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




The Last Fallen Star
Authors(s): Graci Kim
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook; 336 pgs
Publisher: Rick Riordan Presents
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon Kindle 
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule

Week One
5/1/2021 - YA Books Central - Excerpt

Week Two
5/2/2021 - jillpiscitello - Excerpt
5/3/2021 - Nerdophiles - Review
5/4/2021 - Amani’s Reviews - Review
5/5/2021 - Little Red Reads - Review
5/6/2021 - The Bookwyrm's Den - Review
5/7/2021 - BookHounds YA - Excerpt
5/8/2021 - A Court of Coffee and Books - Review

Week Three
5/9/2021 - Kait Plus Books - Excerpt
5/10/2021 - onemused - Review
5/11/2021 - Midnightbooklover - Review
5/12/2021 - booksaremagictoo - Review
5/14/2021 - Celiamcmahonreads - Review
5/15/2021 - Abellafairytale - Review

Week Four
5/16/2021 - Fyrekatz Blog - Review
5/17/2021 - Haunted By Books - Review
5/18/2021 - Momfluenster - Review
5/19/2021 - The Momma Spot - Review
5/20/2021 - Ficticiouswonderland - Review
5/21/2021 - Bookwyrming Thoughts - Review
5/22/2021 - Book Briefs - Review

Week Five
5/23/2021 - Rajiv's Reviews - Review
5/24/2021 - fictitious.fox - Review
5/25/2021 - Emelie's Books - Review
5/26/2021 - Eli to the nth - Review
5/27/2021 - Popthebutterfly - Review
5/28/2021 - Books and Zebras - Review
5/29/2021 - YA Book Nerd - Review

Week Six
5/30/2021 - two points of interest - Review
5/31/2021 - Lifestyle of Me - Review

The Summary

Best-selling author Rick Riordan presents Graci Kim's thrilling debut about an adopted Korean-American girl who discovers her heritage and her magic on a perilous journey to save her witch clan family.

Riley Oh can't wait to see her sister get initiated into the Gom clan, a powerful lineage of Korean healing witches their family has belonged to for generations. Her sister, Hattie, will earn her Gi bracelet and finally be able to cast spells without adult supervision. Although Riley is desperate to follow in her sister's footsteps when she herself turns thirteen, she's a saram--a person without magic. Riley was adopted, and despite having memorized every healing spell she's ever heard, she often feels like the odd one out in her family and the gifted community.

Then Hattie gets an idea: what if the two of them could cast a spell that would allow Riley to share Hattie's magic? Their sleuthing reveals a promising incantation in the family's old spell book, and the sisters decide to perform it at Hattie's initiation ceremony. If it works, no one will ever treat Riley as an outsider again. It's a perfect plan!

Until it isn't. When the sisters attempt to violate the laws of the Godrealm, Hattie's life ends up hanging in the balance, and to save her Riley has to fulfill an impossible task: find the last fallen star. But what even is the star, and how can she find it?

As Riley embarks on her search, she finds herself meeting fantastic creatures and collaborating with her worst enemies. And when she uncovers secrets that challenge everything she has been taught to believe, Riley must decide what it means to be a witch, what it means to be family, and what it really means to belong.

Praise for The Last Fallen Star

The Last Fallen Star folds Korean culture as well as diaspora feelings into a magical adventure. The way Graci Kim takes traditions and lore and incorporates them into an exciting contemporary fantasy setting makes my heart soar as a Korean reader. This fantastical story is filled with heart and humor. Readers who love magical adventures, complex family relationships, and sisterhood—not to mention food!—should pick up THE LAST FALLEN STAR immediately!"—Kat Cho, internationally best-selling author of Vicious Spirits

“Korean mythology gets a modern twist in this rollicking adventure by debut author Graci Kim. From entering a secret temple by way of the fried chicken counter at H-Mart to summoning a goddess at the Santa Monica Pier, every chapter of this novel delights and surprises. At times laugh-out-loud hilarious, at times heartwarming and poignant, The Last Fallen Star will capture the imaginations of readers for years to come!”—Axie Oh, author of Rebel Seoul and Rogue Heart

“Reading The Last Fallen Star is like taking a course in Korean mythology taught by your favorite teacher ever—while riding a gigantic roller coaster beneath a sky filled with shooting stars! I loved following Riley's thrilling adventures, and pass the bulgogi tacos, please.”—Linda Sue Park, Newbery Medalist for A Single Shard

“Like a true magician, Graci Kim intertwines Korean mythology with an all-too-relatable sister story in her heart-stopping adventure that's sure to capture the heart of anyone who's ever felt like an outsider. You can't help but root for plucky Riley Oh as she engages on a quest to find belonging and acceptance.” —Jessica Kim, author of Stand Up, Yumi Chung!

"I wish I could go back in time and hand this book to young Ellen. I would have loved it so much, because this was what I was missing in my life. Thank you, Graci, for writing it!"—Ellen Oh, author of The Dragon Egg Princess and the Spirit Hunters series

"The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim absolutely shines. Riley Oh's positive voice is infectious and will have readers wanting to follow her adventures long after the last page is turned." -- Zoraida Córdova, award-winning author of the Brooklyn Brujas series

My Review

As with any Rick Riordan Presents book, The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim plunges the reader into an adventure of epic proportions, and this time it is an adventure revolving around Korean mythology, magic, and mayhem.  A culture that I am not very familiar with, I appreciated the urban fantasy setting that Kim used to bring such a rich mythological history to present day.

Kim weaves a tale that will have you on the edge of your seat, as Riley and her best friend Emmett fight to save Hattie, Riley's older sister.  Riley is tasked with finding the "Last Fallen Star", and this journey will bring her and Emmett up against some intense monsters, like dokkaebi and inmyeonjo, and will bring to light some secrets showing that the clans' magic isn't exactly as it seems.  And through every moment of danger, the driving force is love: love of family, love of community, and love of self.

The best part of middle grade books is that they often teach life lessons wrapped in the guise of epic adventures, and The Last Fallen Star is no different.  Kim does an amazing job of focusing on the unbreakable bounds of family and discovering how one forges their place in the world, both important things for kids (and adults) to learn about.  

A fantastical story grounded in the real world, you will love learning about Riley's heritage and her family's magical powers, while learning about real Korean mythology.  Don't miss out on The Last Fallen Star by Graci Kim, and perfect addition to the Rick Riordan Presents group of books!

Final Rating

About the Author

Graci Kim is a Korean-Kiwi diplomat turned author who writes about the magic she wants to see in the world. The Last Fallen Star is her middle grade debut. In a previous life she used to be a cooking show host, and she once ran a business that turned children's drawings into plushies. When she's not lost in her imagination, you'll find Graci drinking flat whites, eating ramyeon, and most likely hugging a dog (or ideally, many). She lives in New Zealand with her husband and daughter. Follow her on Twitter @gracikim and Instagram @gracikimwrites.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE LAST FALLEN STAR. US Only.




I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the THE HOLLOW INSIDE by Brooke Lauren Davis Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

The Hollow Inside
Brooke Lauren Davis
Publication Date: May 25, 2021
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, audiobook; 352 pgs
Publisher: Bloomsbury YA
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon Kindle - Audible
Barnes & Noble - iBooks - Kobo The Book Depository - Bookshop.org
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule

Week One
5/17/2021 - YA Books Central - Excerpt
5/17/2021 - onemusedReview
5/18/2021 - Eli to the nth - Excerpt
5/18/2021 - Here's to Happy EndingsReview
5/19/2021 - MomfluensterReview
5/19/2021 - A Court of Coffee and BooksReview
5/20/2021 - My Fictional OasisReview
5/20/2021 - booksaremagictooReview
5/21/2021 - Book BriefsReview
5/21/2021 - Do You Dog-ear?Review

The Summary

Sadie meets The Glass Castle in a smart, gripping, and twisty YA debut about a girl seeking to reveal the truth about her mother-and herself.

Seventeen-year-old Phoenix has spent much of her life drifting from town to town with her mom Nina, using their charms to swindle and steal to get by. Now they've made it to their ultimate destination, Mom's hometown of Jasper Hollow. The plan: bring down Ellis Bowman, the man who ruined Nina's life.

When Phoenix gets caught spying on Ellis, she spins a convincing story that inadvertently gives her full access to the Bowman family. As she digs deeper into their secrets (and begins to fall for daughter Melody), she finds herself entrenched in the tale of a death and a disappearance that doesn't entirely line up with what Mom has told her.

But there's even more to this story Phoenix doesn't know. Who, if anyone, is telling the whole truth about what happened? Debut author Brooke Lauren Davis explores the murkiness of right and wrong, of choices and consequences, of heroes and villains, in an eerily compelling and thought-provoking small-town saga.

The Hollow Inside is a haunting debut, as thrilling as it is lyrical. Steeped in small town secrets and layered mysteries that unfold with perfect pacing, Brooke Lauren Davis delivers a powerful story about the lengths we're willing to go to for family, and the price we pay when the ones we love reveal their true natures. I loved every bit of this twisty, poetic book.” ―New York Times bestselling author David Arnold

“A propulsive, gritty thriller from an exciting new voice in YA fiction. I can't wait to see what Brooke Lauren Davis does next.” ―Kara Thomas, author of THE CHEERLEADERS

“The author evocatively captures the feel of small-town life, and Phoenix, whose longing for a family is palpable, inspires sympathy, as does Nina, whose own story is interspersed throughout. . . . A page-turning debut.” ―Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Brooke Lauren Davis is the author of THE HOLLOW INSIDE (Bloomsbury YA /May 25, 2021), and she never quite knows what to say when people ask her where she’s from. An unruly child in suburban Virginia, a surly teenager in rural Ohio, and a bewildered college student in small-town Indiana, she’s now a hopelessly book-obsessed adult in Louisville, Kentucky. She loves stories of all kinds, from plays, to ballets, to TV shows, to memories rehashed over the dinner table. When she’s not writing, she can usually be found annoying her pets, haunting bookstores, or shouting Jeopardy! answers at the TV. 

3 winners will receive a Finished Copy of THE HOLLOW INSIDE, US Only.





10 Truths and a Dare
Authors(s): Ashley Elston
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook; 304 pgs
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon Kindle Audible
Bookshop.org - Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule

Week One
5/1/2021 - The Book View - Review

Week Two
5/2/2021 - What A Nerd Girl Says - Excerpt
5/3/2021 - YA Books Central - Excerpt
5/4/2021 - Fire and Ice - Review
5/5/2021 - BookHounds YA - Excerpt
5/6/2021 - YA Book Nerd - Review
5/7/2021 - Lifestyle of Me - Review
5/8/2021 - Moonlight Rendezvous - Review

Week Three
5/9/2021 - Jenguerdy - Review
5/10/2021 - Ficticiouswonderland - Review
5/11/2021 - Book-Keeping - Review
5/12/2021 - Amani’s Reviews - Review
5/13/2021 - booksaremagictoo - Review
5/14/2021 - Eli to the nth - Review
5/15/2021 - Emelie's Books - Review

Week Four
5/16/2021 - Kait Plus Books - Excerpt
5/17/2021 - Zainey Laney - Review
5/18/2021 - onemused - Review
5/19/2021 - Midnightbooklover - Review
5/20/2021 - amandainpa - Review
5/21/2021 - Geauxgetlit - Review
5/22/2021 - two points of interest - Review

Week Five
5/23/2021 - Book Briefs - Review
5/24/2021 - Momfluenster - Review
5/25/2021 - Star-Crossed Book Blog - Review
5/26/2021 - michellemengsbookblog - Review
5/27/2021 - Rajiv's Reviews - Review
5/28/2021 - Do You Dog-ear? - Review
5/29/2021 - Books and Zebras - Review

Week Six
5/30/2021 - My Fictional Oasis - Review
5/31/2021 - Popthebutterfly - Review

The Summary

This companion to Ashley Elston's beloved 10 Blind Dates follows Sophie's high-achieving cousin Olivia as she juggles last-minute P.E. credit, end-of-year parties, and a secret new romance in the chaotic week before graduation.

It's Senior Party Week, that magical in-between time after classes have ended but before graduation, chock-full of gimmicky theme parties, last-minute bonding, and family traditions. Olivia couldn't be more ready. Class salutatorian and confident in her future at LSU, she's poised to sail through to the next phase of her life.

But when the tiny hiccup of an unsigned off-campus P.E. form puts Olivia in danger of not graduating at all, she has one week to set things straight without tipping off her very big and very nosy extended family. Volunteering to help at a local golf tournament should do it, but since Olivia's mom equipped her phone with a tracking app, there'll be no hiding the fact that she's at the golf course instead of all the graduation parties happening at the same time. Unless, that is, she can convince the Fab Four--her ride-or-die cousins and best friends Sophie, Charlie, and Wes--to trade phones with her as they go through the motions of playing Olivia for the week.

My Review

A quick, cute comedy full of a big family, solid friendships, an unexpected romance, and a whole lot of golf, 10 Truths and a Dare by Ashley Elston, the follow up to her book 10 Blind Dates, delivers in the fluffy fun category of YA contemporary!

In 10 Truths and a Dare, we meet back up with the Messina family, but this time we're focusing on cousin Olivia, the got-it-all-together Salutatorian.  Buuuuuut there is one tiny little snag in her grand graduation plans--she never passed her P.E. credit (oops, guess golf wasn't the priority).  And that is where the shenanigans begin!  Olivia doesn't want her nosey, yet loveable, family to find out, so she enlists the help of the other 3 of the Fab Four (Sophie, Charlie, and Wes) to run interference between her parents/grandparents/everyone while Olivia works to get those credits!  Oh, and while she's hustling, there may be a little romance, as a treat.

I adored 10 Blind Dates, so I was very excited to pick up 10 Truths and a Dare!  Not quite as adorable as the first book, this one has an underlying tone of ethics.  Not in the big, preachy way, but just as a life lesson of integrity.  This balances the book out, so that the quirky interference the cousins are running doesn't overpower the story.  But this is 100% still enjoyable, full of moments that made me snortgiggle. Just how I like my YA contemporaries--I can't read something too sugary sweet, or it doesn't ring true to me.

Elston has a knack for creating lovable, but real, characters.  Learning more about Olivia, and in turn her family, made me like them all the more.  Elston crafts real teenagers (because yes, they sometimes, who'd've thunk it, overreact), all people I could see knowing as a teenager.  While we didn't see the whole big Messina crew constantly, the focus on the Fab Four was great.  I am not close with my cousins, but I am super close with my siblings, and the relationships between all four friends (because to be clear, Wes is not their cousin) felt really similar to my own family.  Olivia and crew get up to some antics for sure, but she also learns more about herself, where her priorities should lie, and how to come clean when you mess up--all important lessons tempered with a half-baked, switch phones, fib-to-the-family plan.  

A read-in-one-sitting book, this is the perfect read to wrap up the end of a tough school year.  Check out 10 Truths and a Dare by Ashley Elston for your next YA contemporary pick!

Final Rating

About the Author

Ashley Elston is the author of several novels including: 10 Blind Dates (a Top Ten ALA Quick Pick and the companion to this book), The Rules for Disappearing (a finalist in the Best Young Adult Novel category of the International Thriller Writers Thriller Awards), This Is Our Story, and The Lying Woods. She has a liberal arts degree from Louisiana State University in Shreveport and worked for many years as a wedding photographer before turning her hand to writing. Ashley lives in Shreveport with her husband and three sons. 

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram 

 Goodreads | Amazon

3 winners will receive a finished copy of 10 TRUTHS AND A DARE, US Only.




Stuffed: Into Darkness
Authors(s): Liz Braswell
Publication Date: May 4, 2021
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook; 315 pgs
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
Buy: Amazon Kindle Audible
Bookshop.org - Barnes & Noble
Disclaimer: I received a copy from the publisher as part of a blog tour in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.

Tour Schedule

Week One
4/26/2021 - Kait Plus BooksReview
4/26/2021 - PopTheButterflyReview
4/27/2021 - Nerdophiles  - Review
4/27/2021 - booksaremagictooReview
4/28/2021 - The Momma SpotReview
4/28/2021 - BookHounds Ya  - Review
4/29/2021 - For the Love of KidLitInterview
4/29/2021 - fictitious.foxReview
4/30/2021 - Moonlight Rendezvous  - Review
4/30/2021 - I'm ShelfishReview

Week Two
5/3/2021 - MidnightbookloverReview
5/3/2021 - Two Points of interestReview
5/4/2021 - Books a Plenty Book ReviewsReview
5/4/2021 - Eli to the nthReview
5/5/2021 - Little Red ReadsReview
5/6/2021 - Lifestyle of MeReview
5/6/2021 - Celiamcmahonreads  - Review
5/7/2021 - michellemengsbookblogReview
5/7/2021 - A Dream Within A DreamExcerpt

The Summary

No Stuffy has ever gone into the Darkness and returned....

Clark can’t wait to go away to camp this year. For the first time ever, he has actual friends to hang out with. Catherine-Lucille and D. A. will both be at Camp I Can with Clark, and C. L. has already promised to induct him into her exclusive camp club—the one for campers who know everything there is to know about the world of Monsters and how Stuffies protect kids from them. And now that he knows (or suspects . . . very strongly) that his grandma-made Stuffy, Foon, heroically saved his own father from a horrible fate, Clark is obviously bringing Foon to camp along with him.

But once Clark gets to camp, he and his friends discover things are off. There are strange, gooey findings in some of the bunks, the adults are acting weird, and, worst of all, their Stuffies and dolls go missing right at the moment they need them the most—when they go on the intersession camping trip and end up trapped in a creepy old cabin. What Clark and his friends don’t know, and what the mighty Foon soon discovers, is that the Monsters have launched a revenge campaign against Foon—a campaign that entails sucking the very life out of Clark. Now it’s up to Foon to enter the World of Darkness and take on the Monster in charge in order to stop the plot and save Clark’s life. 

In the long tradition of Stuffies vs. Monsters, this one’s a battle for the ages—one that will certainly go down in Stuffy history.

My Review

The second book in the series by Liz Braswell, Into Darkness (Stuffed #2) expands upon the world we are introduced to in Stuffed--the world of monsters and Stuffies.

Now just like most kids, I had some beloved stuffies (I still have a few that keep me safe), and I knew that they had special abilities.  In Stuffed, we were introduced to this world, and in Into Darkness, this world will have to be defended once again.  Because you see there are terrible, horrible, disgusting monsters that live in the creepy corners and the shadows; ones who suck the energy from unsuspecting humans.  But Stuffies keep their humans (and even humans they may not know) safe from the monsters.  And there is no more heroic a Stuffy than Foon, the warrior stuffy that saved the Boy's (we know him as Clark) Dad from a horrible death at the hand of the King of all monsters.

Now that Clark is keyed into the world of monsters versus Stuffies, he and the friends he made at Camp I Can are tracking the monster activity.  Meanwhile, Foon and his fellow Stuffies are preparing for what seems to be an even more sinister monster plot.  Into Darkness brings Humans and Stuffies together again, working to fight back the monsters.

This is action-packed, funny, and a little frightening--a perfect combo for the adventurous middle grade reader.  The world of Stuffies is one all kids can relate too, and so many adults (because who didn't have/still has their favorite Stuffy?).  The pacing is a little slow at times, but when the action flows, it makes up for it.  I love seeing the human world from the stuffies perspective, and then also getting the view point of Clark and his friends.  Once you dive in, you'll never see your own stuffed animals the same way.  Pick up Book 1, Stuffed, and Book 2, Into Darkness, at your local bookstore as soon as possible!

Final Rating

“So how do we stop the Monsters?” Saneema asked. “Especially if none of us are here on Saturday and Sunday?”

“Well, we can start by figuring out how they’re getting into camp,” Catherine-Lucille said. “We’re in the middle of nowhere. Monsters usually hate that. They like being around people they can torture and feed on. There’s no scary bedrooms here, and we keep all our stuff under the bunks. There’s no basements or attics for them to hide in. So where are they, and how are they getting here?

“We need to keep our eyes and ears open, listen at doors when the counselors are talking. We need to make sure every weird incident is reported to us. First. So we can see if there’s a pattern or something. We need to find every potentially scary location at the camp. Dark, deserted, dismal—Monster spots. We need to ID them and set up guards.

“And we need. To make. More. Stuffies.”

About the Author

Liz Braswell spent her childhood reading fairy tales, catching frogs, and going on adventures in the woods with her stuffed animals. She has a degree in Egyptology from Brown University (and yes, she can write your name in hieroglyphs). After making video games for ten years Liz now writes full-time and plays video games for fun. She has written Snow, Rx, The Nine Lives of Chloe King, and several books in the best-selling Twisted Tale series, including Part of Your World and As Old as Time. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband, two children, a cat, a part-time dog, three fish, and five coffee trees, and still sleeps with a Stuffy.  

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Tumblr | Goodreads | Amazon

3 winners will receive a finished copy of STUFFED: INTO DARKNESS (Stuffed #2). US Only.


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