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Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where we spotlight eagerly anticipated releases.

This week I'm waiting on...


by Danielle Paige
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 1, 2014

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

I have to admit, I was never a big fan of the original Oz novels. I prefer Gregory Maguire's novel Wicked, and the musical based on that story. This has the potential to be very interesting. I'm incredibly curious about the details of a world where Dorothy is the villain.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

This week's topic: Top Ten Books I'd recommend to my nephew. He just finished and loved Harry Potter and is currently reading the Percy Jackson series. Also, this list can be for anyone who wants a list of books that have a hint of that HP magic, but have perhaps been overlooked because they have older publication dates.


1.
Matilda by Roald Dahl
For anyone who particularly enjoyed Harry's escape from the Dursleys, here's the story of another child who develops powers, escapes an abusive situation, and finds a family. Also shows the power of reading. 

2.
The Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones
These loosely connected novels featuring the adventures of a dimension crossing wizard have some very lovable characters. One novel, Witch Week, is also about magic in a boarding school, but Jones takes a very different approach.

3.
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
The Tiffany Aching series has some of Pratchett's best writing. If you enjoyed Rowling's sly humor, you'll love this comedic yet profound story. Though the Nac Mac Feegle are no house elves, they're a whole lot funnier (and more prone to theft)

4.
A classic series rich in British mythology about a struggle between good & evil.

5.
The Keys to the Kingdom series, by Garth Nix
A young boy finds he is the chosen one and must save the world from destruction. He must defeat 7 Lord Voldemort types, fight pirates, and cure a plague, all while preventing his own transformation and tragedy.

6.
Un Lun Dun by China MiƩville
An imaginative story by a great author, where in an alternative London chosen ones are overrated but friendship can be world saving.

7.
The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
More great characters and fantastic adventures in this fantasy series about an assistant pig-keeper who rises above his station. The second book in this series is the basis for the world's most obscure Disney move: The Black Cauldron

8.
This coming of age with magical powers story has more of a science fiction slant. It's also beautifully poignant at times and has a universe of amazing characters and gorgeous world building.

9.
Maddigan's Fantasia by Margaret Mahy
This journey of a traveling circus through a post-apocalyptic landscape has many twists and mysteries, not to mention Mahy's ability to write very realistic relationships.

10.
The newest novel on this list is for anyone who enjoyed Hogwarts ghosts but would likes things a bit spookier, here's the start of looks like to be a great series.


As my nephew is a voracious reader, more recommendations are always welcome :).
Sunday, November 17, 2013

The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news, showcase books, and recap the week. 

This week I'm still continuing my ban on new books, which means I splurged on a couple of e-book deals and cashed in an Audible credit. One step at a time I guess :).

I was also the winner of a Halloween giveaway hosted by Anna of Diamonds & Coal Book Reviews. Thanks Anna!










Repeat the Week:
Godsavethequeen pic name


Audiobook:













I'm a big fan of Parks & Rec, and I'm excited about this. 

Finally, the Halloween Giveaway Prize:

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (Novel & DVD):


Have a great week & Happy Reading!



Saturday, November 16, 2013
The Twistrose Key
By Tone Almhiell
Published By Dial
Publication Date: October 22, 2013


When a mysterious parcel arrives at her family’s new home, eleven-year-old Lin Rosenquist has a curious feeling she’s meant to discover what’s inside.

Much to Lin’s surprise, the ornate key contained in the parcel unlocks a spellbinding world called Sylver, hidden behind the cellar door. Sylver is an enchanting land of eternal winter, inhabited by animals that shared a special connection with children in the real world, either as beloved pets or tamed wild animals. In death, they are delivered to Sylver, where they take on a curiously human-like form and still watch over the children they cherish. While Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with her beloved pet, Rufus, she soon learns that the magic of the Petlings and Wilders is failing, and snow trolls want to claim Sylver for themselves. Lin must discover a way to stop them and save this enchanted world.

Review: The Twistrose Key is an adorable middle grade fantasy adventure story that has many elements children will love. It will be especially charming for animal lovers as most of the characters are anthropomorphized beloved pets or wild animals. A tale of a young girl traveling to a magical land of winter inhabited with talking animals will draw inevitable comparisons with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe: though this novel is not as sophisticated as The Chronicles of Narnia, it also lacks any whiff of religious allegory. It's allowed to be what just it is: a magical adventure story featuring a brave young girl, her pet vole/best friend, and a quest.

There are many charming elements to the novel: the bunny who works as a tailor and worries how her human girl is doing without her, the bear who attempts to make a living painting china, the waffle restaurant. The friendship between Lin and Rufus lies at the heart of the novel and will be touching for anyone who has ever loved a pet. With all that said, I personally did not find myself fully engaged with the novel. In my opinion there wasn't enough conflict or struggle in the story to give it stakes. To make another comparison: Coraline by Neil Gaiman starts with Coraline feeling ignored and neglected by her parents, as well as adjusting to a new home. She then has to use her brain to get out of some scary situations. Lin of The Twistrose Key is sad to be living in the city rather than her old farm, but clearly has parents that are bending over backwards to make the adjustment easier for her. Lin is also an intelligent girl, but a lot of her problem solving is attributed to happy coincidences or magical powers that are conveniently bestowed upon her. The story isn't as interesting as a result. 

Of course, I am not the target audience for this novel so those in the 8-10 range will probably find more to entertain them. Personally I give this novel 3 Stars, 4 Stars for how children will likely receive it, averaging:

3.5 Stars. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by both Parajunkee of Parajukee's View and Alison Can Read. The goal is to get to know people, make friends and increase blog followers. 

This week's question is:

Q: Are there any book to movie adaptations where you think the movie is better than the book?


The Princess Bride pic name

Don't get me wrong, I love The Princess Bride novel in all its metafictional glory, but the film is the real classic. I know very few people who can't quote at least one line. Let's not forget Mandy Patinkin's sublime performance. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday: Waiting on Dorothy Must Die

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly event hosted by Jill of Breaking the Spine where we spotlight eagerly anticipated releases.

This week I'm waiting on...


by Danielle Paige
Publisher: Harper Teen
Release Date: April 1, 2014

I didn't ask for any of this. I didn't ask to be some kind of hero.
But when your whole life gets swept up by a tornado—taking you with it—you have no choice but to go along, you know?

Sure, I've read the books. I've seen the movies. I know the song about the rainbow and the happy little blue birds. But I never expected Oz to look like this. To be a place where Good Witches can't be trusted, Wicked Witches may just be the good guys, and winged monkeys can be executed for acts of rebellion. There's still the yellow brick road, though—but even that's crumbling.

What happened?
Dorothy. They say she found a way to come back to Oz. They say she seized power and the power went to her head. And now no one is safe.

My name is Amy Gumm—and I'm the other girl from Kansas.
I've been recruited by the Revolutionary Order of the Wicked.
I've been trained to fight.
And I have a mission:
Remove the Tin Woodman's heart.
Steal the Scarecrow's brain.
Take the Lion's courage.
Then and only then—Dorothy must die!

I have to admit, I was never a big fan of the original Oz novels. I prefer Gregory Maguire's novel Wicked, and the musical based on that story. This has the potential to be very interesting. I'm incredibly curious about the details of a world where Dorothy is the villain.


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday: Book Recs for a kid (or anyone) missing Harry Potter.


This week's topic: Top Ten Books I'd recommend to my nephew. He just finished and loved Harry Potter and is currently reading the Percy Jackson series. Also, this list can be for anyone who wants a list of books that have a hint of that HP magic, but have perhaps been overlooked because they have older publication dates.


1.
Matilda by Roald Dahl
For anyone who particularly enjoyed Harry's escape from the Dursleys, here's the story of another child who develops powers, escapes an abusive situation, and finds a family. Also shows the power of reading. 

2.
The Chronicles of Chrestomanci by Diana Wynne Jones
These loosely connected novels featuring the adventures of a dimension crossing wizard have some very lovable characters. One novel, Witch Week, is also about magic in a boarding school, but Jones takes a very different approach.

3.
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
The Tiffany Aching series has some of Pratchett's best writing. If you enjoyed Rowling's sly humor, you'll love this comedic yet profound story. Though the Nac Mac Feegle are no house elves, they're a whole lot funnier (and more prone to theft)

4.
A classic series rich in British mythology about a struggle between good & evil.

5.
The Keys to the Kingdom series, by Garth Nix
A young boy finds he is the chosen one and must save the world from destruction. He must defeat 7 Lord Voldemort types, fight pirates, and cure a plague, all while preventing his own transformation and tragedy.

6.
Un Lun Dun by China MiƩville
An imaginative story by a great author, where in an alternative London chosen ones are overrated but friendship can be world saving.

7.
The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander
More great characters and fantastic adventures in this fantasy series about an assistant pig-keeper who rises above his station. The second book in this series is the basis for the world's most obscure Disney move: The Black Cauldron

8.
This coming of age with magical powers story has more of a science fiction slant. It's also beautifully poignant at times and has a universe of amazing characters and gorgeous world building.

9.
Maddigan's Fantasia by Margaret Mahy
This journey of a traveling circus through a post-apocalyptic landscape has many twists and mysteries, not to mention Mahy's ability to write very realistic relationships.

10.
The newest novel on this list is for anyone who enjoyed Hogwarts ghosts but would likes things a bit spookier, here's the start of looks like to be a great series.


As my nephew is a voracious reader, more recommendations are always welcome :).

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Post #5


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimba at The Caffeinated Book Reviewer. It's a chance to share news, showcase books, and recap the week. 

This week I'm still continuing my ban on new books, which means I splurged on a couple of e-book deals and cashed in an Audible credit. One step at a time I guess :).

I was also the winner of a Halloween giveaway hosted by Anna of Diamonds & Coal Book Reviews. Thanks Anna!










Repeat the Week:
Godsavethequeen pic name


Audiobook:













I'm a big fan of Parks & Rec, and I'm excited about this. 

Finally, the Halloween Giveaway Prize:

Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (Novel & DVD):


Have a great week & Happy Reading!



Saturday, November 16, 2013

Review: The Twistrose Key

The Twistrose Key
By Tone Almhiell
Published By Dial
Publication Date: October 22, 2013


When a mysterious parcel arrives at her family’s new home, eleven-year-old Lin Rosenquist has a curious feeling she’s meant to discover what’s inside.

Much to Lin’s surprise, the ornate key contained in the parcel unlocks a spellbinding world called Sylver, hidden behind the cellar door. Sylver is an enchanting land of eternal winter, inhabited by animals that shared a special connection with children in the real world, either as beloved pets or tamed wild animals. In death, they are delivered to Sylver, where they take on a curiously human-like form and still watch over the children they cherish. While Lin is overjoyed to be reunited with her beloved pet, Rufus, she soon learns that the magic of the Petlings and Wilders is failing, and snow trolls want to claim Sylver for themselves. Lin must discover a way to stop them and save this enchanted world.

Review: The Twistrose Key is an adorable middle grade fantasy adventure story that has many elements children will love. It will be especially charming for animal lovers as most of the characters are anthropomorphized beloved pets or wild animals. A tale of a young girl traveling to a magical land of winter inhabited with talking animals will draw inevitable comparisons with The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe: though this novel is not as sophisticated as The Chronicles of Narnia, it also lacks any whiff of religious allegory. It's allowed to be what just it is: a magical adventure story featuring a brave young girl, her pet vole/best friend, and a quest.

There are many charming elements to the novel: the bunny who works as a tailor and worries how her human girl is doing without her, the bear who attempts to make a living painting china, the waffle restaurant. The friendship between Lin and Rufus lies at the heart of the novel and will be touching for anyone who has ever loved a pet. With all that said, I personally did not find myself fully engaged with the novel. In my opinion there wasn't enough conflict or struggle in the story to give it stakes. To make another comparison: Coraline by Neil Gaiman starts with Coraline feeling ignored and neglected by her parents, as well as adjusting to a new home. She then has to use her brain to get out of some scary situations. Lin of The Twistrose Key is sad to be living in the city rather than her old farm, but clearly has parents that are bending over backwards to make the adjustment easier for her. Lin is also an intelligent girl, but a lot of her problem solving is attributed to happy coincidences or magical powers that are conveniently bestowed upon her. The story isn't as interesting as a result. 

Of course, I am not the target audience for this novel so those in the 8-10 range will probably find more to entertain them. Personally I give this novel 3 Stars, 4 Stars for how children will likely receive it, averaging:

3.5 Stars. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Feature & Follow Friday: Movie Adaptations


Feature and Follow Friday is hosted by both Parajunkee of Parajukee's View and Alison Can Read. The goal is to get to know people, make friends and increase blog followers. 

This week's question is:

Q: Are there any book to movie adaptations where you think the movie is better than the book?


The Princess Bride pic name

Don't get me wrong, I love The Princess Bride novel in all its metafictional glory, but the film is the real classic. I know very few people who can't quote at least one line. Let's not forget Mandy Patinkin's sublime performance.