Welcome back! Jana hosts Top Ten Tuesday @thatartsyreadergirl. This meme is based on our love of lists and bringing the book blogging community together. Each week, Jana will post a prompt, and we readers will post our list based on that topic. We also have the option of doing our own thing. , our topic is hilarious book titles, but I wasn’t feeling that. These are the last 10 books I added to my Goodreads TBR!
1- The Voting Booth by Brandy Colbert
2- Highly Suspicious and Unfairly Cute by Talia Hibbert
3- The Henna Wars by Adbia Jaigirdar
4- Dad’s Girlfriend and Other Anxieties by Kellye Crocker
5- On the Air with Zoe Washington by Janae Marks
6- The Mostly Ture Story of Tanner and Louise by Colleen Oakley
Hi! I was on the blog tour for this Middle-Grade novel last month. As a part of my stop, I didn’t review the novel, so I wanted to write a review, and post it to NetGalley.
Rating- 4.5 Goodreads and NetGalley-4 stars
The characters of Etta Invincible were fantastic, and I loved how they interacted with each other. One of the characters had hearing loss, which is not something you see in many books, and as someone who also has hearing loss, I loved seeing the representation in this book. The other character was moving to a new country, and I loved seeing the world through his eyes as well as Etta’s.
The plot of this story was fantastic. I’m a fan of contemporary novels, and this had a dash of fantasy for those that prefer some fantasy in their novels. This novel had a magical train where a majority of the story takes place,, but you could still feel that they set this in our world. This story was fun because it was different, and it took the reader on an adventure. I loved the adventure this story took you on, and how the characters grew at the end of the novel.
The writing of this novel was fantastic. It’s difficult to go between both Fantasy and our world, and the author does it seamlessly. I loved this mixture of the different scenes set on the train because you could tell that this was a fantasy story and one that was also set in our world because of the way the characters interacted. This was a mixture of both light-hearted scenes and scenes that were heavier. The characters were having in the light-hearted scenes, and in the more heartfelt scenes, they were talking about the problem at hand, and what they were going through.
This was a Middle-Grade Novel, so there was more of a focus on friendship. I love the friendship between the two main characters, and how they met one day. The story was played out, so the characters met at the time when they both needed each other.
Enjoyment/ Recommend For
I really enjoyed this book! The story was very fun, and I had a great time reading this. I recommend this for anyone who enjoys a Middle-Grade novel, or a mixture of fantasy and our world in their stories.
What didn’t work for me
While I did enjoy this novel I did have problems with the pace. I felt like there were some scenes that could have been longer, and some scenes that could have seen shorter. Overall, the pace of the book is fine.
Hi! Jana hosts Top Ten Tuesday @thatartsyreadergirl. This meme was born out of a love of lists, and bringing the book blogging community together. This week our topic is bookish places I want to visit.
Hi! I’m doing a readathon this month focusing on different tropes in books. I have fun finding different books with different prompts. Here is my TBR for this round. I’m team Contemporary/ Lit Fic/ Historical Fiction. Find out more on their Twitter- https://twitter.com/tropeicalreads.
Holiday Trope: Read a book where the character is on holiday (aka a vacation) or that takes place around a holiday (e.g. Christmas, Halloween, etc.). Alternatively, read a book that takes place in a country that is not your own.-The Room on Rue Amelie-Kristin Harmel (France)
Mixed Media Trope: Read a book that includes letters, texts, emails, etc. Alternatively, listen to an audiobook or read an ebook.- They Both Die at the End-EB Celebrity Trope: Read a book where the main character(s) is a celebrity or famous in some way. Alternatively, read a book that is celebrity-recommended (e.g. from Oprah’s Book Club, Obama’s Recommended Reading List, Reese’s Book Club, etc.).- The Song of Achilles (Alt) Multiple POVs Trope: Read a book told through multiple points-of-view. Alternatively, read a book with multiple characters of color.- From the Desk of Zoe Washington-ALT Team Contemporary/Literary/Historical Fiction Team Challenge 1: Read a book with the “Recent Loss” trope-You’ve Reached Sam Team Challenge 2: Read a multigenerational saga– Twice As Perfect
Hi! Jana hosts Top Ten Tuesday @thatartsyreadergirl. Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where Jana posts a topic, and the book blogging community comes together, and posts out lists. There is also the option of doing our own thing. This week our topic is-Books From My Past Seasonal TBR Posts I STILL Haven’t Read (Submitted by Dedra @ A Book Wanderer). I wasn’t really feeling that topic, so I went back to the archives and found this topic. I thought it would be fun to look at the elements that draw me to pick up a book.
A contemporary young adult romance about moving on, finding your place, and recovering after life falls apart.
Gymnast Caroline Kepler has three state balance beam titles, a new trick even most elites can’t do, and chronic, undeniable back pain. While she might never be an Olympian, she has dreams of leveling up to elite, making Nationals, and competing in college. But when one epic face-plant changes all that and Caroline’s back pain goes from chronic to career-ending, her dreams are shattered and her life is flipped upside down.
Enter Alex Zavala, a three-sport athlete who’s both incredibly cute and incredibly off-limits. He offers to give Caroline a crash course in all the sports she’s missed, and she has an offer for him in return: For every sport Alex teaches her, she’ll play matchmaker for him. Deal done, Caroline “dates” new sports with Alex for the rest of the summer, which is loads more fun than wallowing in despair. Just as Caroline starts to see herself as more than her past athletic successes, she picks up something she didn’t bargain for: a big fat crush on Alex. Turns out life was way easier when it was just layout-fulls and beam burns….
Rating -4 stars
Characters are one of the main reasons I read books, and It’s All In How You Fall was no different. I loved the characters because they were passionate, and they went after what they wanted. Caroline and Alex, the main characters in the novel, were so sweet, and they both really cared for each other. The supporting cast in the story was also a lot of fun to read about, and they added fun elements to the story.
I’m not much of a sports person, but the story of It’s All In How You Fall was a lot of fun. I loved exploring the different sports with Caroline and Alex and seeing both of them grow over the course of the story. There was also the added element of musicals and musical theater, which I loved because I’m a theater fan as well. There was also a sweet story of friendship. which I loved between Caroline and her gymnastics teammates.
This was my second book by Sarah Henning, and I just loved the writing. Sarah Henning has a style that I love in YA where there are some light-hearted scenes, along with some heavier scenes. The lighthearted scenes were fun because you could tell that the characters were enjoying themselves, and they were just having a blast. This book also had some heavier scenes, and heartwarming ones where you learned about the characters, and saw their journey.
This was a bit of a romance, and I loved the slow build. Caroline and Alex were so sweet, and you could tell that both of them had feelings for each other, The end of the story where they got together was so cute, and I couldn’t help but cheer for the two of them.
Enjoyment/ Recommend for
I loved this book, and I had a fantastic time reading it. Everything about the book was great. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a YA novel, a YA romance, or if you’ve read another book by Sarah Henning.
I blaze through all the suggested summer reading for sophomores at Northland (Lord of the Flies, Into the Wild, and a bunch of other work by dead white guys.)- Caroline.
Dad, it’s been weeks and I’m still four-ten. -Caroline Live a little. Enjoy a trans fat. Consider it reentry into the world of normal people.-Nat.
I’m not as smooth as fictional Angelica Schuyler or probably a fictional nobody, but I step onto the sidewalk leading to Balan’s front door with a huge grin on my face. -Caroline
Also, you’re going to have up your game up, Zavala
Boys are allowed to love musicals, Caroline, and I love just as much as gramps and Dad, too.
I love that song. I’ve seen the movie version more times than should be allowed.
Never Neverland-Peter Pan
Agony- Into the Woods
About the Author & Links
Sarah Henning is a recovering journalist who has worked for the Palm Beach Post, Kansas City Star and Associated Press, among others. When not writing, she runs ultramarathons, hits the playground with her two kids, and hangs out with her husband Justin, who doubles as her long-suffering IT department. Sarah lives in Lawrence, Kansas, hometown of Langston Hughes, William S. Burroughs, and a really good basketball team.
Sarah is the author of SEA WITCH, which was a 2018 Indies Introduce and Indie’s Next selection. Its follow up, SEA WITCH RISING, came out in 2019. THROW LIKE A GIRL, about a down-spiraling softball player who is recruited to play quarterback on her ex-boyfriend’s football team, was her first YA contemporary novel and came out in January 2020. THE PRINCESS WILL SAVE YOU, the first book in her fantasy trilogy—a feminist tale inspired by The Princess Bride—came out in July 2020. Its sequel, THE QUEEN WILL BETRAY YOU, came out on July 6, 2021.
Other upcoming projects include THE KING WILL KILL YOU, available August 2, 2022 and will be the conclusion to her Kingdoms of Sand & Sky Trilogy inspired by The Princess Bride. Also scheduled for summer 2022 is IT’S ALL IN HOW YOU FALL, available May 31, 2022, which takes place in the same fictional universe as THROW LIKE A GIRL. Slated for summer 2023 is OUT OF OUR LEAGUE, a YA anthology of contemporary short stories about girls in sports.
Rep: Black, Disability (Hard of Hearing/Ménière’s disease)
A girl with hearing loss and a boy adjusting to life in a new country connect through their love of comics and get entangled in their own fantastical adventure.
Twelve-year-old Etta Johnson has Loud Days where she can hear just fine and Quiet Days where sounds come from far away and she gets to retreat into her thoughts. Etta spends most of her time alone, working on her comic book about Invisible Girl, the superhero who takes down super villain Petra Fide and does all the things Etta thinks she can’t.
But when Louisa May Alcott, a friendly Goldendoodle from across the street, disappears, Etta and the dog’s boy, Eleazar, must find their inner heroes to save her. The catch? LMA has run onto a magical train that mysteriously arrived at the station near Etta and Eleazar’s houses. On-board, they discover each train car is its own magical world with individual riddles and challenges that must be solved before they can reach the engine room and rescue LMA.
Only, the stakes are even higher than they thought. The train’s magic is malfunctioning and spreading a purple smoke called The Fear through the streets of Chicago. Etta and Eleazar are the only ones who can save the city, save Louisa May Alcott—and save each other.
This is a magical app. It’s not Google translate-see? It’s named Ms. Suzy.
I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning to sail my ship
Grandma never met Louisa. We got her when we moved here.
I knew about the quiet fist, i say, I didn’t know about the dizziness and the ringing or that there was no cure. It doesn’t feel good. If you ever go to space, I won’t be coming with you.
It’s not an engine, it’s more like home right?
When a child is looking for something but can’t seem to find it- like courage or friends or knowledge- they show up on one of these screens. The train sends them an invitation with their name on it. Only people who are invited can see the train and their name in fireworks.
Yes, but fulfilling wishes is the easy part. Figuring out your heart’s true desire is where things get tricky. Sometimes when things are too easy, too magical, we realize that what we need isn’t what we thought we wanted.
Five Reasons to read Etta Invincible
Rating: 4 stars
1- The Characters
Characters are a big reason a lot of us read stories, and Etta Invincible for me was no different. I loved the characters in the story because they were so unique, and different from a lot of the other characters I’ve seen in books. As a person who also uses hearing aids, I loved seeing Etta also be hard of hearing, and have quiet days, and loud days, because it felt real for me. Eleazar was a fantastic character as well, and I loved his journey in the story.
2- A story about a magical train
This was a story that was like one I had not heard a lot. Some elements of the plot reminded me of The Polar Express with the magical train, but this story has a unique twist. The story is fun, and also has some lessons about acceptance, love, and finding a friend. Etta Invincible also incorporates a comic, which is not only fun, it incorporates elements of the major story as well. My favorite part of the plot was how well done the train was, and how much the train played as a character in the story.
3- Contemporary mixed with fantasy elements
Etta Invincible starts off in Chicago, and you think you’re going to get a contemporary story about two kids finding their way if you don’t read the synopsis. The fantasy elements incorporated with the train were fantastic, and it was such a great way to add fantasy into a contemporary story. Time passes differently on the magical train, and this just adds to the world and fantasy elements. A magical train is a portal to another world, and they use fantastically this in Etta Invincible.
4- A dog named Louisa May Alcott
Everyone loves a good pet, or animal companion in their stories, and the dog in Etta Invincible is fantastic. Louisa May Alcott serves as a companion for Eleazar, she’s a memory of where he comes from, while also severing as a way for him to adapt to his new home. Louisa May Alcott is not only a fantastic name, but she serves as a friend and a companion for both Etta and Eleazar.
5- A sweet friendship
This was a Middle-Grade novel, so it was more about the friendships with the characters than it was about a romance. Etta and Eleazar had such a sweet friendship, and it was all because of both of them meeting on the bus one day. They both didn’t know each other, and then bonded over Louisa May Alcott, and a friendship blossomed from that. Once on the train, they met other characters, and they formed a beautiful friendship with them as well.
About the Author
Reese Eschmann holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Illinois-Chicago and worked in schools for six years. When she’s not writing or taking naps, Reese enjoys rock climbing, baking, and making movies with her family. She lives outside of Chicago with her husband and their hound dog. Etta Invincible is her debut novel.
Welcome back! Jana hosts Top Ten Tuesday @thatartsyreadergirl. This weekly meme is based on our love of lists and bringing the book blogging community together. Each week, Jana will post a topic, and we readers will write our list based on the topic. There is also the option to come up with your own topic. This week is a freebie, so I made a bookish DND party. I inspired the topic by my love for DND, and the bonus for a book challenge I do every month. All the information comes from the DND Player’s book.
The Good Alignments
Levi from Fangirl as a Lawful Good Paladin (LG) creatures can be counted on to do the right thing as expected by society. Gold dragons and paladins are typically lawful good.
Levi is a Lawful good because he will help people, and he always does the right thing. I feel that Levi would make a good Paladin for the party, because he would help people by healing them.
Tash from Tash Hearts Tolstoy as a Neutral Good as Dea Sorcerer (NG) folk do the best they can to help others according to their needs. Many celestials are neutral good.
I was debating on who to put here. I feel that Tash is perfect for this because she does what she can to help others, but she can be a bit selfish. Tash would be a sorcerer because they use spells, and I feel like Tash would prefer spells over an attack type role.
Jane from One Last Stop as Chaotic Good red dragon fighter (CG) creatures act as their conscience directs, with little regard for what others expect. Copper dragons and unicorns are typically chaotic good.
This was another slot where I wasn’t sure who to put here. I put Jane here because she has little regard for what others expect of her. Jane would have fun playing a red dragon, I believe, so I put her as a fighter for the party.
The Neutral Alignments
Simon from Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda as a Lawful Neutral Wizard. Lawful Neutral (LN) individuals act in accordance with law, tradition, or personal codes. Modrons and many wizards and monks are lawful neutral.
Here’s the thing, Simon started as a Lawful Good when I was making this post. I read what a Lawful Neutral was, and I feel that Simon was more of a neutral than a good. He acts based on the laws, tradition, and his own personal code. Also, he’s a wizard because I feel like Simon would love to play a wizard in the party.
Darcy from Perfect on Paper as a Neutral Druid (N) is the alignment of those who prefer to steer clear of moral questions and don’t take sides, doing what seems best at the time. Druids are traditionally neutral, as are typical townsfolk.
I wasn’t sure who to put here either. I feel Darcy is a character who prefers to not have moral questions or debates, and she doesn’t like to take sides. Darcy would be a Druid because it’s the plant and animal healer.
Delilah from Delilah Green Doesn’t Care as a Chaotic Neutral Rouge/ Bard (Multi Class) (CN) creatures follow their whims, holding their personal freedom above all else. Many rogues and bards are chaotic neutral.
When I was forming this post, I knew that I wanted Delilah as a chaotic alignment, and she ended up here. I wanted to put her as a multi-class rouge/bard because it suited Delilah’s personality.
The Evil Alignments
Frollo from The Hunchback of Notre Dame as a Lawful Evil Blue Dragon Ranger (LE) creatures methodically take what they want, within the limits of a code of tradition, loyalty, or order. Devils and blue dragons are typically lawful evil.
I was struggling with who to put here. I ended up going with Frollo even though I have never read the book yet, I based it on the Disney movie, and I feel like he fits Lawful Evil to a T. I went with a ranger class rather than a magic or spell user because I felt like Frollo would have fun attacking the enemies.
The Darkling from The Grisha VerseNeutral Evil Warlock (NE) is the alignment of those who do whatever they can get away with, without compassion or qualms. Yugoloths are typically neutral evil.
I read another post that said this alignment is one that appears as a friend first, and this his the Darkling perfectly. I made him a Warlock because he uses spells and has magic elements in the Grisha Verse.
The Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland as a Chaotic Evil Demon Barbarian (CE) creatures act with arbitrary violence, spurred by their greed, hatred, or bloodlust. Demons and red dragons are typically chaotic evil.
Is there any other choice for Chaotic Evil? I don’t think so. The Queen of Hearts is perfect for this alignment. I made her an evil demon barbarian because I feel like she would have so much fun with that.