Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora ★★★★☆

Definitely one of my favorite pieces featuring a second language since Zoraida Cordova’s Labyrinth Lost.

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Save the restaurant. Save the town. Get the girl. Make Abuela proud. Can thirteen-year-old Arturo Zamora do it all or is he in for a BIG, EPIC FAIL?

For Arturo, summetime in Miami means playing basketball until dark, sipping mango smoothies, and keeping cool under banyan trees. And maybe a few shifts as junior lunchtime dishwasher at Abuela’s restaurant. Maybe. But this summer also includes Carmen, a cute poetry enthusiast who moves into Arturo’s apartment complex and turns his stomach into a deep fryer. He almost doesn’t notice the smarmy land developer who rolls into town and threatens to change it. Arturo refuses to let his family and community go down without a fight, and as he schemes with Carmen, Arturo discovers the power of poetry and protest through untold family stories and the work of Jose Marti.

In Cordova’s Labyrinth Lost, Alex’s family heritage is present but not in the way that Arturo’s is.

Their life revolves around the family business and the family itself. Which was amazing. That was the sort of family that I grew up in and it made me feel right at home reliving those experiences. Especially with the mention of cousins aren’t really cousins but you call them cousins anyway. I had so many of those.

One of the greatest lessons I took from this book is that your family is important, but so is the family you choose. You see that with Arturo and his friends (especially in the Twitter DMs) but also in the community when they stand up for the restaurant.

My favorite part of the book, though, was Abuela, who only speaks in Spanish.

I don’t speak Spanish. I had it once in sixth grade, and so my knowledge of the language includes numbers one through ten and a few greetings. But I knew what Abuela was saying.

Not because her speech was translated. Not because I looked up everything she said. But because the other characters just reacted to her and I took my context clues as I needed to – as I do when I’m at a friend’s house and their parents don’t speak English.

I loved the way her Spanish was included because I can see this book being used to introduce the language to not native speakers in the classroom, but also as a way for native speakers to shine in a class that isn’t taught in their first language.

Bring Your Own Book #7

It’s Thursday again! Which means it’s time for Bring Your Own Book! Make sure to leave your answers in the comments.

Past Winners

—.

 

Here are the rules:

  • I’ll post the goal. (Lines from an action movie, currency in a dystopia, etc)
  • You post the answer and a citation. (The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas p19)
  • You can play with ANY book! Fiction, non-fiction, YA, Adult, picture book, even a newspaper or a magazine.
  • Borrow phrases or whole sentences-just make sure to cite it.

Ready?

A sentence that is more dramatic when read slowly.

Summer Writing Goals

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Summer is here! Officially! And it’s hot to trot!

I have some goals this summer and they pertain mostly to my manuscript. During the semester I came to the… terrible… realization that the entire completed manuscript was from the wrong point of view.

So I put it away and said I’d get to it this summer. So far I’ve made some good progress. I’m over 100 pages, I’m almost at the halfway mark, and I’m learning that this girl is a psychopath with a big ol’ heart.

I’ve been using Pacemaker.Plus to help set and track my goals. It’s pretty cool. You can view your work however you want and set how you want to track that. I like the calendar view (which you can download and add to any calendar).

The green squares are days I’ve gotten writing done, and the blue squares are the goals for those days. Some days are pretty low, some are high. But I find having the schedule like this helps to alleviate the stress of trying to write everyday. I can get ahead of this goal or catch up to it.

Book Buying Habits Tag

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I mean who doesn’t have terrible book buying habits? I’ve gotten a little better… not by much though.

Where do you buy your books from?

Barnes and Noble and Amazon.

Do you ever pre-order books and if so, do you do this in-store or online?

I pre-order online, although I am old enough that I used to have to talk to a person to do it! *GASP*

On average, how many books do you buy a month?

I’m down to one anymore just because I have so many ARCs.

Do you use your local library?

Yes! But mostly to get writing done. I also read picture books there to boost my bibliography for school. Continue reading “Book Buying Habits Tag”

Summer 2017 Bookish Bingo

summer-17-bingo

PS. You can still sign-up for the Summer 2017 Bookish Bingo here!

BY THE WAY, DOES ANYONE KNOW OF ANY BOOKS THAT FEATURE ROYALTY IN SOME WAY BECAUSE I LOVE THAT THEME BUT I DON’T KNOW OF ANY BOOKS????? SO RECOMMENDATIONS ARE VERY WELCOME!

Have you ever participated in a Bingo Challenge? Will you sign-up for the Summer 2017 Bookish Bingo? Any other challenges you are participating in over the summer? Let’s chat in the comments!

via Summer 2017 Bookish Bingo – toomuchofabooknerd

I think I might do some bookish bingo this summer. It always sounds like fun and I never do it. And we are full swing summer here in NJ, so what better way to kick it off?

The Ultimate Book Tag

blog feature (2)1. DO YOU GET SICK WHILE READING IN THE CAR?

No. I used to, but between traveling for sports and band, long road trips with mom, and living in an area where it’s fairly hard to walk anywhere, I got used to it. Now the only real issue is that I’m usually the one driving. But that’s why I listen to audio books!

2. WHICH AUTHOR’S WRITING STYLE IS COMPLETELY UNIQUE TO YOU AND WHY?

Um… none? I don’t mean that as an insult, I just mean that I recognize similar qualities in each book. Outside of experimental formats, not too many styles today are “unique.”

3. HARRY POTTER SERIES OR THE TWILIGHT SAGA? GIVE 3 POINTS TO DEFEND YOUR ANSWER.

Harry Potter.

  1. Better writing quality
  2. Actual description of main character
  3. No idealizing abusive relationships

4. DO YOU CARRY A BOOK BAG? IF SO, WHAT IS IN IT (BESIDES BOOKS)?

Normally, I have a purse or a tote bag with my wallet, my phone, headphones, chapstick, note book, and my book of pens… plus at least one book and probably some snacks.

5. DO YOU SMELL YOUR BOOKS?

No. Continue reading “The Ultimate Book Tag”

Bring Your Own Book #6

Happy Thursday! Time to play Bring Your Own Book! Shout outs to past winners include:

Reasons to Leave a Party

“He was frozen for like a billion years.” from Utopia, LOL?, a short story by Jamie Wahls
@DoBetterGames via Twitter


Here are the rules:

  • I’ll post the goal. (Lines from an action movie, currency in a dystopia, etc)
  • You post the answer and a citation. (The Hate U Give, Angie Thomas p19)
  • You can play with ANY book! Fiction, non-fiction, YA, Adult, picture book, even a newspaper or a magazine.
  • Borrow phrases or whole sentences-just make sure to cite it.

Ready?

Use three lines, from three separate pages, and write a ransom note.

WoW: Warcross

29385546.jpgFor the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty-hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. To make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

In this sci-fi thriller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Marie Lu conjures an immersive, exhilarating world where choosing who to trust may be the biggest gamble of all.

I might hate the cover with a passion but it sounds like an amazing read.

Publishes 12 September, 2017

New Podcast!

BookedAllNight.pngMy friend Magdalyn Ann and I are starting a new podcast! We’re excited. Our first episode goes out Thursday at 11pm. It’s a late night YA discussion cast and yes, it is explicit, we have terrible mouths, no filters, and a relatively high unwillingness to edit out the profanity anymore.

You can find the podcast over at Booked All Night. I hope you listen! It’s a good time! And don’t forget to subscribe! We’ll be adding it to iTunes and GooglePlay as soon as we have an episode up!

I’m hoping to bring a few book tags and adopt them for the podcast, and have a few buddy read discussions as well.

The Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag

blog feature (1)1 – The best book you’ve read so far in 2017

A Court of Wings and Ruin by Sarah J. Maas. I listened to the first two with my audible subscription and if you read/listened to ACOMAF then you know–you KNOW–why I flipped out in my car at the end.

2 – Your favorite sequel of the year

Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco. I actually got to meet her at BookCon this year and she’s soooo nice! I loved Stalking Jack the Ripper and I’m excited to see how this one get tackled since Dracula is fictional and Jack was not–maybe she’ll tie into Vlad, who knows.

3 – A new release that you haven’t read but really want to

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. I really want to read it. Like the heading says, but I keep putting it off because–well I’m hesitant because of the hype. Not one person has said anything bad about it. I’m afraid that I will read it and not like something and miss the whole message and I really don’t want to do that. Also I’ve been told there are many feels to be had. And the last time someone told me that and I listened it was The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and I cried like baby in the middle of the night and scared my mother.  Continue reading “The Mid-Year Book Freakout Tag”