Review: Pashmina

Pashmina by Nidhi Chanani

Genres: Graphic Novel, Young Adult, Fantasy
Maturity Level: 2
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Rating:
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Priyanka Das has so many unanswered questions: Why did her mother abandon her home in India years ago? What was it like there? And most importantly, who is her father, and why did her mom leave him behind? But Pri’s mom avoids these questions–the topic of India is permanently closed.

For Pri, her mother’s homeland can only exist in her imagination. That is, until she find a mysterious pashmina tucked away in a forgotten suitcase. When she wraps herself in it, she is transported to a place more vivid and colorful than any guidebook or Bollywood film. But is this the real India? And what is that shadow lurking in the background? To learn the truth, Pri must travel farther than she’s ever dared and find the family she never knew.


I love everything about this book. I love the art style, I love the magical realism, I love the coming of age story, I loved the nuances of cultural identity, and I loved the mother-daughter relationship. Everything about this book was just so brilliant!

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Review: One for the Money

One for the Money by Janet Evanovich

Series: Stephanie Plum
Genre: Mystery
Maturity Level: 5 (Trigger warning, sexual assault)
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Rating: ⋆⋆⋆


You’ve lost your job as a department store lingerie buyer, your car’s been repossessed, and most of your furniture and small appliances have been sold off to pay last month’s rent. Now the rent is due again. And you live in New Jersey. What do you do?

If you’re Stephanie Plum, you become a bounty hunter. But not just a nickel-and-dime bounty hunter; you go after the big money. That means a cop gone bad. And not just any cop. She goes after Joe Morelli, a disgraced former vice cop who is also the man who took Stephanie’s virginity at age 16 and then wrote details on a bathroom wall. With pride and rent money on the line, Plum plunges headlong into her first case, one that pits her against ruthless adversaries – people who’d rather kill than lose.


One for the Money  was written in 1994, and it did NOT age well. Aside from Stephanie Plum’s abhorrent fashion sense (biker shorts + hairspray) and the dated technology, the casual sexism, even from the female protagonist, is sure to offend any 21st century feminist.

But if you can get past all of that, this book is a lot of fun.

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Calendar Girls December Theme

Is anyone else’s family starting to ask about Christmas lists? Like, I haven’t even started thinking about Thanksgiving yet, and all of the sudden people want to know what I (and my kids) want for Christmas. What if my kid suddenly discovers he’s obsessed with something new 1 month out like he did with Halloween?!

Anyway, it’s almost December! So we’re here ready to go with our December theme. Y’all, this was no contest. Which, when you consider the current book blogging climate, was really no surprise. So, here it is! The December theme!

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Review: Scythe

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Series: Arc of a Scythe
Genres: Young Adult, Science Fiction, Dystopia
Maturity Level: 4
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Rating:
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A world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things, and has even conquered death. Now scythes are the only ones who can end life—and they are commanded to do so, in order to keep the size of the population under control.

Citra and Rowan are chosen to apprentice to a scythe—a role that neither wants. These teens must master the “art” of taking life, knowing that the consequence of failure could mean losing their own.


Scythe was the quintessential YA dystopia. So much so that I was surprised at how recently it came out. It falls along the same lines as The Hunger Games, The Giver, and Divergent, seamlessly blending everything readers have come to expect from the YA genre.

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Review: Wayward Son

Wayward Son by Rainbow Rowell

Series: Simon Snow
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Maturity Level: 5-
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Rating:
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The story is supposed to be over.

Simon Snow did everything he was supposed to do. He beat the villain. He won the war. He even fell in love. Now comes the good part, right? Now comes the happily ever after…

So why can’t Simon Snow get off the couch?

What he needs, according to his best friend, is a change of scenery. He just needs to see himself in a new light…

That’s how Simon and Penny and Baz end up in a vintage convertible, tearing across the American West.

They find trouble, of course. (Dragons, vampires, skunk-headed things with shotguns.) And they get lost. They get so lost, they start to wonder whether they ever knew where they were headed in the first place…


I bought this book mainly because I figured as long as I own every book Rainbow Rowell has ever written, I may as well round out the set. I was fully prepared to not enjoy it. So I was pleasantly surprised by how much better it was than Carry On!

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Calendar Girls November: Strangest Book You’ve Ever Read

Is it November already? Where did October go? Alternatively, when will winter break be here? November always seems to get stuck in the middle, doesn’t it? Poor November, no love.

Not this month! Guys, I am SO PSYCHED that we are finally having a Stranger Things theme, and that we’re talking about weird books. I don’t know which direction all y’all are going to take this, with weird books you loved or weird books you hated, but I freaking love unusual books. More than I love reading them, I love talking about unusual books. The weirder a book is, the more there is to discuss! Am I right?!

I’ve been soul-searching all month trying to decide how I wanted to interpret this prompt. Because I’ve read some oddball books. Yet some of the strangest have become very mainstream, like American Gods or The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake. On the other hand, some of my favorites that are “strange” in a nobody-else-in-the-world-has-read-this-book way are actual fairly normal books. Mrs. Queen Takes the Train comes to mind. I also love odd-ball books that aren’t weird per se, but fit a really niche genre, like Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter or Hope Never Dies.

But when I look at the books on my bookshelf, two stand out as being particularly strange. The first, Wicked, I didn’t want to write about because *whispers* I don’t actually like it. But the second … man, buckle up. Because this book is WEIRD.

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Review: One Crazy Summer

One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia

Series: Gaither Sisters
Genres: Historical Fiction, Middle-Grade Fiction
Maturity Level: 2
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Rating:
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In the summer of 1968, after travelling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp.


I wanted to love this book. Truly, I did. But it just didn’t click for me.

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