Fantasy, Fiction, Teen

The ‘Sweep’ Series–Cate Tiernan

I’m going to review these all together because there were so many books in this teen series and if I tried to review all 15 of them individually I might explode.

Especially since they were grouped together in compendiums of three, so I think I’ll do the same and review them like that.

(Spoilers ahead.)

Book of Shadows/The Coven/Blood Witch

This series is about a teenager named Morgan who is learning that she is a witch. Things start to happen to and around her and she discovers she has powers. But not just an ordinary witch: a powerful as fuck witch. Her bloodlines date back centuries.

Now in this first compendium we are going through the motions with Morgan and learning all these things with her, she’s a very ‘Bella’ from Twilight type character.

Mousy to a fault, boyish body, can only survive on Diet Pepsi. or Coke. I don’t remember, but that was always something she did first thing in the morning and it annoyed me and grossed me out.

She’s a Plain Jane with a brilliant mind and quiet personality. Overshadowed somehow by her younger sister who thrives with her good looks and even better personality.

Then along comes Cal. Oo la la. A hot new boy in school. Go figure.

He doesn’t like anyone, all the girls have gone after him, but he casts them aside.

But what is this??? A mousy brunette too intimidated by him to speak???

HE MUST HAVE HER.

Okay, I’m over emphasizing. But that’s pretty much the entire plot of the first three books.

Turns out Cal is a real blood witch too and his mother is a psychotic power hungry piece of work who wants Morgans powers as her own.

Go figure.

Oh but I forgot the best part: Cal has a halfbrother who is British called Hunter and Morgan hates him on sight.

BECAUSE SHE’S UNDER A SPELL. Oooooooooo

For teen magical dramas, that’s pretty big.

Dark Magick/Awakening/Spellbound

These three dragged a bit at the beginning but picked up hard at the end, there’s a serious betrayal and then a….wakening. Ha.

She realizes that she was put under a spell and is breaking it and coming to grips with her heritage and what it all means.

The Calling/Changeling/Strife

In the first of these three the coven heads to New York in the hopes of finding Amyranth (another coven). Hunter is searching a wayward witch, Morgan is having issues controlling her powers, then she meets a long lost family member.

These three were obviously to set up the remaining books. So far, I really like these, they are easy to read and I love a decent witch story.

Seeker/Origins/Eclipse

These took a hard left when it came to plot. We find out that not only did Morgan’s father reappear, but so did Hunters. (He thought they were dead after so many years of being on the run from the Dark Wave.)

Basically: all dads have issues and these two are trying to deal with them.

 Origins is where I was like “What just happened???” because all of a sudden we are centuries back to literally the origin story of the dark wave, we don’t see our main characters for so long and it just seemed kind of out of place. I wanted to know what was happening with everyone and here I was reading about characters I didn’t know. It was fine, it gave a good back story, but I was still confused for a hot minute as to why she did this.

Reckoning/Full Circle/Night’s Child

These last three books were probably the best of the bunch. I love when things end with a bang!

Not only that but they moved forward in time so that we could see Morgans future child and I like when books tell us what happened to the characters in the future.

All in all, this series was pretty good even though I found it tediously long at times. I don’t think I’d read it again seeing as how it is meant for teens, but Teenage Alli would’ve been all over this if she only had it way back when.

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Constant vigilance!

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Fantasy, Fiction, young adult

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children–Ranson Riggs

We’ve made it out of the Roald Dahl vortex. Thank God.

I was originally reading this book because I had been interested in it for awhile and then the movie was coming out, so naturally, I was trying to prep myself for the movie!

And then I never went and saw the movie.

I hold all the logic in my hands, don’t I?

Anyway, this book freaked me out. But only because there were pictures of what everyone looks like in it and the pictures are creepy as all hell. Nobody likes old timey circus photos Ransom Riggs! NOBODY.

On the whole though, this book was really good. I liked Jacob, and the back story of why he can see things others can’t, I enjoyed the entire plot, the writing was great, I really look forward to reading more of these. (And finally watching the movie.)

Maybe I’m just saying that because I can’t take anymore kid books though.

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Fantasy, Uncategorized

The Walking Dead Comp. 2–Robert Kirkman and co.

I’m a huge Walking Dead fan. I really love the show, so finally reading the comics was something I had been looking forward to for a long time. And I’m really glad that my sister decided to buy the compendiums/ask for them for Christmas so that I could save my own money and siphon off them.

That being said, a lot of shit goes down. I really like reading these, but it (obviously) gets confusing reading them and watching the show.

Things don’t necessarily happen to the character in the comics that they did to on the show, which is totally fine. I like being surprised!

I really loved this, but the quality of the drawings went downhill after Tony Moore left them. Which makes me really sad because they were amazing to begin with and now I’m having issues telling who is who and “Is that Glenn or is that Rick? Is that Laurie? Is…that Maggie? Wtf is happening.” I can determine which characters are doing what half the time.

Confusing, but great storyline. Stuff happens very fast. So fast it’s kind of shocking, but I get that they are graphic novels and that makes sense for them to be like Information: BAM BAM BAM.

Constant vigilance.

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Biography, Comedy, Fantasy, Fiction, Kids Books

The Short Stack.

Good morning everyone!

I’m clearing house of the tiny reviews. So here’s four to take a gander at.

Summer of My Amazing Luck—Miriam Toews

Literally only picked this up because I knew it was set in the summer. (Book challenge #14-A Book Set in the Summer [26BooksWithBringingUpBurns 2015.])

What a treat it was though! I love this writer, she’s really in tune with empathy over sympathy. It’s very interesting to read her books because they are about real humans and their struggles.

All about people living on welfare and their troubles, stories, and how they rise or fall.

Definitely interesting to pick up. In this you follow Lucy through how she got to the Have-A-Life welfare housing, how she makes friends, and then ends up on a road trip with her friend Lish to find a fire eater that knocked her up awhile ago.

Very cool take, I can’t gush enough about this writer, but I’ll stop for your sake.

Truly great.

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I Feel Bad About My Neck (And Other thoughts on being a woman)—Nora Efron

Okay. This also might seem like an odd choice for me to read but hear me out:

I was reading a lot of female authors and was like ‘Hey. This lady writes sweet movies and books and maybe she has some perspective as well on being a woman that would interest me like the last five!”

Well unless you are over 50, don’t bother with this.

I found it quite boring and useless. Which sounds awful since I do like her movies, but I didn’t gain anything from this or learn anything besides ‘I never want to get old’.

*Audience booing*

To be completely fair to her: I will read her other books in the future, I just happened to pick a dud for my age group. Her writing was good, I just didn’t connect to what she was going through and didn’t much care for her stories.

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(#16 A Book You Learned About Because of this Challenge….this might be a stretch I think, I was just trying to fill in holes. But I did learn about this because of the other books I was looking through for this challenge, so that has to count.)

The Pilot’s Wife—Anita Shreve

Someone suggested this to me when I lived in Vancouver and it’s been sitting around on my shelves ever since.

That’s how backed up my reading list is. I’m hitting living at home for two years already.

Jesus Christ I need to get my shit together.

Anyway.

This book is about a woman (obviously) who’s husband was a pilot.

Shocker. Haha.

Her husbands plane goes down and she has to deal with all that comes with it. Including their teenage daughter and her grief.

I really loved this book actually, it was beautifully written, not overwhelming with emotions and drama, and enough mystery to hold my attention.

Thank you to the random lady in Vancouver who suggested that I read Anita Shreve’s books. I’m excited to read more of her stuff in the future.

(#18 A book with a blue cover.)

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Spending the Holidays with People I Want to Punch in the Throat: Yuletide Yahoos, Ho-Ho-Humblebraggers, and Other Seasonal Scourges—Jen Mann

This book jumped the line because I was in the mood for a holiday laugh. (I read this around Christmas) My cousins family gave this to me. (I’m their nanny and I get all the good stuff from them. Including baby snuggles!)

It was hysterical. And accurate as all hell.

Start to finish had me laughing. And nodding like ‘I feel ya girl!”.

Definitely worth it for a present to someone with a sense of humour around the holidays. Or for a treat for yourself because it was awesome.

Short and sweet and to the point. Just like this review.

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Bunnicula—Deborah and James Howe

Another present from a family member, my Auntie Jo (or as she calls herself Aunt Torage. Best word play of life.) I was presented with this for my birthday because I love bunnies, I love horror, and I love ridiculous novels written for children.

This was a good and spoooOOOoooky read.

Okay, it was all right. It IS for kids after all. But it was pretty cute and funny and I’m sure some kid somewhere is having nightmares about this rabbit.

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Happy Monday everyone! Constant vigilance!

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Fantasy

Fool Moon–Jim Butcher

My brother implored me to keep reading this series, but I really don’t think it’s for me. It’s slow going and even though Harry Dresden is a decent character who is real during supernatural situations, something is missing from it and I can’t place my finger on it.

Could be that I’m just used to another wizard named Harry and wanted to be back at Hogwarts instead of this place where things are normal until they really, really aren’t.

In this second coming of Harry Dresden we are introduced to werewolves.

It was an okay book, just not for me. I probably won’t continue on with this series.

*Shrug*

Classic, Fantasy, Kids Books

Peter Pan–J.M. Barrie

I think I’m Captain Hook.

I was very excited to finally reach this book on my shelf, it has been a long time coming. But then something happened where, as a self-proclaimed child and fancifier of ridiculousness, I’m embarrassed to admit:

I’m an adult.

And I found Peter to be a bit of a dick.

I realize that life as a kid means that you are constantly distracted, things are fleeting, and people come in and out of your life all the time. You are innocent, naïve, and lack people skills most of the time.

But Peter treated people like they are disposable and didn’t matter. All he wanted to do was to play games, didn’t matter who he was playing with or that peoples lives could be in danger. It was to show the carelessness of youth.

I wanted to punch Peter by the end of the book and I sympathized with Captain Hook and his wanting to exact revenge on the juvenile delinquent who cut off his hand and thought it was funny.

Peter seems to be a bit of a psychopath.

Maybe I’m reading a bit too much into it. Or I’m a little sensitive to the underdog.

That would be 100% true since my favourite characters have always been Mr. Darling and Mrs. Darling, and Nana.

The three caretakers left behind to wait and worry.

Most people think Mr. Darling was a bit of a dick too and that Peter is a hero, but I think the hero is the person who works his ass off for his family in spite of having an obvious anxiety disorder and social awkwardness. And Mrs. Darling, for always putting her family first and never giving up on the hope that they would come back to her. Nana, who always worried and took care of her charges even when they treated her like a dumb dog.

I’m empathic by nature, so I felt all the worry, the wonder, the sadness, and the delight of this book. Even as a kid I remember not liking the cartoon Peter Pan because he seemed like a puffed up little twerp in need of a mother of a backhand.

However, I do enjoy his good qualities: Childlike wonder, seeing magic in every day events, and being downright playful in the face of danger.

It was the greatest day ever when I met the “real life” Peter Pan at Disney and we had a good talk and goofing around with my sisters.

But no wonder the kid thought I was a pirate. Because I empathize with the Captain.

Constant vigilance.

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Fantasy

13–Kelley Armstrong

Holy. Mother. Of. Sanity.

This book was a rollercoaster of emotion, adventure, and worry.

You know when you reach the end of a series and you just know, you just know that the author is going to eviscerate all your loved ones? How could they ALL survive what’s going to happen? They can’t. They just simply can’t.

Everyone has already lost so, so much, and then this book comes along and it’s the end of the series. (Although Kelley has promised that she’s not done writing their adventures in short story compilations, graphic novels, or novellas.)

This book was by far the most brilliantly written of the lot. She tied everything and everyone together so wonderfully at the end that I felt like crying just from how great that was to see in writing.

Everyone is back, and the way she wrote out the chapters was exactly what I needed. She made sure you got to see everybody, say your goodbyes, see them at their best and their worst, and just all around action packed like they have never been before.

This was the most well formed “Goodbye” I’ve ever read of a series.

(Okay, it’s tied with Harry Potter, but you get what I’m saying.)

You not only get to hear from your favourite characters, but you get to hear from Kelley herself as she writes us a foreword and a final note. It was beautiful. Just beautiful.

So great, I don’t even know what to do with myself.

Constant vigilance.

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