Review: i love this part – Tillie Walden


i love this part – Tillie Walden

i love this part

Title: i love this part

Author: Tillie Walden

Release Date: November 13, 2015

Publisher: Avery Hill Publishing Limited

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 68

Source: Public Library

“Two girls in a small town in the USA kill time together as they try to get through their days at school.

They watch videos, share earbuds as they play each other songs and exchange their stories. In the process they form a deep connection and an unexpected relationship begins to develop.

In her follow up to the critically acclaimed The End of Summer, Tillie Walden tells the story of a small love that can make you feel like the biggest thing around, and how it’s possible to find another person who understands you when you thought no-one could.”

3 out of 5 stars


This was a super short graphic novel that I found my public library. I picked it up because the art style looked simplistic and beautiful. I needed a break from studying for my finals, so I read this :)

This story follows two teenage girls who start as friends and eventually start to fall for each other. The characters aren’t explained and there isn’t much to them, but it’s easy to feel their struggles of being part of the LGBTQ+ community. One girl is African American, I believe, and the other is caucasian. They start their relationship and you see them develop through texts and short single lines of text.

I think this would be great if there was more to it. There wasn’t much explanation and there wasn’t a ton of dialogue, so it was hard to connect with the characters. I think it was a cute story, but I wish there was more detail. My favorite part of this was the art style because it was so simple, and it meshed people with architecture beautifully. The whole book is in black, white, grey, and purple which is a BEAUTIFUL color scheme. I thoroughly enjoyed reading through because of the art style.

Review: Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew #13) – Carolyn Keene


Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew #13) – Carolyn Keene

Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #13)

Title: Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew #13)

Author: Carolyn Keene

Release Date: 1974

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 179

Source: TBR Shelf

Nancy determines whether an exquisite ivory elephant charm really protects its wearer from harm during her investigation of a circus performer who may be involved in a mysterious illegal scheme. The girl detective’s assignment becomes complicated when the elephant trainer’s young assistant seeks refuge at the Drew home from his cruel foster father. While following clues to help the boy find his real father, Nancy discovers an eerie abandoned house. As she probes, Nancy’s dangerous enemies thwart her efforts to discover a secret surrounding the unusual ivory charm.

3 out of 5 stars


I was just in the mood for something light and fun, so I picked up this Nancy Drew book. I’ve always loved this series, and it blows my mind that I didn’t read all of them when I was younger. I know that I went to my library and just picked out random ones that sounded interesting to me, so I’ve read quite a few of them, but never in order.

This book followed Nancy and her mystery crew to the circus. They went to this circus show and then found this little boy named Rishi who was being abused by his father Rai. They were part of the circus. Rishi followed Nancy home and ended up staying with her to get away from his father. The whole mystery deals with a secret passageway, a crazy house, and an Indian prince.

Overall I thought this was a pretty average Nancy Drew mystery. It didn’t really go anywhere, so I found myself to be kind of bored throughout it. I enjoyed Rishi because he’s just cute, but there wasn’t really anything special that happened.

I will always love George, Bess, and Ned, so it always makes me happy when they’re part of the stories. I love Ned and Nancy together because they’re just so dang cute. I thought there were a lot of unnecessary characters thrown into this book, though. Too many characters with different and random back stories.

I wanted to see the woman go to jail and get punished, but nothing really happened with her. I love this series and can’t wait to finish the ones that I have at home :)

Series:

Password to Larkspur Lane (Nancy Drew #10)

The Clue of the Broken Locket (Nancy Drew #11)

The Mystery of the Fire Dragon (Nancy Drew #38)

Review: James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra – Colm McElwain


James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra – Colm McElwain

James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra

Title: James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra

Author: Colm McElwain

Release Date: March 21, 2012

Publisher: Matador

Format: eBook

Page Number: 257

Source: Author

As an infant, James Clyde was deposited at a children’s home by his wounded, blood-soaked grandfather. As a result, he grows up under a cloud of mystery. Eleven years later when he hears about his strange past, he vows to uncover the truth. But before he can, his grandfather hands him a magical and mysterious diamond of Orchestra. With the aid of his friends, Ben and Mary Forester, James must protect the diamond from evil forces.

Soon, however, their lives are in grave danger. They are being hunted by a sinister man dressed in black and his blood-thirsty army. Outnumbered, James finds he must use the power of the diamond to escape their clutches – or become another victim of their murderous quest.

2 out of 5 stars


Huge thank you to Colm McElwain for sending me a copy of his book!

James Clyde finds out he is the ruler of the mysterious land called Orchestra. He has to find out how to save his people from the bad people of Darken. With his best friends he finds himself in a little bit of a predicament…

I think the idea for this book was quite cool, and it was a very fast read! I really enjoyed the relationships between the friends; I found them to be touching and fun to read. :)

I think something that turned me away from this book was the fact that it seemed very young. The writing seemed to be targeted towards a much younger audience, which I’m sure it was intended to be, but I didn’t seem invested in the story as much as I would have liked to be.

There were a lot of characters for such a short book. I felt confused by the character names throughout parts of this book, and wish there would have been a little more character development by the end. I enjoyed reading about the characters that were more explained.

The world was confusing, and I wish I had more information on James’ grandfather figure. He seemed like such an interesting man and it would have been nice to have a little background on him.

I also wanted to know more about the diamonds! I think it was such a cool idea, but I just felt like I didn’t know enough about them to fully understand the depth of the plot. There were three magical diamonds that controlled the world, but they weren’t explained.

Overall I found this to be enjoyable, but wish it would have had more description and a little more character development. I think that a younger reader would enjoy this more than I did.

Thanks again to Colm McElwain!

Review: Yes Please – Amy Poehler


Yes Please – Amy Poehler

Yes Please

Title: Yes Please

Author: Amy Poehler

Release Date: October 28, 2014

Publisher: Dey Street Books

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 329

Source: Book Club Pick

Do you want to get to know the woman we first came to love on Comedy Central’s Upright Citizens Brigade? Do you want to spend some time with the lady who made you howl with laughter on Saturday Night Live, and in movies like Baby Mama, Blades of Glory, and They Came Together? Do you find yourself daydreaming about hanging out with the actor behind the brilliant Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation? Did you wish you were in the audience at the last two Golden Globes ceremonies, so you could bask in the hilarity of Amy’s one-liners?

If your answer to these questions is “Yes Please!” then you are in luck. In her first book, one of our most beloved funny folk delivers a smart, pointed, and ultimately inspirational read. Full of the comedic skill that makes us all love Amy, Yes Please is a rich and varied collection of stories, lists, poetry (Plastic Surgery Haiku, to be specific), photographs, mantras and advice. With chapters like “Treat Your Career Like a Bad Boyfriend,” “Plain Girl Versus the Demon” and “The Robots Will Kill Us All” Yes Please will make you think as much as it will make you laugh. Honest, personal, real, and righteous, Yes Please is full of words to live by.

2 out of 5 stars


I feel like you really have to love Amy Poehler to love this book. I’ve never watched anything with her other than a few SNL skits, so I don’t know her as an actress or comedian. I feel like a hard-core Parks and Recreation fan would LOVE this.

I listened to 3/4 of this on audiobook, and it was definitely a lot easier to get through than just reading it on your own. I think her voice was nice to listen to, but one thing I really didn’t like was the fact that the audiobook and the paperback were different.

Not wildly different with completely different pages or even paragraphs, but some words were different and some facts did not match up. Why did this happen? Doesn’t an audiobook come out close to publication of the physical book? Because they should be the same. I don’t know if this is something petty to be complaining about but what can you do.

I think Amy was trying wayyyyy too hard through a lot of this. Just some of the wording she uses made me actually cringe. Again, I don’t know if this is how she talks normally in skits and her TV show, but I was not here for it. It’s just not my kind of humor. I don’t like sex jokes and I don’t find them funny. There were a lot of sex references in this book that seemed too out of it.

I didn’t hate this book, and I thought some parts were okay, but I just don’t think I’m a huge fan. I read this book for book club because we picked a memoir, and people didn’t want anything really substantial, so this came up. I was not looking forward to it just because I didn’t know ANYTHING about Amy Poehler.

I think she is a perfectly nice woman and she’s done some amazing and beautiful things, but I’m just not on board for everything. I feel weird giving someone’s life story a 2/5 stars, but it was mostly just for writing style. Again, I actually cringed when I heard her reading parts of this…

Review: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic – Alison Bechdel


Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic – Alison Bechdel

Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Title: Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic

Author: Alison Bechdel

Release Date: June 8, 2006

Publisher: Mariner

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 234

Source: Bestie

A fresh and brilliantly told memoir from a cult favorite comic artist, marked by gothic twists, a family funeral home, sexual angst, and great books.

This breakout book by Alison Bechdel is a darkly funny family tale, pitch-perfectly illustrated with Bechdel’s sweetly gothic drawings. Like Marjane Satrapi’s Persepolis, it’s a story exhilaratingly suited to graphic memoir form.

Meet Alison’s father, a historic preservation expert and obsessive restorer of the family’s Victorian home, a third-generation funeral home director, a high school English teacher, an icily distant parent, and a closeted homosexual who, as it turns out, is involved with his male students and a family babysitter. Through narrative that is alternately heartbreaking and fiercely funny, we are drawn into a daughter’s complex yearning for her father. And yet, apart from assigned stints dusting caskets at the family-owned “fun home,” as Alison and her brothers call it, the relationship achieves its most intimate expression through the shared code of books.

When Alison comes out as homosexual herself in late adolescence, the denouement is swift, graphic — and redemptive.

5 out of 5 stars


I was blown away by this comic/graphic memoir. I was really impressed and even though it was not what I was expecting, I’m so glad that I read it.

This memoir follows Alison who is struggling with gender identity and growing up in general. She lives in a broken household with her mother, two brothers, and father who has some unstated issues.

The way that this book was written was so interesting because it jumped back and forth during time which I’ve not experienced with a comic before. It wasn’t confusing at all and I was completely immersed the whole time. The basic plot points are all told within the first 50-100 pages, then it goes back through and gives you key important details. I think that it was a very interesting way of portraying it, but it worked really well.

At the beginning I hated her father. To me he just seemed like a creepy slightly pedophilic man who just wanted young guys, but after reading the whole story you find out that he struggled with his sexuality and his gender identity. Alison and her father end up making amends, but mostly through her recollection of memories of him. It was such an interesting take on a “normal” formatting. Both Alison and her father wanted to be the other gender, so they bonded over that later in life after she came out to her family. He told her some things that had happened in his past that made her relate to him more.

I don’t really understand why Alison’s parents were together in the first place because he’s been gay/transgender his whole life. I don’t know if her mother was in a similar situation, but it ended up “working out” in a sense at the end.

There was amazing representation of anxiety and OCD in this book that I really connected with. I used to have anxiety through elementary and middle school and that derived from my need for perfection. I am fairly certain that I dealt with OCD, but didn’t know what it was called and was never formally diagnosed with it. But I remember feeling so similarly to Alison during these parts of the book. I know what it’s like to need to do things a certain way in a certain order. Or making sure my objects in my room didn’t “feel” like one was preferred over the other. It sounds strange to people who haven’t dealt with it, but it made total and complete sense to me.

I would highly highly highly recommend this book to anyone, especially if you’ve dealt with similar situations as Alison or members of her family. Even if you’re not huge into comics or graphic memoirs, give it a try!!

Review: When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine – Jhumpa Lahiri


When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine – Jhumpa Lahiri

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Title: When Mr. Pirzada Came to Dine

Author: Jhumpa Lahiri

Release Date: 1999

Publisher: Mariner

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 19

Source: Anthology

A young Pakistani girl named Lilia is living in New England. It is 1971 when her and her parents meet their new neighbor Mr. Pirzada. He frequently visits their home for dinner, and becomes an integral part of their family. Even though the neighbors share a cultural connection, the war in Pakistan creates tension between them. Lilia learns how war can create fear and uncertainty, even when you live far away from the conflict.

3 out of 5 stars


I liked the first story of the anthology better than this one, but I still enjoyed reading this. I feel like this book is making my reading branch out more, and I feel like I’m reading more diversely. I’m here for it.

This story is about a young girl, Lilia, who lives with her parents. A man named Mr. Pirzada always comes to their house for dinner, and she doesn’t seem to question it. After getting to know him a little bit more she understands that his family is living in war in India or Pakistan. He hasn’t heard from them in a long while, and he’s worried about them, but he still treats her like his own daughter. He brings her candy, and she cherishes everything from him.

There wasn’t a lot to this story, but I do think that it was beautifully written. I really enjoy Lahiri’s writing style; it’s eloquent and easy to read. I think the theme of loss and longing is prevalent, and it seemed more real because it was coming from a young girl. Her friend moves away, and she doesn’t know how to cope with that.

I really felt empathy for Mr. Pirzada. He wanted his family to be with him so badly, so he ends up finding a “host” family with Lilia and her parents. I think that if it weren’t for him joining them for meals he would have been much worse off. I don’t know how hard it would be to be separated from your family without knowing how they are or even if they’re alive, but I’m assuming it would be so hard. I wanted him to feel better and be happy!

I really enjoyed Lilia as a character because she was vulnerable in just the right ways. She’s a kid, so her shyness was portrayed perfectly. She also valued everything that she had in her possession, but was never greedy. I think that was an interesting trait to give her, but it worked well with the story. I look forward to reading more by Jhumpa Lahiri!

Review: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) – Iain Reading


Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) – Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, #1)

Title: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1)

Author: Iain Reading

Release Date: December 3, 2012

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 262

Source: Author

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world!

3 out of 5 stars


Challenges Completed:

2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge

  • A book with a subtitle
  • A book with career advice
  • A book with pictures

Huge thank you to Iain for sending me his book to read! Like I always say, being able to connect with authors is my favorite part about blogging.

Kitty Hawk is just a normal teenage girl, except she loves flying her plane instead of driving a car. She loves being able to take adventures and travel where she wants, so she decides to follow another passion of hers and learn more about her favorite animal: the humpback whale. She decides to fly to Alaska to stay with her best friend’s family and research whales in the ocean and in inlets while flying her plane. Her adventurous summer of whale watching turns into a crazy adventure with gold smugglers after she finds herself in a sticky situation with some brothers and a cooler full of gold.

Starting off, this book was pretty slow for me. I didn’t really understand why she was going to watch whales and the title was about gold, so right away my interest wasn’t peaked. I would have enjoyed this book much more if she would have gotten involved with the Yukon Gold earlier in the story. It took half the book to even be introduced to the characters she would soon become friends with. After she had met the guys and had started the real adventure, I thoroughly enjoyed it! The second half of this book held my attention, and I’m excited to read the next book of this series.

Kitty was a cool main character to read about, and I liked the relationships she had with the brothers. I wanted her and Charlie to be a thing, so I can hope in the books to come. It’s my prediction that Charlie will insist upon going around the world with her, but all I can do is hope ;). Although it took me quite a long time to read this book, I am excited to read the series. I love adventure books, and don’t get a lot of them in my everyday reading life!

Thank you Iain Reading!

Series:

Kitty Hawk and the Hunt for Hemingway’s Ghost (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #2)

Kitty Hawk and the Icelandic Intrigue (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #3)

Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #4)

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5)

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