Monday, April 30, 2012

Review: The Foretelling - Alice Hoffman

The Foretelling
by Alice Hoffman
Young Adult
Read From: Apr. 9, 2012 - Apr. 10, 2012

 Before starting this book, I had two thoughts: Either this book is going to be surprisingly good, or I'm going to really dislike it. Well, I didn't end up really disliking it, but I certainly didn't love it, either. Or even really like it. Stories of sisterhood kind of nauseate me to begin with because they are more often than not lectures against men, and all of the female characters have major chips on their shoulders and the "I-can-beat-anyone" attitude. I'll give the Author this: her women were believable. They seemed like tough Germanic women - the type that the Romans wrote about as being fiercer fighters than the male warriors. The type of women which the Romans absolutely did not want to fight. So, thumbs up to the Author for getting that right.

But. That's where my praise pretty much ends. I didn't care about any of the characters, least of all Rain. She didn't irritate me, but I didn't care what happened to her. In trying to make her story span several years without making it as thick as The Bible, the Author failed to really acquaint her Readers with any of the characters. Oh, you get the sense that Rain questions her tribe's ways and her own doubt, and you get the sense that Rain's mother is a bitter woman, but that element which makes Readers attach to a character simply wasn't there. I didn't feel Rain's grief, joy, anger, frustration, determination, or confusion at any point in the story.

The Author also pumped her story with more content than was certainly necessary. While she does not detail any of the sexual occurrences, she takes every opportunity she can to mention what women do with the men they take in battle. For one thing, the Reader could come to this conclusion through their own assumptions without the Author even having to ever mention it. And for another, the Author did not need to mention the ritual every bloody time a battle was finished. We got it the first time! And then, of course, there's the fact that some women in Rain's tribe are not beyond sharing each other's beds. The Author does not spend as much time in mentioning this as I at first thought she might, but even so it got more than a little tiring every time Rain brought up how her mother had "taken a lover."

Writing style was partially okay and partially irritating. Normally I like stories with very little dialogue and scant descriptions. But here is a story that could have used more detail and a lot more dialogue. The Author also did something that really annoyed me: whenever one of the characters talked, there were no quotation marks. Instead, the dialogue was all in Italics. That's usually reserved for when a character is thinking, last time I checked. Call it a minor pet peeve, but it just got on my nerves. I started thinking that the characters were all telepathic!

The book ends where it seems that the actual story should have begun: Rain begun the change the way of her tribe, while those who do not want to follow her new ways have separated. Seems to me that these events would have made a more interesting story than Rain's coming-of-age litany.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Review: Wonderstruck - Brian Selznick

by Brian Selznick
Middle Grade
Read From: Apr. 9, 2012 - Apr. 9, 2012

I'll admit, I didn't like Wonderstruck as much as The Invention of Hugo Cabret, and here's why: half of it takes place in the modern world, it didn't focus on clocks and awesome automatons, and it just lacked some of the magic that Hugo Cabret had. I still liked Wonderstruck - don't get me wrong. Just not as much as Brian Selznick's first book. The storyline was a bit more inspirational and not quite as mysterious (though I was extremely curious to see how he was going to connect two stories together that were fifty years apart). The story being told half in pictures and half in words still has the same silent-movie-on-pages feeling, and it's a method that works for this story just as well as it did The Invention of Hugo Cabret. No other Author could pull it off like Selznick. And the characters, Ben and Rose, are both likable. But because half of it was told in the 21st century, Wonderstruck lacked the same amount of charm.

Nevertheless, people who liked The Invention of Hugo Cabret will enjoy this new volume, and it is every bit as quick as read as Selznick's other book. If you're looking for a fast, quiet read, Wonderstruck is ideal.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Review: Princess of the Wild Swans - Diane Zahler

Princess of the Wild Swans by Diane Zahler
Genre: Middle Grade, fairy tale retelling
Published on January 31, 2012
Published by HarperCollins
Pages: 224
Read From: 4.6.12 - 4.7.12

Princess Meriel's brothers have been cursed. A terrible enchantment - cast by their conniving new stepmother - has transformed the handsome princes into swans. They now swim forlornly on a beautiful heart-shaped lake that lies just beyond the castle walls. 
Meriel will do whatever it takes to rescue her beloved brothers. But she must act quickly. If Heart Lake freezes, her brothers will be forced to fly south or perish. 
With help from her newfound friends Riona and Liam - a pretty half-witch and her clever brother - Meriel vows to finish a seemingly impossible task. If she completes it, her brothers may be saved. But if she fails, all will be lost.


The Wild Swans was one of my all-time favorite Hans Christian Andersen fairy tales, and I have always wished that someone would do a retelling of it. I am pleased to say that Diane Zahler did an excellent job in reworking this magical tale. Meriel is a strong heroine who is quick to understand what the Queen is trying to do, while the rest of her family is blind to it. And when Meriel is ignored and the Queen changes her brothers into swans, Meriel doesn't waste any time in getting help. She is a bit of a spoiled young girl, but she learns to swallow her pride quick enough that the Reader does not get irritated with her.

Compared to other Authors who have written fairy tale retellings, Diane Zahler's style is perhaps not the most enchanting or magical out of them all, but it works well enough for the story and her "supporting cast" makes up for what may be lacking in imagery. Liam is kind and funny and very helpful and selfless, and his sister Riona just as likable. Her love for Meriel's brother Cullan feels genuine. And while it is true that the Author cut down on the number of brothers that are supposed to be in the story (the original fairy tale has eleven), Cullan, Aidan, Darrock, and Druce all have very different personalities, which play off each other well, rather than clashing. It is very obvious that they are all brothers, despite their differences, and their affection for their little sister seems real, even if they don't believe her about the Queen.

Fairy tale retelling-fans will enjoy this story a great deal, if only because it is a fairy tale that hasn't yet been retold in large quantities, like Beauty and the Beast or The Twelve Dancing Princesses. It's unique, and populated with lots of characters that are easy to fall in love with.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Review: A Pickpocket's Tale - Karen Schwabach

A Pickpocket's Tale
by Karen Schwabach
Middle Grade
Read From: Apr. 5, 2012 - Apr. 7, 2012

This is a book that at first I was a little dubious about, but ended up really enjoying in the end. While Molly, the heroine, takes forever to trust people, it is a realistic attitude for a character with a background like hers, so her lack of trust was less annoying than it usually would be in most. She does get into a lot of situations that are her own fault because of it, of course, and I wanted to smack her upside the head, but poor Molly doesn't know any better, and she is a naturally-honest person, so it's hard to dislike her for these errors. It's easier to get angry with her new employers, who don't seem to take into considering that she's come from a rough life and may be easily alarmed at things. Mrs. Bell is always upset with things that Molly does, not once wondering if maybe on the streets of London, Molly was taught no differently.

Still, despite a somewhat constant feeling of frustration with a lot of the characters, it is an enjoyable story. Molly may cause a lot of her own problems, but it's through ignorance, and then there are lots of other situations that just happen. And there is no denying that she tries her best to do what's right, she knows how to take care of herself, she's smart, and when she does finally come to trust people, she trusts the right ones.

The Author's writing style is excellent with an authentic flair. I at first thought that I would constantly be looking up the meaning of Flash-cant words - London-street talk - in the index, and that definitely made me pause before starting the story and wonder if this book would be worth it. But the Author does a superb job in giving in-text explanations of certain Flash-cant words, or she uses them in such a context that the Reader can easily guess at their meaning. And all of this is done without breaking the flow of the paragraphs. I only had to refer to the index once or twice, and after that it was easy enough to follow. I actually find myself really glad that the Author chose to use Flash-cant; it leant a great deal to believability and immersing myself into Molly's world.

My main complaint lies with the story's finis, its end. Throughout most of the book, there is a build-up to a break-in at the synagogue, and then the book ends shortly afterward with a great deal of suddenness. It felt extremely incomplete and left a couple of very important questions unanswered. The Author could have written just one more chapter to answer these questions, and the story's ending would not have felt so abrupt. And as far as I know, there is no sequel.

Nevertheless, I enjoyed the majority of A Pickpocket's Tale, and it is an ideal pick for those Readers who enjoy authentic-feeling dialogue, smart characters, and rich descriptions of a time period long past.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Review: Born Wicked - Jessica Spotswood

Born Wicked by Jessica Spotswood
Series: The Cahill Witch Chronicles #1
Genre: YA, historical fantasy, romance
Published on February 7, 2012
Published by Putnam
Pages: 330
Read From: 3.26.12 - 4.6.12

Everybody knows Cate Cahill and her sisters are eccentric. Too pretty, too reclusive, and far too educated for their own good. But the truth is even worse: they're witches. And if their secret is discovered by the priests of the Brotherhood, it would mean an asylum, a prison ship - or an early gave. 

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Review: The Hunt for the Seventh - Christine Morton-Shaw

The Hunt for the Seventh
by Christine Morton-Shaw
Young Adult
Read From: Apr. 2, 2012 - Apr. 5, 2012

Caution: this is a book you don't want to read at night, unless you want to be seriously spooked. This is a ghost story that stood my hair on end more than once, and it was awesome. Different from The Riddles of Epsilon, it still retains all of those elements that I loved about that book. Clues, riddles, a chilling mystery, ancient folklore, a sense of urgency, and quirky characters that always seem to live in small towns and villages.

It's hard to compare The Hunt for the Seventh to The Riddles of Epsilon. The characters and the plotline are just different enough to make it difficult. Jim is more likable than Jess in The Riddles of Epsilon if only because Jess started out with a bad attitude, and Jim doesn't. He tunes in to the estate's mysteries quickly, and his curiosity and feeling that something isn't quite right fuels him on, despite the potential danger. And with each new clue solved, the mystery becomes darker and creepier, and that much more exciting. The twist is very unexpected; things build to an amazing climax, until everything seems to be going wrong for Jim, and the Author brings it all to a spectacular end. It definitely does not disappoint. Christine Morton-Shaw knows how to keep a Reader hooked, and I really hope she writes another book.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Review: The Education of Bet - Lauren Baratz-Logsted

The Education of Bet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Genre: YA, historical fiction, romance
Published on July 28, 2010
Published by HMH Books
Pages: 192
Read From: 4.1.12 - 4.2.12

When Will and Bet were four, tragic circumstances brought them to the same house, to be raised by a wealthy gentleman as brother and sister. Now sixteen, they appear content with the life fate has bestowed upon them. 
But appearances can be deceiving. Bet can experience only what society allows for a girl. Will is afforded much more freedom, but still only as society dictates. Neither is happy. 
So Bet comes up with a plan and persuades Will to give it a try: She'll go to school as Will. Will can live as he chooses. 
But when she arrives at school, the reality doesn't match what Bet imagined. Boys are very different when they don't think there's a girl in their midst. In fact, they can be rather brutish. But brutish Bet can deal with. It's the stirrings of attraction for her roommate that get Bet into real trouble. 
This is not the education Bet expected.


Compared to this Author's other book, The Twin's Daughter, this was a much better read. The writing is pleasing and even beautiful in some of its phrasing and pros, and Bet is a likable strong heroine. She manages to be a believable young man, even when she slips in her act a bit. Will was an immediate favorite; he's quiet, serious, kind, and even endeavors to help Bet when he discovers her secret. The story doesn't have much of a plot, but it's along the lines of a casual read, for when one doesn't want to have to do much deep thinking.

So what didn't I like about this book? Well, just as in The Twin's Daughter, the Author seems to have a strange fixation on women's monthly cycles. Yes, this would be a problem faced by a young girl disguised as a boy. That doesn't mean that the Author needs to go into detail about how the blood color differs from, say, a nosebleed or cut, and the Author doesn't need to talk about the position of the stain on bedsheets and nightgown, or how linens must be washed. And the Author does not have to mention every time the heroine starts her monthly cycle again. I also got really tired of Bet talking about how she kind of liked to watch Will undress, I got tired of her reiterating that her breasts were bound (we understood the first time!), and I got tired of her musing about maybe Will preferred boys over girls. I also got tired of the kissing scenes, and reading about how Will and Bet had to keep resisting the temptation to sleep together. Does the Author want the Reader to start thinking that they have no morals? Because after the constant reiteration about how Bet had to force herself to stay in her separate bed, I began to think very little of her.

So, to restate, the writing style is good, Will is likable, and Bet is, too, for the most part, but content got pretty tiring, and I hope not all of her books are like that.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Review: London Calling - Edward Bloor

London Calling by Edward Bloor
Genre: Middle Grade, time travel, supernatural
Published on February 12, 2008
Published by Ember
Pages: 304
Read From: 3.30.12 - 3.30.12

Martin Conway comes from a family filled with heroes and disgraces. His grandfather was a statesman who worked at the US Embassy in London during WWII. His father is an alcoholic who left his family. His sister is an overachieving Ivy League graduate. And Martin? Martin is stuck in between - floundering. 
But during the summer after 7th grade, Martin meets a boy who will change his life forever. Jimmy Harker appears one night with a deceptively simple question: Will you help? 
Where did this boy come from, with his strange accent and urgent request? Is he a dream? It's the most vivid dream Martin's ever had. And he meets Jimmy again and again - but how can his dreams be set in London during the Blitz? How can he wake up with a head full of people and facts and events that he certainly didn't know when he went to sleep - but which turn out to be verifiably real? 
The people and the scenes Martin witnesses have a profound effect on him. They become almost more real to him than his waking companions. And he begins to believe that maybe he can help Jimmy. Or maybe that he must help Jimmy, precisely because all logic and reason argue against it.


At first, I thought that this might be a thrilling ghost story. I mean, it involves the Blitz, a dead London boy asking for help through an old radio, and one of the most fascinating times in history - WWII. There are a lot of directions this story could have taken - and all of them interesting. And I am extremely sorry to say that the direction it settled on is anything but exciting, intriguing, or mysterious. A perfectly good era wasted. There is nothing sinister or even urgent about Jimmy's ghostly plea to Martin. There's no terrifying accident that happened centuries ago that has caused Jimmy to contact Martin, so that Martin can help him. Jimmy just needs Martin to pass on a "it's not your fault" message to a family member, who feels like he's responsible for Jimmy's death, even though he wasn't.

In short, this is an inspirational ghost story. Martin's father has drinking problems, his family is fraying at the edges, he's having difficulties at his school, he's doubting his faith in God (oddly enough, though, this book ends up having a pretty positive Christian message), and people think he's going kind of crazy. Oh, yeah, and there's rather pointless scenes where Martin talks with his girl-obsessed friends. Things do end happily, but it's all inspirational and therefore not all that interesting.

So, if you're looking for a ghost story, this isn't the best pick.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Review: The Pirate Captain's Daughter - Eve Bunting

The Pirate Captain's Daughter by Eve Bunting
Series: Pirate Captain's Daughter #1
Genre: YA, historical fiction, romance
Published on February 14, 2011
Published by Sleeping Bear Press
Pages: 208
Read From: 3.29.12 - 3.29.12

At age fifteen, Catherine's life is about to change. Her mother has just died and Catherine can't stand the thought of being sent to live with her aunt in Boston. She longs for a life of adventure. 
Ever since Catherine discovered her father's secret life as captain of the pirate ship Reprisal, her only thoughts are to join him on the high seas. Catherine imagines a life of sailing the blue waters of the Caribbean, the wind whipping at her back. She's heard tales of bloodshed and brutality but her father's ship would never be like that. 
Catherine convinces her father to let her join him, disguised as a boy. But once the Reprisal sets said, she finds life aboard a pirate ship is not for the faint of heart. If her secret is uncovered, punishment will be swift and brutal. 
But then there is William - William of the golden hair and eyes as blue as the sea. Catherine finds that love can come secretly and unannounced even in spite of the greatest danger.


I ought to know better than to read "pirate stories." As far as "pirate stories" go, this is definitely not the worst. Catherine has a view of pirates that is definitely not historically accurate in the fact that people from an era, where pirates were a very real threat, did not imagine them as fun-loving Disney pirates; a breed of people who had special "pirate talk." (For the record, "shiver my timbers" actually means something, and was not an exclamation employed solely by pirates, and pirates did not talk in a special piratey way). But the Author does actually make it clear that the life of piracy was anything but fanciful, free, or even fun. For the most part, she portrays her pirates as bloodthirsty criminals, poor sailors, and all around filthy people.

The romance aspect of this story was annoying and very sudden. Almost as sudden as the romantic attachment in Unclaimed Heart. Catherine sees the cabin boy, goes all mooney-eyed, and when he finds out that she's a girl, he goes all mooney-eyed, and all of a sudden they want to be with each other forever, and she can't stop dreaming about his eyes, his tan muscles (though it's actually skin that tans, not muscles), his pretty hair, blah, blah, blah. I wasn't surprised when this happened, but I did hold out hopes that it wouldn't be mushy and nauseating as it turned out to be. I liked William well enough, but not when there were mushy-mushies.

Content-wise, when the rest of the crew discovers that Catherine is a girl, there is little surprise that they want to take advantage of her, and one of the crew members goes so far as to feel her up. But nothing comes of it, and it's more talk than actual occurrence.

I don't really think that the story needs a sequel - the Author could have very well fit everything into one book, but I admit that I am a little bit curious to see what happens next.

Others in This Series:
1)The Pirate Captain's Daughter
2)Voyage of the Sea Wolf

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Review: The Princess Curse - Merrie Haskell

The Princess Curse by Merrie Haskell
Genre: Middle Grade, fairy tale retelling
Published on September 6, 2011
Published by HarperCollins
Pages: 328
Read From: 3.25.12 - 3.26.12

Twelve princesses suffer from a puzzling - a downright silly - curse. Ridiculous though the curse may be, whoever breaks it will win a handsome reward. 
Sharp-witted Reveka, an herbalist's apprentice, has little use for princesses, with their snooty attitudes and impractical clothing. She does, however, have use for the reward money, which could buy her a position as a master herbalist. 
But curses don't like to be broken, and Reveka's efforts lead her to deeper mysteries. As she struggles to understand the curse, she meets a shadowy stranger (as charming as he is unsettling) and discovers a blighted land in desperate need of healing. Soon the irreverent apprentice is faced with a daunting choice - will she break the curse at the peril of her own soul?


In many ways, this particular retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses was very different from other ones that I have read. And in many ways, it was not as good as some others. This is the first one I have read where a young girl takes on the challenge, so that she might have money to build herself a life free of masters. And I liked it. Reveka is courageous, intelligent, and ideal for breaking the curse. Even though the princesses, save one, treat her horribly, she does her best to free them of their imprisonment. For once, the story focused more on the rescuer than on the princesses themselves.

But, compared to King Under Stone from Princess of the Midnight Ball or especially Keeper from Entwined, Lord Dragos was not at all terrifying. He lacked the cruelty, the coldness, the intelligence, and the intimidation that the other "sorcerers" have. Yes, he is a giant dragon-man with red skin and horns, but he lacked any sort of malice, or even indifference to human life. I found that I liked Lord Dragos, and not as a villain, but simply as a character. Even though he claimed to kill those people he caught following the princesses, I simply could not see him doing that.

As the story progressed, I saw maybe why the Author did not make Lord Dragos so evil, as the story went from a retelling of The Twelve Dancing Princesses to a retelling of Beauty and the Beast. It is hard to sympathize for this proverbial Beast if he is cruel and evil. But I did get the impression that the Reader's initial reaction to Lord Dragos was to be afraid of him, to find him intimidating, and I simply did not. I was, in fact, so un-intimidated that I subconsciously thought that Reveka was overreacting. Which, of course, she really isn't because she strikes a bargain with someone she things is evil, but it's a bit of a problem if a Reader's initial reaction is not to sympathize with the heroine.

Even so, The Princess Curse was very enjoyable and unique. It blends together two very popular fairy tales, ends with the promise of an exciting sequel, and has some rather surprising twists that I was not entirely expecting. Once you get over the fact that Lord Dragos is not some evil sorcerer, it's easy to accept that he is, in fact, a character to be pitied, and the Reader will come to like him a lot. I look forward to seeing what happens next for him and Reveka.

Another Year, Another Birthday, Another Gray Hair

Yes, yesterday was my 20th birthday, and I am still trying to decide what my opinion of it was. See, my birthday also happened to coincide with my very first microbiology test - yay! - and while I think I probably did fine, I do not, as of right now, know for certain how well I truly did. I am unhappy to confess that I did a lot of guesswork on the last half of it. Microbiology is fascinating, but when it comes to bacteria genetics and metabolism, my brain gets a little muzzy.

After that torturous exam, I had several hours free, in which I had the assistance of some friends in forgetting about my stomach, which was tied up in a thousand knots. But as soon as my friends had gone their respective ways, I had to remember that I had a two-hour lab to prepare for. A lab which my instructor had described as The Lab from Hell. Oh dear, I thought. This is going to be just lovely! Actually, it wasn't that bad. My team got a rhythm down and we were done in an hour.

At last, I could turn my attention to my birthday. And it was a good celebration; had a quiet family dinner of curry chicken in peanut sauce, jasmine rice, salad, and a type of African soda bread. There was cake, naturally, with wonderful homemade vanilla icing, and lemonade. And prezzies! :) I actually have three more presents I still have to order, and they are The Serpent's Shadow by Rick Riordan, Ghost Knight by Cornelia Funke, and The Invaders by John Flanagan. They don't come out until May 1st, so I am still waiting on those.

Even so, I had some things to unwrap: The Unseen Guest by Maryrose Wood - the 3rd book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place series, - Renegade Magic by Stephanie Burgis, a pretty white tanktop with cherries all over it, and two bone china teacups (made in England). One has blackberries on it, and another some pretty pink flowers. My latest hobby is to collect different teacups (and a matching saucer, of course), and I will eventually put them on top of my bookshelves in my library.

All in all, it was a quiet birthday, but I still enjoyed it a lot. After such a stressful day, a quiet birthday was exactly what I needed. Cheers, everyone!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Review: Dragon Flight - Jessica Day George

Dragon Flight
by Jessica Day George
Middle Grade
Read From: Mar. 24, 2012 - Mar. 26, 2012

At first glance, a Reader might think that Dragon Flight is going to have the same storyline as Dragon Slippers, just slightly different. And while that may seem fine, because Dragon Slippers was a wonderful story, one always hopes for a new and even better story with a sequel. Well, Jessica Day George does not disappoint. There are plenty of surprising new twists in this one that really spice things up and create a brand new and exciting second adventure. Creel is, as always, at her wittiest and bravest, and even though she is struggling with her feeling for Prince Luka, it doesn't get in the way of the adventure. All of our favorite dragon characters are back, too, of course, and just as fun and wonderful as we remember them. The only character that seemed to slip a bit was Luka. I still loved him, but it almost felt that he slipped into the background; his role was a little less prominent, which I was sad about. But the new characters and the continued difficulty of humans trusting dragons makes up for this plenty. I do hope, though, that Luka is once more front and center in Dragon Spear.

Like Dragon Slippers, this volume ends on a happy-sad note, so be prepared to cry a little, and also be prepared to have the urge to shout and hate a couple of characters, because trust me - you will. I'm glad I wasn't in a public area when I was reading those particular passages; I might have frightened a few people with how openly angry I was at those characters. Oh, they made me mad! Which is another reason why I loved this book so much. If there is a despicable character, and you find yourself loathing that person and want to tear his/her eyes out, then the Author has done his/her job.

Thumbs up for Dragon Flight. I look forward to the next one!

Others in This Trilogy:
1)Dragon Slippers
2)Dragon Flight
3)Dragon Spear

Friday, April 13, 2012

Review: The Gypsy Crown - Kate Forsyth

The Gypsy Crown by Kate Forsyth
Genre: YA, historical fantasy
Published on July 15, 2008
Published by Hyperion
Pages: 400
Read From: 3.16.12 - 3.24.12

Emilia Finch and her cousin Luka are Rom - Gypsies. For them, that means they live a traditional life, rich with story, music, dance, and magic. To the repressive Puritan government, however, the Gypsies are thieving, fortune-telling vagrants. 

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Review: Legend - Marie Lu

Legend by Marie Lu
Series: Legend #1
Genre: YA, dystopian, action, futuristic
Published on November 29, 2011
Published by Putnam
Pages: 305
Read From: 3.23.12 - 3.24.12

Once known as the western coast of the United States, the Republic is now a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors, the Colonies. 
Born into an elite family in one of the Republic's wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a military prodigy. Obedient, passionate, and committed to her country, she is being groomed for success in the Republic's highest circles. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Review: The Apothecary - Maile Meloy

The Apothecary by Maile Meloy
Series: The Apothecary #1
Genre: Middle Grade, historical fiction, action
Published on October 4, 2011
Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons
Pages: 362
Read From: 3.22.12 - 3.23.12

It's 1952 and the Scott family has moved unexpectedly from Los Angeles to London. Janie Scott feels uncertain in her strange new school until she meets Benjamin Burrows, the local apothecary's curiously defiant son, who dreams of becoming a spy. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Author Interview: Kevin McGill

On March 31st, the first book in the Nikolas and Company series was released: The Merman and the Moon Forgotten. After reading it, I was thrilled to have its author, Kevin McGill, agree to a Q&A session with me! But before I delve into that, let me first announce that on April 14th, The Merman and the Moon Forgotten is going to be launched into space! Click here for more details. And now, without further ado, here is the interview: