Review! Switched

Author: Jen Calonita

304 Pages–10-13 years

Published by: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on 06 March 2018

Summary:

Things at Fairy Tale Reform School are great. Rumpelstiltskin has been ousted, and everyone is buzzing about the fact that Beauty and Prince Sebastian (aka the Beast) have joined the teaching staff. Everyone, that is, except Gilly, who can’t seem to focus on anything but Anna. How is it that her beloved sister somehow went bad and joined up with Rump? And why doesn’t anyone seem to care? Sure, the Royal Court says they’re working on it, but they’ve got exactly nothing to show for it.

But when new-kid Jack joins FTRS with tales of his own family being snatched by Rump, Gilly knows she’s in good company. Jack wants answers, just like Gilly. And if the Royal Court can’t get the job done, then maybe it’s time to break some rules…

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Review! The Princess Imposter

Author: Vivian Vande Velde

208 Pages-Ages 8-12

Published by: Scholastic Press on 10 October 2017

Summary (goodreads.com):

Princess Gabriella is accustomed to a certain kind of castle life. So when she wakes up one morning in a crowded hut, surrounded by squabbling fairy siblings, it takes all her princess training to maintain her poise and good manners.

Meanwhile, across the kingdom, Fairy Phleg revels in Gabriella’s luxurious lifestyle. As long as she can fool the castle into believing she’s the real princess-with a little help from her magical disguise-then she’s set to enjoy three glorious days of sweets and comfort.

The mischievous fairies have placed a bet, and Gabriella is caught in the middle of it. Can she survive her time in the chaotic fairy household without failing the ultimate princess test and losing her temper? Phleg turns the castle upside down as she poses as Gabriella, but when an important guest arrives, will her antics unwittingly send the kingdom into war?

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Review! Tricked (Fairy Tale Reform School #3)

Author: Jen Calonita

256 Pages–Ages 10-13

Published by: March 7th 2017 by Sourcebooks Jabberwocky

Summary:

Things are changing at Fairy Tale Reform School.

At least, that’s what Gilly’s heard through the Enchantasia rumor mill. Word is, notorious trickster Rumpelstiltskin has taken over management from Headmistress Flora, and he’s locked down the school tighter than the Pied Piper’s pants. Not that this news concerns Gilly. She’s been released from FTRS and is now suffering through attending Jack of All Trades School, where she gets to learn about different kinds of shoe leather and ways to measure feet. Truly riveting stuff.

But when Gilly’s little sister Anna gets whisked off to FTRS thanks to her troublemaking new friends, Hansel and Gretel, Gilly knows she’s got to get Anna out of there. There’s only one thing to do; make some serious trouble and get thrown back into FTRS.

It’s time to out-trick a trickster.

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Review! Charmed (Fairy Tale Reform School #2)

Author: Jen Calonita

288 Pages–Ages 10-13

Published By: Sourcebooks Jabberwocky on March 2016

Summary:

Sometimes it’s good to be bad…

It takes a (mostly) reformed thief to catch a spy. Which is why Gilly Cobbler, Enchantasia’s most notorious pickpocket, volunteers to stay locked up at Fairy Tale Reform School…indefinitely. Gilly and her friends may have defeated the Evil Queen and become reluctant heroes, but the battle for Enchantasia has just begun.

Alva, aka The Wicked One who cursed Sleeping Beauty, has declared war on the Princesses, and she wants the students of Fairy Tale Reform School to join her. As her criminal classmates give in to temptation, Gilly goes undercover as a Royal Lady in Waiting (don’t laugh) to unmask a spy…before the mole can hand Alva the keys to the kingdom.

Her parents think Gilly the Hero is completely reformed, but sometimes you have to get your hands dirty. Sometimes it’s good to be bad…

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Review! It’s Raining Cupcakes

Author: Lisa Schroeder

208 Pages

Published by: Aladdin on January 1, 2010

Summary:

Twelve year old Isabel is dying to get out of Willow, Oregon (population 39, 257) and experience something other than her small town. It seems that everyone gets to travel except Isabel–even her best friend, Sophie. When Isabel’s mother decides to open up a cupcake shop across town, Isabel is once again stuck in Willow for the summer as she tries to help her mom get the shop up and running. But when Isabel learns of a baking contest where the finalists get an all-expense paid trip to New York City, she realizes this is her chance to finally get out of Willow. Except there are two major roadblocks to this plan: Sophie, who also is entering the contest and is always the best at everything, and her own mom, who wants her to enter the contest on her terms.Can Isabel manage to finally do something for herself, without losing her best friend and further straining her already tenuous relationship with her mother? In this sweet coming-of-age story from popular teen author Lisa Schroeder, Isabel discovers that it’s not about where you go in life as much as it is about enjoying the view wherever you are.

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Review! Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret

coverAuthor: D.D. Everest

320 Pages

Published by: HarperCollins on April 21, 2014 (first printing)

On his twelfth birthday, Archie Greene receives a mysterious package from a man he has never met, a package containing an ancient book in a language he doesn’t recognize. The gift leads him to a family he didn’t know he had and a world he never knew existed.

Soon Archie becomes a bookbinding apprentice to the Flame Keepers, a secret group devoted to finding and preserving magical books at the Museum of Magical Miscellany. With the help of his cousins, Bramble and Thistle, Archie tries to unravel the mystery behind his book, but he begins to realize that his gift is something more powerful than he could have imagined. And the only thing more perilous than its contents is being its owner.

T03-catching-flamehe book waited 400 years for Archie Greene. Now Archie must discover why.

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Review! Class Dismissed

class dismissed coverAuthor: Allan Woodrow

272 pages

Published by Scholastic Press on 27 October 2015

Summary (from goodreads.com):

Class 507 is the worst class Ms. Bryce has ever taught. And she would know — she’s been teaching forever. They are so terrible that when a science experiment goes disastrously wrong (again), Ms. Bryce has had it and quits in the middle of the lesson. But through a mix-up, the school office never finds out.
Which means … Class 507 is teacher-free!
The class figures if they don’t tell anyone, it’ll be one big holiday. Kyle and his friends can play games all day. Samantha decides she’ll read magazines and give everyone (much needed) fashion advice. Adam can doodle everywhere without getting in trouble. Eric will be able to write stories with no one bothering him. And Maggie … well, as the smartest kid in the class she has an ambitious plan for this epic opportunity.
But can Class 507 keep the principal, the rest of the students, and their parents from finding out … or will the greatest school year ever turn into the worst disaster in school history?

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Summer 2018

It’s probably been really obvious, but I haven’t been reading much lately. Of course, there are still some books that interest me, but I just can’t seem to find any motivation to actually sit down, pick them up, and read them. Whenever I visit a book sale I still find something to buy, but my TBR pile just keeps growing! So this summer I decided to try to work my way through the shelves full of books I have at home that I haven’t read. I’ve found 20 books that’s I’ve decided I’m going to finish this summer. Aside from my 20 books, I found some books that I’m interested in reading, but I know that I won’t be finishing those for quite some time. Those are the types of books that I really need to be in the mood for, for example: A Song for Fire and Ice (Game of Thrones #1), The Lost Gate – Shadow of the Hegemon, etc.

As I continue to clean out my room/house I’m sure that I’m going to find many more books that I forgot I even owned. Hopefully this will get me out of my reading funk (which has been going on for over a year now). I have to face the possibility that maybe I’m just not an avid reader anymore. Maybe this funk is actually my normal and my reading boom was an anomaly. I guess only time will tell.

Anyway, for each of the books I read this summer on my list I’m determined to actually post a review for them (even if it’s just a short here’s what I thought). So the 20 books are:

  1. The Wurst is Yet to Come
  2. Engaging Father Christmas
  3. Pippi Longstocking
  4. Children of the Lamp: The Blue Djinn of Babylon
  5. The Genius Files: Never Say Genius
  6. Wilma Tenderfoot: The Case of the Frozen Hearts
  7. It’s Raining Cupcakes
  8. Murder on the Links
  9. Class Dismissed
  10. The Sinclair Mysteries: The Painted Dragon
  11. Draw Blood
  12. Blood Dawn
  13. Airman
  14. The Book Scavenger: The Alcatraz Escape
  15. BOB
  16. Fairy Tale Reform School: Charmed
  17. Fairy Tale Reform School: Tricked
  18. Fairy Tale Reform School: Switched
  19. Descendants: Rise of the Isle of the Lost
  20. Archie Greene and the Magician’s Secret

Yu Yu Hakusho 2018 Special

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The other night I had a hankering to watch the fight between Kurama and Roto (don’t know why–I just did) from the TV series Yu Yu Hakusho. So I turned it on, expecting to just watch that one episode, but as you might expect, one episode turned into two and before I knew it I had watched through the Dark Tournament. Even after it was over I just kept going right through the Chapter Black saga (naturally, this took a few days).

I was first exposed to Yu Yu Hakusho at a relatively young age when it was airing on Cartoon Network’s Toonami block. After just watching one or two episodes, I was hooked. And since then it had definitely become one of my favorite shows. Of course, on Toonami it was heavily edited, but for my child-like brain it didn’t pose much of a problem. Honestly, it was probably the only reason my parents continued letting me watch such a violent show. Of course, now that I’m a full blown adult, I only watch the uncut version–much more exciting that way.

300px-YYK_protagonistsRegardless, I love the show even after all these years. All four of the main characters were great, the plot was engaging, and the humor spot on. The dubbing of the show was fabulously done and the script was filled with clever humor and witty sarcasm. At one point in my life I was interested in those super serious shows, but now I much prefer shows with a coherent plot line with plenty of humor spread through it.The show had memorable characters and a fantastic plot. The humor was always on point and the character interactions were top notch. The English dubbing was done incredibly well and I enjoyed the clever jokes and witty sarcasm. All the English voice actors managed to make their voices fit amazingly well with each character, especially Justin Cook as Yusuke.

Anyway, finishing my walk down memory lane, I found out some very interesting information while I was revisiting my childhood show. Apparently, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the TV show a new animated feature will be released sometime this year! I am so excited! Other than the existence of a special, not much else has been released. I have no idea how long it is, what it will be about, or if the original cast members will return (I sincerely hope so!).

Although I know nothing of the special, if I were to guess, it will just be a small update on what the characters have been doing since the end of the series. I know we got one of those already, but this will probably just be a continuation of that. Either that or the main characters will reunite against a new supposed threat in the demon world, but at the end of the special they will realize they were all overreacting and it wasn’t really much of a threat. For a heavy action show, there isn’t much they can do in a short special (I’m assuming this will be 30 minutes tops). Nevertheless, I am extremely excited to see it when it is released!

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The special will be released along with a new Blu-ray collection of the series. I’m sure it will be pretty expensive to buy, but honestly the show is worth having, especially if there’s a new special on it. Therefore, as long as I can scrape some money together, I will definitely be adding this to my collection.

 

Summer 2017

I know it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Honestly, I have a whole pile of half-finished articles sitting on my hard drive, but for some reason I’m having a hard time finishing anything. Motivation is hard to come by.

I figured I’d take a chapter out of someone else’s book and just write some short thoughts on various things I’ve been thinking of.
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