Stacking the Shelves – January 4

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I was approved for four books on NetGalley from Quarto Publishing Group:

Queer Heroes: Meet 53 LGBTQ Heroes From Past and Present by Arabelle Sicardi, Sarah Tanat-Jones

Martin Luther King Jr. (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, Mai Ly Degnan

Stephen Hawking (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, Matt Hunt

David Attenborough (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabela Sánchez Vegara, Mikyo Noh

I received a book on NetGalley from Penguin Random House Canada:

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

Thank you Quarto Publishing Group and Penguin Random House Canada for these books!

What books did you get this week?

Review: Best Friends (Real Friends #2)

Title: Best Friends (Real Friends #2)
Author: Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: First Second
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Format: Paperback
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sequel to Shannon Hale’s award-winning graphic novel memoir, “Real Friends”, this new graphic memoir picks up where “Real Friends” left off. As Shannon grows a little older, the rules of friendship always seem to be changing, leaving her guessing and trying her best to just keep up. “Best Friends” shares its predecessor’s frankness, compassion, and enthralling, heartfelt visual storytelling. Junior high, as it turns out, is quite the roller coaster.

Review:

This story is about Shannon’s year in sixth grade. She had many confusing experiences. Her friends didn’t want to play the same games as her anymore. She was supposed to get boys to like her, but at the same time ignore them so they would like her. She was confused by the mixed signals.

I loved that Shannon’s creative writing was a big part of the story. When she felt stressed, she would return to writing the fantasy story she was working on. At the end, she even included the actual copy of the story she wrote, including the notes from her teacher. I liked seeing how this important aspect of her life was included in the story.

This is a great graphic novel!

What to read next:

Guts by Raina Telemeier

Just Jaime by Terri Libenson

Other Books in the Series:

Have you read Best Friends? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – January 3

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“A sex tape. A pregnancy scare. Two cheating scandals. And that’s just this week’s update. If all you knew of Bayview High was Simon Kelleher’s gossip app, you’d wonder how anyone found time to go to class.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… One of Us Is Lying (One of Us Is Lying #1) by Karen M. McManus.

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Goodreads synopsis:

The Breakfast Club meets Pretty Little LiarsOne of Us Is Lying is the story of what happens when five strangers walk into detention and only four walk out alive. Everyone is a suspect, and everyone has something to hide.

Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. 
Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. 
Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.

Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention, Simon’s dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? 
Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them. 

Have you read One of Us Is Lying? What did you think of it?

Blog Tour Review: Good Girls Lie

Title: Good Girls Lie
Author: J.T. Ellison
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: MIRA
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: December 30, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Goode girls don’t lie…

Perched atop a hill in the tiny town of Marchburg, Virginia, The Goode School is a prestigious prep school known as a Silent Ivy. The boarding school of choice for daughters of the rich and influential, it accepts only the best and the brightest. Its elite status, long-held traditions and honor code are ideal for preparing exceptional young women for brilliant futures at Ivy League universities and beyond. But a stranger has come to Goode, and this ivy has turned poisonous.

In a world where appearances are everything, as long as students pretend to follow the rules, no one questions the cruelties of the secret societies or the dubious behavior of the privileged young women who expect to get away with murder. But when a popular student is found dead, the truth cannot be ignored. Rumors suggest she was struggling with a secret that drove her to suicide.

But look closely…because there are truths and there are lies, and then there is everything that really happened.

Review:

This was an amazing thriller!

The narrative switched between first person and third person perspectives between chapters. At first, I was confused as to who was narrating. I prefer it when the chapters have the narrators labeled when it alternates. However, this was a clever way of telling the story. This narration style had a purpose in the story, and it couldn’t be told any other way.

There were so many twists throughout the story. I kept gasping at what was happening. I was surprised right until the last page. It was a fantastic thriller!

I loved this book! It’s a great thrilling read!

Thank you HarperCollins for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware

The Finishing School by Joanna Goodman

About the Author:

J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than 20 novels, and the EMMY-award winning co-host of A WORD ON WORDS, Nashville’s premier literary show. With millions of books in print, her work has won critical acclaim, prestigious awards, and has been published in 26 countries. Ellison lives in Nashville with her husband and twin kittens.

Have you read Good Girls Lie? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – January 2

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 The Testaments (The Handmaid’s Tale #2) by Margaret Atwood.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this brilliant sequel to The Handmaid’s Tale, acclaimed author Margaret Atwood answers the questions that have tantalized readers for decades. 
When the van door slammed on Offred’s future at the end of The Handmaid’s Tale, readers had no way of telling what lay ahead for her–freedom, prison or death.
With The Testaments, the wait is over.
Margaret Atwood’s sequel picks up the story more than fifteen years after Offred stepped into the unknown, with the explosive testaments of three female narrators from Gilead.

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

Review: Cub

Title: Cub
Author: Cynthia L. Copeland
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 7, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A laugh-out-loud funny and empowering graphic memoir about growing up and finding your voice. 

Twelve-year-old Cindy has just dipped a toe into seventh-grade drama—with its complicated friendships, bullies, and cute boys—when she earns an internship as a cub reporter at a local newspaper in the early 1970s. A (rare) young female reporter takes Cindy under her wing, and Cindy soon learns not only how to write a lede, but also how to respectfully question authority, how to assert herself in a world run by men, and—as the Watergate scandal unfolds—how brave reporting and writing can topple a corrupt world leader. Searching for her own scoops, Cindy doesn’t always get it right, on paper or in real life. But whether she’s writing features about ghost hunters, falling off her bicycle and into her first crush, or navigating shifting friendships, Cindy grows wiser and more confident through every awkward and hilarious mistake.

Review:

I really enjoyed this book!

It is set in the 1970s, but there were many parallels with today’s world. There were many news headlines that are similar to the ones today, like the Watergate scandal, women’s rights, and environmental concerns. This could make the story more relatable for kids today, even though it is set decades ago.

There were also universal parts of growing up in this story. Cindy had her first boyfriend, and she also had to deal with bullying and losing friends. At the same time, she made new friends, who she didn’t expect to like.

This was a great graphic novel!

Thank you Algonquin Young Readers for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Real Friends by Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham

Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Have you read Cub? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – January 1

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 Don’t Read the Comments by Eric Smith. The expected publication date is January 28, 2020.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Divya Sharma is a queen. Or she is when she’s playing Reclaim the Sun, the year’s hottest online game. Divya—better known as popular streaming gamer D1V—regularly leads her #AngstArmada on quests through the game’s vast and gorgeous virtual universe. But for Divya, this is more than just a game. Out in the real world, she’s trading her rising-star status for sponsorships to help her struggling single mom pay the rent.

Gaming is basically Aaron Jericho’s entire life. Much to his mother’s frustration, Aaron has zero interest in becoming a doctor like her, and spends his free time writing games for a local developer. At least he can escape into Reclaim the Sun—and with a trillion worlds to explore, disappearing should be easy. But to his surprise, he somehow ends up on the same remote planet as celebrity gamer D1V.

At home, Divya and Aaron grapple with their problems alone, but in the game, they have each other to face infinite new worlds…and the growing legion of trolls populating them. Soon the virtual harassment seeps into reality when a group called the Vox Populi begin launching real-world doxxing campaigns, threatening Aaron’s dreams and Divya’s actual life. The online trolls think they can drive her out of the game, but everything and everyone Divya cares about is on the line…

And she isn’t going down without a fight.

What books are you waiting on this week?