Sunday, April 30, 2017

State of the Stack (April 30, 2017)

This is my monthly State of the Stack post. It is my way to keep track of my review books and to hopefully reduce the stack that I have waiting for me. I take a look at my review commitments on or near the first of the month. Please feel free to join in and let me know the state of your stack.

Here is my Review Books Spreadsheet I list them in publication order and sort them by month. I can quickly see how many books I have for each date. Ideally, this keeps me from over-committing to review books. Check my spreadsheet to find out where I got each book.

I also do this post because sometimes (frequently) review books sit on my stack for a while before I read and review them. I try to read and review books within two weeks of publication date. Sometimes I can't, though, if too many books are releasing on the same date or if the book arrives too near its publication date and my calendar is already full.

I am very grateful to the authors and publishers who support my reading habit.

My Review Pile

May
Say You're Sorry by Melinda Leigh (May 16)
The Dragon with the Chocolate Heart by Stephanie Burgis (May 30)

June
 The Frog Princess Returns by E. D. Baker (June 6)
A Merciful Truth by Kendra Elliot (June 6)
Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle (June 6)
 The Sandcastle Empire by Kayla Olson (June 6)
What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard (June 6)
The Girl with the Ghost Machine by Lauren DeStefano (June 6)
 The Fallen Kingdom by Elizabeth May (June 13)
We Come Apart by Sarah Crossan & Brian Conaghan (June 13)
Bad Housekeeping by Maia Chance (June 13)
The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee (June 20)
Indigo by Charlaine Harris et al. (June 20)
The Waking Land by Callie Bates (June 27)

July
 The Reluctant Queen by Sarah Beth Durst (July 4)
A Panicked Premonition by Victoria Laurie (July 4)
Some Kind of Hero by Suzanne Brockmann (July 11)
 Murder in Mayfair by D. M. Quincy (July 11)
Ash and Quill by Rachel Caine (July 11)
Shallow Grave by Brian Thiem (July 11)
Amid Stars and Darkness by Chani Lynn Feener (July 18)
The Emperor of Mars by Patrick Samphire (July 18)
What Goes Up by Katie Kennedy (July 18)

August
 The Countdown Conspiracy by Katie Slivensky (August 1)
Just Friends by Tiffany Pitcock (August 1)
 The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo by Stephen Bramucci (August 1)
In Some Other Life by Jessica Brody (August 8)
Hunting Hour by Margaret Mizushima (August 8)
Dead Man's Bridge by Robert J. Mrazek (August 8)
Among the Dead by J. R. Backlund (August 8)
 
December May
Ensnared by Rita Stradling (May 23)


I Read This Month

These are listed in the order I read them. Links go to my reviews for all that have been posted already. Otherwise, the date the review is scheduled for is listed.
  1. Echo of Danger by Marta Perry (April 20)
  2. The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman (April 20)
  3. Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (April 22)
  4. The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren (April 27)
  5. Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld (April 29)
  6. The Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beatty (May 6) 
  7. The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari (May 11)
  8. Death in the Abstract by Emily Barnes (May 11) 
  9. Edited Out by E. J. Copperman (May 13)
  10. The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich (May 13) 
  11. Big City Heat by David Burnsworth (May 18)
Read Previously, Reviews Posted This Month
  1. Pretty Fierce by Kieran Scott
  2. Journey Across the Hidden Islands by Sarah Beth Durst
  3. Duels and Deception by Cindy Anstey
  4. Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen
  5. The Inconceivable Life of Quinn by Marianna Baer
  6. Alice and the Assassin by R. J. Koreto
  7. Missing by Kelley Armstrong
  8. Kale to the Queen by Nell Hampton
  9. Change Agent by Daniel Suarez
I Added These Books

These are listed in the order I received them. Links go to Amazon. Date published is listed in parentheses.
  1. A Merciful Truth by Kendra Elliot (June 6)
  2. Say You're Sorry by Melinda Leigh (May 16)
  3. Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld (May 2)
  4. Noteworthy by Riley Redgate (May 2)
  5. Shallow Grave by Brian Thiem (July 11) 
  6. Run to Ground by Katie Ruggle (June 6)
  7. Indigo by Charlaine Harris et al. (June 20)
Next Month's Plan

It is my plan to just try to keep my head above water this coming month. I have a dozen review books for June which ought to be mostly read in May when I am also holding a moving sale, packing to move at the beginning of June, and finishing my 41st and final year as a school library/media specialist before retiring. Did I mention that I am also getting my house ready for sale?

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Book Review: Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld

Spill Zone
Author: Scott Westerfeld, Alex Puvilland
Series: Spill Zone (Book 1)
Publication: First Second (May 2, 2017)

Description: Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone.

The Spill claimed Addison’s parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn’t spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone's twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death―or worse.

When an eccentric collector makes a million-dollar offer, Addison breaks her own hard-learned rules of survival and ventures farther than she has ever dared. Within the Spill Zone, Hell awaits―and it seems to be calling Addison's name.

My Thoughts: I enjoyed this first episode in the Spill Zone series, except for the very abrupt ending. Addison is a photographer who makes illegal trips into the Spill Zone to take and sell photos of the strange things that are there. She needs the money to take care of her younger sister who was in the Zone when whatever happened happened. There parents were in the Zone too and never came out.

Addison has made a number of rules to protect herself when she goes into the Zone. However a million dollar offer from a rich collector of her photographs is making her rethink her rules and do more dangerous things. Apparently the mysterious collector is being backed by North Korea which had a smaller spill in their country and want something from inside the spill in New York. There are a few pages about a young man who is a survivor of the spill and who has been changed by it.

I was intrigued by Addison's younger sister Lexa and her doll Vespertine. They were apparently greatly changed by the spill too.

I am not a frequent reader of graphic novels but I enjoyed the art, the colors, and the flow of this story. I would recommend it unconditionally except for the frequent f-bombs that make this problematical for middle graders.

Favorite Quote:
"Um, riches? How much are we talking about, anyway?"

"Six hundred thousand? No wait! I'll save the bickering for fools like Marty. A million is my firm offer?"
I received this one for review from First Second Books. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Friday Memes: Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld

Happy Friday everybody!!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
Whatever I go in planning to shoot, I always come out with more pictures of the playground.
Friday 56:
Almost forgot I was scared of this place before the Spill.
This week I am reading Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld. I received this finished graphic novel for review from First Second Books. Here is the description from Amazon:
Three years ago an event destroyed the small city of Poughkeepsie, forever changing reality within its borders. Uncanny manifestations and lethal dangers now await anyone who enters the Spill Zone.

The Spill claimed Addison’s parents and scarred her little sister, Lexa, who hasn’t spoken since. Addison provides for her sister by photographing the Zone's twisted attractions on illicit midnight rides. Art collectors pay top dollar for these bizarre images, but getting close enough for the perfect shot can mean death―or worse.

When an eccentric collector makes a million-dollar offer, Addison breaks her own hard-learned rules of survival and ventures farther than she has ever dared. Within the Spill Zone, Hell awaits―and it seems to be calling Addison's name.



Thursday, April 27, 2017

ARC Review: The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren

The Last Thing You Said
Author: Sara Biren
Publication: Amulet Books (April 4, 2017)

Description: Last summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted apart, swallowed up by their grief. Now it’s a year later in their small lake town, and as the anniversary of Trixie’s death looms, Lucy and Ben’s undeniable connection pulls them back together. They can’t change what happened the day they lost Trixie, but the summer might finally bring them closer to healing—and to each other.

My Thoughts: This is an excellent story about the different ways people deal with grief. Lulu lost her best friend when Trixie had a heart attack and drowned one summer day. Ben lost his sister. They also lost their relationship with each other.

Lulu has loved Ben since she first met him when Trixie brought her home with her from Kindergarten but it is only the summer when she turns sixteen that Ben returns her regard. But when Trixie dies, Ben blames his fascination with Trixie on not being able to save her. He takes out his anger on Lulu. He is consumed with guilt, drinking too much, hooking up with too many girls, and withdrawing from his family.

Lulu has found a new friend in Hannah who is a recent arrival in town and a potential new boyfriend in Simon. He and his mother are renting the house next door for the summer. But her heart is still fixed on Ben. In their small northern Minnesota town, it's impossible to avoid people you don't want to see. Their lives keep crossing and Ben keeps hurting her.

We also see how Trixie's death affected the adults in the story. Both Lulu's parents and Ben's parents are still dealing with their own grief as the summer progresses. 

I loved the setting of this story because I'm a Minnesota girl. I've been to all the real places that were mentioned. I loved the way Trixie was not forgotten. Lulu often told Trixie's young cousin Trixies about the things Trixie said and did. We learn to see Trixie as a girl who knew how to love and how to make each minute special.

I heartily recommend this story to any fan of contemporary young adult fiction.

Favorite Quote:
When they reached the safety of the firm, solid earth, Trixie looked at her best friend with a smile and said, "Always remember that the thrill of the view is worth the terror of the climb."

Lulu would remember those words for the rest of her life. 
I received this one for review from Amulet Books in exchange for an honest review. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

WoW: City of Angels by Kristi Belcamino

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She has a linky widget at her site each week for your post and to make it easy to find posts by other people.

The purpose of the meme is to spotlight books that we are eagerly anticipating. It is fun to take a look at what others are waiting for. I have noticed that it has expanded my wishlist though. Be warned!
Kristi Belcamino
May 9

Nikki Black has been self-imposed lone wolf since her mother died, fleeing suburban Chicago to escape her painful past. But when her so-called boyfriend reveals why he really lured her to Southern California, she ends up on the streets of L.A. with only the clothes on her back and a destitute twelve-year-old named Rain following in her shadows. The girls seek refuge at a residential hotel above a punk rock bar in downtown L.A. a few months before the city erupts into chaos during the 1992 riots. At The American Hotel, Nikki makes friends and, for the first time in years, feels as if she has a real family again.

But everything changes when Rain disappears. Everyone believes Rain succumbed to the seductive allure of addiction and life on the streets. Determined to find Rain, Nikki burrows deeper into the underbelly of a city that hides a darkness beneath the glamour. And when she unveils a sinister cover-up by a powerful group that secretly controls the city of angels, she could lose everthing, including her life. City of Angels is an edgy, gritty, mature Young Adult mystery about a young woman’s struggle to not only belong ― but survive.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
It's quiet and peaceful high above the treetops, but I don't feel that way inside. I don't remember what it's like to live without the clutch of guilt and sorrow around my neck.
This week I am reading The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren. I got this contemporary story from Amulet Books in exchange for an honest review. Here's the description from Amazon:
Last summer, Lucy’s and Ben’s lives changed in an instant. One moment, they were shyly flirting on a lake raft, finally about to admit their feelings to each other after years of yearning. In the next, Trixie—Lucy’s best friend and Ben’s sister—was gone, her heart giving out during a routine swim. And just like that, the idyllic world they knew turned upside down, and the would-be couple drifted apart, swallowed up by their grief. Now it’s a year later in their small lake town, and as the anniversary of Trixie’s death looms, Lucy and Ben’s undeniable connection pulls them back together. They can’t change what happened the day they lost Trixie, but the summer might finally bring them closer to healing—and to each other.

Monday, April 24, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 24, 2017)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted at The Book Date.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts have given it a kidlit focus.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Other Than Reading...

This was a long short week. We had Monday off as part of our Spring Break and the four work days seemed endless. I can never remember what day of the week it is when my work week starts on Tuesday. Next week will be a short week for me because I have taken Friday as a personal day. I'll be bringing still another load of stuff to my new home. It will also be short because the elementary is hosting a retirement part for me and two others who are retiring this year. They are getting a sub for me so that I can attend. That means I need to prepare sub plans for two days this coming week. That is always "fun".  I try to be thorough since I know how hard a job it is for a sub to come in to a strange situation and know what to do.

I am writing this on Saturday morning as I am trying to put off cleaning out my garage. I need to organize, clean, and throw things away so that I can put rummage sale things there soon. It shouldn't be surprising how cluttered a garage gets and how much road sand manages to deposit itself on the floor but I'm always surprised anyway.

Read Last Week
The Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beatty is a nice start to a fantasy trilogy. I liked the world building and I liked the characters. This one has intrigue, romance, and hidden identities. My review will be posted on May 6.

The Best Kind of Magic by Crystal Cestari is a contemporary fantasy set in Chicago. I liked the magic and the romance. It had a fast-paced plot and an entertaining main character. My review will be posted on May 11.

Currently
I'm currently reading The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich which is okay so far. I'm having trouble believing the whole "school for spies" thing.

Next Week
I hope to read two from my TBR mountain next week.
Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

I had an empty mailbox this week. 

You can check Inside of a Dog (my other blog) to see what adult books I read, reviewed, and plan to read. 

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Book Review: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Noteworthy
Author: Riley Redgate
Publication: Amulet Books (May 2, 2017)

Description: It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight. But then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped . . . revered . . . all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.

My Thoughts: Jordan Sun is a scholarship student at a boarding school for the Performing Arts. Her unusual vocal range - Alto 2 - makes it difficult for her to fit into the musical theater world. The story begins with her being passed over for a role in the fall musical for the third year in a row. She is feeling disappointed and discouraged when a mass email is sent out that one of the most prominent a capella groups at school is looking for a new tenor. She decides to dress in drag and try out. She figures that she has nothing to lose.

When she is accepted into the group, she has to extend her time in drag which causes all sorts of difficult situations. She hasn't a bunch of close friends at the school since she spent the previous two years in an intense relationship with a fellow student who has graduated and moved on - cheating on her along the way. She has come back to school for her junior year trying to get over the heartbreak and forge her own path. She is concerned about her parents who are living at or below the poverty line in San Francisco and who, she fears, want to bring her back home.

Jordan - now Julian - makes friends with the guys in the group who are an interesting assortment of personalities. It is the first time that she feels she has a home and a family at the school. But everything is hinging on her being successful at hiding her gender. The pressure mounts because the various a capella groups are gearing up for a December performance that could lead them to be chosen as an opening act on a famous a capella group's European tour. One other group is especially determined to thwart her group's chances and embarks on a number of pranks.

This was an engaging story. I was particularly taken with Jordan's musings on gender identity and her own sexuality. This was a great look at gender roles and gender identity. Students interested in the performing arts or boarding schools will enjoy this story and meet some interesting characters along the way.

Favorite Quote:
I slid off my bed and measured my breaths. Stop thinking about college -- stop thinking at all -- give your brain a rest. It was always busy in my skull, always noisy, a honking metropolis of detours and preoccupations. 
I received this on for review from the publisher. You can buy your copy here.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Friday Memes: Noteworthy by Riley Redgate

Happy Friday everybody!!
Book Beginnings on Friday is now hosted by Rose City Reader. The Friday 56 is hosted at Freda's Voice. Check out the links above for the rules and for the posts of the participants each week. Don’t dig for your favorite book, the coolest, the most intellectual. Use the CLOSEST.

Beginning:
Monday morning was the worst possible time to have an existential crisis, I decided on Monday morning, while having an existential crisis.
Friday 56:
He lifted a hand. "Again, I'm Isaac, your president. And the one who always looks like he just sniffed paint is your fearless musical director, Traveler Atwood."

Trav's nostrils flared. He said nothing.
Today I am reading Noteworthy by Riley Redgate. This was a surprise arrival from Amulet Books. It will be released on May 2 but I already have a finished copy. Here is the description from Amazon:
It’s the start of Jordan Sun’s junior year at the Kensington-Blaine Boarding School for the Performing Arts. Unfortunately, she’s an Alto 2, which—in the musical theatre world—is sort of like being a vulture in the wild: She has a spot in the ecosystem, but nobody’s falling over themselves to express their appreciation. So it’s no surprise when she gets shut out of the fall musical for the third year straight. But then the school gets a mass email: A spot has opened up in the Sharpshooters, Kensington’s elite a cappella octet. Worshiped . . . revered . . . all male. Desperate to prove herself, Jordan auditions in her most convincing drag, and it turns out that Jordan Sun, Tenor 1, is exactly what the Sharps are looking for.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

ARC Review: The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

The Unbreakable Code
Author: Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Series: The Book Scavenger series
Publication: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) (April 25, 2017)

Description: Mr. Quisling is definitely up to something mysterious, and Emily and James are on high alert. First, there's the coded note he drops at a book event. Then, they uncover a trail of encrypted messages in Mark Twain-penned books hidden through Book Scavenger. What's most suspicious is that each hidden book triggers an arson fire.

As the sleuthing friends dig deeper, they discover Mr. Quisling has been hunting a legendary historical puzzle: the Unbreakable Code. This new mystery is irresistible, but Emily and James can't ignore the signs that Mr. Quisling might be the arsonist.

The clock is ticking as the arson fires multiply, and Emily and James race to crack the code of a lifetime.

My Thoughts: Emily and James are back in a second adventure. This time these middle schoolers are trying to solve the unbreakable code which dates back to the time of Mark Twain in San Francisco. Solving it is supposed to lead to a fantastic treasure. Emily and James are experienced puzzle solvers as they are members of an online game called Book Scavengers started by Emily's idol Garrison Griswold.

Searching for the solution for the unbreakable code is only one of the mysteries they are working on. They are suspicious about their teacher Mr. Quisling who is tracking down copies of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain which wouldn't be suspicious except for the fires that are started in the locations where the books were found.

Emily is also stressed by the possibility that her parents will need to move the family again despite promising her and her brother that they would settle in San Francisco for a while. Meanwhile, James is missing his father who has to travel a lot for business. Finding the treasure and giving the winnings to their parents could solve both of those problems. Adding to their schedule is the upcoming Presidents' Day/Valentine's Day Dance which Emily and James volunteered to help organize.

I liked both Emily and James because they are readers. I liked that they were curious and resourceful. I liked the adults in this story too who were helpful and treated the kids with respect. I also liked the puzzles and think middle grade puzzle lovers will enjoy playing along with the clues to the mystery.

Favorite Quote:
"It's so sad to imagine the people who had to stay here," Emily said. She pictured someone carefully carving those words, taking breaks to look through the chain-link-covered windows.

"It's only sad if you assume that's the end of their story," James said. "If you imagine the person's next chapter, living over there" -- James nodded out the window to the city across the bay -- "then it's heroic. They refused to be broken just because someone tried to hold them back."
I received this one for review from Macmillan. You can buy your copy here.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

WoW: Lucky Girl by Amanda Maciel

Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine. She has a linky widget at her site each week for your post and to make it easy to find posts by other people.

The purpose of the meme is to spotlight books that we are eagerly anticipating. It is fun to take a look at what others are waiting for. I have noticed that it has expanded my wishlist though. Be warned!
Amanda Maciel
April 25

Lucky Girl is an unflinching exploration of beauty, self-worth, and sexual assault, from the author of the acclaimed Tease.

Rosie is a beautiful girl—and it’s always been enough. Boys crush on her, men stare at her, girls (begrudgingly) admire her. She’s lucky and she knows it. But it’s the start of a new school year and she begins to realize that she wants to be more. Namely, she’s determined to be better to her best friend, Maddie, who’s just back from a summer program abroad having totally blossomed into her own looks. Rosie isn’t thrilled when Maddie connects with a football player who Rosie was hooking up with—but if it makes her friend happy, she’s prepared to get over it. Plus, someone even more interesting has moved to town: Alex, who became semifamous after he stopped a classmate from carrying out a shooting rampage at his old high school. Rosie is drawn to Alex in a way she’s never experienced before—and she is surprised to discover that, unlike every other guy, he seems to see more to her than her beauty.

Then at a party one night, in the midst of a devastating storm, something happens that tears apart Rosie’s life and sets her on a journey of self-discovery that forces her to face uncomfortable truths about reputation, identity, and what it means to be a true friend.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by The Purple Booker. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
  • Open to a random page
  • Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
  • BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Teaser:
Downtown San Francisco was where the skyscrapers and biggest buildings were. The idea that those buildings now stood where it had once only been water seemed so weird.
This week I am reading The Unbreakable Code by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman. This is an ARC I received from Macmillan. Here is the description from Amazon:
Mr. Quisling is definitely up to something mysterious, and Emily and James are on high alert. First, there's the coded note he drops at a book event. Then, they uncover a trail of encrypted messages in Mark Twain-penned books hidden through Book Scavenger. What's most suspicious is that each hidden book triggers an arson fire.

As the sleuthing friends dig deeper, they discover Mr. Quisling has been hunting a legendary historical puzzle: the Unbreakable Code. This new mystery is irresistible, but Emily and James can't ignore the signs that Mr. Quisling might be the arsonist.

The clock is ticking as the arson fires multiply, and Emily and James race to crack the code of a lifetime.


Monday, April 17, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading? (April 17, 2017)

It's Monday, What Are You Reading? is a meme hosted at The Book Date.  Kellee at Unleashing Readers and Jen at Teach Mentor Texts have given it a kidlit focus.

It’s Monday!  What Are You Reading, is where we gather to share what we have read this past week and what we plan to read this week.  It is a great way to network with other bloggers, see some wonderful blogs, and put new titles on your reading list.

Other Than Reading...

It's finally Spring Break. We only have Friday and Monday off but I took the opportunity to bring a carload of things to my new house. I'm spending time with my brother. We have an appointment with our Duluth realtor. We knew there were basement issues that would have to be fixed before we sell. My brother met with one company and the realtor met with a second. We have an extremely high bid from the company the realtor met with that we want to talk to her about. My brother hasn't gotten his bid yet.

Read Last Week
The Last Thing You Said by Sara Biren was a contemporary filled with friendship, love and loss. I really liked its Minnesota setting. I found the story very moving as the characters dealt with their grief at losing a young girl. My review will be posted on April 27.

Noteworthy by Riley Redgate was a book with humor and deep themes too. Jordan is a scholarship student at a prestigious Performing Arts school who dresses in drag and tries out for an a capella group. Once selected, she has to conceal her gender. She learns a lot about how boys think and act when there are no girls around. This is a story of friendship and gender identity. My review will be posted on April 22.
The Selection by Kiera Cass has been on my TBR mountain for quite a while. I'm sorry I waited so long. I enjoyed this dystopia about a girl who is reluctantly in a competition to marry the prince. I can't wait to have a chance to go on with this series (but books 2 and 3 are already packed and won't be unpacked until this summer.) My review will be posted on May 4.

Spill Zone by Scott Westerfeld was a graphic novel science fiction story about a girl who supports herself and her younger sister by taking and selling photographs inside the spill zone which was created after some sort of accident. The colors are dark and the story is too. Too many f-bombs to really be suitable for middle graders but an intriguing story for older YAs. It is the first of a series as evidenced by its abrupt ending. My review will be posted on April 29.
I read my first Junie B. Jones story this week. I chose the first book - Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus by Barbara Park. This book was recommended to me by my kindergarten students. Their teacher is reading them in the classroom and I had a real run on all the series this week when they were checking out books.

Currently
I am currently reading The Traitor's Kiss by Erin Beatty. This story is a epic fantasy in a similar vein to Sarah J. Maas. I am enjoying the characters and getting a little anxious about their fate. This book begins a trilogy.

Next Week

Two more from my review stack.
Reviews Posted
Want to See What I Added to My Stack Last Week?

I had an empty mailbox this week and none of my Kindle offers were books I couldn't live without.

You can check Inside of a Dog (my other blog) to see what adult books I read, reviewed, and plan to read.