Audiobook Review: Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi, narrated by Bahni Turpin

 

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(Legacy of Orïsha #1)

Overall Story:

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4 disco balls

Narration:

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5 disco balls

Published: March 6, 2018 by Macmillan Audio
Narrated by: Bahni Turpin
Length: 17 hours and 44 minutes
Category: Young Adult, Fantasy, Fiction
Kirkus Prize Nominee for Young Readers’ Literature (2018), Goodreads Choice Award for Debut Author and Nominee for Young Adult Fantasy & Science Fiction (2018)

I bought this book in March of 2018 and it had been sitting on my shelf a bit too long. I typically do not read fantasy, but was intrigued by the synopsis and gravitated toward the stunning book cover. Fast forward to January 2019 and it was my book club book! Its a beast of a book clocking in at 527 pages so I thought I would enlist the help of the audiobook from the library to keep me on pace.

I am SO glad I picked up the audiobook! The book is action packed and narrator, Bahni Turpin, brought all the characters to life. She captured the emotions effortlessly that I would often listen to the audio while reading along (as I do like to hold a book in my hands).Read More »

Audiobook Review: A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith #HSReadingRedo

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5 disco balls

Published: August 12, 2005 by HarperAudio (book first published 1943)
Narrator: Kate Burton
Length: 14 hours 55 minutes
Category: Classics, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Coming of Age

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn was Book 7 out of 8 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list. As we approach the new month, I am proud to report I did most of my homework and only need to read the Cliff Notes or watch the movie of one unread book (The Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck). 😉

Set in Brooklyn in the early 1900s, we fall in love with the Nolan family; whom are poverty stricken but resourceful. Francie Nolan became one of my favorite literary characters.

Goodreads Synopsis: 4.25 average rating
The beloved American classic about a young girl’s coming-of-age at the turn of the century, Betty Smith’s A Tree Grows in Brooklyn is a poignant and moving tale filled with compassion and cruelty, laughter and heartache, crowded with life and people and incident. The story of young, sensitive, and idealistic Francie Nolan and her bittersweet formative years in the slums of Williamsburg has enchanted and inspired millions of readers for more than sixty years. By turns overwhelming, sublime, heartbreaking, and uplifting, the daily experiences of the unforgettable Nolans are raw with honesty and tenderly threaded with family connectedness — in a work of literary art that brilliantly captures a unique time and place as well as incredibly rich moments of universal experience.

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Book Review: Lord of the Flies by William Golding #HSReadingRedo

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2 disco balls

First published: September 17, 1954 by Faber & Faber
Category: Classics, Fiction, Young Adult

Lord of the Flies was Book 6 on my September Reading Challenge High School Reading Redo list. All I know is that after this one I am reading a book for leisure before I pick up another book from my “homework” reading list. I need a classics break!

The following 28 second video will tell you all you need to know about Lord of the Flies. Thank you, Running Out of Pages for reminding me of this scene, it perfectly summed up my reading experience.

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Audiobook Review: Harbor Me by Jacqueline Woodson

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4_DiscoBalls

4 disco balls

Published: August 28, 2018 by Listening Library
Narrators: N’Jameh Camara, Jose Carrera, Dean Flanagan, Angel Romero, Toshi Widoff-Woodson, Mikelle Wright-Matos, Jacqueline Woodson
Length: 3 hours 50 minutes
Category: Realistic Fiction, Childrens, Young Adult

When I requested to read and review Harbor Me through Penguin Random House’s Volumes app I didn’t realize it was a middle grade book; BUT, don’t let that put you off from this story. It is for all ages; and would be a great book for families to read/listen to together. The content would spark discussions on topics such as bullying, grief, racism, classism, and immigration.

Author, Jacqueline Woodson, carefully crafted a story that addresses these major issues without forcing them into place; it was an authentic take on what is going on today and impresses upon our youth to talk more openly about their feelings and try to understand each other. We are all the same in that we want to feel that we belong. Even though the story is rather short, the character development was strong and you can’t help but feel for this group of children. I want to see them 20 years from now.Read More »

Audiobook Review: To All the Boys I Loved Before (Book #1) by Jenny Han, narrated by Laura Knight Keating

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5 disco balls

Published: April 16, 2014 by Recorded Books, Inc.
Narrated by: Laura Knight Keating
Length: 8 hours 22 minutes
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary, Coming of Age
Pennsylvania Young Readers’ Choice Award Nominee for Young Adults (2016), Lincoln Award Nominee (2018), Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Young Adult Fiction (2014)

Author Jenny Han is brilliant! She delivered a story reminiscent of Pretty in Pink. She’s the modern day John Hughes.

What a delight: a great read/listen for all ages. It made me want to relive my high school days and that is no small feat. Who wants to be a teenager again? Certainly not me; no way, no how. I don’t even want to remember the teenager I was – I like myself much more now – BUT, this book brought me back to that time and I can feel the butterflies in my stomach for youthful crushes as if it were yesterday. I found myself thinking who my fifteen year-old self would write letters to, and what I would have said. It would probably look a little like this: Read More »

Saturday Spotlight: Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Introducing Saturday Nite Reader’s weekly meme: Saturday Spotlight! Each Saturday I will spotlight a book I have read or am currently reading; and, of course what I think is special about it. I invite you to participate as well! Just link back to my weekly post and don’t forget to add your spotlight link in the comment section for all to see. Happy Sharing! XO, Nikki

img_0886This Week:
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling

Published: June 21, 2003 by Scholastic, Inc.
Category: Fantasy, Young Adult, Fiction

It was 2001, or around that time, that I discovered the HP series. I wasn’t much of a leisurely reader. I was still in college and barely wanted to read any of my textbooks let alone a book for books sake. But, I found myself devouring Books 1 – 4 over the Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. I had caught up just in time to preorder Book 5: The Order of the Phoenix (my copy shown above).

I will not come to finish The Order of the Phoenix. I was in the middle of reading it when someone asked me if I got to the part where…(well I won’t ruin it for you, the way someone ruined it for me!) After receiving that spoiler, I never picked up the book again. Fast-forward around 15 years later and I still have yet to finish the infamous, popular HP series. I couldn’t even watch the movies for the books I did not read, because I didn’t want the books to be ruined for me (when I eventually started them again).

img_0885I’ve had the book sitting on my bookshelf all the time and just recently opened it to discover my bookmark still in its rightful place: I made it to the start of Chapter 21 (half-way through)!

Now the dilemma, do I re-start where I left off, at the beginning of ‘The Order of the Phoenix’, or restart the whole series because its been too long?

My answer: restarting the whole series over again! I need to reacquaint myself with the characters and the inner workings of Hogwarts. Heck, I still don’t even know which HP House I would be in! Now to just find the time…(the struggle of a book blogger)

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Audiobook Review: Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl

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3 disco balls

Published: June 5, 2018 by Penguin Random House Audio Publishing
Narrator: Phoebe Strole (whom I just discovered was Penny on Glee)
Length: 8 hours, 46 minutes
Category: Young Adult, Supernatural, Mystery, Thriller

Plot:  2.5 disco balls
Narrator:  4 disco balls

I recently downloaded Penguin Random House’s Volumes app on my iPhone and registered as an audiobook reviewer. I like to listen to at least 1 – 2 audiobooks a month during my short drive to the Path train, and especially while doing laundry. I hate folding laundry but audiobooks somehow make it more doable. But I digress.

My first audiobook through this program was Neverworld Wake by Marisha Pessl, which my friend recently read and recommended. I am not sure if I would have had a different experience with the story had I chose to read it versus listen to it; there was too much going on. I found myself losing interest and it was almost a DNF had I not wanted to figure out what the heck was going on.

I will preface my review with: I typically do not read supernatural and found myself feeling the story was a bit farfetched, but still with a rather interesting concept so I was intrigued. I know I need to make up my mind.Read More »

Book Review: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

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3.5 disco balls

Publish date: April 24, 2018 by Balzer + Bray
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT

I had a hard time rating this one a 3.5,  but just couldn’t give it a 4 and 3.75 seemed weird. I whipped through this book in two days and love author Becky Albertalli’s writing style. I am a fan of dialogue and witty banter is even better: you get that with this book. I just felt it was missing something. That something special that came with the experience of reading Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Note: ‘Leah on the Offbeat’ is a continuation of the Creekwood series; Simon being Creekwood #1. It can be read as a standalone – but then you wouldn’t really know the characters and I absolutely recommend reading Simon! That is a given.Read More »

Goodreads Monday: Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners. To take part, you simply choose a random book from your TBR and show it off. Don’t forget to check out Lauren’s Goodreads Monday blog post to share your Monday selections.

I am still on a 5 disco ball book high after finishing Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli. I loved the movie Love, Simon just as much. Both are a must experience.

31180248One of Simon’s best friends is Leah. And, she is getting her own book coming out the end of this month! If you are like me and missing Simon and his group of friends tremendously, you won’t have to wait much longer. And yes, I already preordered my copy!

Leah on the Offbeat by Becky Albertalli
Publish date: April 24, 2018 by HarperCollins/Balzer + Bray
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT

Goodreads Synopsis:
Leah Burke—girl-band drummer, master of deadpan, and Simon Spier’s best friend from the award-winning ‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’—takes center stage in this novel of first love and senior-year angst.

When it comes to drumming, Leah Burke is usually on beat—but real life isn’t always so rhythmic. An anomaly in her friend group, she’s the only child of a young, single mom, and her life is decidedly less privileged. She loves to draw but is too self-conscious to show it. And even though her mom knows she’s bisexual, she hasn’t mustered the courage to tell her friends—not even her openly gay BFF, Simon.

So Leah really doesn’t know what to do when her rock-solid friend group starts to fracture in unexpected ways. With prom and college on the horizon, tensions are running high. It’s hard for Leah to strike the right note while the people she loves are fighting—especially when she realizes she might love one of them more than she ever intended.

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Still haven’t read Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda?! You are missing out: get your copy today!


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Book Review: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

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If you do not own this book yet – go buy it. Like, NOW! You will want to own it and it will sit on the top shelf with all your other favorite books. And then go see the movie. You can thank me later. No really, you will.

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Publish Date: April 7, 2015 by Balzer + Bray
Pre-order/Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary, LGBT
William C. Morris Award Winner: Best Young Adult Debut of the Year * National Book Award Longlist

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Book Review: We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

What drew me first to this book was the cover: its absolutely beautiful.

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4 disco balls

Published: February 14, 2017 by Dutton Books
Purchase: Amazon, Barnes & Noble
Category: Young Adult, Contemporary, Fiction

The synopsis on the book jacket is somewhat vague, which I often prefer. It just explains how lead character, Marin, left home with only her wallet, cell phone and a photo. She hasn’t spoken to anyone from her prior life in 3 months; until her best friend shows up to visit for three days.

During this visit we will piece together Marin’s former life and learn why she just picked up and left. Read More »