Review: This One Summer

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Title: This One Summer
Author: Jillian Tamaki, Mariko Tamaki
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: First Second
Source: Library
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Every summer, Rose goes with her mom and dad to a lake house in Awago Beach. It’s their getaway, their refuge. Rosie’s friend Windy is always there, too, like the little sister she never had. But this summer is different. Rose’s mom and dad won’t stop fighting, and when Rose and Windy seek a distraction from the drama, they find themselves with a whole new set of problems. It’s a summer of secrets and sorrow and growing up, and it’s a good thing Rose and Windy have each other.

In This One Summer two stellar creators redefine the teen graphic novel. Cousins Mariko and Jillian Tamaki, the team behind Skim, have collaborated on this gorgeous, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful story about a girl on the cusp of her teen age — a story of renewal and revelation.

Review:

This is a great summer story. It deals with mature problems that aren’t always in teen/preteen novels.

The two characters are preteens. They are just going through puberty, since they are always talking about getting boobs. That part was funny. I really liked Windy. She was a comic character. She was always dancing and being silly, but sometimes others laughed at her, rather than with her.

There are different pregnancy issues in this book, which kids may not learn about in health class, but they can happen. Rose’s mom wanted to have another baby, but she couldn’t. She had miscarriages. Her insistence on having another baby made Rose feel like she wasn’t enough of a daughter for her. Rose and Windy like the cute boy who works at the convenience store. They overhear his conversations with his friends about another girl, who he got pregnant. The boy, called the Dud, refused to speak to her after he found out she was pregnant. He wasn’t nice, and the girls didn’t like him so much after that, but that is a real problem that some girls have to deal with.

The graphics were also amazing. There was a lot of movement in the pictures, along with sound effects. It really looked like they were moving sometimes. The short panels that moved like a flip book also created movement in the illustrations.

I really liked this graphic novel. It was emotional and serious, but there were some funny parts as well.

What to read next:

  • Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

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  • Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

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Have you read This One Summer? What did you think of it?

 

TBR Thursday – July 26

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TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Starfish by Akemi Dawn Bowman.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Kiko Himura has always had a hard time saying exactly what she’s thinking. With a mother who makes her feel unremarkable and a half-Japanese heritage she doesn’t quite understand, Kiko prefers to keep her head down, certain that once she makes it into her dream art school, Prism, her real life will begin.

But then Kiko doesn’t get into Prism, at the same time her abusive uncle moves back in with her family. So when she receives an invitation from her childhood friend to leave her small town and tour art schools on the west coast, Kiko jumps at the opportunity in spite of the anxieties and fears that attempt to hold her back. And now that she is finally free to be her own person outside the constricting walls of her home life, Kiko learns life-changing truths about herself, her past, and how to be brave.

From debut author Akemi Dawn Bowman comes a luminous, heartbreaking story of identity, family, and the beauty that emerges when we embrace our true selves.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: A Noise Downstairs

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Title: A Noise Downstairs
Author: Linwood Barclay
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: July 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of No Time for Goodbyereturns with a haunting psychological thriller that blends the twists and turns of Gillian Flynn with the driving suspense of Harlan Coben, in which a man is troubled by odd sounds for which there is no rational explanation.

College professor Paul Davis is a normal guy with a normal life. Until, driving along a deserted road late one night, he surprises a murderer disposing of a couple of bodies. That’s when Paul’s “normal” existence is turned upside down. After nearly losing his own life in that encounter, he finds himself battling PTSD, depression, and severe problems at work. His wife, Charlotte, desperate to cheer him up, brings home a vintage typewriter—complete with ink ribbons and heavy round keys—to encourage him to get started on that novel he’s always intended to write.

However, the typewriter itself is a problem. Paul swears it’s possessed and types by itself at night. But only Paul can hear the noise coming from downstairs; Charlotte doesn’t hear a thing. And she worries he’s going off the rails.

Paul believes the typewriter is somehow connected to the murderer he discovered nearly a year ago. The killer had made his victims type apologies to him before ending their lives. Has another sick twist of fate entwined his life with the killer—could this be the same machine? Increasingly tormented but determined to discover the truth and confront his nightmare, Paul begins investigating the deaths himself.

But that may not be the best thing to do. Maybe Paul should just take the typewriter back to where his wife found it. Maybe he should stop asking questions and simply walk away while he can. . . .

Review:

I loved this thriller! I couldn’t put it down.

This story was super creepy. I couldn’t tell if Paul was going crazy or if things were actually happening to him. It was hard to tell. At first, I couldn’t tell why the narrative switched between Paul and other characters, mostly Anna White. It’s clear why at the end, so there was a good reason.

I kept thinking about how this story would have been so different if it had a woman as the main character. Many thrillers with female main characters imply that the woman is going crazy, and it’s much more frustrating. Usually she ends up having a drug or alcohol problem as well, such as in The Woman in the Window. I liked this story with a male main character much better. I feel like the other people in his life weren’t as hard on him, as they are when there is a woman who seems to be going crazy.

I loved the twists at the end. It all made sense, but it was pretty complicated. I really enjoyed this story.

What to read next:

  • The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

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  • Find You In The Dark by Nathan Ripley

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Have you read A Noise Downstairs? What did you think of it?

Promo post: Literary Book Gifts

Last week, I was asked to review the designs from the new online shop Literary Book Gifts.

Review:

These are super cute products!

There are t-shirts, tote bags, and backpacks. The t-shirts come in Women’s and Men’s/Unisex sizes. The shirts come in 19 different colours! There are also a couple of styles available in tank tops and sweatshirts.

I love the backpacks because literary themed backpacks aren’t as common as t-shirts and tote bags. The backpacks also have a laptop sleeve. They come in three different sizes.

The graphics on the bags are great! Many of them look like sketches that would be in the classic novels. For instance, rather than the classic peacock cover of Pride and Prejudice which is usually on P & P products, there is a scene from the novel featuring Elizabeth and Darcy. This unique sketch you won’t be duplicating any other literary items you may have.

I really liked the designs of these products! However, I must say that I haven’t seen any of them in person.

As a special offer for my readers only, Literary Book Gifts has provided a discount code! Check out the store here.

Use the promo code: JILLJEMMETT20

  • 20% off anything in the store

  • No minimum

  • Unlimited uses

Let me know what you think of these items! Happy shopping!

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – July 25

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Odd One Out by Nic Stone.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martincomes this illuminating exploration of old friendships, new crushes, and the path to self-discovery.

Courtney “Coop” Cooper
Dumped. Again. And normally I wouldn’t mind. But right now, my best friend and source of solace, Jupiter Sanchez, is ignoring me to text some girl.

Rae Evelyn Chin
I assumed “new girl” would be synonymous with “pariah,” but Jupiter and Courtney make me feel like I’m right where I belong. I also want to kiss him. And her. Which is . . . perplexing.

Jupiter Charity-Sanchez
The only thing worse than losing the girl you love to a boy is losing her to your boy. That means losing him, too. I have to make a move. . . .

One story.
Three sides.
No easy answers.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge

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Title: Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge
Author: Lisa Jensen
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Filled with magic and fierce emotion, Lisa Jensen’s multilayered novel will make you question all you think you know about beauty, beastliness, and happily ever after.

They say Château Beaumont is cursed. But servant-girl Lucie can’t believe such foolishness about handsome Jean-Loup Christian Henri LeNoir, Chevalier de Beaumont, master of the estate. But when the chevalier’s cruelty is revealed, Lucie vows to see him suffer. A wisewoman grants her wish, with a spell that transforms Jean-Loup into monstrous-looking Beast, reflecting the monster he is inside. But Beast is nothing like the chevalier. Jean-Loup would never patiently tend his roses; Jean-Loup would never attempt poetry; Jean-Loup would never express remorse for the wrong done to Lucie. Gradually, Lucie realizes that Beast is an entirely different creature from the handsome chevalier, with a heart more human than Jean-Loup’s ever was. Lucie dares to hope that noble Beast has permanently replaced the cruel Jean-Loup — until an innocent beauty arrives at Beast’s château with the power to break the spell.

Review:

This is an original retelling of Beauty and the Beast, but it didn’t work for me.

The story started off well. I liked the upstairs/downstairs aspects, where Lucie had to view the Chevalier from afar because she was a maid. But he wasn’t who she expected.

There was a sexual assault, which made me feel uncomfortable. It wasn’t the actual assault, but her reaction to it. She just wanted revenge in any possible way. Lucie was blinded by this idea of revenge, so she didn’t even notice other things that were happening around her.

There was a lot of description in this story. The mansion and the grounds were described in a lot of detail, mostly because the main character couldn’t speak for most of the story (you’d have to read it to understand why). This was great because I could imagine everything, but I would have liked to have more tension to move the story along. It would have been more powerful if there was less description and more action.

I won’t spoil the ending but the Beast wasn’t who she thought he was. The way the story ended was unique, but I couldn’t get into the rest of the story.

What to read next:

  • Hunted by Megan Spooner

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  • Cinder by Marissa Meyer

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Have you read Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge? What did you think of it?

 

Top Ten Tuesday – Books with Sensory Reading Memories

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Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Books with Sensory Reading Memories. Here’s my list:

1. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling

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I remember when I first read this book with my dad when I was 7 years old. We both had to guess how to pronounce some of the names, like Hermione, but now this book is a huge part of my life.

2. Mole and Shrew All Year Through by Jackie French Koller

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My mom and I first read this book when I was about 6, and we laughed so hard! I still laugh when I think of this book!

3. Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus by Mo Willems

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My publishing teacher read this book to my class a couple of years ago and it was amazing! She did the best voice for the pigeon! Now, whenever I see one of these books in a bookstore, I have to read it, and I can hear her voice.

4. Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan

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I read this whole book on the plane ride from Miami to Toronto a couple of years ago. I flew through it! (Pun intended 😉)

5. Shadowland (The Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot

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This book makes it onto a lot of my top ten lists because I love it so much! It is the first series that I remember having to go out every weekend to buy the next book as soon as I finished the one I was reading. I absolutely love this series (I even named one of my teddy bears Jesse after Jesse Da Silva, and for years my mom thought that he was named after Jesse McCartney! Haha!).

6. Impulse by Ellen Hopkins

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This was one of the first books I read with serious themes, because all of the main characters have attempted suicide. I can still remember the way my mouth dropped open when I read the twist at the end. You should definitely check it out if you haven’t read it.

7. Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

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This is a great summer book! I read it the summer I went to Cancun when I was 12 years old. It’s the perfect beach read!

8. Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison

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These books are so good! I laughed so hard at this book, and all the others in the series. I remember learning so much from the glossary, because I didn’t know many British terms when I first read the book. I highly recommend these books for a good laugh.

9. Twilight by Stephanie Meyer

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My friend discovered this book when it first came out, when we were in middle school. I got it for my birthday and we became obsessed with it. This was years before the movie was even talked about. I feel like the it was ruined by all the hype, but we had a few years to enjoy it.

10. Victoria by Daisy Goodwin

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I bought this book in London a couple of years ago, before it was released in Canada. I loved it!

(All photos taken from Goodreads)

 

The Archies & Other Stories

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Title: The Archies & Other Stories
Author: Mark Waid, Alex Segura, Joe Eisma
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: Archie Comics
Source: Library
Release Date: October 3, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Join in the fun of THE ARCHIES along with BIG MOOSE along with the horrific JUGHEAD: THE HUNGER in this graphic novel collection spotlighting Archie Comics’ hit one-shot series!

THE ARCHIES: Follow Archie’s quest to make his songwriting dreams a reality, and see what happens when the rock ‘n’ roll dream starts affecting his relationships with his closest friends. Join co-writers Alex Segura and Matthew Rosenberg (Marvel’s Kingpin, Rocket Raccoon) and artist Joe Eisma (Morning Glories) for a power-pop one-shot that goes loud on the music, fun and friendship.

BIG MOOSE: Riverdale’s resident jock gets the spotlight in this special one-shot where everything’s Moose! Stories by Sean Ryan, Ryan Cady and Gorf with art by Cory Smith, Thomas Pitilli and Wilfredo Torres!

JUGHEAD THE HUNGER: Jughead Jones has always had an insatiable appetite… but what if his hunger came from a sinister place? When a murderous menace is on the prowl, taking the lives of some of the most well-known and esteemed inhabitants of Riverdale, Jughead and his family’s dark legacy comes to light. Join writer Frank Tieri (Wolverine) and artist Michael Walsh (Secret Avengers) for this horrifying one-shot for TEEN+ readers.

Review:

This graphic novel is a collection of three comics from different Archie Comics series.

The story The Archies is about the creation of Archie’s band. Archie agrees to play a gig, before even creating a band, so his friends have to come to his rescue. It is a typical Archie story, where he makes a mistake and then his friends help him figure it out.

The story Big Moose is about the character Moose. He has to manage his busy life of school work, sports, home life, and his relationship with Midge. This story was a series of shorter comics which were like the original Archie comics that I read when I was a kid.

The story Jughead The Hunger was by far the most surprising one! In this story, there is a killer in Riverdale who is murdering various members of the town. The killer ends up being a werewolf, whose family has a legacy of lycanthropy. This story was unlike any Archie story I’ve read before because one of the main characters became a werewolf and a killer.

This is a great collection to read before choosing to start one of these series. I will definitely look for the Jughead series to see what happens next!

What to read next:

  • The Archies, Vol. 1 by Matthew Rosenberg, Alex Segura
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  • Jughead: The Hunger by Frank Tieri, Michael Walsh
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Have you read The Archies & Other Stories? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – July 23

It's Monday! What Are You Reading

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

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This weekend I finished Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge by Lisa Jensen.

What I’m currently reading:

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I’m currently reading A Noise Downstairs by Linwood Barclay.

What I’m reading next:

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Next I will be reading Sanctuary by Caryn Lix.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – July 22

Here’s my weekly wrap up!

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 6 weekly blogging memes:

I didn’t get any new books this week, so instead of my Stacking the Shelves post, I wrote about my first OwlCrate box:

How was your week? What did you guys read?