Blog Tour Review: The Flight of Swans

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Title: The Flight of Swans
Author: Sarah McGuire
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Carolrhoda Books
Source: Thomas Allen & Son (book distributor)
Release Date:October 1, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Based on the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale Six Swans, The Flight of Swans follows Ryn’s journey to save her family and their kingdom.

Princess Andaryn’s six older brothers have always been her protectors–until her father takes a new Queen, a frightening, mysterious woman who enchants the men in the royal family. When Ryn’s attempt to break the enchantment fails, she makes a bitter bargain: the Queen will spare her brothers’ lives if Ryn remains silent for six years.

Ryn thinks she freed her brothers, but she never thought the Queen would turn her brothers into swans. She never thought she’d have to discover the secret to undoing the Queen’s spell while eluding the Otherworldly forces that hunt her. And she never thought she’d have to do it alone, without speaking a single word.

As months as years go by, Ryn learns there is more to courage than speech . . . and that she is stronger than the Queen could have ever imagined.

Review:

This is a great fairy tale story.

At first, I thought it was going to be a Snow White story because I’m not familiar with the Grimm tale called Six Swans. It started out like Snow White, because Ryn’s father married a woman who turned out to be an evil witch. I was immediately sympathetic toward Ryn’s situation. The way that her dad suddenly ignored her was so sad.

The story progressed slowly, but it became exciting toward the end. There was a lot of time spent alone in the woods, which was monotonous and slow. However, the story picked up with a change of scenery.

I really enjoyed this story. It’s a great fairytale.

What to read next:

  • Valiant by Sarah McGuire
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  • Grounded: The Adventures of Rapunzel by Megan Morrison
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About the Author:

Sarah McGuire is a nomadic math teacher who sailed around the world aboard a floating college campus. She writes fairy tale retellings and still hopes that one day she’ll open a wardrobe and stumble into another world. Coffee and chocolate are her rocket fuel. She wishes Florida had mountains, but she lives there anyway with her husband (who wrote this bio in less than three minutes!) and their family.

Follow Sarah:
Website https://www.sarahmcguirebooks.com/

Twitter  @fireplusalgebra (http://ow.ly/zrwP30m75Rt)
Goodreads http://ow.ly/Nz2930m75VN

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Thank you to Thomas Allen & Son for letting me participate in this blog tour.

 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – October 15

This blog meme is hosted by Book Date. It is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organize yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment, and er… add to that ever growing TBR pile!

What I just finished:

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This weekend I finished The Flight of the Swans by Sarah McGuire.

What I’m currently reading:

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I’m currently reading A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi.

What I’m reading next:

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Next I will be reading This Mortal Coil by Emily Suvada.

What are you guys reading this week? Have you read any of these books?

Jill’s Weekly Wrap-Up – October 14

Here’s my weekly wrap up!

Here are my reviews for the week with my ratings:

I did 7 weekly blogging memes:

I also posted about the YA Fall Preview that I went to in August at HarperCollins Canada:

How was your week? What did you guys read?

Sundays in Bed With…

The meme that dares to ask what book has been in your bed this morning? Come share what book you’ve spent time curled up reading in bed, or which book you wish you had time to read today! This meme is hosted by Midnight Book Girl.

This Sunday I’m reading A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh Mafi.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.

Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.

But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.

What book are you in bed with today?

Review: Strange the Dreamer

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Title: Strange the Dreamer (Strange the Dreamer #1)
Author: Laini Taylor
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
Release Date: March 28, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

Review:

I had never read a Laini Taylor book before this one, and I loved it! I’ll definitely be reading more of her books.

I was hooked right from the beginning. I really liked Lazlo. He was a unique character for a fantasy novel, because he was so meek. He didn’t know much beyond his books in the library. He was a dreamer, as the title suggests. However, he was able to live his dream, which changed him.

The city of Weep was so fascinating. I loved the mystery of how the name suddenly disappeared from history. The gods and godspawn were creepy, though. It took a while to get used to the dynamics of the godspawn up in the citadel. There are a few who I really didn’t like. I would love to see a backstory to the gods and their escapades before they were killed.

The ending was quite surprising. I can’t wait to continue this series with Muse of Nightmares.

What to read next:

  • Muse of Nightmares (Strange the Dreamer #2) by Laini Taylor

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  • Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

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Have you read Strange the Dreamer? What did you think of it?

Stacking the Shelves – October 13

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I received two books from HarperCollins Canada:

  • The Mystery of Three Quarters by Sophie Hannah

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  • Last Seen Alive by Claire Douglas

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I also got a book I preordered from Indigo:

  • What If It’s Us by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera

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Thank you HarperCollins Canada for those books!

What books did you get this week?

Review: Anyone’s Game (Cross Ups #2)

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Title: Anyone’s Game (Cross Ups #2)
Author: Sylv Chiang
Genre: Middle Grade
Publisher: Annick Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: September 11, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

What’s up with Cali? Why does she keep changing her gamer tag?

It’s summertime, and even though his good friend Cali moved to another city, Jaden can connect with her online almost every day to play their favorite game, Cross Ups. His mom has loosened her rules on how often he can play, and he has an amazing new controller that will make him even better at tournaments. But then he gets roped into a dorky summer camp with his buddy Hugh, and Cali starts acting really weird . . . So when a last-minute tournament spot opens up in Cali’s city, Jaden jumps at the chance to go.

But things go badly from the start. Jaden loses his controller on the train, and his reunion with Cali is awkward. She’s unhappy, and Jaden can’t figure out why, especially when she’s getting better and better at Cross Ups—and may even win the tournament.

With its sharp dialogue and relatable characters, Anyone’s Game, the second book in the Cross Ups series, chronicles the ups and downs of middle school with a relevant, contemporary twist.

Review:

This is another great story in the Cross Ups series.

I really liked the focus on female gamers in this story. Cali is able to beat Jaden in the game Cross Ups, much to his surprise. He is teased for losing to a girl, though she is just as good at the game as him. Even though girls are not the stereotypical players of video games, that doesn’t mean that they can’t be good at them.

This story also dealt with the problem of cyber bullying. Cali has to deal with a player who sends her creepy, sexist messages. The boys think it is just another part of gaming, but there is a difference between someone saying that you don’t play well and someone  making comments about your gender. This is an important issue that is a very real  danger when kids are playing online.

I loved this story! I can’t wait for this series to continue.

What to read next:

  • Secret Coders (Secret Coders #1) by Gene Luen Yang and Mike Holmes

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  • Gameworld by Christopher John Farley

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Have you read Anyone’s Game? What did you think of it?