Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston

Wonderful!  Wondrous – what a great word and put it together with Strange – and you have a beautiful description of a truly wonderful and yet strange story.  Seventeen year old Kelley is trying to make her big break as an actress in New York and by happenstance has been granted her wish and is now playing the leading role in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  But strange dreams and a “stalker” lead her to another life in another time that maybe she’s just not too sure about.

I adored this story, it brought the modern-day theatre to the fantasy world of faeries and the Faery courts – but it was done so subtly that by the end you were very comfortable moving back and forth between the two worlds.  I’ve always enjoyed Shakespeare, never read too much of his work (somehow managed to find a way around it in school), but reading this book makes me want to go back and check out A Midsummer Night’s Dream.  How close are these two stories?  I don’t ever remember hearing my friends talk about faeries and Shakespeare in the same sentence – so I’m curious now 🙂

The other REALLY great aspect of this book  – Lesley Livingston is a Canadian author!  Oh and did I mention I already have the sequel in hand, Darklight?  Look for my thoughts on this one really soon…

Favourite quote:

”  “Okay, okay!”  Kelley rolled her eyes and went back to the line.  “and thy fair virtue’s force perforce doth move me on the first view to say, to swear, I love thee. Better?”  ”  p. 273

Livingston, Lesley.  (2009).  Wondrous Strange.  Toronto, ON:  Harper Trophy Canada.

Author’s website: http://www.lesleylivingston.com/


Hardy Boys #1 The Ocean of Osyria Graphic Novel

If you’ve read my earlier post on the first Hardy Boys Graphic Novel I read (#17 Word Up!) you’ll remember that I was a bit disappointed in how the boys were portrayed and just how things had changed from the last time I read or watched the Hardy Boys.  Well that’s not the case with this one!  Guess I should have started from the first issue rather than jumping to the middle – oh well – who knew?

The story behind this graphic novel was exactly what I was expecting – the brothers embarking on their own detective mission – it was fast, it was adventurous, they brought the girls along – it was great!  It left me believing that the Hardy Boys are still the Hardy Boys I remember.  Ok I’m sure you’re wondering -well you didn’t really like #17 but you like #1 – what about the ones in between?  Well I have to admit that I think I’m going to try a few more in between to see where the change happens – maybe if I follow it through I might have a different view on the graphic novel series.  On that note – stay tuned and join me on my walk through the Hardy Boys graphic novels.

Lobdell, Scott and Hernandez, Lea.  (2005).  Hardy Boys #1The Ocean of Osyria. New York, NY:  Papercutz.

Hardy Boys Graphic Novels Wiki:http://hardyboys.wikia.com/wiki/The_Hardy_Boys_Graphic_Novel

Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy by Ally Carter

Ally Carter kept me laughing with the sequel to I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You. Just imagine a group of girls attending a private spy school, oh sorry I mean, the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, and out of the blue fifteen boys move into the East Wing of their school and join their classes.  The girls go from spending five minutes to get ready in the morning to one hour, they now have to contend with boys in class, but they also get the chance to learn about the inner workings of a boy with real specimens.  They can strive to answer questions such as:  What do they mean when they say this?  Or  What do they really mean when they do that?

I listened to this book during my weekly commutes and it was fantastic!  The situations these girls can get themselves into and how they learn about boys with Macey McHenry’s help is hilarious!  I am so looking forward to hearing the third book in the Gallagher Girls series, Don’t Judge a Girl by Her Cover.

Favourite quote:

“It’s one thing to know that boys are coming…someday.  It’s quite another to be enjoying a nice, relaxing meal and then turn around to see a mob of teenage testosterone moving your way! (I mean, hello, I was wearing a skirt with a stain on the butt).”

p. 87

Carter, Ally. (2008).  Cross My Heart and Hope to Spy  [sound recording CD]. Grand Haven, MI :Brilliance Audio.

Author’s website:  http://www.allycarter.com/

Captivate by Carrie Jones

Zara, Nick, Betty and their friends Issie and Devyn return to their normal lives after dealing with the King and his pixies in Need.  Unfortunately, their normal life routine is short-lived when pixies from other territories come to Bedford, Maine to try to take over Zara’s father’s territory.  Captivate sees Zara and Nick grow closer, even as Astley, a young pixie king arrives in Bedford and has a very peculiar effect on Zara.  The friends try to find ways to save everyone from the pixies and to prevent the War while making very difficult decisions.

I loved Captivate, the sequel to Need.  The story kept me engaged all the way to the end.  The characters became more real as I read along.  The world of pixies was a new one for me and Carrie Jones did a wonderful job at drawing me in.

I tried to find whether there are any plans for a third book and I found mention of the potential but nothing concrete.  To that I say – there HAS to be one!  I NEED to know what happens with Zara and Nick! and then there’s Issie and Devyn – and Cassidy, the half-elf – what role will she play?  Ugh…  I NEED more!  Please give me the third and final chapter in the world of Pixies.

Favourite quote:

She responds with a quote, ” ‘People sleep peacefully in their bed at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.’ That guy who wrote Animal Farm said that, I think.  The Orwell guy.”  p.207

Jones, Carrie. (2010).  Captivate. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.

Author’s website: http://www.carriejonesbooks.com/

Another great way to buy books – that I forgot!

Laugh if you will – but you know how some days something hits you that’s SOOooooo  obvious you feel really foolish – well that happened last night and yes I just had to share it with you – maybe you’ll be able to take advantage of this as well 🙂

My youngest daughter comes to me last night and says “Mom here’s my book order form – and the books I want to get. Let me know if that’s ok?”  Oh my goodness – school book orders!  How could I have forgotten these wonderful (and CHEAP) vehicles to buy more books.  Really $20.99 bookstore book down to $5.99  – how could I resist?  But I restrained – only added 2 to her order for myself – and what does she say?  Oh Mom – I want to read that one too!

So the books we’re ordering you might ask?

  1. Never Slow Dance with a Zombie by Ehrich van Lowe
  2. Bad Girls Don’t Die by Katie Alender
  3. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
  4. Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson

Oh and to think that this will be the last year I can take advantage of Book Orders – now that’s sad on so many fronts 😦

Blue Moon by Alyson Noël

I really enjoyed Evermore by Alyson Noël, the first in the Immortals series, but I have to say I was not as enamoured with this one.  I really enjoyed how Damen and Ever’s relationship developed in Evermore, but I didn’t feel or see any progression in Blue Moon.

A new classmate, Roman shakes things up in Ever’s High School and at the same time comes between Ever and Damen.  Ever learns some hard immortal lessons on her own and develops a close relationship with an unlikely ally.  With help from Ava and some new friends, Ever makes a tough decision that could jeopardize her future with Damen.

I was very disappointed with the ending – I think the first chapter of the third book in the series, Shadowland gave me more reason to look forward to the next one than the ending of Blue Moon.  I will read the next book in the series but probably not for a while.

Favourite quote:

“…Just suck it up and approach her already.”  p.228

Noël, Alyson. (2009).  Blue Moon.  New York, NY:  St. Martin’s Press.

Author’s website: http://www.alysonnoel.com/

How It Ends by Laura Wiess

Oh Wow….  what can I say – a beautiful and very powerful story!  It was extremely hard to put it down and yet at the same time almost hard to pick it up again in fear and anticipation of what was coming next.  There were so many facets of this story that I loved – the relationship between Hanna and Seth, the potential for a relationship between Hanna and Jesse, the relationship between Hanna and her Gran, then of course the audiobook story.  The more I think about it there were so many paths this story could have taken – so many dangling storylines – but in the end they don’t matter.  It was a beautiful and real love story with all life’s ups and downs –  and I’d argue with anyone who disagrees with this 🙂

When I start to think about the audience for this book, I waver – who is it directed to?  The young adult or the adult?  I’m not sure…  I think it can be equally directed to both audiences.  The young adults who enjoy the “real-life” type stories will love this, but I think it would be a shame to not market it for the adults as well.  I believe there is such a huge audience for this story.  I like the way Laura Wiess summarizes the audience for her books:  “Those books are about teens but not necessarily only for teens.”  And I couldn’t agree more.


Ages:  16 and over

Favourite quote:

“The relief that comes from this shames me, but I’m still thankful because the birds who died quickly have not only been spared but have spared me the struggles of the mortally wounded, of kneeling helpless beside a body too broken to fly but not broken enough to die, beside living wreckage that cannot be healed and would never again be more than a twisted, flightless song trapped on the ground alone, defenseless, and forsaken by its own kind. ”  p. 338

Wiess, Laura. (2009). How It Ends. New York, NY:  Pocket Books.

Author’s website:  http://www.laurawiess.com/