Bite-sized reviews of the forest are always on view, cake in the sky, broken skies and how to find what you are not looking for

Today I have a YA horror novel, a MG contemporary, a YA fantasy, and a MG book of historical fiction. I hope these bite reviews are enough to feed your addiction to fiction!


Bite-sized reviews of the forest always watching, cake in the sky, broken sky and how to find what you are not looking forForests are always watching by Stephanie Perkins
Posted by Dutton Books for Young Readers 2021 August 31
Genres: Horror, young adult
Pages: 224
Source: NetGalley
My content rating: YA (violence)
My rating:
4 stars

Satellite There is something in your home.

Bears are not the only predators in these forests.

Best friends Neena and Josie missed high school as outsiders, but at least had each other. Now that the college rises on the horizon and is two thousand miles away, they have the last chance to be together — a three-day hike deep into the Pisgah National Forest.

The rushing tension leads to a detour from the trail and straight into the waking nightmare; and then to something much worse. Someone who will test them in horrible ways.

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My Take copy3

The start of this book is really slow, though as soon as it started, I honestly couldn’t give it up (I read it too late), and lately I’ve been in dire need of such a book. The premise is that Neena and Josie decide to go to camp for 3 days as their last rage until Neena goes to college, leaving Josie. The first half of the book is by Neena and Josie, showing their complete insolvency at the campsite (why have they chosen this journey?) and fights over trifles until they reach a major blow that both are worried about will ruin their friendship forever. And then in the second half of the book, things don’t go VERY right. Basically, when I got to the other side, I totally had read on to find out how crazy, horrible, perhaps horrible things will happen next. Honestly, I’m surprised I felt that way because I don’t like horror movies at all, but books give you all the excitement of not having to worry about crazy jumping fears or having to actually see a bitch, so I think I like them better. Here’s what: I had to stop the disbelief. A lot. The things going on in this book are often insane, but I really didn’t expect reality. I was also not sure how I felt about the leap in the head (the book is told from both Neena and Josie’s perspective and randomly jumps between them in the first and third parts of the book), but once I got into the second chapter and realized it was an author’s choice, based on a head dance when the girls were together to make the reader, as one, feel a greater sense of isolation, I could certainly respect that choice. In the end, I enjoyed reading this book, especially the second half. And now I’m sure I have to pick it up There is something in your home, so I think Perkins had to do his job!

*** Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley for review. No other compensation was given, and all my opinions. ***


Bite-sized reviews of the forest are always watching, cake in the sky, broken sky and how to find what you are not looking forCake in the sky Remy Lai
Illustrator: Remy Lai
Posted by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR) 2019 May 14
Genres: Modern, middle class
Pages: 384
Source: Bought
My content rating: MG (faces parental death)
My rating:
4.5 stars

A painful, ridiculously illustrated middle-class novel about an eleven-year-old boy’s immigration experience annoying his little brother and the ideas that bake their cakes!

Sometimes life is not a cake. . .

When Jingwen moves to a new country, he feels as if he has landed on Mars. School is torture, making friends impossible because he doesn’t speak English and often gets stuck caring for his (very annoying) little brother Yanghao.

To distract from loneliness, Jingwen dreams of baking a menu of all the cakes made from the cake in heaven, which his father planned to open before he died unexpectedly. The only problem is that his mother helped one major rule: the brothers do not use the oven while it is working. When Jingwen and Yanghao bake fancy cakes, they will have to come up with detailed excuses to keep the cake from hiding from their mother.

In a hilarious, emotional debut in the middle class, Remy Lai presents an amazing combination of vivid graphic art and perfect writing that fans will love Real friends.

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My Take copy3

Cake in the sky is very heart-cute, but at the same time funny. The story follows Jingwen and his family as they immigrate to Australia. Jingwen feels as if he has been moved to another planet inhabited by aliens, but soon it begins to imagine he may be an alien. Nothing in this new place is right, especially without his father, who died before they left. The only consolation Jingwene finds is baking his father’s recipes. Jingwen’s mother disagrees with his use of the oven, so he and his little brother have to bake in secret. Soon it becomes some kind of obsession, a lifeline. Jingwene begins to believe that these recipes are the key to a successful life in this new world like him needs complete recipes to solve the problems he faces. The story hurts the heart in some parts, but the humor helps ward off the sadness of the book. The style is a seamless combination of a chapter book and a graphic novel that is really fun to read. Sometimes the illustrations go along with the text, but sometimes the action only takes place on art boards, as expected in a real graphic novel. The result provides a unique reading!

Pie In the Sky Sample


Bite-sized reviews of the forest are always watching, cake in the sky, broken sky and how to find what you are not looking forBroken sky by Rebecca Kim Wells
Series: ,
Posted by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 2019 July 30
Genres: Fantasy, young adult
Pages: 304
Source: NetGalley
My content rating: YA (slight violence)
My rating:
4 stars

A determined young woman determined to save her kidnapped girl by stealing a dragon from a corrupt emperor, this stunning fantastic debut is perfect for fans of Margaret Rogerson, Rae Carson and Rachel Hartman.

Growing up in the ruins of a conquered mountain nation, Maren dreams only of living peacefully with her girlfriend Kaia – until the day Kaia is kidnapped by the emperor’s prophetic Auraites and forced to join their ranks. To save her, Maren implements a plan to steal one of the emperor’s coveted dragons and storm the Aurati fortress.

If Maren has any hope of success, she must become a disciple of Aromatory – the mysterious dragon coach of the emperor. But Maren is unprepared for the dangerous secrets she reveals: rumors of a lost prince, a filled rebellion, and a prophecy threatening to destroy the empire itself. Not to mention the strange dreams she dreamed of a beast deep underground …

Over time, can Maren survive long enough to save Kaia from imminent death? Or maybe it is possible that Marena is destined for something bigger than she could have imagined?

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My Take copy3

Spectacular fantasy embracing dragons! (And who doesn’t like dragons?) Maren allowed her life and plans to revolve around her girlfriend Kaia. She sees that Kaia is stronger and more vibrant of the two. But when Kaija is taken away by the emperor’s prophets, Maren takes to her rescue – suddenly she has no other to rely on. A favorite aspect of this book is how Maren learns to trust her strengths and abilities. I also appreciated the bi rendering (although I’m not 100% sure how I feel about the love triangle setup – is there an idea that was hinted that Maren could end up for both? I think I’ll have to see how things go in the next book). Overall, I would say this book was a bit like setup, but I really enjoyed creating the world and learning about how Maren relates to dragons. I also revered Seva and his passion for rescuing dragons from the brutal treatment of the emperor. I look forward to seeing what the next book awaits!

*** Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley for review. No other compensation was given, and all my opinions. ***


Bite-sized reviews of the forest are always watching, cake in the sky, broken sky and how to find what you are not looking forHow to find what you are not looking for by Veera Hiranandani
Posted by Kokila in 2021 September 14
Genres: Historical fiction, middle class
Pages: 384
Source: NetGalley
My content rating: MG (discussion of racial tension)
My rating:
4 stars

New historical fiction from the author of the Newbery Honor winner about how the life of high school student Ariel Goldberg changes when her big sister runs after 1967. Loving against Virginia decision, and she is forced to struggle with both her family’s prejudice and the anti-Semitism she experiences as she defines her beliefs.

The life of twelve-year-old Ariel Goldberg looks like a moment after the last guest leaves the party. Her family’s Jewish bakery is experiencing financial hardship, and her older sister fled with a young man from India after a Supreme Court ruling repealing laws banning interracial marriages. When change becomes Ariel’s only constant, she is left to refine what will always be with her — her own voice.

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My Take copy3

This book takes us into the turmoil of the 1960s. When Ariel’s older sister runs away to marry an immigrant from India, it destroys her family and the world. Her parents refuse to talk to her sister — they always imagined their daughter would marry a Jewish boy and continue her rich and hard-earned family history. The story takes place immediately after the Love vs. Virginia decision and during the civil rights movement and the conflict over the Vietnam War. Ariel is just beginning to understand the injustice of the world and shape her opinion by seeing the conflicting views of the people around her. Ariel also faces dysgraphia and its consequences, as well as experiencing anti-Semitism. There is a lot to do for one girl! However, when her life becomes out of control, she is determined to at least cope with her sister, a task that may be out of her own control. The story is told in a second person, POV, which you don’t read very often, but I thought it fits well with this story. I liked that the titles and chapter titles give a sense of a self-help guide as Ariel navigates her new reality.

*** Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher through NetGalley for review purposes. No other compensation was given, and all my opinions. ***


This is it for now! Have you read any of these? What do you think? I want to know!

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