Friday, June 9, 2017

Book Review: Spelled by Betsy Schow

Fairy Tale Survival Rule #32: If you find yourself at the mercy of a wicked witch, sing a romantic ballad and wait for your Prince Charming to save the day.

Yeah, no thanks. Dorthea is completely princed out. Sure being the crown princess of Emerald has its perks, but a forced marriage to the brooding prince Kato is so not what Dorthea had in mind for her enchanted future.

Talk about unhappily ever after.

Trying to fix her prince problem by wishing on a (cursed) star royally backfires, leaving the kingdom in chaos. Now it's up to Dorthea and her pixed off prince to find the mysterious Wizard of Oz and undo the curse...before it releases the wickedest witch of all and spells The End for the world of Story.
(Summary from
I’m not always one to pick up books based on fairy tales. You’ve heard it once or twice, and it starts to get old. However, anything to do with the Wizard of Oz will get my attention. When Emily over at The Gnoming Librarian told me about this adorable, silly, ridiculous book she was reading, I knew I had to give it a try.

Spelled is not the same old story told over again. Instead, the old tales are flipped on their heads. When Dorthea the Emerald Princess makes a wish and messes with everyone’s happily-ever-afters, she accidentally turns the world of Story into chaos. Really she just didn’t want to marry the unfashionable prince Kato (who could easily be mistaken for a gardener) that she was (without her consent or knowledge) betrothed to, and she’s tired or being stuck in a palace (due to an unfortunate curse on her family that foretells one of the Emerald Princesses will burn the world to the ground…Yikes!). But now Beauty is a hairy beast in a yellow dress, Rapunzel has lost all her hair, where Cinderella was once standing is now a pumpkin wearing glass slippers, and Dorthea’s only hope of fixing things is finding the spring over the rainbow accompanied by her betrothed (who is now a furball) and the servant girl Rexi (a kleptomaniac), while somehow managing to keep her heels on (because they’re limited edition silver Hans Christian Louboutin slippers with crushed rubies covering the sole and two-inch heels…duh). So off to see the Wizard she is.

A super fun read that’ll keep you laughing with its twists, turns, and puns.

Other books you might like: 


Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Most Anticipated Books For The Second Half of 2017

There are so many good books coming out this summer and fall! Here are the ones I'm most excited for and will hopefully get a chance to read!

1. midnight at the electric by Jodi Lynn Anderson (Pub. 6/13)
Adri, who lives in 2065 and has been handpicked to live on Mars after Earth has been all but destroyed by climate change; Catherine, who lived on the same farm in 1934 when the midwest was ravaged by the Dust Bowl as her sister slowly suffocating from dust pneumonia; and Lenore, who lives in 1919 post-WWI England and must come to terms with her brother's death and her own future. While their stories spans thousands of miles and multiple generations, Lenore, Catherine, and Adri’s fates are entwined in ways both heartbreaking and hopeful.

2. What to Say Next by Julie Buxbaum (Pub. 7/11) 
When an unlikely friendship is sparked between relatively popular Kit Lowell and socially isolated David Drucker, everyone is surprised, most of all Kit and David. Kit appreciates David’s blunt honesty—in fact, she finds it bizarrely refreshing. David welcomes Kit’s attention and her inquisitive nature. When she asks for his help figuring out the how and why of her dad’s tragic car accident, David is all in. But neither of them can predict what they’ll find.

3. Daughter of the Burning City by Amanda Foody (Pub. 7/25)
Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show. But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

4. Genuine Fraud by e. lockhart (Pub. 9/5)
Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook, and a cheat.
Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon, and an athlete.
An intense friendship. A disappearance. A murder, or maybe two.
A bad romance, or maybe three.
Blunt objects, disguises, blood, and chocolate. The American dream, superheroes, spies, and villains.
A girl who refuses to give people what they want from her.
A girl who refuses to be the person she once was.

 5. Hunting Prince Dracula (Stalking Jack the Ripper #2) by Kerri Maniscalco  (9/19)
Audrey Rose Wadsworth flees London and its memories. With the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe's best schools of forensic medicine. But now bizarre murders are discovered in the castle of Vlad the Impaler (aka Dracula). Could it be a copycat killer...or has the depraved prince been brought back to life?

 Murder, Magic, and What We Wore by Kelly Jones (Pub. 9/19)
The year is 1818, the city is London, and 16-year-old Annis Whitworth has just learned that her father is dead and all his money is missing. And so, of course, she decides to become a spy.

 The Language of Thorns by Leigh Bardugo (Pub. 9/26)
Travel to a world of dark bargains struck by moonlight, of haunted towns and hungry woods, of talking beasts and gingerbread golems, where a young mermaid's voice can summon deadly storms and where a river might do a lovestruck boy's bidding but only for a terrible price.

 Wild Beauty by Anna-Marie McLemore (Pub. 10/3)
For nearly a century, the Nomeolvides women have tended the grounds of La Pradera, the lush estate gardens that enchant guests from around the world. They’ve also hidden a tragic legacy: if they fall in love too deeply, their lovers vanish. But then, after generations of vanishings, a strange boy appears in the gardens.

 That Inevitable Victorian Thing by E.K. Johnston (Pub. 10/3)
Set in a near-future world where the British Empire never fell and the United States never rose, Victoria-Margaret is the crown princess of the empire, a direct descendent of Victoria I, the queen who changed the course of history two centuries earlier. The imperial practice of genetically arranged matchmaking will soon guide Margaret into a politically advantageous marriage but before she does her duty, she'll have one summer incognito in a far corner of empire. In Toronto, she meets Helena Marcus, daughter of one of the empire's greatest placement geneticists, and August Callaghan, the heir apparent to a powerful shipping firm currently besieged by American pirates. In a summer of high-society debutante balls, politically charged tea parties, and romantic country dances, Margaret, Helena, and August discover they share an unusual bond and maybe a one in a million chance to have what they want and to change the world in the process —just like the first Queen Victoria.

All the Crooked Saints by Maggie Stiefvater (Pub. 10/10)
Any visitor to Bicho Raro, Colorado is likely to find a landscape of dark saints, forbidden love, scientific dreams, miracle-mad owls, estranged affections, one or two orphans, and a sky full of watchful desert stars. At the heart of this place you will find the Soria family, who all have the ability to perform unusual miracles. And at the heart of this family are three cousins longing to change its future: Beatriz, the girl without feelings, who wants only to be free to examine her thoughts; Daniel, the Saint of Bicho Raro, who performs miracles for everyone but himself; and Joaquin, who spends his nights running a renegade radio station under the name Diablo Diablo.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: To Read or Not to Read

I'm a little behind on my Top Ten Tuesdays but really wanted to do this one! It's a combo of two of The Broke and the Bookish's topics: 5 things that make me instantly want to read a book and 5 that make me want to leave it on the shelf. What makes you want to pick a book up? What makes you put it back? I'd love to know! 

5 things that will instantly make me want to read a book

 1. A Pretty Cover

2. A Murder Mystery

3. Spies

 4. Forbidden Romance

 5. Witches

5 things that will instantly make me NOT want to read

1. Ugly Covers - Sorry, not sorry

2. Sportsball 
If your life is surrounded by nothing but sports, then we probably don't have much in common...

3. Dog books - Nope, too sad. 

4. Dense descriptions
You lost me when you were describing the lavish green  hilltop covered with dandelions and fed on by the townspeople's cattle...

5. High fantasy
Pretty much the same as #4. Don't get me wrong I love some fantasy, but if you spend too much time attempting to explain to me a newly created world and I can't manage to image it, then I'm not going to get very far. It can be beautifully descriptive and still be believable, no need to oversell it. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten of the Most Unique Books I've Read

This week's Top Ten Tuesday (sponsored by the Broke and the Bookish) is "Most Unique Books I've Ever Read." As I was coming up with the list I realized that it could also be titled "Some of the Best Books I've Ever Read." Apparently I like unique books! The following books have storylines, characters, settings, and/or perspectives that I have rarely come across anywhere else - at least not done as well as they are here! 

 1. Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger
A world of female spies, supernatural beings, steampunk machines, and flying schools. 

 2. Ember in the Ashes
Two characters from very different worlds - one a slave, the other a soldier -
 but their destinies are intertwined. 

3. My Lady Jane 
Lady Jane Grey was queen for merely nine days. This is the (slightly fictionalized) comical, romantic, adorable story of how that came to be and what happened after.

 4. The Night Circus
Two magicians trained to compete against each other in a mysterious circus that arrives without warning.

 5. Illuminae
Written as an official report full of documents, video surveillance, schematics, and instant messages - it's the story of a computer hacker, corporate corruption, a deadly virus outbreak, and an interstellar romance. 

6. Rebel Belle
A lighthearted and funny story about a homecoming queen southern belle who unwilling gains magical powers and now must protect her sworn enemy, the editor of the school newspaper.

7. We Were Liars
A girl must face the lies she's been telling herself after going through a horrible tragedy

8. The Raven Boys
The cursed daughter of a psychic will kill her true love with a kiss, but she would never fall in love with a Raven Boy...

9. Belzhar
A girl goes away to a school for kids who need therapy and is put in a Special Topic English Class where they're required to read The Bell Jar and write in a journal. But that journal takes her someplace she doesn't want to leave and her secrets begin to unravel. 

10. Afterworlds
The story of a teen author, Darcy, learning to navigate the literary world in the Big Apple, and the story she is writing about Lizzie, a girl who nearly died in a terrorist attack and accidentally ends up in the afterworld and begins seeing ghosts.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Fandoms

I tend to obsess over things - books, movies, actors, etc., so I consider myself a multifaceted fangirl. Here are just a few subjects I geek out over. What are your favorites?

              1. Harry Potter - Everything Harry Potter

 2. Johnny Depp

 3. Doctor Who

4. Witch books/movies/TV

5. Once Upon a Time - My librarian friends and I watch this ridiculousness every Sunday evening while Facebook messaging each other about the beauty of Captain Hook. 

6.  Gail Carriger's Steampunk novels

  7. Spies/Detectives/Murder Mysteries

Above: Maggie Stiefvater (Raven Boys) in the middle!                 Jay Asher (13 Reasons Why) 
Below: Laurie Halse Anderson (Speak), Morgan Matson (2nd Chance Summer), John Green (duh)

8. Meeting Authors

 9. Supernatural and The X-Files

10. Books and Book Stuffs!

And I'm sure I left lots of things out, but there's some for you! :) 

Edit: I've already realized that I left out musicals! So Bonus: Musicals!

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