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Cress Success!

Cress. I loved it. So full of action and wonderful people (umm…characters…) that I cannot get enough of the Lunar chronicles series. I totally wish I was on board that epic, dangerous mission to overthrow Queen Levana with them just so I could hang out and chat with Wolf, Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Kai, and of course Thorne.

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles, #3)

Cress Lunar Chronicles #3 Marissa Meyer Young Adult Fantasy Rating 5

This book introduces some new characters, but retains all of the lovable favorites. Cinder’s powers are growing and she struggles with an internal battle; do her powers define her? Can she still be a good person if she manipulates people with her powers even if it’s not for the same reason Levana does? And can she resist the power’s sometimes darker temptations?

Scarlet’s story was pretty intriguing too, though we don’t see much of her and I’m guessing she will play a larger part in the next book…however I’m not going to say anything because I don’t want to give anything away J

And Cress. Her storyline was wonderful. I loved it and could totally relate to her (and I think a lot of book lovers can to some extent). Being isolated in a satellite she created fantasies about meeting the man of her dreams…which never quite play out the way she anticipates…

All in all it was awesome…and I canNOT wait for Winter to come out!!

P.S. I just pre-ordered a SIGNED copy of Cassandra Clare’s City of Heavenly Fire from Books of Wonder Shop!!! It was a bit spendy but I feel totally worth it (:

Top 10 Books with a Fairytale or Mythological Setting

Top Ten Books with a Fairy Tale or Mythological Setting

(this may be stretching the definition of setting, but I don’t care…)

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

This series takes prominent fairy tale females and puts them in a futuristic world and surprisingly it’s absolutely fantastic.

Cinder #1 and Scarlet #2

 

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan

Modern day demigods, their immortal parents, and the never-ending quests to save the world.  I LOVE these…and continue to love them with the continuation of the characters in the Lost Heroes series.

Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

I was scared this series wouldn’t be as good as the Percy Jackson series since I was head over heels for Avalon Highthose characters, but Riordan didn’t disappoint me one bit with this series. It was fantastic getting to learn more about Egyptian mythology I wish there were more though!

Avalon High by Meg Cabot

King Arthur tales hold a special place in my heart for some reason, so I thoroughly enjoyed Cabot’s modern spin on it.

Spindle's EndSpindle’s End by Robin McKinley

Sleeping Beauty’s tale re-told in a rather unique way. This is the only one I’ve read by McKinley so far, but I really enjoyed it so I will (hopefully) be able to read another in the near future.

The Secrets of the Immortal Nicolas Flamel series by Michael Scott

Mythological creatures and famous people who’ve become “immortal” on a chase to fight for the world.  A wonderful Abandon (Abandon Trilogy, #1)series blending modern day life with mythological creatures and amazing characters.

Abandon series by Meg Cabot

A modern day re-telling of Hades and Persephone in true Cabot form. Funny, fast-paced, and romantic.

FearlessReckless series by Cornelia Funke

Behind the mirror is another land where there are many different creatures and references to fairy tales we know (I suspect there are more references to fairy tales, but the author is German so maybe I’m not catching all of them).

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

Ella EnchantedElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine

These two aren’t re-done fairy-tales, but modern day fairy tales, which I’m sure in due time will become classics.

What are yours??? Got any suggestions?

 

Top Ten Tuesday: Words & Topics That Instantly Make Me Pick Up a Book!

Top Ten Words/Topics That Instantly Make Me Pick Up A Book

Hosted by the Broke and the Bookish

This was a great topic to ponder over for a while…Why do we pick up what we read in the first place? I’d never really given it a thought before, but this is what I came up with:

P.S.  If you’re over 13 years old and from the U.S. don’t forget to enter to win a signed copy of Cinder by Marissa Meyer by clicking on the link below (it will take you to rafflecopter.com where you will be able to enter)! Contest ends Friday night!

Enter Here!

Words:

Magical –

I will always pick up book that has the word magical written on it or used to describe it.  The word always gives me a thrill of excitement.  Maybe it means transportation to a different world with new creatures and scenery or to a familiar world but with otherworldly characteristics…so many endless options.

Books: Harry Potter, Inkheart, Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia, Magyk (Septimus Heap series) by Angie Sage

The Goose Girl (The Books of Bayern, #1)Fairy Tale-

I’m currently in love with fairy tale re-tellings and books containing any element of fairy tale in them. They allow an escape to a different world and if those words are used to describe a book I will make sure to give it the once over.

Books: Cinder by Marissa Meyer, The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton, Spindle’s End by Robin McKinley, Goose Girl by Shannon Hale

the night circusMystical-

Another word that just pulls me in for more.  Could there be something gorgeous to discover, a clever otherworldly mystery, or a creative twist to something seemingly ordinary.  It’s a word that begs me to read more about a book.

Books: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, Summer and Bird by Katherine Catmull

397844Intrigue-

This is another one that works just like a magnet on me. It makes me automatically think of spies and secret romances so I always have to check and see if it could be a well written chick lit.

Books: Anything by Lauren Willig, and Meg Cabot’s mysteries

The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #1)Mythical-

Mythology is awesome and I love reading about mythological creatures and stories (especially amazing re-tellings).  So if I see a book with the word mythical on it, I just need to find out what it’s all about!

Books: Percy Jackson series and Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan

Topics:

Dystopian-

I am the type of person who hates going with the trends…but this is one train I’ve hopped on board with.  I just can’t resist a book with a dystopian setting…

Books: Divergent by Veronica Roth, Matched by Ally Condie, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Gilt (The Royal Circle, #1)Historic England-

Oh England, how I wish I could move there (someday hopefully!).  Any book containing historic England draws me in.  There’s so much history to learn about and exciting places to discover (I’m all about learning while reading for fun if possible!)

Books: Philippa Gregory’s novels, Gilt by Katherine Longshore

Dragons!-

I’ve always had a soft spot for dragons. They’re just so magical.  Reading about them can really transport you somewhere else entirely (and wish you were a dragon rider in most instances).

Books: Eragon series by Christopher Paolini, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Dragon Rider by Cornelia Funke

book thiefWWII-

A topic I’ve found fascinating since the first time I learned of it. I love a well told WWII novel.  They are moving, interesting, inspirational, and always leave you with something to mull over.

Books: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, The True Story of Hansel and Gretel by Louise Murphy, Sarah’s Key by Tatiana de Rosnay

Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl Slavery/Underground Railroad-

Just like WWII, this is a topic I’ve always felt compelled to read about.  These stories are so incredibly inspirational and (usually) uplifting even if they are also heartrending.  I would like to recommend a nonfiction book (yes I did actually read a nonfiction book!) called Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl by Harriet Jacobs.  This is an amazing true story which should leave anyone who reads it with the notion that they can accomplish anything they set their mind to.

Books: Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe, Clotel by William Wells Brown

Got any suggestions for great books others may enjoy based on the words/topics that pull me in?

Mystical Story, but Mixed Feelings: The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton

The Forgotten Garden

The Forgotten Garden
Kate Morton
Adult Fiction
Rating: 3.75 (almost 4…)

The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton is a magical, mystical story full of plot twists and secrets interwoven with fairy tales and valuable life lessons.  I loved the idea of this story and the plot, but I honestly never felt a real connection to any of the characters. And I felt like a couple hundred pages could have been cut out and I really wouldn’t have minded.  Yes, yes, my mood and temperament may have played a part in this somewhat negative view (being too sick to even pick up a book for days on end) but I’m not a huge a fan of reading really long books if there isn’t a dang good reason for it (Lord of the Rings I feel had a pretty good reason for being so thick…ditto with Jane Eyre, not so much in this case).

A young girl, Nell, is found on a ship in Australia without any caretaker, so she is secretly taken into the portmaster’s family to live happily until her father one day, about 20 years later, divulges the secret that she is not really his daughter.  Nell’s life is turned upside down by the news and a whole new life full of mystery, feelings of abandonment and dishonesty, and a path to find out who she really is descend upon her.  Along with Nell’s story we also learn the tales of two other female characters; modern-day Cassandra (who is Nell’s granddaughter) and mysterious Eliza from the early 1900’s.  All of the stories do intermingle extremely well, so you can’t just skip one character’s story and get away with it (trust me I tried), and they culminate into an unforgettable ending.

Morton tells the story from multiple people’s point of views and different time periods and, I’ll admit, it was quite jarring even for me at the start.  Once you figure out who everyone is and know them on a first name basis within the story, it gets a bit easier to understand and a little more enjoyable.  However, as mentioned earlier, I really didn’t like any of the main characters. They were just so extremely frustrating to me!  The decisions they made, the way they acted, their personalities all drove me crazy and I would definitely not have befriended any of them.  Not liking the characters in a book does make it  a bit more difficult to read the book…but finish it I did (I picked it for book club, so it was a bit obligatory).

Now, I don’t want to scare anyone away from this book.  It is a very good story and well written (I couldn’t guess the ending….well entirely) and had some very nice quotes throughout. 

It was the first story she’d ever trapped on paper, and to see her thoughts and ideas turned concrete was curious.  It made her skin seem unusually sensitive, strangely exposed and vulnerable.  Breezes were cooler, the sun warmer.  She couldn’t decided whether the sensation was one she liked or loathed.

~The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton

I loved the air of mystery throughout the whole novel, keeping the reader guessing until the very end. And I loved the different relationships shown between the characters throughout the story because they seemed very realistic compared to a lot of other novels. It also offers up a lot in the way of discussion.  I don’t want to spoil anything so I won’t post those topics though! Overall, I’m glad I finished it (the ending is wonderfully done!) I just wish it wasn’t sooo long.

Memory is a cruel mistress with whom we all must learn to dance.

~The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton

Also, be sure to enter to win signed copy of Marissa Meyer’s Cinder I’m giving away before this Saturday by clicking on link below!

Enter Here!

A Rare 5/5 Review With the Amazing: Scarlet by Marissa Meyer (#2)

ScarletMarissa MeyerYA FicitonRating: 5!!!

Scarlet
Marissa Meyer
YA Ficiton
Rating: 5!!!

I got Scartlet! I got Scarlet! After waiting for sooo long to get my hands on this book, it finally came in at the library…and then I read it a day and a half and it was over far too quickly. Scarlet was just so amazing that now I have to own it…and the whole series. So now I will be scouring thrift stores and adding it and Cinder to my birthday list until they are finally in my possession. If you haven’t read my raving review of the first title in the series, Cinder, yet check it out here.

As the title and cover suggest, Scarlet, is a revamped, futuristic take on Red Riding Hood, but this time Red, or Scarlet, means business and is definitely not a helpless little girl. Scarlet’s grandmother has gone missing for no apparent reason and the police refuse to help find her, so she must take the search into her own hands.  However, a suspicious, yet attractive, companion, who calls himself the Wolf continues to cross her path and seems to possess information she needs to locate her grandmother.  Why has her grandmother been taken? And can the Wolf be trusted?

Meanwhile, Cinder’s and Kai’s story are also being told throughout the book.  Cinder must attempt a risky prison break, which doesn’t go quite as expected and then live life on the run, all the while discovering her new Lunar powers, which are a bit scary. And then there’s poor Kai, running a country on the brink of war with Queen Levana, completely confused by his emotions (his feelings for Cinder, duty for the people of his country) but trying his best.

All of these plot lines are seamlessly interwoven together. They are all super interesting and when the story lines switch back and forth it isn’t jolting or confusing, it just…works. (Confession: sometimes I end up skipping character lines I don’t like :S )

However, the ending leaves you begging for more. I don’t even know how I am going to be able to wait until 2014 when the third title, Cress, is set to release.  That seems like forever from right now! And (ohmygosh I’m so excited about this!!) I read on Goodreads that Cress is supposed to be about Rapunzel and Cinder!!! Rapunzel! (I’m a little obsessed with Tangled at the moment) Who knows what magic Meyer can do with Rapunzel, but I am super excited! Then the fourth novel in the series, Winter, is set to release in 2015 which actually is forever from now, (I’ll practically be done with my master’s degree I haven’t started yet) but this one, again according to Goodreads, will feature Snow White and take place on the moon! And of course since I LOVE fairy tales I’m also a bit obsessed with the TV show Once Upon a Time at the moment, hence the Snow White enthusiasm.

If you like adventure, fantasy, good fairy tale spinoffs, light sci-fi, and a great fast paced read, then you should definitely go read this series! I still can’t stop thinking about it and really don’t want to start another book yet.  However, I must start Push by Sapphire for my bookclub on Tuesday….

Does anyone else know of amazing fairy tale spin-off books/series? I’m in the mood for more!

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