Book Reviews

Lost Boy (The Neverwood Chronicles #2) by Chanda Hahn

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I loved Lost Girl! It is one of my favourite Peter Pan retellings. It was so original and exciting. 

Lost Boy was enjoyable as well. It was fun to continue the adventures of Wendy, Peter, Jax, John, Tink, etc. I was especially intrigued by how Wendy would handle her situation since the last events of Lost Girl left her with no memories. This was an exciting twist and created numerous complications. Through it all, though, Wendy grew stronger and more independent. It feels as if in this story, she became a true warrior. I also enjoyed the development of the shadows and how they played a larger, more intimate, role in Lost Boy. Hopefully, this continues in Lost Shadow. 

And about that ending… It broke my heart! No spoilers, so I won’t say anything else, but it was so distressing and left me worried about what will happen next.   Image result for the neverwood chronicles

Despite the exciting points, I felt that there was a lot left unsaid. Where exactly did Wendy and Peter’s relationship end off? Whose side is Jax really on? Why doesn’t he just tell the lost boys what’s going on instead of telling them that they must release him or else bad things will happen? And the movie theatre scene with Jeremey? A little cringy and unrealistic. If they had really been talking that much, the other viewers would have kicked them out.  

There was also a number of grammatical errors which was disappointing because the first book was better in that department.   

Lastly, this was a clean read, although, Tink’s swearing is frequently mentioned. 

In spite of feeling a little let down by Lost Boy, I am still looking forward to reading Lost Shadow. 

 

Book Reviews

Wolves and Roses by Christina Bauer

I was expecting a fairytale retelling or at least something along those lines, but Wolves and Roses is not your typical fairy tale retelling. 

This book follows the story of Bryar Rose who is told that her life is the Sleeping Beauty template and that she mush marry her prince charming on her eighteenth birthday after which her curse will be broken etc. etc. But my goodness! What ensued is definitely not your typical fairytale. Bauer took multiple fairytales and worked a complex plot around them. It was creative and exciting!

While Bryar Rose was a good protagonist, the characters as a whole were rather bland. They were a little too perfect and although they seemed to have the lives of adults they acted and were said to be in their teens. It was kind of weird. Once, Bryar and Elle comment on having stolen from a company for years. But that doesn’t totally make sense because if Bryar is 17, years would have made her around 13 (15 at the oldest). The inner wolves of Knox and Bryar were rather annoying. Especially Knox’s wolf would not stop commenting on how Bryar was a good mate. Strong mate. Smart mate We find best mate. etc. etc.  Also, the romance was rather cringy… 

“Knox stretches, and since he’s still wearing his rock star pants and fitted T-shirt, I’m really enjoying the view. Knox is ripped…” 

Enough said. Moving on.

While I was engaged most of the time, I can’t say I was a huge fan of the writing. To me, it felt rather unprofessional. 

“I click through pic after pic.”

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“This is me, going for the door.” 

While I don’t mind that in dialogue, I don’t care too much for it in the storytelling. 

Lastly, this was not a clean read. While there is no sex, at times the characters use strong language – especially Knox.   

Altogether, this was an interesting read, but I don’t think I will be reading the sequel. 

Book Reviews

Shadow Frost by Coco Ma

“Eternity. It was endless and gray as the bleak sky above, broken only by the craggy teeth of the mountain peaks.” 

I was quite looking forward to Shadow Frost. The blurb is intriguing, the cover is beautiful, and it has lots of good reviews. Also, the prologue and first chapter had me hooked. They immediately established tension and a really interesting world. (The map at the beginning is amazing too. I spent a while studying it and admiring the names and layout.) 

However, I was instantly struck by the writing style. This kind of sentence structure appeared a lot: 

“Her breaths became gasps as she struggled to maintain her focus, muscles quivering from exertion.” 

“The queen turned, a single brow arched.” 

I don’t know… maybe it’s just me, but there were so many sentences spliced by commas that it started to bug me. They can definitely be effective, but they become rather unprofessional when overused.   

On another note, the features of the main character are described through the use of a mirror. This is a bit cliche… 

I did like the main character she was feisty and brave, albeit a bit reckless. But the romance… 

“You…you can’t just take off your shirt like that,” she stammered.

“Why? Does it bother you?” he teased, nothing short of delighted. 

“Yes! No! I don’t care. I’ve seen shirtless men before anyway.” 

He quirked an eyebrow, “Oh?” 

That just makes me cringe. It’s like a cheesy high school romance. 

Anyways, I think I better stop here. Perhaps you will enjoy this book. It does have good qualities. However, it was not my cup of tea. 

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Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book Reviews

The Queen’s Rising by Rebecca Ross

“She walks with grace upon the clouds, and the stars know her by name.”

What a  stunning read! There were many things I expected and many did not come to pass. Which was wonderful. It just proved that this was not a novel I could predict and this made me enjoy it all the more.

Although some may say that the story began slowly, I found that this time which Brienna spent at the school, allowed for some wonderful world building and also allowed me to become well acquainted with Brienna. Who, by the way, was quite sweet and brave. She was so loyal as well – she risked her life for her country and for the people she cared about.

“There are many secret doors around us, in plain sight. We just don’t take the time to find and open them.”

The writing was lovely. It was colourful, but not in a pretentious way. It flowed naturally through the story and gave it a delightful flavour.

This was also a clean read. Which I honestly was not expecting, but it was a pleasant surprise. 38739550

But wait, I cannot go without vaguely mentioning the ending. I loved it! Not what I was expecting, but I’m glad it unfurled this way. Also, it ended with a neat closing. This could definitely be a stand-alone. Yet, there is a second book? I’m not convinced it’s necessary, so I suppose I will have to read it and find out.   

“Passion is wholehearted devotion; it is fervor and agony; it is temper and zeal.”

Ta ta for now!  

P.S. Aren’t they both beautiful covers?!? Simply gorgeous! ❤

 

 

Book Reviews

Dream a Little Dream by Kirsten Gier

A few years ago, I read the Precious Stone Trilogy and from what I remember, I really enjoyed them. So when I saw this one in the library, I thought I would give it a try. Plus it’s on my to-read list and I’m trying really hard to knock some books off of that shelf (there are 153 on there!).

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“Home is where your books are.”

Instantly, I was struck by Gier and Bell’s narrative voice. It was fun and light and I often found myself smiling. Liv, the main character, was also enjoyable – she was sweet and brave, but perhaps a bit reckless and naive. Although, this will allow for growth and I’m sure there will be more growth in the next two books. Liv’s sister Mia… She was super cute! And they’re relationship melted my heart. The boys… Hmm well. Why did they have to be soo gorgeous? Couldn’t they have some more flaws? Henry and Grayson were sweet but uninteresting, Jasper was a pervert, and Arthur had some serious shadows. So yeah, I wasn’t a huge fan of these guys.   

I loved, loved the dream concept. It was both intriguing and chilling! And added such a unique element to this story. The demon thingy, though, was a little weird and I didn’t feel that it was explained very clearly. This was similar to the villain of the story, who I thought was slightly underdeveloped. As for the plot, it was interesting to have it grow through dreams as well as through the real world. The dream parts almost added a taste of Alice in Wonderland. However, it was a little slow sometimes – there were bits of fluff that didn’t develop the plot.Image result for silver trilogy kerstin gier

Lastly, let’s talk about one key thing. The fact that this whole storyline revolves around the fact that Liv is a virgin. For goodness sakes, she’s fifteen and it’s totally okay for her to have sex?!? There were no explicit scenes, but there was a lot of talk about sex. Also, there was quite a bit of bad language – not obscenely so, but enough that it started to bug me after a while. 

I’m not sure if I’ll read book 2… I was reading some reviews of book 2 and 3 and they’re not super positive, so we’ll see.

 

Book Reviews

Ever Alice by H.J. Ramsay

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*Wipes away tears. Sniffs.*Image result for alice in wonderland crying gif

That ending, though. It was so depressing! I like that it was different and that it wasn’t your standard fluffy ending, but, man, it was heartbreaking.

Despite this, I really did enjoy this book. It was fun, but also beautiful and captivating. The whole atmosphere of Wonderland was magical and strange. Ramsay did a wonderful job with capturing that characteristic from the original Alice in Wonderland. Also, Ramsay came up with delightfully creative phrases such as:

“More than you can ever possibly count, times double, divided by half.”

Image result for alice in wonderland illustrationsAlice was a sweetheart and I very much sympathized with her. She didn’t at all get the kind of love that she deserved. Even her friends (can you call them friends) in Wonderland were not always caring.

“Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a thousand peanuts in my eyes.”Image result for off with his head gif

As for Rosamund. “Off with her head!” Yes, yes. The lovely Queen of Hearts. It was super interesting to get the story from her point of view. And honestly, I even ended up feeling kind of sorry for her. Really, she needed someone who would take care of her. Perhaps she would change if she was removed from her position of power and treated kindly?

“It’s a little too late to be splitting peas, Thomas,” Rosamund snapped. 

As for the plot… Well, I already mentioned that ending (I still don’t know what to think of it). Things started out at a good pace, moving from Alice in the asylum to Wonderland. However, about halfway through, things began to drag a bit. I felt that something important was going to happen, but I just kept waiting and waiting. And when it did happen, it was kind of a big deal, but I’m not sure it was emphasized as much as it could have been.

In the end, this was a clean story in terms of profanity and sex. However, there are a few beheadings. (Off with his head!)

I do recommend this one, though. It’s a creative and fun read.  

“A Cartographic Map and Illustrative Illustration of the Major Features of Wonderland, its Environs, Population Density, and Notable Shrubbery.”

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Book Reviews

A Girl’s Tale by KM Shea

Synopsis

The ballads lie. Robin Hood, the Bold and Brave Outlaw of Sherwood Forest, is cowardly, spineless, and a girl.

Robyn unwittingly starts the Robin Hood farce when she is mistaken for a male while saving her friend, Marian, from two foresters. Forced into hiding, Robyn unwillingly collects “Merry Men” while grudgingly robbing from the rich fools that wander through Sherwood. What starts as small scale robbery blows up into complex heists when Little John and Will Scarlet join her team, and the idiotic Prince John and his legion of soldiers comes to town. However, Robyn can’t stop the theft—not when King Richard is being held ransom.

Cowardly Robyn’s best chance to raise money for King Richard’s release is to rob his brother, Prince John. Will she survive the heist, or swing in the gallows?

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This was a fun, light-hearted read. I enjoy Robin Hood retellings and I liked Shea’s twist to this one. It was also quite amusing and as with Shea’s other books, it was a clean read. However, it did not grasp my interest (DNF 62%). KM Shea is an excellent writer, but for me, this one didn’t quite hit the mark. I think, perhaps, it would be a fantastic read for younger girls around the age of 12.24752088

The plot starts out rather fast-paced but slows in the middle and there are a few unrealistic points; for example, the fact that everyone believed that Robyn was a man. Although the writing was at times witty, there were numerous typos and it wasn’t quite as developed as Shea’s other works.

Altogether, this book was okay, especially for a free e-book. However, I will not be reading book #2.  

Do you have a favorite Robin Hood retelling?

Ramblings, Uncategorized

Top Ten Reads of 2018

Happy 2019!!

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Looking back at 2018, here are some of my favourite reads.

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The Story Peddler by Lindsay A. Franklin

This was a magical read! I was completely captivated by each strand that Franklin wove to create this colourful tapestry.

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The Wendy by Erin Michelle Sky and Steven Brown

I was captivated from the very beginning. The authors have a way of writing that enchants the readers and draws them into this colourful, exciting world.Image result for if i run series

If I Run Series by Terri Blackstock (If I Run by Terri Blackstock)

Oh my goodness, this series! So good! I was sitting at the edge of my chair the entire time. Review for books #2 and #3 are coming soon.

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The Enchanted Sonata by Heather Dixon Wallwork

The world Wallwork immediately established was magical and intriguing.

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Changeling (Sorcery and Society #1) by Molly Harper

I loved this book! It was such a beautiful and captivating story. I can’t wait to read book #2!

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The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

I was immediately sucked in by Morgenstern’s beautiful and descriptive writing style. There was something magical about it, something intricate like a delicate spider web glistening in the morning sun.

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Garden of Thorns by Amber Mitchell

The first little bit had me wondering if the entire book was going to be so dark. I thought, “There is a good chance I won’t finish this book.” Then Rose escaped the Garden and met Rayce. That’s when I fell in love with the story and a certain character….

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The Faerie Ring by Kiki Hamilton

I definitely recommend this book. It was a lovely read and I am looking forward to reading the next book in this series and discovering where Tiki’s journey will lead to next.

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Shadow and Thorn by Kenley Davidson

The first thing that caught me was the writing. To me, it had a certain grace about it which danced with elegant steps across the pages. And it took me by surprise, I had not anticipated such charm when first I turned to “Chapter 1.”

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Cleopatra’s Moon by Vicky Alvear Shecter

This book is a golden little nugget I found while digging through piles of dusty books at my local book fair.

And lastly, the honourable mention goes to…

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Bandaging the Blitz by Phyll Macdonald-Ross & I.D. Roberts

As a book co-written by someone who actually lived through these things, it had a beautiful authentic atmosphere. Each time I picked up this book, it was like I stepped through a portal into the 1940s.

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While I was writing this up, I kept thinking, “Oh, ya! That was such a good book! I should read it again.” Haha. I definitely recommend all of these books. They are amazing and very enjoyable.

Have you read any of these books? Are they on your favourites shelf?

Book Reviews

Magic Harvest by Mary Karlik

This was a unique read. Karlik has a voice that fits well with this adventure about faeries. Her writing is quite good and it was well polished; however, it didn’t pull me in. Honestly, it bordered on boring. I think this mostly had to do with the descriptions, they simply weren’t colourful and unfortunately, this affected the world building as well. The plot was a little hard to follow since it felt like there wasn’t much movement. It seemed a little stagnant.   Related image

I really liked Layla. She was independent, protective, and brave. Yet, she wasn’t perfect, she struggled immensely with being an outcast. A major thing that bugged me, though, was that I never quite figured out what she looked like. There was a vague description, but I never formed a solid picture in my mind. The detective team Layla worked with were so cute. I loved their camaraderie. One thing, though: it would have been nice to get to know them a little better. It felt like we were just scraping the surface.    

Overall, this was a decent book and if you are really into YA about faeries you might enjoy it. 

Thank you to NetGalley for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

 

Book Reviews

Thief of Cahraman by Lucy Tempest

Image result for bumpy road gifThis began with a bit of a rough road.

At 5% I still was not hooked and was mostly skimming. However, I stuck with it in the hope that things would improve. They did, but there was another major aspect that continued to bother me. The world building. I was so confused. I wasn’t sure whether to imagine a medieval-fairytale type world or a mid-1800’s type world or a modernish but still medieval type world. Because, glitter and glue on masks, pink-rimmed cat-eyed spectacles,  bicycles, trains, palaces, swords, horses, and wagons. So ya, I really wasn’t sure what to think.

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But wait, my friends, don’t stop reading. Because at around 45% I was so hooked I finished it the next day. With the movement to the palace and the beginning of the competition, things got really exciting and interesting. Honestly, I loved the last 55% of this book and now I can’t wait for book #2!

What changed?

One thing was that the world of Cahraman was described with far more clarity. It actually became a very intriguing and colorful place. The depth of the characters seemed to broaden as well. Ada’s little band of friends (Cora and Cherine) were totally loveable and entertaining and Ada was kind and loyal. I didn’t like how Cyrus was just sooo handsome, but after a bit, I did find him rather sweet.

The writing was good. It was neat, but I wasn’t blown away by it. After the first bit, the plot became super engaging and was well planned out. The twist to the Aladdin fairytale was unique and it was also interesting to see how Tempest wove the characters of other fairytales into the plot.

Lastly, I’ll give this one a 4.5/5 in the clean-read category. There was barely any profanity and there was no sex.

Wrapping it all up, I recommend this story to lovers of fairytale retellings.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

Have you read this one? What did you think?