Friday, June 26, 2015

The Glass Swallow by Julia Golding

Hello Readers! This is a guest post written by my friend Kion Vi-legas. I hope you enjoy!

The Glass Swallow
Author: Julia Golding
Lexile: 760
Length: 304 Pages
Genre: Fantasy Fiction
Awards: None
Rating: 4/5 Stars

Rain has lived with her father, Torrent, all her life. Rain loves to design stained glass windows, and her skill at doing so has brought her family good fortune. However, nobody knows that she is the one making the designs. This is because females are strictly forbidden to participate in the glassmaking industry. When ambassadors from a foreign land come to the city looking for glass makers, they are directed to her father's forge. Rain decides to accompany the ambassadors under cover as being her cousin's fiancee. Something goes terribly wrong on the expedition, and Rain finds herself without allies in an alien world. She is captured by bandits, then freed. However through a difference in culture, her savior abandons her at the city gates, telling her to take a bath. She tries to survive in a hostile city, even as the city destroys itself. As events escalate, Rain must do what she thinks is right, even if those she cares about disagree, to save the land she has come to love. Also, falconry. 
Pretentious intro aside, this book was very entertaining. The characters are interesting. The world is well built and believable. It’s a quick read, only 304 pages, but worth it. I would recommend it to anybody who wants to read fantasy without much real combat, instead filled with politics and such. The Glass Swallow is a unique take on fantasy, an easy and enjoyable read. It’s a great book, read it.
So go to your local library, find this book, check it out and read it, you will not regret it. P.S. I am a very picky person so this is a very positive review for me.

Friday, June 19, 2015

The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley

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The War That Saved My Life
Author: Kimberly Brubaker Bradley
Lexile: 580
Length: 316 Pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
Awards: None
Reading Ram Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5 Stars

               Ada has never left her tiny apartment in London. Her mother is too embarrassed by her crippled foot to ever let her outside. Ever. Ada is forced to sit inside all day and do nothing. Every day. 7 days a week. Then one day Ada's brother Jamie is to be sent away to a village, so he is safe in case the Germans bomb London. It is the beginning of WW2, and lots of people are doing this sort of thing. But Ada is not to be sent anywhere. She would just stay with her mother, and leave her brother. But Ada isn't going to let that happen. She sneaks out with Jamie, and leaves London. Finally she is free from her mother. Free to do whatever she wants. But she is faced with another challenge, Susan Smith, the woman who is forced to take her and Jamie in. Ada's and Jamie's bond with Susan grows, and when the time comes, would they ever go home?
                I really loved this book! It is such an interesting take on WW2. Most people hated it. In all the other books I've read about WW2, they always think it is so horrible. It definitely was, but this one was just so different. Ada definitely hated the war, but she hated her mother much, much more. So she was grateful for it, almost. Which is why the title is what it is. I gave it 4.8 stars because it was such a low lexile. Absolutely no vocabulary in it at all! Please author, maybe next time just a little bit more challenging words? But it got pulled up a lot because it was still such an amazing story. There are no inappropriate parts in it at all. You should really try it out in your free time!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman

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Author: Rachel Hartman
Lexile: 760
Length: 465 Pages
Genre: Fantasy
Awards: William C. Morris Debut Award Winner
Reading Ram Star Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

             Dragons. That one word creates fear in the peoples of  Gorredd's hearts. Long before, a peace treaty was made between the most important general of the dragons and the current queen. Over that time,none of the hostility people felt toward dragons eased, if anything, it became more solid and bitter. Dragons could take a human form and would attend certain ceremonies and councils with the humans, which only made the public even more angry. Right before the 40 anniversary of the treaty, a member of the royal family, next heir to the throne, was murdered. What outraged the public is that he was decapitated. Exactly how a dragon would kill a person. Seraphina Dombegh fears both sided warily. She is the new music mistress at court, with tremendous musical talent. But her secret behind it could end the peace. Seraphina teams up with the head of security for the royal family, Prince Lucian Kiggs. Together they must unravel the mystery behind Prince Rufus' death. Can Seraphina really reunite 2 drastically different worlds?
                     I did enjoy this book a lot, it really captured what I think about dragons well. It was a little confusing, like how she went from peasant to court life, but it still worked out okay. The reason I gave it 4 out of 5 stars however, was that it just wasn't very different from other fantasy books. It was a classic Hero's journey, so I could basically tell what was going to happen. Some parts did surprise me a little, but it's like that in every good book. That is just me, it will probably not be like that for you, so don't let that stop you from reading it. Overall, it was a good book, very interesting. And dragons are actually a hard topic to write about, making them different from the classic fairytale dragon, so the author did a great job with that. You should really try this book out in your free time if you are a fan of fantasy!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Author visit-- Chris Colfer: The Land of Stories:Beyond the Kingdom

Chris Colfer: The Land of Stories: Beyond the Kingdom
Saturday, July 11, 7pm
St. Louis County Library, 1640 S. Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO  63131

Author and Golden Globe-Winning actor Chris Colfer presents the third installment in his #1 New York Times bestselling series for young readers. Colfer’s The Land of Stories series brings readers on a thrilling quest filled with magic spells, laugh-out-loud humor, and page-turning adventure. In Beyond the Kingdom shocking secrets are revealed about Conner and Alex’s past, and they once again find themselves fighting to save the fairy-tale world – this time from a villain neither could have ever imagined.

Tickets available at beginning June 10.

Lemonade Social with YA Authors at Left Bank Books in St. Louis, MO

Hey Readers! Here's a chance to meet some YA authors!

Lemonade Social with YA Authors
Friday, June 12, 5 pm
Left Bank Books, 399 N. Euclid, St. Louis, MO 63108

Come meet Young Adult authors Heather Brewer (The Cemetery Boys), Sarah Bromley (A Murder of Magpies), Cole Gibsen (Life Unaware), Shawntelle Madison (Coveted), and Paula Stokes (Liars, Inc.). They'll be on hand to pour lemonade and mocktails, sign books, and talk about their favorite new reads with you!

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