Whimsical Novel from Canadian Author: The Lonely Hearts Hotel – Review #spoilerfree

Like a tough meat turning tender in a homemade beef stew, Heather O’Neill’s newest novel, The Lonely Hearts Hotel, will toughen your heart with the abuse of two orphans, then mend it with a timeless love story of two quirky, yet magical destined sweethearts called Rose and Pierrot. This dark, peculiar, imaginative fairy-tale takes place in Montreal and NYC from the 1910s to 1940s.

lonely hearts hotel

Published in 2017 by HarperCollins. Picture from Goodreads.

After being sexually abused by her cousin, “Iggy”, a young teenager gave birth to her baby at the Hôpital de la Miséricorde. The baby was born blue, declared dead, then somehow came back to life. “The nuns at the orphanage called this baby Pierrot because he was so pale and he always had a rather stupid grin on his face.”

Another teenage mother gave birth to a baby girl in a bathtub, relinquished her newborn to a woman who, for a small fee, promised she would find a good home. The woman left the baby, and other infants, in a park to freeze in the snow. Miraculously, the baby girl was found and brought to the orphanage with blue marks on her cheeks. “All the girls at the orphanage were named Marie, and so was this baby girl. But her nickname, which she would always be known by, was Rose, because the two bright spots on her cheeks had turned from blue to red, then took two more weeks to disappear”.

Pierrot grew into a tall, blonde, slender performer with a natural piano-playing ability. Rose bloomed into a stunning young lady with dark hair, also an artist, she loved to create hilarious skits, and dance to Pierrot’s beautiful music.

Sister Eloïse had been sexually abusing Pierrot for years and was insanely jealous of how close Pierrot and Rose were becoming, which was heightened when Mother Superior decided to send Pierrot and Rose out to perform at local old-age homes and in order to make money for the orphanage. These outings gave them a chance to fall head-over-heels in love, and make plans for their Snowflake Icicle Extravaganza circus that they would one day run together.

A rich elderly man named Irving stopped at the orphanage to give his usual donation when he heard Pierrot playing the piano. He loved it so much that he adopted Pierrot so that he could listen to the alluring music every day. Sister Eloïse ripped up Pierrot’s goodbye letter to Rose while Rose was locked in the cupboard. Rose’s heart broke thinking she had been abandoned yet again. She left to work as a governess where she would mainly be looking after two children, Hazel and Ernest McMahon.

Pierrot wrote letters to Rose for years, which Sister Eloïse destroyed. And so, the two attempt to live life without each other, yet always yearning for the other. Rose becomes McMahon’s mistress, then porn actress, while Pierrot ends up a heroin addict playing the piano at a movie theater.

I love the way O’Neill writes. It’s absolutely sublime to read:

“His pupils always dilated for a split second when he was confronted with the truth. Once she saw his eyes turn black, he had already confessed to her.”

“She looked at the cheap wedding ring on her finger. She would always wear it. It was like a small snowflake that had landed on a mitten – and it was so beautiful. It was always just about to melt.”

The perspective bounces back and forth between Rose and Pierrot frequently. Sometimes you’ll get a full chapter from one perspective, then other times you only get one sentence. I found this annoying at first, but eventually became used to it, and as the story progressed found myself enjoying the jumping as if it were piano notes hopping around creating the rhythm of their story.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel reminds us about the importance of art, and how it can positively affect people even during the saddest, most desperate times. O’Neill also uses this story to highlight gender expectations, and I love the fact that Rose is a strong female, unafraid of the glass ceiling.

My only critique is that the lengthy section of the book where Rose and Pierrot are separated. We are left yearning for them to find each other for about two hundred pages. I was beginning to get a little bored with their continuous pining for each other.

The Lonely Hearts Hotel ultimately is about the power of hate versus the power of love. O’Neill weaved a story set in the Great Depression, with graphic sex scenes, drug addiction, abuse, violence, yet managed to teach us a touching lesson about true love, and forgiveness.

 

A Tapestry of Tears #SpoilerFreeBookReview

A Tapestry of Tears is a collection of beautiful yet heart-breaking short stories from India.

A Tapestry of Tears

“Set in the early nineteenth century, A Tapestry of Tears is about female infanticide, and the unmaking of tradition. If a woman gives birth to a female child, she must feed her the noxious sap of the akk plant. That is the tradition, parampara. Veeranwali rebels, and fights to save her offspring.
The other stories span a spectrum of emotions and also bring to life the varied culture and social spectrum of India. Woven into this collection is the past and the present, despair and hope, and the triumph of the human spirit.”

Published 2016

The first story shares the same name as the book, A Tapestry of Tears. This story highlights a prevalent subject that I think many of us face which is the big question  – Should we choose love for our partner over family obligation?

Other stories talk about an elderly woman’s first day at an old age home, and the inner-struggle her family members have wondering if putting her in the home was the right thing to do. Reddy doesn’t shy away from big topics like terrorism, and discusses it’s impact in This Love Business. In Aalaya we are given a story about hope, family, perseverance, love, and hard work.

Division Into Two is another somber story about a tough women named Waseema, called Bibi by most, who lived through the violent Partition which divided Pakistan and India. Her brother, on his death bed, has sent his son Om to meet Waseema and beg for his forgiveness 53 years after he had betrayed her.

“…if a human being is divided with his body in one place and his heart in another, the sun of the parts does not make a whole”

The Empress’ New Gowns is a quirky story about two clothing designers coming to visit the Emperor, and end up teaching the Emperor and Empress a lesson on self-confidence.

Never Ever is about one of the toughest life events that too many of us face – divorce. It doesn’t just break up a family, it also breaks up friendships. I could relate to this one because my parents divorced when I was young, and now as an adult I have a few close friends who went through divorce/separation this year and it has caused big changes for our group of friends.

The other stories in this collection all tackle some of life’s toughest challenges. It’s amazing to realize that it doesn’t matter where you’re born, what religion you may follow, or how much money you have – we all face many of the same obstacles in life. We can choose to let them defeat us, or we can choose to find a way to thrive.

If you enjoy stories about family, hardships, life, and hope, I highly recommend you pick up A Tapestry of Tears. It’s available on Amazon.

Check out the author’s website: http://www.gitavreddy.com/

 

 

Dragon Teeth #BookReview #SpoilerFree

Dragon TeethMichael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novel—a thrilling adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.
Goodreads Blurb

When HarperCollins sent me a complimentary Advance Reader’s E-Proof of Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton for review I was convinced that I wouldn’t enjoy it all that much. A book about Paleontology in the Wild West isn’t something I would have ever selected to read. By the end of the first chapter I was hooked.

Dragon Teeth is a thrilling historical fiction novel set in 1870’s, before the Wild West was “conquered”. After a terrible first year at Yale, William Johnson, a young man from Philadelphia and grandson of a Scottish immigrant, accepts a bet of $1,000 proposed by Harold Hannibal Marlin to go West on an expedition with Paleontologist Professor Marsh. The expedition was expected to be about 2.5 months long, but for William it ended up consuming a year of his life.

Professor Marsh’s arch rival is Professor Edward Drinker Cope. Marsh is a paranoid man who believes Cope is always spying on him. They are two Paleontologists competing in the strange new world of finding fossils, and naming undiscovered species of dinosaur.

William is given a list of supplies he’ll need, which include a knife, revolver, and rifle. That alone is enough to tell you that the next few months will be life-changing and life-threatening.

Some of the characters in Dragon Teeth were based on real people, and actual events.

Edward Drinker Cope was a “paleontologist who discovered approximately a thousand species of extinct vertebrates in the United States and led a revival of Lamarckian evolutionary theory, based largely on paleontological views.” https://www.britannica.com/biography/Edward-Drinker-Cope

Othniel Charles Marsh “spent his entire career at Yale University (1866–99) as the first professor of vertebrate paleontology in the United States. In 1870 he organized the first Yale Scientific Expedition, which explored the Pliocene deposits (2.6–5.3 million years old) of Nebraska and the Miocene deposits (5.3–23 million years old) of northern Colorado.” https://www.britannica.com/biography/Othniel-Charles-Marsh

Wyatt Earp was a “legendary frontiersman of the American West, who was an itinerant saloonkeeper, gambler, lawman, gunslinger, and confidence man.” https://www.britannica.com/biography/Wyatt-Earp

Charles Hazelius Sternberg “was an American fossil collector and amateur paleontologist.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Hazelius_Sternberg

William Johnson, is an entirely fictitious character who undergoes a tremendous attitude change throughout the novel. There are themes of Greed vs Downfall, Betrayal, Heroism, Sacrifice, and Isolation. During a time when Americans were at war with Native Americans, before the Wild West was won, this novel was bound to be a page-turning thriller.

 

Also by Michael Crichton:

Westworld originalWestworld is an American science fiction–thriller media franchise. It began in 1973 with the release of the film Westworld, written and directed by Michael Crichton. It depicts a technologically advanced, Western-themed amusement park populated by androids that malfunction and begin killing the human visitors.

It was followed by the sequel film Futureworld (1976).

In 1980 there was a short-lived television series, Beyond Westworld. A new television series from HBO, based on the original film, debuted on October 2, 2016.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westworld

Jurassic Park book

 

Jurassic Park is a 1990 science fiction novel written by Michael Crichton, divided into seven sections (iterations). A cautionary tale about genetic engineering, it presents the collapse of an amusement park showcasing genetically recreated dinosaurs to illustrate the mathematical concept of chaos theory and its real world implications. A sequel titled The Lost World, also written by Crichton, was published in 1995. In 1997, both novels were re-published as a single book titled Michael Crichton’s Jurassic World, unrelated to the film of the same name.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jurassic_Park_(novel)

 

 

For more info about Michael Crichton’s work visit http://www.michaelcrichton.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Only Child #bookreview #spoilerfree

The Only Child

The Only Child is a thrilling horror-mystery story weaved by bestselling Canadian author Andrew Pyper. Have you ever stopped to wonder if Hyde, Dracula, and Frankenstein were the same monster? What if that monster had a child?

When Lily was a child her mother was killed by a monster in an Alaskan cabin. Thirty years later Dr. Lily Dominick is the assistant Director of Forensic Psychiatry at a maximum security institution where her job is to interview “monsters”. Her next client to interview is an unnamed, lean, broad-chested man with a defined jawline, gray eyes, and a strange accent. After the strange interview Lily can’t shake the strange feeling that she somehow knows this man. He later claims that he is Michael, the 222 year old monster who inspired some of the most famous horror authors of our time: Robert Louis Stevenson, the author of Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde; Mary Shelley, the author of Frankenstein; and Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula.

The Only Child is a thriller from the first page to the last word. I didn’t want to put it down, and found myself reading in bed well past my bedtime. I loved how Lily traveled from Manhattan to Budapest, Geneva to London, Romania to Yukon, seeking to discover if Michael really is who he claims to be, and in the process she learns much more about herself than she ever could have imagined.

One of my favourite aspects of this novel are the old diary entries from Michael’s journals which provided insight into how he met Robert Louis Stevenson, Mary Shelley, and Bram Stoker.

The strange sexual attraction Lily had to almost every man she met in the story was confusing. I’m guessing Pyper did this as a way to show how much she was deviating from her normal non-impulsive, controlling personality. But as a woman I found that annoyingly sexist. The love-interest trope was completely unnecessary in my opinion. When we met Lily she was a strong, independent, smart, successful woman, and then she became weak, dependent on Will. I didn’t quite appreciate her character “arc”, which wasn’t really an arc at all.

The horror Gothic feeling is there, simmering below the surface, covered in unnecessary tropes. It’s one of those instances where less is more. We needed less Michael being hunted, less father-daughter-incest thoughts, less romance, and more monster scariness. It’s not a bad book by any means. As a fan of classic horror stories, I loved the idea and concepts here. It just wasn’t one of the best I’ve read.

Expected publication date is May 23rd, 2017.

Other books by Andrew Pyper:

The Demonologist.jpg

“Professor David Ullman is among the world’s leading authorities on demonic literature, with special expertise in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Not that David is a believer—he sees what he teaches as a branch of the imagination and nothing more. So when the mysterious Thin Woman arrives at his office and invites him to travel to Venice and witness a “phenomenon,” he turns her down. She leaves plane tickets and an address on his desk, advising David that her employer is not often disappointed.

That evening, David’s wife announces she is leaving him. With his life suddenly in shambles, he impulsively whisks his beloved twelve-year-old daughter, Tess, off to Venice after all. The girl has recently been stricken by the same melancholy moods David knows so well, and he hopes to cheer her up and distract them both from the troubles at home.”

Lost Girls.jpg

“Attorney Bartholomew Crane doesn’t belong in the small town of Murdoch. And the town of Murdoch doesn’t want him there. Even Crane’s client, a teacher accused of killing two girls, his own students, doesn’t seem to care if Crane gets him off or not. But Bartholomew Crane has come to Murdoch to try his first murder case — and he intends to win at all costs.

That is, until the case takes an unexpected turn. For as Crane begins to piece together a defense for his client, he finds himself being drawn into a bizarre legend at the heart of the town’s history — a legend that is slowly coming alive before his eyes.

Unnerved by visions he sees on Murdoch’s dark streets, by the ringing of a telephone down the deserted hallway of his hotel, Crane is beginning to suspect that what is happening to him is happening for a reason. And that the two lost girls of Murdoch may be intricately tied to the town’s shameful history … and to a dark episode in his own long-forgotten past.”

http://www.andrewpyper.com/

The publisher kindly sent me a complimentary advanced digital copy in return for an honest review.

Turning: a year in the water #bookreview #spoilerfree

Turning: a year in the water is a beautiful, extremely unique, autobiographical nature-memoir written by Jessica Lee. It will be released May 2nd, 2017.

Turning.png

The publisher kindly sent me a complementary digital proof copy for review.

“Through the heat of summer to the frozen depths of winter, Lee traces her journey swimming through 52 lakes in a single year, swimming through fear and heartbreak to find her place in the world.”

Jessica swims in 52 lakes throughout four season in Germany, we are given flash backs to her childhood living in Canada and Florida, brief time spent time in London before her divorce, and then to Berlin, Germany to work on her dissertation in environmental history. As she explains the physical changes of each lake through the seasons, she is undergoing her own emotional transformation, washing remnants of self-doubt, letting go of the feeling that you are not where you’re meant to be, and also learning to not fear being alone.

Reading this memoir brought me back to my own memories swimming in lakes while growing up in Labrador. She successfully expressed the strange, opposite emotions lakes impress upon us – intense beauty, stillness, quiet, but also scary unknowns lurking below while you stare hard into the dark depths.

I often find story without dialogue slightly cumbersome, however, Jessica deflty carves her way around the story, providing description of all sense for the lakes, trees, environment, food, and German people, completely making up for the lack of dialogue. We are also given some interesting tidbits of German history concerning the war, reunification, and even some German words.

The only thing I didn’t like was how abruptly it ended, not because of how the story ended, but because I wanted to keep reading 🙂 I could read her writing for hours and hours.

I recommend this book to those who like the outdoors, swimming, are interested in Germany, and to anyone who wants to push themselves to face their fears.

Jessica Lee is a badass winter swimmer, with a PhD in Environmental History.

Jessica Lee

Jessica Lee’s profile picture on Goodreads

Follow Jessica Lee on Twitter

 

Murder by Family #BookReview #SpoilerFree

Murder By Family: The Incredible True Story of a Son’s Treachery and a Father’s Forgiveness written by Kent Whitaker is not a book I would have normally chosen to read. In fact, the only reason I borrowed it from the library is because of it’s Dewey Decimal number 248.86 – because I’m part of a reading challenge on Goodreads called “Dewey Decimal Non Fiction Challenge“.

Murder By Family may be a short, quick read, but it packs a punch on your emotions. This story is a non fiction, true crime, written in the form of a memoir by the father of the Whitaker family, Kent.

Kent Whitaker feels that with the help of God he was able to forgive his own son,Bart, for murdering Bart’s mother and brother. Even though I’m not a religious person, I did enjoy this book. My eyes teared up at the thought that someone could possibly forgive someone for killing almost their entire family. I don’t know how Kent Whitaker managed to keep moving forward, and support his son Bart throughout his trial and conviction.

As a reader I quite enjoyed reading a story focused on the theme of family, and forgiveness. It caught my attention quickly, and I was looking forward to learning more about Bart, and find out what motivated him to want to kill his whole family. Sadly, I did not get to learn about that. We got to learn a bit about how Bart had fallen off the rails, but I would have loved to hear more about their child hood, and know about signs or red flags that made Tricia and Kent worry about Bart’s mental health.

I also had a hard time following the timeline, there was a lot of jumping around as Kent was writing this story. For example, he talks about the first Christmas after the murders, and the first New Year’s Eve, but then jumps back to mid-December.

There were also a few instances when I felt like Kent was enjoying the attention he was receiving after the murders, and I had a hard time relating to someone who could go out to a concert just a few months after his wife and son have been killed and have a good time watching a band. I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but I’m pretty sure I’d have a much harder time living a normal life for a hell of a long time after something like that. Perhaps it was his forgiveness that helped him move on so quickly.

The story was also extremely focused on Bart, and Kent supporting Bart even after he was charged and it was blatantly obvious that he had been the mastermind behind the murders. It felt almost, like there was no emotion, or heart-breaking sadness over losing his wife and youngest son – or at least, it wasn’t written about much in this book.

Bart, AKA Thomas Bartlett Whitaker, has been on death row since March 23rd, 2007. While doing a little research about this book, and the Whitaker family, I stumbled across a blog, which has posts written by Bart Whitaker. I found his posts more interesting than his father’s book, and reading his words are giving me some insight as to what he was thinking and feeling.

In summary, I’m currently still debating whether I will rate Murder By Family two or three stars on Goodreads. It’s probably a two-and-a-half, not for the actual writing, but for the story, and the inspirational message Kent Whitaker shares about forgiveness. I recommend this one to anyone interested in true crime, or who would like to be able to learn more about how forgiveness, and to anyone interested in religion.

Library of Souls: Third Novel of Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #bookreview

Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children Series written by Ransom Riggs began with Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, continued with Hollow City, and finished with Library of Souls. If you haven’t read the first two books then stop right here (thank you very much) ♫ ♪

Like the other novels, this one also contains images which are authentic, vintage found photographs. On page 463 Riggs says that a handful have undergone digital processing, but are unaltered. Including the photos throughout the story provides the reader with a unique reading experience.

library of souls

As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

Library of Souls begins with Jacob, Emma, and Addison attempting to escape a Hollow in order to continue their search for the ymbrynes and their fellow peculiar children Horace, Bronwyn, Enoch, Hugh, Olive, and Millard. Jacob discovers he can speak the Hollow language – and with that, he can control the monsters.

Him, I said, in a language not my own.”

Addison, a pompous, witty, funny, talking dog provides some much needed comic relief for the intense story. The three must hurry to find a loop, peculiar children who have been raised in a loop cannot stay in present for long, or time will catch up with them.

They finally find Sharon, a seven foot tall man, offering river tours, day trips and romantic sunset cruises since 1693. He brings them through a loop into Devil’s Acre, which is as horrible as it sounds. Here they find the fortress where their friends are being held captive by Caul, Miss Peregrine’s evil brother.

“It’s quite something to realize you mean less than nothing to your own brother.” p.203

Some have categorized this book and series as Middle Grade, but I would have to disagree. I don’t feel like this book is appropriate for a child under the age of 14-16 years old due to the implied sexual interest, and drug addiction aspects. It’s definitely more of a Young Adult Fantasy novel.

I have loved the Peculiar world – and would love to know even more, about their history, and their future. I wish this novel could have given me more about Mother Dust, the most amazing peculiar I’ve ever read about.

Jacob accomplishes quite the character arc – once a very careful, timid, planner, who doubted himself has now become a courageous, confident teenager not afraid to take risks.

I love Ransom Riggs writing style. Here is a favourite quote:

“I looked at Emma and she looked back, both of us trying to hide how vulnerable we felt. Trying to grow a sheath of steel around our hearts. For what we might see, might do. Might be done to us.” p.288

Library of Souls tackles dark themes such as jealousy, greed, drug addiction, violence, sibling rivalry – but also inspires us with friendship, courage, and redemption. The biggest theme –  that we ALL experience –  is TIME. Having enough time. Wasting time. Time catching up. Time chasing you. Time running out.

Now is the TIME for you to pick up this series and enter the peculiar world 😉

Happy Reading!

Amanda ♥

 

April TBR

Here what I plan to read this month 😉

Library of Souls (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #3) written by Ransom Riggs
As the story opens, sixteen-year-old Jacob discovers a powerful new ability, and soon he’s diving through history to rescue his peculiar companions from a heavily guarded fortress. Accompanying Jacob on his journey are Emma Bloom, a girl with fire at her fingertips, and Addison MacHenry, a dog with a nose for sniffing out lost children.

They’ll travel from modern-day London to the labyrinthine alleys of Devil’s Acre, the most wretched slum in all of Victorian England. It’s a place where the fate of peculiar children everywhere will be decided once and for all. Like its predecessors, Library of Souls blends thrilling fantasy with never-before-published vintage photography to create a one-of-a-kind reading experience. ”

A Tapestry of Tears written by Gita V. Reddy
Set in the early nineteenth century, A Tapestry of Tears is about female infanticide, and the unmaking of tradition. If a woman gives birth to a female child, she must feed her the noxious sap of the akk plant. That is the tradition, parampara. Veeranwali rebels, and fights to save her offspring.
The other stories span a spectrum of emotions and also bring to life the varied culture and social spectrum of India. Woven into this collection is the past and the present, despair and hope, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Turning: a year in the water by Jessica Lee
Publication Date: May 2
Through the heat of summer to the frozen depths of winter, Lee traces her journey swimming through 52 lakes in a single year, swimming through fear and heartbreak to find her place in the world.
Publisher sent me a complementary advanced digital copy for review.

The Only Child by Andrew Pyper
Publication Date: May 23
The #1 internationally bestselling author of The Demonologist radically reimagines the origins of gothic literature’s founding masterpieces—Frankenstein, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, and Dracula—in a contemporary novel driven by relentless suspense and surprising emotion. This is the story of a man who may be the world’s one real-life monster, and the only woman who has a chance of finding him.
Publisher sent me a complementary advanced digital copy for review.

Dragon Teeth by Michael Crichton
Publication Date: May 23
Michael Crichton, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Jurassic Park, returns to the world of paleontology in this recently discovered novel—a thrilling adventure set in the Wild West during the golden age of fossil hunting.
Publisher sent me a complementary advanced digital copy for review.

Man Gone Down by Michael Thomas
“On the eve of his thirty-fifth birthday, the unnamed black narrator of Man Gone Down finds himself broke, estranged from his white wife and three children, and living in the bedroom of a friend’s six-year-old child. He has four days to come up with the money to keep the kids in school and make a down payment on an apartment for them in which to live. As we slip between his childhood in inner city Boston and present-day New York City, we learn of a life marked by abuse, abandonment, raging alcoholism, and the best and worst intentions of a supposedly integrated America. This is a story of the American Dream gone awry, about what it’s like to feel preprogrammed to fail in life and the urge to escape that sentence.”

 

The Stonekeeper (Amulet Book 1) #spoilerfreebookreview

The Stonekeeper, graphic novel by Kazu Kibuishi, has a great story, beautiful illustrations, and fantastic characters. It’s the first book of the Amulet series, which has seven books so far, and apparently the author is working on book eight and nine. This series is great for about eight years old and up – there are some intense scenes where the father dies (happens in the first few pages so not a spoiler), so might not be appropriate for every one.

Emily, her brother Navin, and their mother Karen move to Emily’s great-grandfather’s house just outside the city called Norlen, two years after Emily’s father, David, died in a car crash. Emily’s great-grandfather Silas Charnon disappeared, leaving behind an old house filled with secrets. Emily finds an amulet – spurring a fast-paced adventure to Alledia, an alternate version of Earth, that is filled with monsters and robots. My favourite character is Miskit – a cute little pink bunny robot. My kids are ten years old and almost eight years old, and both enjoyed these books so much that they have read each book at least two times. I’m also looking forward to finishing the series – and reading books eight and nine when they are published.

the stonekeeper

 

Furthermore by @TaherehMafi #SpoilerFreeBookReview

Furthermore is an imaginative Middle Grade Fantasy novel written by Tahereh Maf, New York Times and USA Today best selling author. The whimsical words, character and environment descriptions all helped to build an amazing world that would host the story of Alice, a twelve year old colourless girl in a colour-filled world. Like many of us, Alice feels like she doesn’t belong, and struggles to fit in.

Furthermore

“The sun was raining again. Soft and bright, rainlight fell through the sky, each drop tearing a neat hole in the season. Winter had been steady and predictable, but it was quite poked through now, and spring was peeking out from underneath it. The world was ready for a change. The people of Ferrenwood were excited for spring, but this was to be expected; they had always been fond of predictable, reliable sorts of changes, like night turning into day and rain turning into snow. They didn’t much care for night turning into cake or rain turning into shoelaces, because that wouldn’t make sense, and making sense was terribly important to these people, who’d built their lives around magic. And squint as they might, it was very difficult for them to make any sense of Alice.”p.3

Alice has been collecting bangles to wear on her arms and legs for over three years, thirty eight months to be exact – one bangle for every day since her father left. Alice Queensmeadow teams up with Oliver Newbanks to help him with his task he was assigned after his Surrender. He agrees that if she helps him, then he will help her find her father. Alice leaves her mother and three triplet brothers to go on an adventure with the boy she doesn’t really like all that much, Oliver, who has the gift of persuasion, and the ability to know the most private secret of every person he meets. However, Alice has made a bond – as long as she doesn’t tell a lie, she would never be fooled. Together they travel to an strange land called Furthermore.

Kids around ten years old and up would enjoy this book – that being said, keep in mind I am thirty five and I thoroughly enjoyed this book 🙂 I would love to read more books about this wonderful world.

Futhermore on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28110143-furthermore

Follow the author Tahereh Mafi on Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4637539.Tahereh_Mafi) and check out her website http://www.taherehbooks.com/