Sunday, July 31, 2016

Monkees Archives Vol. 1
Monkees Archives Vol 1 contains articles, interviews, advertising, photos and other materials related to the band during their original run in the 1960s and their various later regrouping. Fans will love the variety of materials presented and travel backwards to the 1960s when the band was one of the most popular musical acts in the U.S. Read fan and teen magazine interviews with the band members! Long out of print and hard to find, you now can have them cheaper than searching down the original magazines or even getting photocopies, all bound into impressive book collections.

I purchased Monkees Archives Vol. 1 from Amazon. It popped up in my suggestions and I couldn't resist. and foremost, the book is very basic. Or I could say it's straightforward. There's no introduction or forward and no index. It's literally just a book of magazine articles and clippings in no particular order. This isn't a bad thing. The book basically speaks for itself.

Monkees Archives Vol. 1 is, for those of us obsessed with the band, a treasure trove of memorabilia. In addition to the articles, there are a few pictures of Monkees related items such as buttons, marbles and toys. When a group has been around as long as the Monkees has, it's extremely difficult for die-hard fans to find things they've never seen before. This book is full of those things.

My favorite thing about Monkees Archives is that it's like a time capsule of information. I love to read the old articles that were written as the phenomenon was happening. The early articles are great because they speculate on this new pop group while we have the advantage of knowing what's going to happen.

Behold my favorite page!
My only gripe about the book is that it seems hastily put together. There are two more volumes from White Lightning Publishing, and I think they could have used some organization. The articles aren't in chronological order and most of them don't mention the date or the source.

Overall, Monkees Archives Vol. 1 is a fun book for even a lukewarm Monkees fan.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

New Release: Bravo and Elphie by Hagit R. Oron

Bravo and Elphie is the second book from Hagit R. Oron and Or Oron, authors and illustrator of Elphie and Dad go on an Epic Adventure.

Elphie has a new pet. At first Elphie's shy and has trouble warming up to his new friend. When Mom takes them to the park, Bravo gets stuck at the top of the slide. Elphie has to put aside fear to get Bravo to come down and discovers he's braver than he thought.

As with the first book, Elphie's gender isn't revealed which makes the story relate-able for all kids. The pictures are fun and colorful and kept my daughter's attention.

It's a great interactive book for young children. Included at the end of the book is an online memory game with pictures from the story.

Friday, July 15, 2016

No Child Left Behind by Claudia Casser

“Weirdo” loner Geoff Moraine would rather die than spend high school in rural West Rock zonked on ADHD drugs or banished to Special Ed.

But then Lord Kemp, the leader of a band of meta-human refugees from a war-torn parallel universe, zaps Geoff’s attorney mom into becoming his “Retainer.”

Now all Mom thinks about is setting up a prep school on Lord Kemp’s estate to hide the “Fulgoran” refugees in plain sight. A school where Geoff and other neurodivergent West Rock kids could get custom-tailored courses. Which sounds like a great idea, if you don’t know Lord Kemp’s friendly tutors are brain-meddling mutants!

As Geoff fights to protect the Special Ed kids, armed only with a hat lined in foil and magnets, he finds allies—and actual friends—in the strangest places.


I'm a parent of a child with ADHD. That's the main reason I chose to review No Child Left Behind.

Geoff is a well-meaning teen who fully understands how his ADHD makes him different. But he finds that his unique brain is actually well-suited for this new experience with aliens living in plain sight. I love this idea that his "disability" actually makes him superior to other humans in dealing with an unbelievable situation.

The story is told from Geoff's point of view and from that of Lord Kemp, a visitor from an alternate universe. Multiple POVs can be difficult to write and sometimes even harder to follow. But the voices used here are distinct that the reader doesn't get confused. That's important and it takes skill.

Overall I enjoyed the story. Geoff is an endearing character. He made me laugh. He warmed my heart as I compared him to my own son and his way of looking at the world.

No Child Left Behind is over 400 pages which I think is too long. It could have been edited down quite a bit. There seemed to be a lot of nothing going on in the earlier chapters. But I wouldn't discount the book because of that. I recommend this book to teenagers with any kind of disability who feels frustrated with a world that doesn't understand them. I also recommend it to their parents because, as I've said before, books can be a powerful tool in understanding another person's journey.

Also, be sure to check out Claudia Casser's page Ethical Antics.

Friday, July 8, 2016

I'm not Olivia

You guys, I don't know where this came from, but my name is not Olivia. I've had several emails in the last month beginning with "Hi, Olivia." Who is Olivia? I have no forking idea. If you're requesting a review you can address it to Rebecca or to Nevermind or to Dearest Kind Madame. But stop sending emails to Olivia. And if you're going to copy and paste review requests from one blog to another that's definitely understandable. They're tedious. But maybe just start your requests with "Hi" and skip the name. It will save you some embarrassment. Cause we're not all named Olivia.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Going Back by Jennifer Young, redheaded, and fabulously rich student, Leona Castellano, is set upon returning to her Italian roots to put an old feud to bed. Her grandfather is dead, but his former enemy, Faustino Manfredi, seems determined the hostility should not die with him and turns his fury upon Leona.

When she becomes close to Faustino’s grandson, Nico, their romance strengthens Faustino’s vendetta and attracts the opposition of Leona’s parents, bringing Leona and Nico face to face with a terrible secret.

Going Back is the second in a series by Jennifer Young. I didn’t read the first book, but I felt like the backstory was adequately explained in the beginning of the book.

So, it’s a romance about beautiful rich people in scenic locations. But I didn’t feel like the romance part took me there. The family saga was definitely center stage, and that’s fine. But if you’re looking for a love story this might not be the book for you.

Leona and Nico come across as two spoiled rich kids who can’t put aside their issues and just be together. I understand the need for tension, but I got tired of it really quickly.

If you’re looking for drama, I say go for it. It was a good read as a family saga. I would recommend reading A Portrait of My Love first. 

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Kindle Countdown Deal

Happy Independence Day (weekend)! Celebrate our freedom by getting Here with Me Now nearly free on your Kindle. This YA novel is only $.99 today and tomorrow, so take a break from hot dogs and fireworks and download your copy. If you miss it you can still get Here with Me Now for $1.99 until July 7th.