Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

The Spiderwick Chronicles Series Review

The Spiderwick Chronicles is written by Holly Black and illustrated by Tony DiTerlizzi. In total, there are five books each around a hundred pages long. The premise is that the Grace children (Jared, Simon, and Mallory) have contacted DiTerlizzi and Black because they believe in fairies and they want to have their story told as a warning to others. Black and DiTerlizzi obliged.

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Just as he paused, something inside the wall rustled.

The Field Guide is simply an introduction to the series. Anyone who picks up the series will know from the beginning letters that it is about fairies, but it isn’t until the end of the book that the Grace children know. 

3 stars

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“What’s wrong?”

“Could be trouble, could be nought. Whatever it is, it’s what you wrought.”

The Seeing Stone introduces the Grace children and the reader to the troubles that knowing about fairies can cause. More creatures are introduced, and the children (mainly Mallory and Simon) start wondering if keeping the book around is even worth it. Jared thinks so, mainly because he feels as if he finally has something of his own.

I really like how that is incorporated into the series. Jared is having the toughest time out of his siblings with their parents divorce, and life in general. His character development is one of my favorite things that kept me turning pages throughout these books.

3 stars

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“Weird things started happening when we found that book, and they’re not going to stop until we get rid of it.”

Lucinda’s Secret continues the children’s struggle. Do they keep the book or not? More creatures keep being introduced all wanting the book. The children aren’t sure who to trust, and it’s starting to rip the siblings apart.

3 stars

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The creature’s grin widened into something that still wasn’t really a smile. Then suddenly it shrank back as though frightened. Jared watched in amazement as the Not-Jared’s body shrank, its dark hair paled into a sandy brown, and its now blue eyes went wide with terror.

The Ironwood Tree is where the series turns darker, and that’s where my enjoyment of it really picked up. The big boss of the series is shown, and everything set up from the first three books really comes together. 

4 stars

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They were at the gate of the Spiderwick estate. To Jared’s horror, trash, papers, feathers, and broken furniture littered the lawn.

The Wrath of Mulgarath is a great ending to this lovely little series. Everything wrapped up in nice and interesting ways. The illustrations were great as always, and the characters stronger than ever.

4 stars

Overall, I find this to be a cute little series that I think would get reluctant younger readers more into novels. And if this isn’t enough, there are four companion novels all about expanding the world, and a spin off trilogy with all new characters. I’m not sure if I’m going to check those out myself, but I am glad I got to these books even if it is years later than most people have read them.

 

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Book Reviews, Uncategorized

The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon Book Review

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“Can you believe we’ve only been here a day and we’ve already got such amazing neighbors?”

The Neighbors by Hannah Mary McKinnon is an adult, domestic thriller about two families living next to each other. Wording it that way makes it sound so bland and boring, but these families are the most messed up families ever. Abby and Liam had a relationship years ago, but when Abby’s brother died, they broke up. It’s years, and many secrets, later, they are both married to other people and each had a kid. When they meet again, they pretend they’ve never met, but find it hard to stay away from each other.

I think this is my first ever domestic thriller, so I don’t think I know what I was getting into. I think it’s probably a good one to introduce me to the genre though I don’t think that it will ever be one I automatically reach for.

The writing is really smooth and easy to read which I really appreciated. There was four perspectives, Abby, her husband, Nate, Liam’s wife, Nancy, and Abby and Nate’s daughter Sarah. Sarah’s was my favorite because it was solely in journal entries and she was my favorite character out of all of them.

My main problem with this book was it’s characters. Now, I do think most of them were fleshed out expect for Liam and his son, Zach. None of them were likable which isn’t something I need to like a character. I just didn’t care what happened to them. They were making all these messed up decisions and I was laying there like okay, next page. And I don’t like reading like that.

I can’t say I didn’t enjoy myself at the end with all the twists. I do think that’s it’s strongest point. Otherwise, it’s an average three stars from me.

3 stars

Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Dragonbreath #10-11 by Ursula Vernon Review

So I have written about Dragonbreath quite a bit on this blog. It’s a children’s graphic novel series that follows Danny Dragonbreath the only dragon in his reptile school who has trouble breathing fire and always gets into crazy adventures with his best friend Wendell the iguana.

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“A good scientist shouldn’t make assumptions until she has all the facts.”

In the tenth novel of Dragonbreath, Danny gets a letter from his cousin Spencer that he has been kidnapped by knights and needs help. Danny, while still not liking Spencer, decides he has to save him since he is family and all. Along with Wendell and Christiana, Danny goes on a rescue mission, but not everything is as it seems.

I liked Spencer making a comeback. He forces Danny to be a little bit more responsible which is a nice side to see sometimes. Christiana and Danny had a lot of focus on their friendship in this one which I loved to see. I also liked the acknowledgment of the whole knight vs dragon thing that happens so often in stories and how Vernon paralleled it with outdated racist/sexist ideals the older generation often holds onto.

5 stars

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The air hitting the back of his throat was like frost.

Danny’s sick. His fire has gone out. As you can imagine, for a dragon this is a serious illness. Danny needs help from his Granddad, Wendell, and Christiana in order to get better. 

I love when Danny’s Granddad is in the books. He is funny and I always like how odd his solutions to crisis are. This was a bit more serious I found than the rest of the books, but this didn’t tame my enjoyment at all. If anything how different some of the books can be keep the series interesting.

5 stars

I am not sure, but I do think this is the last books in the Dragonbreath series. The last book came out two years ago, and the ending to The Frozen Menace was a lot more final than the other ones. I’m sad about it, but I’ve enjoyed reading it and Ursula Vernon has other series to continue onto. 

Book Recommendations, Book Reviews, Uncategorized

The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher

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“Caliban would have laid down his life for Slate, probably with a sense of relief, but a man’s socks…that was asking a lot.”

The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher is the concluding book of The Clocktaur War duology. I reviewed book one here, but to explain briefly three criminals are forced to get cannibal tattoos to go on a suicide mission for their government. It’s filled with creatures that are similar to talking dogs, giant clock armies, love, demons, and I could go on and on.

This was originally supposed to be one book, but was split in two to keep everything the author wanted. This causes the book to start off a little awkwardly. It has to start off like a second book, so it’s repeating what happened in the first, and it takes a little bit to take off.

But when it does, man I was hooked. I love all these characters so much I would read about them getting groceries and enjoy it. Luckily, this book has a bunch more action to that, and it does it so well. The ending took my breath away. I was so scared and horrified and sad but happy because the book was so good. And for the first time in a long time I cried while reading a book. I’m still crying a little now if I’m being completely honest. 

To say the least, I loved this book. I want everyone to read this series and love it like I do. T. Kingfisher started she will definitely be back in this world she created and I will be eagerly waiting for any news about it. I don’t know how I will move onto any other book now, and that’s one of the highest compliments a book can receive.

5 stars

 

Book Tag, Uncategorized

Mid Year Book Freak Out Tag 2018

1. Best book you’ve read so far in 2018.

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That would definitely have to be The Clockwork Boys by T. Kingfisher

2. Best sequel you’ve read so far in 2018.

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For a book series I didn’t think that I would ever continue, the second and third book of the Fablehaven series has really sucked me in this year.

3. New release you haven’t read yet, but want to.

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I need to read Dread Nation by Justina Ireland soon.

4. Most anticipated release for the second half of the year.

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That has to be a tie between Beneath the Citadel by Destiny Soria (because she wrote Iron Cast one of my favorite books ever) and A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney (because Buffy plus Alice in Wonderland sounds amazing).

5. Biggest disappointment.

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I think this is my only one star on the year, and I don’t believe I ever wrote a review here for it. It was confusing and gave me a headache when I thought I would really enjoy it.

6. Biggest surprise.

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Even though I was excited to read Medium Wave by Rose Zolock, I was still surprised by the book and how much I liked it.

7. Favourite new author. (Debut or new to you)

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That has to be Sayantani Dasgupta. I’m going to be looking forward to whatever she puts out even if it isn’t part of the Kiranmala and the Kingdom Beyond series.

8. Newest fictional crush.

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Naji from The Assassin’s Curse duology is perfect.

9. Newest favourite character.

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Everyone is this book.

10. Book that made you cry.

None of them has.

11. Book that made you happy.

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This Dragonbreath book in particular though all of them make me happy.

12. Most beautiful book you’ve bought so far this year (or received)

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I love the gold lettering.

13. What books do you need to read by the end of the year?

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I need to get to The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas before the movie comes out. I would also love to finish the Percy Jackson series. I only have two more books to go in that first one.

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Dis_ability by Munir Zamir

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The tears of life will fall
Into a river full of grief
Only then can the whisper of the Beloved
Provide the ailment as magnificent relief

I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. That in no way changes my opinion of it.

Dis_ability by Munir Zamir is a short poetry collection surrounding Zamir’s struggle with living with his disability. Zamir was born with congenital deformities in the early 70’s. This short collection talks about love, relationships with other people and himself, and society as a whole.

It’s tough reviewing poetry because it changes so much from person to person. I don’t typically read poetry either. I get confused easily with too many metaphors and similes. I find myself wanting them to straight out tell me what they mean. However, there are times I step out of my comfort zone, and I must say I’m glad I did with this collection.

I found that this collection had a nice balance of pretty sentences and straight forward ones so I didn’t get frustrated. I know I don’t relate to these poems, but I don’t need to. Not everything is meant to be deeply personal, you know? 

I found this to be easy to read with some truly lovely poems in them. I enjoyed myself and I think others will too.

3 stars

Book Reviews, Uncategorized

Star Jumpers: The Lion Roars by Sophie Baxter

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I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Star Jumpers: The Lion Roars by Sophie Baxter is the first book in a new fantasy series. Four teenagers are unknowingly picked for an important mission to save their world and another that they had no idea existed. It involves magic and politics and creatures and adventure.

Along with the four teenagers, the reader is also dumped into the deep end of this magical world. There is the briefest of introduction and then it’s okay accept it and go go go. As a result, I had a lot of trouble absorbing the world. There was so many words thrown around with no explanation that everything was flying over my head. Which is disappointing because a lot of thought went into the world and I would have liked to enjoy it.

I mentioned that the characters were also thrown into this all willy nilly as well. I feel like this was perhaps the worst way to start the book. I didn’t understand Zara’s immediate acceptance to the mission or how she started talking like how Refus and them talked. I didn’t understand the motivations behind characters a lot of times which makes it hard to connect. 

I also disliked how we jumped into different heads all the time, but I think that’s a very personal thing for me. 

Overall, I thought they was going to be an exciting book for me, but I was left confused and disappointed. I think it has a great premise but the execution was a little off.

2 stars