Sunday, August 28, 2016

The Sunday Post #34 - Slumps Are No Fun


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you received, share news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead, and more.

I'm getting a bit tired of telling you guys that I'm in a slump, a funk, or just not feeling 100% lately but that's how this past week has been. I just wasn't motivated to do anything. I guess it's a life slump because I haven't had a book hangover since the beginning of the month. Thankfully, I've been feeling more like myself for the past couple of days and am currently trying to catch up with my to-do list (that I neglected for almost two weeks!) I ended up reading absolutely nothing for the Bout of Books read-a-thon and I never got around to making any new bookmarks for September. 
I did get out of the house for a mental health moment and visited a lovely little garden that really helped lift my spirits. Outside of a book, nature is my happy place. My little butterfly and I had a lot of fun exploring. 

This Past Week On The Blog
Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Book Review: Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall by Aaron Safronoff

Picture Book Review: Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette Portis

Coming Soon
August Wrap Up
September TBR

Books I Finished This Week
None. :(

What I'm Currently Reading
Same books as last week.

I hope you all had a much more productive week! 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, & Jack Thorne

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
Authors: J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany, Jack Thorne
Series: Harry Potter #8
Publisher: Little, Brown UK
Publication Date: July 31, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Plays
Length: 352 pages
Format: Hardcover, Special Rehearsal Edition
Source: Purchased


Synopsis: 
Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London's West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn't much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and a father of three school-age children. 

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places. 

My Thoughts:  

**SPOILER FREE**

After nearly 10 years without a new Harry Potter book I was thrilled to hear about this. I was skeptical about the stage-play aspect of it but when push comes to shove, Harry Potter is Harry Potter and I knew I would read this as soon as I got my hands on it. 

The play format made this a very quick read but I took my time and savored it over nearly four days  (mostly because my toddler keeps me from reading as much as I'd like to). 

That first scene - while mostly just a quick version of the epilogue from 'the Deathly Hallows' - threw me back to the better parts of my childhood. Looking back on it now I can't help but think that even though 'the Deathly Hallows' came out when I was twenty-ish, that last book was sort of the end of my childhood. 


It was so nostalgic to return to that 'about to explore a new Harry Potter book' feeling. It reminded me of that time, long ago, when I was browsing through a magazine and came across the movie poster for the first Harry Potter movie. Now, I didn't have cable or internet or even a phone (yes, they existed, I just didn't have them) back then so that magazine was pure magic for me. I was so excited. I still have that piece of paper ripped from that magazine hanging on the wall in my library. It is just a piece of paper, yes, but that feeling is why I keep it. That feeling was all of my love and excitement for Harry Potter and I was pleased to experience it again after so long. 

Now that I've given a tiny example of my neverending love for Harry Potter I will try to get on to the actual reviewing. Well, sort of. 


I've been seeing a lot of negativity surrounding this book in the past week or so and I both understand and don't at the same time. I understand that it was sort of a let down. After all this time and all these fans wanting more from the Wizarding World, this is what we get? We wanted a full length novel! Better yet, a whole new series! But, it is what it is and that's not what it is, disappointing as it may be. 

I absolutely loved this book though. Yes, it has it's flaws. It's not the easiest thing to read if you're not familiar with plays. You don't get any in-depth character descriptions and if you didn't read the books or watch the movies you probably won't be able to picture the characters or know their mannerisms or anything. I had no problems with that, of course. I could even picture Albus and Scorpius perfectly from what I know of their parents. 

So I guess what I'm trying to get around to saying is that the only thing I didn't really like about this book is that it's not an actual book because I wanted an actual full length novel so badly. 


What did I love about this book? Everything else. 
I loved reading about my favorite characters again. I even loved seeing the characters I loathed (even though I was yelling "Oh, hell no!") I fell in love with Scorpius. I sympathized with Albus. I was disappointed in Harry. I loved them all and I am so utterly happy to have been able to read something new about them. 
I loved the plot. I often fantasized about how things turned out after 'the Deathly Hallows' when I was younger and yet this was a totally unique concept to me. It never crossed my mind. (Ok, maybe I didn't think on it that much.) I loved even the worst bits of it. The relationship between Harry and Albus was so painful to read about. I wanted so much better for them both.

Honestly, I just really enjoyed 'Harry Potter and the Cursed Child' for what it is. I do see myself re-reading it after re-reading the original series in the future (which I'm really overdue for). It was extremely nostalgic to return to a world that I plunged into for the first time nearly twenty years ago. Harry Potter was my childhood, it continues to be my present, and I know it will also be my future. This is one fandom that I will happily continue to be a part of. 


My Rating: 5 stars 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Book Review: Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall by Aaron Safronoff

I was given a free ecopy of this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review. 

Title: Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall 
Author: Aaron Safronoff
Publisher: Neoglyphic Entertainment
Publication Date: April 15, 2016
Genre: Fantasy
Length: 385 pages
Format: ebook
Source: author


Synopsis:
On a distant world of forests floating on an ocean around a star, a blight threatens to plunge all life into darkness.
But three friends seek the light.
Together, they will Fall and be lost.
And at the very Root of darkness, they will find themselves.
But will it be enought to help them find their way home?

The World of Cerulean
Light and water flow from the ocean into the roots of the Great Trees, up through the boughs, and out over the lush canopies. But the once vibrant treescape has grown dim over generations of arboreal life, and the creatures of the forest have forgotten the light.
Barra, a young ,willful Listlespur, find her late father's hidden journal, and reads about the old world and the mysterious plague her father believed destroyed it. He wrote that he warned the Elders. He urged them to take action. Those were his last words.
Together with her two best friends, Barra will explore every bark, wood, and leaf of the Great Forest to relight her world and complete her father's story, even if she has to travel beneath the Fall. 

My Thoughts: 
In an entirely unique world made of humongous trees intertwined together over an ocean with a sun at it's center, a handful of creatures are willing to find out what darkness is plaguing their homes. Barra, along with her friends Tory and Plicks, venture into the dark Middens (lower branches) to find the source of the creepervine fungus they found on an insect. They are attacked by a swarm of life-eating kudmoths and barely escape with their lives only to end up in the 'Fall', landing down upon the roots of the Great Trees. There, they try to find a way back up to their homes but the evil creepervine and it's fungus-puppets make it very difficult for them and they end up the farthest from home they ever imagined they could be.

This has got to be the most unique worldbuilding I've ever come across in literature and it's written so well. This world is so different from our own and so new and yet I never felt overwhelmed by the descriptions or information. It was so easy to imagine this world and it's creatures and the illustrations that are placed throughout the book made it even easier.
I loved the characters, the settings, and the plot. This book was honestly so much more than I expected. It reminded me so much of one of my favorite moves as a child, Fern Gully, along with the more modern beauty of Avatar, but only in that it has a similar otherworldly wonder to it.

The characters were easy to love and care for. Barra is so headstrong and curious. Tory and Plicks are both loyal friends and great supporting characters. The multitude of characters, from Arboreals to Aetherials and more, made this world so diverse.

The illustrations in this book are amazing.  is very talented and brings this story to life.
Not only are there plenty of illustrations within the book to help you with the visualization of the unique creatures, but there are even more illustrations and other great stuff (videos, etc) on the website that you can check out to further immerse yourself in this world. If you want to know what the Boil or the Reach looks like, you can!

Yes, there are very lovely illustrations but this is a full length novel that was entirely worth the read and I would highly recommend to anyone who loves fantasy, sci-fi, or adventures. Safronoff has created a world in Sunborn Rising that everyone should explore. It even has it's own soundtrack!

Seriously, if you are wondering what this book is about or if you might be interested in learning more about it, go check out the website

Or let this video help sway you towards buying and reading this book!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Picture Book Review: Best Frints in the Whole Universe by Antoinette Portis


Title: Best Frints in the Whole Universe
Author: Antoinette Portis
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
Publication Date: July 5, 2016
Length: 40 pages
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed


Synopsis: 
Yelfred and Omek have been best frints since they were little blobbies. They play and snack, and sometimes they even fight, all in a language similar to but slightly different from, English. When Omek decides to borrow Yelfred's new spaceship without asking (and then crashes it), it sparks the biggest fight yet. Can these two best frints make up and move on?

Award-winning picture book creator Antoinette Portis delivers a new universe of cleverness and imagination in this hilarious, sweet, and otherworldly book about friendship. 

My Thoughts: 
On planet Boborp, 'teef' are long and tempers are short, but Yelfred and Omek know that best 'frints' are forever, so no matter who lost the eye ball in the peedle pit or who 'smackled' who's 'spossip' (spaceship), they know that they can 'flix' things and be 'frints' again.

This was a cute little story with a lot of made up words. Kids will have fun figuring out what they actually mean. They aren't difficult words but early readers might have a little trouble with them and might need the story read aloud. The story itself is still fun with it's colorful illustrations and the shenanigans of the little aliens will certainly entertain your little ones. 

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Sunday Post #33 - Can summer please just be over?


The Sunday Post is a weekly meme hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It's a chance to share news~ A post to recap the past week on your blog and showcase books and things you received, share news about what is coming up on your blog for the week ahead, and more.

August seems like such a long month and yet it is flying by for me. I haven't been in the mood to blog or basically get anything done lately. I guess I'm just in a funk? I'm tired of being cooped up indoors. I'm ready for Fall (though we don't really have that here in Florida.) Halloween always gets me in the mood to craft or create art and it's still way early but I'm ready for it. I've already started some of my spooky decor crafts and am brainstorming our costumes. I've also got my spooky TBR all planned out as well. (Forgive me, guys! Thinking about a change in season is the only thing keeping me sane right now!) 

This Past Week On The Blog
Nat. Geo. Kids: Fun Sports Books
Book Blast & Giveaway
Picture Book Review: 13 Words by Lemony Snicket

Book Review: A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee
Book Review: Darkstalker by Tui T. Sutherland
Stacking the Shelves #70

Coming Soon
Picture Book Review: Best Frints in the Whole Universe
Book Review: Sunborn Rising: Beneath the Fall
Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child


Books I Finished This Week

What I'm Currently Reading
I'm not actually reading anything right now because I only just finished A Darker Shade of Magic but here's the two books I will mostly like start reading later tonight.

What I'm Listening To
I've been a bit addicted to the GOT Season 6 soundtrack. I haven't caught up with the show yet because I still need to finish reading A Feast For Crows and A Dance With Dragons. I've had to avoid spoilers like the plague but it's George R.R. Martin. I can guess what's going to happen to all of my favorites. Haha! Light of the Seven and The Winds of Winter are my favorites from this soundtrack and have been on almost constant repeat.

Have a great week! 

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Stacking the Shelves #70

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly meme hosted by TYNGA'S REVIEWS that features the books we bought, borrowed, were gifted, and were given for review.
----------------

FOR REVIEW

The Dream (the Rahtrum Chronicles #1) by R.K. McLay - A YA fantasy set in the Yukon Territory that is filled with mythical creatures and magic.
The Cartographer's Daughter by Kiran Millwood Hargrave - a middle-grade fantasy from the author of 'The Girl of Ink and Stars'.

Thank you Netgalley!

IN MY MAILBOX

I was lucky enough to win a BEA Grab Bag from the very lovely Laura over at 125 Pages a couple of months ago and she sent me a few extra goodies and even though it's almost a month early I am totally counting that gift card as a birthday gift and buying myself a few books off my wishlist! 
Many, many thanks and hugs to Laura for being so awesome! 

GIFTED/WON

The Quest for Merlin (Magimakia #1) by Rafael Lovato  
Shadow Angels by Richard R. Hall 
Thank you to the authors and BeachBoundBooks. 

BORROWED
A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab - I wasn't expecting this one to come in until next month so I'm  pretty darn close to forsaking the majority of my TBR list to read this next (I'm almost done with the first book). I do have other library books that are almost overdue though so we'll see. Also, I made bookmarks that match this cover and I'm giving one away

Return (Journey Trilogy #3) by Aaron Becker - We received the first two books in the mail a week or so ago and I've been holding off on 'reading' them to the kiddo until we picked this up from the library. I'm going to have to purchase it and complete the trilogy for our shelves because these books are so beautiful and imaginative. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Book Review: Darkstalker (Wings of Fire: Legends) by Tui T. Sutherland

I received a free physical copy of this book from Scholastic Press in exchange for an honest review.

Title: Darkstalker
Series: Wings of Fire: Legends #1
Author: Tui T. Sutherland
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Genre: Middle grade, Fantasy
Length: 
Format: arc / galley
Source: publisher


Synopsis:
Three dragons. One unavoidable, unpredictable destiny. This is the beginning... of the end. 

In the SeaWing kingdom, a young prince learns he is an animus--capable of wonderful magic that comes with a terrible price.

In the mind of a NightWing dragonet, a thousand futures unfold--and almost all of them, she knows, lead to disaster and destruction.

And under three full moons and the watchful eyes of his NightWing mother and IceWing father, the most powerful dragon Pyrhhia will ever know is clawing his way out of his egg. Darkstalker, the dragon who will change the world forever. 

Long before the SandWing war, lifetimes before the Dragonet Prophecy... darkness is born. 

My Thoughts:
When an IceWing dragon prince falls in love with a NightWing and has two dragonets, Darkstalker and Whiteout, it creates a rift between the two tribes. Darkstalker is an animus like his father, Prince Artic, but the two are as different as night and day and get along even less.
An animus is a dragon with magical abilities but that magic comes with a heavy price. No one knows exactly how the magic works but it is thought that the more magic an animus uses, the more they lose their soul, go crazy, and become evil.
Fathom, a SeaWing animus learns this hard truth when his grandfather, Albatross, kills the majority of his royal family. He is then sent to the NightWing tribe to keep an eye on Darkstalker, the NightWing's first and only animus dragon and keep him from using his power.
Clearsight, a gifted NightWing who can see the future clearer than other seers, knows that there is darkness and destruction in the future, as well as war between the IceWing and NightWing tribes, and will do everything she can to make sure those timelines don't happen. But she never anticipated that love would block her 'sight' and hide the worst future of all. 

This was my first time reading anything by Tui T. Sutherland and I was not previously aware of the original Wings of Fire series until after I received this. I do believe this is a prequel series and I don't think it is necessary to read the Wings of Fire series first but I will be reading that series soon so I can make a more sound judgement in the future. 

I really enjoyed that the characters are dragons. I love fantasy and any mention of a dragon usually captures my attention but it's not often that we get to read about dragons from their perspectives, let alone in their own dragon world! Add in all the different dragon tribes, their special abilities, and the animus dragons, and I was hooked. 

All of the characters in this book were fantastic. I adored each and every one and found myself sympathizing with them. I often went back to the illustrations of the different tribes at the beginning of the book to see exactly what each type of dragon looks like. Even beyond their descriptions, their characters were so interesting, whether it was a mind reading dragon, a dragon that could see the future, or just a regular dragon with no magical abilities. I love anthropomorphic stories and this book really fueled that love. 

The worldbuilding was wonderful. There's a map of Pyrrhia at the beginning of the book that gives us a good look at where each tribe's kingdom lies. I particularly loved the SeaWing kingdom and how it was portrayed Not all of the kingdoms are described in detail but I'm looking forward to reading more about them all in future books in this series as well as the Wings of Fire series.  

These books are a must read for fantasy lovers, especially if you adore dragons! 

My Rating: 
4.5 stars