Warren the 13th and The All-Seeing Eye by Tania del Rio

I received this novel as an advanced copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sometimes, I like to take a break from reading heavy books and switch it up with something lighter. I find that books aimed for little kids are just adorable in the way they portray the classic good-vs-evil story with a whole host of cute characters; they can definitely be appealing if you want something light-hearted. With that, let me start my review:

Warren the 13th comes from a long line of hotel owners. He is the sole bellhop, waiter, valet, and groundskeeper for his family’s ancient hotel. Once, it was a glorious place that was always booming but now it’s more of a shadowy mansion full of crooked corridors and musty rooms. However, the hotel has a secret: it just might be the home for a magical object called the All-Seeing Eye. Can Warren make sense of all of the clues to find the treasure before his evil Aunt Annaconda does?

What a cute book! Warren is such an adorable character, and he is the sweetest kid you will ever read about! The story reminded me a little of The Wolves Chronicles by Joan Aiken (which I’m still in the process of reading) because of its wackiness and weird plot twists. The ebook ARC version that I read had some illustrations in it but they were not always in the best format; I think the final completed version of this book has made the illustrations a lot clearer so that will be another element that kids will enjoy. This is definitely a story I can see middle schoolers enjoying because it’s got great elements, great pictures, and a great theme!

Happy reading ~

Carry On – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow by Rainbow Rowell

I was really excited to read this novel because this is the same author that wrote Eleanor and Park, which made me cry my eyes out and was just fantastic. I had really high hopes for this novel, especially because it involved fantasy – and we all know I love fantasy novels!

Simon Snow is the Chosen One – but he has no idea what that means. He is a terrible wizard and can barely rein in his power. His roommate, Baz,  constantly reminds Simon that he is a failure. To make matters worse, Simon’s girlfriend  breaks up with him and there is monster prowling the magical world creating blank pockets that are void of all magic – and it looks exactly like Simon. Now, it is up to Simon and his friend Penelope to put all of the pieces together and figure out a way to get rid of this monster – while still managing to graduate from the Watford School of Magicks!

To be honest, this novel was like a fan fiction of Harry Potter. There were so many elements that were similar that it was hard to take this novel seriously as an independent and unique idea. I mean, we’ve got Penelope with frizzy hair, and Simon is the “chosen one” who is an orphan (sound familiar?) and he has a mentor who is the headmaster of the school (cue Dumbledore). There were also parts of the book that described events in the past that made me wonder if this was a standalone or if it had a prequel. Things only really turned around in the middle of the story when the relationships between the characters became more complex. Overall, this novel was a bit of a let-down as it wasn’t as unique as I thought it would be and seemed a bit scattered throughout. I haven’t given up on this author, however, and I will definitely give some of her other work a try!

Happy reading ~

One For The Money by Janet Evanovich – Stephanie Plum series #1

When someone first told me to read this novel, I didn’t really think that I would like it. I don’t usually like humorous books that have a lot of flirting in it. I prefer more serious and thrilling novels. But I am no book snob so I decided to take the opportunity to get outside of my comfort zone.

Stephanie needs a job – and fast. She can’t seem to find any job that fits her and her rent is coming up FAST! So when her uncle has a position free as a bounty hunter, Stephanie jumps at the chance. And who does she get but Joe Morelli, the man who stole her heart many years ago and never gave it back. It doesn’t help that Morelli is a cop who knows how to be a fugitive. Plum is going to need all of the help she can get from expert bond enforcement agent Ranger, a hooker named Lula, and all of her quirky family members.

I couldn’t stop smiling throughout this novel. Yes, Stephanie Plum comes off as the stereotypical pretty girl who somehow has enough smarts to save the day. But she is so spunky and sarcastic that you can’t help but love her. Although there is a hint of romance, it turns into a wonderful friendship which I really enjoyed. And it isn’t like Stephanie is ditzy; on the contrary, she feels things deeply and has a strong sense of morality and justice. I am now super addicted to this series and I cannot wait to read the next novel in the series! If you are looking for a quirky detective fiction series, this is one to check out!

Happy reading ~

The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett

It is rare to come across a book that has a premise that is unlike anything you have ever read. That’s what happened with this novel. It took me by surprise, which of course means I had to read it. So here is my review:

One day, the Queen of England is walking with her dogs when she comes across a travelling library. Although she is polite in her inquiries to the librarian, she cannot help but borrow one of his books. So begins her journey into the world of literature. The Queen is swept up into the world of fiction and cannot seem to put any book down – so much so that her duties and responsibilities begin to fall apart. As court officials try to get the Queen back on track, the Queen continues her journey into the literary world – leading to hilarious consequences.

What a charming book! I love the lightness that is pervasive in this novel and the story is just so cute and funny! I was not bored for a second by it. It helped that it was a short novel and wasn’t too dense. The depiction of the Queen was lovely; it brought her down to our level and made her seem so … normal. By doing this, the novel also showed the generalized way people in society think of members of royalty; it is unfathomable to think of the royal family as having normal passions and desires (this has of course changed these days but it persists to a certain degree). I found this a quaint and quick read, and it is definitely enjoyable so do give it a shot!

Happy reading ~

Stardust by Neil Gaiman

I have always loved this author. The first book I ever read by him was Coraline and it was just fantastic. Since then, I’ve been hunting for everything and anything by him and so far, I have yet to be disappointed. I just recently found out that this book has been turned into a movie but I just couldn’t wait to write about it so I’m going to make my review before even watching the movie!

From the first moment Tristran Thorn set his eyes on Victoria, he knew he must marry her. When he tells her he loves her and will do anything to win her heart, she tells him to fetch her a fallen star. Tristran agrees and prepares to make his journey beyond the Wall that serves as a divider between his town and the land of the Fae, where nothing is ever as it seems.

I LOVED THIS NOVEL! It was cute and simplistic and sweet. It was written in a childish way but it had the depth of any adult novel. I could read this over and over again because it was just that good. This is one of those books I would recommend everyone should buy because it is worth reading! I don’t know what more to say without being repetitive so just go out and buy it!

Happy reading ~

The Little Old Woman Who Broke All the Rules

This book was on the Indigo Must-Read list. Often, when I am looking for a book to read, I go on the Indigo website and see what they are recommending. Usually, I can find good reads. I always suggest doing this to people looking for a novel – but then again, you could just read one of my reviews and find a book that way!

The novel opens up with Martha, a senior citizen who is tired of living in her retirement residence. When she and her four friends decided to move into the retirement home, it had been owned by a wonderful group of people who had ensured that the care given to the elderly was of high quality. However, the new management is not so client-friendly and is more concerned with making money, leading to a steady decline in care and amenities provided to the senior citizens. Because of this, Martha and her four friends decide to commit a robbery, the likes of which no one has seen before.

This book has a similar vibe to the 100 year old man who climbed out the window and disappeared (which is definitely worth reading if you haven’t already read it). It’s cute – but not as cute as the 100 year old man. It’s got a bit of sweet romance and quite a bit of comedy and is overall a good book to read if you are in the mood for something light. Did it make a lasting impression and make me want to run out and buy a copy? No. But that doesn’t mean it was not a good book. It made me laugh and gave me a relaxing break from all of my stress and I thoroughly enjoyed the plot and all of the characters.

Happy reading ~

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

I’m going to jump right into the review because I just loved this book and the movie so much!

Hazel Grace Lancaster hates going to the cancer support group. With her cynical look at life, she just can’t seem to take anything seriously. But at one of these meetings, she meets Augustus Waters, a good looking, charismatic cancer survivor with one leg. They bond immediately and Hazel finds herself at Augustus’s house watching a movie and promising to read his favorite book. In exchange, Augustus promises to read her favorite book, An Imperial Affliction. After reading it, Augustus expresses his frustration over the incomplete ending of the book and decides to track down the author, unbeknownst to Hazel. As their journey to discover the ending of the novel unfolds, Hazel and Augustus fall more and more for each other.

Okay so maybe this isn’t my best book review. But this book made me cry my eyes out and I still can’t talk about it without getting teary. In my opinion, any book that can have such a strong effect on a reader is a great read. Everyone should read this book. It is soooo unique and different from other cancer novels. The personalities of the characters are so vibrant and quirky. They aren’t just sad and steeped in their own depressive thoughts; they are funny and cynical and can enjoy life even when faced with death. It’s an inspiring, funny, tear-jerking journey that everyone NEEDS to go on.

The movie was wonderful and I think it was because of the author’s involvement in the making of the movie. Almost all of it flowed with the book so if you hadn’t read the book, it was still alright. I think the casting was fantastic and the actors were so in tune with their role. Even if you don’t want to read the book, watch the movie. It will make you laugh and cry and fall in love all at the same time.

Happy Reading and watching!!!!!

The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Allan Karlsson has just turned 100 years old and his retirement home has decided to throw him a birthday party. Instead, Allan decides to climb out of his window and run away. There begins his amazing journey where he finds himself stealing a suitcase from a drug dealer and then being chased by the drug dealers and the police.

This book is delightful. Absolutely delightful. I’m keeping the summary of it short because I don’t want to reveal anything. The present situation is intertwined with the extraordinary events of Allan’s past, which include meeting with Harry Truman, saving Mao Zedong’s wife, and being a secret agent for the CIA. The story is told in such a light tone that it is hard to put the book down. If there is one book that everyone should have on their reading list, it is this one!

Happy reading ~