Tag: Fantasy

The Hazel Wood


Author: Melissa Albert
Published: January 30, 2018
368 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating:  4 stars

Book Description:

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get: Her mother is stolen away―by a figure who claims to come from the Hinterland, the cruel supernatural world where her grandmother’s stories are set. Alice’s only lead is the message her mother left behind: “Stay away from the Hazel Wood.” Alice has long steered clear of her grandmother’s cultish fans. But now she has no choice but to ally with classmate Ellery Finch, a Hinterland super fan who may have his own reasons for wanting to help her. To retrieve her mother, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began―and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

Kim’s Review:

The buzz surrounding this book has been so loud . . . like a big beehive! I have been seeing it everywhere; I’ve seen it on Facebook, booktube, EpicReads, Amazon . . . everywhere! I read the description and took one look at the cover, and I wanted it. I found it for super cheap at Sam’s Club (along with some pizza but we’re not gonna talk about that, because I don’t have a problem! 😉)

This is a dark piece of fantasy. I was all set for a haunted house with a creepy old grandmother, but instead you have dark fairy tale characters walking around hurting people in the real world and blood doors opening up to a dead world. I hope Albert publishes a collection of all the fairy tales mentioned in this book. I appreciate a good, scary tale! Interestingly enough, the first half of the book is more build up and background info than actual story. It wasn’t boring at all, but I was just surprised at how much was stuffed into this book without being squished. Alice is an ok character; I don’t think she was meant to be super likeable. She’s a prickly teenager who hasn’t had a normal life. I liked Finch much better! He’s a cool “fanboy” who has a romantic hidden inside. Overall, this was a great read! There were some areas where I felt like I had missed something and there was a lot of swearing for a teen book. But I liked it a lot and I look forward to the next book in the series.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

The Scourge


Author: Jennifer A. Nielsen
Published: August 30, 2016
368 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Book Description:

When a plague isn’t all that kills…

As a lethal plague sweeps through the land, Ani Mells is shocked when she is unexpectedly captured by the governor’s wardens and forced to submit to a test for the deadly Scourge. She is even more surprised when the test results come back positive, and she is sent to Attic Island, a former prison turned refuge — and quarantine colony — for the ill. The Scourge’s victims, Ani now among them, can only expect to live out short, painful lives there. However, Ani quickly discovers that she doesn’t know the whole truth about the Scourge or the Colony. She’s been caught in a devious plot, and, with the help of her best friend, Weevil, Ani means to uncover just what is actually going on. But will she and Weevil survive long enough to do so?

Kim’s Review:

This book was awesome!! In a world of all the same stories being published over and over again, changed only with new character and setting names, I found a book that is unique! It’s a very simple story but it’s not like anything I’ve read before.

The world that Nielsen has created is a beautiful place with interesting people and fascinating dynamics. The River People, those who are believed to be ignorant and dirty, vs. the townsfolk, Grubs vs. Pinchworms. I identified very strongly with the misunderstood minority. Yeah ok, a little dramatic, I know, but as a Southerner, I completely understand being misunderstood and labeled as ignorant. Lies are told about my ancestors and my heritage and I know the frustration very well.

Ani is such a great heroine! She’s smart, she’s cunning and she’s not afraid to do whatever it takes to survive. Weevil is an awesome guy and I’m totally happy with him, wouldn’t change a thing! 😊 And of course, every story needs a character that you love to hate! So there’s Della! She’s snobby and bratty and spoiled, and I loved hating her! The government conspiracy is simple, yet genius and works really well until Ani shows up to throw a wrench in everything. This was a really easy read, yet kept my attention through the very end! I recommend this book to anyone looking for a unique read or to any tween or teen looking for an interesting book!

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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Dread Locks

Author: Neal Shusterman
Published: May 5, 2005
176 pages

Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars

Book Description:

Dread Locks is the first entry in the Dark Fusion series from master storyteller Neal Shusterman. He cleverly weaves together familiar parts of fairy tales and Greek mythology to tell the story of fourteen-year-old Parker Bear, rich and utterly bored with life—until a new girl arrives in town. Tara’s eyes are always hidden behind designer sunglasses, and her hair, blond with glimmering spirals, seems almost alive. Parker watches, fascinated, as one by one Tara chooses high school students to befriend; he even helps her by making the necessary introductions. Over time, her “friends” develop strange quirks, such as drinking gallons of milk, eating dirt, and becoming lethargic. By the time Parker realizes what Tara is doing, he is too embroiled to stop her. In fact, she has endowed him with certain cravings of his own. . . .To say more would spoil the spooky fun of this wild thriller—let the twist speak for itself and leave you still as a statue.

Kim’s Review:

Neal Shusterman is easily becoming one of my all time favorite authors! Everything he writes holds me enthralled through the whole story! I found Dread Locks at 2nd & Charles and I got so excited! I was waiting for the next book in another series that Shusterman wrote to get here from Amazon, and this one is short so I read it, and loved it! Shusterman has a way of being philosophical without being pompous or hard to understand. Dread Locks is a mix of fairy tale and myth. Yes, there is a subtle difference between the two and Shusterman weaves them together flawlessly. I honestly have no critique to give with this book.

It’s an imaginative story that’s meant to be experienced through your imagination so don’t expect to take it all literally. There are little lessons to learn throughout; the characters are likeable, they could have easily moved into annoying, but they never did. And my very favorite part of this story is the ending! Holy cow!!! But I can’t tell you, you just gotta read it for yourself!!!! 😊 I’d recommend this to any teen, I think this is a good book to get them into reading. I’d also recommend it to anyone looking for a short but interesting read.

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

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