Thanksgiving Book Tag

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What better way to round out Blogsgiving other than the Thanksgiving Book Tag? Thanks for sticking around with me during Blogsgiving this week and I wish a Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers. Here are my answers to the Thanksgiving Book Tag:

  • Bread: What book is purely fluff and has no real plot line?

On the Fence

Kasie West’s books are always full of fluff and On the Fence is no exception! The plot line of On the Fence is similar to many other young adult books: a girl lives with popular, athletic older brothers, she wants to be more “girly,” and ends up falling for one of her brother’s friends. Despite its similarities to several other books, Kasie West always put her signature fun twist to make it a read you can’t put down! See my review for On the Fence here.

  • Turkey: What book made you want to fall asleep?

My Life with the Walter Boys (My Life with the Walter Boys #1)

I had high hopes for My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak, but was incredibly disappointed! This book was extremely long with cringe-worthy scenes or scenes that I’ve seen in countless other young adult novels. Unlike with Kasie West, who I enjoy despite the similarities to other young adult novels, I had to push through this book to finish it. Since I was so bored, I probably could have fallen asleep while reading it!

  • Gravy: What book makes the whole series worth reading?

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)

While I liked the To All the Boys I Loved Before series by Jenny Han, it never ranked as one of my favorites. I had mixed feelings towards the first two books, but decided to pick up the last book anyway because I wanted to read something cute and fluffy. I’m glad I decided to pick up this book because I absolutely loved it! You really see the growth of all the characters in this book and the plot is incredibly realistic and well done. Additionally, I noticed that many of the problems that I had with the first two books didn’t occur in this one. You can read my full review of this book here.

  • Stuffing: What book is stuffed with action scenes?

Crooked Kingdom (Six of Crows, #2)

After reading Six of Crows (which I loved) by Leigh Bardugo, I was unsure of how she could match how wonderful the first book was in this series in the sequel. However, I loved Crooked Kingdom even more than Six of Crows! This duology has non-stop action with so many twists and turns as a result of the shifting points of views. This duology has been one of my favorites of the year!

  • Mashed potatoes: What series looked good, but then wasn’t?

The Wrath and the Dawn (The Wrath and the Dawn, #1)

The Wrath and the Dawn wasn’t necessarily a bad book, however, it didn’t meet my expectations. While I liked the world that Renée Ahdieh built, I didn’t feel a connection to the characters or story line. While I can understand why other people enjoyed this book, I can’t see myself picking up the second book any time soon. See my full review of The Wrath and the Dawn here.

  • Cranberries: What book has the sweetest romance?

Jesse's Girl (Hundred Oaks)

For me, the books in The Hundred Oaks series by Miranda Kenneally can be hit-or-miss. However, I loved the romance in Jesse’s Girl! I thought the romance in this book was a little more well-developed than in some of her other books and I think the two main characters complimented each other well.

  • Corn: What is the corniest book you’ve ever read?

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Summer, #1)

This probably isn’t the corniest series that I’ve read but it’s definitely up there. The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han was published in 2009 and I can definitely tell. From the love triangle, to the main character lacking any emotion, to the drama straight out of a television show, this book is incredibly corny. See my full review of this series here.

  • Green Beans: What book is too long and needs to be shortened?

Winter (The Lunar Chronicles, #4)

Don’t get me wrong, The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is one of my favorite series. However, the length of this book was pretty ridiculous. At 827 pages, it was almost three hundred pages longer than the last installment and not much more happens within those pages. I felt like in this book characters were constantly being captured by Levana or narrowly escaping near death situations over and over that it ended up being a little repetitive and unnecessary. While I loved spending so much time with some of my favorite characters, I think this book would have been more successful if some unnecessary scenes were cut out. See all of my thoughts here.

  • Pumpkin Pie: What book do you read to get out of a reading slump?

Just Listen

I read Just Listen years ago, but it remains one of my favorite young adult books. I think it has a powerful story that is incredibly well-written. The characters and plot are so familiar to me and I know that I will love this book whenever I finish it. I always reach for this book when I find myself in a reading slump! See my review of Just Listen here.

  • Dog/Cat: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food that you would steal from the table? (Picture from Campbells)

Image result for green bean casserole

Even though mashed potatoes have been my front-runner from several years, green bean casserole is slowly working it’s way up to my favorite Thanksgiving food. My plate today will definitely be covered with a generous amount of green bean casserole!

 

Happy Blogsgiving!

Books that Feature Good Food

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One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving would have to be Thanksgiving dinner! I love food, especially the food served in the fall. Since Thanksgiving is a time where families celebrate what they are thankful for, I would like to include several books that feature good food. Here are my choices (any book with a review will be linked to the title):

  • Relish by Lucy Knisley

Relish: My Life in the Kitchen

This book is a memoir about the author’s experiences with food with her family and around the world. I’m not the most adventurous eater, but everything the author described in this book sounded amazing! Plus, the books includes recipes that you can try at home!

  • Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen

Saint Anything

One thing I miss about college is the pizza shop on the Main Street. It was delicious! The pizza in Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen sounds exactly like the pizza that I loved during college. I’m sure I would love it!

  • Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

Love & Gelato

I’m a huge fan of Italian food, so I loved reading about it Jenna Evan Welch’s book Love and Gelato. The gelato on the front isn’t even real, but it makes me want to try some real Italian gelato right now!

  • Forever and Always, Lara Jean by Jenny Han

Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)

Lara Jean is a great baker, but that isn’t why I included this book on the list. In this book, Lara Jean mentions The Cheese Shop, an actual shop in Williamsburg near William and Mary. I actually visited Williamsburg shortly after reading this book, so of course, I had to visit The Cheese Shop after Lara Jean’s recommendation. The vedict? I totally agree! The sandwiches, especially with The Cheese Shop’s special dressing, are amazing!

  • Heartless by Marissa Meyer

Heartless

In Heartless by Marissa Meyer, Cath bakes tons of amazing treats that I would love to try in real life. It definitely makes people wonder if the King really likes Cath or just what she bakes. Either way, I would love to see a bakery by Cath in real life!

 

What food mentioned in a book would you love to try?

Books that Feature Good Families

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During Thanksgiving, I always feel thankful for my family. In middle grade and young adult literature, I typically find that finding a good family to be thankful for can be few and far between (f they are shown at all). However, there are some supportive families across middle grade and young adult literature that I want to show some appreciation. Here are five of my favorite bookish families (any book with a review will be linked to the book’s title):

  • The Vanderbeeker family from The Vanderbeekers at 141st Street by Karina Yan Glaser

The Vanderbeekers of 141st Street

Even though I had mixed feelings towards this book, one aspect that I loved was the dynamic between the family members. Each member of this family possessed their own unique personality and they worked together to solve their problems. You could tell in this book each member of the family really cared about each other and helped each other recognize their individual strengths.

The Hate U Give

I think the Carter family would have to be one of my favorite families featured in a young adult novel of 2017. The Carter family faced a lot of adversity before the novel takes place and during the novel. However, they continue to support each other and make tough decisions for the best of the family. The relationships between Starr’s parents, Starr and her parents, and Starr and her siblings were depicted realistically.

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #1)

The Song family from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is the main reason that I loved this series. Every member of this family is different, however, they all support each other no matter how near or far away they may be. Additionally, the family in this book grows and changes throughout this series. All of these changes aren’t always easily welcomed, however, they eventually learn to accept another family member’s decisions and love them despite their differences.

Sophomore Year Is Greek to Me

I think my favorite aspect of this book would have to be Zona’s new relationship with her mother’s side of the family. While Zona only knew her father, a year abroad allowed her to meet family that she’s never met. Zona’s family is lively and fun with a lot of new family traditions for Zona to experience. I liked how the author showed the cultural differences between Zona and her father’s relationship compared to the dynamics of her other Greek family.

Wonder

I love the Pullman family from Wonder and how readers get to experience multiple family member’s perspectives in this book. Each family member is impacted by Auggie and it was interesting to see the exact way he impacted all of their lives.

 

What are some of your favorite families from books?

Thanksgiving Book Tag

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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in America! I thought the perfect way to wrap up Blogsgiving would be the Thanksgiving Book Tag. Here are my answers:

  • Bread: What book is purely fluff and has no real plot line?

Girl Online (Girl Online, #1)

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg focused too much on cute moments between the main character and her love interest, and as a result, the plot disappeared!

  • Turkey: What book made you want to fall asleep?

The Scorpio Races

I was really excited to read The Scorpio Races by Madde Stiefvater, but was extremely disappointed! I kept waiting for the action-packed race, but it was only several pages at the end. The anticipation for the race was probably the only reason that I kept reading because I was bored throughout the rest of the novel.

  • Gravy: What book makes the whole series worth reading?

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

I haven’t finished the entire series yet, so I can’t say for sure, but I love Cress the most so far in The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Cress and Thorne are by far my favorite couple in the series.

  • Stuffing: What book is stuffed full of action scenes?

An Ember in the Ashes (An Ember in the Ashes, #1)

An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir is full of action sequences! Since the characters are extremely brave and always in danger, they always take some major risks.

  • Mashed Potatoes: What book looked good, but then wasn’t good?

The Summer of Cotton Candy (Sweet Seasons, #1)

The Summer of Cotton Candy by Debbie Viguié looked good (literally) with a fun plot that took place in an amusement park. I was extremely let down, however, by the development of the main character and the lackluster romance.

  • Cranberries: What book has the sweetest romance?

Along for the Ride

I feel like I don’t talk about Auden and Eli in Along for the Ride by Sarah Dessen enough! Most of Sarah Dessen’s books feature sweet romances and Auden and Eli are no exception.

  • Corn: What is the corniest book that you’ve ever read?

My Lady Jane

My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows was full of corny jokes… and I loved all of them!

  • Green Beans: What book is too long and needs to be shortened?

Modelland

I read Modelland by Tyra Banks in high school. This definitely was not my favorite book, but I was determined to read all 700 pages of it. I read that the original manuscript was over 1,000 pages, so they already cut down a lot, but I think they needed to cut down a lot more!

  • Pumpkin Pie: What book do you read to get out of a reading slump?

Just Listen

To get out of a reading slump, I love rereading one of my favorite books. Just Listen by Sarah Dessen or Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins are too of my top choices!

  • Dog/Cat: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving food that you would steal from the table?

Image result for mashed potatoes

Mashed potatoes made by my grandma! Mashed potatoes from a restaurant or a package cannot compare to the mashed potatoes that she makes.

 

What are you doing on Thanksgiving Day?

Black Friday Book Deals

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Starting tomorrow night, stores everywhere in the United States will start their weekend deals, which means it is the perfect time to stock up on the books you’ve been eyeing all year! Here are the Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals offered by some major book retailers (I will update this post if more deals are added):

Barnes and Noble:

  • Signed Edition books (prices vary, see full list here)
  • NOOK Tablet 7″ ($49.99)
  • Samsung Galaxy Tab A NOOK 7″ ($99.99)
  • 25% off Star Wars Episode 7 Force FX Light Saber ($112.46, see here)
  • 25% off Star Wars Toys, Games, and Collectibles (prices vary, see full list here)
  • 25% off all Collectibles (prices vary, see full list here)
  • 30% off all magazines (in stores only)

Books-a-Million:

  • Unable to find an ad for this year. An old ad showed select merchandise on sale (including various NOOK models) and a gift with every $25 purchase.

Half Price Books:

  • 20% off everything
  • First 100 in line get a tote bag and $5 gift card (one tote bag will contain a $100 gift card)

Book Outlet:

  • 30% off their entire website (based on previous years)

Book Depository:

  • Select books discounted (prices vary, see complete list here)

Amazon:

  • Select books discounted (for more details, click here)
  • Amazon Fire 7″ ($33.33)
  • Amazon Fire Kids Edition ($74.99)
  • Amazon Kindle ($49.99)
  • Amazon Kindle for Kids Bundle ($69.99)
  • Amazon Kindle Paperwhite ($99.99)
  • Kindle Voyage ($169.99)

*Target has the same prices for the Amazon Fire 7″, Amazon Fire 7″ Kids Edition, and Amazon Kindle Paperwhite.

*Best Buy has the same price for the Amazon Fire 7″ tablet, but also has the Amazon Fire 8″ for $59.99.

*Staples has various models of the Kindle Fire on sale (see complete list here).

Target

  • 50% off books (not sure if it is only select books)

Comment below if you’ve spotted any more deals! 

 

 

 

Thank You Letter to My Favorite Authors

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Bre is a fashion and lifestyle blogger at The Queen Bre. She is a girl from the North with a heart for Lilly Pulitzer, shopping, and anything pink. She is also my twin sister.

 

To All My Favorite Authors—

Reading your books changed my life, and in the spirit of Thanksgiving, I want to thank you for all that you’ve done.

Thank you for giving me my best friends. They say that no matter how much time that you spend apart from your best friends, it will feel like nothing has changed when you get back together. That’s what I feel like when I open one of your books. Whether it’s been a few days or a few months or even a few years since I’ve your book, reading it again still makes me smile, laugh until I cry, or feel comforted.

Thank you for teaching me that I’m off to great places and that today is my day.

Thank you for giving me strong, female role models. Your books taught me that “I am smart, I am kind, I am important.” Katniss Everdeen taught me to fight for what’s right and to for what I believe in. Lola Nolan taught me to be myself, even if that means being different from everybody else. Mia Thermopolis taught me that anyone, even me, can be a princess.

Thank you for inspiring to write my own stories.

Thank you for helping me to travel our world and to enter new worlds. Whether I’m exploring Paris with Anna and St. Clair or fighting in the arena with Katniss and Peeta, your books take me to another time or place.

Thank you for challenging me to look at the world from someone else’s perspective.  

Thank you for helping me choose my future career. My love for reading your books turned into a love for encouraging other people to read your books which turned into me graduating college with a degree in English and with a Secondary Education certification. I will teach your books to my students with the hope that they will take away as much from your books as I did.

Love,

Bre

 

The Dog Breed Book Tag

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One of the things that I’m most thankful for would have to be my dog, Bolt. I thought doing the Dog Breed Book Tag created by Maggie at MassachusettsNovel. Here are my answers:

  • Golden Retriever: The Family Dog, a book character you would bring home to meet your family

Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)

I would definitely bring Cricket to meet my family! He’s nice, kind, and would be loved by anyone’s parents!

  • Pitbull: The Misunderstood, name a character you misjudged when first meeting

Auggie & Me: Three Wonder Stories

He’s no where near my favorite character, but I like how we got to understand Julian better in Auggie and Me. He definitely redeems himself at the end of his story in Auggie and Me.

  • Dalmatian: A book cover that is aesthetically pleasing to you

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars has become such an iconic cover and I think one of the reasons is that it is so aesthetically pleasing! I love the graphic quality and colors.

  • Lab: The Lovable, a book you think almost anyone can love

Just Listen

Just Listen is wonderfully written and incredibly deep. No matter how many books I read, this always ranks as one of my favorites.

  • Mutt: A book with a little bit of everything in it

The Hunger Games (The Hunger Games, #1)

The Hunger Games has action, romance, humor, and politics. It appeals to so many audiences, which is probably why it was so successful!

  • Dachshund: A long book that’s worth the read

The Unexpected Everything

The Unexpected Everything is pretty long for a contemporary book, but it’s definitely worth the time! Also, it features a lot of cute dogs.

  • Samoyed: A book you love that is full of fluff

The Princess Diaries (The Princess Diaries, #1)

Meg Cabot is the queen of fluff! My favorite series by Meg Cabot would have to be The Princess Diaries. Everyone can relate to Princess Mia!

  • Border Collie: A book that is a high energy read

Allegiant (Divergent, #3)

The Divergent series is very high energy (especially the Dauntless) and always keeps you on your toes! Even though Allegiant slightly disappointed me, I remember flying through these books.

  • Chinese Crested: A book that looks good naked

My Lady Jane

Without the jacket, My Lady Jane is pretty plain. However, I love the small horse detail on a royal purple background because it really ties in the story.

  • Your favorite literary pooch

Zora and the Greyhounds

Zora from Zora and the Greyhounds is adorable! Her determination and hard work is very admirable.

  • Your favorite dog(s)

My dog, Bolt, and my grandma’s dog, Molly are definitely my favorite dogs!

 

There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Turkey Review

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Gobble, gobble. Gobble, gobble. (That’s turkey for “not my favorite book!”).

In There was an Old Lady who Swallowed a Turkey by Lucille Colandro, the infamous Old Lady from the There was an Old Lady series is at it again. This time, she’s somehow digesting everything from a turkey to a float that would fit in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Compared to some of the other books in this series, this book was not my favorite. One of the main reasons is that I felt the rhythm of the book was slightly off and the ending went slightly off track from the traditional formula, but not in the most effective way. A major reason why these books are so successful is because the words just roll of the tongue. Saying the list of things that the old lady ate as quickly as possible makes the book even funnier. In this book, however, some of the phrases were slightly awkward and flowed less smoothly. The ending also didn’t follow the same scheme, which also threw me off.

Some of the items also do not relate as directly to the book’s Thanksgiving theme. Even though it all makes sense in the end, readers may be confused since some of the other holiday inspired books stay more on theme. For example, the old lady swallows a boat and tires. Even though this relates to the float at the end, there are many more theme-related objects that could have been put in their places.

One positive aspect of this book is that it is still as completely outrageous as the other books in this series. Children will laugh as the objects get bigger and bigger as the story moves along. In that sense, I really liked how the book stayed true to the rest of the series. Since many of my other points might not matter to the children actually reading the book, but this aspect does matter, I think staying true the outrageous quality of this series makes the book successful.

While I think this is a fun book to read with your family on Thanksgiving, it is definitely not my favorite in the series. I give this book three out of five stars.