The Fairest Kind of Love, by Crystal Cestari

"Out of wishes, and out of time, I decide to make what I'm sure will be an Amber Sand Top Five Worst Choice Ever..."

Happy Book Birthday to THE FAIREST KIND OF LOVE, by Crystal Cestari!


Although I never read the first two books, in this series, I ADORED this book. This story is filled with mystery, complex characters and magical teens who never do what their parents want them to do. I love Crystal Cestari's story voice and can't wait to read the first two books in the series.

This is the perfect entertaining romance--all about a matchmaker whose skills are on the fritz, who only wants to see matches again and help people find their true loves. So. Much. Fun. 




"Sharp wit makes [Cestari's heroine, Amber Sand] an authentic and relatable narrator as she's forced to learn how to see the magic in everyday."--Publishers Weekly

"This cute take on paranormal romance is stuffed full of entertaining supernatural creatures: a nightclub-owning vampire, a high school siren, a gold-digging leprechaun...more adventures to come."--Booklist

More about the book: 

Amber Sand has spent half her life solidifying other people's happily-ever-afters. As a matchmaker, she has the ability to look into anyone's eyes and see their perfect match. But lately, her powers have been on the fritz, and not only is she totally unsure whether her matches are true, she can't see anyone in the eyes of her boyfriend Charlie Blitzman. With Amber and her friends graduating high school and about to take off for various colleges, Amber is hoping to have one last carefree summer-but she's also dying to find a way to fix her powers, and learn, for better or worse, if she and Charlie are truly meant to be.

So when an online matchmaker named Madame Lamour comes to Chicago, Amber sets out to talk to her and find out who her match is once and for all. Of course, when it comes to the magical community, nothing's ever that easy, and Amber soon finds herself caught up in a breathless showdown that involves a fairy family feud and a magical-creature auction--and requires teaming up with a certain siren nemesis. Can Amber and her friends save the day one more time before setting off for their new lives? And will Amber ever learn whether Charlie is her one true love?

With tons of laugh-out-loud moments, appearances by all your favorite characters, and one totally tearful reveal, you won't want to miss a single swoony moment of this romantic conclusion to the Windy City Magic trilogy.

More about the author:  

Crystal Cestari lives just outside Chicago with her daughter.  Her hobbies include avoiding broccoli and wanders the aisles at Target.  She holds a master's degree in mass communications, and writes all her stories longhand.  She is also the author of the first two books in the Windy City Magic series, THE BEST KIND OF MAGIC and THE SWEETEST KIND OF FATE.  Visit Crystal at www.crystalcestari.com and on Twitter @crystalcestari

Jed and the Junkyard Rebellion, by Steven Bohls

"Who Am I?

He tried to think.  The image of a burning heat melting his mind surfaced.  He shook his head.  Memories felt buried and looked blurry--dreams he could not remember.

What am I?"

Happy happy book birthday to JED AND THE JUNKYARD REBELLION, the perfect companion to JED AND THE JUNKYARD WAR!  Quirky, magical, steampunk with genuine surprises combined with a fast plot and wacky world building make this a must read.  The book reminded me of Serenity and Cinder; filled with danger and humor at the same time.  Themes of friendship, loyalty, temptation, choices, heroism, love, adoption and family will evoke discussion and thought.  As Jed discovers his true potential, the reader is swept up in his journey and how he transforms from scrawny inept boy into a self assured, powerful, literal golden boy. 






The Simple Art of Flying, by Corey Leonardo

Happy happy book birthday to THE SIMPLE ART OF FLYING by Corey Leonardo--a breathtakingly beautiful book. The stunning cover, lyrical writing, and 3 points of view makes this a phenomenal debut novel. Since the story is told through poetry, prose, letters and a medical log, each character is distinct, complex and relatable.

I love Alistair, the African Grey Parrot whose intellect and determination to escape to be with his sister drive almost all of his actions. He writes the most beautiful poetry. One of his poems is written after Bertie (POV #2-- a grieving old woman who writes letters to her dead husband), attempts to teach him his colors:
"That ribbon is not BLUE--
It's ghost-whale ocean-dust.
That couch-it's not pink--
It's pearl-berry petal-wisp..."


Fritz is the 12 year old aspiring doctor whose differences make it hard for him to make friends. His medical logs and interactions with other characters in the story help us understand his fears, his longing to connect with his father, and the price he's willing to pay for friendship. The book covers themes of grief, loyalty, hard work, friendship, family love, pet/owner relationships, freedom, depression, anxiety, and discovering that you've always had what you needed all along. 

THE LOST GIRL by Anne Ursu Plus GIVEAWAY!

"Thoughts fluttered frantically around Lark's head, looking for somewhere to roost. Iris was keeping things from her. Iris was sad. Iris was crying in camp. Iris was skipping camp. Iris had been wound up so tightly, and now she was unwinding everywhere. 'Something's wrong, Lark said quietly. 'really wrong.'"

I read this stunning story about identical twin girls in one day. This magical book captivates with beautiful writing, complex characters, and realistic relationships. Anne Ursu does an incredible job of putting you inside the head of 5th grade girls. She interweaves a plot filled with mystery, emotion and humor. The book encompasses themes of doubt, fear, loyalty, love, family, friendship, monsters (literal and figurative), feeling different, and being ok with being different. 

To win a copy of this book, comment on this post. If you share on facebook or twitter, you get another entry. Giveaway closes in one week. 

MORE ABOUT THE BOOK
Once upon a time, there were two sisters, alike in every way, except for all the ways that they were different.
    When you’re an identical twin, your story always starts with someone else. For Iris, that means her story  starts with Lark. Iris has always been the grounded, capable, and rational one; Lark has been inventive,  dreamy, and brilliant—and from their first moments in the world together, they’ve never left each  other’s side. Everyone around them realized early on what the two sisters already knew: they had better outcomes when they were together.
    When fifth grade arrives, however, it’s decided that Iris and Lark should be split into different  classrooms, and something breaks in them both. Iris is no longer so confident; Lark retreats into herself  as she deals with challenges at school. And at the same time, something strange is happening in the city  around them: things both great and small going missing without a trace. As Iris begins to understand  that anything can be lost in the blink of an eye, she decides it’s up to her to find a way to keep her sister safe.

PRAISE FOR THE LOST GIRL

“The Lost Girl is a jewel of a book—hard, bright, sharp, and precious. It reminds us of the boundless and subversive power of sisterhood and the inherent magic of girls.”—Kelly Barnhill, Newbery-Medal winning author of The Girl Who Drank the Moon

“I raced through The Lost Girl, breathless. And when I was finished, I found myself full of hope. It’s a beautiful, riveting, important book.”—Laurel Snyder, award-winning author of Orphan Island

“When the world makes no sense, I read books by Anne Ursu. When the world makes all the wrong kinds of sense, I read books by Anne Ursu. If you crave a story with the wit, wisdom, and magic to unriddle the world, then you need to read The Lost Girl by Anne Ursu.”—William Alexander, award-winning author of A Festival of Ghosts

“A beautiful, timeless tale of love conquering darkness in the midst of mystery and the angst of change. A must-have for any middle grade collection.” School Library Journal (starred review)

“This suspenseful mystery offers a story of empowerment, showing how one girl with the help of others can triumph.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“National Book Award nominee Ursu laces her story with fairy-tale elements and real-life monsters, while taking great care to cast girls in an empowering light and as authors (and heroes) of their own stories.” Booklist (starred review)


Anne Ursu is the author of Breadcrumbs, named one of the best books of 2011 by Publishers Weekly and the Chicago Public Library, and The Real Boy, which was longlisted for the National Book Award. She is also a member of the faculty at Hamline University’s MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults. Anne lives in Minneapolis with her family and an ever-growing number of cats. You can visit her online at www.anneursu.com










FRIDAY FEBRUARY 1: Teach Mentor Texts
SATURDAY FEBRUARY 2: About to Mock
SUNDAY FEBRUARY 3: Novel Novice
MONDAY FEBRUARY 4: Maria’s Melange
WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 6: Bluestocking Thinking
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 7: Kirsticall.com
FRIDAY FEBRUARY 8: Unleashing Readers
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MONDAY FEBRUARY 11: Word Spelunker
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