quotes Elisquared likes

"Saying 'I notice you're a nerd' is like saying, 'Hey, I notice that you'd rather be intelligent than be stupid, that you'd rather be thoughtful than be vapid, that you believe that there are things that matter more than the arrest record of Lindsay Lohan. Why is that?' In fact, it seems to me that most contemporary insults are pretty lame. Even 'lame' is kind of lame. Saying 'You're lame' is like saying 'You walk with a limp.' Yeah, whatever, so does 50 Cent, and he's done all right for himself."— John Green


BLOG TOUR - My Summer of Love and Misfortune by Lindsay Wong - YA FICTION [Spotlight + Giveaway]

I am happy to be hosting a spot on the MY SUMMER OF LOVE AND MISFORTUNE by Lindsay Wong Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours

Check out my spotlight post and make sure to enter the giveaway!


Title: My Summer of Love and Misfortune
Author: Lindsay Wong
Pub. Date: June 2, 2020
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Formats: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 384
Audience: Young Adult
Find it: 

A novel about a Chinese-American teen who is thrust into the world of Beijing high society when she is sent away to spend the summer in China.

Iris Wang is having a bit of a rough start to her summer. In an attempt to snap her out of her funk, Iris’s parents send her away to visit family in Beijing, with the hopes that Iris will “reconnect with her culture” and “find herself.” Iris resents her parents’ high-handedness, but even she admits that this might be a good opportunity to hit the reset button.

Iris expects to eat a few dumplings, meet some of her family, and visit a tourist hotspot or two. What she doesn’t expect is to meet a handsome Mandarin-language tutor named Frank and to be swept up in the ridiculous, opulent world of Beijing’s wealthy elite, leading her to unexpected and extraordinary discoveries about her family, her future, and herself.


Lindsay Wong's fearless writing and askew sense of humour chronicle adventures and disasters with copious amounts of playfulness and generosity.

She is the author of the #1 bestselling debut memoir The Woo-Woo: How I Survived Ice Hockey, Drug-Raids, Demons, and My Crazy Chinese Family, which won the 2019 Hubert Evans Nonfiction Prize and was named one of the Best Books of 2018 by Newsweek, CBC Books, the Globe and Mail, and the Quill and Quire. It was also a finalist for the 2018 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize and Canada Reads 2019.

In between Walmart parking lot holidays, Lindsay spends her time as a muscle for hire teaching writing workshops and editing manuscripts as a freelance editor.


I, Iris Wang, was born to be unlucky.
This is because I was born in the Year of the Tiger, and everyone in our Chinese family knows that girls born in Tiger Year are bad luck.
A flower-hearted tiger girl, such as yours truly, means that I’m destined to pick loser boys and never listen to my parents. A flower-heart is someone who shows up hungover to her SATs and half-asses her college admission essays. She’s also addicted to Starbucks lattes, expensive makeup, and super-fun parties.
But a tiger son born into the family is supposed to make a lot of money and bring honor to his family name. Total sexist bullshit, am I right? Maybe that superstition existed in China in the time of Confucius, but not in 21st century America, where Siri and iPhones practically run our lives.
Can I tell you an embarrassing and hideous secret?
When I was born, I was covered with thick, abundant hair all over my entire body, like I was an actual tiger cub. According to my parents, I even had coarse hairs growing on my chin, forehead and cheeks.
My mom likes to joke that I actually looked like a hairball spat out by a designer cat.
My dad says that he dreamed that my mom had given birth to a tiger cub two weeks before I was born, but he’s deeply superstitious. He’s the kind of guy who checks with a feng shui master before buying a painting for the house or making a new friend. My dad is born in the Year of the Goat, so he believes that anyone who isn’t a farm animal, like his tiger daughter, i.e. me, brings him bad luck. Before he could propose to my mom, who is a Zodiac Dog, he consulted the Chinese almanac. Then he hired a Chinese monk to work out the math and interview his future bride.
When my mom told him she was going to give birth to a tiger, he was extremely worried. “A Dog and Goat for parents are no match for a tiger!” he exclaimed.
When he found out that his tiger cub was going to be a girl, I think he actually cried from anxiety.
Anyway, I was lucky that a lot of my facial hair fell off by kindergarten. But it doesn’t explain the gross, extremely long mustache-like hairs that sometimes appear when I’m super stressed. These hairs sprout above my upper lip and even grow out of my ears. I swear, those hairs are like, my whiskers. Thank god for the invention of hair wax and affordable laser treatment.
Without deluxe Nair Wax-Ready Strips, I don’t think I could ever be seen in public during times of great personal duress.
That, and I have to blame my bad luck on my sometimes too loving, overprotective parents. As soon as I was born, they took me to a famous fortune-teller who was visiting from China to ask her how to fix my life trajectory.
It all went wrong from the very beginning.
You see, the fortune teller, Madame Xing, found a funny-shaped mole under my right eye and said it looked like a teardrop. Like I was born to be permanently crying.
“This flower-heart is no good,” she announced to my parents after a quick examination. My mom and dad were probably horrified and praying that they could send me back to the hospital and switch me for a Tiger Boy.
It also didn’t help that I was one of those babies who was always crying and puking everywhere. My mom said that I just barfed on Madame Xing’s mink fur and she got flustered and started cussing nonstop. My dad swears that this was bad luck, as it offended a powerful fortune-teller, who must have put a double curse on me.
After our first and only fortune-telling session, Madame Xing cryptically said, “Keep both eyes on your tiger daughter. If you take one eye off, she will bring shame on your family with her weak flower-heart.”
Whatever she said was true. Since I was born, I guess I was destined to be a flower-heart. I have a weakness for terrible choices and terrible boys.
This brings me to my current situation.


3 winners will win a finished copy of MY SUMMER OF LOVE AND MISFORTUNE, US Only.

Week One

5/25/2020 Kait Plus Books Review 

5/25/2020 Lifestyle of Me Review 

5/26/2020 Lone Tree Reads Excerpt 

5/26/2020 BookHounds YA Excerpt 

5/27/2020 Twirling Book Princess Excerpt 

5/27/2020 Lizofwords Review 

5/28/2020 Nerdophiles Review 

5/28/2020 Volumes & Voyages Review 

5/29/2020 Lala’s Book Reviews Review 

5/29/2020 Emelies Books Review 

Week Two

6/1/2020 The Bookish Libra Review 

6/1/2020 Locks, Hooks and Books Review 

6/2/2020 Eli to the nth Review 

6/2/2020 Books A-Brewin' Excerpt 

6/3/2020 Popthebutterfly Reads Review 

6/3/2020 Bookwyrming Thoughts Review 

6/4/2020 lifeofafemalebibliophile Review 

6/4/2020 Yna the Mood Reader Review 

6/5/2020 @_ebl_inc_ Review 

6/5/2020 The Phantom Paragrapher Review 


BLOG TOUR --- Rebel in the Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander --- MIDDLE GRADE FICTION [Review + Giveaway]

Title: Rebel in the Library of Ever (The Library of Ever #2)
Author & Illustrator: Zeno Alexander
Publication Date: April 28, 2020
Edition: Hardcover, ebook; 224 pgs
Publisher: Imprint (MacMillan)
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Kindle - Barnes & Noble  - iBooks - Kobo The Book Depository - Bookshop.org

Audience: Upper Elementary/Middle Grade
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule

Week One 
5/25/2020 Lone Tree Reads Excerpt 

5/25/2020 A Dream Within A Dream Excerpt 

5/26/2020 BookHounds YA Excerpt 

5/26/2020 BookHounds Instagram Post 

5/27/2020 Kait Plus Books Review 

5/27/2020 Little Red Reads Excerpt 

5/28/2020 JaimeRockstarBookTours Instagram Post 

5/28/2020 Lifestyle of Me Review 

5/29/2020 Do You Dog-ear? Review 

5/29/2020 Locks, Hooks and Books Review 

Week Two 
6/1/2020 Eli to the nth Review 

6/1/2020 @_ebl_inc_ Review 

6/2/2020 Trapped Inside Stories Review 

6/2/2020 Annej Reads Instagram Post 

6/3/2020 Fazila Reads Excerpt 

6/3/2020 Fazila Reads Instagram Post 

6/4/2020 lifeofafemalebibliophile Review 

6/4/2020 Books A-Brewin' Excerpt 

6/5/2020 Popthebutterfly Reads Review 

6/5/2020 Popthebutterfly Reads Instagram Post 

The Summary

Rebel in the Library of Ever continues Zeno Alexander’s acclaimed middle-grade fantasy series with a dangerous takeover of the magical Library as our heroine fights to make knowledge free for everyone.

Lenora returns to the magical Library―which holds every book ever known on its shelves. But she discovers the Library is under new management, its incredible rooms and corridors turned dark and sinister.

She quickly connects with a secret resistance that’s trying to free knowledge from the shadows threatening it. Her new friends introduce her to an ancient lost city, hang-gliding, and mathematical beings larger than the universe itself. And they help her face the mysterious Board of new leaders―who are leading the Library into darkness.

Now it’s up to Lenora to prove that knowledge is always more powerful than ignorance and fear.

An Imprint Book

Praise for The Library of Ever:

“Further proof that librarians are mighty in all universes.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“Zeno Alexander's The Library of Ever reads like someone mixed Neil Gaiman with Chris Grabenstein, then threw in an extra dash of charm. Reading it is like getting lost in an entire library full of books, and never wanting to leave!”―James Riley, New York Times bestselling author of the Story Thieves series

“Full of whimsy and pluck, The Library of Ever is a total delight!” ―Wendy Mass, New York Times bestselling author
My Review

Rebel in the Library of Ever by Zeno Alexander, and the first book in the series, The Library of Ever, are the cutest books I have read in a long time.  Both are great, but the second, Rebel, is so full of love: love of knowledge, love of truth, love of friendship, love of libraries.  I want to live/work/play in this library!  It is the ULTIMATE library, and I want it to really exist.  

The premise that Zeno Alexander is telling the main character's life story is a premise seen in Middle Grade fiction, but it is an effective one. Lenora is a privileged, white, upper-class little girl who has dreams beyond her prescribed life.  In the first book, Lenora sneaks away from a careless nanny and discovers The Library, where she works her way up the library system ladder, helping patrons along the way.  In the second book, the reader is back with Lenora, who was sent back to the "real" world to grow up a bit.  But, as Lenora finds out, a librarian's job is never done.

There is a main lesson at the heart of the book, all told through the guise of kooky adventure after kooky adventure.  The morality of light vs. dark, good v.s evil, is in each page, with the real hero being knowledge itself.  Lenora is a rascally and strong main character, one both boys and girls would root for throughout her many tales.  While it is plot heavy, the reader learns about Lenora, and our real world, through each "lesson". Upper elementary kids will love the fun hijinks, while middle grade kids will enjoy the over-arching battle for intellectual freedom (believe me, kids want to be told the truth and given facts; intellectual freedom is right in their wheel-house).

A love letter to librarians, libraries, and books themselves, Rebel in the Library of Ever is a wonderfully intelligent, funny, and heartfelt book.  A book that many kids, and adults, will enjoy.  It definitely made me proud to be a librarian!

Final Rating


“Uh oh,” said Lenora to Rosa. “I think we might have changed history.” She was worried now, for in books, changing history was almost never good. 

“Do not fear,” replied Rosa. “We all change history with everything we do. This is why we should consider our actions carefully, as each one will affect the future to come. Should we join Lucy?” 

For Lucy had gone straight to the table, where she joined a puzzled-looking librarian who was peering down at the assorted fragments, his chin in his hand, deep in thought. So deep that he had completely failed to notice two girls and an alien who had popped out of nowhere — or had they? Lenora was not sure how history changes worked exactly. But she was sure now that the objects on the table had been in the same box that Lucy had lost in the sea. 

Giving up (for the moment) on figuring out how history changing worked, Lenora went over to the table, Rosa beside her. She cleared her throat. “Excuse me,” she said to Cosmo (for that was the name on the librarian’s badge).

Cosmo flinched and, looking up, suddenly noticed Lenora and the others. “Oh!” he said. “My apologies. I have been studying the Antikythera mechanism so intently that I frequently fail to notice things around me.” 

“That’s all right,” said Lenora. “So what exactly is this…Anti—kith—uh…” 

“ant-ee-KITH-ur-uh,” said Cosmo. “It is a small Greek island, near which this ancient mechanism was discovered, all broken up into pieces at the bottom of the Aegean Sea. It is estimated to have been lost to the waters around 100 BC.” 

“Sorry about that,” said Lucy.

First Book in the Series

About the Author

After emerging from the shadows of the past, his history yet to be fully explained, Zeno Alexander spent years exploring the world's libraries before settling down in his lavish underground bunker, where he regularly hosts exquisite dinner parties and tends to his collection of extinct plants. His friendship with the famous librarian, Lenora, has turned into a series of biographical works devoted to chronicling her adventures.

1 winner will win a signed finished copy of REBEL IN THE LIBRARY OF EVER, US Only.
Click the image to enter!

BLOG TOUR --- This Eternity of Masks and Shadows by Karsten Knight --- YOUNG ADULT/NEW ADULT FICTION [Review + Giveaway]

Title: This Eternity of Masks and Shadows
Author & Illustrator: Karsten Knight
Publication Date: June 2, 2020
Edition: Paperback, ebook; 356 pgs
Publisher: Karsten Knight
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon - Kindle - Barnes & Noble - The Book Depository
Audience: Young Adult/New Adult
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule
Week One 
5/25/2020 Lone Tree Reads Excerpt 

5/25/2020 BookHounds YA Excerpt 

5/26/2020 Book Briefs Review 

5/26/2020 Lisa Loves Literature Excerpt 

5/26/2020 JaimeRockstarBookTours Instagram Stop 

5/27/2020 Lifestyle of Me Review 

5/27/2020 Discover Elysian Review 

5/28/2020 Do You Dog-ear? Review 

5/28/2020 Books Beans & Botany Review 

5/29/2020 The Bookwyrm's Den Review 

5/29/2020 Oodles of Books Review 

Week Two
6/1/2020 @_ebl_inc_ Instagram Stop 

6/1/2020 Eli to the nth Review 

6/1/2020 Two Chicks on Books Excerpt 

6/2/2020 Nerdophiles Review 

6/2/2020 Books_andPoetrii Instagram Stop 

6/3/2020 Popthebutterfly Reads Review & Instagram Stop 

6/3/2020 Hurn Publications Excerpt 

6/4/2020 She Just Loves Books Review 

6/4/2020 A Dream Within A Dream Excerpt 

6/5/2020 Locks, Hooks and Books Review 

6/5/2020 Fazila Reads Instagram Stop 

The Summary

American Gods meets Watchmen in this mythology-inspired mystery from Karsten Knight, author of the Wildefire trilogy. 

In a city of gods and mortals, secrets never die. 

The gods walk among us. Some lurk in the shadows, masquerading as mortals; others embrace their celebrity status, launching careers from Hollywood to Capitol Hill. 

One of them just murdered Cairn Delacroix's mother. 

As Cairn sifts through the rubble, she uncovers a conspiracy two decades in the making: a cursed island, the fellowship of gods who journeyed there, and the unspeakable act that intertwined their fates. One by one, the members of that voyage are dying, and Cairn's investigations land her in the cross-hairs of the rogue goddess responsible. 

With the help of Nanook, a polar bear god turned detective, Cairn descends into Boston's underworld of supernatural crime and political aspiration. To avenge her mother and unmask her assassin, she’ll first have to reckon with a gut-wrenching secret that will rewrite the life she thought she knew.
My Review

This Eternity of Masks and Shadows by Karsten Knight is a non-stop, epic ride of a book.  Set in a world where the gods of old are real people who are reincarnated with that gods' powers, there is a growing divide between regular mortals and the gods; amid those groups are also the demigods born from mortal and god relationships.  The main character, Cairn, is the demigod daughter of Sedna, the Inuit goddess of the sea and marine animals.  When a horrible thing happens to Sedna, Cairn is set on a journey to figure out what forces are at work to destroy the peace of the world, and how was her mother involved.

Due to the massive inclusion of different gods, the world's mythology is diverse; honestly sometime it was hard to keep track of all the gods (thanks for the highlight option on my Kindle).  From Egyptian sun gods to Aztec jaguar gods, each has a role, and some walk the line of light and dark.  "For better or worse," Themis continued, "our abilities come with an enhanced sense of purpose---of importance..." is a quote I feel sums up the relationships that the gods forge with mortals.  Some gods and goddesses work for the betterment of all, and others for the betterment of themselves.  This is the conflict Cairn finds herself in the middle of, as she seeks out answers to what happened to her mother.

I don't want to go too much into the action, but believe me there are tons!  We see both Cairn's present-day investigation and Sedna's past actions leading to that present.  The mystery abounds, and the plot doesn't let up.  Some of it is a tad predictable, but it is such an enjoyable ride that it doesn't detract from the experience.  The plot is where this book shines, whereas character development is not as well rounded (hard to do when you have such a wide cast of characters).  While this is a stand-alone, the world itself would be such fun to visit again.

Overall, this was a solid book: fun plot, interesting characters, and a satisfying ending.  A few issues, but nothing that really detracted from my enjoyment.  Recommend for those readers looking for a YA fantasy that reads more like a New Adult book (at least to me). 

Please note: Karsten including so many different mythologies makes me cautious about the authenticity of the representation of some mythologies from non-western cultures.  I don't know much about Inuit mythology, Shinto gods, etc. so I can't confirm that the inclusion of these gods is accurately portrayed.  But it is very nice to have gods that aren't just from the Greek or Norse mythology included. 

Final Rating


The Anchor 

The box was growling.

Cairn could hear it over the flames crackling in the library fireplace and the thunderstorm battering the windows outside. Her mother, Ahna, smiled at her expectantly as Cairn cradled the gift in her lap.

To my fearless daughter on her 18th birthday, the tag read. Cairn traced her fingers over the pattern of air holes punctured through the foil wrapping paper.

“I’m going to guess this isn’t the Jeep I asked for,” Cairn said at last. The box quivered in response as if to say, “No, I am not.”

“Go on,” Ahna urged her. The firelight danced across her face.

As Cairn tugged the silver ribbon to undo the bow, the box abruptly went still. Cautiously, she lifted the lid an inch.

A pair of vibrantly ice blue eyes peered out, regarding her curiously. Cairn’s breath caught.

Nestled in a blanket inside was a kitten unlike any she’d ever seen. He had a spotted gray coat thick enough to withstand the fiercest Arctic chill and disproportionately broad paws built like fur-covered snowshoes. His tufted ears bristled as he backed his stubby tail into the corner of the box.

“Lower your hand in,” her mother instructed. “Let him meet you halfway when he’s ready.”

Cairn left her trembling fingers outstretched six inches from the creature’s muzzle. He cocked his head to the side, and after a moment’s hesitation, he extended one of his comically enormous paws and batted at Cairn’s fingertips. Apparently, she passed his test, because all at once he rushed forward, nuzzling the glands beneath his foxlike ears against the bony ridges of her knuckles.

When Cairn could finally form words again, she repeated, “This is not a Jeep.”

“No, but he’s great at off-roading.” Ahna was smirking now, her maternal X-ray vision penetrating Cairn’s nonchalance into the melting heart beneath. “He’s a Canadian lynx. When I visited your grandparents up in Labrador, I found him in their garden one morning, nibbling away at a crowberry bush. A predator had mauled the mother just beyond the fence. I couldn’t bear to leave him to fend for himself.”

The kitten awkwardly clambered out of the box, his plump white belly momentarily getting caught before he flopped out onto the shag carpet. Cairn watched him stagger across the room toward the bookcases that housed her father’s collection of rock and mineral specimens. His tail wiggled in anticipation right before he made a dramatic leap for one of the shelves—

—and failed spectacularly. He dropped back to the floor, rattled. A second attempt yielded the same result. On the third try, however, the lynx clung defiantly to the edge by two paws, and after some frantic scrabbling, he pulled himself up to the ledge. Cairn and Ahna applauded.

“Ahna …” Cairn’s father, Emile, appeared in the doorway, arms crossed, a pair of jeweler’s magnifying glasses perched atop his disheveled hair. He pointed at the tiny creature, which was using the craggy surface of an amethyst as a chin-scratching post. “How many times have we talked about smuggling exotic pets into the country?”

Cairn scooped the kitten off the shelf and held him inches from her father’s nose. “Come on, how could a face this cute possibly be illegal?” The fluff ball hung limply in her hand and blinked.

Emile’s wistful eyes landed on his wife. “In my experience, it’s always the cute ones that get you in the most trouble.”

Ahna blew him a kiss. “He’ll need a name,” she said.

The lynx crawled down into Cairn’s lap and curled into a ball. Within seconds, he was snoring softly, unfazed by the fierce winds raging outside the Delacroix’s seaside home.

Cairn gingerly ruffled the hair on his neck. “We’ll name him Squall.”

About the Author

Karsten Knight is the author of the historical mystery NIGHTINGALE, SING, the time-traveling thriller PATCHWORK, and the Polynesian volcano goddess trilogy WILDEFIRE (Simon & Schuster)--though some say his writing career peaked at the age of six, when he completed a picture book series about an adventurous worm. He is a graduate of College of the Holy Cross and earned an MFA in writing for children from Simmons College. Karsten resides in Boston, where he lives for fall weather, bowling, and football season. For more information on Karsten or his books, please visit www.karstenknightbooks.com.

1 winner will win a $10 Amazon GC, International.

Click the image to enter!

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