Archive for April, 2016


April 21, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

The Land of 10,000 Madonnas by Kate Hattemer • April 19, 2016 • Knopf (Random House)
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Five teens backpack through Europe to fulfill the mysterious dying wish of their friend.

Jesse lives with his history professor dad in a house covered with postcards of images of the Madonna from all over the world. They’re gotten used to this life: two motherless dudes living among thousands of Madonnas. But Jesse has a heart condition that will ultimately cut his life tragically short. Before he dies, he arranges a mysterious trip to Europe for his three cousins, his best friend, and his girlfriend to take after he passes away. It’s a trip that will forever change the lives of these young teens and one that will help them come to terms with Jesse’s death.


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

First sentence: “My dad! 

When someone asks you to fulfill their dying wish, you do it. For five teens, they do just that. When Jesse Serrano dies from his heart condition, his death propels the five teens—three cousins, a best friend, and a girlfriend—into an adventure of a lifetime through Europe that Jesse had arranged for them.

Last wish of Jesse Serrano: To find his mother who had left him when he was younger. At least, that’s what the five teenagers think that’s the point of this journey. No, part of the purpose has to with Madonna (not the pop singer) and to learn to live without Jesse.

What are the 10,000 MadonnasThe Madonnas in this book refer to the paintings representing Mary either alone or with baby Jesus.

Growing up, Jesse’s life has been surrounded by these Madonna paintings because his dad is a professor and art historian of Religious Arts. You get references to Raphael’s Madonnas and various different Madonnas like Michaelangelo’s Pietà, which I liked seeing because art = awesome.

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April 20, 2016 • Cee • Discussion

Who screams for villains? We do!

Mishma at Chasing Faerytales is hosting an awesome week long celebration for Villains called Nefarious Tales! That’s right, we are celebrating villains because villains are awesome. There’s a bunch of awesome posts—from lists of favorite and least favorite villains to discussions of why we love villains. Villains, villains, villains!

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April 18, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here

Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here by Anna Breslaw • April 19, 2016 • Razorbill (Penguin)
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Meet Scarlett Epstein, BNF (Big Name Fan) in her online community of fanfiction writers, world-class nobody at Melville High. Her best (read: only) IRL friends are Avery, a painfully shy and annoyingly attractive bookworm, and Ruth, her pot-smoking, possibly insane seventy-three-year-old neighbor.

When Scarlett’s beloved TV show is canceled and her longtime crush, Gideon, is sucked out of her orbit and into the dark and distant world of Populars, Scarlett turns to the fanfic message boards for comfort. This time, though, her subjects aren’t the swoon-worthy stars of her fave series—they’re the real-life kids from her high school. Scarlett never considers what might happen if they were to find out what she truly thinks about them…until a dramatic series of events exposes a very different reality than Scarlett’s stories, forever transforming her approach to relationships—both online and off.


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

First sentence: “This is one of the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write. “

You can call me a BNF (Big Name Fan) of Scarlett Epstein Hates It Here because holy awesomeness, this book is funny and a huge delight! It spoke to my teenager self about all the love for fanfiction.

Obsessed with a supernatural teen drama (think of tropes that come with the Chosen one stories mixed with typical teen dramas), Scarlett Epstein started writing fanfiction, and when her beloved show ends, what does she do? Well, what else can you do but write fanfiction involving people you know in real life!

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April 17, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

wink poppy midnight

Wink Poppy Midnight by April Genevieve Tucholke • March 22, 2016 • Dial Books (Penguin)
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Every story needs a hero.
Every story needs a villain.
Every story needs a secret.

Wink is the odd, mysterious neighbor girl, wild red hair and freckles. Poppy is the blond bully and the beautiful, manipulative high school queen bee. Midnight is the sweet, uncertain boy caught between them. Wink. Poppy. Midnight. Two girls. One boy. Three voices that burst onto the page in short, sharp, bewitching chapters, and spiral swiftly and inexorably toward something terrible or tricky or tremendous.

What really happened?
Someone knows.
Someone is lying.


First sentence: “The first time I slept with Poppy, I cried.”

If you ask me to describe Wink Poppy Midnight, I can only tell you two things: 1. it’s weird and 2. ?????????????????. I am incapable of deciding whether this very atmospheric book is something I like or not, and that is a pretty special book.

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April 14, 2016 • Cee • Comics

Comic Firsts

Comic Firsts, a feature where I talk about the first issues of comics that I’ve bought, received, or borrowed. It’s all about first impressions, what I like or didn’t like about the issue, and whether I would keep reading it beyond the first issue.

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April 12, 2016 • Cee • Reviews

A Fierce and Subtle Poison

A Fierce and Subtle Poison by Samantha Mabry • April 12, 2016 • Algonquin Books for Young Readers
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Everyone knows the legends about the cursed girl–Isabel, the one the señoras whisper about. They say she has green skin and grass for hair, and she feeds on the poisonous plants that fill her family’s Caribbean island garden. Some say she can grant wishes; some say her touch can kill.

Seventeen-year-old Lucas lives on the mainland most of the year but spends summers with his hotel-developer father in Puerto Rico. He’s grown up hearing stories about the cursed girl, and he wants to believe in Isabel and her magic. When letters from Isabel begin mysteriously appearing in his room the same day his new girlfriend disappears, Lucas turns to Isabel for answers–and finds himself lured into her strange and enchanted world. But time is running out for the girl filled with poison, and the more entangled Lucas becomes with Isabel, the less certain he is of escaping with his own life.


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

First sentence: “The house at the end of the street is full of bad air.”

Legends tell of a girl with green skin and grass for hair who feeds on poisonous plants, grant wishes, and can kill with a touch. Are these legends really true?

Well, you’ll find out in A Fierce and Subtle Poison.

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