Sleep, Merel, Sleep

sleepmerelsleep_cover-animatedSleep, Merel, Sleep by Silke Stein (Released on June 7th!)

Synopsis: Who wants to be awake forever?

Life has changed for eight-year-old Merel. Since the birth of her sick baby brother, her parents seem to have forgotten she exists. But when she finds a tiny silver violin in her bedroom rug, things take a turn for the worse.

Merel learns that her sleep has abandoned her and that she must embark on a perilous journey to recover it or stay awake forever. Together with her devoted toy sheep Roger, tired Merel sets out in search of Lullaby Grove. Before long, she finds herself haunted by a scary stranger.

Follow Merel into a surreal world. Meet a sleepy king with an obsession for feathers and a transparent old man on a night train going nowhere. Discover why the moonfish cry, why you should never walk across the Great Yawns ― and if poor Merel can escape her pursuer, win back her sleep, and realize what matters most in her life.

3.5 stars. This book was very abstract and weird, but quite interesting. It would be a great pick for middle-grade children who are about to become big brothers or sisters. Merel’s brother was just born, and Merel isn’t too pleased with him. Because he is sick, Merel’s parents never have time for her. One night, Merel’s sleep abandons her and she must go on a whimsical journey to find her “Sleep” and return his violin to him so that she can go to bed. Along the way, she meets friends and enemies and learns about what truly matters in her life.

I do wish that some things were explained a little more and that the transitions weren’t so odd and quick. It was a little like Alice in Wonderland, where the story is one nonsensical adventure after another, but it was still fun. Also, I wished that the ending wasn’t so abrupt, and didn’t leave so many loose ends untied. The last chapter or so confused me at first, because Merel went from one situation to another without explanation.

I liked how Silke Stein incorporated the issues of death of a loved one and the sickness of a premature sibling. It explains it in a way that children could understand, but adults can relate to.

The various characters were imaginative and interesting, and were one of the best parts of this book. Merel is relatable and brave. Though a bit unlikable at first (I mean, she threw enough tantrums that even her sleep abandoned her), she grew into a strong and smart little girl.

ARC provided by the author, Silke Stein, in exchange for my honest review.

 

 

 

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The Electrical Menagerie & Giveaway!

39719906The Electrical Menagerie by Mollie E. Reader (Releases on June 9th!)

Synopsis: The Electrical Menagerie, one-of-a-kind robotic roadshow, is bankrupt.

Sylvester Carthage, illusionist, and engineer has the eccentric imagination the Menagerie needs to succeed creatively — but none of the people skills. Fast-talking Arbrook Huxley, meanwhile, has all the savvy the Menagerie needs to succeed commercially — but none of the scruples.

To save their show, Carthage & Huxley stake everything in a royal talent competition, vying for the once-in-a-lifetime chance to perform for the Future Celestial Queen. In this stardust-and-spark-powered empire of floating islands and flying trains, the Menagerie’s bid at fame and fortune means weathering the glamorous and cutthroat world of critics, high society, and rival magicians — but with real conspiracy lurking beneath tabloid controversy, there’s more at stake in this contest than the prize.

Behind the glittery haze of flash paper and mirrors, every competitor has something to hide… and it’s the lies Carthage & Huxley tell each other that may cost them everything.

4 stars. The Electrical Menagerie was a fantastical adventure reminiscent of The Greatest Showman and Caraval. It was a whimsical journey through the fame, danger, and magic of the show business on the Celestial Isles. I haven’t really been a fan of the steampunk genre in the past, but this book really changed my views on it. It was a fun, fast-paced read that got my attention right from the Prologue. I really love the writing style- it’s descriptive, it’s imaginative, and it makes you feel like you are right in the action. All of the plot twists caught me by surprise and the murder mystery side of the story had me interested and guessing, and the conclusion was thrilling and satisfying, leaving room for future stories but not a cliffhanger.

The book is filled with well-developed characters that you can easily relate to. They are well-thought out and have seemingly real emotions and thoughts. Carthage and Huxley, the main characters, are so different, yet their friendship is very real.

The world was also extremely well developed. I could imagine everything so well, but it wasn’t too wordy or dense. Floating islands, stars that orbit the planet, space trains, holopapers, and magical electricals.

I don’t really have much to complain about with this book. Perhaps some of the tricks and shows could have been explained just a little better, and the backstories of some of the minor characters could have been elaborated on just a little more, but other than that, there isn’t anything to complain about.

Amazing storytelling, fleshed-out characters, and a mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat- it makes for a fascinating tale and a series that I am looking forward to seeing more in the future!

Note: I was provided with a free advanced review copy of this book. This does not affect the content of my review.

Giveaway!

Until June 13, you can enter to win a Celestial Isles Prize Pack from the author. This includes: “High Victorian” luxury playing cards, a handmade galaxy mug, a Science and Engineering themed notebook set, and a tin of Electrical Menagerie themed tea! (US only.) Click on this link and enter to win!

Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge

June starts tomorrow, which means it’s officially the start of Summer Reading season (at least, for me), even if it’s not really Summer, yet. This year I’m going to share my TBR according to the Goodreads Summer Reading Challenge. It features 23 challenges, either summer related or designed to stretch your reading comfort zone.

 

coverInto the Great Wide Open: Read a book that takes place in the great wide open.

The Gracekeepers tells the story of Callanish and North. Callanish is a “gracekeeper” who lays the dead to rest deep in the sea, alone on an island. North is a performer in a traveling circus that sails from one archipelago to the next in a world that’s covered in water. This sounds like a beautiful story of friendship and adventure on the vast sea.

 

Get Your Grill On: Read a book that features outdoor summer activities.

This memoir by Cameron Powell tells the tale of his 500-mile journey across Spain with his mother, who has cancer (hiking is a summery enough, right?). This book comes out on June 5th, and I’m excited to start reading it.

 

9780316341684_zoomThe Colors of Summer: Read a book that features a yellow, green, or sandy cover.

Yellow enough, yes? I’ve been excited to read Strange the Dreamer for a long time, and all of my friends who have read it have spoken highly of it. I’m not too clear on what the plot is, but I believe it centers around a boy who wants to find a lost city.

 

51bgoe2bi2ul-_sx351_bo1204203200_Beach Bum: Read a book that could be considered a “beach read.”

According to PureWow, this is a beach read. I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while, but never really got to it. Anyways, it’s a high school murder mystery that combines The Breakfast Club with Pretty Little Liars.

 

91tgqva-1tlSand Between My Toes: Read a book that takes place in or around a beach or ocean.

The Summer of Chasing Mermaids is the story of Elyse, a singer who lost her voice in a boating accident. She accepts a friends invitation to stay in a seaside town in Oregon, and I’m sure some romance ensues.

 

22926200Ocean Blue: Read a book that takes place on the water.

Denver sneaks into a beach party in Malibu, but things turn from bad to worse when a tsunami strikes California and Denver is swept out to sea on a small boat with the most popular kids at her high school.

 

the-little-beach-street-bakeryHook ‘Em: Read a book that features fishing or fishermen.

According to the Goodreads List “Fisherman Novels”, this book features a fisherman. In Little Beach Street Bakery, Polly Waterford moves to the seaside resort of Polbearne, where she opens a bakery.

 

31450960Sports-A-Holic: Read a book that features a popular summer sport.

Caroline is destined to be a wherryman (sailing = sport), but it might be too late. When her father is arrested, Caroline volunteers to transport mysterious cargo in exchange for his release, hoping the river will select her for the position of wherryman.

 

33958366Campfire Story: Read a book that scares the bejesus out of you.

I just selected a horror novel for this one, This Darkness Mine, about Sasha, a girl who absorbed her twin in the womb. But that doesn’t explain the gaps of missing time and memories of things she definitely didn’t do.

 

 

41lowc1t-kl-_sx332_bo1204203200_One and Done: Read a book that you can finish in one day.

The shortest book on my TBR pile, Get Well Soon features Anna, a girl who suffers from depression. Her parents have her sent to a mental hospital, where she meets a cute boy and a secretive roommate. One of my friends recommended this book, and I’m excited to see if it is good.

 

 

25844635Let’s Get it On: Read a book that features falling in or out of love.

Dylan is the younger sister of Dusty, the former Miss Mississippi and who is now marrying the prince of  Scotland. Dylan is thrust into the spotlight of reality TV, where she meets a cute bookish groomsman.

 

 

cover-for-queens-of-geek-by-jen-wilde

Take Pride: Read a book by an LGBT author or that features an LGBT character.

This book sounds really interesting and features two love stories centered around attending a convention, which sounds super cool. The author, Jen Wilde is bisexual, and I believe there is at least one LGBT character in the book.

 

17316589Read the World: Read a book that takes place in a country different from your own.

In The Kingdom of Little Wounds, Princess Sophia is preparing for her wedding in the Scandinavian city of Skyggehavn. However, a mysterious illness plagues the royal family and the courtier sets a devious plot into motion, hoping to win the king’s favor.

 

51xhz1hcall-_sx331_bo1204203200_Diversify Yourself: Read a book by an author of color.

Camellia Beauregard is a Belle. In Orléans, the people are born gray and only with the help of a Belle and her talents can they transform and be made beautiful. But it’s not enough for Camellia to be just a Belle. She wants to be the favorite—the Belle chosen by the Queen of Orléans to live in the royal palace

 

51npba2ybalYou Have A Lovely Accent: Read a book that was translated from another language.

Ruby Red was translated from German and tells the tale of Gwyneth, whose cousin Charlotte had prepared to be a time traveler her whole life. Unexpectedly, it is Gwyneth who takes a trip through time to 18th century London, where she must solve mysteries about herself and her family.

 

13253994Won’t Be Long: Read a collection of short stories or essays.

Straying husbands lured into the sea can be fetched back, for a fee. Magpies whisper to lonely drivers late at night. Trees can make wishes come true – provided you know how to wish properly first. Houses creak, fill with water and keep a fretful watch on their inhabitants, straightening shower curtains and worrying about frayed carpets. A teenager’s growing pains are sometimes even bigger than him. And, on a windy beach, a small boy and his grandmother keep despair at bay with an old white door. In these stories, Cornish folklore slips into everyday life. Hopes, regrets and memories are entangled with catfish, wrecker’s lamps, standing stones and baying hounds, and relationships wax and wane in the glow of a moonlit sea.

 

41izl0igvjl-_sx328_bo1204203200_Poet at Heart: Read a book of poetry.

I’ve been seeing this book everywhere. It’s a poetry collection about growth, healing, ancestry, honoring one’s roots, and rising up to find a home within yourself. All of the people I know who’ve read this have spoken very highly of it, and I’m sure it will be an interesting read.

 

975076My, What Big Teeth You Have: Read a book that puts a spin on a fairy-tale.

The Night Dance is a retelling of the Twelve Dancing Princesses, as you can probably tell. I don’t really know what spin is put on the tale, but I hope that it will be an interesting take on one of my favorite fairy tales.

 

 

23719270High Noon: Read a classic or contemporary Western.

When Kate Thompson’s father is killed by the notorious Rose Riders for a mysterious journal that reveals the secret location of a gold mine, the eighteen-year-old disguises herself as a boy and takes to the gritty plains looking for answers and justice. What she finds are devious strangers, dust storms, and a pair of brothers who refuse to quit riding in her shadow.

 

bookcover_replicaTBRing It: Read a book from the bottom of your TBR pile.

I’ve been wanting to read this book for a while. Replica features a research institute off the coast of Florida, where thousands of replicas, or human models are made. Lyra is a Replica, while Gemma is a girl who gets abducted by a stranger claiming to know her. They must both unravel the mysteries of Haven, and learn the terrible truth about themselves.

 

51zb1ggd5vl-_sx328_bo1204203200_Unshelve It: Read a book that’s been sitting on your Goodreads shelves for a while.

I’ve had this book on my Want to Read shelf for a little over a year, and I’ve heard it’s really good. Blue meets Gansey on St. Mark’s Eve, when the soon-to-be dead walk past. For long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, she isn’t so sure anymore.

 

PrintChildhood Reboot: Read a choose-your-own-adventure novel.

I just saw this being announced, and it looks really cool. I believe it is a historical romance, and it is also choose-your-own-adventure that allows you to pick between several romantic interests and situations.

 

 

c786e0a2e300f9fc1d65b5bf5b7fc886Listen to Me: Listen to an audiobook.

I’ve been making my way through The Mortal Instruments the past month or so, and I’ve really been enjoying it. I’m sure most of you know about the plot of this series, but if not it is about a group of Shadowhunters, who rid the world of demons.

 

 

Quite a long TBR post, but it is for three months. I’m pretty sure I’ll be able to get to all of these books, though I may not stick strictly to this TBR. Stay tuned for Wrap-Ups throughout the summer.

Have a lovely day!

xoxo, Adeline