Monday, June 5, 2017

Blog Tour (Review): THE GOLDEN COMPASS (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman (YA)


It is with great pleasure that today I get to share my thoughts on the original book that started it all, THE GOLDEN COMPASS... 
with the anticipation of getting read for Philip Pullman's next book in the HIS DARK MATERIALS series, THE BOOK OF DUST (on sale 10/19/2017)!!!

His Dark Materials #1
by Philip Pullman
Original release date: July 1995
Published by Yearling (Penguin Random House)
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
Format: Hardcover, Paperback, eBook, Mass Paperback, Audio book
Format read: Paperback edition, published May 22nd, 2001


Lyra is rushing to the cold, far North, where witch clans and armored bears rule.
North, where the Gobblers take the children they steal - including her friend Roger.
North, where her fearsome uncle Asriel is trying to build a bridge to a parallel world. 

Can one small girl make a difference in such great and terrible endeavors?

This is Lyra: a savage, a schemer, a liar, and as fierce and true a champion as Roger or Asriel could want.

But what Lyra doesn't know is that to help one of them will be to betray the other.


EVERYTHING about THE GOLDEN COMPASS is original, wondrous, magical and brilliant!

To start, I oftentimes have a hard time describing THE GOLDEN COMPASS to those who have asked me... to me, it almost feels as if it is a parallel-world to our own, with magical realism, steampunk elements and perhaps even takes place during the Edwardian Era in the U.K. with mythical creatures, hot air balloons and witches... there an organized group of dark and sinister people that are kidnapping children and taking them up North. No one knows why or what they are doing to the children. Soon, people realize that the government, police and more are corrupted and their aren't many people to trust in order to get help and find these innocent children...   

Lyra is confident, stubborn and very determined for her age. She is not one to be caged or tricked into anything. She is extremely smart, observant and is one to decide for herself. She often questions everything and everyone around her; something that is frowned upon but necessary during all that she has to endure. However, like any child, Lyra is enchanted with everything she sees outside from where she grew up in Jordan College and Oxford; until she realizes that she is fated to deal with things that she only knew in stories. Being able to only rely on herself, question the world and tell stories herself saves her from many things and shows us that one will always rely on themselves in order to get through most things. 

The world-building is what dreams are made of - magical and within reach. You can tell that every little detail was carefully thought out and made to be important to all of the characters and the story. I really enjoyed how the narrator would give us their thoughts and extra bits to help us better understand the history behind what was happening.

The whole concept of everyone having their own daemons (pronounced demons) is mesmerizing to me! Our world would be so very different if we all had our own personal daemon to represent and guide us. Although the actual concept as to how and why each person has a daemon is never fully explained except that children's daemons can shape-shift into different animals and accommodate themselves to the child's emotions and needs, until they reach adulthood. Once they are grown adult's daemons seem to take on one animal-like shape for the rest of their lives, representing their person's characteristics since once one becomes an adult one is more sure of themselves and has taken on a role in society. Also, the bond between a person and their daemon is one of life and death - they cannot be separated, it's as if they share a soul. If one dies, so will the other. The realization of having a separate identity that can cause harm to oneself is quite terrifying to me, but still, an enigma that I would love to learn more about and would possibly wish to have. 

My only grievance with Pullman's writing is that I felt as if he went over and beyond with the details and underestimated what his readers would get from his/this world. I truly felt that more could have been visualized with less of the particulars. For example, the narrator would oftentimes step in and give us extra bits about how Lyra was feeling, or what one of the other characters were thinking about it, or more details as to the history of something that had happened which led to what was about to happen - and then the story would jump right back into Lyra's point of view.  Oftentimes it felt like someone was just disrupting the flow to purposefully be spoilery about the things that were about to happen rather than letting the reader have a moment to guess and wonder... I hope that what I am saying is understandable and not truly a negative thing. It is most likely that I am not used to this style of writing. 

Overall, I sincerely enjoyed Lyra's journey and felt all of her emotions through every one of her encounters. Big or small, every moment was believable and cinematic - a true classic that will be read for many, many years!

*I received this book directly from the publisher to post an honest review during the blog tour. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


"That's the duty of the old," said the Librarian, "to be anxious on behalf of the young. And the duty of the young is to scorn the anxiety of the old." - page 32

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Philip Pullman

In 1946, acclaimed author Philip Pullman was born in Norwich, England, into a Protestant family. Although his beloved grandfather was an Anglican priest, Pullman became an atheist in his teenage years. He graduated from Exeter College in Oxford with a degree in English, and spent 23 years as a teacher while working on publishing 13 books and numerous short stories. 

Pullman has received many awards for his literature, including the prestigious Carnegie Medal for exceptional children's literature in 1996, and the Carnegie of Carnegies in 2006.

He is most famous for his "Dark Materials" trilogy, a series of young adult fantasy novels which feature free thought themes. The novels cast organized religion as the series' villain. 

In 2007, the first novel of the "His Dark Materials" trilogy was adopted into the motion picture "The Golden Compass" by New Line Cinema. 


Wednesday, May 31, 2017

May 2017 Book Haul, Wrap-Up, June TBR and Bonus!!!

Hi there! I hope you are all doing well :)

I am slowly getting back into reading regularly and preparing more reviews and blog posts to share with you! I've been able to get back in touch with some publishers and a few bookish people to collaborate on some fun projects and blog posts too! I'm very excited for all of this and cannot wait to begin to share it all with you!!!

To start, here are the books I've accumulated in numerous ways for May :) 
I truly believe that this is the most amount of books that I have ever had to list in a book haul - not gloating - just amazed and feeling very happy and blessed!

My MAY Book Haul

*What I received to review...

- BECOMING BONNIE (Bonnie #1) by Jenni L. Walsh (YA/HB) from Tor/Forge Books
- JUST ONE TOUCH (Slow Burn Novel #5) by Maya Banks (Adult/PB) from Avon Books

Finished copies from Disney-Hyperion
- LORD OF MONSTERS (Out of Abaton #2) by John Claude Bemis (MG)
- BOB, NOT BOB! by Liz Garton Scanlon and Audrey Vernick (C)
- NIGHT NIGHT, GROOT by Brendan Deneen (C)
- CARS 3: LEAD THE WAY by Ace Landers (C) 
THE GOLDEN COMPASS (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman (YA/PB)

YA ARCs from Macmillan/Fierce Reads
- RENEGADES (sampler) by Marissa Meyer
- FLASHTIDE (Flashfall #2) by Jenny Moyer
- FOOLISH HEART by Emma Mills 
- MIDNIGHT DANCE by Nikki Katz
- MEANT TO BE by Julie Halpern 
- LIBRARIAN OF AUSCHWITZ by Antonio G. Iturbe and Lilit Thwaites 
- BACKFIELD BOYS by John Feinstein 

*I'm a #Tundra50 Summer Rep!!!... Finished copies from Tundra Books:
ZOMBIE ELEMENTARY: The Real Story by Howard Whitehouse (MG/PB)
MR. ZINGER'S HAT by Cary Fagan (C/PB)
THERE, THERE by Tim Beiser and Bill Slavin (C/HB)
THE FOG by Kyo Maclear (C/HB)

*Books I received as gifts or from giveaways...
- I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY BUTT! by Martin Bruckner from Workman Publishing
- EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING by Nicola Yoon (YA/HB) from #llamabookswap

Books from Capstone Publishing Giveaway: 
- FALLOUT (Lois Lane #1) by Gwenda Bond (YA/HB)
- DOUBLE DOWN (Lois Lane #2) by Gwenda Bond (YA/HB)
- TRIPLE THREAT (Lois Lane #3) by Gwenda Bond (YA/HB)

*Books I received through #booksfortrade on twitter...

- UPROOTED by Naomi Novik (YA) - Macmillan paperback edition 
- ELEANOR & PARK by Rainbow Rowell (YA) - Orion paperback edition
- FANGIRL by Rainbow Rowell (YA) - Macmillan hardcover edition
- ROSEBLOOD by A.G. Howard (YA) - (YA/signed HB)

*Books I purchased this month... 

 A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas (YA/HB) 
- THE LIGHT WE LOST by Jill Santopolo (A/signed HB)
- BONE GAP by Laura Ruby (YA/HB)
- MOO by Sharon Creech (MG/HB)
- WHERE AM I NOW? by Mara Wilson (A/PB)
- GIANT DAYS, Volume 1 by John Allison (YA/PB)
- BEE AND PUPPYCAT, Volume 1 by Natasha Allegri (YA/PB)
- LUMBERJANES, Volume 1 by Noelle Stevenson (YA/PB)  
- ALICE IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll - Owlcrate paperback edition
- LITTLE WOMAN by Louisa May Alcott - Puffin in Bloom edition
- A LITTLE PRINCESS by Frances Hodgson Burnett - Puffin in Bloom edition
- THE MASTER AND MARGARITA by Mikhail Bulgakov - Vintage Classics Russians edition
- BEE JOURNAL (The Birds and the Bees) by Sean Borodale - Vintage Classics edition
- A STING IN THE TALE (The Birds and the Bees) by Dave Goulson - Vintage Classics edition
- A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM by William Shakespeare - Macmillan Collector's Library edition

From Book Of The Month May Subscription Box:
- THE LOVE INTEREST by Cale Dietrich (YA/HB) 
- THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR by Nicola Yoon (YA/HB) 

What I read in MAY

- KISSES AND CURSES by Fierce Reads (YA/PB) - 3 stars
- A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas (YA/HB) - 3 stars 
 - ONE GOOD THING ABOUT AMERICA by Ruth Freeman (MG/HB) - 4 stars 
- RONIT AND JAMIL by Pamela L. Laskin (YA/ARC) - 4 stars 
- I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY BUTT! by Martin Bruckner (E/HB) - 5 stars 
- SUPER NARWHAL AND JELLY JOLT by Ben Clanton (MG/HB) - 5 stars 
- THIS SAVAGE SONG (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab (YA/HB) - 4 stars 
- THE ACB WITH HONORA LEE by Kate De Goldi (MG/PB) - 4 stars 
- MR. ZINGER'S HAT by Cary Fagan (C/PB) - 5 stars
 7 ATE 9 by Tara Lazar (C/HB) - 5 stars 
 BEE AND PUPPYCAT, Volume 1 by Natasha Allegri (YA/Graphic Novel PB) - 4 stars 

- HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE by J.K. Rowling (MG/HB) - reread - 4 stars 
- THE SECRET LOVE OF GEEK GIRLS by Hope Nicholson (YA/graphic novel PB) - 5 stars
- THE GOLDEN COMPASS (His Dark Materials #1) by Philip Pullman (YA/PB) - reread - 4 stars 

What I plan on reading in JUNE

I hope I have enough time to read all of these, plus a few others that I am not sure of just yet, lol!... Lots of picture books to get through :)
- OUR DARK DUET (Monsters of Verity #2) by Victoria Schwab (YA/HB) - preordered!
BECOMING BONNIE (Bonnie #1) by Jenni L. Walsh (YA/HB) - for review! 
MR. ZINGER'S HAT by Cary Fagan (C/PB)
THERE, THERE by Tim Beiser and Bill Slavin (C/HB)
THE FOG by Kyo Maclear (C/HB)
- EVERY HEART A DOORWAY (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire (YA/HB)
- MOXIE by Jennifer Mathieu (YA/ARC) - for review
- AMID STARS AND DARKNESS (The Xenith Trilogy #1) by Chani Lynn Feener (YA/ARC) - for review

Thank you sooo much for stopping by!
Please let me know in the comments what you're reading... and leave your blog or book haul links too!

Happy reading!!!

P.S. Just a reminder that I am a rep for Hey Atlas!!!

Hey Atlas offers amazing double-sided bookmarks, vinyl stickers and now, blank journals!!!

Use coupon code: thebumblegirl

to save 10% off your orders!!!

Please take a moment to check out @treehouseofbooks
to see more pics, info etc.

"Happiness depends on being free, and freedom depends on being courageous."
Quote from The Winner's Curse by Marie Rutkoski

"I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still."
Quote from A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab


I am now a rep for GEEK AT HEART!!!
A monthly subscription box to feed your geeky-heart!!!
All things bookish, nerdy and more! 

Use coupon code: BUMBLEGIRL10 
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Subs start this June, and there are less than 10 boxes left! 
Here is a promo sample of what's to come... 

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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Review: SPILL ZONE (The Spill Zone #1) by Scott Westerfeld (YA)

The Spill Zone #1
by Scott Westerfeld
Illustrated by Alex Puvilland
Color by Hilary Sycamore
Release date: May 2nd, 2017
Published by First Second (Macmillan)
Genre: Young Adult Sci-Fi/Apocalyptic Graphic Novel
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Format read: Hardcover from the publisher.


Nobody's ever really explained the Spill.

Was it an angelic visitation? A nanotech accident? A porthole opening from another world?
Whatever it was, no one's allowed in the Spill Zone these days except government scientists and hazmat teams. But a few intrepid explorers know how to sneak through the patrols and steer clear of the dangers inside the Zone. 

Addison Merrick is one such explorer, dedicated to finding out what happened that night, and to unraveling the events that took her parents and left her little sister mute and disconnected from the world. 

Photo courtesy of First Second Books.


An unexplained 'spill', creepy zombie-like puppet people, odd creatures and a creepy rag doll who seems to know it all... SPILL ZONE is an epic start to an intriguing and story!

Addison wasn't home when the 'spill' happened and no one knows exactly how or why it happened; and no one goes back to try to figure it out. Going into the zone is illegal and forbidden. And no one goes in. Except for Addison. She has been going back to her hometown whenever she can to take photographs of  what happened and what is there now - eerie talking cats, a form of electricity that glows and can chase after you and zombies that whisper warnings. It's how she makes a living to support herself and her little sister. However, she has quickly made rules for herself in order to get in and out of the spill zone safely - remain anonymous and unseen, never get off her motorbike, to stay on the main roads and never touch anything! Are just a few of her strict rules. But, when a collector of her pictures tracks her down and gives her an offer she can't refuse - an offer that can possibly help her sister who hasn't spoken since the incident. Can she risk her life in the spill zone to get what this "collector" wants?

The illustrations are quite amazing! Every frame supports the fast paced story, the creepiness, the danger and consequences that can happen if things go wrong while poking around. SO much world-building, all so naturally put together - realistic and memorable!

I highly recommend this to anyone who enjoys reading suspenseful mysterious with glowing rats, intuitive rag dolls, and post-apocalyptic worlds! Whether your a graphic novel reader or not, there isn't anything that should keep you from picking up this book!

*I received this book from the publisher for an honest review.
All thoughts here are my own.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR - Scott Westerfeld

Scott Westerfeld is a New York Times bestselling author of YA. He was born in Texas and now lives in Sydney and New York City. 

In 2001, he married fellow author Justine Larbalestier.

He is best known for the Uglies, Leviathan and Zeroes series, and his standaone book, Afterworlds.

His book Evolution's Darling was a New York Times Notable Book, and won a Special Citation for the 2000 Philip K. Dick Award. So Yesterday won a Victorian Premier's Award and both Leviathan and Midnighters 1: The Secret Hour won Aurealis Awards. Peeps and Uglies were both named as Best Books for Young Adults 2006 by the American Library Association.  

Monday, May 1, 2017

Book Review: I WANT TO GROW by Ged Adamson (C)

by Ged Adamson
Expected release date: March 7th, 2017
Published by Boyds Mills Press
Genre: Children's Picture Book
Format: Hardcover 
Format read: Hardcover from Creative Authors


A dinosaur named Herb has noticed something about his friend Muriel: she's getting taller. 
Herb is not. 

Desperate to catch up to Muriel, Herb tries every method he can think of to grow. He plants himself in the dirt like a flower, but that just leaves him muddy. He has Muriel roll him out like clay, but that just makes him dizzy. He wears platform shoes and a top hat, but he just falls over. Nothing Herb tries works!

When will he finally grow?

This humorous approach to the topic of growing taller will resonate with many children who struggle with this same issue. 


I WANT TO GROW is about a small dinosaur named Herb who has noticed that his best friend is growing, but he is not. He tries numerous ways to force himself to grow and catch up, but does not succeed... or does he???

This book came at such a perfect and fun time! Not only did my kiddos recognize that this book is the same author and illustrator as DOUGLAS, YOU NEED GLASSES, but we also knew that this book was going to serve more than one purpose around here... 
My three year old has been telling us that he doesn't want to grow up, lol! Although this book is to encourage patience and understanding on how we are all different and how we all come into our own milestones at different times - sometimes on our own schedule, completely different than what is expected from others. But what my toddler took away from Herb's story is that it is okay to grow up too! It's okay to be scared and worried about growing up and doing things that he's never done before. And that it won't happen all at once, that he will learn as he grows too.

It is quite amazing to see how little minds grasp onto their own understandings - the book may look the same to everyone, but no one will ever read it in the same way!

A wonderful book to gift/read to little ones who are just starting to understand that their worlds will change and that it is okay to want more! A definite favorite in this household!

*I received a hardcover copy of this book from the literary agency as a gift.
All thoughts are my very own.


Ged Adamson is a writer and illustrator. His first two books, Elsie Clarke and the Vampire Hairdresser and Meet the McKaws, are both published by Sky Pony Press. A third, Douglas, You Need Glasses! will be published in May 2016 by Random House. He sees two books published in 2017 - Shark Dog in Summer 2017 and published by HarperCollins and I Want to Grow will be released in Fall 2017 by Boyds Mill Press. 

His cartoons have appeared in magazines such as Punch and Prospect, in books and on film. He's been a storyboard artist and a caricaturist. He also works as a composer for TV and film. 

He lives in London with his partner Helen and their son Rex. 

Links: Website / Instagram / Twitter

Saturday, April 29, 2017

April 2017 Book Haul, Wrap-Up and May TBR!

Hello, Bookish Friends!!!

I'm very excited to get back into book-blogging, and what better way to start off than with a huge book haul :) 
These are all the books I've accumulated through April...
as you can see, I did splurge quite a bit on myself, lol! It's what I do to try to relieve myself from stress/anxiety - I go on Amazon and Book Outlet and fill my cart up to hundreds of dollars and then slowly delete the most expensive books until I get to under $20 and then I "treat myself", lol! Please tell me I'm not alone in this!

My April Book Haul

*What I received to review...
- ONE GOOD THING ABOUT AMERICA by Ruth Freeman (MG/HB) from Holiday House Publishing.
- A SHORT HISTORY OF THE GIRL NEXT DOOR by Jared Reck (YA/ARC) from Random House Teens.
- THE HISTORY OF BEES by Maja Lunde (Adult Lit/ARC) from Touchstone Books. 
- INTERNET FAMOUS by Danika Stone (YA/eARC) from Swoon Reads/Macmillan.

From First Second (graphic novels):
- SPILL ZONE by Scott Westerfeld (YA/HB)
- THE NAMELESS CITY by Faith Erin Hicks (MG/PB)
- THE STONE HEART (Nameless City #2) by Faith Erin Hicks (MG/PB)
- THE AMAZING CRAFTY CAT by Charise Mericle Harper (MG/PB)

*Books I received as gifts or from giveaways...
- THE ADVENTURES OF RAGGEDY ANN AND ANDY by Johnny Gruelle (Wordsworth Classic PB)
- STARTUP by Doree Shafrir (Adult Lit/HB) from Book of the Month Club

*Books I received through #booksfortrade on twitter...
- SINNER (Wolves of Mercy Falls #4) by Maggie Stiefvater (UK ARC)
- EVERLAND by Wendy Spinale (YA/ARC)
- OF FIRE AND STARS by Audrey Coulthurst (YA/HB)
- UPROOTED by Naomi Novak (YA/HB) 

*Books I purchased this month... 
- SIX OF CROWS by Leigh Bardugo (YA/HB)
- SPINDLE FIRE by Lexa Hillyer (YA/HB)
- LAS CARRERAS DE SCORPIO (The Scorpio Races) by Maggie Stiefvater (Spanish HB)
- EVERY HEART A DOORWAY (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire (YA/HB)
- KISSES AND CURSES by Fierce Reads (YA/PB)
- THE MERMAID'S DAUGHTER by Ann Claycomb (Adult Lit/PB)
- THE GIRL OF INK AND STARS by Kiran Millwood Hargrave (YA/UK PB)
- THE LITTLE PRINCE by Antoine De Saint Exupery (Macmillan Collector's Library HB)
- WE'RE ALL WONDERS by R.J. Palacio (Children's Picture Book/HB) 

My current collection of THE SCORPIO RACES by Maggie Stiefvater :)

What I read in April

- WE COME APART by Sarah Crossan and Brian Conaghan (YA/ARC)
- OUTSIDE SHOT by Fred Bowen (MG/HB) 
- ZEBRA ON THE GO by Jill Nogales (C/HB) 
- PRINCE RIBBIT by Jonathan Emmett (C/HB)
- WE'RE ALL WONDERS by R.J. Palacio (C/HB)
- SPILL ZONE by Scott Westerfeld (YA/Graphic Novel)
- THE AMAZING ADVENTURES OF CRAFTY CAT by Charise Mericle Harper (MG/Graphic Novel) 
- THE NAMELESS CITY by Faith Erin Hicks (MG/Graphic Novel)
- THE STONE HEART (The Nameless City #2) by Faith Erin Hicks (MG/Graphic Novel) 
- DECELERATE BLUE by Adam Rapp (YA/Graphic Novel) 
- WINDFALL by Jennifer E. Smith (YA/ARC)

What I plan on reading in May

First, I hope to finish reading: 
- CARAVAL by Stephanie Garber (YA/HB) - I keep procrastinating finishing this; I'm so scared to see how it finishes and not like it :(

- KISSES AND CURSES by Fierce Reads (YA/PB) - I've only been able to read the first short story. I may just try to read at least one short story every weekend.

- THIS SAVAGE SONG (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab (YA/HB) - Only a few chapters in... and I am very intrigued!

And then, I hope I have enough time to possibly read a few of these: 
- A COURT OF WINGS AND RUIN (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3) by Sarah J. Maas (YA/HB) (- SWOON!!!)
- EVERY HEART A DOORWAY (Wayward Children #1) by Seanan McGuire (YA/HB) 
- STARTUP by Doree Shafrir (A/HB BOTM)
... and probably a few more picture books and graphic novels!

Thank you sooo much for stopping by!
Please let me know in the comments what you're reading... and leave your blog or book haul links too!

And FYI, I have scheduled reviews for almost everyday in May!!!
Please remember to stop back and take a peek at my thoughts on all kinds of books that I have read this year - lots of YA, picture books, graphic novels and a book or two on adult lit as well!!!

Happy reading!!!

P.S. I am now a rep for Hey Atlas!!!

Use coupon code: thebumblegirl to save 10% off 
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Inspirational stickers and bookmarks.

"The head is too wise the heart is all fire"
quote from The Raven King by Maggie Stiefvater

"He mad her feel like more than the sum of her parts"
quote from Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

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