3 Mini Reviews

I'm trying to get caught up on all my reviews and it's so much easier for me to do these small bursts of reviews than to work on one big monthly reading post. 

6 x 4 in (4)

The Duchess Deal | My first Tessa Dare book I believe. I loved it! Duke of Ashbury gave me all the Phantom of the Opera vibes and I was so down with it. I also enjoyed Emma's character and their chemistry. I mean he is a war hero who was burned and then dumped buy his fiance. I am a sucker for a guy with 0 self esteem and a heart waiting to be uplifted. Go Emma!

6 x 4 in (5)

Dirty Letters | Can you just fan me for a second please? This man on the cover of this book is so fine it's the only reason I downloaded it. Was the story any good? Not the most riveting romance. There wasn't nearly enough sexy bits in it for me and the plot and writing itself left me wanting. It was all good though because Griffin (our hero in this story) had the sexiest narrator voice guy I could die. The voice alone gained it that fourth star. So who really needs a good story plot? Apparently not me. Just give me sexy voices.

6 x 4 in (6)

Devil In Spring | This was a decent one. I actually can't remember much about it but I gave it three stars after reading it so I must have liked it a bit, right?! After going back and reading the blurb I do remember Lady Pandora and her strong minded quirkiness that went right on the line of being too much. The parts about the board game business I remember being a bit boring.

via GIPHY

And I vaguely remember liking Gabriel and his feelings toward Pandora. Overall not the most memorable read.


Upcoming YA Books (second half of 2021)

There are some amazing books coming out this second half of 2021 and I am so psyched! This is another post with the Top Ten Tuesday prompts over at That Artsy Reader Girl

Blank Pushdown or Billboard Ad

 

 

6 x 4 in (8)

Six Crimson Cranes | July 6 | I mean can I ever not read a retelling. No I can not. All a blurb needs is the word retelling and I am on that. This is The Wild Swans retelling which I'll have to look up because I have never heard of it but I will still love it regardless. Plus that cover is giving me life. I thankfully have the arc to this and am about to dive in!

 

6 x 4 in (12)

The Bones of Ruin | Sept. 7 | Victorian London. Fantasy. African Tightrope Walker who is Immortal! Please be good, please be good!

6 x 4 in (9)

XOXO  | July 13 |  The reviews of this are amazing so I need it. I don't listen to K-Pop and have never watched a K-Drama but I'm still down with that jive. I enjoy anime and manga's and I know of that fan base and world so it's close enough.  

6 x 4 in (13)

The Taking of Jake Livingston | July 13 | I'm not going to lie. The cover itself made me add it to my TBR but it's about a boy who is the only black boy at a prep school....and he can see the dead. There's a reason the cover so so cool looking. It's impossible for a book with this cover to not be good. 

6 x 4 in (10)

Vespertine | Sept. 28 | I loved Enchantment of Ravens and Sorcery of Thorns so I'm guaranteed to love this one too. 

6 x 4 in (14)

Hello | Sept. 7 | A COVID romance. I'm excited to see books set during the quarantine. It'll be so different and many teens will be able to relate. 

6 x 4 in (11)

These Hollow Vows | July 20 | A girl caught between two Fae courts. Just take my money.

6 x 4 in (15)

A Psalm of Storms and Silence | Nov. 2 | I read A Song of Wraiths and Ruin earlier this year and loved it and can't wait to dive into the second one!

6 x 4 in (17)

The Great Big One | July 20 | Ohhh. This one sounds kind of like the world in The Final Six which I am currently listening to. Terrifyingly apocolyptic!

6 x 4 in (16)

The Holiday Switch | October 5 | I don't think I've really read a holiday YA rom-com! This will definitely be in my to buy list!

 

 


End Of The Year Testing

My plan at the beginning of every school year is to have remarkable records so that I can put together beautiful portfolios for their end of the year evaluation. In the five years of homeschooling this has never happened. It almost happened last school year and I had actually almost finished Miette's and it was amazing and full of colors and pictures but then COVID hit and we didn't need to turn in anything. 

 

And then I planned to do it this year but we switched up our curriculum mid-year (which we kind of do every single year). So we are doing what we have always done and doing our online test. 

We use and have used every year the CAT untimed online test via Academic Excellence site. I always get a $5 dollar off code through their emails so we pay $20 for each test. 

I do the untimed test because it will legit take us a month and half to do it especially this year when all three girls are doing it. Here is our set up.

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I have our desktop on our counter and I will pull up their test through their portal and we just do one section on the days we are home. I then call each girl starting with the youngest and sit beside them and read and be available if they have any questions. Miette and MacKenzie don't really need me at all but Marleigh sometimes needs some technical assistance. 

 


What I've Been Reading: Middle Grade

 

8 x 4 in (2)

 

Stand Up, Yumi Chung! | Yumi will crawl into your heart and you will feel for this little fictional girl. I'm not Asian American, an aspiring comedian, or an eleven year old but I am a woman who used to be a girl who was shy. That little part of me connected with her. 

"On the outside, Yumi Chung suffers from #shygirlproblems, a perm-gone-wrong, and kids calling her "Yu-MEAT" because she smells like her family's Korean barbecue restaurant. On the inside, Yumi is ready for her Netflix stand-up special. Her notebook is filled with mortifying memories that she's reworked into comedy gold. All she needs is a stage and courage.

Instead of spending the summer studying her favorite YouTube comedians, Yumi is enrolled in test-prep tutoring to qualify for a private school scholarship, which will help in a time of hardship at the restaurant. One day after class, Yumi stumbles on an opportunity that will change her life: a comedy camp for kids taught by one of her favorite YouTube stars. The only problem is that the instructor and all the students think she's a girl named Kay Nakamura--and Yumi doesn't correct them.

As this case of mistaken identity unravels, Yumi must decide to stand up and reveal the truth or risk losing her dreams and disappointing everyone she cares about." --

 

Willa of Dark Hollow | This is the sequel to Willa of The Woods and I was excited to get a early look at it from Netgalley. This story took me for a ride that's for sure. I wasn't sure I liked it until about half way through when things started to click into place and then I took a deep breath and everything was alright. My favorite is Willa's internal struggle with what is right and wrong. What's wrong to some people is right for others and who is to say which one is better? 

"The Great Smoky Mountains. 1901. Willa and her clan are the last of the Faeran, an ancient race of forest people who have lived in the mountains for as long as the trees have grown there. But as crews of newly arrived humans start cutting down great swaths of the forest she loves, Willa is helpless to stop them. How can she fight the destroyers of the forest and their powerful machines? When Willa discovers a mysterious dark hollow filled with strange and beautiful creatures, she comes to realize that it contains a terrifying force. Is unleashing these dangerous spirits the key to stopping the loggers? Willa must find a way to save the people and animals she loves and take a stand against an all-consuming darkness that threatens to destroy her world."

Beginners Welcome | Cindy Baldwin's books are so heartfelt and sweet while also talking some super big issues. 

"It’s been eighty-three days since Annie Lee’s daddy died, but she still sees reminders of him everywhere. His record player mysteriously plays his favorite songs, there’s shaving cream in the sink every morning, and the TV keeps flipping to the Duke basketball games he loved. She knows Mama notices it too, but Mama’s been working around the clock to make ends meet. To make matters worse, Annie Lee’s friends ditched her over the summer. She feels completely alone—until she meets Mitch.

Though Mitch is tough and confident on the outside, she may need a friend just as badly as Annie Lee. But after losing so much, Annie Lee is afraid to let anyone get too close. And Mitch isn’t the only friend trying to break through Annie Lee’s defenses. Ray, an elderly pianist who plays at a local mall, has been giving her piano lessons. His music is pure magic, and Annie Lee hopes it might be the key to healing her broken heart. But when Ray goes missing, searching for him means breaking a promise to Mitch.

Faced with once again losing those who mean the most to her, Annie Lee must make a choice: retreat back into her shell, or risk admitting how much she needs Mitch and Ray—even if it means getting hurt all over again."

The First Rule of Punk | We read this for our read aloud last month and the girls and I super enjoyed it. Made for a great read aloud. The chapters are fast paced. The fun zine illustration add that special something for both old and young readers. 

"There are no shortcuts to surviving your first day at a new school--you can't fix it with duct tape like you would your Chuck Taylors. On Day One, twelve-year-old Malú (Maria Luisa, if you want to annoy her) inadvertently upsets Posada Middle School's queen bee, violates the school's dress code with her punk rock look, and disappoints her college-professor mom in the process. Her dad, who now lives a thousand miles away, says things will get better as long as she remembers the first rule of punk: be yourself.

The real Malú loves rock music, skateboarding, zines, and Soyrizo (hold the cilantro, please). And when she assembles a group of like-minded misfits at school and starts a band, Malú finally begins to feel at home. She'll do anything to preserve this, which includes standing up to an anti-punk school administration to fight for her right to express herself!"


Nonfiction Books On My TBR

 

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