All posts by Kelly

Phantom Limbs (mini-review)

Finished Phantom Limbs by Paula Garner. I received a copy for review. 

Otis is an only child, sort of. His younger brother died suddenly three years ago and it wrecked his family. And it caused his best friend and quasi-girlfriend Meg to disappear (she was sort of involved but, like Otis, we don’t know exactly what happened for most of the book). 

This is a book about grieving and it’s an honest one. Enough time has passed where it’s not quite as sharp and immediate but it’s still very much there. 

This book broke my heart multiple times but it’s worth the pain. Recommended. 

TV (The Book)

Finished TV (The Book) by Alan Sepinwall and Matt Zoller Seitz. I received a copy for review. 

This is exactly what you’d expect: a selection of the 100 best TV shows ever. (There is also a list in the back of shows that may be included once their runs are over.)

I’m going to admit that I am not a big TV watcher although (a) I am very passionate about what I do watch and that (b) almost literally all my favorites are listed here. (I may not watch much but I watch quality, damn it!)

I’m not sure I agree with everything (Mad Men not in the top five? THE SIMPSONS AS THE BEST SHOW EVER?!) but am willing to concede that they are experts and I am not willing to watch almost 30 years’ worth of the Simpsons to crack my knuckles and say that I KNEW it wasn’t the best. 

This will be an excellent present for both your TV-obsessed friend and for the person like me who really does mean to catch up on everything, once she gets some time. 


The Women in the Walls

Finished The Women in the Walls by Amy Lukavics. I received a copy for review. 

Lucy lives in a gorgeous Victorian mansion with her dad, aunt and cousin. Her mom died when she was little but beyond that, her life is pretty idyllic. OK, yes, her dad is a jerk and obsessed with family image but still—good life. And then her aunt disappears and her cousin goes crazy. And THEN Lucy starts to hear what Margaret (the cousin) told her about…

This book is messed up. I loved it but Amy Lukavics is not safe*. I enjoy reading YA horror and she is definitely the queen of it. There are a lot of authors I like but hers are easily the scariest. (Most are more creepy or unsettling than anything.)

Highly recommended but go in knowing that this book does not play fair and that there are things that you won’t be able to get out of your head. 

* = There’s a story about Scream where Wes Craven deliberately had a major star die in the first scene because then audiences would be off-balance and not feel safe. I DID NOT FEEL SAFE READING THIS. 


Finished Frazzled by Booki Vivat. I received a copy for review. 

Abbie Wu is stuck in the middle. Her older brother is essentially perfect and her little sister is adorable; she’s the forgotten Wu. Her two best friends both have passions and skills; she does not have A Thing of her own. And now she’s starting the worst middle of all: middle school. 

This book is absolutely adorable. The text is sprinkled with drawings of what’s going on in Abbie’s mind. And for those of us who weren’t born with a skill/ideal job choice, it’s nice to see things work out for one of our own. ;)

(And if your middle schooler wants to read it, it makes middle school look much better than it actually is. Bonus!)


The Dead Boyfriend (mini-review)

Finished The Dead Boyfriend by RL Stine. I received a copy for review. 

The Fear Street books are a huge part of my childhood and I’ve mostly loved the new ones. They’re not scary (at least, not to me) but they’re really fun. 

That said, I was not a huge fan of this one. The plot started out solid (Caitlin is dating a seemingly perfect guy…until he’s not. He ends up dead–not a spoiler; it’s literally the title!–but now he’s back) but got increasingly silly. And the ending was a cheat. 

Finn’s Choice

Finished Finn’s Choice by Darby Karchut. I received a copy for review. This originally ran last month. 

It breaks my heart that this is the last Finn Finnegan book. This series has been such an absolute delight and, while this book was everything I could’ve possibly wanted, I am not ready to say goodbye to Finn or Gideon. 

It helps that there’s a little crossover between both of Darby’s other series…but it doesn’t help that much because I will probably never read a new Finn story again and frankly, that’s unacceptable. 

If you are looking for a fantastic MG series that features one of the best father/son relationships ever plus Irish folklore plus strong characters, read these four books. You’ll thank me later.

Highly recommended. 

As I Descended

Finished As I Descended by Robin Talley. I received a copy for review. 

For what feels like years, I have been campaigning for a YA Macbeth and now there finally is one. Even better, it’s gay YA Macbeth. And best of all, Robin Talley—one of my favorite authors—was the one to write it. 

We all know what Macbeth is about so let’s just start discussing the book. Robin Talley slowly ratchets up the tension so that by the end, I was just as freaked out as Maria and Lily were. I absolutely understood how they were losing their grip on reality, because I felt like I was too. 

Between that and Brandon and Mateo trying to figure out what really happened to Delilah, it felt very claustrophobic in a way–problems were closing in on Maria and Lily from all sides and the potential ways for the story to end well kept closing off one by one. 

This is an absolute triumph of a novel. Highly recommended. 

How to Make Out

Finished How to Make Out by Brianna Shrum. I received a copy for review. 

I am on a roll with excellent books!

This one is about Renley. She needs to earn money for a school trip and decides to start an advice blog. The questions start out pretty lighthearted but quickly get more serious (how to get over a hangover, for example, but there are also sexual ones). 

The book is hilarious, especially at first. As the blog questions get more interesting, though, the book gets much more serious. Ultimately, Renley has to figure out what she wants and what kind of person she wants to be. 

I am absolutely Team Renley and loved spending a few hours in her company. 

Highly recommended. 

A Night In With Audrey Hepburn

Finished A Night in with Audrey Hepburn by Lucy Holliday. I received a copy for review. 

Things aren’t going well for Libby Lomax. She’s about to make her major acting debut (relatively speaking–she’s in a hideous costume but she’s got a speaking line!) when she humiliates herself in front of the super cute lead actor by setting her hair on fire…which, of course, leads to the end of that particular role. Except when she gets to her new apartment, she learns she has a roommate: Audrey Hepburn. Ghost? Hallucination? Brain tumor?

I flew through this delightful book. I love Libby and I spent a lot of the book cringing for her as things kept going wrong. (Think Bridget Jones-level mishaps.)

And who doesn’t want Audrey Hepburn as a surprise visitor? (Subsequent books have Marilyn Monroe and Grace Kelly stopping by. I want to read them but given my choice, I’d probably opt for Katharine Hepburn and Lauren Bacall.) 


More About Boy

Finished More About Boy by Roald Dahl. I received a copy for review to be able to participate in this blog tour. 

“Roald Dahl got all of his wonderful ideas for stories from his own life. He told the story of his childhood in Boy. Now More About Boy features behind-the-scenes material—plus some secrets he left out. Enjoy tales about the Great Mouse Plot, mean old ladies, and lots and lots of chocolate—the inspiration for some of the world-famous, bestselling books he would eventually write. This new edition includes some funny and some frightening—but all true—things that have NEVER been revealed before!”

This is the story of Roald Dahl’s childhood. (It also goes into his first job, where he worked for Shell.) Photos and letters and, best of all, liner notes of where his ideas for books likely came from, are also included. 

Most avid readers who are roughly my age are huge Roald Dahl fans. I am no exception; I love Matilda and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and The Witches. I’m not sure I’ve ever laughed harder than I did when encountering the Twits for the first time. So while it’s safe to say that I love Roald Dahl, it’s ALSO fair to point out that I didn’t really know him. 

More About Boy changed that. We learn a lot about his childhood (he goes to boarding school from a young age, not long after he is caned for a silly prank). And oh yeah, the pranks! I’m guessing that’s where the Twits’ love of mischief comes from. 

If you are also a Roald Dahl fan, read this. It’s captivating and I guarantee you’ll love it. 

Roald Dahl (1916–1990) was one of the world’s most imaginative, successful and beloved storytellers. He was born in Wales of Norwegian parents and spent much of his childhood in England. After establishing himself as a writer for adults with short story collections such as Kiss Kiss and Tales of the Unexpected, Roald Dahl began writing children’s stories in 1960 while living with his family in both the U.S. and in England. His first stories were written as entertainment for his own children, to whom many of his books are dedicated. 


Roald Dahl’s first children’s story, The Gremlins, was a story about little creatures that were responsible for the various mechanical failures on airplanes. The Gremlins came to the attention of both First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, who loved to read the story to her grandchildren, and Walt Disney, with whom Roald Dahl had discussions about the production of a movie. 


Roald Dahl was inspired by American culture and by many of the most quintessential American landmarks to write some of his most memorable passages, such as the thrilling final scenes in James and the Giant Peach – when the peach lands on the Empire State Building! Upon the publication of James and the Giant Peach, Roald Dahl began work on the story that would later be published as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and today, Roald Dahl’s stories are available in 58 languages and, by a conservative estimate, have sold more than 200 million copies. 

Roald Dahl also enjoyed great success for the screenplays he wrote for both the James Bond film You Only Live Twice in 1967 and for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, released one year later, which went on to become a beloved family film.  Roald Dahl’s popularity continues to increase as his fantastic novels, including James and the Giant Peach, Fantastic Mr. Fox, Matilda, The BFG, and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, delight an ever-growing legion of fans.  

Two charities have been founded in Roald Dahl’s memory: the first charity, Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity, created in 1991, focuses on making life better for seriously ill children through the funding of specialist nurses, innovative medical training, hospitals, and individual families across the UK. 


The second charity, The Roald Dahl Museum and Story Centre – a unique cultural, literary and education hub – opened in June 2005 in Great Missenden where Roald Dahl lived and wrote many of his best-loved works. 10% of income from Roald Dahl books and adaptations are donated to the two Roald Dahl charities. 


On September 13, 2006, the first national Roald Dahl Day was celebrated, on what would have been the author’s 90th birthday. The event proved such a success that Roald Dahl Day is now marked annually all over the world. September 13, 2016 is Roald Dahl 100, marking 100 years since the birth of the world’s number one storyteller. There will be celebrations for Roald Dahl 100 throughout 2016, delivering a year packed with gloriumptious treats and surprises for everyone.


1 winner can pick 5 books from the Roald Dahl collection! US Only.
Click here to enter. Good luck!


Fiction Fare

Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes


Nicole’s Novel Reads

The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets


Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile

Skin and Other Stories


Intellectual Recreation

Love From Boy



More About Boy


One Night Book Stand

Revolting Rhymes


The Quiet Concert

The Minpins


Reads All the Books

Dirty Beasts


Here’s to Happy Endings

The Enormous Crocodile


He Said Books or Me

D is for Dahl


Dizneeee’s World of Books

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More


The Innocent Smiley

The Vicar of Nibbleswick



Esio Trot


Emily Reads Everything

Danny, The Champion of the World


Writing My Own Fairy Tale

George’s Marvelous Medicine


Rebelle Reads

Fantastic Mr. Fox


Quest Reviews

Going Solo


Mundie Kids

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory


Stuck In Books

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator


No BS Book Reviews




The Twits


Forever Bookish

Boy: Tales of Childhood


Miranda’s Book Blog

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me


I Turn the Pages



The Irish Banana Review

The Witches


Actin’ Up with Books

The Magic Finger


Swoony Boys Podcast

James and the Giant Peach