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Showing posts from July, 2014

The Phantom Tollbooth

The Phantom Tollbooth is a classic children’s/middle-grade fantasy novel by Norton Juster.

How have I never heard of this book until recently???

All I can say is THANK YOU to a bookish bud that told me about the GEM!!!

Have YOU heard of The Phantom Tollbooth? Have YOU read it?

Milo finds little interest in any place he’s at when he’s there or anything he’s doing when he’s doing it.

When Milo finds a tollbooth in his room one day, he decides to go ahead and drive through it in his little electric car – if only because he’s got nothing better to do and this is certainly something different.

For once, though, where he ends up doesn’t have him thinking about leaving.

Milo finds himself in a world that’s very different from his own – meeting the residents of the Doldrums, being at a market of words at Dictionopolis, taking a look over Point of View, jumping to the Island of Conclusions – and much, much more.

As he embarks on an adventure for the ages – involving a daring rescue! – Milo be…

Valour and Vanity

Valour and Vanity is the fourth book in Mary Robinette Kowal’s historical fantasy series The Glamourist Histories.

Having read all four of the released books, I implore you to read this series in order!!! First there’s Shades of Milk and Honey, then Glamour in Glass and third there’s Without a Summer. Once you’ve read all three of the prior books, THEN you can read this review of Valour and Vanity without fear of spoilers!

Got it?!?

Having happily kept Melody company throughout her marriage and the beginnings of the new couple’s tour of the continent, Jane and Vincent are rather ready to separate from Jane’s family and continue their glamour experiments – just the two of them.

In Murano, Italy Jane and Vincent plan on studying with acclaimed glassblowers to pursue their theories on glamour in glass. However, while sailing to Murano their ship is set upon by Barbary corsairs – just as Jane’s fretful mother feared.

Though blessedly not enslaved, Jane and Vincent find themselves in a for…

How to Be Popular

How to Be Popular is a YA contemporary novel by Meg Cabot.

Yes, this is an older title – all the way back from 2006! Yet I haven’t gotten the opportunity to read it until now – and like I told y’all in my Stand-Out Books of 2013 post, this year is all about a mix of the old and new!

Steph Landry has spent the last five years of her life in her Indiana town as, essentially, a punch line.

One bad spill with a cherry Super Big Gulp and one extra mean girl equals, apparently, eternal scorn.

Well, as Steph enters the first week of her junior year, she’s ready to change all that.

Having found an old but helpful book called How to Be Popular, she knows she finally has a secret weapon. And she’s going to use it to break the five year streak of ridicule and instead become popular and attention worthy of one hot quarterback – Mark Finley.

Maybe this will mean a little less time for stargazing with her nerdy best friends Jason and Becca, but they will understand.

Won’t they?

How to Be Popular
w…

The Lovely and the Lost

The Lovely and the Lost is a YA historical horror/paranormal novel and the follow-up to last year’s The Beautiful and the Cursed by Page Morgan.

To read the books in order, definitely lap up The Beautiful and the Cursed first, bibliophiles! I’d avoid this review, also, until you have done so.

Ingrid and Gabby Waverly have not had the quiet reprieve from London society gossip that they expected when they first came to France. Instead in 1900 Paris they’ve realized they are part of a dark, supernatural world – involving demons, gargoyles and angels.

Having only recently rescued Ingrid’s twin brother Grayson from the fallen angel Axia – only to find him changed and still very potentially dangerous – they had hoped that things would calm down for a spell.

Not likely.

The Waverly’s gargoyle Luc, one of the Dispossessed, is still being kept busy as a mysterious man has a special interest in Ingrid’s unique blood – and he is part of an organization that is known for doing anything to get wha…

Death Takes a Ride

Death Takes a Ride is the third book in the Christian humorous mystery series The Cate Kinkaid Files by Lorena McCourtney.

For your fullest enjoyment, I recommend read Dying to Read first and Dolled Up to Die second and THEN Death Takes a Ride.

There won’t be terrible spoilers in this review for the first two books, but I still recommend waiting until you’re caught up with the series!

On the crest of receiving her P. I. license, Cate should be feeling more capable than ever in her new career, right?

Well, when a non-job related task brings her to H & B Vintage Auto Repair one evening and the night ends with one man wounded and another dead, shot in self-defense… she really wonders.

But the case is cut and dry, no need for investigating on her end!

Or so she tells herself.

That is, until she digs a little deeper – the curse of the curious! – and starts to notice oddities that lead her to believe the shooting may not be so simple…

The Cate Kinkaid Files is a fun series that takes th…

Beautiful Redemption

Beautiful Redemption is the fourth and final book in the YA contemporary supernatural Beautiful Creatures/Caster Chronicles series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Of course if you are behind on the series and haven’t read books one through three – you really should not read this review and spoil some huge plot points for yourself!

I trust you to make the right decision on moving forward with this perusal of my review of Beautiful Redemption

Ethan Wate spent almost his entire life in the small, sleepy Southern town of Gatlin wishing something would happen – or that he could get out of there. He had a map marking all the different places he wanted to go.

Then Lena Duchannes moved to Gatlin – different in more than one way from the ordinary Gatlin resident – and revealed to him that there was a lot more going on his little town than he ever could have imagined – let alone in the world.

Knowing about the enigmatic, magic, cursed underside of Gatlin caused a lot more excitement in Etha…

The Kill Order

The Kill Order is the YA dystopian horror prequel to James Dashner’s Maze Runner series.

I know I’ve taken my time on this one, a bit. After being very into The Maze Runner, then slightly less enchanted with The Scorch Trials and quite a bit irritated with The Death Cure – I became quite sure there was no need for me to reenter this world that had disappointed me.

Yet… here I am. And, I have to say, it was much better than I expected.

A brief synopsis, if you will:

When the sun flares hit the earth and the world as we know it changed forever – Mark and Trina were there.

Just as they’ve reached a point where survival seems to be getting a little easier – just when the horrifying memories of those early days of terror aren’t the only thing on their minds – it begins.

A disease that seems to mutate, change and worsen – a disease of the mind, causing rage and insanity – seems to be spreading across the landscape of what is left of the United States.

Hoping to find a cure, to survive yet …

Moonblood

Moonblood is the third book in the Tales of Goldstone Wood fantasy series by Anne Elisabeth Stengl.

Personally, I strongly suggest reading this series in order. Even though Stengl does jump around in time a bit, giving different perspectives and stories from different angles at parallel times, it can get super confusing if it’s not in order.

Case in point: I was introduced to this series with book two, Veiled Rose. Then I read book one, Heartless. Then, somehow, I totally missed book three (until now) and read book four Starflower and book five Dragonwitch (shockingly!) in order. Now I’ve read Moonblood, book three, before I’ll be reading the next book, number six, Shadow Hand.

Yeah, I’ve been jumping all over the place. It just sort of happened.

I do not recommend you follow my example.

Anywho, a short synopsis of Moonblood:

Prince Lionheart, having returned to his kingdom immediately after his kingdom had suffered a long, terrifying occupation of a Dragon, is in desperate need of …

The Shadow Throne

Happy 4th of July, everyone!!!

The Shadow Throne is the third and final novel in the YA historical political intrigue Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen.

If you haven’t read The False Prince and The Runaway King, well – you need to! Not only are they exceptional books, but they are necessary reading before you even skim this review of the final book, The Shadow Throne.

In other words, BEAT IT! Unless, that is, you have read the previous books – then: welcome, friend! :) 

You’ve been warned!

Jaron is back on the throne – but war has come to Carthya.

He knew it was coming – and now it has…

Immediately, things look grim for Carthya, but Jaron has a few tricks up his sleeve, utilizing a mind that was made all the more strong during his years living as an orphan rather than royalty.

When it is made known that King Vargon of Avenia has kidnapped Imogen, however, it is obviously a ploy to distract Jaron. And it’s working.

Determined to rescue her, Jaron concocts a plan that separate…