Recently Acquired: Fowl Twins

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Hello Readers!

I wanted to share with you all a recent arc I received from a giveaway. The Fowl Twins by Eoin Colfer looks like a fun Middle Grade book! I have already read a few chapters and am enjoying it. I did recently finish the first adult fantasy book written by the same author and didn’t care for it. Hopefully this will be a much better experience for me because his writing is awesome but the plot just wasn’t for me.

This book will be released on November 5th, 2019.

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44286889Synopsis:

“One week after their eleventh birthday, the Fowl twins–scientist Myles, and Beckett, the force of nature–are left in the care of house security (NANNI) for a single night. In that time they befriend a troll who has clawed his way through the earth’s crust to the surface. Unfortunately for the troll, he is being chased by a nefarious nobleman and an interrogating nun, who both need the magical creature for their own gain, as well as a fairy-in-training who has been assigned to protect him. The boys and their new troll best friend escape and go on the run. Along the way they get shot at, kidnapped, buried, arrested, threatened, killed (temporarily), and discover that the strongest bond in the world is not the one forged by covalent electrons in adjacent atoms, but the one that exists between a pair of twins.” (Goodreads)

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What do you think of this one? Does it pique your interest? Let me know in the comments!

Find me on Instagram / Goodreads

 

Tunnel of Bones: Book Review

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39352771._SY475_Title: Tunnel of Bones (Cassidy Blake #2)
Author: Victoria Schwab
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Paranormal
Publication Date: September 3rd, 2019

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Synopsis: “Trouble is haunting Cassidy Blake . . . even more than usual.

She (plus her ghost best friend, Jacob, of course) are in Paris, where Cass’s parents are filming their TV show about the world’s most haunted cities. Sure, it’s fun eating croissants and seeing the Eiffel Tower, but there’s true ghostly danger lurking beneath Paris, in the creepy underground Catacombs.

When Cass accidentally awakens a frighteningly strong spirit, she must rely on her still-growing skills as a ghosthunter — and turn to friends both old and new to help her unravel a mystery. But time is running out, and the spirit is only growing stronger.

And if Cass fails, the force she’s unleashed could haunt the city forever.”

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My Review:

I was excited for this to come in the mail on release day! I absolutely loved the first one as it was a great mix of spooky and adventure. It sucked you in and of course, this one did the exact same thing!

Cassidy is a fun character to read about. She is all for adventure and heading into the Veil unlike her friend Jacob, who actually is a ghost. I love the bond between them and it continues to grow. There also is a scene where we get more about his background and how he died. It was heartbreaking but I am glad that it was included since I am sure that it will be quite significant as the series goes on.

I was glad to see that characters from the first book were back again for book two. Lara is very knowledgeable about ghosts and helps Cass as much as she can. The banter between Jacob and Lara is also always fun to read about. New characters also make appearances and it wouldn’t be a paranormal book without the ghosts which there are plenty of!

The setting was intriguing and spooky. The catacombs of Paris are definitely up there on places to visit but if it is anything like Cass’s adventure, I think I will just stay home, ha. It also wouldn’t be a trip to Paris without the Eiffel Tower, which was also included on their tour of the city.

Overall, this didn’t lack at all and my expectations were easily met. I can’t wait for the third book especially since it will be set in New Orleans. If you haven’t started this series yet, I definitely would recommend it.

Small Spaces: Mini Book Review

book review

 

36959639._SY475_Title: Small Spaces
Author: Katherine Arden
Genre: Middle Grade Horror
Publication Date: September 25th, 2018

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Synopsis: “After suffering a tragic loss, eleven-year-old Ollie only finds solace in books. So when she happens upon a crazed woman at the river threatening to throw a book into the water, Ollie doesn’t think–she just acts, stealing the book and running away. As she begins to read the slender volume, Ollie discovers a chilling story about a girl named Beth, the two brothers who both loved her, and a peculiar deal made with “the smiling man,” a sinister specter who grants your most tightly held wish, but only for the ultimate price.

Ollie is captivated by the tale until her school trip the next day to Smoke Hollow, a local farm with a haunting history all its own. There she stumbles upon the graves of the very people she’s been reading about. Could it be the story about the smiling man is true? Ollie doesn’t have too long to think about the answer to that. On the way home, the school bus breaks down, sending their teacher back to the farm for help. But the strange bus driver has some advice for the kids left behind in his care: “Best get moving. At nightfall they’ll come for the rest of you.” Nightfall is, indeed, fast descending when Ollie’s previously broken digital wristwatch, a keepsake reminder of better times, begins a startling countdown and delivers a terrifying message: RUN.

Only Ollie and two of her classmates heed the bus driver’s warning. As the trio head out into the woods–bordered by a field of scarecrows that seem to be watching them–the bus driver has just one final piece of advice for Ollie and her friends: “Avoid large places. Keep to small.”

And with that, a deliciously creepy and hair-raising adventure begins.” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

I am ashamed to say this but, this book scared me. I know, I’m an adult but I am the biggest chicken, haha. It doesn’t really take much and even though this book was terrifying at times, it was still a fantastic read that I couldn’t put down!

Ollie is a girl with no fear. She loves to read which I think is an escape for her especially after the death of her mother. I liked her a lot and enjoyed seeing where the story took her. She kept up with the no fear mentality throughout and did what she needed to do to survive. That takes guts!

The plot was very fast paced and although there wasn’t too much character development, the story didn’t need it. The characters were interesting, spooky, and fun. I also thought I had the villain all figured out but I didn’t! It was such a surprise.

Overall, Katherine Arden never disappoints with her writing. I loved her Adult Fantasy series and am excited to see what her next creepy Middle Grade book has in store for me!

 

Saving Fable: Mini NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

36952394._SY475_Title: Saving Fable (Talespinners #1)
Author: Scott Reintgen
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publication Date: September 17th, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “Indira has been a character-in-waiting her entire life. So she can’t believe her luck when she’s finally chosen to travel to Fable and study at the renowned Protagonist Preparatory, a school known for producing the best heroes.

But Indira’s dreams of achieving hero status don’t exactly go as planned. A failed audition lands her in the school’s side-character track, and her best efforts to prove advisors–famous characters like Alice from Wonderland and Professor Darcy–wrong are constantly sabotaged. Indira is starting to feel like an evil antagonist might be to blame.

As the danger spreads, Indira discovers all of Fable is under siege. With her friends Maxi and Phoenix by her side, she pieces together clues that will reveal who is behind the dark magic threatening them all. But the more Indira uncovers, the more doubt she feels about her place in this world of stories. After all, can a side character really save the day?” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

Saving Fables is the first in a new series about characters that get chosen to be a part of a book. I thought that this was very creative and have only read one other book that was somewhat similar but was based around plays instead. This book really makes the characters come to life and even mentions other characters that have been enjoyed for years: Harry Potter, Dracula, Darcy, and Alice.

It is full of great characters and a plot that is both fun and intriguing! I wasn’t sure how this book would turn out but I liked how the ending brought everything together. It is definitely a good read and perfect for kids who love to read and want a different take on how books are made.

 

 

The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart: Mini Book Review

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35265445.jpgTitle: The Dragon with a Chocolate Heart (Tales from the Chocolate Heart #1)
Author: Stephanie Burgis
Genre: Children’s/Middle Grade Fantasy

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Synopsis: “Aventurine is a brave young dragon ready to explore the world outside of her family’s mountain cave . . . if only they’d let her leave it. Her family thinks she’s too young to fly on her own, but she’s determined to prove them wrong by capturing the most dangerous prey of all: a human.

But when that human tricks her into drinking enchanted hot chocolate, she’s transformed into a puny human without any sharp teeth, fire breath, or claws. Still, she’s the fiercest creature in these mountains–and now she’s found her true passion: chocolate. All she has to do is get to the human city to find herself an apprenticeship (whatever that is) in a chocolate house (which sounds delicious), and she’ll be conquering new territory in no time . . . won’t she?” (Goodreads)

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My Review:

I picked this one up because I have the third one on NetGalley and didn’t realize they were a part of a series. I think they are more like companion novels and not really intertwined but I guess we will find out as I read through them! Now, let’s get into it.

Honestly, this book was adorable and filled with lessons that would be quite relatable for young girls, like being yourself, being brave, and finding the passion to do something you love. Seriously, it is packed with it all! It also has dragons and chocolate. Trust me, its the perfect pair! This book is one that as my daughter gets older would be one I would get for her. Also, the cover is gorgeous!

If you enjoy reading Middle Grade or have a child/niece/nephew around this age, definitely give this book a try!

 

The Green Children of Woolpit: NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

40500417._SY475_.jpgTitle: The Green Children of Woolpit
Author: J. Anderson Coats
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

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Synopsis: “It is the autumn of 1160, and twelve-year-old Agnes is helping with the harvest when she hears a frightened voice calling from the nearby woods. When she goes to investigate, Agnes can’t believe what she sees. There, at the bottom of the deep wolf traps, are two children. They are shouting in a language no one understands—and their skin is bright green.

Agnes soon discovers that these are no ordinary children; in fact, they aren’t even human. They are of the Fair Folk, and they are here to take Agnes home to their world. Trusting that the Fair Folk cannot lie, Agnes agrees to venture underground. But she soon learns just how dangerous their world is—and what it will take to break the ancient bargain meant to keep her there.” (Amazon)

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My Review:

I will say that in the beginning it was hard to get into this book because it was quite slow and I wasn’t a fan of the writing style. As the story progressed, I found myself being intrigued with the plot but the characters were just alright.

Agnes has heard stories about The Good People from her granny and she repeats the lessons she was told throughout the book. Although she may have this advice, she still manages to find herself in trouble. I did like that she didn’t give up. Besides the green children, the other characters are pretty minor. They don’t have any background or character development. They are simply there for minor parts in the plot and that’s about it. The green children have the most development and are really the driving force for everything that goes on. They are sneaky but even then, nothing always goes as planned.

The plot had its slow parts in the beginning but it eventually smoothed out and continued at a rapid pace. There were a few plot twists and they were quite surprising so I did enjoy them. There are two point of views in this story once you get a bit in and at first I was confused by it because there isn’t much of an indicator for it but as I got used to it, it does help to understand the characters.

Overall, it was an interesting tale and if you are a fan of fairy folk or like fairy-tales then you should definitely give this book a try!

Little Witches: Mini NetGalley Review

NetGalley Review

 

43252652Title: Little Witches: Magic in Concord
Author: Leigh Dragoon
Genre: Children’s/Middle-grade Fantasy Graphic Novel
Publication Date: August 27th, 2019

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

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Synopsis: “Jo, Beth, Amy, and Meg March are four sisters living in Concord with their parents—Father, who’s tending to soldiers fighting in the Civil War, and Marmee, who teaches the girls simple but effective witchcraft. The Marches have to keep their craft quiet, as there are many in Concord who see magic in a bad light—especially after things have begun disappearing.

When Mr. Laurence, a witchfinder, moves in next door to investigate the missing objects, the girls fear for their livelihood. But he turns out to be a kind old man, and his grandson, Laurie, quickly befriends the Marches. As the cold winter blusters on, the girls continue their education, even as missing objects soon turn into missing people.

Things take a turn for the worse when Jo and Laurie try investigating on their own, and a dangerous storm takes hold of Concord. There’s powerful magic at play here—stronger than anything the Marches, or even Laurie, has ever seen before. Can they hope to defeat it? Or has the magic already become too strong for them to fight against?” (Goodreads)

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This magical retelling of a classic, Little Women, features your favorite March sisters but with a delightfully witchy twist.

I haven’t ever read Little Women but I have always enjoyed the movie. I saw this title and was instantly drawn in because who doesn’t love a story about witches? The cover is gorgeous as well.

I thought that the story of the March sisters was very cute. There was a touch of magic and also had important lessons, like working together and not judging a book by its cover. Although it was a little on the short side, the plot was interesting and it wrapped up quite nicely by the end. The illustrations are great as well!

Overall, it was a cute children’s graphic novel and one that I would read to my daughter as she gets older. If you would like to read a magical retelling of Little Women then give this book a try!

The Waking Forest: NetGalley Review

thegeekishbrunette review

 

36165054Title: The Waking Forest
Author: Alyssa Wees
Publication Date: March 12th, 2019
Rating: 2.5 stars

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

->Click for Synopsis<-

The Waking Forest follows young Rhea and her visions of a witch in a forest. A boy comes and visits her in the darkness of her family’s attic and stranger things continually happen. She must uncover the truth before its too late.

I was pretty hyped to read this book and in some ways it lived up to that hype and in other ways it fell short. This book is categorized as young adult/teen but I would say it is more middle-grade. The plot of the book was intriguing and the way she wove in a lyrical story in between was magical. The book is written with two perspectives and eventually they collide into one which is very unique and something I have not seen before. Usually I am one to complain about slow pacing but the problem for me was that in this case it felt rushed and some of the plot was not fleshed out enough.

The characters were also a let down for me. I didn’t feel connected to them and that killed a few of the plot twists. There wasn’t enough background to any of the characters, including Rhea.

Overall, I liked the plot of the book and it was different than others I have read before but the lack of character development is what ultimately lost me.

Cogheart: NetGalley Review

29939780Title: Cogheart
Author: Peter Bunzl
Publication Date: February 12th, 2019
Rating: 4 stars

eARC provided by publisher through NetGalley

->Click for Synopsis<-

Cogheart follows Lily as she attempts to find out what happened to her father with the help from Robert, a clockmaker’s son. It is a charming middle grade read and is good for both boys and girls who love science fiction/steam punk or even inventing things. Lily and Robert are both wonderful characters and they grow throughout the book, especially Robert. I think to most kids they would be very relateable.

I love when books have a bit of steam punk and the mechanical fox in this book was great! I wish I had one myself. The setting is also fantastic as it is set in Victorian London. The setting and some of the mechanical elements reminds me a lot of Philip Reeve’s book, The Mortal Engine.

Although some parts felt a little too slow, it was still a great read and would recommend to anyone who has kids or for people who just like to read middle grade books!

One if by Land, Two if by Submarine: NetGalley Review

I was approved to read an advanced copy of One if by Land, Two if by Submarine by  Eileen Schnabel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Here are my thoughts on the book and why I think you should read it. 

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Click for Synopsis

This book is based around a group of four kids who were hand picked for a special reenactment camp. Besides two of them being brothers, they didn’t know each other and you really get to see their friendships blossom throughout. The author also gives them different backgrounds, one being a young black man, and the only girl being vegan who’s father is a politician. With the backgrounds comes real life issues that certain kids face each day and that can make this book very relatable.

Eileen Schnabel has a great writing style that has a way of sucking you in. The first couple of chapters felt like some of the turn of events were obvious but after that point it was better and had me not expecting anything.

I didn’t know what to expect with this book but I am glad I gave it a shot! The synopsis drew me in but the cover sealed the deal. I am also a fan of historical events and this book did not disappoint when it came to the historical aspect. I would say that it is more a middle-grade read than Teen/YA, but none the less, everyone should read this book! This book can be purchased starting October 2nd, 2018.