Monday, June 13, 2016

The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey

Summary on Goodreads.

I am so glad to read this after the whole series is out. I can't wait to start the next book. I loved it! I guess this book is just like Twilight: half of the world hates it and the other half loves it.

I am part of the second half. I never thought of reading this because I read a lot (a lot!) of bad reviews; but then I decided to see what the series is about since the movie came out.

I liked Cassie a lot! She is one of my favorite female characters of all time because she keeps it real and asks questions that I'm thinking about while reading the book, like "where did you get the IV from?" And she worries about clean underwear, deodorant, and tampons. Any ways, the author keeps it real. You know, I had never read any other dystopia book that brought up the issue of hygiene. It's like... women don't get their periods when the world is ending?!

Oh! That first kiss totally got to me (pg. 178). Evan got to me... And later on Ben got to me. I'm totally digging the love triangle here.

I find the romance to be complete normal and plausible. I read a review that said the romance is awkward but I didn't see it that way. Two people alone for a long time.... and they are both cute/pretty/handsome... well! I would fall in love with Channing Tatum too!

Page 300: Oh! Now I just happen to love Zombie too. Yes, Zombie is a name.

In short, I'm just in love with this damn book!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Book Tour: The Eagle Tree by Ned Hayes

Summary on Goodreads.

Release date: July 5, 2016

Available on: Amazon     IndieBound     Barnes&Noble

"Fourteen-year-old March Wong knows everything there is to know about trees. They are his passion and his obsession, even after his recent falls—and despite the state’s threat to take him away from his mother if she can’t keep him from getting hurt. But the young autistic boy cannot resist the captivating pull of the Pacific Northwest’s lush forests just outside his back door..." [+ more]

I love books about autistic children so much! This one is about March, a an autistic boy who loves to climb trees. One day he sees a new huge tree, The Eagle Tree, and from there on all he can think of is climbing that tree.

I liked March so much because he was the one telling his story, how he processed thoughts, and how he felt... instead of  a narrator. I Think that there was too much information about trees in the story, though. So someone who really likes trees will be able to relate and like it. I kind of skipped those endless descriptions and information about trees. However, I do recognize that it was important because it was March talking about them, not the author.

I found a new view on autistic children in this book. For example, March would get hurt climbing a tree and he wouldn't feel the pain. In fact, he wouldn't know he was hurt is somebody didn't point it out to him.

Autistic children are peculiar, and just when I thought I had read all about them, The Eagle Tree comes along.

March is a lovely character and I had a lovely time reading this one.

Tour Provided by TLC Book Tours

About the Author: 
Ned Hayes holds an MFA in creative writing from the Rainier Writing Workshop at Pacific Lutheran University. His historical novel, Sinful Folk, was nominated for the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award. The Eagle Tree is based on his past experience working with children on the autistic spectrum and on family and friends he knows and loves. He lives with his wife and children in Olympia, Washington.

More about Ned Hayes can be found at

Saturday, May 28, 2016

All the Missing Girls by Megan Miranda

Summary on Goodreads.

Available on 6/28/2016

Buy on Amazon.

"It’s been ten years since Nicolette Farrell left her rural hometown after her best friend, Corinne, disappeared from Cooley Ridge without a trace. Back again to tie up loose ends and care for her ailing father, Nic is soon plunged into a shocking drama that reawakens Corinne’s case and breaks open old wounds long since stitched..." [+ more]

I have read two other books by Miranda and I know she likes to tell her stories in a dragging way. This one was not different. I picked it because of all the good reviews it has, but for me was so boring! There's nothing new here other that the book is marketed as in "the story is told backwards," which wasn't completely new either. I think the author wanted to do it kind of like that Memento movie but it didn't turn out that way (at least not for me).

I was bored out of my head because there is a lot of telling. The writing is good, yes, Miranda has that, but she goes on and on and I just wanted something to happen. Anything, really.

We have our typical girl leaves town for better life, goes back to face past, hooks up with ex, and blah blah blah. Perhaps told in a straight way the story would've been more effective? Doesn't matter, books are a matter of "love them or hate them." And I hated this one. Well, hate in terms that I don't think I will ever try to read another book by Megan Miranda. Darn it! And I liked Fracture so much.

And the missing girl? The typical "maybe she left town because she was 18..." But then new evidence suggests otherwise. Hmmm..., best friends, wouldn't you know if you best friend left town? Oh! right, you guys all had a reason not to tell everything you knew... Same old.

I got this ARC from my library.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick your Ass by Meg Medina

Summary on Goodreads.

"The morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn’t even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she’s done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn’t Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn’t kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she’s never met and how to balance honors courses with..." [+ more]

I liked the diversity in this one. For once, no white people! This book comes strait out of Queens, NY (being a Queens resident, I know). At first, I was mad at Piddy for being such a wimp and giving her mom a hard time because she wouldn't tell her who her father was. But, I guess that since I've known my father all my life, I wouldn't really know how it feels to grow up not knowing who your father is.

I would have liked more confrontation between Piddy and Yaqui, but on another level, the story is good the way it is. Not everybody had the guts to confront a bully. I also like the cultural traits of Hispanics covered in the story.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Cresswell Plot by Eliza Wass

Summary on Goodreads.

"Castella Cresswell and her five siblings—Hannan, Caspar, Mortimer, Delvive, and Jerusalem—know what it’s like to be different. For years, their world has been confined to their ramshackle family home deep in the woods of upstate New York. They abide by the strict rule of God, whose messages come directly from their father..." [+ more]

I just loved, loved, loved this book. The writing style is my kind of thing and the development is just so real that I felt as if I wrote it :-) Ha ha!

This is about a "cult" but unlike other cult books, this one makes sense because the main character's doubts are well portraited. She believes, and sometimes she doesn't, but then she asks herself "but what if..." This book is so real in so many levels that sometimes I felt I was Castella. Finally, I found a book about a cult that is believable.

Of course the Cresswell are the odd family in town, but Castella doesn't really dwell on that. Eventually she realizes what is wrong and right and stands up for it. Her character is fully developed and we can see how she grows out of her shell into a fuller person and has to make decisions to save her entire family.

I could understand and relate to why Castella believed in what she believed and how she grew out of such belief.

I liked this book so much and found it to be so complete that I'm adding this author to my list of favorite authors.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Cellar by Minette Walters

Summary on Goodreads.

"On the day Mr. and Mrs. Songoli’s young son fails to come home from school, fourteen-year-old Muna’s fortunes change for the better. Until then, her bedroom was a dank windowless cellar, her activities confined to cooking and cleaning. Over the years, she had grown used to being abused by the Songoli family—to being their slave...." [+ more]

Here is a book that fully satisfied me. Finally, bad people get what they deserve. I so enjoyed the frankness and crudeness of this one.

Nothing was left hanging. Punishment and revenge was brought upon those who deserved it. If the author's style is like this, I intend to read her other books.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

The Altogether Unexpected Disappearance of Atticus Craftsman by Mamen Sanchez

Summary on Goodreads.

"Atticus Craftsman never travels without a supply of Earl Grey and his five favourite books – so he makes sure he has packed both after his father, distinguished publisher of Craftsman & Co., sends him to Madrid to shut down a failing literary magazine, Librarte. When nobody has heard from him in three months, his father knows something must be very wrong..." [+ more]

Ohhh how I loved this book. I read every single word. So funny. The Spanish version is titled La felicidad es un té contigo which I would never have guessed by the title given to the English version.

This is not a romance read, although romance is found at some point. I enjoyed each one of the characters; all distinctive and quirky. Apparently thee book has been translated into different languages. Well done. Everybody deserves a copy of this one.

So Atticus goes to Spain to close the literary agency of the family. His father becomes concerned because six months have passed and he hasn't heard from his son. The father goes to the police and has to deal with inspector Manchego, a whole different kind of inspector who has a particular line of investigation.

In Spain: Atticus is overwhelmed by the five women that run the literary agency, and taken by a sudden carnal desire for one of the woman that he doesn't know how to handle. After all, he is only English and the Spaniard passion might be to hot for his cold body.

The writing here is just exquisite. Lyrical and all that. I was surprised to find such beautiful writing and such delightful plot. I will totally buy the Spanish version for my mother to read. She cannot die without reading this!

Thank you Netgalley for providing me with a free copy of this title, and sorry it took me so long to read it!

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Gone Again by James Grippando

Gone Again (Jack Swyteck #12)

Summary on Goodreads.

"Sashi Burgette vanished three years ago on her way to school. The night after the teenager’s disappearance, ex-con Dylan Reeves was stopped for drunk driving. An article of Sashi’s clothing was found in his truck, and a police videotape of his drunken explanation under interrogation sealed his fate at trial. Now, just days from Kyle’s execution, Sashi’s mother visits Jack Swyteck, doing pro bono work at the Freedom Institute, and delivers shocking news: “Sashi called me..." [+ More]

I had no idea that this book is part of a series; and book number #12 for that! I grabbed the book at the library, and you know how publishers are: they refuse to include that the book is part of a series on the cover. However, this one reads as a stand-alone. I didn't need any previous knowledge to get into this one. And I like it so much that I'm going to go back and read the first one. Yes sir!

What I liked is all that death row/who did/I'm innocent thing. But I especially liked that most of the story took place in court. I am a sucker for that "overruled/sustained" thing.

Story: Sashi is an adopted teen from Russia but she has a condition called RAD. Something like she can't get physically and emotionally close to anyone. Sashi is also a compulsive liar and trouble maker.

Now, this wealthy American couple who already have a teen decide to adopt Sashi and her brother. Well, Sashi made their lives a living hell.

One day Sashi vanishes, a man is found guilty, sentenced to death and that is where Jack comes in: trying to prove that the man is innocent and doesn't deserve to die.

So go ahead, skip all 11 previous books about Jack and just read this one. It is worth it.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Book Tour: Clarina Nichols by Diane Eickhoff

Available on Amazon

Publication date: March 25, 2016

Summary: "Everyone knows about the ''Votes for Women'' campaign that led to the 19th Amendment in 1920. Few know just how long the struggle really was. Decades earlier, brave women began breaking the taboo of remaining silent at gatherings that included men. No one represents this early struggle -- the small triumphs and discouraging setbacks -- better than Clarina Howard Nichols (1810-1885), the Vermont newspaper publisher whose speeches made a powerful case for equality. Victim of a failed marriage, Nichols was a magnet to abused and mistreated women and was their advocate at a time when her sex was just beginning to speak up..." [+ more]

This is a nice biography into some of the history of women's right to vote (and be taken into account). The best part of this book is that it is YA so the writing is not heavy but easy to follow. It also has pictures! Which I liked because it gave me a better sense of Nichols and the time period.

Eickhoff describes Nichols' life in a way that it makes it easy to understand without dwelling into too many details. For example, Nichols first husband one day just took off with their children and Nichols went to her in-laws for help. They helped her get the children back and that was that.

I was surprised to learn that Nichols, now a single mother of three, later married a wonderful man. Even more, in a time where women had no voice and their opinions didn't really matter, she became a newspaper publisher.

She really is an inspiration for women today and Eickhoff summarizes extensive research in this brief biography that will appeal to YA.

This book tour was brought by TLC Book Tours
About the Author
Diane Eickhoff grew up on a farm in Minnesota, taught school in Appalachia and New York, and

helped edit a newspaper for an anti-poverty program in Alabama. She has written widely for publications aimed at high school and younger readers. Her biography, Revolutionary Heart, from which this book is adapted, was named a Kansas Notable Book and the winner of ForeWord magazine’s Book of the Year competition in biography, among other honors. She lives with her husband, author Aaron Barnhart, in Kansas City.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

The Seventh Child by Erik Valeur

Summary on Goodreads.

"On September 11, 2001, on a desolate beach on the outskirts of Copenhagen, police begin investigating the strange death of an unidentified woman. Surrounding the body are what appear to be offerings to the deceased: a book, a small noose, a dead golden canary, a linden tree branch, and a photo of the Kongslund Orphanage. As the police puzzle over their bizarre findings, the Twin Towers fall in walls of flame and the case is quickly overshadowed by the terror half a world away..." [+ more]

Okay, I'm reading the Spanish version of this book and it is 750 pages. Not really a problem if the story wasn't so slow! This is killing me. Paragraphs and paragraphs and pages and pages of nothing. A lot of words that mount to nothing at all. Something that could be told in one sentence "I received an anonymous letter" takes two pages here. The state of the letter, the stamp, where the letter came from, how it was placed on the desk, how he picked it up from the desk (right or left corner)... this sea of words is just endless!

So the story is about a period where being a single mother was a disgrace, and yet, knowing that, women would get "accidentally" pregnant. The solution, God forbid abortion, was to give the baby for abortion. The thing is that not only low class women got played and got pregnant, prominent families had daughters to succumb to the temptation of the flesh and accidentally become pregnant. So children from rich and prominent families ended up in this orphanage as well. One of these children, the 7th child to be precise, becomes a person (or child?) of interest.

The rest of the story is to find out who this child is, where he is, who the parents are/were, and so on. A thriller, let me tell you, this book is not. A mystery, yes: it is a mystery to me how this author could write so much nonsense.

Of course the story is not only about the child, there is some murder involved too. I really don't know if they are all connected or not because I couldn't keep reading which is a shame because I love Scandinavian thrillers.

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Punch of Color by Hannah Lynn

Available: Hannah Lynn Art &Design
Publisher: Self
Artist: Hannah Lynn
Price: $8.50 and free shipping
Art Rating: 5-Stars
Paper Quality: 5-Stars
Pages: 10

Last night I colored my first face/portrait ever, and I loved it! I think I might have just discovered my
true coloring interest. I am tired of coloring animals and flowers.

This set of Punch of Color comes with 10 individual single-sided pages of beautiful illustrations. The paper is coverstock.

Now, I'm not literate about coloring and different types of paper, I just do it because I like it. But I found that if you use makers the coloring will look a lot better than colored pencils.

I particularly did the first layer with a Copic marker, then used a similar Prisma colored pencil, and finally went over it with a colorless blending pencil.

For the spheres, I mixed Jacquard Pear X powder mixed with Vaseline to make it stick.

Friday, March 4, 2016

The Missing by Melanie Florence

Summary on Goodreads.

Available: Amazon

Rating: 2-Stars

"After a girl she knows from school goes missing and is found dead in the Red River, Feather is shocked when the police write it off as a suicide. Then, it's Feather's best friend, Mia, who vanishes -- but Mia's mom and abusive stepfather paint Mia as a frequent runaway, so the authorities won't investigate her disappearance either. Everyone knows that Native girls are disappearing and being killed, but no one is connecting the dots..." [+ more]

This would be like any other missing girl story but with aboriginal girls. I liked that the story was simple and straight forward.

Because the author is trying to call attention to the missing of aboriginal girls, at times I felt as it was preaching. But that was okay too, in a way.

What I didn't like was that I didn't feel any type of connection with the characters and the story. Are they special just because they are Indians? Why exactly should I care?

I think that I (personally) needed background on the community. I didn't even know where these aboriginal people were until I read in another review that this is in some town or city in Canada.

Overall, I get the author's effort regarding this topic. Perhaps a non-fiction book about these disappearances would've been better.

As I said before, the book is easy to read and the author doesn't try to show off that she swallowed a dictionary which makes the story go fast.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Whipped: A Delectable Adult Coloring Book by Rudy Fig

Available: Amazon
Publisher: Blue Star Coloring
Artist: Rudy Fig
Price: $8.99 (at the time of this review)
Art Rating: 4-Stars
Paper quality: Poor
Pages: 74

Besides reading, I am obsessed with coloring books and crochet. I am a good crocheter, but colorist.... I haven't finished one project yet! Yet, I keep buying and buying and buying coloring books because... I must have them all.

Yesterday, I received Whipped: A Delectable Adult Coloring Book. It is very cute. The drawings are kind of cartoonish for my taste but I have seen what other colorists have done with cartoonish kind of drawings and I love it. So I'm willing to give it a try.

Drawings are on one side only, and they have thick, black lines which makes it more for teens and children than for adults.

The paper quality is bad (there's no other way of saying it). The paper feels sandy and is thing, so if you decide to use markers be careful, because it will definitely bleed trough the page. I'm giving it four stars because, despite the bad paper quality, the designs are pretty cute and different.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Book Tour: Ginny Gall by Charlie Smith

Summary on Goodreads.

Available: Amazon     Indie Bound    B&N

Rating: 4-Stars

"Delvin Walker is just a boy when his mother flees their home in the Red Row section of Chattanooga, accused of killing a white man. Taken in by Cornelius Oliver, proprietor of the town’s leading Negro funeral home, he discovers the art of caring for the aggrieved, the promise of transcendence in the written word, and a rare peace in a hostile world. Yet tragedy visits them near daily, and after a series of devastating events—a lynching, a church burning—Delvin fears being accused of murdering a local white boy and leaves town..." [+ more]

Violence in the Jim Crow South seems like a far away tale... that Charlie Smith nicely brought alive in Ginny Gall. Brutal and honest, I felt as if was living in that period, while at other times I would shake my head and just think "nooo! tsk, tsk, tsk."

In Ginny Gall we follow Delvin from birth to manhood when he is accused of the rape of two white women. Now, the consequences of raping a white woman are very different if: a) the woman is white, and b) the man is black. So basically, the quest for justice for the victims would be different as seen, for example, in A Time to Kill by John Grishan and here in Ginny Gall.

But back to Ginny Gall, here we have a brutal portrait of the south back then. I was both horrified and smitten by the story. This is definitely a book that should be in any African American history collection.

This book tour was bought by TLC Book Tours  

About Charlie Smith:
Charlie Smith, the author of seven novels and seven books of poetry, has won the Aga Khan Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the Paris Review, Harper’s, the New Republic, the New York Times, the Nation, and many other magazines and journals. Three of his novels have been named New York Times Notable Books. He lives in New York City and Key West.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Bleeding Earth by Kaitlin Ward

Summary on Goodreads.

"Lea was in a cemetery when the earth started bleeding. Within twenty-four hours, the blood made international news. All over the world, blood appeared out of the ground, even through concrete, even in water. Then the earth started growing hair and bones.

Lea wants to ignore the blood. She wants to spend time with her new girlfriend, Aracely, in public, if only Aracely wasn't so afraid of her father. Lea wants to be a regular teen again, but the blood has made her a prisoner in her own home. Fear for her social life turns into fear for her sanity, and Lea must save herself and Aracely whatever way she can."

What this book is NOT about: A bleeding earth; or why the earth is bleeding.

What this book IS about: a girl in love with another girl.

So, if you want to read this book because of the girl-to-girl romance, go for it. BUT, if you want to read it because it sounds apocalyptic, well, skip it.

Why was the earth bleeding? Not even the author could come up with an explanation for that. This bleeding business was weird. First the ground was oozing blood, and next thing I know Lea is talking about floods. When, how did that happen? In NYC transportation stopped because the trains got blood flooded. At some other point Lea talks about walking with rain boots and the blood running like a river. And people were out and about driving in this... river of blood!?

Wait a minute... where did so much blood come from? Again, not even Ms. Ward knows because she couldn't give an explanation in the plot. Next thing we know, hair is found in the blood, and then bones. Meaning? None whatsoever. Just to give you an idea of how disgusting the world was becoming.

But the best part is that as sudden as the blood appear, it disappeared. That's right. Next scene and Lea wakes up to find no blood and that earth is going back to normal.

So, why was humanity punished with this blood flood? The book mentions the Bible and Noah but it doesn't really say anything about it. So I guess the blood was an act of God to.... (feel free to fill in the blank). Although according to Lea, the blood united her parents who seemed to have grown fond of each other again. Yeah, maybe the blood was an act to unite couples worldwide.

Scientific explanation about the blood? Of course not. So that leaves with the religious explanation that you will come up with because no freaking explanation is given!!!

And did we need the lesbian romance? Not at all; but since there is a lack of same sex romance in YA, the author thought that mixing a bleeding earth with lesbian love would be a good idea because you couldn't really say that you hate the book because that would mean you are homophobic.

Well, guess what. The plot sucks, the romance was lame. The sex scene was unnecessary, and this entire book was just a waste of paper. Thank you Adaptive Books (the publisher) for helping kill more trees.