Review: Pumpkinheads

Title: Pumpkinheads
Author: Rainbow Rowell, Faith Erin Hicks
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Contemporary
Publisher: First Second
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 27, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Deja and Josiah are seasonal best friends.

Every autumn, all through high school, they’ve worked together at the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world. (Not many people know that the best pumpkin patch in the whole wide world is in Omaha, Nebraska, but it definitely is.) They say good-bye every Halloween, and they’re reunited every September 1.

But this Halloween is different—Josiah and Deja are finally seniors, and this is their last season at the pumpkin patch. Their last shift together. Their last good-bye.

Josiah’s ready to spend the whole night feeling melancholy about it. Deja isn’t ready to let him. She’s got a plan: What if—instead of moping and the usual slinging lima beans down at the Succotash Hut—they went out with a bang? They could see all the sights! Taste all the snacks! And Josiah could finally talk to that cute girl he’s been mooning over for three years . . .

What if their last shift was an adventure?

Review:

This is an adorable graphic novel!

I loved the setting of a pumpkin patch fair for this story. It’s a great fall graphic novel! There are so many great stories for summer or winter, but not as many for fall. This one fills that gap.

There were tons of food mentioned that sounded delicious! It made me realize how many special foods are made for the fall. There were caramel apples and pumpkin pie. There was also freeto pie, which I’d never heard of. It’s a mixture of frito chips in the chip bag. There was also a pumpkin bomb, which was an ice cream sandwich made with two slices of pumpkin pie and covered in chocolate. My mouth is watering just thinking about that!

This is a great fall graphic novel with a great story of friendship involved too!

What to read next:

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me by Mariko Tamaki, Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

Mooncakes by Wendy Xu, Suzanne Walker

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

Top 5 Saturday – Books Inspired by Mythology

This is a weekly meme hosted Devouring Books. This week’s prompt is Books Inspired by Mythology. Here’s my list:

1. The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

2. The Silence of the Girls by Pat Barker

3. American Gods by Neil Gaiman

4. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

5. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1) by Rick Riordan

(All book covers from Goodreads)

If you’d like to do this list too, consider yourself tagged!

Did you make a Top 5 Saturday list?

Review: The Elephant

Title: The Elephant
Author: Peter Carnavas
Genre: Children’s
Publisher: Pajama Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: March 17, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

When Olive’s dad drags himself to work in the morning, the elephant goes with him. When he comes home again, so does the elephant. It’s always there, heavy and silent, casting a shadow of sadness over him. Olive knows it has been like this since her mother passed away when she was a year old, and she can’t stand to see her father burdened anymore. With help from her grandfather and her best friend Arthur, she hatches a plan to rid her family of the elephant once and for all. Before long, she’ll learn that while happiness isn’t that simple, small things can move mountains—or elephants. Award-winning author-illustrator Peter Carnavas portrays a child’s response to her father’s depression with naïve wisdom. In defiance of the looming grey presence, The Elephant is an intergenerational story of resilience, family, and hope.

Review:

Olive can see a gray elephant following her father around. The elephant keeps growing in size, but no one else can see it. The elephant represents her father’s sadness, and Olive wants to get rid of it. Her grandfather also gets a gray animal, a tortoise, after she has an accident. Olive has to think of creative ways to help send these animals away.

This story is a great metaphor for depression or mental health problems. Olive can physically see how her father’s depression is dragging him down, as if he has a giant elephant following him. This was a creative way to teach children about mental health. It also shows that sometimes you need others to help you get rid of the elephant.

I loved this book!

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

What to read next:

The List of Things That Will Not Change by Rebeca Stead

A Possibility of Whales by Karen Rivers

Have you read The Elephant? What did you think of it?

Bookish Friday – Least Favourite OTPs

This is a weekly meme hosted by Laurie Reads and Niffler Reads. Every Friday, they post a list of bookish things based on the prompt they provided. The prompts for Feb to May can be found here.

This week’s prompt is Least Favourite OTPs. Here’s my list:

Bella and Edward

Ana and Christian

Cedric and Cho

Blue and Gansey

(All book covers from Goodreads)

Did you make a list for Bookish Friday?

Review: Little Monsters

Title: Little Monsters
Author: Kara Thomas
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Gift
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: July 25, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Kacey is the new girl in Broken Falls. When she moved in with her father, she stepped into a brand-new life. A life with a stepbrother, a stepmother, and strangest of all, an adoring younger half sister.

Kacey’s new life is eerily charming compared with the wild highs and lows of the old one she lived with her volatile mother. And everyone is so nice in Broken Falls—she’s even been welcomed into a tight new circle of friends. Bailey and Jade invite her to do everything with them.

Which is why it’s so odd when they start acting distant. And when they don’t invite her to the biggest party of the year, it doesn’t exactly feel like an accident.

But Kacey will never be able to ask, because Bailey never makes it home from that party. Suddenly, Broken Falls doesn’t seem so welcoming after all—especially once everyone starts looking to the new girl for answers.

Kacey is about to learn some very important lessons: Sometimes appearances can be deceiving. Sometimes when you’re the new girl, you shouldn’t trust anyone.

Review:

This is a great young adult thriller.

The story is told from two perspectives, both first-person. The main character is Kacey, and she tells most of the story. Her best friend, Bailey, goes missing, and she ends up finding a lot of the clues to her disappearance. The other narrative is Bailey’s journal. Both of these girls seem reliable, but at times their stories don’t match, so it made me question if they were reliable and what they were hiding.

Kacey had a unique family. She had grown up with her mother, but when she had problems with her and wanted to run away, she was sent to her dad who she had never met. Her dad had a child, Lauren, and a stepson, Andrew. Kacey’s dad was often working so she spent a lot of time with her stepmother, Ashley. This complicated family structure seemed real since it was so unique and modern.

There were tons of twists, which I love in a thriller. There was also a town legend of a woman covered in blood, which added some supernatural elements to the story.

This is a great thriller!

What to read next:

The Cheerleaders by Kara Thomas

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Have you read Little Monsters? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – February 27

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 Bromance Book Club (The Bromance Book Club #1) by Lyssa Kay Adams.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The first rule of book club: You don’t talk about book club.

Nashville Legends second baseman Gavin Scott’s marriage is in major league trouble. He’s recently discovered a humiliating secret: his wife Thea has always faked the Big O. When he loses his cool at the revelation, it’s the final straw on their already strained relationship. Thea asks for a divorce, and Gavin realizes he’s let his pride and fear get the better of him. 

Welcome to the Bromance Book Club.

Distraught and desperate, Gavin finds help from an unlikely source: a secret romance book club made up of Nashville’s top alpha men. With the help of their current read, a steamy Regency titled Courting the Countess, the guys coach Gavin on saving his marriage. But it’ll take a lot more than flowery words and grand gestures for this hapless Romeo to find his inner hero and win back the trust of his wife.

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

Review: Vivienne Westwood (Little People, Big Dreams)

Title: Vivienne Westwood (Little People, Big Dreams)
Author: Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, Laura Callaghan (illustrator)
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Quarto Publishing Group
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

New in the Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Vivienne Westwood, the flame-haired fashion designer and impresario. When Vivienne was a young woman, she wasn’t sure how a working class girl from England could make a living in the art world. But after discovering her passion for design and jewelry making, she erupted onto the fashion scene with a bang. Vivienne’s designs became iconic, and she became famous for letting her clothes speak for themselves. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back , including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the designer’s life.

Review:

This is another great book in the Little People, Big Dreams series about the fashion designer Vivienne Westwood.

I loved the vibrant colours in this book. They reflect Vivienne’s fashion designs. The images were detailed and brightly coloured, which would appeal to children.

This book had less information about the subject than other ones in this series. Her childhood was glossed over a little bit with generalized statements. The sentences were shorter than some of the other books I’ve read in the Little People, Big Dreams series, which meant that the images stood out more.

This is a great book for kids who are interested in fashion!

Thank you Quarto Publishing Group for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Coco Chanel (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, Ann Albero (illustrator)

Frida Kahlo (Little People, Big Dreams) by Maria Isabel Sánchez Vegara, Gee Fan Eng (illustrator)

Have you read Vivienne Westwood? What did you think of it?