Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Halloween Bingo 2018, Horror, Young Adult

Full Tilt

Review:

Full Tilt - Neal Shusterman

 

It began the night we died on the Kamikaze.

– First sentence

This is a great Creepy Carnival book. Blake, his brother Quinn, and their friends Russ & Maggie end up trapped in an otherworldly carnival. The only way out is if they can ride seven rides before dawn. But each ride taps into one of their biggest fears, and no one has ever escaped before…

I enjoyed this one. It was fast-paced and creepy with a satisfying ending. It doesn’t take long to get to the carnival part and I enjoyed watching Blake try to figure things out.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Book Review, Fairy tale retelling, Fantasy, Grades 3-5

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood

Review:

Red: The True Story of Red Riding Hood - Liesl Shurtliff

Audience: Upper Elementary/Middle School

The first time I tried my hand at magic, I grew roses out of my nose.

– First sentence

Red’s granny is sick (maybe dying) and she is determined to find a way to save her. She sets off on an adventure that brings understanding, knowledge, fear, excitement and even unexpected friendships.

Other books in this series include Rump, Jack, and Grump. They all come from the same world, but see it from different perspectives.

I thoroughly enjoyed this series so far. I haven’t read Grump, but I’m sure it won’t disappoint. Red is a great character though a bit naive and sheltered. She learns a great deal during her adventure and grows into a stronger person.

Bottom line: A fresh take on the story of Red Riding Hood that will take you on an exciting adventure filled with danger and unexpected friendships.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Audiobook, Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

Court of Wings and Ruin

Review:

A Court of Wings and Ruin - Sarah J. Maas, Amanda Leigh Cobb

Audience – Young Adult

 

I loved this book. It was a fantastic end to the series. I highly recommend it. The narrator is different for this book, but she did an amazing job. There is less sex in this one than in the previous book (which was sort of a relief – it was a bit much in the last one but it did make sense in the context of the story).

After 64 hours in the world of Prythian, I am ready for something new. But I’m thrilled to have met Feyre & Rhysand and the rest of their family. This series is a must-read for fans of Maas, and of fantasy.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

Court of Mist & Fury – Audiobook

Review:

A Court of Mist and Fury - Sarah J. Maas, Jennifer Ikeda

Audience – Young Adult

Maybe I’d always been broken and dark inside.

– first sentence

Feyre is now High Fae, but she still has her human heart and she cannot forget all she did to save Tamlin and his court. She is depressed, but Tamlin is too busy trying to protect and save her to notice. She still has the deal with Rhysand, new powers that she doesn’t understand, and Prythian is still in danger.

I loved this book for so many reasons. Mass takes us on an emotional journey as Feyre learns to control and develop her powers and to respect herself and understand what she needs to be happy. She leaves a controlling relationship for herself, not for another guy.  She is an amazing character and so strong.

Again Mass makes us love the characters, despite or maybe because of their flaws. So many characters turned out to be different than I expected. The story is emotional, sexy, serious, sad sometimes and funny at others. I loved Rhys’s team and the way he respects and loves them. I loved Feyre’s strength and her gradual acceptance that she is worthwhile and deserving of happiness.

And then, the end. WOW – what a twist. I was so angry along with Feyre and so sad at what happened. And then after that crazy, unfortunate twist, Feyre made a decision that broke my heart…

And I’m immediately on to the next book.

P.S. This book was 23 hours, the next is 25 hours.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

Court of Thorns & Roses – audio

AGE: Young Adult

Review:

A Court of Thorns and Roses - Sarah J. Maas, Jennifer Ikeda

The forest had become a labrynith of snow and ice.

first sentence

Feyre is a nineteen-year-old girl who supports her family by hunting. When she kills a wolf, she violates a centuries-old treaty. As punishment, she must live with Tamlin, a powerful, immortal faerie in the land of Prythian. Feyre goes from hating Tamlin to falling in love with him, but there is a darkness over the land and Feyre may be their only hope.

This is a robust story with unexpected twists and turns. Feyre taught herself how to hunt in order to keep her family alive. She is a powerful girl and definitely not a typical fairy tale heroine – who needs a strong male to save her. I loved Feyre, Tamlin, Lucien, and even Rhys and I hated Amarantha and her evil court. I loved the derisive tone the narrator gave to Feyre’s thoughts about certain characters and the emotion she infused into the story.

The end of this book was fabulous and I immediately started listening to book 2 (thank goodness for audible credits). The narrator did an excellent job, and I hope she continues with the next two books.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children – Graphic Novel

Review:

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children: The Graphic Novel - Cassandra Jean, Ransom Riggs

Love this graphic novel version of Peculiar Children – the story, the illustrations, the way it’s black & white in the “normal” world and turns to color in the “loop”. If you liked the original, you will surely enjoy this one. It even includes black & white photos found in the original book.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Grades 6-8, Sunshine State 2018-19

A Crack in the Sea by H. M. Bouwman

Review: owlowlowl

This book is a bit complicated. The story is told through the tales of three sets of siblings: Venus & Swimmer escape from a slave ship in 1781 and end up in the Second World, Kinchen & Pip live in the Second World, and Thanh & Sang are trying to escape Vietnam with a few relatives, in the First World in 1976.

When Pip is taken by the Raft King, Kinchen must find and protect her younger brother. At one point, other characters tell the story of Venus and Swimmer and their journey. Then we learn about Pip’s experiences on Raftworld. Other characters are sprinkled throughout and we eventually meet Thanh & Sang and follow their adventure.

This book combines fables and magic with historical fiction. The Vietnamese family is trying to escape what is left of their country after the war in Vietnam. The original colonists of the Second World are escapees from slave ships who used magic to find a portal through from the First World. Inhabitants of the Second World include a large group of people who live on a group of connected rafts, islanders, sea monsters, people who can talk to sea creatures, and others who can walk through water.

I found this book overly long and it had difficulties keeping my attention. The child characters are too similar and I found myself forgetting who was who. The story will appeal to some kids, but I don’t think it will be overwhelmingly popular.

Recommended to:  Middle School students who enjoy complex tales with multiple characters and a bit of magic.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adventure, Audiobook, Book Review, Fantasy, Grades 6-8, Sunshine State 2018-19

The Girl Who Could Not Dream by Sarah Beth Durst

Review:

owlowlowlowlowl half

The dreamer controls the dream.

Imagine having a friendly monster as your best friend and protector. Sophie’s parents own a dream shop in the basement of their bookstore where they secretly sell liquid dreams. Sophie’s best (and only) friend is a cupcake-loving monster named Monster, who she once pulled out of a dream. Monster is a bit sarcastic and a lot overprotective, but he would do anything for Sophie. Then, Mr. Nightmare arrives, the shop is robbed, and Sophie’s parents go missing. With the help of Monster, some new friends, and some fierce, but friendly creatures, Sophie just might be able to find and save her parents.

This is an enchanting and quirky story that reminds us it’s okay to be different. And our most courageous friends may look all fluffy and cute on the outside, but they have fierce hearts.

I listened to the audio and the narrator was excellent. I loved the voice she used for Monster. I highly recommend the book and the audio.

Recommended to: Ages 9-13, fans of fantasy and adventure stories.

 

Original post:
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Posted in Adventure, Book Review, Fantasy, Middle Grade, Sunshine State 2018-19

Forest of Wonders by Linda Sue Park

Review:

owlowlowlowl

This is an enchanting adventure that kids are sure to love. There is magic, talking animals, danger, friendship, and by the end Raffa realizes that choices (and people) are not always what they seem to be. The plot is unresolved at the end (which makes sense because this is a trilogy), but all three books are already released so it’s easy to continue with Raffa’s adventure.

Highly recommended to students in grades 4 and up, fans of fantasy, magic, and adventure.

I listened to the audiobook and the narrator did an excellent job.

 

 

Original post:
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Posted in Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

The Midnight Star by Marie Lu

Review:

owlowlowlowlowl

This is book 3 in the Young Elites series. Beware of spoilers if you haven’t read The Young Elites and The Rose Society.

Is being Queen worth losing everything and everyone you ever loved?

Adelina supposedly now has everything she wanted. She is Queen and she’s as ruthless and as cruel as ever. Even though she is now queen, she can never have enough power. Her darkness feeds on the power and it’s taking over. Adelina has lost so much, but now it seems the whole world is at risk. Her Rose Society must join with the Daggers and make an unforgettable journey to the realm of the gods. If they can’t work together, there is no hope.

This was an amazing series and Marie Lu is an impressive and talented writer. I also loved the Legend series. Adelina’s journey is heartbreaking and difficult, but I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

 

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