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May 24, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

The Fashion Committee by Susan Juby • May 23, 2017 • Viking Books for Young Readers (Penguin)
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Charlie Dean is a style-obsessed girl who eats, sleeps, and breathes fashion. John Thomas-Smith is a boy who forges metal sculptures in his garage and couldn’t care less about clothes. Both are gunning for a scholarship to the private art high school that could make all their dreams come true. Whoever wins the fashion competition will win the scholarship–and only one can win.

Told in the alternating voices of Charlie’s and John’s journals, this hilarious and poignant YA novel perfectly captures what it’s like to have an artistic drive so fierce that nothing–not your dad’s girlfriend’s drug-addicted ex-boyfriend, a soul-crushing job at Salad Stop, or being charged with a teensy bit of kidnapping–can stand in your way.

With black and white art custom-created by fashion and beauty illustrator Soleil Ignacio, the book is a collector’s item, perfect for anyone with a passion for fashion.

myreview

I received this book for free from Penguin for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “I know I probably don’t have to hand this diary in, but if anyone asks for it, I would like it to be wonderfully comprehensive.”

Meet two polar opposites:

  • Charlie Dean: Lives and breathes fashion, frequently incorporates French words into her vocabulary (which she learned from Google Translate), is a loner because of the way she dresses, has an addict of a father who’s trying to stay sober.
  • John-Thomas Smith: Loves to work with metal, doesn’t care about clothing and looks down at this art form, has two friends—Barbra and Booker—who don’t seem to want to grow up.

What do these two have in common? A desire to, one day, attend Green Pastures Academy of Art and Applied Design, a prestigious art school that will set them up for life. These two will compete in a fashion competition to win the coveted scholarship, and learn about what they’re capable of doing if they set their minds to it. 

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May 7, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

And We’re Off by Dana Schwartz • May 2, 2017 • Razorbill (Penguin)
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Seventeen-year-old Nora Holmes is an artist, a painter from the moment she could hold a brush. She inherited the skill from her grandfather, Robert, who’s always nurtured Nora’s talent and encouraged her to follow her passion. Still, Nora is shocked and elated when Robert offers her a gift: an all-expenses-paid summer trip to Europe to immerse herself in the craft and to study history’s most famous artists. The only catch? Nora has to create an original piece of artwork at every stop and send it back to her grandfather. It’s a no-brainer: Nora is in!

Unfortunately, Nora’s mother, Alice, is less than thrilled about the trip. She worries about what the future holds for her young, idealistic daughter and her opinions haven’t gone unnoticed. Nora couldn’t feel more unsupported by her mother, and in the weeks leading up to the trip, the women are as disconnected as they’ve ever been. But seconds after saying goodbye to Alice at the airport terminal, Nora hears a voice call out: “Wait! Stop! I’m coming with you!”

myreview

I received this book for free from Penguin for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “Stop it, Nora. You have more self-control than this.”

What can go wrong when you have an all-expenses-paid European trip and are headed to the Donegal Colony for Young Artists (DCYA) in Ireland? For Nora, nothing goes her way.

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April 12, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life by Benjamin Alire Sáenz • March 7, 2017 • Clarion Books (HMH Books)
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The first day of senior year: Everything is about to change.

Until this moment, Sal has always been certain of his place with his adoptive gay father and their loving Mexican-American family. But now his own history unexpectedly haunts him, and life-altering events force him and his best friend, Samantha, to confront issues of faith, loss, and grief.

Suddenly Sal is throwing punches, questioning everything, and discovering that he no longer knows who he really is—but if Sal’s not who he thought he was, who is he?

myreview

I received this book for free from Clarion Books for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “I have a memory that is almost like a dream: the yellow leaves from Mima’s mulberry tree are floating down from the sky like giant snowflakes.”

Love.

I can only describe The Inexplicable Logic of My Life as being full of love. The kind of love that is so pure and that you’d want to keep that feeling with you forever and forever. That is this book for me. Everybody is brimming with love for each other, and I love that. It makes my heart soar.

The Inexplicable Logic of My Life is a slice of life into the beauty family that Salvador Silva has and makes for himself.

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April 5, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

Geekerella by Ashley Poston • April 4, 2017 • Quirk Books
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Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad’s old costume), Elle’s determined to win…unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons—before he was famous. Now they’re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake—until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

myreview

I received this book for free from Quirk Books for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “The stepmonster is at it again.”

What do you get when you cross fandom + cosplay + Cinderella retelling? Geek heaven! Better known as Geekerella!

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March 24, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains by Jon Morris • March 28, 2017 • Quirk Books
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Meet the lesser of all evils!

Every hero needs a villain. But not all villains are dangerous–some are incompetent, comical, or just . . . weird.

In his follow-up to The League of Regrettable Superheroes, author Jon Morris presents over a hundred of the strangest, most stupefying supervillains to ever see print in comics. Meet D-list rogues like Brickbat (choice of weapon: poisonous bricks), Robbing Hood (steals from the poor to give to the rich), Swarm (a crook made of bees; Nazi bees), and many more. Drawing on the entire history of the medium, The Legion of Regrettable Supervillains affectionately and hilariously profiles oddball criminals from the history of comics.

myreview

I received this book for free from Quirk Books for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “What good is a superhero without a decent supervillain?”

We all remember villains like the Joker, Red Skull, Magneto, and Scarecrow. However, not all villains in superhero comics are gonna be a hit. Comics go through many villains—good and bad ones—and many of them have been forgotten or ignored. The League of Regrettable Supervillains showcases the D-list strangest super villains you have never heard of, and when you read about them, you’ll understand why they are rarely remembered.

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March 16, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

Love, Ish by Karen Rivers • March 14, 2017 • Algonquin Young Readers
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Things Mischa “Ish” Love will miss when she goes to Mars: lying on the living room floor watching TV, ice cream, her parrot Buzz Aldrin. Things Ish Love will not miss when she goes to Mars: mosquitoes, heat waves, missing her former best friend Tig.

Ish is convinced that she’ll be one of the first settlers on Mars. She’s applied to—and been rejected from—the Mars Now project forty-seven times, but the mission won’t leave for ten years and Ish hasn’t given up hope. She also hasn’t given up hope that Tig will be her best friend again (not that she’d ever admit that to anyone, least of all herself). When Ish collapses on the first day of seventh grade, she gets a diagnosis that threatens all her future plans. As Ish fights cancer, she dreams in vivid detail about the Martian adventures she’s always known she’d have—and makes unexpected discoveries about love, fate, and her place in the vast universe.

myreview

I received this book for free from Algonquin Young Readers for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

First sentence: “As a planet, the Earth is mostly OK, I guess. “

All Mischa “Ish” Love has ever thought about is going to Mars. Sure, she’s gonna miss her family and her parrot Buzz Aldrin, but it’s Mars! Ish and her best friend, Tig, have discussed this Mars dream for years; she’s applied to the Mars Now project and rejected so many times she can’t count it on her hands. Despite the rejections and people’s non-believing reactions to her Mars dream, she’s not gonna give up. Ish will go to Mars.

But what happens when an unexpected diagnosis throws a wrench in her future plans?

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