Monthly Archives:: August 2015

Monday, August 31, 2015

Review: Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins

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Review: Upside-Down Magic by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins
Upside-Down Magic
Emily Jenkins, Lauren Myracle, Sarah Mlynowski
Series: Upside-Down Magic #1
Genre: Fantasy, Middle-Grade
Publication date: September 29th 2015
by Scholastic

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From New York Times bestselling authors Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins comes the hilarious and heartfelt story of a group of magical misfits.

Nory Horace is nine years old. She's resourceful, she's brave, she likes peanut butter cookies. Also, she's able to transform into many different animals. Unfortunately, Nory's shape-shifting talent is a bit wonky. And when she flunks out of her own father's magic academy, Nory's forced to enter public school, where she meets a group of kids whose magic is, well, different.

This new, offbeat series from hit authors Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins chronicles the misadventures of Nory and her oddball friends, who prove that upside-down magic definitely beats right side up.
-A copy was provided by Scholastic for review-

This book was all sorts of cute, but it didn’t blow me away. I have to be honest, most of the reason I picked it up was because the cover is so adorable. I’m not even a cat person, but seriously, look at it!! Okay, so basically Nory is able to do magic, as are mostly everyone in this book. Her father is even the headmaster or something at the most elite magic school there is. Nory needs to get in. Except, her magic isn’t right. She has it for sure, but it doesn’t really work the way she wants it to. This causes her to fail the test and get put in a different school in the Upside-Down Magic class for those who can’t do their magic right. There are some entertaining parts, and some really touching parts in this book. It’s a great book to teach kids about acceptance and being yourself, but with a touch of fun and magic.

Nory kind of annoyed me, thinking that she is better than everyone and doesn’t belong in a class with others who can’t do their magic correctly. I did understand though since she has a lot of pressure to be great. She initially makes friends in the class, but then things go really wrong and everyone turns their back on her. She needs to learn how to get her friends back, and more importantly for her, how to fix her magic. She’s one determined girl, and really does have a good heart.

This book was all sorts of fun. All the kids in the class are so entertaining with how their magic goes wrong. At first they are all upset that they can’t do things right, but eventually start to learn that there is nothing wrong with their magic. It’s different, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.They really do form a great friendship with each other and learn a lot along the way. I thought there was a great message in this book and it was so cute to read about all the magic shenanigans. Nory’s combo animals sound so funny and ridiculous. I gave this book to my neighbor who is 9 and she absolutely loved it and has read it twice already.

3 Stars
3 Hot Espressos

Fresh Batch (Aug 30th – Sept 5th)

Fresh Batch (Aug 30th – Sept 5th)

Posted by on 08/29/2015 • 8 Comments

Fresh Batch, posted weekly, keeps you up to date on the hottest releases of the upcoming week.

Flavor of the week:

Queen of Shadows Sarah J. Maas Series: Throne of Glass #4 Publication date: September 1st 2015by Bloomsbury USA Childrens

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Everyone Celaena Sardothien loves has been taken from her. But she’s at last returned to the empire—for vengeance, to rescue her once-glorious kingdom, and to confront the shadows of her past . . .

She will fight for her cousin, a warrior prepared to die just to see her again. She will fight for her friend, a young man trapped in an unspeakable prison. And she will fight for her people, enslaved to a brutal king and awaiting their lost queen’s…

Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Review: Walk on Earth a Stranger by Rae Carson

Posted by on 08/26/2015 • 10 Comments

Long story short: this book got me out of a dreadful book slump.

One of a bookworm’s worst nightmares? That feeling when you just can’t get into any book. I’ve started feeling this way recently, having started at least five novels in the last five days and not finishing a single one. I just couldn’t feel anything towards them. Is it me or is it the book? Either way, I was a wreck with the guilt, considering the backlog of books, ARCs and otherwise, that have been on my shelves for months.

Leave it to Rae Carson’s fantastic storytelling skills and genuine characters to pull me out of that abyss. ALL HAIL THE QUEEN!

This book gave me newfound life. The Gold Rush era + an uncanny ability to feel…

Review: I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

Review: I Crawl Through It by A.S. King

Posted by on 08/24/2015 • 5 Comments

This was an interesting book. It is a contemporary, but it’s told in such a cool way. Like the synopsis says, it’s surrealist fiction. The characters are so in depth and the storyline is intriguing. The base of it is the bomb threats that they get at school every single day. I really enjoyed all of the characters in different ways. They all have issues and can’t quite figure out how to deal. They have different ways of coping and some are really quite unnerving. One’s hair grows when they lie, and they are a compulsive liar, another literally turns herself inside out. One builds a helicopter that is invisible to most people, and the main character, Stanzi is two people in one. They each have these traits about them…

Review: Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith

Review: Dreamstrider by Lindsay Smith

Posted by on 08/22/2015 • 8 Comments

I think I read this book in a span of two days. TWO DAYS! In a book nerd’s dictionary, that’s pretty much a synonym for “SO KICK-ASS I FLEW THROUGH THE PAGES”, and no, it’s not just because of the cover, which I agree is absolutely mesmerizing. To be honest, this is my first book by this author (I had wanted to read SEKRET before, but I haven’t gotten the chance to buy it yet… a travesty, I know, don’t remind me), so I didn’t know what quite to expect. Would it be purple-prose-y? Would it be underwhelming? Would it have a main character who would make me want to put them into sandwiches so I can eat them to oblivion? Okay, that probably didn’t make sense. I’m so not funny.

The opposite actually happened.

Review: Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis

Review: Spinning Starlight by R.C. Lewis

Posted by on 08/19/2015 • 9 Comments

I am honestly quite conflicted with this book.

While I appreciated this was a retelling of an under-the-radar fairy tale (come on, we have had enough of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid retellings!), this book left me feeling a little underwhelmed. I kind of expected a lot because even though I had some problems with Stitching Snow, the author does know how to write a story. With a cover like that, with a premise like that (oh-em-gee, eight older brothers?! Sign me up, s’il te plaît!), surely after a year, and with a writer like R.C. Lewis, surely this book will knock other retellings out of the water?! Unfortunately, instead of feeling enamored with it, I just feel a bit… deflated.

Meet Liddi Jantzen, the heiress to a large techy company that…

Review: Violent Ends by Shaun David Hutchinson and Various Authors

Review: Violent Ends by Shaun David Hutchinson and Various Authors

Posted by on 08/19/2015 • 4 Comments

This book was really interesting. It’s about a school shooting, and told in twelve different POV’s ranging from friends, other classmates, people who knew people who went to the school it happened at, and even the gun that Kirby used. It was interesting to hear about Kirby from people who knew him in some way or another, or about the event from those who didn’t know him. It’s tragic what happened, and to see how things changed with Kirby. How premeditated it was at the end. It was something he thought about, planned, and was somewhat pushed to. In this day and age where this is a topic that people do worry about, it’s a very important book. I think how it was told was equally important too since we…

Review: The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

Review: The Storyspinner by Becky Wallace

Posted by on 08/14/2015 • 7 Comments

The tragedy of The Storyspinner was that it was not told well.

Once you see your fellow bloggers praising this book left and right, it’s only natural to have had high expectations. The cover looked stunning, the title was very catchy, and its potential of becoming a blockbluster floated above it in big, bold letters. I mean, seriously, look at that beauty! Look at the premise! Drama and danger! A romance blossoming in the most unexpected of places! A game for the throne! Magical warriors racing for the missing heir (who could it be?! Oh my gosh!!! THE SUSPENSE!!!!!)!

First, let’s get some things out of the way:

1. The cover is misleading. The girl doesn’t even do archery. She wields a dagger, but the last time I checked, blade =/=…