The City of Ember #BookReview #GraphicNovel #MiddleGrade #Dystopian

In the spring 2003, kids, parents, teachers, librarians—whole communities—discovered and fell in love with Jeanne DuPrau’s story about a doomed city, and the two children who found a way out. Nearly 10 years later, that story, The City of Ember, is a bona fide classic, with over 1.7 million copies sold. Now experience Jeanne DuPrau’s vision anew as artist Niklas Asker faithfully brings to life the glare of the lamps, the dinginess of the streets, and the brilliance of the first sunrise.”

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Title: The City of Ember (Book of Ember #1)

Author: Jeanne Duprau

Adapted By: Dallas Middaugh

Illustrator: Niklas Asker

Publisher: Random House

Publication Date: September 2012

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Sci-Fi, Dystopian, Graphic Novel, Mystery

ISBN: 9780375867934

 

 

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“It is said that the city of Ember is the only light in the dark world. Without Ember’s great lamps, the darkness would last forever. Now the lights are flickering, and supplies are running low. When Lina and Doon find a mysterious document that might hold the answer, they must decipher its meaning before it’s too late.” (back blurb)

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My son and I borrowed The City of Ember, a middle grade dystopian graphic novel, from our local library to read together at bedtime. We both LOVED this book! The setting is dark, atmospheric, and mysterious. While the plot may be simple, this novel does talk about serious topics such as death, secrets, lies, and duty, lightening things up with family, friendship, and adventure.

“Ember has existed for 241 years. There is no place but Ember. It is the only light in the dark world.”

The two main characters are twelve-year-old classmates Lina and Doon. Lina is a very responsible young teen who helps take care of her younger sister and sick Grandmother. She’s smart, and courageous. Doon is more careful than Lina. He’s an intelligent, compassionate, bookworm.

The dark colours used throughout adds to the gloomy atmosphere. We both love the style of the graphics.

The dialogue was simple and at times abrupt, which created a lack of character emotion. My son said the one thing he didn’t like was how simple the plot was (“there wasn’t much going on”). I haven’t read the original novel, but have heard it’s much better than the graphic novel, so I’m interested to give that a try.

We recommend The City of Ember to fans of middle grade graphic novels. There are four books in this series, the next book is called The People of Sparks

Rating:
Plot 3/5
characters 3/5
graphics 5/5
dialogue 3/5
Overall: 3.5/5

Fall Blog About the Author

Learn more about Jeanne DuPrau here

http://www.jeanneduprau.com

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Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus #Bookreview #SpoilerFree

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Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus is an atmospheric, Gothic story that begins on a Captains ship stuck in ice, then takes us all over Europe as Dr. Victor Frankenstein tells his story to the Captain, Walton. According to Wikipedia, Frankenstein was first published anonymously in January 1818. Five years later Mary Shelley’s name appeared on the second edition cover. She apparently based the novel on a dream. I’ve watched many movies and TV shows based on the Frankenstein story, not realizing how much they differ from the original story.

“Beware; for I am fearless, and therefore powerful.”

Title: Frankenstein, or the Modern Prometheus

Author: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley

Audiobook: Published Oct 4, 2011 by Naxos Audiobooks

Genre: Classic, Horror, Sci-Fi, Gothic, Fantasy

I also read an ebook version, that did not have publisher, year, or ISBN. I did manage to find a picture of the cover online. http://alessandria.bookrepublic.it/api/books/9781623958138/cover

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Mary Shelley began writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen. At once a Gothic thriller, a passionate romance, and a cautionary tale about the dangers of science, Frankenstein tells the story of committed science student Victor Frankenstein. Obsessed with discovering the cause of generation and life and bestowing animation upon lifeless matter, Frankenstein assembles a human being from stolen body parts but; upon bringing it to life, he recoils in horror at the creature’s hideousness. Tormented by isolation and loneliness, the once-innocent creature turns to evil and unleashes a campaign of murderous revenge against his creator, Frankenstein.

Frankenstein, an instant bestseller and an important ancestor of both the horror and science fiction genres, not only tells a terrifying story, but also raises profound, disturbing questions about the very nature of life and the place of humankind within the cosmos: What does it mean to be human? What responsibilities do we have to each other? How far can we go in tampering with Nature? In our age, filled with news of organ donation genetic engineering, and bio-terrorism, these questions are more relevant than ever.” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18490.Frankenstein

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“Nothing is so painful to the human mind as a great and sudden change.”

Prometheus is an intelligent Titan from Greek mythology punished by Zeus after attempting to aid humans. He represents the dangers of human technological progress. Dr. Frankenstein, motivated by a desire to become famous, becomes obsessed with creating life. After he succeeds he flees from the monster that he’s created. The monster, at first is innocent and kind, becomes hateful and resentful after being mistreated by humans.

“I do know that for the sympathy of one living being, I would make peace with all. I have love in me the likes of which you can scarcely imagine and rage the likes of which you would not believe. If I cannot satisfy the one, I will indulge the other.”

The character development and writing quality is extraordinary. I’m fascinated that Shelley could write a book that’s incredibly pertinent even two hundred years later. My only dislike is that the beginning is a little sluggish, however, once Dr. Frankenstein begins to relate his tale to Walton the intensity and pace pick up.

“Learn from me, if not by my precepts, at least by my example, how dangerous is the acquirement of knowledge, and how much happier that man is who believes his native town to be his world, than he who aspires to become greater than his nature will allow.”

Written during a time when Romanticism and Enlightenment movements were at their peak, Frankenstein is a page-turning mystery which takes us on a journey of dark and light, hope and despair, blending science fiction, romance, along with horror into a heart-breaking story about responsibility, and humility, showing us that in the end all we really want is love and acceptance.

“I am alone and miserable. Only someone as ugly as I am could love me.”

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Mary Shelley (née Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, often known as Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley) was a British novelist, short story writer, dramatist, essayist, biographer, travel writer, and editor of the works of her husband, Romantic poet and philosopher Percy Bysshe Shelley. She was the daughter of the political philosopher William Godwin and the writer, philosopher, and feminist Mary Wollstonecraft.

Mary Shelley was taken seriously as a writer in her own lifetime, though reviewers often missed the political edge to her novels. After her death, however, she was chiefly remembered only as the wife of Percy Bysshe Shelley and as the author of Frankenstein. It was not until 1989, when Emily Sunstein published her prizewinning biography Mary Shelley: Romance and Reality, that a full-length scholarly biography analyzing all of Shelley’s letters, journals, and works within their historical context was published.

The well-meaning attempts of Mary Shelley’s son and daughter-in-law to “Victorianise” her memory through the censoring of letters and biographical material contributed to a perception of Mary Shelley as a more conventional, less reformist figure than her works suggest. Her own timid omissions from Percy Shelley’s works and her quiet avoidance of public controversy in the later years of her life added to this impression.

The eclipse of Mary Shelley’s reputation as a novelist and biographer meant that, until the last thirty years, most of her works remained out of print, obstructing a larger view of her achievement. She was seen as a one-novel author, if that. In recent decades, however, the republication of almost all her writings has stimulated a new recognition of its value. Her voracious reading habits and intensive study, revealed in her journals and letters and reflected in her works, is now better appreciated. Shelley’s recognition of herself as an author has also been recognized; after Percy’s death, she wrote about her authorial ambitions: “I think that I can maintain myself, and there is something inspiriting in the idea”. Scholars now consider Mary Shelley to be a major Romantic figure, significant for her literary achievement and her political voice as a woman and a liberal.”

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Dead End #BookReview #SpoilerFree #Mystery #Crime #thriller #Netgalley

When I received Dead End as a digital ARC from Netgalley I didn’t realize it was the third book in the DI Kelly Porter series. It feels like a stand alone novel.

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Title: Dead End

Author: Rachel Lynch

Publisher: Canelo

Date of Publication: October 8, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Crime, Thriller

Page Count: 299

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“When the seventh Earl of Lowesdale is found hanging from the rafters at Wasdale Hall, everyone assumes the aging, hard-partying aristocrat had finally had enough of chasing the glory of his youth. But when the coroner finds signs of foul play, DI Kelly Porter is swept into a luxurious world where secrets and lies dominate.

At the same time, two young hikers go missing and it’s up to Kelly to lead the search. But digging deeper reveals ties to two other unsolved disappearances and Kelly and her team find themselves in a race against time.

Now, as all roads of both investigations and Kelly’s own family secrets lead to Wasdale Hall it becomes more important than ever for Kelly to discover the devious truths hidden behind the walls of the Lake District’s most exclusive estate…”

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When Xavier Paullus II, earl of Lowesdale, is found dead it looks like a suicide. The coroner discovers it wasn’t suicide, and Kelly Porter leads the case to find his killer. Kelly is also investigating the disappearance of two young women, Hannah and Sophie. Dead End is an atmospheric mystery with two storylines told mainly from Kelly’s perspective weaving a twisty, intense narrative about family secrets, betrayal, and self-acceptance.

Cumbria

Wasdale Hall is an actual place.

As a character Kelly is well-rounded. Definitely active, with wants and needs, internal conflict, all that good stuff. The other characters felt flat to me, especially the killer. I didn’t get a good sense of the killers motivations, wants, needs, strengths, or emotions.

The story has too much going on. Xavier’s death, the missing women, Kelly’s new boyfriend, relationship with her sister, and father. Cutting one or two of these would have made the plot feel less cluttered.

Told from mainly Kelly’s perspective, the writing is fantastic, and easy to understand. I guessed the killer early on, yet I still enjoyed the uncovering of details because the characters and setting are so well-written. Dead End is a twisty-turning ride, with a great page-turning pace. A great read for mystery/thriller fans.

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

 

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Rachel Lynch grew up in Cumbria and the lakes and fells are never far away from her. London pulled her away to teach History and marry an Army Officer, whom she followed around the globe for thirteen years.

A change of career after children led to personal training and sports therapy, but writing was always the overwhelming force driving the future. The human capacity for compassion as well as its descent into the brutal and murky world of crime are fundamental to her work.”

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8303535.Rachel_Lynch

https://twitter.com/r_lynchcrime

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Sadie #BookReview #SpoilerFree #YAContemporary #Mystery

If not for a really cool APP called SCRIBD I wouldn’t have been able to fit Sadie into my October reading. For years I thought I wouldn’t like audiobooks. I’m a visual learner, so I didn’t think I would be able to retain info from listening to a book. I was wrong. My new-to-me car has Bluetooth (I was driving a 2006 Grand Caravan for a looooong time, and it ain’t got no Bluetooth that’s for sure). Anytime I was in the car without my family, I listened to Sadie. I also wore headphones and listened while cooking supper, cleaning, folding laundry. It has been honestly amazing. I’m officially addicted to audiobooks! 40820097

Title: Sadie

Author: Courtney Summers

Publisher: MacMillan Audio

Date of Publication: Sept 4, 2018

Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction, Mystery

 

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Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.”

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40820097-sadie

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Sadie, written by Canadian author Courtney Summers, takes place in a fictional “small town” called Cold Creek, Colorado.

“I live in a place that’s only good for leaving.”

Podcast journalist, West, is searching for a missing girl named Sadie, a nineteen-year-old who disappeared after her thirteen-year-old sister Mattie was murdered. Sadie has been raising Mattie pretty much on her own since their mother, an addict, abandoned them.

“She’s dead,” I whisper and I don’t know why this is the thing I choose to say out loud because it hurts to say it, to feel the truth of those words pass my lips, to have them be real in this world. But She’s dead is the reason I’m still alive.
She’s dead is the reason I’m going to kill a man.

This is a creative dual-perspective novel told from Sadie and West, the host of a Podcast called “The Girls”. Sadie is about an unbreakable bond between two sisters. I have a younger sister, and I admire Sadie for her strength and courage. Their story broke my heart many times.

The audiobook has a full cast of characters, a different voice for each person, which helped differentiate their personalities. If I read the book I feel like the characters would feel one-dimensional.

Flipping between Sadie and the podcast perspective wasn’t confusing at all. I had a hard time putting this down even though the pacing did have many slow moments. After arriving at my destination I would remain in my parked car, listening to Sadie, and wishing I didn’t have to turn it off. I NEEDED to know if she was going to catch Mattie’s killer.

This is a great read for those who like mystery novels, but be aware of many trigger warnings: parental abandonment, abuse (physical, mental, sexual), murder, and physical assault.

Some of the sentences had a strange structure and were hard to comprehend. For example:

“The screen door on the trailer is rusted out, sparks a whine into all our surrounding Nowhere That Matters, but if you need a visual, picture a place far, far less than suburbia and then imagine me, a few more rungs down that ladder living in a trailer rented from Fed-Me-Blueberries May Beth for as long as I’ve been alive.”

There was also quite a few times when the podcast would repeat exactly what Sadie had already said from her perspective. This made me feel like it was assumed the reader wouldn’t remember the detail and need the repetition. I don’t like it when books make the reader feel dumb. Sadie’s stutter was mentioned over, and over, and over. If you don’t like ambiguous endings, then this may not be the book for you.

Sadie is a heart-wrenching story about a sister clawing for the strength and courage to find her sister’s killer. It will leave you knowing what it feels like to put your own life at risk in order to achieve justice for someone you love more than you love yourself.

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Courtney Summers was born in Belleville, Ontario, 1986. At age 14, she dropped out of high school. At age 18, she wrote her first novel. Cracked Up to Be was published in 2008, when she was 22 and went on to win the 2009 CYBIL award in YA fiction. Since then, she’s published four more critically acclaimed books: Some Girls Are, Fall for Anything, This is Not a Test and All the Rage, as well as an e-novella, Please Remain Calm which is a sequel to This is Not a Test. Her new novel, Sadie, is available now wherever books are sold. #findsadie
In 2016, Courtney was named one of Flare Magazine’s 60 under 30″

http://courtneysummers.ca/

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👻 Spookathon 👻 Wrap Up #Spookathon

Spookathon (Oct 15-21) has been my most successful readathon I’ve done, and I think that’s because I discovered how cool audiobooks are!

Audiobooks are where it’s at! I listened while driving in my car, cooking for my family, doing laundry, cleaning. Thanks to Scribd I’m going to be able to read so many more books. It’s like Netflix, but for books. Cheaper than Audible! I put the Scribd APP on my phone, I can stream audiobooks or ebooks over WIFI, data, or download to listen offline.

Check out the hashtag #spookathon on Instagram and Twitter 🎃

Thanks to the hosts for all your hard work on Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube!
Kayla from BooksandLala

Shannon from Bookerly

Peter from Peter Likes Books

I completed the challenges! YAY!
1. read a thriller: Sadie
2. read a book with purple on the cover: The Mystery Boxes
3. read a book not set in the current time period: Frankenstein
4. read a book with a spooky word in the title: DEAD End
5. read a book with pictures: The Mystery Boxes

What I read! 🤡

My kids and I listened to Charlotte’s Web while driving in the car. We’re about 50% done. This book means a lot to me. It was the first chapter book I ever read, and it’s been really nice listening to it with my kids.

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My son and I read The Mystery Boxes by Kazu Kibuishi (the author and illustrator of the Amulet series). 12833770

WHAT’S IN THE BOX?

Find out in these seven clever stories by eight incredible comics creators!

Under the Floorboards by Emily Carroll
A box, a doll…but it’s no ordinary plaything!

Spring Cleaning by Dave Roman & Raina Telgemeier
There really is mystery in the back of a messy closet!

The Keeper’s Treasure by Jason Caffoe
A treasure inside a labyrinth inside a temple which way to turn now?

The Butter Thief by Rad Sechrist
There’s more than one way to trap a house spirit!

The Soldier’s Daughter by Stuart Livingston
There are mysteries of life and death–and beyond.

Whatzit by Johane Matte
Oh no, not that box! Watch out, little alien!

The Escape Option by Kazu Kibuishi
A strange, meteoric box and an otherworldly choice.

Open the book! Let the adventure begin!” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12833770-the-mystery-boxes?from_search=true

We also made it halfway through The City of Ember by Jeanne Duprau.

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In the spring 2003, kids, parents, teachers, librarians—whole communities—discovered and fell in love with Jeanne DuPrau’s story about a doomed city, and the two children who found a way out. Nearly 10 years later, that story, The City of Ember, is a bona fide classic, with over 1.7 million copies sold. Now experience Jeanne DuPrau’s vision anew as artist Niklas Asker faithfully brings to life the glare of the lamps, the dinginess of the streets, and the brilliance of the first sunrise.”

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13414561-the-city-of-ember

 

 

My son doesn’t like scary stories, so when my daughter and I are alone in the car we listen to City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab. We’re only about a quarter into that one (and loving it!).

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Cassidy Blake’s parents are The Inspectres, a (somewhat inept) ghost-hunting team. But Cass herself can REALLY see ghosts. In fact, her best friend, Jacob, just happens to be one.

When The Inspectres head to ultra-haunted Edinburgh, Scotland, for their new TV show, Cass—and Jacob—come along. In Scotland, Cass is surrounded by ghosts, not all of them friendly. Then she meets Lara, a girl who can also see the dead. But Lara tells Cassidy that as an In-betweener, their job is to send ghosts permanently beyond the Veil. Cass isn’t sure about her new mission, but she does know the sinister Red Raven haunting the city doesn’t belong in her world. Cassidy’s powers will draw her into an epic fight that stretches through the worlds of the living and the dead, in order to save herself.” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35403058-city-of-ghosts?ac=1&from_search=true

This week I finished Sadie by Courtney Summers. This was the first audiobook I’ve ever listened to and I loved every second. It’s a hard story to hear. I shed many tears, but it is SO GOOD. I’ll have a full review coming out soon.

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Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meagre clues to find him.

When West McCray—a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America—overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40820097-sadie

THEN I read Dead End by Rachel Lynch. Full review coming soon for this one too 🙂

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It was just published this month! October 8th.

“When the seventh Earl of Lowesdale is found hanging from the rafters at Wasdale Hall, everyone assumes the aging, hard-partying aristocrat had finally had enough of chasing the glory of his youth. But when the coroner finds signs of foul play, DI Kelly Porter is swept into a luxurious world where secrets and lies dominate.

At the same time, two young hikers go missing and it’s up to Kelly to lead the search. But digging deeper reveals ties to two other unsolved disappearances and Kelly and her team find themselves in a race against time.” https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/41152149-dead-end

To end Spookathon I listened to and read Frankenstein by Mary Shelley. It’s been two hundred years since this book was first published, so it was time that I read the original story. It’s SO DIFFERENT from what I’ve ever read and watched about Frankenstein. Full review coming soon for this one as well.

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Mary Shelly’s classic tale of terror is the story of Victor Frankenstein, a young student, who learns the secret of imparting life into a creature that he has constructed from corpses he finds.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12163580-frankenstein

 

 

I tried to read Alice Cooper Vol. 1: Welcome to my Nightmare (Alice Cooper 1-6) by Joe Harris, but couldn’t get into this one at all.

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Rock n’ roll legend Alice Cooper has never been a stranger to the mystic and the macabre. His stage shows were the stuff of legend, featuring snakes and pyrotechnics, the invocation of dark themes and darker forces. But while he was a legend in the waking world, few knew his service as “The Lord of Nightmares” beyond it, where he watched over us while we dreamed, and delivered horrors unto the deserving. Only someone took it all away from him, cast him out of his realm, and locked him away. No longer enslaved to the Clan Black, Alice Cooper will reclaim his dark throne at all costs. All hail the Godfather of Shock Rock!”

 

 

💀 What spooky books are you reading this month? 🍬🍬🍬

 

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Book Review ~ A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl #OctoberRelease #ARC #Netgalley #HistoricalFiction

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A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is about a young woman named Grace fighting the fate of living a life filled with regrets like her mother and grandmother did.

Title: A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl

Author: Jean Thompson

Publisher: Simon Schuster

Expected Publication: October 23, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction

Page Count: 336

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A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl is a poignant novel about three generations of the Wise family—Evelyn, Laura, and Grace—as they hunt for contentment amid chaos of their own making.

Evelyn set aside her career to marry, late, and motherhood never became her. Her daughter Laura felt this acutely and wants desperately to marry, but she soon discovers her husband Gabe to be a man who expects too much of everyone in his life, especially his musician son. Grace has moved out from Laura and Gabe’s house, but can’t seem to live up to her potential—whatever that might be.

In A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl we see these women and their trials, small and large: social slights and heartbreaks; marital disappointments and infidelities; familial dysfunction; mortality. Spanning from World War II to the present, Thompson reveals a matrilineal love story that is so perfectly grounded in our time—a story of three women regressing, stalling, and yes, evolving, over decades. One of the burning questions she asks is: by serving her family, is a woman destined to repeat the mistakes of previous generations, or can she transcend the expectations of a place, and a time? Can she truly be free?

Evelyn, Laura, and Grace are the glue that binds their family together. Tethered to their small Midwestern town—by choice or chance—Jean Thompson seamlessly weaves together the stories of the Wise women with humanity and elegance, through their heartbreaks, setbacks, triumphs, and tragedies.”

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We all have a little dysfunction in our family, but I felt that the unhappiness in A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl felt exaggerated, and overwhelming. The writing itself is beautiful, and I know a lot of readers that love this kind of narrative. It just wasn’t for me. I’m discovering that I’m very picky about the women’s lit that I like.

There are big themes in this story: heartbreak, marriage, family dysfunction, alcoholism, drug abuse, death, grief, mortality.

“But it was hard not to think of her mother as she moved from the sink to the oven and back again, tasting and chopping and doing her best impersonation of her mother. She felt, not a presence, exactly. Something more earthbound, a better understanding, perhaps, of her mother and the life she lived. The endless small chores, the worries, never enough time, and always the barely movable obstacles of her husband and children.”

I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters, and had a really hard time remembering who was who.

This isn’t for the readers who like a fast-moving plot, or surprises and action. It’s a slow-burn, introspective novel that will make you think of your own mother, and whether you are like her.

Thank you to Netgalley and publisher for the complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review.

 

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“Jean Thompson is a novelist and short story writer, whose most recent novel is A Cloud in the Shape of a Girl (Simon & Schuster). Her other works include the novels She Poured Out Her HeartThe Humanity Project, The Year We Left Home, City Boy, and  Wide Blue Yonder, and the short story collections The Witch and Other Tales Re-Told, Do Not Deny Me, Throw Like a Girl, and Who Do You Love, which was a 1999 National Book Award finalist.

Thompson’s short fiction has been published in many magazines and journals, including The New Yorker, and been anthologized in The Best American Short Stories and Pushcart Prize. Jean’s work has been praised by Elle Magazine as “bracing and wildly intelligent writing that explores the nature of love in all its hidden and manifest dimensions.” Jean’s other books include the short story collections The Gasoline Wars and Little Face, and the novels My Wisdom and The Woman Driver. Jean has been the recipient of Guggenheim and National Endowment for the Arts fellowships, among other accolades, and taught creative writing at the University of Illinois–Champaign/ Urbana, Reed College, Northwestern University, and many other colleges and universities. She lives in Urbana, Illinois.”

http://www.jeanthompsononline.com/

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Book Review ~ The Invention of Hugo Cabret #MiddleGrade #GraphicNovel #HistoricalFiction #Fantasy

My nine-year-old son has been struggling with self-regulation for years, especially at school. Our family counselor recently lent us a children’s book about a young girl with ADHD (We have an appointment next month with a Behavioural Pediatrician for ADHD assessment), so she thought this would be a good book for him. He did enjoy it, however, it was geared toward children younger than him. I went to our local library hoping one of the librarians would have a suggestion for a Middle Grade book that talked about self-regulation, or along those lines. Unfortunately, they weren’t able to find exactly what I was looking for, but did recommend The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. We started reading it that night, but quickly discovered this wasn’t a good choice for my son. He’s been going through a phase the past couple of weeks where he’s afraid he’s going to die. The father of Hugo dies early in this story, and my son wanted nothing more to do with the book. I have a hard time starting a book and not finishing it, so I went ahead and read it. Here’s my review! P.S. if you know of any Middle Grade books that talk about self-regulation, emotions, impulsive behaviour, etc…please let me know!

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Title: The Invention of Hugo Cabret

Author: Brian Selznick

Publisher: Scholastic Press

Date of Publication: March 2007

Genre: Middle Grade, Fantasy, Historical Fiction, Graphic Novel

Page Count: 525

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Orphan, clock keeper, and thief, Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, Hugo’s undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.”

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This story takes place in Paris, 1931. Hugo Cabret’s father, owner of a clock shop who worked part-time at the museum, finds an automaton in the museum attic. No one knows how it got there. The automaton is sitting at a desk, poised to write a message. Hugo and his father become obsessed with fixing the automaton and discover its hidden message. One night, Hugo’s father dies in a fire at the museum. Hugo goes to live with his uncle, who keeps the clocks at the train station on time. After his uncle disappears Hugo is left on his own, stealing to survive. He discovers the automaton in the museum debris and decides to fix it on his own.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret is an emotional, uplifting story told with beautiful writing and stunning black and white pencil drawings throughout the novel. Selznick weaves the history of early movies into the story of a young orphan grieving for his father, struggling to survive on his own, discovering friendship, and uncovering the secret of the automaton. Hugo’s story bought me to tears. I could feel everything he was feeling.

The characters are well-written with distinct personalities. Hugo wants to keep his secret of living alone in the walls of the train station, yet also try to uncover the truth of the automaton. He has strengths, flaws, emotions. I would have liked to see more desires and internal conflict of the other characters.

A quick, exciting read, I recommend The Invention of Hugo Cabret to readers who like historical fiction and graphic novels. Be sure to get a physical copy, the e-book version wouldn’t give the same experience.

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Brian Selznick (born July 14, 1966) is an American illustrator and writer best known for illustrating children’s books. He won the 2008 Caldecott Medal for U.S. picture book illustration recognizing The Invention of Hugo Cabret.” Wikipedia


He has written and illustrated The Houdini Box, The Robot King, Boy of a Thousand Faces, The Invention of Hugo Cabret, Wonderstruck, and The Marvels. (Wikipedia)

www.theinventionofhugocabret.com

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FallTime Cozy Time #BookTag

I ♥ Fall, the super cozy time of year.

Creator: Sam at Sam’s Nonsense

Questions
1. Crunching Leaves: The world is full of color – choose a book that had reds/oranges/yellows on the cover

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This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity #1) by Victoria Schwab

YA Fantasy, Paranormal, Dystopian

There’s no such thing as safe in a city at war, a city overrun with monsters. In this dark urban fantasy from author Victoria Schwab, a young woman and a young man must choose whether to become heroes or villains—and friends or enemies—with the future of their home at stake. The first of two books.

 

2. Cozy Sweater – It’s finally cold enough to don warm cozy clothing: what book gives you the warm fuzzies?

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Together at Midnight by Jennifer Castle

YA Contemporary Romance

High school senior Kendall, who just returned from a life-changing semester in Europe, and Max, who is drifting his way through a gap year before college, struggle with these questions when they witness a tragic accident in New York City during the holiday season. Racked with guilt, the two accept a dare to perform random acts of kindness to strangers. The challenge pulls these two teens, who have a history together from back home, closer and closer as they explore a vibrant city filled with other people’s stories and secrets.

3. Fall Storm: The wind is howling & the rain is pounding – choose your favorite book OR genre that you like to read on a stormy day

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The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

YA Classic Fantasy

The unicorn discovers that she is the last unicorn in the world, and sets off to find the others. She meets Schmendrick the Magician–whose magic seldom works, and never as he intended–when he rescues her from Mommy Fortuna’s Midnight Carnival, where only some of the mythical beasts displayed are illusions. They are joined by Molly Grue, who believes in legends despite her experiences with a Robin Hood wannabe and his unmerry men. Ahead wait King Haggard and his Red Bull, who banished unicorns from the land.

4. Cool Crisp Air: What’s the coolest character you’d want to trade places with?

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Claire from Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Jamie Fraser…need I say more?

Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Romance, Sci-Fi (Time Travel)

 

 

 
5. Hot Apple Cider: What under hyped book do you want to see become the next biggest, hottest thing?

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Thief of Happy Endings by Kristen Chandler

YA Contemporary Romance

I didn’t think I’d like a romance set on a ranch, but I wrong. I LOVE this book! 5 stars!

Ever since her father moved out, Cassidy feels like her life has been falling apart. So a summer of riding horses at a ranch camp in Wyoming sounds like just what she needs–never mind the fact that she has a paralyzing fear of horses. She’s determined to move past her fear, even if that means taking lessons from the insufferable (yet irresistible) junior wrangler Justin and embarrassing herself in front of the other campers. What follows is a summer of rodeos, complicated friendships, and a wild mustang thief on the loose.

6. Coat, Scarves, and Mittens – The weather has turned cold & it’s time to cover up – What’s the most embarrassing book cover you own that you like to keep hidden in public?

I don’t think I own a book with an embarrassing cover.
7. Pumpkin Spice: What’s your favorite Fall time comforts food/foods?

Pumpkin spice everything! Pumpkin spice latte, pumpkin pie, pumpkin muffins…yum yum!

👻 Spookathon 👻 2018…TBR 😱

I’m so excited for Spookathon! It’s my favourite readathon. 🎃

Check out the hashtag #spookathon on Instagram and Twitter

October 15 – 21

Hosts:
Kayla from BooksandLala

Shannon from Bookerly

Peter from Peter Likes Books

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Group read: Toil & Trouble 🧙‍♀️

– completes many challenges: #2, #3, #4 and #5

I received a ARC of this book and have already read it, and gave it 4 stars. What a great short story collection! Here’s a link to my review Toil & Trouble #bookreview #anthology #emojiathon 🎵 ✊ 🏳️‍🌈 🧙‍♀️ #toiltrouble #netgalley

 

 

CHALLENGES
1. read a thriller
2. read a book with purple on the cover
3. read a book not set in the current time period
4. read a book with a spooky word in the title
5. read a book with pictures

MY SPOOKATHON TBR 🤡

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Dead End (DI Kelly Porter #3) by Rachel Lynch

It was just published this month! October 8th.

Mystery, Crime, Thriller

Completes Challenges #1, #2, and #4

“When the seventh Earl of Lowesdale is found hanging from the rafters at Wasdale Hall, everyone assumes the aging, hard-partying aristocrat had finally had enough of chasing the glory of his youth. But when the coroner finds signs of foul play, DI Kelly Porter is swept into a luxurious world where secrets and lies dominate.

At the same time, two young hikers go missing and it’s up to Kelly to lead the search. But digging deeper reveals ties to two other unsolved disappearances and Kelly and her team find themselves in a race against time.”

26015994Alice Cooper Vol. 1: Welcome to my Nightmare (Alice Cooper 1-6) by Joe Harris

Published September 2015

Horror, Fantasy, Graphic Novel

Completes Challenges #2, 4, and 5

Rock n’ roll legend Alice Cooper has never been a stranger to the mystic and the macabre. His stage shows were the stuff of legend, featuring snakes and pyrotechnics, the invocation of dark themes and darker forces. But while he was a legend in the waking world, few knew his service as “The Lord of Nightmares” beyond it, where he watched over us while we dreamed, and delivered horrors unto the deserving. Only someone took it all away from him, cast him out of his realm, and locked him away. No longer enslaved to the Clan Black, Alice Cooper will reclaim his dark throne at all costs. All hail the Godfather of Shock Rock!”

9917996Salem’s Lot by Stephen King

Published October 1975

Horror, Fantasy, Vampires

Completes Challenge #3

King’s been my favourite author since I was eleven years old. I’ve read quite a few of his books, and recently decided to read the ones I haven’t read yet in chronological order.

A stranger had also come to the Lot, a stranger with a secret as old as evil, a secret that would wreak irreparable harm on those he touched and in turn on those they loved.

All would be changed forever—Susan, whose love for Ben could not protect her; Father Callahan, the bad priest who put his eroded faith to one last test; and Mark, a young boy who sees his fantasy world become reality and ironically proves the best equipped to handle the relentless nightmare of ‘Salem’s Lot.”

💀 What spooky books are you reading this month? 🍬🍬🍬

 

My Top 15 Fav #Booktubers

“Booktubers” are people who create content all about books on Youtube. It’s where I find most of my book recommendations. Here’s a list of my top 15 favourite Booktubers. Click on their channel name to be taken to their Youtube channel homepage. Enjoy!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kayla at BooksandLala

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christeena and Jessica at Game of Tomes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chelsea at chelseadolling reads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ali at HardbackHoarder

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Whitney at Whitty Novels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spencer at Common Spence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Shannon at Bookerly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lauren at Lauren and the Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Simon at SavidgeReads

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peter at Peter Likes Books

 

 

 

Sue at SuesBookNook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brandon at brandonthebookaddict

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Emma at emmmabooks

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Julie at Pages and Pens

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maddie at The Book Pusher

 

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I review books and play video games. I adore rainy days, reading, coffee, League of Legends, tattoos, and making people smile. 💗

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