Friday, August 29, 2014

Book Review: Ghosting by Edith Pattou

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from BookSparks PR in order to facilitate an honest review.
About the Book:
On a hot summer night in a Midwestern town, a high school teenage prank goes horrifically awry. Alcohol, guns, and a dare. Within minutes, as events collide, innocents becomes victims—with tragic outcomes that alter lives forever, a grisly and unfortunate scenario that’s all too familiar. But victims can also become survivors, and as we come to know each character through his/her own distinctive voice and their interactions with one another, we see how, despite pain and guilt, they can reach out to one another, find a new equilibrium, and survive.
Told through multiple points of view in free verse and stream of consciousness, Ghosting is an unforgettable, haunting tale.
Get the Book:        Amazon            Barnes & Noble
First off, the entire book is written in verse so that threw me off initially. After the first few pages, I found myself intrigued so I didn't pay attention to how the words were. I loved that the author told the story through several different characters. I think my favorite character is Maxie. She seems antisocial but she is a nice young girl. She's a budding photographer and deep thinker. I also loved Faith, the younger sister of one of the teen characters. Faith has a huge heart filled with love for her family, but seems to genuinely care a great deal for others in her life as well. The author gave a little insight into the sisters bond (which was very important for the story). In face, we get a little background story on each of the teens before a tragic event happens. After the tragedy occurs, we see a little of how they are changed forever. Not all the endings are happy ones, but by the end of the book, I felt satisfied. If you enjoy page-turners, this is one to look for. I loved it and finished it fairly quickly given my hectic days! 5 out of 5 stars!
About the Author:
Edith Pattou has found acclaim as a writer in middle-grade fantasy with such award-winning books as East, which received starred reviews in Booklist and School Library Journal; was selected as a Top Ten Book for YA, an American Library Association Notable Book, a School Library Journal Top Ten YA Book, one of the 100 Best of the Best YA Books for the 21st Century by the Young Adult Library Services Association; and was nominated for numerous state awards. It’s a nominee for NPR’s all-time Best YA Novels list.
Connect:    Facebook    Twitter    Website     Goodreads

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Supportive Saturday (21)

Hi, everyone! A little late in the day, but this week's Supportive Saturday theme is Kawaii! I just discovered the cuteness! Such cuteness ! Read on to check out these Etsy finds!
1. Decorative Sushi Pillow, mymimi ($14 USD, ships from U.S.) 2. Kawaii Breakfast Mini Letter Set, askingfortrouble ($3.40 USD, ships from United Kingdom) 3. Toilet Paper & Poo Stamps, JapaneseRubberStamps ($8.51 each or $15.32 for both, ships from United Kingdom 4. Kawaii Rice Balls Backpack, gesshokudesigns ($28 USD, ships from U.S.) 5. Cute Cartoon Animal Pens, CuteScribbles ($2.99 each pen, ships from U.S.)
I love that backpack (and it comes in 3 different colors)! My bed would look so much happier with that Sushi pillow and I can imagine writing on that breakfast stationery.
Do you like Kawaii? Or which item above would you love to own?

Friday, August 22, 2014

Look Out! Kid-Chefs Are Coming to a TV Near You!

If you're a big fan of The Food Network , you might have seen that they are doing a second season of Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off! Needless to say, I'm a big fan of the network but sadly, I didn't catch the last season. BUT I'm already hooked on this show now. I love the show's premise: the most talented kid-chefs in the country competing for their very own show on!
I'm also pretty excited about this year's chosen eight because one of them is from Washington, yay! :)  How neat is that?! My fellow Washingtonian is Amber and she is representing Woodinville, WA! Woohoo!
Photo cred:
Meet the eight kid-chefs for Season 2! Luis, Gibson, Madison, Amber, Sean, Helen, Lauren and Finn!
Photo cred:
Guess who was fortunate enough to interview Amber via email!? ;) Yes, me!
When did you first realize your love of cooking?
I've loved it ever since I started cooking with my mom!
What's your absolute favorite entrée to prepare?
It's tough to choose, but I'm going to go with Moroccan Pasta. It's so easy but SO GOOD! Link here:
What's your favorite kid-friendly dish to prepare?
Fronanas! They are super fun to make, and even little kids can make it using a butter knife. Link here:

Do you have a least favorite food? What is it?
I have never had it, but the idea of eating or cooking snails is disgusting! I don't know if I'll ever be able to do it.
What are some quick, healthy school lunches that kids will actually eat?
Lunchbox pizzeria is a great lunch to take to school! Here is the link: Anything you can assemble yourself is fun!
 Who is your favorite Food Network TV personality/chef?
That's hard! Rachael Ray, Guy Fieri, Giada DeLaurentis, Alton Brown, Bobby Flay, Tyler Florence, The Pioneer Women....I guess ALL OF THEM!
When you're not cooking, what is your favorite thing to do?
I love to sing!
What is the best advice anyone has ever given you?
No matter what, have fun doing what you're doing. Both my mom and Guy Fieri have given me this advice.
And what would you tell aspiring young chefs like yourself?
Have fun with it!
Photo cred:

Good luck, Amber! Wish I could taste the shrimp sliders from the first episode! :D
Follow Amber: Website  Facebook  Twitter  Youtube

Catch Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Cook-Off Sundays on The Food Network!
Also use #RvGKids to follow the fun on Twitter! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rush Hour Jr by ThinkFun!

Traffic Jam Puzzle for Younger Players Younger players can experience the fun and challenge of our award-winning Rush Hour game in this exciting junior version! Set up your game grid according to the challenge card and steer your ice cream truck through a jumble of blocking cars, trucks, and buses to make your way to the exit. 40 age-appropriate challenge cards provide hours of fun while building logic and reasoning skills in young players.
• Ages 6 and up
• Game Grid
• 40 Challenge Cards from Beginner to Expert
• 15 Cars and Trucks
• 1 Ice Cream Truck
• Game-Go Bag

My 7 year old and 9 year old loved this game! At first they tried 'Super Hard' challenges but couldn't figure them out but settled on 'Medium' challenges. I even played too! :) It sure does get your brain in gear!
Only one can play at a time, but while waiting, the other can scope out the rest of the challenge cards in the deck and try visualizing a solution. I really think this game is a great learning tool and fun!
Available from Amazon or
 I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.