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review 2018-10-23 21:38
Doon by Carey Corp and Lorie Langdon
Doon - Lorie Langdon,Carey Corp

It was kind of addictive. I started the book and several times decided to stop but couldn't, because I wanted to know how it will end. So I finished it and now I have no idea how to rate it.

The beginning was quite interesting and mysterious. Veronica gets dumped by his cheating boyfriend and suddenly sees a handsome young man, who is wearing a kilt. The next moment the man disappears. A bit later Veronica travels to Scotland with her friend Mackenna, who has inherited her aunts cottage. In Scotland Veronica again sees the same man and hears about Doon - a magical land hidden behind a veil of mist, which can be visited only once in a hundred years. The village people are sure that Mackenna's aunt was one of the people who had seen Doon with her own eyes. 

When girls find aunt's diary and the rings, Veronica decides to prove that Doon exists. Mackenna doesn't believe in it but plays along, so that Veronica could go on after she realizes Doon is just a fairytale. 
It turns out Doon is real and before you know the girls are thrown into a dungeon, accused by being the accomplices to a witch, who has tries to destroy Doon for centuries. Veronica's dream man turns out to be the crown prince of Doon, who can't stand the girl and acts like a total jerk.

Doon was a weird place with indoor plumbing, sword fights, sushi, and carriages. At first it was so strange, but there was a rather good explanation of this mixing of centuries. 

Some days ago I moaned about the lack of books with true female friendship, well Veronica and Mackenna were really good friends. But the girls themselves were ... I don't have good enough word for this. Some examples maybe:

[spoiler]* they don't like their looks but think the other one is absolutely gorgeous. 
* Mackenna has no time or patience to read her aunt's diary. She's stomping around the room and singing hits from musicals while Veronica is reading the diary. 
* They are accused of witchcraft and instead of keeping her mouth shut, Mackenna threatens a man with some "Disney magic". 
* The other time she decides to be silent and let Veronica speak, but opens her big mouth anyway and makes things worse again.[/spoiler]


Veronica plays a martyr almost the whole story. 

[spoiler]* She believes it's her duty to save Doon without saying anything to Mackenna or James. 
* Although James tells her, that he is a grown up and for once would like to make his own decisions (it turns out when you are a crown prince, your whole life is planned before your birth), Veronica just takes his choices away, because she "knows" what is best for James and Doon. 
* She also makes assumptions without knowing all the facts and almost kills everyone. 

[/spoiler]


And James, I actually thought he was bipolar. His mood swings were confusing as hell. Later I understood his behaviour but his stalling was annoying. 

I actually liked Duncan, Fiona, and Fergus. They had some sense and although some things were so obvious, those didn't bother me as much as all that stuff I wrote before.

I so hoped it to be a 5 star read because of Scotland, travelling to a fairytale land, magic, but unfortunately it wasn't so. 

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review 2018-10-23 21:29
Uprooted by Naomi Novik
Uprooted - Naomi Novik

I spent a sleepless night reading the story. I kid you not, I've slept only three hours because I couldn't put the book down. Thank heavens I'm on holiday. 
Uprooted was fantastic. Almost perfect. The world was so deliciously creepy. The Wood, the tower, even the castle was like a never ending spookfest. And I loved it - the tension, the danger. Absolutely freaking amazing. And it got even better because Agnieszka was the best heroine ever. I liked her magic and the way she destroyed her gowns. A true heroine with substance. But the best was her friendship with Kasia. I reveled in it because there are so few books about true friendship between females. A lot of books I've read have been about girls or women in men's world. Or when a female character has a female friend it usually ends with tears and backstabbing. 
I'm too tired and rambling already. I give it 4.5 stars. And the reason is the big battle at the end of the story. As I said before, I love tension and danger and the book can have death but this was just a meaningless slaughter.
Still, great book. Read it.

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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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