Review: Vote for Me!

Title: Vote for Me!
Author: Ben Clanton
Genre: Children’s, Picture Book
Publisher: Tundra Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A hilarious political satire by the creator of the bestselling Narwhal and Jelly series.

Hey, you! Yes, you with the dazzling smile! The donkey wants your vote. So does the elephant. And each will do just about anything to win your support. Brag? Sure! Flatter? Absolutely! Exaggerate, name-call, make silly promises and generally act childish? Yes, yes, yes and yes. Soon, the tension mounts, and these two quarrelsome candidates resort to slinging mud (literally) and flinging insults. And what happens when the election results are in? Well, let’s just say the donkey and the elephant are in for a little surprise–and a certain bewhiskered, third-party candidate is in for a first term!

Review:

This is a great picture book to teach children about political elections.

In this story, Donkey and Elephant are both running for president. They want to convince the reader to vote for them. They use promises and bribes to try to convince you. Then they have a fight and call each other names. In the end, they realize they don’t want to be mean to each other. The election results were a surprising twist at the end.

This story introduces the idea of elections to children. It is based on the donkey and elephant representations of American political parties, but the same idea can be applied to any political parties. The two animals display the same behavior of name calling and bribes, so it doesn’t favour one party over the other. I especially liked the surprise ending.

I really enjoyed this children’s book.

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea by Ben Clanton

Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! by Mo Willems

Have you read Vote for Me? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – February 7

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:

“I have a complicated relationship with my memory.
Most of us, me included, believe our memories are fairly accurate. That events happened the way we remembered them, like a video camera capturing a scene: hit the play button and you’ll see the same images, the same order of events, unfold before your eyes.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… The Life Lucy Knew by Karma Brown.

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Goodreads synopsis:

One woman is about to discover everything she believes–knows–to be true about her life…isn’t.

After hitting her head, Lucy Sparks awakens in the hospital to a shocking revelation: the man she’s known and loved for years – the man she recently married – is not actually her husband. In fact, they haven’t even spoken since their breakup four years earlier. The happily–ever–after she remembers in vivid detail – right down to the dress she wore to their wedding – is only one example of what her doctors call a false memory: recollections Lucy’s mind made up to fill in the blanks from the coma.

Her psychologist explains the condition as honest lying, because while Lucy’s memories are false, they still feel incredibly real. Now she has no idea which memories she can trust – a devastating experience not only for Lucy, but also for her family, friends and especially her devoted boyfriend, Matt, whom Lucy remembers merely as a work colleague.

When the life Lucy believes she had slams against the reality she’s been living for the past four years, she must make a difficult choice about which life she wants to lead, and who she really is.

Have you read The Life Lucy Knew? What did you think of it?

Review: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1)

Title: A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1)
Author: Holly Jackson
Genre: Young Adult, Thriller
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Publisher
Format: Paperback
Release Date: February 4, 2020 (originally May 2, 2019)
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

For readers of Kara Thomas and Karen McManus, an addictive, twisty crime thriller with shades of Serial and Making a Murderer about a closed local murder case that doesn’t add up, and a girl who’s determined to find the real killer–but not everyone wants her meddling in the past.

Everyone in Fairview knows the story.

Pretty and popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. It was all anyone could talk about. And five years later, Pip sees how the tragedy still haunts her town.

But she can’t shake the feeling that there was more to what happened that day. She knew Sal when she was a child, and he was always so kind to her. How could he possibly have been a killer?

Now a senior herself, Pip decides to reexamine the closed case for her final project, at first just to cast doubt on the original investigation. But soon she discovers a trail of dark secrets that might actually prove Sal innocent . . . and the line between past and present begins to blur. Someone in Fairview doesn’t want Pip digging around for answers, and now her own life might be in danger.

This is the story of an investigation turned obsession, full of twists and turns and with an ending you’ll never expect. 

Review:

This was a thrilling young adult novel!

In this story, Pippa decides to investigate a five-year-old murder of a girl in her town. The case had been closed by the police after the girl’s boyfriend committed suicide, but something about the case didn’t feel right to Pippa. She does her own investigation with Ravi, the brother of the boy who died.

This was a suspenseful story with loads of twists. There were so many clues that it was difficult to piece together. In the end, it all made sense. I didn’t guess what had happened, because it was a complicated ending. I like it when I’m surprised at the ending of thrillers, without having a bunch of important clues withheld until the end.

I loved this young adult thriller! I’ll be recommending this book to all my friends. I’m excited to read the next book in this series.

Thank you Penguin Random House Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Sadie by Courtney Summers

Have you read A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – February 6

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 Truly Devious (Truly Devious #1) by Maureen Johnson.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. 

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart.

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

Review: Snug: A Collection of Comics about Dating Your Best Friend

Title: Snug: A Collection of Comics about Dating Your Best Friend
Author: Catana Chetwynd
Genre: Comics, Humour
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Why bother getting out of bed when you could stay bundled up with that special someone and a book of cozy, cute comics. From the author of the bestselling Little Moments of Love comes Snug, a collection of comics that perfectly captures the honest, playful, and relatable snapshots of romantic life.

Chetwynd’s second book has the same charming and inviting style as her first and includes 50 percent new, never-before-shared comics. Snug is a celebration of the quirks and peculiarities of every one of us—and the magic that happens when we find our matching puzzle piece.

Review:

This is an adorable collection of comics about the author, Catana, and her boyfriend, John.

These comics show warm and fuzzy moments between Catana and John. These moments include things from their everyday lives, like eating and sleeping.

Even if you don’t have a partner, these comics were relatable. They talk about everyday things, like buying food or feeling stressed. I laughed out loud many times, and I could relate to so many comics.

I really liked this collection of comics!

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

What to read next:

Little Moments of Love by Catana Chetwynd

Herding Cats (Sarah Scribbles #3) by Sarah Andersen

Have you read Snug: A Collection of Comics about Dating Your Best Friend? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – February 5

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 The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham. The expected publication date is March 3, 2020.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The Home for Unwanted Girls meets Orphan Train in this unforgettable novel about a young girl caught in a scheme to rid England’s streets of destitute children, and the lengths she will go to find her way home—based on the true story of the British Home Children.

2018

At ninety-seven years old, Winnifred Ellis knows she doesn’t have much time left, and it is almost a relief to realize that once she is gone, the truth about her shameful past will die with her. But when her great-grandson Jamie, the spitting image of her dear late husband, asks about his family tree, Winnifred can’t lie any longer, even if it means breaking a promise she made so long ago…

1936

Fifteen-year-old Winny has never known a real home. After running away from an abusive stepfather, she falls in with Mary, Jack, and their ragtag group of friends roaming the streets of Liverpool. When the children are caught stealing food, Winny and Mary are left in Dr. Barnardo’s Barkingside Home for Girls, a local home for orphans and forgotten children found in the city’s slums. At Barkingside, Winny learns she will soon join other boys and girls in a faraway place called Canada, where families and better lives await them.

But Winny’s hopes are dashed when she is separated from her friends and sent to live with a family that has no use for another daughter. Instead, they have paid for an indentured servant to work on their farm. Faced with this harsh new reality, Winny clings to the belief that she will someday find her friends again.

Inspired by true events, The Forgotten Home Child is a moving and heartbreaking novel about place, belonging, and family—the one we make for ourselves and its enduring power to draw us home.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy #3)

Title: Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy #3)
Author: Laura Sebastian
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: February 4, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The thrilling conclusion to the series that began with the instant New York Times bestseller “made for fans of Victoria Aveyard and Sabaa Tahir” (Bustle), Ember Queen is an epic fantasy about a throne cruelly stolen and a girl who must fight to take it back for her people.

Princess Theodosia was a prisoner in her own country for a decade. Renamed the Ash Princess, she endured relentless abuse and ridicule from the Kaiser and his court. But though she wore a crown of ashes, there is fire in Theo’s blood. As the rightful heir to the Astrean crown, it runs in her veins. And if she learned nothing else from her mother, she learned that a Queen never cowers. 

Now free, with a misfit army of rebels to back her, Theo must liberate her enslaved people and face a terrifying new enemy: the new Kaiserin. Imbued with a magic no one understands, the Kaiserin is determined to burn down anyone and everything in her way. 

The Kaiserin’s strange power is growing stronger, and with Prinz Søren as her hostage, there is more at stake than ever. Theo must learn to embrace her own power if she has any hope of standing against the girl she once called her heart’s sister.

Review:

This book is the exciting ending to the Ash Princess series. It was one of my most highly anticipated books of 2020.

This story gave me everything I wanted in the ending of a book series. There were heartwarming moments, but there were also some tense moments where I was holding my breath. It didn’t have as many twists as the first two books had, because those plot points had to be resolved in this book.

I really liked the ending of this book. Some authors can be brutal with their characters at the end of a series, but I think Laura did a great job in completing the storylines in the least painful ways.

This was a great ending. I can’t wait to see what Laura Sebastian writes next!

What to read next:

The Beholder (The Beholder #1) by Anna Bright

Red Queen (Red Queen #1) by Victoria Aveyard

Other Books in the Series:

Have you read Ember Queen? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Books On My TBR I Predict Will Be 5 Star Reads

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 On My TBR I Predict Will Be 5 Star Reads. Here’s my list:

1. Foul is Fair by Hannah Capin

2. Of Curses and Kisses by Sandhya Menon

3. The Forgotten Home Child by Genevieve Graham

4. Iphigenia Murphy by Sara Hosey

5. This Vicious Cure (This Mortal Coil #3) by Emily Suvada

6. To Have and to Hoax by Martha Waters

7. Influence by Sara Shepard, Lilia Buckingham

8. Lady in Waiting: My Extraordinary Life in the Shadow of the Crown by Anne Glenconner

9. Thorn by Intisar Khanani

10. Only Mostly Devastated by Sophie Gonzales

(All photos taken from Goodreads)

What’s your list of books on your Top Ten Tuesday?

Blog Tour Review: Witness Protection Widow

Title: Witness Protection Widow
Author: Debra Webb
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Thriller
Publisher: Harlequin
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: January 21, 2020
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Can the witness protection program keep her identity secret? 

After Allison James finally escapes her marriage to a monster, she becomes the star witness in the case against her deceased husband’s powerful crime family. Now it’s up to US Marshal Jaxson Stevens, Ali’s ex-boyfriend, to keep the WITSEC widow safe. But as the danger escalates and sparks fly, will Jax be able to help Ali escape her ruthless in-laws?

Discover more spine-tingling suspense in the Winchester, Tennessee Thriller series:
In Self Defense
The Dark Woods
The Stranger Next Door
The Safest Lies 
Witness Protection Widow

From Harlequin Intrigue: Seek thrills. Solve crimes. Justice served.

Review:

This is the first Harlequin romance that I’ve ever read. It is part of their line of thrillers, called Harlequin Intrigue.

Ali is in the witness protection program. She was a witness to her husband’s murder by his father. They were part of a crime family, and she had information about the crimes they had committed. Ali was assigned a marshal to look after her, but when he was injured, they had to call in another man. It turns out that the new marshal, Jax, and Ali used to be engaged. They spend a lot of time together while he is protecting her, and they rekindle their romance.

This was an interesting concept for a thriller. I’ve never read a book about someone in the witness protection program, but I’ve seen it in many movies. This situation made many twists when her life was threatened.

There was a lot of build up to the court case at the end, which I found kind of disappointing. The whole story was about protecting Ali for her witness testimony, but that was the shortest part of the story. I wished it was longer because it could have created more tension.

There was also a lot of internal monologue of the two main characters. They spent a lot of time reflecting on their feelings, rather than doing things. This may be the format of these novels, but I wish there was more action and less reflection.

This book was a good introduction to Harlequin’s intrigue series.

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

What to read next:

In Self Defense by Debra Webb

About the Author:

DEBRA WEBB is the award winning, USA Today bestselling author of more than 150 novels, including reader favorites the Faces of Evil, the Colby Agency, and the Shades of Death series. With more than four million books sold in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood on a farm in Alabama. Visit Debra at www.DebraWebb.com

Have you read Witness Protection Widow? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – February 3

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:

This weekend I finished Witness Protection Widow by Debra Webb.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading Ember Queen (Ash Princess Trilogy #3) by Laura Sebastian.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder (A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder #1) by Holly Jackson.

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