Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Illustrated Edition – Newt Scamander, J. K. Rowling and Olivia Lomenech Gill


Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Illustrated Edition – Newt Scamander, J. K. Rowling and Olivia Lomenech Gill

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Illustrated Edition

Title: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: The Illustrated Edition

Author: Newt Scamander, J. K. Rowling and Olivia Lomenech Gill

Release Date: November 7, 2017

Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 160

Source: Christmas Gift

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, Newt Scamander’s classic compendium of magical creatures, has delighted generations of wizarding readers. With this beautiful, large-scale new edition illustrated in full color, Muggles too will have the chance to discover where the Runespoor lives, what the Puffskein eats, and why shiny objects should always be kept away from the Niffler.
 
Proceeds from the sale of this book will go to Comic Relief and J.K. Rowling’s international charity, Lumos, which will do magic beyond the powers of any wizard. If you feel that this is insufficient reason to part with your money, one can only hope that passing wizards feel more charitable if they see you being attacked by a Manticore.

5 out of 5 stars


This was a beautiful book and I’m so lucky to have gotten it as a Christmas present this year. I am a huge Harry Potter fan, and LOVED the Fantastic Beasts movie, so my mom got me this perfect gift!

There wasn’t much story to this book because it is supposed to be a textbook of sorts, but it was very nice to read about some of the creatures that were talked about in the Harry Potter books and movies. I enjoyed reading through this.

The illustrations were gorgeous. I just sat and looked at some of them for a long time just to take in all the details! I was disappointed that there was only one fold out page in the whole book. If there was one thing I would change it would be to add more large fold out pages!

I don’t know that I would buy this book, but I am so glad to have it! Definitely glance through this the next time you’re at a book store :)

Review: Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew #13) – Carolyn Keene


Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew #13) – Carolyn Keene

Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #13)

Title: Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Nancy Drew #13)

Author: Carolyn Keene

Release Date: 1974

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Format: Hardcover

Page Number: 179

Source: TBR Shelf

Nancy determines whether an exquisite ivory elephant charm really protects its wearer from harm during her investigation of a circus performer who may be involved in a mysterious illegal scheme. The girl detective’s assignment becomes complicated when the elephant trainer’s young assistant seeks refuge at the Drew home from his cruel foster father. While following clues to help the boy find his real father, Nancy discovers an eerie abandoned house. As she probes, Nancy’s dangerous enemies thwart her efforts to discover a secret surrounding the unusual ivory charm.

3 out of 5 stars


I was just in the mood for something light and fun, so I picked up this Nancy Drew book. I’ve always loved this series, and it blows my mind that I didn’t read all of them when I was younger. I know that I went to my library and just picked out random ones that sounded interesting to me, so I’ve read quite a few of them, but never in order.

This book followed Nancy and her mystery crew to the circus. They went to this circus show and then found this little boy named Rishi who was being abused by his father Rai. They were part of the circus. Rishi followed Nancy home and ended up staying with her to get away from his father. The whole mystery deals with a secret passageway, a crazy house, and an Indian prince.

Overall I thought this was a pretty average Nancy Drew mystery. It didn’t really go anywhere, so I found myself to be kind of bored throughout it. I enjoyed Rishi because he’s just cute, but there wasn’t really anything special that happened.

I will always love George, Bess, and Ned, so it always makes me happy when they’re part of the stories. I love Ned and Nancy together because they’re just so dang cute. I thought there were a lot of unnecessary characters thrown into this book, though. Too many characters with different and random back stories.

I wanted to see the woman go to jail and get punished, but nothing really happened with her. I love this series and can’t wait to finish the ones that I have at home :)

Series:

Password to Larkspur Lane (Nancy Drew #10)

The Clue of the Broken Locket (Nancy Drew #11)

Review: Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall #1) – Patricia MacLachlan


Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall #1) – Patricia MacLachlan

Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall, #1)

Title: Sarah, Plain and Tall (Sarah, Plain and Tall #1)

Author: Patricia MacLachlan

Release Date: 1996

Publisher: Scholastic

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 64

Source: TBR Shelf

The novel is set in the midwestern United States (Kansas) during the late 19th century. Jacob Witting, a widowed farmer who is still saddened by the death of his wife several years earlier, giving birth to Caleb, finds that the task of taking care of his farm and two children, Anna and Caleb, is too difficult to handle alone. He writes an ad in the newspaper for a mail-order bride. Sarah, from Maine, answers his ad and travels out to become his wife. But Sarah grows homesick – the prairie grass didn’t substitute for the Maine sea shore. When Sarah leaves for a trip into town, the kids wonder if she would come back. And she did. She had brought back colored pencils so she could show them the beautiful colors and views of Maine and gorgeous sea shore. She, Anna, Caleb, and Jacob have a lot of good times that lead to Caleb loving Sarah even more, but Anna thinks that she will replace her mother. In the end Sarah and Jacob get married.

Special Edition: Includes and afterword to you from Patricia MacLachlan

4 out of 5 stars


I had never read this book, and it’s always been one of my mom’s favorite books and movies, so I decided to pick it up and I was not disappointed!

I found this book to be cute and sweet and just what I needed. I enjoyed the whole family and loved Jacob and Sarah together. My favorite part of the story was when Sarah sent the original letter and said that she would gladly come to see them, but she had a temper and was different.

This was so cute because Caleb and Anna just wanted a new mother figure, and Caleb was obsessed with Sarah being able to sing. Aww. I wish that there was more singing in this book because Caleb did make such a big deal about it in the letter, but it was still cute.

This book was extremely short, so I don’t have many thoughts, but I don’t think I’ll continue on with the series unless I find them at my library!

Review: Pretties (Uglies #2) – Scott Westerfeld


Pretties (Uglies #2) – Scott Westerfeld

Pretties (Uglies, #2)

Title: Pretties (Uglies #2)

Author: Scott Westerfeld

Release Date: May 3, 2011

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 348

Source: TBR Shelf

Tally has finally become pretty. Now her looks are beyond perfect, her clothes are awesome, her boyfriend is totally hot, and she’s completely popular. It’s everything she’s ever wanted.

But beneath all the fun — the nonstop parties, the high-tech luxury, the total freedom — is a nagging sense that something’s wrong. Something important. Then a message from Tally’s ugly past arrives. Reading it, Tally remembers what’s wrong with pretty life, and the fun stops cold.

Now she has to choose between fighting to forget what she knows and fighting for her life — because the authorities don’t intend to let anyone with this information survive.

3 out of 5 stars


This book took so many turns I did not expect from it. I was not expecting a lot of the events to happen, but I think it worked well. I felt like this book was a little disjointed from the first because it was so different. The first book was focused on Tally’s internal monologue and turmoil, and this one was more focused on getting to where she wanted to be. Different, but not bad.

I would have given this book 4/5 stars as I did with Uglies had it not been for the fact that they used the word “retarded.” That is one of my least favorite things to happen in a book or anything really. I HATE when people or things are called retarded, so that is why I knocked it down a star.

This book followed Tally and her new boyfriend Zane trying to become more “bubbly.” aka not pretty-minded. I didn’t particularly enjoy the fact that they left Shay behind when the left because everyone could see that she would be pissed when she found out. But no. Okay. Cool.

I liked Zane, but I knew from the second that they took the pills and he was having strange side-effects that they were supposed to be taken together. Obviously they gave you two pills for a reason. Ugh, come on. Also, Shay had no reason to be mad at Tally when she gave the other pill to Zane. Shay went on and on about how she thought it was stupid to be thinking of anything outside of New Pretty Town, so why would Tally think she would want to become not pretty.

I think this book fell into the typical “second-book-syndrome” category. I think it was just a filler book and nothing really happened, but it will set something cool up for the next book. I don’t understand why the part about the experiment society was even put in, but I’m sure I’ll learn what it’s about in the next books.

David pissed me off. Why would she not move on from him? Her mind was completely changed, and it’s a dick move to assume that she would pick him over her new guy. That’s my problem with love triangles. If the person chose the second love interest over the first, they should, just go with the second because they obviously didn’t love the first enough to not fall in love again. But that’s just me.

All in all I think this was a good continuation to the series, and it set up the next book quite well! I can’t wait to read the rest of the series :)

Series:

Uglies (Uglies #1)

 

Review: James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra – Colm McElwain


James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra – Colm McElwain

James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra

Title: James Clyde and the Diamonds of Orchestra

Author: Colm McElwain

Release Date: March 21, 2012

Publisher: Matador

Format: eBook

Page Number: 257

Source: Author

As an infant, James Clyde was deposited at a children’s home by his wounded, blood-soaked grandfather. As a result, he grows up under a cloud of mystery. Eleven years later when he hears about his strange past, he vows to uncover the truth. But before he can, his grandfather hands him a magical and mysterious diamond of Orchestra. With the aid of his friends, Ben and Mary Forester, James must protect the diamond from evil forces.

Soon, however, their lives are in grave danger. They are being hunted by a sinister man dressed in black and his blood-thirsty army. Outnumbered, James finds he must use the power of the diamond to escape their clutches – or become another victim of their murderous quest.

2 out of 5 stars


Huge thank you to Colm McElwain for sending me a copy of his book!

James Clyde finds out he is the ruler of the mysterious land called Orchestra. He has to find out how to save his people from the bad people of Darken. With his best friends he finds himself in a little bit of a predicament…

I think the idea for this book was quite cool, and it was a very fast read! I really enjoyed the relationships between the friends; I found them to be touching and fun to read. :)

I think something that turned me away from this book was the fact that it seemed very young. The writing seemed to be targeted towards a much younger audience, which I’m sure it was intended to be, but I didn’t seem invested in the story as much as I would have liked to be.

There were a lot of characters for such a short book. I felt confused by the character names throughout parts of this book, and wish there would have been a little more character development by the end. I enjoyed reading about the characters that were more explained.

The world was confusing, and I wish I had more information on James’ grandfather figure. He seemed like such an interesting man and it would have been nice to have a little background on him.

I also wanted to know more about the diamonds! I think it was such a cool idea, but I just felt like I didn’t know enough about them to fully understand the depth of the plot. There were three magical diamonds that controlled the world, but they weren’t explained.

Overall I found this to be enjoyable, but wish it would have had more description and a little more character development. I think that a younger reader would enjoy this more than I did.

Thanks again to Colm McElwain!

Review: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) – Sarah J. Maas


A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2) – Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #2)

Title: A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: May 3, 2016

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 624

Source: TBR Shelf

Feyre is immortal.

After rescuing her lover Tamlin from a wicked Faerie Queen, she returns to the Spring Court possessing the powers of the High Fae. But Feyre cannot forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin’s people – nor the bargain she made with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court.

As Feyre is drawn ever deeper into Rhysand’s dark web of politics and passion, war is looming and an evil far greater than any queen threatens to destroy everything Feyre has fought for. She must confront her past, embrace her gifts and decide her fate.

She must surrender her heart to heal a world torn in two.

5 out of 5 stars


Wow.

I don’t even know how to explain my love of this book other than rambling and going on tangents, so here we go!

This is the second book in the Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas, and everyone said these books were absolutely amazing, and I 100% agree. This book follows Feyre in the Night Court with Rhysand after she gets away from Tamlin and the Spring Court after what happens in A Court of Thorns and Roses.

If you haven’t read the first book you should refrain from continuing on reading this post because there will be hella spoilers coming up. If you haven’t read this book, same goes for you too.

Holy shit. Okay Rhysand and Feyre are the best couple of all time because they understand each other and love each other so much it’s painful sometimes. I love that Rhysand is so soft and kind while keeping up this hard-ass face because he has to protect his people of Velaris. I love that he loves her so much, and I love all of the banter and conversations they have.

The sexy times in this book had me shooketh. Ummmmmm. Yeah. So I don’t know how to explain this without getting too graphic, but the cabin scenes. Oh my lord. I literally had to stop reading when I had about 100 pages left because I was too overwhelmed by the sex scenes. This was much more sexual than the first book, but I think it was done in a way that wasn’t too much. There were lots of details that younger people should NOT be reading, but let me tell you. I love Rhysand and Feyre together.

I never thought I could be on board with enjoying reading about the politics of a world, but there was so much of it throughout this book. I didn’t even realize how much I enjoyed the political intrigue in books until this one. I love that all the characters have to be so careful with everything they say and manipulate other High Fae in order to get what they want. I love that they’re working for the greater good of Prythian and I’m living for it.

I love Mor, Cassian, and Azriel and cannot wait until the next books to find out what their deal is. I want Mor and Azriel to be together forever, and I think that Cassian and Nesta are going to be a thing. Oh yeah. I’m here for all of these romances because at some points of this book you could literally cut the sexual tension with a butter knife.

So much happened in this book I can’t even.

The ending. I was so shaken up by what happened. So Mor, Cassian, Azriel, and Feyre just decide to go and attack this Cauldron thing. Okay, cool, but you do realize this is what apparently created this world. Right. Okay so they go to the castle in Hybern in order to destroy this so then everything can be happy and great, and of course Tamlin shows up.

Tangent. I literally almost punched myself in the face for while thinking about how I shipped Feyre and Tamlin at the beginning of this series. He locked her up in her own home just to “keep her safe.” Okay well she was going insane because she couldn’t use her powers that she had just been gifted from everyone. Helloooooo is that not concerning.

Anyway, Tamlin and Lucien are there working with the evil King of Hybern. Why did it surprise me? I knew they were going to come up again sometimes. They made this deal with the King that as long as Tamlin got Feyre back from Rhysand everything would be great for everyone, but wait. Tamlin sold out the entire land of Prythian in order to get this girl that doesn’t love him.

Then Nesta and Elain show up and then Tamlin feels bad. *anger* The King shoves them into the Cauldron and makes them into High Fae, then Lucien realizes that Elain is his mate. OF COURSE SHE IS. I have faith for Lucien because I don’t think he’s an awful guy, so I can be on board for that relationship. But Lucien has to break away from Tamlin in order for that to happen, so I think in the next book Lucien and Feyre are going to work together to get rid of Tamlin.

Another thing, Feyre had to pretend that she was terrified of Rhysand and all of her friends in order to save the entirety of the fae realm. I get that it’s the right thing to do, but she went with Tamlin. The emotions that I felt when the bond was being broken between Rhysand and Feyre actually hurt my heart. I felt like I was being ripped up just like them. And Rhysand played along. I’m sure that they talked about something like that happening, but oh my lord I just want them to be happy. So Rhysand is all broken up and sad and when he gets back to Velaris he explains that Feyre is going to destroy Tamlin from the inside out. So she’s going to be the spy and then I was fine. I NEED the next book.

Lucien is onto what Feyre is doing, but he can’t say anything because he’s already obsessed with Elain. Ugh so much drama. But I love the drama. I think I’m going to throw a fit if Feyre and Tamlin have sex in the next book because I think that will break Rhysand more than she thinks it will.

Okay. So that’s that. I need to read the next book now, but I also think that I need to take a break for a hot second so then I don’t get burnt out with the books. I LOVE THIS SERIES!

Series:

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)

Review: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) – Sarah J. Maas


A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1) – Sarah J. Maas

A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #1)

Title: A Court of Thorns and Roses (A Court of Thorns and Roses #1)

Author: Sarah J. Maas

Release Date: May 5, 2015

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Format: Paperback

Page Number: 416

Source: TBR Shelf

Feyre’s survival rests upon her ability to hunt and kill – the forest where she lives is a cold, bleak place in the long winter months. So when she spots a deer in the forest being pursued by a wolf, she cannot resist fighting it for the flesh. But to do so, she must kill the predator and killing something so precious comes at a price …

Dragged to a magical kingdom for the murder of a faerie, Feyre discovers that her captor, his face obscured by a jewelled mask, is hiding far more than his piercing green eyes would suggest. Feyre’s presence at the court is closely guarded, and as she begins to learn why, her feelings for him turn from hostility to passion and the faerie lands become an even more dangerous place. Feyre must fight to break an ancient curse, or she will lose him forever.

5 out of 5 stars


I loved everything about this whole book and I have no idea how I’m going to make coherent thoughts about it. I just finished this literally 5 minutes ago, and I NEED the next book. Right now.

This story follows Feyre who takes care of her family in her village, but finds herself in the faerie realm of the Spring Court with the High Fae, Tamlin and Lucien. Feyre despises the two, and their whole world, when she gets there, but everything gets turned upside down when she realizes how kind and loving Tamlin could be.

The curse set upon the land, the blight, comes from the Queen person and Feyre isn’t allowed any details about the whole situation. Tamlin sends her back to her family in order to keep her safe, but she feels the burning desire to return to the faerie realm. She goes back to the manor in the Spring Court and finds it in rubble, and decides to go after Tamlin and Lucien…

okay there are going to be hecka spoilers because I don’t want to conceal any of my thoughts about this. If you haven’t read this book you can leave, but keep on reading along for all the spoilers :)

I. LOVED. THIS. BOOK. Oh my lord. I read this slowly because I didn’t want it to end. Sometimes I drudge through books just to get them done, but I wanted this to last 5ever (it’s like forever but longer).

At the beginning of this I was so pissed off because her family didn’t care about her. Excuse me she is the one keeping y’all alive and you’re not being appreciative? Not okay. So not okay. She’s out in the forest trying to find you food and you’re bitching about how your shoes don’t look pretty enough… yikes.

I was a little surprised when she didn’t get attacked by the wolf/faerie at the beginning because I would have thought he would have tried to stand his ground, but it makes sense after you find out why and omg I loved everything about this.

I loved that Lucien and Feyre were sort of like siblings in the way that they bickered. I think if Feyre had a normal relationship with her sisters it would have been similar to that. She and Lucien become friends and it’s just so cute because she has a normal (kind of) friendship type of relationship. She’s happy because she has a friend, but mostly because of Tamlin.

Oh man. This hunky faerie stole my heart right from the beginning. Now, I hope that in the next book Feyre doesn’t second-guess their love because he just needed to break the curse, because he actually does love her. Tamlin has been what I’ve been looking for in a love interest in a book for quite some time. Right at the beginning I thought it was going to be a love triangle between Feyre, Tamlin, and Lucien, but then I realized that Lucien and Tamlin are too good of friends yada yada.

The sexy times of this. Holy shit. They had me shaken and stirred because they were so well written. Damnnnnnnn. They love each other so much and it just warms my heart to see people loving each other. I also LOVED that Feyre was totally open and happy about having sex. I feel like the “normal” YA books have a taboo on not having sex, and not enjoying it especially if you’re female. I think it’s ridiculous because all people should embrace their bodies, and I loved that Feyre wasn’t apologetic about any of her feelings.

One thing I’m kind of confused about are Tamlins claws. Do they come out of his knuckles or the smaller knuckles that are next to his nails? I was focussing too much on that, but I couldn’t help it.

The Spring Court just sounds lovely and I want to live there. Other than the fact that there are evil faeries roaming around… I LOVED the swimming in starlight scene. Awwwww. So cute. I just can’t sometimes.

Okay, I know that I’m probably not supposed to like Rhysand right now, but I’ve heard lots of people talking about him. I’m only assuming that he’s going to play a bigger role in the next book, but I started to kind of like him by the end. He was unapologetically himself even though he’d been broken down by Amarantha. I feel bad for him because he’s her whore, but it was the only thing he could do to save his people of the Night Court. Ugh. I just want him to by happy. But I kind of want him to be happy with Feyre. I’m not saying that I’m team Rhysand, but I could see my opinion switching to l him from Tamlin… *did I say that don’t hate me*

The ending of this book is epic and I loved every second of it. I was on the edge of my seat *bed* while reading this and couldn’t put it down. I should be studying for my final right now but I had to know what happened. I’m also starting the Randomathon readathon tomorrow and didn’t want to carry this over…. but you know. I should be studying. Curse you, wonderful books for distracting me from my work. *oh well probably not going to study anymore anyway*

I need the second book. I know that I’m going to love it, and I think I’m going to start it tomorrow because I’m looking forward to it that much. I don’t normally marathon series, but I have to know what happens with everyone. I already know this is one of my favorite series, because this is one of the best books I’ve read this year.

Thanks for reading to the end if you’re still here. Please let me know how you felt about this book in the comment section because I have to talk to someone about it!!!

Series:

A Court of Mist and Fury (A Court of Thorns and Roses #2)

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses #3)