Friday, September 14, 2018

Review: Paloma's Dream

About the Book

Paloma's Dream by Paloma Rambana and Hillary Ring
Published on June 1,2018 by New Iberia, LLC

I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest and unbiased review.

GoodReads Description

In a world where lobbyists are big and carry briefcases, one little girl with an IPad walked into the Florida state capitol and made a big difference. Meet Paloma Rambana who was just an above average fourth grader until she successfully lobbied the State of Florida legislature to help secure $1 million in funds for blind and visually impaired kids in Florida. Born with a rare eye condition called Peters Anomaly, Paloma knows what these kids need, and she is on a mission. Join Paloma as she sets out on her adventures to secure funding for kids, to inspire kindness and activism in people of all ages, and of course to finish her homework before bedtime.

My Thoughts

I was absolutely blown away by this book.  I typically do not review nonfiction, but I was so drawn in by Paloma's accomplishments at such a young age.  These feats are simply incredible for such a young person!  

This book is impressively written by such a young individual.  Her use of words and the flow of her memoir blew my little teacher mind.  It can be such a struggle to get my students interested in literature at all, and here is Paloma.  She enjoys lobbying and going to museums and reading!

I was surprised that I didn't spend more of this book thinking about her disorder.  Which seemed weird to me because her disorder is the reason that she was able to see the needs for teenagers in her area.  I thought much more about her interests and her accomplishments than about her inability to see properly.  At first, I was upset about this.  Wasn't the point of the book to show that despite her disability she was able to conquer?  But, I think Paloma would be happy to know that I thought of the things she did and achieved before I ever considered the things that she couldn't.  After all, those are the things that truly matter.

I am beyond excited to share Paloma's story with my seventh grade class.  So many of them are in need of inspiration and I believe that Paloma is the perfect role model for them.

My Rating

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Review: Geekerella by Ashley Poston

About the Book

Geekerella by Ashley Poston
Published on April 4, 2017 by Quirk Books

Neither the author nor the publisher requested this honest and unbiased review.

GoodReads Description

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic science-fiction series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot. With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck and her dad's old costume, Elle's determined to win - unless her stepsisters get there first.

Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons - before he was famous. Now they're nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he has ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob. As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake - until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again?

Part-romance, part-love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom.

My Thoughts

Me?  Read a fairy tale retelling??  DUH!!!!!  I freaking love these things.  They are sooooooo much better than bacon!  And, to make things a million times better, I'm a total nerd!  This book was so freaking enticing, even if the weirdly girly cover did put me off a bit.

I absolutely loved this book!  When I was getting close to the last page, I actually stayed up as late as my exhausted teacher body would let me before passing out.  I woke up the next morning, still clutching to the pages of this book! 

What I Liked

  • I related to Elle so flipping much!  Not because I have a horrible family life (my family is flipping amazing), but because she is wonderfully independent.  I absolutely loved seeing a Cinderella that was bound and determined to make her own happiness happen instead of waiting for someone to come and fix it for her.  She embodied a strong female spirit that is perfectly wonderful.  I am pretty much guaranteed to love any book with a strong female lead, and Geekerella did not disappoint.
  • Darien was a wonderful guy.  I don't say that in a "He's so cute I wanna die!!!" kind of way, but in a "Thank goodness that someone is showing the softer side of a guy."  Too often, I think we are encouraged to think about the hardened exterior of our gentlemen; this book illustrates that typically hidden side.  I am so happy to see that Poston made such a bold statement in a world where boys are typically told just to suck it up.  Darien learned to make his own decisions and deal with consequences while seeing that it was OK to experience emotions rather than hide them and neglect them.
  • I know that there will be others who say that this romance wasn't very believable.  And I agree.  But, I think that this really makes the book.  After all, does the original Cinderella tale really make romantic sense?  I think that by choosing a slightly unrealistic path to a very sweet romance, Poston stayed true to the original piece.
  • The world building in this piece was immaculate.  I had no trouble visualizing every scene that Poston wrote.  The world needs more books with such beautiful writing.

What I Didn't Like As Much

  • Holy typos, Batman!  I was really surprised to see so many typos in such a well-loved book.  There were actually a few places where they distracted me from the story and interrupted the flow.
  • I hated that I couldn't reach into the book and slap Chloe. Those of you who have read the book will get it. If you haven't, go read it.  Then you can get it too.

My Rating