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I have a nice little round up of April releases for you today! I think most of these have flown under the radar so far so I’m happy to shed a little spotlight here. We’ve got a dystopian (but sort of historical–you’ll see), a beautifully creative fantasy, and a science fiction-light romp that had me in stitches. Let’s dive in! Title: Rook Author: Sharon Cameron Rating: 3 stars This is one of those times where I fear I just couldn’t connect with a book not through any fault of its own, but because I just wasn’t really in the mood at the time. I saw this initially billed as a retelling of The Scarlet Pimpernel, and while the threads of relation are definitely there, this is mostly an original story. In a dystopian future, Sophia spends her days as an English gentlewoman, but in her spare time is a daring rebel... Read more »
The post Mini Reviews: Magonia, Rook, and The Prom Goer’s Interstellar Guide appeared first on The Midnight Garden.
The premise for Denton Little’s Deathdate: Denton Little lives in a world where everyone knows the day they will die. When you’re born, your guardians send in some hair and blood, and bam! Deathdate revealed. Denton is an Early – a person whose deathdate falls before their 21st birthday – and he just wants to be a normal teenager who *isn’t* fated to die during his senior year of high school. Denton’s deathdate also happens to fall on the same day of his senior prom. So the book takes us through Denton’s final days on this earth: a brutal hangover, his own funeral, sex with his girlfriend, sex he can’t remember with his best friend’s sister, a strange cop who keeps following him around, a strange man who promises he knows mysterious things about his dead mother – all culminating in prom night, the day Denton is supposed to die. (Whether this... Read more »
The post Denton Little’s Deathdate: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.
Title: The Snowman's Revenge
Author: Mark Smythe
Illustrator: Mike Motz
Publisher: Mark Smythe
Released: May 9, 2009
A snowman left out in the cold by himself is out for revenge, especially after he sees kids in the nice warm house, eating cookies, and drinking hot chocolate. This delightful story flows with rhymed verse, and is beautifully illustrated.
I really didn't know what to think of this book so I decide to it aloud to all 5 of my kids ages 6-17 to get their reaction. My older kids were disappointment with the ending. The snowman doesn't actually get revenge and they thought he should have been able to scare the children. If a snow man is able to come to life then certainly he should be able to do more than just melt when he gets in a warm house. My youngest said she wouldn't want to read it all the time and that it was ok and she liked it.
This is a rhyming story but I didn't feel the text flowed as smoothly as it could have. There were a few times the verses just didn't flow of my tongue. I liked the illustrations although a couple of them are a little scary looking.
So not a favorite of mine but one I wouldn't complain about if asked by my daughter to read again.
Rating: 3 Stars - Worth Reading
Source: From Author
The concept of Dissonance is one I’ve always found interesting, but haven’t read very much of- parallel universes. This book has a very intricate and fresh idea about a world with multiple universes that are based on sound and frequency. In this world there is the primary Key World and an infinite number of other worlds that are created from the choices people make and are populated by alternate versions of people, called Echoes. There are a small number of people who can go between these worlds, called Walkers, who destroy any broken worlds to maintain the Key World. I loved the world of this story. It managed to take a very complicated concept and describe it in a way that wasn’t heavy on the exposition, wasn’t too confusing, and worked well as an intrinsic part of the plot. I loved how the plot was mainly rooted in the mechanics... Read more »
The post Dissonance: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.
I didn’t know I needed a book about dragons masquerading as humans until I found one. Talon is about a world where the remaining dragons hide in plain sight in human form in order to stay alive and a girl who wants more for her life than what has been laid out for her. Although I had some issues with it, I liked the interesting characters, their relationships with each others, and the dragon culture. The book follows multiple perspectives, but the main character is Ember. She and her twin brother, Dante, have been moved to a small beach town for the summer by Talon so they can learn to blend in with normal human teenagers. For Ember, this is her one, brief period of time where she can have fun and do whatever she wants before the next stage of her mysterious training begins and she is officially locked into... Read more »
The post Talon: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.
While Soulprint brings up some interesting questions – how are we shaped by our pasts? how are we shaped by our environments? – I was ultimately not thrilled by its execution. In the world of the novel, here are the things you need to believe for this book to make sense to you: that there are souls, one; that souls are reincarnated (and are immediately reincarnated upon dying, but only travel short distances because … reasons), two; and that there’s a study that claims a high level of correspondence between criminal activity in past lives and criminal activity in current lives. Once a psychopath, always a psychopath. In the novel “shared souls” is kind of a stand-in (at least to my mind) for genes and their influence – the comparison to heredity is made more than once over the course of the novel. There is also a biological component to soul-printing... Read more »
The post Soulprint: Review appeared first on The Midnight Garden.
By: Inspired Kathy
Blog: I Am A Reader, Not A Writer
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3 Star Books
, Blog Tour
, age 16+
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, Author Kristy Haile
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I Am Santa by Kristy Haile:“Have you ever wondered what it would be like to be the parent of an important figure? How much would it take of you to believe in your child even when nobody else did? What would you do if all of a sudden your son believed and I mean truly believed with all of his heart, that he was indeed the new real Santa Claus. One may think this scenario could never and would never happen. However, I am happy and proud to say that I am the mother of the new real Santa Claus! I believe in my son no matter what other people may say. The question is, do you believe?”
I Am Santa by Kristy Haile is a cute story told from the perspective of a mother whose son has been chosen to be the next Santa Claus. The book is based on Kristy's son Ty's imagination. I found a fun article that describes the story behind this story
I liked the idea that as parents we should encourage our children's imaginations and support our children in whatever they want to do with their life. This book also explores the feeling family members have and their reactions when someone is unkind towards one member of the family because they are different.
This book is 343 pages and could have easily been shortened by at least a hundred pages with the help of a good editor. There was a lot of repetition, run-on sentences, spelling errors, etc. If you are one who reads for story and are able to overlook errors then this is a sweet story you'll enjoy. This is a clean read that I would recommend to mothers of children who have a big imagination.
You can visit the author's website for more information: http://iamsantabook.com/
I Am Santa can be purchased directly from the author's website
For the rest of the Tour Stops please visit Pump Up Your Book
Content: Clean Read
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: Pump up Your BooksBOOK GIVEAWAY DETAILS:
I've got a copy of I Am Santa up for giveaway. Open to those with a US or Canadian mailing address. Last day to enter is 12/20. To enter follow this blog and fill out the form. (Unfortunately this book won't arrive until after Christmas but you can enjoy it as an after holiday read or save it for next year).
It has taken centuries to recognize that all humans possess certain unalienable rights. There will come a time when we have to consider whether others deserve those rights as well. That time will come on July 3rd 1863.
When a stranger carrying a shiny,metalic valise steps aboard a train carrying Abraham Lincoln home from a 2 year stint in Congress, everyone stares, wondering about the stranger's odd clothing and strange footware with the word Nike emblazoned on them.
When the strange man shows up in Lincoln's office at the White house 14 years later, still wearing the same clothes, carrying the same valise and looking not a day older, the president and his staff know something is odd.
But when Edwin Blair opens his valise and projects a 3d image of the Earth on Lincoln's wall, then proceeds to tell a fanciful tale about time traveling aliens preparing to land at Gettysburg on July 3rd, they are sure they've met a lunatic.
Unfortunately for them, they're wrong.
A New Birth of Freedom: The Visitor, is the first book in a new science fiction series that follows the adventures of Edwin Blair and the aliens known as Pests as they chase each other through all the centuries of Earth's past.
This book was not at all what I expected. I was expecting Historical Fiction but didn't expect the time-travel, alien, science fiction elements. Had I read the summary above I would have had a better idea of what to expect.
The first 50 pages of this book I was confused and not at all interested in the story. It did pick up once I got further into the story but I just didn't love this book. I know there is a target audience who will really enjoy this, it just wasn't my cup of tea. It was just a little too far fetched and bizarre for me to really get into the storyline.
It seemed like the Historical Fiction portions of this book were very well researched and portions of it were interesting to me. If you enjoy Science Fiction with a historical twist and want to read a story about time travel and aliens at Gettysburg give this book a try.
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: From Tribute Books as part of a Blog Tour
Girl Wonder by Alexa Martin:
As if transferring senior year weren't hard enough, Charlotte Locke has been bumped to lower level classes at her new school. With no friends, a terrible math SAT score, and looming college application deadlines, the future is starting to seem like an oncoming train for which she has no ticket.
Then Amanda enters her orbit like a hot-pink meteor, offering Charlotte a ticket to something else: popularity. Amanda is fearless, beautiful, brilliant, and rich. As her new side kick, Charlotte is brought into the elite clique of the debate team—and closer to Neal, Amanda's equally brilliant friend and the most perfect boy Charlotte has ever seen.
But just when senior year is looking up, Charlotte’s life starts to crumble. The more things heat up between Charlotte and Neal, the more Neal wants to hide their relationship. Is he ashamed? Meanwhile, Amanda is starting to act strangely competitive, and she's keeping a secret Charlotte doesn't want to know.
Talented newcomer Alexa Martin delivers a poignant story of first love, jealousy and friendship, where the ups and downs of senior year have never been so complicated. What else can Charlotte do but throw her hands up and ride?
I read Girl Wonder back in March and should have written a review back then. It's now 2 months later and honestly this book didn't leave a lasting impression on me. I rated it 3 stars on goodreads when I finished reading it and then forgot about it. The book dealt with many different issues from family to friends to boys to school, partying, sex, drugs, learning disabilities, expectations... At times I felt for Charlotte and at other times could not relate to the choices she made. For me the subject matter of the book was the drawback not the writing itself. I would likely pick up and read another book by this author.
Content: Language, sex, drugs & alcohol use
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: ARC Tour
For all the Teen Book Scene Blog Tour stops please visit: http://theteenbookscene.weebly.com/girl-wonder-tour-details.html
Nothing has been the same for Will ever since what happened last summer. One day, on an ordinary sailing trip with his brother, there is a strange accident. When Will wakes up, he learns his brother has disappeared, presumed drowned. Worst of all, Will can't remember what happened—his family finds him unconscious, with no memory of the accident.Now Will and his best friend and neighbor, Gretchen, are starting a new summer. Gretchen seems troubled—her sleepwalking habit is getting worse, and she keeps waking up closer and closer to the water. Will is drawn to Asia, the exotic new girl in town. Nobody knows where she's from—all Will knows is that her beauty and her mesmerizing voice have a powerful effect on people.Then there is another mysterious drowning, and Will and Gretchen begin to wonder: Is Asia just another beautiful, wealthy summer resident? Or is she something entirely more sinister . . . and inhuman?
This is a book I definitely should have written a review on weeks ago when I finished it. This is not a book that stuck with me. I had to go reread the summary, a few reviews and flip through the book to remember what happened in it.
The sirens or more accurately seekriegers in this book are creepy. They brought to my mind the mermaid creatures from the latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie not The Little Mermaid Ariel. There is some very interesting new mythology on sirens most of which is shared at the end of the book.
This book was a little slow to start but it was worth reading. About half way through the book the story really starts to pick up when the main character Will reads through a captain's log and we start to learn the history of the sirens. At the end of the book we finally get some of the information I'd been waiting for throughout the story. I do want to read the sequel because I'm interested to learn more about the mythology of these sea creatures.
Content: I didn't flag this as a clean read but can't remember anything objectionable so I'm guessing it just has a little bit of language but honestly I can't remember!
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: From author for review
For all the tour stops please visit The Teen Book Scene
A Day with Duke is about a big, needy, loveable pooch that comes into a family who is not quite ready for him. How does this giant Bloodhound make his mark on the neighborhood? You'll find out as you laugh your way through his story. Everyone will be sure to fall in love with Duke!
I'm sure dog lovers can relate to this book. Duke is one very mischievous dog and is always getting into trouble. Despite his impish behavior his owners can't help but love him.
A Day with Duke is definitely not as polished as some children's books but it does has a unique charm about it. The way it is written reminds me of the way my mother in law would tell a story to our children. I was unsure about the book when I flipped through it but by the time I got to the end I decided it was a book worth reading.
Children trying to convince their parents to keep a dog that gets into everything could surely reason with their parents that at least their dog is not as bad as Duke! Those looking to get a dog might get a realistic picture of just how much work owning a dog could be.
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: From Author for Review
Title: Hope Haven
Author: Victoria E. Mora
Released: June 6, 2011
Sixteen-year-old Lauren Hart's summer is shaping up to be a first-rate disaster. Even after she asks God to make things the way they used to be, Lauren's reality is still as harsh as ever. Her parents are separated, and now she has to help care for her terminally ill grandma. Just as Lauren wonders what else could go wrong, it does.
Lauren and her horse, Dawn Treader, are ranked number one in the Junior Hunter Division and are headed to the national finals-that is until Dawn leaps out of the paddock and is seriously injured. Worse yet, her grandmother-who has always been a rock in Lauren's life-is knocking death's door, leaving Lauren to wonder what is next. But after Lauren meets the staff at Hope Haven Therapeutic Riding Center, everything is about to change-not only for her, but for her beloved horse as well.
In this heartwarming, coming-of-age story, a teenager rediscovers her faith and hope through tender friendship and the healing power of horses.
PATH International, formerly NARHA, is a federally-registered 501(c3) nonprofit and was formed in 1969 as the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association to promote equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. More than 6,500 PATH Intl. members help more than 42,000 children and adults with physical, mental and emotional challenges find strength and independence through the power of the horse each year. With every purchase of Hope Haven, you will be helping PATH Intl. continue to advocate for safe equine-assisted activities and therapies for people with special needs.
Sunday afternoons usually find me with an inspirational type book in my hands. I received an unsolicited copy of Hope Haven in my mailbox last fall and finally picked it up to read last Sunday.
The main character in this book is sixteen but this book felt more like a middle grade/tween read than a young adult read. Lauren's life seems to be falling apart. Her parents are separated, her grandma is dying and her horse gets injured. Nothing seems to be going her way.
Lauren can't bear the thought of her horse being put down after it's injured so the horse ends up at Hope Haven, a therapeutic riding center where horses are used to help those with special needs. There are some touching moments in this short story especially around Lauren dealing with the death of her grandmother.
This was an short, inspiring read I would recommended to those who love horses or have an interest in horses being used for therapeutic purposes.
Rating: 3 Stars
Source: From Author