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“The Forgotten Sisters” – Shannon Hale

Posted by on Mar 2, 2015 in Books, Reviews | 0 comments

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“The Forgotten Sisters” (Princess Academy 3)

Shannon Hale
Published February 24, 2015 by Bloomsbury
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After a year at the king’s palace, Miri has learned all about being a proper princess. But the tables turn when the student must become the teacher!

Instead of returning to her beloved Mount Eskel, Miri is ordered to journey to a distant swamp and start a princess academy for three sisters, cousins of the royal family. Unfortunately, Astrid, Felissa, and Sus are more interested in hunting and fishing than becoming princesses.

As Miri spends more time with the sisters, she realizes the king and queen’s interest in them hides a long-buried secret. She must rely on her own strength and intelligence to unravel the mystery, protect the girls, complete her assignment, and finally make her way home.

It’s no secret that I adore Shannon Hale, and the third installment in the Princess Academy series more than lived up to my expectations.

“The Forgotten Sisters” is a delightful journey back into Miri’s world and reminded me how much I love the characters. It succeeds in bringing back the magic of the first book that felt a little lost in the second. Striking a deal with the king, Miri heads off on a journey to the dreaded swamp lands to teach 3 wild girls to become Princesses in her own mini “Princess Academy”. Upon arrival she finds that everything is not what she expected it to be and soon finds that she has just as much to learn from these 3 unruly girls as they do from her.

PrincessAcademy The best part about this series is the great friendships that Shannon Hale builds between her characters. I loved reading the interactions with the sisters and how they each have their own unique traits, but they all look out for each other. With the introduction of Miri they quickly embrace her into their lives and there’s such a great camaraderie between the four girls. Together they use their combined talents to survive and fight back for what is rightfully theirs.

I love how powerful education is in this series. Just by learning, these girls realize there’s so much more than can do with their lives and improve the lives of those around them. Each of the three sisters takes to a different part of Miri’s lessons which ends up shaping the characters’ growth and influences them to do things they never knew possible.

Don’t worry, the other love-able characters from the first books still have their role to play in this final installment. There’s still the ever-adorable Peder, her sister Marda and good friend Britta. Plus, Miri’s quarry speaking and the linder still play an important role in both the story and Miri’s personal character growth.

The Princess Academy series is such a strong, feel good story featuring great female friendship and dynamic characters. While there is a love interest, it takes a back seat to the main plot and only emphasizes the story and its characters. “The Forgotten Sisters” is an excellent conclusion to the series and speaks to the core themes of friendship and the power of knowledge that is introduced in the first book. If you haven’t read “Princess Academy” I highly recommend you pick it up and give it a go.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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No Book Buying February

Posted by on Feb 26, 2015 in Books | 8 comments

Oh hai there! Yes, I’m still alive. The last couple of weeks I’ve been really lazy and haven’t done much of anything. But my productivity is back!! Just give me a few days to catch up on the 150 posts in my bloglovin’ feed *faints*

I put my self on a book buying ban for February because I have too many books. Ok, there’s no such thing. More that I am buying books faster than I can read them. And it’s almost the end of the month and I’m doing pretty well. Just pretty well? I may have accidentally spent $3 dollars on a book. For serious. I basically pre-ordered a kindle book when I had a few dollars in kindle credits, and I didn’t realize that it didn’t apply them until when the book came out, so they were spent on something else, and then when the book came out I was charged for it. Oh well, totally not my fault. (Ok, I may have also spend $2.50 on purpose on a book nut it was a good deal… that’s all I swear!)

All the books you’re about to see were purchased in January, so don’t go pointing any fingers at me!

My latest haul:

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All but “Tithe” were purchased via bookoutlet.com (they make it so hard not to buy books!! Stop sending me emails!!), and “Tithe” I got from paperbackwap.com.

“Of Beast and Beauty” By Stacey Jay – Cause who isn’t into fairytale stories right now?
“Ruin & Rising” and “Siege and Storm” by Leigh Bardugo - I have the first book in the trilogy. Ok, I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve heard so many good things I’m sure I’ll like it. Plus I couldn’t pass up having a pretty hard cover set (do you see why I have a book buying problem?!). They were only a few dollars each…
“Glow” by Amy Kathleen Ryan & “Starglass” by Pheobe North – Continuing my obsession with trying to find the perfect space scifi book.
“Rush” by Eve Silver – MOOOOOAAARRRR SciFi please
“The Shadow Society” by Marie Rutkoski – It doesn’t sound amazing, but I really enjoyed “The Winner’s Curse” and when I read a book I like, I read all the books by that author.
“A Confusion of Princes” by Garth Nix – I’ve read a couple of good reviews and I guess I have to read a male protagonist sometimes.
“Tithe” by Holly Black – I still haven’t read anything by Holly Black, thought it was time to try.

What books have you gotten lately?

I’m thinking about cutting myself off in March too…

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“Seeker” – Arwen Elys Dayton

Posted by on Feb 17, 2015 in Books, Reviews | 4 comments

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“Seeker”

Arwen Elys Dayton
Published February 10th 2015 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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Quin Kincaid has been put through years of brutal training for what she thinks is the noble purpose of becoming a revered ‘Seeker’.
 
Only when it’s too late does she discover she will be using her new-found knowledge and training to become an assassin. Quin’s new role will take her around the globe, from a remote estate in Scotland to a bustling, futuristic Hong Kong where the past she thought she had escaped will finally catch up with her.

Quin, Shinobu and John have been training for years to be “seekers” which they believe to be protectors of the innocent, but on the night of their final test and initiation, they realize it’s not exactly what they had in mind.

It’s been a few days since I finished this one and I’m still having a hard time deciding how I feel about it, let alone expressing my thoughts. While there are some really great ideas within the pages, it didn’t quite deliver.

It’s just a very long book. At over 400 pages, it still felt much longer than that. Not necessarily because the story dragged on, more that there was just so much to it. There’s drug addiction, prostitution, amnesia, murder, & time travel. It’s set on Earth, but sort of a scifi, near future world and there’s a fantasy element thrown in. There’s even a floating ship. I was interested enough to keep reading, but I always had a feeling of wanting to get it over with. It didn’t really feel exciting until the last 25% of the book where the action picked up.

Just like the rest of the story, the love triangle had its highs and lows. Thankfully, this love triangle is not all about Quin being in love with two different guys at the same time, but I found myself not really liking either of the guys for various reasons. There’s John who obviously loves power and vengeance more than he does Quin, and then there’s Shinobu who is awkwardly her cousin… they kept making it a point that he’s a discount cousin by marriage, but still. I wanted to like the idea of Shinobu/Quin and it was obviously pushed, but I couldn’t help going back to the cousin thing.

In the end you’re left with so many questions. What is a seeker supposed to be anyway? We learn what they’re not supposed to be. How many athames are there supposed to be again? Wait, there’s a book now? What’s in that? Isn’t Briac supposed to be scary? Can we have more of Maud now please?

The real question is whether or not I will read the next book. Right now I’m leaning heavily towards no. I don’t think the struggle through this one was worth it in the end. But I’ve definitely read much, much worse.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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Shippy Shipping

Posted by on Feb 13, 2015 in Lists, Television & Movies | 7 comments

I’m not one to decorate my house for valentines day, or do cutesy Valentine’s crafts. Instead I’m going to talk about shipping. Cause I am a huge shipper.

For those not in the know, shipping is basically being a fan of a particular relationship. I’ve been shipping since I was 10-ish and was huge into a few fandoms. So here are some of my favourite ships.


Buffy/Angel – Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel

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We’ll start with the beginning of it all. Buffy and Angel. Screw that twilight and Vampire Diaries crap. Angel is a vampire with a soul and he is so deliciously delicious and the Buffy/Angel saga is one of the best. None of that Spike/Buffy stuff… ok, I did enjoy that story line a bunch in season 5, and I maybe liked Angel/Cordelia for a while there… but Buffy and Angel are the OTP (One True Pair) of this ‘verse.

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Jack/Sam – Stargate SG-1


Buffy/Angel may be my original ship, but this is my OTP of all time.

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I have fandomed this ship to death. There are no words that can express how much I love Jack and Sam together. One of the great things about Stargate was that it wasn’t a relationship based show, so there was 10 years of serious Sam/Jack angst, and on the rare occasions where they threw those moments at you, they were so golden.

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But before I turn this entire post into a Sam/Jack love fest, we’ll move on…

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Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Posted by on Feb 11, 2015 in Books, Reviews | 9 comments

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Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography

Neil Patrick Harris
Published October 14th 2014 by Crown Archetype
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Tired of memoirs that only tell you what really happened?

Sick of deeply personal accounts written in the first person? Seeking an exciting, interactive read that puts the “u” back in “aUtobiography”? Then look no further than Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography! In this revolutionary, Joycean experiment in light celebrity narrative, actor/personality/carbon-based life-form Neil Patrick Harris lets you, the reader, live his life. You will be born in New Mexico. You will get your big break at an acting camp. You will get into a bizarre confrontation outside a nightclub with actor Scott Caan. Even better, at each critical juncture of your life, you will choose how to proceed. You will decide whether to try out for Doogie Howser, M.D. You will decide whether to spend years struggling with your sexuality. You will decide what kind of caviar you want to eat on board Elton John’s yacht.

Choose correctly and you’ll find fame, fortune, and true love. Choose incorrectly and you’ll find misery, heartbreak, and a hideous death by piranhas. All this, plus magic tricks, cocktail recipes, embarrassing pictures from your time as a child actor, and even a closing song. Yes, if you buy one book this year, congratulations on being above the American average, but make that book Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography!

Is there anything that NPH can’t do?! He can act, he can sing and dance, he’s funny and ridiculously good looking… and now he can write too. I would say I hate him, but that would be a lie because I adore him. Yep, he’s LEGEN…. wait for it… no I’m not going to do it. Ok I am DARY! KK… moving on.

Neil Patrick Harris’ book is nothing but brilliant. As expected, it’s funny, but it’s also moving and full sweet moments and life lessons. Harris covers topics such as surviving being a child star, realizing he’s gay and coming out to the world, falling in love, and escaping the brand of Doogie Howser.

Probably the best part of this book is its “choose your own adventure” (or “pick a path” as I called it as a kid) style. Written in the second person, in this book your Neil Patrick Harris embarking upon his life. You choose how you want to proceed: Want to explore a stage career? Want to try to make it in the movie business? Want to fall in love and have kids? And if there’s something you don’t care about, like you’re really uncomfortable with Harris’ homosexuality, then just don’t pick that path. However, just like the traditional choose your own path book, pick the wrong path and you could meet your untimely death in a pool of sulfuric acid. Seriously.

And if all this hasn’t turned you on to this book yet, (but wait, there’s more!) you’ll find puzzles, magic tricks, drink recipes, cameos from other celebs (including adorable notes from David Burtka on the chapter where they meet) and hidden pages.

My strategy was to try and follow as much of his story as I could. But I still had to go through it a few times, picking different paths to read all of it. This book is fun. If you like Neil Patrick Harris, you’ll like this book, and it’ll make you love him even more.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review

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