This blog is the place where I post reviews of the books I have read. I review audiobooks, regular books and eBooks for authors and publishers as well as any other book or audiobook that catches my eye.
Julia is so ready for summer. Now that her little brother has finally recovered from a serious illness, all she wants to do is enjoy peak season at the lakeside campground her family owns.
Then Julia’s Mom completely blindsided her: a wealthy developer thinks their campground property is the perfect spot for a casino. They have to consider the offer, Julia’s Mom says, because of their crushing medical bills.
Leave the lake? The only home she’s ever known? Heartbroken and afraid, Julia takes her telescope down to the dock one night, seeking solace in the stars.
That’s when she has a chance encounter with Nick, a hot guy who offers some surprisingly sage advice.
Too bad this guitar-strumming stranger is the developer’s son…
As plans for the sale move forward, Julia is desperate to find a way out. Nick, in turn, is desperate to separate himself from his family’s business. Together, he promises, they can save the campground.
But can Julia trust him to conspire against his own father? And could she ever trust him with her heart?
The cover for this wonderful young adult novel evokes thoughts of warm summer nights and burgeoning young love. The cover is 100% perfect for this story.
Poor Julia. In the first chapter alone we discover that just after graduating from high school, her best friend is leaving for the entire summer. Add to that the fact the guy she’s had a crush on since age twelve,and with whom she had gotten close the summer before, has arrived at the campground with his gorgeous new girlfriend in tow. Pile that on top of the fact that she’s worried about her nine year old brother Caleb’s health since he is recovering from a serious bout of Guillain-Barré Syndrome. In fact, it had been so serious that Caleb had spent months hooked up to machines and tubes. And, worst of all, because of their outrageous medical bills, her mother is seriously considering selling their family campground to a developer who wants to erect a casino on the site. All in all, Julia is having a really crappy week.
As Julia seeks comfort from the stars, readers will start to realize just how amazing and special the campground property is.
If you have never been so far into the wilderness that there was no light pollution at all, you are missing out on an incredible experience. Those of us who have been there, will recognize the author’s authenticity. It is impossible to fake a proper description of the vastness of the summer sky at night if you’ve never seen it with your own eyes. This setting is the perfect place for romance to bloom.
The characters are three dimensional and have real world problems. Yes, there is a rich boy, but the main character is a normal girl.
Although the storyline is not rocket-science, it isn’t supposed to be. This is a feel good tale about overcoming adversity when the odds are stacked against you, with a side of young love that will have teen readers sighing with anticipation and older readers looking back at that time in their lives with nostalgia.
I rate this book as 4.5 out of 5 Stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐ and recommend it to readers looking for a book that can be read in a single weekend or for the perfect vacation or beach read.
**I received a free copy of this book from the author.**
My favorite quote from SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS:
“A book always has value, even when it is old and worn.”
*** Alisha is also the author of KISSING FROGS which she discusses in the following video:
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Alisha Sevigny holds a degree in Professional Writing and Sociology from the University of Victoria, is a film school graduate, former literary agent and hot yoga lover. A shameless romantic, Alisha and her husband have travelled the world together. On a trip to Panama she fell in love with the country, culture, and their national emblem, the Golden Frog and was inspired to write her first Young Adult novel, KISSING FROGS.
Her second book, SUMMER CONSTELLATIONS is about a young woman fighting to save her family campground while trying not to fall in love, comes out May 1, 2018 with KCP Loft.
Born and raised in Kitimat, British Columbia, Alisha has always had a strong connection to the environment and conservationist spirit. She now lives in Toronto with her family.
To learn more about this author, visit the following links:
A young boy doesn’t want to go to bed. The hockey game is on! “What if I can’t fall asleep?” the boy says. “Don’t worry,” says his dad. “You will.” After his parents have tucked him in and turned out the light, he shines a flashlight on his prized hockey possessions around his room: the posters of his favorite players, the pennant for his favorite team, the puck. Then he decides to listen to the game on his bedside radio, which he places under his pillow. With the familiar drone of the announcer’s voice for company, the boy drifts off to sleep. He dreams he has joined his favorite team on the ice — where he scores the winning goal! And the boy smiles as the announcer exclaims, “What a play! What a goal! What a game!” Award-winning author Andrew Larsen’s simple yet evocative story sets just the right tone for the youngest children, who can relate to the boy’s disappointment about missing the exciting nighttime game and his fears that he won’t be able to fall asleep. Jacqui Lee’s illustrations in soothing greens and blues are done in a wonderful blend of nostalgic and contemporary styles that suit the story’s timelessness. This book provides all of the appeal of the perfect bedtime story: the reassurance of caring parents tucking the boy in and then coming back later to check on him, the bedtime routine, the atmospheric winter night outside while it’s cozy and snug inside, and the promise of dreams come true.
I have to admit that I have a positive bias toward children’s books that are about hockey. As a proud Canadian who also happens to have male children, hockey was a huge part of our lives for many years.
Anyway, with that said, I enjoyed both the story and the illustrations in this book. I think that kids can never have enough hockey titles in their library. I rate this book as 4 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free e-copy of this book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrew Larsen is the acclaimed author of such books as Goodnight, Hockey Fans, A Squiggly Story, The Not-So-Faraway Adventure, In the Tree House and The Imaginary Garden. He lives in Toronto, Ontario.
To learn more about this author visit the following links:
JACQUI LEE is a graphic designer and the illustrator of I Am Josephine (And I Am a Living Thing), Taffy Time and the Murilla Gorilla series for young readers. Jacqui currently lives in London, England.
To learn more about this Illustrator, visit the following links:
– 2014 Canadian Toy Testing Council Recommended Read Murilla Gorilla: Jungle Detective
– 2013 Ontario Library Association Best Bets for Children Murilla Gorilla: Jungle Detective
– 2012 Applied Arts Illustration Awards The 400 Blows
– 2011 Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition Roots General Store (In Show)
– 2011 Applied Arts Student Awards The Jules Verne Collection
– 2011 Applied Arts Student Awards The Jelly Bean
– 2011 Applied Arts Student Awards The Sandwich with Britny Samuelson
– 2011 Applied Arts Student Awards The Story of Joseph-Armand Bombardier
– 2014 It’s A Jungle Out There ?! The Ledge Gallery, Calgary, AB
– 2012 On The Move Collage Collage, Vancouver, BC
– 2012 SHAPE JAM (with Jenn Kitagawa & Co), Hashtag Gallery, Toronto, ON
– 2011 The Society of Illustrators Student Scholarship Competition Exhibit – Museum of American Illustration, New York, NY
Kids Can Press is the largest Canadian-owned children’s publisher. Its catalogue includes an award-winning list of over 600 picture books, nonfiction and fiction titles for young readers, including the worldwide bestselling Franklin the Turtle, Scaredy Squirrel and CitizenKid series.
To learn more about this Publisher, visit the following links:
Unique. Utterly readable, with awesome characters and a guy that teen girls will have crushes on. Zenn is the latest book-boyfriend of choice.
Eva Walker’s life is unlike anyone elses. She is a loner, a math nerd, an orphan and she feels like a freak. Out of all these labels, the most significant one is Eva’s loner status.
You would think the math nerd status would be the reason she was a loner – not so. Eva is a loner by choice. Why? Well, she has a gift (curse?) Anytime Eva touches someone, or even touches someone’s property, such as a cell phone, she immediately knows all about them – including their secrets and their fears.
Now, some may think that this would be an amazing gift to have, but it never turns off. Imagine going on a date and having to listen to the guy’s dirty thoughts about you the entire time you’re with him. Yuck!
The only time that Eva is thankful for this strange ability is when she is tutoring someone in math. She just has to touch their calculator and she knows exactly what they are struggling with. This makes her an excellent tutor. It is through her tutoring that she meets Zenn.
When she is assigned to tutor Zenn Bennett, she is nervous. Who wouldn’t be? Zenn is absolutely gorgeous and he does it without even trying.
When she accidentally touches Zenn’s jacket she is rocked by what she sees. The violence of the vision is like nothing she has ever seen or felt before.
Eva must decide whether or not to confront Zenn and the horrifying vision or whether to keep it to herself and stay safe; but alone.
This novel has so many twists and turns that readers will never be bored and they will not want to put this book down.
There is romance, there is tragedy, there is guilt, remorse, fear and mystery. This book has it all.
Author Wendy Brant has written a young adult novel that will suck you in from the very first chapter. Both her world-building and her character development are top notch.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and read it in a single sitting. I must warn potential readers that once you start reading, you won’t be able to stop, so you should make sure you set aside some time to curl up with this fantastic book.
I rate ZENN DIAGRAM as 5 out of 5 Stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
*Thank you to the author for providing me with a free copy of this book.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: (In Her Own Words):
So my name alone should give you a clue that I graduated from high school when bangs were big and clothes were baggy. I went to Northwestern University and majored in journalism even though I had no desire to be a journalist. I’ve been married to a great guy for a whole drinking-aged person’s life. I’ve got two amazing and yet very different (and very tall) teenage kids. I like crappy food, pinning inspirational quotes on Pinterest, have a tendency to start paragraphs with “anyway”, and I wish I were funnier. I would love to be one of those really, REALLY funny bloggers (like Insane in the Mom-Brain) that makes you pee yourself a little bit. I am only moderately funny. I admit that. It’s one of my great sadnesses in life.
I started writing fiction when I was 10, but tried to be practical with the whole journalism thing. Didn’t take. Shortly after college, the fiction-writing desire reared its non-practical head and I’ve been writing ever since.
To learn more about this author visit the following links:
Wade is a young moose who discovers one morning that his antlers are “wiggly”.
He is very worried about his antlers falling off because he uses them for so many different things, so he decides to try to stop his antlers from falling off.
In the end, Wade has to learn to accept that he is growing up and that with growing up comes change. He also realizes that change just might not be so bad after all.
The illustrations in this children’s book are simply adorable. I love how the different animals are depicted and that they are not so stylized as to be unrecognizable which I see all too often in children’s books.
There is also a message found in this story that is something every child needs to learn and that is that change is inevitable and that it is not necessarily a bad thing.
I rate this children’s book as 5 out of 5 Stars. 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Thank you to Netgalley for providing me with a free ARC (Advance Review Copy) copy of this book.