Something Old, Something New (Cover Reboots!)

Confession time: the cover of a book really does influence what I think about it.

But that’s okay.

It’s just like the frosting on the cake influencing how you think of the cake, right? Or the wrapping paper heightening your excitement for the gift inside…

Book covers are probably my top visual art form. I collect my favorite covers on a Goodreads shelf (or in a computer file), browse through covers on Goodreads and at the library, and enjoy just how perfectly the cover goes with the book inside it.

Because 900% of the time, the book cover is pretty much perfect. Then there are just a few times where the cover gets a reboot and I suddenly realize that now it’s perfect.

Like with this series…

I loved the first cover (especially that bent paper corner ❤ ), but the new one is so much more on point for the genre, has the adorablest fonts, and I’m a fan of the drawn style.

Or like with this one…

…where I actually can’t decide between them and find both pretty perfect. 😀 I own the second of these two, especially since the sequel is adorable in that edition.

Today, I’m excited to share cover reboots for the first two books in The Chronicles of Alice and Ivy series by Kellyn Roth. Take a look at this. 😀

Editions #1, #2, and #3. Look at the difference!!

Seriously, I love this so much. 😀

When I first read The Dressmaker’s Secret three or four years ago, it was with the first edition cover. It’s super exciting to see how this series has evolved, especially since the new covers reflect updated insides too. 😀

So, what do I love most about the new covers?

The greenness! ❤ We need more green books, honestly.

The tagline. Wow.

People! I love covers with people on them.

I can guess right of the bat that it’s historical fiction now, so that’s a plus. 😀

It has a similar feel to the first book but at the same time, it’s all its own.

I can already feel how lonely the MC might be in this book just from looking at it.

There is ivy growing on the fence. Ivy, y’all.

***

They’re certainly pretty awesome. 😀 Congratulations to Kellyn on these lovely covers! Follow her blog for release dates and more book details. 😀

And tell me, do you have a favorite cover makeover?

Book Review: Fine Print

“Budding detective, Miss Madeline Brown, has gained quite the reputation for “meddling” in the circa 1900 city of Rockland. With two successful “cases” under her belt, it was only a matter of time before she found something new to interest her insatiable curiosity. 

This time, however, the “curiosity” found her. 

Challenged by Edward Gastrel, to prove her deductive prowess, Madeline embarks on riddling out the puzzle of a journal left to him by his grandfather. If she can decode the contents, the local gentleman may find himself in the possession of something quite valuable. 

As usual, however, things aren’t as they seem, and Madeline finds herself in a race against more than time and ambiguity.” (from Goodreads)

Kindle Unlimited is a dangerous thing. I gobbled up book three in just a few days. 

This one was quite the twisty mystery because there were two (or even three) intertwined mysteries between the treasure hunt, the secret passageways (?), and ascertaining Edward’s true character. I especially loved the treasure hunt, and Madeline and Russell were adorable with the blueprints. (Though they were adorable in general.) Their conversations about Bible reading and the Book of Ruth (Russell, your Knightley heart is showing) were very thought-provoking. 

While this mystery was less complicated/important than the first two, it really showed more of Madeline’s character growth, especially as she learned to trust her intuition and the concerns of those who loved her best. (Peters was a great side character, by the way.) And she turned her hand a little bit to matchmaking as well which is fun. XD 

Just a note, there are some allusions to a man SPOILER ALERT! being a playboy with a house floor plan to facilitate it, themed art, and inappropriate treatment of his employees. There were also some pretty lurid stories of his past crimes.

I lost all my highlights, but the banter was amazing as always. 😉

Altogether, I enjoyed this and was a happy “bookzombie” for a few days. 😉

I Love Duologies

I recently discovered just how much I love duologies (a.k.a. a two-book series). This very enthusiastic video by JessetheReader pretty much expresses my thoughts. 😉

Sensory warning: there are flashing letters right at the beginning and some similar things later. 😉

Two duology recommendations…

  1. Wires and Nerve/Gone Rogue by Marissa Meyer (fantastic, adventuresome graphic novels!)
  2. Beautiful Blue World/Threads of Blue by Suzanne LaFleur (currently re-reading as a buddy read, amazing books <3)

What do you think of duologies? Do you have any to recommend? (Hint, hint 😉 )

Book Review: The Girl Who Could See

“All her life Fern has been told she is blind to reality—but what if she is the only one who can truly see?

Fern Johnson is crazy. At least, that’s what the doctors have claimed since her childhood. Now nineteen, and one step away from a psych ward, Fern struggles to survive in bustling Los Angeles. Desperate to appear “normal,” she represses the young man flickering at the edge of her awareness—a blond warrior only she can see. 

Tristan was Fern’s childhood imaginary hero, saving her from monsters under her bed and outside her walls. As she grew up and his secret world continued to bleed into hers, however, it only caused catastrophe. But, when the city is rocked by the unexplainable, Fern is forced to consider the possibility that this young man isn’t a hallucination after all—and that the creature who decimated his world may be coming for hers.” (from Goodreads)

(Originally posted on Lilian’s blog as part of a very fun collab) 😉

First off, is it weird that I want to enlarge this cover and hang it up like a movie poster? Because I do. XD (And the birds, guys!!!)

I actually read this book twice in a row to get all my thoughts about it together. The first time I read it, I was pretty keyed up from something unrelated to the book plus the SUSPENSE that is this story that I felt like I definitely missed some things, so I read it again to get all the richness. 😉

Wow. 

Fern was a very interesting character in that she was so normal. It sounds weird, but I mean that she wasn’t super rebellious or brilliant or skilled at anything in particular. She could have been you or I. I especially liked how she was doing her best to take care of Elinore. ❤ That was super sweet and showed her strong inner character. Also, I need more heroines with untamable hair, because that is the most relatable thing ever. XD 

All of her banter with Tristan was hilarious! I loved the easy way they talked with each other, even when she was trying to get him to go away. 😉 Honestly, I think “Plant Girl” is the most adorable nickname, and I’m gonna start calling him “Post-Apocalyptic Macho-Man”. (I definitely do ship it, guys. And I appreciated how appropriate and sweet everything stayed.)

The worldbuilding was really fascinating. Talk about a very, very destroyed world. O.o. Some of that and a certain aspect of the plotline were reminding me a little of one of my favorite Doctor Who episodes. 😉 Between the world-jumping, (intense) flashbacks, and a time skip, it could get confusing sometimes, but I followed (at least on my second read-through). 😉

The FBI agent Barstow was an interesting and competent side character. I like what ended up happening with him. 

Okay, but the spiritual themes! O.o. I understood them sooo much stronger the second time, and I was tearing up a bit at certain parts. 😉 Something that really hit me near the beginning was how easy it was for Elinore to believe in Tristan, and how Fern needed to go back to the trust and belief she had as a child. Definitely a message to us young adults who have begun to experience the world that calls us crazy for our beliefs. And the theme of a valuing love that sets people free. And Tristan’s reply to Fern’s question at the end. So amazing. I’m trying not to spoil anything, but I loved it. 😉

Just a note, some of the post-apocalyptic situation and medical details (including children) could be disturbing to young children. Some of the descriptions of wounds/blood got to be a little too much for me, personally, at times. Also, one redacted swear word and a slang phrase were used.

(All the best quotes are spoilers. Sorry, guys. Just read it.)

Altogether, I’m glad I tried this book, and I very much enjoyed the sci-fi-ness and the allegorical themes. 😉 I definitely want to try this author’s Peter Pan inspired book when it comes out, and I want her to write something Nutcracker-ish next. A girl can dream, right? 😉

A Fangirly, Suprisingly-Thoughtful-y Vlog with Anna

Last Saturday, Anna and I filmed an amazingly long vlog of us discussing twelve books and their movies. 😉 It was a ton of goofy fun!

Some of my favorites we discussed include The Man Who Invented Christmas (with A Christmas Carol), The Book Thief, and The Giver, but I love them all. 😉

You can catch part two on Anna’s blog tomorrow or on her YouTube channel. 😉

Enjoy! 😀

Which of these book/movie pairings are your favorite?

The 5 Stages of Finishing a Book

Hello, this is Dr. Kate the Booknerd Psychologist.

I’m here to educate you today about the five stages of finishing a book. You may experience these in a definite order or as a mixture of emotions, scientifically known as “feels”.

These feels are universal in the bookworm world and are nothing to be ashamed of. It can be helpful, however, to be able to identify the specific feel you are experiencing at the moment in order to identify where you are in the cycle of finishing a book and determine when you will be able to move on to another book.

Let’s get started!

  1. Denial. Denial is often exhibited by slowly closing the book, staring up at the wall, and opening the book again. Some catchphrases for this feel are “It can’t be over!” and “Did I skip some pages?”
  2. Anger. While levels of anger may vary from bookworm to bookworm, the spoken words are usually very similar. “Aaarrghhh. I always read too fast, don’t I?”
  3. Bargaining. “How much more can I spend on books today?” “I need the next one, pronto.” A return to the feel of anger is imminent if there is no projected sequel or if the sequel is being released in more than two weeks.
  4. Depression. If left untreated, this feel may cause a longterm reading slump, but regular levels include re-reading favorite scenes and copying down quotes from the book. Depressed bookworms will often say, “There will never be another book as good.”
  5. Acceptance. This final stage of finishing a book allows the bookworm to move on to their next read. It is usually evidenced by the bookworm removing the book from under their pillow and returning it to the shelf (or library) and possibly even loaning it to a trustworthy friend.

It is my hope that this blog post will help you identify and possibly work through your feels as you live your bookworm life. And remember, the best books are those that are gone but not forgotten.

***

Note: This post is meant as a parody of the five stages of grief as experienced by fangirls. It is not meant to be real medical advice or make fun of anyone’s grief.

Book Review: The Case of the Very Bad Cat

“I’m Mia. 
I know how to write. 
Why’s that a big deal? 
Because… I’m a cat.” 

After nearly being discovered by the scientists from Caput Laboratories and having to fake her own death, Mia has been lying low. As Christmas approaches, she gets herself temporarily adopted by College-Guy, also known as Tommy. 

Something is afoot in the neighborhood, though, and when Mia is accused of leaving dead mice and birds on the neighbors’ doorstep, she’s determined to get to the bottom of it. But even the mystery isn’t what it seems. 

Will Mia be able to solve the case of the Very Bad Cat? Will she be able to return home so Keith doesn’t spend Christmas all alone?” (from Goodreads)

After the sadness (and hopefulness) that was the end of book three, I’m so glad I had this one on hand. (#accidentalKUforthewin) 😀 I loved the Christmas setting. It added a special feeling to everything, especially the mystery. 😉 One of my absolute favorite parts was when Mia watched “The Nativity Story” with her temporary person, Tommy. (Who, by the way, is the most adorable character to walk the pages of a book. He must return–with coffee.) I love that movie to pieces, but even more, I love what it presents and I was happy to see a snippet of that in there. 😉 Mia’s undercover texting with Keith was hilarious (as always) and super cool. (Is it weird that I was in mortal terror of her battery dying the entire time? XD) And there is no way that ending could have been better. ❤

Best quote: “Despite its prevalence among fictional detectives, pretending to be dead was no fun.”

“Okay,” he said, rubbing his eyes with one hand and then opening them finally. I waited for more of his sentence, but it was apparently just a statement that he agreed to the idea of the day beginning. 

Altogether, I enjoyed this and need the next book pronto. 😀

Books with Friends

I love books, but even more, I love the community that can build around them. Shared stories, each seen in a slightly different light, to be discussed and loved or hated forever. 😉

A while ago, I wrote a blog post about how my friends help me find good books, but lately I’ve been realizing how books themselves have helped me grow good friendships.

A few weeks ago, my mom finished reading aloud The Vanderbeekers and the Hidden Garden, a contemporary book about a family very much like ours. We enjoyed all the inside jokes about big family life and the bond the group of siblings shared. And we bonded together as siblings during read aloud sessions of this book and the first one. 😉

Last week, I finished buddy-reading Beautiful Blue World with my email friend Mikayla. We’re planning to have a Skype sometime this week so we can fangirl together in realtime. 😉 This book (and it’s sequel) was one of the first favorites we’ve shared, and we learned so much more about each other while discussing it.

I finished reading Lightporter (a humorous superhero book) aloud to one of my middle sisters sometime last week as well. It gave us our own “thing” to do together, and we’ve had a lot of fun fangirling, speculating, and laughing over this series. (And we’re eagerly awaiting book three. 😉 )

Over the years, I’ve shared many books with my family, and more lately I’ve branched out to buddy reading with friends. I can’t wait to see the relationships that form or strengthen through shared stories. ❤

My Bookshelf Had a Growth Spurt

I did a thing this week. 😀

Winston Hedgehog loves his new home.

My sisters and I decided to rearrange our room, and one of the perks included a larger bookshelf for me. (Answer to prayer!) If you remember from my bookshelf tour, I used to have a total of two shelves on a bookcase and a tote that I fondly called “The Vault”. This is definitely a step up and will allow me have some more room on my desk since I won’t have to store books there too. XD

On the top shelf, Anna and I put our journals and notebooks, the next three shelves are my books in semi-chronological order, and the last one is my physical TBR. 😉

Making this switch was a pretty big enterprise, but I got a lot of help from my sisters which I was grateful for. 😉 (Though I did pass my mom in the hall with a huge stack of books and inform her I was doubting my life choices. XD ) And this time I was able to leave a little bit of space on each shelf so I can add some new friends or at least not bend the old ones putting them back on. XD

I’m so happy to have them all displayed and available. ❤

Book Review: Found

“Thirteen-year-old Jonah has always known that he was adopted, and he’s never thought it was any big deal. Then he and a new friend, Chip, who’s also adopted, begin receiving mysterious letters. The first one says, ‘You are one of the missing.’ The second one says, ‘Beware! They’re coming back to get you.’

Jonah, Chip, and Jonah’s sister, Katherine, are plunged into a mystery that involves the FBI, a vast smuggling operation, an airplane that appeared out of nowhere – and people who seem to appear and disappear at will. The kids discover they are caught in a battle between two opposing forces that want very different things for Jonah and Chip’s lives.

Do Jonah and Chip have any choice in the matter? And what should they choose when both alternatives are horrifying?” (from Goodreads)

If you ever can’t find me in a crowd, just say “this book has timey wimey and pro-life themes” and I will come running like I’m traveling with the Doctor.

I’ve begun to count on Margaret Peterson Haddix to deliver these themes, and this book was no exception. 

The sibling loyalty and sleuthing were my favorites, and I loved that super suspenseful first scene. O.o. Also, I’m a fan of a certain mysterious janitor. XD 

The whole “missing from history” concept was one thing I was most excited about, and I loved the little bit we got in this book. (And I hear there’s more in the rest of the series. 😀 )

Altogether, this was a fun, intriguing read. 😉 I may continue with this series in the future.