Monday, February 24, 2014

MMGM: NUMBER THE STARS with a GIVEAWAY!!!

To start out the new week, I have a review for a special Newbery Award winner.

Get ready...
Get set...
(The confetti is ready?)
TA-DA!

NUMBER THE STARS

This wonderful book is by Lois Lowery. I was able to see her at Hicklebee's when she came through a few years ago. It was packed. 

I was a little late, so I had to squeeze and stand on my tip-toes to steal a glimpse. I was upset because I had a number in the hundreds and I really had to get somewhere, so I wasn't able to talk to her one-on-one while she signed my book.

But I was able to hand my newly-purchased copy of SON to one of the employees. And it got signed! 

Then I met the person I was standing behind at Hickleebee's a year later. She was looking at this book, debating on whether or not to get it. I couldn't help but chime in with my review of the book. We struck up a conversation.

Then she said, "You look familiar." 

I wasn't sure what she had thought of me when we were there, so I kept my mouth shut.

But she figured it out.

"You were at the Lois Lowry thing! Standing behind me!"

Then we talked about that event. She was really cool.

ANYWAY, now I'll try to bring it back around to NUMBER THE STARS.

Maybe we should "start" this thing with a snippet from Goodreads:
Ten-year-old Annemarie Johansen and her best friend Ellen Rosen often think of life before the war. It's now 1943 and their life in Copenhagen is filled with school, food shortages, and the Nazi soldiers marching through town. When the Jews of Denmark are "relocated," Ellen moves in with the Johansens and pretends to be one of the family. Soon Annemarie is asked to go on a dangerous mission to save Ellen's life.

 My review:

I read this book for fourth grade reading assignment. I think it was supposed to help prepare us for the DIARY OF ANNE FRANK. 

I enjoyed it. It was a good story with an easy vocabualry. 

Now flash forward a few years.

I simply must read a book when I'm brushing my teeth. I don't know why. I've been doing it for what seems like forever, so it could just be a routine in the very boring life of Birdie. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I have so little free reading time, I just feel like I should use every little bit I'm given.

I was running a little late that day so I just grabbed something off the shelf instead of searching my slightly messy bedroom for the book I was in the middle of (I think it was a Sisters Grimm). The lucky book turned out to be this one.

So I read it. And instead of just setting back on the shelf after I located Sisters Grimm, I took it with me. And I just loved it. I thought it was such a great story.

I felt myself become Annemarie. I felt her panic during scenes with the Nazis. I really understood her, even though I am no longer her age.

I can't say it was one of my top ten, but it was certainly in my top fifty. (Keep in mind I go through about ten MG or YA books every week.)

It is a very special story and I'm really happy that I get to introduce it to you.

So. Thanks for reading that. And because you are so fabulous, I'm offering a giveaway! I have a copy of the NUMBER THE STARS up for grabs! Just comment below before 11:59 PM Pacific Time on March 13, 2013 and you'll be entered to win! 
I'm sorry, but due to my limited budget, I can only take entries from people who live in the United States. Thank you for your understanding!
If you live in another country or aren't interested in winning a copy, please clearly note it in your comment.

(Sorry the text keeps changing color. I have no idea why it is doing that.)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

New Profile Picture

You might have noticed my new profile picture! The amazing Karen Sikie did it for me. If you are interested in seeing more of her fabulous work, please check her out here.


Here is the whole thing!

We also worked on another one. 


The translation of paper to computer made it look kind of fuzzy, but trust me, this one is great too.

We've been talking about doing a little more refining, so things might change a little bit. But I love what she's done.

Thank you Karen!

Monday, February 17, 2014

New Things!!

So you might have noticed I've added a few things to my blog.

You can now follow by email. Enter your email address and you will get all of my posts sent directly to you! You'll never miss another review or giveaway!

I added a labels area as well. You can search posts by the label. So if you are bored of my rambles, click "reviews" so you don't have to deal with the crazy things I write.

You can also follow me of Google+. If you do, I will love you FOREVER!!

So that pretty much sums up all the new things I've added to my blog. :)

I have a MMGM here if you are looking for that puppy.


MMGM: IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES

Usually I set up my MMGMs on Sunday and schedule them for the next day. However, I was unable to do so. But the good news is I'm still doing a MMGM.

Today we have IT'S RAINING CUPCAKES in the spotlight!

Goodreads says:
Twelve-year-old Isabel is dying to get out of her small town of Willow, Oregon, and travel like her best friend, Sophie. But when Isabel's mother decides to open up a cupcake shop across town, Isabel is once again stuck in Willow for the summer; until she learns of a baking contest where the finalists get an all-expenses paid trip to New York City to compete in the final bake-off. But Sophie is also entering the contest, and Isabel's mother has reservations. Can Isabel finally realize her dreams of leaving Willow without hurting two of the most important people in her life?

My review:
I really liked the plot of this book. It was entertaining and sucked me right in. My favorite character was Sophie, Isabel's best friend. The chapters all have a spotlighted cupcake, each with a little saying. One of my favorites is coconut mango cupcakes: a taste of the tropics without getting on a plane. For me, these were little treats after each chapter, and I found myself eagerly awaiting the next one.

There were a few things I disliked. I couldn't really connect with Isabel. The notes/poems she wrote in her passport holder were also a downside. I also found myself just hating Isabel's mom. Even the ending could not change my perspective on her.

There are some cupcake recipes in the back of the book, but I have not tried them out. I find myself a little "culinary challenged".

All in all, it was a good book, worthy of 3.5 stars out of 5.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

YA Books to Read

I haven't gotten around to doing reviews, but I recently finished ARCs of these books and highly recommend them.

  1. Something Real- Heather Demetrios
  2.  Impostor- Susanne Winnacker
  3. Bruised- Sarah Skilton
  4. Cruel Beauty- Rosamund Hodge
I'll do better reviews of these books later when I have time. They are so good a deserve a proper review.

If you've read these, please tell me what you think!

Monday, February 10, 2014

MMGM fail

I don't have a MMGM for you this week. I was so sick on Tuesday and Wednesday I had to stay home. Right now I'm scrambling to meet my deadlines.

I can't make any promises, but I will try to post a review of something this week. Now- back to work! *tired smile*

Monday, February 3, 2014

MMGM: FAMILY TREE: BETTER TO WISH

Happy February!

Today's MMGM is by Ann M. Martin. If her name sounds familiar, that's because she's the author of lots of books. Her most popular series is THE BABY-SITTERS CLUB.

FAMILY TREE series follows a family and four girls that are part of it. I saw the second one and it sparked my interest, so I picked up BETTER TO WISH at the library to see if it was good.

The lovely cover:




Goodreads says:
In 1930, Abby Nichols is eight, and can't imagine what her future holds. The best things today would be having a dime for the fair, keeping her Pops from being angry, and saving up eighty-seven cents to surprise her little sister with a tea set for Christmas.

But Abby's world is changing fast. Soon there will be new siblings to take care of, a new house to move into, and new friends to meet. But there will also be good-byes to say and hard choices to make. As Abby grows older, how will she decide what sort of life will fit her best?

In this incredible new series, bestselling author Ann M. Martin brings the past and the present together one girlhood at a time and shows readers the way a family grows.


My review:
This book was VERY addicting. Even the low points where interesting. I loved Abby, her friends, and her family. They were all very real to me. I also liked the realism. 

On the other hand, it was hard to follow exactly what was going on when they went from chapter to chapter. Months can go by between them, something that can be difficult to follow at certain points. I felt that some things I wanted to see resolved were not. I don't want to spoil it, so all I'll say is Fred. I also wanted to read about her whole life, not just twenty years of it. 

I would recommend it to girls who are on the border between YA and MG as there is some romance. 

3.8 stars out of 5