Making the Grade / Space Case

Hello!

Making the GradeWhen it came time to draft up my fall to be read list, Space Case was one of the first novels on my list. I was super-duper excited to read it; after I fell in love with Spy School, I’ve learned that you can rarely go wrong with one of Stuart Gibb’s books! Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. Written in Gibbs’ signature humorous style, Space Case is a fast and entertaining read {with an amazing cover too!}.

Summary: Like his fellow lunarnauts – otherwise known as Moonies – living on Moon Base Alpha, twelve-year-old Dashiell Gibson is famous around the world for being one of the first humans to live on the moon. And he’s bored out of his mind. Kids aren’t allowed on the lunar surface, meaning they’re trapped inside the tiny moon base with next to nothing to occupy their time; and the only other kid Dash’s age spends all his time hooked into virtual reality games.

Then Moon Base Alpha’s top scientist turns up dead. Dash senses there’s foul play afoot, but no one believes him. Everyone agrees Dr. Holtz went onto the lunar surface without his helmet properly affixed, simple as that. But then Dash learns Dr. Holtz was on the verge of an important new discovery, and it’s a secret that could change everything for the Moonies; a secret someone just might kill to keep… {Goodreads}

Making the Grade Space CaseLet’s discuss! Space Case is the first book in the Moon Base Alpha series, and I can’t wait to see how the story goes in Book Two. It doesn’t come out until the spring of 2016, however, so in the meantime, I’ll be anticipating the third Spy School novel: Evil Spy School. Do you’ll think you will check this one out?

Have a wonderful Thursday!

Bella

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the ten new series I want to start

Hi!

Top Ten TuesdayIt’s not like my TBR list isn’t long enough, but it seems like every week, there’s an amazing new series released that I want to read! While it is near impossible for me to get to them all, there are certainly a few I would like to try – and hopefully before this topic comes around again :) Participating in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday {hosted by the lovely ladies at The Broke and the Bookish}, I’ve highlighted the ten relatively new series I have prioritized. What books made your list?

Broken Hearts and RevengeEver since I learned this past summer that Katie Finn is THE Morgan Matson {who is basically a queen of everything young adult}, I’ve been eyeing her new series, Broken Hearts and Revenge. While I have learned to go in with different expectations, I think it would be silly to pass this one up.

Daylight FallsWhen I am next in need for a good fluffy romance, I know exactly what series to start! Dahlia Adler’s Behind the Scenes comes highly recommended, as I’m sure will be the case with the second book, Under the Lights, once it’s released in 2015.

His Fair AssassinI’ve waited far too long to start Robin LaFever’s His Fair Assassin series, but I would be lying if I said that the size of the books didn’t intimidate me a bit. Even with Grave Mercy‘s 500 plus page count, I hope to carve out some time during my next school break to start the series.

IllusiveIllusive just looks entertaining to me! It has a unique concept and a great cover, giving me high hopes for the story itself. I would love to read it before the second book comes out in July; it’s best to stay caught up while you can, right?!

Nantucket BlueI had the greatest intentions of reading Nantucket Blue, and its sequel, Nantucket Red, over the summer, but I never got the chance! It’s a bit too beach-centered for my tastes at the moment as we head into colder weather, but come spring, it will be at the top of my reading pile.

The Eighth DayThere’s no shortage of great fantasy novels in middle grade, but that also means very few fantasy novels stand out! Fortunately, the premise of The Eighth Day, the first in a series of the same name, has been enough to keep my interest in the books; its great reviews don’t hurt either.

The Hybrid ChroniclesThe covers of Kat Zhang’s Hybrid Chronicles are stunning, so {like any good book blogger :)}, on my TBR list the novels went! Thankfully, the synopsis of Book One has grabbed my attention just as well as its cover. It is now only a matter of checking out a copy.

The Rules for DisappearingI adore a good spy mystery, so The Rules for Disappearing sounds right up my alley! I haven’t looked into the series all that much, but the witness protection program, a secretive romance, and family strains all sound promising.

The Winner's TrilogyThe Winner’s Curse, book one in The Winner’s Trilogy, fell victim to a problem I experience all too often: the I-checked-out-too-many-books-what-do-I-do-now? dilemma {Other library lovers can relate, I’m sure!}. While I didn’t get the chance to finish it, the first few chapters have me thinking I’ll love the ending just as much.

Throne of GlassThe hype got to me with the Throne of Glass books! I have heard nonstop discussion about the series, and more importantly, everything said has been nothing but great things.

Have a lovely Tuesday!
Bella

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Pros & Cons / The Secrets of Lily Graves by Sarah Strohmeyer

Hi!

Pros and ConsDespite my love for mysteries, I have to admit that I have not read enough detective novels {as in next to nothing} in the young adult genre. Reason as to why that it is is beyond me, but no worries, it’s a shortage I am working to fix! :) Anyhoo, in my efforts to read more YA mysteries, I finally decided to try Sarah Strohmeyer’s latest novelI am a huge fan of her other books, Smart Girls Get What They Want and How Zoe Made Her Dreams {Mostly} Come True, so my expectations for Lily Graves were high! Unfortunately, I cannot give it the same glowing rating, as you’ll see in my full thoughts below.

Per usual, here’s the book jacket summary: Growing up in a house of female morticians, Lily Graves knows all about buried secrets. She knows that perfect senior-class president Erin Donohue isn’t what she seems. She knows why Erin’s ex-boyfriend, hot football player Matt Houser, broke up with her. And she also knows that, even though she says she and Matt are just friends, there is something brewing between them — something Erin definitely did not like. But secrets, even ones that are long-buried, have a way of returning to haunt their keeper.

So when Erin is found dead the day after attacking Lily in a jealous rage, Lily’s and Matt’s safe little lives, and the lives of everyone in their town of Potsdam, begin to unravel. And their relationship — which grew from innocent after-school tutoring sessions to late-night clandestine rendezvous — makes them both suspects. As her world crumbles around her, Lily must figure out the difference between truth and deception, genuine love and a web of lies. And she must do it quickly, before the killer claims another victim. {Goodreads}

The Secrets of Lily GravesLet’s discuss, friends! Have you read The Secrets of Lily Graves? If so, what were your thoughts? I would love to hear your young adult mystery recommendations as well; are there any that I can’t miss?

Have a lovely Thursday – this week is just zipping by!
Bella

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My Favorite Fonts // Part Seven

Hello!

Although it has only been a few months since I last shared my latest font favorites, I already have quite a few new ones to highlight! Today’s round-up has a mix of the playful, such as Hauracherell NC {I adore the bounce in the letters} and KG Shake It Off {cue Taylor Swift’s never-ending single}, to the bolder and “sturdier” typefaces, like Fairview and my personal handwritten fave, BC Serif. I often say this, but it’s true: it takes only a few minutes to download these seven fonts, so what’s to lose?! Everything looks much prettier with a spiffy new typeface :) Do you have recent typography finds to share?

Favorite Fonts Part SevenBC Serif {by yours truly} / Hauracherell NC / Janda Happy Day / Fairview / Austie Bost Cherry Cola / KG Shake It Off

The title is in Mission Script.

Have a terrific day!

Bella

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Burn for Burn: A Book Review

Hi!

Burn for BurnTitle: Burn for Burn

Author: Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian

Published: September 18th, 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 358

Genre: Young Adult / Contemporary and Fantasy

Source: Library / Hardcover

Summary: Postcard-perfect Jar Island is the kind of place where nobody locks their doors at night, where parents can sleep easy, knowing their daughters are tucked away safe and sound in their beds. But bad things can happen, even to good girls… and sometimes, the only way to make things right is to do something wrong.

Lillia used to trust boys, but not anymore. Not after what happened this summer. And she’ll do whatever it takes to protect her little sister from the same fate. Kat is over the rumors, the insults, the cruel jokes made at her expense. It all goes back to one person–her ex-best friend. Someone needs to teach her a lesson, and, with Lillia and Mary behind her, Kat feels up to the task. Four years ago, Mary left Jar Island because of a boy. But she’s not the same girl anymore. Now that she’s got friends who have her back, he’s going to be in big trouble. Three very different girls who come together to make things right. Will they go too far? {Goodreads}

My Thoughts: I think one should own up to their mistakes, so here’s mine: I am sad to say that on more than one occasion, I checked out Burn for Burn from the library, had the greatest intentions of reading it, and then returned it because it didn’t seem like the right novel for me {one must make these decisions with a looming pile of books to read}. Clearly, I had no idea what I was thinking, because I not only ate up Burn for Burn in one day, I went straight to the library to get the second book shortly thereafter! Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian have both made themselves more than worthy of my favorite authors list, and now – having read book number three – my only remaining goal is to get another person hooked on the trilogy.

Lillia, Kat, and Mary have one thing on their mind: revenge. Lillia can’t forget what happened over the summer, and she’ll do anything to protect her sister from the same situation; Kat is tired of her best-friend-turned-enemy’s insults, backstabbing, and cruelty; and Mary is back on Jar Island to reverse what she can sadly never get back. Revenge never ends well of course, but for readers, it’s an entertaining and highly addictive ride. Han and Vivian work their magic to hook readers from the first page {it helps that the story is told from all three girls’ perspectives}, and if my experience is any indication, you won’t want the book to end. It may appear to be a light guilty pleasure, but Burn for Burn proves itself to be layered, complex, AND engaging.

The developed plot isn’t the only thing to note, as the shifting character relationships are an outstanding element as well. Lillia, Kat, and Mary never know who to trust, and as a result, you’re guessing right along with them. Both authors have you despising a character one minute, and rooting for them the next – frustrating, but in all truth, kind of fun too! Han and Vivian use suspense to their advantage; their subtle cues in character and plot development are key components to the story.

My only complaint is that the plot feels rushed in certain points. It’s a fairly long book, but while reading, I questioned how quickly Lillia and Kat reconciled, and furthermore, how quick they were to accept Mary in their plans. It’s a minor problem, and thankfully, I was on too much of a “book high” to care all that much!

I think it’s safe to say that Burn for Burn is already on my list of favorite reads of 2014. I’m still trying to put my thoughts on books two and three into words, but in the meantime, I suggest prioritizing this series on your TBR shelf. Subtlety may be important to the story; however, in the case of my review, I hope my intentions are anything but subtle :)

Pros: The book’s synopsis does little to suggest how well-crafted the story is. The main and supporting characters are also developed, but above all, it’s just an addictive read!

Cons: Certain events feel rushed, but as I mentioned above, it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book.

Heads Up: The Jar Island aren’t perfect, to say the least. Drinking, language, romance, and the revenge aspect may be of concern.

Overall: I give it 4 1/2 stars {**** 1/2}, and I recommend it for ages 14 and up.

Have a lovely Tuesday!

Bella

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