Sunday, January 25, 2015

SNOW LIKE ASHES by Sara Raasch, Book Review


Published by: Balzer & Bray
Released on: 10.14.15
Rating: 5 Stars - I LOVED IT
Source: ARC from publisher / Purchased book
Purchase from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

A heartbroken girl. A fierce warrior. A hero in the making.

Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. Now, the Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been waiting for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild the kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee, raised by the Winterians’ general, Sir. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, and future king, Mather — she would do anything to help her kingdom rise to power again.

So when scouts discover the location of the ancient locket that can restore Winter’s magic, Meira decides to go after it herself. Finally, she’s scaling towers, fighting enemy soldiers, and serving her kingdom just as she’s always dreamed she would. But the mission doesn’t go as planned, and Meira soon finds herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics – and ultimately comes to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own.


An epic fantasy! Sara Raasch's SNOW LIKE ASHES is truly unique. It has all the makings of an unforgettable book. Magic, romance, adventure, action, and an unforgettable heroine who has quickly become one of my favorites. Snow Like Ashes gave me everything I had hoped it would, and then some. What makes this book stand out among many, is it's coming of age story. This story is about courage, sacrificing for the greater good of the community, and finding ones place in the middle of it all.

THE SETTING

Set in a world, where kingdom are divided into seasons, each kingdom has it's own magic. A power, which comes from the royal heir who rules over that kingdom. This power is what helps the people living within in that particular kingdom. It is a power that can be used for good or something evil. When Meira's kingdom, the kingdom of Winter, is over thrown by Spring, most all of her people are destroyed. Much of the hope, and power that the few remaining Winterians need, now lies with the very few who have escaped. 

THE MAIN CHARACTER

Though this story is set in a beautiful, and deadly fantasy world, I found it incredibly easy to identify with Meira's self discovery of who she is, and where she fits into this world. Meira is a character I liked from the get go. She is a feisty, stubborn, incredibly strong girl. Despite what others say, and what is customary, she doesn't let her lack of standing within the kingdom hold her back on what she wants, and knows she is good at. 

She is out to prove she is worthy to fight for her country, and defend the last bit of Winterian magic that is still left. Her much of her life she's had to struggle with fitting in into a broken kingdom that has tried to mold her into someone she's not. She has had to work harder than anyone to prove her self, and her worth. She'll stop at nothing to be accepted for the greatness she knows she has within in herself, that she's constantly having to withhold. 

Meira is the kind of heroine I wish I had read about when I was teen. She proves that even when she doesn't have much choice, there is always a choice. She proves that in a world ruled by power, and women and men have rules within her kingdom, she can fight for the role she knows she's destined to have. She proves that you can never give up, and you have to learn to face the things that scare you the most. Most importantly, Meira proves that when something is worth fighting for, you don't stop fighting for it.

THE ROMANCE

The relationships in this book are great, but the romantic interests are fabulous. Raasch does such a wonderful job at allowing me to understand both Theron and Mather. I liked being able to understand where they are coming from with their decision making and choices they both make. Both characters have a lot they have to deal with, and they both have a lot they stand to loose, though Theron stands to loose more than Mather. 

PRINCE THERON STOLE MY HEART

From the moment he entered the story, I knew he would be a perfect match for Meira, and he'd would be the one for me. Prince Theron is not who I was excepting him to be. Especially after knowing who is father is, and the way Sir and Mather have treated Meira. I was excepting someone more like them. He's far from them. From the moment he meets her, Theron treats Meira like an equal. He doesn't look at her as anything, but someone who's capable of doing great things. Excuse me while I yell and cheer over that! 

Theron supports Meira in what she can do, vs holding her back. He helps her learn how she can still be herself, and not lose herself to the circumstances that are currently out of both her and Theron's control. I admired the fact that against what is allowed, he wants her to be able to make her own choices. He understands what it feels like, more than anyone else, to have choices. I love that he gave her friendship. AND, Theron fights for Meira! If he hadn't already won my heart over with how he treats Meira, he would have won over it in the scene that happens near the end of the book. I love how these two got each other. They both offered each other so much. With all Theron gives Meira, she gives him trust, support  friendship, and hope. She allows him to see that he can go against tradition and what is taught as right, and fight for something he knows is right. 

While they come from different kingdoms, they both have so many similarities, and really understood what the other was feeling. There is a connection between these two, that I felt Meira and Mather never had. To me, Mather is a familiar safe harbor for Meira, while Theron becomes her rock. He makes her feel stronger by having confidence in her abilities, something she's never had before. 

 Sure Mather has grown up with Meira, and they've been through a lot (that's an understatement), but he doesn't fight for her like I wanted him to. He doesn't offer her all that Theron does. I felt Mather lacked in proving his worth to her Meira, because of that. He never takes a stand, and fights against all they are dealing with, to be beside her. He doesn't treat her as an equal like Theron does. I really needed Mather to do these things. Most importantly, I wanted him to always stand beside her, and he doesn't. While I get that he can't always, Theron proves otherwise. 

IN CONCLUSION

Oh this book, and all the feels that come with it! It is one heck of an epic adventure, fantasy with all the makings of a top ten feature. This is a book when I was handed an arc of it, I was told this is a book that was right up my alley. Indeed it was! I feel like I've said that word many times during this review, but it is. I loved everything about this story. The twist and turns, the magical elements, the seasons, the characters, the writing, and the connection I felt to it's main character. SNOW LIKE ASHES gave me everything I wanted, and so much more. If this is Raasch's debut, I can hardly imagine how her next book will read. This debut is epic! I highly recommend picking this one up! I can not wait for it's sequel. 

New To My Shelves #183 - Winter and Spring Releases, Edition

Welcome to this week's edition of New To My Shelves (previously known as In My Mailbox (IMM) / Stacking the Shelves (STS) or My Weekly Round Up in the Stacks. You can check out all the goodies that have arrived via my Instagram accountHere are a few of the goodies that have been added to my bookcases this past week. 

I know it's still Winter, but I am already longing for Spring, and it's upcoming releases. There are some fantastic titles that will be hitting shelves in a few months. I'm looking forward to reading some of those titles, which are featured below. 

For Review




Gifted
Thank you to Jenny Martin for the package of AWESOME Tracked swag!! I'll have more about Tracked soon here on MM's. 




THANK YOU to:
Disney Hyperion, Harper Teen, Henry Holt, MacMillan, Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, and Jenny Martin for this week's exciting new reads. 

What new goodies have your added to your shelves this week? I'd love to see. Please leave me a comment, and include you a link to your post, so I can visit your site. Happy Reading!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Celebrate National Readathon Day, TODAY from Noon-4 P.M. #NationalReadathonDay #TimeToRead



It's National Readathon Day #NationalReadathonDay!  A day in which you can help promote literacy. 

Readers are invited to sit and read from 12 pm - 4 pm! That's right, you are awarded guilt

free reading in the middle of your busy Saturday afternoon to sit and read your favorite books, pick up new books, and kick back and relax. How can you say no to promote literacy, and taking time to have guilt free reading? Many of us readers are expanding that time to even longer. 

The important thing about today, is taking the time to read, and promote something many of take for granted, being able to read. If you can't join in from noon-4 pm, read earlier, or later. If you can take part during designated times, please do so. 


Be sure to tweet about it via: #NationalReadathonDay & #TimeToRead. 


I've shared a post from Penguin Random House, who along with GoodReads, Mashable, and the National Book Foundation, has put together today's National READATHON Day. Taken from their post here, this is what they said about today:






You might take for granted how easy it is for you to read this sentence, but millions of Americans still struggle with basic literacy. 40% of American adults are either at or below basic reading proficiency, and 14% are fully illiterate. But the trouble doesn’t stop there. Each year, millions of Americans — especially our youth — are losing touch with the power and importance of reading books. As Malcolm X said, “People don’t realize how a whole life can be changed by one book.” 
Help change lives this winter by celebrating National Readathon Day with Penguin Random House, GoodReadsMashable, and the National Book Foundation. Together with your support, we hope to help fund their efforts to educate, tutor, create and sustain a lifelong love of reading. 
You can get involved by joining readers across America in a marathon reading session on Saturday, January 24. From Noon – 4 PM in our respective time zones, we will sit and read a book in our own home, library, school or bookstore.Get started now by creating your own Firstgiving Fundraising page, and inviting friends and family to donate, or visit our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information. 
If you represent a bookstore, library or school, we invite your venue to host a “reading party” during the Readathon, so your local community can gather and read together. You can also create a fundraising team (named for your bookstore or library), enabling your community to fund raise together as a group to contribute to the National Book Foundation’s efforts to promote reading in America. Visit our Readathon Resources page for supporting materials and information on how to get started. 
And be sure to share your experiences and photos using the hash tag, #timetoread!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For more information about today's Readathon, check out Penguin Random House's About The ReadathonHow To ParticipateReadathon ResourcesParticipating Venues, and FAQs about today's event. 
If you're in Austin, TX stop by BOOK PEOPLE today between 12 noon and 4 pm!

Friday, January 23, 2015

DEVIATE by Tracy Clark; Book Trailer Reveal & Enter To WIN!

Welcome today's book trailer for Tracy Clark's DEVIATE! 
I'm so thrilled to be share the trailer with you today. Before you check out the book trailer, here's a little bit about Tracy's upcoming release:


About The Book

By: Tracy Clark
Published by: Entangled Teen
To Be Released on: March 3rd, 2015
Pre-order from: Amazon | B&N | iTunes
Add it to Goodreads 


Tormented after a daring escape, Cora Sandoval must find a way to stop the Arrazi from murdering innocent people and from violating, using, and killing the Scintilla for their powers. She must also accept one bitter betrayal: Finn Doyle—the Irish boy who has both a piece of Cora's heart and soul—is Arrazi...

On the verge of extinction and sought by those who would either consume or destroy them, Cora and the remaining Scintilla survivors must solve the mystery of The Light Key. If they fail, the truth will stay buried forever and mankind will pay the ultimate price.

No longer will she hide.

No longer will her loved ones be hunted.

And she will have her vengeance...even if she shatters her heart in the process.

Check out DEVIATE's book trailer!



About Tracy Clark:

Tracy Clark grew up a "valley girl" in Southern California but now resides in her home state of Nevada with her daughter and son. She's an unapologetic dog person who is currently owned by a cat. She is the recipient of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) Work in Progress Grant and a two-time participant in the prestigious Nevada SCBWI Mentor Program and now serves as Regional Advisor for Nevada SCBWI. Her debut novel was inspired by her enchantment with metaphysics as a teen, seeing it as the real magic in life. Tracy is a private pilot, and an irredeemable dreamer.


Find Tracy Online: Website | Twitter | Facebook

 Enter To Win:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Shadow Study (Soul Finders #1) by Maria V. Snyder; "Mini" Book Review


Published: Mira
To Be Released on: February 24, 2015
Series: Soul Finders #1
Rating: 5 Stars - I Loved It!
Source: ebook to review from publisher for an upcoming blog tour
Pre-Order from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads
Read the 1st Chapter HERE

New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue. 

Once, only her own life hung in the balance…

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands—and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job—and his life—are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret—or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is—while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers. 

Valek and Yelena are back! I have spent a long time waiting for these two to be back, and it was totally worth the wait. I stayed up past 2 am reading this book, it is that good. For the sake of not spoiling anything, and due an upcoming blog tour stop I have for Shadow Study, I won't say much about this story, though I have a lot to say. I wanted to do a quick review and let fans of Maria V. Snyder's know this is a book worth putting on your TBR lists!! 

My love for Valek and Yelena dates back to before there was a Mundie Moms, and before there was an Edward and Bella. Velak and Yelena are the first YA couple that I fell in love with. I love that though it's been a few years since I first met them, all those same feelings I had when I first read Poison Study, I felt with Shadow Study. I LOVED being back in their world. In reading Shadow Study, I felt like I never left their world. To me, that's a feat that Maria V. Snyder accomplished. This book felt like it picked up right where things left off. 

A lot has happened since I first met Valek and Yelena. Since their story there have been other series that have been apart of this enchanting world of magic, secrecy, danger, romance, and action.  I loved seeing many of my favorite characters from Maria's series back together, along with a few new characters. There is so much that happens in this book. True to Maria's writing, it is impossible to predict what will happen next and how the story will end. Nothing is ever as it seems. Like the rest of her Maria's series, the characters who are the most dangerous ones, are the less obvious ones to me, but the ones that as soon it's revealed who they are, I feel like they should have been more obvious to me from the get go.

I love the unpredictable plot twists, and not being able to figure out what will happen next. Maria writes everything in such a way that everyone is a suspect, and the person behind all that's going on, is always someone who surprises me. The three different points of view in this book are AWESOME! As in this is how you write three different points of views. Why did this book have to end?! THAT ENDING!! Oh my word, that was an ending I was not excepting, and it was so good! I need the next book asap. Maria V Snyder will LOVE continuing on with Valek and Yelena, and all of their friends. This is a must read! I would definitely recommend picking up other series before reading this one, as characters, and things that have happened previously, will make more sense when they are introduced, and discussed in this book.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Tracked by Jenny Martin; Waiting on Wednesday #237



Published by: Dial
To Be Released on: 5/5/15
Pre-Order from: Amazon | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

The Fast and the Furious gets a sci-fi twist in this action-packed debut.

On corporately controlled Castra, rally racing is a high stakes game that seventeen-year-old Phoebe Van Zant knows all too well. Phee’s legendary racer father disappeared mysteriously, but that hasn't stopped her from speeding headlong into trouble. When she and her best friend, Bear, attract the attention of Charles Benroyal, they are blackmailed into racing for Benroyal Corp, a company that represents everything Phee detests. Worse, Phee risks losing Bear as she falls for Cash, her daring new teammate. But when she discovers that Benroyal is controlling more than a corporation, Phee realizes she has a much bigger role in Castra’s future than she could ever have imagined. It's up to Phee to take Benroyal down. But even with the help of her team, can a street-rat destroy an empire?

RACE CARS in a YA book?! SOLD! This sounds like one fast past, action packed read. I am impatiently waiting for this book to jump into my hands. Everything I've heard about this book has been outstanding! I can not wait to get my hands on TRACKED! Did I mention this is my friend's DEBUT book?! Y'all know how much I love supporting my debut authors. I am so excited for this book to be out in the wild. I'm thrilled to be apart of a team of bloggers who will be sharing some exclusive TRACKED goodies with you in the coming months. 

What book are you waiting to get your hands on?

All Played Out by Cora Carmack; Cover Reveal

Mundie Moms is all about promoting our love of YA books, but sometimes we like to venture out and feature our love for other books like children's and Middle Grade books, and New Adult. Today's post is for some upcoming New Adult books I'm looking forward to reading. More importantly, I'm really excited to be apart of today's cover reveal for a book I can't wait to get my hands on!

I am so thrilled to be apart of today's cover reveal for Cora Carmack's ALL PLAYED OUT! ALL PLAYED OUT is a New Adult Contemporary Romance and is the 3rd book in the Rusk University Series, published by William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins. It is due to be released on May 12, 2015!! If you haven't had a chance to read this sexy, fun series yet, be sure to grab ALL LINED UP and ALL BROKE DOWN!     


Pre-Order Your Copy Today!
About ALL PLAYED OUT

First person in her family to go to college? CHECK.

Straight A’s? CHECK.
On track to graduate early? CHECK.
Social life? …..yeah, about that….

With just a few weeks until she graduates, Antonella DeLuca’s beginning to worry that maybe she hasn’t had the full college experience. (Okay... Scratch that. She knows she hasn't had the full college experience). 

So Nell does what a smart, dedicated girl like herself does best. She makes a "to do" list of normal college activities.

Item #1? Hook up with a jock.

Rusk University wide receiver Mateo Torres practically wrote the playbook for normal college living. When he’s not on the field, he excels at partying, girls, and more partying. As long as he keeps things light and easy, it's impossible to get hurt... again. But something about the quiet, shy, sexy-as-hell Nell gets under his skin, and when he learns about her list, he makes it his mission to help her complete it.

Torres is the definition of confident (And sexy. And wild), and he opens up a side of Nell that she's never known. But as they begin to check off each crazy, exciting, normal item, Nell finds that her frivolous list leads to something more serious than she bargained for. And while Torres is used to taking risks on the field, he has to decide if he's willing to take the chance when it's more than just a game. 

Together they will have to decide if what they have is just part of the experiment or a chance at something real. 


***************

If you're looking for more New Adult books to add to your TBR lists, check out these other recent cover reveals I featured on our Grown Up Book Reviews blog, for Molly McAdams's upcoming releases, and Chelsea Fine's new release:




You can find out more about each of these books, and check out the cover for Jeaniene Frost's Bound By Flames, on our Grown Up Book Reviews blog.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt, 40th Anniversary; Blog Tour #TUCK40TH



Welcome to today's stop in the #Tuck40th blog tour.
I'm so thrilled to be apart of this exciting celebration of Tuck Everlasting turning 40. This beautiful 40th Anniversary Edition is out TODAY!  It's incredible to think that this beloved children's classic has been around for 40 years. An interesting fact about this book, is that it has NEVER gone out of print. In fact, this book has sold over 3.5 MILLION copies in the U.S. alone. 

ABOUT THE BOOK


Blessed with—or doomed to—eternal life after drinking from a magic spring, the Tuck family wanders about trying to live as inconspicuously and comfortably as they can. When ten-year-old Winnie Foster stumbles on their secret, the Tucks take her home and explain why living forever at one age is less of a blessing than it might seem. Complications arise when Winnie is followed by a stranger who wants to market the spring water for a fortune. 


A brand-new introduction from Gregory Maguire, the author of Wicked, and additional bonus materials make this special edition of Natalie Babbitt's Tuck Everlasting a must-have for lovers of the book and a great way to introduce a new generation to a classic.


TUCK EVERLASTING poses an interesting question,"What would it be like to live forever?" Growing up I remember thinking how awesome that would be. Of course as a kid it would be pretty fun, because you could explore, and play all day carefree, and not worry about all that was going on in the world. As a teen I thought it would be fun to live forever and enjoy the fun that comes with enjoying life without all the full real world responsibilities of being an adult. I enjoyed that time in life of school, sports, friends, and working. Why would I not want to live forever? On a side note, I am so glad living forever as a teen is not an option. I like to think I've grown up a ton since then, and I can not image being stuck at that stage for, well, forever.

At this given moment, being asked, "If I had the chance to live forever would I do it", doesn't have the same appeal as it did back then. Sure, I'm fascinated by the thought, but when I really think about it, I don't know if it would be as cool as I once thought it would be. I'm at a different in place in life now. I have too many people I care about, too many memories, and moments with them that I cherish,that I couldn't imagine having to watch life pass them or all that by, while I continued to live on. It would be heart wrenching to relive through the pain of losing them, every time one of them would die, and I'd continue to live. Geez, now I'm starting to sympathize withe the immortal characters I read about it. No wonder so many of them think it's a lonely existence to live forever.

While I have enjoyed the concept of immortality in YA and other books I read, in real life, I'm not so sure that is something I'd want to do. Sure, it intrigues me, but having my family and friends, I couldn't do it. It would be difficult. Yes, living forever, gaining all that experience, and knowledge, being able to travel and experience the world, and watch history unfold before my eyes, sounds exciting. It is appealing to want to experience all that, but in reality I would imagine it would get old rather quickly. I imagine, after time, living forever would become a lonely existence. Love would would end up having a much different meaning if I had to continue to live on, while I watched all those I loved, and cared for, pass on. Okay, now this is starting to sound like depressing post, and that's not what I wanted. I think I should go re-read The Infernal Devices or The Bane Chronicles. haha

Would I live forever if I was given the chance to do so right now? A small part of me wants to say yes, but my answer would be no. I wouldn't, because I want to experience what life has to offer me, in the time frame I'm allowed to live it. I don't want "Living life to the fullest" to lose it's appeal. I want to take each day as it comes, and enjoy all that life gives me. If I lived forever, I would lose that drive, and wouldn't enjoy life as much as I have the chance to do now. I wouldn't love as fiercely as I do now, because I know it would end to quickly, while I would be stuck living forever. If I lived forever, I wouldn't cherish each day, cherish those I love, and my moments with them, like I do now. In living life each day, I get to try to make the things I do, and the moments I have, and the love I give, last forever.

I would love to hear from you! If you had the chance to live forever, starting from this moment on, would you do it? Whether you grew up reading this book as a kid, or if you're hearing about it for the first time, the 40th Anniversary Edition is worth picking up. Pre-Order your copy TODAY!

10 New Series I'm Looking Forward to Reading in 2015; Top Ten Tuesday #17


This weekly meme is hosted by The Broke & the Bookish

Hello &  welcome to this week's post. Last week's top was Top 10 2014 Releases I Meant To Read, But Didn't Get To. This week's topic was a Freebie. Today's topic is 10 New Series I'm Looking Forward to Reading 2015, which was inspired by Jamie's topic for this week's meme. Last year was the end of some of my favorite series, and this year is the beginning of what I think will be some great new series. I've listed the first book in each of those series below.


  1. A Court of Thorns & Roses by Sarah J. Maas, to be released on 5/5/15 from Bloomsbury, I am so excited Sarah has a new book coming out. I love her books.
  2. A Book of Spirits and Thieves by Morgan Rhodes, to be released on 6/23/15 by Razorbill, Morgan is another one of my all time favorite authors. This series is one I'm dying to get my hands on, as it's ties into her Falling Kingdom series.
  3. Shadow Study by Maria V. Snyder, to be released on 2/24/15 by Mira, MARIA has a NEW SERIES coming out!! I LOVE Maria's series, and I am over the moon about this one. I can't wait to be back in Yelena's world. 
  4. Red Queen by Victoria Averyard, to be released on 2/101/15 by Orion, this is a debut book that is already getting glowing reviews.
  5. Lock & Mori by Heather Petty, to be released on 9/15/15 from Simon & Schuster, this is a debut book Sophie & I are so excited to read. It's Sherlock Holmes with a twist, set in modern day London!
  6. We All Fall by Ally Carter, released on 1/20/15 (TODAY) from Scholastic, this is a book I reviewed yesterday here on the blog, and loved it! I'm a huge Ally Carter fan, and this book did not disappoint. 
  7. Frostfire by Amanda Hocking, released on 1/6/15 from St. Martin's Griffin, this is another book I reviewed here on MMs, and I loved this one as well. It's the first book I've read by Amanda Hocking, and I can not wait to read the rest of this series!
  8. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, to be released on 10/8/15 by Henry Holt, I don't even care what this book is about, Leigh Bardugo has a new book coming out!
  9. The Orphan Queen by Jodi Meadows, to be released on 3/10/15 from Katherine Tegen Books, I am so excited that Jodi Meadows has a new series coming out! I can't wait to read it. 
  10. Court of Fives by Kate Elliott, to be released on 8/18/15 by Little Brown, this is Kate's debut YA series, and it sounds like an exciting one. 
There are so many great titles being released this year. I'm really looking forward to adding these new series to my bookshelves this year. What new series are you looking forward to reading this year?

Monday, January 19, 2015

ALL FALL DOWN (An Embassy Row Novel) by Ally Carter; Book Review



By: Ally Carter
Published by: Scholastic Press
To Be Released on: January 20th, 2015
Series: Embassy Row #1
Rating: 5 Stars - I Loved It!
Source: an arc from the publisher in exchange for my honest review
Pre-Order from: A | B&N
Add it to Goodreads

A new series of global proportions -- from master of intrigue, NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter. 

This exciting new series from NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author Ally Carter focuses on Grace, who can best be described as a daredevil, an Army brat, and a rebel. She is also the only granddaughter of perhaps the most powerful ambassador in the world, and Grace has spent every summer of her childhood running across the roofs of Embassy Row.

Now, at age sixteen, she's come back to stay--in order to solve the mystery of her mother's death. In the process, she uncovers an international conspiracy of unsettling proportions, and must choose her friends and watch her foes carefully if she and the world are to be saved.


This book is Ally Carter awesomeness at it's finest! I'm still trying to process my emotions from this book. Ally Carter what did you do to me!?! There is no shortage of emotions in this book. I loved all the action, thrills, suspense, and those fantastic Ally Carter character moments that Sophie and I often talk about here on Mundie Moms. 

I have a weakness for Ally Carter's books. Everything about her books sucks me, and leaves me wanting so much more when the book is over. It doesn't matter if she gave me all I was hoping for while reading her book. I still want more. Her writing, her characters, and the way she writes her characters is fabulous. When I sit down to read an Ally Carter book, I can't help but shut the world out around me. I can't help but get caught up in everything that's going on within the story. This book was no different.

Grace is a character I admire. She has that fearlessness and gutsiness I thought I had back when I was a teenager (which I like to think wasn't that long ago *coughs*), but apparently totally lacked after reading Grace's story. I wish I still had some of that now.... Grace is so confident, and determined. I love that about her. She takes girl power to a whole new level! Grace also broke my heart. There is a scene near the end of the book with her best friend Noah, that almost had me bawling. Don't ask me why, because I can't tell you. You have to read this book when it's out (tomorrow) to find out why. Oh Grace! I love her strength, but I wanted to comfort her during her times of weakness. Thankfully those are few, but still, emotionally they are killers when you're reading about them. 

Every strong, leading girl needs a strong, dependable best friend who allows them to be themselves, and accepts them for who they are, no questions asked. That best friend is Noah.  Yes, he is that best friend you either currently have now, or you wish you had when you were a teenager. Oh, who am I kidding. I would love to have a best friend like Noah now. The great thing about Noah, is he is not threatened by Grace's strength. He totally accepts it. THAT makes him fabulous in my book! It's fabulous! I loved it. He and Grace have that unspoken friendship where they really get each other and they just know. They know what the other needs, what they want, and they don't need to have every little detail about what's going on, to be there and help each other. I loved that about them. I liked that their friendship is truly just that, a friendship. It's a fabulous one at that. 

The characters in this book are fabulous. Without fail, every new Ally Carter book I read, I end up loving her characters. I can't help it. I love the way Ally Carter writes her characters. I love the way she creates these moments between them, and the chemistry they have, whether it's romantic or a true friendship. It's fabulous. Ally has a way of making me feel as though I'm there with her characters. It's so easy for me to become emotionally invested in Ally's characters without any effort. She is a character creating genius, and I've yet to read a book where I didn't love her characters. I love the way she writes her friendships, and hints at romantic relationships. 

All Fall Down is an action packed, un-put downable book. It's Ally Carter awesomeness, and one fans of her books will love. This book may even leaving you wondering how you can go undercover to obtain book two. I can't wait that long for the next book! I NEED BOOK TWO NOW so I can find out if what I think will happen next, happens. 

Alistair Grim's ODDITORIUM by Gregory Funaro; Book Review

Happy Marvelous Middle Grade Monday! 
I'm thrilled to share my review for a new MG book I think fans are going to love!


By: Gregory Funaro
Published by: Disney Hyperion
Released on: January 6th, 2015
Series: Odditorium #1
Ages: 9-12
Rating: 5 Stars - I Loved It!
Source: arc from publisher to review, in exchange for my honest review.
Purchase from: Amazon |B&N
Add it to Goodreads

This cinematic, action-packed middle grade fantasy adventure set in Victorian London brims with fresh magic and has the cozy feeling of a classic.

Grubb, age twelve (or thereabouts), has never known anything beyond his miserable existence as a chimney sweep, paid only in insults and abuse by his cruel master.

All of that changes the day he stows away in the coach belonging to a mysterious guest at the inn that he is tasked with cleaning. Grubb emerges from Alistair Grim's trunk and into the wondrous world of the Odditorium. Fueled by a glowing blue energy that Grubb can only begin to understand, the Odditorium is home to countless enchanted objects and an eccentric crew that embraces Grubb as one of their own.

There's no time for Grubb to settle into his new role as apprentice to the strange, secretive Mr. Grim. When the Odditorium comes under attack, Grubb is whisked off on a perilous adventure. Only he can prevent the Odditorium's magic from falling into evil hands-and his new family from suffering a terrible fate.

Grubb knows he's no hero. He's just a chimney sweep. But armed with only his courage and wits, Grubb will confront the life-or-death battle he alone is destined to fight.


A fantastic story! Alistair Grim's ODDITORIUM takes readers on an unforgettable, fantasy filled adventure. With it's perfect mix of adventure, humor, mystery, and the element of surprise, it didn't take long for me to be hooked with this engaging story. From the characters, to the writing, and the illustrations, everything about this book is great. Alligator Grim's Odditorium is an action packed middle grade book that even the most reluctant reader will enjoy.

Set in Victorian London, this story centers around our unlikely hero, Grubb. As he'd tell you, that's Grubb, with two b's. Grubb's unlikely adventure begins when he runs away from his horrible master. He's not destined to clean chimneys nor deal with being treated so poorly. Grubb's destiny is an unimaginable one. It's no accident that Grubb ends up hiding in the chest of a guest who's staying at the inn, that Grubb just happens to be working at. As you'll find out when you read this book, some things happen for a reason. Sometimes destiny has a funny way of happening. Grubb's destiny started when he hid from his master, in the chest that belonged to none other than Mr. Grim himself. 

Grubb's hiding place takes him to an unusual place, Alistair Grim's Odditorium. It's a peculiar, secretive place, and unlike any place he's ever been to before. Well, it's unlike any place many people have ever been to before. If there was a place like this, I would have loved to visit it as a kid. Actually, who am I kidding, it would be cool to visit it as an adult. As Grubb quickly learns, this is a place that a variety of things, and unusual characters call home. When the Odditorium comes under threat, it's up to Grubb and his new family of sorts, to protect it and the magic found here.

 Grubb is an appealing character I think readers will enjoy getting to know. He's funny, he's strong when he doesn't think he is, and he doesn't give up. He's the unlikely hero who's easy to cheer on. In the face of adversity, this twelve year old characters some some pretty incredible things. Nothing is simple for Grubb. He has to make his own choices, even if it's a hard one, and the not so popular choice. He is a character who's learning to find his way, and who he is. Being an orphan, he doesn't really know who he is, but he discovers that on his adventure. 

There is a great cast of characters in this book. They turn out to be great friends to Grub, and help him on his journey. I enjoyed getting to read about each of them, and the role they play in Grubb's story. Grubb learns some valuable lessons during the course of adventure. Like many children's books who have that classic appeal to them, this story is about choices, consequences, choosing the right path, what it means to be a true friends, and loyalty. Full of imagination and magic, fans of all ages will enjoy this unforgettable read.

This is an awesome first book in what I think will be a new favorite MG series for many readers. I'm looking forward to finding out what is in store for Grubb and his friends in the next installment in this series exciting new series. 

Mundane Monday #339 - Will & His Quotes

Happy Mundane Monday!

Image found here, source

The Infernal Devices is my favorite Cassandra Clare series. It's not just because of the characters, which I absolutely love.... Will *sigh*. Kidding (not really). There are so many quotes found through out the entire series that I absolutely love. I want to print many of them up and frame them in my library. One of my favorites, not surprisingly, is from Will from Clockwork Princess,

“Life is a book and there are a thousand pages I have not yet read.” 
― Cassandra ClareClockwork Princess

Do you have a favorite quote from the series? If you do, let me know in the comments below.