Mundie Moms

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 #233 - 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. 

Martin Luther King Jr. Day #MLKDay

Taking a moment to remember the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. #MLKDay
I love this quote! I need to print this quote up and put it up in my house. It's a great reminder than even one person doing good, can make a difference. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr is an example of that. If you're looking for some great ideas to celebrate MLK Day, check out the list I shared over on Mundie Kids.