When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger

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When Life Gives You Lululemons was written by Lauren Weisberger. This is a spinoff to her wildly popular novel, The Devil Wears Prada. I must admit, I didn’t even remember that there was already a sequel to The Devil Wears Prada, but I was excited about this spinoff because I was looking forward to a relatively light and fun “beach read”.

Fans of The Devil Wears Prada will remember Emily as Miranda Priestly’s assistant. She has moved on from that part of her life, and she now works as an image consultant. She’s going through a rough patch with work, and ends up in Greenwich, visiting Miriam- an old friend from summer camp. Read more

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Poco and Moco Are Twins by Jun Ichihara

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Poco and Moco Are Twins is a picture book written and illustrated by Jun Ichihara. My girls have mostly moved beyond picture books, but they still enjoy checking out the digital review copies that I receive.

Poco and Moco are a pair of sheep twins. Poco is a boy, and Moco is a girl. They share similarities, but they also have their differences. Poco likes bread, and Moco likes desserts- but they both like donuts! There’s not much of a plot, but that’s okay, because this book is intended for older toddlers and younger preschoolers. It’s more of a concept book than a narrative.     Read more

My Name Is Victoria by Lucy Worsley

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My Name is Victoria is a YA novel written by Lucy Worsley. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because 19th century England is my favorite era in history. I also enjoyed the Victoria television series, as well as Daisy Goodwin’s companion novel and Julia Baird’s biography of Queen Victoria.

The story is told from the perspective of “Miss V”, the daughter of John Conrad, who oversaw the future Queen Victoria’s upbringing. The young Victoria was kept in isolation, and V is one of Victoria’s first friends. Victoria has been told that she needs to be kept apart from society because of her scheming uncles and cousins who might wish to harm her because of her proximity to the throne. Whether there is any merit to this claim, or whether this is intended to instill a sense of paranoia remains to be seen. Read more

Ship It by Britta Lundin

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Ship It is a YA novel by debut author Britta Lundin. I was excited about the opportunity to read this book because I enjoy YA books, and the premise intrigued me.

Claire is a teenage girl living in rural Idaho. She doesn’t have a lot of friends at school, but she is a very active member in the Demon Heart fan community online. She writes slash fanfiction (gay romance) about the two male protagonists, and is absolutely convinced of the chemistry between them. When a comic convention comes to Boise, Claire is eager to attend the Demon Heart panel. She asks the actors whether or not he’ll be making SmokeHeart (the romantic pairing) canon (a real part of the show). Forest, who is one of the actors, answers rather rudely, and Claire is devastated and embarrassed. However, she ends up winning a huge prize- the chance to travel with the cast to two more conventions.

Claire knows that she needs to mend things with Forest, but at the same time, she wants to convince him of SmokeHeart’s importance. She also wants to convince Jamie, the showrunner, to make SmokeHeart canon. She’s rather persistent in her efforts. Read more

My Bare Naked Heart by David Avery

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My Bare Naked Heart is a novel written by David Avery. I found it on Kindle Unlimited, and since I’ve been reading a lot of historical m/m lately, it seemed like the sort of book that I would enjoy.

John Branson is starting college at an all-male college in Vermont. He quickly falls in with the other young men in his dormitory, and this causes him to question his sexuality even more than he already has been. However, it is the 1950s, so coming out is absolutely impossible. Read more

The Orphan Band of Springdale by Anne Nesbet

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The Orphan Band of Springdale is a middle grade novel written by Anne Nesbet. I always read the middle grade novels I receive with my oldest daughter, so I was excited about the opportunity to share another book with her.

Gusta Neubronner arrives in Sprindale, Maine to stay with her mother’s family. She wants nothing more than to fit in with her new classmates, but she immediately stands out when she fails an eye exam on the first day of school. Gusta has always known that she needs glasses, but she always used coping mechanisms like memorization to “pass” the test. Glasses are a luxury that she doesn’t think her family can afford.

Gusta also stands out because of her “foreign” name. It’s 1941, and her school is engaged in activities that highlight what it means to be a Real American, and what they as children can do to be patriots. Gusta wants to do her part, but she is also struck by the injustice that she sees around her. Her father is actually on the run from the authorities for his role in labor organization. Read more

Big Nate: Silent but Deadly by Lincoln Peirce

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Big Nate: Silent but Deadly was written by Lincoln Peirce. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because my oldest daughter is a big fan of the Big Nate comic strip and I knew that she would be interested in reading it too.

Nate is an average American boy who goes to elementary school. He has somewhat of a contentious relationship with teachers and administrators, and he has friends and adversaries within the school community. He’s a bright boy, but he doesn’t like to do schoolwork, which is something most children can empathize with. He plays sports, and interacts with his family. Read more

Unicorn of Many Hats by Dana Simpson

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Unicorn of Many Hats is the seventh book in Dana Simpson’s Phoebe and her Unicorn series of comics. I was very excited to read this book and share it with my oldest daughter because she loves this series.

The premise is fairly simple: Phoebe is an elementary school student, and her best friend is a unicorn named Marigold Heavenly Nostrils. Marigold is mostly invisible, but she does have some interactions with the other characters.

Unicorn of Many Hats tends to follow a similar setup to the other books, wherein the good part of a year is covered, without the characters really aging from one book to another. There are story arcs devoted to starting school, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Many of the familiar secondary characters have returned, including frenemy Dakota, Max, Phoebe’s geeky parents, and even the goblins make an appearance. Read more

I’m Not Your Sweet Babboo by Charles Schulz

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I’m Not Your Sweet Babboo is a collection of Peanuts cartoons by the late Charles Schulz. I was very excited about the opportunity to read this book because my oldest daughter is a big fan of Peanuts. Needless to say, she was very excited when I told her that I had a Peanuts book for her to read!

Fans of Peanuts will know that “sweet babboo” was a term of endearment that Sally Brown used with her beloved Linus. Interestingly enough, while there was a storyline involving Sally and Linus going to a farm on a school, most of the collection focuses on other storylines. We are treated to Snoopy’s feud with the cat next door, Peppermint Patty’s school troubles, Charlie Brown running away, and Snoopy playing tennis with Molly Volley.

These storylines are unrelated, but the compilers of this collection did a good job with the segues, so nothing seems out-of-place with the transitions. There’s a nice flow. Read more

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

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Turtles All the Way Down is a young adult novel written by John Green. I haven’t had very many YA titles in my reading queue lately, but I’ve enjoyed Green’s books in the past, and so I took the opportunity to check this one out of the library.

Aza seems like a fairly typical teenage girl, but she struggles with anxiety, which is exacerbated by thoughts of germs and becoming sick (specifically with c diff). Her routine is thrown into disarray when Russell Pickett, a local billionaire disappears and a $100k reward is offered for any information that leads to his whereabouts.

Aza, goaded by her best friend, reluctantly takes up the search. She happens to know Pickett’s son Davis because they attended a grief camp together, and her sleuthing leads to a reconnection with her old friend. Everything seems to be going well for Aza, but her negative thoughts become more persistent, and she can’t stop thinking about getting sick, and starts exploring extreme measures in her quest to avoid illness. Read more