Romantic · YA

Love & Gelato and Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch

 

Recently I read a review of Love & Luck by Jenna Evans Welch on Beauty and the Bean Boots. The book sounded too adorable to pass up so I requested it from my lovely library along with Welch’s first book Love & Gelato and quickly consumed them both. These sweet YA books are perfect for summer light reading!

Love & Gelato features Lina who finds herself in Florence following her mother’s dying wish that she get to know her father. All she wants to do is go back home to her best friend Addie and the world she used to know. After all, why should she want to get to know someone who has been absent for the past 16 years? But then she is given the journal her Mom kept during her year in Italy which opens with the words “I made the wrong choice.” What choice did Lina’s mother make?

Love & Luck is Addie’s story and we join her for her domineering aunt’s wedding in Ireland.  After the wedding Addie is supposed to join Lina in Italy but finds herself on a strange road trip with her brother Ian and his surprising friend Rowan. Guiding them through Emerald Isle is a book Addie found written as a Irish guidebook for the brokenhearted. But why is Addie brokenhearted? And how will she ever mend her relationship with her brother Ian?

I adored Lina. She is strong and kind and is clearly working through the unfathomable loss of her Mother. The Addie we meet in Gelato through Lina is very different from the Addie we see at the beginning of Luck. Something has happened to Addie.  Something she is hiding from everyone in her life that has caused the rift between herself and Ian. Both Lina and Addie are at that fragile stage of growing up when they must face the serious curveball life can throw your way.

In both books the author vividly takes the reader on a physical journey through Italy and Ireland while simultaneously having us accompany Lina and Addie on an emotional journey. I appreciated that there was a book in both stories that helped to guide and inspire both girls. And, any romantic intrigues were secondary to the main story of personal growth.

Between the two I would have said I preferred Gelato until I got to the last quarter of Love when we finally find out what happened to Addie and why Ian is being so closed off and judgmental towards her. In the end both books are uplifting, fun adventures and sweet YA stories that are just perfect for delightful summer reading.


Tell me, please!

Have you read these books? Or, do you have different kinds of books you read in the Summer?


not a review

Summer and Beating the Backlist.

It is May 31st and tomorrow is officially SUMMER in my book! I like to make summer goals. And, my main goal is to beat my backlist. I started out the New Year with this goal but I am floundering. That is actually a lie. Floundering is being kind to myself. I have read one book and purchased, um, thirtyish.

So, I sat down tonight and alphabetized and wrote down all of my beautiful books. I also pulled out at least ten that I knew I wasn’t really ever going to read. So, here is my backlist.

Drumroll please…..


Adeyemi, Tomi. Children of Blood and Bone

Albertalli, Becky. Simon Vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda.

Alkon, Amy. Good Manners for Nice People Who Sometimes Say F*ck

Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.

Andersen, Laura. The Darkling Bride

Atwood, Margaret. The Handmaid’s Tale

Austen, Jane. Pride and Prejudice

Avi. The End of the Beginning

Bach, Shelby. Of Witches and Wind, the Ever Afters

Baltazar, Armand. Timeless. Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic

Banks, Angelica. Finding Serendipity

Bardugo, Leigh. The Language of Thorns.

Barrie, J.M. Peter Pan

Bartok, Mira. The Wonderling

Beagle, Peter S. The Last Unicorn

Beddor, Frank. ArchEnemy

Beddor, Frank. The Looking Glass Wars

Bradley, Alan. The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches.

Broach, Elise. Shakespeare’s Secret

Brown, Peter. The Wild Robot Escapes

Carey, Edward. Heap House

Chainani, Soman. The School of Good and Evil, Book Two: A World Without Princes

Chevalier, Tracy. Remarkable Creatures

Clarke, Susanna. Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell

Cline, Ernest. Ready Player One

Coates, Ta-Nehisi. Between the World and Me.

Congdon, Lisa. A Glorious Freedom

Connolly, MarcyKate. Monstrous

Coulthurst, Audrey. Of Fire and Stars

Dashner, James. The 13th Reality, The Journal of Curious Letters

Disney. The Jungle Book, The Stregnth of the Wolf is in the Pack.

Disney. Before Tomorrowland

Doyle, Arthur Conan. The Hound of the Baskervilles

Draper, Sharon M. Out of My Mind

Duane, Diane. So You Want to be a Wizard

Ende, Michael. The Neverending Story

Enzensberger, Hans Magnus. The Number Devil, A Mathematical Adventure

Fforde, Jasper. The Eyre Affair

Foody, Amanda. Ace of Shades

Fowley-Doyle, Moira. The Accident Season.

Fowler, Christopher. Seventy-Seven Clocks

Funakoshi, Gichin. Karate-Do. My Way of Life

Gaiman, Neil. The Graveyard Book

Gaiman, Neil. Anansi Boys

Gaiman, Neil. Norse Mythology

Gaughen, A.C. Scarlet

Gerber, Stephanie. Caraval

George, Nina. The Little Paris Bookshop

Gold, Glen David. Carter Beats the Devil

Goodman, Alison. Eon

Gregory, Leland. Stupid History

Grey, Jacob. Ferals.

Gwynne, S.C. Empire of the Summer Moon

Haddix, Margaret Peterson. Just Ella

Hannigan, Kate. The Detective’s Assistant

Harris, Joanne. Gentlemen and Players

Hirananadani, Veera. The Night Diary

Howard, A.G. Roseblood

Jinks, Catherine. Evil Genius

Keenan, Cayla. Catching Stars

Kelly, Victoria. Mrs. Houdini

King, Stephen. The Gunslinger, The Dark Tower

Klise, Kate. Regarding the Fountain

LeGuin, Ursula K. Earthsea, A Wizard of Earthsea

Levenseller, Tricia. Daughter of the Pirate King

Lewis, Elizabeth Foreman. Young Fu of the Upper Yangtze

Lloyd, Natalie. The Problim Childred

Mack, Tracy and Citrin, Michael. Sherlock Homes and the Baker Street Irregulars

Matas, Carol and Nodelman, Perry. Of Two Minds

Mielville, China. Un Lun Dun

Miller, Madeline. Circe

Miller, Tom. The Philosopher’s Flight

Mills, Emma. Foolish Hearts

Mogi, Ken. Awakening Your Ikiai

Nielsen, Jennifer A. The Sourge

Nix, Garth. Frogkisser!

Pearce, Jackson and Stiefvater Maggie. Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures

Proud, Linda. Knights of the Grail

Ricca, Brad. Mrs. Sherlock Holmes

Riggs, Ransom. The Sherlock Holmes Handbook

Riordan, Rick. Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard

Roach, Mary. The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers

Rowling, J.K. The Tales of Beedle the Bard

Rowling, J.K. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

Rowling. J.K. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Rubin, Gretchen. The Four Tendencies

Ryan, Pam Munoz. Esperanza Rising

Salinger, J.D. The Catcher in the Rye

Sappingfield, Eliot. A Problematic Paradox

Schwab, V.E. A Darker Shade of Magic

Shakespeare, William. No Fear Hamlet

Shakespear, William. Star Wars

Siegel, Daniel J. Brainstorm, The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain

Snicket, Lemony. Who Could That be at this Hour?

Snow, Alan. Here Be Monsters

Steer, Dugald A. Dragonology Chronicles, Volume One

Stiefvater, Maggie. Blue Lily, Lily Blue

Stiefvater, Maggie. The Raven King

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Fellowship of the Ring

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Two Towers

Tolkien, J.R.R. The Return of the King

Townsend, Jessica. Nevermoor, The Trials of Morrigan Crow.

Travers, P.L. Mary Poppins Comes Back

Tully, Daniela. Hotel on Shadow Lake

Walliams, David. Grandpa’s Great Escapes

Walton, Leslye. The Price Guide to the Occult

Yancey, Rick. The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp

Young, Adrienne. Sky in the Deep

Zevin, Gabrielle. The Storied Life of A.J. Fikery

Ziegler, Sheryl. Mommy Burnout

A Treasury of Favorite Poems

And there they are – all of my beautiful books for summer! I am going to try to avoid adding more but I won’t succeed. I spend the majority of my free time during summer soaking up the library’s air conditioning.


Tell me, please!

What do you think of my backlist?

Do you make Summer Goals?


Fantasy · SeriousSeriesLove

Serious Series Love: Fablehaven

This is my go-to recommendation to any and all ages, especially in the summertime. Brandon Mull’s Fablehaven series is based on the ingenious premise that mythical creatures are gathered into a hidden refuge. The sanctuary is guarded by magic and age old covenants. It is overseen by caretakers. The preserve is called Fablehaven and the caretakers are Kendra and Seth Sorensen’s grandparents.

When Kendra and Seth (ages 11 and 13) have to visit their Grandparents at their (ahem) farm over summer, they are prepared for utter boredom. Instead they are witness to the awe that is trolls, fairies, witches and so much more. But, Fablehaven only remains relatively safe when rules are followed. When a rule is broken, evil is unleashed.

As the series develops, the problems and perils become more interesting and dire. From the introduction of the world of book one, Fablehaven, through the conclusion of the series in book 5, Keys to the Demon Prison, the action becomes more intense. Written in an engaging and intelligent style this is a book that I feel confident in recommending.

These are the covers of the books that I own. When I was looking through Brandon Mull’s website I noticed that there are updated covers and the wonderful Caretakers Guide to Fablehaven.  The guide is an nice addition if you adore the series. I love paging through it and looking at the illustrations of the items and creatures found in the world of Fablehaven. Kendra and Seth have even gone through and added their own notes. However, it is definitely a book I would leave for after you have read the series since it inherently includes spoilers.

At the end book five Brandon Mull wrote that Fablehaven was officially concluded and there would be no additional books for the series. However, he did say he would be happy to revisit the world and the characters. He has done so in the recently published (and fantasticDragonwatch. I will be reviewing it very soon. In the meantime, if you haven’t already enjoyed the series, I invite you to visit Fablehaven this summer.