Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Best Books I've Read In 2017 So Far

To be honest, there haven't been a lot of books this year that I have loved. Yet. There's still plenty of time. I've read a lot of books, and I'm pretty certain I'm going to meet my goal of a hundred for the year (and possibly pass it - I'm at 59)! But I have read some very good stories that were either adorably fun or really bring out the feels. Here are my ten favorite so far this year. What are yours? 

 1. American Street by Ibi Zoboi
When Fabiola's mother is detained upon their arrival to the United States, Fabiola must navigate her loud American cousins, the grittiness of Detroit's west side, a new school, and a surprising romance all on her own while staying true to her Haitian roots. 

 2. Bang by Barry Lyga
A new friend and their YouTube cooking channel help fourteen-year-old Sebastian move on from accidentally shooting his infant sister ten years earlier.

 3. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
Discovering a magical manuscript in Oxford's library, scholar Diana Bishop, a descendant of witches who has rejected her heritage, inadvertently unleashes a fantastical underworld of daemons, witches and vampires whose activities center around an enchanted treasure.

 4. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
The story of a teenage girl who's literally allergic to the outside world. When a new family moves in next door, she begins a complicated romance that challenges everything she's ever known.

 5. The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde
In a world where one can literally get lost in literature, Thursday Next, a Special Operative in literary detection, tries to stop the world's Third Most Wanted criminal from kidnapping characters.

 6. Gemina by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff
While the first book  in the series, Illuminae, followed the account of the Hypatia as it hurtled toward the Heimdall space station for sanctuary, this sequel describes the experience of Hanna, who lives aboard the Heimdall. She is the daughter of the space station commander who finds an unlikely ally in Nik, an unsavory gang member, as they attempt to defend the Heimdall, save the Hypatia, contain vicious alien creatures, and fix a rip in the space-time continuum.

7. Heist Society by Ally Carter
A group of teenagers uses their combined talents to re-steal several priceless paintings and save fifteen-year-old Kat Bishop's father, himself an international art thief, from a vengeful collector.

 8. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
A fierce competition is underway, a contest between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood to compete in "a game," in which each must use their powers of illusion to best the other. Unbeknownst to them, this game is a duel to the death, and the circus is but the stage for a remarkable battle of imagination and will.

 9. Spelled by Betsy Schow
As the crown princess of Emerald, Dorthea lives a charmed life full of Hans Christian Louboutin glass slippers and Glenda Original ball gowns. But when she unknowingly wishes upon a cursed star, all spell breaks loose and the rules of fairy tale disappear--taking Dorthea's parents with them.

10. The Wrath & the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
In this reimagining of The Arabian Nights, Shahrzad plans to avenge the death of her dearest friend by volunteering to marry the murderous boy-king of Khorasan but discovers not all is as it seems within the palace.

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.

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