Are you an avid reader looking for your next "fix"? Can't bear to be without some form of reading material in your spare time? Welcome to my world! Whether you are seeking a new book to "feed your need", or you are an author seeking an unbiased point of view on your own recent masterpiece, this is the place to be. With life as with books, you never know where the next step might take you...

Sunday, June 30, 2024

The Perfect Peck of (Non)Pickled Paperbound Picks - End of June Edition!

It’s finally arrived!
The end of the month.
You made it.
Way to go YOU! πŸ™Œ 

Oh, but before we close it out and welcome in July with a BANG (especially stateside!), I’ve still got a roster of titles I want to share with you. Today’s post covers a few genres, several publishers, many authors, and publication dates that range from this month to the next… know what they all share in common? They would make FABULOUS additions to your TBR! Yup. Girl Scout’s honor ✌️ ...or whatever the equivalent form of a promise of trust would be to you. πŸ˜‰ 

The titles I’m about to share are either OUT NOW or COMING VERY SOON, and, with the exception of one, have all been read cover to cover by yours truly, and you know I wouldn’t steer you wrong! So, without further ado, make room in your beach bags and picnic plans for these GREAT TITLES you won’t want to miss!

Brooke Bourgeois
Union Square & Co

Penelope loves her balloons 🎈... almost more than anything. They get her a sense of security, a source of comfort in this at times crazy world, but one day that connection is broken, and they are scattered far and wide. What's a little elephant girl to do? Protect the last one in her possession with all she has, that's what! The thing is that sometimes the harder we hold on to things, the harder it is to enjoy them, and actually protect them in the end. Penelope learns that while she can have her comfort zone, it's good to let others in too. It can be on her terms, and at her speed, and while it might be scary at first, given time and a chance, it'll all work out in the end. 

A sweet tale about making friends, opening up to others, and allowing our true selves the chance to shine. 


Jenny Turnbull
Illustrated by
Izzy Burton
Crown Books for Young Readers

Tate wants a pet more than anything, but not just any pet. He wants to rescue something wild, something out there, something that may be living the good life in the outside world, but shouldn't have to go without the comforts of the inside too! Well, the animals he writes a letter of invitation to each have a little something to say about the comforts he has on offer... until the right moment, and the right four-legged "wild animal" comes around, and then there's a match made in heaven. ❤️ 

It's a tail...I mean tale about friendship, finding the right place for you, and allowing others that right/space as well! It's got a tail wagging ending full of heart that will certainly hit home with dog lovers too. πŸ• The full color images, and letter images bring readers into the story THAT much more. 


Linda Skeers & Hester Fox
Random House Studio

This sweeter than sweet story is about the highs and lows of friendship. It doesn't take a lot to throw this happy sailing ship off kilter, but off course is another story altogether. Like sprinkles enhance a cupcake 🧁, so do the trials and tribulations we go through together. They're not fun at the time, but they help us to build a relationship that can benefit both friends even more in the end. 

I loved how close these two were (hey, being the end of an ANYTHING is definitely taking one for the team!), and while seeing their heartache hurt my own, their coming back together again was THAT much more amazing. 


Kim Hillyard
Penguin Workshop
Release Date: 07/02/24

This ridiculously cute 😍 story has Ned and his compatriots in the Great Garden Race... hence the title, I know... but he's been training SO HARD for this that he's got it in the bag. Don't believe me? Read it and you'll see, but it's not just a tortoise 🐒 and the hare tale about those with perseverance despite the odds winning. It's about how it's not the win that makes us a "winner", but the size of our heart. When Ned realizes he might have made the wrong choices, he takes steps to correct them, leading to a very classy ending, and a moral win for all.  ❤️ 

With full color images throughout, and adorable little hamsters 🐹 with true personality, this is a perfect book for readers of all ages, and a great way to incorporate the comradery that is a part of sports or group events!


Deeba Zargarpur
Labyrinth Road 
Release Date: 07/02/24

About the book...
Farrah sees her father just one day every year—her birthday. But this year, her wish to bring them closer goes wildly awry when Farrah discovers she is a half-jinn…and her father is one of the seven great jinn kings. Her wish traps  her father inside a legendary ring, and the other six jinn kings will follow unless Farrah can rectify her mistake. 

Pursued by menacing shadow jinn, Farrah’s quest takes her to a floating mountain range. Joined by Idris, the jinn boy whom she inadvertently freed from the ring, and her newly discovered half-brother, Yaseen, Farrah must find a way to navigate the mysteries and dangers of her new world in order to save her father and face the most devious jinn lord of all.


 Alright, now this is one I haven't read, but it sounds A-MA-ZING... doesn't it? 🀩 I mean the magic, the obviously not on purpose mistake, the challenges, the dangers, and the ultimate potential for a nail biting outcome?! I gotta say, it definitely made its way onto my wish list!


Sisters Ever After series
Leah Cypress
Delacorte Press

This was my first exposure to the SISTERS EVER AFTER series, though I admit... I've picked up a few of the preceding ones to read at my leisure. I just never had a chance to check it out, and then BOOM πŸ’₯... opportunity knocked, and who was I to say no? Anywho, I was taken in by my curiosity in regards to the fairytale retelling aspect, and was certainly not disappointed. The introduction of a little sister to the story who is actually rather the MAIN character in this tale,  the twist on how Rapunzel came to be in a tower with those she was with (shh! I can't tell you more about that! You have to read it!), the magic hair that's not just on the head of one risk family member, the false leads happening all around the castle 🏰 leading you places you may or may not find answers (tricky!), and for I mention Fireball? Yeah, he's a dragon and while snarly, still pretty cool. πŸ”₯ 

A great adventure for readers of Middle Grade Fantasy and beyond, and definitely a series I'll be exploring more of!


Once Upon a RomCom series, book 1
Marie Soleil
Dreamscape Media

Another fairytale redo, this time it's Cinderella (obviously) modernized and romanticized in its own ways. I loved the contemporary romance vibe, the characters, their backgrounds, and the meet cute 😍.  Luna is a gem, and the fact that she is more than what she first seems just makes me love her even more. The same can be said for her mystery man in the train, but I digress... as the story progresses, we meet him again (*sigh*), and uncover more about the secretive McKnight (her online gaming friend/cohort), and by tales end, she gets the happily-ever-after she deserves. 

I had the chance to check this one out in audio and the narrators used were a great match for the story. If you've ever listened to books before, you know how much that can make a difference, but no worries here. It's pure magic! ✨️ 


Eva Devon
Amara Next

How do I love this book? Let me count the ways! ❤️

... great female lead, whip smart, yet kind, with a dream, and won't be bamboozled except perchance by her own feelings 😊
... great male lead, good intentioned, heart of gold, but his attempt to reign in his feelings are about as successful as his initial disguise πŸ₯Έ
... a story filled with misdirection for the greater good, secrets kept for the same, good will intended for all, and a sizzling chance for romance waiting just beneath the surface.. πŸ’•

Did I mention I loved this one? 😍

I've never met a book by this author that I haven't adored, so she's definitely one of recommend without pause. 


Special thanks to all the publishers, publicists, and authors, for the copies for review. (THANKS!) For more information on these titles, feel free to click through the links provided above. These titles are ON SALE NOW or COMING VERY SOON, so click on over to your favorite online retailer, or take a break for a visit to your local brick and mortar.

Until next time, remember...if it looks good, READ IT!

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