Beware! Paper Doll Characters

Paper Doll Characters

Paper Doll Characters

Characters as flimsy as paper

Paper dolls are the characters in a book so shallow they don’t seem real. They are the ones given the bare minimum of soul, just a surface skim of who they are – no individual quirkiness.

These are the characters where you’re left thinking they are as thin as paper without the rich layering *thinking of chocolate cake* that makes them come alive.

Clogging up the story

Some paper dolls do have descriptions, sometimes realms of information about their looks, what they are wearing and their day-to-day activities. But unless these are vital for the storyline it’s just useless information adding unnecessary weight and clogging up the story.

Paper doll characters are a mortal sin for books

Paper doll characters are a mortal sin for books. A sure-fire way to fail. These are the books usually either marked DNF (did not finish) or given a low rating. They are the ones that don’t stay in the mind of the reader nor on their bookshelves.

What do you think? I’d love to hear from you!

What is it about School Libraries?

school Libraries

What aspect makes them essential?

Is it the librarian’s ability to pass on the necessary information literacy to staff and students?

Is it the relevant reading material (in all formats) assessable to both?

Is it just a quiet space for study, or a venue for presentations and meetings?

Is it the enthusiasm and love of reading (both librarian and students)?

or is it more…? A safe place, a haven, therapy, a world of wonder…

The closing of a school library . . .

I received sad news recently, the school library I worked in for 9 years has temporarily closed. Doors shut until possible renovations occur later in the year. The same renovations that were on the table every year, but never materialised.

The library’s size, utilities, and decor may not meet the expectations of an elite private school, but it was functional. And has been functional for two decades.

Update 4 April 2017: I have just heard that this school’s library will remain closed indefinitely following the management’s decision not to fill the school librarian position.

The school library world . . .

While I try hard not to take it personally – that despite my efforts my role was superfluous and the library’s potential may never be realised. I can only hope that reason will dawn on the school management before it’s too late and hundreds of children miss the opportunity to be wowed by stories.

A world where their school librarian, who reads the books they read, can participate in, and instigates book chats. Where the librarian takes recommendations from the students as well as making recommendations, not just to the class as a whole, but to the individuals whose reading needs are unique. Where learning difficulties and the need for spot-on  bibliotherapy is are not only understood but actively catered for.

Fight for it . . .

To any parents and teachers who face a school library closure. Fight for it. Fight for the rights of your children who will only know what they are missing once they no longer have access, once it is too late and reading for pleasure is a foreign concept.

Reach out . . .

To the students who temporarily use the library as a safe haven from toxic friendships and bullying, those who need a space to come to terms with family troubles, to reflect quietly on their troubles they may not be ready to confide, please know someone cares. Reach out and find an alternate safe place.

Undiscovered school librarians . . . 

The lack of suitably qualified school librarians in your area is not an excuse to close a school library. All that is needed is to find someone (perhaps a parent?) with the enthusiasm and passion for reading and children. Someone who is who is willing to learn. Give them the opportunity afforded me, a former nurse, send them on training courses, encourage formal study (by correspondence if necessary) and make active cooperation with other school librarians possible. It can be done. Even if it’s a temporary solution.

Up Next on My TBR

Up next on my TBR (To Be Read list)

Up next on my TBR

 

Up next on my TBR… Two and a half months into 2017 and my TBR is only growing more ferocious. Devouring any hint of a new book on the market, its intense, eerie glare usually has me running for cover – into another book obviously.

Do I try to control it? No, I do not! Instead, I while away good reading time trolling book blogs, Goodreads, libraries and review sites just to find more books I want to read.

The solution? Well… any suggestions that don’t include boycotting bookish sites will be considered!

These are review copies that I have to read and review before their publish date – no pressure!

 

Other Breakable Things by Kelley York & Rowan Altwood 

Other Breakable Things

 

This sounds so dark (and I like dark stories). I have also heard great things from fellow book bloggers.

Luc Argent has always been intimately acquainted with death. After a car crash got him a second chance at life—via someone else’s transplanted heart—he tried to embrace it. He truly did. But he always knew death could be right around the corner again.
And now it is. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk

 

 

 

And Then We Ran by Katy Cannon 

Up next on my TBR

 

Road trip books rock! I love traveling and this way I can ‘see’ more of the world.

Megan knows what she wants out of life and she intends to get it, whatever her parents say.

Elliott has given up on all his plans for the future – but then Megan bursts into his life with a proposal that could change it forever.

Together they embark on a road trip to escape their hometown and chase their dreams. But life is a journey and not even Megan can control where theirs will lead… – Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk
 Book Depository

 

 

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

The Perfect Stranger

The first book in this All the Missing Girls series was one of my favourite reads last year so I am super excited to read this one.

Confronted by a restraining order and the threat of a lawsuit, failed journalist Leah Stevens needs to get out of Boston when she runs into an old friend, Emmy Grey, who has just left a troubled relationship. Emmy proposes they move to rural Pennsylvania, where Leah can get a teaching position and both women can start again. But their new start is threatened when a woman with an eerie resemblance to Leah is assaulted by the lake, and Emmy disappears days later. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk
Book Depository   

 

 

Road Signs That Say West by Sylvia Gunnery

Road Signs That Say West

Another road trip.

It’s Hanna’s wild idea, of course: take their mom’s car, pack up the tent, and drive across the country. Just three sisters, one guitar, and the Trans Canada Highway. They can be back in Nova Scotia before their parents are home from Europe. She doesn’t say she wants to forget about what happened in Italy, and at university. Claire doesn’t say she keeps having nightmares about her friend’s recent suicide. Megan doesn’t say much, unless it’s a complaint. But maybe they all feel, somehow, that this is their one chance to do something together, something big, before time begins to scatter them.  – Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk
Book Depository 

 

 

The Sister Pact by Stacie Ramey

The Sister Pact

 

Another dark story? Would totally contrast with the bright cover.

Allie is devastated when her older sister commits suicide – and not just because she misses her. Allie feels betrayed. The two made a pact that they’d always be together, in life, and in death, but Leah broke her promise and Allie needs to know why. 

Her parents hover. Her friends try to support her. And Nick, sweet Nick, keeps calling and flirting. Their sympathy only intensifies her grief. 

But the more she clings to Leah, the more secrets surface. Allie’s not sure which is more distressing: discovering the truth behind her sister’s death or facing her new reality without her. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk
Book Depository   Loot.co.za

 

Dividing Eden by Joelle Charbonneau

Dividing Eden

 

Assassins. Treason. Murder. All good!

Twins Carys and Andreus were never destined to rule Eden. With their older brother next in line to inherit the throne, the future of the kingdom was secure.

But appearances—and rivals—can be deceiving. When Eden’s king and crown prince are killed by assassins, Eden desperately needs a monarch, but the line of succession is no longer clear. With a ruling council scheming to gain power, Carys and Andreus are faced with only one option—to take part in a Trial of Succession that will determine which one of them is worthy of ruling the kingdom. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com  Amazon.co.uk
Book Depository   

 

These are purchased books that I have to read because… Just trust me on this.

 

Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Caraval

 

I am pretty sure everyone knows why I want to read this. I bought a copy a few days ago at the airport and am saving it for when the jet lag has dissipated. Any day now!

Welcome, welcome to Caraval―Stephanie Garber’s sweeping tale of two sisters who escape their ruthless father when they enter the dangerous intrigue of a legendary game. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk
Book Depository   Loot.co.za

 

 

 

Walk the Edge by Katie McGarry

Up next on my TBR

 

This is the second book in the Thunder Road series. I am a huge fan of Katie McGarry, but her books are expensive. I bought this one on sale just before the third book was released.

One moment of recklessness will change their worlds.

Smart. Responsible. That’s seventeen-year-old Breanna’s role in her large family, and heaven forbid she put a toe out of line. Until one night of shockingly un-Breanna-like behavior puts her into a vicious cyber-bully’s line of fire—and brings fellow senior Thomas “Razor” Turner into her life.

Razor lives for the Reign of Terror motorcycle club, and good girls like Breanna just don’t belong. But when he learns she’s being blackmailed over a compromising picture of the two of them—a picture that turns one unexpected and beautiful moment into ugliness—he knows it’s time to step outside the rules.  – Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com  Amazon.co.uk
 Book Depository   Loot.co.za

 

Hostile Witness by Rebecca Forster

Hostile Witness

 

Murder mystery. Thriller. There might be a pattern here.

When sixteen-year-old Hannah Sheraton is arrested for the murder of her step-grandfather, the chief justice of the California Supreme court, her distraught mother turns to her old college roommate, Josie Bates, for help. Josie, once a hot-shot criminal defense attorney, left the fast track behind for a small practice in Hermosa Beach, California. But Hannah Sheraton intrigues her and, when the girl is charged as an adult, Josie cannot turn her back. But the deeper she digs the more Josie realizes that politics, the law and family relationships have created a combustible and dangerous situation. When the horrible truth of the murder is uncovered could save Hannah Sheraton or destroy them both. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk
Book Depository   Loot.co.za

 

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

The Sun Is Also A Star

 

Nicola Yoon is a popular author for a good reason. This will be the second of her books that I have read and I can’t wait.

Natasha: I’m a girl who believes in science and facts. Not fate. Not destiny. Or dreams that will never come true. I’m definitely not the kind of girl who meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street and falls in love with him. Not when my family is twelve hours away from being deported to Jamaica. Falling in love with him won’t be my story.

Daniel: I’ve always been the good son, the good student, living up to my parents’ high expectations. Never the poet. Or the dreamer. But when I see her, I forget about all that. Something about Natasha makes me think that fate has something much more extraordinary in store—for both of us.

The Universe: Every moment in our lives has brought us to this single moment. A million futures lie before us. Which one will come true? -Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk
Book Depository   Loot.co.za

Have you read any of these? Which ones do you recommend? What is your TBR like?

 

Top Ten Tuesday

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish.

2017 Debuts You Need to TBR

The 2017 Debuts You Need to TBR
(To Be Read)

A previous post flailing about the 2017 books I am excited to read contains some debuts so I won’t be repeating these, but honourable mentions go to the following: (Covers link to Goodreads)

Definitions of Indefinable Things

Caraval

You Don't Know My Name

Wait For Me

Wintersong

When Dimple Met Rishi

One of Us Is Lying

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now for this week’s list of upcoming 2017 debut releases…

 

 What Alice Knew by TA Cotterell

What Alice KnewHow far would you go to keep a secret?

Alice has a perfect life – a great job, happy kids, a wonderful husband. Until he goes missing one night; she receives a suspicious phone call; things don’t quite add up.

Alice needs to know what’s going on. But when she uncovers the truth she faces a brutal choice. And how can she be sure it is the truth?

Sometimes it’s better not to know.  – Goodreads.com

Goodreads  Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk    Book Depository

 

 

City of Saints & Thieves by Natalie C. Anderson

City of Saints & ThievesIn the shadows of Sangui City, there lives a girl who doesn’t exist.

After fleeing the Congo as refugees, Tina and her mother arrived in Kenya looking for the chance to build a new life and home. Her mother quickly found work as a maid for a prominent family, headed by Roland Greyhill, one of the city’s most respected business leaders. But Tina soon learns that the Greyhill fortune was made from a life of corruption and crime. So when her mother is found shot to death in Mr. Greyhill’s personal study, she knows exactly who’s behind it.

With revenge always on her mind, Tina spends the next four years surviving on the streets alone, working as a master thief for the Goondas, Sangui City’s local gang. It’s a job for the Goondas that finally brings Tina back to the Greyhill estate, giving her the chance for vengeance she’s been waiting for. But as soon as she steps inside the lavish home, she’s overtaken by the pain of old wounds and the pull of past friendships, setting into motion a dangerous cascade of events that could, at any moment, cost Tina her life. But finally uncovering the incredible truth about who killed her mother—and why—keeps her holding on in this fast-paced nail-biting thriller. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository

 

Song of the Current by Sarah Tolcser

Song of the CurrentCaroline Oresteia has always been destined for the river. Her father is a wherryman, as was her grandmother. All Caro needs is for the river god to whisper her name, and her fate is sealed. But at seventeen, Caro may be too late.

So when pirates burn ships and her father is arrested, Caro volunteers to transport a dangerous cargo in exchange for his release. Secretly, Caro hopes that by piloting her own wherry, the river god will finally speak her name.

But when the cargo becomes more than Caro expected, she finds herself caught in a web of politics and lies. With much more than her father’s life at stake, Caro must choose between the future she knows, and the one she never could have imagined. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads    Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Book Depository

 

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

Almost Missed YouViolet and Finn were “meant to be,” said everyone, always. They ended up together by the hands of fate aligning things just so. Three years into their marriage, they have a wonderful little boy, and as the three of them embark on their first vacation as a family, Violet can’t help thinking that she can’t believe her luck. Life is good.

So no one is more surprised than she when Finn leaves her at the beach—just packs up the hotel room and disappears. And takes their son with him. Violet is suddenly in her own worst nightmare, and faced with the knowledge that the man she’s shared her life with, she never really knew at all.  – Goodreads.com

Goodreads    Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Book Depository

 

 Flight Risk by Jennifer Fenn

 Flight RiskTeenage trailer trash. Airplane thief. Outlaw. Folk-hero. 18-year-old Robert Jackson Kelley is on the run after fleeing a juvenile home and stealing not one, but three airplanes. Inspired by a true story, FLIGHT RISK is a briskly paced, sophisticated YA novel reminiscent of the film “Catch Me If You Can.”

Robert’s exploits make him both a fugitive and a national celebrity. Son of a single mother and jailed father, Robert struggles with severe ADHD, but discovers he can focus in one place: the pilot’s seat. Soon simulated flights don’t offer enough of an escape from his small island community, and Robert finds himself piloting his first stolen aircraft. Told in a collage style using multiple points of view, the myth and the reality of Robert’s flight from the law unfold simultaneously. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk     Book Depository

 

Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović

Wicked Like a WildfireAll the women in Iris and Malina’s family are born with a gleam—a unique way of manipulating beauty through magic. Seventeen-year-old Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, her twin sister Malina interprets moods as music, and their cold, distant mother Jasmina bakes scenery into decadent treats at her confectionery in Old Town Cattaro, Montenegro.

Jasmina forbids Iris and Malina to share their gleams with anyone, and above all, she forbids them to fall in love—being discovered could shatter the quiet lives they’ve built in their tucked-away, seaside town. But Iris and Malina are tired of abiding by their mother’s rules and rebel in secret whenever they can.

Yet when a mysterious, white-haired woman attacks their mother and leaves her hovering between life and death, the sisters unearth an ancient curse that haunts their line—a wicked bargain that masquerades as a blessing, and binds the twins’ fates—and hearts—to a force larger than life. To save each other, they must untangle a thousand years of lies and reveal their own hurtful secrets. But even the deepest sacrifice might not be enough.  – Goodreads.com

Goodreads    Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Book Depository

 

What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard 

What I LostSixteen-year-old Elizabeth has honed a dangerous skill: starving herself.

Even when her parents send her to a treatment center, she can’t stop. Then she begins receiving packages from someone she doesn’t know. Is it a secret admirer, or someone playing a cruel trick?

In the end, Elizabeth determines the identity of the gift-giver—it’s someone totally unexpected, whose intentions are good. And, even more important, she finds a way to play an active role in her recovery. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads  Amazon.com  Amazon.co.uk   Book Depository

 

Sycamore by Bryn Chancellor

SycamoreWhile Bryn Chancellor has published Short Stories, this is her first novel.

Out for a hike one scorching afternoon in Sycamore, Arizona, a newcomer to town stumbles across what appear to be human remains embedded in the wall of a dry desert ravine.

As news of the discovery makes its way around town, Sycamore’s longtime residents fear the bones may belong to Jess Winters, the teenage girl who disappeared suddenly some eighteen years earlier, an unsolved mystery that has soaked into the porous rock of the town and haunted it ever since.

In the days it takes the authorities to make an identification, the residents rekindle stories, rumors, and recollections both painful and poignant as they revisit Jess’s troubled history. In resurrecting the past, the people of Sycamore will find clarity, unexpected possibility, and a way forward for their lives. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads    Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Book Depository

 

 A Psalm for Lost Girls by Katie Bayerl

A Psalm for Lost GirlsTess da Costa is a saint — a hand-to-god, miracle-producing saint. At least that’s what the people in her hometown of New Avon, Massachusetts, seem to believe. And when Tess suddenly and tragically passes away, her small city begins feverishly petitioning the Pope to make Tess’s sainthood official. Tess’s mother is ecstatic over the fervor, while her sister Callie, the one who knew Tess best, is disgusted – overcome with the feeling that her sister is being stolen from her all over again.

The fervor for Tess’s sainthood only grows when Ana Langone, a local girl who’s been missing for six months, is found alive at the foot of one of Tess’s shrines. It’s the final straw for Callie.

With the help of Tess’s secret boyfriend Danny, Callie’s determined to prove that Tess was something far more important than a saint; she was her sister, her best friend and a girl in love with a boy. But Callie’s investigation uncovers much more than she bargained for: a hidden diary, old family secrets, and even the disturbing truth behind Ana’s kidnapping. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads   Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk    Book Depository

 

 You’re Welcome, Universe by Whitney Gardner

 You're Welcome, Universe When Julia finds a slur about her best friend scrawled across the back of the Kingston School for the Deaf, she covers it up with a beautiful (albeit illegal) graffiti mural. 

Her supposed best friend snitches, the principal expels her, and her two mothers set Julia up with a one-way ticket to a “mainstream” school in the suburbs, where she’s treated like an outcast as the only deaf student. The last thing she has left is her art, and not even Banksy himself could convince her to give that up.

Out in the ’burbs, Julia paints anywhere she can, eager to claim some turf of her own. But Julia soon learns that she might not be the only vandal in town. Someone is adding to her tags, making them better, showing off—and showing Julia up in the process. She expected her art might get painted over by cops. But she never imagined getting dragged into a full-blown graffiti war. – Goodreads.com

Goodreads     Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Book Depository

 

Top Ten Tuesday

 

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish.

December 2016 Books With Wings

Books With Wings

#BooksWithWings

December 2016 Books With Wings. This December, while traveling home for Christmas, I left three books in random places to become #BooksWithWings. Two were released in Singapore and one in South Africa.

A fellow school librarian recently recommended a handy website Bookcrossing.com which facilitates the tracking of the books. *Great idea for a school library project. Each book is given a unique tracking number which is written in the book, along with instructions on how to record each capture. While my books have yet to been registered as caught, I’m going to optimistically believe that they are being enjoyed by someone, somewhere! It would be fun to follow their journey from reader to reader., but the record keeping is not as important to me as the thought that I may make someone happy.

Although the books I have released so far have been in large international airports, I don’t think anyone should be put off sharing books just because they don’t have to opportunity to travel. Leave a book in your local coffee shop/doctor’s room/hospital/retirement village/supermarket/school/homeless shelter… the list is endless. It’s not important how far the book travels, it still has the opportunity to bring joy to someone else.

Beautiful Broken ThingsBeautiful Broken Things

I was brave. She was reckless. We were trouble

Best friends Caddy and Rosie are inseparable. Their differences have brought them closer, but as she turns sixteen Caddy begins to wish she could be a bit more like Rosie – confident, funny and interesting. Then Suzanne comes into their lives: beautiful, damaged, exciting and mysterious, and things get a whole lot more complicated. – Goodreads.com

Wild release notes
Released in the wild on Wednesday 14 December 2016 at the free internet kiosk in Terminal 2 Transit area, Changi International Airport, Singapore.

 

Holding Up the UniverseHolding up the Universe

When Libby and Jack get tangled up in a cruel high school game—which lands them in group counseling and community service—they 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. – Goodreads.com

 

Wild release notes
Released in the wild on Wednesday 14 December 2016 next to a water feature in Terminal 3 Transit area, Changi International Airport, Singapore.

 

The Girl on the TrainThe Girl on the Train

The debut psychological thriller that will forever change the way you look at other people’s lives. Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and night. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. Jess and Jason, she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking… – Goodreads.com

Wild release notes
Released in the wild on Thursday 15 December 2016 near Gate E3 domestic departure lounge, OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa

Have you ever released or caught a book in the wild? I would love to hear about your experiences.

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