Harry Moon Professor Einstone ARC Review

9781943785315.pngHarry Moon is excited to present his science project to his class, but to his surprise, his beloved science teacher has been replaced with a new substitute named Professor Einstone. He doesn’t believe in magic, and Harry realizes that something is off when he asks his other teachers about the new substitute. They all have glassy eyes, and they never answer his questions. When even more changes come to his school, Harry knows that something is up. The adults don’t seem to want to do anything about it, so it is up to Harry and his friends to save his school!

I loved Honey Moon when I read one of her stories a few months ago, so it was interesting to see their world from Harry’s point of view. I liked seeing their family dynamic, and how supportive they are of each other. Even when Harry and Honey are fooling around and cause a homemade volcano to erupt in their living room, their father is upset, but then admits that he only really got upset because of his hard day at work. In my opinion, I would have been upset anyways to have disgusting homemade lava all over the living room, but it was still nice to see such a positive family dynamic.

Can I just say how much I love the world that the Moons live in? Even though Sleepy Hollow they have a mostly-normal lifestyle, there is magic and strange things happen from time-to-time. This allows Harry and Honey to have the strange adventures that they do, but they are still normal kids going to school at heart. I would have loved to read this book as an elementary-middle schooler because I could relate to the kids without feeling like I was relating to fake fantasy characters. Not to mention the book is around 200 pages, making it a perfect size of a book for a kid who loves to read and doesn’t feel like reading Rainbow Fairy books but isn’t old enough for larger books with more difficult subject matter.

The plot of this book moved smoothly, and there were no plot holes that I noticed. Even though there was fantasy, there was nothing too scary for younger kids. I ended up laughing by the end and cheering on Harry and his friends throughout.

There was character development as we got to see Harry’s father go through different stages in his job. I won’t say too much about that, but he definitely changed a lot in this story. Harry stayed the same mostly, but that was fine as he still experienced different things with his friends.

There are illustrations in this novel, but they do not take over the pages. I love how the pictures were drawn, as it reminded me of reading the old children’s mystery novels such as Cam Jansen or Jigsaw Jones. It was hand-drawn, which might influence kids to try to draw their own scenes for the book, making it even more interactive.

I did not see any editing errors in the advanced version of this novel, so the final version should be nothing less than perfect!

I would recommend this book to children aged 7 and up. It would definitely benefit advanced readers who are not ready for tougher subject matter but would like larger books to read. It would also help older children still struggling with reading to read a book with semi-simple words but a non-babyish plot.

I received an advance copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6 out of 5 stars

Jinnspeak Blog Tour, Review, & Giveaway

TourBanner_Jinnspeak.jpg

BookCover_JinnspeakEcover.jpg

Jinnspeak

by M. S. Farzan

GENRE: Young adult urban fantasy/magic realism

BLURB:

Zahra’s algebra midterm is in one month, but more importantly, the Winter Formal is only two weeks away. Fitting into high school is hard enough for the Pakistani American teenager, particularly when a fire spirit begins appearing in her dreams, speaking to her in a language she doesn’t understand. Meanwhile, a secret cult at her school begins to carry out a nefarious plot, with only the Magic Club – and its newest member, Zahra – standing in its way. A popular multiplayer online roleplaying game may hold the secret to saving Golden Mountain High School, but only if Zahra can decipher her perplexing new talent – Jinnspeak.

My Review:

I love diverse books, and this novella definitely is one. Zahra is Muslim, she has a male friend named DJ who is gay, and there are people from several cultures that are included throughout this story. This made the writing not only relatable, but it also made the story unique in its own way. The book is only 60 ebook pages, but the type is rather small so it could have been 80 pages with full-size type/on a Kindle. This doesn’t mean that it is a half-length story though. The characters are all unique with their own personalities, the plot is intriguing, and the world-building is pretty fleshed out for a 60-page novella.

My only complaint was that the story seemed to get a little confused in the middle, but then everything refocused itself and the novel ended fairly strongly. The small confusion was easily overlooked when considering all of the other wonderful things that the story had to offer.

I won’t spoil too much, but this book is definitely worth your time. It is a fun and engaging afternoon read, I suggest that you check it out!

I would recommend this book to lovers of diverse YA fiction.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Excerpt:

That night, Zahra dreamed.  

It wasn’t one of those trances where people and places seem to be just strange enough to have the possibility of being real.  Nor was it a fragmented dreamscape where each object and every character stands as a symbol for thoughts being played out in the subconscious.   It was vivid, cohesive, and unlike anything she had experienced.

She was standing in a large grass field, lit only by a full, red moon overhead and frigid as a midwinter night.  She shivered, but not with cold, as her body was hot, as though she had been running. Her breath turned to frost in front of her, and the only sound was the air rushing in and out of her lungs.

Zahra turned to take in her surroundings, but there was only dimly lit grass for as far as her eyes could see.  She looked up at the moon, which cast the field in an eerie scarlet incandescence. Her heart beat loudly in her chest, sounding like a drum in her ears.

She turned again, and was startled to see a figure standing before her, in what had previously been an empty expanse of grass.  The form was a rough outline of a human body, mirroring her own in size and stature, but wreathed completely in crimson fire. It made no motion or sound, and two almond-shaped eyes peered out at her from within the flames.

AuthorPhoto_Jinnspeak.jpgS. Farzan was born in London, UK and grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has a B.A. in Integrative Biology, M.A. in Religious Leadership for Social Change, and Ph.D. in Cultural and Historical Studies of Religions. He has written and worked for high-profile video game companies and editorial websites such as Electronic Arts, Perfect World Entertainment, and MMORPG.com, and has trained in and taught Japanese martial arts for over ten years. He also enjoys soccer, baseball, and games of all kinds.

Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Jinnspeak-Novella-M-S-Farzan-ebook/dp/B079LQT2Y9/

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/sominator

M. S. Farzan will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

No Sad Songs Review

No Sad Songs

18-year-old Gabe LoScuda was a normal high school student with two happy parents and an ailing grandfather. When his parents die in a car crash, he is put in charge of taking care of his ailing grandfather. However, his grandfather isn’t suffering from something like bad arthritis. His grandfather suffers from Alzheimer’s and is losing more memories by the day. Sometimes he seems to be acting normally, but then he starts shouting random things from his memories of the war. Gabe wants to have a normal high school senior year, but he doesn’t want his grandfather to lose whatever shreds of dignity he has left by putting him into a nursing home. Together with his unreliable Uncle Nick, his best friend John, and his new friend Sofia, he is determined to take care of his grandfather and make the best of the situation. 

Very few books are written that discuss Alzheimer’s with teens and children, but it is a topic that needs to be discussed. More and more people are being diagnosed with the disease by the day, and it is now the sixth leading cause of death in the United States. Some teens even have to take care of their parents that suffer from the disease in their 40s to early 50s. Books need to be written so that the disease is understood by these teens, and so these teens don’t feel isolated, as if they have some dirty secret.

Gabe was a very relatable main character. He doesn’t have all the keys to navigating high school, and when his life is turned upside down, he doesn’t know what to do at all. Throughout the book we see him grow from a scared teen who just lost his parents to a man determined to help the last immediate member of his family who has been there for him throughout his childhood. In fact, the character development of both Sophia and John was also very well-written. I think that Morelli really understands the personal growth of teens in their senior year of high school, as they transition from kids to (at least partially) adults.

The pacing of the story is good. It is split up into chapters and 9 essays that he writes for his English class that reflect what is going on in his life by talking about his past. The story ended up feeling short, but it was a fairly long read at around 200 long physical pages. There were no story inconsistencies or any ends that didn’t feel tied up by the end of the story.

There’s really nothing bad to say about this book. It was an inspirational, relatable, unique, and addicting read. I would definitely read it again, and I hope that more people take the time to do so.

I would recommend this book to anyone looking for a new contemporary YA novel that discusses modern issues such as Alzheimer’s.

I received an advanced copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Don’t Look at Me ARC Review

Don't Look at Me

Haven wanted to be a news reporter and she was on the right track. She already had a job at a local news station and she was doing a story about a local slasher who had been attacking local girls, leaving two distinct marks on their faces. Everything is going well for her. When the owner of a local bookstore that she frequented passes away, she is told to go to the house of his grandson in order to discuss the will. Apparently, he has given her a book collection worth half a million dollars. She might have a problem claiming her books though, because the grandfather is forcing his grandson to keep the bookstore open for 5 years before allowing her to claim the books. The grandson, Quest, has no interest in owning this bookstore and simply wants to go back to wallowing in the sorrow of his military discharge.

When Haven is attacked by the slasher, her face seems to be even more ruined than the other girls. She knows that her career as a news reporter is over, and she doesn’t want to face the Quest again. She simply wants to disappear, but the people around her keep pushing her to go back to her normal life.

This has officially been the best Beauty and the Beast retelling that I have ever read before! In fact, it helped me out of the book slump I had started to go into recently. It is simply so addictive and the storyline is slightly dark but definitely realistic. Haven truly learns to accept herself, which she had never really done even before having her beauty taken from her. Quest learns to accept himself and come to terms with being discharged from the military. I won’t say why, even though it is technically in the summary, simply because it is a big reveal of the book that I personally enjoyed reading on my own. All I will say is that it really added to his character.

The plot flows well and the worldbuilding is good for a book that is supposed to take place in the “real world” I find that realistic books sometimes forget about worldbuilding, which can really take me out of a story. This book succeeds at that.

Overall, I would recommend this book to anyone who likes fairytale retellings or anyone who likes a romance novel in general. This book is amazing and y’all should definitely check it out.

I received a free advanced copy of this book and this is my voluntary review.

Overall Rating: 6/5

Love Me Anyway Review

Love Me Anyway: (a sensitive young adult coming of age novel) by [Grider, J.P., Grider, J.P.]

Before I get into the review, I would also like to mention that this book also goes by the title of Naked and Far From Home. I personally don’t think that this title fit the book very well, but I do believe that it might be easier to find this story on Amazon if you use that title. It is the first result!

Tia is 14 years old, and she has a crush on an 18-year-old man named Clinton. He is a loner, but they seem to hit it off. At first, they start off as friends. Clinton introduces her to new types of music, and they spend a lot of time with each other. Tia starts to fall further in love with him, but he starts to pull away thinking that he is too old for her.

Fast forward about 2 years and Tia’s mother has been diagnosed with cancer. Clinton is the only one who can help her because there are no nearby family for her and her father has been out of the picture ever since she was five. Will things continue to work out for her and Clinton, or will he keep denying his feelings for her?

Alright, so I loved the story, but then the plot twist really messed me up. I was not expecting it at all, and at first, I didn’t like it. However, when I saw how the story was going to end, I loved the plot twist, and I loved the end of the story. This story took place in the 70s and 80s, and it showed me a lot about that time period before the internet and cellphones, and when MTV was first created.

I don’t know what it is with me and reading stories about people who are in relationships with large age gaps recently, but I definitely am reading quite a few of them.

I want to be able to say that this story is YA, but it has a few sex scenes that make it more on the side of New Adult. If the scenes do not bother you, I will definitely recommend it. This book was so much fun to read, and it drew me in so much.

I received this book for free from Instafreebie in exchange for my honest review.

Overall Rating: 4/5

The Narnia Book Tag

I haven’t done a tag for a while, and I love doing book tags, so here goes!

Thank you for Sophie @ Blame Chocolate for tagging me!

This tag was created by Clémence @ Clemi’s Bookish World.

Narnia – A magical world you would like to visit.

The Maze of Bones (The 39 Clues #1)

Besides Narnia, I would love to visit the world of the 39 Clues. Technically the book was based on some historical truths, but I would love to live in a world where a powerful family held such deep secrets. Imagine not being a Cahill, and just being a regular kid who happened to stumble upon the secret bases that the Cahills had throughout the world. It would be awesome to uncover some of the secrets without actually being a member of the family.

The Magician’s Nephew – A book you think is underrated. 

Gregor the Overlander (Underland Chronicles, #1)

Not many people even know that the author of the Hunger Games wrote an amazing middle-grade story. However, I absolutely loved the Gregor the Overlander series when I was in middle school. I even finished all 5 books before I read the Hunger Games series, and consider it to be better than the Hunger Games in some ways. I only wish that the series had been picked up by someone and turned into a movie as well.

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe – A classic that you love. 

Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There

I haven’t reread this book in years, but the first time I read it I was completely lost in it. I hope to reread some more classics this year so that I can review them on here!

The Horse and His Boy – A book you picked up without knowing what it was about.

Girls Made of Snow and Glass

I didn’t even know that this book was a retelling of a fairytale until I read it, but I felt that it really made the story even better for me. I ended up absolutely adoring it.

Prince Caspian – A sequel you loved. 

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

I think that this book was my absolute favorite sequel of all time. If you read it, you probably agree with me.

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – A quest you’d like to be a part of. 

The Red Pyramid (Kane Chronicles, #1)

I loved every single quest that the siblings went on in this trilogy. They were all so suspenseful and action-packed.

The Silver Chair – A book you did not expect to love. 

Since You've Been Gone

 

I thought that I would always dislike “realistic” novels about teenagers. Usually, I can’t relate to them, and I always thought that they were boring. This one may not have been the most relatable, but it was definitely enjoyable.

The Last Battle – The perfect ending to a series you love. 

Splendor (Luxe, #4)

I definitely haven’t read an absolutely perfect ending in a long time, nor have I read an ending to a series in a bit. However, this was definitely a rather good ending that I only had a few issues with.

The Pevensies – A siblinghood of friendship you’d love to be a part of.

Hunt (Freya Snow, #1)

I would love to be a part of the Pevensies definitely, but I would also love to be a part of Freya’s relationship with her sister Alice in the Freya Snow series.

Eustace Scrubb –  A character who grew on you. 

Frankenstein

I loved the creature from Frankenstein so much!

Tumnus – Your favorite mystical creature. 

The Inquisition (Summoner, #2)

I loved Ignatius from the Summoner trilogy. I haven’t read the third book in the series, but as of the second book I still love him.

Caspian – A character with regal qualities.

A Little Princess

Sara would have made an ideal queen. She treated everyone equally whether it was a scullery maid named Becky or a spoiled motherless child named Lottie. She was never mean or spiteful, even when it seemed like the world was against her. She also was very smart and had a wonderful imagination.

Reepicheep – A loyal character.

The Hate U Give

Starr’s boyfriend was always loyal to her, even when it got him in a lot of trouble. I loved seeing their relationship grow throughout the story.

The Wardrobe – Your favorite hideout/place to read.

I usually read in my bed simply because it is the quietest place in my house. However, when I have my own house or apartment, I hope to have a window seat where I can place pillows and blankets and read. Hopefully, it will rain often where I live so that I can read by a rainy window. That way, I will have a real book nook!

I Tag

Youkai Nurse @Books, Boxes, & Baubles

Flavia @Flavia the Bibliophile

Kyera @ Kyera’s Library

Kristin @ Kristin Kraves Books

@Down The Book Hole

@Booksmashed

@The Orang-utan Librarian

If any of you don’t have time, this is fine, but just spread the word about this super-fun book tag!