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Showing posts from April, 2014

Saving Lucas Biggs

I admit to being a sucker for time travel novels even though I end up actually liking very few of them. I liked Saving Lucas Biggs  by Marisa de los Santos and David Teague.  This is a review of the ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review. Synopsis:  When thirteen-year-old Margaret's father is unfairly sentenced to death by the cruel Judge Biggs, she is determined to save him, even if it means using her family's secret-and forbidden-ability to time travel. With the help of her best friend, Charlie, and his grandpa Josh, Margaret goes back to a time when Judge Biggs was a young boy and tries to prevent the chain of events that transformed him into a corrupt, jaded man. This book sucked me in in the best of ways, I wasn't expecting that to be honest. But from the first sentence I was hooked, and I could not put this book down. This is how the story begins: In the time it took a man to speak a single sentence, I discovered three things: there

Stress and How it Affects My Blogging

Usually it doesn't. I'm a person who thrives on routine and schedules. I have a system for reading and keeping up with my review copies and it fits neatly into my life. My life as normal with the normal stress that arises from day to day living. I am not experiencing that kind of stress right now. Any time the stress level of my life goes beyond normal I have several ways of coping: rereading old favorites, reading adult romance novels, organizing things, taking a couple days off reading completely to just spend time in my own head. Usually it doesn't take long for me to blow off the steam from whatever is stressing me out so there isn't really a noticeable affect on the blog. I am not experiencing that kind of stress right now. What sort of stress am I experiencing? The stress of MOVING. I know anyone who has done this before will understand. This is a whole other level of stress. It is amplified when it is you responsible times three. Here's what I'm

TTT: Characters I Would Adopt

Top Ten Tuesday  is a Meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish This week's TTT topic: Character Who X where here X=Characters Who I Would Adopt As a mom, often when I am reading, I will get all maternal about the character in question and want to give them a life better than the one they are getting in the book. This happens particularly often in the MG books I read, so I am featuring characters who I would adopt.  Turtle Wexler from The Westing Game : This girl's parents do not deserve her or appreciate her as they ought. Kat Stephenson from Kat Incorrigible : Kat's family love and appreciate her, sometimes not as much as she deserves and sometimes in spite of herself. I just think she would be great fun to have in my house. Though the combination of her and Bit would possibly lead to said house's destruction. Sage in  The False Prince : The entire time I was reading this book I just wanted to give Sage a hug and bake him some cookies. This only appl

Knightley & Son

Knightley & Son by Rohan Gavin is a perfect read for budding mystery enthusiasts who may not be quite ready for Sherlock Holmes. I was drawn to this book not only because of the mystery, but also because of the father/son dynamic that the synopsis promised. This is a review of an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review. Synopsis: The once highly in-demand detective Alan Knightley has just woken up after an unexplained incident kept him asleep for four years. While he was out cold, his son, Darkus, took it upon himself to read of all his dad's old cases, and he's learned  a lot  about the art of detection. It's a good thing too—because suddenly the duo find themselves caught up in a crazy conspiracy that involves a group of villainous masterminds (who keep appearing and then vanishing), some high-speed car chases (that will have everyone fastening their seat belts), and a national, bestselling book with the power to make people do terrible, te

The Dyerville Tales

When I read Juniper Berry  a couple of years ago, I was excited about what future stories M.P. Kozlowsky would give us. The Dyerville Tales  is just as unique and engrossing as Juniper Berry  was while being incredibly different.  I read ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review. Synopsis: Vince Elgin is an orphan, having lost his mother and his father in a fire when he was young, but beyond that, his life hasn't been much of a fairy tale. With only a senile grandfather he barely knows to call family, Vince was remanded to a group home, where he spun fantastical stories, dreaming of the possibility that his father, whose body was never found, might one day return for him. But it's been a long time since the fire, a long time since Vince has told himself a story worth believing in. That's when a letter arrives, telling Vince his grandfather has passed away. Vince cannot explain it, but he's convinced that if his father is somehow still alive, he&

Talker 25

I was pretty excited to read Talker 25  by Joshua McCune because, well, DRAGONS. Despite futuristic-the-world-sucks novels not at all being my thing, I couldn't wait for this one. Again I say, DRAGONS. I will read anything with a dragon in it. Unfortunately this book is heavy on the life-sucks and light on the dragons. (Except when they are being tortured in horrific graphic detail.) I read an ARC received in exchange for a fair review. Synopsis: It's a high school prank gone horribly wrong-sneaking onto the rez to pose next to a sleeping dragon-and now senior Melissa Callahan has become an unsuspecting pawn in a war between Man and Monster, between family and friends and the dragons she has despised her whole life. Chilling, epic, and wholly original, this debut novel imagines a North America where dragons are kept on reservations, where strict blackout rules are obeyed no matter the cost, where the highly weaponized military operates in chilling secret, and where a grues

The Islands of Chaldea

The Islands of Chaldea  is the last novel from Diana Wynne Jones. Almost finished when she died and completed by her sister, it is sad to think that it the last time we will get a peek into her vast and varied imagination. However, I am MUCH HAPPIER with this as her final book than I was with Earwig and the Witch  being her final. While not as wonderful as my favorite DWJ books, it is still very good. And a not as a good as the best DWJ is still far superior to almost everything else. This is a review of an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review. Synopsis: Aileen comes from a long line of magic makers, and her Aunt Beck is the most powerful magician on Skarr. But Aileen's magic has yet to reveal itself, even though she is old enough and it should have, by now. When Aileen is sent over the sea on a mission for the King, she worries that she'll be useless and in the way. A powerful (but mostly invisible) cat changes all of that-and with every obstacl

WOW: The Perilous Sea

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill of  Breaking the Spine , that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating. fter spending the summer away from each other, Titus and Iolanthe (still disguised as Archer Fairfax) are eager to return to Eton College to resume their training to fight the Bane. Although no longer bound to Titus by a blood oath, Iolanthe is more committed than ever to fulfilling her destiny—especially with the agents of Atlantis quickly closing in. Soon after arriving at school, though, Titus makes a shocking discovery, one that makes him question everything he previously believed about their mission. Faced with this devastating realization, Iolanthe is forced to come to terms with her new role, while Titus must choose between following his mother's prophecies—and forging a divergent path to an unknowable future. Let's take a moment and admire that cover first. The colors are beautiful and that is a DRAGON

The Last Best Kiss

Claire LaZebnik is the most amazing at Jane Austen retellings. There is not anyone else who can do them quite like she can. She adapts these stories into a modern teen setting so well. Yes, she makes some changes in doing that, but they are necessary changes and I personally adore what she does with them. The Last Best Kiss  is her latest, a retelling of Persuasion , and it is excellent. What makes it so excellent is not only the decent update of Jane Austen it is, but as always LaZebnik has again created a story that is appealing and relatable to teen readers who may have never read Austen or even know this is a retelling. I read an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review. Synopsis: Anna Eliot is tired of worrying about what other people think. After all, that was how she lost the only guy she ever really liked, Finn Westbrook. Now, three years after she broke his heart, the one who got away is back in her life. All Anna wants is a chance to relive th

The Luck Uglies

When I first saw the cover and description for The Luck Uglies  by Paul Durham, I knew  it was a book I had to read. It is a great MG Fantasy that combines folklore, ruffians, and adventure to tell a fun a story. I read an ARC provided by publisher in exchange for a fair review. Synopsis: Strange things are happening in Village Drowning, and a terrifying encounter has Rye O'Chanter convinced that the monstrous, supposedly extinct Bog Noblins have returned.  Now Rye's only hope is an exiled secret society so notorious its name can't be spoken aloud: the Luck Uglies. As Rye dives into Village Drowning's maze of secrets, rules, and lies, she'll discover the truth behind the village's legends of outlaws and beasts...and that it may take a villain to save them from the monsters.   In many ways The Luck Uglies  is a familiar story. It is typical of its genre in theme, setting, and characters. I enjoyed this aspect of it. I knew what I was getting and what to


Happy sigh. It is always nice when a trilogy I love ends on a high note, and Horizon , the final book Jenn Reese's Above World trilogy, does just that. This is a review of an ARC received in exchange for a fair review. Synopsis: Aluna and Hoku, Kampii from the City of Shifting Tides, and their friends, Equian Dash and winged Aviar Calli, are determined to stop a war. The maniacal ex-scientist Karl Strand is planning to conquer the world with his enormous army of tech-enhanced soldiers . . . unless the four friends can get to Strand first. Aluna’s plan is dangerous: pose as Upgraders and infiltrate the army. But the enemy isn’t what they expected and the strategy begins to crumble. When the friends are torn apart by conflicting allegiances, their slim chance of avoiding war seems to disappear completely. For Aluna and Hoku, what began as a quest to save their own people has become a mission to save the world. But do Aluna and her friends have any hope of defeating Strand if the

The Geography of You and Me

Jennifer E. Smith is a sure thing when it comes to heart-warming, fun YA contemporary romance. Her latest book, The Geography of You and Me , is exactly that. Truly delightful.  This review is of an ARC received from the publisher in exchange for a fair review. Synopsis: Lucy and Owen meet somewhere between the tenth and eleventh floors of a New York City apartment building, on an elevator rendered useless by a citywide blackout. After they're rescued, they spend a single night together, wandering the darkened streets and marveling at the rare appearance of stars above Manhattan. But once the power is restored, so is reality. Lucy soon moves to Edinburgh with her parents, while Owen heads out west with his father. Lucy and Owen's relationship plays out across the globe as they stay in touch through postcards, occasional e-mails, and -- finally -- a reunion in the city where they first met. I was a little wary in  the  first few pages of the book. I am always a little put

TTT: Gateway Books

Top Ten Tuesday  is a Meme hosted by  The Broke and the Bookish This week's TTT topic: Gateway Books (The books that got me hooked.) My Gateway To Independent Reading Great Illustrated Classics: I was in second grade and we were moving halfway through the school year from Nebraska to England. (Yes, you read that right. Military kid.) Anyway, friends of my parents gave me a whole box of these right before we left at Christmas. It was after the movers came so I had them all with me on the trip. I remember reading The Wizard of Oz  on the plane. I didn't care for that one, but A Tale of Two Cities, The Count of Monte Cristo, and Pride and Prejudice  were repeated rereads and still in my top ten favorite books. I read the actual real versions now though. My Gateway To Bookish Obsessions Little House on the Prairie Series: Once I made my way through my box of illustrated classics, I started checking out Little House books from the school library. I loved the TV show, so