Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Children’s Publishing for the opportunity to read and review The Glass Town Game by Catherynne M. Valente. The story got its start because of the creative imagination of the Bronte siblings. Charlotte, Branwell, Emily and Anne travel to and begin the adventure they share in Glass Town. The prose is whimsical and sweet and made me think of Roald Dahl in parts. This book is an adventure that I wish the Bronte children could have actually been a part of. The charming illustrations, sprinkled sparingly throughout the book, bring Glass Town to life. 4 stars for a book that is reminiscent of and starts an interest in the history of the Bronte family.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary review consideration.
Thanks to NetGalley and Workman Publishing Company for the opportunity to read and review Quackery: A Brief History of the Worst Ways to Cure Everything by Lydia Kang. The book has sections for elements, plants and soil, tools, animals and mysterious powers. The first section begins with the medicinal use of mercury. Interesting and intriguing in its awfulness, especially the part about using it for babies who are teething; whoa! Then I learned about the First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty who was desperate for immortality and was given mercury medicines by his alchemists because they thought that was the answer. He died at forty-nine and his mausoleum rivals Egyptian pharaohs and is said to be flowing with rivers of mercury! Tidbits of mercury use include historical figures such as Abraham Lincoln, Napoleon and Edgar Allan Poe. Reading about Opium use was eye-opening and jaw-dropping, especially the part about giving it to quiet crying babies and children! The No More Pain with Cocaine part all the way to cannibalism and corpse medicine kept me morbidly fascinated. 5 stars for a must-read of a sketchy piece of history!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for voluntary consideration.
Love this beautiful, new paperback edition!
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone by J.K. Rowling is just as magical and wonderful on the eighth reading as it is on the first! Oh, to be in the Wizarding World created by J.K. Rowling again! Such a wonderful place to be. I still am riveted each time I read this series and I laughed once again when Uncle Vernon sang “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” as he jumped at small noises, when he was overwhelmed with the letters Harry kept receiving. J.K. Rowling has a tremendous sense of humor and she adds depth to her characters so that we can’t help but fall in love with them. Happy 20th Anniversary to Harry Potter!
Fate by Jennifer Lynn Barnes, the second book of the Tattoo series, begins with Bailey back as the Third Fate, the Fate of Life. She is told by the other two Fates that her Reckoning would begin that night. Morgan visits Bailey and her friends at the mall, once again, and this time her gifts are mirrored pendants for each of them. Bailey doesn’t know what her Reckoning entails but eventually she learns that it involves making a choice that can affect her for eternity. Bailey and her friends meet immortals, some nice and some not so nice. The sense of humor and loyalty are brought into the sequel to Tattoo and make Fate a charming read , 5 stars!
Thanks to Edelweiss for the ARC of Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz! Two murders occur close together in a small town and the residents think they know who the murderer is, but they each think it’s someone different. The story begins with the editor reading the Magpie Murders manuscript and the ending is missing. The story’s mystery coincides with the mystery occurring in the editor’s life. The book is a bit long winded but the writing is done well, creating scenery and characters for both stories taking place within the book. 3.5 stars!
Thanks to NetGalley and Tanglewood for the opportunity to read and review Is a Worry Worrying you? by Ferida Wolff and Harriet May Savitz with illustrations by Marie LeTourneau! This book has simple but appropriate illustrations that convey the feeling of worrying while reminding us that it’s our choice whether we worry or not. There are many worries in life and this book gives ideas of how to get rid of worries in a fun, simple way. The worry is shown in each illustration. It’s drawn many different ways with its expression showing happiness to sadness, depending on whether the character on the page is letting the worry cause stress or making it leave. Very helpful to ease everyone’s worries, 5 stars!
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review. Thanks to NetGalley and Little, Brown Books for Young Readers for the opportunity to read and review Defy the Stars by Claudia Gray! Noemi is a soldier for Genesis and she’s very loyal to her planet and her friend, Esther. Abel is a machine made by an Earth scientist to be the culmination of all other machines that have been created. The scientist, Mansfield, wants Abel to be as human-like as possible, including feeling emotions and having conscious thought. Esther is injured and Noemi finds the functioning but deserted ship, the Daedalus, not knowing that Abel is on board. Noemi wants to help Esther by getting to the ship’s sickbay. Abel does everything in his power to save Esther and he and Noemi become reluctant comrades while Abel treats Noemi as a commander. They are going together to destroy the gate between Earth and Genesis. On their trip they make discoveries about each other, such as integrity, loyalty and other values and skills. They also note each other’s intelligence. The mystery of Abel’s creation and purpose makes both of them more and more curious. They meet and befriend others while on their quest and the action and suspense continues to build. This story turned out better than I thought it would, since science fiction isn’t my favorite genre. Claudia Gray built a complex, futuristic world full of diverse and dynamic characters, 5 stars !
Received an advance reader copy in exchange for a fair review.
Thanks to NetGalley and Tanglewood Press for the opportunity to read and review A Kissing Hand for Chester Raccoon by Audrey Penn! This classic children’s book has been transformed into a board book edition, with the same message as The Kissing Hand. Simple and beautiful illustrations, sketched and and brought to life with watercolor, represent the loving relationship between a mother and her son. She’s trying to build his security and self confidence by giving him her gift of a kissing hand. I remember reading this book to my own children years ago and the comfort that it gave them and me is still memorable. 5 stars!
Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick deserves a solid 5 star rating! Just the prologue is intense enough to make me want to read the book in one sitting. I have heard nothing but great things about the Hush, Hush series from my library patrons. Nora and Vee are best friends in their sophomore year of high school. A new student, Patch, becomes Nora’s desk partner in biology class. He is mysterious and stubborn and Nora finds him exasperating, but there is something about him that won’t let Nora get Patch out of her mind. Strange things keep happening to her, causing her to be spooked and cautious. She meets Elliot, a new student and she believes he’s hiding a sinister past. The mystery builds and, as Nora touches Patch’s v-shaped scar on his back, she gets pulled into a vision. The danger and suspense become intense and Nora finally learns the truth about her past and Patch’s. 5 stars for this engrossing supernatural story!