Pretty much anyone who knows me knows that I love penguins, so when I saw Loading Penguin Hugs available on NetGalley I had to pick it up and see what it was about.
This was quite possibly the most adorable and uplifting book I’ve read all year. This is definitely the type of book you would want to keep on your desk or nearby and pick it up from time to time to flip to random pages. The artwork is bright and colorful and each graphic suits the simple message on each page. Any page in this book could be a poster or inspirational message. It’s a very quick book, but will give anyone who reads it a quick smile and could completely change their mood if they need a pick me up.
I know I’ve seen Chibird’s (Jacqueline Chen) art before here and there but never connected who the artist actually was. I loved the experience of seeing each of the pages in this books and her simplistic but fun art style, it’s a perfect example of how so much can be said with so little.
Loading Penguin Hugs was published by Andrews McMeel Publishing on November 13th, so be sure to pick up a copy for yourself! Also, be sure to check out more of Chibird’s art by following her at @chibirdart on twitter, instagram or facebook.
I originally requested this book from Netgalley purely because the subject seemed interesting and I usually like most things with a paranormal spin. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, but it was a very fun and enjoyable read. This story follows Callie who has recently inherited a house and decided a change of scene is just what she needs. Turns out, that house comes with a history that’s known to everyone but her. Watching her discover the secrets of the house and her ancestors was wonderful, though part of me wished for more.
The chemistry between Callie and Carter was great and it was always fun to watch them spar. There were certainly parts of the book that were predictable, and once I got to 80% I had figured out what the climax/twist was going to be, but I was pleasantly surprised it took that long for me to see all the clues fall into place. I felt that supporting characters were well defined enough to be individuals, though I would have loved to have more details about the town and locations. Though this appears to be set up as a stand alone, I would definitely enjoy getting more books set in the town and reappearances by many of the side characters.
The scenes where we see the point of view of Callie’s ancestor were well written and there was no mistaking the personality and individuality of this person. In fact, the different personalities of all of the characters were some of my favorite parts of the book, I found myself falling in love with some of the characters and secretly wanting more.
The writing and pacing seemed to fluctuate a little, but not to the point that it was off putting and the read itself was well paced on average. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and think it would be great for anyone who enjoys paranormal romance. If you want to pick up your own copy of Haunted Hearts, it is out now and clicking on the cover image will take you to the Amazon page for it. Check it out if you like ghost stories, romance or just a fun and dynamic story. If you want to find out more about Kimberly Dean, check out her website at https://kimberlydean.com/ – I know I will definitely be checking out more of her books.
Being an 80s/90s kid, I was ecstatic when I heard that a new anthology was being released by none other than R.L. Stine, full of scary stories. I was determined to pick it up and make it one of my reads during October. Scream and Scream Again is an anthology of 20 spooky stories that either begin or end with a scream – or both.
I was a little disappointed that none of the stories were truly scary, but I was entertained none the less. Every story had a unique concept and setting. These stories are definitely middle grade and are perfect to feed your Goosebumps or Are You Afraid of the Dark? cravings. While it wasn’t exactly what I expected, it was still enjoyable and a fun time.
Some of my favorite stories in the collection were Kamikaze Iguanas by Alison McMahan, Area Code 666 by Carter Wilson and The Unknown Patriot by Chris Grabenstein.
I hope this is just one in a long line of new stories and books from R.L. Stine. For me this book was more nostalgic than anything else. It took me back to the times when I read Fear Street and similar books as a teen. Be sure to check it out if slightly spooky and funny stories are what you are looking for!