Tag Archives: Fantasy

Purple Panda Points: Mira’s Diary – Bombs Over London

6 May

Hi!

Hello everyone! Sorry for disappearing for a bit, (I was in the middle of tech week for my school’s production of the Best Christmas Pageant Ever) but there’s no need to worry – I have loads of fun things planned for the rest of the month! Today’s post is a review of book three in the Mira’s Diary series by Marissa Moss. It was a very fun read that I’m sure any time travel-lover will enjoy. Check out my review below!

Here’s a quick recap of my book review system for any of you who aren’t yet familiar with it:

My book review 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!

The books are rated using the ice cream rankings (because, delish!)…

1 Panda PointOne Purple Panda Point: One point means that the book was just plain bad. I would never read it again. It’s the book equivalent of spinach ice cream.

Two PointsTwo Purple Panda Points: Two points means the book was okay. Fine. Nothing remarkable. The book equivalent of vanilla ice cream with no toppings in a dish.

Three PointsThree Purple Panda Points: Three points means the book was good. I enjoyed it and would read it again. The book equivalent of vanilla and chocolate swirl ice cream in a wafer cone.

Four PointsFour Purple Panda Points: Four points means the book was great. I loved it actually! The book equivalent of cookie dough ice cream with rainbow sprinkles in a sugar cone.

Five PointsFive Purple Panda Points: Five points mean that the book was one of the best ones I’ve ever read. Amazing! Awesome! Cool beans! The ice cream equivalent of chocolate cookies and cream ice cream in a sugar cone with chocolate sprinkles. Yum!

Woo, that made me hungry! And now onto the review…

Purple Panda Points MiraToday I’ll be reviewing Mira’s Diary: Bombs Over London by Marissa Moss. You can read my full thoughts below or a quick overview of them in the image above.

Summary: Mira has spent the last few months traveling across Europe and through time. After receiving  a post card from her time-traveling mother, she finds herself in WWI London amongst soldiers, suffragettes, writers, nurses, coders, detectives…and other time travelers. As Mira intercepts coded messages and attends rallies, she begins to doubt whether or not changing the past is the right thing to do. Can Mira figure out what’s right and find a way to get her mother home?

Plot: Unfortunately, I feel that Bombs Over London suffers from a slow beginning and stilted dialogue in the modern world. When it gets to the history though, that’s where it really shines! I loved reading about Mira’s experiences throughout London, and the author did a lovely job of weaving history into the story. I can’t wait to see what happens!

Characters: I definitely enjoyed the interactions between Mira and the different historical figures – the writers’ meeting and suffragette speech were some of my favorite parts of the book! The Watcher and Mira’s mother are quite interesting, although Mira herself didn’t leave a very strong impression.

Setting: Reading about historical London through Mira’s eyes is one of the best parts of this book – it helps combine the history and story in a way that is both informative and interesting! The descriptive language and sketches throughout the book really helps you visualize the famous British landmarks as well.

Favorite Character: I’m not sure if I have a favorite…Beatrix Potter was pretty cool though. 

Recommended Reading: If you enjoyed Mira’s Diary: Bombs Over London, you’ll love the Time Traveling Fashionista Series, North of Nowhere, Molly Moon’s Hypnotic Time Travel Adventure, The Wells Bequest, and The Magic Half.

Overall Rating: Three Purple Panda Points

Four Points

Have a great rest of your week!

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Let’s Read It Again! >> 01

13 Apr

Hi!

Midnight Ball Hello everyone! I’m happy to return to posting with a brand new feature, entitled Let’s Read It Again! where I will talk about I book that I am reading for the second (or third…or ninth if we’re talking about The School for Good and Evil) time. I’m kicking off the feature with a re-review of Jessica Day George’s adaption of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, The Princess of the Midnight Ball, so let’s get to it!

S U M M A R Y > > Due to a deal their deceased mother made, Princess Rose and her eleven sisters have been cursed to dance every night in a mysterious kingdom of darkness and danger since they’ve been able to walk. Due to his parents’ death, young solider Galen is returning home to a family he doesn’t know. Together, Rose and Galen will dive into a world of magic – both good and bad. Can they break the curse that plagues Rose’s family before it’s too late?

W H Y   I   D E C I D E D   T O   R E R E A D   I T >> A few weeks ago, I was looking for something to read and realized that I had gotten to the bottom of my pile of library books. I turned to my shelf looking for something to read until I got a chance to take out some more books, and I ended up grabbing Princess of the Silver Woods by Jessica Day George, the third book in one of my favorite series. Of course, while I was in the middle of reading Silver Woods, I decided I might as well reread the series from the beginning. And so, I put the first book in the series (Princess of the Midnight Ball) on hold, and here we are!

M Y   O R I G I N A L   T H O U G H T S >> I remember reading this book on the bus on my way home from school and being so engrossed in the story that I didn’t realize it was my stop and almost forgot to get off…so I’m going to assume that I loved it! (I have a very vivid memory of this bus ride for some strange reason – I even remember that I was wearing a blue sweatshirt. Odd.)

M Y   T H O U G H T S   N O W >> I’m definitely glad I reread this! Jessica Day George is such a great author and I was able to get lost in the world she created just as easily this time as I was when I first read it. I enjoyed reading from both Galen’s and Rose’s points of view (Poppy, Pansy, and Petunia remain my favorite princesses however. I guess I like characters whose names start with a “P.”) and thought that their individual takes on things intertwined well. The settings were described in great detail and I can still see them in my mind as I write this review, so yay! :) My only complaint is that there are so many characters that not all of them felt developed. I had a bit of trouble keeping track of everyone, but while I was reading I found a bookmark I had made a few years ago to go with the series. It lists all the characters, their ages, their significant others, and their enemies. It also has some very mysterious stains…

And just for fun, here are some of my favorite quotes from Princess of the Midnight Ball…

>> “Your voice sounds familiar.’ Her eyes sparkled. ‘Could you pretend to snore, so that I could make sure?”

>> “What does it say? Does he love you madly?”

———-

What books do you think I should reread next?

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Purple Panda Points: Story Thieves

25 Feb

Hi!

Hooray for getting halfway through the school week! I plan on relaxing with a good book and watching some Amazing Race this evening before getting ready for tomorrow’s early wake up call, how about you? Since I’m in a reading mood, I thought it would be a perfect time to post a new Purple Panda Points…

Here’s a quick recap of my book review system for any of you who aren’t yet familiar with it:

My book review 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!

The books are rated using the ice cream rankings (because, obviously)…

1 Panda PointOne Purple Panda Point: One point means that the book was just plain bad. I would never read it again. It’s the book equivalent of spinach ice cream.

Two PointsTwo Purple Panda Points: Two points means the book was okay. Fine. Nothing remarkable. The book equivalent of vanilla ice cream with no toppings in a dish.

Three PointsThree Purple Panda Points: Three points means the book was good. I enjoyed it and would read it again. The book equivalent of vanilla and chocolate swirl ice cream in a wafer cone.

Four PointsFour Purple Panda Points: Four points means the book was great. I loved it actually! The book equivalent of cookie dough ice cream with rainbow sprinkles in a sugar cone.

Five PointsFive Purple Panda Points: Five points mean that the book was one of the best ones I’ve ever read. Amazing! Awesome! Cool beans! The ice cream equivalent of chocolate cookies and cream ice cream in a sugar cone with chocolate sprinkles. Yum!

Woo, that made me hungry! And now onto the review…

Story Thieves Today I’ll be reviewing “Story Thieves” by James Riley. You can read my full thoughts below or a quick overview of them in the image above.

Summary: Owen’s life has never seemed as exciting or interesting as the ones of his favorite book characters…that is, until he catches his classmate Bethany actually climbing out of the pages of Willy Wonka with chocolate smeared across her face. Bethany is actually part fictional character, and that gives her the ability to travel into the worlds of books…and take Owen with her. But after Owen’s first story-traveling adventure goes wrong, the fictional and real worlds will never be the same again…

Plot: Owen may have believed his life was boring, but after a bit of a slow start to the story, this book really took off! The adventure was action-packed and fast paced, and I loved how the Kiel Gnomenfoot story was weaved into the plot taking place in the real world. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next book!

Characters: Even with all the adventure going on in this story, the characters still felt fully-developed and relatable. Owen and Bethany were both very likable, and I could understand how they were feeling throughout the entire thing. Now, if only I could figure out how to jump into books like Bethany…

Setting: Considering half of this book takes place in a fantasy world made up of science and magic, there’s no way I wouldn’t love the setting! While the “real” world wasn’t quite as much fun, I did enjoy reading about Bethany’s adventures as she tried to stop the fictional characters from taking it over.

Favorite Character: I’m not sure…maybe Charm? 

Favorite Line: “You couldn’t just say no to Narnia!”

Recommended Reading: If you enjoyed Story Thieves, you’ll love Mr. Lemoncello’s Library and Between the Lines (recommendation courtesy of my fabulous sister.)

Overall Rating: Four Purple Panda Points

Four Points

What are you currently reading?

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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!

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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!)

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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:)

Once Upon A Marigold-A Book Review

8 Oct

Hi!

Since tomorrow is my birthday, I’m going to try to get in as many posts as I can this week, but I may disappear for a bit. For now though, I have a quick book review of the first story in a wonderful trilogy I read over the weekend…

Once upon A MarigoldOnce Upon A Marigold By Jean Ferris

Summary: Christian is in love. Sure he’s never met Princess Marigold…or talked to her…or talked to anyone really. Living in a cave with only a troll, two dogs, and the occasional wandering fairy who lost their way in the forest for company can do that to a person…And that is why Christian finally decides to go into the real world, and get a job in the castle where he might actually make eye-contact with Princess Marigold.

For Marigold, things aren’t looking to good. Not only is her mother, the queen, trying to marry her off to every prince that comes along, she also just found out that if she doesn’t marry a suitor and move off to a faraway castle…her mother has plans to get rid of her…as in permanently. Oh, and I did I mention that she has the power to tell what other people are thinking when they touch her? It’s not very helpful when everyone refuses to go near you.

Join Marigold and Christian as they go on an exciting adventure complete with evil plots, comedy, a prison break, magic, and of course a bit of romance…

My Thoughts: Over the summer when I went to the Brown Bookstore, I saw the newest book in the Marigold trilogy (Which is Thrice Upon A Marigold in case you were wondering) and I wanted to learn more about the series so I got Once Upon A Marigold at my local library, and I have to say that it was amazing! I was hooked after reading the first page, and was able to finish it in just two days! (It was that good!) There weren’t any major flaws in the book, although I did think the ending was a bit rushed and confusing, but other then that there was plenty of detail, great characters, and an interesting setting.

The two main characters of the book, Christian and Marigold were pretty likable, and had similar traits (like they were both brave and intelligent) but they did have distinctive personalities, (Christian was a bit more bold and Marigold was really sweet.) Not only that, they were both pretty funny, and they were really cute as a couple:) The supporting characters were really what helped pull the whole story together though. Swithbert was such a nice king, and it makes you so happy when he finally takes control and becomes a better ruler, unlike the evil Queen Olympia, who as you can probably guess was very evil. (I mean, who fires someone just because they don’t like their outfit?) Anyways, the other characters like Ed and Magnus were sometimes a bit clueless, but were still really nice and you can’t help but end up liking them.

Overall, Once Upon A Marigold was a great book that I give four and half stars out of five.

Lulu:)

The Enchantress Returns-A Book Review

2 Oct

To read my review of the first book in the series, click here.

The Enchantress Returns By Chris Colfer

Summary: When Alex and Conner Bailey return to the Land Of Stories where famous fairy tale characters live, they discover it is no longer the magical paradise they remember. Not only is the entire Eastern Kingdom closed off by vines and thorns, the powerful Enchantress who cursed Sleeping Beauty is back, and more powerful than ever before. If the twins want to stop her from taking over, and save their mother and the young Princess Hope, they must join forces with royals Queen Red Riding Hood and Froggy (or Prince Charlie as he was known as before he was turned into a frog), along with on the run outlaws Jack and Goldilocks to retrieve six magical items to create the invincible Wand of Wonderment. But even if Alex and Conner succeed in creating the wand, will they be able to face the Enchantress…and the even bigger challenge that they are going to meet before their adventure is over?

My Thoughts: Last year when I had a day off of school, I spent it reading Chris Colfer’s children’s book, The Wishing Spell, and I thought it was awesomely written, and so I got so excited when I found out that the sequel would be coming out in August. After reading it last week, I have to say I was a bit disappointed with the beginning of The Enchantress Returns, but the book got much better as it progressed.

The plot of this book was very entertaining, and I wanted to read more once Alex and Conner arrived in the Land Of Stories since I thought that the first fifty pages or so when they were in the real world were slightly boring. Other than that though, I really enjoyed seeing how their adventure went, from visiting the Snow Queen’s Castle to climbing up the Jack’s famous beanstalk.

This book does have a large amount of characters, but because of all their distinctive traits and personalities I never got mixed up. Alex and Conner were likable main characters and I thought that the were pretty funny and interesting, but they weren’t very memorable…unlike the supporting characters. Oh, this book had so many awesome supporting characters, I don’t know where to start. Goldilocks and Jack were both brave, and a cute couple, not to mention Goldilocks’ very entertaining grudge against Queen Red Riding Hood. Speaking of Queen Red, she was probably my favorite character in the whole story! Although she was silly and self-absorbed at points, she was still sweet and kind at others, (especially with Froggy….) Even the villains in this book were wonderfully written about and detailed! Through the whole book I wanted to see what Ezmia would do next, and Rumpelstiltskin’s story was so sad:( Anyways, The Enchantress Returns is a good book with fun characters and lots of laughs that I give three out of five stars.