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: 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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Review: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) – Iain Reading


Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1) – Iain Reading

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency, #1)

Title: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #1)

Author: Iain Reading

Release Date: December 3, 2012

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 262

Source: Author

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is the thrilling first installment in a new series of adventure mystery stories that are one part travel, one part history and five parts adventure. This first book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series introduces Kitty Hawk, an intrepid teenage pilot with her own De Havilland Beaver seaplane and a nose for mystery and intrigue. A cross between Amelia Earhart, Nancy Drew and Pippi Longstocking, Kitty is a quirky young heroine with boundless curiosity and a knack for getting herself into all kinds of precarious situations.

After leaving her home in the western Canadian fishing village of Tofino to spend the summer in Alaska studying humpback whales Kitty finds herself caught up in an unforgettable adventure involving stolen gold, devious criminals, ghostly shipwrecks, and bone-chilling curses. Kitty’s adventure begins with the lingering mystery of a sunken ship called the Clara Nevada and as the plot continues to unfold this spirited story will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they are swept along through the history of the Klondike Gold Rush to a suspenseful final climatic chase across the rugged terrain of Canada’s Yukon, the harsh land made famous in the stories and poems of such writers as Jack London, Robert Service and Pierre Berton. It is a riveting tale that brings to glorious life the landscape and history of Alaska’s inside passage and Canada’s Yukon, as Kitty is caught up in an epic mystery set against the backdrop of the scenery of the Klondike Gold Rush.

Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold is a perfect book to fire the imagination of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history this book will inspire anyone to learn and experience more for themselves as Kitty prepares for her next adventure – flying around the world!

3 out of 5 stars


Challenges Completed:

2017 Popsugar Reading Challenge

  • A book with a subtitle
  • A book with career advice
  • A book with pictures

Huge thank you to Iain for sending me his book to read! Like I always say, being able to connect with authors is my favorite part about blogging.

Kitty Hawk is just a normal teenage girl, except she loves flying her plane instead of driving a car. She loves being able to take adventures and travel where she wants, so she decides to follow another passion of hers and learn more about her favorite animal: the humpback whale. She decides to fly to Alaska to stay with her best friend’s family and research whales in the ocean and in inlets while flying her plane. Her adventurous summer of whale watching turns into a crazy adventure with gold smugglers after she finds herself in a sticky situation with some brothers and a cooler full of gold.

Starting off, this book was pretty slow for me. I didn’t really understand why she was going to watch whales and the title was about gold, so right away my interest wasn’t peaked. I would have enjoyed this book much more if she would have gotten involved with the Yukon Gold earlier in the story. It took half the book to even be introduced to the characters she would soon become friends with. After she had met the guys and had started the real adventure, I thoroughly enjoyed it! The second half of this book held my attention, and I’m excited to read the next book of this series.

Kitty was a cool main character to read about, and I liked the relationships she had with the brothers. I wanted her and Charlie to be a thing, so I can hope in the books to come. It’s my prediction that Charlie will insist upon going around the world with her, but all I can do is hope ;). Although it took me quite a long time to read this book, I am excited to read the series. I love adventure books, and don’t get a lot of them in my everyday reading life!

Thank you Iain Reading!

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Review: Finding Lizzie – Karma Kingsley


Finding Lizzie – Karma Kingsley

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Title: Finding Lizzie

Author: Karma Kingsley

Release Date: December 5, 2016

Publisher: NineStar Press

Format: eBook

Page Number: 213

Source: Author

Lizzie doesn’t know what she wants from life, but she’s sure it’s not the attention of her suffocating boyfriend, RJ. A chance encounter with a group of women on the day of the local Pride parade leads her to meet the wild, free-spirited Kerra. Lizzie begins to realise she’s crazy about Kerra, but how can she come out in a small town where prejudice is rife and even her own mother thinks being a lesbian is wrong? Can Lizzie find herself without losing everything else in the process?

3 out of 5 stars


Huge thank you to Karma Kingsley for sending me a copy of this book to read!

This story follows a girl named Elizabeth who finds herself breaking up with her boyfriend and meeting a mysterious girl named Kerra. Kerra is everything Elizabeth has always wanted, but never knew she wanted; she’s kind, powerful, and a woman. Elizabeth, or Lizzie, is battling with her sexuality at the beginning of the novel, and her mother and ex boyfriend don’t want to accept her for who she is. Kerra helps her find herself and who she wants to be through becoming her girlfriend and her family accepting her. This story is a self exploration story with a confused young adult and many different forms of character development.

“My point, Lizzie, is that loving someone changes who we are. It makes us capable of everything we didn’t think we were capable of. And I like to think that it makes us into who we are supposed to be. It gives us a reason to be better.”

This was my favorite quote of this whole book. I think that it rings so true, and it was beautifully written.

Overall I enjoyed this book, but it wasn’t my favorite. Lizzie was too emotional for me to get attached to her; I get that she was going through an emotional time in her life, but I didn’t really understand why she cried so much. Maybe I’m just heartless because I don’t cry that much and that’s why I didn’t connect, but who knows. I really enjoyed Kerra as a character, but she was so reckless. She got into fights that could have been so easily avoided, and it was so frustrating to read about her getting hurt when she could have avoided it. Kerra was a body painter, so that was cool to see the arts represented. I’ve always wanted to try body painting or get painted myself, so I liked it. I am still pissed off about Lizzie’s mom. She didn’t accept who she was just because she was a Christian woman. I have this conversation with people a lot. Christians are supposed to be accepting of everyone, and I don’t think that sexuality is any exception. Anyway…

There was a kind of explicit sex scene between Lizzie and Kerra. I wasn’t really expecting it, so it was surprising. I’m not opposed to intimate scenes in books, but it just felt rushed. They had basically just met, and I don’t know. Their relationship moved very quickly.

I think that this book depicted being scared of change and overcoming that fear very well. I think that there was a lot of character development throughout the course of this book, but the ending didn’t make a lot of sense to me. It was a kind of random string of events, but it wasn’t bad.

I think you would really enjoy this book if you like reading romance. I haven’t really ever read a specifically romance book before, so that might be why I didn’t love it. Just personal preference. If you do like romance though, check this book out! It came out today. Find it on Amazon. Find it on Barnes and Noble.

Again, huge thanks to Karma Kingsley!

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Review: What We’ll Do For Blood (The Almost Human Series #1) – C.L. Mannarino


What We’ll Do For Blood (The Almost Human Series #1) – C.L. Mannarino

31449865

Title: What We’ll Do For Blood (The Almost Human Series #1)

Author: C.L. Mannarino

Release Date: October 21, 2015

Publisher: Mannarino Publishing

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 353

Source: Author

In the sleepy town of Northam, Massachusetts, not everyone is who they seem to be.

Take Scott Whitney, for example. A struggling high school senior, Scott wants nothing more than to have his much-divided, social-climbing family believe him when he comes to them with something important, no matter how often he disregards their rules.

One night, Scott catches his father’s beautiful colleague, Maria, drinking his father’s blood in their office parking lot. When his father has no recollection of this event, and gets weaker the more he spends time with Maria, Scott turns to his mother and sister for help. When he realizes that Maria has captured their hearts and minds, as well, Scott has to find a way to believe in himself, and become more than anyone thought he was capable of, in order to stop her.

But what will it cost him?

What We’ll Do for Blood is the first book in a series of young adult supernatural novels. If you like heart-racing action, highly-driven characters, and strong family ties, then you’ll love C.L. Mannarino’s visceral vision of a world where the supernatural is very much alive.

3 out of 5 stars


Huge thank you to C.L. Mannarino for sending me a copy of her book! I love getting to meet new people through having a blog!

Scott is part of a fairly average family living in Northam, Massachusetts. Scott is an average boy; he goes to school, he has a girlfriend, he gets bullied a little bit. Everything in his life changes when he goes to a meal with his father and his coworkers and he sees Maria for the first time. He doesn’t understand why, but he can’t stop staring at Maria, and he can’t stop thinking about her. He feels that there is something a little off about her, but he ignores it for awhile.

Maria and her boyfriend start coming over to Scott’s house to have dinner and hang out with his parents. His parents start acting very strange whenever Maria is around, and then they start acting like different people. Scott’s father ends up spending a lot of time with Maria at work and playing cards at her house, and Scott is very skeptical about their relationship. One night, Scott delivers food to his father and see’s something unthinkable happening. He knows his life has changed forever…

I read this book fairly quickly *as in three days* because it was a very addictive story, and you wanted to know what was going to happen next. I, however, do not enjoy vampire stories very much. I’m perfectly fine with a vampire being in a story and not having the main theme, but I just don’t like reading stories only dealing with vampires. So, I’m assuming from the synopsis and the beginning of this review you’ve realized that Maria is the vampire. She’s a very very typical vampire; gorgeous and mysterious. I don’t love super mysterious characters because it feels like you don’t really get to know them that much, so I didn’t really like her. I understand you weren’t supposed to like her because she’s the “bad guy,” but she just seemed fairly blah.

Scott was a good character to have as a protagonist. He was different than most teenage boys; he was a little overweight but he had a girlfriend, he got bullied a little bit by a certain boy in his class. He wasn’t a typical strong character, so it was nice to read from his perspective.

I don’t know how I feel about the ending. I think the way you become a vampire is super self explanatory, so idk what was going through everyone’s minds near the end, but whatever. It’s not how I would have ended the book, but it leaves room for the next story to begin.

I feel like if you like reading books about vampires you would have enjoyed this book, so try it out if you like reading about those who drink blood from human beings.

Again, thank you to C.L. Mannarino for sending me a copy of her book!

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Review: November Rain (Bad Bloods #1) – Shannon A. Thompson


November Rain (Bad Bloods #1) – Shannon A. Thompson

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Title: November Rain (Bad Bloods #1)

Author: Shannon A. Thompson

Release Date: July 18, 2016

Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing

Format: eBook

Page Number: 230

Source: Author

Seventeen-year-old Serena isn’t human. She is a bad blood, and in the city of Vendona, bad bloods are executed. In the last moments before she faces imminent death, a prison guard aids her escape and sparks a revolt. Back on the streets determined to destroy her kind, Serena is spared by a fellow bad blood named Daniel. His past tragedies are as equally mysterious as her connection to them. Unbeknownst to the two, this connection is the key to winning the election for bad bloods’ rights to be seen as human again. But Serena is the only one who can secure Vendona’s vote. Now, Daniel must unite with her before all hope is lost and bad bloods are eradicated, even if it means exposing secrets worse than death itself. United or not, a city will fight, rain will fall, and all will be threatened by star-crossed love and political corruption.

3 out of 5 stars


Huge thank you to Shannon for sending me this ebook to read! I always love connecting with you :)

November Rain follows two points of view; Serena and Daniel. Both are parts of different flocks in Vendona. Serena is the first escapee of this scary sounding institute-esque testing facility, and she meets Daniel. Immediately she is scared of him because he’s willing to help her, but then she learns to not be scared.

This is the first installment of the Bad Bloods series and I’m excited to read the final installment! I love Thompson’s writing style; it flows nicely, and there is just the right amount of description. I do have to say, though, I was quite confused throughout this book. I had to reread several parts because they were somewhat unclear. I am assuming it will be easier to understand after finishing the second book, but I was a little confuzzled near the beginning. I usually get confused when there are a lot of different names in a short amount of time, so that is probably the reason. I love slow introductions of characters so I can get to know them, so I don’t know.

I don’t have a lot more to say about this because it was quite short. I enjoy paranormal, so I’m excited to learn more about everyone’s different bad blood powers!

I did enjoy this book, it was a quick read, and I’m SO SORRY IT TOOK SO LONG FOR ME TO READ IT! I have had this since June! I know, I’m awful.

Anyway, I would highly recommend checking something out from Shannon, she’s a beautiful writer! Her Timely Death Trilogy was my favorite!

THANK YOU SHANNON. YOU’RE AWESOME <3

Series:

November Snow (Bad Bloods #2)

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