Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

*I received this copy from the author. However, all opinions are my own*

Title: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold

Author: Iain Reading

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

Date of Publication:November 30th 2012

Publisher:Amazon Digital Publishing

Description: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world!


In an attempt to finally beat my reading and reviewing slump (yes, it has been going on since basically the start of junior year), I decided to read the books I have received from authors and publishers to start getting engaged in reading again. Because of this, I picked up Kitty Hawk and the Curse of Yukon Gold to begin my journey back into book blogging. Even though I have not read a more middle grade than young adult novel in a fairly long time, I did enjoy this book and thought that it was a great opening to the series.

First off, I really enjoyed how the author formed Kitty Hawk. Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a great book for young female readers. Kitty Hawk shows a refreshing female main character that attracts readers interested in science and history. She represents someone who is intellectual and has initiative. Overall, she is someone who will help inform young readers of STEM and encourage readers into the field.

Also, I enjoyed how the author began his story. Reading used the opening paragraphs to engage his audience and set up the plot. He effectively helped his audience immerse themselves into the story.

Readers will also enjoy the relationships Reading builds with his characters. He effectively forms the relationships to feel natural which allows readers to relate to them. He makes the characters build around each other and the story.

Despite all the positive attributes that the story obtained, there were various negative aspects. The main one was Kitty Hawk’s internal conversations. In my opinion, I felt they were unnecessary and felt awkward. I believe the author would have created a more effective way of understanding what Kitty was thinking if he just stated her thoughts rather than created a little voice inside her head.

Even though the author has clear knowledge on what he writes about, I believe that he dumps information into the story that is unnecessary. Though some information is great for understanding the plot, too much information may interrupt the plot and ruin the flow of the story. There were times when there were simply just pages of information which made it feel like I was reading a article on the topic instead of the story. Instead, the author should have incorporated small pieces of information inside of the story to inform readers without it feeling like a research paper.

Finally, I believe that the pace felt unsteady at times. There were points in the book that engaged readers and there were other times when the book felt like it was dragging. The book lacked a steady pace which made it frustrating to read in long periods of time.

Overall, I believe the book could be a positive read for middle grade audiences and I believe that it reflects a different type of main character that may interest different readers.

 

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Changing Themes!

If you read the title to this article then you are aware of my intentions on reading more adult literature along with young adult. After my blog hiatus, I began to enjoy reading adult literature more than young adult. The reason I became inactive on my blog again is because my blog is strictly Y.A. and I couldn’t mess up my theme by adding adult literature reviews; if I did decide to post adult reviews, it would not be fair to my audience. However, I decided that I would make known to my audience of my plan to focus my blog more on YA and adult rather than middle grade.

For those of my audience wondering why I am removing the middle-grade section from my blog, it is because my site is based upon ‘a teen helping teens find a love of reading’ and since I have become older on the scale of teenagers, I believe that the reading level on my blog should change. In all honesty, I haven’t read middle-grade book since Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi so incorporating it as part of my theme is pointless. However, I have grown fond of YA, new adult, and adult fiction which is why I have made them my theme of my blog.

To add a sense of clarity, I am going to keep my site teenage friendly. I won’t review erotic books because it is not my genre of choice and my audience still may remain the same. I hope you all understand my interest in changing themes and continue to be a part of my audience.

A.R.C. Review: Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven

*All opinions stated in this review are my own*

TitleHolding Up the Universe

Author: Jennifer Niven

Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary

Date of Publication:October 4th 2016

Publisher:Knopf Books for Young Readers

Pages:Hardcover, 400 pages

Summary:Everyone thinks they know Libby Strout, the girl once dubbed “America’s Fattest Teen.” But no one’s taken the time to look past her weight to get to know who she really is. Following her mom’s death, she’s been picking up the pieces in the privacy of her home, dealing with her heartbroken father and her own grief. Now, Libby’s ready: for high school, for new friends, for love, and for every possibility life has to offer. In that moment, I know the part I want to play here at MVB High. I want to be the girl who can do anything. 

Everyone thinks they know Jack Masselin, too. Yes, he’s got swagger, but he’s also mastered the impossible art of giving people what they want, of fitting in. What no one knows is that Jack has a newly acquired secret: he can’t recognize faces. Even his own brothers are strangers to him. He’s the guy who can re-engineer and rebuild anything, but he can’t understand what’s going on with the inner workings of his brain. So he tells himself to play it cool: Be charming. Be hilarious. Don’t get too close to anyone.

Until he meets Libby. When the two get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—Libby and Jack are both pissed, and then surprised. Because the more time they spend together, the less alone they feel. Because sometimes when you meet someone, it changes the world, theirs and yours.


At Bookcon 2016, the friend who I was with was desperate to find an A.R.C. of Holding Up the Universe. When All the Bright Places was being praised by bloggers everywhere, I appear to have missed out on that trend. I, shamefully, never read the popular novel by Jennifer Niven. However, I am proud to say that I have read Holding Up the Universe.

This being my first novel written by Jennifer, I am pleasantly surprised. At first, I was skeptical because of the backlash that followed the novel’s initial description. Apparently, people thought the description was offensive which made me hesitant about reading it. Since I got the book, I decided to give it a try.

The book is not offensive at all. In fact, the book is a beautiful example of accepting who you are and how two unlike people can support each other. Jennifer Niven did an astounding job creating the story. The book will be a great read for young adults because it teaches many important lessons.

One lesson that it taught is that nothing can stop you from living your life. Libby is an example of this lesson because she manages to move on after the loss of her mother and her accident. Libby loses weight and returns to school despite her fears. She overcomes the bullying and focuses on herself.

Another lesson is self-love. Libby embraces her body and understands the effort that was taken in order for her to lose the weight. Also, Libby stands in front of everyone in a bikini to show people that she is wanted and that she is beautiful.

Finally, Jennifer teaches that you cannot use your faults to justify your bad decisions. Through Jack, it is shown that you cannot use your weaknesses as reasons for your mistakes. Eventually, you have to take responsibility for yourself.

Despite the many positive messages in the book, there are other aspects of the book that I liked. The main aspect that I found enjoyable was that Jennifer was able to successfully make readers understand what the characters were going through. Her constant emphasis on how someone with face blindness viewed the world made it easier to understand Jack’s situation. Also, we are able to understand Libby better with flashbacks to her mom’s death and the accident.

Another thing that I enjoyed was Jennifer’s writing style. The novel was easy and fun to read. The use of lists in the novel showed readers the characters’ thoughts.

Finally, I loved Jack. His situation was interesting to read about. Also, his point of view was captivating. In all honesty, he is the character that I feel made the book so great. I believe that Jennifer focuses more on Jack rather than the rest of the characters.

Despite greatly enjoying most of the book, there were a few things that I disliked. The major issue that I had with the book was that, besides Jack, the characters seemed flat. Some characters seemed hard to relate to.

Another thing that I disliked was the slightly forced chemistry between Jack and Libby. They do not appear to be a romantic relationship but rather a friendship. Their feelings felt rushed and not established well.

Overall, the book was very fun and interesting to read. I believe that this book is a positive read. Jennifer teaches many important lessons in the story.

Book to Movie: The Silver Linings PLaybook by Matthew Quick

The Silver Linings Playbook is my favorite movie. I loved the movie since the first time I saw it. Not only is the movie filmed very close to where I live, the story captured me in an emotional way. I felt changed by the movie. Realizing that the movie was inspired by a novel written by Matthew Quick, I knew I had to read The Silver Linings Playbook. After finally reading the story, I am shocked that the book and movie are complete opposites.

As many book lovers know, movies are rarely similar to the books. Some book-to-movie adaptations seem as if their only purpose is to ruin the story for its original fans; while others seem to compliment the story. No matter what the movie does for the original book, they are never completely alike. Is a movie adaptation allowed to be different? That is for the reader to decide.

The Silver Linings Playbook‘s book-to-movie adaptation was the most drastic change in a story that I have ever witnessed. When I mentioned this to my mom, a fellow lover of the movie, she asked me which was better. In all honesty, it’s impossible to compare the book and movie because it is like comparing two different stories.

The biggest difference is Pat’s mental health. The movie doesn’t portray how serious Pat’s mental illness is. In the book, Pat had to stay at the facility for four years as opposed to the eighteen months mentioned in the movie. Also, in the book, Pat is unaware of Nikki cheating on him and what he did to the guy. Pat is unaware of Nikki divorcing him and that she is now married to another man until the end of the novel. Pat’s ignorance allows him to naively believe that happy ending always happen and that he and Nikki are still in love. He is obsessed with reconnecting with Nikki and refuses to believe that she does not want him.

Another change is Pat’s reaction to Tiffany when she pretended that she was Nikki in the letters. In the book, Pat is devastated. The book portrays his feelings in the way they should have been. He spent years clinging to the idea of a happy ending with Nikki. He believed that Nikki was writing to him only to find out it was Tiffany. As any human, Pat was hurt and angry. In the movie, he appeared okay and wanted a relationship with Tiffany.

Tiffany and Pat’s relationship felt overly romanticized in the movie. Throughout the book, Pat was focused on reuniting with Nikki. Pat never saw Tiffany as a potential love interest until the end of the novel.

One change that bothered me was the dance recital. In the movie, it is seen as more professional. Also, the movie mentions that Tiffany and Pat did not perform well and that the recital was scored. However, in the book, the dance is a deep and meaningful piece that Tiffany and Pat worked hard to succeed at.

The final change I will mention is that Pat never sees Nikki in the book. Unlike the movie where Nikki shows up at the dance recital, he only sees her when he drives by her house at the end of the book and realizes that she is genuinely happy. Seeing Nikki content with her family was Pat’s ‘happy ending’. All he wanted was for Nikki to be happy and that was his closure. The movie makes it seem like Pat has a choice between Nikki and Tiffany which is false. Honestly, I do not believe that the Pat in the book would choose Tiffany if Nikki was at the dance recital.

Overall, I believe that both versions of The Silver Linings Playbook are amazing in their own unique ways. Both focus on different aspects of the story. I believe that one does not overshadow the other, but that they are two stories that loosely relate to each other. No matter what the relationship is between the book and the movie, I am still a fan of the story and believe it is something that people should read/watch.

Bookcon Prep: FINAL. DAYS. BEFORE. BOOKCON!!!

WE HAVE FIVE DAYS UNTIL BOOKCON!!!!

In four days, I will be getting on a plane to travel to Chicago, a place that I have never been before, to go to Bookcon!! This is my second time going and I am so excited to meet you all. Let me know if you all want me to post my schedule on here!

Since it is the final days before Bookcon, I don’t expect you to have a lot to do. Here are the FINAL things you must do for BEA and Bookcon!!

  1. Print and laminate your schedule!!! Why laminate it? I am extremely sloppy and do not want to get my schedule dirty. Laminating it will make sure it won’t get ruined.
  2. Look for book events around Chicago to do after Bookcon. There are many cool signings after Chicago that many attendees are going to.
  3. Print out the Bookcon app badge. What’s the Bookcon App Badge? It allows people from the app to meet each other.
  4. Get all your questions answered. Need any Bookcon help? Ask me, Bookcon, McCormick Place, or the app. I wouldn’t suggest the app because the questions get repetitive on there and people get annoyed. Plus, Bookcon and McCormick Place are your better options because they know more than the attendees.
  5. If traveling from out of town, schedule tours and make restaurant reservations now!!! You want to get most out of your Chicago experience. Ask locals on the app what is good in Chicago and plan some stuff to do.
  6. Follow publishers and exhibitors on social media (preferably Twitter). Turn on notifications, too!  Exhibitors use social media to inform you of things they are giving away.
  7. Start packing. If you are from Chicago, start planning what to wear!

Now that I covered what you should do, I am going to help you know what to pack.

  • Clothes for your trip! You cannot do anything without clothes.
  • Comfortable shoes. You will do A LOT of walking.
  • Your schedule.
  • A FEW books from home that you want signed.
  • YOUR BADGE!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Money. Do not only rely on credit cards.
  • A lanyard.
  • Your phone and charger.
  • Make up (if you use it).
  • Hair products (if you use it).
  • A camera.
  • Business cards.
  • Plane/train ticket.
  • Bookcon app badge.
  • One tote bag or backpack. You will get plenty more.

So, that is all I have left to prepare you for Bookcon. I hope you all have an incredible time! If you see me, please say hi. I will be way more excited to meet you than you are to meet me. Let me know how you liked my Bookcon Prep posts on my blog.