Rummanah Aasi

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 You have probably noticed the blog has been pretty quiet in the last few days. I got a new job! I am transitioning to a brand new school district and have been busy with planning and organizing for the new school year which is less than a month away. I'm very excited though a bit nervous. I hope to return to my regular blogging schedule once I am settled which will hopefully be before the first week of September. Thanks for your patience and hope to see you all soon! 
Rummanah Aasi

Description: A. J. Fikry's life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died, his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history, and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island-from Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who's always felt kindly toward Fikry; from Ismay, his sister-in-law who is hell-bent on saving him from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who keeps on taking the ferry over to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.'s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, A.J. can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.
   And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It's a small package, but large in weight. It's that unexpected arrival that gives A. J. Fikry the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn't take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J.; or for that determined sales rep, Amelia, to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light; or for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.'s world; or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn't see coming.

Review: A.J. Fikry is a curmudgeon and a book snob who owns Island Books on Alice Island, a summer destination off Massachusetts. He lost his wife, Nic, in a car accident and is grieving, trying to numb his pain by drinking until he passes out. Meanwhile Island Books drifts toward bankruptcy. Then, within a span of days, his rare copy of Poe's Tamerlane worth hundreds of thousands of dollars is stolen from his home, and 2-year-old Maya is deposited at his bookstore. Fikry cannot bear to leave the precocious child to the system once it becomes apparent her single mother has drowned herself in the sea. Both of these events dramatically change and reinvigorates his life and his bookstore.
  The next happenstance is the encounter with Amelia Loman, a quirky traveling sales representative for Knightley Press. The two start off on the wrong foot with their separate tastes in 'literature' but Amelia's tenacity and vibrant, gregarious personality draws Fikry to her. Soon a slow burn, cute romance begins.
  Book lovers will find a lot to love about Fikry, particularly his musings on what makes books and reading so pleasurable. Maya is a sweet girl who I would immediately be friends with if I met her in real life and it was a pleasure to see her grow right before our eyes into an intelligent teenager. Lambiase, a local police officer was a nice surprise to see as a reluctant reader who discovers a new passion for reading and learning. While there is really no clear villain in this book, Fikry's brother-in-law, Daniel Parish, a once best-selling author riding out a descending career arc and serves as a clear contrast of our protagonist.
 The plot folds pretty predictably, however the mystery of the stolen Tamerlane book is dropped for majority of the book and pops up suddenly in the last few chapters almost making the incident a moot point since it really did nothing more than spur the change in Fikry's transformation, which I found to be a bit disappointing. Overall The Storied of A.J. Fikry is a quick and enjoyable read with a nice balance of sentimentality, humor, and a touch of bittersweet. I think book lovers and those who love stories about selling books and finding love would find a lot to enjoy here. Don't be surprised to see this book listed for book club titles.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong language and a couple of fade to black sex scenes. Recommended for older teens and adults.

If you like this book try: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Shaffer and Annie Barrow or The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce
Rummanah Aasi
 In the 1940s a superhero named The Green Turtle was created by unknown cartoonist named Chu Hing. The Green Turtle didn't have notable superpowers but he seemed to be able to avoid bullets. He was an superhero, defending China in the World War II against the invading Japanese army. The story goes that Hing wanted his superhero to be Chinese but the publisher didn't agree and asked him to make his character white. Seemingly Hing was not happy about it which might explain why Green Turtle's face is never to been seen in original works, always covered with something; mask, his own arm, weapons etc. 
  Unfortunately, Green Turtle never made it in the market which left the legacy containing only few volumes of the superhero adventures. However, there remained unanswered questions about the Green Turtle: why and how did he become a superhero? Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew recreate the origin story of the Green Turtle in The Shadow Hero. Many thanks to First Second and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advanced reader's copy of the book.

Description: In this origin story for the classic comic book hero the Green Turtle, Hank, the nineteen-year-old son of Chinese immigrants, resists his mother's attempts to make him a superhero at first, but when tragedy strikes he assumes the role of a caped crusader. Aided by one of the four spirits of Chinese mythology, Hank becomes the Green Turtle and sets out to rid Chinatown of the gangsters who have intimidated everyone for years and murdered his father.

Review: The Shadow Hero is a creative take on the superhero genre. Instead of a science experiment gone wrong which leads to incredible powers, we are given elements of magic, Chinese history, and mythology. Yang and Liew tackle and create the origin story of a lesser known superhero named the Green Turtle. In this graphic novel The Green Turtle is cast as an unlikely 19-year-old young man, Hank, the son of Chinese immigrants who own a grocery store in 1940s America. When his mother is rescued by a superhero, the loving but overbearing woman decides that it's Hank's fate to become a hero himself, and she does everything in her power to push her son in that direction. Though Hank initially shies away from assuming the role of caped crusader, when tragedy strikes, he's eventually inspired to call himself the Green Turtle, and fight back against gangsters who have been intimidating his family and many others in Chinatown.
  The action packed illustrations have a nostalgic feel to them and sets up the gritty/hard boiled setting of Chinatown. The text plays expertly with cliches and stereotypes about Chinese culture without ever becoming heavy-handed or obvious and actually gave the graphic novel some depth. I really liked the inclusion of the immigrant experience along with learning new things about the Chinese mythology such as the four spirits of China, one of whom allies himself with Hank's father and then aides Hank in help fighting the bad guys. The Shadow Hero is an enjoyable read and perfect for those to pick up while they wait for their favorite superhero movie to hit the movie screens.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some minor language and some violence. Recommended for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: Secret identities: the Asian American superhero anthology edited by Jeff Yang
Rummanah Aasi
 If you know of any young readers who need some adventure, action, and humor in their summer reading schedule, be sure to hand them Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand. I found the book to be a quick, fast, and enjoyable read and I look forward to reading more by the author. Many thanks to Sourcebooks and Netgalley for allowing me to read an advanced reader's copy of the book.

Description: Dorrie Barnes had no idea an overdue library book would change her life. When Dorrie and her brother Marcus chase her pet mongoose into the janitor's closet of their local library, they accidentally fall through a passage into Petrarch's Library -the headquarters of a secret society of ninja librarians who have an important mission: protect those whose words have gotten them into trouble. Anywhere in the world and at any time in history.
   Dorrie would love nothing more than to join the society. But when a traitor surfaces, she and her friends are the prime suspects. Can they clear their names before the only passage back to the twenty-first century closes forever?

Review: Ninja Librarians: The Accidental Keyhand reminded me a lot of the Indiana Jones movies except it features librarians and a really cool library. Dorrie and her brother Marcus literally drop into a strange new world when they crash through the floor of their New Jersey public library and into a library that transcends space and time. The siblings discover they have landed in Petrarch's Library, a web of libraries from different places and times, with doorways to ancient Greece and to their modern-day hometown of Passaic, New Jersey. At the Petrarch Library, "lybrarians" train to become agents, or "ninja librarians" as Marcus calls them, who go on missions to rescue imperiled writers, including Socrates. Dorrie and Marcus use their temporary stay in Petrarch's Library to become apprentices, learning swordplay from Cyrano de Bergerac and the deceptive arts from Casanova. I love how the author uses both historical and literary figures in the story. Those familiar with Cyrano and Socrates will understand the hints dropped within the plot while others will be intrigued to learn to find out more. I also really appreciate the author giving younger readers an inside look at the daily duties of a librarian which include reference, research, and cataloging amongst other things. The "lybrarians" aren't your caricature figures who shush you constantly, but rather people you want to hang out with and learn from them. 
  As Dorrie and Marcus attempt to return an accidentally stolen document to the archives, they uncover other secrets and mysteries. The lead-up to the kids' discovery of Petrarch's Library is a bit slow, but it allows you to get a better sense of the characters, but once Dorrie and Marcus are in the Library, the melding of fantasy, adventure, and history is enlightening and the story takes off. Dorrie is a smart, observant, wannabe sword fighter, who is struggling to build her self confidence. Marcus is an adorable and typical teenage brother: a mix of hormones, sarcasm, and obsessed with Star Wars, but he does genuinely care for his younger sister. I really like watching the sister and brother duo work together. I don't think you can have too many good sibling relationships that are in books. The Library is a vivid, well-drawn world that you wish would really exist in real life so you can visit. There is also a large supporting cast of characters that have distinct personalities and their special talents and knowledge seem natural. This book does have a feel for a series beginner, and I hope we get to see more of Petrarch's Library and more of Dorrie and Marcus.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: None. Recommended for Grades 4-6.

If you like this book try: The Forbidden Library by Django Wexler, Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library by Chris Grabenstein,
Rummanah Aasi
In an inspired collaboration, Kiersten White, an author of urban fantasies and paranormal, pairs up with artist Jim Di Bartolo to create a dark, moody, and mysterious hybrid novel. While it is certainly exciting to see authors experiment with the novel form, In the Shadows still feels unfinished and much left to be desired. Please note that this review is based on the advanced reader's copy provided by the publisher via Netgalley.

Description: Cora and Minnie are sisters living in a small, stifling town where strange and mysterious things occur. Their mother runs the local boarding house. Their father is gone. The woman up the hill may or may not be a witch.
   Thomas and Charles are brothers who’ve been exiled to the boarding house so Thomas can tame his ways and Charles can fight an illness that is killing him with increasing speed. Their family history is one of sorrow and guilt. They think they can escape from it . . . but they can’t.

Review: In the Shadows consists of two alternating narratives, one in prose and one in vividly colored, sometimes horrific wordless graphic novel panels. It isn't immediately apparent if or how the two narrative threads are related. As a reader, I kept turning the pages to see how these two narratives collide and I had many theories running through my mind as I read.
  The written narrative story is about two sisters, Cora and Minnie, who live with their mother in a boardinghouse in Maine. After spying on the town witch and getting caught, Cora blames herself for the death of her father the next day. When a mysterious stranger, Arthur, comes to board, along with two brothers from New York, Minnie involves them in the folklore of their sleepy Maine resort town, only to discover that they are in an evil place, surrounded by watchers, and in more danger than she could have ever thought possible. While the characters have distinct personalities, we only get brief sketches of their lives and I wanted to know more about them, particularly with the character of Arthur who drives the mystery and seems to know the answers but refuses to share them with any of the other characters and even the reader. Like the characters there are subtle romances that run throughout the story, however, I was never convinced of any of them since the characters were underdeveloped.
  For most of this slow moving story, you are wondering what exactly is going on. Though the illustrations are stunning and in color, I felt they were included in the narrative at the wrong time since the events in the graphic panels take readers across the globe and spans from the turn of the 20th century to the present, which is distracting because the written narrative story is only happening in one time period which is the late 1800s. As a result the graphic panels are more distracting, which is what I'm sure what the creators had no intention of doing.
  Though we finally do get some answers to the mystery we were introduced in the novel, I had many more unanswered questions such as how and why did the secret society start in the first place? Why did Arthur and his family only know of the secret society? Overall In the Shadows is an ambitious attempt at creating a hybrid novel, a combination of written and wordless illustrations to tell a story, but unfortunately it feels more like a rough draft storyboard rather than a novel.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some  minor language and disturbing images. Recommended for Grades 7 and up.

If you like this book try: Balefire by Cate Tiernan, Prophecy of Sisters by Michelle Zink
Rummanah Aasi
Manga Mondays is a meme hosted by Alison at Alison Can Read where bloggers can share their passion for reading mangas. It's a great place to get new manga titles to try and to meet new bloggers. There are only three more volumes left in this series! I'm curious to see how this series ends.

Description: While Tsukasa recuperates from his amnesia and head injury, a fellow female patient takes to visiting him. This seemingly well-meaning girl soon becomes a rival to our beloved Tsukushi. Meanwhile we catch a telling glimpse into Sojiro's past and meet his first female friend. Later, Yuki uncovers a message from this friend meant for Sojiro's eyes only.

Review: Luckily in this volume we don't have too much melodrama. The sickly sweet girl that Tsukushi meets at the hospital is infamously known for stealing other people's boyfriends. Thankfully with Tsukasa reverting to his old mean, grumpy self, he is not in the least concerned with being in a relationship. I'm sure Tsukasa will get his memory back. I'm also sure that a huge break through will happen in the next volume but I'm not exactly sure what that could be. Meanwhile  Tsukushi is still taking Tsukasa's memory loss in stride. She is trying different tactics that might help spark his memory back.
 While the drama between Tsukushi and Tsukasa is happening, I became more interested in learning more about Sojiro's storyline. We are given hints as to who he was afraid to open up his feelings to and how he had lost the girl that he cared for. Yuki is still pining for Soijiro and plans to help him make up for his regrets. I only hope that Yuki doesn't get hurt in the process. Overall this was a fun volume and it doesn't end with a cliffhanger.

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some minor language. Recommended for teens.

If you like this book try: Boys Over Flowers Vol 34 by Yoko Kamio, Kare Kano: His and Her Circumstances by Masami Tsuda, Mars by Fuyumi Soryo
Rummanah Aasi
 I've been interested in Greek Mythology for as long as I could remember. When I came across Kerry Greenwood's Delphic Women which retold the myths of Jason and the Gold Fleece, the Trojan War and its aftermath from the point of view of the important female characters, I knew I had to read them. Greenwood makes the myths come alive and provides a different spin on characters who were once thought to be weak and one dimensional.

Description: From Mount Olympus, Aphrodite, the goddess of love, yawned. Even perfection can be tedious. "My Lord," she called to Apollo, "Sun God and brother. Let us play a game with mortals—my power against yours."
And so Cassandra, the golden haired princess cursed with the gift of prophecy, and Diomenes, the Achaean with the healing hands, become puppets of the gods. Their passions are thwarted, their loves betrayed, their gifts rendered useless for the sake of a wager between the immortals.
Doomed, magnificent Troy is the stage, and Cassandra and Diomenes the leading players in this compelling story of the city's fall. Both have found love before, and lost it.
Will they find each other in the light of the burning city? And, if they do, can their love survive the machinations of malicious gods and men?

Review: What is stronger: love or death? Cassandra is the second book in the Delphic Women series featuring a new reimaging of popular female figures in Greek Mythology. As the title suggests, Cassandra is the focus of this novel as we watch the horrifying fall of Troy. Like Medea, Greenwood uses popular myths and new additions to the story along with well researched time period to recreate the Cassandra myth. Cassandra and her twin brother, Eleni, the children of King Priam and Queen Hecube of Troy, are a priestess and priest of Apollo the sun god. When a bored Aphrodite makes a wager with Apollo for a golden apple, the lives of Cassandra and Achaean healer Diomenes, called Chryse, are forever changed as they become pawns of the gods.
 Cassandra, as some of you know, is cursed with the gift of prophecy after rejecting to sleep with Apollo. While she can clearly see what will happen to her beloved city Troy, she cannot tell others what she knows. While Cassandra is growing and learning in Troy, we see Chryse becoming a gifted healer whose life is forever changed when he is called upon to treat his first love, Elene (aka Helen) of Sparta, the most beautiful woman in the world. Though she's married to Menelaus, Elene is nevertheless sought by many powerful men, and a war will soon be fought over her. When Elene runs off to Egypt with Cassandra's arrogant brother Pariki (Paris), the Achaeans have the perfect excuse to declare war on Troy even though they know that the Trojans would gladly have given her up had she not remained in Egypt. The story then follows the major events of the Trojan War.
  I was completely sucked in to this new story of Cassandra. Normally, Cassandra is depicted as the frail girl who harbors a horrible curse and eventually gets kidnapped, raped, and killed, however, she is a completely different person in Greenwood's version. In this book, Cassandra is a strong female character even in the worst circumstances. She never backs down and continues to fight against the gods. Chryse is an equally fascinating character who meets famous mythical figures and is passionate about medicine. Though their story lines are told in alternating chapters they eventually intersect in an interesting fashion. The ending of Cassandra's story was a nice surprise and I'm very curious to see how it pans out in the next Delphic Women book, Electra.
  The destruction of Troy is vividly illustrated and the settings come to life as their own characters in this book. I thought it was very interesting how Greenwood approaches romantic love as their are several relationships throughout the book. It was not uncommon for the people of this time to have more than one romantic partners. If you are a serious fan of Greek Mythology I would definitely recommend picking up the Delphic Women series by Kerry Greenwood. 

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong violence including rape and sexual situations throughout the book as well as language. Recommended for mature teens and adults who enjoy and are serious about Greek Mythology.

If you like this book try: The Firebrand by Marion Zimmer Bradley, Antigoddess by Kendare Blake
Rummanah Aasi
 Have you ever had a house guest who overstayed his/her welcome and made you wonder if he/she will ever leave? This pretty much summed up my feelings about the Mortal Instrument series. Thankfully City of Heavenly Fire is last book in the series.

Description: Darkness has descended on the Shadowhunter world. Chaos and destruction overwhelm the Nephilim as Clary, Jace, Simon, and their friends band together to fight the greatest evil they have ever faced: Clary's own brother. Nothing in this world can defeat Sebastian--but if they journey to the realm of demons, they just might have a chance.

Review: I have been disenchanted with the Mortal Instrument series especially after City of Fallen Angels. I was hoping the second trilogy would flesh out the secondary characters as promised, but unfortunately they are still regulated to the shadows as Clary and Jace take center stage.  
City of Heavenly Fire is a tome, clocking over 700 pages long. While the book looks like an epic and is crammed with action scenes in any space it can find, it feels anticlimactic. There is not enough depth and plot to really justify the large page count or frankly the second trilogy. We are once again asked about nurture versus nature as Sebastian becomes a megalomaniac much like his father. Unlike Jonathan who was complex, Sebastian comes off as a spoiled brat who is prone to throw tantrums when things don't go his way. I found Sebastian to be boring and his incest tendencies a bit too much for me to handle.
  The romance in the City of Heavenly Fire was just okay. There is enough tension in the various romantic couples to keep things interesting. Some are trying to go to a new level in their relationship while others are trying to define theirs or even salvage them. In other words, there was the same drama that took place in the other five books in this series. The fifty page or so epilogue wraps everything up perfectly in a nice tight bow.
  As I mentioned earlier, there were plenty of action scenes in this book. There are even characters who die, but for me, the deaths of these characters didn't have much of an effect on me. I thought they were pretty arbitrary and didn't really add anything to the story. 
 I have to say that my favorite parts of the story really relate to picking up the allusions to the infinitely better series, Infernal Devices, and discovering more about Emma Carstairs and Julian Blackwood, the main characters of the upcoming Mortal Instrument spin-off series called The Dark Artifices. These characters are the ones that grabbed my attention as I lost interest in our main characters. I do have to make a note that if you were unaware that a spin off was in the works, the inclusion of Emma and Julian's introduction does seem to be a non-sequitur to the overall plot arc of the book.
 Overall City of Heavenly Fire was a chore to read only because I was satisfied with saying goodbye to the characters for the first time. In my opinion, the series was better to end at book 3 with City of Glass rather than to drag on. I'm not 100% sure if I'll read the Dark Artifices when it comes out.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is strong fantasy violence, some language, a small fade to black sex scene, and some crude humor. Recommended for Grades 8 and up.

If you like this book try: The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare, Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow
Rummanah Aasi
   Manga Mondays is a meme hosted by Alison at Alison Can Read where bloggers can share their passion for reading mangas. It's a great place to get new manga titles to try and to meet new bloggers. There are only four more volumes left in this series! I'm curious to see how this series ends.

Description: Tsukushi's on-and-off boyfriend Tsukasa is hospitalized after a gruesome head injury! While his life hangs in the balance his devious mother shows no emotion at all! Could a mother really be so heartless?! Even if Tsukasa is able to survive, he may never be the same again...

Review: Volume 32 has a good balance of romance and drama. Tsukushi and Tsukasa's mother never got along and in this volume they come to an understanding after a big confrontation between them, which nicely closes this thread to the overall plot arc. Both women realize they want what is good for Tsukasa but how they define 'good' is very different. 
The plot switches its focus to Tsukasa's well being after we learned that he was severely injured in the last volume. Now that he is out of the danger zone, Tsukushi and the F3 find out that he has selective amnesia, he has completely forgotten Tskushi and reverted back to the way he was before. I felt horrible for Tsukushi as she tried her best to jog Tsukasa's memory and fails. If that's not bad enough, there's a new rival for Tsukasa's affection who is hiding behind a wall of seemingly "real" friendliness. How long will it take Tsukasa to remember? And will this loss of memory have any harmful side effects to the relationship he and Tsukushi have worked and fought so hard for?

Rating: 4 stars

Words of Caution: There is some minor language. Recommended for teens.

If you like this book try: Boys Over Flowers Vol 33 by Yoko Kamio, Kare Kano: His and Her Circumstances by Masami Tsuda, Mars by Fuyumi Soryo


 Thanks to everyone who entered the giveaway. Congrats to CK Ackarie on winning the Aizai the Forgotten Giveaway! I have forwarded your information to Ms. Harris. She will contact you shortly.
Rummanah Aasi
After reading a slew of serious books, I needed a light, fun read that had some depth to the story. I found exactly that when I picked up The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. The Rosie Project reminded me of one my favorite sitcoms, The Big Bang Theory, and I think it would be enjoyed by fans of the tv show as well as others looking for a quick, cute read. Check out the cute book trailer below!

Description: Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.
   Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don's Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

Review: Don Tillman is our perfectly imperfect narrator and protagonist. A scientist who only understands logic, he unknowingly gives people the impression that he is arrogant or robotic in his manners. He enjoys and finds peace in organizing his things around his apartment knowing exactly what to eat and wear every day. He cannot understand social cues, barely feels emotion and can't stand to be touched.  Don's best friends are Gene and Claudia, psychologists. Gene brought Don as a postdoc to the prestigious university where he is now an associate professor. Gene is a cad, a philanderer who chooses women based on nationality--he aims to sleep with a woman from every country. Claudia is tolerant until she's not.
  As Don observes Gene's behavior, he realizes that the next logical step in life is to settle down and get married. Don doesn't understand the allure of Gene's lifestyle and open marriage and he fails to understand the emotions that Claudia keeps harping about in relationships. Rather than waste his time and dating a bunch of women, Don logically starts a project called the Wife Project. Essentially each of his dating prospects must fill out an exhaustive and extensive survey that assess her interests, behavior patterns (is she messy? how much does she sleep? how much does she drinks?), hobbies, etc. Only after analyzing how the response match to Don's own desires, he will contact the woman for a date if he deems her suitable.
  Things get even more interesting and amusing when Gene sends Rosie, a graduate student in his department, to Don as a joke, a ringer for the Wife Project. Rosie is a vivid character who has a chip on her shoulder mainly since she can not identify her biological father. Don already dismisses Rosie as a Wife Project candidate because she is woefully unsuitable, but agrees to use science to help her find her father. The rom-com plot is nicely centered on pursuing the Father Project. Rosie and Don collide as their different personalities are polar opposites. Don learns to let loose and live a little while hanging out with Rosie. Likewise Rosie finds structure and stays on task with the help of Don. Soon hilarity in miscommunication, dismay of the Wife Project, and hormones ensue, especially when Don's and Rosie's relationship becomes complicated.  
  The story doesn't try too hard to be funny or sweet, but it feels natural with its deadpan humor and a nudge-nudge, wink-wink humor. I couldn't help but laugh at, and with, Don as he tries to navigate our hopelessly emotional, non-literal world, learning as he goes. It was also nice to read a romance story that is told from a male perspective. If you're looking for an uplifting story that will have you laughing out loud pick up The Rosie Project. Soon you will be flying through the pages as Don finds and falls in love. Since finishing the book, I found out that the author is writing a companion novel and I can't wait to read it.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Words of Caution: There is some language, sexual situations, and crude humor. Recommended for older teens and adults.

If you like this book try: Attachments by Rainbow Rowell, The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion (coming soon in September 2014)
Rummanah Aasi
Waiting on Wednesday is a meme hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine! I've got two YA books that I can't wait to get my hands on!

  Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Publish Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher:  Balzer + Bray

I love the premise of this fantasy book and it reminds me a bit of Graceling by Kristin Cashore which is one of my all time favorite YA reads.

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.

 The Cure for Dreaming by Cat Winters

Publish Date: October 14, 2014
Publisher: Amulet Books

Cat Winter's In The Shadows of Blackbirds was one of my favorite debut novels of 2013. I can't wait to see what she does next with a new time period.  

Olivia Mead is a headstrong, independent girl—a suffragist—in an age that prefers its girls to be docile. It’s 1900 in Oregon, and Olivia’s father, concerned that she’s headed for trouble, convinces a stage mesmerist to try to hypnotize the rebellion out of her. But the hypnotist, an intriguing young man named Henri Reverie, gives her a terrible gift instead: she’s able to see people’s true natures, manifesting as visions of darkness and goodness, while also unable to speak her true thoughts out loud. These supernatural challenges only make Olivia more determined to speak her mind, and so she’s drawn into a dangerous relationship with the hypnotist and his mysterious motives, all while secretly fighting for the rights of women. Winters breathes new life into history once again with an atmospheric, vividly real story, including archival photos and art from the period throughout.

Rummanah Aasi

Today I’m excited to be part of the blog tour for Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader for Kids Only on the blog tour hosted by Kismet Book Touring. Today I have a mini-chat with Uncle John to share with you all! For more information you can check out the Tour Page.

Thank you for stopping by Books in the Spotlight! For those of us who are new to the Bathroom Reader's Institute, can you give us a little background story to the institute (i.e. how it was formed, what inspired you to create it, how many books are written, etc)?

When Uncle John was growing up, everybody in his family read in the bathroom. One day he had an idea: there are books for every other room in the house—cookbooks for the kitchen, coffee table books for the living room. Why not make a book just for reading in the bathroom. That began Uncle John’s lifelong career of bringing fun bits of unusual information to millions of fans around the world. Together with the team of demented infomaniacs he calls the Bathroom Readers’ Institute (actually, it’s a group of six writers and researchers), he scours the globe looking for the weirdest facts, the strangest stories, the grossest foods, the funniest jokes, the looniest laws, the smelliest farts, and anything else that will make his readers say, “YOU’VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!” Now, 100 books later (with 15 million copies sold), Uncle John and the Bathroom Readers’ Institute are the undisputed kings of the “throne room.”

About Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader For Kids Only!:
Here is an exciting chance to own the very first Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader For Kids Only! in a hardcover edition with all new illustrations!
When our younger readers demanded a Bathroom Reader of their own, Uncle John put together this brain-boggling easy-to-read collection of facts, fads, quotes, history, science, origins, pop culture, mythology, humor, and more! Plus it’s full of wacky and fun illustrations and Uncle John’s famous “running feet” — those fun and fascinating facts on the bottom of every page.
Curious young readers will learn about the real Dr. Seuss, baseball superstitions, the birth of The Simpsons, how carnival games are rigged, the history of dining on scorpions and tarantulas, shocking truths about thunder and lightning, and disgusting bodily functions like ear wax production and digestion (and why they’re important), and much, much more..

    The life of Gordon “Uncle John” Javna, editor-in-chief and publisher of the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader series, reads like one of his books. There’s a lot of fun, intriguing—often odd—information lurking around every corner. He went to art school, and then went on to become a musician, real-estate developer, writer, restaurateur, president of a pre-school, brew pub owner, and editor—not all at once, mind you, but he has been all of these things.
    Eventually, though, he realized that because of his love of fascinating facts (and being a bathroom reader himself), he was naturally suited, perhaps even destined, to bring the joy of trivia to the world in a fun, informative way. He assumed the pseudonym Uncle John for the Bathroom Reader series and since then, Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader has become the longest-running, most popular series of its kind in the publishing industry.  To date, there are more than 15 million Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers in print and his fanatical flock of followers span from Australia to the United Kingdom and beyond.
    Guided by their obsession with unusual trivia, amazing origins, and forgotten history, Gordon “Uncle John” Javna and his staff at the Bathroom Readers’ Institute have made Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers a must-have for book and gift stores worldwide for over two decades.  Gordon continues to expand his porcelain province from his throne room in Ashland, Oregon.
    To Find More About Gordon Javna:
    Tour Schedule:
    Monday, June 30th –  Candace’s Book Blog

    Tuesday, July 1st - Cindy’s Love of Books

    Wednesday, July 2nd - Proud Book Nerd

    Thursday, July 3rd  - Bumbles and Fairy-Tales

    Friday July 4th - Cassandra M’s Place

    Monday, July 7th  - Sweet Southern Home

    Tuesday, July 8th - Confessions of a Book Addict

    Wednesday, July 9th - Little Red Reads

    Thursday, July 10th  - Me, My Shelf and I

    Friday July 11th  - Bewitched Bookworms

    Monday, July 14th - Kindle and Me

    Tuesday, July 15th  - Snowdrop Dreams of Books

    Wednesday, July 16th  - Hott Books

    Thursday, July 17th  - alwaysjoart

    Friday July 18th - Captivated Reading 
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