The Snow Queen Book Review

9780399578502Author: Hans Christian Andersen

Publisher: Hutchinson

Genre: Children’s Classics

Pages: 92

“Hans Christian Andersen’s magical tale of friendship and adventure is retold through the beautiful and intricate illustrations of Finnish-English illustrator Sanna Annukka. Cloth-bound in deep blue, with silver foil embellishments, The Snow Queen is a unique work of art.

Sanna Annukka is familiar to many from her collaborations with Marimekko and her artwork for Keane’s album, Under the Iron Sea. For her second book project, she illustrates Hans Christian Andersen’s classic fairy tale, The Snow Queen.

A beautiful gift to give and receive.”

For those of you who aren’t familiar with this book it’s a classic tale of love, friendship, loads of adventure and determination. The story revolves around Gerda’s search for her best friend Kay. The two share a friendship so close they are practically siblings. Sadly there comes a day where Kay begins to change. Thanks to a few shards of glass from the Devil’s mirror that embed themselves in his heart and eyes.
One day Kay takes off alone to go sledding. He’s picked up by none other than the Snow Queen herself, who takes away his memories of everyone he loves.
Gerda seems to be the only one who believes that Kay is still out there and can be saved. So being the good friend she is, she takes off in search for her best friend.

I had never before read this book. Which I’m kind of ashamed to say because I love classics. I have a beautiful old edition of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tales. Sadly I have yet to pick it up. I’m not even sure if this story is in there. Truly I’m glad that I was able to read this edition as my first time with the story. It was such a fun and easy read. Just missing the 100 page mark. The language was not at all difficult to work with, it flowed smoothly and before I knew it I had reached the end. The illustrations were so uniquely detailed that I can’t imagine a single person who would not enjoy this. It’s something that people of all ages can appreciate. This book will keep them engaged throughout every page.


Only after reading this book did I realize how many times I have seen similar stories touched by this one fairy tale. From movies like The Chronicles of Narnia in 2005, to Disney’s Frozen which came out in 2013. Let’s not forget one of my favorite TV shows Once Upon A Time which has been running strongly for 6 straight seasons. If this one story alone has influenced this many (and obviously many more) Movies/TV shows I can only imagine how far Andersen’s other fairy tales have spread.

If you’ve never had a chance to read this book I hiiiighly advise that you give it a chance. It’s a great read especially around the holidays, on rainy cold nights, or heck if you’re just in the mood for something a little more vintage. Top it off with a delicious cup of hot chocolate and bam! You’ve got yourself one heck of a good time 😉 It’s available in every format. E-book ( even free downloadable), Audiobook and of course Physical copies.
Personally this is a story I will go back to just about every year.
Easily this was a 4 star read!

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*I received a copy of this book from the Publisher via Blogging For Books in exchange for my honest opinion.*

Shadows of the Forest Book Review

32060797Author: Emma Michaels

Publisher: CHBB Publishing

Publishing Date: Nov. 5th, 2016

Genre: YA Fantasy

Pages: 144

“Everyone is dying to live in the Shadows of the Forest.
They gave me three rules to follow in exchange for my brother’s life:
1. Do not enter the West Wing;
2. Do not go outside after darkness falls; and
3. There is only one exit; The Gates.

This is what happened when I broke them…”

 

I realize that’s not a lot to go on but doesn’t it sound intriguing?! Let me tell you a little about the story.
There are two main characters. Lily and Cole, twins, whom from the very beginning have it quite rough. After a terrible accident Lily wakes up in the hospital while her brother remains in a coma. Sounds pretty normal right, sad but normal? Wrong! This is not your average hospital. Cole’s coma is actually part of a pact he made to save his sister. A life for a life. Once Lily discovers this she is hell bent on getting her brother back.
Lily is determined to do what it takes to keep her brother from dying. Even if it means taking his place. She goes on an incredible journey through the forest, which is basically the spirit world, with the help of those who run the hospital.

My Thoughts:

This is another one of those “almost had it,” kind of books for me. The potential was so palpable! Micheals did one heck of a job creating this world that we’re plummeted into right from the prologue. Her writing is almost poetic at times and the imagery is beautifully creative. She even designed that stunning cover! Though this book is very short it had a lot of strong messages inside of it. You won’t find petty things like sibling rivalry here. Instead we’re shown a sibling relationship where the two depend on one another so heavily to survive an all too real world full of cruelty, abuse and neglect. Not to mention fantasy, adventure, and the subtle ties to Japanese culture. Which I LOVED.

Unfortunately *cringes* there were just waaay too many mistakes. In grammar, in character, in the plot itself. It’s almost as though there are missing pieces to the story and we’re only getting maybe……a third of it. How are we supposed to enjoy the depth of the story if we can’t connect with it? I keep thinking that the story may have been rushed? For all the detail in the imagery there’s a serious lack of detail in the plot. There are things that are mentioned only once and then never elaborated on again. Some of those rules in the blurb for example.

giphyLily, our main character and “hero” of the story here was utterly boring. Although I will never understand what it’s like to be abused by a parent, her attitude toward herself leaves something to be desired. This is one of those serious messages the book touches on that I mentioned earlier. Due to Lily’s abuse she is seriously scarred inside. Afraid to have anyone touch her except her brother. Which I admit can sound a little creepy but not if you think about it. She’s obviously scared and trusts no one but Cole who has always been loving to her. Lily constantly drowns herself in her insecurity though, which makes me wonder how she even reached the end of the story. I don’t know how tough it is to deal with something like abuse but I do know that repetition makes for a very droll character. Seriously. It’s like 90% of the book has this “woe is me” vibe. Then you turn around and BAM! Lily see’s her self worth and finds inner strength. I’m happy for her, that she believes in herself, but it happened so fast it made no sense. It basically just left me confused. Where did this character growth even come from? Again that rush job feeling.
Cole I liked. Cole certainly had more personality. He’s very protective of his sister, especially because she’s been abused by their father. His love for her is beautiful. Yes he is in a coma throughout the book, so maybe that’s why I liked him the best. He wasn’t really there to annoy my socks off.

So sadly this book was just a no go for me. There just wasn’t enough. A few things needed to happen in order for this book to be better. One, someone seriously needs to take another look at the plots flow. Two, Lily needs more……..just more! Three, this story needed to be checked three or four more times for it’s grammar mistakes before it hit the shelves. Self publishing is really really hard. So take a little more time, ask a few more people for their eyes and you’re golden. Oh and four, add pages. Many many more pages because there’s too much that was trying to be done here with only 144 pages. It just needs a do-over. Movies do it all the time. Why can’t books?

So I’m sorry, but I didn’t like this book. The idea, yes. The actual book, no.

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Reccommend?

Mmmm, eh. If you’re looking for a quick Mental Health, Fantasy fix then yes. If you’re looking for a good story with depth and feel and umph to it? Something that grips you and plagues your thoughts while you’re at work? Then no.

*I received a copy of this book from the Publisher via YA Bound Book Tours in exchange for my honest review.*

My Rating:

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emmaAuthor Bio:

Emma Michaels is the award winning author of the Society of Feathers series with over 15 publications under her belt. With a love for all things story-telling this bibliophile plans to take over the world one cup of coffee at a time. A rule breaker who isn’t afraid to have uncommon opinions she is an avid lover of mathematics and stand out fiction which transcends both its genre and format whether books, games, movies, or otherwise. A good story is a good story. When she isn’t online she is out dancing in the Washington rain or seeking new adventures.

Top Ten Tuesday – Fall TBR

Happy Tuesday!
This week’s theme for TTT is Books on Your Fall TBR 😉 a great topic. While it doesn’t quite feel like Fall just yet 😦 I still can’t resist the excitement. The hot chocolate, the fuzzy sweaters, warm fire’s, crisp refreshing breezes and cold morning ❤ I tell you……I fall in love with the season all over again every time. Now how bout that TBR?

  1. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
    I actually just bought this book and kind of can’t wait to start reading it.
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  2. Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
    Yes, this is STILL on my TBR.
  3. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson
  4. Heartless by Marissa Meyer (I CANT wait!)
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  5. The Dead Boyfriend by R.L. Stine (ARC)
    Perfect read for October!
  6. Glitter by Aprilynne Pike (ARC)
    This has been sitting on my TBR for a while.
  7. Iron Cast by Destiny Soria
    I can’t wait to give this another go!
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  8. The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  9. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
    No, I have not jumped on the fan wagon for this trilogy yet.
  10. I’m not putting a tenth because this list is not going to stop here, it’s just stopping here today.

So that’s my “so far” Fall TBR. Also I realize it’s no longer Tuesday and I am forever running late at everything I do *shaaaaaame.* Please forgive me guys! ❤

When Dreams Come True Book Review

When Dreams Come True by Rebecca Emin  when-dreams-come-true-pic

Publisher: Gingersnaps Books

Genre: Middle Grade, Fiction

Pages: 155

 

Charlie is happiest when biking with Max and Toby, or watching films with Allie. But when Charlie reaches year nine, everything begins to change.

As her friends develop new interests, Charlie’s dreams become more frequent and vivid, and a family crisis tears her away from her friends.

How will Charlie react when old family secrets are revealed? Will her life change completely when some of her dreams start to come true?

What a cute book! I felt very excited for Charlie (our protagonist) in the end. Even though I’m a grown adult but this book took me back to my own days as a thirteen year old.

They story begins with Charlie just starting her 9th year of school. Charlie has always been a bit of a tomboy. This may have to do with the two best friends that she’s grown up with named Toby and Max. The three of them are very close. Charlie also makes a new friend, Allie, her first gal pal. All four begin to go through changes, maturing and showing interest in each other as more than just friends. She can’t understand this as her feelings towards boys haven’t yet begun to change.  coraline-and-cat-coraline-5064938-1920-1200
Just as she is starting to really enjoy her time at school and being with friends her family gets some bad new. Aunty Jenny has become very ill. Eventually Charlie and her parents leave their home for a little while to take care of poor aunt Jenny. Of course Charlie doesn’t mind though. She loves her aunt very much and especially her huge mansion. Half of which is used as a B&B! Not to mention the beach which is in walking distance. While staying at her aunts house Charlie finds adventure, secrets and even secret passages.

Everything about this book was just charming. The innocence of the plot line, the characters, the dialogue and especially the relationships. Charlie’s relationship with her family was refreshing to read. After reading so many YA books with ornery teenagers who despise their parent’s, or have dead beat parents, it was a very nice change of pace. Visa versa her parents care a great deal for her, though I feel they were a little too irresponsible at times. (Planning to leave her for weeks. Taking her away form school for too many days.) Charlie also has a great relationship with her aunt, whom we see sick for the majority of the book.

Charlie’s character was down right adorable. Innocent to the core and loyal to a fault when it came to her friends. Even when some challenge could very possibly have come between her and them she took the high road. Not wanting to ruin anything. She struggles to understand the changes that all her friends seem to be going through. Allie is noticing how good looking boys are and she’s going on dates! Charlie doesn’t get it, but she listens to Allie rant on and on about it anyway. Max and Toby also begin acting weird, particularly around girls. Staring at them and making silly jokes. Slowly but surely Charlie’s feelings finally begin to grow into something more for one of the boys. (Though I won’t say who of course.)
Also despite her age she had very little to no fear at all. She would explore the enormous house all by herself, in the middle of the night! (early morning, like maybe 3 or 5 am.) She would also venture down to the beach alone and get free pony rides.

There were a few minor things that were a bit off putting for me.
1. The story took a little too long to take off. The book is only 155 pages longs and it took a little more than 100 pages to really peak my interest (I could just be spoiled from YA though). I feel as though someone younger may begin to lose interest and then miss out on a good book. funny-gif-baby-laughing-scared
2. Aunt Jenny’s illness was a little strange and a bit unbelievable. It begins with a sprained wrist, not too big of a deal, and then grows into a serious infection that is practically fatal. A little too dramatic. Kids might get the wrong idea about hospitals and God forbid they break a bone!
3. The dreams, the dreams weren’t what I was expecting form reading the blurb. It was more like they foreshadowed what was going to happen. There were only about two dreams that really came true the way she saw them in her sleep. I was a bit disappointed.

Despite all that it was still a really good book. It’s perhaps thee perfect coming of age story for the targeted audience. It’s an easy read with mystery, adventure, friendship and maturity. It’s simple enough to read within an hour or so. I highly recommend picking up a copy of this book for your younger ones. It may even help ease them through some of their own changes.
A solid 3 out of 5 for me 🙂

Thank you so much to Netgalley and Gingersnap Publishing who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!

 

 

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If The Magic Fits Book Review

22608767 (1)If The Magic Fits by Susan Maupin Schmid

Publisher: Random House Children

Genre: Childrens Fiction, (Middle Age)

Pages: 191

Rating: 5/5

“Inside an enchanted castle, there’s a closet—a closet with one hundred dresses that nobody ever wears. Dresses like those need a good trying-on, and Darling Dimple is just the girl to do it. When she tries on Dress Number Eleven, something unbelievable happens. She transforms into the castle’s Head Scrubber! It turns out that each dress can disguise her as someone else. And Darling is about to have an adventure that calls for a disguise or two…or a hundred.”

I just want to start off by saying how much I appreciate the opportunity to have read this book before it’s publication. Thank you Netgalley and Random House! I’m truly humbled to receive your ARC’s.

Now on to our book review. This book was absolutely adorable. Just look at that cover! It reflects perfectly what this story is about. Magic dresses, a plucky little white mouse (who quickly became a favorite character of mine), an obnoxious canary, a lovely Princess and of course a devious plot to send the kingdom into chaos. Because what story would be complete without evil plots? Also there are different dresses that help mark the beginning of a new chapter. It’s really creative and a little something that will help hold the interest of younger readers. Not that they would lose interest in such a good book.

Darling Dimple is a 10-year old orphan working and living in a magical castle that was made by, dragons! In the beginning of the book she is given the job of an Under-Scrubber, scrubbing pots and pans along with her best friends Gillian and Roger. Together the three of them make the best of living in the Under-Cellar by making soap bubbles while Darling tells fanciful stories. Soon Darlings luck turns around and she’s chosen to be the new Under-Presser for Princess Mariposa. This means she will move to the Upper-Attic and dorm with other girls who serve the Princess. Unfortunately the grass isn’t always greener on the other side and Darling finds herself being bullied by Francesca. (A mean who girl who really learns no lesson at all.)
After being ordered to look after the Princess’ little yellow canary, Darling discovers a closet full of a hundred beautiful dresses. Now I don’t know about the rest of you, but if I walked into a room full of gorgeous dresses there’s no way I wouldn’t try them on. And that’s exactly what she did. At this point is when the adventure really begins. You see those dresses are not just ordinary dresses, they’re magic! Instantly they fit exactly to her size and transform her into someone else, each time!
Using the dresses to help disguise her, Darling finds a way to tap into the castles own magic to save Princess Mariposa and her kingdom from certain impending doom.

Schmid did a wonderful job here. The whole story had a very positive vibe to it. There were great lessons to be learned. Darling’s character constantly made mistakes but still she never took the easy road. And there were definitely times where she could have. It was nice to see that she felt remorse and a sense of responsibility whenever she did something wrong. Especially at a young age. Darling also cared very much for her friends and especially for Jane (the woman who raised her). She showed a lot of respect to authority, even when she didn’t like it. Darling’s character is very humble and modest.Wonderful traits!

Child opening a magic gift box with lights and shining around

This is what I imagine a real life Darling to look like

There was so much adventure and so many secrets to uncover in this book that I just don’t see how we’re expected to wait for the next books in what’s sure to be a fun series. I really can’t wait to see what happens next for Darling and her new friend Princess Mariposa.
Highly recommend this book to our young avid readers. This is a great book for parents and children to read together as there are aspects that both can appreciate. Keep an eye out for this as it hits the shelves October, 25th 2016 😉
I really loved this book. When I give it a five out of five candies it’s because it was really a fantastic little story. Even now when I look at the cover I want to start reading it all over again! Although honestly I wish I already had a physical copy because I don’t like e-books at all. I can’t wait to buy this boot when it comes out. Especially so I can read it with my niece who is just starting to get into books. She’ll love this!

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Copyright © 2016 · All Rights Reserved · itsmisselizabeth

Baby Bear’s NOT Hibernating Book Review

Baby Bear’s NOT Hibernating by Lynn Plourde 51YiuHScH+L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Down East Books

Genre: Children’s Fiction

Pages: 22

Rating: 4/5

“Baby Black Bear has had so much fun with his friends moose, owl, and rabbit, that he’s decided not to join his parents in hibernation for the winter. So as the weather begins to turn cold and snow starts to fall, Baby Bear just keeps frolicking, all under the watchful but unseen eye of his dad. After a while, Baby Bear begins to realize that life outside the den is not quite as nice in the winter as he thought, and frozen twigs don’t make much of a meal. With the help of his friends he makes it back to shelter to spend a cozy winter with his mom and dad. Lynn Plourde’s tales is brought vividly to life through the illustrations of Teri Weidner. Exploring themes of friendship, diversity, working as a team, and parenting, it also includes fascinating facts about America’s most common bear.”

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If we were to see Baby Bear in the woods today.

This was such a cute little story! Baby Bear is a stubborn little tyke who is determined to enjoy all of winter, without hibernating! He’s a chip off the old block as Papa Bear was once just as stubborn. He keeps a close eye on Baby Bear and is always there for him when things don’t go quite as planned.

Baby Bear’s friends give him advice on the methods they use of NOT hibernating. Each one has something to share and something to teach us about each animal. With his friends by his side he has a great little adventure.

The illustrations alone to this book were very pleasing to look at. The colors of the trees just before Winter has set in are beautiful. There are pictures depicting Baby Bear’s friendships with Moose, Owl, and Hare that will surely bring a smile to anyone’s face. I highly recommend getting this book once it has been published. Whether you have little ones of your own or a few nieces and nephews, there’s something here for everyone to enjoy and it’s just too cute not to share!

I had the great pleasure of being chosen to read and review this book before it’s publication date (October 10, 2016). I feel very excited and honored to have been selected as this is the first time I have put myself out there to publishers and authors alike. It’s really very exciting! Also I just put up my review on goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1667693259) and was elated to see that Miss Pourde herself liked the review! (OMG!!!!)
Thank you so much Miss Ploudre and to Down East Books for the wonderful opportunity to write this review.

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