Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Movie Scrapbook

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Movie Scrapbook
Author: Rick Barba
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Source: Loot Crate
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: November 18, 2016
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Learn all about Newt Scamander and the incredible film from J.K. Rowling’s Wizarding World, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Peer inside Newt Scamander’s enchanted suitcase, encounter marvelous creatures, roam the streets of 1920s New York City, and meet Newt’s fascinating friends! This magical scrapbook takes readers on an interactive adventure through Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. Filled with removable artifacts, such as wizarding newspapers, posters, and other fascinating finds, this book has something for everyone!

Review:

This book is about the first Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them movie. It has details about the movie, characters, and the beasts.

I loved these kinds of scrapbooks when I was a kid. This book has pieces that can be removed, including different kinds of cards and maps. It is a lot of fun to pull out these pieces and play with the different parts of the book.

I think fans of the book will love this fun book!

What to read next:

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander

Harry Potter: The Creature Vault by Jody Revenson

Have you read Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Movie Scrapbook? What did you think of it?

Review: Once Upon a Frog (Whatever After #8)

Title: Once Upon a Frog (Whatever After #8)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Borrowed from a friend
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

My brother, Jonah, and I just want to TALK to the magic mirror — we’re not planning on traveling into any fairytales today. Promise.

Except we do wind up going through the mirror, this time into the story of The Frog Prince. The princess, who’s supposed to transform the cute little frog back into a handsome prince, turns out to be super rude. Jonah and I decide we don’t want — or need — her help. We can take matters into our own hands and turn the frog into a prince ourselves! Can’t we?

Now we just have to:

– Climb out of a smelly well

– Canoe over a waterfall

– Sneak into a palace

– Kiss a frog (ack)!

And there’s no time to waste — let’s hop to it!

Review:

This story is a little different from the others in the series. In each book, Abby and Jonah travel to a fairy tale. They end up messing up the ending in some way, such as preventing Sleeping Beauty from falling asleep. However, in this one, they intentionally try to change the ending.

In the original story of the frog prince, the princess is so mean that she throws the frog against a wall which makes him turn back into a prince. Abby didn’t want this frog prince to have the same fate, so she stops the princess from rescuing him, and instead tries to change him back into a human. This doesn’t end as she planned, when it turns out that the prince is actually evil!

Abby was able to apply what she learned about the mean prince in the fairy tale to her real bully at school. This shows that kids can learn things from fairy tales, even if they aren’t set in real life.

I love this series! I can’t wait to read the next one which is based on Aladdin!

What to read next:

Genie in a Bottle (Whatever After #9) by Sarah Mlynowski

Upside-Down Magic (Upside-Down Magic #1) by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, Emily Jenkins

Have you read Once Upon a Frog? What did you think of it?

Review: The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions #1)

Title: The Becoming of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions #1)
Author: Michelle Hodkin
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In the first book of the Shaw Confessions, the companion series to the New York Times bestselling Mara Dyer novels, old skeletons are laid bare and new promises prove deadly. This is what happens after happily ever after.

Everyone thinks seventeen-year-old Noah Shaw has the world on a string.

They’re wrong.

Mara Dyer is the only one he trusts with his secrets and his future.

He shouldn’t.

And both are scared that uncovering the truth about themselves will force them apart.

They’re right. 

Review:

I’m so glad this series is continuing with Noah Shaw’s story. The Mara Dyer trilogy was only the beginning. Their story progresses a lot in this book.

Though Noah was one of the main characters in the Mara Dyer trilogy, he still remained a mystery. That series was narrated by Mara, so we only got to see her perspective. This book was narrated by Noah, so we got an inside look at what it’s like to be Noah. He is very distinct and different from Mara. Mara becomes the mysterious figure in this book.

I’ve flown through each of these books. I can read them in just a couple of hours. I can’t say too much without giving away the ending, but it was a fast-paced story! Also, there is a page with trigger warnings at the beginning. However, if you’re familiar with this series, you know that just about anything bad that can happen to a person happens in these books, including torture and suicide. The page turns into a bit of a joke, because if you can’t read about these subjects, this series is definitely not for you.

I loved the cliffhanger ending! I can’t wait to see what happens next!

What to read next:

The Reckoning of Noah Shaw (The Shaw Confessions #2) by Michelle Hodkin

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi

Have you read The Becoming of Noah Shaw? What did you think of it?

Review: Sorcery of Thorns

Title: Sorcery of Thorns
Author: Margaret Rogerson
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Simon and Schuster Canada
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Format: Ebook
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

All sorcerers are evil. Elisabeth has known that as long as she has known anything. Raised as a foundling in one of Austermeer’s Great Libraries, Elisabeth has grown up among the tools of sorcery—magical grimoires that whisper on shelves and rattle beneath iron chains. If provoked, they transform into grotesque monsters of ink and leather. She hopes to become a warden, charged with protecting the kingdom from their power.

Then an act of sabotage releases the library’s most dangerous grimoire. Elisabeth’s desperate intervention implicates her in the crime, and she is torn from her home to face justice in the capital. With no one to turn to but her sworn enemy, the sorcerer Nathaniel Thorn, and his mysterious demonic servant, she finds herself entangled in a centuries-old conspiracy. Not only could the Great Libraries go up in flames, but the world along with them.

As her alliance with Nathaniel grows stronger, Elisabeth starts to question everything she’s been taught—about sorcerers, about the libraries she loves, even about herself. For Elisabeth has a power she has never guessed, and a future she could never have imagined.

Review:

I loved that this fantasy story was set in libraries. These libraries weren’t like the ones in our world. They were full of grimoires that could do things, such as speak. However, they could also turn into “maleficts” which were dangerous creatures. It made the library a potentially terrifying place.

I was glad that this story is a standalone. So many fantasy books turn into long series, so it is nice to have the complete story in one book.

I didn’t feel as much of a connection to Elisabeth as I wished I did. If her origins were described, I could have related to her more. All that we know is that she was an orphan and didn’t know who her parents were. I think her mysterious parentage could have created a great plot twist. There was an interesting relationship between a sorcerer and a demon, which was great to read. They became more like family than master and servant.

This was a great fantasy story!

Thank you Simon and Schuster Canada for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Nocturna (A Forgery of Magic #1) by Maya Motayne

An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

Have you read Sorcery of Thorns? What did you think of it?

Review: The Beholder

Title: The Beholder
Author: Anna Bright
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: Indigo Summer Preview
Format: Paperback
Release Date: June 4, 2019
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Selah has waited her whole life for a happily ever after. As the only daughter of the leader of Potomac, she knows her duty is to find the perfect match, a partner who will help secure the future of her people. Now that day has finally come.

But after an excruciatingly public rejection from her closest childhood friend, Selah’s stepmother suggests an unthinkable solution: Selah must set sail across the Atlantic, where a series of potential suitors awaits—and if she doesn’t come home engaged, she shouldn’t come home at all.

From English castle gardens to the fjords of Norge, and under the eye of the dreaded Imperiya Yotne, Selah’s quest will be the journey of a lifetime. But her stepmother’s schemes aren’t the only secrets hiding belowdecks…and the stakes of her voyage may be higher than any happy ending.

Review:

I was so excited to read this book! It is set in an alternate historical world, with similar countries and empires as our world.

I noticed some historical storytellers who worked on the ship, the Beholder, right away. Homer, Grimm, and Andersen were the ones I recognized. I was so excited to find these storytellers in the book. The story also had elements of different fairytales, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and The Odyssey. Selah has an evil stepmother who sends her away, like Cinderella and Snow White. She also goes on an epic journey like Odysseus. I wish there had been more storytelling throughout the book, because I loved these references to famous tales.

I was hoping that there would be more time spend with various suitors in this story. I didn’t realize it would be more than one book, so I was a little confused as to why Selah was spending so much time with only two suitors when she had many more to visit. However, I loved the historical elements from all of the places she visited.

The ending was fast paced and exciting. It gave a great cliffhanger for the next book!

Thank you Indigo for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

The Selection (The Selection #1) by Kiera Kass

Caraval (Caraval #1) by Stephanie Garber

Have you read The Beholder? What did you think of it?

Review: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)

Title: The Wicked King (The Folk of the Air #2)
Author: Holly Black
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: January 8, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

You must be strong enough to strike and strike and strike again without tiring.

The first lesson is to make yourself strong.

After the jaw-dropping revelation that Oak is the heir to Faerie, Jude must keep her younger brother safe. To do so, she has bound the wicked king, Cardan, to her, and made herself the power behind the throne. Navigating the constantly shifting political alliances of Faerie would be difficult enough if Cardan were easy to control. But he does everything in his power to humiliate and undermine her even as his fascination with her remains undiminished.

When it becomes all too clear that someone close to Jude means to betray her, threatening her own life and the lives of everyone she loves, Jude must uncover the traitor and fight her own complicated feelings for Cardan to maintain control as a mortal in a Faerie world. 

Review:

I loved The Cruel Prince, but it has been a long time since I read it, so I had to look up some summaries before reading The Wicked King. I’m so glad I finally read it. This was a great second book in the series.

This series has been my first real introduction into the world of Faeries. The Faerie world is explained in an easy to follow way, so I think this is a great series to read if you’re just getting into the Faerie fantasy genre.

This story was fast paced. I flew through it in one day. Everything takes place over a couple of months, but it felt like a much shorter timespan. There was a lot that happened, and it was never a dull moment.

I guessed at what would happen at the end, since I know the third book is called Queen of Nothing, so someone must become a Queen at the end. However, there was a twist that I wasn’t expecting. I’m so excited to see what happens next!

What to read next:

The Lost Sisters (The Folk of the Air #1.5) by Holly Black

Tithe: A Modern Faerie Tale by Holly Black

Have you read The Wicked King? What did you think of it?

Review: Beauty Queen (Whatever After #7)

Title: Beauty Queen (Whatever After #7)
Author: Sarah Mlynowski
Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Source: Library
Format: Ebook
Release Date: April 28, 2015
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The magical seventh installment in this NEW YORK TIMES bestselling series!

This time, the magic mirror sucks Abby and Jonah into the story of Beauty and the Beast. When Jonah angers the Beast by picking flowers from his garden, he becomes the Beast’s prisoner! Abby has to save her brother by finding Beauty, whom the Beast will surely fall in love with, right? NOPE. The Beast doesn’t like Beauty, so it’s up to Abby and her brother to match-make this reluctant pair and fix this fractured fairy tale before things get pretty ugly!

Review:

This is another fun fairytale retelling!

In this story, Abby and Jonah have to fix the Beauty and the Beast fairytale. Abby also has to find a way to get Jonah’s memories back. His memories were wiped at the end of the previous novel so he didn’t remember any of their other fairytale adventures. There were many twists throughout the story, including Abby being turned into a beast!

As the series progresses, the characters are becoming more developed. Abby and Jonah’s lives outside of the fairytale adventures was shown at the beginning of the story. Abby has trouble with her friends at school. She becomes jealous when her friend makes a new friend. However, she learns how to fix the situation while in the Beauty and the Beast story.

The Whatever After series is great! I highly recommend it!

What to read next:

Once Upon a Frog (Whatever After #8) by Sarah Mlynowski

Have you read Beauty Queen? What did you think of it?