Saturday, December 31, 2016

Review - The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily

The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan

My Favorite Quotes/Lines:

“They were confused by how their dark cloud of a son could have brought home such a sunbeam.”

“Forced gaiety is the worst. I need sincerity to feel the season.”

“I don’t trifle with subpar carbs.”

“Ladies, gentlemen, distinguished librarians.”

3 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes

I loved/still love the first book about Dash and Lilly. I love getting to see the characters again but also wonder if this book was necessary.

It took more than a little while for me to connect with the characters again. To be more specific, it was Lily I really had trouble connecting with this time. I know she's been sheltered a lot and what not but at times I was just thinking what/why would you do that. Her decision making skills are a bit shaky it seems and you kind of want to sit her down and say maybe act your age.

After awhile though the story finally clicked with me. The first book is still the best but the end of this one is worthwhile too. The catastrophes toward the end brought everything together nicely.

Friday, December 30, 2016

Review - Love and First Sight

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

* Read via NetGalley for review

3 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes

This was an interesting read. It really makes you think about how people view the world.

Will’s point of view, being a blind teenager makes for a great perspective. I like his sense of humor too. Plus you get the whole new to school narrative which is always fun to read.

Cecily feels a bit underdeveloped compared to Will. I think I just wanted to know more about her. Beyond the whole what she hides aspect.

Cecily and Will are a unique pair. They get over their problems awfully fast though. Then when things are just starting to get to the meat of the matter the book ends...

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sentence Sneak Peek - Love and First Sight

Love and First Sight by Josh Sundquist

The first sentence from each chapter of Love and First Sight, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

* Read via NetGalley for review

“Vice Principal Larry Johnston extends his hand.”

“In between each class, Mr. Johnston takes me by my locker so I can learn the route from each classroom.”

“I’m waiting at the edge of the curb.”

“By my second day at my new school, I know all my routes.”

“In the art museum the next afternoon, each click of my cane on the hard smooth floor reverberates like a shotgun blast.”

“After I get home from the museum, I go to my bedroom and plop down on the bed to listen to music.”

“That Friday I sit alone at lunch.”

“Dr. Bianchi, the doctor who is doing the experimental surgery, works in an office building at PU’s med school.”

“On Sunday, it takes a while to persuade Mom to let me walk to Whitford’s by myself.

“On Monday at the start of journalism class, Mrs. Everbrook asks everyone who wants to audition for the morning announcements to raise their hand.”

“The news comes later that week when Mom picks me up from school.”

“As I waste stomach space ingesting large quantities of pointless beta-carotene at lunch the next day, my friends and I discuss the homecoming dance.”

“On Saturday, as she is driving to my house to pick me up before homecoming, Cecily calls my cell.”

“On the Monday after homecoming—the day I’m supposed to make a decision about my operation—Mrs. Everbrook calls me over to her desk.”

“The stem cell transplant happens three days later, on Thursday.”

“The weeks tick by slowly.”

“The next morning, on Friday, Mom takes me to Dr. Bianchi’s office to get the bandages removed.”

“When I wake up Saturday morning, I am immediately assaulted by insanity.”

“I wake up the next morning alone in my dark room.”

“The muscles around my eyelids get tired from closing them so often, which I do to give my eyes a rest and block out the dizziness.”

“On Tuesday evening, I’m sitting at my desk reviewing my toy blocks.

“On Wednesday, I ask Cecily to drive us to Mole Hill Park so I can witness my first sunset.”

“When I get home, I am still high on the ecstatic rush of being so close to Cecily’s face.”

“Maybe this is why Facebook is so popular: Deep down, everyone wants to put their face on display.”

“Thursday afternoon, Cecily and I sit on my bed to work on homework.”

“Friday morning in journalism class, I peer out from under my sunglasses and try to look at some of the other kids sitting across the room near Cecily.”

“Cecily drove her mom’s car to school today and offers to give me a ride home.”

“I spend the weekend alone in my room, coming out only to partake in the absolute minimum levels of eating and bathroom use.”

“In the car on the way home, Mom can tell there’s a problem.”

“Being in a car with other people is the opposite visual experience of being in a building with them.”

“Going number two: the number one common denominator of America,” says Whitford.”

“We finally arrive in Los Angeles, where traffic slows us to a crawl.”

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Review - Nobody's Goddess

Nobody’s Goddess by Amy McNulty

* Read via NetGalley for review

Favorite Quote: “I was the elf queen—and I was nobody’s goddess.”

3 gnomes out of 5 gnomes

I don’t think I’ve ever been this close to DNF aka not finishing a book. This book just starts off slow and the mythology of the world takes a bit to get into. This book pulled me back from the brink though because things became a lot more interesting.

Noll is a strong character but also pretty darn conflicted. You can see her point of view but the whole problem she has with her sister make you question her motives more than once.

This world is intriguing with the whole men having to wear masks until they find the right woman/goddess for them. Plus the whole women possibly rejecting her man and never being loved.

The thing I really disliked was all the random time jumps forward like four months later (I wanted to know what happened that night, not months later. I think the story may have been a lot stronger without all the interruptions.

Everything leading up to the ending was great but the very end just felt so rushed and right when you think you're about to get resolution the book ends.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Sentence Sneak Peek - Nobody's Goddess

Nobody’s Goddess by Amy McNulty

The first sentence from each chapter of Nobody’s Goddess, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* Read via NetGalley for review
* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

“WHEN I HAD REAL FRIENDS, I was the long-lost queen of the elves.”

“LIKE MOST OF THE VILLAGE, we couldn’t afford a mirror, but if you asked me, that was a good thing.”

“SWINGING A BASKET AROUND WITH two fingers was an excellent way to break those fingers, which was helpful if you were looking for an excuse to get out of working for a few days.”

“WE’D BARELY STEPPED INSIDE WHEN there was a pounding on the door.”

“I TOUCHED THE DIRTY, DARK shawl that had once covered her white head.”

“IN THE GREAT HALL, ALL was quiet.”

“HALF THE VILLAGE IS HERE,” observed Master Tailor.”


“HE LET ME GO HOME that night, but I could never truly be my own again, never truly be out of his embrace.”

“WOODCARVING WAS THE ONLY THING I had, the only thing that quieted my thoughts.

“I’D HAD TO ASK FOR the scabbard, too.


“MY MIND WAS BLISSFULLY BLANK as I walked back through the village—yes, this was my village, it had to be—and onto the path home.”

“AVILDA’S CHOICE SPOT FOR A picnic wasn’t my own, but I imagined she didn’t want me to head back home before I had to.

“I DIDN’T SPEAK FOR THE rest of the evening.”

“I TRIED TO SCREAM, BUT the veil muzzle gripped too hard against my tongue.”


“WHENEVER THE SUN WAS OUT over the next few weeks, I took my breakfasts and lunches in the garden.”

“WHEN THE DAY OF ELFRIEDE and Jurij’s wedding arrived, I expected nothing.”


“I COULD SEE BY THE leather-gloved hands just below the billowing black gauze of the curtain between us that the lord had little appetite.”

“ELGAR MUST HAVE PROVEN ESSENTIAL to getting back to that place.

ELGAR PROVED THE KEY TO getting back through the violet sphere, as I’d guessed.”


“I STEPPED INTO THE LIT dining hall, easily willing each foot to move forward.”


“EVEN WITHOUT ELGAR TO GUIDE me, the pool acted as before, but in reverse, its terrible purpose fulfilled.”

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Review - Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Allbertalli

3 gnomes and a gnome hat out of 5 gnomes

This was a fun and quick read but just not all that surprising. Not that that's a bad thing but it was pretty easy to see all of the twists and turns before they happened. It did have a great coming out narrative, really lets you see all the ups and downs and feelings involved.

I guessed who Blue was long before Simon did. That whole revelation though was pretty cute. I think I would have liked the story more if it had started earlier like right when Simon started emailing Blue.

I liked all of the characters but do wish that the story included more about them all.

Overall a pretty good story that could have done with more time to breathe and flesh out all of the characters.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Review - Learning to Swear in America

Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

5 out of 5 gnomes

This book made me smile so much, even though it’s about a possible world ending event. The characters are just so strong and likable. Plus with a title like this, aren’t you at least a tiny bit curious about what it’s all about.

It might just be the end of the world as we know it if an asteroid hits the Earth. That’s where Yuri becomes part of the story at 17 he’s a prodigy from Russia who knows all about physics. The whole culture clash and how young he is leads to some very interesting situations.

Dovie and her brother Lennon are also quite the dynamic duo. Their dynamic is where a lot of the funny happens and then when you throw Yuri into the mix that’s when real hilarity ensues.

It’s not all humor though there are plenty of other emotional moments mixed in but not any that bog down the story.  All the other emotional beats just give the story more depth.

My favorite part had to be Yuri’s day spent at a high school. As you read you can just picture this all playing out as a movie or TV show.

Oh, when Yuri finally does learn to swear it’s pretty entertaining. Plus the intense ending will leave you wanting to know what happens in the future for these characters.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sentence Sneak Peek - Learning to Swear in America

Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

The first sentence from each chapter of Learning to Swear in America, it's a mini summary of what you can expect to read.

* Spoilers are highlighted like so :)

“Because there’s no air in space, the asteroid hurtled toward Earth in absolute silence.”

“Yuri walked into the pale blue office, found a roll of masking tape, and wrote his name on it in marker, copying from his name tag so he couldn’t misspell it.”

“Jet lag had finally caught him and Yuri was sitting upright at his desk, dozing when a soft kick at the door startled him awake.”

“Time became a blur of work and paper and numbers.”

Fire Eye-24s.”

“The next day Karl Fletcher was civil.”

“When the car service deposited him at the NEO building the next morning, Yuri had circles under his eyes.”

“The night enfolded him, took him in as its own.”

“I’m home, and I brought a science guy,” Dovie called.”
“JPL the next day was refrigerated and pale blue and sterile.”

“Come on,” Dovie said, extending a hand down.”

“Dovie let him out in front of the restaurant, so that the building blocked the sight line from the hotel.”

“Yuri left the hotel before six in the morning, when there was only one guard in the lobby, absorbed in watching the night clerk carry cups of waffle batter to the breakfast nook.”

“The gym had thin wooden floorboards lacquered gold, with basketball hoops at each end and a trapezoidal scoreboard looming over the middle of the court.”

“Yuri went in early the next morning, making up time.”

“Dovie dropped him off in the restaurant lot, and he walked to the hotel, hands shoved in his pockets.”

“In his hotel room Yuri shaved, more for the ritual of it than any real need, and put on a fresh white shirt and his gray suit.”

“So here’s the thing,” Dovie said, guiding the steering wheel with her inner wrist.”

“Yuri knocked quietly on Fletcher’s office door.”

“Back in his office, Yuri worked in a caffeinated blur as night moved to morning.”

“Mike Ellenberg’s people huddled around him.”

“Yuri woke to a sharp rap on his door.”

“Yuri walked barefoot down to the cafeteria.”

“Yuri walked his way to the front, where someone had brought in sub sandwiches, snagged a roast beef, and returned to his spot.”

“Yuri dragged a cot into his office and slept like a stone dropping through water, or a rock falling through space.”

“Yuri got permission to go back to his hotel to shower and took the car service.”

“Yuri spent three days in the hotel room, waiting to be moved for the Detroit conference.”

“Yuri was pacing in his room when he realized he couldn’t possibly have a conversation with the Collums without Decker and Linares being aware of it.”

“They left the ice cream carton on the roof, three spoons plunged in like Greek spears in the sand.”

“Yuri bent forward, staring ahead as Dovie drove them through the tangle of highways.”

Monday, December 19, 2016

My Favorite Quotes/Lines - Learning to Swear in America

Learning to Swear in America by Katie Kennedy

“He liked symmetry and precision, but his features had failed to cooperate.”

“You’re both weird” … “No need to fight over it.”

“He didn’t want to pull American clothes over his Russian underpants.”

“High school is a jerk zoo, Yuri.”

“Was this a romantic overture? He felt a moment of panic. Was there some type of American foot sex he didn’t know about?”

“‘Damn’ is an all-purpose swear word. You really can’t go wrong.”

I found the math, dammit. Let somebody else find the words.

“The old man mumbled some words in Hebrew, and Yuri repeated them, two atheists trying to pray in a language that one couldn’t remember, and the other had never known.”