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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: book review, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 2,303
1. Book Review- Say Her Name by James Dawson

Title: Say Her Name

 Author: James Dawson
Series:   N/A
Published:  5 June 2014 by Hot Key books
Length: 240 pages
Source: publisher
Other info: James has also written Cruel Summer, Hollow Pike, Being a Boy and This Book is Gay. He’s also done a few interviews here.  
Summary : Roberta 'Bobbie' Rowe is not the kind of person who believes in ghosts. A Halloween dare at her ridiculously spooky boarding school is no big deal, especially when her best friend Naya and cute local boy Caine agree to join in too. They are ordered to summon the legendary ghost of 'Bloody Mary': say her name five times in front of a candlelit mirror, and she shall appear...But, surprise surprise, nothing happens. Or does it? Next morning, Bobbie finds a message on her bathroom mirror...five days...but what does it mean? And who left it there? Things get increasingly weird and more terrifying for Bobbie and Naya, until it becomes all too clear that Bloody Mary was indeed called from the afterlife that night, and she is definitely not a friendly ghost. Bobbie, Naya and Caine are now in a race against time before their five days are up and Mary comes for them, as she has come for countless others before...
Review: Bobbie Rowe does not believe in ghosts. so when another girl dares them all to summon Bloody Mary, she's fine with it. And she's fine to start with. But the next door, a message appears while she's in the shower: five days. Over said next five days, Bobbie realises that she, Caine and Naya are actually possibly in trouble  and they have five days to find a way out before Mary comes  for them.
I read this because I love James Dawson's work and horror so a proper combination of the two was bound to be something I'd look forwards to.
I really liked the friendship between Bobby and Naya. The romance between Bobby and Caine was good too. All three of them worked really well together. I also liked the way characters came in for a couple of chapters, played their part, then left. This plays out very much like a horror slasher ghost film. I like it.
I love the fact that Mary gets a great story. Villain back-story is always something I love, and the one James wrote makes you really feel motional for Mary. Also, I may be a horrible person for liking hr even more after the last page. but that was a great ending- lots of clever little things coming together, one very unpredictable twist, and a final parting shot.
James' style is, as in Cruel Summer, informal, full of pop culture ad  modern references, and very funny, more so than you typically find in horror. but the horror is definitely there in scenes with Mary, and lingering  when she isn't. 
This isn't the absolute scariest thing I’ve ever read-that title still belongs to Koji Suzuki and Ring which was completely terrifying. But this is up near the top, with tension rising and falling in a two steps forward, one step back approach. And it also succeeded in making me scared of mirrors at night.

Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a really good teenage horror story that will hopefully bring more horror to the shelves.

PS. For more UKYA horror, check out Georgia’s post about it. 

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2. Book review- A Kiss in the Dark by Cat Clarke

Title: A Kiss In The Dark
 Author: Cat Clarke
Series:  N/A
Published:  3 April 2014 by Quercus
Length: 384 pages
Warnings: brings up sexual assault

Source: publisher
Other info: Cat has written Entangled, Torn, and Undone which I read and reviewed. She also wrote Falling, a shorter story, which I read and enjoyed.
Summary : When Alex meets Kate the attraction is instant. Alex is funny, good-looking, and a little shy – everything that Kate wants in a boyfriend. Alex can’t help falling for Kate, who is pretty, charming and maybe just a little naive… But one of them is hiding a secret, and as their love blossoms, it threatens to ruin not just their relationship, but their lives.
Graph: This is a new feature I am trialling which I will use when my opinion of things or levels of devices like scares, tension, interest, fun, laughs (anything really) fluctuate  throughout a  book.  Tell me what you think of it and if I should do more.
Review: Alex gets to know Kate via the internet. Alex meets Kate at a concert. They start going out. They're perfect for each other. Except Alex is a girl (I don’t feel bad for telling you that because we learn this within the first 15 pages). And Kate doesn't know.
Cat Clarke is one of the authors whose name guarantees I'll read a thing. I wasn't sure what to expect from this, but it was totally different to anything I may have wanted to expect.
Cat Clarke always manages to write perfectly real characters, and those in A Kiss in the Dark are no exception. they interact and react well, and all  the  minute of emotions that Alex and Kate feel about being in love is valid and accurate.
I am in love with all characters in the Before. Alex slightly less than Kate because while I see why she would do that, it's quite a big thing to not be open about, and I prefer my romantic couples to not have secrets this big. I didn't like Kate in the After. I get it, finding out your boyfriend is a girl is quite big and she has the right to be upset with Alex for keeping such a big secret. But I really dislike people who do what she did. she redeems herself in the closing pages, but still. My favourite character was Jamie  Alex's brother. He's supportive, a bit funny, and loyal. I found Astrid a little annoying.
The best thing in this was the tension, especially in the first half. From the moment Alex chooses not to tell Kate she's a girl, and they go out, as the romance builds, which I think is one of the most adorable things ever despite my general wariness of romance when they’re keeping such huge secrets from each other, you’re just thinking ahead to what's going  to happen when she finds out; so every kiss and every smile they share, is slightly tainted by the fact you just know it’s going to broken and you just have to keep reading to see how it goes. and  then ohmigosh Cat puts in 14 words that ramp up the tension so much and then it all happens and ugh perfectness. The day I read this, I highly disliked school. It stopped me reading this.

Overall:  Strength 5 tea to a to a truly unputdownable book.


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3. Reality Boy Book Review

Title: Reality Boy Author: A.S. King Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication Date: October 22, 2013 ISBN-13: 978-0316222709 368 pp. ARC provided by publisher I've worked in "reality" television, so I know there's a lot of manipulation in creating what the audience sees. Sometimes it happens during production by influencing what participants are doing or saying.

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4. Book Review- Fire and Flood by Victoria Scott

Title: Fire and Flood
 Author: Victoria Scott
Series:  Fire and Flood #1
Published:  25 February 2014 by Chicken House
Length: 336 pages
Source: publisher
Other info: Book 2 will be called Salt and Stone. I highly approve of the alliteration.
Summary :  Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can't determine what's wrong, her parents decide to move to Montana for the fresh air. She's lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying—and she's helpless to change anything.

Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It's an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother's illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there's no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.

The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can't trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place.
Review: Tella’s brother is dying. Her parents move them all out to the remote areas of the land, away from all civilisation. Still, Tella receives a blue box inviting her to the Brimstone Bleed, a competition taking place in jungle, desert, sea and mountains, the winner receiving the Cure for any illness whatsoever. Tella accepts it, and finds herself in a competition a where everyone wants to win.
 I’ve heard lots of people compare to The Hunger Games. This is accurate.  One person wins only. People die. People really want to win. Happy upbeat announcer at all stages of the game. I like the added motivation for competitors of the chance to have the chance to save a loved one.  
 The Pandoras, protector animals that have been created specially to help the competitors, are essentially  were pokemon, but a little more normal. I loved Madox, and the fact that the differing ways people treated their Pandoras said quite a lot  about them.
I didn’t really care much for the characters, apart from Cody (dying brother who is absent for most of the novel) and the twins. Tella doesn’t really do much compared to other dystopian and survival heroes, instead, love interest Guy does most of it. Not saying boys can’t do things, but for a heroine, it would be  nice if she did more than tag along.
It was fun to read in some places. Tella’s voice is funny, and the story moves through the areas quite quickly.
I’d like to know more about the world. Technology must have advanced somewhat to get Pandoras, but other than that, we don’t know how the world differs to ours. There’s hints of it towards the end, but I’d like to see more in future.

Overall:  Strength 3 tea to a book that is quite like The Hunger Games, but with added pokemon and less strong characters.

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5. Review: The Eighth Day

It's a long drive from where I live in California to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, twenty-two hours to be exact. But I made good use of my time. During the trip I was able to start and finish an ARC that I won of THE EIGHTH DAY by Dianne K. Salerni. Five pages in and I was lost to the world. Stopping for dinner was a huge inconvenience. And did my family really need to interrupt to point out the snow / lake / mountains / wild animals we were passing? I think not. In fact, I was so engrossed in the book that I failed in my role as navigator and we ended up more than twenty miles off course before I looked up and realized what had happened. Needless to say, hubby might not be as big a fan of Dianne as I am :P

So what did I love about this book? For starters, the concept is cool: an extra day stuck in the middle of the week that only a few people know about. The problem lies with what certain people decide to do with all that extra time on their hands. By blending modern day situations with Arthurian legends and throwing in a few Dr. Who and Ancient Aliens references, Dianne has created something completely original. Filled with heart-pounding action and wonderful characters–people who grow on you even when you start out thinking you won't like them–this is the type of book that I finish reading and hand off immediately to my kids. If you have a chance to get an ARC, jump on it. Otherwise, look for it when it releases next month. You'll definitely want to add this to your TBR list.

As for the WISH YOU WEREN'T blog tour, there's plenty of fun stuff happening this week. Reviews, deleted scenes, 25 things you might not know about me, and of course, plenty of give aways. Here's where you'll find me around the blogs this week:

Book Dreaming: Shannon O'Donnell reviews Wish You Weren't.
Read This Instead: Kathy will be sharing a deleted scene from Wish You Weren't.
Me, My Shelf & I: 25 Things you may or may not know about me :)
Hopelessly Devoted Bibliophile: Jessica will post a review of Wish You Weren't.

All of these sites will be giving away prize packs as well (printed copy of Wish You Weren't, astronaut ice cream and a wish token), so stop by and enter your name to win!

Of course, you can always get your very own copy of WISH YOU WEREN'T from these magnificent retailers. And when you buy the print version from Amazon, you get a free e-book download, too -- bonus!

Amazon   |  Kobo  |  B&N  |   Smashwords  |   Solvang Book Loft

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6. Love Letters to the Dead - Review


Publication date: 1 April 2014 by Farrar, Straus & Giroux BFYR
ISBN 10/13: 0374346674 | 9780374346676


Category: Young Adult Fiction
Keywords: Contemporary, Realistic, Abuse, Grief, Epistolary
Format: Hardcover, eBook
Source: ARC from Publisher


Synopsis:

It begins as an assignment for English class: Write a letter to a dead person. Laurel chooses Kurt Cobain because her sister, May, loved him. And he died young, just like May did. Soon, Laurel has a notebook full of letters to people like Janis Joplin, Amy Winehouse, Amelia Earhart, Heath Ledger, and more; though she never gives a single one of them to her teacher. She writes about starting high school, navigating new friendships, falling in love for the first time, learning to live with her splintering family. And, finally, about the abuse she suffered while May was supposed to be looking out for her. Only then, once Laurel has written down the truth about what happened to herself, can she truly begin to accept what happened to May. And only when Laurel has begun to see her sister as the person she was; lovely and amazing and deeply flawed; can she begin to discover her own path.

Alethea's Review:

Part school assignment, part confessional, Love Letters to the Dead introduces the reader to Laurel, a pensive girl whose older sister May, her de facto role model and idol, is dead; her family life has shattered in the wake of tragedy. For much of the book, the reader can only guess at how May died; we get the impression that Laurel witnessed the incident. But was it murder, suicide, or an accident?

Dellaria's writing style hovers on the edges of magical realism as Laurel struggles with memories she can't or won't recall. On the surface, it's the voice of a young girl with major emotional issues trying to cope with the already baffling struggles of puberty and the social lives of high schoolers. She lives part time with her aunt so that she doesn't have to attend the school that May did. She tries on parts of May's wardrobe and personality, but cannot move forward without examining her own guilt over her sister's death. She writes to the celebrities that May held in high esteem and tells them what she cannot bring herself to tell the the parents and teachers who have tried to reach out to her (some of these people even seem to have given up). The writing exercise forces her to get to the dark heart of her sadness, and the secrets she reveals are painful both to herself and the reader.

I found this novel deeply moving and well-written. At one point I felt the story begin to unravel with so many different sub-plots tugging at the seams: Laurel's crush and his connection to the world she was trying to leave behind, her two best girl friends exploring their sexuality--sometimes with each other, and her adult family members too busy dealing with their own baggage to take much care of Laurel. Ultimately Dellaria pulls it all together, threading the stories back through each other in a pensive tale of grief and hope. This lyrical coming-of-age novel melds family drama with historical and pop culture references to create a story that is touching, melancholy, and bittersweet.

*Please note that this post contains affiliate links. For more details, please see our full disclosure policy here.

**I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.


Find out more about the author at www.avadellaria.com and follow her on Twitter @avadellaria.

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7. Kishaz Reading Corner: The Shadow Prince by Stacey O'neale


Disclaimer: I received no compensation from the author or publisher for this honest review.

About the Book


Sixteen-year-old Rowan has spent most of his life living among the mortals—learning to control the element of fire, impatiently awaiting the day his vengeful mother, Queen Prisma, will abdicate her throne. When he finally returns to Avalon for his coronation, his mother insists he must first prove his loyalty to the court by completing a secret mission:

Kill Kalin, the half-human, half-elemental daughter of the air court king.

Willing to do anything to remove his mother from power, he agrees to sacrifice the halfling. He returns to the mortal world with his best friend, Marcus, determined to kill the princess. But as he devises a plan, he starts to question whether or not he's capable of completing such a heinous task. And what price he will pay if he refuses?

Buy the Book


Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating:  3 stars

Here's why:

This book is a novella and a prequel to O'Neale's Mortal Enchantment series. So those that get this that are looking for a novel-length read need remember this is shorter and the end is a somewhat of a cliffhanger. This was an easy read and I finished it in one sitting.

Overall, the pacing for the novella was decent and didn't feel too rushed. The world building and descriptions of the various places was detailed just enough to give great visuals without being too drawn out and annoying. I think my biggest problem were the characters. I know this is a novella, but the characters, even the main one, Rowan, felt flat to me. I had trouble relating to them or their plight.

I think the only time I really reacted to what was happening to Rowan and his best friend came near the end of the story and it was more that I was shocked by the circumstances that lead to a very brutal scene. 

Rowan's attempts at being a "bad" boy came across as small child wanting attention and failing miserably at that. I don't mind whiny characters because they serve their purpose (and not that Rowan was "whiny"), but if you're going to give me a sob story on why you have to act bad, then that turns me off.

Would I recommend this book to others? Yes, I would.

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8. Book Review -The Killing Woods by Lucy Christopher

Title: The Killing Woods
 Author: Lucy Christopher
Series:  N/A
Published:  October 2013 by Chicken House
Length: 369 pages
Warnings:  sex, alchohol, drugs, pstd
Source: publisher
Other info: Lucy Christopher has also written Stolen.
Summary : Emily’s dad is accused of murdering a teenage girl. Emily is sure he is innocent, but what happened that night in the woods behind their house where she used to play as a child? Determined to find out, she seeks out Damon Hillary, the enigmatic boyfriend of the murdered girl. He also knows these woods. Maybe they could help each other. But he’s got secrets of his own about games that are played in the dark.
Review: Emily’s dad walks in one night with a dying girl. He is then accused of manslaughter. She’s sure he’s innocent, but how can she prove it? To try, she enlists the help of Ashlee’s (the dead girl) boyfriend, Damon, who may know something about how Ashlee died. Together, they unravel the mystery.
 I read this because 1)I got sent it for review and 2) so many people had been talking about how good it is and I had to know how good it was for myself.
The characters, I liked them to start with, but at times they were a bit dreary. I would have liked to know Emily a bit more other than the fact that her father is accused of manslaughter. I liked Damon, even though he is a bit crazy at times. I liked Emily’s father. I really like the fact that Lucy handles PSTD, drugs, and choices in what I think is a good way.  
I loved the Game. I wanted to know what that involved, and all the little hints as to what it was built up well for the reveal.
I started to guess vague details from around two thirds of the way through. I ended up guessing the reasons for Ashlee’s death, but not who had done it.
The pacing was good. I didn’t get bored with the way that the mystery was unravelled at all- I really wanted to know what happened and I read this in one day.
I liked the writing. It moved the story on along really well and really built up the setting of Darkwood really well.

Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a fast mystery that kept me gripped from the start.

Links: Amazon| Goodreads

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9. Who goes by their initials

A review recently in for Bill the Boy Wonder: The Creator of Batman contains some choice comments:

MTN (all the cool people go by their initials, RDJ, JGL, JCP) writes the book in a large picture book format seemingly gearing it towards younger children yet it’s mood, story and historical content will appeal to much older readers.

[Nobleman] and Templeton (or TT)…are simply trying to right a wrong done to a humble, creative genius of a storyteller. There is hope in this tale. Perhaps by aiming to a young audience and appealing to the adult fans, the story of unsung heroes like Finger will inspire others to stand up for the silent ones.

I was surprisingly moved despite the children’s book style and format. You may have passed on it because of that but you should really check it out. Nobleman is very passionate about this and it comes through in his story. Templeton is an inspired choice as illustrator. I’m recommending this as a buy. Not just a buy but also a give. Yes, give this book to a casual fan.

By the way, I had to look up those initials.

Robert Downey, Jr.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt.

Have No Idea.

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10. Book Review: Rebel Heart


Rebel Heart
Dust Lands Book 2
by Moira Young

Warning: this review may contain spoilers for the first book, Blood Red Road. If you haven't read Blood Red Road, I highly recommend it! It's about an incredibly tough heroine on a quest to save her brother in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. 

In Blood Red Road, Saba had one goal: find and save her twin brother Lugh from the people who took him. Saba knew that once she found Lugh, everything would be all right. But everything is most definitely not all right. Lugh and Saba have both been changed by the traumatic things they experienced, and the bond that connected them their whole lives seems to be broken and unrepairable.

Saba and Lugh, along with younger sister Emmi and another young man, Tommo, are on their way west to start a new life. Jack, whom Saba recently discovered is her heart's desire, separated from them to take a hard journey to deliver bad news, but he promised to meet them in the west. Saba is desperate to go west and find Jack again, but the group is stuck in the Waste, waiting for an injured horse to heal.

Then word comes that the Tonton, so recently defeated by Saba and her friends, have a new leader, who is cleansing the land of everyone except his own followers, killing or driving out the weak and the old, and taking the young and healthy. What's worse, Jack has been seen with the Tonton and may be one of them. Saba can't believe that Jack would be a part of such horrors, and she's determined to go back and find the truth, and help if she can.

Like Blood Red Road, Rebel Heart is a roller coaster of a story that grabs you and won't let go. Saba is one of the best YA heroines I've ever read. She's tough, oh yes, she's tough, but she also has heart and depth and an unshakeable resolve. Saba is a flawed heroine. She makes mistakes, she's not always kind, and she sometimes lets her single mindedness blind her. But Saba is a person who cares deeply, and would do anything for her family and her friends.

As with the first book, Rebel Heart is told in first person in Saba's distinctive voice and dialect, which is a little difficult to read at first, but it doesn't take long to seem natural, and it's such an integral part of the book that it's hard to imagine this book without it. The entire book is also written without quotation marks. All dialog is simply written out as part of the text with nothing to set it off. This also seems odd at first, but you get used to it and don't notice it. The biggest effect, to me, is that with the breakneck pace of the novel, the lack of quotation marks to slow the eye down contributes to a feeling of going downhill without brakes.

Overall, Rebel Heart and its predecessor, Blood Red Road, are excellent books that will have strong appeal to anyone who enjoys dystopian YA literature. Although more post-apocalyptic than dystopian, there are some dystopian elements in the Tonton society ruled by their new charismatic leader, the Pathfinder, and the book has a dystopian feel to it.

Rebel Heart ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, and the third book, Raging Star, is due out May 13. I can't wait to read it!

Who would like this book:

Anyone who enjoys young adult dystopian books and who doesn't mind the unusual punctuation and dialect.

Rebel Heart is a 2013 Cybils Awards Nominee. The first book, Blood Red Road, was the 2011 Cybils winner for YA Science Fiction & Fantasy.

Get it from:
Audiobook:

Rebel Heart is available as an audiobook from Audible.com. I haven't yet listened to the audiobook, but I did listen to the audiobook for Blood Red Road and thought it was very well done. Narrator Heather Lind did an excellent job. There appears to also be a version narrated by Moira Young, but Audible tells me it isn't available in my area, so I suspect it's the Canadian version. The links below are to the Heather Lind narrated version.
FTC required disclosure: Reviewed from purchased copy. The bookstore links above are affiliate links, and I earn a very small percentage of any sales made through the links. Neither of these things influenced my review.

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11. Here Comes the Easter Cat

Here Comes the Easter Cat

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Here Comes the Easter Cat

Author: Deborah Underwood

Illustrator: Claudia Rueda

Publisher/Year: Dial Books/2014

Summary: When Cat tries to replace the Easter Bunny, he soon learns that the job is much harder than he expected-and does not allow time for naps.

 

I am getting my review of Here Comes the Easter Cat in just in time, since Easter is right around the corner. If you’re looking for an Easter picture book that’s clever, unique, and elicits smiles with every new page, then this is the book for you.

Author Deborah Underwood manages, in her delightful story, to create an interactivity between the reader and the starring character Cat, all without buttons to push, or moving parts, or batteries. Of course, all books should trigger this kind of connection for the reader, but Deborah takes this concept one step further.

Cat and Reader speak directly to one another. The first line reads, “What’s wrong, Cat? You look grumpy.” In response, Cat holds up a picture of the Easter Bunny. Then the reader says, “The Easter Bunny? What about him?” Then Cat holds up a picture of hearts and makes an “I don’t get why everyone loves him so much” kind of face. So we get a back and forth between Cat and Reader, a conversation really. The best parts are the expressions on Cat’s face, a new one on every page. Illustrator Claudia Rueda does an excellent job portraying Cat’s thoughts, emotions, and moods through his expressions. Kids will love it!

The book is also unusual in that the cover is smaller than the typical picture book and there are more pages than in the typical 32-page picture book. Here Comes the Easter Cat would make a great gift for a child.  It would fit perfectly into an Easter basket. Aha!

 


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12. The Mad Potter - a review

Greenberg, Jan and Sandra Jordan. 2013. The Mad Potter: George E. Ohr, Eccentric Genius. New York: Roaring Brook.

This book, recognized as a Robert F. Sibert Honor Book, one of 2013's most distinguished informational books, is a photo-filled biography of George E. Ohr, a master of art pottery. A colorful character and far cry from the reticent or taciturn artist stereotype, Ohr was a self-proclaimed,
 "rankey krankey solid individualist," the "Greatest Art Potter on Earth," and "born free and patriotic, blowing my own bugle."

George E. Ohr pottery workshopSadly, his bravado did not serve him well in his lifetime, as one fan wrote,

"Mr. Ohr is by no means a crank, but is a naturally bright, even brilliant man, who has been led into the belief that the way for him to attain publicity is through the channel of preposterous advertising, and the signs which he placed round Biloxi do him more harm than good."
Still, he was confident in his own mastery of his craft, and future generations came to recognize that he was indeed brilliant.  The Ohr-O'Keefe Museum of Art was built in his honor, and houses a permanent exhibition of his work.

The Mad Potter is a narrative chronology and includes a history of the museum, instructions on how to create a clay pot, extensive Notes, Bibliography and Picture Credits, and my favorite - "How to Look at a Pot," a useful interpretation of the language and method used in describing and evaluating pottery.

A fascinating glimpse into an artist's life, the art of pottery, and the nature and mindset of the art-collecting world.

Note:
Want to see the works of George Ohr?  There is a Pinterest board titled, "George Ohr & His Biloxi Pottery," dedicated to displaying photos of George Ohr and his creations.  Be sure to take a gander.


Today is Nonfiction Monday, and also the final day of our KidLit Celebrates Women's History Month celebration.  Please be sure to catch up on all of the wonderful posts!

http://kidlitwhm.blogspot.com

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13. The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Book Review

Title: The Coldest Girl in Coldtown Author: Holly Black Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Publication Date: September 3, 2013 ISBN-13: 978-0316213103 432 pp. ARC provided by publisher Tana wakes one morning to find that while she was passed out in the bathtub, everyone else at the party has died. Horribly. Well, not everyone has died. There's her ex-boyfriend, Aidan, tied

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14. Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2014: February & March part 3


This is part 3 of 3.

Disclaimer: I received no compensation from Netgalley, the author or publisher for this honest review. 

About the Book

A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed. Allie left the love of her life at the altar—to save him from a lifetime of heartbreak. When a Valentine’s Day wedding brings them back together, she struggles against her family’s destructive history. Can Allie ever realize that a marriage is so much more than a wedding dress? History repeats itself when Allie Andrews escapes the church on her wedding day—in the same dress passed down for generations and worn by all the women in her family—women with a long history of failed marriages. Allie loves Marcus, but fears she’s destined to repeat her family’s mistakes. She can’t bear to hurt Marcus worse. Marcus Hall never stopped loving Allie and can only think of one reason she left him at the altar—him. When the two are thrown together for his sister’s Valentine’s Day wedding, he discovers the truth and realizes their story might be far from over. Can Allie shuck expectation and discover who she is as a bride and in the Bride of Christ? And if she ever walks down the aisle, what dress will she wear?

Buy the Book


Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating: 3 stars

Here's why:

***I received this book from Netgalley without compensation for an honest review.***

Good points: short read, characters were written well and the descriptions of places, things and people were great.

Downside: Allie's (main character) penchant for being overly dramatic about family curses, the dress and her general, almost teenage like angst when it comes to her love life. When I find myself getting annoyed at the main character's behavior because it reminds me of how kids sometimes act, then it makes me want to not finish.

I'm glad I did finish but the pacing of the story and Allie's pity party were almost too much for this reader.

Would I recommend this to others? Maybe.

0 Comments on Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2014: February & March part 3 as of 3/29/2014 2:49:00 AM
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15. Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2014: February & March part 2


This is part 2 of 3.

Disclaimer: I received no compensation from Netgalley, the author or publisher for this honest review. 

About the Book

A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed. In A January Bride by Deborah Raney, what will happen when novelist Madeleine Houser’s “pen pal” friendship with a lonely widower takes an unexpected turn? Who can work in a house that's overrun by contractors and carpenters? Not Madeleine Houser, a successful novelist who gladly accepts the help of her octogenarian friend, Ginny, to arrange for a temporary office in the charming bed and breakfast owned by Ginny's friend, Arthur. Maddie's never met the innkeeper - but a friendship grows between them as Maddie and Arthur leave messages for each other each day. To Maddie's alternate delight and chagrin, she seems to be falling for the inn's owner - a man who's likely many years her senior - and who she's never even met.

Buy the Book


Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating: 4 stars

Here's why:

***I received this book from Netgalley without compensation for an honest review.***

This is the second novella in the A Year of Weddings series and I have to say that I really enjoyed this classy and sweet romance.

I found the main character, Maddie, to be very likeable and relateable (perhaps because she is an author). Art, the main male lead, was also well-written a character that you could easily understand. Watching the two of them and their relationship grow was fun and, at times, heart-tugging.

The secondary character of Ginny was enjoyable as well as she did her part to help the two lonely and scared couple find their footing.

This story does contain Christian and religious moments so, if you're not a fan of this style of writing, you might want to steer clear.

I would recommend this novel to others and I will continue to read the other novels in this series.

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16. Mini-reviews- Reaper's Novice and Peregrine Harker

Title: Reaper’s Novice
 Author: Cecelia Roberts
 Series:  N/A
Warnings: non consensual kissing
Source: netgalley
Review: Anna is normal. she’s got a boyfriend, she’s doing well at school and  she’s looking forwards to a brilliant musical education. Then her family dies in a car crash, but she makes a deal with Ernst, aka Grim, aka Death. Her family gets to live, he gets her soul, and she gets to work, collecting souls for eternity. She gets used to this, but then she finds out other things about where Ernst comes from...and where she does.
I read this because I saw it on Netgalley and a book like that, with that title, pretty colours, and a girl with a violin, I couldn’t resist.
It starts off quickly. the car crash and meeting Ernst happens within the first few chapters. There’s a bit of mystery that comes up. Other things like the story to Ana’s background and the mythology of the world, which comes in later.
I really liked Ana. She’s cool. She’s a really good violinist (musical  talent always makes me love characters) and then it becomes plot relavent and this is where audiobooks come in handy. She also seems like a really good friend.
I didn’t like Zig. He’s creepy and full of himself. Ernst was cool. Rolf was kind of mediocre until about halfway through, then we get a big reveal and he becomes a lot more interesting.
The plot was good, but near the second half, the plot became quite confusing.  The writing was ok in places, good in others. The more descriptive parts were better written, such as the end bit with the violin, and  Ana seeing her first reaping of an old woman in a hospital, which was the most beautiful part in the book.
Overall:  Strength 3.5, just more a 3, tea to a fantasy novel with good writing.

Title: Peregrine Harker and the Black Death
 Author: Luke Hollands
Series:  N/A
Published:  3 June 2013 by Sparkling Books
Warnings: non consensual kissing
Source: netgalley
Review: Ever since Peregrine’s parents died, he’s worked for the Evening Enquirer. As a result of his behaviour and habit of writing stories of spies and thieves and espionage into his work which is meant to be factual, he is told to write a story about rising tea prices. Begrudgingly, he sets out to do this, and unexpectedly finds himself in amongst secret organisations, smuggling, and assassinations.
The first chapter takes place on a train, the epic conclusions of a match between Doctor Crick and Peregrine. The second chapter reveals that this was just a daydream of Peregrine’s, and that he is actually being told off by his editor and commissioned to write the tea article.
The plot moves along quickly, the investigation taking us many places, such as docks, posh hotels, backstreets of London and to France.
I liked Peregrine. He’s a great investigator, likable, and smart- like a less sad version of Gavroche (from Les Mis). I really like his enthusiasm for his job-and the fact it picks up when a dead body turns up.
I quite like Louisa too-the first time we meet her, she’s got a pistol and her governess is telling her not to fire that infernal thing indoors. Fun!
The pacing is good. There’s always something new happening and you’re kept intrigued throughout. The atmosphere of adventure is ever present-through London and Paris.
 arker. The


Overall:  Strength 3.5, just more a 3, tea to a younger historical mystery that’s a lot of fun.


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17. Netgalley & Edelweiss Reading Challenge 2014: February & March part 1


I didn't get to post in February so I'm combining the novel I read in February with the ones I'm reading in March as a 3-part posts.

Disclaimer: I received no compensation from Netgalley, the author or publisher for this honest review. 

About the Book

A year’s worth of novellas from twelve inspirational romance authors. Happily ever after guaranteed. What started as a whim turned into an accidental — and very public — engagement. Can Layla and Seth keep up the façade in Chapel Springs this holiday season - for the sake of her career . . . and his heart? Under normal circumstances, Seth Murphy — the best friend of Layla O’Reilly’s ex-fiancé — would be the last person she’d marry. But the news of their upcoming (and phony) nuptials convinces a big client that Layla may be high-society enough to work for his agency — a coup that would put her fledgling home-staging business on the map. Seth has secretly loved Layla for years, even when she was dating his best friend. Maybe she’ll never forgive him for the way he hurt her back then, but he has to try. And Layla is willing to keep up their engagement farce until she’s landed her client. For Layla, it’s the chance to save her career. But for Seth, it’s his last chance to win her heart.

Buy the Book


Here's what I'm giving it:

Rating: 4 stars

Here's why:



***I received this book from Netgalley without compensation for an honest review.***

This book was a short, sweet read with characters that were both likeable and easy to relate to.

Everyone who has ever dipped their toes into the pool known as romance, understands that sometimes it is the ones we don't see that turn out to be the greatest loves.

I liked the fact that there were already feelings between the main characters but that the man was just as insecure about making the first move as the woman. When they finally admitted their feelings the moment felt nature and not contrived which is something I look for in the romances I like to read.

I would definitely recommend this novel to others.

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18. Book Review: Underneath

Underneath

by Sarah Jamila Stevenson

Sunny Pryce-Shah is devastated when her cousin Shiri commits suicide. How could Shiri do it? Shiri always seemed so confident, and Sunny looked up to her older cousin. Then Sunny starts to hear thoughts, and from cryptic comments in Shiri's journal, she suspects that Shiri may have had the same problem. Hearing thoughts is more of a curse than a power. It can be painful to know what people really think of you, for example, and Sunny can't control it or stop it from happening. Sunny is already dealing with so much, but she knows that she has to get the ability under some kind of control before it pulls her apart like it did her cousin.

Underneath is a contemporary YA novel with a speculative twist. The underhearing is just one of the conflicts Sunny has to deal with. In addition to grief over her cousin and dealing with her unusual problem, Sunny also has to navigate the treacherous waters of the high school social scene, and her family is dealing with the possible spousal abuse of her aunt. The relationships, including family, friend, and romantic interest, feel authentic, and I like that the book portrays how complex such relationships are. Fights happen, and sometimes no one is right or wrong and you just have to find a way to work things out. But sometimes one person's behavior is wrong, and it's not always easy to tell the difference.

The book also portrays grief in a way that seems authentic. Grief doesn't just go away because a certain amount of time has passed, and one of the difficult things for someone bereaved is when people start to feel that they should be over it. Grief also takes different forms, and different people grieve in different ways at different times.

I also like that romance isn't a major focus of the story. There are romantic interests, and even a couple of love triangles, but in the end it's not important who ends up paired with whom, and the story is really much more about friendship (and family) than romance.

From a diversity perspective, Sunny is half Pakistani. Although she is pretty much a regular American teenager, there are some bits of Pakistani culture that come from her grandparents, for example when they send over Pakistani food, or request an imam at the funeral. It's handled very naturally as a part of the normal American experience and not at all an issue.

In the end, it's character and voice that make this a compelling novel. Sunny is such an interesting character with a distinctive voice, and we feel her pain and her struggles.

The underhearing itself is never explained, and this may bother some readers. However, not understanding it is a part of the story conflict, and in real life there isn't always a neat explanation that ties things up with a bow.  I do love the word "underhearing" - it's a perfect word for what is, in essence, mental overhearing.

Who would like this book:

Teens who enjoy contemporary fiction with a paranormal twist.

Underneath is a 2013 Cybils Awards Nominee

Get it from:
FTC required disclosure: Reviewed from library copy. The author is an online friend that I've met several times at conferences. The bookstore links above are affiliate links, and I earn a very small percentage of any sales made through the links. Neither of these things influenced my review.

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19. book review: The Deep

Cover_v8.inddtitle: The Deep

author: Zetta Elliott

date: 2013; Rosetta Press

main character: Nyla

The Deep continues the stories of Nyla, Keem and D that began in Ship of Souls. While Ship of Souls was D’s story, The Deep is Nyla’s. We knew something happened to Nyla in Germany and now we find what it was and how that terror stole Nyla’s sense of self. She moves to Brooklyn with her stepmother and begins covering herself in an array of body piercings, spiked hair and black clothing. In appearance, she is oddly matched with Keem, an attractive athlete, but he seemed to give her the space and respect that she needed. She is as impulsive in her decision-making as any 14-year-old would be.

As a character, I found Nyla difficult to like just as I imagine a real life Nyla would be. A smart black girl struggling with so many personal issues, would indeed take some special love if you didn’t know her. This girl managed to build a thick, protective covering around herself that didn’t manage to interfere with her sense of independence or her core values.

Before leaving for Brooklyn, Nyla rhetorically asks if she could indeed belong in Brooklyn. Identity and fitting in are themes in this book and they’re themes that shape the lives of many nerdy black girls who rarely find themselves represented in American media. Nyla finds that she has a special purpose, a unique calling that comes from her mother; the woman who walked out on her and her father when she was 4 years old.

Elliott creates a strong sense of place as the Brooklyn landscape plays a prominent role in Nyla’s fate. Prominent public locations become portals that transport Nyla into the deep and deliver important messages to the characters. As D, Keem and Nyla ride the trains, visit the pizza shops and hangout out in the parks we feel such a strong connection to this place that we want to believe this is where they all belong. But our Nyla is being pulled away.

These three friends are once again confronted by powers from below the ground that  bring many threats, not the least of which is the threat to end their friendships. Nyla struggles with her new-found powers and with so many major elements in the book, yet Elliott lets these teens remain teens. Each of them wants to know how to maintain  relationships with parents, friends and lovers. And, each of them wants to find their place in the world. Well, D and Nyla do. We still need to hear Keem’s story!

Elliott continues to self publish imaginative and provocative young adult speculative fiction. Her commitment to her readers is evident in the honest portrayals that she gives them. Zetta sent me a copy of this book back in December when I was knee deep in BFYA reading. I never committed to when I would read The Deep and honestly, I didn’t want to read it because I didn’t want to not like it. I shouldn’t have doubted her skills.


Filed under: Book Reviews Tagged: african american, book review, speculative fiction, Zetta Elliott

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20. The Here and Now by Ann Brashares

Delacorte Press, 2014



It started with a fishing trip and a ripple in the air….

Prenna was one of the lucky ones.  She was able to escape the blood plague, but not without its consequences on her family.  But now, she lives comfortably, still amazed at how much life has changed.  Although she still has a habit of swatting mosquitoes that spread the virus, it hasn’t happened yet.  She now lives in the time before the destruction of the planet that occurs in the 2070s. 
Although Prenna should be content with life in a virus-free world, she still holds the flame of challenge against the community, wanting questions answered she knows won’t happen.  There are rules the committee enforces on the members ( never reveal to anyone who you are or where you come from; never be intimate with anyone outside of their community to name a few) and seeing Mr. Roberts for sessions when she goes too close to the line of disobedience.  She also knows stories of people who have defied the community’s rules – and have now disappeared.  Soon, Prenna begins experiencing flashbacks and sees objects and places that are familiar to her from her previous life time, which makes her even more curious.  There weren’t supposed to be any….

Ethan remembers the girl at the river.  He saw the ripple in the air around her and knew she was different.  Now, a few years later, they’ve gone from strangers to friends with Ethan remembering every little event and Prenna not remembering any of it.  He decides it’s best to leave well enough alone as he tries hard to not cross the line between friendship and relationship.  Although he’s known her for awhile, she still has a mysteriousness to her he can’t quite figure out. But Ethan holds other secrets from Prenna, which will change their relationship and who they are. 

Then the elusive homeless man appears in their lives, telling Prenna things about the her past and future she can’t ignore as mere coincidence.  All it takes is one providential meeting and both she and Ethan are propelled into a new reality of trying to save the world instead of just living in it.  But it also means sacrifice in so many ways, and those are the things that will hurt both of them the most.

Ann Brashares writes a riveting novel about time travel that will pull readers along with the characters and plot.  The separate timelines of the main character are written seamlessly, making the situation more believable and the future bleaker with every page turned.  Although the beginning took off a little slow for myself, the interactions between characters as well as the unraveling of the plot steadily developed into a novel I had to know the end to.  And Brashares doesn’t disappoint.  If you have fans of science fiction and time travel, recommend this to them. 

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21. Book Review-Who Framed Klaris Cliff? by Nikki Sheehan

Title: Who Framed Klaris Cliff?
 Author:  Nikki Sheehan
Series:   N/A
Published: 6 February 2014 by OUP Oxford
Length: 264 pages
Source: publisher
Summary :  People used to call them 'friends' and said how they were good for your brain. And then a day came when all that changed . . . when they became our enemy. Now, anyone found harbouring a rogue imaginary person is in for the Cosh, an operation that fries your imagination and zaps whatever's in there, out of existence. That's why I wish Klaris Cliff had never shown up. And why I know that proving her innocence is the last hope I have of saving myself.
Review: In this world, invisible friends are dangerous. Anyone found to have one is sent for the COSH, a procedure that shrinks the area of the imagination that an invisible friend will reside in. Klaris Cliff is one such invisible friend. An imaginary person who contacts Flea, and later, Joseph. As bad things go on at the Cliff household, Doctor Cliff wants Klaris gone, and it's up to Joseph to prove her innocence.
I hadn't heard of this until the OUP night for this and Storm and Stone, but upon hearing  about this, I definitely wanted  to read it. The first thing I heard about it was “What if someone can kill your imaginary friend”, which caught my attention, as it must have caught Sheehan's.
You very quickly get a feel for this world, which is slightly dystopian for the way that the COSH and its threat rules over the children. You also quickly get to know the characters, the friendship between them, and the sibling relationships seem real.
The characters all have their individual quirks that make them likable, unique and funny at times. The twins are especially cute (and a little gross in parts). Despite the fact most of them are younger than I normally read about, they're really nice to get to know.
The mystery uncovering works nicely, and I liked the way it all panned out at the end. Sheehan also wrote in less mystery, more family parts, which I found a nice touch, rounding out Joseph and giving him a bit more of a life.
I like the fact that one little detail that you think isn't going to be major, just a bit of back-story to explain where Joseph is today, is quite important, and leads to a satisfying, kind of heart-warming but also sad, conclusion.
The idea of the COSH is very very scary.


Overall:  Strength 4 tea to a slightly younger mystery that people of all ages should read.


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22. Book Review- Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Title: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
 Author: April Genevieve Tulchoke
Series:  Between #1
Published:  3 April 2014
Length:
Warnings: suicide
Source: publisher
Other Info: Book 2 will be called Between the Spark and the Burn.
Summary : You stop fearing the devil when you're holding his hand... Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White's sleepy, seaside town...until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet's crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard. Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past? Violet's grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who likes coffee and who kisses you in a cemetery... Violet's already so knee-deep in love, she can't see straight. And that's just how River likes it.
Review: Violet White has lived in Citizen Kane, a house out by the cliffs in a quiet seaside town, with her twin brother ever since their parents left to go travel Europe. Not much happens. Until River West turns up-good looking, charming, and someone for whom Violet falls head over heels in love. But as a child goes missing, a man kills himself, and other children hunt in graveyards for the Devil, Violet isn't scared.
I was very much looking forwards to this. The title, the tagline (you stop fearing the devil when he's holding your hand), the cover made it sound gorgeous.
It was gorgeous, though in a different way to what I was expecting. There's instalove, which is explained later in a way which makes you question all the love between River and Violet.
I really like the atmosphere and writing style of Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea. It's romantic, dark, and gothic, and also has touches of 20s glamour, with Freddie, Violet's grandmother, playing a key role in things She's probably my favourite character, despite the fact she's dead.
I liked the way the plot develops, especially with the unexpected arrival of River's family and the tensions between them.
I'm uncertain as to the actual devil-ness of various people, but that didn't really matter. The paranormal elements definitely enhanced the story, even if it was a little creepy at times (ie how it affects the relationship between Violet and River).
The ending, ie climax of the novel, was very unexpected, even though there had been vague hints throughout. I liked it. The very ending seemed a little too neat and tidy a finish, but was still nice.

Overall:  Strength 3.5, just more a 3, to a beautifully gothic romance with a little mystery running through it too.

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23. Book Review – Previously Loved Treasures by Bette Lee Crosby

Bette Lee Crosby is one of my favorite authors. She writes books you’ll want to share with friends and each book is filled with characters that fill your heart and leave you wanting more. Bette has a new book set for release in April 2014 and you’ll want to add it to your TBR (to be read) pile as soon as possible. There is no question Previously Loved Treasures is a five star story!

The twists and turns in Previously Loved Treasures ensure you won’t want to put it down. There’s a little something for everyone in this particular story. There’s drama, longing, romance, mystery, deceit, and a little bit of magic! Each character is written in true Crosby style. You feel you’ve known them your entire life and they stay with you long after you’ve closed the cover and placed the book back on the shelf.

Crosby has a way of engaging readers from cover to cover. There has never been a point I have thought ‘get to the point already’ and I find the time passing quickly as I am unable to put the book down. Previously Loved Treasures is no exception. My only complaint is I finished the book too quickly and can only hope there will be a sequel so I can continue my journey of friendship with the delightful characters I have grown to love.

Book Details:
Previously Loved Treasures - A lonely widow and a young woman trying to rebuild her life discover a family connection and a run-down second hand store where the clairvoyant owner anticipates every need. When a pocket watch is stolen, he warns of the danger ahead, but will the young woman listen and heed his advice?
Being Released in April; Watch Bette’s Website for Details - http://betteleecrosby.com/books/previously-loved-treasures/
Length: 191 pages

Author Details:
Bette’s website: http://betteleecrosby.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3222582.Bette_Lee_Crosby

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Bette-Lee-Crosby/284499021568642

Bette’s Bio: Bette Lee Crosby, originally from New Jersey now living in Southern Florida, has written seven novels, won fourteen literary awards and with well over 2,000 reviews her average rating is 4.5. Her 2011 novel Spare Change is a USA Today Bestseller, a #1 Barnes and Noble Bestseller and an Amazon #1 Literary Fiction Bestseller. Her other novels consistently rank in the Amazon top 100 for their genre. An active public speaker who makes frequent appearances to support various charities and women's groups. Schedule permitting she will join the discussion of book clubs by phone or by computer teleconference. Contact bentpinepublicity@gmail.com



Crystal is a church musician, business owner, active journaler, writer and blogger as well as a dairy farmer. She lives in Reedsville, Wisconsin with her husband, three young children (Carmen 7, Andre 5, Breccan 6 months), three dogs, two rabbits, four little piggies, and over 200 Holsteins. You can find Crystal blogging and reviewing books and all sorts of other stuff at: http://bringonlemons.blogspot.com/

0 Comments on Book Review – Previously Loved Treasures by Bette Lee Crosby as of 3/23/2014 3:59:00 AM
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24. Book Review- Dance of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin

Title: The Dance of the Red Death
 Author: Bethany Griffin
Series: Masque of the Red Death #2
Published: 4 April 2013 by Indigo
Length: 
Source: publisher
Other info: First book was Masque of the Red Death, which I loved. 

Summary :Araby Worth’s city is on fire. Her brother is dead. Her best friend could be soon. Her mother is a prisoner, her father is in hiding. And the two boys who stole her heart have both betrayed her. But Araby has found herself, and she is going to fight back. Inspired by one of Edgar Allan Poe’s most compelling stories, “The Masque of the Red Death,” Bethany Griffin has spun two sultry and intricate novels about a young woman who finds herself on the brink of despair but refuses to give in. Decadent masquerades, steamy stolen moments, and sweeping action are set in a city crumbling from neglect and tragedy. A city that seeps into your skin. Dance of the Red Death is the riveting conclusion to the dark and fascinating saga of an unforgettable heroine.

Review: We pick up where we left Masque of the Red Death, so  Araby has a dead brother, a dying best friend, and two boys that she loves who have also betrayed her. as people seek shelter at Prince  Prospero’s place and Reverend Malcontent spreads disease, Araby and co must try and save the city, and themselves.
I really enjoyed Masque, but somehow, this wasn’t the same. The world was once again, gorgeously written in its full, crumbling glory. The world is distinctly Poe style, which I liked. The seven rooms in Prospero’s palace didn’t come in until the end though, which is a shame, because that was my favourite part about the story this was based on and I was really hoping that it would feature more.
Lots of things don’t come in until the end, really. There’s a lot of running around the city, but it’s hard to see where it all leads to sometimes.
Araby is a bit more forward in Dance, which I liked. Elliot has a hidden agenda. Will is ok, I suppose. No strong feelings about the boys either way. The love triangle was interesting, in terms of the secrets between them all, but I  didn’t really care about how the love side of it ended up.
What I loved, as in obsessed over for a couple of days after reading it, in Edgar Allan Poe’s Masque of the Red Death, was the masquerade ball, and the rooms. I was disappointed with both of these in Dance. It all happens within thirty pages, so it was all crammed together and rushed.
As a  series conclusion, it all felt a bit anticlimactic. I also don’t think everything was fully tied up-there’s room for more in Griffin’s world. Oh well.



Overall:  Strength 3 tea to a disappointing, but still good on its own, conclusion to a beautifully set gothic series.

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25. A Splash of Red - Picture Book Review


A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin
by Jen Bryan, illustrated Melissa Sweet
Publication date: 08 Jan 2013 by Knopf Book for Young Readers
ISBN 10/13: 0375867120 |  9780375867125
Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

Category: Children's Non-Fiction Picture Book
Keywords: Children's, picture book, non-fiction, art, biography
Format: Hardcover; ebook
Source: Library


Synopsis:

As a child in the late 1800s, Horace Pippin loved to draw: He loved the feel of the charcoal as it slid across the floor. He loved looking at something in the room and making it come alive again in front of him.He drew pictures for his sisters, his classmates, his co-workers. Even during W.W.I, Horace filled his notebooks with drawings from the trenches . . . until he was shot. Upon his return home, Horace couldn't lift his right arm, and couldn't make any art. Slowly, with lots of practice, he regained use of his arm, until once again, he was able to paint--and paint, and paint! Soon, people—including the famous painter N. C. Wyeth—started noticing Horace's art, and before long, his paintings were displayed in galleries and museums across the country.

Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet team up once again to share this inspiring story of a self-taught painter from humble beginnings who despite many obstacles, was ultimately able to do what he loved, and be recognized for who he was: an artist.

Thuy's Review:

A really wonderful and beautifully written picture book about the life of American artist Horace pippin. I had I idea the story was based on a real person when I started reading it and found myself totally engrossed by the story of Pippin's life. I was completely charmed by the story and finding out that it's about a real person just gives it more resonance.

The artwork is fantastic and is a mix of painting, drawing and collage. I especially loved the early drawings by Horace. The art also includes quotes by Pippin, which he used in his artwork. The words are simple but strong and bring another facet of Pippin to life.

I was unfamiliar with Pippin's work before and A Splash or Red presented his story in a really accessible way. I think both children and adults will be able to enjoy this book and I definitely think it will inspire interest in Pippin's work. I also liked that there was an index in the back with places where one could go see Pippin's work along with sources for more information on Pippin. I am not usually a big fan of non-fiction picture books but A Splash of Red was a delight to read and one that I highly recommend.
 


Visit the Jen Bryant online at www.jenbryant.com and visit the official site for the book at http://asplashofredbook.com.


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