Review: A Boy Called Christmas (Christmas #1)

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Title: A Boy Called Christmas (Christmas #1)
Author: Matt Haig
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperCollins
Source: Purchased
Release Date: November 12, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

You are about to read the true story of Father Christmas.
It is a story that proves that nothing is impossible.
If you are one of those people who believe that some things are impossible, you should put this book down right away. It is most certainly not for you.
Because this book is FULL of impossible things.

Are you still reading?

Good.

Then let us begin . . .

A Boy Called Christmas is a tale of adventure, snow, kidnapping, elves, more snow, and an eleven-year-old boy called Nikolas, who isn’t afraid to believe in magic.

Review:

This is a great, unique Christmas story.

When I was a kid, I loved stories about Santa. I always wondered, Where did he come from? This is a great origin story about a boy named Nikolas who grew up to become Father Christmas.

The narration style reminded me of the narrator of A Series of Unfortunate Events. The narrator would comment on things in the story, that Nikolas didn’t know. The narrator would also speak directly to the reader. Though Nikolas didn’t have as hard a time as the Beaudelaire children in A Series of Unfortunate Events, he did have some hardships, such as losing his family and being on his own.

The next book was set up at the end with the introduction of a girl named Amelia. I’m excited to read the rest of the series.

What to read next:

  • The Girl Who Saved Christmas (Christmas #2) by Matt Haig

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  • The Truth Pixie by Matt Haig

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Have you read A Boy Called Christmas? What did you think of it?

First Lines Friday – October 26

This is a weekly meme hosted by Wandering Words, where you give the first few lines of a book to hook your readers before introducing the book.

Here are my first lines:

“I’m on the toilet at the 9:30 Club, and I’m wondering how mermaids pee. This isn’t random. There’s a mermaid Barbie attached to the door of the bathroom here. Which is a pretty odd choice for a bathroom mascot. If that’s even a thing. Bathroom mascots.”

Do you recognize these first lines?

And the book is… The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli.

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Goodreads synopsis:

Seventeen-year-old Molly Peskin-Suso knows all about unrequited love—she’s lived through it twenty-six times. She crushes hard and crushes often, but always in secret. Because no matter how many times her twin sister, Cassie, tells her to woman up, Molly can’t stomach the idea of rejection. So she’s careful. Fat girls always have to be careful.

Then a cute new girl enters Cassie’s orbit, and for the first time ever, Molly’s cynical twin is a lovesick mess. Meanwhile, Molly’s totally not dying of loneliness—except for the part where she is. Luckily, Cassie’s new girlfriend comes with a cute hipster-boy sidekick. Will is funny and flirtatious and just might be perfect crush material. Maybe more than crush material. And if Molly can win him over, she’ll get her first kiss and she’ll get her twin back.

There’s only one problem: Molly’s coworker Reid. He’s an awkward Tolkien superfan with a season pass to the Ren Faire, and there’s absolutely no way Molly could fall for him. Right?

Have you read The Upside of Unrequited? What did you think of it?

Review: Writ in Stone (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #2)

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Title: Writ in Stone (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #2)
Author: Stefan Petrucha, Sho Murase
Genre: Graphic Novel, Middle Grade
Publisher: Papercutz
Source: Library
Release Date: July 1, 2005
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

It’s double trouble for Nancy and her friends, when an ancient artifact and a little boy are both suddenly missing.  The artifact is a piece of an old stone marker that may prove that the Chinese were in America eighty years before Columbus.  The little boy is Owen Zucker, a sweetie who Nancy sometimes baby-sits.  Nancy’s determined to recover both the artifact and little Owen, but someone’s out to stop her—permanently!  Ages 8 to 12.

Review:

I loved this graphic novel!

The graphics in this book were much better than the first one. All of the pictures were clear. There were objects in the images that looked like clip art. They didn’t match the other drawings, because they looked like photos of real things.

I was so excited to see Ned and Hannah. They are so important to Nancy and play an important part in the novels, but they are often left out of adaptations.

The next book is inspired by the 1930s, so I’m excited to read it!

What to read next:

  • The Haunted Dollhouse (Nancy Drew: Girl Detective Graphic Novels #3) by Stefan Petrucha, Sho Murase

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  • Curse of the Arctic Star (Nancy Drew Diaries #1) by Carolyn Keene

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Have you read Writ in Stone? What did you think of it?

 

 

TBR Thursday – October 25

TBR Thursday is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly Faye Reads, where you post a title from your shelf or e-reader and find out what others think about it.

My pick this week is Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Beware of the woods and the dark, dank deep.

He’ll follow you home, and he won’t let you sleep.

Who are the Sawkill Girls?

Marion: the new girl. Awkward and plain, steady and dependable. Weighed down by tragedy and hungry for love she’s sure she’ll never find.

Zoey: the pariah. Luckless and lonely, hurting but hiding it. Aching with grief and dreaming of vanished girls. Maybe she’s broken—or maybe everyone else is.

Val: the queen bee. Gorgeous and privileged, ruthless and regal. Words like silk and eyes like knives, a heart made of secrets and a mouth full of lies.

Their stories come together on the island of Sawkill Rock, where gleaming horses graze in rolling pastures and cold waves crash against black cliffs. Where kids whisper the legend of an insidious monster at parties and around campfires.

Where girls have been disappearing for decades, stolen away by a ravenous evil no one has dared to fight… until now.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it?

Review: The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1)

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Title: The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen  #1)
Author: Alison Goodman
Genre: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Publisher: Viking Books
Source: Library
Release Date: December 14, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

London, April 1812.

On the eve of eighteen-year-old Lady Helen Wrexhall’s presentation to the queen, one of her family’s housemaids disappears-and Helen is drawn into the shadows of Regency London. There, she meets Lord Carlston, one of the few who can stop the perpetrators: a cabal of demons infiltrating every level of society. Dare she ask for his help, when his reputation is almost as black as his lingering eyes? And will her intelligence and headstrong curiosity wind up leading them into a death trap?

Review:

I really enjoyed this book! I love stories set in the 1800s.

This story started out slow, but the pacing was good for the story. It took a while to get used to the characters and their situations. Helen lives with her aunt and uncle because her parents died. Her mother had a scandalous past, which her aunt and uncle fear has been passed on to Helen.

I loved the fantasy elements of the story. It contrasted with the Regency atmosphere of the book. I couldn’t guess what was going to happen. It was also quite intense at times.

I was sad to see this story end because I really liked it, but I’m glad that it’s a series!

What to read next:

  • The Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen #2) by Alison Goodman

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  • The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White

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Have you read The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1)? What did you think of it?

‘Waiting on’ Wednesday – October 24

This is a weekly meme hosted by Breaking the Spine. In this post we highlight a book that’s highly anticipated.

The book that I’m waiting on this Wednesday is Slayer by Kiersten White.

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Into every generation a Slayer is born…

Nina and her twin sister, Artemis, are far from normal. It’s hard to be when you grow up at the Watcher’s Academy, which is a bit different from your average boarding school. Here teens are trained as guides for Slayers—girls gifted with supernatural strength to fight the forces of darkness. But while Nina’s mother is a prominent member of the Watcher’s Council, Nina has never embraced the violent Watcher lifestyle. Instead she follows her instincts to heal, carving out a place for herself as the school medic.

Until the day Nina’s life changes forever.

Thanks to Buffy, the famous (and infamous) Slayer that Nina’s father died protecting, Nina is not only the newest Chosen One—she’s the last Slayer, ever. Period.

As Nina hones her skills with her Watcher-in-training, Leo, there’s plenty to keep her occupied: a monster fighting ring, a demon who eats happiness, a shadowy figure that keeps popping up in Nina’s dreams…

But it’s not until bodies start turning up that Nina’s new powers will truly be tested—because someone she loves might be next.

One thing is clear: Being Chosen is easy. Making choices is hard.

What books are you waiting on this week?

Review: Goldie Vance, Vol. 3

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Title: Goldie Vance, Vol. 3
Author: Hope Larson, Brittney Williams, Sarah Stern
Genre: Graphic Novel
Publisher: BOOM! Box
Source: Library
Release Date: November 21, 2017
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Catch up with the coolest new girl detective on the block, Goldie Vance.

Sixteen-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance has an insatiable curiosity with dreams of one day becoming a detective. Luckily, she lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place, and with a rotating roster of guests and events, there’s bound to be some mystery afoot! With the Prescription One race in town, Goldie and her biggest rival, Sugar Maple, find themselves in an unlikely alliance to find who is sabotaging the drivers before the big event.

Eisner Award-winning writer Hope Larson (A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel) and artist Brittney Williams (Patsy Walker, A.K.A Hellcat!) are joined by writer Jackie Ball and introducing artist Noah Hayes in another exciting whodunnit adventure!

Review:

I enjoyed this mystery. The story moved along quickly. Goldie had to solve the mystery of who was sabotaging Sugar’s race. She figured it out, with the help of her friends.

I like the representation in this story. Goldie is mixed race, and she is a lesbian. This is great for a story that is set in the 1950s, because this representation wouldn’t have been in books during that time period.

I also liked the way that Sugar Maple grew as a character in this story. She didn’t just play the spoiled rich girl anymore. She saw that Goldie was more useful as an ally than an enemy, so they became friends.

I liked this story, and I look forward to the next volume.

What to read next:

  • Goldie Vance, Vol. 4 by Hope Larson, Jackie Ball, Elle Power, and Sarah Stern

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  • Heavy Vinyl by Carly Usdin and Nina Vakueva

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Have you read Goldie Vance, Vol. 3? What did you think of it?

Top Ten Tuesday – Worst Villains

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish and it is now hosted by The Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s theme is Villains, so I’m writing about the worst (meanest) villains. Here’s my list:

1. Dolores Umbridge (Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. Rowling)

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2. Voldemort (Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J.K. Rowling)

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3. Queen Levana (Cinder by Marissa Meyer)

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4. Count Olaf (The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket)

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5. Eli Ever (Vicious by V.E. Schwab)

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6. Minya (Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor)

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7. The Darkling (Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo)

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8. Ace Anarchy (Renegades by Marissa Meyer)

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9. Maven (Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard)

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10. Black Jack Randall (Outlander by Diana Gabaldon)

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(All photos taken from Goodreads)

Review: Fort Solitude (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #2)

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Title: Fort Solitude (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #2)
Author: Derek Fridolfs, Dustin Nguyen
Genre: Middle Grade, Graphic Novel
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Source: Library
Release Date: December 27, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The follow-up to the bestselling hit Study Hall of Justice! Clark Kent is thrilled when he receives an invite to a spring break academic retreat. After taking down the villains of Ducard Academy the previous year, going back to life on the farm was a bit dull. Better yet, his friends Bruce and Diana have been invited there, too! What better way to spend spring break than with old friends (Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn) and new ones like Arthur Curry (Aquaman), Barry Allen (the Flash), and Vic Stone (Cyborg)?

When Clark arrives at Camp Evergreen he makes new friends, reconnects with old ones, and nothing seems weird at all! Well, that is until kids start disappearing… One by one…  Plus, there’s a lake monster, bigfoot has been spotted, there are reports of a boogeyman, and there may or may not be a UFO crashed into the lake. Clark, Bruce, and Diana will have to re-assemble the Junior Detective – er- Criminal Investigation Unit, in an all-new, supernatural adventure!

Review:

I really like the concept of this story. The DC Super Hero kids get invited to a camp, and then kids mysteriously disappear.

I also liked the format. There are many different kinds of documents that tell the story, including chat messages between Clark, Diana, and Bruce, Clark’s scrapbooks, and flyers advertising events at the camp. I loved these kinds of books when I was a kid, so I’m sure lots of kids would like this format.

The images were all in black and white, which made it difficult to tell the difference between the characters. Most of the time, they were in their regular clothes, since they aren’t superheroes yet, so they looked the same. If it wasn’t for Clark’s glasses, him and Bruce would have looked the same. I also wasn’t sure who many of the new characters were because they went by their real names. I had to keep googling the names to figure out who they really were, such as Pamela and Arthur. When I learned who they were, it made the story funnier because they were behaving like their future superhero selves.

I’m interested in seeing how this story continues in the next volume.

What to read next:

  • Detention of Doom (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #3) by Derek Fridolfs, Dustin Nguyen

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  • Super Sons, Volume 1: When I Grow Up by Peter J. Tomasi, Jorge Jimenez

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Have you read Fort Solitude? What did you think of it?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? – October 22

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 Fort Solitude (DC Comics: Secret Hero Society #1) by Derek Fridolfs and Dustin Nguyen.

What I’m currently reading:

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I’m currently reading The Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) by Alison Goodman.

What I’m reading next:

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Next I will be reading The Light Between Worlds by Laura E. Weymouth.

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