The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel

The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel

The first eight years of Penelope McGee’s education have been a curriculum in humiliation. Now she is on a quest for redemption, and a little bit of revenge.

From her kindergarten self-portrait as a bacon with boobs, to fourth grade when she peed her pants in the library thanks to a stuck zipper to seventh grade where…well, she doesn’t talk about seventh grade. Ever.

After hearing the guidance counselor lecturing them on how high school will be a clean slate for everyone, Pipi–fearing that her eight humiliations will follow her into the halls of Northbrook High School–decides to use her last year in middle school to right the wrongs of her early education and save other innocents from the same picked-on, laughed-at fate. Pipi McGee is seeking redemption, but she’ll take revenge, too.

The Humiliations of Pipi McGee by Beth Vrabel

Every so often I dive into the world of fiction for young readers, and when I came across The Humiliations of Pipi McGee up for review, I thought it was time for me to do it again.

I don’t have time to read a lot of middle grade fiction, but whenever I do I’m reminded what a strong genre it is. Aimed at the crowd who are still just a little too young for YA fiction, it is a genre full of solid, smart writing that doesn’t talk down to its audience.

Author Beth Vrabel writes witty characters, includes diversity seamlessly, and has created a heroine every girl will be able to identify with.

Heroine Pipi might be an accident-prone klutz, but she’s not an idiot, and Vrabel has figured out how to create some balance in her characterisation. She also has all kinds of solid friendships and positive characters, and doesn’t revert to irritating stereotypes.

This book was a nice change from my usual reads.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

Judy Blume on the Big Screen

Are You There God It's Me Mrgaret by Judy Blume

It was announced a couple of days ago that Judy Blume’s 1970 book Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is finally being turned into a movie.

You can read more about it HERE.

Here’s what the book is about:

“Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” No one ever told Margaret Simon that eleven-going-on- twelve would be such a hard age. When her family moves to New Jersey, she has to adjust to life in the suburbs, a different school, and a whole new group of friends. Margaret knows she needs someone to talk to about growing up-and it’s not long before she’s found a solution.

“Are you there God? It’s me, Margaret. I can’t wait until two o’clock God. That’s when our dance starts. Do you think I’ll get Philip Leroy for a partner? It’s not so much that I like him as a person God, but as a boy he’s very handsome. And I’d love to dance with him… just once or twice. Thank you God.

 

 

How Do Cats Do That?: Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

How Do Cats Do That Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

How Do Cats Do That?: Discover How Cats Do The Amazing Things They Do by Peter Scottsdale

It was 1am. I was looking for a book to read. Instead of something in the realm of fiction for grownups, I saw the crazy cat on the cover of How Do Cats Do That? and downloaded this book instead.

Written in simple language in order to appeal to all ages, the book does exactly what you’d expect: it explains everything you would want to know about cats and their behaviour.

After having a gazillion stray cats turn up in my life in recent years, I’ve already read everything I could find about this particular topic, but this is a good summary for people who need to know a lot about cats in a hurry.

A quick, easy read.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.

Best of 2016

I get the impression I’m missing out on a lot of good books in my attempts to keep up with my review books! However, I did get to read some fantastic books by some of my favourite authors this year.

Yet again, I read more historical fiction than I intended to. I wonder if this is something that will ever change!

In no particular order, here are my favourite reads of 2016:

Marrying Winterborne (Ravenels #2) by Lisa Kleypas

Marrying Winterborne (2016) by Lisa Kleypas

Taking Fire (One-Eyed Jacks #4) by Cindy Gerard

Taking Fire (One-Eyed Jacks #4) by Cindy Gerard

Baron (The Knickerbocker Club #2) by Joanna Shupe

Baron (The Knickerbocker Club #2) by Joanna Shupe

The Summer Bride (Chance Sisters #4) by Anne Gracie

The Summer Bride (Chance Sisters book 4) by Anne Gracie

How to Rescue a Rake (Book Club Belles Society #3) by Jayne Fresina

How to Rescue a Rake (Book Club Belles Society #3) by Jayne Fresina

Sister of Mine: A Novel by Sabra Waldfogel

Sister of Mine A Novel by Sabra Waldfogel

Kiss, Kiss, Bark! by Kim Williams Justesen

(Yes, I enjoyed this Middle Grade book enough to buy a copy after finishing my ARC!)

kiss-kiss-bark-by-kim-williams-justesen

The Wicked Duke (Wicked Trilogy #3) by Madeline Hunter

The Wicked Duke (Wicked Trilogy #3) by Madeline Hunter

Tycoon (The Knickerbocker Club 0.5) by Joanna Shupe

Tycoon (The Knickerbocker Club 0.5) by Joanna Shupe

The Dare and the Doctor (Winner Takes All #3) by Kate Noble

the-dare-and-the-doctor-winner-takes-all-3-by-kate-noble

The Unexpected Marriage of Gabriel Stone (Lords of Disgrace #4) by Louise Allen

The Unexpected Marriage of Gabriel Stone (Lords of Disgrace #4) by Louise Allen mills and Boon Cover

Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night (Winner Takes All #2.5) by Kate Noble

Miss Goodhue Lives for a Night (Winner Takes All #2.5) by Kate Noble

Someone to Love (Westcott #1) by Mary Balogh

someone-to-love-westcott-1-by-mary-balogh-australian-cover

Plus, one that isn’t out until next month, but I have already read and enjoyed:

mogul-the-knickerbocker-club-3-by-joanna-shupe

The Week: 18th – 25th September

spring-afternoon-sky-sonya-heaney-canberra-australia-24th-september-2016

This was about 5pm yesterday. Taken straight after stepping out of the car at the local shopping centre. Pity about the football stadium lights ruining the view!

spring-sunset-canberra-australia-sonya-heaney-garden-sky-clouds-22nd-september-2016

Thursday evening in Canberra.

Weird week. I actually got my days all mixed up and forgot it was Sunday!

I’ve been doing a lot of rereading, and am falling so far behind with my review books. If you’re seeing fewer reviews on here, that is the reason. However, I have a bunch of books I could read a thousand times and still love, and sometimes – especially when I’m too busy to invest in a new story – it’s a comfort to read those.

What have I been rereading? Anne Gracie, Lisa Kleypas… favourite historical romances mostly.

I have not been *sick* this week, but I’ve been something strange. In the past, back in my ballet days, I was so anaemic (or “anemic” in America) that when they did the tests I’d dropped off the bottom of the chart. In high school there were days I was more or less unconscious at my desk, so I got sent home to pass out in bed! And imagine trying to do professional ballet training when you have NO energy whatsoever. None!

I’ve been a bit like that in recent days.

Basically, I’ve been almost fainting when I stand up, and I nearly passed out when walking to lunch with my brother and parents yesterday afternoon. Also – just now – twice I fell asleep at the computer and woke myself up when I dropped forwards and bashed my head on the keyboard (someone should probably film me doing that, because I’m sure it looks hilarious!!).

It’s a good thing my brother’s partner runs a number of pharmacies, so I get information on the super-duper iron supplements that help me a bit!

However, I’m dropping a bit behind on everything at the moment.

Floriade Canberra Australia Spring Sonya Heaney Oksana Heaney 5th October 2015 Purple Flowers Garden Nature

Floriade all sunny and hot last year.

We’ve had some pretty weird weather in the past few days. Some days are gorgeous, and then others are weirdly cool and rainy – it doesn’t usually rain much in Canberra, so it’s a real shock. As Floriade – our massive flower festival near the lake – is on now, it’s not ideal. The last time I went to it there was a serious heatwave, I got sunburnt, and I was dressed for the tropics!

My review of The Rancher’s Texas Match by Brenda Minton

the-ranchers-texas-match-by-brenda-minton

My review of Kiss, Kiss, Bark! by Kim Williams Justesen

kiss-kiss-bark-by-kim-williams-justesen

A Downton Abbey Movie?

rose%20dressdownton-abbey-wedding-dress

Seven reasons to read historical romance.

Christmas Historical Romance Cover Art by Jon Paul Studios - Copy

For the romance reader…

Book Boyfriends Funny Graphic T-Shirt

Kiss, Kiss, Bark! by Kim Williams Justesen

kiss-kiss-bark-by-kim-williams-justesen

Mattie has a couple of dilemmas. First (sigh), her parents are making her babysit her humiliating younger brother nearly nonstop. What could BE more awful than the constant company of a 4-year-old brother who acts like a dog? Then, her best friend’s brother begins to show serious interest in her. Mattie thinks all her prayers have come true, that is, until her best friend Livvy stops returning her phone calls. Is this how a best friend should act? Will she have to choose between her best friend and a budding romance, and who should it be? A family crisis will force Mattie to make some difficult decisions. This very funny and very relatable story will appeal to broad swath of young teen girls.

Kiss, Kiss, Bark! by Kim Williams Justesen

Firstly: I thought this was a great book! But why am I reviewing a tween book, you ask?

Because I was doing some research into Middle Grade fiction, and as this one was freely available for anyone with a NetGalley account to download for review, I decided to go for it. With the childish cover I wasn’t expecting much, but I actually enjoyed it A LOT.

Kiss, Kiss, Bark! is very well-written, is entertaining, and I think it would appeal to a much broader audience than the childish pink princess cover would have you believing. It might be that I needed a break from my usual type of books, but I really did like this one.

Our female protagonist is a likeable teen, with a younger brother – a truly unique character – who drives her mad (but he’s very cute!). She has good friends, is crazy about her best friend’s older brother, and is so realistic it was really refreshing after reading a lot of romance. Middle Grade fiction isn’t scared to feature realistic kids.

There’s a little sweet and funny romance here, and this type of fiction comes with a happy ending, even though the book deals with some emotional issues. I loved that even when the friends run into problems over boys and other girls, nobody says anything misogynistic.

I liked the characterisation of the family members, and I liked that nobody was a stereotype.

Basically, I just liked it! If you enjoy Young Adult books, this one doesn’t read that much different. It’s a bit sweeter, but the excellent writing makes up for it for older readers.

 

Review copy provided by NetGalley.