Posts Categorized: Review

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…

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

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…

The Bollywood Rom-Com We Deserve: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

The Bollywood Rom-Com We Deserve: My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma

Posted by on 10/22/2018 • 1 Comment

Two books out in a year with Indian MCs who aspire to be filmmakers? Is this a sign I should drop everything and become a filmmaker? Stay tuned to find out. Obviously this book isn’t about ~my~ so-called bollywood life but it is about Winnie Mehta’s so-called bollywood life.

My So-Called Bollywood Life basically reads like a bollywood film and I didn’t mind it ONE LITTLE BIT. There is a love triangle, lots of angst, kismet, a heroine with tons of dreams, and even a bollywood dance number.

Winnie has always thought Raj was her soulmate, after all, she’s been told her entirely life that their love is written in the stars, but when he suddenly breaks up with her and starts dating Jenny Dickens, Winnie is more…

The Perfect Anthology for Halloween: Toil & Trouble

The Perfect Anthology for Halloween: Toil & Trouble

Posted by on 10/12/2018 • 1 Comment

It is no secret that YA has been severely lacking with witchy content lately. I miss the delightful witchy pnr/urban fantasy that was so prominent in YA a couple years ago and I hope this anthology signals a comeback. SO. ANYWAY. When I heard about this anthology, I was ready for it. And it delivered. Like with any anthology, there were some stories that didn’t quite hit their potential, but I think I actually liked every single short story?? Which is quite a feat for an anthology.

I think my favorite thing about this anthology is just how much variety there is! It is extremely diverse but also, there is also just a huge variety in the kinds of stories being told. We get witch-y meet cutes, romances, horror, mystical,…

Extremely Soft: The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

Extremely Soft: The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

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…

Good to be Reunited With Some Beloved Characters: Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

Good to be Reunited With Some Beloved Characters: Star-Touched Stories by Roshani Chokshi

Posted by on 08/28/2018 • 2 Comments

Roshani Chokshi has already earned herself a place on my auto-read list so it is unsurprising that even though I am a shit head who hasn’t read A Crown of Wishes, I still needed to read Star-Touched Stories. Chokshi has a distinguished writing style that just calls out to me, I guess.

Short stories set in a favorite world are always fun and I love how Chokshi really does somehow manage to bring the Star-Touched queen world to life even through this short snippets into the lives of beloved characters. WHICH. I know I’ve read Star-Touched Queen so I have some context but its been two years so I really didn’t remember much and yet, THE STORIES WERE SO WELL WRITTEN that I didn’t really need to remember…