Monday, November 30, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy


Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy by Karen Foxlee, January 28, 2014.233 pages. Published by Alfred A. Knopf. Source: publisher.
Unlikely heroine Ophelia Jane Worthington-Whittard doesn't believe in anything that can't be proven by science. She and her sister Alice are still grieving for their dead mother when their father takes a job in a strange museum in a city where it always snows. On her very first day in the museum Ophelia discovers a boy locked away in a long forgotten room. He is a prisoner of Her Majesty the Snow Queen. And he has been waiting for Ophelia's help.

As Ophelia embarks on an incredible journey to rescue the boy everything that she believes will be tested. Along the way she learns more and more about the boy's own remarkable journey to reach her and save the world.

A story within a story, this a modern day fairytale is about the power of friendship, courage and love, and never ever giving up.
First Sentence:
In the end the Queen was nothing like she was in the stories the Marvelous Boy had been told, first as a child beside the hearth and later by the wizards.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Illuminae

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 23, 2015

YA Review: Illuminae

Illuminae (Illuminae Files, 1) by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, October 20, 2015. 599 pages. Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers. Source: Library.

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do.

This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet's AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it's clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she'd never speak to again.

First Sentence:
So here's the file the almost killed me, Director.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: See How They Run


See How They Run (Embassy Row, 2) by Ally Carter, December 22, 2015. Published by Scholastic.
For the past three years, Grace Blakely has been desperate to find out the truth about her mother’s murder. She thought it would bring her peace. She thought it would lead her to answers. She thought she could put the past to rest.

But the truth has only made her a target.

And the past?

The only way to put the past to rest is for Grace to kill it once and for all.

On Embassy Row, power can make you a victor or a victim; love can turn you into a fool or a fugitive; and family can lead you forward or bury you deep.  Trust is a luxury.  Death is a very real threat. And a girl like Grace must be very careful about which secrets she brings to light.
Why: The easy answer would be that I need this one because Ally Carter's one of my favorite authors-and has been since I first picked up her first YA book. The longer answer would be that the ending of All Fall Down (you can see my review) has given me a great need to know what happens next. So many plot points were set up in book one and teased about...and by golly I want answers!!!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: A Riddle in Ruby

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

All About Middle Grade Review: A Riddle in Ruby


A Riddle in Ruby (Key to the Catalyst, 1) by Kent Davis, September 22, 2015. 432 pages. Published by Greenwillow Books. Source: publisher.
Ruby Teach, daughter of a smuggler and pirate, has been learning how to swindle and steal and pick the most complex locks for as long as she can remember. But a collision with aristocratic young lord Athen sends her spinning into chaos. Little did she know that her whole life has been spent in hiding from nefarious secret societies and the Royal Navy . . . who are both now on her trail. In this debut middle grade adventure, Kent Davis weaves a rip-roaring tale through an alternate colonial Philadelphia. A world where alchemy—that peculiar mix of magic and science—has fueled the industrial revolution. 
First Sentence:
Never pick a chemystral lock.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Sew Adventurous (4): Adventures in Cosplaying


Named after my first (negelected) Tumblr Sew Adventurous, this is my new blog feature where I'll be sharing some of the non-reading and non-bookblog things that I do. From my latest sewing project(s) to the cross stitch patters I'm currently working on. Hey, I might even get bold one day and chronicle my ill fated attempts at other forms of crafting.

Sew Adventurous (4): Adventures in Cosplaying....



I only mentioned it a couple times on Twitter, but, for the last few months I had been working on my first cosplay for an upcoming (now past) anime convention (my second one...ever) and, well, it turned out quite nicely. So, now I want to share with y'all my first experience with cosplaying from my fears to things I would have done differently.

Even though it took me months to complete it, I was still somewhat nervous about dressing up even though it was more "normal" for one to be in costume at the convention than not. It was just that I'm one of those people who don't like to stand out; I've never been comfortable being the center of attention.

So, what made me the most nervous about cosplaying-
  1. a fear of a wardrobe malfunction. I'm still pretty new to sewing and have only finished maybe three clothing pieces (mainly skirts because they're easy) so the idea of something going wrong was all too easy to see. 
  2. It could be awkward. I'm mean here you, or should I say me,dressed as a character from a show and someone wants your picture...*cue mini panic* I never know what to do in pictures!! I'm that awkward photo taker.
  3. Being a character that people really like. You know it's not easy, especially when you hear them calling that characters name and realize that they're actually talking to you. While it was a little odd, it was pretty easy to handle since I use a pseudonym here on my blog. 
Things I wish I'd done differently-
  1. Taken some pictures with other cosplayers from the show my character was from! I was just too nervous (and awkward) to ask them for a group photo! Next time though I will not chicken out!!
  2. I wish my sister and I had been able to take some fun photos of ourselves in costume! Sadly though the moment we decided to go out, to what would have been the perfect photo spot, it (of course) started to rain!
  3. Find a better way to pin my hair up under the wig. I'm so glad my mom was there because there was no way I could have braided my hair myself...and kept it contained long enough to get everything situated. 
Surprisingly enough, it ended up not being weird or awkward when it came to actually cosplaying. It was quite fun and made it easier to ask others for a picture of their cosplay. I ended up enjoying it so much that before the day was half spent I had already decided who my next two cosplays would be. Now comes that hard part: planning, buying materials, and putting things together.

Since you always here of people getting the "Con Crud", I went in with a plan to not wind up sick post convention. So, if you should find yourself at any convention or even just out of town, here are some things to help keep the ickies away.
  1. Get plenty of rest!!! Cannot stress this enough!!
  2. Drink WATER!! You can drink other things just make sure you drink lots of water throughout the entire event.
  3. Purell is your best friend....so is thoroughly washing your hands!
  4. Vitamin C
  5. Eating actual food and not the junk you find at conventions. Yes, that's right take time to eat some proper food and drink, you got it, water!
  6. Feeling tired, try taking a short break from doing and chill out with your group in a quiet spot. They can be hard to find but unwinding will keep you from crashing and burning. 
If I hadn't been so shy, I would have liked to question some of the cosplayers about how they accomplished their outfits! Some of them had some mad talent!! Next time though I believe I will ask someone how they were able to create their costume and get it looking so close to that of the character they were portraying!! Yes, I wanted to "nerd out" and question them about costumes because I have so much more to learn and skills to obtain!!
 
Can you tell, I'm already dreaming of attending another convention. Next time I want to cosplay at least two days of the convention.

Have you ever dressed up as a character, if so tell me all about it!! If you haven't, is there a character you always wanted to be but were maybe to nervous to attempt? 

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: The Orphan Queen

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 9, 2015

YA Review: The Orphan Queen

The Orphan Queen (Orphan Queen, 1) by Jodi Meadows, March 10, 2015. 391 pages. Published by Katherine Tegen Books. Source: borrowed from library/now own.
Wilhelmina has a hundred identities.

She is a princess. When the Indigo Kingdom conquered her homeland, Wilhelmina and other orphaned children of nobility were taken to Skyvale, the Indigo Kingdom’s capital. Ten years later, they are the Ospreys, experts at stealth and theft. With them, Wilhelmina means to take back her throne.

She is a spy. Wil and her best friend, Melanie, infiltrate Skyvale Palace to study their foes. They assume the identities of nobles from a wraith-fallen kingdom, but enemies fill the palace, and Melanie’s behavior grows suspicious. With Osprey missions becoming increasingly dangerous and their leader more unstable, Wil can’t trust anyone.

She is a threat. Wraith is the toxic by-product of magic, and for a century using magic has been forbidden. Still the wraith pours across the continent, reshaping the land and animals into fresh horrors. Soon it will reach the Indigo Kingdom. Wilhelmina’s magic might be the key to stopping the wraith, but if the vigilante Black Knife discovers Wil’s magic, she will vanish like all the others.
First Sentence:
The mirrors were an expensive superstition.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Wish List Wednesday: Royal Wedding Disaster


Royal Wedding Disaster (From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess, 2) by Meg Cabot, May 17, 2016. Published by Feiwel & Friends.
Olivia Grace Clarisse Mignonette Harrison still finds it hard to believe that she's a real live PRINCESS OF GENOVIA. Not only does she get to live in an actual palace with her newly discovered family and two fabulous poodles (who all love her and think that she's anything but ordinary!) but she also gets her very own PONY!

Of course, things aren't going exactly like she imagined. Her half-sister Mia is very busy learning how to take over the country while trying to plan a wedding and her father is actually getting remarried himself-to Mia's mother!-and spends most of his time "renovating" the summer palace, although Grandmere says he is just hiding from the wedding preparations. Olivia hardly gets to see either of them.
Why: Let's see: Meg Cabot and Princess Olivia...that's why I need this one!! To be honest, I really loved the first installment and am eagerly awaiting Royal Wedding Disaster because I want to know where the series will go next and what path Olivia will take.

You can see my review of From the Notebooks of a Middle School Princess by Meg Cabot to find out just why I enjoyed it so much!!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: Charm & Strange

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, November 2, 2015

DNF Review: Charm & Strange


Charm & Strange by Stephanie Kuehn, June 11, 2013. 216 pages. Published by St. Martin's Griffin. Source: publisher.
When you’ve been kept caged in the dark, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. It’s impossible to see anything, really. Not without bars . . .

Andrew Winston Winters is at war with himself.

He’s part Win, the lonely teenager exiled to a remote Vermont boarding school in the wake of a family tragedy. The guy who shuts all his classmates out, no matter the cost.

He’s part Drew, the angry young boy with violent impulses that control him. The boy who spent a fateful, long-ago summer with his brother and teenage cousins, only to endure a secret so monstrous it led three children to do the unthinkable. 
First Sentence:
I don't feel the presence of God here.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

Review: Broken Gods

Broken Gods: Hope, Healing, and the Seven Longings of the Human Heart by Gregory K. Popcak, Ph.D., June 2, 2015. 208 pages. Published by Image: Source: Blogging for Books.
You are gods."

Blasphemy? No, those mysterious words, spoken by Jesus in the Gospel of John and alluded to in Psalm 82, point to a holy longing deep in our hearts that tells each of us that we were created for more.

“Imagine that you were to wake up tomorrow to discover that, by some miracle, you had become a god overnight,” writes Dr. Gregory Popcak.  “Not THE God—omnipresent, all-knowing, all-powerful—but a god in the classic sense. That is to say, you woke to find that you were perfect, immortal, utterly confident in who you are, where you were going in life, and how you were going to get there. It might seem ridiculous to consider at first, but allow yourself to imagine this truly miraculous transformation.  What would it be like to live without fear? How would it feel to be completely at peace with yourself and the people in your life? Imagine what it would be like to be able to resolve—once and for all—the tension that currently exists between all your competing feelings, impulses, desires, and demands. What would change in your life as a result of your having become that sort of divinely actualized person?”

Bold questions are in need of bold answers. And in Broken Gods, a work that is both practical and inspirational, Dr. Greg explores what our deepest desires--and even our darkest desires-- tell us about our ultimate destiny and reveals a commonsense approach to fulfilling our true purpose in life.
Are you a middle grade author, want your book to be spotlighted this year during the challenge on my blog? Than this post is just for you. All about Middle Grade Challenge

Sign up for the 2014 All about Middle Grade Reading Challenge.

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