Discussion: Favorite Fictional Foods!

Discussion: Favorite Fictional Foods!

When we talk about how books make us feel, we mostly refer to the emotional–the swoons, the sighs, the weeping and the rages–but what about the physical pull fiction can have on us? Have you ever read a passage about food and found your stomach growling right along with the characters? Found your mouth watering at some bit of lusciously described food? We have. It’s amazing how prominent the role of food is in our bookish lives here at The Midnight Garden–in fact, we even have a tag dedicated to food in books in the sidebar, and Friday’s classic readalong discussion book All-of-a-Kind Family has quite a bit of food porn in it, too! All of us cook or bake to some degree, and we’re all fans of tasty dishes… Read more »

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Child of a Hidden Sea: Review

Child of a Hidden Sea: Review

This is the story of a lost girl. Both literally and figuratively. Sophie is adrift in the course of her life, stuck in that sort of early 20s purgatory, and living in the shadow of her adopted family’s academic genius. On a mission to track down her birth mother Sophie gets more than she bargained for when accidentally stumbles upon on an assassination attempt with people from another world. When Sophie accidentally travels back with them she discovers there’s more to her history than she ever thought possible. I enjoyed the plot. The political machinations and the mysteries at the heart of the story are twisty-turny and thoroughly absorbing.   This is fun political fantasy. And even though this is actually an adult book it has such a spirited MG feel…. Read more »

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Everything Leads to You: Tour Stop

Everything Leads to You: Tour Stop

  I am so happy to be hosting the tour stop at The Midnight Garden for this hazy, dreamy, lovely summer read. I’m not one for contemporary usually, but this book has such a fantastic almost fairy tale like feel in its telling. It makes sense when you think about it. Isn’t love itself a sort of magic? And there’s so much more underneath the surface.  Love lost and and love found. There is both tragedy and blessing. This book encapsulates it all. And, of course, I love, love, love seeing female/female relationships being explored in YA. Even better, this isn’t an “issue” book, and Emi’s sexuality is never approached as a thing. It just is. I really adored how normally and matter of fact her lesbian relationships are portrayed. For queer… Read more »

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All Four Stars: Review

All Four Stars: Review

Warning! Do not read this book while hungry! You will just end up grumbly and resentful at all the delicious, delicious food inside! But perhaps not as sad as poor Gladys is after her parents ban her from the kitchen for one measly little accident with a blowtorch. Worst of all, they’re terrible cooks and only order super gross takeout from their town of East Dumpsford. Gladys is a food wizard and her parents are simply food Muggles. What’s a little foodie to do? A surprising amount, actually! Goodness but this book is charming. The writing is unbelievably cute. It has that faint irreality and sense of wacky adventure that is common in MG and employed here to great effect. You might think this entire scenario to ludicrously unrealistic but… Read more »

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ALA Vegas 2014: event recap + giveaway!

ALA Vegas 2014: event recap + giveaway!

How was your weekend? Kate and I spent it at ALA 2014, which took place in Las Vegas this year. We thought we’d share some photos and memories from our trip with you. It’s an easy drive for us from Los Angeles, so we rounded up our respective tote-carriers husbands for a road trip and a whirlwind weekend filled with books, booze, and fun! We got stuck in traffic both ways and had to brave temperatures up to 111 degrees, but it was all totally worth it. Check out my wall with the fancy showgirl wallpaper! I kind of love her. She makes me feel festive. Somehow we landed a suite at the hotel, and the dramatic view from our sitting room window was pretty awesome at night. Some of… Read more »

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Foodie Tour of NYC + All Four Stars giveaway

Foodie Tour of NYC + All Four Stars giveaway

When I finished All Four Stars by Tara Dairman, I was thoroughly charmed–and thoroughly HUNGRY! This sweet, funny middle grade story of an eleven-year-old girl who becomes a restaurant critic in New York is, as my friend karen says, “surprisingly plausible,” as well as a must-read for anyone who has an appreciation for food. Kim says the author pretty much gives us a global culinary tour and inspired wanderlust in her as well. The madcap climax of the book centers around a place called Classy Cakes, which sounds like a dream for those of us with a sweet tooth. But I also loved that the story features so many cuisines from different countries, and in turn, so many different diverse characters and cultures as well. Gladys is a plucky heroine… Read more »

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Classic MG Discussion: The Westing Game

Classic MG Discussion: The Westing Game

Hello friends! So nice to see you here for our discussion for The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. Firstly: apologies for being so behind in responding to comments and visiting everyone’s posts last month. All three of us have been so incredibly busy, blogwise and personally, that it’s been tough for us to operate normally. It looks like things will be settling down somewhat in mid-July, though, so hopefully things will be back on track soon. Also–if you are posting your own reviews of the book we’re discussing, or even reading others books for the middle grade challenge, please feel free to leave a link in the comments! We’ll do our best to visit as soon as we can after this weekend. I’ve read so many great posts on Anne… Read more »

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