Wish You Were Italian 

img_6751In the debut album by Kristin Rae, it’s the summer before Pippa’s senior year of high school and by far the most important summer of her life. She’s looking forward to spending the summer with her best friend, Morgan, and spending time with her Gram. Last minute, Pippa’s mother sends her to Italy to study in an art program. Unhappy, Pippa goes to Italy but once she gets there, she decides to ditch the art program and explore Italy on her own for the summer. Soon Pippa finds herself in a bit of a love triangle, between a hot Italian named Bruno and Darren, this American guy who she keeps bumping in to everywhere she goes.

Basically this novel is Anna and the French Kiss meets The Lizzie McGuire Movie. And I must warn you before picking up this book, you will crave ice cream/ gelato while reading. It took me about two days to read this book and I ate ice cream twice during that period.

Wish You Were Italian was a cute story. The writing was pretty good and the boys were cute. It’s what you’d expect from this kind of love story.

I want to be honest when I write my book reviews, witch is why this is hard for me to write: I did not like this book. It wasn’t the book though, it was me.

Let me explain. Part of it has to do with the fact, I was over this book before I even started reading it. The archetype of a girl going to a foreign country and falling in love is something I read a lot of last year and I got sick of it. Some of those books I loved, like Just One Day by Gayle foreman and Hello, I Love You by Katie M. Stout. I really did try to push that out of my mind when I was reading this. I never fell in love with the characters. I was half way through and not only did I not care what happened, I really had to force myself to finish the book. Though I will say the last 40 pages had me drawn in. I should have been drawn in before the last 40 pages though.

I’m not saying this is a bad book and I’m not saying that you shouldn’t read it. I think you should give it a try and decide for yourself. I think later on down the road, I might give this book a second chance. I’ll definitely be picking up Kristin’s second book What You Always Wanted that just came out.

But with all things said above, I did give it two out of five stars.

Have you read Wish You Were Italian? What were your thoughts?

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Wish You Were Italian 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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I sent this selfie to my Harry Potter loving BFF when I started the book.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is the third book in the Harry Potter Series by J.K Rolling. Since most people have read the Harry Potter Series, this post is not spoiler free and you should not read it if you have not read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s  Stone (book 1)or Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets(book 2) because it might accidentally spoil those as well.

Wow. Just wow. I now understand why this is so many people’s favorite Harry Potter book.

Let’s start with this: Sirius Black wasn’t out to kill Harry but he was looking for Peter Pettigrew AKA Scabber’s, Ron’s pet rat. I’m still not over that. Really, i’m not over the last hundred pages of this book. Peter was the secret keeper, not Sirius. It was Peter who told Voldemort where Lilly and James were hiding- not Sirius. AND PETER WASN’T KILED BY BLACK BUT  WAS SCABBERS THIS WHOLE TIME!

J.K Rolling knows how to write a plot twist. I’m still not over the fact that Ginny was the one who was opening the chamber of secrets though Tom Riddle. Not sure I’ll ever be over that. I’m, pretty blown away about Scabbers aka Peter too but not on the level I was about Ginny and the chamber of secrets.

I’m saddened that Professor Lupin had to leave Hogwarts at the end of the book. I mean I get why but I really liked his character and I really liked watching him with Harry.

I’m also saddened by Sirius’s fate. He’s an innocent man but his innocents can’t be proven so he has to be on the run. (Also, i’m saddened that Harry can’t live with him and had to go back to the Dursley’s).

I reading this book was an easier read that the second book. It dived in to the action right away and kept up the pace throughout the book. I hate when the beginning of a book (or any part of a book, really) drags out.

I gave this book 4/5 stars but the second book is still my favorite because like I previously said, still not over Ginny having been the one opening the Chamber.

What are your thoughts on book three?

Much love,

Kate

 

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Saige

img_6635 Saige by Jesse Haas is an American Girl novel. The middle grade novel follows Saige who loves to paint and ride horses with her Mimi. Saige is looking forward to starting the fourth grade and taking art class. On the first day of class, Saige’s best friends, Tessa, reminds her that they only get art class every other year due to the school’s budget and that this year is a year they get music. This disappoints Sage so she and Mimi put together a plan to raise money to have after school art classes. They start planning a fiesta as a fund raiser. Things are going good until Mimi falls and breaks her leg. Since they’ve been back at school, Saige and her best friend, Tessa. So Saige relies on the help of her new friend, Gabi, to help her with the fiesta.

I was browsing at half-price books- seeing the american girls books made me feel nostalgic. I’ve always known about the new dolls that have come out and I’ve even seen a couple of the more recant movies but I hadn’t picked up any of the books. When I saw that Saige was only 2.49, I decided to pick it up.

The thing I loved most about Saige was how simplistic the writing was. It was straight to the point. There were no unnecessary characters, no unnecessary sub plots and, perhaps my favorite thing everything in the story concluded. There were no loose ends.

Something I really loved was the part of the story that talked about Saige and her best friend Tessa growing apart. This is something that happens not just in the fourth grade. It reminded me of my best friend and I our senior year in high school. The book handled this story line in a realistic way.

Thats something else I loved about this book, it handled situations in ways that would be

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Saige Girl of the Year Doll 2012

realistic for a ten year old. I feel like in the young adult books I read that doesn’t happen. So it makes me really happy that in this particular book, that did happen.

This book wasn’t trying to be hip. It wasn’t packed with pop culture references on every page and it didn’t use the lingo. You have no idea how much I appreciate this. It’s something I find in a lot of the books that I read that are for the younger audience and I hate it so much.

I really enjoyed reading Saige, I gave it 4/5 stars. I would defiantly recommend this to girls who are in elementary school but really, it’s a story for everyone.

There is a sequel Saige Paints the Sky and I’m definitely going to be picking it up sooner rather than later. Also, not gonna lie, I’m definitely going to be reading more of the American Girl stories that I have not read and reread some of my old favorites!

Who is your favorite American Girls? Mine growing up was Molly.

Much Love,

Kate

Saige

Teen Book Con 2016!

IMG_6839This past weekend, I got to go to Teen Book Con! Teen Book Con is a book festival held in Houston. This was my second year to go and I had such a great time! I’m already counting the days until next year 🙂

IMG_6840The day started off with Ruta Sepetys (pictured to the right)  as the key note speaker. I had hear of Ruta before, all the booktubers talk about her but have not read one of her books. I absolutely loved listening to her speak. She talked about fighting dragons. Fighting dragons being a metaphor for over coming obstacles.  She also talked about telling stories and how telling stories gives a voice to not just you but to the people of the stories you’re telling. I’m usually not a fan of historical fiction, but after listening to her speak, i’m dying to pick up one of her books, especially her newest, Salt To the Seas. Her speech left me feeling inspired and was a great way to kick off the day!

Once keynote was finished, it was time to break out in to panels. There was a total of six panels to choose from. Of course, I went in to the day with a game plan, knowing exactly what panels  I wanted to go to and when.

IMG_6841The first panel I went to of the day was SHIP IT. This panel consisted of Jesse Andrews (pictured to the left), Tina Connolly, Samantha Mabry, Meredith Moore and Kristin Rae.After having read Me and Earl and the Dying Girl last week, this was probably my most anticipated panel of the day. It didn’t disappoint. I might even go as far as to call this my favorite panel of the day (and that’s a super hard call). This panel was moderated by Jennifer Matheu, author of The Truth About Alice and Devoted. She had recognized me from when I went to the launch party for Devoted last year. I thought that was super cool! I’m glad she was there because i’ve been wanting to tell her how much I loved Alice (you might remember I mentioned this book in my Christmas Song Book Tag as a book I think that everyone should read). I loved how much this panel made me laugh. I love Jesse’s since of humor and if you’ve read one of his books, you know what i’m talking about. Also, I really enjoyed seeing Samantha Mabry from this panel. She was witty and bubbly and also very funny. She and Jesse played great off each other.

Up next I went to the I’m New Here panel. This panel included Sean McGinty, Julie Murphy, Becky Wallace and Jeff Zentner. This panel was called i’m new here because of all of the authors in the panel only have one or two books out. What drew me to this panel, was Julie Murphy. I loved listening to her talk about her writing process. Something  else I enjoyed about this panel, was listening to Becky Wallace talk about how creepy certain aspects of Sleeping Beauty are. I agree with her one hundred percent when she says that dancing with strangers in the forrest is creepy and something we should not be teaching our daughters.

After lunch, I went in to the Life is Rough panel. I got to see E.K Johnson, Amber Smith, IMG_6842Ray Villareal, Nicola Yoon and Amy Zhang. I loved this panel because all of the author’s stories are strong character driven stores- my favorite kind. Also, I was the only one in that room who had heard of the undertaker (I love WWE!). I learned this when Ray mentioned he had a book called My Father, the Angel of Death, a book about a boy whose father is a wrestler named the Angel of Death. He mentioned that the Angel of Death was heavily inspired by the undertaker. Naturally, I added this to my TBR on goodreads right away. I loved hearing Nicola Yoon’s story about how her book got it’s tittle Everything, Everything. As a young writer, I love hearing about authors who have published books at a young age. Any Zhang published her first book when she was still in high school. It gives me hope. Plus, when I got to meet her in the signing lines that afternoon, she gave me some great advice on getting my query letter written.

For my last panel of the day, I went to Back in The Day with authors Ruta Sepetys, Jennifer Donnelly, Monica Hesse, Katherine Howe and Steve Sheinkin. All of the authors write either nIMG_6843on-fiction or historical fiction. Now as an adult reader, i’ve never gravitated to historical fiction, witch I find hilarious because as a kid, the American Girl books were practically all I read. What I loved about this panel was hearing about how the authors get inspired by real life events and how they want to tell the stories about things that happened that aren’t in our history books. This panel started a spark in me to pick up some young adult historical fiction.

The closing session of the day a local high school improve group preformed along with author Michael Buckley, an author in a panel I didn’t get to make it to. They were great performers and was it was a neat way to close out the day.

IMG_6846They very last part of the day was book signing!  Unforunately, as a broke college student, I wasn’t able to buy nearly as many books as I wanted to but I did make it out with a pretty awesome stack.  I don’t think you guys even realize how much I can’t wait to dive in to this pile of books and start reviewing them! Also, I can’t wait to go and pick up more books from some of the authors I saw today.

I had a blast and I would definitely say that Teen Book Con 2016 was a success! Have you guys read any of the books I bought? Tell me witch one I should read first because I can’t decide.

Much Love,

Kaitlyn

Teen Book Con 2016!

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

img_6756 Tomorrow, I am super excited because I am going to a book festival! There will be many authors there including Julie Murphy author of Dumplin’, Nicola Yoon author of Everything Everything and Jesse Andrews who is author of Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.  When I go to meet authors or listen to them speak in panels, I like to have read their books before hand. At first, I didn’t even realize that Jesse Andrews was author of Me and Earl and The Dying Girl because the festival website only lists the author’s most current work. In the case of Jesse, it’s The Haters. I’m not sure how I found out that this book was his, but when I did, I went and bought a copy and read it immediately.

Me and Earl and The Dying Girl is about Greg (me) his friend Earl and a dying girl (named Rachel), it’s like the tittle says. So basically, high school sucks for Greg and that’s no big secret. He lays low and mingles with everyone. The only real friend that Greg has (Greg likes to think of hims more as a co-worker) is Earl, who he met in kindergarten. Together, the like to make films that are really bad and that they won’t let anyone watch. On the first year of his senior year, Greg’s mother informs him that one of his classmates, Rachel has leukemia and she forces Greg to hang out with her.

I have never laughed out loud so much at a book. Let alone, a book that’s about death. The cover of the book has a quote on it that compares it to The Fault in Our Stars I was expecting to feel heart broken, empty and cry my eyes out at the end of this novel. Not the case. As previously stated, this book had me laughing out loud the whole time, I couldn’t put this book down and I didn’t want it to end.

I loved the writing style. The characters were all so unique. I loved their distinct and hilarious voices. I loved how the background information was tied in. It was relevant to the story and the way it was told was so entertaining I didn’t care if it was important to the story or not. I just wanted to read this book and I was not a happy camper when I had to put it down.

Something that I thought was a great touch was that the novel while you’re reading it, you find that the story is told like the narrator, Greg has written this novel. And with that, you get gems like this “Although, let’s just do a new chapter, because this chapter got really fucked up somehow and i’m afraid of what will happen if I continue with it.”

This is the best book I’ve read in a long, long time and possibly one of my favorite books that i’ve ever read. I can’t wait to meet Jesse tomorrow and I can’t wait to dive in to his new book, The Haters.

I gave Me and Earl and the Dying Girl 5/5 stars. I really love this book.

Much love,

Kate

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl