Tag: 4 stars

Summer Constellations

Author: Alisha Sevigny
To Be Published: May 1, 2018

Reviewed By: Jessica
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Dates Read: April 12-17, 2018

Book Description:

Julia Ducharme is ready for a fresh start. Her little brother has finally recovered from a serious illness, and now she just wants to enjoy peak season at the campground her family owns. Maybe this will be the year her annual summer fling with Dan Schaeffer becomes something more?

But her summer dreams are quickly shattered. First, Dan arrives for vacation with a new girlfriend in tow, and then Julia discovers this may be her last summer in the only home she’s ever known.

Crushing medical bills have brought her single mom to the brink of bankruptcy, and a wealthy developer is sniffing around the campground. He sees what Julia sees: lush woods, a pristine lake, miles of trails for adventure. Unlike Julia, he thinks this is the perfect spot for a casino resort.

Heartbroken and afraid, Julia looks to the stars for some perspective. Taking her telescope down to the dock one night, she has a chance encounter with a guitar-playing boy who offers some helpful advice. Too bad this handsome stranger is the developer’s son, Nick Constantine.

As plans for a resort move forward, Julia is desperate to find a solution that doesn’t mean leaving the lake. Nick, in turn, is desperate to separate himself from his father’s aggressive business tactics. He promises that, together, they can thwart the sale.

But can Julia trust him to conspire against his own father? And could she ever she trust him with her heart?
Jessica’s Review:

If Summer Constellations  had been published when I was a teenager, it would have most likely been one of my favorite books! It is a perfect summer read for a teen girl, especially if she is going camping.  I am not the target demographic for this novel, but I still enjoyed it!

There is the whole summer romance involved  and Julia is just the ‘normal’ teenage girl. I would have identified with her as a teen.  When she finds out her mom may be selling the only home she has ever known she is not happy at all. She works to try to do everything she can to prevent the sale from happening.  And then there is Nick…. Oh wow: Should she trust him or not? Is he just taking advantage of her situation to get what he wants? And what does he really want?????

I am not a quick reader but had this one read in a few days.  It is a quick and enjoyable read and I wanted to know what was going to happen. Was mom going to sell the campground or not????   I was rooting for Julia to be successful in what she wanted.  The middle did drag a little for me, but the ending made up for it being bittersweet and it really gets moving in the last 50 pages.

Sevigny really captured everything I loved in this novel.  She even did well with the realism with how mom felt with the financial situation.  You could feel how torn mom is about selling.  If you have a teen daughter, let her read this novel.

Summer Constellations is recommended. Thank you KCP Loft for my ARC copy!

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK (Publication Day is May 3rd)

The Space Adventurer’s Guide

The Space Adventurer’s Guide: Your Passport to the Coolest Things to See and Do in the Universe

Author: Peter McMahon
Illustrator: Josh Holinaty
To Be Published: May 1, 2018
104 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: April 18, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

It’s not just astronauts who get to travel into space anymore. Forward-thinking entrepreneurs have now made space flight a reality for adventure-seekers of all kinds. And just in time, here’s a travel guide for kids to plan their own out-of-this-world journeys. Eight potential space vacations are described, one per chapter, complete with information about pre-trip preparations (like training to withstand extreme g-forces), accommodations and dining (hot dogs in zero gravity, anyone?), awesome activities (how about a real moon walk?) and so much more.

The trips range from orbiting Earth (available now), to voyaging through Saturn’s rings, which may be possible within the next few decades. Featuring the coolest things to see and do in the universe, these space vacations are not to be missed!

Award-winning science journalist Peter McMahon has come up with an intriguing concept sure to pique a young reader’s interest in all things outer space. Based on the latest science and featuring first-person accounts from experts in the field, this book is chock-full of opportunities for science and technology lessons. With kid-sized bursts of text (including loads of amazing, and sometimes icky, facts), fascinating photographs of everyday life on actual space flights, as well as fun-filled illustrations from Josh Holinaty, this hugely appealing book is also one that children will gladly pick up on their own — and devour. A glossary and index are included.

Jessica’s Review:

If you have a child interested in space, then get them this book!  This book has plenty for them to learn about and as an adult you will learn too!  There are real pictures of astronauts in space as well as drawings.  Between these and the fun facts given(which can be TMI that the kids will find hilarious and make the adults cringe)  throughout, this will  keep kids interested in the subject of Space!

The Guide talks about space travel now and in the future. It does mention the high cost of space travel.  It is crazy to think that what is mentioned here for the future will happen at some point:  From staying on the Moon to cruising in space and even on a comet!  In the far off future we will even be able to travel to Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn!  All of the different kinds of trips are mentioned with how long they will take to get there (and how for the long term trips) and how far away these places are.  Guide mentions the training one must go through as well. These trips are not something you just decide to do! Also mentioned in these trip are ‘things to do” which keeps the kids learning as they read.

This children’s book helps you to realize how advanced we are and will become in the future. And one day just maybe space travel will be as common as getting in your car for a drive!

Special thanks to Kids Can Press for an e-arc via NetGalley!

Pre-order Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Someday, Somewhere

Author: Lindsay Champion
Published: April 3, 2018

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 28-April 11, 2018
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Dominique is a high school junior from a gritty neighborhood in Trenton, where she and her mom are barely getting by.

Ben is a musical prodigy from the Upper East Side, a violinist at a top conservatory with obsessive talent and a brilliant future.

When Dom’s class is taken to hear a concert at Carnegie Hall, she expects to be bored out of her mind. But then she sees the boy in the front row playing violin like his life depends on it — and she is transfixed.

Posing as an NYU student, Dom sneaks back to New York City to track down Ben Tristan, a magnetic genius who whisks her into a fantasy world of jazz clubs and opera, infatuation and possibility. Each sees something in the other that promises to complete them.

As Dom’s web of lies grows, though, so does Ben’s obsessive need to conquer Beethoven’s famous Kreutzer Sonata. But Ben’s genius, which captivates Dominique, conceals a secret, and the challenges of her life may make it difficult to help him.

Author Lindsay Champion’s deep roots in theater and music are evident on every page — structured like a sonata with hints of West Side Story, her debut novel hits all the right notes.

Jessica’s Review:

Someday, Somewhere is Lindsay Champion’s debut novel, and it is quite the debut! She takes what she knows of music in life and brings it to us on the page.  I was in band in high school, so I was looking forward to the musical aspect of the novel to ‘bring me back’ to that time.  And let me say this about the cover: It is beautiful!

We have two alternating points of view in Someday, Somewhere  and going between both Dom and Ben keeps you wanting to read the next chapter to see what happens next. You can’t help but like all the characters, but my favorite was Cass. I know the story is Dom and Ben’s but Cass stole the show for me. I wanted more of Cass and need a Cass in my life!

Yes, they are both teens and they make the mistakes that teens will most likely make.  You can’t help but root for Dom and Ben and want them to be happy though things are against them.  I pictured Ben as David Garrett, even though Ben’s hair is dark. It is the talent that both Ben and David have that made me compare the two.

Someday, Somewhere is more than a sweet YA romance; it deals with some serious issues including race, poverty, lies, and abandonment. Don’t think you are going into this novel with a sweet, pleasant outcome: It deals with real issues with a real ending. I applaud Champion for ‘going against the grain’ of having a happy ending. As long as you keep this in mind you should enjoy Someday, Somewhere. These are lifelike characters that make ‘real people’ mistakes.

Someday, Somewhere is recommended. Thank you to KCP Loft for sending me a copy to read and review.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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