Seeds of Rebellion
Jason Walker needs to find a way back to Lyrian. Rachel remains stranded there, and Jason has precious information that the friends he left behind must learn in order to have any hope of surviving and defeating the evil empire Maldor.
When he finally succeeds in returning to the strange and imperiled world, Jason immediately finds himself in more danger than ever as the most wanted fugitive on the continent. Meanwhile, Rachel has begun to discover new abilities of her own that may prove vital against Maldor’s tyranny.
In the aftermath of a failed quest, a new mission arises - to assemble the remaining heroes of Lyrian. Can the necessary allies be convinced before the emperor crushes the young uprising? Jason, Rachel, and their band of battered heroes will face new enemies and demanding obstacles as they strive to launch a desperate rebellion.
I had a really hard time getting into this book because the whole going back to his own world thing was kind of poorly orchestrated. It felt so pointless, and getting back was kind of dumb, but it’s all good because after that it gets pretty good.
I wish that I knew a young boy (or girl, of course!!) who didn’t like to read, because this was so tastefully done. I love the way it was written for children but didn’t baby them. As an adult, I enjoyed it, but it was clearly something kids would enjoy too.
A Discovery of Witches
Deep in the heart of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, scholar Diana Bishop requests a manuscript called Ashmole 782 in the course of her research. Coming from an old and distinguished lineage of witches, Diana senses that the ancient book might be bound up with magic - but she herself wants nothing to do with sorcery; and after making a few notes on its curious images, she banishes it quickly back to the stacks. But what she doesn’t know is that the old alchemical text has been lost for centuries, and its sudden appearance has set a fantastical underworld stirring. Soon, a distracting horde of daemons, witches, and vampires descends upon the Bodleian’s reading rooms. One of these creatures is Matthew Clairmont, an enigmatic and eminent geneticist, practitioner of yoga, and wine connoisseur - and also a vampire with a keen interest in Ashmole 782.
Equal parts history and magic, romance and suspense, A Discovery of Witches is a novel of epic scope, traveling from the cobbled streets of Oxford the the chateaus and mountains of the Auvergne to a small town in upstate New York. It also takes us into a rich fifteen-hundred-year history that spans Clovis and the Crusades, the Knights Templar, and the American Revolution. As Matthew and Diana’s alliance deepens into intimacy, Diana must come to terms with age-old taboos and her own family’s conflicted history - and she must learn where the modern woman she is meets the source of ancient power that is her legacy. With a scholar’s depth and the touch of a great storyteller, Deborah Harkness has woven a tale of passion and obsession; the collision of magic, alchemy, and science; and the closely guarded secrets of an enchanted world.
Okay, I’m going to start out by saying I promise I truly did like this book, but there was so so much wrong with it!
I mostly just hated how, like every book where someone falls in love with a vampire, she completely lost herself. Diana started out as a pretty strong, albeit annoying, character. Then she meets this guy, almost immediately falls in love with him, and then is his property and the few times she tries to stand up for herself, it’s either over stupid things and she makes a fool out of herself, or she ends up apologizing for it.
The author tries to explain these things, which shows that she knows they’re bad, but rather than saying, like, vampires are naturally possessive, just make him not possessive, yeah? It didn’t contribute to the book to have her be putty in his hands, so she should have let each character be their own person and that’s that.
The other big thing that really bothered me was the focus on wine. It was boring me from the beginning and seemed so unnecessary. Like, it was cool to give him that little personality trait but it just started taking over the book. Then I read her little blurb at the back and found out the author runs a wine blog. So that really annoyed me.
All that being said, it was a pretty good story, and I really enjoyed reading it. It was super long but I couldn’t put it down. Every time I describe it I call it a “mature, smarter Twillight”. So if that’s what you’re looking for, here you go.
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell
Alex and Conner Bailey’s world is about to change.
When the twins’ grandmother gives them a treasured fairy-tale book, they have no idea they’re about to enter a land beyond all imagining: the Land of Stories, where fairy tales are real.
But as Alex and Conner soon discover, the stories they know so well haven’t ended in this magical land - Goldilocks is now a wanted fugitive, Red Riding Hood has her own kingdom, and Queen Cinderella is about to become a mother!
The twins know they must get back home somehow. But with the legendary Evil Queen hot on their trail, will they ever find the way?
The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell brings readers on a thrilling quest filled with magic spells, laugh-out-loud humor, and page-turning adventure.
This is a really great story, and it’s really impressive that Chris Colfer wrote it, but I do have some problems with it.
It really wasn’t very well-written. It was really simple, like a kid’s book, which would be fine given the subject, but there were things that Conner said that I think were too inappropriate, one, for an eleven year old to say, and two, for kids to read.
It tended to be pretty predictable, but it was also very clever and surprising a lot of the time, which I really liked. It was as funny as you would expect, after seeing Colfer in interviews and on Glee, so I’m happy about that.
I don’t know how I would have felt about this book if it was written by some unknown author. I probably never would have discovered it at all, because of how much skill wasn’t shown in the writing, but I am glad to have read it, so I’m glad it was Colfer.
Half Broke Horses
“Those old cows knew trouble was coming before we did.” So begins the story of Lily Casey Smith, Jeannette Walls’s no-nonsense, resourceful, and spectacularly compelling grandmother. By age six, Lily was helping her father break horses. At fifteen, she left home to teach in a frontier town - riding five hundred miles on her pony, alone, to get to her job. She learned to drive a car (“I loved cars even more than I loved horses. They didn’t need to be fed if they weren’t working, and they didn’t leave big piles of manure all over the place”) and fly a plane. And, with her husband, Jim, she ran a vast ranch in Arizona. She raised two children, one of whom is Jeannette’s memorable mother, Rosemary Smith Walls, unforgettably portrayed in The Glass Castle.
Lily survived tornadoes, droughts, floods, the Great Depression, and the most heartbreaking personal tragedy. She bristled at prejudice of all kinds - against women, Native Americans,and anyone else who didn’t fit the mold. Rosemary Smith Walls always told Jeannette that she was like her grandmother, and in this true-life novel, Jeannette Walls channels that kindred spirit. Half Broke Horses is Laura Ingalls Wilder for adults, as riveting and dramatic as Isak Dinesen’s Out of Africa or Beryl Markham’s West with the Night. Destined to become a classic, it will transfix readers everywhere.
This book was very well-written, and I loved the story but I have one huge problem with it that I can’t get over.
It makes me so super uncomfortable to read a story about a real person, written by someone else, in first-person. Maybe this wouldn’t have bothered me so much if I hadn’t read The Glass Castle first, but it did feel like I was reading the same book again just with a different story (if that makes sense?) I just can’t help but wonder if Jeannette and her grandma were really that similar or if she just wrote it that way.
It also made me feel REALLY uncomfortable at the end when she was writing as someone else, writing about herself as a child. So weird.
Shopaholic and Baby
Becky’s life is blooming! She’s working at London’s newest big store, The Look, house-hunting with husband Luke (her secret wish is a Shoe Room)… and she’s pregnant! She couldn’t be more overjoyed - especially since discovering that shopping cures morning sickness. Everything has got to be perfect for her baby: from the designer nursery…to the latest, coolest pram…to the celebrity, must-have obstetrician.
But when the celebrity obstetrician turns out to be Luke’s glamorous, intellectual ex-girlfriend, Becky’s perfect world starts to crumble. She’s shopping for two…but are there three in her marriage?
This book is actually a bit better than the others have been. The story’s about more than just shopping, and Luke becomes a tiny bit more of an actual character. Plus baby stuff, which is wonderful.
It’s still super fluffy, there isn’t much to say, but I’d give it a 3.5/5
A world of adventure.
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and the advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire rules by a king whose evil knows no bounds.
Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands….
I’ve been trying to start this book since it came out, and considering the entire series is over, it’s been a while. It’s just got a very VERY slow start, and I couldn’t get past that. This time, though, I decided to grit my teeth and get through it. I’m fairly happy I did, but I still have some major problems with this book.
The biggest problem for me was how technical his writing was. I think it is very obvious that he was a kid when he wrote it, and I think if he had waited until he was a bit older and more experienced, it would have been a lot better, because it’s an awesome story.
It was really hard for me to feel emotionally connected to it, because everything was so matter-of-fact. None of the writing was terribly emotional, so I felt really detached.
That being said, I am incredibly impressed by how good the writing and story were, and I do applaud him for writing it at such a young age, I just would have preferred the writing of an older author over the novelty of a young one.
P.J. Petersen and Ivy Ruckman
They’ve never met.
They’re hundreds of miles apart.
He wont tell her his real name.
And they have nothing in common.
Or do they?
This story is pretty cute. It is a reread for me, I’m pretty sure, but it’s been a while. I like the concept, I kind of like the characters, and I adore the format. I always love books like this - written from two different perspectives, through e-mail.
Sometimes the story gets kind of weird and unbelievable, but most of the time it’s just a cute story that is pretty enjoyable.
The Diamond of Darkhold
It’s been several months since Lina and Doon escaped the dying city of Ember and, along with the rest of their people, joined the town of Sparks. Lina knows they are lucky to be there, but life aboveground is hard. Instead of opening a can for dinner, they must plant and harvest their food. And while there was no sun or moon in Ember’s sky, neither was there rain, sleet, or wind. Now, in the middle of their first winter, Lina finds herself feeling homesick for her old city.
It’s during this dark time that Doon finds an unusual book. Torn up and missing most of its pages, it alludes to a mysterious device, a piece of technology from before the Disaster. Doon becomes convinced that the Builders of Ember meant for them to find the device when they left the city, to help them in their new lives. Together, Lina and Doon must go back underground to retrieve what was lost and bring light to a dark world.
I liked this book better than I liked the others, because it was a decent story, and I liked the (main) characters a bit more, but I had so many problems with it too.
- It was so completely pointless. This book did not have to be made. It contributed literally nothing to the story that should have been contributed.
- Uh, Lizzie. What? None of her story made any sense and I don’t know why it even existed.
- Everything just worked out perfectly. There were so many conflicts but they just…disappeared. It was dumb.
The Son of Neptune
Percy is confused. When he awoke from his long sleep, he didn’t know much more than his name. His brain fuzz is lingering, even after the wolf Lupa told him he is a demigod and trained him to fight with the pen/sword in his pocket. Somehow Percy manages to make it to a camp for half-bloods, despite the fact that he has to keep killing monsters along the way. But the camp doesn’t ring any bells with him. The only thing he can recall from his past is another name: Annabeth.
Hazel is supposed to be dead. When she lived before, she didn’t do a very good job of it. Sure, she was an obedient daughter, even when her mother was possessed by greed. But that was the problem - when the Voice took over her mother and commanded Hazel to use her “gift” for an evil purpose, Hazel couldn’t say no. Now, because of her mistake, the future of the world is at risk. Hazel wishes she could ride away from it all on the stallion that appears in her dreams.
Frank is a klutz. His grandmother says he is descended from heroes and can be anything he wants to be, but he doesn’t see it. He doesn’t even know who is father is. He keeps hoping Apollo will claim him, because the only thing he is good at is archery - although not good enough to win camp war games. His bulky physique makes him feel like an ox, especially in front of Hazel, his closest friend at camp. He trusts her completely - enough to share the secret he holds close to his heart.
I feel pretty much the same way about this one as I do about The Lost Hero, but I liked it a little bit less.
I’m kind of upset that Riordan introduced all of these new characters and new ideas, and then in the second book we go back to Percy. Like, I understand why we have to go from his perspective for this one, but I don’t like it.
Other than that, it was great though. The writing was still pretty bad, but it’s okay.
Out of Oz
Hailed as “bewitching,” “remarkable,” “extraordinary,” “engrossing,” “amazing,” and “delicious,” Gregory Maguire’s Wicked Years series - a sophisticated fantasy cycle inspired by the classic children’s novel The Wizard of Oz - became national bestsellers and the basis for a hit Tony-winning Broadway musical. Now, Maguire returns with the final installment in his transformative work, a thrilling and compulsively readable saga in which the fate of Oz is decided at last….
Once peacful and prosperous, the spectacular Land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who’s knocking at the door. It’s none other than Dorothy. Yes. That Dorothy.
Yet amidst all this chaos, Elphaba’s granddaughter, the tiny green baby born at the close of Son of a Witch, has come of age. Now it is up to Rain to take up her broom - and her legacy - in an Oz wracked by war.
The stirring, long-awaited conclusion to the bestselling series begun with Wicked, Out of Oz is a magical journey rife with revelations and reversals, reprisals and surprises - the hallmarks of the unique imagination of Gregory Maguire.
I’m seriously so glad this series is over. While I think this was the best book in the series, it’s still seriously lacking. I feel like this book answered questions I never even wanted to ask, and brought back characters for no reason. It was just seriously annoying. I liked reading about Rain. I liked seeing how Brr’s life ended up. So it was really interesting. It was just boring a lot of the time, and I didn’t care about following anything too closely and then I would get super confused.
Then a bunch of pointless stuff happened, and some of the stuff I had hoped to know more about hadn’t really been mentioned. It was all just annoying.
I’ll still give it a 3.5/5 because it was fairly interesting.
In the magical underworld of Victorian London, Tessa Gray has at last found safety with the Shadowhunters. But that safety proves fleeting when rogue forces in the Clave plot to see her protector, Charlotte, replaced as head of the Institute. If Charlotte loses her position, Tessa will be out on the street - and easy prey for the mysterious Magister, who wants to use Tessa’s powers for his own dark ends.
With the help of handsome, self-destructive Will and the fiercely devoted Jem, Tessa discovers that the Magister’s war on the Shadowhunters is deeply personal. He blames them for a long-ago tragedy that shattered his life. To unravel the secrets of the past, the trio journeys from mist shrouded Yorkshire to a manor house that holds untold horrors, from the slums of London to an enchanted ballroom where Tessa discovers that the truth of her parentage is more sinister than she had imagined. When they encounter a clockwork demon bearing a warning for Will, they realize that the Magister knows their every move - and that one of their own has betrayed them.
Tessa finds her heart drawn more and more to Jem, though her longing for Will, despite his dark moods, continues to unsettle her. But something is changing Will - the wall he has built around himself is crumbling. Could finding the magister free Will from his secrets and give Tessa the answers about who she is and what she was born to do?
As their dangerous search for the Magister and the truth leads the friends into peril, Tessa learns that when love and lies are mixed, they can corrupt even the purest heart.
My feelings for these books confuse me so much. I’m insanely interested in what’s going on, but I also never want to read them again. I love the characters and hate them at the same time. It’s outrageous and I don’t understand, and I think that really is a sign that these are good books. I mean, they’re not flawless, because I would know if I loved them. But they are pretty good. I’m glad that I’ve read all of these so far, and I want to read the rest.
This one wasn’t the best out of all of them but it was interesting.
The Grimm Legacy
Lonely at her new school, Elizabeth takes a job at the New-York Circulating Material Repository, hoping to make new friends as well as some cash. The repository is no ordinary library. It lends out objects rather than books - everything from tea sets and hockey sticks to Marie Antoinette’s every day wig.
It’s also home to the Grimm Collection, a secret room in the basement. That’s where powerful items straight out of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales are locked away: seven-league boots, a table that produces a feast at the blink of an eye, Snow White’s stepmother’s sinister mirror that talks in riddles and has a will of its own.
When the magical objects start to disappear, Elizabeth and her new friends embark on a dangerous quest to catch the thief before they’re accused of the crime themselves - or the thief captures them.
I really liked this story, I just wish it had been a series. There’s too much going on for such a short book. Too many back stories, and too many elements to the main story. It was easy to forget stuff that came up again later, because there was just too much to remember.
It was an adorable, and really well thought out story, and I really loved it. Sometimes the characters were really annoying, and there were a couple of things that really weren’t plausible (I’m not talking about the magic!), and some things that bothered me, but other than that it was great
The Magician’s Elephant
When a fortuneteller’s tent appears in the market square of the city of Baltese, orphan Peter Augustus Duchene knows the questions that he needs to ask: Does his sister still live? And if so, how can he find her?
The fortuneteller’s mysterious answer (An elephant! An elephant will lead him there!) sets off a chain of events so remarkable, so impossible, that Peter can hardly dare to believe it.
But it is - all of it - true.
I can’t decide how I feel about this book. I definitely don’t like it as much as I expected to. The thing that bothered me the most was how unrealistic it was. Like, obviously it was going to be unrealistic; it wasn’t the fairy tale unrealistic that bothered me. It was the parts like, why on earth would he ask the fortune teller if his sister was alive? He never had any reason to think she wouldn’t be. (spoiler) And in all of France, the one Adele that he meets is his sister, and he knows immediately? It’s frustrating. (no more spoilers) In all, it was a cute little story, but not the greatest.
Booky Wook 2
My Booky Wook was one of the most revered and successful celebrity autobiographies of all time (not including the Bible or anything by Oprah). The honesty, mayem, and scandal made it as riveting and fanciful as anything found in fiction.
In Booky Wook 2, this award-winning achievement is surpassed as Russell charts his rise from crack-house junky to Hollywood star, indulging in sexual excesses that make Caligula seem like a prudish spinster. On his quest to find true love, Russell encountered thousands of women, often three or four at a time (for efficiency), and his dizzying ambition led to chaos and controversy that could have landed him in prison and left the BBC in ruins.
This is the story of what happens when insatiable desire meets limitless opportunity and when a punk from the wrong side of the tracks is given the keys to the palace. This riot of self-indulgence would be rampaging still but for a tossed bottle to the head from one of the world’s biggest pop stars.
Can true love conquer all? Is it a more powerful force than the raging libido of a professional madman? The answer lies inside.
While this one was waaaay better than the first one, I still have no interest in Russell Brand’s life. I didn’t care about any of it, until it got to the parts with Katy Perry, and honestly, the knowledge that she was coming up was the only thing that kept me reading.
It was decently funny, but that was pretty much all it had going for it. Again, if you’re interested in Russell Brand, you should probably read this book. But I’m not, so, I wouldn’t read it again.
It is much better written than the first though, so I’ll give it a 3.5/5
The Dark and Hollow Places
There are many things that Annah would like to forget: the look on her sister’s face before Annah left her behind in the Forest of Hands and Teeth, her first glimpse of the horde as they swarmed the Dark City, the sear of the barbed wire that would scar her for life. But most of all, Annah would like to forget the morning Elias left her for the Recruiters.
Annah’s world stopped that day, and she’s been waiting for Elias to come home ever since. Somehow, without him, her life doesn’t fee that much different from that of the dead that roam the wasted city around her. Until she meets Catcher, and everything feels alive again.
But Catcher has his own secrets. Dark, terrifying truths that link him to a past Annah has longed to forget, and to a future too deadly to consider. And now it’s up to Annah - can she continue to live in a world drenched in the blood of the living? Or is death the only escape from the Return’s destruction?
I’m so done with this series (good thing it’s over!) This book had ANOTHER love triangle. Every book has had a love triangle. It’s obnoxious. And oh my gosh, she has scars, I get it, get over it. I felt like this whole book was about her scars. There were barely any zombies.
It’s still a good series. Good writing, good story. It just dwindled A LOT quickly.
I’ll give it a 3.5/5