Sunday, July 31, 2016

Jack Sparrow Doesn't Like This Book But I Do

I must ask all of you a question.
Where has the week run off to?
Actually, where has the summer gone? GOOD GOSH, IT'S THE LAST DAY OF JULY.
For me, school starts in a week. ONE WEEK PEOPLE.
I had plans this summer. I was going to read books. Remember that shelf of books that I haven't read in the post in which I analyzed my bookshelf? Yeah, that shelf was my book goal.
I read three books on that shelf.
I'm ashamed of myself.
Anyway, I read a book during the school year that I have been wanting to review for a while now, and yes, that is the book for this post.

A Mad, Wicked Folly by Sharon Biggs Waller

One decision can change your whole life. For Vicky, that decision was posing nude in the French art studio she was secretly drawing at. If she hadn't gotten caught, she would have stayed in France, at the studio, and at the finishing school she was staying at.
But Victoria Darling got caught in the act. And in 1909, doing such a thing was social suicide.
She moved back to England, leaving her one friend and passion for drawing, where a boring scheduled out life waited for her. To cover up the scandal, her parents arrange a marriage with a classy gentleman named Edmund.
For most girls her age, that would be a dream come true. But for Vicky, it's the opposite of what she wants. She wants to attend The Royal College of Arts and expand her drawing skills. The last thing she wants to do is get tied down to a man she barely knows.
Vicky will try everything to get her dream of being an artist, even if it means joining the suffragette movement and engaging in a scandalous relationship with a working class boy.
If it means being able to be an artist, Vicky would go to the moon and back.

(Six Stars)
And yes, the scale is still out of five. This book was so gosh darn good that five stars was not enough. There is a certain thing about the way Sharon Biggs Waller writes her books that even what would be the most boring parts of a book are still exhilarating in her books. And the most interesting parts are more emotional than when the Percy Jackson fandom thought Blood of Olympus was the last of Percy Jackson completely.
At certain parts I would just have to put the book down and take a deep breath. And then immediately pick up the book again because not reading it was more torturous than the feels in this book.
So A Mad, Wicked Folly is a historical fiction novel based off the suffragette movemet in England in the early 20th century. It follows the story of seventeen year old Victoria Darling, who is high up on the social ladder and wants to be an artist.
The thing is:
You guys know how much I hate historical fiction. (Shout out to my review of The Friendship Doll part 1 and part 2 and my review on Out of the Dust) This book was completely different. Sharon Biggs Waller captured the brave characters of a great Action Adventure book, the dramatic relationships of all successful romance novels, AND the historical accuracy for that time and for the events going on at that time that are necessary to any historical fiction book.
The feels are too much to handle all the time, and you never want to put the book down. This book made me cry, which says a lot because I've never actually cried watching a movie or reading a book. This book was amazing.
And don't forget, it is based around the events of the suffagette movement, so it is very uplifting and empowering to all girls that read this. (Plus, Sharon Biggs Waller included the Pankhursts in the story as actual characters, and I think that's really cool.)
I do warn you though, a good age to read this book is definetely 13 and up, because there is a descriptive kissing scene.
One of my friends (who was twelve at the time) and I got in an argument about who could gross out who at school. He is absoloutely disgusted by anything romantic, so I brought the book to school the next day, opened to the kissing scene, and made him read it.
He read one word and slammed the book shut. And made this face:

So I do advise if you or the person you might recommend this book to doesn't like romancey suff, than I wouldn't read it just yet, because it is a romance book.
But it is a great book, and if I were you reading this, I would read A Mad, Wicked Folly. (Plus, Sharon Biggs Waller is super nice so you should check out her blog here.)

So, how was your week? Are y'all sad that the summer is almost over?
I will try to do another interview sometime soon, and I will most definetely be reviewing Sharon Biggs Waller's other book, The Forbidden Orchid.

Have a great week!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

"The athletic ability of a handcuffed penguin" Q & A with Christopher Healy

This previous week I had the pleasure of interviewing Christopher Healy, the author of The Hero's Guide series.

I absolutely love his books (my second review on the B.O.B. was on his book). So when I found out on his website that other people had interviewed him, I knew I had to give it a shot. I contacted him and he was gracious enough to answer my questions. It turns out that not only is he a great author, but he is a really cool guy!
So my very first author Q & A on this blog just happens to be with one of my favorite authors, Christopher Healy.

A.L. Foster: At what time in your life did you decide that you wanted to write a book?

Christopher Healy: Second grade. Took me about 30 more years to actually do it, though.

A.L. Foster: What were you like when you were in school?

Christopher Healy: I think the word most often used to describe me was "nerd." I had very few friends (though the friends I had were great), the athletic ability of a handcuffed penguin, and mindbogglingly awful fashion sense. As a quite happy and successful adult, though, I can tell you definitively that absolutely none of those things mattered and every minute I spent worrying about them was wasted.

A.L. Foster: If you could be in any of your characters' shoes, whose would you be in?

Christopher Healy: Prince Frederic. He and I wear the same size.

A.L. Foster: If The Hero's Guide series were made into a movie, who would you cast as your main characters?

Christopher Healy: As it happens, Hero's Guide is being developed as an animated film by Fox Animation & Blue Sky Studios. I don't want to jinx it by speculating at any casting choices.

A.L. Foster: In a movie about your life, who would you cast as yourself?

Christopher Healy
: Grover from Sesame Street.

A.L. Foster: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

Christopher Healy: Most of my Hero's Guide characters came from taking pre-existing character stereotypes and twisting them around to make them different and unique. I love turning people's expectations on their heads, and that's what was behind the creation of most of my characters.

A.L. Foster: What's the easiest and hardest thing about writing a book?

Christopher Healy: I don't know that there is an easiest thing, but, for me, the most fun part is probably the plotting at the very beginning, when you can just let your imagination run wild and not worry about how all the crazy scenes you just thought up are going to fit together. The hardest part is figuring out how to make all those crazy scenes fit together—and cutting out the ones that simply won't fit.

A.L. Foster: Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Christopher Healy: Always keep a tiny percentage of your mind open for inspiration. You never know when that perfect idea will strike.

A.L. Foster: Can you tell us anything about your new book, The Worst Thing About Saving The World?

Christopher Healy: No, but I will tell you a bit about my new book, Perilous Journey, because that one will be coming out first (I need to update my website). Perilous Journey takes place in America during the Golden Age of Invention and tells the story of a couple of young lab assistants who stumble upon a dastardly plot that just may involve some of history's most famous inventors.

Thanks so much to Christopher Healy for taking time out of his busy summer schedule to blog with The B.O.B.!
Make sure to read his books in The Hero's Guide series, Perilous Journey, and The Worst Thing About Saving The World when they come out. You can learn more about him on his website:

Hopefully this won't be the last author Q & A on The B.O.B. If you guys like it, I'll do another one.
Have a great week!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Steve Carell on Girdles. (JK)

Hello, peoples!
This week was very crazy. I got three books in this week only, all of which were hardback. So that's around $60 I blew just on books. And I went school supply shopping today.
Yes folks, it is around that time of year again.
I agree, Steve Carell, I agree.
I did a back to school book recommendation post two years ago around this time of the year.
So as I did in July of 2014, I shall do again in July of 2016.
This is the book every girl needs to read before going into Middle School:
In case you haven't arleady heard about this book, it was published in 1953, written by Betty Cornell, a model from the fifties. This book was revived after Maya Van Wagenen wrote her book, Popular. Popular is the story of a girl who followed the directions of Betty Cornell's Teen-Age Popularity Guide to a T. So I was at an airport last summer and I had a lot of time to kill, so OBVIOUSLY I ran to the nearest book store (conveniently located in the airport) like so:

And I started perusing. Like always.
I found Popular and started flipping through it, and it had an except from Betty Cornell.
No lie, this book literally says:
"...I am firmly of the opinion that almost every teen needs a girdle..."
(This book was a joke to me before it changed my life. Seriously.)
And that was the moment I decided to read Betty Cornell's Teen-Age Popularity Guide.
Betty Cornell covers subjects from Diet to Personality (which are the first and last chapters, actually) and she gives crucial and wise advice on everything. Whether you want it or not. Mrs.Cornell gets straight to the point with her advice, while making sure her book isn't dry and boring. And making sure she is using proper English, which is one of the humorus aspects to the book. Betty Cornell will be telling you about the fact that PDA is innapropriate, but she'll be very straight forward and polite about it. "No one wants to go to a diner and eat a hamburger seasoned with the simpering going-ons of two moonstrucks youths."
This really was a great read.
Five Stars
So, I said earlier that this book changed my life in a way (yes, I do realize I'm going completely out of order.)
But I'm not really exaggerating when I say that. My life was different after following this book's instructions. I didn't follow it all the way, but the results were still incredible. (I didn't follow it all the way because I like food too much to diet, and I am definetly NOT going to wear a girdle.)

So before Betty Cornell, I was the new girl at my middle school, and I knew about five people. Two of those people liked me. So....
But this was the first time I had been the new kid, so I had no idea what I was doing. Which is ALWAYS just great when you're one person with two friends in a school as large as mine. And I was very guarded about it.  I didn't really WANT to make friends. I also got bullied a bit for my lack of friends and style.
I got through the year, somehow--with my two friends--and I decided that something needed to change. Enter me finding Popular at an airport bookstore, then buying Betty Cornell on Amazon (you can find it here). I read it through all the way, and decided that this was going to help me change my situation at school.
I was a little wary about the idea of makeup, because I was scared I was going to end up like this:
But I didn't!
So the school year after, I was a lot more confident, and my clothes were more than running shorts and junky t-shirts (even though there is nothing wrong with running shorts and junky t-shirts...). I had more friends than two, and I was a nicer and happier person too. And as promised on the front of the book, I am somewhat popular.
I know we kind of took a turn away from a book review, but my experience with and after this book is why I so highly recommend it.
If you are a teen girl reading this, you should read it, and if you are a parent with a teen daughter reading this, you should recommend this book for your daughter to read. Not every bit of advice is relevant to the 21st century, but the overall advice is helpful.
I'm going to write a post on my second blog, The Awesome Mix of My Life, about back to school tips (specifically for rising 6th graders). I'll tell you guys when it's up.
Have a great week!

Sunday, July 10, 2016


I lied.
Believe it.
Riding Freedom was not the last of me.
*DRAMATIC GASP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!*
That's right.
In fact, I have read so many books since the last post, I'm doing a book haul.
But I'm so sorry guys...
Yes, Flynn Rider, November of 2015.
(And, please excuse my excessive use of Tangled gifs in this post, but I just watched this so....)
#throwback to my old review on Mockingjay
I digress.
First Book Haul ever, here we go:

Great Read: 
Lockwood and Co. by Jonathan Stroud

Lucy Carlyle should've known what she was getting into when she moved to London. The Problem had left a dent there, for some. Many Psychic agencies are thriving due to the hauntings in London, and Lockwood and Co., a rag-tag team of two boys, are one of them. They invite Lucy into the family, and despite her failed missions before, she accepts their offer. A common, everyday person would think a small company like Lockwood's couldn't last a month with agencies like Fittes around. But when Lucy joins Lockwood and George's efforts to keep the company running, an opportunity comes up that could mean life or death for the company and the people in it.

This book was awesome. I'm not one for books that have a scary aspect to them, but I LOVED this. This book made me scared (in the best way) and scared for the characters at the same time. Jonathan Stroud mixed in the right amount of thrill and adventure with friendship and sass, and yes, a little bit of romance. (Between whom I will not say.)
The only complaint I have about this book is that only a short part of the book at the end actually deals with the screaming staircase, but that does not make the book slow at all. The ghost cases before the Screaming Staircase are still action filled and do keep you on the edge of your chair.
Four Stars.

Books You Need to Put on Your 'To Read' List:

The Zodiac Legacy by Stuart Moore and Andie Tong
Illustrated by Stan Lee

I absolutely love anything Marvel. So when I saw that Stan Lee was on the team for creating this book, I FREAKED OUT.
Seriously, who doesn't want an action-packed book that has amazing pictures by Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel? 
If I'm to be honest, I really, REALLY just wanted to look at the pictures and not read the book at all. This went down in my head:
5 Year-Old Me: 0.0 Pretty pretty pictures. 0.0
Practical Me: You know there are actually words in this right? I mean, there IS a story to go with those pretty pictures.
5 Year-Old Me: 0.0 Pictures.
Practical Me: We're going nowhere with this conversation. We're reading this now.

And I'm really glad I did. It was a fun ride reading about the fights between The Vanguard and Steven and the gang.
The only reason I wouldn't give this book five stars is because I really wanted more character development and a little less fighting. I would like to know more about all these characters and their motives, which will hopefully be revealed in the second book, The Zodiac Legacy: The Dragon's Return. Sadly, these flaws in the book brought it down two stars from its potential.
Three Stars.
P.S. The sequel is out right now! It's for sale at pretty much any book store in the kids section and it is also on Amazon.
After I finished The Zodiac Legacy I was basically like:
And now I am at peace because there is a sequel. :)

The Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle by Rick Riordan
Trials of Apollo: The Hidden Oracle Summary
You guys have no idea how excited I was for this book. Me and my friends all wore our Camp Half Blood and Camp Jupiter shirts the day it came out, and then I booked it (see what I did there???) to Barnes and Nobles for this book. I was so excited.
And I wasn't disappointed. Just when we all thought Percy Jackson and the gang were done for...for forever, Rick is like:
And the fangirls were like:
Regardless, this book was all I hoped it would be. It was like if Percy Jackson and the Olympians and Heroes of Olympus had a book baby, Trials of Apollo would be it. And for those of you who have read both of those series, you know how awesome that is.
Trials of Apollo had almost all the awesome characters from both PJO and HOO (YES PERCY IS THERE XD). The god Apollo narrates this book, and every chapter starts with a haiku (which is also AMAZING). Every moment isn't action-packed, but it is filled with nostalgia, ships, and THE FEELS.
And may I say, the trailers were hilarious. (Check them out here.)

The only things I would complain about is that the narration was iffy at times. I felt like, on occasion, Percy had just taken over Rick for a second and took over narration. Also, Rick promised that we would see all the characters in this book, but some only got mentions, and these were characters who deserved more than mentions.
But over all it was a good book.
Four Stars.

P.S. Please read the Percy Jackson and the Olympians books and the Heroes of Olympus books (in that order) before you read Trials of Apollo. It won't make sense otherwise.

So, how have you guys been? What should be on MY to read list?
I have more book reviews on the way, because three books is DEFINITELY a lot less than the total amount of books I've read since last November. 
Also, check out The B.O.B.'s sister website at:
Have a great week!