Someone Like You

by Sarah Dessen

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Enter for a chance to win one (1) set of Sarah Dessen’s books in paperback (ARV: $132.00).

 

It’s been a while since I’ve read any Sarah Dessen so it was like reading Someone Like You for the first time. I’ve always thought her books were good and tackled some big issues at times. She has a new book coming out titled Once and For All. So leading up to the June 6th release date Penguin is having a ReadADessen campaign.

How fun is that? I think this is a great time to reread some of my favorites and read some that I’ve been meaning to read. First up is Someone Like You, this one tackles quite a bit from first loves, unplanned teen pregnancy and some teen rebellion.

 

 

Halley and Scarlett are best friends and inseparable, even if they are polar opposites. Halley is an introvert – shy – good girl that doesn’t break the rules much. Scarlet is an extrovert – talkative  and outgoing. Halley has always been in the shadow of her friend Scarlett and that is OK and part of what works with them. She is the more level-headed thinker of the two. Scarlet lives life to the fullest and sometimes does things first then thinks of what it means after. Scarlet is the first of the 2 to get a boyfriend, we only get to find out about him through flashbacks since in the very beginning we find out her has been killed in a motorcycle accident. Halley rushes home from summer camp and is by her best friends side through it all. This is also the year that she starts to break out of her shell and at times makes some not so Halley decisions.  It is almost like the friends have reversed their roles. Scarlett is thinking things through more now and Halley is living life to the fullest, but through it all they have each other’s back. I think Sarah Dessen handles the teen pregnancy well and doesn’t make it seem like your playing house. I guess if I had any issues I wish she made it seem harder to adjust and not so accepting.  I enjoyed the book and story line, even skipped the season premiere of iZombie because I was hooked reading this one. Overall all the ups and downs these to best friends and their circle of friends had were believable and the story flowed well. Someone Like You or any of Sarah Dessen books make great summer reads and ones both your teen and even you can enjoy!

About the book:  Halley has always followed in the wake of her best friend, Scarlett. But when Scarlett learns that her boyfriend has been killed in a motorcycle accident, and that she’s carrying his baby, she was devastated. For the first time ever, Scarlett really needs Halley. Their friendship may bend under the weight, but it’ll never break–because a true friendship is a promise you keep forever.

A copy of Someone Like You was provided to me for review. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. I would like to thank Penguin for allowing me to be a part of the Read A Dessen campaign.

Giveaway Legal: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on April 17, 2017 and 12:00 AM on May 29, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about June 1, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law

 

The Whole Thing Together

by Ann Brashares

 

 

The Whole Thing Together was a slower paced book and a lot of character driven plots with in plots blended families stories all put together. At first I was thinking I’m not to sure this book is for me, then the plot twist happened that I never saw coming. While this story has a big cast of characters the two main ones that it is told through are Ray and Sasha. Their lives are intertwined and shared through their 3 sisters. They are the same age and share the same life but only every other week. See Ray’s mom was married to Sasha’s dad they have the 3 sister’s and a beach house and the same job but it alternates throughout the years. They have never meet and are curious about each other. I mean that is understandable and the never meeting and they are old enough to have a job and in their teens just had me shaking my head. I mean even the worse divorces and trying to stay apart as much as possible I think you’d still run into each other but hey New York City is a big big city so maybe not. Ray and Sasha start exchanging emails and getting to know each other. They have chance encounter, a family get together that ends in a heartbreaking tragedy. This is where the characters lives fall apart and I think the author did a great job at portraying their pain and grief in a realistic manner. Truly till that moment in the book I wasn’t that invested and was thinking it was a so-so book. After that moment I got more invested in the characters they seemed to have more depth and I ended up liking the book. I feel there was just so much back story about their lives before that moment that it was just a lot for the reader to keep straight. Now I know why we needed all that and I think the author because with out all of the life stories I think the tragedy wouldn’t have made such a big impact. Overall I really enjoyed it and would recommend it for any YA or adult reader looking for a good character driven novel this summer.

Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.

Thank you Penguin Books – Delcorte Press for sending me a copy of The Whole Thing Together. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

That Inevitable Victorian Thing

By E.K. Johnston

Read an Excerpt

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First thing that makes me pick up a book is the cover. I’m a sucker for a good pretty cover, they are like works of art. Pretty ones I love to display around the house. Hey some people buy knick knacks to decorate their house I buy books and have them all over the house. This book is one that will be displayed (and read), I mean look at this pretty cover!

 

 

summary: Set in a near-future world where the British Empire never fell and the United States never rose, That Inevitable Victorian Thing is a novel of love, duty, and the small moments that can change people and the world.

Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendent of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history two centuries earlier. The imperial practice of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage like her mother before her, but before she does her duty, she’ll have one summer incognito in a far corner of empire. In Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire’s greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir apparent to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates. In a summer of high-society debutante balls, politically charged tea parties, and romantic country dances, Margaret, Helena, and August discover they share an unusual bond and maybe a one in a million chance to have what they want and to change the world in the process —just like the first Queen Victoria.

Say Hello, Sophie

by Rosemary Wells

Max and Ruby was always read and watched in my house. Both my girls really enjoyed these siblings  and Sophie reminds me so much of those lovable bunnies. Sophie is your typical little toddler she is shy and sometimes has a hard time speaking up and using her words. In Say Hello, Sophie her parents are trying to get her to use her manners while out and about. Simple say Hello, say thank you and such are prompts but Sophie is shy and nervous and while they are on the tip of her tongue they just can’t come out. Many times it is confusing to little ones, we tell them don’t talk to strangers. Then we tell them say thank you to a stranger who is holding a door or wanting to share a sticker with them.  As the story continues Sophie has many opportunities and all but nothing seems to work on getting her to talk. Grandma to the rescue and her little plan is perfect and gets Sophie talking. The first graders that I read this one to really enjoyed it and were cheering Sophie on to talk. They were so proud of her when she finally did talk and used her manners. This also lead to a great discussion about when they were little and shy or fellow classmates that are still a little shy. Rosemary Wells books are just so cute and great for toddlers through early elementary aged listeners and readers.

Check out my review of Use Your Words, Sophie

 

 

Can Sophie say the word Hello?
No! She just can’t say it.
Why?
Because Hello and Thank you and Goodbye get stuck
in Sophie’s mouth and won’t come out.
What can help Sophie say Hello?
As always, Granny has the answer to one of the
universal problems of toddlerhood

 

Thank you Penguin, and Viking Books for Young Readers for sending me Say Hello, Sophie. I know this will get lots of use in the elementary classroom! All thoughts and opinions are my own and were no way influenced by the free book!

There’s Someone Inside Your House

by Stephanie Perkins

Publication Date: September 12, 2017

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I love a good spooky book (and movie) – I mean the creepier the better! There’s Someone Inside Your House sounds like it is going to fit the bill and I can’t wait till September when it comes out! I might have to hide it from my teen reader so I can read it first, since she inherited my love all things spooky. I think what intrigues me most about this one is all the Stephanie Perkins books I’ve read are sweet and full of romance so I can’t wait to see this other side of her. I’ve got September 12th marked on my calendar. I might not wait for my birthday a few weeks later and just grab it then. I can call it a Pre-Birthday gift, right? 🙂

Entertainment Weekly did a really great article about how the cover was created. I love reading and watching videos about how book covers and jackets are made. I love the little glimpses into the publishing world. If your like me and love to read that kinda stuff head on over and read the article.

 

 

 

One-by-one, the students of Osborne High are dying in a series of gruesome murders, each with increasing and grotesque flair. As the terror grows closer and the hunt intensifies for the killer, the dark secrets among them must finally be confronted.

Very Hungry Caterpiller

by Eric Carle

Click HERE to enter giveaway for one of 5 copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar: Follow the progress of a hungry little caterpillar as he eats his way through a varied and very large quantity of food until, full at last, he forms a cocoon around himself and goes to sleep. Die-cut pages illustrate what the caterpillar eats on successive days.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar’s ABC : Children can learn their ABCs with the Very Hungry Caterpillar and animal friends.

Love from the Very Hungry Caterpillar : The very hungry caterpillar displays its love for the reader as the cherry on a cake, the apple of an eye, and the bee’s knees.

Eric Carle How Things Grow : An acorn becomes an oak tree, a tadpole becomes a frog, and a very hungry caterpillar becomes a beautiful butterfly.

Today is not only the first day of Spring but it is also The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day! 🙂 My girls loved this book growing up and while we have long past the stage of this book it still remains a favorite childhood book and we created many memories while reading it.

3 of our favorite activities when they were little:

2 B’s make a Butterfly: A simple craft where you cut out 2 upper case B’s and glue the solid line of the B’s together and decorate them to creat a butterfly. You could also do this with just 1 and have it look like the butterfly was flying.

Butterfly Sensory Tub: Orzo Pasta, Rotini or Pipette, Shells and Bow tie pasta, paint or food coloring and a tub to hold it all. The Orzo is the egg – Rotini or Pipette is the caterpillar – Shells are the chrysalis and Bowtie is the butterfly.

image source

Butterfly Garden: Research online what flowers – caterpillars  and butterflies are native to your area and make a list and go your nursery and create a butterfly garden. Butterfly gardens also attract hummingbirds and Bees!  PLEASE make sure to use plants that are not treated with chemicals that are killing off the honeybees. I know that means it making an extra trip but what isn’t good for the bee’s surely can’t be good for hummingbirds and butterflies too.

I hope you have fun with Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar today and any day. Looking for more ideas and inspiration hop on over to the following blogs that are participating in The Very Hungry Caterpillar Day.

Others Joining in the #VHCDay Fun!
Books and Giggles
Swoony Boys Podcast
Giveaway Legal: Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (ARV: $21.99 each).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on March 20, 2017 and 12:00 AM on March 27, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about March 29, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

Free Verse

by Sarah Dooley

Free Verse by Sarah Dooley

 

Free Verse is an amazing little gem of a book. I was hooked from page one and it was a roller coaster ride. This book is a pendulum of emotions it has major heartbreak, more heartbreak than any kid should have to face along with some humor to make the reader laugh. The characters are very believable and ones you would enjoy knowing in real life. The story line is very well written and easy to read, I liked that while it was a book to read with a regular fiction book writing style. The author does include the poetry that Sasha writes to work through all that she has gone through and the raw emotions come through. Free Verse takes on death, the foster system, feeling lost in the great big world at a young age but does so that even tender-hearted readers  will fall in love with this story, I know mine did. She said it made her sad at times but she had faith in Sasha and that she would find her happy ever after. Free Verse was such a raw emotional read but also so inspiring and uplifting. This story has stayed with me long after I have finishing it and it was such a beautiful middle grade book that would captivate a teen reader and adult just as much as the age group it was written for. Add Free Verse to your must read of 2016 book list. Free Verse will be in my top 10 reads of 2016 and one I will recommend and gift this year.

summary: When her brother dies in a fire, Sasha Harless has no one left, and nowhere to turn. After her father died in the mines and her mother ran off, he was her last caretaker. They’d always dreamed of leaving Caboose, West Virginia together someday, but instead she’s in foster care, feeling more stuck and broken than ever.

But then Sasha discovers family she didn’t know she had, and she finally has something to hold onto, especially sweet little Mikey, who’s just as broken as she is. Sasha even makes her first friend at school, and is slowly learning to cope with her brother’s death through writing poetry, finding a new way to express herself when spoken words just won’t do. But when tragedy strikes the mine her cousin works in, Sasha fears the worst and takes Mikey and runs, with no plans to return. In this sensitive and poignant portrayal, Sarah Dooley shows us that life, like poetry, doesn’t always take the form you intend. 

thank you so much Penguin Young Readers, Sarah Dooley and G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers for allowing us to read Free Verse. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.