Tag Archives: Book Reviews

5 Mythology Books I Really Think You Should Read / B.I.R.T.Y.S.R. Volume 21

19 Feb

Hi!

Mythology Books (Background from Miss Tiina…because nothing says mythology like rainbows and hearts, am I right?)

Happy Thursday! I spent my day hanging out with friends, sewing, and watching one of my favorite animated movies, The Aristocats. I also realized this morning that I hadn’t posted this month’s Books I Really Think You Should Read, so here we are! This month’s theme is mythology, because I figured, why not? Happy reading!

Pegasus1 >> Pegasus Series by Kate O’Hearn / Read my review here.

First up we have Kate O’Hearns Pegasus series! I absolutely adore these books and finished the series in only a couple of weeks. The minute you open the front cover you’ll instantly find yourself caught up in Emily and Pegasus’s world of Roman gods and goddesses, blood-thirsty monsters, magic, myths, powers, and mysterious scientists…and you’ll LOVE it! This entire series is a must-read for any book lover, but I must warn you: be ready for some serious reading marathons.

Loki's Wolves2 >> The Blackwell Pages by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr

Although I did mention The Blackwell Pages series in my last Books I Really Think You Should Read post, I couldn’t help but feature this fabulous series again! It’s a perfect combination of suspense, adventure, and friendship, with a good dose of Norse mythology thrown in. The books have a terrible tendency to end in cliffhangers though, (you can read my thoughts on those here.) which may leave you terribly annoyed when you find out the next installment isn’t being released until March. *Sigh* :)

Percy Jackson's Greek Gods3 >> Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods by Rick Riordan

While I would recommend the entire Percy Jackson series to well, everyone, I thought Percy Jackson’s Greek Gods would be the perfect choice for this list! It’s a collection of the Greek myths told from the point of view of everyone’s favorite demigod, filled with loads of laughs and great writing, along with amazing full-page illustrations. It’s size does make it a bit hard to carry around, I can assure you that it’s worth it! Now I just have to wait for the sequel…

The Pharaoh' Secret 4 >> The Pharaoh’s Secret by Marissa Moss

This book is a great read for fans of Rick Riordan’s Kane Chronicles series! It follows the adventures of Talibah and her younger brother Adam as they travel to Egypt with their father and end up getting caught up in a world of tales and mysteries…which also makes it the perfect read for a rainy afternoon. :) Marissa Moss’s writing flows together very nicely and you’ll definitely find yourself finishing this book in one sitting. I’m actually about to start one of her other books, Bombs Over London…expect a Purple Panda Points review soon!

Goddess Girls5 >> Goddess Girls by Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams

This series is a great introduction to Greek mythology for anyone who isn’t quite ready for the books above! The series (which already has fifteen books and another one coming out in the spring!) revolves around young Greek gods and goddesses and their adventures in their mythical boarding school. Joan Holub and Suzanne Williams did a great job of reworking the myths to fit in a modern middle school setting, while still not losing the original story lines. A quick and recommended read for any mythology lover!

What are your favorite mythology books?

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15 Books Coming Out in 2015 I Really Think You Should Read / B.I.R.T.Y.S.R. Volume 20

19 Jan

Hi!

15 Books Coming Out in 2015It’s time for this month’s Books I Really Think You Should Read (B.I.R.T.Y.S.R)! Like it is every January, this month’s theme is books coming out this year, and let me just say that there are a lot of them. I actually had to change this post from being 10 books to 15. They all look too good. :) Not surprisingly, this list is made up entirely of fantasy, mystery, historical fiction, magical realism, and mythology books (I’m so not a realistic fiction person! :) ), but I’m sure you’ll be able to find something that appeals to you, whether it’s a magic-filled fractured fairy tale or haunted historical mansion mystery. Let’s get reading, shall we?

*The release dates listed for these books may change, so it’s probably a good idea to check their Goodreads pages (links below) for the most recent info. 
The Last Ever After1>> The Last Ever After by Soman Chainani  / Release Date: July 21

Teehee. There’s no way the third School for Good and Evil would not be on this list. I mean, really, I’ve actually included this series on the B.I.R.T.Y.S.R. feature 6+ times. (It is chocolate cookies and cream ice cream all the way though. :) ) The summary and cover of the third book haven’t been released yet, but I’m sure they will live up to the standards of the previous books.

Silver in The Blood2>> Silver in the Blood by Jessica Day George / Release Date: July 7

Oh. My. Gumdrops. Look at that amazing cover! And not only that, but look at the author! Yes, it is the oh-so amazing Jessica Day George (AKA: the author of the oh-so amazing books, Princess in the Silver Woods and Tuesdays in the Castle.) Her new book, Silver in the Blood, is about two society girls from New York City in 1890 who travel to Romania to learn more about their family’s (magical shape-shifting!) roots. Sounds cool, right? Now, all we have to do is wait until July. Anyone have a time machine?

Princess in Disguise3>> Princess in Disguise by E.D. Baker / Release Date: March 31

E.D. Baker has always been one of my favorite authors, so you can imagine how happy I was to discover that there would be a fourth book coming out in The Wide Awake Princess series, (which I previously thought was going to be a trilogy.) The fourth installment in the series follows the adventures of Annie and Liam, who are planning (SPOILER WARNING! READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!) their wedding, but a series of mishaps causes the event to be ruined. To save their special event, the two embark on a dangerous journey filled with magic, fairy godmothers, and all sorts of fairytale fun.

Thor's Serpants4>> Thor’s Serpents by K.L. Armstrong and M.A. Marr / Release Date: March 1

I never actually got to review Loki’s Wolves on here (which I think just means that I should read the first two books again) but let me just say that the first two books are fantastic. They’re very Percy Jackson-esque, but revolve around Norse mythology. I prefer the second book more than the first, despite the fact that it ended on a cliffhanger (Evil cliffhangers. You ruin all my attempts of reading the end of the book first,) hence my excitement for the third story. March couldn’t come sooner!

The Sword of Summer5>> The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan / Release Date: Oct. 6

Yay! More Norse mythology for everyone! I’m a big fan of Rick Riordan’s other series, Percy Jackson and The Kane Chronicles, so I’m very excited for his new book to come out (only three days before my b-day. :) ) The summary sounds quite interesting: Magnus Chase, a teen from the streets of Boston, discovers a dangerous secret from his mysterious uncle: The Norse gods are real, and the doomsday, Ragnarok, is coming. And Magnus is the only one who can stop it. Sounds ominous, right? In other news, Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes  is coming out in August – hopefully it will be able to satisfy me until October.

Of Enemies and Endings6>> Of Enemies and Endings by Shelby Bach / Release Date: June 30

I adore the Ever Afters series by Shelby Bach. A fractured fairy tale taking place in modern times with plenty of magic and cool characters? Yes, please! I am having very mixed feelings about this book though: on one hand, I’m so excited to find out what happens next after that cliffhanger in book three (see my opinion on cliffhangers above), but on the other, I don’t want the series to end! Either way, it does sound like this book is going to be the best one yet! Oh, and let’s also all take a minute to acknowledge this gorgeous cover. It’s definitely my favorite of this entire post. I mean, just look at it! It’s so different than the others in the series, but still fits in the style of the first three books. I need this on my bookshelf! :)

Princess Academy #37>> The Forgotten Sisters by Shannon Hale / Release Date: March 3

Shannon Hale’s Princess Academy has always been one of my favorite books (it first came out 10 years ago – who knew?), so I was oh-so happy to discover that she was coming out with a third installment in the series. The premise sounds quite fun, although I don’t remember much about the story, (I’m sure a rereading is in my future!) Oh well! I can’t wait to read this fabulous author’s next book.

Grounded8>> Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison / Release Date: April 28

While I was browsing Goodreads for books to add to this list, I came upon Grounded by Megan Morrison. The cover instantly interested me, (Hair! Lots of hair!) so I did a bit of investigating. It centers around a spoiled girl named Rapunzel (which I guessed…from all the hair) who has everything she wants, until one day, when a thief named Jack breaks into her tower. The two venture into the world outside her hidden home, and then, of course, magical adventure follows. Sounds like a fun read! And it’s a debut! And it has a fun cover! Hooray!

Story Thieves9>> Story Thieves by James Riley / Release Date: Jan. 20

I loved James Riley’s Half Upon A Time trilogy, so I’ve been looking forward to the release of this book for awhile. (It comes out tomorrow!) Everything sounds very appealing: the story revolves around a young boy named Owen, who dreams of becoming a hero in his own book series. The dream becomes a reality though, when he sees his classmate Bethany climbing out of a library book. Turns out Bethany is half-fictional character, and she’s been traveling throughout different stories to find her father. Together the two embark on a magical journey through the fictional world…but it doesn’t turn out exactly as planned. Now, if only I could travel into my favorite book…

Palace of Lies10>> Palace of Lies by Margaret Peterson Haddix / Release Date: April 7

I’m a bit late to the whole Just Ella series, (the first book was published 1999 – wow!) since I just read the two books a few months ago, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy them! I fell in love with the way the writing flowed together and really enjoyed how Margaret Peterson Haddix weaved the first two stories together. After I finished the books, my sister mentioned that the third one was coming out in April. After a quick Goodreads search, I was able to learn more about the third installment: Palace of Lies, which is told from the point of view of Princess Desmia, who was a secondary character in Palace of Mirrors. I’m very excited to find out what happens next in the story, and will definitely be purchasing it once it’s out.

Graceful11>> Graceful by Wendy Mass / Release Date: April 28

Wendy Mass is a great author! She’s written some amazing books like Pi in the Sky and The Candymakers, but my all time favorite series of hers is the Willow Falls series. The books are the perfect mix of fantasy, whimsy, mystery, and humor so you can imagine my disappointment when I heard that The Last Present was going to be the last book in the series. Luckily, it turns out I was wrong! The fifth book, Graceful, is coming out in April (so many books are coming out in April!) and by the looks of the cover, (Pizza!) it’s going to be a great read.

The Disappearance of Emily H. 12>> The Disappearance of Emily H. by Barrie Summy / Release Date: May 12

A disappearance. Lying. Secrets. Mysteries. Memories. Supernatural powers. What does The Disappearance of Emily H. not have? Barrie Summy is a great mystery author (She wrote the I So Don’t Do…series, which is one of my favorite “main character can see/communicate with ghosts” series) so I’m sure it will have loads of suspense and wonder. Let’s just hope it doesn’t end on a cliffhanger.

The Island of Dr. Libris 13>> The Island of Dr. Libris by Chris Grabenstein / Release Date: March 24

Chris Grabenstein’s Mr. Lemoncello’s Library was a very fun book – a great blend of mystery and puzzles with lots of book trivia thrown in. His next book, The Island of Dr. Libris, seems just as interesting, but with its own personal twist. Even the summary sounds exciting: Billy is spending the summer on Dr. Libris’s island, where he is busy exploring the Dr’s lakeside cabin. There, he discovers a shelf of books that seem to come to life. But that’s impossible, isn’t it? Anything is possible Billy, anything.

Serafina and the Black Coat14>> Serafina and the Black Cloak by Robert Beatty / Release Date: July 14

Serafina and her father have lived secretly in the basement of the Biltmore Estate for as long she can remember. She’s never disobeyed her father and also never had any reason to leave the safety of the estate’s basement. When the children of the estate begin to disappear however, Serafina must find the courage to venture into the nearby forest in order to save them, piecing together the puzzle one piece at a time. Doesn’t this book sound amazing? It combines all my favorite genres: fantasy, mystery, and historical fiction. What could be better? (I mean, it might be, if you added a purple panda…)

Pirate's Code 15>> Pirate’s Code (Hook’s Revenge #2) by Heidi Schulz / Release Date: September 15

Technically I haven’t read the first Hook’s Revenge book yet…but it’s in my bedroom, sitting on top of my pile of books, and I have no idea why I wouldn’t love it. I mean, a Neverland-themed book from the point of view of Captain Hook’s daughter, who is a former society girl turned pirate? Just my cup of tea! (Or, as I prefer to call it, my scoop of ice cream.) The second book sounds quite good too, and I’m sure I’ll be counting down the days until it’s released.

What books are you looking forward to in 2015?

Lulu :)

Updates + Purple Panda Points: Greenglass House

2 Jan

Hi!

It’s been awhile, hasn’t it? I apologize for keeping the blog so quiet for so long, but school, activities, and the holidays have kept me quite busy. That’s not all though. Blogging was starting to seem like a burden, and that’s no fun for me or you lovely readers. I don’t want to give up blogging though, so instead, I’ve decided to rework the posts so they’re more enjoyable for everyone. Yay!

No worries; Mimi and B.I.R.T.Y.S.R will stay, (of course!), but I’ve decided to change up the format of my book reviews. The new format is called “Purple Panda Points”, where I talk about three elements of the book (setting, plot, characters) in brief points. Hopefully this will help to keep the reviews informative, interesting, and spoiler-free! And so, without further ado, I present the first ever Purple Panda Points…

Green Glass HouseToday I’m reviewing the book, Greenglass House by Kate Milford. I received the book as a Christmas present and read lots of positive reviews online, so I went into to it with very high hopes. Luckily the story lived up to those expectations, and it’s already become a new favorite of mine. My thoughts in the image above are summarized, so you can read my full opinion in the text below. Enjoy!

Summary: It’s winter vacation, and 11-year-old Milo Pine is planning on spending his days relaxing in his family’s inn, The Greenglass House. His plans are soon interrupted when many mysterious guests arrive at the house in mere hours of each other, each bringing a mysterious story. Milo eventually finds a friend in the cook’s daughter, Meddy, and the two of them begin an investigation of the inn’s new tenants. What starts out as a mere game however, eventually turns into a suspenseful mystery when they discover the house hides more than just secrets.

Plot: I absolutely love suspenseful mysteries that take place in one spot, and Greenglass House fits that description perfectly. The writing was extremely detailed and made me feel like the entire story was really happening. Kate Milford is a great writer and I love how she weaved the history of the house into the plot; it really helped the book come to life.

Characters: The guests at the inn added the necessary suspense and wonder to make the mystery enjoyable, and the inn itself was practically its own character. Milo was a fine M.C., but I have to say that I preferred the hilarious Meddy over him. I did, however, really enjoy reading about his close relationship with his parents, since so many books usually forget about characters’ families the minute they need to go on some sort of dangerous adventure. It was quite refreshing! :)

Setting: The secrets of the Greenglass Inn kept me interested throughout the entire story and they definitely added to the suspense of the mystery. The author did a fantastic job of creating a whimsical setting that I would love to go and explore myself.

Rating: 5 Stars (Out of 5)

Recommended Reading: If you enjoy the Greenglass House, I definitely recommend reading The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Vengekeep Prophecies, Tuesdays at the Castle, and Three Times Lucky.

Have a great Friday,

Lulu :)

7 School-Themed Books I Really Think You Should Read / B.I.R.T.Y.S.R. Volume 19

7 Oct

Hi!

B.I.R.T.Y.S.R Volume 19I’m back! Since I was so busy with school starting and homework, and lots of other things, I missed two whole volumes of Books I Really Think You Should Read–eek! To make up for it, I will do two B.I.R.T.Y.S.R this month; one being the “September”-themed addition, and one creepy cool Halloween-themed one. Yay!!!

My September post was supposed to be about books that center around schools or academies the characters go to, which are always quite fun, so let’s go back in time to last month and get started…

Spy SchoolSpy School by Stuart Gibbs

I actually just finished Stuart Gibbs’ most recent novel, Space Case, (it was awesome. You should definitely check it out!) and am about to begin his other book Poached, so I naturally decided to feature his Spy School series on today’s post. In this hilarious series, the main character, Ben, is accepted into a school for training junior spies and he meets some of the most funny secondary characters you’ll find in a middle grade mystery. (Although Three Times Lucky’s townspeople are pretty cool too.)

The School For Good and EvilThe School For Good and Evil by Soman Chainani / Read my review here.

Teehee. I think you all knew this would end up on the list one way or another. :) Seriously though, the school in this series is one of the most important elements of the book and I remember myself always flipping back to Sophie and Agatha’s schedules during my reading, as well as the map of the school. Reading about the characters’ classes always makes me laugh, (or get very worried, depending on what part you’re on…) and makes me want to go back and read this one again…for the fifth time.

Princess AcademyPrincess Academy by Shannon Hale / Read my review of the first book here and the second book here.

My fondness for Shannon Hale’s books has grown immensely over the past couple months after reading her Books of Bayern series, (although it was already quite high) so when I was compiling this post, I immediately thought of her wonderful Princess Academy stories. The first book is a delightful read for any fantasy lover because of its subtle magic elements, likable main character, and cast of secondary characters. Once you get hooked on the first book, you’ll be begging for the second one! :)

The Mysterious Case of the Allbright AcademyThe Mysterious Case of the Albright Academy by Diane Stanley

Evil brownies. Robot students. Creepy Clones. The Albright Academy is filled with a mystery that is so funny, it’s addictive. When the main character, Franny, is accepted into a elite boarding school it seems like a dream come true. After arriving, she starts to suspect that the other students at Albright Academy are all eerily perfect…in the most unnatural way, causing her to start investigating with s few of her peers. (Cue dramatic music!) Although I haven’t read this book in a while, I remember getting hooked and finishing it in just one afternoon, so it’s definitely worth checking out.

The Red Blazer GirlsThe Red Blazer Girls by Michael D. Beil / Read my review of the first three books here, here, and here.

I remember curling up under a blanket a couple years ago with the Red Blazer Girls books and just blasting through the series in a few short weeks. The mysteries are so complex and perfectly planned out that you’re filled with suspense and wonder up until the very last sentence. Michael D. Beil does such an awesome job of working the settings into the story, especially the girls’ school, that it was an obvious choice for this list.

Regarding the TreesRegarding the Trees by Kate Klise an M Sarah Klise

Kate Klise’s books are some of my all time favorites because of the ridiculously fun plot lines and M. Sarah Klise’s drawings. When you pair the two together, you get a wonderful story filled with settings and characters you can’t help but like. In my favorite book by them, Regarding the Trees, a group of kids work with an eccentric fountain designer to help recreate their middle school into something awesome.

Gilda JoyceGilda Joyce and the Ladies of the Lake by Jennifer Allison / Read my review of the third and fifth book in the series here and here.

Unlike most of the other schools in this post, where I chose them because of their quirkiness or likability, I chose to feature the school in the second Gilda Joyce book because of its creepy coolness. (I mean just look at the cover–oooh, scary!!! :) ) In this fast-paced mystery, psychic investigator Gilda Joyce starts attending a fancy academy and soon discovers a new mystery–only a few years ago, a young student drowned in the academy’s lake, and everyone assumed it was an accident, but Gilda suspects differently. Can she find out what really happened before it’s too late? (You’ll have to read it to find out! :) )

I’ll be back later this week with some book reviews and a birthday post!  :)

Lulu

10 Book Pairs I Really Think You Should Read / B.I.R.T.Y.S.R Volume 18

31 Jul

Hi!

Slide01(Background from Digital Design Essentials)

I hope you’ve all had a great week so far! I’ve been taking animation classes for the past two weeks, so I’ve been a bit busy, but I had just enough time to put together my bonus (make-up for missing June’s edition) July Books I Really Think You Should Read. For this month, I chose book pairs, (example: if you like this book, you’ll love this one…) so let’s get started right away, shall we?

Princess in the Opal Mask / The Goose Girl Princess In the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist and The Goose Girl by Shannon Hale / Read my review here.

Although Shannon Hale is one of my favorite authors, I hadn’t read her debut book, The Goose Girl, until very recently, and now I can happily say I’m eager to get my hands on the rest of the series! It seems like a perfect match with another book I’ve rambled on about quite a bit-Princess in the Opal Mask. Both have royal main characters who go into hiding before taking their thrones back, and are perfect for readers who like a mystical feel in a book, but not one that is riddled with curses and fairies like some of the other books I love to blog about…coughschoolforgoodandevilcough.

The Third Lucretia / The Red Blazer GirlsThe Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt and the Red Blazer Girls and the Ring of Rocomadour by Michael D. Beil / Read my review here.

I haven’t read either of these books in a while, but I remember them being so good that I could never possibly put them down. The Red Blazer Girls has a strong group of main characters that are entertaining and believable, while the Mystery of the Third Lucretia has a suspenseful mystery that makes you want to look ahead really, really, really (really) badly. (I, obviously, caved in and read the last chapter practically before I had finished the first. :) ) Both are great reads for any mystery lover!

Little Women / The PenderwicksLittle Women by Louisa May Alcott and The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdsall / Read my review (of the second Penderwicks book) here.

Oh look, my time travel pairing! I chose one classic book, (Little Women! Yay!) and a modern one, (the Penderwicks are so awesome.) with similar themes to make a perfect pair. Both stories show how the sisters in the two books are best friends, and feature some of their funniest and most entertaining adventures. Plus, in one of them there’s an adorable six-year-old with fairy wings and bunnies, so now you just want to read it, don’t you?

Way Down Deep / Three Times LuckyWay Down Deep by Ruth White and Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage / Read my reviews here and here.

First let me just say how pretty I think Way Down Deep‘s cover is….I mean it’s pretty awesome. (Just look at it for a second….) Okay, back to the pairing-I chose to put these two together because although Way Down Deep takes place years before Three Times Lucky (I think. I really have no idea what year it is in Tupelo Landing, but it manages to feel timeless) they both have similar small towns filled with casts of wacky, but lovable characters, and those are the best kind, right?

The Mysterious Benedict Society / Mr. Lemoncello's Library The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart / Escape From Mr. Lemoncello’s Library by Chris Grabenstein / Read my review here.

A library designed like a giant board game and a secret society filled with evil twins and genius toddlers are great on their own, but when you pair them together, you’re left with an amazing book pairing. I love all of the Mysterious Benedict Society books (Trenton Lee Stewart is a great author!), but Mr. Lemoncello’s Library was the first book by Chris Grabenstein I’ve read, and it got me hooked! :) You’ll be so caught up in the puzzles and story that you’ll end up reading these both in just a few of sittings.

Gilda Joyce / Molly Moon The Gilda Joyce books by Jennifer Allison and the Molly Moon Series by Georgia Byng / Read my Gilda Joyce and Molly Moon reviews here, here, here, and here.

Molly Moon and Gilda Joyce just seem like they would be the best of friends to me. :) (If only Gilda had an adorable puppy side-kick too!) Both are spunky and likable main characters, who each go on different, but exciting adventures. Pictured above are my favorites from both series, where Gilda Joyce gets a job at a spy museum and does everything espionage style, while Molly Moon (and Petula the Pug!) go to Hollywood to investigate the mysterious kidnapping of a Broadway child star. Cool, right?

The Teashop Girls / My Life In Pink and Green The Teashop Girls by Laura Schaffer and My Life in Pink and Green by Lisa Greenwald / Read my review here.

There were lots of middle grade books about girls saving their family businesses that came out all around the same time a couple of years ago, (I can think of three more off the top of my head right now besides the two pictured), but these books do it really well, and a tiny bit better than the others. Not only do both have surprisingly coordinating covers, but they also show the M.C. doing more than just saving her Tea Shop or family store (which happens by turning it into a spa, which is super awesome by the way,) like her friendships and family relationships, and it keeps the story interesting and helps it avoid becoming predictable.

The Doll People / Toys Go OutThe Doll People by Ann M. Martin and Toys Go Out by Emily Jensen / Read my review here.

Toy-themed books are always a fun adventure filled with cute characters that make you laugh and plots to make you smile, and the Doll People and Toys Go Out are no exceptions to this rule. They both follow the stories of house hold toys and what they do when they’re owners aren’t watching or how everyday experiences to us feel to them. It’s quite fun and are perfect for when you want a light-hearted, cheerful read.

The Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons / Kat IncorrigibleThe Voyage of Lucy P. Simmons and Kat Incorrigible (Titled A Most Improper Magick in the UK) by Stephanie Burgis / Read my reviews here and here.

Most of you know how good I think the Kat Incorrigible books are, (and their full covers are pure greatness. :) ) because of her adventurous spirit and knack for getting trouble (maybe I’m just biased when it comes to characters named Cat!), but I haven’t talked about the Lucy P. Simmons books much. Her story flows along gently, but still has plenty of suspense and magic. I haven’t read the second book yet, but writing about how much I liked the first book reminded me to search for it on our next trip to the library!

Hamlet / LynnvisibleThe Total Tragedy of a Girl Named Hamlet by Erin Dionne and Lynn Visible by Julia Devillers

I think these two book covers and their fun leggings were destined to be paired together, don’t you? The story lines of these two fantastic books (part of my small collection of realistic fiction reading) are quite different, with one revolving around the everyday life of a middle school girl with some eccentric Shakespeare plots thrown in and another filled with unusual and trendy fashion. The feel of the books seem similar to me though, and felt like an automatic pairing for this post. (Even if it was just because I wanted to put those shoes side-by-side! :) )

What are your favorite book pairs?

Lulu

The Return Of The Fantasy Books-Books I Really Think You Should Read / Volume 16

19 May

Hi!

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It’s time for another Books I Really Think You Should Read! And guess what? This month I decided to feature my favorite genre of all: FANTASY…again! I tried not to feature any authors or series I did in my fantasy post last year, (it was so hard not to feature my favorite Jessica Day George and E.D. Baker books again!), so I have lots of new and awesome suggestions for you. Yay!

A World Without Princes

The School For Good and Evil Trilogy by Soman Chainani / Read my review of the first book here.

I’m pretty sure most of you know about my love for the School for Good and Evil books, (it’s not like I’ve read the first book five times or anything:) ) so you can probably imagine my excitement when the second book, (the one shown above) was released last month! Both books are so suspenseful and interesting, and now I’m dying to know what happens to the two main characters, Agatha and Sophie! Oh, they’re both just too awesome to describe, so I guess you’ll just have to go and read them yourself…

my Fair godmother

The My Fair Godmother Books by Janette Rallison / Read my review of the second book here.

What happens when you put a high-heel wearing, pink-haired, “fair” godmother in charge of granting a teenage girl three wishes and end up traveling back to the middle ages? Well, an amazing book series! Janette Rallison does a wonderful job of blending all the fairy tales into one without it being too confusing, and leaves you with a cast of hilarious characters, a fun plot, and plenty of magic and adventure.

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The Twice Upon A Time series by Wendy Mass / Read my review of the books here, here, and here.

This is a bit of a shorter series, but I still laughed and enjoyed it just as much as I did with the other series on this month’s list. In each one of the Twice Upon a Time books, Wendy Mass takes a classic fairytale and tells you the “real” story by having both main characters tell it. My favorite would have to be a tie between Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast, but they’re all loads of fairytale fun!

the_Unfairest_of_Them_All_cover

The Ever After High Trilogy by Shannon Hale

I know I said I wasn’t going to repeat any authors or series from my fantasy post last year, but I received the second book in the Ever After High trilogy for Easter, and since it was written by the always fabulous Shannon Hale, has a purple cover, and is about the characters from one of my favorite doll lines (Oh, Ever After High…) I simply couldn’t resist! The book follows the stories of the sons and daughters of famous fairytale characters, who all go to a boarding school together. Fun, right?

kat-incorrigible

The Kat Incorrigible Trilogy by Stephanie Burgis (The UK edition is titled A Most Improper Magick) / Read my reviews of the first two books here and here.

What could be better than a book about the adventures of a girl living in the 1800 in England who has magical powers and gets into loads of mischief? Not only do I love the Kat Incorrigible trilogy’s covers (have any of you noticed how many trilogies there are in the Fantasy genre? Half go the books on here are part of one!) but I also love the wide array of characters, from funny and brave Kat to her ladylike sister Elissa! I’ll definitely be rereading these sometime this summer.

Half upon A Time

The Half Upon A Time Trilogy by James Riley / Read my reviews of the first two books here and here.

Ooh, I love these books, (even if I do say that about all the books in this post…) They follow the story of the awkward peasant Jack, May: a modern girl who accidentally finds herself in Jack’s world, and the courageous Prince Phillip, as they travel to free May’s grandmother who may (or may not!) be Snow White! It’s lots of fun and has plenty of plot twists I hadn’t seen coming, so yeah. You should read these. Cool.

Once upon A Marigold

The Once Upon A Marigold Trilogy by Jean Ferris / Read my review of the first book here.

These books are just oh-so silly and made me laugh out loud so many times! The plot is just funny and the storyline of the commoner Christian his impossible crush on Princess Marigold is so cute:) It’s just impossible not to be happy when you’re reading any of the books in the trilogy.

Cup-and-Crown-final-jacket-for-Whats-New

The Silver Bowl Trilogy by Diane Stanley

I adored this trilogy, and got sucked into the storyline so easily:) The adventurous plot and quick-witted heroine (and a magical silver bowl full of one hundred curses!) keep the book moving along nicely and there’s one suspenseful surprise after another to keep you reading, (I couldn’t put it down!)

of-giants-and-ice

The Ever Afters Series by Shelby Bach

Before I even start talking about how much I love this series, (and how I can’t wait for the third book to come out in the summer!) I just want to say how cool the covers are. When you open them it turns into a full image and the drawings are just so fun! Anyways, how could you possibly not want to read a book about kids who go to a fairy tale themed after school class to prepare for being in their own fairytale? Seriously, it’s just so good.

The Princess in the Opal Mask

The Princess in the Opal Mask by Jenny Lundquist / Read my review here.

This is one of those books I really don’t know how to categorize; what do you call a book that takes place in a made up kingdom, but nothing magical really happens? I guess you could call it historical fiction, but that really doesn’t seem right to me. Oh well! It’s still an amazing retelling of the fairytale, The Prince and the Pauper, and I’m desperately waiting to find out what happens to Elara and Willa in the sequel!

What are some of your favorite fantasy books?

Lulu:)

My Unfair Godmother-A Book Review

29 Mar

Hi!

UnfairGodmotherMy Fairy Unfair Godmother by Janette Rallison

Summary: After Tansy Miller-Harris gets in trouble with the police because of her irresponsible ex-boyfriend, she would never have expected to get a Fairy Godmother…a high heel wearing, pink-haired, “fair” godmother named Chrysanthemum Everstar, or Chrissy for short. After failing a class in fairy godmother school, Chrissy needs an extra-credit project to raise her grade, so she agrees to grant Tansy three wishes. But since Chrissy is only a “fair” godmother, things don’t go exactly as planned: first Robin Hood ends up in the twenty-first century, and then Tansy and her whole family are transported back to the Middle Ages! Can Tansy find a way to fix the spells before she gets stuck in the past permanently?

My Thoughts: I read Janette Rallison’s other book, My Fair Godmother, a couple of weeks ago and ended up loving it! (It got me through seven performances of the Little Mermaid:) ) Once I finished it, I immediately went and put the sequel, My Unfair Godmother, on hold at the library. It was just as amazing as the first story, complete with funny characters and plenty of fairytale mix-ups.

The book is about Tansy Miller-Harris, whose parents got divorced when she was very young. When her younger sister gets cast in a musical that’s going on tour, Tansy ends up having to live with her father and step family, in a small town across the country, where she can’t seem to fit in. And then, when her ex-boyfriend leaves her to get in trouble with the police for something she didn’t do, Tansy’s life seems pathetic–or at least that’s what her fairy godmother’s pathetic-o-meter says. That’s right! Tansy discovers she has a fashion-savvy, shopping-loving, hair-dyeing Fairy Godmother named Chrissy who declares she’s there to grant Tansy three wishes. But Chrissy is only a “fair” godmother, so her spells don’t always work out right…Tansy’s first wish brings Robin Hood and his Merry Men to the twenty-first century, and then Tansy, her family, and friend Hudson are all transported to the middle ages where they become characters in the Rumplestilskin fairy tale…

 It took me a while to really get into the story, but once that happened I couldn’t put it down! The plot was very funny, and I enjoyed reading about when the characters had to escape the Middle Ages and be part of a fairytale! One of my favorite parts was the beginning, because I thought Janette Rallison did a great job of introducing the characters. I also thought that it was funny how the book opens with Chrissy’s “report” about what happened with Tansy. I did feel that the story went on longer than it needed to though, and that the ending felt unsatisfactory. But there were still plenty of hilarious events that made me laugh out loud!

Tansy was a strong main character, who I liked much more as the story went on. She doesn’t think things through very much, but I do like that she’s smart, and cares about the people she loves. My favorite person of all though is definitely Chrissy! Sure she ends up messing up a lot of Tansy’s wishes, but she’s also really funny and likable.  I really, really hope there will be another Fair Godmother book with her in it:) I also enjoyed the gold-obsessed leprechaun, Clover T. Bloomsbottle, who is Chrissy’s (unhappy!) assistant and ends up helping Tansy and everyone else get back home.

Overall, this was a funny read that I give three and a half stars out of five!

Lulu:)