Review: Take it Away, Tommy!: A Breaking Cat News Adventure

Title: Take It Away, Tommy!: A Breaking Cat News Adventure
Author: Georgia Dunn
Genre: Children’s, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 31, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Tonight’s top story: the intrepid team of feline reporters is back on the beat and tackling stories like a runaway toy mouse in this second collection of Breaking Cat News comics for middle-grade readers.

Once again Lupin, Elvis, and Puck—alongside boisterous field correspondents like Tommy—deliver hard-hitting reportage on all of the most pressing issues, such as Vacuum Awareness Week, the case of the missing breakfast, and the history of fuzzy blankets. The gang also meets new characters like Burt, the free-spirited barn cat who helps solve some AV problems. And these cats will need all of the help they can get to get to the bottom of some mysterious ghost sightings and prove they’re not scaredy.

The More-to-Explore section includes paper dolls, how to make pet rock cats, and explores the Big Pink House and the BCN apartment within.

Review:

This is a hilarious graphic novel, with cats reporting on the news.

The cats report on various issues in the house, including a ghost, holidays, and a kidnapping of a toy mouse. Their perspectives on human actions were so funny. They insisted on fixing a man’s hair once he got a haircut by licking his head. They had the common enemy of the vacuum cleaner, who they tried to become friends with despite the danger. They also got into any food that was left around the house.

There were some cute crafts at the end of the book. One idea was to make pet rocks for anyone who can’t have a pet cat. Another craft was paper dolls of the characters that could be cut out of the back of the book.

This book was so funny! It’s a great gift for anyone who loves cats!

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

What to read next:

Lupin Leaps In: A Breaking Cat News Adventure by Georgia Dunn

Breaking Cat News: Cats Reporting on the News That Matters to Cats by Georgia Dunn

Have you read Take It Away, Tommy!: A Breaking Cat News Adventure? What did you think of it?

Bookish Friday – Reading Requirements

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 Reading Requirements. Here’s my list:

Cinder (The Lunar Chronicles #1) by Marissa Meyer

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood

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

Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire #1) by George R.R. Martin

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Eligible: A Modern Retelling of Pride and Prejudice by Curtis Sittenfeld

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Saints and Misfits by S.K. Ali

(All book covers from Goodreads)

Did you make a list for Bookish Friday?

Review: Darling Rose Gold

Title: Darling Rose Gold
Author: Stephanie Wrobel
Genre: Fiction, Thriller
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 17, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sharp Objects meets My Lovely Wife in this tightly drawn debut that peels back the layers of the most complicated of mother-daughter relationships…

For the first eighteen years of her life, Rose Gold Watts believed she was seriously ill. She was allergic to everything, used a wheelchair and practically lived at the hospital. Neighbors did all they could, holding fundraisers and offering shoulders to cry on, but no matter how many doctors, tests, or surgeries, no one could figure out what was wrong with Rose Gold.

Turns out her mom, Patty Watts, was just a really good liar.

After serving five years in prison, Patty gets out with nowhere to go and begs her daughter to take her in. The entire community is shocked when Rose Gold says yes.

Patty insists all she wants is to reconcile their differences. She says she’s forgiven Rose Gold for turning her in and testifying against her. But Rose Gold knows her mother. Patty Watts always settles a score.

Unfortunately for Patty, Rose Gold is no longer her weak little darling…

And she’s waited such a long time for her mother to come home.

Review:

Patty was sent to prison for poisoning and abusing her daughter, Rose Gold. She made her daughter and everyone else believe Rose Gold had been sick her whole life, but it turns out she had been poisoning her. Now she has gotten out of prison, and her daughter welcomes her into her home, where she lives with her newborn baby.

This story follows two perspectives. Patty tells her story right as she’s gotten out of prison and moved in with Rose Gold. Rose Gold tells the story of what she was doing during the five years her mother was in prison. Their stories often conflicted, so I was curious to see what would happen in the end. The Rose Gold that Patty described in the present didn’t sound like the same Rose Gold who was telling her part of the story. These conflicting narratives kept up the tension and mystery of the story.

Many parts of this story were devastating and difficult to read. Patty treated Rose Gold horribly by poisoning her for years. It was almost hard to believe she could get away with it for so long, but there was a real mother who did that to her daughter. It made the story even more sad, imagining that this happened in real life.

The story didn’t end the way I thought it would. I was surprised at the way it all turned out. This was a very suspenseful story!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Other Mrs. by Mary Kubica

Woman on the Edge by Samantha M. Bailey

Have you read Darling Rose Gold? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – March 26

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 All the Stars and Teeth by Adalyn Grace.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Set in a kingdom where danger lurks beneath the sea, mermaids seek vengeance with song, and magic is a choice.

She will reign.

As princess of the island kingdom Visidia, Amora Montara has spent her entire life training to be High Animancer—the master of souls. The rest of the realm can choose their magic, but for Amora, it’s never been a choice. To secure her place as heir to the throne, she must prove her mastery of the monarchy’s dangerous soul magic.

When her demonstration goes awry, Amora is forced to flee. She strikes a deal with Bastian, a mysterious pirate: he’ll help her prove she’s fit to rule, if she’ll help him reclaim his stolen magic.

But sailing the kingdom holds more wonder—and more peril—than Amora anticipated. A destructive new magic is on the rise, and if Amora is to conquer it, she’ll need to face legendary monsters, cross paths with vengeful mermaids, and deal with a stow-away she never expected… or risk the fate of Visidia and lose the crown forever.

I am the right choice. The only choice. And I will protect my kingdom.

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

Review: Lola: A Ghost Story

Title: Lola: A Ghost Story
Author: J. Torres, Elbert Or (illustrator)
Genre: Young Adult, Graphic Novel, Paranormal
Publisher: Oni Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Jesse sees dead people, monsters, demons, and lots of other things that go bump in the night that no one else can see. No one except his ailing grandmother—a woman who used her visions to help those living in her small town… the same rural community in all the scary stories Jesse’s heard as a child. Man-eating ogres in trees. Farmhouses haunted by wraiths. Even pigs possessed by the devil. Upon his grandmother’s passing, Jesse has no choice but to face his demons and whatever else might be awaiting him at grandma’s house. 

Review:

Jesse has inherited his grandmother’s ability to see ghosts. When his grandmother dies, his family travels back to their home country of the Philippines. He revisits some of his memories of his grandmother and his cousin, who died when he was a kid.

I didn’t know about this Filipino folklore before reading the book. There were some creatures in the graphic novel that were so creepy. There were some that were used as explanations for birth complications, and those “creatures” targeted pregnant women. All of the different kinds of creatures were listed in a glossary of these creatures at the end of the book.

This book was also dark at times. I found the ending really creepy.

This was a great, ghostly graphic novel!

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

What to read next:

Sheets by Brenna Thummler

Ghosts by Raina Telgemeier

Have you read Lola: A Ghost Story? What did you think of it?

'Waiting on' Wednesday – March 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 Say Yes Summer by Lindsey Roth Culli. The expected publication date is May 12, 2020.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Perfect for fans of Morgan Matson and Netflix/Hallmark Channel rom-coms, this is the story of a girl who decides to give in to the universe and just say yes to everything, bringing her friendship, new experiences, and, if she lets her guard down, true love.

The perfect book to kick off summer! For as long as Rachel Brooks can remember, she’s had capital-G Goals: straight As, academic scholarship, college of her dreams. And it’s all paid off–after years of following the rules and acing every exam, Rachel is graduating at the top of her class and ready to celebrate by . . . doing absolutely nothing. Because Rachel Brooks has spent most of high school saying no. No to dances, no to parties, and most especially, no to boys.

Now, for the first time in her life, there’s nothing stopping Rachel from having a little fun–nothing, that is, except herself. So when she stumbles on a beat up old self-help book–A SEASON OF YES!–a crazy idea pops into her head: What if she just said yes to . . . everything?

And so begins a summer of yes. Yes to new experiences and big mistakes, yes to rekindled friendships and unexpected romances, yes to seeing the world in a whole new way. This book is a fresh and fun take on the coming-of-age novel that explores the quintessential themes of growing up: taking risks, making mistakes, and, of course, love. And who knows? Lindsey Roth Culli’s hilarious and heartwarming debut may just inspire your own SAY YES SUMMER. 

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: The Honey-Don't List

Title: The Honey Don’t List
Author: Christina Lauren
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 24, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.

From the New York Times bestselling author behind the “joyful, warm, touching” (Jasmine Guillory, New York Times bestselling author) The Unhoneymooners comes a delightfully charming love story about what happens when two assistants tasked with keeping a rocky relationship from explosion start to feel sparks of their own. 

Review:

Carey works for a designing couple, Melissa and Rusty. She is Melissa’s assistant. Her and James, Rusty’s assistant, join Mel and Rusty on their book tour. The problem is that Rusty is having an affair. Carey and James have to work together to make the tour run smoothly, making them closer to each other.

There was actually a lot of tension in the story, even though it was a light romance most of the time. Some of the chapters, alternating between Carey’s and James’s perspectives, ended with their police interviews. The actual incident that they were being interviewed about isn’t revealed until the end of the book, which kept up the tension. I didn’t think the incident was as big a deal as the police interview made it seem, especially since they moved on pretty quickly after the fact.

Carey had a condition I had never heard of before. She had dystonia, which is a condition that affects the muscle movement in her hands. That condition played into some of the decisions that she made in the story.

Sexism in the workplace was also an important part of the story. Even though Carey had worked with Melissa for a decade, she wasn’t given the same privileges as James, who had only worked for Rusty for two months. This was addressed a little in the book, but this is an important problem in the world that I’m glad was included.

I really enjoyed this book!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Have you read The Honey-Don’t List? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Genre Freebie: Favourite Nineteenth Century Novels

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 a Genre Freebie, so I decided to list my Favourite Nineteenth Century Novels. Here’s my list:

1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

2. Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

3. Emma by Jane Austen

4. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

5. The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson

6. The Mill on the Floss by George Eliot

7. The Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy

8. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

9. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne

10. Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

(All photos taken from Goodreads)

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

Happy Pub Day – March 24

Happy Pub day to all of these new books!

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

The Honey-Don’t List by Christina Lauren

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Lola: A Ghost Story by J. Torres, Elbert Or (illustrator)

Scaredy Monster by Meika Hashimoto, Steve Lambe (illustrator)

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

If I Never Met You by Mhairi McFarlane

Problem Child by Victoria Helen Stone

What books are you most excited for this week?

Review: Blame the Dead

Title: Blame the Dead
Author: Ed Ruggero
Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Forge Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 3, 2020
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The nurses of the US Army’s Field Hospitals, mobile units that operate just behind the battle lines, contend with heat, dirt, short-handed staffs, the threat of German counterattack and an ever-present flood of horribly wounded GIs. At the 11th Field Hospital near Palermo, Sicily in the bloody summer of 1943, nurses also live with the threat of violent assault by one of their own–at least until someone shoots Dr. Myers Stephenson in the head.

Enter Eddie Harkins, a tough former Philadelphia beat cop turned Military Police lieutenant, who is first on the scene. Although he has never been a detective, Harkins soon finds himself the lone investigator, either because the Military Police are under-staffed or because someone in power thinks this rank amateur will never get close to the real killer. When the hospital commander tries to derail Harkins’ investigation by transferring or harassing key witnesses, it becomes clear to Harkins that the unit is rotten to its core, that the nurses are not safe, and that patients who have survived Nazi bullets are still at risk after they arrive at this place that is supposed to save them.

Harkins fights–and worries that he is losing–multiple battles. He is driven to give hope to nurses who just want to do their life-saving work, to right at least a few of the wrongs around him, and to do penance for sins in his own past. The one bright note for Harkins is a rekindled relationship with Kathleen Donnelly, a nurse from Harkins’ old neighborhood; but even that is complicated when Donnelly becomes a victim. 

Review:

Eddie Harkins was a traffic cop in the United States before World War II began. When a surgeon is murdered at a hospital base in Sicily, he is brought to the base to investigate. He discovers many secrets and coverups that have been happening at the base, which makes his investigation complicated.

The writing in this story was clear and concise. I immediately felt sympathy for the characters. Harkins got some bad news fairly early on in the book, and I could feel his pain. The story was detailed, but also concise, so words weren’t wasted. The story was also fast paced, so it was difficult to put down.

There are some sexual assaults and rapes that Harkins uncovers in his investigation. One thing that I noticed right away was that the men in charge treated these accusations in the same way that they are often treated today. They either brushed them off as being a misunderstanding or blamed the women for leading them on or wanting to be touched like that. Unfortunately, that’s still often the response decades later. However, this made the story very timely, since there is more awareness about sexual assaults today.

I loved this book! I highly recommend it!

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

What to read next:

The First Men In: U.S. Paratroopers and the Fight to Dave D-Day by Ed Ruggero

Come From Away by Genevieve Graham

Have you read Blame the Dead? What did you think of it?