Monday, February 28, 2022

Once Upon a Tim

Author:  Stuart Gibbs

Illustrator:  Stacy Curtis

Publisher:  Simon Schuster Books for Young Readers

Date Published:  March 1, 2022

Genre:  Middle Grade, Fantasy, Humor

Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐

My Thoughts:

-    I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

-    Tim is a peasant, but he doesn't want to be a peasant, and his only other option is to become a knight. His best friend, Belinda, isn't happy with her position in life either, so they both decide to go to the knight tryouts for Prince Ruprecht. He is going on a quest to save a princess from a horrible monster, and he needs knights to accompany him.

-    Tim is the narrator of the story, and he breaks the 4th wall all the time. It is hilarious. He also refers to modern things throughout the story. It is like he knows he is in a book, but he also understands the world outside and likes to refer to it, so he can relate to the reader.

-    Tim likes to educate the readers by giving them "IQ Boosters." These are large words that Tim will define for the reader. He even uses them in sentences, and he is quite clever with his examples. 

-    The book is so much fun, and it is a riot. I read this out loud to Gnome, and we stopped and laughed every time we sat down to read together. Gnome will still quote little pieces of the book to me, and we have a good laugh.

My Thoughts in a GIF: 

Friday, February 25, 2022

Fan Art Friday

Like so many people, I am truly saddened by the passing of Gail Halvorsen, a.k.a. The Candy Bomber and Uncle Wiggly Wings. I can only imagine the celebration he received in heaven. I'm sure it was amazing. He was definitely one of those "good and faithful servants."

Col. Halvorsen is my dad's hero, so I grew up hearing stories about the famous Candy Bomber. Once you get him going, my dad could talk about Col. Halvorsen for forever, and there will always be tears involved. 

When I got the news of The Candy Bomber's death, I called my dad right away to tell him. He was heartbroken. As we talked, I could hear his sniffles, and I knew he was trying to hold back tears. My dad just kept saying how much he did for America and Germany, and how much he helped heal our relations. Gail Halvorsen has left quite a legacy. 

I didn't know if I could find any fan art, but I was able to find a couple pieces. Enjoy!

This was created by Garth Glazier. I love the iconic picture of Gail Halvorsen and the colorful candy falling from the sky. Glazier goes through a step by step guide on how he created this piece. It is really cool.

This artwork, crazily enough, is a political cartoon. You can find it at The link wasn't working for me, sorry. I love how this art depicts The Candy Bomber flying into the clouds.

Thursday, February 24, 2022

The Iron Queen

  The Iron Queen

Author:  Julie Kagawa

Series:  The Iron Fey #3

Publisher:  Harlequin Teen

Date Published:  January 25, 2011

Genre:  Fantasy, Young Adult

Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐

My Thoughts:

-    This was my favorite book in the series!

-    Meghan and Ash are trying to figure out how to live in exile, but the war between the Iron Fey and the Nevernever isn't over. Whether they like it or not, Meghan and Ash are at the center of the war. Summer and Winter have made a temporary alliance, and they both agree that Meghan is the only one who can bring down the False Iron King. 

-    This was a perfect conclusion to the struggle with the Iron Fey. I didn't know/remember how Meghan saved everyone, but it was awesome to relive it again.

-    I really liked Meghan's character growth in this book. She became more confident, learned to fight, and grew into an amazing leader.

-    I think Ash is a little melodramatic at times, but he is fae, and he really grew on me during this book. I loved his loyalty and dedication to Meghan. He is a perfect knight. 

-    The ending is bitter sweet. I would have been okay with this being the last book, but I appreciate that there is one more book to help wrap up that one heartbreaking loose end.

My Thoughts in a GIF: 

Trigger Warnings:  Mild Violence, Sensuality, Grief

Previous Books in the Series:

(covers are linked)

Tuesday, February 22, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday

Created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in Jan 2018

Top Ten Eleven Dynamic Duos

What a perfect prompt for twos-day. Happy 2-22-22 everyone! This list was really fun to put together. I tried to stop at ten, but I couldn't think of anyone to cut, so you get eleven today. 

Will and Horace
I know Will and Halt are an amazing duo, but after Will's training is complete, I think Will and Horace are an unstoppable team.

Valek and Yelena
Sorry if you are sick of seeing these two on my blog, but I love them. Not only are they are an amazing couple, they are an amazing, deadly, and powerful couple.

Inigo and Fezzik
If you think they are good in the movie, they are even better in the book.

Jean Valjean and Javert
I know it is an odd choice for a duo, but you can't have one without the other, and I love them both.

Han and Chewy
Nuff said

June and Day
They were based on Jean Valjean and Javert, and they are amazing!

Frodo and Sam
Is there a more epic friendship? I don't think so.

Eragon and Saphira
I want my own personal dragon.

Percy and Annabeth
As the son of Poseidon and the daughter of Athena, these two make a pretty awesome team.

Sherlock and Watson
Yes, I'm referring to the BBC duo, but they were based on book characters, 
so it counts.

Calvin and Hobbes
How can you not love these two!?

Thanks for stopping by!
You are beautiful and the world needs you!
Happy reading!

Monday, February 21, 2022

Authorlink with Heather Clark & Jennifer A. Nielsen

My library is renown for their author events, and the pandemic ruined my chances of meeting many authors. BUT! Author events are back!! My friends and I had the pleasure of attending a launch party for Lemon Drop Falls. It is Heather's debut book, and it sounds lovely. Jen was there to help introduce Heather and talk about the book. They also talked a little bit about Jen's upcoming book.  

What I took from the event:

-  Books are important. They are powerful. They change lives. 

-  There are books that are windows that let us look into other people's lives, and there are books that are mirrors that reflect who we are and our lives. We need both! Window books and mirror books are equally important. 

-  When bad things happen, it gives us the ability to change. We can pick up the pieces and become something amazing. Others need to hear our stories. We can help each other.

-  It is never too late to accomplish your dreams and goals. No more excuses, just do it.

Heather's book is about a personal experience. She went through some health problems and almost died. It was very hard on her family. They couldn't afford therapy, so one of her daughters talked to a school counselor. At first her daughter wouldn't talk about her feelings, but the counselor gave her a lemon drop and said that talking about your feelings is like a lemon drop. You must "brave the sour to taste the sweet." Talking about our feelings is hard, but once we start, it is a sweet and relieving experience. Heather's daughter was able to open up and she had a wonderful experience with her school counselor. 

Lemon Drop Falls is about a girl who loses her mom, and the struggles she has to go through because of it. Heather said that the mom in the book is very different from her, but her story is based on her own. 

The book sounds amazing and healing. Jen said the book is beautiful and does an amazing job at giving children permission to talk about their feelings.

We got to meet both authors and get books signed. These authors are remarkable people, and they are so giving. I told Heather that I'm trying to work on communication with my 12 year old daughter. I said that I thought her book would help. Heather took the lemon necklace from around her neck and gave it me. She said to give it to my daughter. She also made sure I got some lemon drops from the swag table to give to Gnome. 

Gnome was so excited about the necklace. She loves it, and I hope it is something she remembers forever. 

It was an amazing night! #BooksChangeLives

Friday, February 18, 2022

The Iron Daughter

Author:  Julie Kagawa

Series:  The Iron Fey #2

Publisher:  Harlequin Teen

Date Published:  July 20, 2010

Genre:  Fantasy, Young Adult

Rating:  ⭐⭐⭐

My Thoughts:

-    Again, I am torn between 3 and 4 stars, so 3.5 stars for this one.

-    Meghan Chase is stuck in the winter kingdom surrounded by enemies, and the only friend she thought she had is rarely around or being a total jerk. Things between Summer and Winter are tense, but after the seasonal scepter thing is stolen, war is inevitable. While Summer and Winter are preparing for war, Meghan decides to go after the real culprit, the Iron Fey. Even though Meghan took care of the Iron King, another "ruler" has risen up to take his place. 

-    The characters grew on me during this book. I was more invested in what happened to them and their end goals. I also felt like there was more on the line if they failed. 

-    The beginning and the end are so good. The middle is a tad slow. I don't understand why they had to spend so much time at Leansidhe's house doing nothing.

-    Once again, Grimalkin was hilariously snarky, and probably the most important character in the book. 

-    I did not like the love triangle. I don't think the story needs one. I understand why she has feelings towards Puck, but come on! Ash is obviously the one she loves. Sorry if that is a spoiler. I don't think it is though. 

-    The book sort of suffers from 2nd book syndrome, but the ending is pretty darn fantastic. 

My Thoughts in a GIF: 

Trigger Warnings:  Mild Violence, Grief, Sensuality, Substance

Previous Book in the Series:
(cover is linked)

Thursday, February 17, 2022

Secret of the Andes


Author:  Ann Nolan Clark

Illustrator:  Jean Charlot

Publisher:  Puffin Books

Date Published:  1952

Genre:  Historical Fiction, Middle Grade

Rating:  ⭐

My Thoughts:

-    Here is the synopsis from Goodreads, "An Indian boy who tends llamas in a hidden valley in Peru learns the traditions and secrets of his Incan ancestors." Yup. . . the book is as exciting as that synopsis. Yup. 

-    First of all, the people in the book are Incans, not Indians. I understand that this was written in the fifties, and I know people weren't as aware as they are now. I get it. I don't want to rip the author apart for ignorance, so just be aware that the word "indians" is prominent in the book, and it isn't the correct representation. 

-    I read this book for my Newbery Award challenge. I want to read all the Newbery Award Winners, and I'm reading them in order, and this was next on the list. I am FLABBERGASTED that this book beat Charlotte's Web for the Newbery Award. Just . . . wow . . . it is a TRAVESTY! If I had a time machine, this is something I would fix. Argh!

-    The book is boring. It is dry and it is slow. I was so bored. I was reading this out loud to Gnome, and after a few chapters, she didn't want to continue, so I finished it by myself. 

-    The message of the book is an oldie but a goodie. It is a classic "the grass is greener" type story. I wish it had been presented in a more entertaining and/or meaningful way. 

-    I did it! I finished!

My Thoughts in a GIF:

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

Top Ten Tuesday

Created by The Broke and The Bookish in June 2010 and moved to The Artsy Reader Girl in Jan 2018

Top Ten Books Too Good 
To Review Properly

I'm glad I'm not the only one who struggles to write reviews for books that are phenomenal. It is hard when a book is SO good, but you can't describe why. Books that are disappointments are easier to write about.

I was able to dig up some old reviews on some of the books. I promise my reviews are not accurate on how I feel about these books.