Categories
Books Young Adult

Touchdown by Yael Levy

touchdown

 

 

“Touchdown” by Yael Levy is a paranormal romance that is not your typical paranormal romance. Why you ask? Well, mostly because it doesn’t start out like paranormal.  I’ll admit I was well into the book before I realized it was going on!  The book reads like a lovely and light romance; however, with a twist.

New York socialite Goldie Fischer seems to have it all: wealth, beauty, and a fiancé to die for. Until she’s murdered on her wedding night by a jealous witch and instantaneously loses everything. Angry and seeking revenge, Goldie becomes a dybbuk– her soul possesses the body of Southern football hero Clay Harper and she refuses to join the light until the wrongs are rectified.

Only Clay has issues of his own and doesn’t take kindly to a petulant New Yorker in his head, interfering in his already messed up life. When Goldie promises to leave if Clay helps her break up the wedding between her fiancé and the witch who killed her, Clay reluctantly agrees. Only neither of them are prepared for the chain of events that follow.

Through the journey of two disparate people on a quest to make things right, Touchdown is a funny yet heartbreaking look about what it takes to truly know another soul and what it means to love.

Did you find the twist yet?  The heroine of our story is Jewish.  You know how I’m always saying how wonderful it would be if popular literature included people of other cultures and ethnicities?

Yeah that.

Where else are you going to get to use the word schmatta in a sentence? The author, Yael Levy, gives us a chance to brush up on our Yiddish while enjoying a love story.  I was happy to review her first book: Brooklyn Love, in 2012.  My review is here.  If you know nothing about Orthodox Jews, check it out.  Don’t be a shmendrik, learn about other cultures, nosh on new foods, and schmooze with new friends.

I bet you didn’t know you knew so much Yiddish, did’ya?

Isn’t it great to expand your horizons with literature from other cultures?  Who knew they were just like you?

I knew.

I’m proud to be the star  part of JKS Communications Tour!

Touchdowntour

Categories
Diversity Reading Challenge Young Adult

CYBILS Finalist: Shadow Shaper by Daniel Jose Older

CYBILS Finalist: Shadow Shaper by Daniel Jose Older

Shadow Shaper by Daniel Jose Older

 

This lovely title was my personal favorite but sadly didn’t win the Cybils award. Don’t despair Daniel Jose Older, cuz it made it to the final round and that’s VERY impressive!

There is so much to love about Shadowshaper, and prolly DJO (Daniel, call me, you can be my new boo) so I’ll dive in.  Excellent diversity: black and latino characters, in and around Bed Stuy NYC. Smart characters, witty, personable, LGBT representation, hipsters, etc. fairly a-typical depiction of Hispanic teens. The kids in this story are smart and funny and their very quick one liners kept me in stitches.  They SLAY!

The Shadowshaper bit was an interesting twist. Some people can see these supernatural ghost type creatures and make them bend to their will, in a good way. So there’s some kind of revolution going on in this ghost world and it manifests in the artwork around the neighborhood. Our heroine is an artist and I think most of her friends are artsy in some sort of way? And so when the art starts crying and disappearing (I know right?) the kids need to figure out what’s going on.

There are dark family secrets and dying grandfathers with coded messages and danger. Lots of weird supernatural danger.

It’s all good.

Even though this title didn’t win the Cybils Award it’s still a great read for kids who want to see more people of color.  Given that the protagonists are African American and Latino American this title will also count toward the Diversity Reading Challenge for its diversity!

Categories
Books

CYBILS Award Winner: The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

CYBILS Award Winner:
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma

 

I’m so ding dong excited to share this book with you! I’m not sure what’s going on with the book cover, but yeah this is THE book to read this year! The Walls Around Us is a speculative fiction YA book that will have you scratching your head early on.  Scratching and and really using your lil ol noggin to figure out what the author is getting at. The book seems to be about ballerinas. But oh wait, then it’s about these young women in a juvenile detention facility. But then, the weird stuff starts happening.

And you’re like WHOA. Did I read this right? She did what? Where? Who’s story do I believe? What is REALLY going on at the juvenile detention facility? Are ballerinas really that cruel? I’ve heard rumors that they are so, there’s another person I’ll want on my zombie apocalypse team. Think Mean Girls meets Orange is the New Black.

Here’s our commentary on the winner and the other contenders for the Speculative Fiction YA judging portion of Cybils.

And remind me to stay out of prison.

 

 

 

Categories
Books Young Adult

Yael Levy – Touchdown

touchdown

 

 

Touchdown by Yael Levy is a paranormal romance that is not your typical paranormal romance.

Why, you ask? Well, mostly because it doesn’t start out like paranormal.  I’ll admit I was well into the book before I realized it was going on!  The book reads like a lovely and light romance; however, with a twist.

New York socialite Goldie Fischer seems to have it all: wealth, beauty, and a fiancé to die for. Until she’s murdered on her wedding night by a jealous witch and instantaneously loses everything. Angry and seeking revenge, Goldie becomes a dybbuk– her soul possesses the body of Southern football hero Clay Harper and she refuses to join the light until the wrongs are rectified.

Only Clay has issues of his own and doesn’t take kindly to a petulant New Yorker in his head, interfering in his already messed up life. When Goldie promises to leave if Clay helps her break up the wedding between her fiancé and the witch who killed her, Clay reluctantly agrees. Only neither of them are prepared for the chain of events that follow.

Through the journey of two disparate people on a quest to make things right, Touchdown is a funny yet heartbreaking look about what it takes to truly know another soul and what it means to love.

Did you find the twist yet?  The heroine of our story is Jewish.  You know how I’m always saying how wonderful it would be if popular literature included people of other cultures and ethnicities?

Yeah that.

Where else are you going to get to use the word schmatta in a sentence? The author, Yael Levy, gives us a chance to brush up on our Yiddish while enjoying a love story.  I was happy to review her first book: Brooklyn Love, in 2012.  My review is here.  If you know nothing about Orthodox Jews, check it out.  Don’t be a shmendrik, learn about other cultures, nosh on new foods, and schmooze with new friends.

I bet you didn’t know you knew so much Yiddish, did’ya?

Isn’t it great to expand your horizons with literature from other cultures?  Who knew they were just like you?

I knew.

I’m proud to be the star  part of JKS Communications Tour!

Touchdowntour

Categories
Books Challenges Children

Ghost Buddy by Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver [email protected]@y

Yes, you read that right, Henry “The Fonz” Winkler is the author of a book!  You may not know this, but Henry Winkler is very active in children’s programming and has written many, many books for kids. I was a Fonz fan and as you know, LOVE children’s books.

Keep reading for a special surprise!

You cannot imagine my joy when I was approached to read Winkler’s and Oliver’s latest endeavor, a series entitled: Ghost Buddy.  Here’s what they’re saying.

We are excited to celebrate Scholastic’s release of Ghost Buddy #2: Mind If I Read Your Mind? by New York Times-bestselling authors Henry Winkler and Lin Oliver. Ghost Buddy #2 is the follow-up book to the very successful 1st in the series, Ghost Buddy: Zero to Hero.  Comical characters and hilarious plots will delight your kids and bring a fun reading experience to the long days of summer.  It’s the perfect title for a family book club get-together!

I can’t agree more. The story, for middle grades, is about Billy Broccoli, a middle schooler who has trouble fitting in.  We’re introduced to Billy and his ghost buddy, Hoove in book one, Ghost Buddy: Zero to Hero. It’s a story everyone can relate to.  What I love MOST about the series is that there is a great ethnic blend of children: one in a wheelchair, an Indian (South Asian) child, one of Hispanic heritage, etc.  AND these kids do not act like stereotypical ethnic groups!! High five for Winkler and Oliver for getting it RIGHT!

Everyone can identify with a kid who doesn’t fit in but desperately wants to.  Billy and Hoove have an adventure and they each learn a thing or two along the way about themselves and friendship. This series is great for teachers.  Scholastic, who thinks of everything, even has a teachers guide.

Intrigued?  Wanna get your hands on the first book in the series Ghost Buddy: Zero to Hero? I’m giving away a copy!  Leave a comment below and I’ll choose a winner. Contest ends September 20th at Midnight EST.  SUPER EASY GIVEAWAY, right?

How cute is that book cover?  You’re gonna love it as much as I did.  I give the book four paws for ethnic diversity and teaching a lesson without being pedantic.