Throw back Thursday: A Wrinkle In Time


Title: Wrinkle in Time
Author: Madeleine L’Engle
Originally Read: 1993
Re-read Jan 1, 2015

Synopsis:
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.

“Wild nights are my glory,” the unearthly stranger told them. “I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract”.

Meg’s father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?

picadillypink
I’ve been wanting to do a feature like this for a few months, and I finally decided to buckle down and do it. Each Thursday I’ll be featuring a book from my childhood, re-reading it and informally reviewing it. If you want to join in, please do and link me your post. 🙂

A Wrinkle in Time is a book that’s stuck with me for years. I remember my mom buying the trilogy when I was in second grade, and hiding them from me because she felt that I was too young to read them. However, being the voracious reader I am I snuck downstairs, picked them off of the antique bookcase and smuggled them upstairs to read by flashlight under my blankets. Meg was someone that I wanted to be like so badly, she was smart, and strong and made a difference in the world. I really was too young to read them as I had nightmares about IT for weeks afterward. I ended up reading A Wrinkle in Time again, and the other two in the trilogy after finding an excerpt of it in the back of my English book. This time I identified a bit more with Meg, though a younger version.

I got the box set of all five for Christmas this year, and I quickly breezed through A Wrinkle in Time, getting lost once more in the pages and the story of Meg, Charles Wallace and Calvin. Even now the details and story telling hold up so beautifully. It’s a simple, quick paced story with plenty of action and mystery. I love the details that are in the story, the narrative is so immersive and wonderful. L’Engle was a story teller, and it shows. Emotions are tangible and believable, and she creates amazing worlds. Camazotz is terrifying, even now, policed conformity something that could actually happen. The science is still very science fiction, yet the methods and logic behind it are still able to stand supported in 2015.

If you haven’t read this, please do. It’s a beautiful introduction to some amazing characters who are still so very close to my heart. I gave A Wrinkle in Time to one of the girls that I nanny. I strongly believe it is a relevant story to this day. It’s an easy introduction to science fiction and fantasy with touches of dystopian worlds. The theme of individuality and embracing oneself is something that needs to be brought back. I cannot recommend this book enough.

Book Review: Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson


Title: Tiger Lily
Author: Jodi Lynn Anderson
Published: July 3, 2012
Publisher: Harper Collins Children

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
Before Peter Pan belonged to Wendy, he belonged to the girl with the crow feather in her hair. . . .

Fifteen-year-old Tiger Lily doesn’t believe in love stories or happy endings. Then she meets the alluring teenage Peter Pan in the forbidden woods of Neverland and immediately falls under his spell.

Peter is unlike anyone she’s ever known. Impetuous and brave, he both scares and enthralls her. As the leader of the Lost Boys, the most fearsome of Neverland’s inhabitants, Peter is an unthinkable match for Tiger Lily. Soon, she is risking everything—her family, her future—to be with him. When she is faced with marriage to a terrible man in her own tribe, she must choose between the life she’s always known and running away to an uncertain future with Peter.

With enemies threatening to tear them apart, the lovers seem doomed. But it’s the arrival of Wendy Darling, an English girl who’s everything Tiger Lily is not, that leads Tiger Lily to discover that the most dangerous enemies can live inside even the most loyal and loving heart.

picadillypink
Peter Pan is not one of my favorite stories from childhood. Which surprises me considering how much I was drawn to, and loved this book. I picked this up from the library, intrigued and focused on it because I’ve seen it pop up on a couple of people’s blogs. I’m really glad I took a chance on this book. It’s a beautiful interpretation of the Peter Pan story that we all know.

I am so very much in love with Anderson’s writing. It’s dreamy and ethereal, almost effortless in its descriptiveness and pacing. I adore the way the characters are presented, and the story they tell. There’s a darkness to the characters, secondary motivations.

Tiger Lily is presented as a wild child who lives on the fringes of her own people, an orphan raised by the shaman on the tribe. She has one true friend within the tribe, the misunderstood Pine Sap. She’s ostracized and mistrusted. Betrothed to the tribe bully, she’s forced to yield to Giant’s whims, and the whims of his mother. It’s heartbreaking to see the shift in Tiger Lily as she momentarily gives in.

Anderson’s choice to have Tinkerbell narrate this story at first seemed strange, but the more I read and the further the story progressed the more sense it made. Tinkerbell is an observer, who watches Tiger Lily and eventually Peter Pan when the three interact together. The love story between Tiger Lily and Peter Pan is heartbreaking and real. It’s a slow build both unsure of themselves, and the darkness they harbor. The characters are so great, so engaging and complex. The villains are villains fro a reason, and they’re much more twisted than anything Disney has come up with. Smee will give me nightmares for a few nights to come. The Lost Boys are brilliantly introduced and written. Each has a distinctive voice and way of interacting with Pan, Tiger Lily and eventually Wendy. Peter and Wendy follow in their path, falling in love with each other. Tiger Lily left behind, along with Tinkerbell as Wendy becomes such an integral part of Peter’s life.

This is a re-imagination of the story of Peter Pan rather than a retelling. I love the characters, and the almost tangible loneliness, despite all of them being surrounded by others. Darkness of character is a strong theme in this story, and it’s refreshing to see such human qualities to characters from fairy tales. Anderson creates such lush characterizations that I found it so easy to fall in love with them all. There’s real emotion written into the pages, and I need to own this book. I like the idea of Neverland being an island that’s nearly impossible to reach by the normal people. The ending is fitting and tragically beautiful.

I think this quote sums the book up rather perfectly: “”Let me tell you something straight off. This is a love story, but not like any you’ve heard. The boy and the girl are far from innocent. Dear lives are lost. And good doesn’t win. In some places, there is something ultimately good about endings. In Neverland, that is not the case.”

Overall: pink4 A wonderful re-imagination of a childhood classic. Worth picking up, I highly recommend this.

Book Review– 3:59 by Gretchen McNeil


Title: 3:59
Author: Gretchen McNeil
Published: September 17, 2013
Publisher:Balzer + Bray

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
Josie Byrne’s life is spiraling out of control. Her parents are divorcing, her boyfriend Nick has grown distant, and her physics teacher has it in for her. When she’s betrayed by the two people she trusts most, Josie thinks things can’t get worse.

Until she starts having dreams about a girl named Jo. Every night at the same time—3:59 a.m.

Jo’s life is everything Josie wants: she’s popular, her parents are happily married, and Nick adores her. It all seems real, but they’re just dreams, right? Josie thinks so, until she wakes one night to a shadowy image of herself in the bedroom mirror – Jo. Josie and Jo realize that they are doppelgangers living in parallel universes that overlap every twelve hours at exactly 3:59. Fascinated by Jo’s perfect world, Josie jumps at the chance to jump through the portal and switch places for a day. But Jo’s world is far from perfect. Not only is Nick not Jo’s boyfriend, he hates her. Jo’s mom is missing, possibly insane. And at night, shadowy creatures feed on human flesh. By the end of the day, Josie is desperate to return to her own life. But there’s a problem: Jo has sealed the portal, trapping Josie in this dangerous world. Can she figure out a way home before it’s too late?

picadillypink

This is a quick read chock full of twists and turns, believable science fiction and a dark splash of fantasy and horror. Where it falls short however, is the entire plot is given away in the synopsis and the ending is a little too neat–a little too packaged.

I’m going to start with the things I did like. It’s got a very Alice In Wonderland, mirror flip-turned-upside down vibe going on. From the first page the author leaves the reader unsettled. Something’s coming, and it’s really hard to pin point just what is going on. I think what makes this really effective is that it’s not just one thing, but a group of things, stacking on top of each other. When Josie and Jo switch places, I think the story really starts to shine. The glaring contrast between the two girls really gives light to the ‘good twin v bad twin’ battle. Though in this case they’re doppelgangers. I figured out one of the twists early on, after Josie alters her appearance to look more like Jo.

The story doesn’t really pick up until after the switch, when Josie learns that there’s more to Jo’s world than the girl had initially let on. Josie for a few chapters flounders, trying to get her footing and deal with the people who look just like those she left in her own universe, but act so very different. The characters are different enough that they stand out and separate from their alternates. One of the very obvious differences in Jo’s world is the introduction of the Nox. I really would have loved to see more about them, rather than the flash bang description and then a rather disturbing scene further along in the book.

One of the things that I did really enjoy is nothing was exactly what it seemed. Everyone had their own agendas and secrets. I did see the major twist coming from a mile away, but it didn’t detract from the enjoyment of the book. I did feel as though everything was packaged up neatly with a bow–even the heart-wrenching moment, there was closure there. I would have preferred a little rawness to this, but I can see why the author kept it neat.

Overall: pink5 Quick read that plays with science and fantasy on a real world scope. A little too neat of a finish, and predictable but still enjoyable.

Book Feature: The Hellhound Handbook by Rue Volley.


The Hellhound Handbook
This is the FOURTH book in the Hellhound Series.
This book contains TWO origin stories.

“The Long Ride to Hell”
Long ago, in a time of War, a great man ruled with an iron fist, that of Vlad the Impaler. His armies vast and his lands growing but it was not at his own hand, it was led by Dorin, The Red Dragon.
Dorin served Castle Bran and his Lord with an unwavering loyalty. His strength absolute and his armor impenetrable, except for one thing, his forbidden love for Vlad.
With war subsiding and a bright future of peace on the horizon, Lady Illona is sent to Castle Bran to bind their nation’s houses as one. As a wedding looms, Dorin finds that his love cannot be contained and it sets a series of events into motion that will seal his fate and that of the legend of Dracula, forever.

“Moriah”
Long before man existed, other beings did, that of the angels of Moriah.
Moriah was a beautiful planet on the outskirts of the Andromeda system and if it was not for war, it would have been a true heaven.
As with all things, every being fights for survival and the angels of Moriah had done just that for all of 200 years. Led by Elohim and that of El, their army of the Helios Guard defended the planets greatest resources, that of water and iron.
Once war ended they found themselves left without purpose. Elohim tries his best to ensure that the angels of Moriah will live forever, but in his desperation has he saved them, or has he doomed them all?

Every legend has a dark past…
The Hellhound saga continues in Book #4
The Hellhound Handbook

Book Four! Just .99 Amazon
Book Three! Just .99 Amazon
Book Two! Just .99 Amazon
Book One! Just .99 Amazon

Continue reading

Book Review: Chime by Franny Billingsley


Title: Chime.
Author: Franny Billingsley
Published: April 12th 2012
Publisher: Speak

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
Briony has a secret. It is a secret that killed her stepmother, ruined her sister’s mind, and will end her life, if anyone were to know. She has powers. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and a great mane of tawny hair. He is as natural as the sun, and he treats her as if she is extraordinary. And everything starts to change . . . Chime is a haunting, brilliantly written novel that will stay with you–its magic, its romance, its world like none other.

picadillypink
Kristen from the Book Monsters sent me this book in our swap (along with Fangirl) and I found myself quickly getting swept up in the story. Chime is very layered and interesting. I would actually compare it to The Scarlet Letter (yes that classic that most of us were forced to read in middle/high school). Briony is a wonderful character, strong and focused in her goals. She has a few desires and more than a few secrets. She’s dark and mysterious and little by little we’re shown her world and what’s going on. Things are done a certain way with roles being fulfilled. Until Eldric comes along and shakes everything loose. He’s everything she’s not. Goodness and light with a streak of wonder and adventure. He challenges her and I think they make a great pair. They balance each other well. The characters in this book are some that I’ve never seen before. Their interactions are amazing and electrifying. No one is who they really seem to be, and each character, even the most minor grows and changes as the story goes on.

I really enjoyed the mythos and superstitions of this world. The magic aspect and magic v. religion/faith. It takes a really interesting turn especially in the last few chapters. I don’t want to spoil anything, so I won’t but there are quite a few shockers that left me reeling.

There is one thing that kept me from rating this book higher. Briony’s narrative took me a very long time to get into. She’s very flighty and changes the subject and goes off on mental soliloquies and tangents that have absolutely nothing to do with what’s currently happening in the novel. It’s a little too jumpy and sporadic, but given time and patience it’s enjoyable.

Overall pink3 strong characters, beautiful imagery, but a flighty narrator creates flow issues. Would recommend to someone looking for a different take on witches with a bit of a historical twist. Thanks so much Kristen.

Book Review: Lady’s Destiny by A.R. Von


Title: Lady’s Destiny
Author: A.R. Von
Published: February 1st, 2014
Publisher: self

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

The Summary:
When dreams haunt you in the most delicious ways and fate pulls you into destiny’s path, what can be done other than to accept and submit to it.

Can Iria truly get what she’s always dreamed of or will it always just remain a memory? Being a rare creature such as her with exceptional beauty and rarity of existence should be enough. Though, all she wants is her desire, her destiny… To be with a man—one man.

Are these dreams she’s having real? Could she really take on human form and become a Lady to be with the man she craves?

Dezso discovers a magical creature—a being of incredible light and peace. He is drawn to it again and again, and his feelings grow with every encounter. He carries a dark secret that he wishes never existed. The only thing that truly brings light upon his existence is the beauty that warms his heart but seems to only exist in his head—with dreams and visions of a magical woman, full of heartwarming light.

Will he ever know true love and happiness? Will he ever be able to lighten the weight and share his dark secret with another…?

Darkness is growing stronger, weakening the light and killing off what makes the world a beautiful place to live in. Enter a world of fantasy and dreams, passions and temptations. A world where dragons, unicorns, magic and mermaids really do exist. A world where love WILL conquer all!

picadillypink
I feel almost guilty getting the chance to review this. It’s a beautiful fantasy world full of mythical creatures and magic. Most importantly, free glitter text and family website at FamilyLobby.com Lady’s Destiny is a sweeping love story that toys with the emotions and heartstrings, and I for one got so caught up in it, I couldn’t put it down. A unicorn longs to be human so she can be with the man who is haunting her dreams. Her wishing and wanting for the man she feels such a strong connection to is nearly tangible. I felt for Iria the entire time. Like all good love stories, her wish is granted, and she finds her way to the arms of the man she so desperately wanted to be with–Dezso.

Dezso is a smoldering hero. Dark and delicious with secrets of his own he scorches the pages he’s on. His chemistry with Iria is amazing. I love the two of them together, and I really care for them. A.R. has a wonderful way of storytelling and making her characters believable and real. I won’t give anything away, but the two not only have to fight for their lives, but their love. There’s plenty of action (both kinds), and it’s all done so tastefully and wonderfully. There’s themes of good vs. evil and the hope that love conquers all things and there’s a happily ever after–again, I’m not giving any spoilers. You’ll have to read and see.

The dual narrator/split narrator works really well for this introduction to their world. Dezso and Iria have independent voices and they carry their story well. If you’ve read A.R.’s Wunder series (And if you haven’t go, read it) the overall story telling tone might be a little different at first. This is a fantasy world, a high fantasy world, and that’s also reflected in the dialogue and the way the characters communicate. The antagonist, Than, is a nasty nasty piece of work, and provides good contrast between the other main characters.

Overall pink5because Unicorns. No really, it’s a great fantasy read, and I’m looking forward to seeing more of this world.

I was gifted a copy of this book for review. This does not influence my opinions.

Book Review: At Their Service by Isla Munro


Title: At Their Service
Author: Isla Munro
Published: March 7th 2014
Publisher: Etopia Press

Rating: kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a kasa_zpsdf6a064a

Synopsis:
Forced to be a maid to her family, nursemaid to her birth-mother, and slave to her step-mother, the only high point in Drella’s life is a new job at the palace. She will get to meet the handsome Prince Abran. However, Drella is not expecting to be attracted to both the prince and his valet. The equally handsome Oshan invites Drella to enjoy a night of passion with both men…all three of them together. Can Drella put the messy relationship between her own four parents aside and accept the love offered by a prince and his valet?

Prince Abran is heir to the throne of Erotania. He loves his country and he loves his valet, Oshan. But his passionate relationship with the manservant cannot produce his own heir. In a culture where family groups consist of up to four bi-sexual adults and their offspring, it’s not much of a leap to bring a woman into their bed chamber. But what woman will be acceptable to his mother, attracted to both men, and willing to put up with his arrogance?

Oshan loves his master and knows he needs an heir. When Drella starts work in the palace, he can tell that Abran is attracted to the pretty maid. But Drella has her own challenges to face. Can Oshan and the man he loves discover Drella’s demons and help her fight them and can a prince, a valet and a maid defy the impossible and find their very own happily ever after?

picadillypink
This story is scorchingly hot, well told, and an all around amazing read. At it’s bare bones it’s a Cinderella retelling. BUT it’s so much more than that. Ms. Munro builds an amazing world, full of fantasy and allure, creating an interesting family dynamic as well as world view. The fantasy world is breathtaking and I really fell so in love with the story. The characters are amazing, and I’m so in love with Oshan. (Sadly, he’s taken). Abran is arrogant, alpha-male and a bundle of yum as well.

The relationships are a pivotal role in this story. What I like about this, is that all the three main characters share the same amount of bedroom time. What I mean by that is no one is left out, no one is cast off when it comes to another person in the trio. They’re all equal, and powerful with each other and together. The sex scenes in this novel nearly melted my kindle. Drella is a component of the relationship between Oshan and Abran–she’s not thrown in there, simply because the Royal Family needs an heir. I really like that. I like that she’s welcome with them, and the way that their relationship evolves and changes. The people of Erotania’s views on sex are interesting, and I think it works well for this story, adding to the plot and the re-telling of a fairy tale, rather than a device for more sexy times.

I do feel that it wrapped up a little too nicely with a bow on top, but it’s nice to have a happily ever after, and this is a story that I’ll come back to and read again, and recommend to people. This is a story I hadn’t realized I had been looking for, but I’m really glad I found. The messages of equality and love between partners is amazing. It’s a great story, and I feel like I keep gushing about it, but I can’t not gush. Check this out if you’re looking for a great fantasy erotica piece that’s well worth it.

Overall: pink5 Steamy, swoony re-telling of Cinderella this melts right off of the kindle app, and leaves the reader wanting for more.


This book was provided by My Family’s Book Reviews & Tours solely for review purposes. I am not being compensated for my review.