Monday, April 22, 2013

ARC Review of How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True by Sarah Strohmeyer

How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True
By: Sarah Strohmeyer 
Review by: Kaede
Release Date: April 23rd, 2013

Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Pages: 320
Format: e-ARC 
Source: Edelweiss (Thank you, HarperCollins!)

Other Titles in the Series: N/A - Standalone

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From Sarah Strohmeyer, author of Smart Girls Get What They Want, comes this romantic comedy about one girl's summer job from hell. Think The Devil Wears Prada set in Disney World.
When cousins Zoe and Jess land summer internships at the Fairyland Kingdom theme park, they are sure they've hit the jackpot. With perks like hot Abercrombie-like Prince Charmings and a chance to win the coveted $25,000 Dream & Do grant, what more could a girl want?
Once Zoe arrives, however, she's assigned to serve "The Queen"-Fairyland's boss from hell. From spoon-feeding her evil lapdog caviar, to fetching midnight sleeping tonics, Zoe fears she might not have what it takes to survive the summer, much less win the money.
Soon backstabbing interns, a runaway Cinderella, and cutthroat competition make Zoe's job more like a nightmare than a fairy tale. What will happen when Zoe is forced to choose between serving The Queen and saving the prince of her dreams?
How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True came extremely surprising, introducing a cast of characters that I fell in love with. 

While I've never read Strohmeyer's Smart Girls Get What They Want, I have heard enough praise for it, and for Strohmeyer is general, that I was fairly confident going into How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True that it'd be a book I'd enjoy. 

And enjoyed I did - and so much more. 

When cousins Zoe and Jess are accepted as summer interns at a Fairyland themed park, they're both certain it's the chance they've been waiting for. Because not only does Fairyland offer a happily-ever-after for all their children guests, but twenty-five thousand dollars will go to two lucky interns who've displayed the most Wow! spirit at the end of the summer. Both Zoe and Jess need the money, but only one of them can win it. But will either one of them even come close the prize, much less last the summer, with so many traitors and betrayals lurking around every corner. It won't be long until they realize that in a place where dreams were made to come true, the only person you can trust is yourself. 

I thought the author also did a really good job at capturing how low people are willing to stoop to get what they want. Some of the characters, and the way they treated Zoe, were just infuriating and I wanted to stomp on them. 

Zoe was a heroine to root for - kind, selfless, and smart. She was fully willing to put Jess first and help her win the Dream & Do grant, even though her late mother's medical bills were still lingering around with no way to pay them off. I liked that Zoe was perceptive and noticed traps that many young adult heroines would have walked right into and needed a hot guy to come around to save them afterward. 

How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True has a lot going for it, and one of it's strongest points was it's romance. Delightfully sweet, Strohmeyer manages to avoid creating relationships that overtake the story, but still keep the a big important part. Ian was completely lovable, and had me right from the beginning with his talk of chickens being vegetables. I was also secretly hoping that R.J. and Jess would get together so I could have a mega squeal-fest. Tehehe.

Zoe made her mistakes along the way - like bringing a chocolate croissant to the Queen (who I really liked and found her ridiculous needs and demands excessively amusing to read about) that is packed with calories and would sent her into a diabetic shock that could quite possibly kill her - but she learned from them, and that's something notable I always look for in characters. There's no harm in making mistakes if you learn from them and try your hardest not to do it again. And, I mean, as my mother always says, "The best way to learn is by experience." 

There were times where I was worried that Zoe and Jess would be changed by the competitive, all-or-nothing atmosphere they was in. The two girls were best friends, each with their own bright and good-hearted natures. That's why I was extremely relieved and happy when Zoe and Jess always stood by what they believed in.

How Zoe Made Her Dreams (Mostly) Come True touches on a few darker subjects, but nothing too major. Overall, it was a hilarious, fun, contemporary read and exactly what I needed. I zoomed through the story, even staying up till a little past midnight to finish it. Zoe's narration was every bit as compelling as it was engaging, and certainly something worth recommending. 

5 coffee cups!

**An advance copy of this book was provided  for review. However, all opinions remain honest and my own.**


Contact Kaede: 
Goodreads: Kaede
Twitter: Kami178xx

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa (7)

The Eternity Cure (Blood of Eden, #2)
The Eternity Cure
By: Julie Kagawa
Release Date: April 30th, 2013
Publisher: Harlequin Teen
Allison Sekemoto has vowed to rescue her creator, Kanin, who is being held hostage and tortured by the psychotic vampire Sarren. The call of blood leads her back to the beginning—New Covington and the Fringe, and a vampire prince who wants her dead yet may become her wary ally.
Even as Allie faces shocking revelations and heartbreak like she’s never known, a new strain of the Red Lung virus that decimated humanity is rising to threaten human and vampire alike.


Since I have an advance readers copy of The Eternity Cure, in a way, it's fair game. But I have so many other review books stacked up and I still haven't read The Immortal Rules, so I'm having a hard time prioritizing this one. 

But I definitely want to read this. I love Julie Kagawa, and her Iron Fey series is one of my favorites. I did start The Immortal Rules, but I'm only a few chapters in. 

I'm aiming to get reviews of both books up before The Eternity Cure's release date, but if not, then early-middle May at latest. 

But oh, can't end off without:


(Can you guess which character I like? I bet you can't. Pfft.)

Add THE ETERNITY CURE to Goodreads



Contact Kaede: 
Goodreads: Kaede
Twitter: Kami178xx

Monday, April 15, 2013

ARC Review of Chasing Mrs. Right by Katee Robert

Chasing Mrs. Right (#2)
By: Katee Robert
Review by: Kaede

Publisher: Entangled Publishing
Pages: 263
Format: e-ARC 
Source: NetGalley (Thank You, Entangled!)

Other Titles in the Series: Wrong Bed, Right Guy (#1)Two Wrongs, One Right (#3)

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It was only supposed to last one night...
Ian had no idea the sexy woman he took to his bed was his little sister's best friend - or that she'd refuse to give him more than one night. Good thing this soldier likes a challenge...
"Sometimes there really is a happily ever after without any strings attached. You just have to be brave enough to face it." 

Roxanne doesn't believe in love. But Ian - Ian believes in love. And after what they just experienced together, there's no way he's just going to let her go.

Chasing Mrs. Right is published by Brazen, a line of Entangled Publishing that I love. It started with J. Lynn's Tempting the Player, and then I was hooked. I've loved every single book of Brazen's that I've read, and this one was no exception. I also seem to read all these Brazen titles in one sitting, and I'm now almost certain of my suspicion that somebody is putting addictive drug powers into the words I read. Which is a slightly creepy thought, but as long as these books keep being as good as they've been, I'm fine with it...kind of.

Katee Robert is an adult writer. If you aren't fond of sexual depictions, Chasing Mrs. Right isn't the book for you. However, if you don't mind that and enjoy dramatic tension, like good solid characters, and have a soft spot for quick, easy, but very likable reads - Roxanne and Ian's story is just the one for you!

I expected Ian to be a bad boy. I really, wholeheartedly, honestly did. But what I found was definitely not what I thought I'd find. Instead of an edgy boy with bad language, Ian was sincerely kind of sweet. He cared for Roxanne right from the very beginning when he helped her fix the leg she hurt. Despite that though, Ian did have a bit of roughness to him. Wearied down from his time in Afghanistan, peace and quiet are a luxury that isn't easy to come across. But with Roxanne, a woman he met by chance, he's comfortable and safe, and he can finally sleep through a night for a change. And before he knows it, he's falling for his little sister's best friend. 

Roxanne doesn't do long term relationships. Commitments and boyfriends never end well, a fact that Roxanne's all too aware of. But she never expected an encounter with a man who makes her want to take a chance, to want to jump even knowing she'll probably fall. A man that threatens everything she stands for, and threatens to tear down the walls she's spend so much time building. 

Roxanne and Ian have undeniable chemistry, and I loved watching their story unfold. But Chasing Mrs. Right also touched on some secondary characters that I would've like to see more of. I'll put Ellie, Gabe, and Nathan aside, since I know they have their own story - but the issue with Ian's mom I wanted more resolution too. I'm all for deficiency, and overly controlling, uncaring, self-absorbed parents will be the death of me. I hate grown ups who act like that, who think only of themselves and public image. I really wanted somebody, anybody, to stand up to Ian's mom and just say with a waggling finger, "Fuck off my life." Or at least...

But all in all, Chasing Mrs. Right was a solid installment. You don't need to have read the first in this series to enjoy this one. But even if you have or haven't, if you like adult contemporary, the second Coming Undone novel is one you won't want to miss.

4 coffee cups!

**An advance copy of this book was provided for review. However, all opinions remain honest and my own.**


Contact Kaede: 
Goodreads: Kaede
Twitter: Kami178xx

Sunday, April 14, 2013

ARC Review of Above World by Jenn Reese

Above World (Above World, #1)
Above World (#1)
By: Jenn Reese
Review by: Kaede
Release Date: February 14th, 2012

Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback ARC
Source: ARCycling (Thank you, ARCycling!) 

Other Titles in the Series: Mirage (#2)

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Thirteen-year-old Aluna has lived her entire life under the ocean with the Coral Kampii in the City of Shifting Tides. But after centuries spent hidden from the Above World, her colony’s survival is in doubt. The Kampii’s breathing necklaces are failing, but the elders are unwilling to venture above water to seek answers. Only headstrong Aluna and her friend Hoku are stubborn and bold enough to face the terrors of land to search for way to save their people.

But can Aluna’s warrior spirit and Hoku’s tech-savvy keep them safe? Set in a world where overcrowding has led humans to adapt—growing tails to live under the ocean or wings to live on mountains—here is a ride through a future where greed and cruelty have gone unchecked, but the loyalty of friends remains true.
Jenn Reese's Above World is a story full of originality and creativity, turning the concept of underwater inhabitants into one with elaborate detail of diverse features. 

But contrary to the previous statement, my biggest and sole problem with Above World was it's simplicity. While it serves satisfactorily as a transition from middle grade to juvenile young adult, any reader used to or accustomed only to complex pieces of literature might find their minds wandering from the premise, and potentially require several tries to be drawn back to the world Reese created.  

I felt as if details that could have been spared were withheld, and the world - while intriguing - has yet to be fully developed and fleshed out to it's extent. However, the plot and characters did feel well executed and well planned, and the writing engaging. There were many times where I was so submerged (I HAD to make at least one lame water joke. I had too. It's like the world was begging me to.) in the story that I felt I actually belonged with Aluna and Hoku and was a part of their adventure.

Aluna and Hoku were two very loyal, very likable characters. A pair of best friends who were constantly traveling to new places, meeting new people - or new species, and fending off new creatures. I honestly grew quite fond of Aluna and Hoku by the end. 

I did have minor issues with the telling-not-showing aspect of the book, but my complaints were kept at a minority because the problem did not have a strong hold on the entire novel. It was only at certain scenes where the trait would reveal itself. 

I mentioned my regards on the simplicity of Above World earlier, and I'm going to touch upon that again, but in a more positive light. While I'm not the biggest fan of it, the simple nature of the story does help make understanding unfolding events and revelations easy. 

The development of the characters was solid, and I think many young readers will enjoy this sort of introduction to the vast containing dystopian genre. Above World isn't a book I can freely recommend to everybody, but I would push it for parents who are looking for an appropriate face-paced, entertaining, fun read for their child or children. Now Above World is part of a series, of which it's sequel has been released, but I think I'll hold off on continuing so soon. I'll definitely be purchasing a copy of Mirage, the second installment, one day, because I am interested to see where Aluna and Hoku's adventures will lead them next, but I'm in no hurry. But don't get me wrong - I definitely enjoyed Above World and while maybe not right away, I will eventually get to the sequel to read and review for you guys! 

And that's a promise. 

3 and ½ coffee cups!

**An advance copy of this book was provided  for review. However, all opinions remain honest and my own.**


Contact Kaede: 
Goodreads: Kaede
Twitter: Kami178xx

Friday, April 12, 2013

#excitedgiddiness: Reasons Why YOU Should Pre-order the Paperback of SHADOW AND BONE by Leigh Bardugo

Hello darlings! 

This post is slightly overdue but still every bit as necessary. 

Okay. *deep breath* 

Here goes nothing...

OMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMGOMG!. (Wow, that's going to be annoying to read for you guys, because it was annoying to type. I MEAN, I KEPT MESSING UP. Not cool. *sniff*) 

So what am I annoyingly OMGing about? This. 

In all it's Grisha glory.
So it's no secret I love Mal  Shadow and Bone. I even own two signed copies (one personalized and one not), thanks to Steph @ Cuddlebuggery, from whom I won a copy of S&B in a giveaway. :D However, YOU NO TOUCHY MY BOOKS. I will keep my two very precious copies. But - and you know there's always a but  (not a butt. Cause there is not always a butt.) - if you've been looking for the chance to purchase a paperback copy of Shadow and Bone, your chance is coming very, very soon! If you haven't been looking for this chance, here's reasons why you should do it anyway (especially if you are already a fan of this series!): 

- A letter from Mal to Alina written the night before he and his friends entered Fjerda to track the stag ♥
- An extensive Q&A with Leigh Bardugo ♥
- A sneak peek at Siege and Storm ♥

The paperback for Shadow and Bone releases May 7th, 2013! AND SIEGE AND STORM JUST TWO MONTHS AFTER! This next thing you are probably not going to be interested in, BUT I AM FREAKING OUT. 

I don't know if you can tell, but in the castle shape, in the first crown looking thing to the left, at the very top, IS OUR BLOG NAME. EEEPPP. ALL THE FEELINGS. This is just a watermark, so there can still be changes to the design, but I think they way they organized it is absolutely freaking gorgeous. This is such a nice way to say thanks that I'm all giddy and

Oh, and, there's also something else I wanted to show you guys.

I love this button! It's such a shame I can't display it on the sidebar on the blog, because we've been experiencing admin problems and can't update anything (banners, review archive, etc.). We don't know how long it'll be until it's fixed - or if it'll ever be fixed - so for those of you who inquired about the lack of update on the tour stop banners, and review archive, there you go. BUT, if we do fix it, the first thing I'll be doing is putting this bad boy where it belongs - displayed proudly on the blog. 

I'll definitely be picking up a paperback copy of Shadow and Bone, if only just to be conceited and shove the fact that my blog is in a book to unsuspecting, innocent people I see on the streets. 


I don't think she approves of three copies of the same book, especially when she's certain the attic is going to collapse under the weight of my ONLY HALF MY COLLECTION OF BOOKS. 

No it's not mom. Chill. And if it does, make sure to save my books, 'kay? 

And who knows? While I'm hesitant to hand over one of my hardback copies of Shadow and Bone, I might just have to buy a spare copy of the paperbackforagiveaway. *ahem*

What? I didn't say anything of the sorts about giveaways. 

*wink wink* (hint, hint) 


P.S: You can see my review of Shadow and Bone HERE. Although, I am warning you. The review is not well-written. Although, nothing I write is actually well-written, so who am I kidding? 


Contact Kaede: 
Goodreads: Kaede
Twitter: Kami178xx

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Sweet Peril by Wendy Higgins (6)

Sweet Peril (The Sweet Trilogy, #2)Sweet Peril (#2)
By: Wendy Higgins
Release Date: April 30th, 2013
Publisher: HarperTeen

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Anna Whitt, the daughter of a guardian angel and a demon, promised herself she’d never do the work of her father—polluting souls. She’d been naive to make such a vow. She’d been naive about a lot of things.

Haunted by demon whisperers, Anna does whatever she can to survive, even if it means embracing her dark side and earning an unwanted reputation as her school’s party girl. Her life has never looked more bleak. And all the while there’s Kaidan Rowe, son of the Duke of Lust, plaguing her heart and mind.
When an unexpected lost message from the angels surfaces, Anna finds herself traveling the globe with Kopano, son of Wrath, in an attempt to gain support of fellow Nephilim and give them hope for the first time. It soon becomes clear that whatever freedoms Anna and the rest of the Neph are hoping to win will not be gained without a fight. Until then, Anna and Kaidan must put aside the issues between them, overcome the steamiest of temptations yet, and face the ultimate question: is loving someone worth risking their life?


I just really want this book...

Although that seems like my case for every book. 

This could be a proble - FORGET IT. SHUSH. I NEVER SAID ANYTHING. 

Just gimme book now. 

*holds out hand* 

Contact Kaede: 
Goodreads: Kaede
Twitter: Kami178xx

Sunday, April 7, 2013

ARC Review of Team Human by Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan

Team Human
Team Human
By: Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan 
Review by: Kaede
Release Date: July 3rd, 2012

Publisher: HarperTeen
Pages: 352
Format: Paperback ARC 
Source: ARCycling (Thank you, ARCycling!) 

Other Titles in the Series: N/A - Standalone

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketStuffy stuff

Just because Mel lives in New Whitby, a city founded by vampires, doesn't mean she knows any of the blood-drinking undead personally. They stay in their part of town; she says in hers. Until the day a vampire shows up at her high school. Worse yet, her best friend, Cathy, seems to be falling in love with him. It's up to Mel to save Cathy from a mistake she might regret for all eternity!
On top of trying to help Cathy (whether she wants it or not), Mel is investigating a mysterious disappearance for another friend and discovering the attractions of a certain vampire wannabe. Combine all this with a cranky vampire cop, a number of unlikely romantic entanglements, and the occasional zombie, and soon Mel is hip-deep in an adventure that is equal parts hilarious and touching.
Acclaimed authors Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan team up to create a witty and poignant story of cool vampires, warm friendships, and the changes that test the bonds of love.
For Mel, a random, extremely-unnecessarily-ridiculously-overly-proper vampire showing up at her high school is bad enough. But when the extremely-unnecessarily-ridiculously-overly-proper vampire makes her best friend fall head-over-heels in love with hearts in her eyes every time he walks by, Mel won't stand for it. She's determined to save Cathy from making a big mistake. An eternal mistake. (See what I did there? See? See? (; SHUT UP I'M NOT  LAME.)

Whether Cathy manages to realize that help and a restraining order on said ridiculously overly proper vampire is exactly what she needs or not, Mel will be there to save the day. And make sure Cathy knows that she's not capable of managing her own life. After all, that's what best friends are for. Right?


Not right.

Definitely not right.

Sometimes, when it comes down to it, I find that the problem lies not within the story, but with a character. Be it the stereotypical popular mean girl, shy bookworm, or the beauty in disguise, one character, just one character, can be the downfall of your book for me.

Thankfully, it didn't go that far. Mel...well, is Mel, first of all. And while all my problems (all of my one problem, that is) could be found in Mel, she wasn't a bad character. Just a very irritating one. A majority of her behavior through the book can be compared to a best friend constantly whining/arguing about something minor or completely pointless that you don't want to hear about.

You start off trying to be nice. When your best friend, or in this case Mel, starts whining or whatever thing they start doing that annoys you, you don't say anything. Instead, you force a smile and nod in agreement when necessary. You put in effort to refrain from walking the other way every time you see your friend, or putting the book down and throwing it out the window when Mel does something in Mel like fashion.

But then the whining continues, because your friend takes your silence as encouragement. Because you did not tell he/her that they are annoying the hell out of you, and therefore, they think you are interested in what they have to say (or what they have to complain about).

And that's where my analogy of Mel to an annoying friend must part ways. Because while you can easily ignore your best friend's calls with excuses, you can't so easily ignore Mel's glaring presence because She. Is. The. Freaking. Main. Character.

It's been a while since I was this conflicted on a character. On one hand, Mel is everything I wanted when I was reading Twilight. During Twilight, I had to wonder if there was anybody in the book that had a speck  of sane logic. Where is the God-sent person that will convince (forget it, there's not convincing Bella not to get pregnant with a vampire and we all know it) try to persuade Bella that falling in love with a who knows how old vampire is not a good idea? That person, though they did not appear in Bella's story, is alive and well in another book.

And I am semi-not happy with her.

I think if Team Human was told from Cathy's point of view, I would have had a considerable different opinion. But since Mel narrated the story, all throughout, even during scenes meant to be humorous, I got this looming sense of negativity. But my biggest problem was that Mel had this "I-know-best" attitude that in many ways has hurt her closest friends and herself. Her tendency to involve herself in issues that don't concern her rarely gives off a good result, and I was just angry with her a lot. And I mean a lot when I say a lot. However, I did appreciate the fact the Mel cared about Cathy, and didn't want her to make what she thought was an extremely bad decision. Her actions came out of love for her friend, not out of meddlesome spite (although she does have some when it comes to Francis). And, uhm, this is going to be horribly biased but MEL IS ASIAN. And do you know who else is Asian and proud? I'll give you a hint. *points to self* I also appreciated that, oh, I don't know...


But that aside, I really did like the remaining cast of characters. I particularly loved Kit, just because he was so far off from the usual troupe of bad boys. I wished there was more scenes with him, but with what we have, Kit shows an impressive arc of development from a boy who feels he owes everything to his vampire family to a boy who still feels that duty but has a new found will to make his own decisions, even if they're against the wishes of those around him. His relationship with Mel isn't insta-love, but instead takes the time to develop into something that benefits both parties. Both Mel and Kit change slowly after meeting each other and spending time together.

Cathy was also a likable character, but I didn't love her. She do I put it, too Bella Swan, maybe? Too "Ohmygee do you see that hot vampire? HE'S MY SOULMATE AND I LOVE HIM" in a far toned down version. But quite honestly, the girl has more patience than I ever will. She not only rarely gets angry, but understands that Mel doesn't want to hurt her, but instead is just trying to protect her in her own way.

There're a lot of amusing one-liners and fun scenes in Team Human, but it does also incorporate seriousness. Questions that you would only ask yourself alone, questions that make you think, and situations that you wouldn't expect in a standalone meant to be a parody of vampires.

Anna and her father, as well as the surprising twist with Anna's mother, makes up a lot of the emotional-er aspects of the story. It couldn't have been easy for a teenage girl to have to come to terms with a truth like that about her father.

One thing I noticed though, on the synopsis of Team Human, it mentions the setting, a city founded by vampires is where Mel and her friends live. Surprisingly, Team Human doesn't utilize this little detail to it's fullest extent. There could have been so much more reference to this, and if Team Human was really meant to be a vampire parody, there could have been so much down with a city founded by vampires.

I am sounding horribly negative (it must be because of school. SEE WHAT YOU DO TO ME HOMEWORK? ARE YOU PROUD OF YOURSELF? *grumbles*), but I promise you that I did really enjoy Team Human. With it's touch of zombies, feature vampires, and dynamic and diverse cast, Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan collaboration proves to be an extremely entertaining read. I zoomed right through it, finishing it in only a matter of two days, and in a horrible reading slump.

So props to you, dearest authors.

4 coffee cups!

**An advance copy of this book was provided  for review. However, all opinions remain honest and my own.**


Contact Kaede: 
Goodreads: Kaede
Twitter: Kami178xx

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

LIST-LOVING STAR IN THE MAKING: ARC Review of Starring Jules: As Herself by Beth Levine Ain

Starring Jules: As Herself
Starring Jules: As Herself  (#1)
By: Beth Levine Ain
Review by: Kaede
Release Date: March 1st, 2013

Publisher: Scholastic 
Pages: 160
Format: e-ARC
Source: NetGalley (Thank You, Scholastic!)

Other Titles in the Series: Starring Jules: In Drama-Rama (#2)

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Lights! Camera! Action! A hilarious chapter book debut from a fabulous new talent!
Things to Know About Me
by Jules Bloom
1. I am a scrambled-eggs-and-chocolate-milk type person.
2. I have an audition for a TV commercial (which would be great if I were a tall-icy-drink type person.)
3. I am in between best friends right now.
4. I am worried that the audition will be a disaster. (See #1 and #3!)
Jules doesn't want to ruin THE OPPORTUNITY OF A LIFETIME, and she's willing to turn to anyone for help--even her know-it-all ex-best friend! If only that lovely new girl in class would turn out to be the new best friend of her dreams, maybe, just maybe, Jules will be ready for her close-up...
Seven-going-on-eight year old Jules Bloom has been offered a opportunity of a lifetime. She's been invited by Ms. Kingston, a beautiful lady that randomly came up to her when she was eating in a restaurant with her family, to attend an T.V. commercial audition.

Jules will be competing for the role in a orange mouthwash commercial. 

There's just one problem. 

Jules Bloom doesn't do oranges. 

No, like seriously. Since the throw-up incident from a orange sherbet a long, long time ago, Jules has refused anything orange-related. Orange Tic Tac, orange t-shirts - and orange mouthwash is no exception. But there has to be a way to overcome the horror of oranges, right? (Can you even read that sentence with a straight face? I never thought that oranges could be a legitimate fear o_o...I eat them everyday.) 

Just as much as Jules hates oranges though, she loves lists. It's a way she can organize all her feelings on a page, keep track of all the things that fly in and out of her brain, Twitterand she utilizes lists for almost everything. How to overcome her orange problem, reasons why Elinor of London is totally new best friend material, and things to do before she turns eight. So I thought it was only right for me to honor that with a list of my own. So here goes nothing. 

Things I Liked: 

- The quickness. Being only 160 pages, Starring Jules: As Herself is a fun, easy read for young children. 

- The lists. They're a creative, efficient way to bring out more of Jules's feelings, making her a bit more real to the readers. They can also be entertaining. 

- The artwork. When you see a book, be it middle grade, young adult, or even adult (are there even adult books with pictures?), with pictures inside, does it draw you? I personally fall prey to books with artwork more often than not, just because they bring an extra something for the story. What of the artwork I saw in the advance readers copy was simple, but a nice addition nonetheless. 

- The ABCs. I promise you it's not what you think. The ABCs have nothing to with the alphabet, but rather people. I just thought it was amusing, and so like some people I know. 

Things That Could Improve... 

- Jules, or the main character. For some reason, Jules didn't exactly scream seven year old to me. She was fun to read about, but then she'd say something and I'd think, "Is this really a seven year old speaking?" I can't quite describe it, but maybe she seemed far too mature for her age? That's not necessarily a bad thing, since I'm often told I'm too mature for my age, but it just seemed...weird? 

- The supporting cast. With most of the remainder of the characters that were introduced I had the same problem I had with Jules. I'd be reading, everything going smoothly, and then someone would say something with weird wording and I'd be like, "Wait, what?"  And so after a repetition of the same thing happening, over and over again, I've come to the conclusion that: 
Sorry, but I can't help you there. 

So basically, my one problem with Starring Jules: As Herself is that the characters seemed out of age when speaking. But overall, Beth Levine Ain has created an entertaining middle-grade series starring yours truly; Jules. 

If you have a child you're trying to find an appropriate chapter book for, or if you're simply looking for a quick and easy read, you can't go wrong with Starring Jules. I'd recommend it for children who've enjoyed series such as Junie B. Jones, because it gives off the same happy feeling I remember getting when I was younger and read some of the Junie B. Jones books. Junie and Jules are both very fun characters, with vibrant unique personalities that can make them real to young readers. 

3 coffee cups! 

**An advance copy of this book was provided by the publisher for review. However, all opinions remain honest and my own.**

Find Beth Levine Ain on Goodreads | Website | Twitter


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