Thursday, February 27, 2014

BOOKANISTAS: When Audrey Met Alice

First daughter Audrey Rhodes can't wait for the party she has planned for Friday night. The decorations are all set and the pizza is on its way. But the Secret Service must be out to ruin her life, because they cancel at the last minute-citing security breach and squashing Audrey's chances for making any new friends. What good is being "safe and secure" if you can't have any fun?

Audrey is ready to give up and become a White House hermit, until she discovers Alice Roosevelt's hidden diary. The former first daughter gives Audrey a ton of ideas for having fun...and more problems than she can handle. 


Confession: I've been reading a lot more middle grade these days. Bigger confession: I've really been loving it! 

This book is just so much fun. It's two different stories - Audrey is the current first daughter struggling with the restrictions of White House Life, and she finds the diary of Alice Roosevelt, who tells her story of growing up in the White House back in the day. 

Alice's diary is just amazing. For a historical character, she just leaps off the page fully formed. I have never so much in my life wanted to hang out with a person a fictional character was reading about in a book. She's funny, she's smart, she's spunky, and her worries and insecurities are so relatable, even to modern teens. And don't even get me started on Emily Spinach. I love me some Emily Spinach.  

My favorite thing in this book is the effortless diversity. There is an extremely diverse cast of characters in this book, and I loved it! It never once felt like "let me make sure this character has an ethnic friend," it felt 100% organic and authentic - the way diversity in MG/YA should be.

I loved absolutely everything about this book. It was fun, it was sweet, it was touching, and it was moving. I learned something when I read it and I laughed and cried, too. I can't recommend this one enough. 

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to...





Thursday, February 13, 2014

BOOKANISTAS: The Lost Planet

This is what the boy is told:

• He woke up on planet Trucon, inside a fence he shouldn't have been able to pass.
• He has an annirad blaster wound to the back of his head.
• He has no memory.
• He is now under the protection of a mysterious benefactor.
• His name is Chase Garrety.

This is what Chase Garrety knows:

• He has a message: "Guide the star."
• Time is running out.


So, full disclosure...I'm sure you all know that Rachel Searles is one of my writing besties and favorite people. That being said, I didn't read this book until it was in ARC form and I was a little worried that I wasn't going to love it. It's pretty far out of my book comfort zone...middle grade sci-fi is not what I would pull off the shelf if I had a choice, so it was a possibility it wouldn't be for me. That's always a scary thing...what if you don't love the book of a person you love? That can be awkward. 

Well, thank goodness there was no awkwardness here because OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK SO MUCH. I seriously couldn't put it down, and I'm so glad that I know Rachel, otherwise I would have never reached out of my comfort zone and read this awesome book!

What's so fun about this book is the non-stop action. Every time I thought Chase and co were in the clear, nope! Something worse happened to them! Every time I thought I could read one more chapter and go to bed, nope! Something unexpected and exciting popped up and kept me turning the page.  It's full of twists and turns and questionable loyalties and mysterious characters and strange and cool creatures that you seriously can't put it down. 

It's the perfect book for my eighth graders...in fact, I'm going to start reading this one aloud to them in a few weeks. I book talked it to them already, and I swear their jaws were hanging open. 

It's an exciting, tightly-plotted thrill ride through space, and I would totally say that even if Rachel wasn't my friend. 

Check out what the other Bookanistas are up to...


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

It's a Great Day For Book Birthdays!

One of the best things about the writing community is all of the friends I've made...and seeing all of those friends release their awesome books into the world. I'm so thrilled that two of my favorite people finally get to share their book babies with us today!

First of all, happy book birthday to ALIENATED by Melissa Landers!


Melissa is in my close circle of writing friends, and we've been cheering each other on for many years now. In fact, I remember when this book was a NaNoWriMo project, and now here it is, out there on shelves...finally! Melissa is a master of humor and romantic tension, and I can't wait to see this book become a huge success!

Second, happy book birthday to WHEN AUDREY MET ALICE by Rebecca Behrens!


Rebecca is a fellow Bookanista and blog friend and generally awesome person. I was so excited to read her MG debut, and it is even more fabulous than I had been hoping. If you like smart, fun MG, have any interest in life in the White House, or just love amazing female characters (and this book has TWO! Well, three if you count Emily Spinach, and I totally do), then you need to check this book out.

Put these amazing books on your TBR if you haven't already! And go give Melissa (@Melissa_Landers) and Rebecca (@RebeccaBehrens) some book birthday love on Twitter today!