dead and transformed into a ghost on a quest to find dragon treasure. He is joined on his journey by the horrid scoundrel and gunslinger, Dick Dashing, the sweet and powerful necromancer Miss Baxter, and Jane -- not John -- Darcy (the dragon in disguise who doesn’t quite understand the nuances of gendered nomenclature). While traversing across the country of Freland, the unlikely party discovers that their trek for gold is involved in a conspiracy with wizard mobsters. Mages begin appearing who attempt to collect Miss Baxter for ransom, and Simon (smitten by the young, undead-wielding wizardess) finds himself within the center of a revolt against the unscrupulous Chancellor Heironymous Grimguild, leader of the wizard mafia. To make matters worse, Simon is confronted by Hell Lords, the four horsemen of the apocalypse, and circus-crazed Reapers bent on sending the hapless accountant to hell! If he can’t get the hang of his ghostly powers, Simon Todd will be less a help but more a burden to his ragtag party of friends. Meanwhile Jane, the proud purple diamond-backed dragon in disguise who had originally thought to devour the would-be treasure bandits, must decide which is more important: his wonderful hoard, or the increasingly endearing bundle of fools he has found himself amidst. Can Simon help Miss Baxter evade the mafia of decorated wizards? Will he be able to bargain the Reapers for his life and procure for himself even a modicum of dragon treasure? Will humans prove too sweet for a gentleman dragon’s diet?

Review:

Sometimes throughout the story, it's a little too hard to follow and the events don’t always lead to the next. But, the good news is that you’ll get to know Simon, Miss Baxter, and the rest! In fact, you will get to know them so well that you will want to read on. Watch out though! There is an ever looming presence of evil... All in all, great action and a fantastic plot!

Be sure to add this book to:

Chapters: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-curious-case-of-simon/9780228603696

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/882060

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/ca/en/ebook/the-curious-case-of-simon-todd-1

Amazon: https://www.amazon.ca/Curious-Case-Simon-Todd-ebook/dp/B07FTGCX3W/

Mass Hysteria: Frenzy By Dawn Brazil

OMG, OMG, OMG! Things just got real hot in here... Why? I'll tell ya. I honestly thought that the new guy, Ian, would cause some sort of a love triangle between Elizabeth and Brian. Well, that was disappointing. Anyway, besides that, the book was good. Way better than the last one which I am proud of. We actually get more lovey-dovey scenes and what appears to be confusion. Confusion, you ask? I-I don't get the plot. Halfway around the book, I seemed to be dozing off. I was, though, happy to see another cliff-hanger. Will Elizabeth break up with Brian? After what happened, it's possible. But, really right now, I need more excitement. This book was 50 pages! I mean, come on, this is interesting. All in all, a fantastic sequel. Gotta cross my fingers and hope to die, the third one better be more!

Rating: 4 stars

Mass Hysteria: Panic By Dawn Brazil

High school senior Elizabeth wants to fit in and be normal. Though she is insecure, she is quite beautiful. This is the reason why guys fall for her. Her smart, popular friend, Stacy, tries to help Elizabeth overcome her shyness. But girls like Melissa, mean, selfish and unaccepting won't allow Elizabeth to be herself. When a handsome boy next door moves in, Elizabeth experiences her first crush. Romance is not usually my go-to genre but this one will do. I loved the characters, the plot, everything the author included. There was a little of a murder mystery in between which made the reader keep flipping the pages. Other than that, it was a pretty decent read. I hope the next books will get better!

Rating: 3 1/2 stars

Cold Country By Russell Rowland

We view the reputations of several ranchers and neighbors in a small historical setting. After the murder of an admired and rich farmer whose title was held honourably, the community blames it on the new guy. Of course! Carl Logan recently settled in with his family. Now, he gets suspected for a crime he didn't commit. His own son, Roger, gets bullied because of the rumors floating around the town. After, Roger underestimates his father's actions. Arguments and fights errupt. Even though Carl's family and friends try to take it out on Carl, what the police might uncover next can expose many secrets and accusations. The tight-knit people next door might find that they never knew Tom Butcher, or at least the real Tom Butcher. I absolutely loved Rowland's way with mystery and realistic fiction. To be honest, this book had a lot of genres. And characters! But the reason why it's so easy to remember them is because the book is interesting and of high standards. The plot, people, the plot! I don't even have the words to describe the plot. It's quirky and unique, frosted with respect and awe. Yes, I did lose track of the chapters while I was reading. I didn't even care about the page numbers! All I knew was that I had to keep on flipping to find out what happened next. 

If you enjoy mystery works or historical novels, this book is for you. If you adore realistic fiction and western adventures, it's also for you. So, you better get a copy quick, it's coming November 12, 2019! Lastly, big praise to Dzanc Books and Michelle Dotter. Thank you for supporting me and my blog with this ARC. Bye!

Into Bones Like Oil By Kaaron Warren

The plot-line is depressing and bleak, as you can tell from the story's summary. After a terrible incident with her family, Dora escapes to The Angelsea, a small house/inn, you could say, near the ocean, to settle her peace and finally sleep. Dora found herself relative to her neighbors residing beside her as they also find guilt in their past treasons. Sleep, that's what everyone is trying to get here! The Angelsea is not only a hideaway for anxiety, it's also a haunted, stuffy area wherein ghosts from the shipwreck of an old ship take comfort in and provide their secrets; whispering them as you sleep. You just need, say, important objects from your past if you're willing to speak to some ghosts in particular. Dora, of course! She wishes that she could have done something different in her life to prevent what has already happened. It's too late though. She'd do anything to hear them, her dead daughters. Roy, the manager/landlord, tries to help her. He doesn't exactly perk her trust when Dora tells Luke, her friend/lover, to keep an eye and make sure Roy doesn't grope her while she tries to communicate with her daughters' spirits. Tiring and challenging, this book seduces the horror we face in reality and in fantasy. I loved the dark, mysterious chills Kaaron put inside the plot-line. It was refreshing and new. I recommend this book 100% for its drama, its cleverness, all in all!

Be sure to check out this book coming November 12, 2019. Shoutout to Meerkat Press for offering me an ARC of this book! Thank you and Michelle out.

Five Windows By Jon Roemer

Inside a busy crowded hillside city, our narrator is a hardworking book editor who watches his neighborhood go by. One day, he is extremely worried when he sees three houses go up in flames. No one seems to question the cause of the situation. The annual library meetings bring our narrator close to his nearby neighbor, Kenny, whom the narrator observes and is enchanted by Kenny's "love bubble" relationship with Darrel. Which relationship lasted longer than the narrator and his wife did. Speaking of his wife, I mean, his ex-wife, Sylvie moves back in town. She hangs with Max and Marleen, the narrator's two other comforting neighbors, who help him through the stricken times. His coworkers in the business, St. Louis and Kate, struggle with his depictions of their new source, Beau Bram, a famous author, who decides to collab his work with their small publishing house. The narrator is surprised and suspicious. He suspects something more sinister about the whole case. After a fight, five broken windows, an injury and constant fires lighting up, the narrator learns something important: the world can be an evil place but as long as there is a helping hand, you can be supported. Even though in the end, the narrator got depressed by the ever-changing livelihood of his friends and his life, in general, I think he'll do fine. He cut off a lot of connections for a whole lot of tiring reasons. I loved the message this novel is trying to send to readers; the only problem is that I wish the narrator didn't put too much effort in the things that he refused to accept. I know a lot of his friends worry about him, spending the many days of his life staring at his computer. People think that he's lonely. The narrator definitely doesn't like people feeling sorry for him. But they are right. I just wish he tried more new things to get himself out there. Let's be honest though, this is realistic fiction. I know a lot of people who are like this in real life. I am just amazed on how Roemer makes his characters face problems like injustice and bravery. I can relate to the content provided, I can relate, in general, and that's so incredible! I would recommend this book 100%, mostly because I think a lot of us don't have very strong bonds between our neighbors, so this book will really make you think. About the choices, your choices in life. Everyone can relate to everyone. Harrah!

Snap to the beat for Dzanc Books by offering me an ARC. Be sure to check this one out, it's coming September 24, 2019!

The Snow Collectors By Tina May Hall

Henna clings on to the memories of her family, by settling herself in a Northeastern town where cold temperatures turn extreme. One day, when she uncovers a young corpse lying in the snow and a letter with its missing pieces, a mystery is at hand. This certainly sparks her interest! The big story is of the centuries-old expedition in the Arctic, the Franklin one that is. Henna reseraches more about Lady Jane, the center of the case at hand, in which Henna explores the local library and the police chief's mansion full of hidden passages with dark secrets. For some personal reason, there is always someone there, ready to sabatoge Henna's clues. Henna is making the best of it all, telling lies to her friends and never listening to one's directions. She observes in detail, while a depressed mood enlightens the scene. I loved Henna and her thoughts, while I wish she knew more of finding herself, letting go. But, let's be honest. Everyone has to start somewhere. Hall puts in a gothic vibe and sensibility, making the readers feel what Henna feels. Does anyone have a coat in here? You see, even the weather depiction is accurate and precise. I loved the setting, even though winter is not my best times. Anyway, a lot of mystery and realistic fiction going on here. Definitely an enjoyable read for a cozy night. Be sure to check this book out, it's getting released on February 12, 2020!

Let's all tip our hats to Dzanc Books for supplying me an ARC of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

Don't You Know I Love You By Laura Bogart

"So I gotta make it back, but my home ain't on the map. Gotta follow what I'm feeling to discover where it's at...", taken from Home, a song by Machine Gun Kelly, X Ambassadors and Bebe Rexha. Yeah, THAT song popped up in my head the minute I read this book. Angelina Moltisanti, a young artist with a fractured wrist, has no choice but to return home. Home with her abusive father, Jack, and her urging mother, Marie. There she meets her mother's coworker, Janet, who inspires her. It's a great LGBTQ romance novel, not only raising awareness about control, but also to second chances. Angelina learns to find herself and her strength, creativity, relations. Homeless in her own home, can't everyone relate? Told through a detailed, artistic personality, Bogart shows what's truly important and what truly matters. If you are interested in this heartbreaking, realistic work, be sure to check it out this March 17, 2020!

Special credits go to Dzanc Books for sending me an ARC of the novel. 

Knock Wood: a memoir in essays By Jennifer Militello

"I felt it ending before I felt it end..."

Militello's memoirs consist of dreams and memories, blending stories with morals and morals with detail. Thoughtful, dreamy, and a collection of fluent lyrics, this book is very rich with perspective and design. She makes the readers aware of life's journey, for the action will impact. The world doesn't exist, but, in our hearts, we believe it so. Mystical, Magical, and a direct part of composing oneself. I throughly enjoyed this book, the pages influence and teach. I can tell her childhood was filled with ponderous moments, wiith a storm of letters and vows. Militello demostrates those too late---too young times. Be sure to check this one out!

This book comes out on August 13, 2019. Deepest thanks to Dzanc Books for offering me an ARC of the novel.

Carpe Glitter By Cat Rambo

30 year old Persephone Aim uncovers a magical object from her family from WWII. Her over-looked mother tries to take it for herself. While Persephone decides whether to keep living in the past or move forward into the future. I really liked this book, though it was quite short, I felt as if I was reading a series of chapter books. The plot kept me cheering for Persephone and adknowledging the fact that her grandmother was really something.

Shoutout to Meerkat Press for this ARC!

Meet Me in the Strange By Leander Watts

Django Conn is a popular, memorizing artist that can turn ordinary teens into worshipping fans. Davi is captured by the essence of Anna Z, a mysterious girl who is on the run from her older brother. Together, they will face many troubles. This book is absolutely amaze-balls! Watts gives the readers a retro futuristic vibe while challenging words to go beyond the limit. 

Thanks a million to the publisher, who offered me an ARC of the novel!

A Girl Goes Into The Forest By Peg Alford Pursell

"The Cake Is In The Garden. It has no mind of its own. Whoever wants takes a piece of it. This frivolous, pretty thing, mindless and aging in the sun. And sweet. In the heat, sugars separating. The inevitable decline. Remains left for the bugs and beasts."

This collection of "stories illuminating the mythos of the American Girl" is detailed, descriptive, and excessively passionate for the truth. Pursell weaves and winds words into her own stand-out pattern, it's almost unbelieavable! It exceeds literacy at its height, reaching limits readers have never heard of before. Pursell knows the spirit and the horrors stories take. 

The readers of Show Her a Flower, A Bird, A Shadow will be excited for the new content Pursell gives coming this July 16th, 2019!

Thank you to the publisher for sending me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Reflection By Elizabeth Lim

"...that strange sword... The hilt was dull with age, but still gold, with short wings at the base of the blade that pointed forward. It had to be hundreds of years old."

Mulan has to journey into the underworld, Diyu, to save her captain, Shang, after he is hurt in battle. King Yama, ruler of the underworld, gives Mulan a chance and a challenge to bring Shang out of the underworld by sunrise.

I was really happy that Disney choose an Asian author to write this book. As an asian myself, I think #OwnVoices literature is so important. You can tell that Lim knew her culture well. She did a great job incorporating the Chinese underworld and mythology into the story. 

I would tremendously encourage anyone to read this book!

This Week's Manga Favorites:

My Love Story!! By Kazune Kawahara 

Takane & Hana By Yuki Shiwasu

We Never Learn By Taishi Tsutsui

 

 

The Camlet Code #1, The Once and Future Geek By Mari Mancusi

I'll learn not to judge this one! So funny, awkward, and packed full of adventure. 

Recommended for middle-grade gamers/geeks!

The Hired Girl By Laura Amy Schlitz

What a page turner! Be forewarned, Schlitz's book is inspiring and beautiful. Perfect for fans of Inventing Victoria!

Bounce By Megan Shull

Fannie is your typical insecure tween with an extraordinary fate wrapped around her shoulders. Readers will be filled with romance, excitement, and new beginnings!

I would recommend this book to readers of The Swap!

Wild Blue Wonder By Carlie Sorosiak

A touching, captivating read for the broken ones and the loved ones. Sorosiak digs deep for the truth and brings fresh drama for the pain. I had the same aflutter in Bounce!

(The) Runaways Volumes 1, 2, and 3 By Rainbow Rowell

The Runaways have always faced tough troubles and tough love, in general. But, after, the team falls apart, they learn to put themselves back together. This book not only gives a punch to your heart ,but, also a punch to life's lessons learned!

 

NOTE: This is the cover for (The) Runaways Volume 2, Best Friends Forever

As Old As Time: A Twisted Tale By Elizabeth J. Braswell

Braswell surprises readers again with her twist on 'The Beauty And The Beast'. The book reveals a peek towards Belle's family tree and its legacy. Simply in the title, 'What if Belle's mother cursed the Beast?'. I loved the plot and the wording Braswell had used. I would greatly recommend this book to any Disney fan!

Wonder By R. J. Palacio

This book is amazing! I cried with Auggie, I laughed with Auggie, and, well, let's just say we have a lot in common. Palacio's middle grade novel shows middle school at its tip. Auggie learns a lot of lessons and so do the readers. The message is powerful and inspiring to all ages.

Mirror, Mirror: A Twisted Tale By Elizabeth J. Braswell

Braswell gives an experience that is unforgettable, showing us a part of Ingrid's past. Readers, prepare for some intense action and courage when you clash with this tale!

 

Once Upon A Dream: A Twisted Tale By Elizabeth J. Braswell

Braswell's debut excites new-come fantasy purists with wonderful, spine-chilling content. This twist will have you begging for more!

A Whole New World: A Twisted Tale By Elizabeth J. Braswell

Come explore this 'whole new twist'! The tale, in literal means, is bursting with suspense and is unbelievable. Braswell, this book is what keeps me going throughout the day. 

Sleepless Volumes 1 and 2 By Sarah Vaughn, Leila Del Duca

Rich characters and a deeply woven story plot in graphic form. How delightful for fantasy/romance readers! I felt so moved by the artist's splash of big, bright, colorful creativity on the pages.

NOTE: This is the cover for Sleepless Volume 1