The start of this book was a bit slow for me. But eventually it had the same pace and adventure as the other books. But I sure wanted the CDs to be onThe start of this book was a bit slow for me. But eventually it had the same pace and adventure as the other books. But I sure wanted the CDs to be on double speed for the first 3 discs. ...more
Arianne is a girl who lives on a horse farm with her mother and brother, Robbie. During the Perseid meteor showers one summer their pony got pregnant.Arianne is a girl who lives on a horse farm with her mother and brother, Robbie. During the Perseid meteor showers one summer their pony got pregnant. Only it was with something other than a horse. Because when 11 months later the little filly was born it wasn’t a pony…it was a centaur. Of course Ari and her family must hide the fact that a centaur lives in their barn (how many scientists or zoos or reporters would love to exploit a baby centaur) but that proves to be a little harder than expected. Especially since Ari’s family is poor and rents out space on their farm for boarding horses and also teaches horse riding lessons. With all those extra people coming to the barn on a regular basis it proves to be just about impossible to keep any horse secrets.
This is a fun story about a girl and her family and an extraordinary event. Ideas such as what is best for each person and for each creature are brought up alongside issues such as divorce, a parent dating again, and “seal children” (something that happened in the 1960s when pregnant women took a drug called thalidomide to help with morning sickness…and later had babies that had “deformities ranging from flipper-like arms and legs to…being born with no limbs at all”). Yup, there are some crazy-deep issues in this book (which is relatively short compared to most monsters called fantasy novels now days). But they are all dealt with in a good way. In fact, this book will probably get readers to start thinking about anything from what makes a good parent or a good friend to issues like when is it appropriate to keep a secret (and everything in between). And Yolen shows that she is an expert by being able to do it without telling readers just what to think…only how Ari learns to think through all her problems and issues. This would be a good fantasy for those looking to read something a little more normal with a touch of fantasy. And for the readers who want a shorter book that really can get them to think. Well done....more
Princess Decomposia is trying her best to help her father, the King, rule the underworld. But things are hard. There is too much to do and her fatherPrincess Decomposia is trying her best to help her father, the King, rule the underworld. But things are hard. There is too much to do and her father just lies in bed all day complaining of pretend aches and pains. Not only that the King is especially picky when it comes to the food he likes served. He is so picky that the castle tends to go through quite a few chefs. The newest chef is Count Spatula who impressed the princess with cupcakes and macaroons. Only this particular chef isn’t just interested in cooking. He wants to help make Princess Decomposia’s life a little easier (and more enjoyable if he can help it). This puts the King in an uproar. (Mostly because he can’t handle the thought of the world not revolving around him but also because he is just a lowly chef and his daughter deserves to have more impressive friends and relationships.)
This is a fun graphic novel. The characters are great (both in the text and the illustrations). Clove is a fun sous chef who looks like a walking, talking garlic clove. And Princess Decomposia’s pigtails look like little bat wings. The illustrations are all in black and white (which helps set the mood for the dark underworld where most of the story takes place). Although this is a bit humorous seeing how this dismal place is now where a chef with a white chef coat and checkered pants now will potentially make food for werewolf pack leaders, Yokai delegations, skeletons, and everything else found in the underworld. Of course when things get too happy for the Princess the King gets angry…but his unreasonableness only makes the Princess decide to make her own decisions and be her own person. Which will appeal to all those teens who are struggling with self-discovery. All-in-all this is a great story with potential for loads of other stories taking place in the Underworld. And I for one hope to read more of Princess Decomposia and Count Spatula....more
Cory is a tooth fairy…one of many tooth fairies in the Tooth Fairy Guild. But she doesn’t like it. In fact, she hates it. A lot. So she decides to quiCory is a tooth fairy…one of many tooth fairies in the Tooth Fairy Guild. But she doesn’t like it. In fact, she hates it. A lot. So she decides to quit her job. But what is a fairy to do when she doesn’t have a job? And Cory’s mother is furious that she quit (Cory’s mom is also a tooth fairy). So Cory ends up moving in with her uncle so that she can just get away from the onslaught of negativity that is her mother. By searching everyday through the fairy want ads Cory finds small jobs where she can actually help people (or rather fairies and pigs and other fairytale creatures). She is happier than she has been in a long while. And her friends start wanting her to set them up…to have Cory be a little Matchmaker fairy. Of course things get complicated. Her mother and the Tooth Fairy Guild won’t take “no” for an answer and they try to make Cory’s life all the more miserable. (Which is crazy seeing how they want her to come back to being a Tooth Fairy…but if they make her more miserable, why would she?) And there is the fact that Cory just wants to be happy herself. But what will it take for her to be happy?
This is a fun story for those that love a twist on fairy tales. Although there are nods to different tales or nursery rhymes (like the Three Pigs or Little Miss Muffet) readers don’t actually know what is going to happen to these famous characters. Plus the fact that fairies and other creatures (animals, witches, gods/goddesses) all live in the same world will be quite fun. But the story is a little predictable (obviously Cory wants to “help” people and everyone wants her to set them up…and she even dreams about it…so who is the best “matchmaker” in the world?)…but not so predictable that readers won’t enjoy the story. Teens will think this an easy read, but elementary and early middle school kids who want to experience “love” and drama will eat this story up....more
Celie and her brother, sister, and two friends have been taken by the Castle to the land where the Castle came from. It seems that there is somethingCelie and her brother, sister, and two friends have been taken by the Castle to the land where the Castle came from. It seems that there is something the Castle needs Celie to do in the mysterious land. And of course (perhaps the best news of all) this new place has griffins. Of course it also has two crazy old guys who are arguing about what Celie’s groups should do or not do (with the Castle and the griffins). Throw in deception, a fire, and a few more magical items and you have another great story of the people who love a magical castle.
Okay, seriously. This is one great book! I love that the series was able to show just where this magical castle came from and a little bit more about how it worked and why. Plus the fact that Celie and Lulath are able to bond to such fun mythical creatures will just about make any young animal and book lover squeal with delight. Speaking of the griffins, I am impressed with just how much personality comes across each of these creatures. Especially Lord Griffin–he is quite the intelligent griffin. Just a snap of his beak and a look in his eye conveys so much to Celie. It shows how she can not only understand the needs of the Castle but she can understand magical creatures as well.
I also enjoyed how Celie grew on this adventure. In the previous books she was concerned about the Castle. She wanted to help. But the Castle often had to nudge her along to get her to do what was needed. (Probably because the Castle couldn’t actually talk to her…but still it had to keep changing doors or rooms or towers so she could figure out what was really going on or what was needed.) But in this adventure she took some initiative to do something for the Castle, the griffins, and her friends and family. She had to figure out things on her own (or as on your own as she can get with great family, friends, and griffins helping you). And because she worked to wake up the Castle and save the griffins, things will get better. Although, I still think a fun adventure awaits her….and I can’t wait to see what happens next....more
Serafina is a mermaid that lives in the Mediterranean Sea. She is the princess who is about to go through a huge ceremony that will not only prove thaSerafina is a mermaid that lives in the Mediterranean Sea. She is the princess who is about to go through a huge ceremony that will not only prove that she is the rightful heir and that she is capable of being the next ruler, the ceremony will also seal her betrothal to Prince Mahdi. Serafina should just be worried about the ceremony and how things should go, only she had a horrid dream the night before. The dream foretells the awakening of a evil monster who Serafina thought was only a legend. When chaos tumbles upon the princess at her ceremony she and five other mermaids must swim toward the strange details of their dreams in hopes of saving the whole mermaid world.
I like Serafina. I also like her best friend, Neela. However, I hate how it takes so long for either girl to figure out what is going on. And at one point Serafina is more worried about escaping her troubles and going shoaling than taking her quest seriously (even though she has had enough near-death experiences by that point to actually know better). I do like the mystery surrounding the mermaids. And Neela and Serafina are good characters to be with along this literary journey. But there are still many mysteries that are left unanswered in this book. Mr. Blue (who I suspect is Prince Mahdi), Astrid’s secret, more about the quest or the villain are just examples of what readers will be left wondering about. Which should be no surprise seeing how this is the first book in the new “Waterfire Saga.” I can see those that like the idea of mermaid fantasy books will enjoy this story. Those who might not enjoy how long it takes for Serafina to not be quite so naive might be a little annoyed. Overall a good start to what I hope will be a great series....more
Edgar is a middle-school vampire—which means he is one of the few vampires that have chosen to live through the horrors of middle-school. Surviving miEdgar is a middle-school vampire—which means he is one of the few vampires that have chosen to live through the horrors of middle-school. Surviving middle-school is harder than it looks, even for vampires. Edgar must act like a teen but not be too low on the social pecking order or draw too much attention to himself. And he can never, never reveal that he is a vampire. Edgar also has to dance around the social structure of his vampire family (which is pretty big considering that his family tends to live forever). Edgar is a fun vampire with the typical problems of any middle-schooler. And with his thoughts written in his diary (along with little drawings to supplement similar to many other “diary” fictional stories published now days) readers will enjoy hearing how even paranormal creatures are horrified at the thought of middle-school. Also, with a san-serif font and a large amount of white space on each page, this will be a good choice for reluctant readers....more
Kara was six years old when her mother was killed for practicing witchcraft. Now years later the people of her village still won’t forget what her motKara was six years old when her mother was killed for practicing witchcraft. Now years later the people of her village still won’t forget what her mother was. They treat Kara and her father and little brother like they are worthless while preaching that they are so amazing because they are kind to everyone. When a bird leads Kara to a magical book life begins to change. Suddenly Kara has power, but she isn’t quite sure what is the right way to use the power and what isn’t. Then her secret starts to escape and others are after the magic and the power. And life isn’t so safe around the Thickety. This is a great fantasy. Kara is a strong character who not only has gumption but is willing to fight for her family and friends (and perhaps those that aren’t her friends). The magic and the thicket are powerful and mysterious. And just when the plot turns in one direction, it twists around itself so you aren’t quite sure what will happen next. The story isn’t dark, but it has just enough bite that those who want something more than an elementary school fantasy book will be pleased....more
I love this new Ever After High book! It made me think almost as much as the first book did. But then again, if you saw my review of Shannon Hale’s DaI love this new Ever After High book! It made me think almost as much as the first book did. But then again, if you saw my review of Shannon Hale’s Dangerous you would know that me loving Shannon Hale books is nothing new.
In this second in the series Raven Queen and Apple White are still trying to figure everything out at Ever After High (especially since Apple is still upset that Raven ruined Legacy Day). And Raven is still trying to make her own path and not be forced to live the life of her mother. Only now there are more characters that are trying to figure everything out. For example Cerise has a secret (her mother is Red Ridding Hood and her father is Big Bad Wolf) and should she be hiding for the rest of her life because she is part wolf? Or Ashlynn seems to be in love with the son of a Hunter instead of who the future Cinderella should be in love with. And then there is Maddie (the daughter of the Mad Hatter). She has heaps of troubles and who knows if Apple or Raven could get her out of them.
This is such a fun book. I laughed out loud. I stopped reading to ponder. I tried to guess about the new twists since there is just enough hints of fairy tales to make me know the characters without really knowing the characters. And really, the whole heart of the story is if these characters should really be forced into a life path set out for them. Or is Raven more evil than them all if she wants to have the opportunity to be her own person? Does going her own way and balking the traditional fairy tales make her more evil than even her mother the Wicked Queen? With all the great characters, fun plot, and bits to think on it isn’t any wonder that I gobbled this book up in less than 12 hours. So. Much. Fun. Shannon Hale, I can’t wait to read more....more
I love the idea that fairy tales can still take place in a more modern world. And that is what this story proves. Sarah Jane is the middle of seven siI love the idea that fairy tales can still take place in a more modern world. And that is what this story proves. Sarah Jane is the middle of seven sisters–all of which have wild red hair. She and her sisters live with their mother down the street from Aunt Lillian. Aunt Lillian lives by herself and loves the idea of living and working her land in her own way. Meaning she doesn’t have electricity or things like that. She grows a garden and works the land in order to live, and she likes it. When Sarah Jane goes down to visit on a dare she discovers that she and Aunt Lillian are good friends. One of the things that Aunt Lillian knows a lot about are the fairy stories (which Aunt Lillian always says are true). Soon Sarah Jane discovers just how true the fairy stories are…because she helps a fairy and the two fairy clans decide that she is now in the middle of their fairy war and take her six sisters hostage.
This is a fun little story where there are interesting fairies and fun illustrations (at least of the illustrations I saw in the ARC so far). I liked how the stories and the action weren’t too scary for the younger set who would love to read this book. But it does take a little bit to get to the action of the plot rather than jumping right in, so those readers who don’t love the descriptions of the seven sisters, where they live, Aunt Lillian, or how she lives might get a bit bored before they get too far. But for those who love descriptions of life and fairies will enjoy this story....more