Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Wishing World by Todd Fahnestock

The Wishing WorldThe Wishing World by Todd Fahnestock
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Received as an ARC from NetGalley.

Lorelei lost her family. In one instant, they were gone. Her Auntie Carrie and Uncle Jone took her in to live with their family. Lorelei missed her family very much though and had to find out what happened to them. For a year Lorelei had been searching for her family and for answers and now her Aunt and Uncle were selling her house. The answers may be in there so she snuck back into her old abode. Right before her family disappeared, they were camping in the mountains looking for Narolev’s Comet. She remembered that her Dad said that he had a piece of the comet in the basement and that it was hidden in the crawl space. Lorelei went to find the hidden piece of Narolev’s Comet, but found a whole lot more. She found a door to another world - the Wishing World. After freeing the Princess of the Eternal Sea, Lorelei was confronted by the Ink King. It was then that she remembered her family’s last camping trip and seeing the inky tendrils through the tent. It was the Ink King and the Ink King stole Lorelei’s family. Lorelei travels throughout the Wishing World also known as Veloran. In her travels she is accompanied by Gruffy the Griffon, Pip the toucan, Squeak the mouse and Ripple the Princess of the Eternal Sea. They refer to Lorelei as a Doolivanti which is a traveler or a wish maker. Lorelei discovers so many new things in her travels and so many strange creatures. The most interesting is the Mirror Man and he is also the most familiar. In the end, it comes between her family and the world of Veloran that she is slowly and unintentionally ripping apart.

The Wishing World by Todd Fahnestock began as a difficult read and ended on a good note. The book reminds me of a twisted cross between The Neverending Story and a Roald Dahl book. There is a main character in a world they do not belong, saving a princess, riding a large protector (in this case a Griffon) and saving the created world. I hear Dahl in the creative names given to the animals, food and flora. I found the strange names of creatures very difficult to read as well as the Shakespearean way of speaking by Ripple. The story seemed like a whirlwind of confusion until I hit the part when Lorelei met the Mirror Man and we find out who he really is. The story started to pick up, but I never really understood completely why Lorelei had to leave to save Veloran. All-in-all, I did enjoy the book even though there many confusing parts. I did love the ending. There is something to be said for short, one-word endings. Very nice touch. Would I recommend this book? Yes, I think I would. It wasn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but I do think it’s worth reading. I think it would be a good book for anyone in grades 5 through 8.

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Monday, October 17, 2016

Tomorrow Is The Day!


I am a total House Of Night fan and I'm really looking forward to this book!! So far it's a lot different than House of Night and I'm very curious to see how this one develops. If you're a fan too, then check out the free sneak preview of the first five chapters!

(Chapters 1-5)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Eden's Escape

Eden's Escape (Eden of the Lamp, #2)Eden's Escape by M. Tara Crowl
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Stories of old tell of genies trapped in lamps until someone finds the lamp and gives it a good rub. That person is then granted three wishes. Now imagine that genie doesn’t live in the lamp. In fact, that genie lives in New York City. Where else! Eden grew up in the Lamp under the supervision of Goldie and Xavier. She was given the finest things and received the best education. By the time Eden was 10, she had granted 36 wishes for 12 mortals. She had always wanted to live on Earth and Goldie and Xavier decided to give her that chance. Eden was to become the first resident genie and live on Earth while continuing to grant wishes until her 999th wish. After that, she may retire after using her 1000th wish for herself. Things weren’t so easy though. There were forces on Earth who were searching for that lamp. Eden knew about the genie alumni who had formed the group, Electra, to seek out the lamp’s power for themselves, but she had not known about the mortal who was doing the same thing.

One night while enjoying karaoke with guardian and friend, Pepper, Eden was whisked away for a wishing. Instead of appearing to an excited mortal rationing ideas for wishes, Eden found herself magnetized to a chair like an unwilling science experiment. David Brightley, technology mogul, found sudden interest in the powers of the genie lamp and had decided to use that power for himself if only he can figure out how to harness it. After Eden escapes and realizes she is in Paris, headquarters of Electra, she is thrown into corporate corruption from both mortals and genie alumni and looks to her friends…both mortal and immortal…to help her save the lamp and the future of all genies.

Eden’s Escape by M. Tara Crowl I find to be a true original. I can honestly say that I’ve never read a story about genies and had no idea their lives could be so interesting! Crowl’s characters were easy to like and even at the end, I did feel bad for Sylvana for being so misguided. The tale wove itself around with nice twists and turns and by the time EVERYONE ended up in Brightley’s lab, I was truly dumbfounded as to what they were going to do next! The storyline included a little deceit and a little mystery. I found myself giggling at the similarities between David Brightley and Steve Jobs as well as the Kiwi store and the Apple store. My favorite part had to be the end though when everyone sees everyone for who they truly are and we learn a little bit more about the other genie alumni and what they wished for and what their futures hold. Heloise is definitely one to watch for (I don’t want to give away too much!). Eden’s Escape by M. Tara Crowl is a fun book full of mystery and action and a must read for every mortal and immortal alike! Happy wishing!

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No Summit Out Of Sight

No Summit out of Sight: The True Story of the Youngest Person to Climb the Seven SummitsNo Summit out of Sight: The True Story of the Youngest Person to Climb the Seven Summits by Jordan Romero
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

What do you do when your 9 year old tells you his goal is to climb the Seven Summits? Most of us would probably say - “The what?”. After the explanation that the Seven Summits are the seven highest peaks on the each of the seven continents, most of us would answer - “That’s a nice goal…when you’re an adult.” Jordan Romero’s Dad isn’t like most of us though. Being an endurance athlete himself, Jordan’s dad, Paul, and his step-mom, Karen, said they thought they could make that goal come true. Not without a lot of hard work first though. Jordan immediately began his training to build his strength, learn about mountain climbing and conditioning his body to withstand the altitudes that he would be exposed to. Each new mountain presented Jordan with new challenges that he had to master before hitting the next goal from learning how to use crampons and ice axes to repelling with ropes. Jordan took the challenge seriously and put his total effort into the goal. By the age of 10, he had climbed three mountains in which two were world records. At 13, he became the youngest to scale Asia’s Mt. Everest and at 15 he became the youngest person to climb all seven summits plus one (it hasn’t quite been determined which of Australia’s peaks are the tallest - Mt. Kosciuszko or the Carstensz Pyramid). Joran’s story spread faster than his climbs and oftentimes other climbers had heard his name before he even stepped foot on the mountain. Through hard work, diligence and parental support, Jordan was able to reach the goal he set for himself in fourth grade when he first noticed a mural depicting the Seven Summits. He became the poster boy for encouraging other kids to “find their own Everest” and to reach their goals no matter what they may be. After his climbs, Jordan began traveling to talk to kids about living a healthy lifestyle and to pursue their own dreams.

No Summit Out Of Sight by Jordan Romero with Linda LeBlanc is an amazing story that I encourage both kids and adults to read. At first I shrugged my nose at having to read this book. I had no knowledge of nor interest in mountain climbing. But, being a book club book, I began to read and was immediately drawn into the world of height and hostile environments. Not many kids can do what Jordan has done and with as much grace, respect and determination. I was impressed at how thankful he was for everyone who had helped him and, being a mom myself, loved the relationship he had with his mom. I admire her strength for stepping back and letting her son reach his dreams. By the end of the book I was looking for my own Everest because Jordan’s message isn’t just for kids, but I think adults can benefit by it as well.

I highly recommend No Summit Out Of Sight by Jordan Romero with Linda LeBlanc to everyone, but especially to boys. It’s hard to find a good book for boys, but this one has made it to the top of my list. It is a quick and easy read and each page is filled with adventure. Enjoy!

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