Treat Yo Shelf: November 2019 Recap

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November 2019: Monthly Recap

Welcome to my monthly recap post, in which I highlight the books I read in the last month, bookish items I acquired, book events I attended, bookish news, and/or subscription boxes I received this month.

what did i review

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publishers and authors

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I am so grateful for Stephanie Garber, who reached out to me and gifted me copies of the Dutch editions for her Caraval series. Thank you, Stephanie.

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MY NOVEMBER BOOK HAUL

Book of the Month Picks (Regular and YA):

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Waterstone’s Edition of the Night Circus

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Owlcrate Exclusives:

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I bought several editions of The Queen of Nothing to complete my collection:

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I also bought several editions of The Starless Sea including Waterstone’s special editions, Illumicrate’s editions, Fox & Wit’s edition, and Goldsboro edition.

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How did you treat your shelves in November?

Book Review & Mood Board: Butterfly Yellow by Thanhha Lai

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Title:
Butterfly Yellow
Author:  Thanhha Lai
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 3, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Historical, Fiction

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Synopsis:

In the final days of the Việt Nam War, Hằng takes her little brother, Linh, to the airport, determined to find a way to safety in America. In a split second, Linh is ripped from her arms—and Hằng is left behind in the war-torn country.

Six years later, Hằng has made the brutal journey from Việt Nam and is now in Texas as a refugee. She doesn’t know how she will find the little brother who was taken from her until she meets LeeRoy, a city boy with big rodeo dreams, who decides to help her.

Hằng is overjoyed when she reunites with Linh. But when she realizes he doesn’t remember her, their family, or Việt Nam, her heart is crushed. Though the distance between them feels greater than ever, Hằng has come so far that she will do anything to bridge the gap. 


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Butterfly Yellow is an emotionally driven novel told in multiple POVs; more specifically in the points of view of Hằng and LeeRoy. Hằng is a Vietnamese refugee traveling to Texas in search of her younger brother, Linh, who was taken to America during the Vietnam War. And LeeRoy is an eighteen-year-old whose main aspiration is to be a cowboy. The interactions between this unlikely pair allows the novel to flow so beautifully. 

Determined to find her brother, Hằng internally struggles with her own PTSD and her hard journey from Vietnam to Texas. Not only is she physically exhausted and vulnerable, but she is also conflicted with coping with emotional distress, survival, hunger, and language boundaries.

On his way to meet his rodeo idol, LeeRoy is unwillingly pushed to drive Hằng on her quest to find her brother. LeeRoy’s quirkiness and straightforward attitude provide a comedic relief to Hằng’s feisty stubbornness and her heartbreaking journey. Although the dialogue between the characters is often stilted, it becomes a learning process and a great facilitator that instills the friendship between these two characters.

Overall, the pacing of this novel is wonderfully steady. Each chapter is short and to the point, while the words flow like a beautiful poem. I quickly connected with the characters within a few pages of meeting them, and from there on, I enjoyed their paths that often unfolded into mosaic of heartbreak, love, determination, and the idea of accepting your mistakes and moving forward.

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Blogger Note: Thank you so much to Wunderkind PR for sending me a free copy of Butterfly Yellow to read and review. 

Book Review: A Constellation of Roses by Miranda Asebedo

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Title:
A Constellation of Roses
Author:  Miranda Asebedo
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: November 5, 2019
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Magic Realism
Rating: ★★★

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Synopsis:

Ever since her mother walked out, Trix McCabe has been determined to make it on her own. And with her near-magical gift for pulling valuables off unsuspecting strangers, Trix is confident she has what it takes to survive. Until she’s caught and given a choice: jail time, or go live with her long-lost family in the tiny town of Rocksaw, Kansas.

Trix doesn’t plan to stick around Rocksaw long, but there’s something special about her McCabe relatives that she is drawn to. Her aunt, Mia, bakes pies that seem to cure all ills. Her cousin, Ember, can tell a person’s deepest secret with the touch of a hand. And Trix’s great-aunt takes one look at Trix’s palm and tells her that if she doesn’t put down roots somewhere, she won’t have a future anywhere.

Before long, Trix feels like she might finally belong with this special group of women in this tiny town in Kansas. But when her past comes back to haunt her, she’ll have to decide whether to take a chance on this new life . . . or keep running from the one she’s always known.

With lovable and flawed characters, an evocative setting, and friendships to treasure, A Constellation of Roses is the perfect companion to Miranda Asebedo’s debut novel The Deepest Roots.


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A Constellation of Roses is a well-developed contemporary novel that hints at magic, but provides a serious outlet and tone for realistic, young adult situations. After her mom fails to come back home one day, Trix takes the matter of survival into her own hands. Trix relies heavily on her gift as a undetected thief to take what she needs to survive. Without giving too many spoilers, Trix’s antics are not unseen and she is sent to live with some unknown relatives. 

Now surrounded by three generations of women who also have their own talents and gifts, Trix puts up a hard shell that’s not easy to crack. As Trix adapts to her new surroundings, makes new friends, and slowly starts trusting her newfound family, she begins to explore the truth about herself and her familial past. More importantly, she begins defining and understanding what family truly means. And as the story unfolds, Trix also begins acknowledging that everyone, no matter how happy they seem on the outside, are also going through their own personal struggles. 

Filled with emotionally-curing pie, a dash of magic, and teenage antics, A Constellation of Roses will have you swimming in emotions of heartache, laughter, tears, and swoons. This novel explores some very heavy issues, which makes these characters so realistic and so easy to connect and fall in love with.

Some favorite quotes:

“Fortune-telling isn’t a science. It’s an art. And sometimes art is messy.”

“Scars tell a story, even when we don’t want them to.”

“You know, there’s an old story that back when they founded Rocksaw, the McCabes were one of the first families here. And their daughters were so beautiful and so strangely gifted that people in Buffalo Hills thought they were witches and wanted to run them out of the area.”

“Love is promising Persian kittens. Love is American slang dictionaries for Scrabble. Love is Coke-and-cherry slushes as midnight. Love is watching the lights come on in town from law chairs on Cedar Mountain. Love is lemon-meringue pie on porch steps.”

“Yes, I have gotten what I always wanted. My deepest secrets. Not a perfect family, after all. But a constellation of women, connected by pie and fortunes and roses. And love.”

 

Blogger Note: Thank you so much to Wunderkind PR for sending me a free copy of A Cosntellation of Roses to read and review. 

Treat Yo Shelf: October 2019 Recap

treat-yo-shelf

October 2019: Monthly Recap

Welcome to my monthly recap post, in which I highlight the books I read in the last month, bookish items I acquired, book events I attended, bookish news, and/or subscription boxes I received this month.

what did i review

(Click on the banner to be linked to blog post)

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Into the Crooked Place Blog Tour (1)

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IMG_0745Thank you to Fierce Reads for sending me this amazing stack of books for their 2020 Winter Seasonal blogger campaign. I cannot wait to read them! 

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Thank you to Wunderkind PR for sending me these three books to read and review. You can click on each photo to be linked to the book’s Goodreads page.

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October Fairyloot

Autumn Candle Haul from Alchemy+Ink

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October Book Haul

Books Bought in October: Mooncakes by Suzanne Walker and Wendy Xu

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ARCs and Finished Copies from Publishers:
(click on title to be linked to its Goodreads page)

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How did you treat your shelves in October?

Friday Raves & Giveaway: Dumplin’ is now on Netflix!

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Title: Dumplin’
Author:  Julie Murphy
Publisher: Balzer & Bray/Harperteen 
Release Date: November 27, 2018
Genres: Fiction, Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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Synopsis:

NOW a Netflix film–featuring Jennifer Aniston, Danielle Macdonald, and Dove Cameron, as well as a soundtrack from Dolly Parton!

The movie tie-in edition of the #1 New York Times bestseller and feel-good YA of the year—about Willowdean Dickson, the fearless, funny, and totally unforgettable heroine who takes on her small town’s beauty pageant.

Self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson (dubbed “Dumplin’” by her former beauty queen mom) has always been at home in her own skin. Her thoughts on having the ultimate bikini body? Put a bikini on your body.

With her all-American beauty best friend, Ellen, by her side, things have always worked . . . until Will takes a job at Harpy’s, the local fast-food joint. There she meets Private School Bo, a hot former jock. Will isn’t surprised to find herself attracted to Bo. But she is surprised when he seems to like her back.

Instead of finding new heights of self-assurance in her relationship with Bo, Will starts to doubt herself. So she sets out to take back her confidence by doing the most horrifying thing she can imagine: entering the Miss Clover City beauty pageant—along with several other unlikely candidates—to show the world that she deserves to be up there as much as any girl does.

Along the way, she’ll shock the hell out of Clover City—and maybe herself most of all.

Julie Murphy is the leading voice in body positivity for teens in the YA space. Willowdean is a heroine rarely seen in teen books and movies—she is confident and unafraid.  Her struggle with body image issues is a subject every teen can relate to. But Will doesn’t have to lose weight to be happy at the end of this book—or to fall in love.


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You guys! One of my favorite books of 2015 is now a NETFLIX movie! AHHHHH!!!

I teamed up with the amazing Wunderkind-PR and we are giving away a free copy of the paperback movie tie-in book.  

Dumplin’ was previously released in 2015 and is a New York Times #1 bestseller. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.

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Please note that Wunderkind-PR is kindly giving away a movie tie-in edition of Dumplin’. Open to all US residents. All you need to do is Retweet my tweet, and I will pick a winner Friday, December 14. And if you win, the book will be sent by Wunderkind-PR straight to your mailbox. How awesome is that, Y’ALL?!

TWEET TO RETWEET:

CHECK OUT THE TRAILER HERE:


Praise for Dumplin’

 “Murphy (Side Effects May Vary) successfully makes every piece of the story—Dolly Parton superfans, first love, best-friend problems, an unlikely group of pageant entrants, female solidarity, self-acceptance, and Willowdean’s complicated relationship with the mother who nicknamed her “Dumplin’ “—count, weaving them together to create a harmonious, humorous, and thought-provoking whole.”
   — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

 “Will’s singular voice compels readers to think about all that goes into building-and destroying-self-esteem…Splendid”

 Booklist (starred review)

“DUMPLIN’ should be required reading for anyone who has ever felt even slightly uncomfortable in his or her skin. Julie Murphy’s star continues to shine with this groundbreaking, poignant story that will surely change lives.”
   — John Corey Whaley, award-winning author of Noggin and Where Things Come Back

“I’m obsessed with this book. Wickedly funny, heartbreakingly real, full of characters to love and cheer for. DUMPLIN’ is such a star.”
   — Katie Cotugno, author of How to Love and 99 Days

Awards and Other Acclaim

  • ALA Best Fiction for Young Adults
  • An ALA Top Ten Pick for Reluctant Readers 
  • An Indies Choice Best Young Adult Honor Book
  • Best Book of the Year & Best Young Adult Contemporary Novel by Romantic Times
  • New York Public Library Best Book of the Year 
  • Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year 
  • Tumblr Reblog Book Club Pick
  • Amazon Best Book of the Year
  • B&N Best Book of the Year
  • Booklist Editor’s choice
  • Spirt of Texas High School Reading List
  • Tayshas (Texas Teen) Reading List
  • Indigo Best Book of the Year

ABOUT JULIE MURPHY…THE QUEEN

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Julie Murphy lives in North Texas with her husband who loves her, her dog who adores her, and her cats who tolerate her. After several wonderful years in the library world, Julie now writes full-time. When she’s not writing or reliving her reference desk glory days, she can be found watching made-for-TV movies, hunting for the perfect slice of cheese pizza, and planning her next great travel adventure. She is also the author of Puddin’ and Side Effects May Vary. You can visit Julie at www.juliemurphywrites.com.

 

Treat Yo Shelf: October 2017 Monthly Recap

treat-yo-shelf

October 2017: Monthly Recap

Welcome to my monthly recap post, in which I fangirl over the books I read in the last month, bookish items I acquired, book events I attended, bookish news, and/or subscription boxes I received this month.

what did I read

what did i review

(Click on the banner to be linked to blog post)

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publishers and authors


monthly raves

I guest blogged on Alyssa’s blog for Fortnight of Fright.
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October Uppercase Box

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October Owlcrate 

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How did you treat your shelves in October?

Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday Blog Tour!: Skins and Other Stories & Giveaway

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Welcome to Roald Dahl’s 100th Birthday Blog Tour hosted by Hannah from Irish Banana and Wunderkind PR. I am so ecstatic that I was invited to review one of my all-time favorite collections of short stories, Skin and Other Stories by Mr. Dahl. 

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By: Roald Dahl
Published by: Puffin Books
Genres: Young Adult, Short Stories, Fiction, Horror, Fantasy

 

About Skin and Other Stories:

How would you get rid of a murder weapon without causing suspicion? Where would you hide a diamond where no one else would think of looking? What if you found out that the tattoo on your back was worth over a million dollars? You will discover that just about anything is possible in a Roald Dahl story, and here are eleven of his very best.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound | The Book Depository


MY RANTS AND RAVES OF SKIN AND OTHER STORIES

Roald Dahl is most known for his novels, but what some people do not know is that he has a collection of short stories, Skin and Other Stories, which are equally as intriguing, humorous, and amazing as his most cherished children’s books. Each story in this book is quirky and unique. This is definitely a collection of short stories that I always turn to during Autumn, because it is the perfect combination of dark, witty, and wicked tales to curl up with. 

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The first time I read these stories was in high school, and after recently rereading them, I love this collection even more. These stories are strange, imaginative, and have the most elaborate twists. This collection ranges from a story about a  priceless, all-covering back tattoo to helpless, crying roses to an overly suspicious, wounded WWII-pilot. I like that these stories are entertaining, but there is also some satire behind these stories, which are layered with commentary on the irrationality of human actions and human nature. If you are a fan of Edgar Allan Poe, Stephen King, or Chuck Palahniuk, I highly recommend that you read Skin and Other Short Stories. Dahl’s storytelling is indifferent, frightful, and creepy, which make his stories overwhelmingly memorable. 

Overall, Dahl’s Skin and Other Stories is the perfect book for any young adult and/or adult fan that loves dark humor and mystery. It is hard for me to pick out a favorite story in this collection, but if I had to choose, I would highly recommend reading “Lamb to the Slaughter.” The female protagonist is smart, witty, and so deceiving. I believe this is the most well-known short story written by Dahl, but there is a reason for that notability. This story is brilliant. The major twist in this short story is humorous, dark, and shocking. But mainly, I like this story, because it is so absurd. It would definitely make a good episode for a “getting away with murder”-type of show.

 

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Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most imaginative, successful and beloved storytellers. He was born in Wales of Norwegian parents and spent much of his childhood in England. After establishing himself as a writer for adults with short story collections such as Kiss Kiss and Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living with his family in both the U.S. and in England. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated.

Roald Dahl’s first children’s story, The Gremlins, was a story about little creatures that were responsible for the various mechanical failures on airplanes. The Gremlins came to the attention of both First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who loved to read the story to her grandchildren, and Walt Disney, with whom Roald Dahl had discussions about the production of a movie.

Roald Dahl was inspired by American culture and by many of the most quintessential American landmarks to write some of his most memorable passages, such as the thrilling final scenes in James and the Giant Peach – when the peach lands on the Empire State Building! Upon the publication ofJames and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl began work on the story that would later be published as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, have sold more than 200 million copies.

Roald Dahl also enjoyed great success for the screenplays he wrote for both the James Bond film You Only Live Twice in 1967 and for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, released one year later, which went on to become a beloved family film.  Roald Dahl’s popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.

Two charities have been founded in Roald Dahl’s memory: the first charity, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, created in 1991, focuses on making life better for seriously ill children through the funding of specialist nurses, innovative medical training, hospitals, and individual families across the UK.

The second charity, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – a unique cultural, literary and education hub – opened in June 2005 in Great Missenden where Roald Dahl lived and wrote many of his best-loved works. 10% of income from Roald Dahl books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities.

On September 13, 2006, the first national Roald Dahl Day was celebrated, on what would have been the author’s 90th birthday. The event proved such a success that Roald Dahl Day is now marked annually all over the world. September 13, 2016 is Roald Dahl 100, marking 100 years since the birth of the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.

 

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1 winner can pick 5 books from the Roald Dahl collection! US Only.

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