Unfortunately, I wasn't able to read up to 100 books like I wanted too and therefore, that explains the average rating for this year. Actually, this wUnfortunately, I wasn't able to read up to 100 books like I wanted too and therefore, that explains the average rating for this year. Actually, this was probably the first year where I read less than 50 books in a year. I remembered when I used to read up to 100 books a year, but ever since I started working, it became so hard for me to read more books than I would like. Let's hope that 2016 would be the year where I finally get my reading groove back and read up to 100 books! But at the moment, I would like to give everyone my review on my reading year for 2015 (based off of Perpetual Page Turner's Annual End of the Year Survey).
Number Of Books You Read: 43 Number of Re-Reads: 0 Genre You Read The Most From: Fantasy
Best Book You Read In 2015?
This is going to be a bit tricky since I've read a lot of great books this year, but I'll break it down into three categories:
Picture Book: Hey Willy, See the Pyramids by Maira Kalman Graphic Novel: Saga Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan Young Adult / Adult: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?
The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt. I've heard so many good things about this book and even though I thought it was interesting, I didn't think it was as perfect as many people said it was.
Most surprising (in a good way or bad way) book you read?
Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout really surprised me in a good way as I didn't expect to really enjoy that book or the characters. But the book's plot and it's hero Daemon Black made me really fall in love with this book!
Book You “Pushed” The Most People To Read (And They Did)?
I've pushed a lot of people to read "Rat Queens" by Kurtis J. Wiebe and most of the comic book fans had read this series and loved it!
Best series you started in 2015? Best Sequel of 2015? Best Series Ender of 2015?
Best series I've started in 2015: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout Best Sequel of 2015: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer Best Series Ender of 2015: I haven't really read a book that concluded any series this year.
Favorite new author you discovered in 2015?
Sarah J. Maas has become one of my most favorite new authors this year!
Best book from a genre you don’t typically read/was out of your comfort zone?
Grave Mercy by Robin LaFevers. Normally, I don't read a lot of fictional books that take place in a realistic and historical setting, but this book managed to make me take interest in historical fiction novels!
Most action-packed/thrilling/unputdownable book of the year?
I was really into "The Assassin's Blade" by Sarah J. Maas and that book was just full of adventure and action throughout the story!
Book You Read In 2015 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?
I'm probably going to re-read "The Assassin's Blade" by Sarah J. Maas since I'm planning on reading the next book "Throne of Glass" soon!
Favorite cover of a book you read in 2015?
I loved the cover of "The Assassin's Blade" by Sarah J. Maas as it looked so creative and intense!
Most memorable character of 2015?
Obviously, it was Daemon Black of "Obsidian" by Jennifer L. Armentrout as he was a truly hardcore bad boy hero who was so intriguing to read about!
Most beautifully written book read in 2015?
Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery. Every thing that Anne said in that book was so beautifully poetic and emotional that I found myself falling in love with the writing of this book!
Most Thought-Provoking/ Life-Changing Book of 2015?
Again, "Anne of Green Gables" by L.M. Montgomery. That book made me really think about the importance of life and how you have to enjoy your life while you can.
Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2015 to finally read?
And once again, "Anne of Green Gables" by L.M. Montgomery. That was a book that was often shown in middle school, but I didn't read this book until just recently!
Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2015?
The longest book I've read this year was "Grave Mercy" by Robin LaFevers as it was over 500 pages and the shortest book I've read was The Hungry Giant of the Tundra by Teri Sloat which was 32 pages long.
Book That Shocked You The Most
"The Assassin's Blade" by Sarah J. Maas really shocked me around the middle and the end of the story as I didn't expect such plot twists to pop up in the story so soon!
OTP OF THE YEAR (you will go down with this ship!)
Daemon and Katy from "Obsidian" by Jennifer L. Armentrout seem like the perfect couple to me (once they get over their initial hostility towards each other)!
Favorite Non-Romantic Relationship Of The Year
I just loved Anne and Diana's friendship with each other in "Anne of Green Gables" as it shows that they are willing to go through life with each other no matter what odds are against them!
Favorite Book You Read in 2015 From An Author You’ve Read Previously
Scarlet by Marissa Meyer. I've read "Cinder" previously and I've really enjoyed it and I finally got around to reading the sequel "Scarlet" and I loved it just as much as "Cinder!"
Best Book You Read In 2015That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else/Peer Pressure:
I've actually read "Rat Queens" by Kurtis J. Wiebe because many of my comic book friends were urging me to read this series and I wasn't disappointed!
Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2015?
Once again, I just fell in love with Daemon Black from "Obsidian" by Jennifer L. Armentrout as his bad boy persona was just too sexy for me!
Best 2015 debut you read?
Saga Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan was created in 2015 and I really enjoyed it!
Best Worldbuilding/Most Vivid Setting You Read This Year?
I found the world of "Saga" Volume 4 by Brian K. Vaughan to be so strange yet wonderful at the same time!
Book That Put A Smile On Your Face/Was The Most FUN To Read?
I had a good time reading "Rat Queens" by Kurtis J. Wiebe as it was hilarious as much as it was adventurous!
Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2015?
The last half of "Anne of Green Gables" nearly made me cry as the book suddenly became sad towards the end.
Hidden Gem Of The Year?
Shadow Game by Christine Feehan was another book that I really enjoyed this year and was quite surprised with how much I really liked this book!
Book That Crushed Your Soul?
The Assassin's Blade by Sarah J. Maas manage to crush my soul whenever the main heroine gets into trouble with many people or is forced to do things that she does not want to do.
Most Unique Book You Read In 2015?
"Rat Queens" by Kurtis J. Wiebe had a pretty unique premise and universe that I had never seen in any comic book since "Saga."
Book That Made You The Most Mad (doesn’t necessarily mean you didn’t like it)?
There were some parts in "Scarlet" by Marissa Meyer that frustrated me a bit, especially whenever Scarlet doesn't listen to some of the characters in the book when they try to warn her about the mysterious situations going on in her town. ...more
Now, I have to tell everyone who reads this review something…I am a HUGE FAN OF “BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER!!!” I have always loved th
Now, I have to tell everyone who reads this review something…I am a HUGE FAN OF “BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER!!!” I have always loved that show and when I heard that they were making comic books out of this series, of course I had to check them out! So, when I picked up the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume One,” I was wondering what this volume was going to be all about and to my excitement and delight, this volume detailed the early years of Buffy Summers when she first moved to Sunnydale and how she became a vampire slayer and I was quite impressed with the whole experience!
What is this story about?
This volume contains five stories that details Buffy’s first year as a vampire slayer and also features other characters during their early years such as Angel, Spike and Drusilla. These are the five stories featured in this omnibus:
Written by: Christopher Golden Artwork by: Eric Powell
In this story, Spike and Drusilla (Dru) go off to the World’s Fair in 1933, causing mayhem as they suck out the blood from various unfortunate human beings while discovering a demon who wants to be freed from its prison at the same time!
Buffy: The Origin
Written by: Dan Brereton and Christopher Golden Artwork by: Joe Bennett
Based off of Joss Whedon’s original script for the origin story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” this story details how Buffy Summers first became the vampire slayer we all know and love and the character development that she goes through to realize her true destiny.
Viva Las Buffy!
Written by: Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza Artwork by: Cliff Richards
After Buffy gets expelled for burning down her old school, she and Pike run away from home and ended up in Las Vegas to start a new life. But, Buffy will soon learn that she cannot run away from her problems when she encounters a sinister ring going on inside the casino.
Dawn and Hoopy the Bear
Written and artwork by: Paul Lee
Dawn Summers, Buffy’s younger sister, ends up getting a cute little teddy bear named Hoopy the Bear from a total stranger and while she loves her teddy bear unconditionally, she will soon realize that Hoopy the Bear is not what he seems at all...
Written by: Scott Lobdell and Fabian Nicieza Artwork by: Cliff Richards
Inspired by the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” TV episode “Normal Again,” Buffy’s parents ended up admitting Buffy to a rehab center since they believed that Buffy has gone insane when she started talking about her vampire slaying business. Has Buffy really gone insane and her vampire slaying business is really all in her head or is Buffy’s destiny truly real?
What I loved about this story:
The writing: Oh my goodness! Who would have thought that several separate stories about Buffy’s early years as a vampire slayer would be mind-blowing good? I have to tell you that I enjoyed each story in this volume (although the only story that I thought was half-way decent was “Dawn and Hoopy the Bear”) and I think that each writer had done this series a true justice! I was always curious about the origin story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” since I was only familiar with the TV series created by Joss Whedon and I have never seen the original 1992 movie that detailed the origin story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” although I did see bits and pieces of the movie when I was younger. When I first found out that the original 1992 movie was not what Joss Whedon originally intended when he scripted out the origin story for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” I was a bit surprised (and yet not really, since this is Hollywood we are talking about) and I was glad that we got a closer interpretation of Joss Whedon’s vision of the origin story of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in this omnibus since I wanted to see how Joss Whedon really wanted Buffy’s origin story to go. I also enjoyed the fact that we get to see not only Buffy’s early years, but other characters too like Spike, Drusilla and Angel. I really loved Spike and Drusilla’s story since they are truly funny together and I always wanted to know what Spike was like before he met Buffy. I was also really excited to see Angel in this omnibus since I love Angel as a character, even though I wished that Angel had his own story in this volume so we get to learn more about his character during his early years.
The artwork: The artwork in each story is truly beautiful and effective to look at, especially with how each artist manage to capture the actor and actresses’ true facial expressions. I think the artists that really captured Sarah Michelle Gellar’s facial expressions the best were Joe Bennet and Cliff Richards as they truly draw the characters realistically and it felt like I was really watching a TV episode of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” since each character look like their live action counterparts from the TV series!
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
For anyone who does not like language and gory violence in a graphic novel, this omnibus does have some language and gory violence (mostly revolving around Buffy staking vampires in gory ways). Also, I have mentioned that the short story “Dawn and Hoopy the Bear” was a story line that I could have done without since I felt that this story did not really bring anything to the main stories and was just there to tell a story about Dawn.
Overall, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer Omnibus Volume 1” is a truly fantastic volume for anyone who is a huge fan of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” in general and who wants to learn more about the origin stories of our favorite vampire slayer!
After reading the first book in “The Hardy Boys” graphic novel series written by Scott Lobdell, I was a bit turned off by how slow pac
After reading the first book in “The Hardy Boys” graphic novel series written by Scott Lobdell, I was a bit turned off by how slow paced the very first book was in the series. But then, when I picked up this volume of “The Hardy Boys” called “To Die or Not to Die?” (Although I have not read the previous volumes before this one yet), I have discovered that this series is getting a bit better (at least a part from the first volume).
What is this story about?
In this volume, Frank and Joe Hardy get a new mission where they have to protect the lovely contestant Joelle Rinker from being killed in the All-State Drama Competition. However, it seems that Frank Hardy has fallen in love with Joelle and while a new romance is brewing, a series of mysterious and dangerous accidents are happening during the competition to prevent the other contestants from winning the contest!
Can the Hardy Boys solve this dangerous case or will the contestants be at risk of being killed in this competition?
Read this book to find out!
What I loved about this story:
Scott Lobdell’s writing: After reading the very first volume of the “Hardy Boys” series, I was wondering to myself about whether or not this series would get better as I continue to read each volume. Even though I skipped over a few volumes before getting to this one, I must admit that this volume was a huge improvement over the very first volume of this series! Scott Lobdell’s writing is much sharper and more interesting in this volume than in the first volume since the characters seem a bit more fleshed out and I really loved the way that Scott Lobdell wrote each character, especially Frank and Joe Hardy! I liked the fact that Frank had more focus in this volume as it shows how his careful nature could change once he fell in love and it was great seeing him struggle with his conflicting emotions regarding Joelle. I also loved the fact that Frank Hardy is the wiser and more charming of the two brothers and I enjoyed seeing him take interest in things like acting and taking his cases seriously since it shows how mature and intellectual he is. I also loved the fact that even though Frank is into his studies, we get to see him in action as he jumps at the opportunity to rescue anyone in trouble (which I must admit that I found myself swooning over the scenes where Frank uses martial arts skills to save lives)! Even though we did not get much focus on Joe in this volume, it was great seeing him bring some comedy into this story as we usually see him making comments about Frank’s love life. I also loved the way that Scott Lobdell wove the mystery element into this story as you try to figure out who is trying to kill the competitors in the competition, while throwing in hints that would help you solve the case!
Paulo Henrique’s artwork: Paulo Henrique’s artwork in this volume is actually a huge improvement for this series as the characters are extremely well drawn and it fits quite well with the intense and comedic nature of this series! I also loved the fact that the Hardy Boys themselves look much more muscular in this volume than in the previous volumes, which made me swoon over the boys even more!
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
The reason why I gave this volume a four star rating was because I felt that the story was a bit too fast paced and it felt like the characters were not progressed enough for me to really get into their journey through the story. However, I did find the main love story with Frank and Joelle to be pretty interesting, even though I wish that their relationship was developed more. Also, I felt that the ending was a bit too anticlimactic since I wanted to see more happen at the end once the case was resolved.
Overall, “The Hardy Boys: To Die or Not to Die?” is a great volume for the “Hardy Boys” series and I would definitely recommend this volume to fans of the “Hardy Boys!”
READ, READ, READ! All I have been doing lately was reading a bunch of “Garfield” comics written by Jim Davis and why not? I just love
READ, READ, READ! All I have been doing lately was reading a bunch of “Garfield” comics written by Jim Davis and why not? I just love the fat orange fur ball and I have stumbled upon a recent set of collections of “Garfield” comics called “Garfield Goes to his Happy Place,” which is the fifty-eighth book in the “Garfield” comic collection series!
What is this story about?
Well, Jon has finally gotten himself a girlfriend in Liz the veterinarian and they seem to be extremely happy with each other…well, unless they have to deal with Garfield’s nonstop sarcastic and bizarre behavior regarding food and relationships! This collection features comic strips that detail not only Jon’s newfound relationship with Liz, but how Garfield deals with his new relationship with Liz!
What I loved about this story:
Jim Davis’ writing: As always (and I mean always), Jim Davis’ writing is as sharp and witty as ever as we get to see Jon’s new life with his girlfriend Liz and how they are dealing with Garfield’s bizarre and sarcastic behavior. I loved the fact that Jon finally gets a girlfriend in Liz and it was cute that Liz still loves Jon no matter how weird Jon can get or how even weirder Garfield can get. It was great seeing another character added to the main cast of Jon, Garfield and Odie as it brings a fresh new take on the “Garfield” comics and a bit more depth in the stories since we actually see Jon developing as a character as his relationship with Liz progresses. The humor is as usual witty and I loved the fact that Jim Davis still kept the sarcastic humor of the “Garfield” comics intact, even if there are a couple of changes in the status quo of the series, such as Jon’s relationship with Liz.
Jim Davis’ artwork: Jim Davis’ artwork is as usual hilarious to look at as all the characters have cartoony large eyes and bizarre body shapes that fit nicely with the witty humor of this comic series. I also loved the image of Liz herself as she is drawn with the same cartoony eyes as the other characters, but her appearance seems to carry a more mature air as she is like the sanest character in the entire comic series.
Overall, “Garfield Goes to his Happy Place” is a fantastic read for anyone who is a huge fan of the “Garfield” comics and I would definitely recommend this title to anyone who is looking for a good “Garfield” read!
Now, I have read many unusual and creative folktales over the years, but I have never read a folktale quite like this one! “Little Rooster’s Diamond BNow, I have read many unusual and creative folktales over the years, but I have never read a folktale quite like this one! “Little Rooster’s Diamond Button” is a Hungarian folktale retold by Margaret Read MacDonald along with illustrations by Will Terry that is so bizarre yet hilarious that any child would enjoy reading this book!
The story starts off with Little Rooster finding a beautiful diamond button in the ground and he decided to give the button to his mistress. Unfortunately, the king comes along and he ends up stealing the diamond button from Little Rooster to put into his treasure chamber. But when Little Rooster went after the king and demanded that the king should give him back his diamond button, the king got extremely angry and he ordered Little Rooster to be thrown down the well! However, it turns out that Little Rooster has a magic stomach that could consume anything on command and Little Rooster ended up drinking up all the water in the well! This ended up making the king even angrier and he then ordered Little Rooster to be thrown into the fire!
Will Little Rooster’s magic stomach get him out of this situation and will he get his diamond button back?
Read this book to find out!
Margaret Read MacDonald has done it again in retelling an ancient folktale and making the story innovating for the readers! I loved the way that Margaret Read MacDonald retold this story as I found the story to be pretty hilarious and creative and I was intrigued with Little Rooster’s predicament in trying to get his diamond button back from the king. I loved the fact that this story teaches children about the consequences of being too greedy and I loved how brave and determined Little Rooster was in trying to confront the King and get his prized diamond ring back. I think it took a lot of courage from Little Rooster to confront the King about his actions and it shows children that if a great wrong has been done to you, you should try to stand up for yourself to make things right again. But probably the best part of this story was the fact that Little Rooster has a magic stomach that is able to consume anything on command! I found that to be pretty interesting for this story because even though I have read some folktales where characters are able to consume large amounts of food (The Fool of the World and the Flying Ship), I am still amazed that there is a story where a character has a magical stomach and is able to use that stomach to get themselves out of various predicaments! Will Terry’s illustrations are hilarious and brightly colored and they greatly complement the energetic mood of this story! I also loved the images of the king having big purple baggy pants as it makes him look quite silly and it shows just how silly and arrogant he really is.
Overall, “Little Rooster’s Diamond Button” is a fantastic read for children who want to read folktales from Hungary and who want a good book that would make them laugh! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.
Now, I will admit that I have never read any book from Maira Kalman before and this book, “Hey Willy, See the Pyramids” is the first book I had read f
Now, I will admit that I have never read any book from Maira Kalman before and this book, “Hey Willy, See the Pyramids” is the first book I had read from Maira Kalman. But now that I had read this book, I think that I will check out more of Maira Kalman’s works in the near future!
The book starts off with a young boy asking his sister Lulu to tell him some stories and even though Lulu did not want to tell stories at first, she begins telling eleven stories that are full of humor, surrealism and heartwarming moments that will surely put the boy to sleep:
1. Big Story 2. Green Hat 3. Tiny Story 4. Fish Story 5. The Story of the Party 6. Chicken Story 7. Eddy and Buddy 8. Tiptoe Story 9. The Poem of Max 10. Green Face 11. A Boy Had a Dream
Now, I have read many children’s books that are full of bizarre imagery and dreamlike narratives, but I have never read a children’s bedtime story quite like this before! Maira Kalman’s narrative is extremely bizarre and dreamlike as the characters are thrown into weird situations that you would normally never see play out in the real world, like in “Tiny Story” where there were tiny people as small as mice walking across the streets. I also loved the way that Maira Kalman had Lulu and her brother’s narrative being put in black pages with only white text being printed on them as it helps the reader distinguish between Lulu’s conversation with her brother and the dreamlike situations of the stories. Probably my most favorite stories in this book were “Tiny Story,” “The Story of the Party,” “Eddy and Buddy” and “Tiptoe Story” since those stories had the most original and bizarre artwork I had ever seen! Maira Kalman’s artwork is extremely reminiscent of Henrik Drescher’s artwork as there are bizarre creatures abound each page such as half bird and half human hybrid creatures and characters who have different skin tones such as some people being colored green instead of regular human colors which brings out the creativity of this story.
Parents should know that there is much bizarre imagery in this book that might scare some children and that they should read this book first before reading it to their child to see if they could handle the bizarre imagery.
Overall, “Hey Willy, See the Pyramids” is a truly wonderful and creative book about dreams and stories that children will love for years! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the narrative might be a bit too confusing for some children.
Now, I have read like over a million versions of “The Fisherman and his Wife” (and other fairy tales for that matter) and they basically have the same
Now, I have read like over a million versions of “The Fisherman and his Wife” (and other fairy tales for that matter) and they basically have the same theme as the original story. So, when I heard of a story called “The Fisherman and the Turtle” written by Eric A. Kimmel, along with illustrations by Martha Aviles, I knew that I stumbled upon a new and interesting twist to the classic Brothers Grimm tale!
The story starts off with a poor fisherman and his wife living in a small hut and capturing fish every day to have something for their dinner table. One day, the fisherman captures a green turtle in the sea and it turns out that the turtle was one of the seven sons of Opochtli, the god of the sea. In exchange for its freedom, the turtle promised to grant the fisherman a wish and the fisherman ended up wishing to have four fishes, since he never had four fishes before. When the fisherman came back home and told his wife about the turtle, his wife grew extremely angry and she told the fisherman to go back to the turtle and wish for them to live in a stone house and become rich. The fisherman then heads back to the sea and told the turtle about what his wife wanted and the turtle ended up granting the fisherman’s wish. The fisherman and his wife were happy for a while until the wife decided that she wanted to become king of the land and she tells her husband to go back to the turtle and grant her wish!
Will the fisherman’s wife ever be happy?
Read this book to find out!
Wow! This story was truly interesting to me! Eric A. Kimmel had done a fantastic job at implementing the Aztec culture in this version of “The Fisherman and his Wife” as it made the story even more exotic in tone than the original classic story and it allowed me to learn more about Aztec culture. I also loved the fact that we have a turtle god granting the wishes of the fisherman in this version instead of a fish since I love turtles and I was literally giggling with joy when I saw a fairy tale feature a turtle in it! Martha Aviles’ artwork is truly gorgeous to look at and I loved the Aztec inspired artwork as I enjoyed seeing the Aztec structures of the buildings such as the images of the people living in stone houses and temples. I also loved the imagery of the turtle itself as it stands out from the rest of the artwork as the turtle looked more realistic than the human characters themselves and it really brought in the otherworldly feel of the turtle god in the story.
The only problem I had with this book was that the ending was a bit too abrupt for me. The fact that it ended with *SPOILER*The fisherman’s wife being turned into a statue because she wanted to become a god*SPOILER* and there was not much happening after that event just left me wanting more from the ending and I felt a bit disappointed in not having a full on ending.
Overall, “The Fisherman and the Turtle” is a truly fantastic take on “The Fisherman and his Wife” and it is a great story for fans of “The Fisherman and his Wife” and Aztec culture. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since there are some Aztec terms that might be hard for younger children to understand.
FINALLY! The fourth book in Lisa Kleypas’ “Travises” series has finally arrived and I got the chance to read this book in its glory! “Brown –Eyed Gir
FINALLY! The fourth book in Lisa Kleypas’ “Travises” series has finally arrived and I got the chance to read this book in its glory! “Brown –Eyed Girl” is the latest book by Lisa Kleypas and it continues the adventures of the Travis brothers (and their sister Haven) as they find true love in the most unlikely places! This time, Joe Travis is going to get all the loving in this latest installment of the “Travis” series!
Avery Crosslin is a wedding planner who is well known around Texas as she continues to attain rich and powerful clients for her growing wedding business. But one day, when she attends a lavish wedding she planned herself, she meets up with Joe Travis, the youngest brother in the wealthy Travis family and from then on, Avery’s life has changed forever! Unfortunately, since Avery had her heart broken in the past, she refuses to let Joe get anywhere near her heart, but Joe Travis is one man who always gets what he wants and he definitely aims to make Avery his!
Wow! It has been years since I last read Lisa Kleypas’ popular “Travis” series and after I heard that Lisa Kleypas was making the fourth book in the series, of course I was excited as heck to check this book out! Lisa Kleypas has once again created a truly heartwarming and witty romance novel about the importance of true love and how true love can cure your own insecurities about yourself. I loved the way that Lisa Kleypas wrote the relationships between the characters as I actually felt warm inside whenever we see moments between the Travis family and how they try to stay together through hard times, especially during the scene where Haven goes into labor and we see the Travis family band together to be there for Haven during her time of need. But let us talk about the best part of this book and that was the relationship between Joe Travis and Avery Crosslin! I loved the way that Lisa Kleypas made Joe and Avery’s relationship come naturally as Avery had trouble being in a committed relationship due to being rejected years ago and it made it believable to me to have Avery slowly build up her relationship with Joe rather than rush into the relationship without dealing with her inner demons first. I really loved the way that Lisa Kleypas wrote both Joe and Avery as Avery is shown to be an independent wedding planner who is trying to decide what it means to fall in love again, while establishing an extremely heartwarming relationship with her half-sister Sofia which I loved reading about throughout the whole book. Now, Joe Travis was one hero that I just fell in love with immediately as he is shown to be extremely patient with Avery’s situation and I loved the way that he supported Avery throughout the book, even dealing with her insecure nature towards love. I also really enjoyed the subplot involving Sofia and Steven, the two co-workers who work with Avery, as I found their relationship with each other to be extremely heartwarming and hilarious and I would love to read more on their relationship if Lisa Kleypas decided to write a spinoff series for the “Travis” family series!
The reason why I gave this book a four star rating was because I felt that we did not get to know much about Joe Travis in this book since we rarely see things from his perspective in the story. As much as I like the fact that Avery gets a lot of focus in this story, I would have liked it better if we actually get to see things from Joe’s perspective and see more of his relationship with his family members, which we also did not get to see that much, which was pretty disappointing since I loved the Travis family as a whole.
Overall, even though “Brown-Eyed Girl” was not the best story in the “Travis” series (that honor would have to go to Blue-Eyed Devil) it is still a truly great book about the importance of true love and I definitely cannot wait to check out more books from Lisa Kleypas in the near future (especially if we get more books with the Travis family once again)!
Now to be honest, I had heard of this story through an episode of “Adventures from the Book of Virtues” and I really enjoyed it! So, when I finally goNow to be honest, I had heard of this story through an episode of “Adventures from the Book of Virtues” and I really enjoyed it! So, when I finally got the chance of reading this story in book format, I was just as impressed with this book that was written by Charlotte Huck along with illustrations by Anita Lobel, as I was with the TV episode!
There once lived a widow who had two daughters: one was her daughter Francine, who was spoiled and cruel like her mother and the other was Renee, who is kindhearted and is actually her stepdaughter. Renee is often mistreated by her stepmother and Francine as they force her to do all the housework, including getting water from the spring every day. One day, when Renee had to go to the spring to gather water, she meets up with an old woman and the old woman asks Renee if she could have some water. Renee gladly gives the old woman some water from her cup and the old woman decided to give Renee a reward for her kindness. The reward ends up being that whenever Renee speaks, flowers, diamonds and pearls will fall from her mouth. When Renee showed this gift to her stepmother and Francine, her stepmother decided that Francine must receive the same gift as Renee and she forces Francine to go out and meet the old woman by the spring.
Will Francine get the same gift as Renee?
Read this book to find out!
I actually really enjoyed this version of the classic French tale about the power of true kindness! I have read many fairy tales and folktales that has a “Cinderella” vibe to them and this tale definitely has the classic “nice girl who lives with a cruel step family” element woven into the story! Charlotte Huck’s storytelling is fantastic as Renee is portrayed as being a resourceful female protagonist who tries to think her way out of troublesome situations (just as the author stated in her author’s note that she wanted to create a more resourceful protagonist rather than the stereotypical helpless female protagonist that is often shown in some fairy tales and folktales). I was also impressed with the idea about how Renee is rewarded for her kindness by having pearls and flowers coming out of her mouth every time she talks since I wondered to myself about how a regular person would feel about having jewelry coming out of their mouths (personally, if someone rewarded me with the gift of getting diamonds and flowers, I wouldn’t want them to come out of my mouth)! Anita Lobel’s artwork is truly gorgeous to look at as the environment surrounding the characters is lushly drawn and they bring so much beauty to the story. I also loved the clothing that the characters wear as they represent the Renaissance Age and they bring an exotic tone to the story.
The only problem I have with this book is that in some of the artwork, the characters’ facial expressions look a little off, such as their mouths are almost opened in every panel and I have to wonder to myself about whether or not they really fit in well whenever the characters are getting angry or happy during a situation in the book.
Overall, “Toads and Diamonds” is a fantastic book about the power of kindness and how it can bring its own rewards. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the length of this book might be tiresome to smaller children.
I have read many folktales from around the world, but I rarely read folktales that came from Hungary! “Two Greedy Bears” by Mirra Ginsburg along withI have read many folktales from around the world, but I rarely read folktales that came from Hungary! “Two Greedy Bears” by Mirra Ginsburg along with illustrations by Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey seems like a familiar story that I had heard of many times before, but I have never actually read the actual tale of this lesson. Well, now this is the first time I had read the original tale and I loved it!
The book starts off with two young bear cubs running outside to see the world until they stumbled upon a brook. Both of the bear cubs wanted to drink out of the brook, but when one of them replies that he is thirsty, the other one replied that he is thirstier and this leads to the two bear cubs trying to outdo each other by seeing who could drink the most water from the brook. The bear cubs drank so much water from the brook that they ended up having huge stomachaches and they had to sleep it off until the next morning. When the bear cubs felt better the next morning, they continued to explore the world until they found a large round of cheese lying on the ground. The bear cubs wanted to divide the cheese among themselves, they could not figure out a way to divide the cheese equally. So, they started to fight each other until a fox came by and wanted to help the bear cubs divide the cheese.
Will the fox help the bear cubs divide the cheese?
Read this book to find out!
I was seriously amazed at how Mirra Ginsburg made the story as simplistic as possible, while still delivering the message about how becoming greedy can come with its own consequences. Now even though I had read many folktales that dealt with the consequences of greed, this book was quite unique as it showed more about what happens if you let greed get to you, rather than outright telling the reader that greed is never a good thing. I also thought that it was quite hilarious and creative at what happens at the end of this book (I will not spoil it for anyone who has not read this book yet) as I found myself laughing at how the fox solved this dilemma between the bear cubs! Jose Aruego and Ariane Dewey’s artwork were truly cute to look at as the two bear cubs had different shades of color as one was brown and the other was yellow as it helps the reader tell them apart. I also loved the fact that the bear cubs were round and fluffy as it shows how innocent they are and yet, they do not understand about greed and therefore they get themselves into trouble whenever their greed gets the best of them.
Overall, “Two Greedy Bears” is a truly fantastic book for children who wants to learn about the consequences of greed and wants to read a folktale that comes from Hungary! I would recommend this book to children ages three and up since there is nothing inappropriate in this book.
Now, I have read many stories from the Brothers Grimm and I had enjoyed every single one of them! So, imagine my surprise when I finally came upon on
Now, I have read many stories from the Brothers Grimm and I had enjoyed every single one of them! So, imagine my surprise when I finally came upon one of the Brothers Grimm’s stories being put into a singular children’s book called “The Water of Life” retold by Barbara Rogasky along with illustrations by Trina Schart Hyman and enjoying it immensely!
The story starts off with the king becoming extremely ill and everyone thought that the king might die since there was no cure to be found. One day however, while the king’s three sons were grieving over their father’s illness, a little old man told the sons of the Water of Life and that it might cure their father. The oldest son then decided to seek the Water of Life; merely because he wanted to inherit his father’s kingdom and he goes on a journey to find the Water of Life. Along the way, the oldest son meets a small dwarf who asked him where he was going and the oldest son rudely shoved the dwarf away. The dwarf then angrily cursed the oldest son to remain trap in a ravine between two mountains for a long period of time. When the oldest son did not return, the second son decided to search for the Water of Life and he also met the small dwarf along the way and treated the dwarf rudely when the dwarf asked the second son where he was going. The second son then ended up in the same fate as the older brother for being too prideful towards the dwarf. Finally, the youngest son went to search for the Water of Life himself and he actually showed kindness towards the dwarf by telling him that he was searching for the Water of Life. The dwarf then eagerly tells the youngest son how to find the Water of Life and the trials he must overcome to get the water.
Will the youngest son be able to get the Water of Life?
Read this book to find out!
Wow! This book was amazing! I have always loved the Brothers Grimm’s tales and it was great seeing one of their stories showing up in a picture book format! Barbara Rogasky’s writing is truly fantastic as Barbara Rogasky really captures the medieval spirit of this tale and I really loved the fact that the youngest son is shown to have a kind heart and that he is rewarded for his kindness. I like the fact that the story teaches readers that having a kind heart will give you your own rewards in life. I also really enjoyed the magical aspect of this story as we have a dwarf who curses people for being arrogant and a jug of water that can cure any kind of illness inflicted on people as they make me wonder about whether or not such magical abilities should be allowed in the real world and how they would help the world become a better place to live in. Trina Schart Hyman’s artwork is truly gorgeous as they really capture the Medieval times the story takes place in and I enjoyed seeing images of castles and magical creatures occupy this magical world. I also loved the fact that the characters are drawn realistically as it gives the story a mature yet mesmerizing atmosphere and also make the characters stand out.
Overall, “The Water of Life” is a truly fantastic tale about true kindness that every fan of the Brothers Grimm should definitely check out!
It is rare that I read folktales from Yupik, so when I stumbled upon a book called “The Hungry Giant of the Tundra,” I just had to see for myself how
It is rare that I read folktales from Yupik, so when I stumbled upon a book called “The Hungry Giant of the Tundra,” I just had to see for myself how this story would turn out and man was I extremely impressed with this story!
The story starts out with a group of children playing across the fields in a village far to the north. Even though the children were supposed to run home before the big giant A· ka· gua ·gan ·kak came across the tundra, the children were having so much fun that they decided not to go back to their homes and continued playing in the fields. Unfortunately, A· ka· gua ·gan ·kak manages to catch up to the children and ended up grabbing them and is about to eat them when he realized that he forgot his knife. So, he put the children into his trousers and left them in a tree while he went home to get his knife. It was then that the children saw a chickadee and they begged the chickadee to help them.
Can the chickadee and the crane save the children from the giant?
Read this book to find out!
Wow! I must admit that I was quite impressed with this book since I have never read a folktale from Yupik before! Teri Sloat has done an excellent job at retelling this ancient folktale from Yupik as the story is interesting and intense as I felt scared for the children and I wanted to see how they will get away from the giant in this story. I was also impressed with how the crane and the chickadee helped out the children with the chickadee using its strong beak to carry the trousers with the children inside out of harm’s way and the crane stretching its long legs to get the children across the river. It reminded me of other folktales where the main character receives help from other characters who possess special powers that can easily be used to help the main character out of their predicament. Robert and Teri Sloat’s artwork is truly amazing as I loved the Yupik influenced artwork and I thought that the giant look quite appropriate for the part of being menacing yet being dimwitted at the same time. I especially loved the scene where the giant took off his trousers and put the children inside them, since it was both hilarious and surprising to see such an image pop up in a children’s book!
Parents should know that the giant might scare smaller children, especially when it tried to eat the children. Parents might want to read this book first before reading it to their children to see if they can handle the scenes with the giant.
Overall, “The Hungry Giant of the Tundra” is a fantastic book that children who love books about giants should definitely check out! I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the images of the giant might scare smaller children.
After reading Marissa Meyer’s first book in the Lunar Chronicles series “Cinder,” I just I had to pick up the second book in the series “Scarlet” and
After reading Marissa Meyer’s first book in the Lunar Chronicles series “Cinder,” I just I had to pick up the second book in the series “Scarlet” and I never would have thought that I would enjoy this book as much as the first book!
After the tragic events of the first book, Cinder ends up being thrown into prison when she defied Queen Levana at the ball in the last book. However, Cinder ends up escaping from prison with the help from the charming and hilarious fellow fugitive Captain Carswell Thorne and her newly found Lunar abilities. Both Cinder and Thorne try to travel around the planet Earth in order to escape from Queen Levana’s ruthless forces and find out more about Cinder’s mysterious past. Meanwhile, a young teenage girl named Scarlet Benoit is on a journey to find her grandmother, who has been missing for weeks and she ends up meeting a mysterious young man named Wolf, who might know about her grandmother’s whereabouts.
Wow! This book surprised and terrified me at the same time! I will admit that when I saw the title of this book “Scarlet” the first time around, I thought that this book was only going to focus on Scarlet and not be connected to “Cinder” in any kind of way. However, I was pleasantly surprised at the fact that this book still continued Cinder’s story, but has Scarlet subtlety get involved in Cinder’s story, while her story is being told at the same time. Marissa Meyer did a fantastic job at writing the story from two different perspectives as we get Cinder’s side of the story of trying to escape from Queen Levana and learning more about her dark and mysterious past, while we also get Scarlet’s side of the story as she tries to search for her grandmother who has been missing for weeks and I loved the way that their stories intertwine with each other throughout the book. I also loved the way that Marissa Meyer wrote each character as I fell in love with each character in this story, especially with Wolf and Captain Carswell Thorne! I loved the way that Scarlet was being written in this book as she is shown to be a strong female protagonist who is determined to find her grandmother at all costs and I loved the fact that Scarlet shows so much love for her grandmother, despite everyone being against her in this universe. I also loved the character development that Cinder goes through in this book as in the first book; she was mainly a lowly stepdaughter who worked on mechanics on a small scale while in this book, she used her abilities in mechanics to help her escape from Queen Levana’s soldiers and it was interesting seeing her struggle with her true heritage as a Lunar and seeing what that would mean for the world. I absolutely loved Captain Carswell Thorne’s character as he is probably the funniest character in the entire book and I just loved his bantering with Cinder! I just hope we get to see more of him in the later installments of this series! And who could forget the ever loving yet mysterious Wolf in this story? I loved the fact that his character is full of mystery and it was pretty interesting seeing a human character possess wolf-like abilities in this retelling of “Little Red Riding Hood.”
For anyone who does not like horrifying moments in a novel, this book does have plenty of scary moments, especially when the true nature of Queen Levana’s army is revealed, which I found to be pretty creepy.
Overall, “Scarlet” is a truly fantastic book that is full of twists and turns that any fan of the “Lunar Chronicles” series will definitely enjoy reading! Now, I am off to read the third book in the series “Cress!”
After reading the first volume of “Rat Queens,” I just took my little ole self to the library and grabbed the second volu
After reading the first volume of “Rat Queens,” I just took my little ole self to the library and grabbed the second volume of this fantastic series “Rat Queens Volume Two: The Far Reaching Tentacles for N’Rygoth,” since I really enjoyed the first volume so much and I wanted to see where our lovely Rat Queens would end up at next!
What is this story about?
In this volume, the Rat Queens are celebrating their victory from the events of the first volume and they now each have a love interest that they spend their time with (except Dee, it appears). Meanwhile, a mysterious and disturbing force is coming to their city and a vengeful ex-partner of Sawyer’s has kidnapped him!
What is this nightmarish force that is terrorizing the city and will the Rat Queens save Sawyer from this disaster?
Read this volume to find out!
What I loved about this story:
Kurtis J. Wiebe’s writing: Wow! This volume was just as good as the first as the characters are still highly entertaining to read about and the threats just keep getting bigger! I loved the way that Kurtis J. Wiebe developed the mysterious conspiracy that was hinted at in the first volume as we actually get our first look into the evil demon N’Rygoth and the mayhem it caused for the characters and their hometown. I also like the fact that this volume was much darker and intense than the first volume as the stakes are higher for the main protagonists and the ancient conspiracy actually takes center stage in this volume. Kurtis J. Wiebe also did a fantastic job at developing each member of the Rat Queens, especially Dee and Hannah as we find out more about their background history, especially with Dee and her history with the demon N’Rygoth. I also like the fact that Sawyer and Hannah’s relationship with each other is developing in this volume as it shows that Hannah truly cares about Sawyer when she found out that he got kidnapped and tried everything in her power to rescue Sawyer.
Roc Upchurch and Stjepan Sejic’s artwork: The combination of Roc Upchurch and Stjepan Sejic’s artwork really brought so much creativity to this volume as Roc Upchurch’s artwork continues to be just as amazing as the previous volumes, while Stjepan Sejic’s artwork is even more gorgeous with the characters’ faces looking so realistic and fitting in with the more intense atmosphere of this volume!
What made me feel uncomfortable about this story:
For anyone who does not like nudity, gore and strong language, this volume contains quite a bit of all of the above. The nudity is especially dialed up in this volume as we see many characters completely nude and performing sexual acts that might not go over too well with some readers. Also, there are many images of characters being cut in half or being stabbed to death, which are all shown in graphic detail and that could be disturbing for some readers.
Overall, “Rat Queens Volume Two: The Far Reaching Tentacles of N’Rygoth” is definitely one volume you should check out, especially if you have been enjoying the “Rat Queens” series as much as I have and want to see more adventures from everyone’s favorite tough as nails girls!
I have read many African folktales over the years and I have enjoyed almost every single one of them! So, I stumbled upon this new African folktale re
I have read many African folktales over the years and I have enjoyed almost every single one of them! So, I stumbled upon this new African folktale retold by Margaret Read MacDonald called “Mabela the Clever” along with illustrations by Tim Coffey and man, it was a truly fantastic tale that every child should read!
Mabela is the smallest mouse in her village and even though it has been said that the mice are all foolish creatures, Mabela proves to be more clever than the other mice, especially since her father had taught her how to be more aware of her surroundings in this little quote:
“Mabela, when you are out and about, keep your ears open and LISTEN. Mabela, when you are out and about, keep your eyes open and LOOK AROUND YOU. Mabela, when you are speaking, PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE SAYING. Mabela, if you have to move, MOVE FAST!”
One day, the Cat came to the Mouse Village and she invited the mice to her secret Cat Society where she can teach them the secrets of being a cat. All the mice were excited about this and they met up with the Cat at her house and the Cat tells them that they need to learn this song:
“When we are marching, We never look back! The Cat is at the end, Fo Feng! Fo Feng!”
The Cat then tells the mice that they must march in a straight line towards the forest and as the mice were marching while singing the song, the Cat ended up capturing each mouse one by one due to the fact that no one was watching the Cat as she performs this heinous act.
Can Mabela save the other mice?
Read this book to find out!
Oh man, how could I not check this book out before? Margaret Read MacDonald has done an excellent job at capturing the humor and the tension of this tale as we laugh at the mice following the Cat and suspecting that nothing is wrong, while at the same time, we feel some tension in the story in hoping that the mice make it out of the Cat’s grasp by the end of the book! I also loved the fact that Mabela’s father was able to teach his daughter about the dangers of the outside world and how to avoid those dangers as it shows the importance of a parent trying to protect their children by giving them warnings about surviving in the outside world ahead of time. Tim Coffey’s artwork had the perfect blend of intensity and humor as the mice look more goofy with their large vacant eyes while the cat looks more menacing with her slanted green eyes and orange fur that really makes her stand out from the colorful atmosphere of the artwork.
Parents should know that the cat might scare smaller children, especially since she wants to eat the mice and even tricked them into her little game. Parents might want to warn their children about the consequences of going off with strangers without knowing the full facts of the situation and teach children how to defend themselves whenever they are in such a situation.
Overall, “Mabela the Clever” is a truly fantastic book about the importance of heeding warnings about dangerous situations in life and showing how parents can be extremely resourceful when it comes to teaching their children about the ways of the world. I would recommend this book to children ages five and up since the cat might scare smaller children.