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review 2017-04-26 02:44
House of Ivy & Sorrow - Natalie Whipple


Natalie Whipple

Paperback, 360 pages
Published April 15th 2014 by HarperTeen
ISBN: 0062120182 (ISBN13: 9780062120182)
also on Kindle and AudioCD


Natalie Whipple is an author that I would definitely read again. House of Ivy and Sorrow's characters are well developed, even the minor characters. I was in a slump when I starting reading this YA novel; but once I sat down with the book, I couldn't put it down. Friendship and family are integral to the plot; coming of age, trusting, which friends are more like family, and family secrets keep the plotline moving at a good pace.

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review 2017-03-08 05:20
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

     As a child, Jacob was told many stories by his grandfather, Abraham. He talked about the peculiar children he knew in a special home run by Miss Peregrine. As Jacob gets older, he doubts his grandfather's stories, until Abraham is killed and with his dying breath he tells Jacob to find the bird in the loop. Jacob sees a strange creature that no-one else can see.

No-one believes Jacob. Thinking he is grief stricken and in shock, his parents send him to therapy with Dr Golan. But, when Jacob's Aunt gives him a book that his grandfather wanted him to have, he finds a letter that just may prove that Abraham wasn't crazy and nether is Jacob.

It took me a while to finish the book because I had some other commitments (and I confess I got a bit hooked on Netflix as well.) I swayed back and forth with this book, and since I watched the movie when I was half finished with the book (something I don't usually do) I think I got sidetracked.
However, the idea of the peculiar children really appealed to me. The photographs in the book were very interesting, and a great idea of Riggs to use as a writing prompt. It brought together two of my loves - archives and reading.

This is a great little book for your young adult or pre-teen. You could even read it together as a family book. It can start a lot of discussions about how people who were different were treated, how they are treated now and how we should move forward.
If you liked Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Coraline, or Frankenstein, I think you will enjoy this book.


Join the conversation at my blog discussing the differences between the book and the film:

Source: www.goodreads.com/book/show/9460487-miss-peregrine-s-home-for-peculiar-children
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review 2017-02-03 04:10
The Chosen - Chaim Potok


Chiam Potok

Hardcover, 416 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by Simon & Schuster (first published 1967)

ISBN13: 9781501142475


I have liked everything that I have read so far of Chaim Potok. The Chosen was the first I read, and I definitely enjoyed it again. What made this even better than reading it the first time was all the back material, photos, new forward, and more that was included in this 50th anniversary collection. Some of this back info was written by Potok himself. As a Christian reading this, I found it interesting to read about the Jewish faith. I find that Potok, while using the characters' faith as a part of the story, still allows the coming of age story, the friendship of and the struggles of each as individuals to be the main subjects of the story line. His main characters are well drawn and complex. I would definitely recommend this book.

****I received this book from Simon and Schuster through Goodreads' First Reads Giveaway.****


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review 2017-02-01 16:00
Gilded Cage
Gilded Cage - Vic James

Author: Vic James

Series: Dark Gifts#1 

Rating: 3.5 stars


I received this book free in exchange for an honest review. The opinion that this was an solid "okay" start to a YA fantasy series is purely my own.


Book Blub: 


Not all are free. Not all are equal. Not all will be saved.

Our world belongs to the Equals — aristocrats with magical gifts — and all commoners must serve them for ten years. But behind the gates of England's grandest estate lies a power that could break the world.

A girl thirsts for love and knowledge.

Abi is a servant to England's most powerful family, but her spirit is free. So when she falls for one of the noble-born sons, Abi faces a terrible choice. Uncovering the family's secrets might win her liberty, but will her heart pay the price?

A boy dreams of revolution.

Abi's brother, Luke, is enslaved in a brutal factory town. Far from his family and cruelly oppressed, he makes friends whose ideals could cost him everything. Now Luke has discovered there may be a power even greater than magic: revolution.

And an aristocrat will remake the world with his dark gifts.

He is a shadow in the glittering world of the Equals, with mysterious powers no one else understands. But will he liberate—or destroy?


Let me start with what I liked. I liked the premise of this book. It was different.  And the world building was well done. I found myself lost in this world as I read this. Abi is an intelligent girl who showed great promise, but that promise doesn't pay off til literally the very end. So I guess I will just have to read the next book to delve more into her story. Luke, the other main character in the book, was impulsive and very action oriented. But I found his story arc a little dull. I kept wanting to get back to the estate Abi and the rest of the family were "slaving" for as the major players were there. The villains, or Equals in this story, were fascinating. You are given the impression not all are as they seem and motives are hard to pin down for some of them.  


What I didn't like? The many, many hard to remember names littered throughout this entire story. They were difficult to keep track of. I also felt there were too many characters. I get you want to build this huge world and show scope, but it got overwhelming. As I mentioned, the splitting of the story between Luke and Abi and then having some of the Equals narrate their own chapters - it was just too much for me. I hope that's toned down in the next book.


BUT overall, I enjoyed reading this book. It was different and I like the potential the story has for growth. I'd recommend it if you are into YA fantasy.


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review 2017-01-11 16:29
Wintersong - S. Jae-Jones

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.


I read this book last year but had to wait til it was published to post a review.


This is a beautifully written retelling of The Goblin King's story.  The theme of music is all throughout the book and it's beautifully woven into the story. I didn't realize how well this was done until I read other books that tried and failed to do the same. 


The story was engaging, yet sad. I always looked forward to picking it up and losing myself in it. 




Oh and I love, LOVE the cover. Gorgeous.

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