First Lines Friday – August 16

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:

“On the second Sabbat of Twelfthmoon, in the city of Weep, a girl fell from the sky. Her skin was blue, her blood was red. She broke over an iron gate, crimping it on impact, and there she hung, impossibly arched, graceful as a temple dancer swooning on a lover’s arm.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor.

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Goodreads synopsis:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

You can check out my review for Strange the Dreamer here.

Have you read Strange the Dreamer? What did you think of it?

Review: Swing it, Sunny

Title: Swing it, Sunny
Author: Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Graphix
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: September 12, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Summer’s over and it’s time for Sunny Lewin to enter the strange and unfriendly hallways of . . . middle school. When her Gramps calls her from Florida to ask how she’s doing, she always tells him she’s fine. But the truth? Sunny is NOT having the best time. 
Not only is the whole middle school thing confusing . . . but life at home is confusing, too. Sunny misses her brother Dale, who’s been sent to boarding school. But when Dale comes back, she STILL misses him . . . because he’s changed. 
Luckily Sunny’s got her best friend and a mysterious new neighbor on her side . . . because she is NOT going let all this confusion get her down. Instead, she’s going to remain Sunny-side up!

Review:

This is a great sequel to Sunny Side Up!

Sunny’s brother has been sent to boarding school to take care of his addictions and misbehaviour. Sunny spent the summer with her grandfather in the previous book, and she has to face her day to day life without her older brother in this book.

Sunny’s new neighbour is a teenage girl who teaches her how to use a swing flag. It was like baton twirling with a flag. This was a great activity for Sunny to occupy her time, instead of worrying about her brother.

There were loads of references to things from the 70s. Sunny and her friend watched shows like General Hospital and Gilligan’s Island. She even bought a pet rock as a gift for her brother. I think the parents of middle grade readers would love these references.

I really enjoyed this book!

What to read next:

All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson

Be Prepared by Vera Brosgol

Have you read Swing it, Sunny? What did you think of it?

TBR Thursday – August 15

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 With the Fire on High by Elizabeth Acevedo.

Goodreads Synopsis:

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

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

Review: A History of Art in 21 Cats

Title: A History of Art in 21 Cats
Author: Nia Gould
Genre: Art, Humour
Publisher: Andrews McMeel Publishing
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: August 13, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Art history gets a fun feline makeover with 21 purr-fectly cultured cats in the styles of ancient and modern masters.

Become litter-ate in the basics of important art movements through a host of beautifully illustrated cats, each one inspired by a specific period in art hiss-tory: Surrealism, Cubism, Abstract Expressionism, Ancient Egyptian (of course), and many more. From Claude Meow-net to Jackson Paw-llock, these creative cats will introduce you to key themes and artists you won’t soon fur-get. Purr-haps even inspiring you to make your own version!

Review:

This book details different types of art, starting with Egyptian art and ending with modern street artists. Each section had an illustration of a cat, done in that particular style. Then, it broke down the image to show what each detail represents in terms of that art style.

This was a very entertaining book. I loved the pictures of the cats! I also learned a lot about those different art styles.

I highly recommend this book for art and cat lovers!

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

What to read next:

How to Tell If Your Cat Is Plotting to Kill You by Matthew Inman

Have you read A History of Art in 21 Cats? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – August 14

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 Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware. The expected publication date is August 27, 2019.

Goodreads Synopsis:

When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family.

What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.

Writing to her lawyer from prison, she struggles to explain the unravelling events that led to her incarceration. It wasn’t just the constant surveillance from the cameras installed around the house, or the malfunctioning technology that woke the household with booming music, or turned the lights off at the worst possible time. It wasn’t just the girls, who turned out to be a far cry from the immaculately behaved model children she met at her interview. It wasn’t even the way she was left alone for weeks at a time, with no adults around apart from the enigmatic handyman, Jack Grant.

It was everything.

She knows she’s made mistakes. She admits that she lied to obtain the post, and that her behavior toward the children wasn’t always ideal. She’s not innocent, by any means. But, she maintains, she’s not guilty—at least not of murder. Which means someone else is. 

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Harley Quinn, Vol. 1: Harley vs. Apokolips

Title: Harley Quinn, Vol. 1: Harley vs. Apokolips
Author: Sam Humphries
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: DC Comics
Source: Purchased
Format: Paperback
Release Date: December 11, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

You read that right. It’s Harley Quinn vs. Apokolips. The whole. Entire. Planet. Wait… what? A new era for Harley begins here in Harley Quinn Vol. 1, as writer Sam Humphries takes charge!

While on a tropical vacation, Harley Quinn is kidnapped by two Female Furies from Apokolips–and they’re making her an offer she can’t refuse: join the Furies, get super powers and do anything she wants! It’s a sweet deal, and all Harley has to do in return is hunt down rogue Fury Petite Tina. The bad news: Petite Tina is anything but petite!

Harley Quinn’s story starts a new era in this brand-new graphic novel! Writer Sam Humphries jumps behind the wheel, beginning with this all-new Vol. 1 jumping-on point. Collects Harley Quinn #43-49.

Review:

This volume is the start of the current series of Harley Quinn comics. Harley is one of my favourite superhero characters, so I was so excited to read this graphic novel!

This was a great story. Harley faced a few different villains in this book, including Granny Goodness. This book had three different storylines, so it was full of things to read!

I love when Harley reads comics and refers to the writers of her comics. It’s a great way of breaking the fourth wall, by recognizing that you are actually reading a comic!

I loved this graphic novel! I can’t wait to read the next one!

What to read next:

Harley Quinn, Vol. 2: Harley Destroys the Universe by Sam Humphries

Have you read Harley Quinn, Vol. 1: Harley vs. Apokolips? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Book Characters I’d Love to Be Besties With

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 Book Characters I’d Love to Be Besties With. Here’s my list:

1. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)

2. Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)

3. Harley Quinn (DC Comics)

4. Suzannah Simon (The Mediator series by Meg Cabot)

5. She-Hulk aka Jennifer Walters (Marvel)

6. Betty Cooper (Archie Comics)

7. Nina Zenik (Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo)

8. Jude Duarte (The Folk of the Air series by Holly Black)

9. Mary Anne Spier (The Babysitters Club series by Ann M. Martin)

10. Nancy Drew (Nancy Drew: The Palace of Wisom by Kelly Thompson)

(All photos taken from Goodreads)