Historical fiction, romance, snark, and a few surprises, YES please! Thank you Rachel Harris for giving me a book I happily lost sleep over, because I...moreHistorical fiction, romance, snark, and a few surprises, YES please! Thank you Rachel Harris for giving me a book I happily lost sleep over, because I had to stay up reading it. Rachel's writing in this book is fabulous. This is one of those books I sat down to read thinking this will be the perfect book spending a few minutes with. Wrong.... this was a book I spent more than a few minutes reading. Once I started reading it there was no stopping until I was done.
Rachel has this rich writing that hooks me. Her imaginative world easily comes to life, and gives way to thinking, "what if". What if fate had a silly way of taking you on this incredible journey back in time to the 16th century where you mingled among relatives in the beautiful country of Italy. What if while there you learned a little bit more about yourself, fell in love, and gained a better appreciation of who you are.
Cat is one of those characters I couldn't help but fall in with love. This girl definitely gets herself into some tough situations, but she also finds a way out of them. She's a smart girl who figures things out, though sometimes it may take her a bit. I loved going on her journey between now, and back to the 15th century. Along the way I watched Cat grow into this incredibly strong person who learned to take risks, stand up for herself, and learned to love. In true Rachel Harris fashion, she infuses her story with moments that were laugh out loud funny, moments that made my heart melt, other moments that broke my heart, and oh there were moments that were sigh worthy.
Lorenzo..... I do believe Lorenzo could give Romeo a run for his money. This heart throb literally steals the show when he comes into Cat's life, or should I say when she finds herself in his time. No matter how hard she tried to resist, she finds herself falling for him, as much as he's falling for her. I'll admit a small part of me wanted her to run off with him *coughs* What!? I did. How romantic would that have been? After all much of this book has a very romantic setting. But luckily Cat is smart girl, and doesn't do anything too foolish, though she does find herself in a bind, and not being in modern times, she is in a predicament that she can't easily get out of.
Everything about Cat's journey felt incredibly real. I loved finding myself feel emotionally attached to a story I didn't think I would be. The "what if" accept of this story was fabulous. I love it when an author can tell a story that makes me wonder & wish that something like that could happen, and what would I do if something like that happened. Rachel Harris has definitely created an enchanting story that has romance, magic, beautiful world building, action, and a few surprises. I'd definitely recommend picking up this book!
I loved Shatter Me! I really liked getting into Warner's head with this novella. There's just something about Warner that has made me a #TeamWarner fa...moreI loved Shatter Me! I really liked getting into Warner's head with this novella. There's just something about Warner that has made me a #TeamWarner fan, and this novella proved even more so that there's so much more to Warner than we get in Shatter Me. Normally I'm not a novella fan, but I'm so glad Tahereh wrote this one. This story adds so much more to the story. I read this after I read IGNITE ME, and I kinda wish I read it before. There are comments Warner makes in IGNITE ME, and now made more sense to me after reading this story. (less)
I love this book! I swear this book was written for me. From the story to the illustrations, everything about this book beautiful. What an adorable, h...moreI love this book! I swear this book was written for me. From the story to the illustrations, everything about this book beautiful. What an adorable, heart warming story. Young Annabelle finds a small wooden box and in that box is some magic yarn. Annabelle is able to not just knit a sweeter for herself and her pet, but the entire town, it's houses, and even for the woodland animals. Annabelle's actions don't go missed. She not only brings color to her town, she does something for everyone who lives in her small wooded town. I loved Annabelle. I loved her even more for the answer she gives a certain someone when she's offered a lot of money for her wooden box and her magic yarn.
This story is seriously one of the best illustrated children's books I've read/looked at in a long time. Not only does it provide a great story with a heartwarming message, and show case some adorable illustrations that I would totally frame, this story has provided priceless moments my little girl and I as we have spent countless time reading Annabelle's story, and looking through every illustration in this book. Extra Yarn has quickly become a household favorite. This is one book I'd highly recommend adding to your home library, classrooms and school libraries. It's a book that's staying on my shelves for a long time to come. (less)
Being a big sports fan, I love seeing sports themed YA books. I think there needs to be more. T. Glen Coughlin's One Shot Away isn't a book I'd normal...moreBeing a big sports fan, I love seeing sports themed YA books. I think there needs to be more. T. Glen Coughlin's One Shot Away isn't a book I'd normally find myself picking up, even though I just said I love sports. Reading a story about 3 different senior guys who all wrestle didn't sound appealing at first, but there was something about this story that made me want to read it. What a great story it was. T. Glen Coughlin wrote a fabulous contemporary for guys! Each of his unique characters, and the over all storyline was engaging, realistic, and hard to put down.
There's something to be said about a well written sport story. No I didn't wrestle, but one of my brothers did and I had friends who did in high school, so I at least understood the wrestling part of this story. But, this story isn't just about wrestling. It was far more than just three different guys all trying to content for a spot on the varsity squad. T. Glen Coughlin introduces readers to three not so perfect characters who are doing the best they can given the situations they are in. Well, I can say two of them are, and one of them takes a bit of a darker turner than the rest of them. One of the things I liked about this story is how relatable these guys are. They're not perfect, but flawed, well written characters who connect with their reader on some level.
I liked how this story is told from three different points of views, Trevor, Jimmy, and Diggy. Each character's voice is distinct. They each come from different back grounds, and each teen is dealing with something different, yet all three have a common ground in wrestling. I liked that this story wasn't a sugar coated story. The struggles the teens are dealing with are very realistic. Trevor Crowe, the underdog no one saw coming has the most to prove. He has struggled in the past with being made fun because of his mixed heritage embraces his Native American heritage, learns to move on from his father's death, and the new changes his mother's new job brings them. Jimmy, the wrestling star is dealing with his father's mistakes and trying to stay afloat while his father's criminal activity is catching up to him and his family. Then there's Diggy, who is struggling to live in the shadow of his brother's wrestling records, an abusive father, and trying to make a name for himself, but in the process makes some stupid choices that cost him more than he thought.
It wasn't hard for me to cheer on some of these characters. Though I will say I was a bit shocked over the stupidity and bad decision that cost one of the characters. While I didn't relate to what each of the teens where dealing with, I did relate to that stage in life they're in, where they're on the verge of freedom from school, trying to figure out what to make of their life after graduation, trying to make the best of the situation they're in, and figuring out where they stand in the world. Aside from Trevor, Jimmy and Diggy, is a great cast of supporting characters who all play a huge role in their lives. From their parents to their friends, their wrestling Coach and team mates.
Coughlin's writing was fantastic. He doesn't shy away from the struggles teen athletes deal with, and the drama and hardships that come along with playing a team sport. He delivers a great YA book with three different, yet strong male voices that guys will enjoyed reading. This story felt like I was reading a documentary on three wrestling team mates, their lives, and how they got to where they did (at the end of the story). Over all, I think this is a book readers will enjoy. It's a gritty, realistic portrayed story, and one I think guy readers will enjoy.(less)
If there is one children's book series you pick up this year, this needs to be it! I am in LOVE with William Joyce's The Guardians series. These are n...moreIf there is one children's book series you pick up this year, this needs to be it! I am in LOVE with William Joyce's The Guardians series. These are not only priceless children's books to have, they're also ones that as a parent remind me of the joys that come from reading, and having stories like this to read to my kids. Story's like this are the kind that stick with us all through childhood and as we continue to grow older, they find a small corner in the back of our memories, and our minds to go, so that we can draw on it at some other time in life, and be reminded of the fun, and imaginative times we spent as kids getting lost in books. As a parent, reading these books with my kids allows me to relive the magic, the innocence and the joy that makes up childhood.
The Sandman is the first Guardian chosen by The Man in the Moon. His role is to help children have good dreams. While the Man in the Moon is only allowed to be on the moon, the Sandman is one of the Guardians on earth, who's role is to protect the children of the world from Pitch, the Nightmare King. If you read The Man in the Moon, you'll know who Pitch is (if you haven't read it, I highly recommend that you do). I love that this book continues with the rich mythology, and story telling that I have come to love with William Joyce's series. Just like the first book in this series, The Sandman has incredible illustrations that alone bring this book to life. The Sandman is a richly detailed, magical story that soothes children of their night times fears as they realize there is a pint size Guardian who is waiting to send them warm, happy dreams.
The Sandman is part of the The Guardians series, which is made up of two picture books, The Man in the Moon and The Sandman. These two books are in addition to The Guardians series which is made up of Nicholas St. North and the Nightmare King, E. Aster Bunnymund and the Battle of the Warrior Eggs at the Earth's Core, Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies. This past holiday season Rise of the Guardians the movie was released, and is based on William's book. Well in honor of the movie coming out on DVD this TUESDAY (I can't wait), I had to feature one of my favorite characters, whom also plays a huge role in the movie, THE SANDMAN! (less)
This is another fabulous novella that ties together the entire series perfectly. There's not much I can say about this story without dropping some maj...moreThis is another fabulous novella that ties together the entire series perfectly. There's not much I can say about this story without dropping some major spoilers for those who haven't read the series yet, aside from what the synopsis has already revealed. I will say I enjoyed this story!
I loved getting to see Ash and Meghan together, as husband & wife, Knight and Queen. Despite this book being rather short, Julie throws in some great kissy scenes with these two. I love seeing how much Ash has changed. I mean he's the same old Ash, but he's so different as well. I'm really looking forward to seeing him as a father. I'm completely intrigued with what the future holds for their child, and them as a family. Based on what the Oracle told Meghan, and what she showed her, I'd say have a lot to prepare though, this quote from Ash has given me hope that maybe the Oracle's predictions aren't exact, when Ash said,
"Nothing is certain. The future is constantly changing, and no one can predict what happens next. We have the power to change our destiny, because fate is not set in stone, and we are always free to make a choice." (pg 202)
This story would have felt incomplete had it not had Puck and of our course my other favorite character, Grimalkin in it. Having everyone back together again was the perfect way to wrap up this fantastic fey series. Even though I want more stories about Meghan, Ash and Puck, I'm really looking forward to the other fey stories Julie is working on. (less)
A fun, laugh out loud, age appropriate Valentine book that both kids and adults can enjoy reading together. What happens when Leon's homemade Valenti...more A fun, laugh out loud, age appropriate Valentine book that both kids and adults can enjoy reading together. What happens when Leon's homemade Valentine comes to life and discovers he's going to be given away to Leon's crush? He runs away, of course. Leon's Valentine doesn't believe in love/crushes. He says Valentine is all about the candy hearts and love is yucky, and stinky and turns your brain to goo. What in ensues is a chase around town to catch the run away Valentine, during which Leon encounters various groups of kids who range in his age and up, that all have different takes on love, and try to help him catch his card.
I really liked that Brenda kept the love talk at an age appropriate level, where crushes aren't about holding hands or kissing. Sure, my young aged grade school kids don't understand or really care about crushes, but they definitely got the fun with this book. My son picked up on the girls who like will pick up your ball, or let you have cuts in line, after all, that's what crushes at this do, but like the book says, no kissing or holding hands. That of course invokes the "YUK" and "that's so gross" reaction, which is the same reaction Leon's Valentine has.
My daughter on the other hand is at the age where the crush talk goes above her head, but she caught on to how funny Leon's Valentine was when he ran all over town trying to get away from Leon. As fate would have it, Leon's Valentine runs right into Leon's crush, who too has a Valentine for Leon. Let's just say Leon's homemade Valentine finally gets what being a Valentine is all about.
What makes this book even more engaging is it's a fun spin on the classic Gingerbread Man story. It's funny, it's engaging, and I liked that parts of it rhyme. I think this is a Valentine book that will be a big hit in classrooms. I'm not sure it's one preschool aged kids would get, Kindergartners maybe. I think it's one 1st and 2nd graders would definitely get/enjoy. (less)
I'm a big fan of Scott's Leviathan series and I enjoyed The Secret Hour, but for some reason outside of these few books of Scott's I can't really get...moreI'm a big fan of Scott's Leviathan series and I enjoyed The Secret Hour, but for some reason outside of these few books of Scott's I can't really get into his other books. I don't know why that is. While I think this is a good read and a book fans of Scott Westerfeld's are going to enjoy, it's not one I loved. I admire Scott's writing, his rich world building and the characters he writes about. Kieran and Maria were two characters who's story I liked reading, but there was something I just couldn't connect with, and I can't even tell you why or what it was that made me feel that way. I hope my thoughts on Stupid Perfect World don't deter fans of Scott's from reading this book, because I think they'll really enjoy it.(less)
A cruise ship, and vampires... sold! I don't know why, but I found this comical and interesting and I had to know what this short story was going to b...moreA cruise ship, and vampires... sold! I don't know why, but I found this comical and interesting and I had to know what this short story was going to be about. I will say this book was not at all what I was excepting. It's one of those great short stories that leads you to believe that one thing is going to happen and than throws in this fabulous twist that had me thinking "no way!" and how did I not see that one coming. I'll be honest, I almost stopped reading the book. It's not that I didn't like it, it's because I thought I had figured out what was going to happen. I'm so glad I didn't stop reading it, because that element of surprise was awesome! At least it was for me, because of my "I already know what's going to happen" attitude I had. I love it when I'm proven wrong about a book, and I was definitely prove wrong with this one. If you're a paranormal fan I'd recommend reading this one. (less)
There are a few authors whom I feel can write both adult (romance) books, and YA books flawlessly. As in these few authors are ones I feel like they k...moreThere are a few authors whom I feel can write both adult (romance) books, and YA books flawlessly. As in these few authors are ones I feel like they know how to write hot scenes without them being adult romance kind of scenes. There's nothing wrong with a good adult romance, I just don't enjoy reading those scenes in YA books. You can have an ultra hot YA scene without making it adult, and Sophie Jordan is an author who does that perfectly! Wow can she write HOT! Let me just say, Breathless did in deed leave me feeling Breathless, pun indeed.
I'm a huge fan of Sophie's and was sad to see the Firelight series come to an end this year. It's one of those series I absolutely love, and this novella is a great addition to the series. I loved Az's character from the series, but I enjoyed reading about her own story and her handling a situation she gets herself into. I loved that this story takes place outside the pride, and with her parents. It definitely puts Az in a rather tough place when she inadvertently gets involved with humans. *sigh* Ah Tate. I think Tate might give Will a run for his money, because this boy does not give up when he wants something, and that something is Az.
Without giving anything away, I will say I enjoyed that no matter how much Az fought against pride law, her heart, and her wanting to not get involved, she can't deny what she feels for Tate. Tate himself is not someone who will let Az run away. I liked that Az's parent's played a small, yet important role in a decision she makes. I LOVED that hot character chemistry that Sophie Jordan can write so well. It's F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S! If you're read this series, you HAVE TO GET THIS NOVELLA! My only compliant with it, is it needs to be a book, and not a novella. I wanted more of Az's story. (less)
I enjoyed being back in this world! I loved Hallowed and I didn't realize how much I really missed this series until I read this novella. The end of H...moreI enjoyed being back in this world! I loved Hallowed and I didn't realize how much I really missed this series until I read this novella. The end of Hallowed left me wanting Boundless, and now that I've read Radiant I'm dying to get my hands on the last installment in this series. This isn't a story that centers on Tucker or Christian. Yes, these two are mentioned through out the story, but this storyline focuses on Clara and Angela's visit to Italy, which takes place between Hallowed and Boundless.
Clara's heartbreak and grieving from the events that unfolded at the end of Hallowed are present in this book, as is something a little sinister. There's something that doesn't add up with how Angela is acting, nor does everything feel right with the introduction of Phen, Angela's fling. There's a lot more to Phen than I'm going to mention here, so that it stays a surprise. Let's just say I'm really curious to find out if I'm right about what I think is going happen in Boundless with Phen's role in this book. I really wanted to like Angela more, but man alive this girl has some issues she needs to work out. I have a feeling that my hunch about her is going to be right as well.
Cynthia did a great job with making me wonder which side Angela is going to take, the good or the bad side. Right now I'm torn on which path I think she'll choose. It's apparent there's something not right with her, and having Phen in the picture only adds to my hunches. I have a feeling there's going to be a few surprising twists and a bit of heartbreak in Boundless. I can not wait to read it. (less)