Friday, January 29, 2021

Snakes in Space by Kathryn Dennis
[Blog Tour: Review + Giveaway]

 

Halito! Welcome to the next stop on the Snakes in Space blog tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Thanks for stopping by today, and don't forget to check out the giveaway at the bottom! For the full tour schedule, please visit the Rockstar Book Tours website.

About The Book:
Title: SNAKES IN SPACE
Author: Kathryn Dennis
Pub. Date: January 5, 2021
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 32
Find it: Goodreads, Amazon, Kindle, B&N, iBooks, Kobo, TBD, Bookshop.org

From Kathryn Dennis, creator of Snakes on a Train and Snakes on the Job, here is Snakes in Space, a picture book about snakes exploring outer space!

Snakes blast into outer space.
they spin around planets
and give stars a chase.

Snakes in space? Yes, indeed. The colorful crew explores stars and planets on a fabuloussss adventure with accessible, fun, sibilant text.

Brimming with rocket ships and planets, this outer space adventure is also a fun read aloud. And at the end, there's a surprise sure to delight readers, as one of the snakes makes a new friend!

Grab the other books in the series!
Snakes on a Train
Snakes on the Job


I really enjoyed reading Snakes in Space with my kiddos! They like snakes AND space, so was interesting to see the two topics together. (Although, now I'm curious if they've ever actually sent a snake to space, and what happened if they did. Do you know?) The illustrations were very simple, yet wonderfully effective. They conveyed the story without overcrowding the pages, and I loved how vibrant the colors were! Instead of space simply being a black page with white stars, we get things like a turquoise background with yellow dots (and also a lot of purple).

My one complaint would be the way the story flowed from one page to the next. At times the wording felt choppy or nonsensical, and I wish the sentences had felt effortless and seamlessly transitioned from page to page. It seems like a small thing, but it's always jarring when my brain wants to make something rhyme (because it does once or twice), and then the actual words just sort of end elsewhere. It's like when a drummer and a guitarist are playing different tempos - everything feels off. You're unable to find a good rhythm, which is what happened to me with this book. (★★★⋆☆)


About Kathryn:

Kathryn Dennis began her art career drawing on walls and sidewalks and painting anything that did not move. In fourth grade, she published her first project—a comic strip about a platypus, which she sold for a nickel. Snakes on a Train was her (official) picture book debut.



Giveaway Details: 
3 lucky winners will win a finished copy of SNAKES IN SPACE, US Only.

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

My Weekly Pull [152] & Can't-Wait Wednesday [127]

 
My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, there's a link-up at the bottom. I would love to stop by and check it out!

Werewolf by Night #4 by Taboo, Benjamin Jackendoff, Scott Eaton, Mike McKone
Daredevil #26 by Chip Zdarsky, Marco Checchetto, Mike Hawthorne, Rahzzah
An Unkindness of Ravens #5 by Dan Panosian, Marianna Ignazzi

We Only Find Them When They're Dead #5 by Al Ewing, Simone Di Meo

Jacob's comics for the week!

Deadpool #10 by Kelly Thompson, Gerardo Sandoval
Department of Truth #5 by James Tynion IV, Martin Simmonds
Amazing Spider-Man #58 by Nick Spencer, Mark Bagley
Spawn #314 by Todd McFarlane, Carlo Barberi, Greg Capullo
Savage Avengers #17 by Gerry Duggan, Kev Walker, Valerio Giangiordano


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature that's hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. It highlights the upcoming releases we're really excited about reading! CWW is a spinoff of the feature Waiting on Wednesday (WoW), that was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

An Emotion of Great Delight by Tahereh Mafi
Expected publication: June 1st 2021 by HarperCollins

Synopsis (via Goodreads): It’s 2003, several months since the US officially declared war on Iraq, and the American political world has evolved. Tensions are high, hate crimes are on the rise, FBI agents are infiltrating local mosques, and the Muslim community is harassed and targeted more than ever. Shadi, who wears hijab, keeps her head down.

She's too busy drowning in her own troubles to find the time to deal with bigots.

Shadi is named for joy, but she’s haunted by sorrow. Her brother is dead, her father is dying, her mother is falling apart, and her best friend has mysteriously dropped out of her life. And then, of course, there’s the small matter of her hear—

It’s broken.

Shadi tries to navigate her crumbling world by soldiering through, saying nothing. She devours her own pain, each day retreating farther and farther inside herself until finally, one day, everything changes.

She explodes.

*Share your My Weekly Pull post! Please leave the direct link to your My Weekly Pull post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

My Weekly Pull [151] & Can't-Wait Wednesday [126]

 
My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, there's a link-up at the bottom. I would love to stop by and check it out!

You Look Like Death: Tales from the Umbrella Academy #5 by Gerard Way, Shaun Simon, INJ Culbard, Gabriel Ba
Once & Future #15 by Kieron Gillen, Dan Mora

Jacob's comics for the week!

King in Black #3 by Donny Cates, Ryan Stegman
Stillwater #5 by Chip Zdarsky, Ramon K. Perez, Mike Spicer
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #113 by Sophie Campbell, Kevin Eastman

Transformers #27 by Brian Ruckley, Anna Malkova, Livio Ramondelli

  • I've spent the last several days reading comics, and I am THIS CLOSE to being completely caught up! I think I'm finally finding a balance in my chaotic life. ;) Once & Future is still one of my all-time faves - highly recommend!

Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature that's hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. It highlights the upcoming releases we're really excited about reading! CWW is a spinoff of the feature Waiting on Wednesday (WoW), that was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

The Forest of Stolen Girls by June Hur
Expected publication: April 20th 2021 by Feiwel & Friends

Synopsis (via Goodreads): After her father vanishes while investigating the disappearance of 13 young women, a teen returns to her secretive hometown to pick up the trail in this second YA historical mystery from the author of The Silence of Bones.

Hwani's family has never been the same since she and her younger sister went missing and were later found unconscious in the forest, near a gruesome crime scene. The only thing they remember: Their captor wore a painted-white mask.

To escape the haunting memories of this incident, the family flees their hometown. Years later, Detective Min—Hwani's father—learns that thirteen girls have recently disappeared under similar circumstances, and so he returns to their hometown to investigate... only to vanish as well.

Determined to find her father and solve the case that tore their family apart, Hwani returns home to pick up the trail. As she digs into the secrets of the small village—and reconnects with her now estranged sister—Hwani comes to realize that the answer lies within her own buried memories of what happened in the forest all those years ago.

*Share your My Weekly Pull post! Please leave the direct link to your My Weekly Pull post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading!

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

My Weekly Pull [150] & Can't-Wait Wednesday [125]

 

My Weekly Pull is something I do every Wednesday to show which comics I had pulled for me that week! If you're into comics, or you're looking to start, please join me! If you decide to do your own post, there's a link-up at the bottom. I would love to stop by and check it out!

King in Black Gwenom vs Carnage #1 by Seanan McGurie, Flaviano, Ken Lashley
Seven Secrets #6 by Tom Taylor, Daniele Di Nicuolo

Jacob's comics for the week!

Amazing Spider-Man #57 by Nick Spencer, Mark Bagley
Kick-Ass vs Hit-Girl #3 by Steve Niles, Marcelo Frusin, John Romita Jr.
King in Black Thunderbolts #1 by Matthew Rosenberg, Juan Ferreyra, Kyle Hotz
King in Black Planet of the Symbiotes #1 by Clay McLeod Chapman, Frank Tieri, Guiu Vilanova, Danilo Beyrouth, Tony Moore


Can't Wait Wednesday is a weekly feature that's hosted by Tressa at Wishful Endings. It highlights the upcoming releases we're really excited about reading! CWW is a spinoff of the feature Waiting on Wednesday (WoW), that was started by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

Weird Kid by Greg Van Eekhout
Expected publication: July 20th 2021 by HarperCollins

Synopsis (via Goodreads): ET meets Harriet the Spy in Greg van Eekhout’s stand-out middle grade adventure about a boy trying to find his place in the world—even though he’s an alien from a distant planet.

Strange things are happening in Cedar Creek View, Arizona: Sinkholes. An unidentified Hum. People behaving . . . oddly. No one knows the reason, but Jake thinks it might have something to do with him.

Jake is no ordinary twelve-year-old. He’s weird—
alien weird. Up until now, Jake and his parents have been able to keep his real identity under wraps. This year, something’s changed. Jake’s having more and more trouble hiding the truth, and now Agnes Oakes has seen what he can do.

But instead of spilling his secret, Agnes wants to team up and figure out what’s really going on—and before they know it, Jake and Agnes are waist deep in a conspiracy that’s totally out of this world.

*Share your My Weekly Pull post! Please leave the direct link to your My Weekly Pull post and not just your blog's URL. Thank you for participating and happy reading!

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton

Waiting for the Night Song by Julie Carrick Dalton
Published January 12th 2021 by Forge

Synopsis (via Goodreads): A moving novel about friendships forged in childhood magic and ruptured by the high price of secrets that leave you forever changed. 

Cadie Kessler has spent decades trying to cover up one truth. One moment. But deep down, didn't she always know her secret would surface?

An urgent message from her long-estranged best friend Daniela Garcia brings Cadie, now a forestry researcher, back to her childhood home. There, Cadie and Daniela are forced to face a dark secret that ended both their idyllic childhood bond and the magical summer that takes up more space in Cadie's memory then all her other years combined.

Now grown up, bound by long-held oaths, and faced with truths she does not wish to see, Cadie must decide what she is willing to sacrifice to protect the people and the forest she loves, as drought, foreclosures, and wildfire spark tensions between displaced migrant farm workers and locals.

Waiting for the Night Song is a love song to the natural beauty around us, a call to fight for what we believe in, and a reminder that the truth will always rise.

"Cadie longed to be found, but even more, she ached to be lost." 
I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.

Although I really enjoyed the overall story and concept for Waiting for the Night Song, I struggled with some of the character's decisions and how certain aspects of book played out. I also wasn't surprised by the twist, which is always a little disappointing. There were just too many less-than-subtle hints.

Let's start with what I did like: the setting, the discussions about beetles and climate change, and the fact that Cadie herself is an entomologist. I thought the author raised a lot of excellent questions regarding scientific research, limitations on federal (public) land, and how politics play a role in what the world is willing to acknowledge (mostly regarding what is happening right beneath their noses). Cadie's research is about beetles (specifically those that affect and alter trees, making them more likely to catch fire during a drought (or because people are careless with campfires and matches)). I thought those aspects of the story were wonderfully written and informative. She's facing backlash because of where she collected her samples, and it overshadows the bigger picture - the dangers her studies have predicted. 

Something else the book made me think about: Are we getting in nature's way?

I also liked the setting for this book, and really wish I had grown up somewhere that felt as magical as Cadie's forest and the lake she lived on. I would have loved exploring the woods, commandeering a boat, and exploring hidden blueberry coves off the coast (really wish they'd explored those more in the book). Nature often provides the best playgrounds, but as a parent I did worry for Cadie and Daniella's safety. I kept forgetting how old they were supposed to be, so my mind constantly changed how they looked (despite the flashbacks all taking place during a single summer). I wish their ages had been clearly defined, because sometimes their actions and reactions didn't match up with how old they were supposed to be.

There were a few small inconsistencies, but I'm going to chalk those up to this being a review copy. At one point they were looking at menus, but then the waitress was bringing them their food without ever taking their order - that sort of thing. Glitches like that always stick out to me, but hopefully they were corrected before the book's publication. Later on Garrett says, "I knew it. Your eyes are green." However, he'd been around her - in close proximity - a few times by then, so he should have noticed her eye color long before his comment. 

I thought the relationship between Cadie and Garrett escalated really quickly. They met briefly when they were children, but that time was marred by something ugly and life-changing. It wasn't believable for them to immediately jump into a relationship (if you can even call it that) with one another. They haven't seen each other in over 20 years, but they just sort of picked up where they left off? No. They might be connected by that one summer, and it may have been a defining point in their lives, but I find it hard to believe there would still be romantic feelings between two people that never knew each other, and haven't kept in contact. Cadie obsessing over him also wasn't healthy (the books, thinking he need to be saved, checking boarding schools and worrying about foster homes afterwards). I wish their interactions as adults had been more awkward and reserved because they were essentially strangers. The only thing they shared was a secret. 

Sal (Daniella's daughter) seemed enamored by Cadie when they first met. She wanted to hear all of her childhood stories, and questioned which parts were actually true (believing her mother had exaggerated and embellished certain parts). She seemed fascinated by Cadie - even inviting her to the blueberry cove - so her actions later on didn't make a lot of sense. She was somewhat aggressive, accusing, and distrustful, which are things she hadn't been previously. Her lack of terror towards the end was also unbelievable *highlight for small spoilers (letting a murderer walk away, running into a burning building). Those two things would give anyone pause, and I really don't think the former should have happened AT ALL. I don't care what their relationship was. 

A few other things that bothered me: Daniella not insisting she be the one to find her daughter, Ryan's lack of questions when he takes something from Cadie, WHAT happens to the thing he takes from Cadie, how the secrets are revealed and the consequences that followed, and the way the story simply stops without fully resolving all of the issues. It felt like the author wanted a tidy ending, but the story was way too messy for that to have been possible. And yet... *sighs*

Friar (Cadie's dog) played a very small role throughout the story, but he will forever have a place in my heart. He was always there following her through the woods, waiting on the bank for her to return, and licking her feet while she sat on the couch. His presence in the story was huge, yet he never said a word or did anything particularly remarkable. 

Books like this are always hard for me to review without feeling like I've typed up my own story in response. There were a lot of things I liked, but there were also a lot of things that I had issues with. The writing is lovely, the story is solid, but some of the details detracted from my overall enjoyment of the book. (★★★☆☆)

*this post has been backdated

Sunday, January 10, 2021

FairyLoot Tarot Cards Master List

  1. This list contains spoilers for all FairyLoot boxes! 
  2. I got the idea for this post from The Bookerina Book Blog. I've been using her Master List to keep up with the FairyLoot tarot cards, and for help identifying who certain people are. 
  3. I've been getting these cards since 2018 (although I don't have a FairyLoot subscription)! That's a long time. I try to find them online after a new box comes out, and I think I've just been really lucky so far. *knocks on wood* Typical tarot decks have 78 cards, so I'm assuming that's what FairyLoot plans on doing - having a full deck at the end. 
  4. I plan on creating a tab at the top of my blog that will be updated regularly. 
JUSTICE - Amren (A Court of Thorns and Roses) December 2018
CHARIOT - Cassian (A Court of Thorns and Roses) December 2018

STRENGTH - Azriel (A Court of Thorns and Roses) January 2019
EMPRESS - Feyre Archeron (A Court of Thorns and Roses) January 2019
Art by Emily Haynes - @artbyemmilinne

JUDGEMENT - Mor (A Court of Thorns and Roses) February 2019
EMPEROR - Rhys (A Court of Thorns and Roses) February 2019
Art by Emily Haynes - @artbyemmilinne

WHEEL OF FORTUNE - Jesper Fahey (Six of Crows) March 2019
THE FOOL - Wylan Van Eck (Six of Crows) March 2019
Art by Emily Haynes - @artbyemmilinne

THE LOVERS - Nina Zenik (Six of Crows) April 2019
THE TOWER - Matthias Helvar (Six of Crows) April 2019
Art by Emily Haynes - @artbyemmilinne

TEMPERANCE - Kaz Brekker (Six of Crows) May 2019
THE HERMIT - Inej Ghafa (Six of Crows) May 2019
Art by Emily Haynes - @artbyemmilinne

THE MAGICIAN - Dumbledore (Harry Potter) June 2019
DEATH - Draco Malfoy (Harry Potter) June 2019
Art by Laura - @loweana.art

THE SUN - Ron Weasley (Harry Potter) July 2019
THE MOON - Luna Lovegood (Harry Potter) July 2019
Art by Laura - @loweana.art

THE HANGED MAN - Harry Potter (Harry Potter) August 2019
THE STAR - Hermione Granger (Harry Potter) August 2019
Art by Laura - @loweana.art

ACE OF CUPS - Warner (Shatter Me) September 2019
THE HIGH PRIESTESS - Juliette (Shatter Me) September 2019
Art by Laura - @loweana.art

THE HIEROPHANT - Adam (Shatter Me) October 2019
TWO OF CUPS - Kenji (Shatter Me) October 2019
Art by Laura - @loweana.art

THE DEVIL - Thomas Cresswell (Stalking Jack the Ripper) November 2019
THE WORLD - Audrey Rose (Stalking Jack the Ripper) November 2019
Art by Laura - @loweana.art

KNIGHT OF CUPS - Elias Veturius (An Ember in the Ashes) December 2019
PAGE OF CUPS - Helene Aquilla (An Ember in the Ashes) December 2019
Art by Gabriella Bujdoso - @gabriella.bujdoso

QUEEN OF CUPS - Laia (An Ember in the Ashes) January 2020
KING OF CUPS - Keenan (An Ember in the Ashes) January 2020
Art by Gabriella Bujdoso - @gabriella.bujdoso

TEN OF CUPS - Sarai (Strange the Dreamer) February 2020
NINE OF CUPS - Lazlo Strange (Strange the Dreamer) February 2020
Art by Gabriella Bujdoso - @gabriella.bujdoso

SEVEN OF CUPS - Chaol & Yrene (Throne of Glass) March 2020
EIGHT OF CUPS - Lysanda & Aedion (Throne of Glass) March 2020
Art by Gabriella Bujdoso - @gabriella.bujdoso

FIVE OF CUPS - Dorian (Throne of Glass) April 2020
SIX OF CUPS - Manon (Throne of Glass) April 2020
Art by Gabriella Bujdoso - @gabriella.bujdoso

THREE OF CUPS - Aelin (Throne of Glass) - May 2020
FOUR OF CUPS - Rowan (Throne of Glass) May 2020
Art by Gabriella Bujdoso - @gabriella.bujdoso

ACE OF SWORDS - Lila Bard (Shades of Magic) June 2020
TWO OF SWORDS - Kell Maresh (Shades of Magic) June 2020
Art by Kat - @katbdraws

THREE OF SWORDS - Holland Vosijk (Shades of Magic) July 2020
FOUR OF SWORDS - Rhy Maresh (Shades of Magic) July 2020
Art by Kat - @katbdraws

SIX OF SWORDS - Mister Kindly (Nevernight) August 2020
FIVE OF SWORDS - Mia Corvere (Nevernight) August 2020
Art by Kat - @katbdraws

EIGHT OF SWORDS - Tric (Nevernight) September 2020
SEVEN OF SWORDS - Ash (Nevernight) September 2020
Art by Kat - @katbdraws

TEN OF SWORDS - Danika (Crescent City) October 2020
NINE OF SWORDS - Aidas (Crescent City) October 2020
Art by Arzzz - @arz28

KNIGHT OF SWORDS - Ruhn (Crescent City) November 2020
PAGE OF SWORDS - Lehabah (Crescent City) November 2020
Art by Arzzz - @arz28

QUEEN OF SWORDS - Bryce (Crescent City) December 2020
KING OF SWORDS - Hunt (Crescent City) December 2020
Art by Arzzz - @arz28

That's everything that's been released so far! If this is something you want to keep up with, check back at the end of each month to see what's new. I'll add a tab at the top so it will be easy to find. 😁