Weekly Wrap Up: July 21st through July 27th 2019

Clicking on titles under Books I’ve ReadNetGalley Haul,and Email Haul will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on titles under Books with Pending Reviews and Books with Published Reviews will take you to Amazon.

Clicking on titles Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz will take you to that specific blog post.

Clicking on links under Giveaways I’ve Entered will take you to that giveaway

Clicking on the titles under Freebies I Scored will take you to Goodreads.

Clicking on the links under Weekly Posts will take you to that specific blog post.



Books I’ve Read:

Jake’s Redemption

T-Minus

Lost and Love: Thailand

Clockwork Image

Every Love



Books with pending reviews:


Books with published reviews:

Clockwork Image: Review Here

Nocturne in Ashes: Review Here

Every Love: Review Here

All Boy—Review Here


NetGalley Haul:

Naked Mole Rat Saves the World

Diamond City

The Curious Heart of Alisa Rae

What Rose Forgot


Email Haul:

Rise of the Dragon

Return of the Long Lost Earl (not on Goodreads yet)

Look for Me Under the Rainbow

The Kilwade Tragedy


Blog Tours/Excerpts/Book Blitz:

Every Love—Blog Tour

All Boy—Blog Tour


Giveaways I’ve Entered:

What Red Was—Read it Forward


Weekly Posts:

Weekly Wrap Up

Freebie Sunday

Music Monday

Top Ten Tuesday

WWW Wednesday

Theme Thursday

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Throwback Thursday: April 11th, 2019

Image result for throwback thursday meme books

This week’s Throwback Thursday is a children’s classic

Black Beauty by [Sewell, Anna]
click on picture for Amazon link

Black Beauty spends his youth in a loving home, surrounded by friends and cared for by his owners. But when circumstances change, he learns that not all humans are so kind. Passed from hand to hand, Black Beauty witnesses love and cruelty, wealth and poverty, friendship and hardship . . . Will the handsome horse ever find a happy and lasting home? Carefully retold in clear contemporary language, and presented with delightful illustrations, these favorite classic stories capture the heart and imagination of young readers. By retelling the story in a shorter, simpler form, these books become highly engaging for children, and the color illustrations help with both comprehension and interest level. Black Beauty is part of a collectible series that has strong gift appeal.


Have you read Black Beauty?

What are your thoughts on it?

Let me know!!

Throwback Thursday: August 30th, 2018

Image result for throwback thursday meme books

I’ve decided to do Throwback Thursday but blog style. I am going to select a book I have read before and see if I would still read it.

This week’s Throwback Thursday is a classic.

The Secret Garden

click on the picture for Amazon link.

“One of the most delightful and enduring classics of children’s literature, The Secret Garden by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett has remained a firm favorite with children the world over ever since it made its first appearance. Initially published as a serial story in 1910 in The American Magazine, it was brought out in novel form in 1911. 

The plot centers around Mary Lennox, a young English girl who returns to England from India, having suffered the immense trauma by losing both her parents in a cholera epidemic. However, her memories of her parents are not pleasant, as they were a selfish, neglectful and pleasure-seeking couple. Mary is given to the care of her uncle Archibald Craven, whom she has never met. She travels to his home, Misselthwaite Manor located in the gloomy Yorkshire, a vast change from the sunny and warm climate she was used to. When she arrives, she is a rude, stubborn and given to stormy temper tantrums. However, her nature undergoes a gradual transformation when she learns of the tragedies that have befallen her strict and disciplinarian uncle whom she earlier feared and despised. Once when he’s away from home, Mary discovers a charming walled garden which is always kept locked. The mystery deepens when she hears sounds of sobbing from somewhere within her uncle’s vast mansion. The kindly servants ignore her queries or pretend they haven’t heard, spiking Mary’s curiosity. 

The Secret Garden appeals to both young and old alike. It has wonderful elements of mystery, spirituality, charming characters and an authentic rendering of childhood emotions and experiences. Commonsense, truth and kindness, compassion and a belief in the essential goodness of human beings lie at the heart of this unforgettable story. It is the best known of Frances Hodgson Burnett’s works, though most of us have definitely heard of, if not read, her other novel Little Lord Fauntleroy. 

The book has been adapted extensively on stage, film, and television and translated into all the world’s major languages. In 1991, a Japanese anime version was launched for television in Japan. It remains a popular and beloved story of a child’s journey into maturity, and a must-read for every child, parent, teacher, and anyone who would enjoy this fascinating glimpse of childhood. One of the most delightful and enduring classics of children’s literature, The Secret Garden by Victorian author Frances Hodgson Burnett has remained a firm favorite with children the world over ever since it made its first appearance. Initially published as a serial story in 1910 in The American Magazine, it was brought out in novel form in 1911.” 

Other places you can find The Secret Garden: Barnes and Noble | AbeBooks | Alibris| Powells| Audible (click on the picture to get to Amazon)| Kobo


 

Did I like The Secret Garden when I first read it? No, I didn’t. In my defense, I was around 9 years old when I read it and I thought it was super boring. I reread it in my teens and that’s when I loved it. I have reread it several times since then and still loved the book.

Would I read The Secret Garden now? Yes. I have actually read it a few years ago. Target had a copy of it in its $1 bin. So, I picked it up and read it to my son and daughter (who were 4 and 6 at the time).

How many stars did I give The Secret Garden when I first read it? Well, if I have to go by 9 years old me, it would have gotten 2 stars…lol. I wasn’t very knowledgeable about books back then.

How many stars would I give The Secret Garden now? 5 stars.


Have you read The Secret Garden?

Love it?  Hate it? Meh about it?

Let me know!!!

The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. : Book 1) by Jonathan Stroud

Lockwood & Co.:  The Screaming Staircase by [Stroud, Jonathan]

3 Stars

Publisher: Disney Book Group, Disney-Hyperion

Date of publication: August 26th, 2014

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade, paranormal

Number of pages: 401

POV: 1st person

Series: Lockwood & Co.

The Screaming Staircase – Book 1

The Dagger in the Desk – Book 1.5

The Whispering Skull – Book 2

The Hollow Boy – Book 3

The Creeping Shadow – Book 4

The Empty Grave – Book 5

Where you can find The Screaming Staircase: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

When the dead come back to haunt the living, Lockwood & Co. step in . . .

For more than fifty years, the country has been affected by a horrifying epidemic of ghosts. A number of Psychic Investigations Agencies have sprung up to destroy the dangerous apparitions.

Lucy Carlyle, a talented young agent, arrives in London hoping for a notable career. Instead, she finds herself joining the smallest, most ramshackle agency in the city, run by the charismatic Anthony Lockwood. When one of their cases goes horribly wrong, Lockwood & Co. have one last chance of redemption. Unfortunately, this involves spending the night in one of the most haunted houses in England, and trying to escape alive.

Set in a city stalked by specters, The Screaming Staircase is the first in a chilling new series full of suspense, humor and truly terrifying ghosts. Your nights will never be the same again . . .

Trigger Warning: Suicide after the fact, Murder after the fact

Continue reading “The Screaming Staircase (Lockwood & Co. : Book 1) by Jonathan Stroud”

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: A Fiendish Arrangement (The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: Book 1) by Alexandra Bracken

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding (The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding #1)

Title: The Dreadful Tale Of Prosper Redding

Author: Alexandra Bracken

Publisher: Disney Book Group, Disney-Hyperion

Date of publication: September 5th, 2017

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade

POV: Alternating 1st person

Series: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding

The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding – Book 1

Where you can find The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: Barnes and Noble | Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

“I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.”

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type. 

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host. 

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts, passed down from generation to generation. Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? Or will Prosper and Alastor be doomed to repeat it?

Trigger Warning: None

Continue reading “The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: A Fiendish Arrangement (The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding: Book 1) by Alexandra Bracken”

Dream Magic (Shadow Magic: Book 2) by Joshua Khan

Dream Magic (Shadow Magic, #2)

Title: Dream Magic

Author: Joshua Khan

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Date of publication: April 11th, 2017

Genre: Children’s Fiction, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Young Adult

Grade level: 3-7

Number of pages: 352

Series: Shadow Magic

Shadow Magic – Book 1

Dream Magic – Book 2

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A fabulously exciting sequel to the fantasy adventure SHADOW MAGIC.

People throughout Gehenna are disappearing, even the feared executioner Tyburn. Many of the nobles believe the kidnappings to be the work of the northern trolls, raiding south for the winter, and when Baron Sable and others head off to fight them, Castle Gloom is left guarded by only the squires.

Lily is struggling with her growing necromantic powers. The castle fills with ghosts, drawn like moths to a flame by the brightness of her magic. Zombies roam the country, some left over from those raised in SHADOW MAGIC, others awakened by Lily. Families are troubled by the returning dead, so Lily tries to incorporate them into day-to-day life, much to the resentment of the living.

Then Lily is attacked in her own castle by a mysterious sorcerer known as Dreamweaver, a young man determined to conquer Gehenna using jewel-spiders, strange crystalline creatures whose bite doesn’t kill but sends victims to sleep. Lily soon discovers that Dreamweaver is harvesting dreams to fuel his magic.

Lily enters the realm of sleep known as the Dream Time, in an attempt to awaken all the captive dreamers. Instead, she finds herself trapped within a dream, one where her family is still alive. With the help of Thorn and the ever loyal Hades, she must somehow overcome the evil Dreamweaver by using his own magic against him – and reclaim her kingdom.

My review:

I really, really, really wish that I had read book one of this series. Not that I didn’t like the book (I did) but I felt kinda lost during the first couple of chapters. But, besides feeling lost, which really only lasted a couple of chapters, I loved the rest of the book. Like I had mentioned in another blog, I have reviewed a fair amount of middle-grade books lately. Like I also mentioned in that blog, my two oldest children are in 3rd and 5th grade. I am always scouting out new books for them to read and again, with this book, I have found a book that I think that they would like. Scratch that, I know my son, the 3rd grader, would love it. This book is right up his alley. My daughter, the 5th grader, is difficult to find books that she would read.

While this book has some darker elements in it, they weren’t completely dark….if you know what I mean. Zombies are featured predominately in the book. While they are scary and they do want to eat brains, they aren’t typical zombies. They can communicate, they can work. Their other urges are nulled by being in Lily’s general area of power. Which I thought was very cool and it toned down on the creepiness factor.

I liked Lily a lot. She was dealing with the aftermath of her parents’ and brother’s murders by her uncle, trying to run a country at 13 and trying to keep her magic (necromancy) under wraps because of superstitions of her people about a woman doing magic. On top of it all, she has to deal with an arranged marriage to a boy who is the total opposite of her, she is trying to find out who is behind the abduction of her people and the trolls have amassed an army and is marching on Castle Gloom. She also found out that using her magic, a lot, can cause some unforeseen issues with her body. Poor kid was dealing with a lot and she was dealing with it the best that she could.

Thorn, I loved. He was exactly what Lily needed. He was trustworthy, loyal to her and he was willing to do whatever he could to protect her and to protect Castle Gloom. Plus, he had a pretty cool bat mount named Hades. He was the one who found out where the crystal spiders were coming from and he was part of the group that stayed at Castle Gloom when the rest of the army went to fight the trolls.

Now, I will say that the storyline surrounding Weaver, the bad guy, was very dark and I actually felt bad for him….which is rare for me. It was a tragic story and I did like the small plot twist that took place when his story was revealed. I was shocked, along with Lily, when it was revealed who Weaver was. But my feeling bad for him lasted exactly two chapters and then I didn’t like him again….lol. The crystal spiders were an interesting aspect of the book too.

All of the storylines were merged beautifully and there was no lull in the chapter between the author doing that and the ending chapters. I will say that a couple of plot twists in the book (one that was mentioned) got me. The one at the end absolutely had me fooled and I was surprised when it ended up not being what I thought (and feared) it was. I also liked how the author left the book open for a book 3.

How many stars will I give Dream Magic: 4

Why: I think that this will be a great book for kids in 3rd grade through 7th grade (as mentioned above). The characters were fleshed out and likable (or unlikable…depending on who you were reading), the potential scary characters were made not so scary by humanizing them and I really liked that the book had a strong female main character. I would be very comfortable letting my 3rd and 5th graders read these books

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Child

Why: Mild violence. Potentially scary characters for younger readers (trolls and zombies)

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

The Star Thief by Lindsey Becker

The Star Thief

Title: The Star Thief

Author: Lindsey Becker

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Date of publication: April 11th, 2017

Genre: Middle Grade, Children’s Fiction

Number of pages: 408

Where you can find this book: Amazon

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Honorine’s life as a maid at the Vidalia mansion is rather dull, dusting treasures from faraway places and daydreaming in front of maps of the world. But everything changes when she catches two brutish sailors ransacking Lord Vidalia’s study, and then follows a mysterious girl with wings out into the night…

Suddenly, Honorine is whisked into the middle of a battle between the crew of a spectacular steamship and a band of mythical constellations. The stars in the sky have come to life to defend themselves against those who want to harness their powers. Much to her surprise, Honorine is the crux of it all, the center of an epic clash between magic and science, the old ways and the new. But can this spirited young girl bring both sides of a larger-than-life fight together before they unleash an evil power even older than the stars?

My review:

When I saw the cover for this book on NetGalley, I thought it was cute. I mean, two kids sitting on the back of Pegasus in star constellation form? Adorable!! When I read the synopsis, I went “Hmm”, would this be a book that my 9 and 11-year-old like?”. So, I requested this book and I was thrilled when I got selected to review it.

What I liked that there was a bit of steampunk in the book. If you have followed this blog, you all know how much of a fan I am of steampunk. So I was thrilled when I saw that there were airships and other steampunk elements in the book. The bees were probably the coolest part of the book. They were all mechanical and acted like real bees. Except they didn’t make honey, they tracked down the Mordant’s and reported where they were to Captain Nautilus.

I loved the use of the constellations in The Star Thief. What a great way to get kids to look to the stars and track the constellations. I even got into it, googling the names of the various characters and seeing what constellations they were attached too. There was a lot that I wasn’t aware of (not that I know a lot about constellations). Like I said, it was truly fascinating.

Honorine was a very spirited girl. She had been raised in the Vidalia (yes, like the onion…lol) household with her best friend, Francis, and worked there as a maid. She loved inventing and dedicated her free time to doing so. She was also very spunky and knew her own mind. So when the Mapmaker showed up to “save” her, she questioned him. And she questioned his motives during the entire book. She was a very smart girl.

I was a little shocked when it was revealed who Honorine’s parents were. Actually, a little shocked wasn’t the word for it. I did feel a disconnect when she actually met her parents. Maybe because they weren’t like “Oh my baby girl, I have searched for you” and smothered her with kisses. Instead, her father wanted to use her for his own agenda and her mother, well, she wasn’t very motherly….lol.

The end of the story was full of action and I liked how everyone had an HEA….including the bad guys.

How many stars will I give The Star Thief: 4

Why: This is a perfect story for any child between the ages of 8-12. The storyline is great and keeps your attention and the characters are likable. The drawings at the beginning of each chapter are beautiful and I can’t wait to see them in paperback (I am pre-ordering for my son).

Will I reread: Yes

Will I recommend to family and friends: Yes

Age range: Child

Why: some very mild violence and one scene where Honorine is hurt that might upset some younger readers. Other than that, a perfect children’s book.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**