Review: The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4) – Lemony Snicket


The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4) – Lemony Snicket

The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events, #4)

Title: The Miserable Mill (A Series of Unfortunate Events #4)

Author: Lemony Snicket

Release Date: April 15, 2000

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Format: ebook

Page Number: 208

Source: Overdrive

Dear Reader,

I hope, for your sake, that you have not chosen to read this book because you are in the mood for a pleasant experience. If this is the case, I advise you to put this book down instantaneously, because of all the books describing the unhappy lives of the Baudelaire orphans, THE MISERABLE MILL might be the unhappiest yet. Violet, Klaus and Sunny Baudelaire are sent to Paltryville to work in a lumbermill, and they find disaster and misfortune lurking behind every log.

The pages of this book, I’m sorry to inform you, contain such unpleasantries as a giant pincher machine, a bad casserole, a man with a cloud of smoke where his head should be, a hypnotist, a terrible accident resulting in injury, and coupons.

I have promised to write down the entire history of these three poor children, but you haven’t, so if you prefer stories that are more heartwarming, please feel free to make another selection.

With all due respect,

Lemony Snicket


3 out of 5 stars

This was the first book that I borrowed from Overdrive, and I highly recommend using that app if your library offers it! It’s so cool because you just borrow ebooks from the library as if it were a normal physical book. It’s quite cool. Anyway, the book.

The Miserable Mill is the fourth installment in the Series of Unfortunate Events books, and this series hasn’t been enthralling me. I have rated each of these books 3/5 stars, so this one was pretty average for me. I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it.

I always forget how incredibly short these books are. I finished half of this book yesterday, so it was a very quick read. I enjoy Klaus the most from the siblings. He’s the bookish one who usually defines words, but he was hypnotized for most of this book from the eye doctor.

These books are quite strange in their nature because they’re pretty morbid. They are funny at some points because there are jokes that are for the adults reading to the kids. I thought that there were some funny parts.

This book was about the Baudelaire kids having to work at a wood mill, and of course come across Count Olaf eventually. This was slower than the first three, and there wasn’t as much action, but I look forward to reading more of this series.

Series:

The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events #1)

The Reptile Room (A Series of Unfortunate Events #2)

The Wide Window (A Series of Unfortunate Events #3)

Review: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-5) – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman


Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-5) – Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman

Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy

Title: Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1-5)

Author: Cassandra Clare, Sarah Rees Brennan, Maureen Johnson, and Robin Wasserman

Release Date: November 15, 2016

Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 642

Source: TBR Pile

Simon Lewis has been a human and a vampire, and now he is becoming a Shadowhunter. But the events of City of Heavenly Fire left him stripped of his memories, and Simon isn’t sure who he is anymore. He knows he was friends with Clary, and that he convinced the total goddess Isabelle Lightwood to go out with him…but he doesn’t know how. And when Clary and Isabelle look at him, expecting him to be a man he doesn’t remember…Simon can’t take it.

So when the Shadowhunter Academy reopens, Simon throws himself into this new world of demon-hunting, determined to find himself again. His new self. Whomever this new Simon might be.

But the Academy is a Shadowhunter institution, which means it has some problems. Like the fact that non-Shadowhunter students have to live in the basement. And that differences—like being a former vampire—are greatly looked down upon. At least Simon is trained in weaponry—even if it’s only from hours of playing D&D.

Join Simon on his journey to become a Shadowhunter, and learn about the Academy’s illustrious history along the way, through guest lecturers such as Jace Herondale, Tessa Gray, and Magnus Bane. These ten short stories give an epilogue to the Mortal Instruments series and provide glimpses of what’s in store in the Dark Artifices.


Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1)

4 out of 5 stars

This was kind of hard for me to get into right away, because I didn’t remember what had happened in the previous books! It took me about halfway through this novella to actually remember that Simon had lost his memory because of the demon encounter in City of Heavenly Fire. It’s cute to see how he first reacts to the characters he knows and loves again, though. He’s so in love with Isabelle, but he doesn’t realize it yet. She comes to the Shadowhunter Academy in Idris to see him, and it’s so good. Wow. It’s been awhile since I’ve laughed/giggled while reading a book, but Cassandra Clare never fails to make it happen.

Simon is so… nerdy cool, and I forgot that because it’s been awhile since I’ve read about The Mortal Instruments characters. I can’t wait for him to become the “awesome Shadowhunter” he vowed to become, and I am so excited for him to gain his memory back. One of my favorite parts of this novella was when he was remembering what Isabelle’s eyes looked like up close. They are one of my favorite ships, so I’m all about the Sizzy feels. He loves her so much. He keeps remembering little things about her, and he tells her that he won’t be the Simon she fell in love with, and she leaves, but she won’t give up on him. She’ll wait for him, I know it. Simon is one of my favorite characters, so I can’t wait to read the rest of these novellas.

 

The Lost Herondale (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #2)

5 out of 5 stars

I knew that I was going to like this one just by reading the title. I’m a sucker for the Herondale family, so hearing more about distant relatives was very cool. So, if I’m not mistaken, Tobias Herondale was Will’s younger brother. So he must have been perfect because Will. I mean, come on. I’m starting to remember more about the series already, and am grasping some of the little connections. I really loved that Catarina told Simon about Tobias and his real story. I also really loved that Clary came to visit Simon at the Shadowhunter Academy in Idris. She misses him, and she loves him, and she just wants him to have the life that will be best for him even though it might mean she loses her best friend. It’s so heartbreakingly sad but happy at the same time. I have conflicting emotions regarding this novella series thus far. I really like George, Simon’s roommate. He seems really cool, and he also cares about Simon. He’s also Scottish, muscular, handsome, and likes reading. Can’t get better than that.

 

The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #3)

5 out of 5 stars

I love being in the Shadowhunter world again. It’s my favorite series, and it’s just making me so happy to be reading about my favorite characters again. This one has been my favorite so far because most of it was a story about Will, Tessa, Cecily, and Gabriel. I love my Shadowhunters from London, and love seeing them in their element. This story was cool because it was a short retelling of Jack the Ripper. Jack the Ripper, in this story, was just a demon attacking women rather than a man killing them. It was a very cool take on this “classic” story. I love seeing Will oh my gosh. Favorite book boyfriend of all time. I also loved that Jace got to talk to Tessa about being a Herondale; it was so precious how happy he was at the end. And now my suspicions that Isabelle will stick around for Simon have become true. He writes her a letter and it’s so cute because it’s so Simon. I love this novella series.

 

Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

4 out of 5 stars

This novella was about James Herondale, the son of Will and Tessa, through his experience while in The Shadowhunter Academy. Almost the whole novella was told as a flashback/story from Catarina Loss to Simon. Simon just wants to have his memories back, and he wants his friends back, but he has new friends at the Academy. It’s such a hard decision, but I know he’ll make the right one. I’m kind of surprised that this novella series isn’t about Simon more. It’s mostly just been flashbacks to previous Shadowhunters. It’s nice, but is not what I was expecting. I’m still really liking George, even though I know they couldn’t be parabatai because of certain circumstances. I hope that Simon and George are still friends after this whole series is over. Oh my gosh George could come up in Lord of Shadows. So exciting. Woah, realization. Nothing but Shadows…. Lord of Shadows…. hmm connections?

 

The Evil We Loved (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #5)

4 out of 5 stars

Again, I’m surprised that this is not completely about Simon. I guess the point of novellas is to learn new information about the characters you know and love, but I just want more of Simon’s story. This was about Robert Lightwood, Isabelle and Alec’s dad, and his teenage years when he joined The Circle with Valentine. It was interesting, but it was also sad. Robert is so judgemental of anyone different than him. He got rid of his parabatai because he told him that he loved him. That’s cold considering you’re best friends. I LOVED the ending of this one; Isabelle and Simon are so perfect together. I just want them to be together forever omg. I am really enjoying this book so far, and can’t wait to finish the rest of the novellas.

Series:

Welcome to the Shadowhunter Academy (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #1)

The Lost Herondale (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #2)

The Whitechapel Fiend (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #3)

Nothing but Shadows (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #4)

The Evil We Loved (Tales from the Shadowhunter Academy #5)

Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two (Harry Potter #8) – John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J. K. Rowling


Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two (Harry Potter #8) – John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child - Parts One and Two (Harry Potter, #8)

Title: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Parts One and Two (Harry Potter #8)

Author: John Tiffany, Jack Thorne, and J. K. Rowling

Release Date: July 31, 2016

Publisher: Little Brown Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 343

Source: Library

Based on an original new story by J.K. Rowling, Jack Thorne and John Tiffany, a new play by Jack Thorne, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The play will receive its world premiere in London’s West End on July 30, 2016.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband and father of three school-age children.

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

4 out of 5 stars


The final installment to the Harry Potter series, and I have to say, by the end I was pleasantly surprised.

I’ve heard a lot of mixed reviews on this book. Some love it and think that it was a great addition, and some thought it was pointless and full of plot holes. I didn’t love it as much as the first seven books, but I did enjoy it.

At the beginning I was confused as to why this was a thing because I felt like it was tainting my way of seeing Harry and the rest of the characters, but by the end I was thoroughly enjoying it. I don’t know if this was a very detrimental addition to the story, but the storyline was quite interesting.

Albus Potter and Scorpius Malfoy are best friends, and then Harry is an ass for two seconds and forbids them from being friends because he and Draco weren’t very friendly with each other. At the beginning I was kind of traumatized because they were making Harry to be really mean and it made me sad. He is part of the golden trio. He can’t be mad and not accepting of his son. Anyway, Albus and Scorpius decide to go and save Cedric Diggory because Albus overhears a conversation between Harry and Amos Diggory, Cedric’s father. It follows the two friends as they try and figure out how to save some blood from being shed, then getting out of a very sticky situation.

I don’t want to spoil anyone because this is the last book in the series and I know not everyone has read it, but I really loved the ending. It showed how selfless Harry is, and how much Ginny loves him. And how perfect Ron and Hermione are for each other. It also had some redeeming qualities for Draco, too.

I do have to say, I’m quite sad that this journey is over. This was one of the first series I had ever started, and it will always *ha* have a special place in my heart. I can’t wait to read the Harry Potter books to my kids and instill a love for reading in them. It’s okay, I’m only seventeen. It’ll be awhile ;)

Series:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (Harry Potter #1)

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Harry Potter #2)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Harry Potter #3)

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Harry Potter #4)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter #5)

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter #6)

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7)

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Review: A Mad, Wicked Folly – Sharon Biggs Waller


A Mad, Wicked Folly – Sharon Biggs Waller

A Mad, Wicked Folly

Title: A Mad, Wicked Folly

Author: Sharon Biggs Waller

Release Date: January 23, 2014

Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 431

Source: Library

Welcome to the world of the fabulously wealthy in London, 1909, where dresses and houses are overwhelmingly opulent, social class means everything, and women are taught to be nothing more than wives and mothers. Into this world comes seventeen-year-old Victoria Darling, who wants only to be an artist—a nearly impossible dream for a girl.
           
After Vicky poses nude for her illicit art class, she is expelled from her French finishing school. Shamed and scandalized, her parents try to marry her off to the wealthy Edmund Carrick-Humphrey. But Vicky has other things on her mind: her clandestine application to the Royal College of Art; her participation in the suffragette movement; and her growing attraction to a working-class boy who may be her muse—or may be the love of her life. As the world of debutante balls, corsets, and high society obligations closes in around her, Vicky is torn. Just how much is she willing to sacrifice to pursue her dreams?

4 out of 5 stars


I picked this book up on a whim while I was at the library, and I’m so glad I did! I’m not going to lie, the reason I first picked this book up was because of the cover. It’s beautiful, and simple, and classic looking. I love the yellow dress on the front, as well. Then I read the synopsis, as one does, and was immediately pulled in.

It was set in London in the 1900s. It’s about an artist. A seventeen year old girl poses nude for her art class, gets sent home, finds her muse, is betrothed to a man…

Oh gosh it was so fun to read.

After picking this up from the library I went to Goodreads to see some general reviews, just to get a feel as to what I was about to read, and was a little nervous.

One of the first reviews I skimmed was a girl freaking out because of the first few sentences of the book:

“I never set out to pose nude. I didn’t, honestly.”

And people were so angsty about this. I don’t understand what the issue is. It is supposed to be sarcastic sounding. I feel like sometimes people look into things like this too much. It was that she never thought she would, but she ended up posing. She didn’t regret it at all, and I think that that showed a strong character.

Near the beginning when I found out she was betrothed to this guy, I was really against the other love interest, Will. I was being somewhat judgey of Victoria because she knew she shouldn’t be drawing this other guy, but I couldn’t dislike him. Wow. William Fletcher was my favorite character in this story because he was so happy and so encouraging to Victoria. If it weren’t for him she probably would have given up on her dreams of being an artist. Her family didn’t believe in her, and made it impossible for her to create, so she turned to Will and I’m so glad she did.

Their relationship was so cute. There were so many parts of this story that my heart just felt so happy and full. All of you know the feeling I’m talking about. The one where you almost have to make a high pitched noise because your heart is so happy. Cause yeah, same. I think the reason I liked their relationship so much was because it reminded me of my relationship. My boyfriend is supportive of me just as Will was to Victoria, and it was just so cute.

This book took a turn that I didn’t think it would take, but I really enjoyed it. I was not expecting to get a heavy suffragist theme, but I really enjoyed it. The women were fighting for equal rights, and I really respected that. I couldn’t have been put in Victoria’s place where she had to be prim and proper her whole life just so then she could be respectable in her class. I would be a suffragist because, I too, believe in equal opportunities for men and women.

I really love historical fiction, and this book just reminded me of that. I really enjoyed reading this, and loved that Sharon Biggs Waller had some of the history in the back of the book. I love when authors actually research their writing to make sure it’s historically accurate.

Overall, I really liked this book. It was a relatively fast read, and it put me in a historical fiction mood again! Pick up this book if you want a cute romance and a strong female lead.

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Review: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) – J. K. Rowling


Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7) – J. K. Rowling

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)

Title: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter #7)

Author: J. K. Rowling

Release Date: July 21, 2007

Publisher: Scholastic Inc.

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 784

Source: TBR List

It’s no longer safe for Harry at Hogwarts, so he and his best friends, Ron and Hermione, are on the run. Professor Dumbledore has given them clues about what they need to do to defeat the dark wizard, Lord Voldemort, once and for all, but it’s up to them to figure out what these hints and suggestions really mean.

Their cross-country odyssey has them searching desperately for the answers, while evading capture or death at every turn. At the same time, their friendship, fortitude, and sense of right and wrong are tested in ways they never could have imagined.

The ultimate battle between good and evil that closes out this final chapter of the epic series takes place where Harry’s Wizarding life began: at Hogwarts. The satisfying conclusion offers shocking last-minute twists, incredible acts of courage, powerful new forms of magic, and the resolution of many mysteries.

Above all, this intense, cathartic book serves as a clear statement of the message at the heart of the Harry Potter series: that choice matters much more than destiny, and that love will always triumph over death.

5 out of 5 stars


I still can’t believe that it took me this long to finally read this final book. I really enjoyed it, just the same, though.

One thing. I think that the first 200 pages of this book were veryyyyy slow. It didn’t remind me of the fast pace of the first part of this series. I understand that it was probably because Harry didn’t know what to do, so Rowling wanted to capture that with her writing style, but it was a little hard to get through. Not much happened at the beginning, but it was great overall. The last half redeemed itself.

I don’t want to talk too much about this, as it is the 7th book, but the Battle of Hogwarts. Woah. It was so intricate and well thought out. Voldemort was ready to be the winner that he believed what Narcissa told him at the end.

SPOILERS

Continue reading

Review: November Snow (Bad Bloods #2) – Shannon A. Thompson


November Snow (Bad Bloods #2) – Shannon A. Thompson

November Snow (Bad Bloods, #2)

Title: November Snow (Bad Bloods #2)

Author: Shannon A. Thompson

Release Date: September 19, 2016

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Format: eBook

Page Number: 275

Source: Author

Fans of Red Queen and The Hunger Games Trilogy will love this new series by Shannon A. Thompson.
When Daniel and Serena unite, their accidental relationship becomes the catalyst for a twelve-year war to continue. Exposing the twisted past of a corrupt city, Daniel, Serena, and everyone they know will come together to fight. But Serena has another battle. After a political rumor threatens their lives, Serena must leave her family and join the political front against her will. To survive apart, Daniel has to separate his love from his hatred and join forces with his worst memory to secure Vendona’s war. But very few of them will survive to see the last day. Bad blood or human, a city will burn, snow will fall, and all will be united by catastrophic secrets and irrevocable tragedy.

3 out of 5 stars


Huge thank you to Shannon A. Thompson for sending me this book to read and review! I’m sorry it took so long to get this review up! I’m a lazy reader lately ;)

This is the second book in the Bad Bloods series, and we’re immediately pulled back into the world of future America, politics, and bad bloods. Serena and Daniel are separated throughout this novel because Serena is needed for the new presidency. Serena has one wish, and it has to be seen through in order for the two flocks to live in harmony. What she doesn’t know, is how much pain it will cause to the others.

I don’t want to say too much about this book, because it is so closely related to the first, and neither are very long. It shouldn’t take too long to read both! I really loved this world of Vendona. It’s future United States, and it was taking place during an election *kind of similarly to what has happened in the recent past with a few not-so-great candidates…* Anyway, one candidate will fight for the bad bloods, one will have them all killed. Serena goes to help to try and make sure that no more bad bloods will die. While she’s helping out, she learns crazy new information that helps both her and the rest of both of her flocks.

There were quite a few parts in this book that should have been elaborated on more. I was confused when Jane was talking about the directions being changed, and figured there would be more said about it, but then there wasn’t. I was a little disappointed with that.

I really enjoyed the vulnerability, friendships, and love that happen throughout this book. I love when the stereotype of men not being able to cry is broken. Anyone can cry; people are human. I really liked the vulnerable side you saw to some characters.

Overall, I enjoyed this duology. I still have to say that the Timely Death Trilogy has been my favorite of Shannon’s books I’ve read, though. Please check out something from her, she’s an amazing author!

Thanks again, Shannon, for allowing me to read this book and for being one of the first authors to contact me!

Series:

November Rain (Bad Bloods #1)

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Review: The Almost King (Tellus #2) – Lucy Saxon


The Almost King (Tellus #2) – Lucy Saxon

The Almost King (Tellus, #2)

Title: The Almost King (Tellus #2)

Author: Lucy Saxon

Release Date: June 4, 2014

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 410

Source: Friend

Aleks Vasin is the youngest of four brothers, each with his path mapped out. But Aleks doesn’t want to work in his father’s shop and live with his family in a village in the westernmost corner of Siberene. And when he hears his parents fretting about money, he decides to save them the cost of his keep and leave.

First he heads south – though everyone tells him not to – to Rudavin, headquarters of the kingsguard, and he signs up for the army, little knowing what brutality it entails. After only a few weeks, Aleks realizes that this garrison is full of liars and thieves; he’s signed away four years of his life to a commander who steals his money and a captain who’s already hurt Aleks’s beloved horse. This is not a noble destiny.

After a brutal beating, Aleks escapes, hoping to find safety and a new life somewhere in the north. And there, this deserter finds love, adventure, and a skyship in which he might just prove himself a hero after all – if he can evade the soldiers who seek to capture him.

Prepare for another sweeping adventure in this second book in a unique six-book series. Each book is set in a different land within the Tellus world, with repeating characters and related, nonlinear storylines that combine to create a one-of-a-kind, addictive reading experience.

5 out of 5 stars


OH MY GOODNESS. I loved this book so much. On Goodreads it says I’ve been reading it for a while, but I read this in one day. 410 pages in one single day. Seriously this series is becoming one of my favorite series!

This is the second installment in the six book series (SIX BOOKS!). In this book you follow Aleks Vasin down to the south of his country where he tries to find what he wants to do. He enlists in the army because no one in his family has, and having four successful older brothers, he needs to take a different path. He quickly finds out that this military camp in the south of the country is brutal and violent. There has never been a chance that he’ll get to fight the way he wants to coming from this camp. He wants to travel. He has wanderlust that he needs to fulfill.

“His father had never had the wanderlust he seemed to have developed. He’d always been happy exactly where he was, doing the same job, keeping his quiet life in their minuscule village. He’d never wondered what the cliffs in the East looked like, or whether the palaces were really as breathtaking as they were in the newscasts, of how it would feel to fly through a storm. Not like Aleks had.” (p 28)

I know that is a long quote, but I couldn’t help but share it. By page 28 of this book I had already related to Aleks on so many levels. I have wanderlust. I want to travel. I want to see the world, just like he does.

After he finds out that the military camp he’s at will get him nowhere, he leaves before he’s killed. He searches for his enlistment papers to destroy them, and finds something else. A journal. Mysterious knowledge for an awful event that takes place in book one. *the connections make my heart so happy* He takes his horse and runs away as fast as he can. He comes across good luck by finding people willing to house him for free. He gets to his “final” destination in the north where he is looking for a job in order to support himself, and stumbles across a run-down shop with gadgets created by the owner, Luka. He finds himself working at Luka’s shop every single day, and then a huge opportunity comes up…

Seriously this book was so amazing. I loved the romance in this story. It wasn’t rushed, which I find YA relationships often are, so I appreciated that. There was adventure. There was action. There was an element of mystery. This book had something for everyone. The friendships in this book just warmed my whole person up with happiness. SO GOOD.

This being the second book in this series, I don’t want to spoil anyone, but please just read these books. They’re not very popular, and I’ve never seen anyone review or talk about these books. The third book comes out in March, and I can’t wait to read it. Just give it a try!

Series:

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