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review 2018-10-23 16:39
Kentsakas juhtum koeraga öisel ajal (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time) by Mark Haddon
Kentsakas juhtum koeraga öisel ajal - Mark Haddon

I'd been searching for this book for years. Finally, some months ago I found a copy in used books bookshop. I rated it 5 stars and not because "it was amazing" but because it was really realistic. Mark Haddon has done a great job showing us how a kid with Asperger's syndrome thinks and how this person sees the world. He also describes how alone the parents can feel when they try to raise a child with Asperger all alone. These families need a lot of support.

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review 2018-10-23 15:36
Just a Story about a Girl and a Dragon
Dragon Slippers - Jessica Day George

I loved this book so much! Jessica Day George sets up a whole world and has dragons inhabit it. Creel (best name ever) is a heroine that kids will cheer for and her friendships with the dragons and her fight to keep them safe was heart warming. 

 

"Dragon Slippers" has Creel dealing with the death of her mother which has her and her brother living with their aunt and uncle. Like many fairytale relatives, Creel's aunt kind of sucks. She decides that the only way that the family will be able to live is if Creel catches the eye of a knight or lord after he saves her from a dragon. Problem is that there doesn't seem to be any dragons around. Creel's aunt decides to just make her stay in a cave (that a dragon used to live) with the hope that is enough to entice someone. Too bad though a dragon really does live in the cave and after Creel's relatives leave her there to be eaten, she is taken inside and gets to meet a dragon. They come to an arrangement and she ends up being let go with some shoes that she loves and is determined to make her way to the King's Seat in order to get a job working as a seamstress. Along the way Creel meets more dragons.

 

Creel was hilarious. I loved her up front saying she's not special, she can't spin straw into gold and isn't fair to look upon (subtle shade being thrown at the girl in Rumpelstiltskin and Snow White) but she does know how to sew. Her traveling to the King's Seat is fraught with danger and she is saved by another dragon (Shardas) when some bandits seem hell-bent on assaulting and stealing from her. Creel eventually gets to the King's Seat and realizes her working in a store for someone else isn't all it's cracked up to be. She meets one princes, a princess, and makes a ton of new friends. She also realizes that first impressions of people can be wrong and cause damage down the line. She doesn't know what the slippers do and it is odd at first that no dragon wants to tell Creel about them, but we know that they are special in some way. When it is eventually revealed why the slippers are so special and what they do I thought it was a wonderful reveal. 

 

I loved the dragons in this one and how all of them collect certain things (like shoes, glass windows, dogs) and laughed at all of them throwing shade about hoarding gold (who would want to do that?)

 

The secondary characters such as Luka (one of the princes) and some of her fellow shop assistants shine. I thought there were some humorous bits and nothing too scandalous. I also think that there are some great villains in this one (no spoilers) that will have everyone hollering for their downfall.


The writing was really good. Nothing too complicated that would confuse children and it held my interest as an adult. I also loved how Creel realizes that the history that was told about dragons and one of the founders of the kingdom was based on a lie. I do think the flow gets a bit funky in the end, it just seemed at a certain point the book was in a holding pattern and nothing was happening. 

 

The world building was great. We can imagine the kingdom, the warring families, and where the dragons that Creel meets are located.


The ending was so good and I was happy that I got an excerpt to read from "Dragon Slippers #2."

 

 

 

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review 2018-10-23 14:21
Old School Nancy Drew Does Not Hold Up
The Secret of the Old Clock: 80th Anniversary Limited Edition - Carolyn Keene

I was just as shocked as anyone when I started to read "The Secret of the Old Clock" and found Nancy to be annoying. She and the other characters are sketched so thin and the whole story in this one was just off-putting. I also didn't think that Nancy was some great detective. She went snooping (those meddling kids) in order to find a missing will and also because she disliked the relatives who stood to inherit. 

 

"The Secret of the Old Clock" has Nancy Drew in her first stand alone mystery. Nancy is 16 in this one I think. She ends up driving along and almost hits a kid and ends up stopping to see to her. Doing that, she ends up meeting two sisters, (the Turners) who are poor and struggling to raise the kid (sorry about not remembering her name she was so unimportant though). The Turners not knowing Nancy at all tell her about the fact that they were counting on inheriting money when their rich older relative, Josiah Crowley passed away. They tell Nancy he promised to provide for them so they are confused now that he has passed, he left everything to the family he was staying with, the Topham's. 

 

There is very little development in any character in this book. We hear how attractive Nancy is, we know that Hannah is the housekeeper/mother figure who is always making Nancy her meals. Nancy's father, Carson Drew, is an attorney and is all yes my dear you must investigate, but do be careful. 

 

I also thought it was kind of gross that you had three separate groups of people aside from the Turners who were all pretty upfront about saying that Josiah was going to leave them money. It didn't seem as if anyone even cared that the old guy had passed away to me. And the shaming of the Tophams for wanting expensive things and Nancy and her father acting as if they were low-class for having expensive things was surprising to me. I read later on that this book was a slam on the noveau-riche class and I can definitely understand that. Apparently if you don't have old money, you just don't belong. 

 

This book also takes place in the 1930s so there is some definite language that is old-fashioned. And I maybe laughed at the idea of anyone talking about how expensive it was for singing and dancing lessons. The way the book is written, the aunts were going to need thousands upon thousands of dollars for that. 

 

The ending was okay, we have Nancy realizing pretty quickly were the will ended up and then it was her somehow dealing with a gang of thieves (as one does) in order to obtain the will. Everyone lives happily ever after, except for the Tophams. 

 

 

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review 2018-10-23 11:00
BLOG TOUR REVIEW and GIVEAWAY: 'The Assassin's Guide to Love & Treason' by Virginia Boecker
An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason - Virginia Boecker

 

This book is OUT TODAY, everyone!!!! I am so excited to be posting about it and reviewing it TODAY. This is absolutely going to go down as one of my favorite reads of the year. I read all over the map (as in sci-if, horror, thrillers, you name it), but this was a truly fun read for me, with only a little bloodshed between the pages. So loosen your bodices and get comfy, and get ready for trip back home to London, England during the reign of Queen Elizabeth the First; it’s 1601.

 

 

*Thank you (again) to the amazing peeps at Rockstar Book Tours for including me on this blog tour!

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR, VIRGINIA BOECKER

 

Virginia Boecker is the author of The Witch Hunter series and An Assassin's Guide to Love and Treason. A graduate of the University of Texas, she had a decade-long career in technology before quitting to become a full-time writer. When she isn't writing, Virginia likes running, reading, traveling, and trying new things (most recently: learning to drive a boat). She has lived all over the world but currently resides in beautiful Lake Oswego, Oregon with her husband, children, a dog called George and a cat named Thomas.

You can visit Virginia online at virginiaboecker.com or on Instagram @virgboecker  

 

 

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

 

Title: AN ASSASSINS GUIDE TO LOVE AND TREASON

Author: Virginia Boecker

Pub. Date: October 23, 2018

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Pages: 384

 

SYNOPSIS:

When Lady Katherine's father is killed for being an illegally practicing Catholic, she discovers treason wasn't the only secret he's been hiding: he was also involved in a murder plot against the reigning Queen Elizabeth I. With nothing left to lose, Katherine disguises herself as a boy and travels to London to fulfill her father's mission, and to take it one step further--kill the queen herself.

Katherine's opportunity comes in the form of William Shakespeare's newest play, which is to be performed in front of Her Majesty. But what she doesn't know is that the play is not just a play--it's a plot to root out insurrectionists and destroy the rebellion once and for all.

The mastermind behind this ruse is Toby Ellis, a young spy for the queen with secrets of his own. When Toby and Katherine are cast opposite each other as the play's leads, they find themselves inexplicably drawn to one another. But the closer they grow, the more precarious their positions become. And soon they learn that star-crossed love, mistaken identity, and betrayal are far more dangerous off the stage than on.

 

MY REVIEW:

 

Did you know that Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night was written to capture the would-be assassin of Queen Elizabeth I?!
And what do you get when you combine a cross-dressing Catholic called Katherine Arundell, out to avenge the death of her father, and put her slap-dab in the middle of merry old London?

 

‘An Assassin’s Guide to Love & Treason’, of course, and it’s quite scrumptious.

This romp through 1601 will have you questioning any history you may think you’ve learned about Elizabethan London, about the dalliances of Shakespearean players, and about the tension between the Protestants and Catholics at that time.

 

Being from England myself, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on a bit of ‘history’ from home to indulge in. I delighted in this witty, clever tale about young Lady Katherine Arundell from Cornwall, who witnesses her father’s execution for being a practicing Catholic. This was because England is now Protestant under Queen Elizabeth I, and to avenge her father’s death, she then goes to London and plans to assassinate Queenie herself. Tall order perhaps.


Katherine constructs a plan, along with her merry band of Catholic conspirators; this means she must infiltrate the upcoming production of ‘Twelfth Night’, and create a new male identity for herself, Kit.

 

This is really at the crux of how clever Virginia Boecker is being with ‘Assassin’s Guide’ (and I know she knows this, because of her most brilliant Author’s Note in the back; only I do hope everyone reads it!). As many of you may know, women weren’t players in Shakespeare’s plays, men were, and they played all the women’s parts too. In order for Katherine to disguise herself in London, she must become Kit (this was a name short for Christopher back then), as well as to be a player on the stage.


She then gets the part as Viola, who (if you haven’t read ‘Twelfth Night’) dresses up as a man in the play. It all becomes quite complicated when Kit becomes drawn to Toby, who is another lead player, and writer, and unbeknownst to Kit, a spy for Elizabeth Regina; he’s trying to deduce which of the Twelfth Night players is the treasonous one. Yet he’s falling for Kit, just as he did previously for the late Kit Marlowe (that’s Christopher Marlowe to you).


Katherine’s own confidence as a ‘man’ mirrors Viola’s growing confidence in the play, particularly as Toby and ‘Kit’ rehearse together, and the themes of bisexuality and questions about societal gender norms play like their own characters in the book. Just like the very irony we see in having men play the parts of women (who play men), this is a double irony, if you will, and forces the characters to constantly question their identities, as well as their loyalties. At a time when many only had loyalty to the Crown or to God, questioning your identity was frowned against and was highly confusing, and naturally left you open to being cast out by all sorts of weaknesses such as witchcraft and going back to the Old Religion (Catholicism). You certainly didn’t admit to liking the same sex, even if you did put on a dress for all to see in the Globe Theatre.

 

The ‘supporting cast’ of William Shakespeare, the Wright Brothers, and even the Queen, lend so much color to the tapestry that Boecker has woven for this ‘Guide’, and readers will love it when familiar names and places appear in the story. I’d also say there’s a little bit of everything here to make this an all-round great read: we start off with a murder, and then we have action, romance, and a lot of wit and charm. Shakespeare would approve of all of that.


Virginia has actually taken great pains to do her research and in her Author’s Note points out where she has meddled with the history and where she has kept to the facts. I absolutely loved this small part of the book, as well as the long bibliography she has listed.
While you may not come out with a proper Elizabethan history lesson, or an actual assassin’s guide, you will be thoroughly entertained, and may (like myself) be inclined to read up on your English history and to even re-read some Shakespeare!
This was a solid 5 star read for me.
Jolly good show.

 

**I played Maria in my high school performance of ‘Twelfth Night’.

 

 

 

GIVEAWAY:

 

For a chance to win one of 3 copies (US only, sorry) of this amazing book click on this ASSASSIN’S GUIDE GIVEAWAY LINK!

 

And next...links to BUY THE BOOK!

 

On AmazonBook Depository, B&N and iBooks - and add it to Goodreads

 

And now to follow the rest of the blog tour, here’s the FULL SCHEDULE LINK!

 

 

I hope you have been totally inspired and pick up a copy of the book, and GOOD LUCK with the giveaway too! 

x ~ K

 

“If music be the food of love, play on...”

 

 

*Guess how much this is worth?

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/37678396-an-assassin-s-guide-to-love-and-treason?ac=1&from_search=true
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review 2018-10-22 19:54
Hirmuilm (Fearscape) by Simon Holt
Hirmuilm - Simon Holt,Sash Uusjärv

It took me a month to finish the second book in this trilogy and then less than 24 hours to read the third. Really weird.
I liked the story. It was spooky and action packed. Reggie was suddenly so witty, she even made me laugh a couple of times. But horror is still not my cup of tea. There were some unanswered questions and the romantic stuff at the end was disappointing. I wasn't a fan of this particular young man.
Still, great horror story.

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