The New One Book Review

GoodReads Summary: In 2016 comedian Mike Birbiglia and poet Jennifer Hope Stein took their fourteen-month-old daughter Oona to the Nantucket Film Festival. When the festival director picked them up at the airport she asked Mike if he would perform at the storytelling night. She said, “The theme of the stories is jealousy.”


Jen quipped, “You’re jealous of Oona. You should talk about that.”


And so Mike began sharing some of his darkest and funniest thoughts about the decision to have a child. Jen and Mike revealed to each other their sides of what had gone down during Jen’s pregnancy and that first year with their child. Over the next couple years, these stories evolved into a Broadway show, and the more Mike performed it the more he heard how it resonated — not just with parents but also people who resist all kinds of change.
So he pored over his journals, dug deeper, and created this book: The New One: Painfully True Stories From a Reluctant Dad. Along with hilarious and poignant stories he has never shared before, these pages are sprinkled with poetry Jen wrote as she navigated the same rocky shores of new parenthood.


So here it is. This book is an experiment — sort of like a family

Thoughts: Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my review.

As someone who fears having kids i found Birbiglia’s thoughts prior to having a kid relatable. I thought it was great to see his perspective before and after his kid and how even during that first year of his kids life he was still iffy about having a kid. This book was cute, light and fluffy which I read enjoyed during this time.

I also enjoyed how Birbiglia had his wife’s poetry included throughout the book. We got to see her perspective through these poems and the contrast of her feelings and his. I loved getting to see not just the contrast but also the similarities in their feelings.

The writing style really made this book easy to get through and hard to put down. Its multiple essay pieces with poetry in between and is separated into different parts of Birbiglia’s life. I liked that it was in somewhat chronological order and it was written with before baby and then after baby. While it is chronological I also like that its separated by theme as well.

I recommend this to those of you who enjoy comedy or who enjoy memoirs. I think this book very much reads like multiple comedy acts while giving you slices of Birbiglia’s life. I also think that those of you who are fans of Birbiglia would really enjoy getting to read this book.

Starting today you can get this book at Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, or look for it at your local library.

From the Desk of Zoe Washington Book Review

Summary: Zoe Washington isn’t sure what to write. What does a girl say to the father she’s never met, hadn’t heard from until his letter arrived on her twelfth birthday, and who’s been in prison for a terrible crime?

A crime he says he never committed.

Could Marcus really be innocent? Zoe is determined to uncover the truth. Even if it means hiding his letters and her investigation from the rest of her family. Everyone else thinks Zoe’s worrying about doing a good job at her bakery internship and proving to her parents that she’s worthy of auditioning for Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge.

But with bakery confections on one part of her mind, and Marcus’s conviction weighing heavily on the other, this is one recipe Zoe doesn’t know how to balance. The only thing she knows to be true: Everyone lies. 

Thoughts: Thank you to Harper Collins and Katherine Tegan Books for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my review. I decided to follow this one along as I listened on audio which was great.

I have not read a book about baking yet so this was a nice change. I really liked how the whole book was more complex than just being about Zoe’s baking. I like how it includes her feelings about her dad being in jail and how this complicates her story. I liked how it turned into a story about family and friendship more than just baking. It’s a story about trust, hope, and more.

Something I really enjoyed in this book is how supportive all of her family is. Its really sweet to hear about how all of them pitch in to try and help her meet her goals. I love how it started with them all being supportive of her baking and wanting to help her get what she wanted out of baking and then it shifts to it being about them supporting her regarding her dad.

I love the relationship that Zoe has with her grandmother and how the grandma is understanding of Zoe wanting to communicate with her dad. I like that the grandma explains things to Zoe regarding her dad and tries to help her stay connected with him. I really enjoyed how the grandma stepped in to explain herself regarding Zoe’s dad and to defend her actions to her daughter.

Its really heartbreaking to watch as Zoe learns about injustice and racism through her grandma’s words. It was interesting as Zoe learns about her father and how the justice system worked against him. Its such a moving story to see how she grows up quickly because she is black. It was great to see Zoe never give up on her dad even when obstacles got in her way, and how she always believed the best of him even if she had never met him.

I recommend this to those of you looking for a book with a black main character and black author. I also think that children ages 11 and up would enjoy this book. Its a great book to introduce racism, injustice and the prison system to middle aged children.

You can get this book at Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, or look for it at your local library.

Aster and the Accidental Magic Book Review

Goodreads Summary

Quiet . . . birds . . . nature. . . .

That’s what Aster expects when her parents move their whole family to the middle of nowhere. It’s just her (status: super-bored), her mom and dad (status: busy with science), her brother (status: has other plans), and . . .

. . . magic?

In her new home, Aster meets a mysterious old woman with a herd of dogs who gives her a canine companion of her own. But when she and her dog Buzz are adventuring in the forest, they run into a trickster spirit who gives Aster three wishes. After wishing for the ability to understand and talk to her dog, she becomes only able to talk in dog language . . . and the trouble she gets into is just starting.

Maybe the middle of nowhere will be more interesting than Aster thought.

Thoughts: This is one that I’m glad to be able to share with my teenage cousins because its such a cute story. I love finding a book that I can share because once the other person reads it we can talk about it. I much more love finding books to share with my family to ensure that they enjoy reading as much as I do.

I love the many characters that Aster meets and the stories that happen as she meets them. I think that each teach her a lesson and each of them make me want to read more. I think that each story blends well with each other and continues the story but I also like how each story can also be read on its own.

I think this is a great middle grade read because of all the action and how quick paced it was. I also like how the story mixes the magic into a very current world and how Aster is your typical teenager. I also like that the ending kept you wanting to know what happens next. 

I recommend this to those of you who enjoy graphic novels or who are looking for a quick magical read.

I received an ARC from Harper Collins in exchange for my honest review. You can preorder this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library starting March 3rd.

Bug Boys ARC Book Review

Goodreads Summary: Rhino-B is a brash, but sweet guy. Stag-B is a calm and scholarly adventurer. Together these two young beetles make up the Bug Boys, best friends who spend their time exploring the world of Bug Village and beyond, as well as their own – sometimes confusing and complicated – thoughts and feelings.

In their first adventure, the Bug Boys travel through spooky caves, work with a spider to found a library, save their town’s popular honey supply from extinction, and even make friends with ferocious termites!

What challenges will these two earnest beetles face? Whatever it is, you can be sure that Rhino-B and Stag-B will face it together — with the power of friendship behind them.

Thoughts: This is a book that I’m going to share with my 7 year old cousin because I think he would enjoy it. I’m always on the look out for books that my younger cousins could enjoy so I was pleased to get a chance to read this. Sometimes when reading a book meant for younger children I wind up not enjoying it for myself because it isn’t meant for me but still find the beauty in the story for the age it was intended for; this book was a different story though because I liked it for myself as well.

This book is a graphic novel with different stories about friendship. I really enjoyed the length of each story because I think each of them is the perfect length to hold the attention of younger children. I like how this is a book that new readers can read and can start with a chapter a day to ease into reading.

I thought that the drawings in this book were rather cute and the characters really drew me in. The relationships that these bugs had with each other were cute and endearing.

I recommend this to those of you looking for something that new readers will enjoy or those of you looking for something to read with children ages 6 and up. You can pre-order this book at Barnes and Noble or look for it at your local library. This book is coming February 11,2020.

Thank you to Penguin Random House and Shelf Awareness Pro for the advanced reader copies.

Saint X Book Review

Thank you to @celadonbooks for the advanced copy of this book in exchange for my review.

Summary: Alison and Claire are on their yearly family vacation when Alison suddenly disappears. Unfortunately, her body is found several days later and this case becomes one that makes national news. Claire was only a child when it happens and didnt really know who her sister was or who people claim she was. It isn’t until Claire finds Clive, a man who was a suspect in Alison’s case, in New York City that she begins to want more information on her sister and her death. This starts our story of Claire answering the question of what really happened to Alison but also getting to know Alison after her death. What will Alison find out about her sister? Was the story that she was told at 7 years old about the death of her sister the truth? What does Clive have to do with anything?

Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book and when I saw others comparing it to The Girls I was worried I wouldnt enjoy it seeing as I wasnt a fan of that book. There was so many aspects of this book that I enjoyed though and part of it was the narrator.

I usually hate when I’m confused by the narrator and who is telling the story. This book shifts between telling the story in the 1st person point of view, through Claire’s perspective, and the 3rd person point of view coming from all other characters who play a part in this story. It gets a bit confusing and you start to wonder if maybe the third person is Claire’s view too but her trying to see things how these people would.

Something else I enjoyed was how descriptive each scene was, I could picture myself on vacation with this family and then again with Claire as she stalks Clive. I thought it made the book so much harder to put down because I didnt want to leave this other world I was immersed and invested in now.

Honestly this book is part of why I love adult fiction especially thrillers. They confuse me so much and I have to process them with others to know what happened. I love that everyone reads a different book and so much is left to the readers imagination.

I highly recommend this to those of you who like thrillers and mysteries. Maybe a good book to read while on vacation and give yourself some themed nightmares.

You can expect to see this book on shelves Febuary 2020.

The Babysitter’s Coven Book Review

Thank You Penguin Teen and Random House Publishing for the advanced readers copy in exchange for my review.

Summary: Esme has a babysitting club that consists of just her and her friend Janis until the new girl comes to town. She begs to be able to join the babysitting club and fails at her job the first night, so why would she want to even be a babysitter? Does she really care for children? Does she really want to get to know Esme as she claims? Or is there something more to this babysitter’s club than Esme knows?

Thoughts: When I started reading I kept having to pause because of the random TXTing lingo that was included, while I knew what the words meant they just seemed very out of place. I liked how the book had a very 90s theme and tone to it and I think there were some times where modern things were brought into play that took away from that. I wasn’t a big fan of all the time jumping because it made it hard to figure out what time period was this book taking place in.

While this was marketed as a babysitter’s club/buffy the vampieish book I looked past any of that since I’m not familiar with either of those things. I think because I wasn’t familiar and read this book as something new I found it really entertaining. I loved each of the characters and how they developed throughout the story. I liked how their relationships with each other changed and how complex some of those relationships were.

Something I really enjoyed was the last few chapters as the action picks up and you can’t turn away because you need to know what happened. I’m glad this is a series because after that ending I”m left wanting more of this babysitters coven and of the girl’s parents.

I recommend this to those of you who like novice magic in your books or to teens ages 13-16.

You can find this book at Barnes and Nobles or look for it at your local library.