Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of Pumpkin by Julie Murphy

Pumpkin Audiobook by Julie Murphy cover art

Pumpkin by Julie Murphy; narrated by Chad Burris
Publisher: Balzer & Bray
Release date: May 24, 2021
ISBN: 9780063088764

Look out, Clover City, you’ve got a new queen.

It’s not always easy to be the fat, flamboyantly gay kid in small-town Texas, which is why Waylon Brewer can’t wait until graduation. Then, he and his twin, Clementine, can move to Austin, and he can go full Waylon and become his best, fabulous self.  

Except Clementine doesn’t want to go to Austin, something Waylon finds out the same night his boyfriend dumps him. When Waylon hears the news, he impulsively creates an audition tape for his favorite TV drag show. Much to his dismay, the video is shared with his whole school, and he is nominated for Prom Queen. With help from some friends and some fellow queens, Waylon decides to embrace the nomination. Along the way, he learns that he doesn’t have to wait to be fully himself.

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2022) Featured Review of This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey

This Is Not the Jess Show Audiobook by Anna Carey cover art

This is Not the Jess Show by Anna Carey; narrated by Suzy Jackson

Blackstone Publishing

Publication Date: February 2, 2021

ISBN: 9781094032535

Jess is living in the 90’s and dealing with some complicated issues. She has a major crush on her childhood best friend, unsupportive friends and a younger sister sick with a terminal illness. To make matters more complicated, unexplainable things start happening to Jess. She hears chanting no one else can, a flu knocks out half her classmates, and her best friends keep pressuring her to date the annoying school jock. When her sister ends up in the hospital, it’s the catalyst that Jess needs to slowly unravel a deep secret about the town.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Renegade Rule by Ben Kahn, Rachel Silverstein, and Sam Beck

Renegade Rule Cover Art

Renegade Rule by Ben Kahn, Rachel Silverstein, and Sam Beck
Dark Horse Books
Publication Date: June 2, 2021
ISBN: 9781506718019

Renegade Rule follows up-and-coming team The Manhattan Mist as they compete for a spot in the national Renegade Rule Tournament. Renegade Rule is a virtual reality video game similar to capture the flag where two teams play against each other, trying to eliminate players from the other team or find the prize objective on different maps. The Manhattan Mist team is composed of four friends who enjoy spending time with each other and playing the game, all while handling other complications such as family illness, impostor syndrome, and more. 

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2022) Featured Review of Ghosted in L.A., Vol. 2-3 by Sina Grace, Siobhan Keenan, and Cathy Le

Cover Art
Cover Art

Ghosted in L.A., vol. 2–3 by Sina Grace, Siobhan Keenan, and Cathy Le
BOOM! Box / BOOM! Studios
Publication Date: September 1, 2020; December 29, 2020
ISBN: 9781684155415, 9781684156047

In the second and third volumes of Ghosted in L.A., college student Daphne adjusts to her new home with the ghosts of Rycroft Manor. On top of school work and navigating relationships with her ghost roommates, she also must deal with sinister forces both inside and outside the house. Meanwhile, her gay ex-boyfriend Ronnie joins the Rycroft crew and tries to fit in among the other queer students at college. These worlds collide in the culmination of the series, which wraps up tidily in the third and final volume.

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2021) Nominees Round Up, December 17 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Drifting Dragons Vol. 1 by Taku Kuwabara Book Cover
Drifting Dragons, Vol. 1 by Taku Kuwabara

Drifting Dragons, vol. 1–5 by Taku Kuwabara
Kodansha Comics
Publication Date: December 17, 2019; December 17, 2019; February 18, 2020; April 3, 2020; August 25, 2020
ISBN: 9781632368904, 9781632369444, 9781632369451, 9781632369512, 9781632369529

Drifting Dragons is a historical fantasy and cooking manga that chronicles the daily life and adventures of the crew of a draking (dragon-hunting) airship. The Quin Zaza is introduced as one of the few draking ships still in operation in this world, and the crew has no port to call home. They follow the dragons and sell the meat, oil, and other byproducts to the locals wherever they are after a successful hunt. The series features a large ensemble cast, but the main characters are Takita, a young woman who is new to the ship and the draking world, and Mika, a brazen man whose driving motivation is how much he enjoys eating dragons. Mika’s appetite leads to many scenes of food preparation and chapters often end with a recipe.

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Amazing Audiobooks (#AA2021) Nominees Round Up, April 29 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Amazing Audiobooks nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Wayward Son (Simon Snow Series, Book 2) by Rainbow Rowell, narrated by Euan Morton
Macmillan Audio
Release date: 09-24-19
ISBN: 978-1250146076

A year after he’s saved the world, Simon is struggling to find his place in life.  So his boyfriend Baz and friend Penny decide to take him on a road trip in the U.S. Penny is also worried about their friend Agatha who is now in California avoiding magic.  In an epic trip across the country, they find friends and foes, and rescue Agatha from a terrible fate.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2020) Nominees Round Up, December 12 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

This is our last post of the year, so please excuse the length, we wanted to fit them all in!

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XL by Scott Brown
Alfred A. Knopf
Publication Date: March 26, 2019
ISBN: 978-1524766245
The morning of his sixteenth birthday, four foot and eleven inches tall Will wishes for two things: a girlfriend and to be taller. After he chickens out of telling his good friend Monica how he really feels, he sees his best friend/step brother kissing her. However, one of his wishes does come true: he starts growing and doesn’t stop. As Will’s life begins to change, he soon realizes that your character matters more than your height.
The concept of the story was unique and told in an interesting way. The plot moves quickly. All of the characters are well-developed and well-rounded. The relationship drama, risk-taking and a little bit of humor make this an engaging read for reluctant readers.
Readers of Rainbow Rowell and John Green will enjoy this fun quick read. It will also appeal to those who enjoyed the slight magical realism of The Opposite of Always by Justin Reynolds.
–Elizabeth Nebeker

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Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, October 3 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

LaGuardia by Nnedi Okorafor, art by Tana Ford
Berger Books
Publication Date: July 30, 2019
ISBN: 978-1506710754

In an alternate future where aliens have arrived and integrated into world society, Dr. Future, Nwafor Chukwuebuka, has just fled her home in Nigeria. Heavily pregnant and leaving her partner behind, Future lands at LaGuardia International and Interstellar Airport in New York with a secret: an illegal sentient alien plant named Letme Live, who is fleeing a genocide of his people. Future and Letme take refuge at the home of Future’s grandmother and settle in with a supportive community of human and alien immigrants and activists. But as the birth of her child grows closer, protests for and against alien immigration break out at home and abroad, and her partner searches for her from across the globe, Future must make choices that will change her world forever.

Continue reading Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, October 3 Edition

Great Graphic Novels (#GGN2020) Nominees Round Up, September 19 Edition

Click here to see all of the current Great Graphic Novels nominees along with more information about the list and past years’ selections.

Ronin Island, vol. 1 by Greg Pak and Giannis Milonogiannis
Boom! Studios
Publication Date: December 10, 2019
ISBN: 978-1684154593

In Feudal times, on an island off the China Sea, Japanese, Korean, and Chinese refugees live harmoniously together after the great wind that left their lands and families devastated. Japanese Kenishi, the descendant of a great samurai, is graduating from his warrior training along with his chief rival, Hana, a Korean orphan. Though Kenishi and Hana are at odds when it comes to just about everything, they must learn how to work together when an emissary of the new Shogun demands fealty from the island and support in fighting an even greater threat to both the peaceful island as well as the entire mainland.

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#GGN2019 Nominees Round Up, May 31 Edition

Sweet Blue Flowers, vols. 1-3 by Takako Shimura
VIZ Media
Publication Dates & ISBNs:
Vol. 1 – September 9, 2017 – 978-1421592985
Vol. 2 – December 19, 2017 – 978-1421592992
Vol. 3 – March 20, 2018 – 978-1421593005

Estranged childhood best friends, Akira and Fumi run into each other on their first day of high school, and at first, it seems just like old times with Akira helping the timid Fumi face her social anxieties. Yet, high school is more complicated than elementary school, and relationships prove to be confusing for both of them. When Fumi begins dating the most popular girl at her school, Akira struggles with what it means for two girls to like each other “in that way” and how she can continue to support her friend.

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