Caroline and the Case of the Middle Grade Book Feels: The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer & Brandon Dorman

Caroline and the Case of the Middle Grade Book Feels: The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer & Brandon DormanThe Wishing Spell (The Land of Stories, #1) by Chris Colfer, Brandon Dorman
on July 17th 2012
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Middle Grade, Siblings
Pages: 438
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Alex and Conner Bailey's world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.

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SHE’S BAAAAACK! I can’t believe it’s been over a year and a half since I debuted this feature with my niece Caroline! What can I say? Middle Schoolers are VERY busy people! I just couldn’t get Caroline to sit still long enough to write a review. I got a lot of wonderful comments from readers when I shared her review of Wonder and I’ve been eager to get her back on the blog for another appearance.

Needless to say, I’m pretty thrilled she’s back to talk about a Middle Grade book series that she is loving these days. Her absolute favorite show is “Once Upon a Time” and when she discovered these books she became an instant fan since they reminded her of the show. Something tells me she’s following in her Auntie’s fantasy loving footsteps. I’m so proud!

Caroline Continue reading “Caroline and the Case of the Middle Grade Book Feels: The Land of Stories by Chris Colfer & Brandon Dorman”

Sarah

Book Feels: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh

Book Feels: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee AhdiehThe Rose & the Dagger (The Wrath & the Dawn, #2) by Renee Ahdieh
on April 26th 2016
Genres: Ancient Civilizations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Fantasy & Magic, Legends, Myths, Fables, Love & Romance
Pages: 432
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five-stars

The much anticipated sequel to the breathtaking The Wrath and the Dawn, lauded by Publishers Weekly as "a potent page-turner of intrigue and romance."

I am surrounded on all sides by a desert. A guest, in a prison of sand and sun. My family is here. And I do not know whom I can trust.

In a land on the brink of war, Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. She once believed him a monster, but his secrets revealed a man tormented by guilt and a powerful curse—one that might keep them apart forever. Reunited with her family, who have taken refuge with enemies of Khalid, and Tariq, her childhood sweetheart, she should be happy. But Tariq now commands forces set on destroying Khalid's empire. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan.

While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with magical forces he doesn't yet understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous but sage young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

TheRoseandtheDagger
If you’ve been a reader of my blog for the past year or so, then you may remember my review of Ahdieh’s debut novel, The Wrath and the Dawn. Here’s what I had to say a little over a year ago…

The Wrath and the Dawn is perfect for readers who love complicated heroines and even more complicated romances. It’s filled with intrigue and mystery and kept me on my toes…I flew through the book. I cannot wait to read the next book and discover where the story goes. If it’s anything like the first book, it too will earn a new spot on my favorites shelf.

Everything I loved about the first book was back again for The Rose and The Dagger…and then some! There are three things I love most about this series… Continue reading “Book Feels: The Rose and the Dagger by Renee Ahdieh”

five-stars
Sarah

Waiting on Wednesday: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer {GIVEAWAY}

Waiting on Wednesday: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer {GIVEAWAY}Stars Above (The Lunar Chronicles #0.5, 0.6, 1.5, 3.1, 3.6) by Marissa Meyer
Published by Feiwel & Friends on February 2nd 2016
Genres: Fairy Tales & Folklore, Science Fiction
Pages: 304
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The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

--The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.

Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….

The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.

Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.

The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.

After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.

The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess

The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.

Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century...

 - hosted by Breaking the Spine -
– hosted by Breaking the Spine –

How lucky are we, dear readers? We get not one…but TWO books from the Lunar Chronicles in less than three months time. We all remember that one time when the final book in the series, Winter, came out right? Wayyyy back on November 10th. The glorious day that shall forever be known as they day that the Lunar Chronicles came to an end. Tears were shed, ships were sailed and million of Marissa Meyer fans dove head first into the 800+ page behemoth!

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Continue reading “Waiting on Wednesday: Stars Above by Marissa Meyer {GIVEAWAY}”

Sarah

Book Feels: Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Feels: Lion Heart by A.C. GaughenLion Heart by A.C. Gaughen
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on May 19th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Historical, Love & Romance, Medieval, Young Adult
Pages: 352
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five-stars

Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.Only the greatest loves can survive great danger. . . Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape, she learns that King Richard's life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine needs Scarlet's help to free him. For a lifelong thief, this newfound allegiance to the crown-her family-is a strange feeling.Scarlet knows that helping Eleanor will put her and those she loves back in Prince John's sights. Desperate not to risk anyone's life but her own, Scarlet formulates a plan to help save the king on her own. But fate-and her heart-won't allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long. Even if Scarlet and Rob can together stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England, will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

LionHeart

WHAT I LOVED…

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The thing I loved so much about Lion Heart, is everything I love about the entire Scarlet series. It’s an exciting re-telling of the Robin Hood legend that immediately appealed to me, but what I really loved about this entire series is the true life historical facts and events that Gaughen wove into the story to make it an even more engaging and interesting. There was so much drama and political intrigue in Lion Heart and it was such a culmination of the first two books, that I couldn’t turn the pages quickly enough to find out how everything wrapped up. For those of you who have read Scarlet and particularly Lady Thief, you know how much this series can rip out your heart and stomp on it. I don’t think I have ever felt so gutted after reading a book as when I finished Lady Thief, so I was pretty nervous going into Lion Heart. I am so happy to say that Lion Heart wrapped up the series so beautifully and was the perfect mix of action and swoon, and was exactly what I was hoping for to end this epic tale. Continue reading “Book Feels: Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen”

five-stars
Sarah

{BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY} Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen

{BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY} Lion Heart by A.C. GaughenLion Heart by A.C. Gaughen
Published by Bloomsbury Publishing USA on May 19th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Historical, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Pages: 352
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads

Scarlet has captured the hearts of readers as well as the heart of Robin Hood, and after ceaseless obstacles and countless threats, readers will finally find out the fate of the Lady Thief.

Imprisoned by Prince John for months, Scarlet finds herself a long way from Nottinghamshire. After a daring escape from the Prince's clutches, she learns that King Richard’s life is in jeopardy, and Eleanor of Aquitaine demands a service Scarlet can’t refuse: spy for her and help bring Richard home safe. But fate—and her heart—won’t allow her to stay away from Nottinghamshire for long, and together, Scarlet and Rob must stop Prince John from going through with his dark plans for England. They can not rest until he’s stopped, but will their love be enough to save them once and for all?

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I’m so thrilled to be a part of the blog tour for ‘Lion Heart’! The entire Scarlet series by A.C. Gaughen is an absolute favorite of mine and I love nothing more than sharing that with all of you! Look for a review on my blog sometime after I get back from BEA…it’s going to be filled with all sorts of gushing and fangirl goodness. Today, I’m sharing a really fantastic guest post from Annie, in which she shares her publishing journey. So often we read a book and take for granted how amazing it is, but do you ever take the time to think about what it took to make it so amazing! Well, Annie has some really great insights from her own publishing journey, and I’m so thankful she’s sharing them with us today. Take it away Annie… Continue reading “{BLOG TOUR & GIVEAWAY} Lion Heart by A.C. Gaughen”

Sarah

Book Feels: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt

I received this book for free from in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Feels: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany SchmidtHold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt
Published by Bloomsbury USA on May 19th 2015
Genres: Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Law & Crime, Love & Romance, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 400
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three-half-stars

In Penelope Landlow's world, almost anything can be bought or sold. She's the daughter of one of the three crime families controlling the black market for organ transplants. Because of an autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise easily, Penny is considered too "delicate" to handle the family business, or even to step foot outside their estate. All Penelope has ever wanted is independence-until she's suddenly thrust into the dangerous world all alone, forced to stay one step ahead of her family's enemies. As she struggles to survive the power plays of rival crime families, she learns dreams come with casualties, betrayal hurts worse than bruises, and there's nothing she won't risk for the people she loves. Perfect for fans of Holly Black and Kimberly Derting, this first book in the stunning new Once Upon a Crime Family series from acclaimed author Tiffany Schmidt will leave readers breathless.

-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases -
-a space where I share my thoughts and feelings on upcoming and recent book releases –

hold me like a breath

Continue reading “Book Feels: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt”

three-half-stars
Sarah

Waiting on Wednesday: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt

Waiting on Wednesday: Hold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany SchmidtHold Me Like a Breath by Tiffany Schmidt
Published by Bloomsbury USA on May 19th 2015
Genres: Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Law & Crime, Love & Romance, Mysteries & Detective Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Goodreads

Penelope Landlow has grown up with the knowledge that almost anything can be bought or sold—including body parts. She’s the daughter of one of the three crime families that control the black market for organ transplants.

Penelope’s surrounded by all the suffocating privilege and protection her family can provide, but they can't protect her from the autoimmune disorder that causes her to bruise so easily.

And in her family's line of work no one can be safe forever.

All Penelope has ever wanted is freedom and independence. But when she’s caught in the crossfire as rival families scramble for prominence, she learns that her wishes come with casualties, that betrayal hurts worse than bruises, that love is a risk worth taking . . . and maybe she’s not as fragile as everyone thinks.

waitingonwednesday
– hosted by Breaking the Spine –

Tiffany’s Schmidt described her upcoming release as “a book with a body count” last year in an interview over at YA Highway. That’s really all it took to get my attention to be honest with you, and ever since then I’ve been so exited to get my hands on “Hold Me Like a Breath”. The fact that it’s a retelling of The Princess and the Pea only makes it even more intriguing! Come on…romance, organ transplants, medical disorders, organized crime…this book is going to have EVERYTHING!!

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Is this one of your radar? Do you enjoy fairytale retellings? Share your thoughts and comments below,
I’d love to hear what you think!

 

Sarah

Book Feels: Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay

Book Feels: Princess of Thorns by Stacey JayPrincess of Thorns by Stacey Jay
Published by Random House Publishing Group on 2014
Genres: Adaptations, Fairy Tales & Folklore, Family, Fantasy & Magic, Siblings, Young Adult
Pages: 400
Goodreads
five-stars

Game of Thrones meets the Grimm's fairy tales in this twisted, fast-paced romantic fantasy-adventure about Sleeping Beauty's daughter, a warrior princess who must fight to reclaim her throne.   Though she looks like a mere mortal, Princess Aurora is a fairy blessed with enhanced strength, bravery, and mercy yet cursed to destroy the free will of any male who kisses her. Disguised as a boy, she enlists the help of the handsome but also cursed Prince Niklaas to fight legions of evil and free her brother from the ogre queen who stole Aurora's throne ten years ago.   Will Aurora triumph over evil and reach her brother before it's too late? Can Aurora and Niklaas break the curses that will otherwise forever keep them from finding their one true love? Praise for Juliet Immortal

I was provided with an ARC of this title by Random House Children’s & NetGalley
in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to both for the opportunity!

I’m honestly not quite sure where to start here…actually I have no clue how to even write this review. I mean, how am I supposed to write something cohesive and coherent about one of the BEST BOOKS I’VE READ ALL YEAR!!!! I really have a much harder time reviewing books I love because all I want to do is post a photo of myself cheesing it up with the book and a caption that says “READ THIS NOW!” I’ve done you a favor though, and instead of a selfie of me with Princess of Thorns surrounded by hearts, I’ve created a mood board to give you a visual sense of how epic this book is. Check it out…

PrincessofThorns

This book kind of came out of nowhere for me if I’m being honest. I requested it on NetGalley a few months back after reading the summary and deciding that it sounded like a book I would enjoy. Then over the past month or so, I started hearing some serious buzz about how amazing this book is. So when I FINALLY got around to reading it last week, it’s safe to say that I was blown away and its now become one of my very favorite reads of 2014.

The story of Aurora has some familiar elements to it, as it’s a bit of a twist or continuation of the Sleeping Beauty fairy tale. Aurora is the daughter of Sleeping Beauty and her handsome rescuer, but her parents happily ever after never quite materialized. Aurora has grown up in a cruel and unforgiving world, and is forced into some pretty unfortunate circumstances. I thought Aurora was an amazing main character, and the bravery and strength she possessed was exactly what I was looking for when I started reading. She’s also a sympathetic character but I never really found myself feeling sorry for her, because she is just so capable and brave. Go on girl!!

I also found it really intriguing that she spent much of the book disguised as a man, not as a way to create an image of strength and capability to others, but as a way to disguise herself so she could accomplish what she needed to. Aurora is smart, strong and bad-ass and, thanks to her fae lineage, the woman knows how to handle herself in a fight! She reminded me a lot of Celaena from the Throne of Glass series and Scarlet from the Scarlet series, and because of that she’s earned a spot on my roster of favorite female fantasy characters.

As part of Aurora’s journey, she finds herself paired up with a prince that has his own secrets to keep and battles to fight. Being the bad-ass female that she is, Aurora quickly enlists Prince Niklaas’ help in her quest to rescue her younger brother and reclaim her throne from an evil queen, and they become a dynamic duo. It was pretty interesting to see their relationship develop while Niklaas is under the belief that he’s travelling with a man. Stacey Jay did a fabulous job creating layers in each of her main characters, allowing them to become individually distinct but even better together. Their chemistry was absolute perfection, and when Niklaas finally discovers his travelling companion’s true identity, things are taken to a whole new level. Don’t expect sunshine, roses and love poems though…this is a uniquely complicated relationship and I was totally sucked in to seeing how on earth Aurora and Niklaas’ relationship would evolve.

I’m going to be honest and say I wasn’t a huge fan of Niklaas’ at first. He was a bit cocky, a lot arrogant and totally clueless when it comes to women. But, as the novel progresses his character growth is absolute perfection, and by half way through the book I was alllll about him! I was rooting for Niklaas just as much as I was rooting for Aurora, and their individual stories come together so perfectly and this makes the novel that much more intriguing.

Princess of Thorns hits all the right fantasy notes and completely delivers in the world-building category as well. This is the first Stacey Jay novel I’ve read and I was completely blown away by how beautifully she presents the world in which this story takes place. Aurora and Niklaas travel far and wide, and each location was more spectacular than the last. I got completely lost in the fantasy of this world, making it so easy for me to get totally sucked into the story.

If you love romance and high-fantasy, I highly suggest Princess of Thorns be added to your reading list as soon as possible. It’s incredibly adventurous, beautifully written and totally delivers on the swoon, and if you ask me that’s a perfect combination. Maybe it will make your favorites of 2014 list as well!

five-stars
Sarah