Review: Shirley and Jamila’s Big Fall (Shirley and Jamila #2)

Title: Shirley and Jamila’s Big Fall (Shirley and Jamila #2)
Author: Gillian Goerz
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Dial Books
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: December 14, 2021
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

For fans of Raina Telgemeier and Victoria Jamieson, this middle grade graphic novel series tells the story of Shirley and Jamila, two girl detectives on a mission to stop their school’s biggest bully once and for all

As Jamila settles into the rhythms of classes and after-school basketball practice, Shirley has a new mystery on her mind. Her old enemy Chuck is up to his usual tricks: He’s been blackmailing kids all over school, and Shirley knows that she and Jamila can put a stop to it.

They hatch a plan: They’ll break into his house late one night and recover all the notes Chuck’s been using to blackmail innocent kids.

But while Shirley and Jamila are at the house, another intruder arrives–an intruder who can help them put a stop to Chuck’s crimes once and for all.

Review:

Shirley and Jamila are middle school detectives. In this story, they’ve just started the school year. Jamila is new at the school and eager to join the basketball team. Shirley is ready for their next case. She plans to take down her enemy Chuck, who has been blackmailing students, threatening to expose their most dangerous secrets. Meanwhile, Jamila makes a new friend at her community centre who makes her question if her friendship with Shirley is real.

Shirley and Jamila are like a modern day Sherlock and Watson. Shirley is methodical in her investigations, willing to wear disguises to catch the culprit. Jamila is quieter and thoughtful, questioning her relationship with Shirley. This mystery was based on the story “The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton.” I haven’t read that one but I’m curious about it after reading this graphic novel.

This story had important lessons about friendship. Though Jamila didn’t have any obvious interests in common with Shirley, they had fun together and that’s what’s important in a friendship.

Shirley and Jamila’s Big Fall is a great middle grade mystery!

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

Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson

Other books in the series:

Have you read Shirley and Jamila’s Big Fall? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – December 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 Baby and Solo by Lisabeth Posthuma.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Joel’s new job at the video store is just what the therapist ordered. But what happens if the first true friend he’s made in years finds out about What Was Wrong With Him?

Seventeen-year-old Joel Teague has a new prescription from his therapist—a part-time job—the first step toward the elusive Normal life he’s been so desperate to live ever since The Bad Thing happened. Lucky for Joel, ROYO Video is hiring. It’s the perfect fresh start—Joel even gets a new name. Dubbed “Solo” after his favorite Star Wars character, Joel works his way up the not-so-corporate ladder without anyone suspecting What Was Wrong With Him. That is, until he befriends Nicole “Baby” Palmer, a smart-mouthed coworker with a chip on her shoulder about . . . well, everything, and the two quickly develop the kind of friendship movie montages are made of. However, when Joel’s past inevitably catches up with him, he’s forced to choose between preserving his new blank slate persona and coming clean—and either way, he risks losing the first real friend he’s ever had. Set in a pop-culture-rich 1990s, this remarkable story tackles challenging and timely themes with huge doses of wit, power, and heart.

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

Review: The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5)

Title: The Last Wish (The Witcher #0.5)
Author: Andrzej Sapkowski
Genre: Fantasy, Short Stories
Publisher: Orbit
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: December 14, 2008 (originally January 31, 1993)
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Geralt the Witcher—revered and hated—is a man whose magic powers, enhanced by long training and a mysterious elixir, have made him a brilliant fighter and a merciless assassin. Yet he is no ordinary murderer: his targets are the multifarious monsters and vile fiends that ravage the land and attack the innocent. 

But not everything monstrous-looking is evil and not everything fair is good… and in every fairy tale there is a grain of truth.

Review:

Geralt is a Witcher, an assassin who targets monsters. Each story in this collection tells a tale of one monster he has tracked and defeated.

I haven’t read or watched anything in the Witcher series, so this story was completely new to me. I enjoyed the stories, but it was a little hard to get into them at first. I was completely new to the characters and the world, so it took a while to figure everything out. Once I figured out the way the stories were being told, I really enjoyed the stories.

I was surprised at the fairy tale aspects of the stories. There were references to Cinderella, Snow White, and Rumpelstiltskin, among others. I loved the references to these classic tales. Even the moral of the stories, that not everything that looks like a monster is evil and everything that looks good isn’t necessarily good, was reminiscent of fairy tale lessons.

I can’t wait to read more of the books in The Witcher series.

Blood of Elves by Andrzej Sapkowski

Other books in the series:

  • Blood of Elves
  • The Time of Contempt
  • Baptism of Fire
  • The Tower of the Swallow

Have you read The Last Wish? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – December 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 Reckless Girls by Rachel Hawkins. The expected publication date is January 4, 2022.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Wife Upstairs comes a deliciously wicked gothic suspense, set on an isolated Pacific island with a dark history, for fans of Lucy Foley and Ruth Ware.

When Lux McAllister and her boyfriend, Nico, are hired to sail two women to a remote island in the South Pacific, it seems like the opportunity of a lifetime. Stuck in a dead-end job in Hawaii, and longing to travel the world after a family tragedy, Lux is eager to climb on board The Susannah and set out on an adventure. She’s also quick to bond with their passengers, college best friends Brittany and Amma. The two women say they want to travel off the beaten path. But like Lux, they may have other reasons to be seeking an escape.

Shimmering on the horizon after days at sea, Meroe Island is every bit the paradise the foursome expects, despite a mysterious history of shipwrecks, cannibalism, and even rumors of murder. But what they don’t expect is to discover another boat already anchored off Meroe’s sandy beaches. The owners of the Azure Sky, Jake and Eliza, are a true golden couple: gorgeous, laidback, and if their sleek catamaran and well-stocked bar are any indication, rich. Now a party of six, the new friends settle in to experience life on an exotic island, and the serenity of being completely off the grid. Lux hasn’t felt like she truly belonged anywhere in years, yet here on Meroe, with these fellow free spirits, she finally has a sense of peace.

But with the arrival of a skeevy stranger sailing alone in pursuit of a darker kind of good time, the balance of the group is disrupted. Soon, cracks begin to emerge: it seems that Brittany and Amma haven’t been completely honest with Lux about their pasts––and perhaps not even with each other. And though Jake and Eliza seem like the perfect pair, the rocky history of their relationship begins to resurface, and their reasons for sailing to Meroe might not be as innocent as they first appeared.

When it becomes clear that the group is even more cut off from civilization than they initially thought, it starts to feel like the island itself is closing in on them. And when one person goes missing, and another turns up dead, Lux begins to wonder if any of them are going to make it off the island alive.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Top Ten Tuesday – Bookish Memories

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 Bookish Memories. Here’s my list:

1. Meeting Robert Munsch when I was a kid (my first book signing)

2. Going to BookCon

3. Lining up at 6 AM to meet Sarah J. Maas

4. Being recognized as a book blogger at a book festival

5. Having an author be so excited to meet me because of my review and support

6. Meeting Leigh Bardugo

7. Preordering signed books

8. Having authors share my reviews

9. Getting to know authors on social media

10. Meeting E.L. James

What’s your list for Top Ten Tuesday?

Review: Talking to Canadians: A Memoir

Title: Talking to Canadians: A Memoir
Author: Rick Mercer
Genre: Nonfiction, Memoir
Publisher: Doubleday Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 2, 2021
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Canada’s beloved comic genius tells his own story for the first time.

What is Rick Mercer going to do now? That was the question on everyone’s lips when the beloved comedian retired his hugely successful TV show after 15 seasons—and at the peak of its popularity. The answer came not long after, when he roared back in a new role as stand-up-comedian, playing to sold-out houses wherever he appeared.

And then Covid-19 struck. And his legions of fans began asking again: What is Rick Mercer going to do now? Well, for one thing, he’s been writing a comic masterpiece. For the first time, this most private of public figures has turned the spotlight on himself, in a memoir that’s as revealing as it is hilarious. In riveting anecdotal style, Rick charts his rise from highly unpromising schoolboy (in his reports “the word ‘disappointment’ appeared a fair bit”) to the heights of TV fame. Along the way came an amazing break when, not long out of his teens, his one-man show Show Me the Button, I’ll Push It. Or, Charles Lynch Must Die, became an overnight sensation—thanks in part to a bizarre ambush by its target, Charles Lynch himself. That’s one story you won’t soon forget, and this book is full of them.

There’s a tale of how little Rick helped himself to a tree from the neighbours’ garden that’s set to become a new Christmas classic. There’s Rick the aspiring actor, braving “the scariest thing I have ever done in my life” by performing with the Newfoundland Shakespeare Company; unforgettable scenes with politicians of every variety, from Jean Chretien to George W. Bush to Stockwell Day; and a wealth of behind-the-scenes revelations about the origins and making of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Made in Canada, and Talking to Americans. All leading of course to the greenlighting of that mega-hit, Rick Mercer Report . . .

It’s a life so packed with incident (did we mention Bosnia and Kabul?) and laughter we can only hope that a future answer to “What is Rick Mercer going to do now?” is: “Write volume two.”

Review:

Rick Mercer is one of my favourite comedians. He has hosted satirical news shows, such as The Rick Mercer Report and This Hour Has 22 Minutes, as well as many Canadian awards shows. In this memoir, he talks about his early life and how he got into show business. He’s had a fascinating career that has led him to becoming one of the funniest Canadian entertainers.

My top 3 favourite comedians are from Newfoundland: Jonny Harris, Mark Critch, and Rick Mercer. The beginning of this memoir was set in Newfoundland during Rick’s childhood. I traveled to Newfoundland a couple of years ago and I have family who lives in Newfoundland (in Bishop’s Falls which also got a little cameo appearance in this memoir). Canada, and particularly Newfoundland, are such small places that even one of my English university professors was mentioned in this book. All of the Canadian references really made me feel connected to this book.

I’ve watched both of Rick’s shows since I was a child. I’ve been a fan of his for as long as I can remember. Many of his best jokes were in this memoir, including his segment called Talking to Americans. He would interview Americans and tell them made up things about Canada that they believed. I remember watching one episode where he told people in an American city that Canada was going to start using the 24 hour clock. They congratulated the country on adopting this way of counting time. This was some of his classic comedy, that made me laugh out loud many times while reading this book.

Talking to Canadians is a hilarious Canadian memoir!

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

Rick Mercer Final Report by Rick Mercer

Son of a Critch by Mark Critch

Have you read Talking to Canadians? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – November 29

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 Talking to Canadians by Rick Mercer.

What I’m currently reading:

I’m currently reading The Last Wish by Andrzej Sapkowski.

What I’m reading next:

Next I will be reading Meet Me in London by Georgia Toffolo.

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

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – November 28

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 7 weekly blogging memes:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With… Talking to Canadians: A Memoir

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading Talking to Canadians: A Memoir by Rick Mercer.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Canada’s beloved comic genius tells his own story for the first time.

What is Rick Mercer going to do now? That was the question on everyone’s lips when the beloved comedian retired his hugely successful TV show after 15 seasons—and at the peak of its popularity. The answer came not long after, when he roared back in a new role as stand-up-comedian, playing to sold-out houses wherever he appeared.

And then Covid-19 struck. And his legions of fans began asking again: What is Rick Mercer going to do now? Well, for one thing, he’s been writing a comic masterpiece. For the first time, this most private of public figures has turned the spotlight on himself, in a memoir that’s as revealing as it is hilarious. In riveting anecdotal style, Rick charts his rise from highly unpromising schoolboy (in his reports “the word ‘disappointment’ appeared a fair bit”) to the heights of TV fame. Along the way came an amazing break when, not long out of his teens, his one-man show Show Me the Button, I’ll Push It. Or, Charles Lynch Must Die, became an overnight sensation—thanks in part to a bizarre ambush by its target, Charles Lynch himself. That’s one story you won’t soon forget, and this book is full of them.

There’s a tale of how little Rick helped himself to a tree from the neighbours’ garden that’s set to become a new Christmas classic. There’s Rick the aspiring actor, braving “the scariest thing I have ever done in my life” by performing with the Newfoundland Shakespeare Company; unforgettable scenes with politicians of every variety, from Jean Chretien to George W. Bush to Stockwell Day; and a wealth of behind-the-scenes revelations about the origins and making of This Hour Has 22 Minutes, Made in Canada, and Talking to Americans. All leading of course to the greenlighting of that mega-hit, Rick Mercer Report . . .

It’s a life so packed with incident (did we mention Bosnia and Kabul?) and laughter we can only hope that a future answer to “What is Rick Mercer going to do now?” is: “Write volume two.”

What book are you in bed with today?