Book Predictions, Uncategorized

The Game of Stars Predictions and Theories

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Game of Stars by Sayantani Dasgupta is the second book in the Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series. You can find my review of the first book, The Serpent’s Secret, here. I’m really excited for this beautiful cover so I wanted to do a quick theories and predictions post for it. Obviously, I’ll spoil the first book a little so go read it first if you haven’t already.

  • The first thing I notice are the eight Kiranmala’s skateboarding. Now, on the first cover there were seven snakes on the cover and that was significant to the story. I wonder if maybe there will somehow be clones or something that messes with time? The story already addresses multiple dimensions so maybe it is about that.
  • I bet this book will deal with Kiranmala’s normal life and her princess life. That’ll be interesting. I wonder if her friends from school will get drawn her magical world. I think that’ll be cool.
  • Her parents! They will be in it more and I really can’t wait to see them more. And see how their relationship with Kiranmala has changed now. 
  • The bees are an interesting part of the cover. I wonder if it’ll talk about how the bees are dying off. Or maybe they will be a weapon. I wonder if they will be magical or talk or anything special. There’s so many possibilities. 
  • With the way the snake is positioned and what looks like fire surrounding it. I’m pretty sure that’s her dad, and I’m equally sure he’ll show up again. I  wonder if he gets hit with fire. 
  • And that brings me to her mom, the moon behind her. I wonder how she’ll help this book because I’m sure she will. Probably something to do with her dad again.
  • Kiranmala’s and Neel’s relationship is sure to continue to grow, and I can’t wait for the adorable awkward moments that are sure to come.
  • Neel’s mom is sure to cause more trouble, and I wonder if she’s connected to the title. She did turn Lal into a planet last book. I picture them playing a chess-like game in the sky that if they don’t win will destroy the world, but I’m sure I’m completely off base there.

Basically, I don’t have too many fleshed out theories, I’m simply excited for the book, and wanted to talk about it some more.

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Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Grip of the Shadow Plague by Brandon Mull

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“When jumping is the sole option, you jump, and try to make it work.”

Grip of the Shadow Plague is the third book in the five book Fablehaven series by Brandon Mull. Here is my review of the first book, and here is the second book’s review.  To sum up the book simply Kendra’s and Seth’s grandparents run Fablehaven, a magical preserve for magical creatures, but it is under attack and they must do everything they can to save it.

As this is the third book in the series, things have become increasingly intense and dire for the Sorenson family. As the series has become darker and more complicated, my fondness from the series has continued to grow. Many described series as getting better as the books continue, and that definitely holds true for this series.

The world has been expanded, the magic is more intense,the characters continue to grow and develop, and new ones have shown up. I can’t say much else about the books though as I don’t like writing spoiler filled reviews. I do, however, want to touch upon something that I noticed before but it became more prominent in this book. In the first two books there were only two characters of color, but in this one a lot more were introduced. Without getting too into it, basically it is only these characters that get hurt. The white  characters always find a way to be virtually unhurt. I feel unsure about whether to mention this, I looked for reviews from people of color, but no one else that I could find mentioned this. I felt like I must mention at least something even though I feel I can’t make a full discussion about it. I did find this post about the Native American representation though.

I did end up giving this book five stars, and I definitely will continue this series. It has successfully gotten me hooked even with the reservations I have about it.

5 stars

Guest Post, Uncategorized

Tales of an Aspiring Ex-Pat

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Guest Post by the author of Production Values, Liv Bartlet
(Wherein Liv, the crazed anglophile, waxes poetic about life, and…stuff.)
Ah, London.
Home of my heart.
And, given my current address stateside: A one-sided fantasy romance. Hmm, is it possible I know a little about fantasy romances and the elusive nature of too-grand dreams? Is it possible this is all really about Production Values? (I’m so sneaky!)
I’ve been an Anglophile for so long that I sometimes forget who I’m supposed to root for when I listen to the Hamilton soundtrack. (Go George! Wait…which George? The king or the general…whose side am I on again?)
This weekend, my anglophilia is on high alert because of all things Royal Wedding. The dress! The hats! Beautiful old Windsor Castle! Grand St. George’s Chapel! The wedding singer who didn’t perform Abba! Ralph Vaughan Williams music all over the Order of Service! This guy in patriotic regalia!

Reg

I’m not an armchair Anglophile, though. I did go to London once. (Twice, if you count that one time when I was 12 that my parents let us spend a day in London and then immediately took us off camping in Scotland for the rest of the 2-week vacation. But that’s a whole ‘nother story.)
In case you didn’t know, Production Values owes its existence to a 10-day whirlwind trip to London. I/we/Becca and Sarah (it’s very confusing to be two people) were writing a different book—well, a TV series—that still hasn’t come to light. However, as we did the single-girls-covered-in-clotted-cream thing and swore we’d move to London immediately, we discovered that the series behind the series mattered more. We wanted to tell the story of two best friends who tried to take Hollywood by storm—the book that has become Production Values.

After London, our lives have taken some odd turns. Becca got married and can’t seem to resist adding living things to her family (cats, dogs, kids, tenants—Becca will take you in!) and Sarah settled into life in radio. Royal weddings and streaming The Graham Norton Show are the closest we ever get to the “let’s move to London and do all the things” dream.

Dream

Which is crazy…because we usually do what we set out to do. Hey, that’s life, right?—unpredictable and a little quirky, like my favorite photo of Big Ben above. Life is confusing and full of directions you can’t quite figure out. But that’s the wonderful thing about life—all those unexpected turns you make along the way. And no matter if you end up at the dream or take a curve into the mundane, life will always take you by surprise.
That’s the message I hope to send when I write. But maybe you’ll learn something else.

That’s okay—you’re on your own journey. The directions for mine won’t help you much.

—Liv

Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher

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She glared at both of them “I realize we’re all going to die, but I’d just as soon we do it there and not here.”

Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher is the first book in the Clocktaur War duology. T. Kingfisher is actually the pen name of Ursula Vernon, an author I talk a lot about on here as she made the Dragonbreath series. This is an adult steampunk fantasy series though instead of a children’s fantasy one.

The Clockwork Boys follows three criminals and a priest on a quest to figure out how their weird giant clock centaur enemies work and how to destroy them. Why would criminals be trusted with a mission like this? Well, the first two groups turned up dead, and they put carnivorous tattoos on them that will eat them if they even think about abandoning their mission. It sounds crazy, right? But somehow it all makes sense while reading. The world isn’t confusing at all with the way Kingfisher writes. 

I have completely fallen in love with these characters. We have Slate, the group leader and expert document forger, Caliban, a disgraced knight with a dead demon wrapped around his soul, Brenner, an illiterate assassin, and Learned Edmund, a priest/scholar who has never been around a woman before. They are a motley crew that simply make magic together.

The writing, the plot, the pacing, the description, I loved all of it. The only thing I can think to complain of is I wish it was longer. I guess they split the book in half for some reason, but there’s a second one out there that I can’t wait to get my hands on. Easily a five star book. Everyone should go pick this up to experience it for themselves.

5 stars

Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Medium Wave by Rose Zolock

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The evil was coming for her.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This has in no way shaped my opinions of the book.

Medium Wave by Rose Zolock is the first book in a new paranormal thriller series. Becky Moran has made herself famous by pretending to be a medium who can talk to the dead. She has a radio show called Medium Wave. However, during one of her shows Becky touches an old, paranormal object, and suddenly has the very real gift of seeing the dead. Now she has to deal with her new gift because it turns out not all spirits are good. Some are dark, and they are coming after Becky.

The premise of this novel is one I love. The way everything played out felt very natural while still surprising me (somewhat). The story follows Becky, mainly, but also the studio team that had built her image. It showed a lot of the business side of having a radio show which I liked just as much as the paranormal plot line going on.

I didn’t much like the way the narration would jump into everyone’s heads though. Sometimes it felt repetitive though it was basically the only time that we got to know the other characters. So it was good and bad.

The book includes a main gay character and a main black character which was cool. There was also a lot of fat characters, but I found that less cool because they were always painted in a bad light compared to the tiny, perfectly slim Becky Moran. It was something that really started bothering me by the end of the book. Beck was also in general the perfect person and everyone around her had a lot of bad flaws.

Suicide is mentioned a couple of times in this book so be aware of that if that might bother you. Nothing was especially scary to me, but I don’t think I scare that easily. I could see this being really scary for other people.

All in all, I enjoyed this book, and I could see myself continuing on with this series. It’s a relatively short read, though I felt the end dragged on a little too much. It’s still a solid four stars for me.

4 stars

Book Reviews

Emma’s Book of Courage by Emma Lindberg – Book Review

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Believe it or not, this book was written by a six year old. Going into this, I wasn’t sure what to expect, but the concept was fascinating. I’m happy to say I was not at all disappointed.

Emma’s Book of Courage is a lovely, uplifting, charming book. Emma talks about the many ways in which she constantly tries to be courageous in her daily life. She explains the many ways in which kindness has helped her be a better person. She talks about how much fun it is to try new things.

On top of the wonderful message, the illustrations were beyond beautiful. They were colorful and bright and complimented the story very well.

I read this book to my seven year old nephew, and he found it very interactive. It gave him a chance to answer the questions asked, and he wondered the ways in which he’s ever been courageous. I think this is a great book for children. I would definitely recommend it!

4 stars

Book Reviews

Anything Could Happen by Will Walton – Book Review

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“There’s sickness, and there’s sadness. But the thing is, there’s love, too. I try never to forget that.”

This book was a rollercoaster of emotions, but it was the kind of rollercoaster I’m not too afraid to ride because it doesn’t have those scary loops. What I’m trying to say is, I really enjoyed this book.

The story follows Tretch Farm, a fifteen year old boy who’s in love with his straight best friend, Matt. I’d be lying if I said I was new to this type of story. I don’t know how many lgbt stories I’ve read where this is the premise, but it’s a lot. Usually, every story ends the same way. But I appreciated the way this book didn’t follow in that same direction. It completely took me by surprise.

One of my favorite aspects of this book was the music. There was mention of a lot of pop music, especially Ellie Goulding, and her magnificent Halcyon album. That album meant the world to me when it came out, and I listened to it nonstop. It came to my life when I needed it the most. So it was a bit nostalgic getting to read about this teenage boy living his life to the beat of that same album. It was such a great experience. Also, I loved that Tretch was a dancer. I love dancers.

I was also pleasantly surprised to see how much of Tretch’s family was incorporated into the story. Not just his family, but also Matt’s. We get to see Matt’s two dads interacting with each other in the loveliest, most domestic scenarios. It was incredible. I loved their inclusion. And Tretch’s parents and grandparents and his brother were all so interesting. Their love for each other flew off the pages.

I loved the friendship between Tretch and Matt the most. It was sweet, selfless, and true. Despite his feelings for Matt, Tretch only wanted the best for his friend, even if it meant seeing him dating a girl. What I loved even more was that Tretch built close relationships to Amy, the girl Matt was dating, and to Lana, the girl who had a crush on Tretch. I thought Tretch was a kind character. He had his flaws, but he was beautiful overall.

I had a lot of fun with this book. I’m so glad I read it.

3,5 stars