Review: Scepter of the Ancients by Derek Landy

Scepter of the Ancients (Skulduggery Pleasant #1) by Derek Landy

“There’s no such things as winning or losing. There is won and there is lost, there is victory and defeat. There are absolutes. Everything in between is still left to fight for.”

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Kindle eBook
Source: Library Rating:  (4.5/5 Stars) Synopsis: 

Meet Skulduggery Pleasant: Ace Detective, Snappy Dresser, Razor–tongued Wit, Crackerjack Sorcerer and Walking, Talking, Fire-throwing Skeleton—as well as ally, protector, and mentor of Stephanie Edgley, a very unusual and darkly talented twelve-year-old. These two alone must defeat an all-consuming ancient evil. The end of the world? Over his dead body.

If there is one thing this book isn’t, it is predictable. There were so many mini-plot twists and gasp worthy moments. It was FANTASTIC.

This was a book I simply couldn’t put down. Every chapter led into the next perfectly and the only slightly slow part was the very beginning, but that’s to be expected, really. The action just kept going.

I loved the characters. There wasn’t a single one who felt flat, or had motivations that made no sense or I wasn’t curious about. I especially like the main character, Stephanie. She was interesting and it was nice to watch her discover the world of this book.

Speaking of the world, the worldbuilding in this book was impeccable. Nothing felt cliched and everything made some sort of logical sense to the book’s universe. The only thing I questioned during the entire book was in the first bit, when I wondered “Instead of telling nobody their name why don’t they take fake names?” but instead of being a critique that ended up being more of a prediction of something explained not long after.

Besides all of that, what really made me love this book was the snark. There was so much banter and sarcasm in this book, and it was all hilarious. There was a lot of hastily muffled laughter while reading this one.

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Review: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

To All The Boys

“He’s looking at me like he did the day I kissed him in the hallway. Like I’m different than he thought.”

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Format: Hardcover Source: Bought
Rating:  (4/5 Stars) Synopsis: 

Lara Jean keeps her love letters in a hatbox her mother gave her. They aren’t love letters that anyone else wrote for her, these are ones she’s written. One for every boy she’s ever loved-five in all. When she writes, she can pour out her heart and soul and say all the things she would never say in real life, because her letters are for her eyes only. Until the day her secret letters are mailed, and suddenly Lara Jean’s love life goes from imaginary to out of control.

This book was not what I expected. After reading the synopsis I thought the book would follow Lara Jean as she reconciled with all the boys who had gotten her letters. While that was part of the book, it was also very different than I thought it would be. I think I liked it even more this way.

This book was really cute. I feel a little dishonest saying that, since Lara Jean had a few hard times through the course of the book, but in the end the main characteristic is the cuteness. The book didn’t have a lot of depth too it, and at a few points the plot moved very slowly. Not slow in a way that made me want to stop reading at all, just slow in a sort of sleepy daily life, waiting for things to happen way.

I thought the romance in this book was very well done. One of the love triangles was a bit weird, but these kinds of things do happen. And I felt it was resolved in a very good way. 

The ending of the book felt a little rushed. The last few chapters could have been slowed down a bit. There was a moment in the third-to-last chapter where I was a little confused about what had happened. (Thought I think I understand now) However, the very ending of the book was just perfect. My only disappointment was that there wasn’t more!

The star of this novel was really the relationship the Song sisters had with each other. Margot, the practical older sister who felt she had to be strong for the other two. Lara Jean, the middle sister who tried to be like Margot but just couldn’t manage to be as stable of a presence as her older sister. And finally, the adorable and spunky Kitty, the younger sister who needed guidance but who also knew a lot more than she let on.

In conclusion, if you want a cute contemporary about first loves and family, this is definitely your book.

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April 2014 Wrap-Up

In April I read 8 Books and 2 Magazines. The magazines were the February and March editions of Wired magazine. I read them during my time doing standardized testing, where I didn’t realize they wouldn’t let me use my kindle. Thank goodness I had these magazines in my backpack, otherwise I would have had to sit there doing nothing. (And they totally count – reading Wired cover-to-cover is an ACHIVEMENT!)

April was also a month where I was on the road a lot and all my Library eBook request came in, so I unfortunately only ended up reading one of the books that I put in my April TBR. But I’ll get to the rest, I promise!

Wired TLEM TFA and Hero

Books:

  1. The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd
  2. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (school book)
  3. Hero by Mike Lupica

eBooks:

  1. Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy #1) by Richelle Mead
  2. Frostbite (Vampire Academy #2) by Richelle Mead
  3. If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman
  4. The Testing (The Testing #1) by Joelle Charbonneau
  5. The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High #1) by Shannon Hale

 

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Review: The Storybook of Legends by Shannon Hale

The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High #1) by Shannon Hale

“A good story was more important than anything. Even than one person’s life.”

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy/Fairy Tale Retelling Publisher: Little Brown and Company Format: Kindle eBook
Source: Library Rating:  (4/5 Stars) Synopsis: 

At Ever After High, an enchanting boarding school, the children of fairytale legends prepare themselves to fulfill their destinies as the next generation of Snow Whites, Prince Charmings and Evil Queens…whether they want to or not. Each year on Legacy Day, students sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their scripted fates. For generations, the Village of Book End has whispered that refusing to sign means The End-both for a story and for a life.

As the daughter of the Evil Queen, Raven Queen’s destiny is to follow in her mother’s wicked footsteps, but evil is so not Raven’s style. She’s starting to wonder, what if she rewrote her own story? The royal Apple White, daughter of the Fairest of Them All, has a happy ever after planned for herself, but it depends upon Raven feeding her a poison apple in their future.

I wasn’t going to read this book. I clicked on it while browsing goodreads and when I noticed it was a Mattel book I almost clicked away. But then I noticed how it was written by Shannon Hale (who has written really amazing fairy-tale style books) and that it had gotten a lot of good reviews. So I borrowed it from my Library’s eBook section.

The main adjective that comes to mind when i think about this book is “Cute.” This book was really, really, teeth-rottingly adorable. It was silly, and it had many little fairy-tale related quirks. “Hext messages” instead of text messages, “fairy” instead of very, and “hexcellent” instead of excellent.

And the character names. Oh, the character names. Apple White, Daring and Dexter Charming, Maddie Hatter. All related to the characters they were based on, but slightly different. (And more adorable)

This all goes to say that I enjoyed this book a lot. A lot of it read like a well-written but silly fanfiction, (Conversations with the narrator anyone?) and the entire story was very light and fluffy with not much more to it. But while it wasn’t as great as Shannon Hale’s other books, it was still good and I thought it was worth the read.

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Book Haul (#1)

I didn’t really mean to buy any books this month. And I REALLY didn’t mean to buy ten books this month. But I just kept ending up at book stores, and this is what happened.

April 2014 Book Haul

  1. Hero by Mike Lupica
  2. Entangled by Amy Rose Capetta
  3. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
  4. The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chianani
  5. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
  6. Nick and Tesla’s High Voltage Danger Lab by Bob Pfulgfelder
  7. Spell Robbers (The Quantum League #1) by Mathew J. Kirby
  8. The Eighth Day by Dianne K. Salerni
  9. How to Catch a Bogle (Bogle #1) by Catherine Jinks
  10. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz

April 2014 B&N Haul

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