Monday, February 29, 2016

Graphic Novel Review: The Bad Times



The Bad Times: An Drochshaol by Christine Kinealy and John Walsh, December 30, 2015. 118 pages. Published by Quinnipiac University Press. Source: authors.
The Bad Times: An Drochshaol is a story of pain and suffering, but also one of love and loyalty. Brigit, Daniel, and Liam are three teenagers from County Clare in the west of Ireland who live through the horrors of the Great Hunger in Ireland, also remembered by survivors as The Bad Times. The bonds of love and friendship between the teens are put to the test during Ireland's Great Hunger as they each make the tough decisions needed to survive. Their story is movingly told in this new graphic novel by historian Christine Kinealy and graphic novelist John Walsh.

The Bad Times is set during the Great Hunger, a disaster precipitated by the failure of the potato crop, but exacerbated by the inadequate policies of the British government and the cruelty and opportunism of some landowners and merchants. It takes place between 1846 and 1849. The Bad Times is based on the experiences of three young adults, Dan, Brigit and Liam, who are close friends, and their loyal dog, Cú. When the story commences, in late summer 1846, the potato crop is about to fail for a second time.
First Sentence:
Slán.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

I Want to Read It (2): Lost and Found


I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.


Lost and Found (Witherwood Reform School, 2) by Obert Skye, March 1, 2016. Published by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR).
Tobias and Charlotte Eggers are not on vacation. Well, I suppose they are on a vacation from everything they once knew. Locked within the walls of Witherwood, high upon a mysterious mesa, they are still looking for a way out. There are distractions, however. The very ground is shaking, and the creatures that protect the school are revolting. When one of their only friends goes missing it leads to a devastating secret. But there is hope. There are other students who have clear minds and are also fighting to get out. Luckily for everyone, Tobias has a plan. It's a dangerous one, but if it works, it could forever change their fate and Witherwood's future.
Why: I recently devoured the first book, Witherwood Reform School, and am excited/cannot wait to see if Charlotte and Tobias can escape from Witherwood and if they'll ever be reunited with their father.

I am most definitely crossing my fingers that Lost & Found is just as good or better than the first one!!  I definitely would not mind one day adding finished copies to my collection...well, if this one's really good, too. 

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Witherwood Reform School

Teaser Tuesdays is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. 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, February 22, 2016

All About Middle Grade Review: Witherwood Reform School


Witherwood Reform School (Witherwood Reform School, 1) by Obert Skye, March 3, 2015. 240 pages. Published by Henry Holt & Co. BYR. Source: ARC from publisher.
After a slight misunderstanding involving a horrible governess, oatmeal, and a jar of tadpoles, siblings Tobias and Charlotte Eggars find themselves abandoned by their father at the gates of a creepy reform school. Evil mysteries are afoot at Witherwood, where the grounds are patrolled by vicious creatures after dark and kids are locked in their rooms. Charlotte and Tobias soon realize that they are in terrible danger—especially because the head of Witherwood has perfected the art of mind control.

If only their amnesiac father would recover and remember that he has two missing children. If only Tobias and Charlotte could solve the dark mystery and free the kids at Witherwood—and ultimately save themselves.
First Sentence:
Some prologues are just for show, bit of writing that come at the beginning of books directly before the good stuff. 

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

I Want to Read It (1): Deadly


In a stroke of genius, or at least one that seemed like it, I decided to throw out Wish List Wednesday and rebrand it as I Want to Read It! So, the big question is, what is so different about it. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the one's I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.

Deadly by Julie Chibbaro, February 22, 2011. 293 pages. Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers. Source: Own it/TBR.
A mysterious outbreak of typhoid fever is sweeping New York.

Could the city’s future rest with its most unlikely scientist?

If Prudence Galewski is ever going to get out of Mrs. Browning’s esteemed School for Girls, she must demonstrate her refinement and charm by securing a job appropriate for a young lady. But Prudence isn’t like the other girls. She is fascinated by how the human body works and why it fails.

With a stroke of luck, she lands a position in a laboratory, where she is swept into an investigation of the fever bound to change medical history. Prudence quickly learns that an inquiry of this proportion is not confined to the lab. From ritzy mansions to shady bars and rundown tenements, she explores every potential cause of the disease. But there’s no answer in sight—until the volatile Mary Mallon emerges. Dubbed “Typhoid Mary” by the press, Mary is an Irish immigrant who has worked as a cook in every home the fever has ravaged. Strangely, though, she hasn’t been sick a day in her life. Is the accusation against her an act of discrimination? Or is she the first clue in a new scientific discovery?

Why: Julie Chibbaro's book, Deadly, has been sitting on my TBR for a ridiculously long time. I don't know how this book landed in my possession, but I do remember that I was wildly excited to read it...I just never got around to it though,

I do believe this is the year that I'll read it! Why, because the write-up about it has absolutely piqued my interest- historical fiction, Typhoid Mary, and a girl "fascinated by how the human body works", consider this one moved to the top of my list of "books to read this year".
  

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: 50 Things You Should Know About the First World War

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, February 15, 2016

All About Middle Grade Review: 50 Things You Should Know about the First World War


50 Things You Should Know about the First World War by Jim Eldridge, July 1, 2014. 80 Pages. Published by QEB Publishing. Source: publisher.
The story of the War, brought to life through illustrations, photographs, diaries, and newspaper reports. In this illustrated exploration of World War I, readers discover what caused the war and why it eventually affected every corner of the globe. The key battles, events, and figures are all explored and recounted in succinct and easy-to understand text while illustrations and photographs bring the past vividly back to life.
First Sentence:
For hundreds of years, countries in Europe had been at war with one another.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Wish List Wednesday: The Crossing

The Crossing (Daughters of the Sea, 4) by Kathryn Laskey, April 28, 2015. Published by Scholastic.
Three sisters bound by something more powerful than blood---a secret as deep as the ocean.

Once a maid, Hannah is now engaged to a talented painter. But although both were born mer, Stannish has severed ties to the sea and insists that Hannah do the same. Torn between love and the Laws of Salt, Hannah must make a choice that can only lead to heartbreak.

Lucy grew up longing to swim, but her mother believed that girls belonged in the drawing room, not the ocean, and took drastic measures to keep Lucy's identity a secret. Now it's up to Lucy's sisters to save her, before she succumbs to landsickness . . . or the executioner's noose. 
Why: I have been wanting to know how this series plays out for ages now. While I would love to get my hands on a copy of The Crossing, because I need answers, this book is looking to be hard to find.

Question- Was it published in hardback? Everywhere I look all I see is ebook this, ebook that. And that is TOTALLY unacceptable!!!!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: The Real Princess Diaries

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, February 8, 2016

All About Middle Grade Review: The Real Princess Diaries


The Real Princess Diaries by Grace Norwich, August 25, 2015. 96 pages. Published by Scholastic. Source: ARC from publisher.
This inside look at real-life princesses will explore the true and often inspiring stories behind happily ever after.

A deep dive into the royal world of a princess! Featuring princesses from around the world and all of time. The Real Princess Diaries explores everything it means to be royal. Each spread includes portraits of the princesses, in-depth bios, crowning achievements, and family trees. Learn which princesses have official royal duties, and which ones simply reign. Plus bonus sidebars about ladies in waiting, the crowned jewels, royal outfits, and princes, this will be the definitive royal guide. Full-color photos, with a modern layout make this a must read for princess fans everywhere. 

Thursday, February 4, 2016

On My Mind (6) January Wrap-Up and Thoughts


While I'm not one for doing end of month wrap-up posts, I thought "why not" just try it once. Who knows, I might like it...you might like. *let's try something different, yes*

I am 90% sure that I will not be able to repeat the number of books devoured this month again this year. Though, I am happy to say that so far 2016 is off to a wonderful start when it comes to books. I have enjoyed every book I read; sure over half were rereads and off my non-review TBR. But after last year, that's exactly how I needed to start the year.

Now, you'll notice that I did not sign up for any reading challenges nor did I accept the GR reading goal challenge. The reason being is that this year, unlike year's before, I want to focus on quality not quantity with what I'm going to read and spend my time on- book-wise that is.I just really want a fresh bookish start this year. And to do that, I knew that I would need to step back from not only book challenges but also cutback on blog tours, as well.

What I Read- January 2016
  • 50 Things You Should Know about the First World War [GR | Review]
  • Noodles & Albie [GR | Review]
  • The Real Princess Diaries [GR | Review]
  • Jason and the Argonauts [GR | Review]
  • Baltimore Catechism III [GR]
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone *audio* [GR]
  • The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe [GR]
  • Oedipus the King [GR | Review]
  • Oedipus at Colonus [GR | Review]
  • Antigone [GR | Review]
  • Chief Truths of the Faith [GR]
  • Mass and the Sacraments [GR]
  • See How They Run [GR | Review]
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets *audio* [GR]
  • Catholic Morality [GR]
  • Ouran High School Host Club, vol 1 [GR]
  • Introduction to the Bible [GR]
  • Beyond the Door [GR | Review]
  • Ouran High School Host Club, vol 2 [GR]
  • Ouran High School Host Club, vol 3 [GR]
With the exception of the first three books, I have been getting deep into books about faith and returning to my love of classic books. For January, I really just went with whatever caught my attention because I wanted to start the year off on a good foot with reading.

My personal favorites, that were not rereads, from January were-

  • Oedipus the King
  • Oedipus at Colonus
  • Antigone
  • See How They Run
  • Jason and the Argonauts

January also saw the close of my first round of  #OTSPSecretSister. I cannot even begin to tell you how much fun I had participating in the project. I was somewhat nervous going in, but everyone (and I mean everyone) was just so nice and welcoming that it ended up being one of the best things of last year.
  I feel very fortunate to have meet so many wonderful people through the six months it went on. So much so, that I even signed up for the next round because saying goodbye to the whole project was just something I did not want to do. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wish List Wednesday:The Telling Stone

The Telling Stone (Time Out of Time, 2) by Maureen Doyle McQuerry, May 12, 2015. Published by Amulet Books.
The race of the free Scots shall flourish, if this prediction is not false: wherever the Stone of Destiny is found, they shall prevail by the right of Heaven.

Following the malicious attack by Balor the One-Eyed, Timothy James returns home to tend to his ill mother. Jessica, feeling lost and alone, is left at the Traveler’s Market to try to rescue Sarah, Timothy’s sister, who’s imprisoned there. Meanwhile, Balor has concocted a plot to use Jessica as bait to draw Timothy into the battle between Light and Dark…

The children must embark on a quest to seek the Four Treasures of the Market—including the all-important Telling Stone. Armed with an ancient map that contains a secret code, they travel to Scotland, where the stone is rumored to be hidden. In their quest, they are both helped and hindered by characters from the pages of myth and folklore. Balor will stop at nothing to prevent them from completing their quest, and it will require courage, cunning, and cooperation for them to survive. Each discovers unexpected strengths when it seems all hope has been lost.
Why: After reading Beyond the Door last week, I am in dire need of The Telling Stone. There was just so much left hanging in the balance at the end of the first one that I need more. I really enjoyed everything about book one and cannot wait to get my hands on the second installment to see where the story will go next!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Teaser Tuesday: Beyond the Door

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, February 1, 2016

All About Middle Grade Review: Beyond the Door


Beyond the Door (Time Out of Time, 1) by Maureen Doyle McQuerry, March 1, 2014. 384 pages. Published by Amulet Books. Source: author.
With his love of learning and the game of Scrabble, Timothy James feels like the only person who understands him is his older sister, Sarah, and he’s fairly certain nothing interesting will ever happen to him. But one night, while his parents and sister are away, the door opens, and mythical creatures appear in his own living room! Soon, a mystery of unparalleled proportions begins to unfold, revealing an age-old battle of Light against Dark, and Timothy must embark on a quest to prevent the Dark from controlling the future and changing the past. But he can’t complete the quest alone. Timothy has to team up with his sister and the school bully, Jessica, to face an ancient evil, and in the process, this unlikely trio discover they are each more than meets the eye.
First Sentence:
Stooped and shuffling, the man slipped soundlessly through the shadows of night.

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