Gumazing Gum Girl series by Rhode Montijo: Chews Your Destiny Gum Luck Popped Star
An instagrammer I follow always finds the best kids books and the second she posted these (along with how excited she and her daughter were for the latest, I raced to my library’s site and put in requests. Gabby Gomez loves gum. Think Violet Beauregarde levels of gum obsession. Her dentist father, however, isn’t too thrilled and after more than a few sticky situations, her mother finally bans all gum. WELL. One day on the way to school, Gabby decides to sneak her last piece…and gets completely covered in it. The disaster is a blessing in disguise though: she is now Gum Girl, the hottest new superhero!
Between the tiny bits of Spanish thrown in and the minimalist art style (there aren’t many colors – mostly pink with the occasional purple or green), I was instantly sold. These books read extremely quickly and, while they’re all part of a larger story, each one is its own tale (AND the following book provides a nice, brief recap on what happened in the previous novel).
My Lady’s Choosing by Kitty Curran and Larissa Zageris
A YA historical romance choose-your-own-adventure book. UM YES PLEASE. I think I liked this one in theory more than the actual novel. I only went through one story, if that says anything, and while I was curious about the other outcomes, I wasn’t so curious as to start over again from the beginning. Still, this was fun while it lasted and my romance (I was on the path to wind up with a Scottish captain), ended with a surprise: I went off traveling the world as a spy. A huge thank you to Quirk Books for a review copy!
Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson
Undead Girl Gang was one of my most anticipated releases of the year, definitely one of my most anticipated of May. I LOVED Lily’s debut, enjoyed-but-wasn’t-totally-in-love-with her second novel, and couldn’t wait to get my grabby hands on her third. When Mila’s best friend dies, the third death in a week, it’s instantly assumed Riley was in a bizarre suicide pact with the other two girls. Mila knows better though, and insists Riley was murdered. How will she prove it? Obviously by using Riley’s Wiccan know how to bring her back from the dead! …what Mila doesn’t count on, however, is that the spell would also bring back the other two girls. Three undead girls brought back for one week to solve their murders…and they have no memories of their final moments.
This sounds awesome, right? I hate to say it, but I’m in the minority here. I wanted so badly to love this one, but I never completely connected with Mila. Her constantly comments were meant to be witty and sarcastic, but they came across as obnoxious to me. Still, I was able to look past that, because 3 undead girls solving murder, but then the Big Reveal happened and I was totally turned off and hugely letdown. That said, I tore through 3/4 of the book in an evening and stayed up way too late to finish (mostly because I didn’t want to have to pick it up again in the morning, but whatever). So disappointed, but I’m still looking forward to whatever Lily does next. Cautiously, but looking forward all the same.
What Would Dolly Do? by Lauren Marino
Oh, what a sweet little book! What Would Dolly Do: How to Be a Diamond in a Rhinestone World is a quasi-advice guide based on countless interviews/biographies/article/songs/comments from and about Dolly Parton. I took nearly a week to read this tiny 250-odd page book, I wanted to savor each and every page. The book is broken up into various sections, from work ethic to health and exercise (Dolly didn’t get her famous figure overnight!) to love, and I was hooked.
I’ll admit that, while I’m a huge country fan, I only knew the highlights of Dolly’s story. What Would Dolly Do? delves into her childhood, where she came from and how she became the Dolly Parton we know today. Despite her millions of dollars and larger than life status, she couldn’t be more down to earth and the book explores her extensive philanthropic works, the charities she has founded/is involved with, even how she practically single-handedly rebuilt her hometown after a devastating wildfire. Dolly Parton is truly a gem in her own right and I delighted in reading this one! A HUGE thank you to Grand Central Publishing for a finished copy!