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review 2018-07-03 19:26
I'm here for the illustrations
The Royal Rabbits Of London - Santa Montefiore,Simon Sebag Montefiore

If you've come here hoping for your next read of the summer then I'm afraid I have to disappoint you (unless this sounds up your street for some reason). The Royal Rabbits of London by Santa Montefiore & Simon Sebag Montefiore caught my eye because of the fantastic cover illustration of rabbits in various outfits. This is the story of Shylo, an extremely small bunny that is ridiculed and bullied by his peers (and siblings). He gets roped into a bit of intrigue and derring-do which takes him away from all that he has ever known and into the very heart of the Royal Rabbits of London. Much shenanigans ensue especially when they are confronted by Ratzis. I feel like this book was given very little thought or care (except for the illustrations which were really great and liberally padded the story) so it shocked me to learn that this is the first in a series. (Spoiler alert: I won't be reading the others.) It wasn't particularly well-written but would probably appeal to 2nd or 3rd graders who really like rabbits. For me, it was disappointing to say the least. 1/10 only because of those excellent drawings.

 

The back. [Source: Amazon.com]

 

I mean this is really great stuff. [Source: katehindley.com]

 

What's Up Next: Nnewts: Escape from the Lizzarks by Doug TenNapel

 

What I'm Currently Reading: Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions by Russell Brand

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2018-05-13 21:58
Santa Claus Doesn't Mop Floors - Debbie Dadey,Marcia Thornton Jones,John Steven Gurney
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Growing up, I loved the Bailey School Kids series. It was a fun way to mix mystical elements into reality. In this one, the school gets a new janitor who may or not be Santa Claus.

Fun story with interesting events. I'll admit the kids are kind of jerks in this one (playing tricks on the janitor, making fun of fat and short people), but overall it is entertaining. There are definitely some cringe-y moments, but to be fair this was published in 1991, before the mainstream fat acceptance movement. There are definitely some flaws, but overall it is still a fun book. 

A nice book that isn't too Christmas-y. 
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review 2018-04-12 19:39
How Mrs. Santa Claus Saved Christmas - Phyllis McGinley
(spoiler show)

By famous author/poet Phyllis McGinley, this quaint children's tale told alternating in poem and story. 
Mrs. Claus is known for influencing the Mr. and giving him his good ideas, but this year she has thought of a radical idea. It makes Santa so angry he goes to sleep for a nap Christmas Eve, telling no one to wake him-- he will do it himself. The hour has come for Santa to begin his delivery ride, but cannot be roused. So, Mrs. Claus decides to make the trip herself, implementing her new idea. She dresses up like Santa and delivers "skis for the bookworms, books to read on rainy Sundays for the Baseball Breed; For girls who had nothing but dolls on hand, nice red dump-trucks for dumping sand; Nice soft Pandas, huggable and fat for little boys waiting for a cowboy hat; useless presents, extravagant and funny for children with never a cent of money; practical presents for those more rich; for studious fellows, balls to pitch; ribbons for tomboys, jacks for their brothers....." and the change from the expected gifts delights the children that Santa is even more endeared to them. We loved the book.

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review 2018-02-09 20:41
A book strong on plot and fast action and full of information about la Santa Muerte.
Freaky Franky - William Blackwell

 

I write this review as a member of Rosie’s Book Review Team, and I freely chose to review an ARC copy of this novel.

I have been reading a book called Paperbacks from Hell and when I saw this book, it reminded me so much of many of the covers and topics I had been reading about that I could not resist, although I was not sure about the title (was it horror, humour, or something else entirely?).

The novel begins with quite a bang. A strong scene where we are introduced to la Santa Muerte (Saint Death) a religion/cult (depending on whose point of view you take) that has flourished in Mexico and is spreading to many other places. Although we all have heard about the Mexican Día de los Muertos, this might cover new ground for many of us, but the author is well informed and provides good background into the history and the various opinions on Saint Death, that is an interesting topic in its own right.

But don’t get me wrong. This book is not all tell and not show. We have a number of characters who are linked (unknowingly at first) by their devotion to Saint Death. What in the beginning seem to be separate episodes, which show us the best and the worst consequences of praying to Saint Death, later come together in an accomplished narrative arc. Whilst praying for health and good things can result in miracles, praying for revenge and death carries serious and deadly consequences.

The story, written in the third person, alternates the points of views most of the characters, from the main characters to some of the bit actors, good and bad (although that is pretty relative in this novel) and it moves at good pace. It is dynamic and full of action, and this is a novel where the plot dominates. The characters are not drawn in a lot of detail and I did not find them as cohesive and compelling as the story, in part, perhaps, because they are, at times, under the control of Saint Death (but this is not a standard story of satanic possession). Although none of the characters are morally irreproachable,  Anisa and Dr. Ricardo are more sympathetic and easier to root for. Yes, Anisa might resent her missed opportunities and the fact that she is stuck in Prince Edward Island looking after her son, but she goes out of her way to help her friend Helen and her brother Franklin and warns them not to pray for revenge. Dr. Ricardo threads a fine line between helping others and protecting himself, but he does the best he can. Franklin, the Freaky Franky of the title, is a much more negative character and pretty creepy, especially early in the novel. Although we learn about his past and the tragedies in his life, he is Anisa’s brother, and she’s also gone through the same losses, without behaving like he does. He uses Saint Death’s power mostly for evil, although he seems to change his mind and attitude after Anisa’s intervention (I was not totally convinced by this turn of events). I found Natalie, the American tourist visiting the Dominican Republic with her fiancé, Terry, difficult to fathom as well. Perhaps some of it could be explained by the love/lust spell she is under, but she clearly suspects what Franklin has done to her, and her changed feelings towards a man she has known for five minutes makes no sense, at least to me (sorry, I am trying to avoid spoilers). Much of the action and events require a great deal of suspension of disbelief, but not more than is usual in the genre.

The novel keeps wrong-footing the readers. At first, we might think that everything that is going on can be explained by self-suggestion and that all the evil (and the good) is in the mind of the believer. These are desperate characters holding on to anything that offers them a glint of hope. And later, when bad things start to happen, it seems logical to believe that the characters we are following have acted upon their negative thoughts and impulses (and even they have doubts as to what they might have done). But nothing is quite as straightforward as it seems.

Although there is plenty of explicit violence and some sexual references (those not as explicit), I did not find it frightening or horrific as such. However, it is a disquieting, dark, and eerie book, because of the way it invites readers to look into the limits of morality and right and wrong. Is revenge ever justified? Is it a matter of degrees? Who decides? It seems la Santa Muerte has very specific thoughts about this, so be very careful what you wish (or pray) for.

An eye-opener with regards to the Saint Death cult and a book that will be enjoyed by readers who don’t mind supernatural novels with plenty of violence, and prefer their plots dynamic and action-driven.

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review 2017-12-31 00:00
Purrfect Santa: Howls Romance
Purrfect Santa: Howls Romance - Jessie L... Purrfect Santa: Howls Romance - Jessie Lane


Purrfect Santa was the purrfect Christmas novella! Its so adorable! Fated mates, an adorable toddler, and a lion fighting for his panther!

Nikki is NOT looking for her mate, but she knows Joe is it as soon as she sees him. Being mated destroyed her parents. They were neglectful to her and her baby sister because they were so wrapped up in each other. They died 6 months before and Nikki has vowed that she will always be there for Sarah. Joe has a big mountain of walls to scale to win his mate. I think this story will appeal to people who aren't huge fans of the fated mate trope because Nikki doesn't fall for Joe right away. She is willing to walk away from their bond because she is scared of turning into her parents.

I just adore this story! Nikki's sister is adorable, Nikki and Joe are likable characters, and the story is just too sweet! Seriously-there wasn't a thing about this I didn't just swoon over! I haven't read any other Howls Romance books but if they are all as wonderful as Purrfect Santa, I will read every one of them!

 
  • POV: 3rd
  • Tears: no
  • Trope: fated mates
  • Triggers: none
  • Series/Standalone: stand alone
  • Cliffhanger: no
  • HEA: yes but I wish there was an epilogue that gave us more of Nikki, Joe, and Sarah in the future; the epilogue is just a few hours after the actual story ended!




Books by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden, Lisa Ladew...then you will probably like Purrfect Santa!

 


Purrfect Santa


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See full review on The Book Disciple
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