A fantastic Victorian murder-mystery with a touch of fantasy that is dark, complex and beautifully written. Fans of historical fantasy authors like CaA fantastic Victorian murder-mystery with a touch of fantasy that is dark, complex and beautifully written. Fans of historical fantasy authors like Cat Winters and Libba Bray will enjoy The Lie Tree. Full review to come....more
Kat and her Gram Hatter are spending the day at the city park, helping to clean it up. While there, KatReview originally posted on Michelle's Minions
Kat and her Gram Hatter are spending the day at the city park, helping to clean it up. While there, Kat finds herself on a treasure hunt for coins while picking up trash. Along the way, there are many different coins and even a dollar! She learns about the value of each as she puts them away to save up for ice cream later. With each find, Gram also makes Kat a fun new paper hat to wear. By the end of the day, Kat learns far more valuable lessons about generosity and taking care of the environment.
Not only is Cash Kat adorable and fun, but it contains lessons that children will enjoy learning. The characters are cute, quirky and amusing and the story is delightful and multi-layered. There is more going on than just looking for money to buy a treat. It teaches coin values, saving money and finally, a lesson in philanthropy. The book teaches, but in a way that is relatable to children. The "treasure hunt" Kat is on for coins is fun and each discovery is exciting. The book also allows interaction as you read it aloud to children. I found that my son was answering back to questions asked in the book and counting the coins as Kat found them. He was laughing at Gram Hatter and pointing out the new hats she was making for Kat. Another thing he liked is that after the story ends there are pages in the back of the book that teach more about money values and helping the environment. There's even a matching game involving coin counting. I also have to mention that he enjoyed the adorable illustrations.
Cash Kat is a PERFECT gift to give to a pre-school or kindergarten aged child, boy or girl. It's both fun and educational....more
Yeah, the ending is a little cheesy, but whatever. It's a really interesting concept and I definitely enjoyed reading all three parts. Parts 1 & 2Yeah, the ending is a little cheesy, but whatever. It's a really interesting concept and I definitely enjoyed reading all three parts. Parts 1 & 2 focused more on the mystery and part 3 did what it was supposed to do, it explained it all. ...more
I totally forgot to mark this as finished. A full review is on the way, but this was a brilliant and magical reimagining of Beauty and the Beast. It hI totally forgot to mark this as finished. A full review is on the way, but this was a brilliant and magical reimagining of Beauty and the Beast. It has elements of the classic tale, but it's a completely new story set in a fantasy world. Sarah J Mass continues to be amazing.
Life has been hard for nineteen-year-old Feyre (Fay-ruh) since her father lost his fortune, leaving their family with nothing. When her mother succumbed to illness, her dying request for Feyre was that she take care of her father and two sisters. This was a promise that she did not take lightly. No matter how bad things got, Feyre knew she had to be strong and provide for her family, even though she was the youngest. Her mother must have seen something in her, so she would never let her down. This meant that she had to teach herself to hunt so that they wouldn't starve to death. One day while searching for food in the woods, Feyre killed a wolf that she feared might actually be a faerie. In this world, faeries are dangerous creatures who only want to destroy humans, and crossing them would mean certain death. But desperate times call for drastic measures, and Feyre decides to profit from its death. What happened that day in the woods will forever change the course of her life and bring on her true destiny when a beast comes crashing through her door demanding justice for his slain companion. Feyre is torn from her home and held captive in a magical land where faeries dance and monsters lurk around every corner. Escape is too dangerous, so in order to keep herself and her family safe, she must accept her fate for the time being.
The more time she spends in this land, the more she learns about its beauty and its lethality, and the more time she spends with her captor, the beast she now knows and Tamlin, the more she begins to understand him. Among Tamlin's powers is shapeshifting. He can become a monster, but his true form is a man, one that Feyre can't help but grow quite fond of, even though she can't see his entire face because he, and everyone in his court, are cursed to have masquerade masks fused to their skin. There is a lot more to this curse than Feyre knows, for it not only threatens the land of the Fae, it could mean grave danger for her own world as well. Not only that, but it threatens the future of the love that has grown between her and Tamlin. Feyre has the courage and spirit of a warrior, and she's willing to die trying if it means saving Tamlin and stopping evil that is bringing on the destruction of the two worlds.
Yes, I know I'm late to the party on this one, but honestly, it's NEVER too late to read this fantastic book! A Court of Thorns and Roses is a brilliant and magical retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It has elements of the original tale, but it is its own story set in a fantasy world. Even though it can be found on the shelves of the YA section, there really isn't anything marking it as strictly a YA book. Yes, Feyre is nineteen, but Tamlin is an immortal Faerie who appears to be in his twenties, and the content of the book feels more like a fantasy/fairy tale. It is written with a mature teen audience in mind, yet there is an abundance of adventure, romance and magic to captivate audiences of all ages, and as a bonus, yes, some of the moments between Feyre and Tamlin are quite steamy. Oh, Tamlin, I do believe I have to add you to my ever-growing collection of book boyfriends. I do have to say that one thing I really liked about Feyre and Tamlin's romance was that they respected each other. She was essentially his captive, but he treated her as guest and never pushed her into anything. She respected herself and he genuinely cared about her. I stress this because I've read other Beauty and the Beast retellings that do not feature characters who show this mutual respect towards each other.
Sarah J Maas creates a gorgeous and irresistably enchanting world and there are charming and deadly characters on every page, but my favorite character is Feyre. She is a tough and capable girl who doesn't need saving. SHE is the badass taking control of her own destiny. She went to the world of the Fae to save her family, was her own person while there and eventually became a hero. I am a HUGE fan of Beauty and the Beast (Belle is my favorite character) and Feyre definitely raised the bar on her classic counterpart. In A Court of Thorns and Roses, Feyre is an artist and not a bookworm, which initially upset me, but in the end, reading was still important to the story since illiteracy became a major weakness.
If you like Beauty and the Beast, fairy tales or fantasy, I highly recommend picking up A Court of Thorns and Roses. If you're a fan of Sarah J Maas from her Throne of Glass series, definitely make sure you read it. She continues to be amazing as she creates another strong female character to cheer on. ...more
FAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!!! It's like a fantasy version of Mission Impossible or Oceans Eleven! Follow six unlikely villains- turned-heroes as they pull ofFAN-FREAKING-TASTIC!!! It's like a fantasy version of Mission Impossible or Oceans Eleven! Follow six unlikely villains- turned-heroes as they pull off an impossible heist. Six of Crows is set in Leigh Bardugo's Grishaverse and it's full of unique characters, awesome action, brilliant schemes and spectacular explosions. Of course, it's also brilliantly written. Bravo! Full review to come......more
A year ago, Ashlee lost her mother in a car accident, leaving only her and her Step-father to take care of each other and their dog kennel business. OA year ago, Ashlee lost her mother in a car accident, leaving only her and her Step-father to take care of each other and their dog kennel business. Once, the two were close, but after the tragedy their relationship became strained. Even after everything, she was sure that he would remember her sixteenth birthday and the promise he made to buy her a cell phone of her own, but sadly, he doesn't. When a dejected Ashlee stumbles upon a mysterious shop and buys the exact cell phone she's always wished for, she thinks it's all too good to be true. She soon starts receiving texts from a mysterious, heartbroken stranger who turns out to be Derrick, the boyfriend of her worst enemy. It just so happens that Derrick is a perfect guy that she Ashlee could totally fall for, but he's taken. Not only that, but he's one of the most well known people in town, he's the son of the Mayor. Ashlee is definitely not in his league, so she tries to forget about him. When a local talent show puts Ashlee in the spotlight, she just might get her chance to really shine. And with a little magic, you never know what might happen.
Never Been Texted is such a sweet, wonderful book! It's like a modern day fairy tale, reminiscent of Cinderella, that totally warmed my heart. It's got a little bit of magic, charming and innocent first love, true friendship and it explores what it really means to be a family. I'd definitely recommend this to even younger readers (tweens) without hesitation since it's pretty clean, content wise. As an adult, I enjoyed the story and characters. This is a lovely, heartwarming story that will put a smile on your face. ...more
Wow! This was absolutely fantastic! As soon as I can form the words, there will be a full review.
Updated 8/23/15 Review originally posted on Michelle'Wow! This was absolutely fantastic! As soon as I can form the words, there will be a full review.
Updated 8/23/15 Review originally posted on Michelle's Minions Source: ARC obtained at BEA
What's it about?
Madeline Whittier is basically allergic to everything. As an infant she was always sickly, and shortly after her father and brother were killed in an accident, she was diagnosed with SCID, a rare disease that's better known as "bubble baby syndrome". Only her mother was left to take care of her, so the two locked themselves inside their filtered and sanitized house and they took care of each other. Over the years, Maddy had only her mother and her nurse, Carla, to keep her company. She couldn't go outside or be near other people without risking illness or worse. Maddy loves her books and her time with her mother, but she's always longed for more. Unfortunately, that's not possible.
One day when a moving truck pulls in next door it changes her entire life. Out of the truck walks Olly. Tall, handsome, black clad and mysterious Olly. They made eye contact through the window and that marked the moment that Maddy's life became about possibility instead of resignation.
Olly is full of life and the two quickly become friends, IMing each other, sending emails and miming through their windows. Soon, Maddy spends every free minute she has thinking about him, talking to him and secretly meeting with him. But they can only meet inside of her bubble. Maddy is tired of not living and she longs to have at least one taste of freedom, so she and Olly take a risk as they get their chance at love. This risk may put Maddy's life in danger, but she believes it's all worth it. After all, what's the point of living if you all you do is exist?
Everything (everything) about this book was absolutely fantastic! This is a fabulous contemporary romance with heart, drama and substance. It's so unique in it's style, too. The story is told by Madeline Whittier, a girl with a rare immune disease. Throughout the book there are diary entries, illustrations, IMs, and emails interspersed with regular narratives. This keeps the story interesting and the wit, strength and intelligence of Maddy's character will make you laugh, cry and root for her. Everything, Everything also has diversity, which is always a good thing. Maddy is half Asian, half African-American and she has a life threatening illness. Besides being sweet, funny and full of swoon-worthy romance, the book also explores serious issues like grief and domestic abuse. It is quite an emotional ride and it definitely has some surprises inside. Oh, and Olly . . . yeah . . . he's on my imaginary book boyfriend list now.
Everything, Everything is a beautiful book that I definitely recommend picking up when it's released (9/1/15). This is Nicola Yoon's debut novel and she knocked it out of the park!...more
oops, I finished this last week and forgot to rate it! Anyway, this was a delightful and imaginative ghost story that fans of Lemony Snicket's A Serieoops, I finished this last week and forgot to rate it! Anyway, this was a delightful and imaginative ghost story that fans of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events or Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book will enjoy. Fans of Lauren Destefano's Chemical Garden series will like this, too. It reminds me more of the second book in the series, Fever, but for a younger audience. A Curious Tale of the In-Between is a Middle Grade book with a dark twist that can be enjoyed by all, from tweens to adults. Full review to come...
Update 8/13/15 Review originally posted in Michelle's Minions Source: eARC provided by NetGalley and ARC provided by publisher
Pram died even before she was born. Her mother killed herself while Pram was still in her belly, but doctors were able to save her. Ever since, Pram has been able to see things that normal people can't. Her brief time spent In-Between life and death opened her eyes to the spiritual world. Pram can see ghosts. She was destined from the beginning to lead an unusual life. She was adopted by her aunts who run an old-age home, she loves books more than people and her best friend, Felix, is a ghost. At the age of twelve, her aunts and the local schoolmarm begin to worry about her, so she's sent to school to interact with the living for once. At first, she finds it difficult to relate to the other children, at least until she meets Clarence. Clarence is different. He's full of light and she enjoys his company. The two become fast friends, but Pram fears that if he finds out exactly how strange she is, he won't want anything to do with her, so she hides her supernatural secret from him.
As Pram and Clarence build their friendship, they learn that they have a lot more in common than they thought. Clarence lost his mother in an accident and he's been searching for her in the great beyond. Pram also lost her mother, but she never knew her father and she's been looking for him in the real world. The two agree to help each other, but their quest leads them to the mysterious and dangerous Lady Savant's doorstep. Lady Savant promises to help them, but her true motive is much more nefarious. They are kidnapped and taken on a terrifying, ghost filled adventure that just may be their last.
A Curious Tale of the In-Between was a delightful and imaginative ghost story that fans of Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events or Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book will enjoy. Fans of Lauren Destefano's Chemical Garden series will like this, too. It reminds me more of the second book in the series, Fever, but for a younger audience. A Curious Tale of the In-Between is a Middle Grade book with a dark twist that can be enjoyed by all, from children to tweens to teens to adults. It has a bit of a creepy, Gothic feel to it, but the story and characters are absolutely enchanting. Pram is a wonderful and smart main character and her story is touching and will tug at your heart. There are many secrets that she hasn't been told and things she needs to learn about in life, and this is how her journey to growing up begins. One of the main themes in this book is friendship, and I loved seeing how bonds are formed and tested in this book. It's a quick and enjoyable read that I highly recommend to people of all ages. Lauren DeStefano's first MG book was a definite delight to read! ...more
3.5 stars. Good, but way too short. I definitely wanted more. It was a good refresher to get back into this world before reading the next book and a n3.5 stars. Good, but way too short. I definitely wanted more. It was a good refresher to get back into this world before reading the next book and a nice look into Rowan's head, but like I said, I wish it was longer....more
A perfectly creepy and suspenseful sequel that brings back the feeling of those wonderful 90s horror movies. If you liked Scream, I Know What You DidA perfectly creepy and suspenseful sequel that brings back the feeling of those wonderful 90s horror movies. If you liked Scream, I Know What You Did Last Summer or Urban Legend, you MUST read this series. This was one of my most anticipated books of the year and I was definitely not disappointed! Now, t to wait for the trilogy to be completed! Laurie Faria Stolarz is a true scream queen! ...more
Now THAT was fun! What a ride! Aliens, space ships, video games, giant robots, pop-culture refrences galore, kick-ass music, action, adventure, romancNow THAT was fun! What a ride! Aliens, space ships, video games, giant robots, pop-culture refrences galore, kick-ass music, action, adventure, romance and ordinary people getting a chance to save the world!!! Hell Yeah!! Awesome book, full review to come......more
May and Libby became friends in fifth grade. Their friendship began because of a shared inability to participate in gym class and some sidewalk chalk. When Libby picked up the chalk, she began to draw a princess with a sword, who lived in a haunted house. As Libby drew, May wrote the stories that went along with her, and she became Princess X. Together they filled pages and pages and boxes upon boxes with the adventures of Princess X over the years, but a few years later, it all came to an end on the day that Libby and her mother drove off a bridge in their car. May was devastated to lose her best friend. In her mind she wrote stories about how Libby could have escaped from the submerged vehicle, but after they found her body and May went to her funeral, she lost hope.
May is now sixteen and she's moved on with her life, but she but never really recovered. She never made any new friends and she didn't even have Princess X to keep her company. After Libby died, her father moved and got rid of everything that belonged to her and her mother. It all went to Goodwill or was thrown away. May searched for the boxes with their work for years, but never found anything. She never thought she'd see Princess X again, but one day she spots a familiar figure on a sticker left on a store window. later she sees it on street signs and even finds graffiti and patches. The figure is definitely Princess X. But how can it be? After some research, May discovers that Princess X is a mysterious and popular underground comic. It could be that someone found the boxes with their story, but there's something about the comic that makes her question what's really going on. As she reads it, she finds that there are some strange coincidences between Libby's death and the story. There are details in it that can only be described as clues that May is sure are meant for her. The more May reads, the more she's positive that Libby is still alive and is waiting to be found. With the help of Trick, the delinquent computer hacker that lives in her building, May decides to solve this mystery. Unfortunately, there's someone who knows that they're on to something, and May and Trick might be in over their heads. They need to find Libby before it's too late.
I Am Princess X is a fantastic, fast-paced murder mystery that's full of action and suspense. I also love that there are Princess X comics interspersed throughout the book that tie into the story. Not only is this a fun mystery, but it's a book about friendship. May and Libby's bond was so strong that they would do anything for each other. May and Trick also formed a great friendship, just when they needed each other most. Yes, Trick is a male character that helps May out, but NO there is no romance or attraction between them! Just heartfelt friendship and trust! It was perfect and kind of refreshing. Of course I enjoy books like this with a bit of romance in them, but in this case it was absolutely not necessary. Love doesn't always happen, especially insta-love, which it would have been if a romance was introduced. It would have slowed the story down and taken away from it. The pacing was also perfect, and with this book, the "enhancement" was the comics. Plus, it gets extra credit for having strong female characters. The Princess X that they created kind of symbolized their own strength and bravery. Lots of badass girl power here. I had been anticipating this for a while and it did not disappoint! ...more
A fun adventure with ancient gods in modern day Rome. It's got danger, myth, magic and just a touch of romance. I'd actually recommend this to youngerA fun adventure with ancient gods in modern day Rome. It's got danger, myth, magic and just a touch of romance. I'd actually recommend this to younger teen readers who are transitioning out of Middle Grade into YA. Full review to come....more
4.5. This was a really fun fantasy set in an alternate Ancient Rome where there is adventure, magic, political intrigue and fierce mythical creatures.4.5. This was a really fun fantasy set in an alternate Ancient Rome where there is adventure, magic, political intrigue and fierce mythical creatures. Full review to come...
Nicolas Calva is a slave working in the mines outside of Rome. After their mother was sold off, he and his younger sister, Livia, were sold into slavery. Since they were separated from their mother, so Nic has vowed to watch over Livia because they only have each other. One day, Nic is forced to enter a cavern deep in the unexplored area of the mines in search of the lost treasure of Julius Caesar. He's seen many men go in and none return, so entering that cavern is the last thing he wants to do. He fears what would become of Livia if something should happen to him. Nic tries to run, but in the end, he has no choice but to search for the treasure. What he finds is terrifying, but mostly, it is life changing. on top of the piles of gold and jewels is an ancient bulla flled with magic. This bulla was said to have belonged to Caesar himself. Caesar had claimed to be descended from the gods, but perhaps the true secret to his power was actually the magic inside of this bulla that now belongs to Nic. Its power is in him now, running through his veins. This secret is his, but there are dangerous people in Rome who would do anything to get it, even kill. For Ancient Rome has seen it's fair share of brutality, what is one more slave boy? Thankfully for Nic, he's become so much more, so he's got a fighting chance, and fight, he will, if he wants to survive.
Nic will have to face dangerous mythical beasts, powerful magic wielders, traitors & spies, an arena filled with danger and evil politicians determined to destroy Rome and rule it themseleves. With the help of Aurelia, a girl with dark secrets of her own, and his new friend, a griffin named Caela, Nic must use his new powers to stop a revolution, save Rome and rescue his sister.
This was a really fun fantasy set in an alternate Ancient Rome where there is adventure, magic, political intrigue, plot twists and even a few fierce mythical creatures. Mark of the Thief features Roman mythology, which is an interesting change from the usual Greek mythos. The mythology is definitely part of the story, yet there isn't so much that you need to take notes or remember too much. There is also a bit of history mixed in. You are taken back to the days when the people of Rome went to the Colosseum to watch brutal matches between gladiators and beasts for entertainment. It also explores Julius Caesar's claim that he was descended from the goddess Venus. He truly did make this claim, but it's obviously more likely that he did so to make himself seem more powerful. Jennifer A. Nielsen explores the alternate version of his claim. What if Julius Caesar really was a demi-god? What of his power was left behind for future generations to use (or abuse)? This exciting adventure is what could have possibly happened. This is technically a Middle Grade book, but it totally drew me in (as an adult) to this exciting and enchanting world. I picked this up and started reading this during my break at work one day (I work in a bookstore) and I just HAD to buy it and bring it home to finish it. I highly recommend this to younger, or tween, readers, but it's also one that parents should sneak off with to read.