Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done

Girl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It DoneGirl Code: Gaming, Going Viral, and Getting It Done
By Andrea Gonzales, Sophie Houser
Source Received from the publisher
Published by HarperCollins on March 7, 2017

Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

three-half-stars

Perfect for aspiring coders everywhere, Girl Code is the story of two teenage tech phenoms who met at Girls Who Code summer camp, teamed up to create a viral video game, and ended up becoming world famous. The book also includes bonus content to help you get started coding!

Fans of funny and inspiring books like Maya Van Wagenen’s Popular and Caroline Paul’s Gutsy Girl will love hearing about Andrea “Andy” Gonzales and Sophie Houser’s journey from average teens to powerhouses. Through the success of their video game, Andy and Sophie got unprecedented access to some of the biggest start-ups and tech companies, and now they’re sharing what they’ve seen. Their video game and their commitment to inspiring young women have been covered by the Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, CNN, Teen Vogue, Jezebel, the Today show, and many more.

Get ready for an inside look at the tech industry, the true power of coding, and some of the amazing women who are shaping the world. Andy and Sophie reveal not only what they’ve learned about opportunities in science and technology but also the true value of discovering your own voice and creativity.

I picked this up shortly after I finished reading Kat and Meg Conquer the World (which I really enjoyed). I wanted to read more about girls and gaming, and I had this as an e-ARC and finally got around to reading it.

This was a really interesting non-fiction story by Andy and Sophie, teenagers who got into coding and made a game called Tampon Run. The game went viral and they ended up giving lots of interviews and speeches about their game and the rationale behind it, and visited Silicon Valley to meet other people in the tech industry and even attended a hackathon.

I really liked the feminist message behind their game, and the way the book alternated between chapters written by each girl. They each had to figure out what the game and coding meant to them and where it could fit into their plans for the future.

I also liked reading about girls in the tech industry, and they had some neat coding exercises at the end of the book that I might try out. I have this blog but I know nothing about coding, and I felt inspired by the time I finished to try and learn some basics.

three-half-stars

Caught In Time

Caught In TimeCaught In Time
By Julie McElwain
Series: Kendra Donovan #3
Source Purchased
Published by Pegasus Books on July 3, 2018

four-stars

October 1815: There is only one place Kendra Donovan wants to travel—back to her own time period in the twenty-first century. But since that’s not happening, she agrees instead to travel with her new guardian, the Duke of Aldridge, to one of his smaller estates in Lancashire. Their journey takes them through Yorkshire, a region whose breathtaking beauty masks a simmering violence brought on by the Industrial Revolution, which pits mill owner against worker.

When Kendra and the Duke encounter a band of Luddites on a lonely, fog-shrouded road, the Duke informs the authorities in the nearby village of East Dingleford that mischief may have been done at the local mill. However, it isn’t just mischief but murder that is discovered, when the body of the mill manager, Mr. Stone, is found brutally bludgeoned to death in his office.

The Constable is certain the radical-minded Luddites committed the murder. One look at the crime scene and Kendra knows they did not, prompting the Duke to shock the locals by volunteering their services to catch the real killer. Joined by lover Alec and Bow Street Runner Sam Kelly, Kendra must sort through the puzzle of Stone’s rather unsavory life, picking apart alibies and dissecting carefully created deceptions from a growing list of suspects.

As a special agent for the FBI, Kendra thought she’d encountered every kind of evil. But when another, even more vicious murder rocks East Dingleford, Kendra realizes that they’re dealing with a stone-cold killer—one who has a shocking secret that he will do anything to protect.

I’ve really enjoyed the first two books in this series (A Murder in Time and A Twist in Time). I love the combination of time travel and historical fiction elements, and I like a good mystery, so I was of course excited to read this third installment.

The mystery in this book was just as enjoyable as the first two books. I again enjoyed reading about Kendra having to solve the murder using the tools at hand in her time period, but also using her present-day profiling knowledge. But there was a development at the end of the book that totally took me by surprise, and I love being genuinely surprised in a mystery novel.

The longer Kendra stays in 1815 and the Duke’s world, the more she has to grapple with the possibility that she may be there for the rest of her life. I feel like she kind of avoided that in earlier books so I was really interested in the way she started to wrestle with that idea in this book. And part of that is sorting out her true feelings for Alec and the societal pressures and expectations that would be placed on their relationship.

Sam Kelly, the Bow Street Runner, is one of my favourite characters in this series, and I really found myself wishing we got to see more of him in this book.

I think if you’ve enjoyed the first two books in this series, you’ll definitely like this one. And if you like historical fiction and mysteries, this series is one you should check out!

four-stars

Kat and Meg Conquer the World

Kat and Meg Conquer the WorldKat and Meg Conquer the World
By Anna Priemaza
Source Received from the publisher
Published by HarperTeen on November 7, 2017

Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

four-stars

Kat and Meg couldn’t be more different. Kat’s anxiety makes it hard for her to talk to people. Meg hates being alone, but her ADHD keeps pushing people away. But when the two girls are thrown together for a year-long science project, they discover they do have one thing in common: They’re both obsessed with the same online gaming star and his hilarious videos.

It might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship—if they don’t kill each other first.

I love stories about video games and fandom, so this synopsis appealed to me right away. I picked it up to read when I was looking for a fun YA book, and I’m so glad that I did!

I loved this story. I had fun reading about Kat playing her video game, and about Kat and Meg being fans of a popular Youtube gamer. It was cool to see them bond over their shared fandom, and to watch their friendship develop from there. I love playing video games, and I like watching other people play (I follow some Youtube gamers, and I like watching my husband play video games). I want to read more books about girls playing games! I’ve read a couple, but I want more.

The girls are opposites in so many ways, and I really identified with Kat. I saw so much of myself in her (anxiety, fear of flying and public speaking, inability to do spontaneity, etc.), but it was great to see the way Meg inspired Kat to push herself out of her comfort zone.

Where Kat came off as quiet and shy, Meg came off as outgoing and confident. But inwardly, Meg had her own struggles, and again, I really liked seeing them help each other to deal with the difficulties in their lives.

Towards the end, the story dragged a bit for me, but overall this was a really fun, entertaining story about the girls and their friendship. Anna Priemaza has a new book coming out in 2019 (Fan the Fame), and I can’t wait to read it!

four-stars

The Wedding Date

The Wedding DateThe Wedding Date
By Jasmine Guillory
Series: The Wedding Date #1
Source Purchased
Published by Berkley on January 30, 2018

three-half-stars

Agreeing to go to a wedding with a guy she gets stuck with in an elevator is something Alexa Monroe wouldn’t normally do. But there’s something about Drew Nichols that’s too hard to resist.

On the eve of his ex’s wedding festivities, Drew is minus a plus one. Until a power outage strands him with the perfect candidate for a fake girlfriend…

After Alexa and Drew have more fun than they ever thought possible, Drew has to fly back to Los Angeles and his job as a pediatric surgeon, and Alexa heads home to Berkeley, where she’s the mayor’s chief of staff. Too bad they can’t stop thinking about the other…

They’re just two high-powered professionals on a collision course toward the long distance dating disaster of the century–or closing the gap between what they think they need and what they truly want…

I’d heard great things about this book, so when I was in the mood for a light, happy-ending book, I decided to check it out.

This book started off with a fun meet-cute, and I thought the story was sweet and I thought Alexa was great (I really liked reading about her job), but I couldn’t quite get into the book. I didn’t feel all that invested in Alexa and Drew’s relationship, because I figured they would end up together in the end despite whatever issues they were having, but in a romance novel I want to feel invested in the relationship! So I’m not sure why I couldn’t get into it here.

But this has a lot of glowing reviews, so if you’re looking for a sweet rom-com, this might be the one for you.

three-half-stars

Week In Review

November 5 – 18

via GIPHY

It’s still November but our Christmas tree is up. It’s pretty and makes me happy and I love it.

 

 

I haven’t done much reading lately. Work has been very busy and I’ve started playing Skyrim and Guild Wars 2 again, which has been taking up lots of my free time. I’ve also been watching a lot of Shirley’s Skyrim videos on Youtube. She is 82 years old and her videos are delightful. I enjoy putting her Deadeye Gang playlist on while I read or do some blogging.

But I’m going to try and make some more time for reading, since I’ve fallen a bit behind again on my Goodreads challenge!

New books:

I’ve received a bunch of e-ARCs in the past couple of weeks for 2019 YA books that I’m really excited about!

 

The Missing Season,Gillian French;

With the Fire on High, Elizabeth Acevedo;

Girls of July, Alex Flinn;

On the Come Up, Angie Thomas;

The Wise and the Wicked, Rebecca Podos;

The Beholder, Anna Bright;

Let Me Hear a Rhyme, Tiffany D. Jackson;

Ordinary Girls, Blair Thornburgh;

A Dress for the Wicked, Autumn Krause; and

Fan the Fame, Anna Priemaza.

Thank you Harper!

Books read:

I’ve read four books since my last Week in Review post: two romance novels, a YA e-ARC, and a comic:

The Wedding Date, Jasmine Guillory;

When a Scot Ties the Knot, Tessa Dare;

Nightingale, Amy Lukavics; and

Ms. Marvel Vol. 2, G. Willow Wilson.

Current reads:

I’m reading Julie McElwain’s Caught in Time, which is the third book in her Kendra Donovan series. I loved the first two, so I have high hopes for this one.

I’m also trying to read A Criminal Magic by Kelly Lee, which has been on my TBR for a long time, but I borrowed it from the library via Libby which means I can only read it on my phone. I really don’t like reading on my phone all that much, and I keep forgetting that I have this ebook checked out, so I haven’t been picking this book up too much yet.

Reviews:

Lots of reviews these past couple of weeks:

Thread Herrings, Lea Wait;

In a Cottage In a Wood, Cass Green;

‘Twas the Knife Before Christmas, Jacqueline Frost;

Death and Daisies, Amanda Flower; and

Force of Nature, Jane Harper.

 

via GIPHY

 

Time for some reading and then some video games by the Christmas tree! Happy Sunday!

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