Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Review: Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson

From Goodreads:

Once a century, one person is chosen for greatness.

Elisa is the chosen one.

But she is also the younger of two princesses, the one who has never done anything remarkable. She can't see how she ever will.

Now, on her sixteenth birthday, she has become the secret wife of a handsome and worldly king—a king whose country is in turmoil. A king who needs the chosen one, not a failure of a princess.

And he's not the only one who seeks her. Savage enemies seething with dark magic are hunting her. A daring, determined revolutionary thinks she could be his people's savior. And he looks at her in a way that no man has ever looked at her before. Soon it is not just her life, but her very heart that is at stake.

Elisa could be everything to those who need her most. If the prophecy is fulfilled. If she finds the power deep within herself. If she doesn’t die young.

Most of the chosen do.


I don't even know where to start with this book. It was fabulous, and at the same time it kind of made me pull away a bit and ask, "What?"

Elisa is the chosen one. She literally has a Godstone in her navel. This stone is almost like a link to God, and it directs her in some of her more challenging moments. The Godstone means that she has been chosen to do something amazing! But she has no idea what, and she doesn't know if her task will ever be completed. Many of the Chosen don't live long enough to complete their tasks. 

On her 16th birthday, Elisa marries a kind and handsome man who is the king of a neighboring country. When they reach his kingdom a few weeks later (with much trial and hardship), Elisa soon learns he means to introduce her merely as a "guest" and wishes to keep their marriage a secret. A marriage that was nothing but a contract for more troops in a war that is fast approaching. 

And thus begins an epic tale of a girl who must overcome her self-doubts and find the courage to save a nation. And yes, I mean epic.

I read this book a month ago, and I can still see the story in my head. It was that good. The author does an amazing job of giving the reader enough detail so that we can see what's going on, but not so much that I'm flipping the pages looking for dialogue. 

Elisa is the kind of character that grows naturally, and yet she still has her self-doubts and lack of confidence, even though she's slaying the dragon. Hypothetically speaking. I thought she was so real, she could have been the girl next door instead of the girl of fire and thorns....:)

Battles and war are always a little difficult for me to follow because there is always so much history shoved into a tiny little space. However, with The Girl of Fire and Thorns, the war history was only a tiny bit tiresome, so that's pretty good. 

I sometimes had a hard time figuring out who was the bad guy and who really was good. There were a few times I thought a good guy was about to betray Elisa, and he never did. That's a little confusing as a reader. I like a surprise, but I don't want to be constantly on guard for something that never happens.

This is a very, very sweet love story as well. And that was one of my most favorite and least favorite parts of the book. I won't say more because it will give away too much.

This was a clean book with battle violence. If you're like me, you'll be heavily invested emotionally. This is apparently a trilogy, and you can bet your bottle rocket I'll be reading the other books in the series.

  • Reading level: Ages 13 and up
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Greenwillow Books (September 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • Souce: Publisher via Netgalley
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Friday, February 17, 2012

Review: Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

From internationally acclaimed storyteller Cornelia Funke, this bestselling, magical epic is now out in paperback!

One cruel night, Meggie's father reads aloud from a book called INKHEART-- and an evil ruler escapes the boundaries of fiction and lands in their living room. Suddenly, Meggie is smack in the middle of the kind of adventure she has only read about in books. Meggie must learn to harness the magic that has conjured this nightmare. For only she can change the course of the story that has changed her life forever.
This is INKHEART--a timeless tale about books, about imagination, about life. Dare to read it aloud.

First off, let me say that this book is beautifully written, full of imagery and similes.  The characters were interesting and the story was well developed and moved along at a nice pace.  The problem that I had with it was that it was SO long.  I had a difficult time becoming entirely engrossed in the story.  There was a lot of "filler" that could have been cut out.  How many times can you be captured and escape from the same bad guy?

The plot and the general idea of the book were both easy to follow and very interesting.  Imagine having the characters of a book appear in your living room when you read aloud!  I felt like it was resolved fairly and realistically.  While it wasn't my favorite book I've ever read, I do think I will read the next book in the series.

  • Reading Level: Ages 10 and up
  • Publisher: The Chicken House 
  • Amazon 
  • Goodreads

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Monday, February 13, 2012

Hello Everyone!

I want to thank Deborah for allowing me this opportunity.  I practically begged her to let me post some book reviews.  Books are a wonderful part of my nighttime ritual until I nod off from sheer exhaustion.  I want to tell the world about the great stories I've discovered, and Deborah was gracious enough to provide a way for me to do so.

Most of the books I read are for children.  I have an immense love for the world of children's literature in anything from picture books to young adult novels.  I spend hours reading books to my kids and writing my own children's stories that I hope to publish one day.

Art is still a major part of my life as well.  I still stay up until all hours of the night pushing paint around while the rest of the house is catching their Z's.  Like reading and writing books, it is one of those things that I just have to do. 

Now that I have introduced myself a little bit, I had better get busy and write some reviews! Pin It

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Welcome to our new reviewer!

Who knew that increasing the size of one's family would substantially decrease a person's free-time?

Since our emotionally draining fall/winter, I sort of gave up on reading. But, now that my daughter is home, happy and healthy, I've gotten back into the swing of things. I've read about 10 books this year so far. And yes, I'm talking about the last 6 weeks. (My free time just comes at 11pm, 2am, 4am, 5:30am, 6:30am....all those dark night hours when a newborn needs to eat.)

Long story short (ha ha), I have an AMAZING reviewer who is joining the Deborah's Books team! I never imagined having a partner in crime, so it sort of makes me wish I'd named my book blog something a little more versatile and co-reviewer friendly. Anyway. I realized I'm way over my head right now with reading and reviewing. If I/we want to be taken seriously, there had better be more book reviews posted on this blog. So, I begged and pleaded one of my good friends to please, please, puh-leeze help me out.

She finally relented.

So, without further ado, I'd like to introduce Dena.

Dena and I have been friends for a decade now. Gosh, I'm old. She and I were roommates in college. Dena has a degree in Art - I make it sound easy like all she had to do was color in the lines. But believe you me, that's a competitive degree! She spent many nights awake creating beauty while the rest of us spent our time creating morning breath.

She is now using her degree and talents to become famous. Her time here is just one more rung on that ladder. ;)

Dena is a hot mamma with two adorable kids. She's hilarious and has a very down to earth perspective on the world. She's one of the best people I know. We are lucky to have her.

To learn more about this marvelous creature we call Dena, visit her at her art blog, her illustration website, or her art website. Her profile page is much more impressive than the little intro I just gave her. :)

(PS. I don't know if it really matters all that much, but it wasn't so much that I begged Dena to help was more like she furrowed her eyebrows, cocked her head to the side and said, in her best mommy voice, "Aw, poor thing. Would you like some help?" To which I calmly bawled and sniffled and said, "Yes, please.") Pin It

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Beg , borrow or steal?

Pop quiz!

How should you get your hands on The Gifted for free?

a. Beg your friends to buy it so you can read their copy.
b. Borrow it from for free.
c. Break into my house and steal it from my basement.

If you chose c please send me your name and address so I can give it to the police as a list of possible suspects. ;)

The correct answer is b. If you have a Kindle and Prime Membership, you can borrow The Gifted for FREE!! (That's my favorite price.)

Are you interested in free? Here's how you can do it.

If you have a Kindle (an actual Kindle) and Prime Membership, go to the Amazon store on your Kindle. Once there,  search for The Gifted by Deborah Andreasen. My book will pop up. On the details screen, there will be the option to buy or borrow.

Borrow it and you can have it for as little or as long as you'd like!!

The catch is you can only borrow one book a month. If you have a kindle and you don't have Prime Membership, you can get a free trial for 30 days.

**Puttin' in a plug here. We are going on our second year of Prime Membership. Can I tell you how much I love it?! Not only do I ALWAYS get free shipping, but the stuff I buy is on my doorstep in two days. Need shoelaces? No problem. You'll get them in 2 days and you don't have to pay shipping. I never have to leave the house! Which was really nice when I was on bed rest while pregnant with twins. So yeah, Prime is a little on the pricey side, but totally worth it if Amazon is your go to website for anything and everything.**

Happy reading! Pin It