Stories from the Witch Store

witchstore

Stories from the Witch Store by Olga Gutsol (114 pages, Published 8/20/2017)

Summary: Funny and imaginative chronicles from the life of a hereditary witch Arelia who, along with her loyal companions Cat and house-ghost Puck, moved to the small town of Burnaville to open the Magic Potions store. Here she falls into a lifetime of boredom. How have her magical powers resulted in this? What is missing from the charming life she has built?

Review: I rated this book 3.5 stars. It’s quite a cute book (I mean, look at that cover!) with beautiful illustrations and lots of fun adventures for a witch and her best friends. Arelia is witty and interesting, although she can be a bit annoying sometimes, complaining a lot and thinking that she is above everything and everyone because she’s a witch. Cat and Puck (the house spirit) are quite funny. I also wish that there was more backstory. We don’t get to find out much about Arelia before she moves to Burnaville or any of the other characters before the story. And although there are a lot of interesting day-to-day experiences, there isn’t a whole lot of a plot, so if you’re interested in something with a clear story arc, character development, and some sort of overarching goal, this might not be the book for you. Still, it was a very compelling premise. I don’t think I’ve ever read anything where a witch is just jotting down her everyday adventures, and it was very interesting to read about Arelia’s type of witchcraft. Stories from the Witch Store was an interesting, fast, and beautiful read.


Note: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

 

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What I’m Reading Before Summer

My school year ends on June 19th, and before that happens I’d like to read a few books. Here’s the list:

thefates The Fates Divide by Veronica Roth

This is the second book in its series, after Carve the Mark. I read this last Summer and liked it quite a lot, so I’m excited to dive back into this world. Some of my friends have like this and some haven’t, so I want to figure out my opinion.

 

cityofglass

City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

I know I’m super late to reading this series. I read the first book several years ago, but I read the first two books a couple weeks ago and want to finish the series this time, and at least 1 or 2 before school ends.

 

Image result for the girl with the red balloonThe Girl with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke

I don’t know much about this book, except that it is about a girl who goes back in time to post-World War II Germany. This time period really fascinates me, so hopefully, it will be an interesting read.

 

Image result for strange the dreamerStrange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor

I’ve heard so much about this book from my friends and online. It sounds like a really interesting concept.

 

 

I’ll be posting updates throughout the month as it goes along. I have much more time for reading because my AP tests are over, but finals are coming up and I really need to study for those.

Bookish Get to Know Me Tag

Hey guys! I thought this post would be nice to do as this blog is rather new and it’s a nice way to get to know me. I got this tag from Tomes with Tea, so go check out the post on there. Happy reading!

Can you stop reading at any time, or does it have to be a certain page or chapter?   Sometimes I can stop reading at any time (I love using Post-Its as bookmarks so that helps), but if I’m really enjoying the book it has to be at the end of the chapter. Or the next one… or the next one.

Do you eat or drink while reading?                                                                                                Occasionally, I’ll drink some tea or hot chocolate or have some sort of snack.

Can you listen to music or watch TV while reading?                                                              I can, but I prefer it to be quiet when I do. My eighth grade English teacher loved playing Christmas songs (at all times of the year) while we were reading, and it got pretty annoying.

One book at a time or several at once?                                                                                        Several. I generally have 3 to 5 books that I’m currently reading.

Reading at home or everywhere?
My favorite reading spot is my bed or the couch in my family room. I’ll read anywhere and everywhere though; at school, in the car, on the plane, etc.

Reading out loud or silently in your head?
I definitely prefer reading silently.

Do you read ahead or skip pages?
I don’t usually read ahead or skip pages, but if the book gets a bit boring, I might (or I’ll look up the ending on the internet).

Breaking the spine or keeping it new?
I never break the spine- I like keeping my books nice, so I never fold corners or write in them, or anything like that.

Do you write books or just read them?
Once I did write a book for a girl in Pennsylvania through a children’s literacy program, but it wasn’t officially published (does that count?), and I have lots of unfinished books in notebooks or on my computer. I’d love to publish a book one day.

If you do this tag, please comment your blog address down below. I’d love to read it!

Hope you all have a fantastic week!

-Adeline

 

#readathonbyzoe: December 2017

Hey all.

I very much enjoy 24 Hour Readathons because I tend to read more during the day of the event than I do in week long readathons and I think I’ll be able to squeeze in a lot of reading during this one.

This particular readathon was started by Zoe Herdt, who is one of my favorite BookTubers. Here is a link to the video she posted detailing this readathon: Video. I think that this is fourth 24 Hour Readathon Zoe has held this year.

As you can probably guess from the name 24 Hour Readathon, the goal is to read as many books as you can in one 24 hour period. In this case that will be this Saturday, December 9th. You start reading as the clock strikes midnight wherever you are, and read as much as you can before the clock strikes midnight again.

Okay, now for my TBR for this event. I’m not sure I’ll be able to read all day, so I’ve only picked up a couple, and these may change when I actually start reading.

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Winter by Marissa Meyer

This is the fourth book in the Lunar Chronicles series. I just finished the third book, Cress, and LOVED it, so I’m so excited to read this one. It is quite long (832 pages), so I probably won’t get to read much else.

 

 

 

 

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The Giver by Lois Lowry

I’ve never read this book, but lots of my friends have recommended it to me, so I thought I’d give it a try. It’s on the shorter side, so I may be able to finish it.

Turtles All the Way Down

turtlesallthewaydowntransparentTurtles All the Way Down by John Green

Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of fugitive billionaire Russell Pickett, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend, Daisy, is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from Russell Pickett’s son, Davis.

Aza is trying. She is trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, a good student, and maybe even a good detective, while also living within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts.

Review: Five out of five stars. This book was absolutely fantastic- one of my best reads of the year. I’ve been excited for this to come out for months, and I was so happy to finally get to read it. As a reader of all of the John Green books, I’d say it was his second best novel (after The Fault in Our Stars).

The plot was unique and fun and the characters were awesome. As a teenager myself, I felt like John Green was able to capture this stage of life well. The characters are so relatable. Aza, the main character has OCD, which I found was really interesting to read about. It was nice that Aza’s OCD didn’t let up and she didn’t get better, but that she was still a wonderful character.

Overall, Turtles All the Way Down was a fun, riveting, and very memorable read.

September 2017 Wrap-Up

It’s finally fall! I love curling up with a book and a warm drink during this season, but before I do that I need to sum up what happened this month.

What I Read (stay tuned for reviews):
meganwhalenturner_thethiefThe Thief by Megan Whalen Turner (3/5 stars)

Synopsis: The king’s scholar, the magus, believes he knows the site of an ancient treasure. To attain it for his king, he needs a skillful thief, and he selects Gen from the king’s prison. The magus is interested only in the thief’s abilities.

What Gen is interested in is anyone’s guess. Their journey toward the treasure is both dangerous and difficult, lightened only imperceptibly by the tales they tell of the old gods and goddesses.

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The Weight of Zero by Karen Fortunati (4/5 stars)

Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Cath knows Zero is coming for her. Zero, the devastating depression born of Catherine’s bipolar disease, has almost triumphed once, propelling Catherine to her first suicide attempt. With Zero only temporarily restrained by the latest med du jour, time is running out. In an old ballet shoebox, Catherine stockpiles meds, preparing to take her own life when Zero next arrives.

But Zero’s return is delayed. Unexpected relationships along with the care of a new psychiatrist start to alter Catherine’s perception of her diagnosis. But will this be enough? This is a story of loss and grief and hope and how the many shapes of love – maternal, romantic and platonic – impact a young woman’s struggle with mental illness.

24529123This is Where it Ends by Marieke Nijkamp (3/5 stars)

Synopsis: 10:00 a.m. The principal of Opportunity High School finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m. The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

10:03 a.m. The auditorium doors won’t open.

10:05 a.m. Someone starts shooting.

Told from four different perspectives over the span of fifty-four harrowing minutes, terror reigns as one student’s calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

32731231Once and For All by Sarah Dessen (3/5 stars)

Synopsis: Louna, daughter of famed wedding planner Natalie Barrett, has seen every sort of wedding: on the beach, at historic mansions, in fancy hotels and clubs. Perhaps that’s why she’s cynical about happily-ever-after endings, especially since her own first love ended tragically. When Louna meets charming, happy-go-lucky serial dater Ambrose, she holds him at arm’s length. But Ambrose isn’t about to be discouraged, now that he’s met the one girl he really wants.

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What I Lost by Alexandra Ballard (4/5 stars)

Synopsis: What sixteen-year-old Elizabeth has lost so far: forty pounds, four jean sizes, a boyfriend, and her peace of mind. As a result, she’s finally a size zero. She’s also the newest resident at Wallingfield, a treatment center for girls like her—girls with eating disorders. Elizabeth is determined to endure the program so she can go back home, where she plans to start restricting her food intake again. She’s pretty sure her mom, who has her own size 0 obsession, needs treatment as much as she does. Maybe even more. Then Elizabeth begins receiving mysterious packages. Are they from her ex-boyfriend, a secret admirer, or someone playing a cruel trick?

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Beast by Brie Spangler (3/5 stars)

Synopsis: Tall, meaty, muscle-bound, and hairier than most throw rugs, Dylan doesn’t look like your average fifteen-year-old, so, naturally, high school has not been kind to him. To make matters worse, on the day his school bans hats (his preferred camouflage), Dylan goes up on his roof only to fall and wake up in the hospital with a broken leg—and a mandate to attend group therapy for self-harmers.

Dylan vows to say nothing and zones out at therapy—until he meets Jamie. She’s funny, smart, and so stunning, even his womanizing best friend, JP, would be jealous. She’s also the first person to ever call Dylan out on his self-pitying and superficiality. As Jamie’s humanity and wisdom begin to rub off on Dylan, they become more than just friends. But there is something Dylan doesn’t know about Jamie, something she shared with the group the day he wasn’t listening. Something that shouldn’t change a thing. She is who she’s always been—an amazing photographer and devoted friend, who also happens to be transgender. But will Dylan see it that way?

The Leaving by Tara Altebrando (4/5 stars)

Synopsis: Six were taken. Eleven years later, five come back–with no idea of where they’ve been.

Eleven years ago, six kindergarteners went missing without a trace. After all that time, the people left behind moved on, or tried to.

Until today. Today five of those kids return. They’re sixteen, and they are . . . fine. Scarlett comes home and finds a mom she barely recognizes, and doesn’t really recognize the person she’s supposed to be, either. But she thinks she remembers Lucas. Lucas remembers Scarlett, too, except they’re entirely unable to recall where they’ve been or what happened to them. Neither of them remember the sixth victim, Max. He doesn’t come back. Everyone wants answers. Most of all Max’s sister Avery, who needs to find her brother–dead or alive–and isn’t buying this whole memory-loss story.

What I’m Currently Reading:

Words on Bathroom Walls by Julia Wanton

Synopsis: Adam has just been diagnosed with schizophrenia. He sees and hears people who aren’t there: Rebecca, a beautiful girl who understands him; the Mob Boss, who harasses him; and Jason, the naked guy who’s unfailingly polite. It should be easy to separate the real from the not real, but Adam can’t.

Still, there’s hope. As Adam starts fresh at a new school, he begins a drug trial that helps him ignore his visions. Suddenly everything seems possible, even love. When he meets Maya, a fiercely intelligent girl, he desperately wants to be the great guy that she thinks he is. But then the miracle drug begins to fail, and Adam will do anything to keep Maya from discovering his secret.

 

All the Bright Places

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

Pages: 378

Synopsis: The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Elle Fanning!
 
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.

Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

My Review:

“For what it’s worth, you showed me something– there is such a thing as a perfect day.”

Four out of five stars.

This was a great book. It was sad an beautiful and very emotional.

But anyways… I decided to read this book because it was associated with The Fault in Our Stars, which I loved, so I had high expectations for this book.

This book clearly represents what it’s like to be bullied and to have a mental illness.

I loved Finch’s character and I have to admit that I’ve grown attached to him. I also adored his and Violet’s interactions and their unique ideas. And their relationship was really cute.

No matter how devastating this book was, it was still a fun and incredible read. The author had a brilliant writing style. I also loved how the author made tackled a lot of delicate issues in this book. It was a story that entertains while teaching you something deep that changes you.

-Adeline

BookTubeAThon Wrap-Up

BookTubeAThon ended last night and I had so much fun participating! I actually managed to read all seven books on my TBR, which I didn’t expect, so I’m pretty happy about that.

All in all, I feel I had a very successful BookTubeAThon. It really pushed me to read a lot of books. Thanks to Ariel Bassett for organizing this!

Stay tuned for my reviews on the books I read for BookTubeAThon!

-Adeline

BookTubeAThon TBR 2017

It’s that time of year again- BookTubeAThon! I’m not a booktuber, but I thought it would be fun to participate anyway.

BookTube is a community of people on YouTube who post videos about books and reading, and every summer there is a seven-day read-a-thon hosted by Ariel Bissett. This year it’s from July 24th to July 30th. The main goal is to read seven books, but there are also six other reading challenges.

Without further ado, here is my TBR:

51dkyfgx6xl-_sx329_bo1204203200_I am going to read Alex and Eliza for the challenge Read a book with a person on the cover. As you might guess, this book is about the love story between Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler, and as I’m a big Hamilton fan, I thought it would be a fun read. I’m about seventy pages into the book already, so I’m excited to finish it.

 

 

30117284For the Read a hyped book challenge, I chose Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth. This book was incredibly hyped when it came out, and that’s one of the reasons I bought it. Now, it’s been sitting on my TBR shelf for a while, so I decided to finally pick it up.

 

 

 

31212365The next challenge is Read a book in one day. I’m going to read Optimists Die First. This book is relatively short (224 pages), so I think I can get it done in a day. Several of my friends have highly recommended it to me, so I hope it lives up to the things I have heard.

 

 

 

31815272The fourth challenge is Read a book about a character that is very different from you. I picked Anna and the Swallow Man. This book is about a seven-year old girl who lives in Poland in 1939. Her father, who is a professor, is taken away in the purge of intellectuals. After he’s gone, she meets a mysterious father-like man who takes her on a journey around the country. Anna experiences a very different situation than me.

 

 

9780399538537_p0_v3_s1200x630Then we have the challenge Finish a book completely outdoors. I don’t read outdoors much, but I decided to read Tales of the Peculiar, which is a collection of short stories about the world of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and subsequent books. I got Tales of the Peculiar on audiobook so that I can listen to it while I walk outside.

 

 

20983362Challenge number six is Read a book you bought because of the cover. For this one, I picked Passenger, a book about Etta Spencer, a violin prodigy who gets taken back in time to the 1700s.

 

 

 

 

32302187The final challenge is Read seven books. I already have the six books listed above and I chose The Leaf Reader as my seventh book. It’s about a girl named Marnie who learns how to read tea leaves, but doesn’t believe the predictions are true. That is, until she does a reading for Matt.

 

 

 

Well, that’s it for my TBR! It’s a little ambitious, but I’ll see how many I can manage. Guess we’ll find out in my wrap-up…

-Adeline

Check out my BookTubeAThon reading progress with this spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1pJrsIcsLuULP6sMFAc8UhR6IlFxmU32vQTilCVDHAPI/edit?usp=sharing

 

 

Wildwood

Wildwood by Colin Meloy

Illustrated by Carson Ellis

Number of Pages: 560

Synopsis:

Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her brother is abducted by a murder of crows and taken to the Impassable Wilderness, a dense, tangled forest on the edge of Portland. No one’s ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it.

So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval—a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much greater, as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness. A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.

Review: I really enjoyed this book. It was a cool concept and I loved all of the illustrations throughout the book. The beginning was a little boring, but it got more exciting at it went along, and it turned out to be pretty action-packed and adventurous.

I didn’t like the characters very much. None of the main characters seemed to have back stories or unique emotions. You don’t really get to know Curtis or Prue.

I also thought that the book was pretty predictable. All the people you expected to be bad were bad and all the people you expected to be good were good. Nothing super exciting happened. Overall, I’d give it a three out of five stars.