Monday, June 18, 2018

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The Infernal Devices Book 2, Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

The Infernal Devices Book 2, Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare is an interesting Story. Somehow when I checked it out from my library, I didn't realize it was the second in a series. I think it would be even more interesting had I read Clockwork Angel! There are some references to it. I might go back and read it so I can better understand those, but right now my TO READ stack is pretty good relative to my time available for reading! So, we'll see.

I did like this book. There were not nearly so many inappropriate subject and scenes in this as in the other Clare book I read: The Dark Artifices, Lady Midnight. You can read my review of that book HERE. I was hoping to continue reading the Dark Artifices series because it is very interesting even though I wouldn't let my girls read it yet. However, my library seems not to have them, so I chose Clockwork Prince.

Although this book is significantly less troubling than the other, I have not given my girls permission to read it because there are more mature subjects and issues broached. And I believe it is my right and duty to shelter my children. One way I do this is to guide them in their reading choices so that they are not exposed to scenes that are troubling or overly sensitive or sexual in nature. Not because they don't know about the things presented therein, but because the presentation of information I have almost always exposed them to is significantly different when read from the point of view of a character. Therefore, I guide them to read fiction that is more suited to their age, maturity, and temperaments.

I did like this story and the next in this series is in my TO READ pile as I write this.

Have you read any of the books in the series: The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare? How about Clockwork Prince? What did you think of any/all of them?

Monday, June 11, 2018

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Alis by Naomi Rich, a book review

Alis by Naomi Rich is an interesting book. I'm definitely not giving permission to any of my children to read this book until they are significantly older. I do and have spoken with them about most, if not all of, the situations presented in this book, but reading about it from a character's perspective is a significantly heavier thing than having a very removed conversation with one's mother about the same.

Alis is told she must marry a man who could easily be her father, by age. She is horrified by this direction and seeks a way to escape this outcome. This story is the result of her choices. It is really interesting and quite a good story. I do like it and do recommend it to readers who are either much older teens or very mature. I consider my eldest daughter mature… even very mature, yet I will have her wait to read a book like this. Just as so you know.

One reason for my decision is the presentation of an near rape scene. Also, the idea of running away as a resolution to problems is tremendously problematic to me as a Mama of 4 daughters. I would rather not encourage such thinking!

I found the resolution of the story interesting and satisfying.

Have you read Alis by Naomi Rich? What did you think of it?

Monday, June 4, 2018

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Beyonders, A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull, a book review

Beyoners, A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull is a good youth fantasy. My eldest two daughters were 10 and 13 when they read and loved it. They super highly recommend it! I liked it, but wasn't as head over heels in love with it as they were as quickly as they were. It took me a little longer to really enjoy it. I definitely do recommend it for younger readers. Guys would probably love it as well as my girls because it is action packed.

The main character is a guy, Jason. He is joined by a girl, Rachel, but it really is more his story than hers. And he does go through some good changes, wherein he improves and grows.

By the end of this first book in the series, something unexpected happens which is a really great cliff hanger. I'm totally curious how the characters and author are going to bring things back around with the way the first book ended!!

I enjoyed the variety of experiences and characters in this book and look forward to getting to know the characters better and see how resolution of the problems presented come about.

Have you read Beyonders, A World Without Heroes by Brandon Mull? What did you think of it?

Monday, May 28, 2018

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The Dark Artifices, Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare, a book review

The Dark Artifices, Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare is an interesting book. I did like a lot about it, but only recommend it with many reservations.

First, sex is represented in such a way as to suggest most, if not all, of the characters have loose morals where it is concerned, and low regard for the sanctity of it. This along is troubling enough for me to set this one in a pile of books my girls will not be allowed to read until much older. Because of other subjects and the manner in which they are handled, it is a story I will not really encourage my children to read. Any topics covered in a good way aren't worth the problems.

Another problem is the representation of sexuality… although I recognize that bisexuality and homosexuality are becoming more socially acceptable and are often visible, I find it troubling to find it represented as completely acceptable in youth literature. I know I'm on a very unpopular side of this subject.

There are a couple homosexual couples and one of the more major characters is bisexual.

Also, for many fundamentalist Christians (and some others), the amount of and representation of magic would be problematic. This is a lesser issue in my mind, honestly. Definitely something to be aware of, though!

So, the romance part of the story… basically, this girl and this guy are linked magically and forbidden by law to fall in love. They do anyway and are planning to just hide their relationship. But then the girl finds out why the law forbids it and takes matters into her own hands.

The rest of the story is all about how these two figure out who is behind a series of murders, including the girl's parents, and stopping the murderer from fulfilling an evil plan.

It is an interesting premise and story. I did like it. I do not think it is appropriately shelved in the area for teens and YA, though. I guess I'm a bit more conservative than many these days.

Have you read The Dark Artifices, Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare? What did you think of it?

Monday, May 21, 2018

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The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill, a book review

The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill is a good one. My two eldest daughters enjoyed it thoroughly as well. Definitely appropriate for readers from 10 (possibly younger if they read and comprehend well) and up.

Basically, this story is about a witch who saves babies because of a city that believes they must sacrifice them in order to stay safe as a result of lies they've been told by another powerful person who desires to maintain power. Normally, she saves them and feeds them magically as she brings them to their new home. Inadvertently, though, she feeds the main character with the light of the moon instead of the stars and the result is a magical little girl that the witch decides to raise since she, herself, knows that it's like to be magical and can teach the girl how to use the power she has. I want to share more, but it would be a bit of a spoiler to do so as far as the premise is concerned.

I appreciate how the main character is basically kept from self-knowledge until she's a teen and then begins to learn in a very fast and uncomfortable way who she really is. All set in a fantastic sort of reality with magic and dragons and other fantastic sorts of things.

This was an enjoyable read for me as well as my daughters. I do highly recommend it for any reader. Very good conversation starters herein as well.

Have you read The Girl Who Drank the Moon by Kelly Barnhill? What did you think?
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Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass, a book review

Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass is not what I was expecting. I thought I'd checked out the story about the daughter of the couple who got together in The One, but it is not.  If you'd like to read my book reviews of that series, you can find them here, HERE, and here.

This is a compilation of stories from the perspective of others who were not really a focal point in the main series. Once I realized what it was (and wasn't), I really enjoyed it for what it was. Definitely interesting to see some of the same things from different characters' perspectives!

I particularly enjoyed knowing more about the thoughts, feelings, and interactions of those lesser characters represented in these short stories.

I do recommend this book, but really only for older teens and adults... and probably ladies.  I mean, if a guy likes romance, then he'll love this too!

Have you read Happily Ever After by Kiera Cass? What did you think of it?

Monday, May 14, 2018

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Lyonesse, Dark Solstice by Sam Llewelllyn, a book review

Lyonesse, Dark Solstice by Sam Llewellyn is the continuation and conclusion of Idris Limpet's story, which is also loosely based on the King Arthur legend. In this book Idris gathers his knights of the table round. It's interesting to see a way that this iconic table may have come to be among the Arthurian knights.

Idris travels with his companions, his knights, to find and rescue his sister Morgan and bring her back to prove to other kings that they should help him reclaim his throne. He accomplishes his goal. His reclamation isn't quite what he had in mind, though. Saying more would really give away too much. It's a good enough story that you really should just read it yourself!

So, obviously, I recommend this book. My two eldest daughters read (at least once) it and love it!

Have you read Lyonesse, Dark Solstice by Sam Llewellyn? What did you think of it?

Monday, May 7, 2018

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Lyonesse, Well Between The Worlds by Sam Llewellyn, a book review

Lyonesse, Well Between The Worlds by Sam Llewellyn is not what you may go in expecting if you knew this is loosely based on the King Arthur story. In fact, though, it is!

Idris Limpet is just a poor boy from a poor family in a city near the shore. He has grown up the son of a fisherwoman and a soldier. Nothing spectacular. Until you realize he has a pet seagull. And then you learn that he can see what the gull can see. Cool, right?

But completely unacceptable, in general, in his culture. Thankfully, right before he was killed for being different, he was saved and rushed away from everything and everyone he knew to begin a new life among complete strangers and learn new skills… to become a monstergroom.

Monsters are the fuel of the day and monstergrooms tend the monsters which move the gears of this world's machines. That's just the way it is.

Idris learns to question the way things are and begins to imagine a better way.

Thankfully, by nature of his true parentage, he may just be in a position to do something about it!

I enjoyed and recommend Lyonesse, Well Between the Worlds. It caught my attention and held it, even though at times it felt very much like I was in a dream world while reading. I enjoyed it. My two eldest daughters really love it, too. My second daughter said she liked it as much as another series that has been her favorite for a while now.

Have you read Lyonesse, Well Between the Worlds by Sam Llewellyn? What did you think of it?

Monday, April 30, 2018

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Thrice Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris, a book review

Thrice Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris… Edric, how we love to laugh at your silly sayings! And Marigold… stop it with the elephant jokes! Please! Seriously, though, we love Thrice Upon a Marigold as much as Once Upon a Marigold and wish our library had the middle book in this series!  (I haven't read or reviewed that one because our library doesn't have it yet and I don't have a budget for buying fluff as yet.)  You can read my review of Once Upon a Marigold HERE.

Marigold has a baby. Baby is stolen. Mama and Daddy and some new characters team up to retrieve baby. This is the story!

It's a good one. My two eldest daughters and I thoroughly enjoyed it and I highly recommend it. If you can, I'm sure reading the one that comes right before it would also be totally enjoyable based on our enjoyment of first and third. I'll make sure to share once I'm able to read it myself!

Have you read Thrice Upon a Marigold by Jean Ferris? What did you think about it?

Monday, April 23, 2018

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The Thirteenth Reality, The Void of Mist and Thunder by James Dashner, a book review

The Thirteenth Reality, The Void of Mist and Thunder by James Dashner is the final book the Tick's saga, to the best of my knowledge (though no the end of his story).

Tick must escape the nowhere land he has found himself in with Mistress Jane and Chu. It's really up to him. They can't get themselves out.

He manages it somehow. In the doing, though, a part of the fourth dimension squeaks into their own multiverse and begins to wreak havoc. Again, though there are many forces working to assist, it falls to Tick to fix everything. He sorta manages to…

I do recommend this book and series for middle grade readers. Since the main character is a guy, young guys may especially enjoy it. My daughters love it and they are the reason I read the whole series even though it was a bit of a chore to push through each day. It's got lots of fodder for conversation with my daughters, so definitely not wasted time!

Have you read The Thirteenth Reality, The Void of Mist and Thunder by James Dashner? What did you think of it?