Mundie Moms

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Book Reviews: Reads Outside My Normal Realm of Reading; Ask The Passengers / The Perks of Being a Wall Flower

Every now and then I like to jump outside my normal realm of reading, and read something that takes me out of my comfort zone, and/or makes me think outside the box a little bit. I feel having the opportunity to review books often times provides me the opportunity to read a book I might not have other wise other pick up. 

By: A.S. King
Published by: Little Brown
Released on: October 23rd, 2012
Source: arc from publisher to review
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Astrid Jones desperately wants to confide in someone, but her mother's pushiness and her father's lack of interest tell her they're the last people she can trust. Instead, Astrid spends hours lying on the backyard picnic table watching airplanes fly overhead. She doesn't know the passengers inside, but they're the only people who won't judge her when she asks them her most personal questions . . . like what it means that she's falling in love with a girl.

As her secret relationship becomes more intense and her friends demand answers, Astrid has nowhere left to turn. She can't share the truth with anyone except the people at thirty thousand feet, and they don't even know she's there. But little does Astrid know just how much even the tiniest connection will affect these strangers' lives--and her own--for the better.

In this truly original portrayal of a girl struggling to break free of society's definitions, Printz Honor author A.S. King asks readers to question everything--and offers hope to those who will never stop seeking real love. -quoted from Goodreads

Though I read this book is one sitting, it's one I'm also a little torn on. There are certain aspects of this book I liked, and other parts of the book that left me feeling a little unsatisfied with how things were wrapped up, and how things were developed. The story's main character Astrid is a girl who's dealing with her dislike of living in small town America, has an extremely dysfunctional family, and is trying to come to figure out if she's gay or not, as well as trying to become comfort in her new skin. What I liked about Astrid is my getting to understand her dilemma with trying to figure out what she's really feeling, and trying to feel at peace with those feelings. On top of all the other high school related drama she deals with, Astrid is a girl who's trying to understood who she is, and though I didn't personally grow up dealing with the same dilemma she does, I did understand the struggle with trying to figure out who you are. For Astrid it isn't until she finally admits to herself whether or not she's gay, is she able to really come into her own, and feel comfortable with herself.

What didn't work was the lack of dimension I got from Astrid's family. Since her totally messed up family plays a huge part in this book,  I felt the story didn't provide me with enough details about what's really going with them. I need a whole lot more from them to feel like I could understand not only them, but everything that was going on. Astrid's dad is always smoking pot, her mom for the most part ignores her, and her sister rarely talks to her, and goes along with whatever their mom does. Not only that, I didn't like the approach her mom took with confronting Astrid on whether or not she was gay and the way her sister treated her, but I'm pretty sure there are kids who will read this and relate to Astrid on their mistreatments as well, which really breaks my heart. I felt that if I had a better understanding with her family and was given a little bit more of background of why things were the way they were with her family, I would have liked the book a bit more. 

What I did like was getting a small glimpse into the lives of the passengers in the planes that fly over head that Astrid randomly talks to and sends her love to. I liked that she had something to at least confide in, which for her was the airplanes flying over head. Though this book wasn't my normal cup of tea, I liked that it took me out of my normal comfort style of reading, and introduced me to a character I think other readers will enjoy meeting. There is drug use, under age drinking, a lot of sexual content, and some language in this book. 

By: Stephen Chbosky
Published by: MTV Books
Released on: August 14th, 2012
Source: book from publisher 
Purchase from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a story about what it’s like to travel that strange course through the uncharted territory of high school. the world of first dates, family dramas, and new friends. of sex, drugs, and the rocky horror picture show. of those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up - quoted from Goodreads

This is one of the book I received from my recent visit to the lovely office of Simon & Schuster, Canada. Though I read it not too long after I received, it's taking me a while to digest my thoughts on this book. Prior to reading it I heard nothing but great things about from a few of my friends, which is what really curious about reading it. Let me just say this is not at all what I was excepting, and it's a read that stuck with me a few days after I read it. Not only that, this is not my normal cup of tea book, so to say.

The thing that struck about this was not just the fact it takes place during the same time I was in high year (okay, I'm not that old, but yeah I'm old enough), but the character's voice is one unlike any I've read in awhile, and the writing style was a little unique. I liked that the story was directed to me as the reader, but really told through Charlie's journal entries. It made for a completely raw, truthful, and honest read, while at the same time adding touches of innocences to the story. I laughed, I got teary eyed, and no matter how hard I might have tried to stop reading the book I couldn't. I got to a point where I needed to know how all the characters in this book were going to turn out.

Though the book is  a quick read, it tackles so many issues with it's short length. From finding yourself, sexuality, drug use, family dynamics, mental heath, etc, etc. It's one of those coming of age stories that doesn't hold back. Now I can see why they made it into a movie. I will say this is a book that has a little bit of everything in it, and one I'd recommend to mature readers. In the end it's still not quite my cup of tea, though I can see why so many enjoyed it.

The Cross Roads Blog Tour Day 5: Jackie Morse Kessler / Judith Graves

Welcome to Day 5's tour stop for theThe Cross Roads Blog Tour, hosted by author Judith Graves. You can check out my other 4 tour stops for this year's tour here. Be sure to stop by the tour blog page HERE to check out the awesome line up of authors who are apart of this year's tour, as well as the bloggers who will be hosting each author. 

Mark your calendars for Monday, October 29th, as MM's will be hosting the Cross Roads author chat on Twitter! Trust me, you won't want to miss it. More info that will be posted soon.  I'm excited to have authors Jackie Morse Kessler and Judith Graves on the blog tour. 

Your books have gorgeous covers! Though you're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, how much does it factor into your book buying habits?

Thank you! A good cover tends to make me pick up a book, at least enough to read the back cover copy, maybe even skim the opening pages. I don’t buy a book because of its cover, but it can be a first step. 

If we gave you an elephant, where would you hide it?

Why would I want to hide it? I would flaunt my elephant proudly!

What is one book and one movie that have influenced your writing.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson; Memento (directed by Christopher Nolan).

 Mmmm...chocolate. We love it, too. What's the one chocolate bar you'd hate to see taken out of production?

One? ONE? CHOCOLATE SHOULD BE ITS OWN FOOD GROUP!!! In particular, I’m a food for Australian Tim Tams. (And I totally blame Keri Arthur for it!)

You can find Jackie on her Website | Blog  | Twitter . Don't miss her her books, Hunger, Rage and Loss. The 4th book in the Riders of the Apocalypse series, Breath will be out this coming spring. 

*Thank you to Judith for supplying the questions for this portion of the tour stop.

Hi Judith! Welcome to MM's today. How would you describe your most recent release in 5 words or less? 

SKIN OF MY TEETH is: Buffy meets Magic: The Gathering

What advice would you give to aspiring authors?

I have a lot of advice, hard earned from my own mistakes. ;) Here goes:

Take the time to do it right and enjoy the process of learning the craft of writing (which, by the way, never freaking ENDS).

Make mistakes, take risks, be brilliant, but never fall into the trap of believing a first draft is a finished book.

Seek out blunt, but constructive critiques from fellow writers and critique their work in the same manner. It’s from those kinds of (often painful) experiences that you’ll learn what works, what doesn’t, and what everyone is writing to death – including you.

Which of your characters (out of any of your books you've written) do you feel most connected to?

Since I seem to write a lot of series fiction, I hang out with my characters – a lot. At times, we get along just fine, but then they’ll start messing with my neat and tidy plot structure, and all hell breaks loose. That’s usually when I think fondly of another main character from a completely different series and can’t wait to dive into their story instead.

As I’m working on the finishing touches to Eryn McCain’s third book, Skin of My Teeth, and fleshing out the final installment in her SKINNED series, Hour of the Wolf – my steampunk character, Amelia Strangeways beckons in the distance.

That being said, I know I’ll be leaving Eryn’s world soon and….I’m going to miss it.


* Favorite thing to do at Halloween? Watch scary movies.

* Scary Movie or Scary Book? A scary book made into an equally scary movie.

* When writing do you prefer to have music or no music? TUNES!

* Where's your favorite place to read? Wherever there are words to be found.

* What's your favorite childhood book? Anne of Green Gables

* All time favorite fictional character? Buffy

* Who's one of your favorite authors? Ray Bradbury

* What's one book that made an impact on you either as a child, a teen or as an adult? Save the Cat by Blake Snyder.

* Favorite thing about Fall? The colours and NO BUGS!

With it being almost Halloween I have to know, are you team werewolves, zombies, vampires, mummies, headless horsemen or unicorns?

Is there a team everything? Cause I love them all.

Don't miss following Judith via her Website | Twitter . You can pick up the first two books in her Skinned series, Under My Skin and Second Skin. The third book in her series, Skin of My Teeth will be out sometime in 2013.

The Tour:

Each day of The Crossroads Blog Tour, a new research question will be revealed on The Crossroad Blog Tour main page: and each day the answer to that question will be found within one of the different blog posts by Crossroads Tour authors. Your job is to get the question, read the blog posts, and collect all answers by the end of the tour.

Answers are to be emailed to judithgraves @ ymail dot com by October 28th at MIDNIGHT. Winner of the grand prize will be announced on OCTOBER 31st – HALLOWEEN.

The Giveaway:

The GRAND PRIZE you’re vying for? A brand new KINDLE, preloaded with a title from each of the participating Crossroads Blog Tour Authors. That’s right folks, a free KINDLE and 13 free EBOOKS!

Two and Twenty Dark Tales Blog Tour: Author Interview & Giveaway with Leah Cypess

Welcome to today's Two and Twenty Dark Tales blog tour stop. I'm so excited to have Nightspell author, Leah Cypess on MM's! If you've not picked up her books yet, I highly recommend them. Along with my interview with Leah, I've also got an exciting giveaway thank you to 

Hi Leah! Thank you for stopping by Mundie Moms today. Can you tell us a little bit about your story you wrote for the Two and Twenty Dark Tales?

Thank you for interviewing me. “Clockwork” is based on the nursery rhyme “Hickory Dickory Dock.” It starts with a mouse running toward a clock… but then she is transformed, and instead of a mouse she’s a girl, wearing a long fancy gown but with a knife strapped to her leg under the grown. Turns out she’s a princess who went missing after her family was assassinated, and in the meantime her cousin has taken hold of her throne. The story is mostly about her investigating the events that led to her being turned into a mouse, discovering something very surprising about who was responsible… and facing a very difficult choice about what she’s going to do next.

I really enjoy reading fairy tale retellings. What was it about your fairy tale that made you want to give it a different spin?

My sister (who is otherwise a very nice person, really), introduced my kids to a CD called “Silly Songs,” which is a collection of nursery rhymes. My oldest daughter, who is five years old, decided that Hickory Dickory Dock was her favorite. I must have listened to it several thousand times while driving my kids back and forth to school. When I got the email inviting me to contribute to this anthology, my immediate response was, “Yes, and PLEASE tell me Hickory Dickory Dock is still available!” It worked, too; writing the story made me much happier about listening to the song.

What was your favorite fairy tale growing up?

The Twelve Dancing Princesses has been my favorite ever since I read the beautiful picture book retelling by Marianna Mayer and Kinuko Y. Craft. And I’ve only come to love it more in the last few years after reading some YA retellings of that story, especially Entwined by Heather Dixon and The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell.

Are you a fan of happily ever afters or cliff hanger endings?

Neither! I mean, I don’t mind happily ever afters, but my favorite kind of ending is actually the bittersweet ending. I very much dislike cliff hanger endings.

Do you have any other short stories you're currently working on that you can tell us about?

As a matter of a fact, I have a short story soon to come out in another anthology – Sword & Sorceress 27. This one is called Straw-Spun, and it’s also a sort-of retelling; it’s a sequel to Rumpelstiltskin, told 15 years later from the point of view of the queen’s daughter.

Thank you Leah! I can't wait to read Sword & Sorceress 27. 

If you guys fairy tale retellings, then you'll really enjoy Two and Twenty Dark Tales! Here's a little bit about the book. 


Fairy tales sung sweetly can take us back to childhood, but just beneath those same sweet tales, is a hint of something dark…

Month9Books, a new publisher of speculative fiction for teens and tweens launches in October 2012, with the release of TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES.  This unique collaboration’s proceeds (from the first 5,000 copies sold) will be donated to YALITCHAT.ORG, an organization that fosters the advancement, reading, writing and acceptance of young adult literature worldwide.  

TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES features some of today’s most admired young adult authors, including: 
  • Michelle Zink
  • Lisa Mantchev
  • Sarwat Chadda
  • Nina Berry
  • Leigh Fallon
  • Suzanne Young
  • C. Lee McKenzie
  • Angie Frazier
  •  Jessie Harrell
  • Gretchen McNeil
  • KM Walton
  • Heidi R. Kling
  • Nancy Holder
  • Karen Mahoney
  • Suzanne Lazear
  • Pamela van Hylckama Vlieg
  •  Shannon Delany with Max Scialdone
  • Leah Cypess
  • Sayantani DasGupta
  •  Georgia McBride, founder of Month9Books. 
  • Francisco X. Stork, author of the critically acclaimed MARCELLO IN THE REAL WORLD, provides a foreword that is nearly as riveting as the stories themselves. 

When asked why they wanted to be a part of TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS of MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES, the authors had a lot to say!

“I'm so excited to be working on Month9Books's epic anthology. I've been a Tudor© nerd since before the Tudors© were cool, and this nursery rhyme is about the accession of the Scottish king, James VI, to the English throne (as James I.)” -- New York Times Bestselling author, Nancy Holder

"As soon as I heard the anthology's theme, I knew there was no stopping me! I love anything to do with folklore, so immediately latched onto 'One for Sorrow' as my story's basis. I've wanted to write a crow story for a long time, and this was the perfect excuse!" -- Karen Mahoney, author of The Iron Witch and The Wood Queen, Flux Books

About Month9Books:

Month 9 Books is a publisher of speculative fiction for teens and tweens… where nothing is as it seems. Month9Books will donate proceeds from each of its annual charity anthologies to a deserving charity. Individually, authors may donate his or her advances and royalties to a charitable organization. Month9Books will also release 10-12 non-charitable titles annually. TWO AND TWENTY DARK TALES: DARK RETELLINGS OF MOTHER GOOSE RHYMES is Month9Books’s first release. Month9Books is distributed by Small Press United, a division of IPG. You may visit for more information.



The Giveaway:

Thank you to Month9Books I have an e-book of Leah's NIGHTSPELL to giveaway to one lucky winner! This is open internationally. To enter, please fill out this form:

Don't miss out on following the rest of the blog tour!  


October 18-Literary Escapism

October 19-Magnet4Books

October 20-Verb Vixen

October 21-ReaderGirls

October 22-Alise On Life

October 23-There’s A Book

October 24-Book Loving Me

October 25-MundieMoms

October 26-Forever 17 Books

October 27-Coverby Brittany

October 28-Pageturners

October 30- Alluring Reads

October 31-Novel Novice

November 1-Chapter by Chapter

November 2-Xpresso Reads

November 4-Moosubi Reviews

November 7-Books Over Boys

November 9-Supernatural Snark

November 10-Novel Thoughts

November 11-Girls in the Stacks

November 12-Ladybug Storytime

November 13-Reading in Winter

November 14-Minding Spot

November 15-Book Twirps

November 16-Imaginary Reads