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.) 

Recommended. 

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. 
Synopsis:

“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. 
About ROALD DAHL:

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.

 
Giveaway:

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

9/12

Fiction Fare

Roald Dahl’s Revolting Recipes

http://www.fictionfare.com

9/13

Nicole’s Novel Reads

The Missing Golden Ticket and Other Splendiferous Secrets

http://nicolesnovelreads.blogspot.com

9/14

Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile

Skin and Other Stories

rantsandravesofabibliophile.wordpress.com

9/15

Intellectual Recreation

Love From Boy

http://www.intellectualrecreation.com

9/16

KellyVision

More About Boy

Kellyvision.wordpress.com

9/17

One Night Book Stand

Revolting Rhymes

https://onenightbookstandblog.wordpress.com

9/18

The Quiet Concert

The Minpins

http://thequietconcert.blogspot.com/

9/19

Reads All the Books

Dirty Beasts

http://www.ReadeAlltheBooks.com

9/20

Here’s to Happy Endings

The Enormous Crocodile

http://www.herestohappyendings.com

9/21

He Said Books or Me

D is for Dahl

Hesaidbooksorme.blogspot.com

9/22

Dizneeee’s World of Books

The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar and Six More

http://dizneeeesworldofbooks.blogspot.com

9/23

The Innocent Smiley

The Vicar of Nibbleswick

http://www.theinnocentsmiley.com

9/24

PaperTrailYa

Esio Trot

PaperTrailYA.co.uk

9/25

Emily Reads Everything

Danny, The Champion of the World

Www.emilyreadseverything.com

9/26

Writing My Own Fairy Tale

George’s Marvelous Medicine

http://www.writingmyownfairytale.com

9/27

Rebelle Reads

Fantastic Mr. Fox

rebellereads.blogspot.com

9/28

Quest Reviews

Going Solo

http://www.questreviews.com

9/29

Mundie Kids

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

http://www.mundiekids.blogspot.com

9/30

Stuck In Books

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator

http://stuckinbooks.com

10/1

No BS Book Reviews

Matilda

http://nobsbookreviews.com

10/2

Novelgossip

The Twits

https://novelgossip.com

10/3

Forever Bookish

Boy: Tales of Childhood

foreverbookish.com

10/4

Miranda’s Book Blog

The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me

https://mirandasbookreviews.blogspot.com

10/5

I Turn the Pages

The BFG

http://www.iturnthepages.com

10/6

The Irish Banana Review

The Witches

http://theirishbanana.blogspot.com

10/7

Actin’ Up with Books

The Magic Finger

http://actinupwithbooks.blogspot.com

10/8

Swoony Boys Podcast

James and the Giant Peach

http://www.swoonyboyspodcast.com 

Afterward

Finished Afterward by Jennifer Mathieu. I received a copy for review. 

Four years ago, Ethan was kidnapped. Several days ago, the man who took Ethan also kidnapped Dylan, an autistic boy. The two were rescued but both are having trouble getting back to normal. Dylan’s sister Caroline thinks it might be better if she could talk to Ethan about what Dylan went through. And so the two become friends, sort of. 

I loved Jennifer Mathieu’s second novel, Devoted, and this is even better. It’s a kidnapping novel that focuses much more on the aftermath, which I think is relatively rarely explored. 

Also, while her books tend to be dark, there’s also a major undercurrent of hope. You know that the characters will end up ok, even if they’re not there now. 

I haven’t read her first book yet but I am desperate to. 

Highly recommended. 

Three Dark Crowns

Finished Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. I received a copy for review. 

For basically ever, three queens compete over who will get to rule. One will win; two will die. 

There is no way this review will do Three Dark Crowns justice. It’s amazing and fierce and perfect. It needs to be a movie. 

There is a sequel. I need book two now. Except it will break my heart because I love all three sisters and there is no way I will get a happy ending. 

Highly recommended. 

The Bombs That Brought Us Together (mini-review)

Finished The Bombs That Brought Us Together by Brian Conaghan. I received a copy for review. 

Charlie lives in Little Town, which is currently a bad place to be (thanks to bombings and new, oppressive rules thanks to a coup). As things change for him and the other residents, all of a sudden clear-cut choices start to get really, really gray. 

I love the questions that this book stirs up: what would you really do to protect people you love? Would you literally kill for someone? How many rules/social mores would you break?

This was such a fascinating story and I want to read his debut novel (When Mr. Dog Bites) now. ETA: that is his second novel; his debut is The Boy Who Made It Rain.)

The Other Boy

Finished The Other Boy by M.G. Hennessey. I received a copy for review. 

Shane is 12 and he’s your average boy–he plays baseball, is drawing a comic and has his first crush. Except he’s also got a secret: while he identifies as a boy, he’s biologically female. Fortunately, he’s got good parents and a good therapist; he’s on hormone blockers and this year, he can start taking testosterone. But he’s also not out (at 12, I don’t blame him!)…so when someone finds out, you can imagine how horrible his life becomes. 

I love this book. It’s sensitively handled and I think it’ll help middlegrade readers understand the issue. And also, Shane is awesome. I cheered and cried and sometimes did both. (Also, again, I’m so happy he got good parents. He’s also got good friends. Those two things make all the difference.) This is a lovely and much needed book. 

Highly recommended. 

Only Daughter

Finished Only Daughter by Anna Snoekstra. I received a copy for review. 

It’s been 11 years since Bec Winter vanished. She had been acting strangely before–claiming that there was a ghost or something in her house, saying that blood would appear in her room despite there being no obvious injuries. Now someone claiming to be Bec has come home. (She was arrested for shoplifting and she looked like Bec, so she knew it would work to get her off the hook.) Except Bec’s family is kind of weird. Now fake-Bec (we never know her name) wants to solve the mystery of what happened. 

This novel is just really, really unsettling. I spent most of the time viewing everyone as a suspect–poor Bec; there are a lot of potential killers in her life. And then we learn what happened and it is just both completely unexpected and completely obvious. Anna Snoekstra tells us everything; we just ignore what doesn’t fit our own preferred narrative of what happened to Bec. 

Highly recommended. 

Cradle and All

Finished Cradle and All by James Patterson. I received a copy for review. 

This was published years ago (I know I read it in high school or maybe college) but has been updated and repackaged as a YA novel. 

If you missed it the first time, this is about two teens (Kathleen and Colleen; the former is American and the latter is Irish). Both are pregnant. Both are virgins. According to prophecy, one is carrying the second coming and the other…well, you’ve seen Rosemary’s Baby. The problem is, no one knows which baby is which. That’s where Anne comes in. It’s her job (with a couple priests) to figure out who’s carrying the Beast and what to do about that. (Hint: it does not bode well for that baby.)

Like all of James Patterson’s books, this one is a pageturner. I didn’t remember which baby was the devil so that was helpful. It’s not really the kind of book that sticks with you but it’s a lot of fun. It would’ve been a great beach read but it’s out in plenty of time for Halloween, and that’s even better. 

The Littlest Bigfoot

Finished The Littlest Bigfoot by Jennifer Weiner. I received a copy for review. 
This charming novel is Jennifer Weiner’s middlegrade debut; it tells the story of three kids who don’t fit in. 

Alice has gone to seven different schools in as many years. The other kids shun her; she’s a lot bigger than most her age. Meanwhile, Millie is the smallest in her tribe. She’s a Yare (what we call Bigfoot) and she’s fascinated with No-Furs (or humans) and their culture. There’s also Jeremy, who is obsessed with Bigfoots (and who is the only non-exceptional member of his family). 

This book is absolutely adorable. I think everyone will love all three of these kids–but probably especially Millie, who is a complete sweetheart. And I think everyone will identify with at least one character. 

There’s also a chance for a sequel (please please please). 

Recommended. 

The Boy Who Killed Grant Parker

Finished The Boy Who Killed Grant Parker by Kat Spears. I received a copy for review. 
Luke has just moved to a small southern town from DC to live with his pastor father. He doesn’t fit in and the most popular boy in school has taken a major dislike to him. Then there’s an accident and all of a sudden, Luke is the most popular boy in school. Now he’s dating the prettiest girl and he has a ton of new friends. 

If you like fish out of water stories or books with a male narrator, this is for you. It also reminded me a bit of Macbeth, if Macbeth had a thing for porn. 

The book is also laugh out loud funny, provided you aren’t easily offended and like sarcasm. 

Bottom line, this was a fun few hours.