Tag: book blogging

WWW Wednesday – May 6, 2020

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of WordsIt’s open to everyone to participate! Why not join in and let me know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?


Currently Reading:

  • The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel
  • Wilder Girls by Rory Power

Recently Finished:

  • Terraformer by Colleen Houck

What I Will Read Next:

As per usual, I’m not sure!! I have so many new books on my shelf and also on my Netgalley shelf! So I will list a few that I hope I get to soon 🙂

  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
  • The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson
  • Love Sold Separately by Ellen Meister

What are you currently reading??

Blogging, Bookstagram, and Self-Esteem

Hey there friends! I am here today to talk about a slightly different topic than usual. I have had this on my mind for a while and feel like it is time to share my thoughts! So, come with me on an adventure into my mind!!


Has anyone ever felt personally attacked by someone’s really attractive Instagram picture? I sure have. Welcome to my Ted Talk 😂

I have really noticed a difference in myself ever since I stopped looking at my personal Instagram all the time and spend most my time on my bookstagram. It just hit me all at once when I opened it up to look at a message and began scrolling through the feed. First picture I see is a gorgeous woman with the flattest stomach, perfect tan, cute clothing, lounging so effortlessly on a scenic beach. Now I’m sure you have all seen a picture like this before. Maybe even post them! I have to say – I know this girl from high school and very much like her. She is a great person who has worked very hard to look the way she does and all the power to her!! BUT I have noticed it does affect my self esteem in one way or another and to be honest I used to spend way too much time looking at other people and wishing I looked like them or was as cool as them, whatever it may have been. This is totally normal with today’s social media but obviously not healthy!!

Which leads me to bookstagram. When I started my bookstagram I basically stopped looking at my personal Instagram because I was so focused on making a good profile and starting something totally new. It made me feel so good to have something to work on and to focus my time on! I didn’t really notice at first the difference it was making. Over the last couple months I’ve been trying to get back to the gym and improve my fitness as I have really been slacking for the last like 6 months. I found that I had little to no pressure on myself. Getting back to the gym was easier than ever before because I was just focusing on my progress and how easy it was feeling/how quickly I was able to get back in it. Before I would have been disappointed if I didn’t see results in a short time because well some girl on Instagram said she did it, or I would feel bad about what I was eating or doing because some girl was posting her fancy salads and work outs she does. Without all of that in my life I unknowingly was feeling better about myself and putting less pressure on myself to be perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I still have days where I feel bad about myself or like I don’t look good in anything but those days are much less than before!

I think that finding this community of fellow book people has really changed my life for the better. I find myself actually connecting with people instead of just quietly watching other peoples lives. I focus more of my free time on a healthy hobby instead of online shopping my next outfit and trying to be like someone else. It is actually shocking how much I DON’T miss my personal Instagram. I have really bonded with some cool people now that I otherwise never would have known about.

Its save to say that bookstagram has increased my self esteem. I feel like that is a big statement to make but I think its true! Blogging has given me an outlet to which I can share my thoughts and feel somewhat important and bookstagram has taken me away from some really unhealthy habits and pushed me towards a really great community and finding so much joy in something I love; reading and telling people about it!! 😂


What are your thoughts about social media and self esteem? Do you find the book community boosts your self esteem or helps in any way? I’d love to hear your opinions!!

WWW Wednesday – Apr 15, 2020

This weekly meme is hosted by Sam at Taking on a World of WordsIt’s open to everyone to participate! Why not join in and let me know what’s on your reading list this week…

To join in, just answer the following three questions…
• What are you currently reading?
• What did you recently finish reading?
• What do you think you’ll read next?

Currently Reading

  • Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones
  • The Woman Before Wallis by Bryn Turnbull

Recently Finished

  • Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson
  • The Witches of Willow Cove by Josh Roberts

What I Will Read Next

As per usual – unsure! SO I will leave a list of maybes!!

  • Wilder Girls by Rory Power
  • The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
  • The Vanishing Stair by Maureen Johnson

What are you currently reading?

BOOK REVIEW: Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson

“The versatile Johnson is no stranger to suspense, and this twisty thriller will leave plenty of readers anxious for more.” -Booklist

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Title: Truly Devious

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publisher: Harper Collins

Genre: Mystery, YA

Format: Physical

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. 


MY REVIEW:

I really enjoyed this book! First of all, I LOVE a good mystery! I didn’t really know what to expect from this one because I didn’t read anything about it beforehand – I just saw so many people liked it and I enjoy Maureen Johnson so I just picked it up! I was not disappointed at all!!

This book was everything I enjoy in a fun mystery. The story is set in a school (Ellingham Academy) that is deep in the forest in Vermont! It’s secluded and hard to reach so OBVIOUSLY it’s the perfect spot for a mystery. The best part is that the school has a past history of bad things happening there and while the story unfolds the reader discovers all these clues that piece together not only the current mystery but also the mystery in the past! I enjoyed that part 😊

Stevie!!! She is MY GIRL. I loved her. She reminded me very much of the female version of Sherlock Holmes (which was totally the point). She was so smart and I loved her confidence in her abilities. She knew she had skills and she didn’t let anyone tell her otherwise. I found myself really cheering her on throughout the book. I especially liked that she stuck to her goal which was to solve the mystery but also let herself explore being a teenager and feelings that come with that.

The book had a little bit of romance (maybe romance?) and it was enough. This was one of those stories that you don’t even need any romance or relationship stuff happening because you are just so into the plot, it didn’t even matter to me what the characters were doing to be honest. I was so engulfed in the mystery, nothing else mattered!

I liked the characters! I think the author did a good job of being descriptive but also leaving enough out that everyone was kind of mysterious and questionable! At times I felt like I was part of the game Clue! I also found that while the mystery was not overly complicated, I was always kept on my toes. I did not see really any of the twists coming and I DID NOT see the last twist coming, I was thoroughly shocked (which is what you want with these books)!

Overall, this was super fun and a great read! I found I was trying to solve the mystery alongside Stevie and I think those are the best stories – where you are so into the story that it feels like you are right there with the character. I don’t really have any negative things to say about this one. The only reason it didn’t get 5 stars is because it didn’t leave me “shook.” It was a good story with good characters and an interesting plot, but I didn’t put the book down and go “woah the heck happened there.” BUT still so good and I’m so excited to read the rest of the series!!


Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

My BookOutlet Wish List + My Book Buying Problem

Hello there my fellow bloggers and book lovers!

I discovered BookOutlet like not even a year ago! I saw it on bookstagram one day and looked it up…. WOW I was missing out you guys! I immediately threw down my credit card and started mass buying everything because HOW CAN YOU TURN DOWN a book for like $4.00?!?!?! It was outrageous. I felt like I was unstoppable. I just found the best ever book website. Then, I sort of lost interest because well I bought like 12 books and then when they arrived I was like ‘Oh shoot… Now I have so many books and the desire to BUY MORE’ – I am a sucker for book buying, what can I say.

So, I have been pretty good recently. I haven’t bought any large amount of books since Christmas (which was done via gift card). I think I bought like 2 books from a used book store for cheap, so really, I’m pretty impressed with myself. However, that does not stop my wandering eyes from looking… from adding to my wish list… from just putting them in the cart and SEEING how much it would theoretically cost 😂 Guys – I’m pretty sure this is what people call an ‘addiction’ like what the heck is my problem LOL.

Anyways, I know I’m not the only one out there with this huge issue. I have seen many of you write similar posts about your struggle to not buy books. I see people going on “book buying bans” and to honest I should do that too but like I said, I’ve been good lately. Maybe soon I will deserve a reward in the form of more books 😈 My boyfriend already thinks I have a problem so he would not agree with me on that one!!

So here I am – Just a lonely little book blogger who wants to shower herself in new books and guess what???? I can’t, I shouldn’t, I won’t. So instead I am going to share with you a few books I have on my BookOutlet wish list so you can see what I’m dealing with!

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne ($7.69)

Girls with Sharp Sticks by Suzzane Young ($7.09)

A Totally Awkward Love Story by Tom Ellen & Lucy Ivison ($3.73)

Anatomy of a Murderer by Tim Floreen ($3.73)

How to Hang a Witch by Adriana Mather ($4.07)

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson ($9.25)


Well, that is like a third of my wishlist. I will save the rest for another day 🙂

What books are on your wish list? Any of these ones? Have you read any of these ones? Should I buy them? Chat with me in the comments!!

BOOK REVIEW: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren

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Title: Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating

Author: Christina Lauren

Publisher: Gallery Books

Genre: Romance, Contemporary

Format: Ebook

RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5


SYNOPSIS:

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them…right?


MY REVIEW:

My heart is full. I feel so satisfied with this book, I am literally sighing as I sit here thinking about it! This was probably one of the best love stories I have read. It was perfect in every way!

Hazel is the most hilarious and wholesome person. I loved her character! I don’t have enough words to describe how awesome she is! I loved her craziness and her overwhelming truth. She was herself 100% and I thought that was so heartwarming.

Josh is the guy every single girl needs in their life. He sounds SO PERFECT. Like Hazel said “blueprint for perfect” haha. I loved every second of him 😍

This book was the perfect amount of romance, sex, mixed feelings, and emotional uncertainty. I never questioned Josh and Hazel at any point during the story and well, the ending had me extremely happy and full of so much love!!

This was my first Christina Lauren book and I WILL be reading all of them after reading this work of art. I want everyone to read this and experience this romantic, sexy, quirky, love induced rollercoaster. This was everything I didn’t know I needed 🙌🏻


This was a fantastic read! I love that I am getting more and more into these chick-lit style books! They are so fun and honestly such a good break from what is happening in the world! Its a different kind of escape opposed to reading fantasy or thrillers.

Have you read this one? What did you think?

Top 10 Tuesday – 10 Books I Got Because Of The Cover!

This is my first top 10 Tuesday! I have been seeing them all over the blog and I always love to read them! I usually come up with my own little list in my head while I read others posts.

I don’t think I will post a top 10 Tuesday every week but will try to do a couple a month just for fun 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday is an original blog meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and is currently being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This weeks prompt is:  Books I Bought/Borrowed Because…

I decided to do 10 books I got because of the cover! This is the typical judging the book by its cover. All of these books I pretty much decided 100% based on the cover that it would be something I want to read!


  1. The Lanterns Ember by Colleen Houck
  2. The Grave Keepers by Elizabeth Byrne
  3. The House in the Cerulean Sea by T.J. Klune
  4. The Sound of Stars by Alechia Dow
  5. The Lions Den by St. John Katherine
  6. The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert
  7. The Widow of Pale Harbor by Hester Fox
  8. Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
  9. The Paris Library by Janet Skeslien Charles
  10. The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

I am such a visual person when it comes to picking books! I really have to think the cover is nice or interesting for me to pick it up 🤷‍♀️ I usually wont pick up a book if the cover is not appealing to me! Cant help it!

Any books you’ve picked based on the cover?? Chat with me 🙂

Life According to Literature Book Tag

I found this one one Bookish Me‘s blog!! This looks like a lot of fun. I am going to use books from the last full year (so from March 2019). Reason for that is I’ve only read like 12 books this year so far…. so this would be hard!!!


The Rules:

  • To answer the questions use only books you have read during the past year
  • Do not repeat any title
  • Tag some friends

Describe yourself: The Girl of Hawthorn and Glass

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How do you feel? The Dark Continent

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Describe where you currently live: Station Eleven

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If you could go anywhere, where would you go? Hotel for the Lost

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Your favourite form of transportation: The Turn of the Key

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Your best friend is: The Lanterns Ember

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You and your friends are: The Grave Keepers

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What’s the weather like? The Last of August

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You fear: The Institute

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What is the best advice you have to give? Don’t You Forget About Me

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Thought for the day: A Question of Holmes

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How would I like to die? A Spy in the House

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My soul’s present condition: The Sound of Stars

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Well, some of my answers simply made no sense haha!! I enjoyed this. This was a fun and cute book tag 🙂

I am tagging:

Krisha @ Bookathon

My Reading Escape

Alison @ Alison in Bookland

If anyone else is interested in doing this, you are tagged as well!!


  • Describe yourself:
  • How do you feel?
  • Describe where you currently live:
  • If you could go anywhere, where would you go?
  • Your favourite form of transportation:
  • Your best friend is:
  • You and your friends are
  • What’s the weather like?
  • You fear:
  • What is the best advice you have to give?
  • Thought for the day
  • How would I like to die?
  • My soul’s present condition:

Asking Bookstagram: Plot or Characters?

Hey there everyone!

Welcome to my first “Asking Bookstagram” post 🙂 I came up with a super fun idea based on two things. First, so many people (including myself) do QOTD on bookstagram which is a great way to connect with your followers. I also enjoy doing “Follow Friday” and “Shoutout Sunday” which others seem to enjoy as well! I have noticed how much EASIER it is to connect with people on bookstagram compared to blogging. I wanted a way to connect with people better on my blog while using the fun QOTD content in a different way!

This will be a monthly series for now! Once a month I will ask my bookstagram followers a bookish question and I will post 10 responses on my blog! I will also give them a shoutout for their bookstagram 🙂 I hope you all enjoy this as I am super excited to connect with more people and integrate my two platforms!!


Asking Bookstagram – What is more important to you in a book – Plot or Characters?

To me – I say characters are more important. I find if I do not connect with the characters in some way I am not that into the book. While the plot is important and must be entertaining in some way, I still find a good character can totally make the book!

Responses from my lovely bookstagram peeps:

sammycataspires

Plot. Because without a well developed plot who cares about the characters background? But both are equally important I think. ❤️


shes.booked

Plot. I can look past shallow characters if a story line keeps me engaged


r4ch4elreads

Love this idea. I think I would have always said plot before, my instinct is still plot, but I find more and more that a well developed character is appealing to me and I’m put off by hollow empty characters… so, um, both? 😂


booksanddpaws

I think I prefer a good plot over a good character, but I also think a character should be good? So I guess both? 😄


equisdelimon

Both, if the plot is good but the characters are not, the story loses interest. For me at least 🤷🏻‍♀️ 😊


sand_between_pages

Character. I really need strong characters that are memorable or the book is just meh to me.


krisnovels

That’s a tough question! But I think I’ll go with character. An annoying or undeveloped character tends to ruin the book for me


books_arily

I say plot! I don’t always like characters but can love the plot.


tales_of_a_bookbug

It’s hard to choose between the both because they’re equally important, but I think the development of the characters is more important to me!


lynzeeleereads

I think characters are most important to me. If I can’t connect with them it doesn’t matter to me what they are doing.


I love that so many people responded and discussed this question! It is so awesome to see everyone’s thoughts and its such a fun way to learn what type of readers everyone is 🙂

What do you think?? What one is more important to you? Do you agree or disagree with my own response? I’d love to chat with you all 🙂 Leave a comment!!

Middle Grade Books – What’s With the Hype? + My Reading List

What is the deal with middle grade books? Why are there posts all over the internet about these books and WHY are adults other than teachers reading them?? These are the questions I have been asking myself for the last little while. I haven’t thought about these types of books in a very long time and for the most part just labeled them as children’s books and just went right by without a second glance (oops). If you are like me you are probably also thinking – yes, why do adults care about these books? After all, they are for children. So, I did some reading (a lot of reading). I hunted for articles and blogs written about these books and searched for why they are some popular with seemingly all ages. This is what I found out:

The most popular middle grade books are ones we have ALL heard of and probably read! These include Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Narnia… some big name books! However, I have to admit… I didn’t think these were “middle grade” or maybe my problem is I was not understanding WHAT middle grade books really were!

This grouping of books is difficult to understand I think. First off, I found myself just assuming that “middle grade” meant “children’s” like for small children… I don’t know why?? Now I am seeing that really, while they are meant for kids (not little ones by actually 8-12 year olds) they are actually very much like YA books just written in a more simple way!

SO this is where my ultimate confusion comes in… I didn’t realize Harry Potter books were targeting 8-12 year olds? As I remember the books are massive and forgive me if I’m wrong because I did not read them…. BUT the books (based on watching the movies) seem like kind of violent, focus on some really difficult and serious topics, and seem overall kind of inappropriate for an 8 year old? Maybe I’m being crazy. Or maybe the books are not quite like the movies? But I’m sure you can see where I am coming from when I say – when I found out Harry Potter was “middle grade” it changed my whole perspective!

I have been reading so many posts about middle grade books and before I just didn’t bother with them because I thought ‘why would I, and adult, want to read a kids book?’ And now, I am so sad because I’m seeing that there are SO MANY interesting, amazing, and well written middle grade books. I feel like I have to make up for lost time to be honest. I did not really read many (if any?) middle grade books when I was younger. I think I just skipped right over that entire thing which is unfortunate!!

I am realizing something very important about middle grade books which is – they are really meant for everyone. They have some many important themes and topics. They focus on friendship, adventure, and growing up. They are very similar to YA books!!! They just take out the more inappropriate things and keep the fun, action packed, fast paced, exciting parts! They really sound like a lot of fun and based on what I’ve read and reviews I seen, they seem TOTALLY WORTH reading as an adult.

So, hear I am – listing some middle grade books that I have added to my list to read. I am hoping I can get to them sooner than later. I feel like I have just opened up a can on worms here with my forever growing TBR hahah I just entered a whole new world of possibility. Very exciting!!

The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart

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ARE YOU A GIFTED CHILD Looking for special opportunities?
When this peculiar ad appears in the newspaper, dozens of children enroll to take a series of mysterious, mind-bending tests. (And you, dear listener, can test your wits right alongside them.) But in the end just four very special children will succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and resourceful
children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules.
As our heroes face physical and mental trials beyond their wildest imaginations, they have no choice but to turn to each other for support. But with their newfound friendship at stake, will they be able to pass the most important test of all?
Welcome to the mysterious benedict society.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy. Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the world of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more.

But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod’s family.

Miss Ellicott’s School for the Magically Minded by Sage Blackwood

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Chantel would much rather focus on her magic than on curtsying, which is why she often finds herself in trouble at Miss Ellicott’s School for Magical Maidens. But when Miss Ellicott mysteriously disappears along with all the other sorceresses in the city, Chantel’s behavior becomes the least of her problems.

Without any magic protecting the city, it is up to Chantel and her friends to save the Kingdom. On a dangerous mission, Chantel will discover a crossbow-wielding boy, a dragon, and a new, fiery magic that burns inside her—but can she find the sorceresses and transform Lightning Pass into the city it was meant to be?

Small Spaces by Katherine Arden

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After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price. 

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN. 

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.” 

Ghost and Bone by Andrew Prentice

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Oscar Grimstone is a normal kid–aside from his secret Curse. Whenever he touches something living, like a flower or his classroom goldfish, they always seem to die. But then Oscar discovers an even bigger secret: even though he is very much alive, he has the ability to transform into a ghost.

Just when he thinks things can’t get any stranger two ghosts show up at his home in a skeleton carriage and he winds up joining them on a journey beyond the real world to a place he never knew existed–the city of ghosts. There Oscar will discover a place where people go once they die, before they aboard a ship to the The Other Side. But will he find out who he really is?


As you can see I have a “type” for my middle grade book interests! I am leaning towards fantasy, mystery, horror type books… I think this is because they take you on a ride away from reality! These books seems really entertaining, I’m excited to read them!!

Have you read any of these? What are your thoughts on middle grade books?