Friday, June 15, 2018

And the Trees Crept In

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Today's post is on  And the Trees Crept In by Dawn Kurtagich. It is 355 pages long and is published by Little, Brown Books. The intended reader is someone who is young adult and likes horror. There is some mild foul language, implied sex, and some violence in this book. The story is told from the first person close of the main character Silla with some interludes from the other main characters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Stay away from the woods…
When Silla and Nori arrive at their aunt’s home, it’s immediately clear that the manor is cursed. The endless creaking of the house at night and the eerie stillness of the woods surrounding them would be enough of a sign, but there are secrets too—questions that Silla can’t ignore: Why does it seem that, ever since they arrived, the trees have been creeping closer? Who is the beautiful boy who’s appeared from the woods? And who is the tall man with no eyes who Nori plays with in the basement at night… a man no one else can see?


Review- An excellent introduction into horror for young adult readers. Kurtagich writes an interesting and creepy story that has all the hallmarks of a horror story without being too adult. She creates an atmosphere of slow dread and a sense of helpless doom but she keeps in mind that age of  her intended readers. So we have all the classic horror tropes but tastefully done with a younger audience in mind. I really had a great time with this book, Kurtagich is an excellent writer. Silla is a good narrator, very unreliable and Kurtagich uses that to her fullest. Silla does not know if what she is seeing or thinking is even real anymore and that plays so well with this plot. The twist at the end was just amazing and I really enjoyed seeing it play out to the fullest. If you are a  horror fan or want to try some, then give this one a go, you will not be disappointed. 

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

The Polygamist's Daughter: A Memior


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Today's Nonfiction is on The Polygamist's Daughter: A Memior by Anna LeBaron. It is 320 pages long and is published by Tyndale House Publishers. The cover has a censored picture of the author as a child.  The intended reader is someone who is interested in the lives of those who grew up and lived in polygamist households. There is mild foul language, no sex, and talk of violence it in this memoir. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- My father had thirteen wives and more than fifty children . . .
This is the haunting memoir of Anna LeBaron, daughter of the notorious polygamist and murderer Ervil LeBaron. Ervil's criminal activity kept Anna and her siblings constantly on the run from the FBI. Often starving, the children lived in a perpetual state of fear--and despite their numbers, Anna always felt alone. Would she ever find a place she truly belonged? Would she ever be anything other than the polygamist's daughter?
Filled with murder, fear, and betrayal, The Polygamist's Daughter is the harrowing, heart-wrenching story of a fatherless girl and her unwavering search for love, faith, and a place to call home.

Review- A heart-rending account about growing-up in a polygamist household and all the dangers that brings with it. LaBaron grew up afraid and unloved by the family she was born into. Her mother was too rapped up in her father and his wishes, the other family members were just trying to survive, and her siblings did not have the emotional strength to give her what her parents should have. Most of this memoir is very her early childhood as she moved and tried to get enough to eat. It was very hard to read about hungry children, children being abused, and people being murdered. LaBaron finds and uses her faith to help over-come the trauma of her past to have better future. It is a moving memoir about surviving and finding life after trauma.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Ancient Magus' Bride, volume 1

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Today's post is on The Ancient Magus' Bride, volume 1 by Kore Yamazaki. It is the first in her Ancient Magus' Bride series. It is 180 pages long and is published by Seven Seas. The cover has the two main character, Chise and Elias, on it. The intended reader is someone who likes urban fantasy and shonen manga. There is no foul language, no sex, and mild violence in this manga. The story is told from third person close of Chise. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Enter the Magician's Apprentice
Her name is Chise Hatori, a penniless orphan troubled by visions. Sold as a slave to an inhuman mage, she is about to begin a strange new life, filled with magic, fairies, and other beings of a fantastical nature.


Review- An unusual shonen series. Chise has no one, no family, no hope, and no reason to live. So in a fit of despair she sells herself into slavery. Elias Ainsworth buys her to be his apprentice and so the story begins. Chise is an interesting character and she changes so much just over the course of this volume. Elias is a bit of a mystery as to what he wants or why he choose her as his apprentice but he is kind. There are many adventures in this volume so we get to see a lot of the world with Chise. Her past is still mostly a mystery but she is learning to want to live again. I look forward to experiencing this world with her and I hope she sees that every life as value.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money.

Friday, June 8, 2018

Roadside Magic


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Today's post is on Roadside Magic by Lilith Saintcrow. It is the second in her Gallow and Ragged trilogy. It is 315 pages long and is published by Orbit. The cover has Gallow on a motorcycle with his tattoos and spear out and glowing. The intended reader is someone who likes urban fantasy and a new, darker spin on the Fae. There is foul language, sexuality, and violence in this book. The story is told from third person close of the characters moving from one to the next per chapter. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Robin Ragged has revenge to wreak and redemption to steal. As for Jeremiah Gallow, the poison in his wound is slowly killing him, while old friends turn traitor and long-lost enemies return to haunt him.
In the dive bars and trailer parks, the sidhe are hunting. War looms, and on a rooftop in the heart of the city, the most dangerous sidhe of all is given new life. This new hunter has only one thought: Where is the Ragged?

Review- Another fast paced story into the dark world of the Fae and the Halfs that try to survive them. The story picks up just hours after the ending of Trailer Park Fae with Puck not dead but not alive either. Robin still doesn't believe that Jeremiah can withstand the pull of the Fae Queen of Summer. She thinks that he will betray her to Summer. Jeremiah just wants to protect her and to understand what Puck has on Robin. Add in everyone from both sides hunting for both of them and we get our plot. Some character growth happens in this volume by way of a new character that  Jeremiah had been friends with many years before so we get to see more of Jeremiah before he knew what he is. But the picture on the cover does not come to be as it is not Jeremiah on the bike. But that is a small matter. In the end our heroes are separated and war is coming to the Fae lands.

I give this book a Four out Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this book with my own money.

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Home Sweet Murder

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Today’s Nonfiction post is on Home Sweet Murder by James Patterson. It is 304 pages long and is published by Grand Central Publishing. The cover is grey with a rocky beach and a bridge in the distance. The intended reader is someone who is interested in true crime. There is mild foul language, no sex, and descriptions of violence in this book. There Be Spoilers Ahead.
From the dust jacket- Two true-crime thrillers as seen on Discovery's Murder is Forever TV series
HOME SWEET MURDER: Lawyer Leo Fisher and his wife Sue are a sixty-one-year-old couple enjoying a quiet Sunday dinner at home. Until a man in a suit rings their front door claiming to be an SEC agent. By the end of the evening, two people will be shot, stabbed, and tortured. And two others will fare worse . . .
MURDER ON THE RUN: The middle-aged housekeeper found dead with a knife in her throat was bad. But the little boy was worse. After a bloody double homicide that puts Omaha, Nebraska, on the map, Detective Derek Mois promises the boy's parents he will catch the killer, no matter how long or far he runs . . .
Review- I knew nothing about either of these cases and that made reading this book very anxious for me. I was very worried about the couple in the first story because I was not sure if they were going to survive their night of terror. In the second story I was worried about the killer being found and why he was doing it. The story telling is very good in this volume and I was on the edge of my seat for both stories. Patterson did a good job with handling both cases with care and tack because the first is very terrifying and the second a nightmare for all involved. We get details and insight into the minds of all the players but I never felt overwhelmed by what I was reading. If you like true crime and survival stories, then you should look this book up.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library

Monday, June 4, 2018

Punch! volume 2

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Today's post is on Punch! volume 2 by Rie Takada. It is the second volume in her Punch! series. It is 179 pages long and is published by Shojo Beat. The cover has the main female character Elle looking very cute. The intended reader is someone who likes shojo manga and funny characters. The story is told from third person close of the main character, Elle. There is no foul language, mild sexual content, and mild violence in this manga. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Elle has first date with the scrappy young street fighter named Kazuki, who has recently started training at  her grandfather's renowned gym,  but the date may be ruined when she burned her face while cooking. Meanwhile, Elle's fiancĂ© has secretly been dating Kazuki's blind sister in a twisted attempt to get revenge. With his first real boxing match on the line, how will Kazuki react when he finds out?

Review- Elle realizes to herself that she really likes Kazuki. She likes everything about him including his boxing. But of course Ruo is not going to stand by and give up the girl he loves but he is just a jerk about it.  He gets one of his crew to investigate Kazuki and discovers his sister. Then when Kazuki finds out Ruo says that he will pay for her surgery if Kazuki will leave Elle and the gym for good. I am pulling for Elle and Kazuki all the way. Kazuki cares about what Elle thinks and how his actions impact her and her life. Ruo is being very childish and when Kazuki's sister punches him in the face, that was nice. Only one more volume left and I am very curious about how Elle is going to end up.

I give this volume a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I bought this manga with my own money.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Coming Up for Air

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Today's post is on Coming Up for Air by Miranda Kenneally. It is part of her Hundred Oaks series but you do not have to have read any of the other books to enjoy this one. It is 285 pages long and is published by Sourcebooks Fire. The cover has the two main characters standing in front of a pool about to kiss. The intended reader is young adult, likes realistic romance and real life issues. There is mild foul language, sexuality, and no violence in this book. The story is told from forst person close of the main character Maggie. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the back of the book- Swim. Eat. Shower. School. Snack. Swim. Swim. Swim. Dinner. Homework. Bed. Repeat.
All of Maggie’s focus and free time is spent swimming. She’s not only striving to earn scholarships—she’s training to qualify for the Olympics. It helps that her best friend, Levi, is also on the team and cheers her on. But Levi’s already earned an Olympic tryout, so Maggie feels even more pressure to succeed. And it’s not until Maggie’s away on a college visit that she realizes how much of the “typical” high school experience she’s missed by being in the pool.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Maggie decides to squeeze the most out of her senior year. First up? Making out with a guy. And Levi could be the perfect candidate. After all, they already spend a lot of time together. But as Maggie slowly starts to uncover new feelings for Levi, how much is she willing to sacrifice in the water to win at love?


Review- A sweet realistic teen romance that is honest about sexuality without being overly graphic. Maggie wants to live a little before she goes away to college. She wants to learn about her body and she doesn't want to be embarrassed about not knowing anything about how to be sexy. So she asks her best friend Levi to help her learn. Of course they are more than friends without knowing it but that is part of the plot. I really enjoyed this book for many reasons from the good writing, the characters who feel real but I think that I like the honest look at sexuality the best. It is not romanticized, it is not seen as some end all be all; it is something that it just part of normal life. Kenneally does talk about how feelings can get hurt when sex is mixed into relationships but it is seen as something to learn from not to fear. This is a very positive book about older teen sexuality. I recommend it.

I give this book a Four out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library.