Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler - Resehelved Books

Hello Dewey Readers! 

Today's review is something sweet.  It's The Cupcake Queen by Heather Hepler.  

In this novel, Penny's mother and father are going through a divorce, but fourteen year old Penny doesn't really know what's going on.  Her mother moved Penny and herself out of NYC and back to her home town of Hogshollow.  Here, Penny enrolls in her first year of High School and her mother opens a bakery, where Penny works decorating cupcakes after her classes.  Still, Penny retains her naivety surrounding her parents divorce and her eventual choice of where she wants to live. She isn't quite sure what's going on.  She knows she's in Hoghollow for the "now" but she doesn't believe that it's forever and no-one has really told her differently.  A lack of communication becomes a theme of the novel both where Penny's parents fail to explain to her what's going on, and Penny fails to ask even when she begins to speculate and have questions. In addition to exploring lack of communication, this novel is all about Penny learning to put down new roots, while somewhat retaining her old ones. 

Bascially, while this novel touches upon the idea of what could be considered "tough" coming of age subjects, it's really just a cute novel about starting a new school, making new friends, having a crush, and decorating A LOT of cupcakes. It's also a quick read that will be making you want more. 

So Dewey Readers, if you haven't checked ut Hepler's books go ahead and do so!  I give this novel 4.5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.

Until the next read!
~Jessica   

Saturday, February 9, 2019

The Wartime Sisters by Lynda Cohen Loigman - Reshelved Books

Hello Dewey Readers!

Lynda Cohen Loigman just wrote another new book.  If you avidly read our reviews, you know that Jillian and I both LOVED Loigman's novel The Two Family House, so when we heard that she was coming out with another novel we just knew that we had to read it. 


The Wartime Sisters follows the story of two sisters who were both very different.  Ruth, the older sister, was very bookish.  She got straight As, liked doing homework, and always strived for perfection.  The younger sister, Millie, was very different.  Actually, the two sisters sort of reminded me of my sister and I.  I'm the older and bookish one and my sister... well, she isn't.  We're both smart, but she definitely is more lax. I think because of this, the way that Loigman crafted the characters of the two sisters, and even the differences in how their parents treat and expect things from both of them, felt very much real to me.  

So a bit about the plot.  The two sisters grow up to marry different men and end up losing communication with each other after a falling out.  Millie, head over heels in love, marries a man who isn't a very wise financial choice, and Ruth marries a man similar to herself.  Then WWII begins.  Ruth's husband, a scientist, is important within the army, and Millie is now an army widow with a two year old son.  Ruth reaches out to Millie and offers her a place to stay with her and her husband at the army base.  

This novel explores the bonds of sisters, of family, and of love.  It allows the reader to dive into a historical time frame and develop and emotional connection to it through it's characters.  When you read this novel (because you definitely need to read it) you will end up devouring it.  

So Dewey Readers, I leave you with a rating of 5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.

Until the next read!
~Jessica    

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Mapless by Erin Anastasia - Reshelved Books

Hello Dewey Readers!

I recently started attending a nearby open mic poetry night.  They're almost ALWAYS in NYC, so I was ecstatic to find one that meets on the other side of the Hudson close to home.  Because I was afraid to go alone, my boyfriend tagged along.  He's a mechanic not a reader or a poet, but I think he might be slowly edging towards the dark side... or at least he enjoyed the event and may even tag along again.  

Erin Anastasia was one of the main poets at the open mic, reading a few selections from her self published collection, Mapless.  As many of you know, I've been working with putting together a poetry collection myself and toying with the idea of self publication.  Because of this I LOVE seeing poets who have done it successfully well.  Erin Anastasia is one of these poets.

Erin Anastasia writes with such powerful imagery and emotion, and I love that she has not fallen on the "keep everything lowercase" bandwagon.  Lowercase is trendy right now, but it's not how I was taught to write in college.  I value poetry that pushes boundaries wile keeping grammar intact.  Not only is the way that she writes beautiful, but the performance of her poetry is AMAZING.  I think that hearing a poet recite their work gives a whole new appreciation to their poetry.

So Dewey Readers, check out Erin Anastasia's poetry book!  She also has an awesome YouTube page!  I's give it 5 out of 5 Coffee Beans.  

Until the next read!
~Jessica 

P.S.  I'll let you know if I ever get brave enough to read my poems aloud at one of the open mic nights.