Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday's Reviews

Another week is done! Only 1 month until 2013, can you believe it? I better get cracking on reading the rest of my books on my TBR (yeah, that's like over 100 and I'm never gonna get there! LOL).
So here's what I read and reviewed this week:


Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Secret AdmirerFancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Secret Admirer by Jane O'Connor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to thank Harper Collins Children's for sending me an ARC of this cute story to read. Receiving this book for free has in no way influenced my review.

I have to say that I don't read many children's books outside of what my kids and I read together so I wasn't sure what to expect with this book. I also wasn't sure what to be looking for as far as a review was concerned. I am lucky enough to have a child this age, although it's a boy so the challenges and though processes are a little different.

Blurb from Goodreads:
Love is in the air, and Nancy Clancy is sure to make the most of it!
Nancy Clancy and her best friend, Bree, have love on the brain-after all, they're learning about the human heart in science class! Nancy is determined to work out the mysteries of the heart. Doesn't a touch of romance make everything better? But when Nancy and Bree decide to take love into their own hands, it isn't quite as easy as they thought it would be. Will love conquer all?

Nancy certainly reminds me of a typical third grade girl: curious, funny, and sometimes a little annoying. Since I have a 4th grader, I can kind of understand how girls work at this age. I know at this age most little girls start to see boys as more than just friends. They start to like them and such. I can remember this happening when I was in 4th grade. So Nancy, and her friend Bree, are perfectly portrayed as little girls who are curious about love and wanting others to fall in love.

The adventure they go on is cute. They plan out how to have their baby sitter and guitar teacher fall in love. Their scheme is well thought out and builds just the right amount of curiosity in the reader to keep reading and find out what happens in the end. I like that the author did not actually have the teens "fall in love" in the end. It teaches kids that love exists but doesn't always happen when it's planned out. It also teaches children that interfering with others does not always come out the way they might plan.

I can definitely see this book appealing to young girls. The theme is something that would interest. The chapters are just short enough for a chapter starter book, as well. The author made sure to include many new words and definitions to help the reader expand their vocabulary. I also like the fact the author does not make the "fairytale" come true, it teaches a good lesson in how sometimes we have to work to have things happen and even then we might be somewhat disappointed in the outcome.

I enjoyed this read very much and I'm looking forward to reviewing other children's books in the future.


The Iron Knight (Iron Fey, #4)The Iron Knight by Julie Kagawa
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Let me start by saying that this is definitely my favorite book of this series. Why, you ask? Because it's told from Ash's POV. I love Ash. And I rarely see young adult books told from the male POV, so it's a nice change! It's great to watch a male character develop and change.

Blurb from Goodreads:
"My name--my True Name--is Ashallayn' darkmyr Tallyn. I am the last remaining son of Mab, Queen of the Unseelie Court. And I am dead to her. My fall began, as many stories do, with a girl..."To cold faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase--a half human, half fey slip of a girl--smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.
With the unwelcome company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end--a quest to find a way to honor his vow to stand by Meghan's side.
To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.

What can I say about Ashallyn' darkmyr Tallyn (aka Ash): tall and handsome, funny and kind, loyal to the core. He's definitely a fairy tale kind of guy. I loved him in the other books (I was always team Ash) but this book made me feel for him so much more. Kagawa took all those aspects we knew of Ash and she opened him wide up so we could take a deeper look inside. The character Puck so affectionately calls "Ice Boy" melts right before our eyes as he begins to experience life from a totally different point of view. The point of view of someone who will do anything and everything to get what they want and be where they want to be. he sacrifices so much, too. I loved how Kagawa got straight into his head, right to his emotions and made us feel exactly what he was feeling as he morphed and changed into someone who learns to face their past and accept mistakes they have made.
Puck (Robin Goodfellow) was his usual self in this book. He's funny and enchanting, a risk taker at his best. A loyal friend and confidant. I don't think I learned much more about Puck in this book than I already knew. He was still that joking, good natured fae continuing to show that he is an ever faithful friend to the end.
I loved the banter between Grim and the Wolf in this book. They really complimented each other well. And they certainly leant an air of mystery to this story.
And we are introduced to a character we never would have expected to be there. Although we did meet this character in the past, so it was more like a re-introduction.

The storyline really flowed well in this book. I actually found it hard to find a place to put it down once I picked it up and started reading it. I felt myself wanting to know what adventure the characters would run into next and how they would work their way out of the sticky situation that adventure was sure to show. I also love how Kagawa shows the process Ash goes through to find his soul. It's heart wrenching at times; I actually wanted to cry at several parts of this story. But these trials are necessary so Ash can find and understand what really lies within him.

The writing was great, as it has been with all of Kagawas other books. She has a knack for disclosing details that really put you right in the thick of it with the characters. Her descriptions are rich and detailed, I know this is hard to do, to build your world so well that your readers feel they are right there. But Kagawa seems to do it with ease. I really felt like I was in the Nevernever with the characters, like I was floating along the River of Dreams and that I had come to The End of the World with them.

Interestingly enough, I do think you could read this book without having to read the three books published before it. It is kind of it's own story, although the background of Ash's life with Meghan certainly leant to my understanding of his feelings and his struggle. I'm really glad I got to dive into Kagawa's world and experience what all the hype was about. It was truly an adventure that I am glad to have experienced.

I am looking forward to reading more from Kagawa in the future.

4 out of 5 stars.

That's it for this week. Slow week for me. Next Sunday will be much more full for sure!

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