Quote of the day

Quote of the Day #2

“A problem ignored is a problem for sure.”

This was so true for me especially today. I’ve been ignoring so many things for a while now, trying not to do them but sooner or later they catch up to you and then you have to do them all at once instead of taking your sweet time.

Post by Anya Blackhart-Clark

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review · Uncategorized

Review: The Blue Moon Narthex by N.J. Donner

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The balance of good and evil has been left in the hands of a thirteen year old…
Since the beginning of time, Karmanic matter worked silently and unassisted keeping good and evil in balance, until growing greed in the world meant Karma couldn’t keep up. As World War I rages, the secret Karmanic Sovereign Legion works behind the scenes to help Karma.
A suspicious train accident and an odd stone-shaped object that belonged to his father thrust Cole McCarthy and two schoolmates into the middle of this battle to keep dark forces in check.
With only the powerful stone, a letter, and grandfatherly Norm to guide them, the trio must unravel clues and tap into unknown strengths to discover who Cole’s father really was and keep themselves and those they love safe.

SPOILER FREE (mostly, because I’m not quite sure what counts as a spoiler for some people, so I won’t say it is COMPLETELY spoiler free)

We’ve got this book from an author in exchange for an honest review and that is exactly what I am going to write.

This is the first book in the Karmanic Sovereign Legion series.

First of all, I feel obligated to mention how beautiful the cover of this book is. It’s by far one of my favorite covers.

I don’t think I have read a book about a secret society before (maybe I have and I can’t remember now), so it was really cool to read one now. I had no idea what to expect, how the society is/was formed, but it was pretty awesome. It made me want to be a part of one.

Story in general was pretty good. Book was fast paced even though it wasn’t exactly an easy read (I will get into that later).

I like the fact that the book had big letters, it was a nice change considering that the book I’ve read before TBMN was Kitty Hawk and that one had extra small letters.

Usually I like that things are proceeding quickly, so the story doesn’t get dull, but in this case, I believe that things were proceeding a bit too quickly. I think some scenes should be longer and more elaborate, instead those scenes felt rushed. For example, Cole’s fight with his friends.

Some of descriptions of seemingly important things were a bit confusing. This made for a harder read. For example, it took me too long to understand Sliders Games to properly enjoy it. Although, I do believe that this book needs to be read twice to understand everything. I think there were more hidden things to discover that can’t be seen at first read. I will let you know when I read it again.

I also think that most of the scenes lacked emotion. Because of that I also didn’t feel anything while reading through it – not grief, not fear, not happiness, … nothing.

I only partly managed to relate to characters. They weren’t written as good as they could have been and lacked depth, which made them hard to relate. Also, that could have been because of the rushed scenes.

Ending was nicely building up, but somehow the confrontation was a bit disappointing. I did, however, like the plot twist thanks to Sophie.

This book reminds me of Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman. I can’t help but think that Karmanic Matter is similar to Dust. Golden Compass was hard for me to understand in first read, that’s why I believe that TBMN needs to be read again, which I will most definitely do in the near future or shortly before the release of the second book, because I can’t wait for it to come out.

Like I said, story in general was good and I would recommend it to you to pick it up.

THE BLUE MOON NARTHEX COMES OUT ON FEBRUARY 7TH! ORDER IT HERE.

 

My Rating: 3.5/5

Post written by Anya Blackhart-Clark

review · Uncategorized

Review: Kitty Hawk and the Curse of the Yukon Gold by Iain Reading

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SPOILER FREE (mostly, because I’m not quite sure what counts as a spoiler for some people, so I won’t say it is COMPLETELY spoiler free)

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!

We’ve got this book from an author in exchange for an honest review and that is exactly what I am going to write.

I don’t know what kind of formats of this book are out there, but the one we got was a bit bigger (kind of like Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard) and the words were very small (like in Outlander by Diana Gabaldon or in Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin) so at times it felt a lot like reading a newspaper. Even though I felt the need to mention that, I didn’t find it a bother, because paragraphs were very nicely constructed.

Considering that letters are small, I like the fact that there are a lot of chapters and that chapters were quite short. Somehow it made me feel more accomplished after I finished reading page after page, chapter after chapter. It was easier to continue reading on knowing that chapters are short. Not that they were bad, its just that sometimes, especially late at night, it’s easier to convince myself to read ‘just one more chapter’ if I know that chapters are short.

Kitty Hawk is a very likeable and easy to relate to type of character. She’s a teenage girl who planned her summer very carefully and even though there was ‘a shortage of money’, that didn’t stop her. She passionately petitioned for what she cared about and eventually got her wish. Her summer didn’t went exactly as she planned, but I am sure she wouldn’t change it for the world (if you have read the book, no pun intended – accidental nod to the epilogue).

The fact that four brothers were considered villains, that didn’t stop me from liking them. Their dynamic and organisation skills are out of this world. I usually don’t use this phrase nor do I like it, but in this case I think it’s only right to use it – they are #brothergoals.

I am very glad for the plot twist near the end because it made the book a lot better and exciting!

It was very interesting to read about the gold rush, and even more exciting when I learned that it was actually based on real life as much as it could be. Very educating and nicely described!

I don’t know whether it was the book or just me being in a weird book funk, but somehow this book took me longer to finish than I am willing to admit.

I don’t know why, but I would kind of compare this series to Enid Blyton’s Famous Five series of books. Both are full of adventures and lovable characters.

To finish my review, it was an interesting and definitely one of a kind read. I would recommend it to young readers, especially fans of adventures and humpback whale lovers (you can learn many interesting things).

My Rating: 3.5/5

Post written by Anya Blackhart-Clark

jojo moyes · list of books · me before you · Uncategorized

Wrap Up – December 2016

As 2016 came to an end, so did the Goodreads’ Reading Challenge. In 2016 I set my goal to read 63 books and at the end I have managed to read 76. I am very proud of this little accomplishment so now I decided to aim higher and set my goal for 2017 Reading Challenge up to 100 books.
Are you participating in Goodreads’ 2017 Reading Challenge?

Anyhow, in December I managed to read 3 books, which is not a lot but it’s still something. Without further ado, let’s check it out.

1. THE KINGDOM OF OCEANA by Mitchell Charles

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SURFER SHARK TAMER FIRE WALKER EXPLORER TEENAGER HERO
Five Centuries Ago, On the Island Now Called Hawaii, There was a Kingdom Filled with Adventure, Beauty, and Magic.
When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell.
Can peace be restored to the kingdom?
Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana?
ONLY ONE CAN RULE.

We’ve been sent this book in exchange for an honest review, which I’ve written here.

My Rating: 3/5

2. SENSE AND SENSIBILITY by Jane Austen

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‘The more I know of the world, the more am I convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!’
Marianne Dashwood wears her heart on her sleeve, and when she falls in love with the dashing but unsuitable John Willoughby she ignores her sister Elinor’s warning that her impulsive behaviour leaves her open to gossip and innuendo. Meanwhile Elinor, always sensitive to social convention, is struggling to conceal her own romantic disappointment, even from those closest to her. Through their parallel experience of love—and its threatened loss—the sisters learn that sense must mix with sensibility if they are to find personal happiness in a society where status and money govern the rules of love.
This edition includes explanatory notes, textual variants between the first and second editions, and Tony Tanner’s introduction to the original Penguin Classic edition.

I’ve read this book as part of a Gilmore Girls Reading Challenge I am still participating in.
I don’t know why, but I expected a bit more. It had a satisfying ending though.

My Rating: 3/5

3. AFTER YOU (Me Before You, #2) by Jojo Moyes

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“You’re going to feel uncomfortable in your new world for a bit. But I hope you feel a bit exhilarated too. Live boldly. Push yourself. Don’t settle. Just live well. Just live. Love, Will.”
How do you move on after losing the person you loved? How do you build a life worth living?
Louisa Clark is no longer just an ordinary girl living an ordinary life. After the transformative six months spent with Will Traynor, she is struggling without him. When an extraordinary accident forces Lou to return home to her family, she can’t help but feel she’s right back where she started.
Her body heals, but Lou herself knows that she needs to be kick-started back to life. Which is how she ends up in a church basement with the members of the Moving On support group, who share insights, laughter, frustrations, and terrible cookies. They will also lead her to the strong, capable Sam Fielding—the paramedic, whose business is life and death, and the one man who might be able to understand her. Then a figure from Will’s past appears and hijacks all her plans, propelling her into a very different future…
For Lou Clark, life after Will Traynor means learning to fall in love again, with all the risks that brings. But here Jojo Moyes gives us two families, as real as our own, whose joys and sorrows will touch you deeply, and where both changes and surprises await.

Not as good as Me Before You but still quite good.

My Rating: 4/5

Post by Anya Blackhart-Clark

My Life · Uncategorized

HOLIDAY POST + End of The Year Update

Dear fellow readers!

This year I started co-running this blog with my sister Desirae. We had a lot of fun talking about what we wanted to write and we have a lot of ideas for our future posts. At times it might seem that most of the posts come from me, but that is only because Desi is currently 100% focused on her books and has little time for anything else (she finished SPRING BREAK yesterday!!!)

Our blog went through a couple of makeovers and it will go through a few more in the future because we still don’t think this is the look we want.

Our future posts will become more diverse and hopefully even more interesting to read. I will not spoil you what we have planned, but  I will tell you that it will be good.

I also joined managing Desi’s Instagram account yabookprincess. I am not as skillful at taking photos as Desi is, but hopefully I wasn’t too bad and you liked having me around.

The blog and Instagram went through a lot this year just like Desi and I. I hope we didn’t make it worse, but that we peeked just enough of your interest to keep on following us.

The biggest announcement I have is that I AM STARTING MY OWN YOUTUBE CHANNEL. I will start posting videos at the beginning of the year. It will be mostly about books, occasional vlog and random things that I can’t think of now, but will probably in the future.
You can subscribe on my YouTube channel – thebookacademy – now and be the first one to see Introduction video and an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with Desi now that she is a published author!

This year was a whirlwind of emotions (mostly because of all the books I’ve read) and looking at it coming to an end now, I feel content. I am happy that it’s over and that another year will get a chance to be even better.

I have a good feeling about 2017 and I hope you do as well!

This will probably be our last post this year, so I will end it with wishing you all a MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Post by Anya Blackhart-Clark

review · Uncategorized

Review: The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

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SURFER SHARK TAMER FIRE WALKER EXPLORER TEENAGER HERO
Five Centuries Ago, On the Island Now Called Hawaii, There was a Kingdom Filled with Adventure, Beauty, and Magic.
When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise. As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt-just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano.
With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell.
Can peace be restored to the kingdom?
Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana?
ONLY ONE CAN RULE.

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We were sent this book in exchange for an honest review. I will try to keep it spoiler free.

Ailani was a great character. I felt he was easy to relate to, especially with all the sibling rivalry that was going on. He had a couple of insecurities, but I believe that makes it even better, especially when we follow him on his journey to overcome them.

Main character was likeable enough, although his brother was written as a bit too obvious sort of villain. Nahoa was the complete opposite of Ailani (I really like this name!).

However, I didn’t feel that the characters were real. I felt that the characters were missing some deepness and as much as the writer tried to get some sort of character development going on, he succeeded only partly.

On the other hand, story was so random, fresh and new to me that it kept me guessing until the very end. I had no idea what exactly the curse was, who was responsible for it and how to get rid of it. It was quite entertaining to be honest.

This book was quite interesting to read. If I didn’t have so much school work, I would probably have read it in one sitting. Story was enticing. It was simple, quick and enjoyable read. It was remarkably fast paced. At times made me thought that it was maybe a bit hastily written, because some scenes felt a little rushed.

The book mentioned so many places and islands, I can’t help but think that a map would be useful.

Also, the story was a bit confusing at times, making it hard for me to follow. But that could be because the writer used so many foreign words, which were explained, but made it a bit difficult to get into the story and paint its picture in my head, because I had to constantly scroll toward the end of the page and look for translation.

I also feel that the story didn’t have a real ending and I hope that a sequel is in the works as we speak, because I would like to know what journey lies ahead of Ailani, Momi, Puhi and even Nahoa.

I would especially recommend this book to younger readers, because overall it is an easy story to read and I believe they would enjoy it and possibly don’t even see its faults.

The greater the challenge, the bigger the reward.

My Rating: 3/5

Post written by Anya Blackhart-Clark