Wish by Barbara O’Connor Tour| Book Review + Giveaway

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Eleven-year-old Charlie Reese has been making the same secret wish every day since fourth grade. She even has a list of all the ways there are to make the wish, such as cutting off the pointed end of a slice of pie and wishing on it as she takes the last bite. But when she is sent to the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to live with family she barely knows, it seems unlikely that her wish will ever come true. That is until she meets 
Wishbone, a skinny stray dog who captures her heart, and Howard, a neighbor boy who proves surprising in lots of ways. Suddenly Charlie is in serious danger of discovering that what she thought she wanted may not be what she needs at all.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | iBooks

ABOUT BARBARA O’CONNOR:

unnamed1]Barbara O’Connor’s awards include the Parents Choice Gold and Silver Award, American Library Association Notable Books, IRA Notable Books for a Global Society, School Library Journal Best Books, and Kirkus Best Books. Her books have been nominated for children’s choice awards in 38 states and voted as a state favorite by children in South Carolina, Indiana, Kansas, and South Dakota.

Barbara was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina. She draws on her Southern roots to write award-winning books for children in grades 3 to 6.

She currently lives in Asheville, NC. Her latest book is Wish, a middle grade novel published by FSG.

LINKS: Website


The Review

Wish by Barbara O’Conner is the story of Charlemagne Charlie and her story is one that will definitely find a place in my future classroom library. When I started this review I was thinking about doing it the ol’ fashion way and just write paragraphs on why I liked it and why I didn’t but when I came to think of the reasons why I didn’t like it I couldn’t think of any! While MG is not my “typical” fun reading age range, I have decided that as a teacher and future school librarian that I need to expand my horizon and read more books that I could recommend to more than high school aged children.  So, instead of the regular review I am going to give you three reasons why you should read Wish and/or pass it along to someone close to you that would love this book as much as I did.

 

  1. The characters: I’m not going to lie, I completely connected to Charlie right off the bat. Coming from a broken home, Charlie is upset and unable to fully verbalize what is making her upset. So, like most children they have to learn things the hard way. I think that not only Charlie’s character but that of her friend Howard will be a delight for all students!

 

  1. Dogs: Hey, I’m normally a cat person but I absolutely loved Wishbone. This story and especially Wishbone gave me such found memories of another series that I absolutely loved growing up called Shiloh by . I’m not saying that they are alike but even as a cat person I couldn’t help but love the relationship that grew between these two! Ah, made my heart melt (and don’t tell my husband but maybe get a dog too!)

 

  1. The message: Finally, I want to talk about the message that this book is trying to tell. Now, I’m not going to say that I know exactly what message that is for 100% sure, but I know what it says to me. It says that despite the way your life begins, you can always find a home, some where you belong. Stories like this make my heart melt!

 

I recommend Wish for any teacher to add to their collection of stories to not only have their students read independently but for you to read TO them. I know, I know, but I know for a fact that even older kids love to be read to and this book is just the book to do it! It is a heart melting tale of one spunky girl and her wish to have somewhere to call home.

 

One StarOne StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

Tour Schedule:

 

 

 

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The Book that Should have Never Been| Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Review

Harry_Potter_and_the_Cursed_Child_Special_Rehearsal_Edition_Book_CoverHarry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Published by
Arthur A. Levine Books on July 31st 2016
Pages: 328
Source:
Bought
Goodreads

The Eighth Story. Nineteen Years Later.
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.
It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.
While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

 

Upon closing Harry Potter and the Cursed Child I had so many mixed emotions. I knew going in that it was going to a play but still felt somehow…disappointed. I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe I had my hopes up too much, but I felt disappointed that this was not a book. I know, I know, get over it isn’t going to happen. But I can’t help after reading it that this book was a money grab. Bare with me as I try and explain this the best that my mind can form it. Maybe I should do a list.  Two points, but they’re doozies

  • This story NEEDED more, more, and more: Honestly, I know that it’s a play but I feel that the story of Harry Potter was NEVER meant to be a play. I give it props for trying but come on? Could you imagine Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone as a play? No. If I couldn’t imagine the SMALLEST book in the series as a play this would remain the same for the other books as well. Why? There is just TOO much story, too many characters, and eventually too much sentiment attached to this story to do such a thing. You can’t spend 10,000 pages coming up with this story and end it by a 300 page play. It’s not cool. There is SO much potential that if flushed out would have been such a good read. But the translation did not work very well from theater to book.
  • W-T-F Happened to these Characters: The second thing that I am having a problem grasping are the characters. I have one main gripe with all of the characters in this book (besides one and I’ll get to that again). But my main gripe with the characters of this story is how flat they are. I’m not talking marginally flat but I’m talking flat as pancakes. Now, this might be because it’s a PLAY and not written to be a book but if this is the case WHY make it a book? Money grab. If you wanted the world to be able to see this story as it was intended it should be offered not as a book but AS A PLAY. There was already the fact that all of the information about the past 19 years was crammed into x however production, but to cram it into a 300 or so page book? Nah. The only character I liked in this book was Scorpius, Draco Malfoy’s son. Why did I like him? He was the character that everyone growing up with Harry Potter WISHED Draco would have become plain and simple. He’s everyone’s love for Draco. I get it, I loved Draco. But this is just the reality. There was too much time skipping to REALLY get to know his characters like we did his father or Harry, Ron, Hermione, or even Neville for Christ stake. Neville is one of my favorite characters in the story because we get to SEE him evolve. We get to see him go from this sniveling coward beaten down by life to succeed at something most people would have thought he  would fail at. Think about it. Would Neville’s successes at the end of Harry Potter if his bumbling scenes washed over because there wasn’t enough time to get to his scenes and the ones with Harry and his friends? Nope. This goes along with the character dislike up there but characters that were JUST as vital didn’t even show up in the play? Not cool

 

So these are my main gripes about this book. All in all, it was OKAY. But I am afraid to recommend it for any hard core Harry Potter fans purely for the fact that unfortunately, it does NOT and should not have been made into a book. It does not feel complete to me and I just am left with an empty feeling of there should have been MORE. I get that the characters have aged but I want to SEE it, feel it, not just read about it. Again these are my own opinions. Please don’t shoot me.

 

One StarOne Star

I Would Give My Eye For These Books (That would make reading difficult)

Top Ten Tuesdays1

You know, as odd is it to say this is one of the hardest topics that I have had to think about during Top Ten Tuesday. Why? When considering the sheer amount of books out there and which ones I would pick it is a daunting task. How do I choose behind all of the interesting and lovely books. Sadly my list is going to disappoint you because it’s only going to include seven books.

So here is my pitiful excuse of a list…..

HPRA7-harry-potter-ravenclaw-detail1-1200

 

 

That’s right, I would want all seven Harry Potter books in the Juniper Ravenclaw edition. With a price tag of almost 300 dollars can you blame me for wanting someone else to heft the bill for this? But look at the jackets! Now I will go and drool. There are many other books that I wish but I feel that these are the ultimate of ultimate if I had a gift card I would want to get these books.

 

Thanks for stopping by! What do you think of my choice? What would yours be?

The Reason Why I’ve Had the Original Theme Song of Pokemon on Repeat ALL WEEK In My Head

readthemallthonWhen I heard about this read-a-thon I had a mild heart attack with the amount of awesome being thrown in my direction. Come on! Books and Pokemon? I’m so in I was in the moment the idea was conceived by the awesome Aentee  over at Read At Midnight. So on with the technical stuff because I know you’ll want to join in too.

What The Hell is this Read-a-thon?

The Pokemon Indigo League #ReadThemAllThon is a 3 weeks long reading challenge based on the Kanto’s Indigo League. Long-time fans of the series would recognize this as the first set of gyms Ash Ketchum had to conquer in his quest to become the Pokemon Master. Now you, my friends, will also embark on a journey to become the very best. Instead of fighting gym battles, you’ll be reading books instead!


When is it?

The read-a-thon will run for 3 weeks between Sunday 14th August to Sunday 4th September.

You can sign up anytime between now and the end of the read-a-thon.


One of the really cool parts about this readathon is that you get to play as a trainer with a Pokemon, evolving and leveling them up as you finish books. Now I agonized over this chose. I’m serious, you should see the notes with scribbled Pokemon! What I finally settled on is…..

Fennekin!

Pokemon

 

I mean look at this freaking cutie! I fell in love the moment I saw it. I have been absolutely gaga over foxes and one of my favorite first generation Pokemon is Vulpix and I love fire Pokemon so this is the perfect Pokemon for me! This Pokemon does have 3 evolutions so I hope that I can make it work!

 

On to the books

Note: I am also participating in ARC August so a good chunk of these are going to be ARC’s)

readthemallthon-badge01-boulder

Pewter Gym: The First Book In A Series

This Rock-type gym is the first gym Ash and the Pokemon player ever encounters. Finish this challenge to win a Boulder Badge.

 

21843172 Nameless by Jennifer Jenkins

320 pages = 32 points possible

23688792These Vicious Masks by Tarun Shanker and Kelly Zekas

320 pages = 32 points possible points

+ 20 for completion

=

84 points possible

Cerulean Gym: A Book That Might Make You Cry
This Water-type gym has a badge that looks like a droplet of your tear, so read a book that will rip your heart out. Finish this challenge to win a Cascade Badge

 gemina

Gemina by Amy Kauffman and Jay Kristoff

653 Pages = 65 points possible

 Heartless_black

Heartless by Merissa Meyer

449 pages = 49 points possible

+

20 Completion points

=

134 points possible

 readthemallthon-badge03-thunder

Vermillion Gym: A Book With Thunderous Hype
Vermillion City is the home to Lt. Surge and his many Electric-type Pokemon. For this challenge, read a book that’s been hyped all over bestseller’s list and the internet.  Finish this challenge to win a Thunder Badge.

Caraval_final cover (1)

Caraval by Stephine Garber

402 pages = 40 points possible

+ 20 for completed badge

=

60 points possible

readthemallthon-badge04-rainbow

Celadon Gym: A Book That Focuses on Diversity
Celadon Gym is one of my favourites, because of it’s colourful Grass-type aesthetics. Read a diverse book and you will earn yourself a Rainbow Badge.

27213250

A House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi

402 pages = 40 points possible

+

20 points for completion

=

60 points possible

readthemallthon-badge05-soul

Fuschia Gym: A Book With A Great Romance
I’ve always been confused by the fact that a Poison-type gym has a heart-shaped badge. Can someone explain please. Read a book that features romance prominently and earn a Soul Badge.

I have absolutely no idea what is going to read for this. Most of the books I have to read I’m not sure if they have a romance that could be labeled “great”.

 readthemallthon-badge06-marsh

Saffron Gym: A Book With Fantasy/Supenatural Elements
Saffron City is where all the Psychic-types hang out, so for this challenge, read a book with fantasy, magical realism, or paranormal elements. Finish this challenge to win a Marsh Badge.

rat-queens-vol-01-releases RatQueensV2_Cover 28762820

Rat Queens Vol 1-3

Volume 1: 128 pages

Volume 2: 136 pages

Volume 3: 160 pages

424 pages = 42 points possible

+

20 completion

=

62 points possible

readthemallthon-badge07-flame

Cinnabar Gym: A Book With A Red Cover
Cinnabar Island is famous for red earth and Fire-type Pokemon. For this challenge, read a book with a red cover. Complete this challenge to win a Volcano Badge.

27015399A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

422 pages = 42 points possible

+

20 points for completion

=

62 points

readthemallthon-badge08-earth

Viridian Gym: A Book With Post-Apocalyptic Setting
The final gym is home to a Team Rocket Leader (OK, if it’s been out 10+ years you can’t cry spoilers) and Ground-type Pokemon. For this challenge, read a book featuring a ruined, post-apocalyptic Earth. Finish this to win yourself an Earth Badge.

MetaltownCover-e1457453553490

Metaltown by Kristen Simmons

380 pages = 38 points

+

20 points for completion

=

58 points possible

 

 

SST Book Tour: Signs of You by Emily France + Giveway|ARC Review

 

SST Book Tour: Signs of You by Emily France + Giveway|ARC ReviewSigns of You by Emily France
Published by Soho Teen on July 19th 2016
Genres: Young Adult
Pages: 240
Goodreads

Since sixteen-year-old Riley Strout lost her mother two years ago, her saving grace has been her quirky little family in the grief support group she joined as a freshman. Jay, Kate, and Noah understand her pain; each lost a loved one, and they’ve stuck together in spite of their differences, united by tragedies only they understand.
When Riley thinks she spots her mother shopping in a grocery store, she fears she is suffering some sort of post-traumatic stress. Then Jay and Kate report similar experiences. Only Noah hasn’t had some kind of vision, which is perhaps why he’s become so skeptical and distant.
When Noah disappears, Riley fears she’s lost another loved one. As they frantically search for him, she, Kate, and Jay are drawn into the mystery surrounding a relic that belonged to Jay’s dead father and contains clues about the afterlife. Riley finds herself wrestling with her feelings for both Noah and Jay—which have become clear only in Noah’s absence. If Riley is to help those she loves, and herself, she must set things right with the one she’s lost.

SST-Logo

I’m not going to lie, what first attracted me to Signs of You was first the cover and the synopsis. Who doesn’t like a story that people who are grief stricken start to see their dead loved ones. It gives a contemporary (not my cup of tea) just enough mystical elements that I couldn’t give up the opportunity to read and review it for you today for the Saturday Street Team Tour! So without further ado here is the review! I absolutely love dividing reviews into highlights and give you as the reader of my reviews the ability to see why I gave each star that I gave it and the reason why I didn’t give certain stars. Easy peasy right?

 

One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star


What I Liked

One StarI absolutely loved the paranormal element and how it slowly built throughout the book. The characters didn’t figure things out (you know how sometimes one character is just TOO smart). I hate this aspect in some mysteries and I loved how drawn out and twisty and turny the reveal was!

One StarThis book was well researched. While I think that at times the religious aspect of what was going on was a little much you can tell how much the author absolutely did her research on the St. Ignatius aspect of the book. I always love when I can see a writers research and how well thought out an aspect of the book is. Kudos!

One StarI loved the father daughter aspect of Riley and her father. As a daughter who was raised by her father it really hits home that relationship. While at times it was a little corny I can absolutely tell you that is very realistic to how it goes. Imagine having to have the time of the month conversation with your dad but have it be your entire teenage life. AKWARD.

What I Didn’t Like

Half a StarI took a half star off because it took me awhile to become engaged with the characters and I felt frustrated at how long it was taken me. The reason why I took only a half star off for this one is because I think that it was completely subjective to me. I don’t read contemporaries and for the most part prefer a lot of action in my book (even for character driven novels) and I feel like contemporaries are….slower? I’m not sure how to explain this one but, hey, it’s what it is!

img-thingWhile I took a half star about how slow it was and I DID say above that I loved the mystery, throughout the majority of the book I couldn’t help but feel bored by it at times by how un-action packed the whole mystery was. The idea of a religious relic and a saint and possible curse is freaking awesome but unfortunately it fell a little dry at times. UGHHH my dueling personality with this book!

img-thingThe final aspect of the book was the romance. Now, it could be considered romance light and it didn’t overshadow the story but I feel like there didn’t need to be an ounce of romance in this book. But, again this is my subjective nature when it comes to certain things and if you like light….light romance you’ll probably love this!


When it comes down to this I absolutely enjoyed Signs of You. Even though I did find some faults with aspects of the story most of them were subjective to me. I could see while reading this how people would love it!  I was kept going by a need to know what was happening to these characters and that is completely awesome to me. Most times if I have an issue with the plot it is one of the first things that makes me not like a book (I’m a pretty fickle reader). Believe me, anyone who loves contemporary with a little paranormal mystery will LOVE Signs of You. Yes, you reading this. Read it.

 
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