Sep 23 2014
Review: The Witch’s Boy by Kelly Barnhill
Written By: Jade | | Tags: ,

thewitchsboy-kbPublisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Published: ARC Expected Publish Date September 16, 2014
Copyright: 2014
Pages: 372
Form: Paperback
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter

When Ned and his identical twin brother tumble from their raft into a raging river, only Ned survives. Villagers are convinced the wrong boy lived.  But when a Bandit King comes to steal the magic that Ned’s mother, a witch, is meant to protect, it’s Ned who safeguards the magic and summons the strength to protect his family and community.

Meanwhile, across the forest lives Aine, the daughter of the Bandit King.  She is haunted by her mother’s last words to her: “The wrong boy will save your life and you will save his.” When Áine and Ned’s paths cross, can they trust each other long enough to make their way through the treacherous woods and stop the war about to boil over between their two kingdoms?

My Thoughts

  • This book reminds me of a middle school, watered down, version of Game of Thrones, Lord of the Rings, and Harry Potter, but not necessarily in a bad way.
  • The power of the magic seems a bit confusing, as far as how powerful it is, how to wield it, who can use it, and so forth.
  • I think this is an appropriate and lovely story for middle schoolers.  But as someone who has read the aforementioned series, I couldn’t help but feel the author incorporated a lot of the elements present in those books.  Even down to a character who has a thick tongue and terrible lisp and the main character sharing his name with the patriarch of the Stark clan from Game of Thrones.  I don’t know if that was the author’s intention, but it’s just how I felt and what I picked up on while reading this novel.
  • Continuously having to  read Ned’s stutter throughout the novel got on my nerves.

For me the story was cheesy, yet endearing.  I think that it will thoroughly captivate and entertain the audience it was written for.  As for me, I found it entertaining but it wasn’t quite my cup of tea.


Sep 19 2014
Mini-Review: The Giver by Lois Lowry
Written By: Jade | | Tags: ,

thegiver-llPublisher: Dell Laurel-Leaf
Published: January 24, 2006
Copyright: 1993
Pages: 179
Form: Paperback
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter

Jonas’s world is perfect. Everything is under control. There is no war or fear or pain. There are no choices. Every person is assigned a role in the Community.

When Jonas turns twelve, he is singled out to receive special training from The Giver. The Giver alone holds the memories of the true pain and pleasure of life. Now, it is time for Jonas to receive the truth. There is no turning back.

My Thoughts

After reading The Giver by Lois Lowry I finally get where the inspiration for many of the dystopian novels out today comes from.  The circumstances, community, and life created and depicted by Lowry in this book is genuine and authentic.  I loved Jonas.  His eagerness, and willingness to be helpful, and his compassion for other people was refreshing to see in the midst of a world where everyone and their lives are so very much cookie cutter like and extremely dictated and organized.


Now, while I really loved and appreciated this story, I was left with more questions than answers which rendered the ending completely unsatisfactory for me.  Some questions are:

  • Why were the children with light or different colored eyes the only ones with the ability to ‘see beyond’?
  • If Rosemary was The Giver’s true daughter, does that mean Jonas was his true son as well?
  • Did Jonas and Gabriel have a good life when they reached their destination?
  • How did the people receive them?  Was it with open arms or suspicion?
  • How come Elsewhere has not been subjected to everything the people and place Jonas comes from has?  How have they avoided the sameness?

Despite all my questions, I did genuinely like the book and think it is an excellent example of dystopian and a good starting place for middle schoolers or readers new to the genre.


Sep 15 2014
Mini-Review: Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins
Written By: Jade | | Tags: ,

lolaandtheboynextdoor-spPublisher: Dutton Books
Published: September 29, 2011
Copyright: 2011
Pages: 338
Form: Hardback
Series: Beloved Series (2)
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter

Budding designer Lola Nolan doesn’t believe in fashion…she believes in costume. The more expressive the outfit–more sparkly, more fun, more wild–the better. But even though Lola’s style is outrageous, she’s a devoted daughter and friend with some big plans for the future. And everything is pretty perfect (right down to her hot rocker boyfriend) until the dreaded Bell twins, Calliope and Cricket, return to the neighborhood.

When Cricket–a gifted inventor–steps out from his twin sister’s shadow and back into Lola’s life, she must finally reconcile a lifetime of feelings for the boy next door.

My Thoughts

The following are my thoughts as they came to me while reading and I jotted them down.  I’ve read so many books since that I really can’t remember to write anything more down.

  • I love that Lola has two loving and present parents in her life, that actually care and are involved when it comes to raising her and looking out for her well-being.
  • I love that her parents are two gay men as it shows that families come in all different forms and there is no exact ‘norm’ for family.
  • I think it unfair of Lola to be upset with Cricket because he’ s uncomfortable with her and Max.
  • Lola can work a nerve.
  • Max = Eeeuwww
  • Love Cricket and his genuineness.  His sincerity is endearing and becoming.
  • Lola strikes me as immature and whiny.
  • Painting your man’s nails (or the man you’re interested in), is NOT SEXY!  Neither is glimpsing the chipped remnants of said polish days later.  Chipped nail polish isn’t even cute on girls.  I don’t even want to imagine the guy I’m interested in with nail polish on, chipped or otherwise.
  • I love Cricket’s unassuming nature and his love, dedication, and support to his family and friends.
  • In the words of Wendy Williams, “I love their love”, and I’m always a sucker for a friends to lovers story.

PS: I adored the fact that Anna and Etienne were characters and present in this novel.  It was good to catch up with them and see how their relationship has developed.


Sep 02 2014
Mini-Review: Remembered Death by Agatha Christie
Written By: Jade | | Tags: ,

remembereddeath-acPublisher: Pocket Books
Published: November 2, 1984
Copyright: 1943
Pages: 194
Form: Paperback
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter

When lively, lovely Rosemary Barton died of cyanide-laced champagne at an elegant London nightclub, the coroner ruled it a suicide.  But the anonymous letters put it quite differently–“She was killed”–and suddenly a shocking array of motives come to light.  Now a bereaved husband turned reckless avenger is hosting another party, a trap to catch a killer.  Once again, the uninvited guest is–murder!

My Thoughts

This was an interesting and gripping mystery that captured my attention from beginning to end.  Upon suspicion that his wife was murdered and did not actually commit suicide, Mr. Barton decides to do a replay of the circumstances in which his wife died in order to suss out the murderer.

Christie does a  good job in setting up every character and their backstory so as to give the reader a myriad of suspects of whom it is impossible to choose who they think actually committed the murder.  And when the detectives get together and begin putting all the pieces together, we are left with a surprising perpetrator and a satisfactory ending.

I enjoyed this little mystery.  It was a quick read, yet it definitely kept my attention.  I will be reading much and more of Ms. Christie’s work in the future.


Aug 30 2014
Movie Review: If I Stay
Written By: Jade | | Tags:


My Thoughts

I was hanging out with my friend this weekend and we decided to go see a late show.  This and the Ninja Turtles were the only things playing late that were worth seeing, and since my friend and her family had already seen the Ninja Turtles, we went to see this.  I don’t even know if I have very much in me to say about the movie, but I LOVED it.

This is one of the better book to movie adaptations I’ve seen in quite a long while.  I think they did an excellent job of creating the accident, yet going back and showing the important events in Mia’s life that made her the talented, sweet, and amazing teenager that she was.  I thought they cast the movie perfect for every character, yet the immediate family and Adam were the stand outs for me.  And I felt a special affinity for the nurse who was there for her and encouraging her to be strong and fight.  To see someone in that profession who actually truly cares whether their patient makes it or not really resonated with me.

I found myself on the verge of tears more than a few times during the course of this movie.  And the final scene with her and her family and friends playing and singing around the bonfire was achingly sweet.  If I Stay was absolutely and heartbreakingly PERFECT!

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