Sunday, July 16, 2017

Indestructible review

Hey blog-readers! It's Mhairi here. Hope your summer is going well!

Today I’m reviewing a book through Lola’s blog tours: ‘Indestructible’ by Emma L. Adams.


Indestructible is a classic YA. Its protagonist, Leah, learns that she is part of the mysterious Pyros, a group who wields fire to protect the barren landscape from Fiends. Leah survives an energy blast, the only one of her group who does. She is immediately thrust into a chase with the monstrous Fiends, where she is saved by a pair of red cloaked strangers.  
Taken to their base, she learns she is one of the Pyro’s. A world of warfare, family, and fire whirls around her as the Pyros rage their fights against the Fiends and their mysterious leader.  
With the reclusive but powerful Cas and the base leader Murray, who keeps many secrets, she will uncover plots beyond her imagination, all of which relate to the illusive Transcendent.


I really liked the pacing of this book! It is unfailingly energetic, so if you are looking for a book to binge read this is it.  

You know who you are rooting for from the first scene. The grossly humanoid Fiends have brute strength on their side, but with magical weapons and intrinsic Fire, they are no match, even, for the amateur Leah. Her pluck and strength are offset by her normality. You can empathize with her, be frustrated at her failings. Maybe you too have  what seems like insurmountable struggles in your life. This book is about finding that indestructible (hehe see what I did there) piece of yourself that will carry you through the  biggest obstacles.



Indestructible by Emma L Adams


Indestructible (Indestructible #1)
by Emma L. Adams
Genre: post-apocalyptic Fantasy
Age category: Young Adult
Release Date: January 12, 2015

Blurb:
Two years ago, the fiends invaded, with a devastating explosion that split the world in two. Even now, energy blasts strike without warning, destroying everything in their paths. The fiends hunt anyone unlucky enough to escape.

My name is Leah. An energy blast killed my group. It should have killed me, too. Instead, I woke up alone in the wilderness, stalked by the fiends.

My only hope is the red-cloaked strangers who call themselves the Pyros. They can do the impossible and make flames shoot from their hands. Right now, my one chance for safety -- and revenge -- is with them.

But they’re keeping secrets from me. Like those skeletons hidden under their base. And the reasons I developed a psychic link with someone who can’t stand the sight of me -- after he saved my life.

If I don’t uncover the truth about why the world ended the first time, my new safe haven might go up in smoke…

You can find Indestructible on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28188847-indestructible

You can buy Indestructible here:









About the Author:
Emma spent her childhood creating imaginary worlds to compensate for a disappointingly average reality, so it was probably inevitable that she ended up writing speculative fiction. She was born in Birmingham, UK, which she fled at the first opportunity to study English Literature at Lancaster University. In her three years at Lancaster, she hiked up mountains, skydived in Australia, and endured a traumatic episode involving a swarm of bees in the Costa Rican jungle. She also entertained her creative writing group and baffled her tutors by submitting strange fantasy tales featuring dragons and supernatural monsters to workshops. These included her first publication, a rather bleak dystopian piece, and a disturbing story about a homicidal duck (which she hopes will never see the light of day).

Now a reluctant graduate, Emma refuses to settle down and be normal. When not embarking on wild excursions and writing fantasy novels, she edits and proofreads novels for various publishing houses and reads an improbable number of books. Emma is currently working on the Alliance series, a multiple-universe adult fantasy featuring magic, monsters, cool gadgets and sarcasm. Her upper-YA urban fantasy Darkworld series is published by Curiosity Quills Press.

You can find and contact Emma here:







Friday, July 14, 2017

Top 5 summer kids books

Hey guys!
Today I'm going to try out a new kind of post- a list post! And today's post's theme is...Summer books! These are my top five kids books that are good summer reads, or that remind me of summer 💙
Number Five: The Penderwicks

As a kid, this was one of my all time favorite summer books. It's about 4 sisters (always a great start to a book) who go to spend the summer in Massachusetts and find themselves staying on a gorgeous, sprawling estate. When I was a kid, my cousins and I would often get to spend time in Maine during the summer, so this setting holds a special place in my heart. And really, there's nothing better than New England summers.

Number Four: Anne of Green Gables

Anne of Green Gables was one of those books that I could never read enough times as a kid. My old copy is so worn and tattered that I'm surprised it hasn't fallen apart yet. I always wanted to go to Green Gables as a kid, and as a freckly bushy haired loudmouth ginger I empathized with Anne a lot. Anne of Green Gables is also one of those books that you can sink into and get lost in, no matter where you are or what time of year it is.

Number Three: The Bridge to Terabithia

Talk about a book that kicks your heart in the butt...
I love this book. I know it's not technically set during the summer, but something about the outdoor adventure and magical places gives it a really summery feel to me. The relationship that these kids have, the hope and peace they find in their friendship, the world they build together... It's all just so incredible. And even though it kicks your heart in the butt, it's completely worth it.

Number Two- Half Magic

This is another one of my favorites. When I first read this book I was probably 6 or 7, and I started wishing on every coin I found. Its the story of four siblings who find a magical coin. Whenever they wish on it, half as much as they wish for happens. This leads to some truly hilarious adventures for them that summer, and and some great stories for the reader.

Number One- Winnie The Pooh

You could never leave Winnie the Pooh off of a list about summer books. It's just impossible. To me, Winnie the Pooh is the quintessential summer children's book. It has a magical woodland populated by a funny, lovable, caring, curious, and diverse cast of characters. It is the perfect escape from reality, and as long as I live I will never stop loving Winnie the Pooh.

Monday, July 10, 2017

Vegan Almond Joy Truffles

Hey guys! Today I had such a strong craving for Almond Joys (because who doesn't love those things) and Reeses cups, so I decided to create my own vegan truffles based on them.
These things are so addictive. They're especially good when you put them in the fridge for awhile and eat them chilled. It's like 90 degrees here every day so I've been totally in the mood for some cold treats.
This recipe is incredibly simple, and it only takes about 20 minutes.
Ingredients:
-1 cup powdered peanut butter (I use PB2 because it's low fat) mixed according to directions or 1 cup peanut butter
-1 cup crushed graham crackers or Annie's bunny grams
-1 cup chopped walnuts
-1/4 cup cocoa powder
-1 cup shredded coconut
-2 cups shredded coconut for rolling the truffles in

Directions:
1- Mix all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl
2- Form into 1 inch balls using your hands
3- Cover in shredded coconut
4- Eat right there (like me) or chill for 1 hour and serve.

Thanks for reading my recipe guys! Be sure to tag me if you try out this recipe :)
I hope you're all having a wonderful July, and until next time, happy baking :)

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Quest to the Uncharted Lands


Hey guys! I got to work with Rockstar Book Tours this week for their blog tour of The Quest to the Uncharted Lands.



This awesome midgrade novel follows Stella, a young alchemist and healer, as she stows away in the cargo hold of a blimp. It’s on a mission to explore the Uncharted Lands, a part of the realm that has never been explored before. Stella’s parents are recruited to go on the mission (they’re both world renowned healers), and Stella is scared for their safety, so she sneaks onto the ship. On her first day hiding in the cargo hold she comes across a mysterious boy with golden eyes putting a protective charm over the engine room. The boy, Cyprus, and Stella become fast friends and must eventually join forces to protect the ship from a mysterious threat.


I really liked this book. Midgrade is my favorite genre so getting to read this book was SO exciting. I binge read this book in one sitting (and it was 320 pages). I really loved two main things about this book- the setting and the friendship.


This novel had a super cool steampunk feel to it. The world was either futuristic or in an alternate universe, and the steampunk aesthetic was so fun to read. One of my favorite things about books is how they can transport you to a different world, and this world was one I wanted to live in forever. It also had really interesting races of people, such as human-lizard shapeshifters. The diversity of races and groups in this book was really well done.


However, my absolute favorite part in the book was the friendship between Stella and Cyrus. Despite the futuristic setting, their friendship had a great old-fashioned adventure friends feel to it. The bonding they do down in the hold of the ship made me so happy, and I want a whole other book just of them being friends.


When I got to the end of this book I was so sad, because I just wanted it to start all over again. I HIGHLY suggest that you go out and get this book (in bookstores now) and the other books in the series!

As always, thanks for reading my review. Until next time, happy reading :)

Other books by Jaleigh-


Title: THE MARK OF THE DRAGONFLY
Author: Jaleigh Johnson
Pub. Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 400
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBD, Audible,  Goodreads

Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields. The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home. The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect--everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible. Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.

Title: THE SECRETS OF SOLACE
Author: Jaleigh Johnson
Pub. Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, audibook
Pages: 384
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDAudible, Goodreads

From Jaleigh Johnson, the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller The Mark of the Dragonfly, comes another thrilling adventure in the magical world of Solace.
   
Lina Winterbock lives in the mountain strongholds of Solace. She’s an apprentice to the archivists, the wise men and women whose lives are dedicated to cataloging, studying, and preserving the objects that mysteriously fall from the sky in the scrap towns.
   
Lina should be spending her days with books, but the Iron War has changed everything. The strongholds are now a refuge, and the people Lina once counted on no longer have time for her, so she spends her days exploring the hidden tunnels and passages of her home. The strongholds are vast and old, with twisting paths, forgotten rooms, and collapsed chambers, some of them containing objects that have been lost and forgotten even by the archivists.
   
And in one of the forgotten chambers, Lina discovers a secret.
   
Hidden deep in a cavern is a half-buried airship like nothing she has ever seen before. She’s determined to dig it out and restore it. But Lina needs help, and she doesn’t know anyone she can trust with her secret.
   
Then she meets Ozben, a mysterious boy who has a secret of his own—a secret that’s so dangerous it could change the course of the Iron War and the world of Solace forever. 

Praise for The Secrets of Solace: 

"An engaging world rich in detail, mayhem, and adventure...All aboard for fantasy lovers with a dual penchant for girl power and keeping up with the Indiana Joneses."—Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Mark of the Dragonfly: 
 
[STAR] “This magnetic middle-grade debut . . . [is] a page-turner that defies easy categorization and ought to have broad appeal.”—Publishers Weekly, Starred
 
[STAR] “Heart, brains, and courage find a home in a steampunk fantasy worthy of a nod from Baum.”—Kirkus Reviews, Starred
 
[STAR] “A fantastic and original tale of adventure and magic. . . . Piper is a heroine to fall in love with: smart, brave, kind, and mechanically inclined to boot.”—School Library Journal, Starred
 
A complex and impeccably developed plot—there is plenty to recommend in this novel.”—The Bulletin
 
Appealing characters and lots of action make it a good choice for young adventure readers.”—Booklist 


About Jaleigh:
Jaleigh Johnson is a fantasy novelist living and writing in the wilds of the Midwest.  Her middle grade debut novel The Mark of the Dragonfly is a New York Times bestseller, was chosen for the ABA 2014 Spring Indie Next list, and was named one of Amazon’s Top 20 Children’s Books of 2014.  Her other books in the Solace series from Delacorte Press include The Secrets of Solace and The Quest to the Uncharted Lands.  She has also written several novels and short stories for the Dungeons and Dragons Forgotten Realms fiction line published by Wizards of the Coast.  Johnson is an avid gamer and lifelong geek, and in her spare time she also enjoys traveling, reading, baking, and going to movies with her husband.  Visit her online at www.jaleighjohnson.com.  Photo credit: Mark Jones.  


Giveaway Details:
3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE QUEST TO THE UNCHARTED LANDS, US Only.
Enter the giveaway here !

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Don Paterson review

As a poet, poetry reader, and 50% Scot I am super excited to introduce you to Don Paterson!

He is, frankly, one of the best poets in the world today. Paterson is 54 years old, and a native Dundee Scot. Since his award winning debut collection “Nil Nil,” he has won acclaim by the handfuls. He has been awarded an unprecedented TWO T. S.  Eliot Prizes, among a tangle of others.

I happen to also be Scottish just like Mr. P so I’d take my laudations with a grain of salt. Here’s a link; read his poem “The Wreck” for yourself. https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems-and-poets/poems/detail/58266 Done it? Now you understand. What master of imagery could use both aqualungs and war to make a point about cyclical love?  This is his undoubted strength.  The poignancy and originality of his imagery is unrivaled.  I would relate him to T. S. Eliot, the king of oyster shells and one night cheap hotels (Paterson won Eliot’s prize for a reason). Notably, his imagery connects with the environment. The theme of relationships between viewer and nature, or lover and lover, develop through the metaphorical parallel of the speaker, who implicitly has a relationship with the scene.

He is certainly not a millennial, but his poems cover subjects from raw love to climate change to flowers.  The scope of his work is relatable to many younger poets, who flit from emotion to emotion like an echolocationless bat.  But, unlike millennial poets, whose undoubted weakness is their style, Paterson has the stylistic talent of the old generation of writers. So basically, he has the content of the hip kids and the semantics of a, well, 54 year old.

I only learned about him a month ago, and since then I have pirated every poem of his I could find (and intend to buy every collection at the bookstore next time I go). If you are interested in poetry I suggest using the resource https://www.poetryfoundation.org/ it has biographies and poetry from every artist imaginable. And best of all it’s completely free! I have used it for a year now and I recommend it to every avid reader I know.

Have a poetic evening.

Love,

Mhairi

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Intro to new host!

Hey guys! So I've decided to co-host this blog with another one of my friends who is also a writer, and also loves vegan baking :) She's pretty awesome, but I'll let her introduce herself.
-Morgan

Greetings, to the book blog reading world!

I’m Mhairi Cameron, and I like getting the niceties out of the way. So here’s my introduction: I’m sixteen and I like Joseph Conrad, being your future president, and veganism. I like these things for a myriad of reasons, but mostly because I am pretentious.

Additionally, I like writing poetry-I am mostly inspired my T.S Eliot and Tennyson.  My first book of poems, “Sicilo,” was published in November, and my first novel is almost in editing.  I look forward to writing poetry reviews for you. My other area of expertise is victorian literature, mainly Dickens, Conrad, and Kipling.  It is hard to write those reviews, though, because those books have been out for a long time.

I’m a professional-so glad I can say that now-actress. I also songwriter indie music about the same boy over and over again.  

Morgan is my best friend, and she has written one more book than I have, which is to say one.  I live next to her grandmother on a beautiful farm.  

Love,

Mhairi