Tag Archives: Book Challenge

Twisted Review

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Amazon

Blurb:

Who could’ve known one pair of shoes could cause so much trouble.

Dee’s lost the sparkly red heels, and when she befriends a witch to help her find a way home, she finds herself down the rabbit hole. With the veil between Wonderland and Oz torn wide open, things go awry.

The flying monkeys are loose in the Kingdom, Hatter is lost on the sun-colored brick road, and betwixt a battle of the worlds, the Red Queen seeks power, but all Dee wants is to go home.

My Review:
Five Stars

I’ll be honest, I bought this book based on how killer the cover is. I’m not one to judge a book based on it’s cover, but this cover really captivated me that I bought it on the spot before even reading the blurb, so I went in reading it rather blind. And I’m glad that I did because I didn’t expect any of the story at all.

In the beginning we meet Dee, or Dorothy as she’s walking through Oz trying to find someone to help her get home. She meets some allies along the way that help her, even though they don’t help her get home to Kansas. We meet Samuel, Jasper, and Aeries, which are all amazing characters that you really can’t help but love. Especially when you find out the star-crossed lovers plot behind two of the characters, more so the full story at the end- which I didn’t see coming at all.

And the name Twisted fits this novel perfectly, because it is Twisted. You don’t see any of the twists and turns that happen, which in most novels you eventually begin to piece it together. That didn’t happen with this novel. I could never formulate what I thought was going to happen next because there was nothing that I could think it could lead up to, especially since it was so different from the original Wizard of Oz.

I definitely look forward to reading more from Elizabeth Montgomery and hope to see more of Dee in Oz. Or even more twisted tellings of other stories, because she has such an imagination that she could come up with some brilliant twists that no one has done before. Because she did it here. I have high expectations for this amazing author.

Norse Mythology: A Concise Guide to Gods, Heroes, Sagas and Beliefs of Norse Mythology

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Amazon

Blurb:

An introduction to such a vast subject as Norse Mythology can be problematic as it could well fall between two stools; so packed with details as to put one off, or so vague, that one is none the wiser for having read it. This text manages a pleasing balance, succeeds in whetting the appetite and supplying excellent online resources for the reader who wishes to find out more.

Inside you will read about…

✓ The Creation in Norse Mythology
✓ The Nine Worlds
✓ Major Gods and Goddesses
✓ Valhalla
✓ Ragnarok
✓ The Sagas
✓ The Influence of Norse Mythology on Our Lives Today

The author quotes generously from the most important relevant source which is freely available via the Project Gutenberg, and you are left with the sounds and taste of the times… ringing in your ears and tingling on your tongue.

My Review:
Five Stars

Norse mythology has always intrigued me and I was excited when I happened upon this book. I’m not normally one to read books pertaining to history or mythology but wanted to read this because it’s always been interesting to me.

This novel offers quite a lot of information about Norse Gods and the different realms that they dwell in. All of this information is conveyed in a manner that is easy for the reader to understand too. However, some of the words were difficult to pronounce if you don’t know much on Norse mythology.

If you’re interested in learning about Norse mythology then this is definitely worth reading.

After Alice Review

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Amazon

Blurb:

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?

In this brilliant work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings—and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late—and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is “After Alice.”

My Review:
Five Stars

I absolutely loved After Alice. It was nice to see Wonderland from another person’s perspective instead of from the character we already know and love, especially through the eyes of Ada Boyce. Ada really isn’t talked about much in Alice in Wonderland but After Alice focuses mainly on Ada and her adventures in Wonderland as she desperately tries to find her friend Alice. Which is amazingly done. All the characters are flawlessly kept as they were in the original telling by Lewis Carroll, which made me love this book even more.

Ada is a character that you wouldn’t expect to fall into Wonderland, let alone expect to save the day. She’s handicapped and basically immobile until she falls down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Once at the bottom she realizes she can stand erect without the garments that correct her posture. And you see her walking through Wonderland without her restraints, rejoicing in being a normal child.Which I imagine is really freeing for her, but also maddening since she’s in a strange world with strange people looking for her friend that seems to always be getting into trouble.

Along the way Ada meets all the creatures of Wonderland. Some are helpful, some aren’t. She eventually meets Siam, which came through The Looking Glass into Wonderland.

Now while Ada, Siam, and Alice are wondering through Wonderland, there’s chaos in the real world as they look for the children. There’s arguing between Alice’s sister and Ada’s governess. There’s even a small mental feud for the affections of Mr. Winter as everyone goes bonkers trying to find the children. And along the way Lydia, Alice’s sister, realizes just how much she needs Alice. They all realize how much they need Alice.

The Water Balloon Gang Book Review

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Amazon

Blurb:

A liquor store robbery (even if it was accidental) wasn’t mentioned on the list of potential activities when a twelve-year-old John Redstand joined The Water Balloon Gang that hot summer’s morning.

One of the funniest short stories you will ever read! Teetering right on the dividing line between: “Yeah, I can just picture those kids getting into that,” and, “No way in heck did that really happened.”

Take a first person journey in this fictionalized chronicle about a hilarious adventure that takes place during a single, calamitous day in the life of our young protagonist.

My Review:

Five Stars

The Water Balloon Gang is a funny tale of kids making mischief. We’ve all been there a time or two where the older kids want to do something that isn’t right and know that we can get into a lot of trouble if our parents found out what we did. In this stories case the younger kids go along with the older kids on a trip that turns out both funny and slightly illegal.

I can’t say I’ve ever been in the main characters place, but have followed some older kids into doing some pretty weird things; like jumping off of the roof of a house once. So, I can completely sympathize with him on wanting to run with the big kids and hang out with them. I used to be that same twelve year old kid, just wanting to be accepted by the teenagers in my neighborhood.

Even more so I can relate to the water balloon scene. Though, in my youth it wasn’t water balloons it was water guns, and we weren’t doing what they did in the book. Instead, we chased each other through the woods trying to shoot each other, not that that pertains to this book at all because they aren’t throwing the balloons at each other. Instead, they are being really mischievous with the balloons and the situation that proceeds afterwards is quite hilarious.

In the end this short story made me reminisce on childhood memories and the things I was fond of in my youth. The Water Balloon Gang made me realize I wasn’t the only kid that ran with those older than me and sometimes found myself in situations I either didn’t want to be in or ones that turned out to really shape my life and who I am.

It’s a heartfelt story of a twelve year old just having fun, he wants to be around the older kids, but in the end he just wants to be twelve and do things that a twelve year old does. And in the end he went home and did the same thing I would do every day after hanging out with my friends, go home and watch cartoons.

I highly recommend this wonderful short story by John Redstand and look forward to reading more of his heartwarming tales.

Pick Your Poison: A Faery Tale Anthology Book Review

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Blurb:
“Enter our world of faery tale therapy.
The Doctor will see you now.”

Everyone thinks they know the real story behind the characters in fairy tales— But did you ever wonder what happened when the story ended and you closed the book? Come along and in this new anthology, you’ll find your favorite and some new favorite faery-tale characters on the psychiatrists couch as they work through their trauma.

Curl up and read about : Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, The Big Bad Wolf, The Wolf from Red Riding Hood, Baba Yaga, Goldilocks, Snow White, The Gingerbread Man, Rapunzel, The Kings’ Man from Humpty Dumpty, The Dish & Spoon, Cinderella’s evil stepmother, Dorothy from Oz, including the Wicked Witch from Oz, All the Jacks (be nimble, beanstalk, hanging with Jill), Sandman, Old Mother Hubbard, Alice from Wonderland, The Princess and the Pea, and the tale told from the Pea’s perspective, the Caterpillar from Alice in Wonderland, and what about all those beastly bridegrooms that get dumped at the altar ?

My Review:
Five Stars
We all know most of these stories by heart, but we don’t really shoot and think of the aftermath that fairy tale folk go through. We don’t think of their feelings or what their lives consisted of either before or after their tales. We all move on to the next story, while the fairy tale folk put the pieces together and try to move on and live normal lives.

But in this collection of wonderful stories the characters don’t pick up their lives, they don’t live happily ever after. Instead they suffer for our amusement only to be forgotten when we reach the end of the tale.

Of this collection my favorites were the ones that pertained to Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. All of the stories were fantastic and written in a way that made you feel as if these characters err real and that they really did suffer after their stories were you’d. It’s almost as if some alternate universe opened to reveal the true aftermath of fairytales, which is brilliant.

I think it would be phenomenal if another one of these were done with other fairytale folk, because there are so many ways to take the tragedies that fairytale folk face and turn that into amazing stories about what happens next in their lives. After all, it makes you feel as if these stories were real and what is better than that.

Insanity (Mad in Wonderland) Book Review

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Amazon

Blurb:

After accidentally killing everyone in her class, Alice Wonder becomes a patient in the Radcliffe Lunatic Asylum. No one doubts her insanity. All but a hookah-smoking professor named Carter Pillar who believes he can prove her sanity by decoding Lewis Carroll’s paintings, photographs, and finding Wonderland’s real whereabouts.
Professor Caterpillar persuades the asylum that Alice can save lives and catch the Wonderland Monsters now reincarnated in modern day criminals. In order to do so, Alice leads a double life: an Oxford university student by day, a mad girl in an asylum by night. The line between sanity and insanity thins when she meets Jack Diamond, an arrogant college student who believes that nonsense is an actual science.

Larger than life characters, intricate mysteries, engrossing fun, and intriguing historical locations. Insanity will thrill you, makes turns pages, and stay with you forever.
Warning: intended for insane audience only

My Review:

Five Stars

I love everything Alice in Wonderland and was excited when a friend told me that I needed to read this book. And I’m really glad she told me to read it and now I’m hooked on Insanity and Cameron Jace’s Wonderland that he’s painted. He left me craving more of the story and made me feel like I was really transported into his insane world of Wonderland monsters.

I’d never thought to view Alice as an insane person that imagined all of Wonderland. I’d always thought that it was a young girl who really experienced Wonderland and that no one believed her. But in Insanity, Wonderland is a real place that has been sealed up tight by Lewis Carroll. Though some of the Wonderland folks inhabit the real world.

We first meet Alice in the insane asylum and we see her try and escape the asylum to get out into the world. She fails in her escape. This is the first time you’re exposed to the White Rabbit, and it’s where you see Alice battle with whether she’s sane or not. She desperately wants to be sane and to believe that Wonderland isn’t real. But it feels like a part of her really knows that Wonderland is real, but she wants to be free that she’s allowing herself to forget.

We meet the Caterpillar and he’s a serial killer in Insanity. Which is actually fitting for him. He always has his hookah, and it’s his weapon of choice when it comes to fighting the Wonderland monsters.

Then there is the Cheshire cat. The Cheshire cat has always been my favorite character in Alice in Wonderland, but not so much in Insanity. He’s portrayed as something evil, and in Alice in Wonderland he wasn’t too much of a good guy but I never had nightmares that he was chasing me. And if a book can infiltrate my dreams it’s a pretty amazing book.

I can’t wait to read the next book in this series and have recommended it to all of my friends. Jace sure knows how to write an amazing Alice spin-off and he did it flawlessly.

Six Moon Summer Book Review

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Amazon

Synopsis from Amazon: Rylie’s been bitten. She’s changing. And now she has three months to find a cure before becoming a werewolf…forever.

Rylie Gresham has been attacked by a wild animal at summer camp. She survived with something far worse than normal injuries. Animals fear her, she’s craving raw flesh, and her anger is uncontrollable.

Mysterious Seth Wilder knows a lot about werewolves. He thinks he might be able to fix Rylie. His secrets might be far more dangerous than the change Rylie’s facing, but she has no choice but to trust him. After all, if she doesn’t figure out a way to stop the transformation, then at the end of summer, she’ll be a monster.

My Review: To say I absolutely loved this novel would be an understatement. I’m not typically one to be over fanatic about werewolves because to be honest they kind of freak me out. But I decided to give this series ago because it sounded really awesome. I am truly glad I stepped out of my comfort zone and gave this werewolf novel a try.

Rylie is an amazing leading female. She is undergoing emotional turmoil and you see her face all these challenges. Not only challenges of a normal teenager just trying to fit in, but of a teenager that has her world turned upside down. I don’t want to give any spoilers but Rylie’s life experiences are definitely different then your average teen.

She is sent to camp while her parents work out some ‘things.’ While at camp she meets a boy, Seth. Seth is amazing written and portrayed in the novel. I can say that what he ‘is’ really threw me for a loop. I totally wasn’t expecting that. And I absolutely love when that happens in a novel. Reine makes Seth an amazingly like-able guy and Rylie falls madly for him.

The ‘villains’ in this case the big bad werewolf that wants to recreate the population of werewolves. Is portrayed so well as a person that I really didn’t see it coming. One minute he doesn’t really like Rylie, the next he’s saving her butt. Then trying to convince her to join him in his plot to turn everyone into werewolves.

There is one thing that really upsets me about the ending though.And just because I don’t want to give away parts of the story and be a spoiler I won’t say it here. But let’s just say I definitely wish it would have ended differently and I’m hoping that in the next three books that what I wanted to happen somehow does happen.

Rating: Five Stars Highly Recommend this novel and the series.