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June 9, 2017 • Cee • Reviews

Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley • June 6, 2017 • Knopf Books for Young Readers (Random House)
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Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.

myreview

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: “I open my eyes at midnight to the sound of the ocean and my brother’s breathing. “

How do you not fall in love with a book that’s a love letter to, well, books? For a book reader, it’s hard.

What you get in Words in Deep Blue are: an ode to books, characters who are constantly surrounded by books and see love bloom in front of their eyes, a love of Prufrock, letters being exchanged between pages, a childhood friends becoming more, a loss that upends an entire world, and Australian lit that will make you yearn for more.

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May 26, 2017 • Cee • Comics

The Sand Warrior (5 Worlds #1) by Mark Siegel, Alexis Siegel, Zanthe Bouma, Matt Rockefeller, & Boya Sun • May 2, 2017 • Random House Books for Young Readers
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The Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction unless five ancient and mysterious beacons are lit. When war erupts, three unlikely heroes will discover there’s more to themselves—and more to their worlds—than meets the eye. . . .

• The clumsiest student at the Sand Dancer Academy, Oona Lee is a fighter with a destiny bigger than she could ever imagine.
• A boy from the poorest slums, An Tzu has a surprising gift and a knack for getting out of sticky situations.
• Star athlete Jax Amboy is beloved by an entire galaxy, but what good is that when he has no real friends?

When these three kids are forced to team up on an epic quest, it will take not one, not two, but 5 WORLDS to contain all the magic and adventure!

myreview

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.

When the Five Worlds are on the brink of extinction, what are three young kids—a clumsy sand dancer, a kid from the poorest slums, and an all-star athlete—gonna do? Well, just about anything to save their beloved homes.

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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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