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review 2020-10-11 23:19
Virginia Wolf by Kyo Maclear and Isabelle Arsenault
Virginia Wolf - Isabelle Arsenault,Kyo Maclear

I adore this short picture book! The artwork, characters, and story is charming. The relationship between the two sisters is absolutely adorable. You can tell they care for one another and want to be there for each other when life gets hard. I love how this book encouraged kids to dive into their imagination if ever they feel depressed because they may find the happiness they are seeking. As someone who constantly daydreams of one day going to a place not of this realm, I related to Virginia so much. I, too, dream of my own perfect world. And if we continue to search for it, through art or writing or any other creative outlets, we may one day find our Home.

 

This book is absolutely beautiful. I encourage you to pick it up! It's short but has a lovely message and beautiful artwork to go with it! Anyone can pick up this picture book and find enjoyment in it. May also encourage you look explore your imagination again in case you've been focusing too much on Reality. It's a great book!

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review 2020-10-06 02:48
Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning (The Guardians, #5) by William Joyce
Guardians Chapter Book #5 - William Joyce

I've been reading this series for a long time now. I began reading this series earlier this year with the intent to read each book back to back to get the full picture of what William Joyce wanted to tell the reader. I started well with my reading adventure, reading all the picture books and the first four books in the series in a timely manner. Then 2020 happened and slapped everyone in the face including myself. I'm not going to lie, guys. It's been hard. Extremely hard. With the pandemic, the civil injustices happening in my country, wildfires raging madly on the West coast, and personal issues happening throughout, I have not had the time nor the mental fortitude to dedicate to reading. My health (physical, mental, and emotional) has not been doing well either. I just feel like I've been all over the place as of late. With that being said, I am hoping things are settling enough that I can get back into reading. Still being mindful and aware we are not out of the woods yet (nor will we be any time soon), but also capable of treating myself right and enjoy a good book from time to time. I'm still mentally clogged with everything going on, but I want to try to get back into the hobbies I love and miss doing this year.

 

And with that, I bring to you my review of Jack Frost: The End Becomes the Beginning.

 

I really liked this book. It's not my favorite book in the series, but I did enjoy it for what it was. I don't intend to go into too many details with this review since it's the final book in the series but I did want to talk about a few things that won't spoil the plot.

 

It's a very good book. And the conclusion, though not really what I was hoping for, was not bad in any way. However, I had a few problems with it as I was reading it. The first thing that bugged me was the pacing. Joyce wrote this book after the movie came out and it shows. Which is a bit of a bummer for since his original story was magnificent. In this book he tried to tie in the movie and book universes too much and it did not blend well. It felt disjointed at times and forced. The pacing suffered because of this as well. The beginning was very slow. VERY SLOW. He kept rehashing certain scenes from the previous books and also diving deep into moments that took placed in the past and not during the actual story being told. A lot of the story was told in "flashback" moments which took the reader out of the current plot. It felt messy and rushed in some areas and it dragged in others.

 

The characters are still loveable and unique. But they definitely took a backseat in this book. Joyce focused more on action and "plot" but he completely forgot about what a lot of readers picked up these books for in the first place and that was to see these amazing characters interact in this whimsical world he created. When those parts appeared in this book, it was incredible just like it was in the precious books. But they were few and far between. Most of the scenes in this book was one battle after the other. That's it. I wanted to see more of the relationships between all of the characters,

 

I especially feel Pitch was left as an afterthought, almost. Yes, he's a lingering presence throughout the whole book, but he doesn't actually make an appearance until the end of the book, if you're not including the flashback portion. It was very underwhelming seeing what happens at the end. I was hoping for more interaction, more feeling. It was like (and I'm keeping it vague here on purpose) Jack does a thing, Emily Jane says thanks, and that's it! I wanted Jack and Pitch to have a full on conversation! To come to the realization that they are not so different after all. To say thanks or sorry or something! But we didn't get much of anything and it felt very hollow.

 

The ending... I'm not a huge fan of. It was an ending that would have meant something if we were introduced to certain elements beforehand. Not almost 250 pages into the book. It felt, like most of this books, rather empty and pointless.

 

That's not to say this book is bad. It's not. I did like it. I was just expecting to see more of the characters I fell in love with interacting with one another and understanding one another. Instead I got a bunch of action with no real substance.

 

If you've read the other books in this series, I do recommend you read this one. It's good to see the conclusion to this amazing series. Just don't expect too much going in and you may enjoy this a lot more.

 

I'm glad that despite everything that's been happening in the world, I was still able to finish this series that I have been meaning to read for quite some time now. I don't know what I'll be reading next but I hope that I will continue to read regardless.

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review 2020-05-15 14:16
The Sandman and the War of Dreams (Guardians of Childhood, #4) by William Joyce
The Sandman and the War of Dreams - William Joyce

Another beautiful addition to this sweet little story. I am a huge fan of Pitch Black and in this book we finally get his whole story told to us. It's heartbreaking, beautiful, and tragic. I love learning more about him and his daughter and I love seeing how even beings like him, deserve some love and respect.

 

In this book, we have a returning character from the picture books. Sandy! I love this little guy. So much strength with such little words spoken. I adore him. I also love that this is the first time we get to see Nightlight grow a little as a character. He was someone who was very immature in his way of thinking. But it's in this book that he learns that things are not just black and white, good and evil. That there are many layers to who a person can be and many reasons to explain the actions one choose to take. I think it's a brilliant lesson for anyone to learn. Especially Nightlight, a boy who never ages.

 

I love this series so much. I know the writing can be quite simplistic at times, but the story and the characters more than make up for it. I think with such a lovely story, you don't need flowery writing. The story speaks for itself. 

 

I am close to the end of this series now. I've never read the last book before. This will be my first time reading it. Makes me nervous to finally find out what's going to happen. I love Pitch and I don't want him to get a nasty end for just being different. I will hold on to hope that the ending of the series will be just as sweet as the rest of it has been.

 

If you haven't read this series yet, I highly encourage that you do. It's a lot of fun with endearing characters and such fantastical ideas that it will make you want to explore your own imagination as thoroughly as you did when you were younger. Or still do. Some of us never forgot our "child-like wonder." I hope you never do.

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review 2020-05-13 13:14
Toothiana: Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies (The Guardians, #3) by William Joyce
Toothiana, Queen of the Tooth Fairy Armies (Guardians of Childhood Chapter Books) - William Joyce

I'm finally continuing with my read of this amazing series. I had to take a bit of a break since Final Fantasy VII: Remake was released so all of my time went to that for about two months. X3 BUT! I am back and I just finished reading my favorite book in the series thus far.

 

In this book we meet Toothiana and I love reading about her past and how she came to me the mighty Queen that she is. Her wit, her strength, her will, her everything is so incredibly inspiring. I love learning about her powers and what makes her such an amazing Guardian.

 

All of the other characters make an appearance in this book as well. We see North, Ombric, Bunnymund, Nightlight, and Katherine grow and learn more about Pitch. Especially when it come to Katherine. She plays a key role in this book and it is through her that the other Guardians learn how to understand and sympathize with other beings. There's a certain scene that happens at the end of the book that introduces a new character and makes you fall in love with an old character all the more. I love this book.

 

Please, if you haven't read this series yet, please do. It's so much fun and helps you to understand and care for others who are different. It's such a heartwarming series that I think is worth the read. 

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review 2020-05-09 01:35
After spending 5 years in jail for a crime he didn’t really commit...
Bishop: A True Lover's Story - A.E. Via,Tor Thom

Bishop’s determined not to mess up his second chance. He’s living with his dad and working at his landscape company. Bishop may not know how to read or write but if you want a landscape that’ll make you the envy of all the neighbours…Bishop’s your man.

 

Bishop knows that he’s got two things going for him for sure first there’s Mike. They don’t have the perfect parent/child relationship, but they’ve got a solid foundation on which to build one. It’s very clear early on that Mike genuinely cares about Bishop and want’s to be there for him and be supportive. He’s determined to get the dad thing right this time around. He’s also got  Trent…Trent’s that friend that we all want the one who’s there for you in good and bad. It doesn’t matter because you know that friend has your back.

 

Edison’s not really looking for a second chance he’s trying to use his first one…he just wants someone that he can love and care for and maybe have feel the same way about him. Edison was raised with old fashioned values by a father who taught him how to shine his shoes, shave with a straight razor, be a gentleman, not to swear or judge and most of all to just be himself. Add in that Edison’s cooking skills are amazing and it’s hard to imagine why this man hasn’t been off the market for years. But luckily for Bishop he’s not.

 

One of the things that Edison and Bishop have in common is that their perception of themselves doesn’t reflect how others see them. Bisop also has a strong tendency to internal things ultimately making issues bigger than they truly were or needed to be.

 

I loved that Bishop was very upfront with Edison about his prison record but was disappointed about how things were dealt with when it came to Bishop’s reading and writing skills. I get that this was a strong source of insecurity, embarrassment and worry for Bishop. I know I couldn’t imagine how it would feel to be 36 years old and have to tell someone who’s opinion meant everything to me that I couldn’t read…honestly my brain boggles at the mere idea of it.

 

Rounding out this ensemble we have Skylar…dear, dear die in a freakin’ fire Skylar…let me count the ways that I despise you. I’m not even sure where to begin with this character for he was just to much…he was the little boy who thinks that you tell a girl you like them by pulling their hair and making fun of them only he never grew-up and while I’m not going go get into the details of it, the part he played in the books ending was just so far over the top that to be honest I just couldn’t buy into it because he went from being an annoying jerk to someone who was not just out of touch with reality but violently so.

 

Bishop is definitely a slow burn especially when compared to previous books that I’ve read/listened to by this author and for me that’s ok since these men are each dealing with their own bundles of insecurities and it’s abundantly clear that neither Bishop nor Edison was looking for a quick fling, but both were looking for a relationship to last so having them spend time together where clothes were kept on and conversations were had felt very in line with the overall theme of the story.

 

Tor Thom was the narrator for this story and while he’s not quite a new to me narrator…it’s a close call on that as I’ve only had the opportunity to enjoy two other books that he shared in the narration of. I love that his voices are clearly distinctive, and I never had to wonder who was speaking. With his narration of ‘Bishop’ Tor Thom has definitely shown me that whether he’s narrating a book on his own or with someone else he gets the job done and done well. I truly look forward to enjoying future audio books by this narrator…and…

Hopefully, Ms Via has more in store for us from Bishop and his friends.

 

*************************

 

An audio book of “Bishop” was graciously provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

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