OooOOOooh! I really love this book. Shalini's voice is addictive! This is the type of book that you'll find yourself going back to, reading over and o...moreOooOOOooh! I really love this book. Shalini's voice is addictive! This is the type of book that you'll find yourself going back to, reading over and over, far into the night. Really, I can't say enough good things!(less)
This is one book that stuck in my mind long after I'd read it. In short, it's hilarious. Whether you love your MIL to bits, or would just like to see...moreThis is one book that stuck in my mind long after I'd read it. In short, it's hilarious. Whether you love your MIL to bits, or would just like to see her dashed TO BITS, there's something in here for anyone with in-laws. I enjoyed it very much. (less)
SKIN DEEP is quite simply, a beautiful book. It's the story of Jenna, the girl who was horribly disfigured in a tragic car accident, and Ryan, the gyp...moreSKIN DEEP is quite simply, a beautiful book. It's the story of Jenna, the girl who was horribly disfigured in a tragic car accident, and Ryan, the gypsy traveller who's forced to be more parent than child to his bi-polar Mom.
There are so many things to love about this story: for starters, the title is perfect as the theme of the novel is really about learning the layers of beauty, and how it can bloom or get twisted, the deeper you go. One of the things I liked most was how well each character is developed--even the baddie, Stephen Carlisle, has his reasons.
Throughout the story, characters act heroically, and terribly, each according to their personal journey and their circumstances at the time. Sort of like how real life works, huh?
Imo, it's this sublime craftsmanship--Jarratt's ability to reflect real life at its most personal and challenging--which catapults SKIN DEEP to a higher level. This is a very smart book with a very big heart and I recommend it highly. (less)
HIDDEN by Shalini Boland is a YA paranormal romance that delivers, and then some. Madison Greene is the Goth girl we all secretly (or not so secretly)...moreHIDDEN by Shalini Boland is a YA paranormal romance that delivers, and then some. Madison Greene is the Goth girl we all secretly (or not so secretly), want to be: tough, cool, smart. She's also dealing with some very serious issues: foster-care, borderline-abusive adults, and keeping her little bro, Ben, safe and as carefree as possible in a very dodgy environment. Now, throw in a cadre of ancient, breathtakingly beautiful vampires, and the stage is set for intrigue to ensue.
So far, we've covered some of the things you might expect in the genre but, here are some things that I think make Hidden a cut-above:
- The history of the Vampires. It's hard to detail too much without including any spoilers but, let's just say, their story, all on its own, would be enough for me to recommend this book. Boland masterfully weaves snippets of RL Turkish history and the magnificent Cappadocian caves with a new twist on traditional Vampire lore. I'm impressed, and now I need to visit Turkey.
- Alexandre. Yes, yes, he's beautiful, and powerful, and all things sexy as every good vampire hottie should be. But, he's also achingly vulnerable. He needs Maddy as much as she needs him and together, they complete each other. Again, Boland knocks the romance side of the story out of the park.
- The Intrigue. There were parts of the story where I found myself really miffed with Ms. Boland. Not because she failed to engage me, but because I really needed to put HIDDEN down to go off to take care of other RL obligations, but couldn't! WHAT is behind that cellar door? WHAT is buried under the Turkish desert? WHO is screaming and WHAT are they screaming AT??? That's just a partial list, but you get the point. Is this book a bona-fide "page-turner"? Yes, indeed it is.
So, with that, a hearty FIVE STAR recommendation from me. :o)(less)
It was a snowy night in January when I curled up with Hapenny Magick and, I'm glad to say, it warmed my heart, indeed.
What a charming book! I must pause here for a moment to rave about the illustrations. They are, in short, breath-taking. The whimsy of Jennifer's voice is infused into Pat Ann's illustrations. Her characters really come to life--and what characters they are!
Mean, spiteful Gelbane, the Guardian of our feisty heroine, Maewyn, storms off the page and Callum, the wizard, has a beard so flowing, I swear it really did tickle my nose ;o).
This brings me to the book, itself: a more engrossing adventure for children, I have not read, in years. Hapenny Magick is a somewhat traditional tale, with poor orphaned Maewyn left at the clutches of evil Gelbane at the start, but she is no shrinking violet waiting for her Prince to save the day. No. When a strange, talking crow lures her away from enslavement to the comparative bliss of a Wood Wizard's cozy home, Mae discovers that, small as she may be, her destiny is great.
I don't want to ruin the story by leaving any spoilers, but some of the things I love best about Mae are her courage, sense of duty, and sense of self-reliance. Before it's over, Mae needs to save herself, her friends, and her whole village from an army of hungry Trolls, and it'll take more than just her magickal talents, to do it.
Does Mae find the strength to persevere and triumph? I'll leave you to find out.
Hapenny Magick is a thoroughly engaging, lovely fairy tale for children of all ages. Jennifer's skillful prose weaves Magick and whimsy into every line. What a joy it was to read this book. (less)