Review: The One Thing

The One ThingThe One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Maggie Sanders might be blind, but she won’t invite anyone to her pity party. Ever since losing her sight six months ago, Maggie’s rebellious streak has taken on a life of its own, culminating with an elaborate school prank. Maggie called it genius. The judge called it illegal.

Now Maggie has a probation officer. But she isn’t interested in rehabilitation, not when she’s still mourning the loss of her professional-soccer dreams, and furious at her so-called friends, who lost interest in her as soon as she could no longer lead the team to victory.

Then Maggie’s whole world is turned upside down. Somehow, incredibly, she can see again. But only one person: Ben, a precocious ten-year-old unlike anyone she’s ever met.Ben’s life isn’t easy, but he doesn’t see limits, only possibilities. After awhile, Maggie starts to realize that losing her sight doesn’t have to mean losing everything she dreamed of. Even if what she’s currently dreaming of is Mason Milton, the infuriatingly attractive lead singer of Maggie’s new favorite band, who just happens to be Ben’s brother.

But when she learns the real reason she can see Ben, Maggie must find the courage to face a once-unimaginable future… before she loses everything she has grown to love.

Beware spoilers ahead!

I received this arc via Netgalley and Disney Hyperion in exchange for an honest review.

I’m going to be honest with all of you: I didn’t really have any expectations for this book. I didn’t think it would be good or bad or sad or even magical. I just requested it because I fooling around with Netgalley one day and liked the sounds of the synopsis (even though I wasn’t excited to read this). Let me tell you I was completely surprised by this book.

Maggie Sanders has been blind for six months. After nearly dying from bacterial meningitis she lost her sight. She was bitter that losing her sight took all that was dear from her. She lost her dreams to become a professional soccer player, she had to literally train herself in how to walk and eat, she can’t see the sky or the stars (she misses this the most) and so on. To express her anger and bitterness she decided to pull a prank. It was illegal and she had to do community hours to make up for it. On her way out of her probation officers office she slips on ice cream and bangs her head on the ground. When she finally decides to open her eyes she can actually see the person in front of her. Said person is our male lead ten year old Ben. While she is talking to him she actually forgets that she’s blind. Some time into the conversation realization hits her. She does not understand how or why she can see Ben. Ben takes a certain liking to her and invites her over for dinner. The two become friends quickly.

From the very first page I was sucked into the book. Curtis really knows how to make Maggie jump out of the pages. As I read more pages I realized one thing Maggie is really rude. I understand that she had a lot to deal with but that did not give her a right to be rude. She was like this even with her sight. Ben was a little off putting when he is first introduced. He was slightly perverted and while some ten year old’s are actually like that, it was still slightly disturbing to read that. Despite these flaws I decided to finish the rest of the story. Man am I glad that I stuck it out.

Throughout the book I actually begun to understand all the characters more especially Maggie. While Maggie still wasn’t any nicer I understood her and I actually began to like her. Curtis created realistic and relatable characters in real and scary situations. It was absolutely wonderful to read about all the layers behind the characters and how they grew throughout the book. The friendship between Maggie and Ben was really sweet to read about. Even her relationship with Ben’s mother, brother, and her family and friends.

Out of all the books I have read none of them have got me thinking about life the way The One Thing did. It shows you how life can change in a matter of minutes. It shows you old friendships and new ones. But the most important thing it shows it is how to be grateful and how you are not alone in any situation.

This is a really magical book and I recommend this to everyone!

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Review: Beyond the Kingdoms

Beyond the KingdomsBeyond the Kingdoms by Chris Colfer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Fairy tales are just the beginning.

The Masked Man is on the loose in the Land of Stories, and it’s up to Alex and Conner Bailey to stop him…except Alex has been thrown off the Fairy Council, and no one will believe they’re in danger.

With only the help of the ragtag group of Goldilocks, Jack, Red Riding Hood, and Mother Goose and her gander, Lester, the Bailey twins discover the Masked Man’s secret scheme: He possesses a powerful magic potion that turns every book it touches into a portal, and he is recruiting an army of literature’s greatest villains!

So begins a race through the magical Land of Oz, the fantastical world of Neverland, the madness of Wonderland, and beyond. Can Alex and Conner catch up to the Masked Man, or will they be one step behind until it’s too late?

Fairy tales and classic stories collide in the fourth adventure in the bestselling Land of Stories series as the twins travel beyond the kingdoms!

Beware spoilers ahead!

This book was absolutely wonderful! As usual it was written beautifully and had an amazing plot to boast.

The book starts off with the late Fairy-godmother meeting with Hans Christian Anderson. Through their interaction the audience finds out that The Masked Man is in fact her other son Lloyd. They are not twins but instead a few years apart (it’s not specified how many). The brothers happen to look exactly like their father so that’s why Alex thought it was her father. Through this interaction the Fairy-godmother decides to make a potion that will allow Lloyd to travel into his favorite books. Upon presenting it to him her heart sinks when he says that he has no interest in the potion whatsoever. She decides that the best way to please her son is to go into the hall of dreams and find out what it is that Lloyd desires. She finds that her son wants to overthrow her, become the next god-mother and cause destruction and mayhem. This is all that happens in the first chapter.

It was very interesting to read about their adventures traveling into different books! I especially liked how Red was nominated to become the Lost Boy’s mother. It was really cute to read. Conner used his magic for the first time without Alex. Bree and Emmerich’s point of views come in this book. Alex’s thing with King Arthur was unexpected along with Mother Goose and Merlin. I can actually see both couples working out but it’s really weird considering that I was hoping that Alex would get back with Rook. Maybe she will, we’ll just have to wait and see. I was pretty surprised that Mother Goose chose to stay in Camelot with Merlin. But whatever the case is she seems really happy and she did mention that whenever the twins need her she would come. As a parting gift she gives Alex Lester. When I read about Robin Hood and Peter Pan I was pretty annoyed with them. Peter had this thing for imitating Conner and Robbin Hood had a pretty large ego and yelled rather than speaking. I’m not sure what they are like in the original stories but this is what they are like in this book. The audience also discovers the identity of The Masked Man’s son.

The villain’s for this book were as usual well done. I personally found the witches to be more intimidating than The Masked Man. The villains from the stories didn’t play that big of a role. I can’t wait to read about Red kicking Morina’s (Thanks to Alana on GR for correcting my mistake!) ass. 

Overall I am very excited to read the last book. I can hardly wait!

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Review: Spinning Starlight

Spinning Starlight (Single Title

Spinning Starlight (Single Title by R.C. Lewis
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Sixteen-year-old heiress and paparazzi darling Liddi Jantzen hates the spotlight. But as the only daughter in the most powerful tech family in the galaxy, it’s hard to escape it. So when a group of men shows up at her house uninvited, she assumes it’s just the usual media-grubs. That is, until shots are fired. Liddi escapes, only to be pulled into an interplanetary conspiracy more complex than she ever could have imagined. Her older brothers have been caught as well, trapped in the conduits between the planets. And when their captor implants a device in Liddi’s vocal cords to monitor her speech, their lives are in her hands: One word, and her brothers are dead. Desperate to save her family from a desolate future, Liddi travels to another world, where she meets the one person who might have the skills to help her bring her eight brothers home—a handsome dignitary named Tiav. But without her voice, Liddi must use every bit of her strength and wit to convince Tiav that her mission is true. With the tenuous balance of the planets deeply intertwined with her brothers’ survival, just how much is Liddi willing to sacrifice to bring them back? Haunting and mesmerizing, this retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Wild Swans fuses all the heart of the classic tale with a stunning, imaginative world in which a star-crossed family fights for its very survival.

Beware spoilers ahead!

I received this arc via Netgalley and Disney Hyperion in exchange for an honest review.

Spinning Starlight had an interesting premise which is why I requested it from Netgalley. A futuristic world in which the main characters brothers get kidnapped and she gets an implant in her throat, that does not allow her to talk because she would kill her brothers in doing so. That sounds pretty awesome right! When I got down to reading it I found it boring and slow.

It starts off with Liddi returning home from a party. Once she gets into her house she found the silence suffocating (she doesn’t live with her brothers) and decides to take a walk to calm herself. She hears voices which follows with gunshots. Fearing for her life she runs to the nearest city.

After a few more chapters she gets the throat implant which prevents her from talking. This to me took too long to happen. I excepted it to happen earlier.

You’re probably wondering that if she couldn’t talk why didn’t she just write it all down. As it would turn out Sampati (where she lives) got rid of writing years ago.

She manages to run away through this portal that leads her to Ferinne. Upon reaching there she meets our main male lead Tiav who decides to help her by teaching her how to write. A majority of the book is spent with her trying to learn how to read and write.

I got so bored that I just started to skim the book. I found that it didn’t get that much better. Sure the action picked up but I just didn’t like it.

The most confusing part about reading this was the world building. I didn’t really understand it and because of this I couldn’t imagine it nor grasp it.

One of the things that I liked about this book was Liddi and Tiav. They were realistic characters who I found reacted accordingly in situations. I also loved reading about Liddi’s conviction in helping her brothers. You could feel her frustration when her only form of communication was cut off. You could relate to how stressed she was in trying to grasp reading and writing. Tiav was really nice and patient wit her. He was a good teacher and understanding (well as understanding he could be considering he didn’t fully grasp Liddi’s situation). You could feel that he was frustrated when he couldn’t understand her situation. You could tell that he really wanted to help her and did whatever he could do for her. It was also really enjoyable to read those flashbacks that came at the beginning of every chapter.

Unfortunately all of my likes did not make up for my boredom, the slow pace, and my dislike for the plot.

I wouldn’t personally recommend it but if you really want to read this then go ahead. Here’s to hoping that I like The One Thing better than Spinning Starlight.

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Review: Lumiere

Lumière

Lumière by Jacqueline Garlick

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

One determined girl. One resourceful boy. One miracle machine that could destroy everything.

After an unexplained flash shatters her world, seventeen-year-old Eyelet Elsworth sets out to find the Illuminator, her father’s prized invention. With it, she hopes to cure herself of her debilitating seizures before Professor Smrt—her father’s arch nemesis—discovers her secret and locks her away in an asylum.

Pursued by Smrt, Eyelet locates the Illuminator only to see it whisked away. She follows the thief into the world of the unknown, compelled not only by her quest but by the allure of the stranger—Urlick Babbit—who harbors secrets of his own.

Together, they endure deadly Vapours and criminal-infested woods in pursuit of the same prize, only to discover the miracle machine they hoped would solve their problems may in fact be their biggest problem of all.

Beware spoilers ahead!

I received this copy from Skyscape and Two Loins via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Out of all the arc’s that I requested this was the one I wanted to start with first. I was drawn into the explanation and immediately requested it. But because I downloaded A Thousand Nights and Hunter first I had to start with those two otherwise my 50 day countdown would be up.

This book was even better than I had assumed it would be! When I read the explanation of the book I thought it would be a 3 star. Boy was I wrong!

Lumiere is about Eyelet Elsworth the daughter of a very well known professor and Urlick Babbit (more about him later on). Eyelet suffers from seizures and in this world seizures is a sign of ‘Madness’. Her father and mother told her that if she revealed to the world her seizures she would then be tossed into an asylum. After that she has lived in constant fear about getting thrown into an asylum. Her father built The Great Illuminator to some how cure her seizures. In the beginning of the book (Eyelet is 8 years old in the prologue) it is revealed that her father ‘sold’ the machine to a circus performer. After stating that the machine is not the circus performers, her mother ushers her out of the circus. While running they see a flash of light that changed their world forever. It jumps to when Eyelet is 17 years old the audience is told that her father died a day after the carnival show. She lives with her mother and the only reason she has made it into the academy is because her father was a very well respected professor. She goes to school only to run into Professor Smrt. Smrt get under her skin and finds out that she has seizures. While in the process of writing a diagnoses one of her other teachers reveals that her mother has been accused of killing the prince and is going to be executed along with Eyelet. Eyelet escapes and finds her mother dying. Her mother urges her to live and gives her the pendant on the cover. Deciding that she needs to find her fathers machine she sees Urlick stealing it. She jumps onto his carriage in a sense forcing Urlick to take her with him.

Urlick is also the son of a professor who lives on the ‘bad side of town’. He agrees to take Eyelet into his home on the condition that she will do his dishes. He sets out all the rules of the house and then is off to tinkering with the machine. Urlick is actually deformed. He stole the machine so that he can ‘fix’ himself. Later on in the book they agree to work together so that they can get the machine working by getting Eyelet’s father’s journals.

Despite the fact that the explanation says that Urlick keeps secrets, Eyelet is the one that does. I found it odd how Urlick eventually revealed everything to her but she did. I’m assuming this is because she was scared he would judge her. But that still doesn’t make it fair.

This book had a unique plot, good world building, and relate-able and realistic characters. I would’ve given it a 5 star but the ending with ‘Pan’ pushed this to a 4 star.

Overall this an enjoyable read and I look forward to reading the sequel!


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Review: Hunter

HunterHunter by Mercedes Lackey

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Centuries ago, the barriers between our world and the Otherworld were slashed open allowing hideous fantastical monsters to wreak havoc; destroying entire cities in their wake. Now, people must live in enclosed communities, behind walls that keep them safe from the evil creatures constantly trying to break in. Only the corps of teen Hunters with lightning reflexes and magical abilities can protect the populace from the daily attacks.


Joyeaux Charmand is a mountain girl from a close knit village who comes to the big city to join the Hunters. Joy thinks she is only there to perform her civic duty and protect the capitol Cits, or civilians, but as cameras follow her every move, she soon learns that the more successful she is in her hunts, the more famous she becomes.


With millions of fans watching her on reality TV, Joy begins to realize that Apex is not all it seems. She is forced to question everything she grew up believing about the legendary Hunters and the very world she lives in. Soon she finds that her fame may be part of a deep conspiracy that threatens to upend the protective structure built to keep dark magic out. The monsters are getting in and it is up to Joy to find out why.

Beware, Spoilers ahead!

I received this arc copy via Disney Hyperion and netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

DNF

When I got my netgalley account and was exploring the Disney Hyperion section and came across Hunter. I decided to request it because it sounded fairly interesting.

Until now I didn’t actually understand the term ‘info-dumping’. Info-dumping is when rather than the audience feeling the world building behind the book they are told so by the main character(s). The first chapter of this book is dedicated to that. In the beginning it was interesting to read about but then it quickly turned into boredom. The only interesting part of it was reading about The Hounds and same basic’s as to how their magic works.

The first begins with our main character Joyeaux aboard a train seemingly for a mission of sorts. She spends basically the whole chapter telling the audience how their world came to be. You figure out in the end of the first chapter that her uncle has summoned her.

I think that should’ve been revealed earlier in the chapter. While I was reading it I was constantly wondering where she was going and why was she the only one of her kind aboard the train to said mysterious location.

I decided to simply drop it as I didn’t see the point in proceeding forward.

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Review: A Thousand Nights

A Thousand Nights

Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time.But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

Beware, Spoilers ahead!

I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

DNF at 3%

I was really looking forward to reading this book. I grew up with the Arabian Nights and love them dearly. The story sounded interesting so I decided to request it from netgalley.

The book starts of with a Prologue which I assume was in Lo-Melkhiin’s point of view. You get a vague idea of his character when you read it. It’s about two pages. You are then taken to the first chapter. The chapter begin quite nicely…until they started speaking to each other. You have probably heard that the only character who has a name is Lo-Melkiin’s which yes it quite odd. They had a very odd way of speaking to each other. For example: “I am not, I told her, and I was not, “for I love you more than I love the rain.” That was really weird when I read it and I was still trying to wrap my head around the writing even after the first chapter.

It appears that the reason I didn’t enjoy this is because of the way the characters spoke to each other. The writing style was beautifully woven to describe the setting and even the sisters physical features. It was just how the author worded the characters when they spoke to each other.

Once I realized the way the characters spoke to each other annoyed me, I simply dropped it. The majority of this book is going to be our main character telling stories to Lo-Melkhiin therefore I would not be able to enjoy if she told her stories the way she and the rest of the characters spoke to each other. Onto Lumiere. And here’s to hoping I’ll enjoy that one more than this and Hunter.