Tuesday, July 18, 2017

I Want to Read It (62): Swing it, Sunny

I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.

Swing it, Sunny (Sunny Side Up, 2) by Jennifer L. Holm, illustrated by Matthew Holm, September 12, 2017. Published by Graphix. Source: Want to read it.
Summer's over and it's time for Sunny Lewin to enter the strange and unfriendly hallways of . . . middle school. When her Gramps calls her from Florida to ask how she's doing, she always tells him she's fine. But the truth? Sunny is NOT having the best time.
Not only is the whole middle school thing confusing . . . but life at home is confusing, too. Sunny misses her brother Dale, who's been sent to boarding school. But when Dale comes back, she STILL misses him . . . because he's changed.
Luckily Sunny's got her best friend and a mysterious new neighbor on her side . . . because she is NOT going let all this confusion get her down. Instead, she's going to remain Sunny-side up!

I don't know how I missed that Sunny Side Up, which was a perfect balance of humor and the ups-and-downs of real life, was a series... As surprised as I am, I'm actually excited to continue reading Sunny's story and seeing how things are shaping up for her and her family after what happened in the first book.

If you haven't read Sunny Side Up, feel free to check out my review to see why you should give it a chance!!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Graphic Novel Review: Sunny Side Up

Sunny Side Up (Sunny Side Up, 1) by Jennifer L. Holm, illustrated by Matthew Holm, colored by Lark Pien, September 1, 2015. 224 pages. Published by Graphix. Source: Borrowed from Library.
Sunny Lewin has been packed off to Florida to live with her grandfather for the summer. At first she thought Florida might be fun -- it is the home of Disney World, after all. But the place where Gramps lives is no amusement park. It's full of . . . old people. Really old people.

Luckily, Sunny isn't the only kid around. She meets Buzz, a boy who is completely obsessed with comic books, and soon they're having adventures of their own: facing off against golfball-eating alligators, runaway cats, and mysteriously disappearing neighbors. But the question remains -- why is Sunny down in Florida in the first place? The answer lies in a family secret that won't be secret to Sunny much longer. . . 

When I checked Sunny Side Up out from the library I assumed it was going to be a light, fluffy read. While it was funny, it had so many unexpectedly serious situations that it made it more than a "fluff read" and transformed into a slightly heartbreaking read.

  • Going in, my expectations were really low for Sunny Side Up. It sounded interesting enough, but I was unsure if the story would actually grab my attention, and hold it, so I was not, you know, all that concerned about being disappointed. To be quite honest, I ended up really enjoying this one. The story completely took me by surprise with the serious undertones that began to be revealed the further the story unraveled. 
  • From the get-go, you can see that there some kind of secret boiling beneath the surface of the book. One that has prompted Sunny's summer visit to her grandfathers; it was this family secret that gave the book so much depth. While I don't want to spoil what happened, I do want to talk about how it impacted the story. First off, Sunny had been holding back the truth on what happened; not that she entirely understood what her brother was doing, just that it was not, well, something good. What really made this situation impactful to the book was how it was portrayed. I felt so much for Sunny when things came crashing down and the truth, in its entirety, was made known. I really liked the relationship between Sunny and her grandpa. The two of them made me laugh.
  • While I liked the artwork, I did not love it. I'm apparently rather picky when it comes to illustrations in books. I'm afraid I cannot be any more specific than that I did not love it because, well, it has been quite some time, like a couple months, since I first read it. Oh yeah, if I'm not mistaken, or thinking about a different book, I believe the story is set in the mid-1970s...

Final Verdict: Sunny Side Up- I really enjoyed the balance of humor and seriousness in this graphic novel. Sunny's story was, in a good way, not what I was expecting. 

Sunny Side Up earns

A copy of this book was borrowed from the library. All thoughts are my own.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Spinning Pages (16): Rebel Belle/Hurricane Venus

Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 

While the following song may not be an all-time favorite from BoA, nor one I listen to often, it just popped into my head while I was working on a previous edition of Spinning Pages. After I was finally able to find the lyrics translated into English, I could not think of a more fitting song, except for maybe a country song or two, that would work so well for Rebel Belle!!

Hurricane Venus by BoA-
Oh, oh, oh, oh, Hurricane Oh, oh, oh, Venus
Oh, oh, oh, oh Hurricane Oh, oh, oh, Venus

If you provoke me, I’ll definitely devour you
As if hit by a huge raging storm, you can’t breath, without rest
Oh, my secret alone that drags you
Electronic, manic, supersonic, bionic energy

The uneasy whirlpools are born in there
The strong shock that was veiled reach
for you
Oh, oh, electronic, manic, supersonic, bionic energy
Hurricane Venus is for Harper (watch the video as it reminds me of the book)!! Why, because she chases perfection and, once she accepts her role as Paladin and even before, she was pretty fierce.

Want to find out why I enjoyed Rachel Hawkins' Rebel Belle so much, then be sure to check out my review (and, you know, add it to your TBR if you have yet to read it)!!

Don't forget to listen to BoA's Hurricane Venus and watch the video. It's a little odd, but the costume changes are fascinating throughout the entire video.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

I Want to Read It (61): Ruby and Olivia

I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.

Ruby and Olivia by Rachel Hawkins, October 24, 2017. Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers. Source: Want to read. 
Ruby is best friends with Emma, but she and Emma's twin sister Olivia are definitely not friends. Unfortunately, Emma will be away for the summer, while Ruby and Olivia are going to be stuck at a community service day camp for troublemakers--together. To kick off the spirit of service, the campers are outfitted with bright pink polka-dotted t-shirts with smiley faces on the front, then tasked with cataloging the contents of an abandoned mansion. Sorting through objects in an old house sounds boring, and working with each other is that last thing the girls want to do, but the stuff is actually pretty cool. There's everything from mink stoles to golf clubs to stuffed deer heads . . . and . . . wait . . . is that stuffed deer head watching them? When the taps run freezing cold and doors slam inexplicably, Ruby and Olivia wonder if the other campers are having a bit of fun, or if the abandoned mansion is looking for new residents. To solve the mystery, Ruby and Olivia will have to put their grudges aside and figure out how to be a team with or without Emma.


The better question would be "Why would I not want to read this one"!! I don't know why, but the idea of Rachel Hawkins writing middle-grade books is, well, really exciting. Also, Ruby and Olivia sounds thrilling!! I cannot wait to see if the two girls can put aside their dislike of one another to solve the mystery!!!

Do y'all have Rachel Hawkins' Ruby and Olivia on your TBR??? 

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Rebel Belle

Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


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