Wonder (Wonder #1) by R.J. Palacio

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This was our May pick for Book Club!  I had started to read this book, then realized that I had already read it before!  So, I decided to check out the movie to see how well it followed the story.  I highly recommend reading the book first before watching the movie as some things are a little different, but both were really great!

Wonder is the story of a young boy named August Pullman  or “Auggie” for short.  He was born with a facial difference, keeping him from attending public school and his mom homeschooling him, until now.   Auggie is about to enter the 5th grade at a public school.   He just wants to be an ordinary kid!  As his classmates and friends get past his differences, all the characters seem to grow in their own way, especially Auggie!

His story will bring tears to your eyes and in the end, triumph in your heart.  A great book for kids and adults alike.

 

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The Cold Is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

The first book I read by Peternelle van Arsdale was “The Beast is an Animal” and this newest book was just as good!

This is a very unique story, something completely original!  Milla has never been allowed to travel into the village.  She has no other friends besides her brother.  Until one day a girl named Iris comes to stay with her neighbors.  Iris is about the same age as Milla and she is excited to finally have a friend.

Iris comes from the village, but with a secret.  The village is cursed by a demon who possesses girls at random and the villagers live in terror of who it will come for next.  Milla and her family have been pouring salt over any openings for as long as Milla can remember, all to ward of this so called demon, so is the secret that Iris finally tells Milla….the truth?

Soon things begin to happen to Milla, things that aren’t normal.  Then, the demon comes to the farm and takes Iris.  Milla leaves home to rescue Iris and decides that she is going to find a way to break this horrible curse forever.  Although, very quickly Milla learns that her family has been harboring a terrible secret of their own, one that is directly linked to the curse……Milla is changing, Iris is changing and what Milla soon discovers, changes her entire life forever.

This was a fantastic story, one that was so original, I loved it right from the start!  I read this book quite fast as I couldn’t be patient to find out what was going to happen next to Milla.  I look forward to reading more stories from Peternelle van Arsdale, this I am quite for sure of!!

Published January 22nd 2019 by Margaret K. McElderry Books

 

The Last Namsara (Iskari #1) by Kristen Ciccarelli

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

In the beginning, there was the Namsara: the child of sky and spirit, who carried love and laughter wherever he went. But where there is light, there must be darkness—and so there was also the Iskari. The child of blood and moonlight. The destroyer. The death-bringer.

So far, this is my favorite book for 2019!  P.S. there are DRAGONS in this book!

The legends about the Namsara are what Asha, daughter of the king of Firgaard, has grown up learning in hushed whispers, drawn to the forbidden figures of the past.  But it isn’t until she becomes the fiercest, most feared dragon slayer in the land that she takes on the role of the next Iskari—a lonely destiny that leaves her feeling more like a weapon than a girl.

Asha lured the dragon with a story.
It was an ancient story, older than the mountains at her back, and Asha had to dredge it up from where it lay deep and dormant inside her.
She hated to do it. Telling such stories was forbidden, dangerous, even deadly.   The old stories drew dragons the way jewels drew men. No dragon could resist one told aloud.  But the stories didn’t just lure dragons.

They made them stronger.
It went like this: where the old stories were spoken aloud, there were dragons; and where there were dragons, there was destruction and betrayal and burning.

Now, I love books with dragons but I don’t like it when there is slaying of them involved, but I ASSURE YOU, it ends better than it starts!  Asha conquers each dragon and brings its head to the king, the king who himself has a dark secret. When she’s offered the chance to gain her freedom in exchange for the life of the most powerful dragon in Firgaard, she finds that there may be more truth to the ancient stories than she ever could have expected. With the help of a secret friend—a slave—Asha must shed the layers of her Iskari to find the truth that has been kept from her.

I highly recommend everyone read this book!  I listened to it via audio book and the narrator was amazing!  Whether you read or listen to Asha’s story, I promise, you won’t be disappointed!

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Watch the video below to find out the story behind The Last Namsara!

Tess of the Road (Tess of the Road #1) by Rachel Hartman

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This book was written by the author of the popular story “Seraphina”, which I have not read yet but after reading this book I think I’d like to!

I might say that if I had read “Seraphina” before this, I probably would of had a better grasp behind Seraphina’s character although I really, really, really liked her step sister Tess!  This story is set in the medieval times in a Kingdom where ladies are meant to be ladies and men are the strong protectors….but when you throw dragon’s into the mix, well….they can do whatever they please.

Main character Tess is a strong willed gal who can also be a bit of a troublemaker.  Tess also has another sister, who is about to be married while her family wants to send Tess to a nunnery.  She knows that if she doesn’t leave while the tide is low, she’s never going to be truly ‘free’.  The only thing Tess can think of is to set out on her own….alone and pretending to be a boy.

Tess isn’t really sure where she plans to go, so when she runs into an old friend, luck seems to be on her side.  Her friend is a quigutl, which you will learn a little bit about – its a subspecies of dragon – who gives her protection and company while she’s on the road.  Little does her friend know, Tess is hiding a secret, one to her past that she’s tried years to forget is now threatening to expose her.

The story was a little hard to get into right at the start, but once it got rolling it was good!  I think that I would have been able to understand the terminology a little bit better if I had read the “Seraphina” books prior to this, but it’s not necessary I would say.  The cover art is amazing, story line was well written and I really enjoyed the characters. I look forward to reading more from this author, especially her popular series “Seraphina”.

What Should Be Wild by Julia Fine

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is quite the unusual story.  Although I like the story line, I did feel like in some places, the story rambled on leading me to lose interest but then a few more pages and I was back into the story!

Maisie Cothay has never been allowed to touch anything, humans included.  She was born with the power to kill or resurrect almost anything with just the slightest touch.  In trying to keep her safe, her family sequesters her in the family’s manor at the edge of a mysterious forest.

Her father, an anthropologist sees her more as an experiment that a daughter.  He also strictly warns that she is never to go venturing into the woods behind their home.  Locals have told stories of people disappearing within and then coming back out with bizarre stories.  What Maisie’s father doesn’t tell her is that for hundreds of years, her female ancestors have also vanished into the wood, although none of them ever returned – for Maisie is descended from a long line of cursed women…..

Then one day Maisie disappears and returns several days later as if nothing has happened.  While gone, her father goes into the woods in search of his daughter.  Maisie must venture beyond the walls of all she has ever known and into the forbidden woods as she slowly uncovers the truth.

People Like Us by Dana Mele

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now this was a whirl wind of a ride!  For fans of Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, you will want to dive into this book as soon as you can get your hands on it.  The story is twisted, thrilling and you won’t know what hit you in it’s completely unexpected ending.

Kay Donovan is the main character, who attends

 

an all girls academy called Bates.  Unlike all the other girls at the school, she is solely relying on her athletic ability and good grades to keep her at Bates where everyone else’s families are wealthy.  She’s the star soccer player who has gorgeous friends and are all high up on the popularity totem pole.

Everything seems picturesque until Kay and her friends discover the body of a girl in the lake next to Bates Academy. Then….Kay’s life she’s built begins to topple into chaos when the dead girl sends her an e-mail including a password coded link to a scavenger hunt website that implicated suspect after suspect in the case against who killed the girl they found in the lake.  It gets worse when Kay finds herself in the cross hairs of the murder investigation.

Will Kay let herself be backed into a corner and accused of a crime that she didn’t commit or will she do whatever it takes to keep herself from becoming the next victim to uncover the real murder?  Kay may have skeletons in her closet, but you will have to find out for yourself what secrets she hides as well as play the game along with her to uncover the truth behind everything……

Expected publication: February 27th 2018 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

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Dana Mele is a Pushcart-nominated writer and a work at home mother. A graduate of Wellesley College, she is a former actor, lawyer, musician, and briefly, associate producer. She prefers tea to coffee, snow to sand, and stars to sunshine, and she lives in the Catskills with her husband and toddler. This is her first novel.

Here’s the People Like Us tumblr: https://jessicalanefinalproject.tumblr.com/

 

 

Winterhouse (Winterhouse #1) by Ben Guterson

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Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

This is a must read for children, full of mystery that will keep them entertained though the whole story!

Elizabeth Somer lives with her aunt and uncle because her parents passed away.  They are by no means a wealthy family and Elizabeth has a feeling that her aunt and uncle really don’t like her.  Until one day out of the blue, her aunt and uncle receive money and instructions to take a vacation by themselves while sending Elizabeth off to a hotel called Winterhouse over Christmas break.  Elizabeth has no idea who sent them the money, which is where her mysterious journey to Winterhouse begins…..

Upon her arrival, Elizabeth is mesmerized at the charms Winterhouse seems to offer, which I won’t delve into because you must read the story to find out all of it’s magical amenities!  She meets a boy her age, whose parents also sent him to Winterhouse for Christmas and they quickly become friends.

Elizabeth loves to read and to her excitement, there is a vast library at Winterhouse several stories tall.  While browsing one day she happens upon a magical book of puzzles that unlocks a mystery involving the Hotel’s owner and his family’s secrets.  Elizabeth quickly realizes that something is happening to her and somehow she is connected Winterhouse, but how?Elizabeth is the only one who can solve the mystery of the strange things that begin to unravel during her stay at Winterhouse……

This story is full of mystery and adventure, a great book for young readers with beautiful writing combined with illustrations that make you feel like you are right next to Elizabeth solving the mystery!

Published January 2nd 2018 by Henry Holt and Co.