Review: Liked by Kari Kampakis

Liked by Kari KampakisLiked: Whose Approval are You Living For?
Kari Kampakis
Thomas Nelson
Published November 15, 2016

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Maintaining an online presence through social media can be tricky to navigate no matter your age. Author Kari Kampakis presents advice to teen girls about using social media in a way that’s godly and healthy, too. She discusses ways to keep priorities straight—making sure life doesn’t become about how many “likes” you accrue on a post or photo. She discusses how to handle relationship issues that can arise from miscommunication or thoughtlessness on social media. Through each page, Kampakis shares her wisdom like a cheerleader, making the reader feel like she’s totally on your side and wants … Continue reading

Review: BookBurners created by Max Gladstone

The BookBurners review is a little different than my usual spiel, and not only because it’s part of an Irish Banana Blog Tour. BookBurners is not actually a traditional novel. The story (well, actually, stories) was first published at Serial Box in, you guessed it, serial form. Readers have the option of subscribing to a particular series and getting the latest episodes via an app for phone and tablet or purchasing them on Amazon individually, and now as a whole season. The whole thing is almost 800 pages, so it’s pretty whoppin’.

The sixteen episodes were written by a team of authors whose names you might recognize. And rather than the longer form of a novel, these episodes read like segments of a TV show, with a team of characters who face individual challenges resolved in each section but building together to form a larger story.

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Review: The Fearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places by Peter Begler

Fearless Traveler's Guide to Wicked Places by Peter BeglerFearless Traveler’s Guide to Wicked Places
Peter Begler
Capstone Books for Young Readers
Available March 1, 2017

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When a skull-shaped cloud kidnaps Nell’s mother and turns her into a bird, she and her brothers vow to get their mother back. To do this, they must find a powerful Fearless Traveler and persuade him to take them to a land of nightmares. Once there, they will have to make the dangerous journey to see Ravenhead, the only Dreamer who can undo the curse and return Nell’s mother to her real form. Along the way, Nell and her brother battle nightmares both outside and inside themselves. The only weapons they … Continue reading

Review: When You Never Said Goodbye by Meg Kearney

When You Never Said Goodbye
Meg Kearney
Persea
Available March 21, 2017

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Through poetry and journal entries, Liz relates the story of her first year at NYU and her search for her birth mother. As she forms a circle of friends, she gradually shares with them the truth about her adoption and her search. She finds support and love from these friends and from her family, though each member of her family struggles with the search for different reasons. Liz won’t give up looking, even as one obstacle after another rises to meet her.

One of my favorite things about this story were all the references to literature and poetry contained … Continue reading

Review and Giveaway: Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham

I’m today’s stop on the Irish Banana Blog Tour for Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham, and I can’t wait to tell you about the book. Stick around for my review, a list of the other tour stops and where you might find great stuff like Q&A with the author, AND don’t miss the chance to win one of three hardcover copies of the book in the giveaway below!

Dreamland Burning
Jennifer Latham
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Available February 21, 2017

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About Dreamland Burning

When seventeen-year-old Rowan Chase finds a skeleton on her family’s property, she … Continue reading

Review: Denton Little’s Still Not Dead by Lance Rubin

Denton Little’s Still Not Dead
Lance Rubin
Knopf Books for Young Readers
Published February 7, 2017

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Denton Little is supposed to be dead. Mandatory testing that accurately predicts date of death set his deathdate as the same day as his senior prom, only instead of dying, Denton broke out in a bizarre purple and red rash and, um, didn’t actually die. Turns out, Denton might be the key to ending the stranglehold the DIA (Death Intelligence Agency) has on everyone. A rebel group led by someone Denton thought he’d never see again seems to have answers he desperately wants, but they also have a poorly concealed agenda that Denton doesn’t trust. What he really wants is … Continue reading

Review: Piecing Me Together by Renee Watson

Piecing Me Together by Renee WatsonPiecing Me Together
Renée Watson
Bloomsbury
Published February 14, 2017

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Jade believes the only way she’ll find success is to get out of her neighborhood. That’s why she accepts a scholarship to a privileged, mostly white school. It’s why she puts her studies first—no time for boys, no time for goofing around. As a girl from a poor neighborhood, Jade knows she must appreciate the opportunities that come her way, even those that treat her as less-than. When she joins a mentorship program meant to help “at-risk” (read: black) girls, Jade’s frustration mounts. How is her so-called mentor supposed to teach her anything when she doesn’t have her own life together? … Continue reading

Review: Nowhere Near You by Leah Thomas

Nowhere Near You by Leah ThomasNowhere Near You
Leah Thomas
Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Published February 7, 2017

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After Ollie’s mother died, he left home with Dr. Auburn-Stache to travel the United States meeting other kids with bizarre abilities resulting from lab experiments. In letters to Moritz, the German boy with no eyes who has become his best friend, Ollie relates the journey. He meets a boy with bones so brittle they snap like chalk, and a girl who removes her heart when her feelings become too intense. Inspired by Ollie’s cross-country adventure, Moritz makes a journey of his own, joining a prestigious school where he meets a girl with … Continue reading

Review and Giveaway: The Blue Moon Narthex by N. J. Donner

The Blue Moon Narthex Blog Tour Banner
Today I’m sharing a review as part of an Irish Banana Blog Tour. If you’re looking for an adventure book for middle grade boys, you definitely want to check this one out. Keep reading to find my review, some content information, a bit about the author, other stops on the tour, and a chance to win a copy of the book for yourself!

The Blue Moon Narthex by NJ DonnerThe Blue Moon Narthex  (Karmanic Sovereign Legion #1)
N. J. Donner
Steel Page Press
Published February 7, 2017

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About The Blue … Continue reading

Review: Above by Jason Chabot

Above (Broken Sky Chronicles #2)
Jason Chabot
Harper Trophy
Published September 1, 2015

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

When a hidden figure hits Elia with a poisoned arrow, she knows the other members of the tribe she’s living with still haven’t accepted her into their ranks. In fact, one of them may be trying to kill her. The chief’s son tells her not to worry, and offers to introduce her to another outsider living in a neighboring village. Maybe this outsider will understand the significance of the artifact Elia fled Above to protect. If Elia can unlock its secrets, she can finally return home.

Elia goes to meet the woman, who like Elia fell from an island floating in the clouds of Above. … Continue reading

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