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



Title: They Stay
Authors(s): Claire Fraise
Publication Date: October 12, 2021
Edition: Paperback. eBook, audiobook; 372 pgs
Publisher: Sabertooth Press
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
PurchaseAmazon - Kindle - B&N - BAM! - TBD - Bookshop.org
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.  Please note the purchase links above are affiliate links.

Tour Schedule

Week One
11/8/2021 - Devouring Books - Guest Post
11/9/2021 - Writer of Wrongs - Guest Post
11/10/2021 - For the Love of KidLit - Excerpt
11/11/2021 - BookHounds YA - Excerpt
11/12/2021 - Don't Judge, Read - Review
11/13/2021 - Phannie the ginger bookworm - Review

Week Two
11/14/2021 - The Phantom Paragrapher - Review
11/15/2021 - More Books Please blog - Review
11/16/2021 - Once Upon a Twilight - Review
11/17/2021 - Rajiv's Reviews - Review
11/18/2021 - A Court of Coffee and Books - Review
11/19/2021 - The Momma Spot - Review
11/20/2021 - BookishConnoisseur - Review

Week Three
11/21/2021 - Jazzy Book Reviews - Review
11/22/2021 - Review Thick And Thin - Review
11/23/2021 - Book-Keeping - Review
11/24/2021 - Lifestyle of Me - Review
11/25/2021 - Karen Dee's Book Reviews - Review
11/26/2021 - @curlygrannylovestoread - Review
11/27/2021 - The Book Review Crew - Review

Week Four
11/28/2021 - Coffee and Wander Book Reviews - Review
11/29/2021 - Eli to the nth - Review
11/30/2021 - Two Points of Interest - Review

The Summary

For fans of Stranger Things comes a suspenseful YA mystery about a missing kid, a girl who can see ghosts, and a horrifying crime only four outcasts have the power to stop.

What if the only person who could help you find your missing brother was dead?

Nothing is as important to sixteen-year-old Shiloh Oleson as her little brother Max. So when the six-year-old goes missing without a trace, a heartbroken Shiloh refuses to believe nothing can be done and sets out to find him.

When one of Shiloh’s classmates says she knows where Max is, Shiloh hesitates to believe her. Francesca is creepy. She says she can see ghosts, but everyone knows ghosts aren’t real … right?

But Francesca says that Max is going to be murdered.

And a ghost told her where he is.

As the line between the dead and living begins to blur, Shiloh starts to think Francesca might not be as crazy as she believed. One thing is becoming clear. Someone has gruesome plans for Max, and Shiloh must confront her worst nightmares to find him before it’s too late.

THEY STAY is the first book in the thrilling They Stay Series by award-winning author Claire Fraise. Read on if you like ghost stories, plot twists, enemies-to-friends, creepy circuses, budding romance, and unlikely heroes.

CONTENT WARNINGS: This book contains physical and mental abuse, death, violence, kidnapping, gun violence, alcohol abuse, references to suicide, implied sexual abuse (non-graphic), bullying, and mild adult language.

Praise for THEY STAY:
"Fraise successfully creates an atmosphere like a cold graveyard, and a heart-thundering story that will haunt you more than any ghost can." — Briar Esterline, author of Ablem's Sanctuary

My Review

They Stay by Claire Fraise is a twisty, supernatural read that melds contemporary thriller and supernatural thriller very well.

There are two story lines going on when we open the book: one following Shiloh, a girl desperately seeking her brother who was abducted, and one following Francesca, the town's resident crazy who can actually see and talk to ghosts.  Both of them feel othered, either by their own family or the town at large.  We follow their two stories until they come together, when Francesca tells Shiloh she knows how to find her brother.  I won't say more than that because :spoilers:.

While I don't often love first person narrative when it comes to thrillers, I think the subject matter for this story fits well with it.  It is deeply personal on both girls' parts and the direct look into their mindset puts the reader in the driver's seat. This makes the events that happen that much more impactful.

Please be aware of the Content Warnings that are included by the author, because the story can get very intense, and may be triggering for some readers.  While I got into the plot, I did find there was a little too much explaining (backstory etc.) for my tastes.  but with that said, I still found it enjoyable and to be a solid thriller novel.  

From just a "judge a book by it's cover" view, this one knocks it out.  Very eerie and bold, definitely giving the correct vibe for the story.  This is not a standalone, so if you're looking for a new YA thriller series to start, then They Stay by Claire Fraise will be a great choice.  

Final Rating


Chapter 2

In the whole of my sophomore class at Bethany High School, there isn’t a girl who’s more odd than me. 

I can see it in their eyes when they look at me. The other children at school. The boy with the kind face doing the bags at the grocery store. Even my teachers side-eye me when I walk into the classroom and sink into a desk in the back in the hope it will stop everyone from staring at me. I have gotten used to the stares, but I do not particularly enjoy them. 

Do you see that creepy girl? they whisper. That’s Francesca Russo. Francesca Firestarter. Eight years ago, she burned a guy. Lit his dead body on fire at his own funeral. They laugh, they shout. Hey Francesca, he was dead anyway. What was the point? 

While their words are mean, it is true. I did exactly what they said I did. But what is also true, but what nobody cares to believe, is that I didn’t burn him because I’m crazy. 

I burned him because he asked me to. 

I was eight years old on the day of George R. Haggarty’s funeral. The service was boring—I remember that much. George Haggarty died not long after my mother, and I remember not being pleased being back in the pews, sandwiched between my father and brother, smelling of wood polish and sanctity and listening to strangers give speeches full of words I didn’t understand. Next to me a woman was crying silently. I watched her chest heave, saw her tears flow, and felt nothing. Death, as a concept, had never been elusive to me, even when I was eight. Once people die, they exit their bodies and transform into versions of themselves made of mist and moonlight. I can’t touch them. Most people don’t even see them. They wander the earth until they fade away and sink back into its fabric after a few years. Sometimes more, sometimes less. My friend Mrs. Lewis has lived in the cemetery for close to ten years, but when my mother died she faded away before I even got a chance to see her. My heart squeezed at the thought.

I missed her. I wished I could still see her. Even the afterlife isn’t fair.

About the Author

Claire Fraise earned her B.A. in English from Tufts University. She published her debut novel when she was 16 (award-winning YA dystopian novel Imperfect), and her YA supernatural thriller They Stay is coming out in October 2021. When Claire’s not writing, she likes crocheting amigurumi animals, reading, and hanging out with her dogs. Even though it goes against every introverted bone in her body, she is on social media. Connect with her on Instagram at @clairefraiseauthor, on YouTube at Write with Claire Fraise, or visit her website at clairefraise.com.

Sign up here to get Claire’s Newsletter 

1 winner will receive a finished copy of THEY STAY, US Only.




Title: Heartless Prince
Author & Illustrator: Leigh Dragoon & Angela De Vito 
Publication Date: November 2, 2021
Edition: Hardcover, paperback. eBook; 160 pgs
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Source: Rockstar Book Tours
PurchaseAmazon - B&N - TBD - Bookshop.org
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.  Please note the purchase links above are affiliate links.

Tour Schedule

Week One
11/1/2021 - For the Love of KidLit - Excerpt
11/2/2021 - BookHounds YA - Excerpt
11/3/2021 - Kait Plus Books - Excerpt
11/4/2021 - Book-Keeping - Review
11/5/2021 - Books Are Magic Too - Review
11/6/2021 - Nerdophiles - Review

Week Two
11/7/2021 - ZaineyLaney - Review
11/8/2021 - The book review crew - Review
11/9/2021 - History from a Woman’s Perspective - Review
11/10/2021 - A Backwards Story - Review
11/11/2021 - celiamcmahonreads - Review
11/12/2021 - Rajiv's Reviews - Review
11/13/2021 - More Books Please blog - Review

Week Three
11/14/2021 - A Bookish Dream - Review
11/15/2021 - @more.books.yes.please - Review
11/16/2021 - lexijavabookish - Review
11/17/2021 - Once Upon a Twilight - Review
11/18/2021 - A Court of Coffee and Books - Review
11/19/2021 - Don't Judge, Read - Review
11/20/2021 - Bri's Book Nook - Review

Week Four
11/21/2021 - @momfluenster - Review
11/22/2021 - The Momma Spot - Review
11/23/2021 - Emelie's Books - Review
11/24/2021 - Nonbinary Knight Reads - Review
11/25/2021 - The Bookwyrm's Den - Review
11/26/2021 - Eli to the nth - Review
11/27/2021 - Lifestyle of Me - Review

Week Five
11/28/2021 - Two Points of Interest - Review
11/29/2021 - onemused - Review
11/30/2021 - popthebutterfly - Review

The Summary

A fierce warrior must save the heart of her beloved prince before it's too late in the first book of a new YA fantasy-adventure graphic novel trilogy, perfect for fans of Noelle Stevenson's Nimona and Kazu Kibuishi's Amulet

Evony is an orphaned princess from a kingdom destroyed by a power-hungry witch. Prince Ammon has recently been drawn to her, or at least he’s drawn to her uncanny ability to sense when familiars—servants to the witches—are approaching his kingdom’s borders. And Evony, well Evony has always longed for something more with Ammon. Wanting to prove himself to his kingdom and parents, Ammon takes Evony outside the borders to fight the familiars head-to-head. All is well until they’re captured by witch Aradia, who steals Ammon’s heart and leaves his body to turn into one of her familiars. What’s worse, his sister Nissa has been taken hostage by Aradia’s daughter. Evony makes it her miss onto retrieve Ammon’s heart and save Nissa, taking her into the mysterious Witchlands. There, she will discover a secret about her past that will change everything.

An enchanting, intense tale of mystery and magic - this book reveals both the vision and vibrant, young talents of Angela and Leigh throughout dense and rich pages full of visual delight and narrative wit.―Matias Bergara, illustrator of CODA

The Heartless Prince is a romantic and thrilling fantasy with strong characters and compelling twists.―Victoria Ying, author of City of Secrets

With a palette of whimsical hues and a heartful cast of characters, HEARTLESS PRINCE is a fantastic read full of witches, adventure, and destiny. I can't wait to devour the sequel!
Hafsah Faizal, NYT bestselling author of WE HUNT THE FLAME
My Review

Heartless Prince by Leigh Dragoon and Angela De Vito introduces readers to a new fantasy world full of witches and stolen hearts.  

Princess Evony was orphaned as a baby due to a witch's attack on her kingdom.  Saved by a young town's boy, she is brought to Gallea, a neighboring kingdom protected by a magical barrier tied to their Prince's heart. Prince Ammon and Princess Evony help the King and Queen to train and fight against the witches and their familiars.  The fate of their kingdom rests on their shoulders.

A fun, light fantasy-story, this book gears up to be a part of a series.  While the plot and character development is light, there are some fun action and magic woven within.  The art  is reminiscent of Disney's style, but with a rough edge to it, sometimes making it hard to see the comic clearly.  But the color usage is well-done, evoking the correct mood throughout the story.

I hope that the second book builds this world stronger and establishes the context of Evony's and Ammon's origins better.  Overall, it was a fun read, and I would read further into the series.

Final Rating


About the Author & Illustrator

Leigh Dragoon was raised in a log cabin in the Adirondacks, where she developed an early love of reading and writing. She became a fan of Little Women at age nine, after Beth’s demise made her bawl herself to sleep. This led to a lifelong appreciation of the book. After years of annual rereads, she became fascinated with learning about Louisa May and her family. She adapted both Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy and Marie Lu’s Legend series into graphic novel scripts. She has also written two prose Adventure Time novels: Queen of Rogues and The Lonesome Outlaw.

Angela De Vito is a freelance animator, storyboard artist, and character designer working in NYC. She graduated from the School of Visual Arts with a BFA in Animation in 2014. Since then she has worked on animation for commercials and series pitches. Angela has worked for such studios as Hornet, Inc.; Titmouse, Inc.; Aardman Nathan Love; Click 3X; CHRLX; and Disney Digital Network. She also animation directed Comedy Central Digital’s Loafy, created by Bobby Moynihan. She lives with her family and her two adorable, rambunctious cats.

3 winner will receive a finished copy of HEARTLESS PRINCE, US Only.




Title: Out of My Heart 
Authors(s): Sharon M. Draper
Publication Date: November 9, 2021
Edition: Hardcover, eBook, Audiobook; 352 pgs
PublisherAtheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
SourceRockstar Book Tours
PurchaseAmazon - Kindle - Audible - B&N - BAM! - iBooks - Kobo - TBD - Bookshop.org
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.  Please note the purchase links above are affiliate links.

Tour Schedule

Week One
11/8/2021 - Kait Plus Books - Excerpt
11/8/2021 - Rajiv's Reviews - Review
11/9/2021 - bookblogarama - Excerpt
11/9/2021 - Little Red Reads - Review
11/10/2021 - Locks, Hooks and Books - Review
11/10/2021 - Lifestyle of Me - Review
11/11/2021 - Bri's Book Nook - Review
11/11/2021 - Sparetimereader - Review
11/12/2021 - More Books Please Blog - Review
11/12/2021 - OneMoreExclamation - Review

Week Two
11/15/2021 - Wilted Pages - Review
11/15/2021 - Don't Judge, Read - Excerpt
11/16/2021 - For the Love of KidLit - Excerpt
11/16/2021 - BookHounds YA - Review
11/17/2021 - Eli to the nth - Review
11/17/2021 - Two Points of Interest - Review
11/18/2021 - Not In Jersey - Review
11/18/2021 - @bookshelfmomma - Review
11/19/2021 - Once Upon a Twilight - Review
11/19/2021 - The Momma Spot - Review

The Summary

Melody faces her fears to follow her passion in this stunning sequel to the acclaimed, New York Times bestselling middle grade novel Out of My Mind.

Melody, the huge-hearted heroine of Out of My Mind, is a year older, and a year braver. And now with her Medi-talker, she feels nothing’s out of her reach, not even summer camp. There have to be camps for differently-abled kids like her, and she’s going to sleuth one out. A place where she can trek through a forest, fly on a zip line, and even ride on a horse! A place where maybe she really can finally make a real friend, make her own decisions, and even do things on her own—the dream!

By the light of flickering campfires and the power of thunderstorms, through the terror of unexpected creatures in cabins and the first sparkle of a crush, Melody’s about to discover how brave and strong she really is.

"A deeply satisfying and worthy continuation of a beloved story." (Kirkus Reviews, STARRED September 15, 2021)

“Melody Brooks, a smart, determined 12-year-old diagnosed with cerebral palsy, returns in this sequel to 2010’s Out of My Mind. Longing for independence from her family and daily routines, she persuades her parents to let her attend Camp Green Glades, a summer camp for kids with disabilities in her home state of Ohio. With the help of her Jamaican American counselor Trinity and three cabinmates, Melody navigates new experiences—including zip-lining, horseback riding, and a first crush. Melody’s voice is as wryly funny as ever, and the supporting cast, which features kids and adults of various ethnicities and disabilities, treat her with respect and empathy… it’s impossible not to be charmed by the witty protagonist’s affirming, frequently ecstatic discovery of what it means to be part of a community that truly understands her.”
(Publishers Weekly *STARRED REVIEW* October 11, 2021)

My Review

I really hope that everyone has gotten to read Out of My Mind by Sharon M. Draper, the first book in this duology, because while you can enjoy Out of My Heart without having read it, there is so much more to Melody that you need to know before you can appreciate the amazing, transformational experience she goes on at summer camp.

Quick recap to give context (this is the barest of bare minimum's so please read Out of My Mind to get everything): Melody has cerebral palsy, and she cannot communicate the way most people do because of that.  Also, due to this, many people in her life think she isn't intelligent; kids in her class, teachers, and even doctors!  But Melody has a photographic memory and is extremely intelligent.  Once she receives a "Medi-talker", a machine that can speak for her via text-to-speech, she has the means to communicate and show everyone just how smart she really is.

Out of My Heart takes place the summer after the school year explored in Out of My Mind, where Melody has gotten more and more confident in herself because she has the means to finally make herself heard.  With that comes a desire to explore the world outside of her norm, and do things other kids do: like summer camp.  She thinks there must be a camp for kids like her, and she sets off, with the help of her favorite librarian (yes for librarians!). Melody researches different options, and then makes her case to her parents.  Of course, she convinces them because Melody knows what's up!

What Draper does so beautifully in both books is delve into the emotionality of Melody.  The reader spends a lot of time, understandably, in Melody's head, and because of that, they get to see the complexity of each situation Melody has to face.  Melody is away from her whole support system for the first time, which can be nerve-wracking for a kid who isn't reliant on other people, let alone someone like Melody who needs help with a multitude of things.  But this never stops her from trying, even things that might be scary.  And that is the beautiful thing about Melody's spirit that Draper makes clear.  She isn't easily defeated.

The summer camp experience broadens Melody's horizons, and does show her how capable she is, and what joy she can get out of life.  It also brings a delightful cast of supporting characters, through the camp counselors and her fellow campers.  The camp, Camp Green Glades, is made to be accessible for kids with all sorts of disabilities, and Draper crafts those different experiences in a way that always shines a light on the fact that their lives aren't lesser because of these disabilities, just different.  I really appreciate that, because as Melody herself mentions, it isn't just kids who make her, and others like her, feel crummy about themselves, it's adults too.

This is a beautiful expansion on the original story.  So full of joy and strength, the reader won't help but cheer and cheer and cheer for Melody as she learns just how joyful and strong her soul is.  An important book to keep in libraries and classrooms, I really urge you to pick up Out of My Mind and Out of My Heart, to learn all about this very special character that Sharon M. Draper has introduced to the world!

Final Rating

About the Author

Katie Schneider Photography

Sharon M. Draper is a three-time New York Times bestselling author and a recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards Award honoring her significant and lasting contribution to writing for teens. She has received the Coretta Scott King Award for both Copper Sun and Forged by Fire, and was awarded the Charlotte Huck Award for Stella by Starlight. Her novel Out of My Mind has won multiple awards and was a New York Times bestseller for over three years, and Blended has also been a New York Times bestseller. She taught high school English for twenty-five years and was named National Teacher of the Year. She now lives in Florida. Visit her at SharonDraper.com.

2 winners will receive a finished copy of OUT OF MY HEART, US Only.


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