Publisher: HarperCollins


Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Featuring the Cutest Donkey: Saving Winslow by Sharon Creech

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I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Featuring the Cutest Donkey: Saving Winslow by Sharon CreechSaving Winslow by Sharon Creech
Published by HarperCollins on September 11, 2018
Genres: Contemporary, Grief, Middle Grade
Source: HarperCollins
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four-stars

Perfect for fans of Charlotte’s Web and The One and Only Ivan, Saving Winslow is an uplifting modern classic in the making about a young boy who befriends an ailing newborn donkey and nurses him back to health, from New York Times bestseller and Newbery Medal winner Sharon Creech.

Louie doesn't have the best luck when it comes to nurturing small creatures. So when his father brings home a sickly newborn mini donkey, he's determined to save him. He names him Winslow. Taking care of him helps Louie feel closer to his brother, Gus, who is far, far away in the army.

Everyone worries that Winslow won't survive, especially Louie’s quirky new friend, Nora, who has experienced loss of her own. But as Louie's bond with Winslow grows, surprising and life-altering events prove that this fragile donkey is stronger than anyone could have imagined.

Written in the spirit of Creech favorites Moo and Love That Dog, this standout tale about love and friendship and letting go will tug at the heartstrings.

One of the coolest things about being a blogger is occasionally you will get the chance to review a book by an author you grew up reading. Sometimes of course, reading books you loved when you were younger doesn’t always turn out as well but its Sharon Creech. She changed my life a million times over when I was a child so it is safe to say that I loved Saving Winslow.

But of course, writing a review for a book you loved is not fun even though you get to share your love for it because writing is hard and you (read: I) are a lazy bum.

Saving Winslow is the story of Louie, who doesn’t really do the whole nurturing animals thing well. But one day, his father brings home a sickly newborn donkey and Louie takes a shine to this adorable animal.  Everyone tells Louie that Winslow won’t make it and that he shouldn’t get attached but Louie does not care what everyone thinks. HE cares about Winslow and damnit if Winslow isn’t going to make it. 

Winslow, of course, is a magical donkey. Not so much because Winslow has actual magical powers but because he really does help people deal with their grief and sadness. From Nora, Louie’s skeptical new friend, to his neighbor who has also suffered through a lot, to Louie himself who misses his older brother dearly. Winslow is also a quirky donkey who loves his human boy deeply.

Honestly, I might be a grown-ass person (even though I don’t really feel like one) but there is something so powerful about stories that feature animal-human relationships. Some of the best stories involve animals and Saving Winslow is no different.

My mostly vague review aside, Saving Winslow is a story about a boy and his donkey, dealing with grief and new friendships. You should read it if you’re a fan of books like Because of Winn-Dixie.

four-stars

4 Hot Espressos

Man-Hunting WHALES: And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness

Man-Hunting WHALES: And the Ocean Was Our Sky by Patrick Ness

Posted by on 10/31/2018 • 1 Comment

I think we need to get one thing clear right off the bat and that is that this book, And the Ocean Was Our Sky is fucking weird. And the Ocean Was Our Sky follows Bathsheba, who happens to be a whale. This book is 110% literary middle grade fiction and at times feels like it is trying too hard but you know what, I still thought it was great.

The entire time I was reading it, I couldn’t quite wrap my head around how weird it was that we had a whale narrator whose voice read very much like a human but also, the humans were the enemy. I definitely had no issues with the humans being the enemies since we all know humans suck but it was still…

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Adorable and Emotional: A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi

Posted by on 10/24/2018 • 2 Comments

A Very Large Expanse of Sea is my first Tahereh Mafi book and I definitely hope it won’t be last. Reviewing this one is particularly hard because it was one of those books I ADORED while reading but a couple hours of reflection definitely allowed me to pick up on several holes within the plot and various arcs of the story.

The book hits on a particularly complex social issue that’s about as relevant today as it was two decades ago – islamophobia. This book is an #ownvoices tale and particularly so in that it is very much inspired by Mafi’s own experiences growing up after 9/11. One of my favorite things about this book is that sometimes, even when the sentences aren’t perfect or I have issues with…

Extremely Soft: The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

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Posted by on 10/09/2018 • 0 Comments

Tessa Dare is one of those romance authors who slowly wormed her way into my heart. When I first read her back in 2013? 14? I wasn’t really a fan but the Castles Ever After series completely endeared her work to me. The Governess Game follows Alexandra Mountbatten. Alexandra shows up at the Duke of Belvoir’s residence to offer her services as a timekeeper. Somehow she wounds up being the governess to Reynaud’s two wards instead. 

TBH, I feel like a broken record because I say this about a lot of heroines in a lot of books but THERE IS NO AVOIDING IT. Alexandra Mountbatten is a great MC. I adore her. She is bookish, extremely smart and has peculiar interests (such as CLOCKS.) She is also extremely patient, kind and all…

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Posted by on 08/22/2018 • 1 Comment

Earlier this year, I read and fell head over heels for A Princess in Theory. It was definitely one of my top reads of the year and when I dove into A Duke by Default, I expected to love it but I didn’t think it was even possible for me to love it more than A Princess in Theory.

For someone who has been reviewing for six years, it is quite baffling how easily words can escape me when it comes to a truly good book but you know, there you have it.

A Duke by Default is probably THE romance novel of the year for me. The one that has swept me off my feet and even a month after reading it, I cannot stop thinking…

Giveaway: Hidden Pieces by Paula Stokes

Posted by on 07/16/2018 • 10 Comments

Hi guys! We are huge fans of Paula Stokes over here so we’re really honored and excited to be bringing you a giveaway for Paula’s latest book! It’s a return to mystery and it sounds amazing! Turning over to Paula now!

Paula: Hi peeps 🙂 A big thank you to Rashika and Giselle for having me on Xpresso Reads to talk about my forthcoming mystery, HIDDEN PIECES, releasing on Aug 28. Of course there is a giveaway, but first here’s a little info about the book in case you’re unfamiliar.

Character Profiles

Embry:

Embry Woods is an 18-year-old girl who likes photography and the ocean, but isn’t sure what she’s going to do after she graduates from high school. Her mom is recovering from breast cancer, and even…

Amazing Secondary Characters: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

Amazing Secondary Characters: Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

Posted by on 07/09/2018 • 1 Comment

Sarah MacLean is one of my favorite romance authors and after finishing The Day of the Duchess. I was eagerly anticipating the start of a new series and some new characters to fall in love with. I think the best way to state my relationship to this book is that while I wasn’t as invested in the storyline of the two main characters, I was incredibly invested in the overarching plot of the series and the placement of this book within it. I LOVED the secondary characters and I am eagerly awaiting their stories in the future installments. 

SO. I didn’t love Wicked and the Wallflower but I am in love with the The Bareknuckle Bastards series?? The question marks at the end because I feel like that is a confusing statement and…