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Review: A Poison Dark and Drowning

Title: A Poison Dark and Drowning

Author: Jessica Cluess

Date of Publication: September 19th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

Henrietta doesn’t need a prophecy to know that she’s in danger. She came to London to be named the chosen one, the first female sorcerer in centuries, the one who would defeat the Ancients. Instead, she discovered a city ruled by secrets. And the biggest secret of all: Henrietta is not the chosen one.

Still, she must play the role in order to keep herself and Rook, her best friend and childhood love, safe. But can she truly save him? The poison in Rook’s system is transforming him into something monstrous as he begins to master dark powers of his own. So when Henrietta finds a clue to the Ancients’ past that could turn the tide of the war, she persuades Blackwood, the mysterious Earl of Sorrow-Fell, to travel up the coast to seek out strange new weapons. And Magnus, the brave, reckless flirt who wants to win back her favor, is assigned to their mission. Together, they will face monsters, meet powerful new allies, and uncover the most devastating weapon of all: the truth.

My Review:

A Shadow Bright and Burning was one of my favorite books last year! So, I was beyond pumped when I got an ARC for this book. It wasn’t as great as the first, but I did really like this one, though!

Let’s talk about my issues. Henrietta was way too fickle over too many pickles. You may already know I am barely tolerant on love triangles unless they are done right, and we have officially hit love square territory. Henrietta claims to love Rook, which I might add he is in the background again! How, I’m supposed to love a character if he is barely there? Then! Anytime Magnus or Blackwood are in the room, Rook is forgotten. Not to mention I hateeeeeeee when characters lie throughout the whole book to characters who they “claim” to trust! Get on the ball, Henrietta!

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Now, the stuff I lovedddddddddd! I love this world! The creatures are grotesquely described, and I sucked all that imagination in! Cluess excels at her writing and this magnificent world. I grew very fond of Magnus in this book, and I think he is starting to become my favorite. We also meet a new character, Maria, who is all sorts of awesomeness!

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The fight scenes were great, and it makes me want my own staff! There are some twists and some of them I did see coming, but there was one I did not! I can’t wait for the next book, and please let’s get it so there is just one boy!

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Review: The Dollmaker of Krakow

Title: The Dollmaker of Krakow

Author: R.M. Romero

Date of Publication: September 12th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

In the land of dolls, there is magic.
In the land of humans, there is war.
Everywhere there is pain.
But together there is hope.

Karolina is a living doll whose king and queen have been overthrown. But when a strange wind spirits her away from the Land of the Dolls, she finds herself in Krakow, Poland, in the company of the Dollmaker, a man with an unusual power and a marked past.

The Dollmaker has learned to keep to himself, but Karolina’s courageous and compassionate manner lead him to smile and to even befriend a violin-playing father and his daughter–that is, once the Dollmaker gets over the shock of realizing a doll is speaking to him.

But their newfound happiness is dashed when Nazi soldiers descend upon Poland. Karolina and the Dollmaker quickly realize that their Jewish friends are in grave danger, and they are determined to help save them, no matter what the risks.

My Review:

I normally don’t read middle grade books, but  I really loved the cover and the sound of this one. There are back and forth chapters between the land of the dolls and the real world.

Karolina becomes a real life doll and becomes friend with the Dollmaker who made her. He has lived a lonely life and learns to break out of his shell because of Karolina. They meet another girl and her father who uncover that Karolina is no ordinary doll.

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A lot of people said this book was dark for a younger audience, but I don’t believe so. What about all the children that had to face real life horrors back during World War 2. I feel like this book, even though it does have fantasy elements, is a great learning tool to understand that bad things did happen during the war. Real life stuff happens today and could happen again. Kids can’t be sheltered about everything. I would definitely let my daughter read this, and she’s eight. I mean if kids can watch comic book movies that have way more violence and death, then what is so wrong about learning about death during World War 2?

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Review: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Title: Wonder Woman: Warbringer

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Date of Publication: August 29th, 2017

 

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Goodreads Summary:

She will become one of the world’s greatest heroes: WONDER WOMAN. But first she is Diana, Princess of the Amazons. And her fight is just beginning. . . .

Diana longs to prove herself to her legendary warrior sisters. But when the opportunity finally comes, she throws away her chance at glory and breaks Amazon law—risking exile—to save a mere mortal. Even worse, Alia Keralis is no ordinary girl and with this single brave act, Diana may have doomed the world.

Alia just wanted to escape her overprotective brother with a semester at sea. She doesn’t know she is being hunted. When a bomb detonates aboard her ship, Alia is rescued by a mysterious girl of extraordinary strength and forced to confront a horrible truth: Alia is a Warbringer—a direct descendant of the infamous Helen of Troy, fated to bring about an age of bloodshed and misery.

Together, Diana and Alia will face an army of enemies—mortal and divine—determined to either destroy or possess the Warbringer. If they have any hope of saving both their worlds, they will have to stand side by side against the tide of war.

My Review:

So, first off I know nothing about most comic book characters, but Wonder Woman has always been interesting. Plus, Leigh Bardugo wrote the book, so it had to be a win, right? Well… This is no Six of Crows. At least to me. Her other books have made me fall in love with her characters. This one I didn’t connect with them, but I didn’t hate them either.

Diana is strong. Well of course she is, she is Wonder Woman, but I loved her humor even when she wasn’t trying to be funny. Her and Alia had some interesting scenes. If you are all about girl power, then this book is definitely for you.

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I don’t know what it was, but I found myself kind of bored in parts. I did like the growth of Diana and Alia, though. I just wanted more from this book!!!!!!

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Book Buzz Spring 2017

So, I went to this Book Buzz for Penguin/Random house that they had going on at the local library. There was talk about some of the books releasing in Spring of 2017. The first book the guy talked about was The Roanoke Girls. This was the only book I had read already, and I have previously put up a review for that book which was all kinds of hard times.

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Gorgeous cover, though….

Now, the main book that sounded pretty awesome is called Eggshells by: Caitriona Lally

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Goodreads Summary:

Vivian doesn’t feel like she fits in – never has. She lives alone in a house in north Dublin that her great-aunt left to her. She has no friends, no job and few social skills. She knows she is different. Before they died, her parents used to tell her she was a ‘changeling’ who belonged to another world. Each day, she walks the streets of Dublin, looking for a way to get there. ‘I need a big wind that could turn into a cyclone because today I’m going to visit Yellow Road and Emerald Street. In The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the cyclone carried Dorothy to Oz, and she followed the Yellowbrick Road to the Emerald Palace to find her way home.’ It doesn’t work. After all, Dublin has a certain charm, but no actual magic.

And so Vivian sets off on a new quest: to find a friend. A very specific kind of friend. ‘WANTED: Friend Called Penelope. Must Enjoy Talking Because I Don’t Have Much to Say. Good Sense of Humour Not Required Because My Laugh Is A Work in Progress. Must Answer to Penelope: Pennies Need Not Apply.’ A Penelope replies, but will the two women become friends? Will she make a connection with another person in this world so she can stop searching for a portal to another one? She sets off for their first meeting. ‘I huddle and tighten myself against the wind and think up ways to describe it to Penelope. Is a “rape” of a wind too strong for the first sentence of a first meeting?’ Rooted in Dublin’s Northside, Eggshells is a whimsical, touching story about loneliness and friendship and hope.

 

Has anyone read this? All I saw was that it was compared to Amelie, and I was like I am in!

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Review: The Illustrated Book of Sayings

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ABOUT THE ILLUSTRATED BOOK OF SAYINGS

From the New York Times bestselling author of Lost in Translationcomes this charming illustrated collection of more than fifty expressions from around the globe that explore the nuances of language. From the hilarious and romantic to the philosophical and literal, the idioms, proverbs, and adages in The Illustrated Book of Sayings reveal the remarkable diversity, humor, and poignancy of the world’s languages and cultures.

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My Review:

First off the illustrations really made this book cool. They are well done and are perfect artistic descriptions of the sayings from the country of origin. I wanted to read this book after I had a guest poster do a review of this book on my blog, and I am glad I chose to check it out.

I really liked the diversity within these pages because pretty much all of the sayings from these countries I had never heard before. The author describes each saying in a paragraph and writes about exactly what it means.

The one thing that bothered me was having to look at the right page first to see what the saying was and then going back to the left page to read the paragraph about it. I think it would have just been easier on the reader to have the picture and saying first and then the description on the other page.

This is just an awesome book that is pretty much for anyone even if you aren’t a big time reader.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

ELLA FRANCES SANDERS is a writer out of necessity and an illustrator by accident. She currently lives and works in the city of Bath, UK, without a cat. Her first book, Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World, was a New York Timesbestseller and is now, perhaps ironically, being translated into many other languages. She still doesn’t know exactly how it all happened, but things seem to be going OK.
She can be found at ellafrancessanders.com and various other social media places.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.name-tag2

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Review: The Bear and the Nightingale

Title: The Bear and the Nightingale

Author: Katherine Arden

Date of Publication: January 10th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

A young woman’s family is threatened by forces both real and fantastical in this debut novel inspired by Russian fairy tales.

In a village at the edge of the wilderness of northern Russia, where the winds blow cold and the snow falls many months of the year, a stranger with piercing blue eyes presents a new father with a gift – a precious jewel on a delicate chain, intended for his young daughter. Uncertain of its meaning, Pytor hides the gift away and Vasya grows up a wild, willful girl, to the chagrin of her family. But when mysterious forces threaten the happiness of their village, Vasya discovers that, armed only with the necklace, she may be the only one who can keep the darkness at bay.

My Review:

This book is multiple point of views, but sometimes it felt like narrator style since the way it bounces back and forth between characters. It actually didn’t bother me the way I thought that it was going to.

The pacing is a slow and beautiful build. The beginning is just developing the characters and getting to know them. Not a lot actually happens in the beginning, but it is still interesting getting to learn about the characters.

One of the main characters, Vasya, is my favorite. She can see different creatures, and she bounces to her own drum beat. Her brother, Alyosha, I loved as well, and I loved the bond between him and Vasya.

When the priest comes into the picture things started to slow down for me, and I wasn’t exactly sure what the purpose of him was, but when the book hit 65% on my Kindle, things began to really pick up. I don’t know what to say about him except he was just out of his mind most of the time!

I was disappointed that there wasn’t more of the frost demon. His character was the most interesting, and I wanted to see more of him. What I did see of him, I loved! The writing, I thought was really good. I did get confused a lot at the beginning with all the characters multiple names for one character, and I wanted a little more to the ending, but overall I really liked it!

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Review: The Tea Planter’s Wife

Title: The Tea Planter’s Wife

Author: Dinah Jefferies

Date of Publication: August 27th, 2015

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Goodreads Summary:

Nineteen-year-old Gwendolyn Hooper is newly married to a rich and charming widower, eager to join him on his tea plantation, determined to be the perfect wife and mother. But life in Ceylon is not what Gwen expected. The plantation workers are resentful, the neighbours treacherous. And there are clues to the past – a dusty trunk of dresses, an overgrown gravestone in the grounds – that her husband refuses to discuss. Just as Gwen finds her feet, disaster strikes. She faces a terrible choice, hiding the truth from almost everyone, but a secret this big can’t stay buried forever . . .

My Review:

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What drew me into reviewing this book was first the cover, and second I love anything tea, so drawing me in with that title worked.

The book started off with Gwen who leaves her home to go off and live with her husband who she has just married. Thinks don’t start off as great as she thought they would in this new place, and eventually there is a discovery and Gwen makes one of the hardest choices of her life.

Throughout the book the writing was really well done, but for me there was just too much description. Sometimes it feels better just to get straight to the point. Gwen and Lawrence could have both made better choices throughout the book. I did however like Lawrence though. Gwen, I am still angry with.

There were some interesting twists and turns throughout the book that held my interest, but the book was just an okay read for me.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dinah Jefferies was born in Malaysia and moved to England at the age of nine. She worked in education, lived in a commune and exhibited work as an artist before deciding to follow her dream of becoming a writer after losing her retirement fund in the financial crash; to motivate herself, Dinah stuck Post-its around her house saying ‘you will write a bestseller!’ Dinah Jefferies is the author of three novels, The Separation, The Tea Planter’s Wife – a Number One Sunday Times bestseller – and The Silk Merchant’s Daughter. She lives in Gloucestershire.

 

I received this book from Blogging for Books for this review.

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