Friday, August 18, 2017

Spinning Pages (21): The Poet's Dog/Softly and Tenderly


Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 




This week on Spinning Pages, we are setting off into a winter storm where two children are taken in by the dog of a poet. As the three grow closer and mend their broken hearts a chance at new happiness is on the horizon. 

when you get down to it, The Poet's Dog needed a song that was


Softly and Tenderly by Rebecca Lynn Howard-
O for the wonderful love he has promised
Promised for you and for me
Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon
Pardon for you and for me

Come home, come home
Ye who are weary, come home
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling
Calling, O sinner, come home
(lyrics are taken from Lyrics)

I actually have not listened to Rebecca Lynn Howard's Softly and Tenderly in, well, years and years. But it just popped into my head when I was thinking about Patricia MacLachlan's The Poet's Dog as it felt like the two were meant to be paired together. 
This time, it's more the melody of the song and then the lyrics that made want to put them together. When I read the book, it was one of those story's that is told in such a calm, subtle way that pairing it with a fast tempo song would just not work at all. As to the lyrics selected, well, it made me think of something that Sylvan, the Poet, had said to Teddy. A certain something that would slowly play out during the book.  

Curious to learn more of my thoughts on The Poet's Dog by Patricia MacLachlan, then be sure to check out my review!  

You can listen to Rebecca Lynn Howard's Softly and Tenderly below. I do hope that you'll enjoy the song. It is really funny how a song you haven't heard in ages can just "pop" back into your head at the most random of thoughts!!

             

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

I Want to Read It (66): A Most Magical Girl



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



A Most Magical Girl by Karen Foxlee, August 2, 2016. Published by Knopf Books for Young Readers. Source: Want to Read.
Annabel Grey is primed for a proper life as a young lady in Victorian England. But when her mother suddenly disappears, she’s put in the care of two eccentric aunts who thrust her into a decidedly un-ladylike life, full of potions and flying broomsticks and wizards who eat nothing but crackers. Magic, indeed! Who ever heard of such a thing?

Before Annabel can assess the most ladylike way to respond to her current predicament, she is swept up in an urgent quest. Annabel is pitted against another young witch, Kitty, to rescue the sacred Moreover Wand from the dangerous underworld that exists beneath London. The two girls outsmart trolls, find passage through a wall of faerie bones, and narrowly escape a dragon, but it doesn’t take long for Annabel to see that the most dangerous part of her journey is her decision to trust this wild, magical girl.
Why

While I have only read one of Karen Foxlee's books, Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy, before, I did enjoy it immensley. So, yes, I am curious to see if A Most Magical Girl would be just as good (or even better). Even though the synopsis does not sound perfectly captivating, I am curious enough to give it a chance...as always, I hope a book will be better than my expectations!!

If you've read A Most Magical Girl, what did you think? Help a reader out!! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: The Poet's Dog


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, August 14, 2017

All About Middle-Grade Review: The Poet's Dog



The Poet's Dog by Patricia MacLachlan, September 13, 2016. 96 pages. Published by Katherine Tegen Books. Source: Publisher.
Teddy is a gifted dog. Raised in a cabin by a poet named Sylvan, he grew up listening to sonnets read aloud and the comforting clicking of a keyboard. Although Teddy understands words, Sylvan always told him there are only two kinds of people in the world who can hear Teddy speak: poets and children.

Then one day Teddy learns that Sylvan was right. When Teddy finds Nickel and Flora trapped in a snowstorm, he tells them that he will bring them home—and they understand him. The children are afraid of the howling wind, but not of Teddy’s words. They follow him to a cabin in the woods, where the dog used to live with Sylvan . . . only now his owner is gone.

As they hole up in the cabin for shelter, Teddy is flooded with memories of Sylvan. What will Teddy do when his new friends go home? Can they help one another find what they have lost?
First Sentence
I found the boy at dusk.



I was sorely tempted to just never read The Poet's Dog as it looked like it was going to be one of those dog books that break your heart. You know that ones I'm talking about, right? Well, it was not like those ones, okay.

  • If you read between the lines in what I previously said about this book, then you can rest assured that reading it won't break your heart (in one fashion). While it might be deemed a spoiler to even hint at that, I always think one should be warned, whether for good or bad, when it comes to books about animals. You know, since they tend to, well, end sadly. Although there is still a sad element to this book, it is one that you would not really expect. 
  • The best way I can think of the describe Patricia MacLachlan's book would be, that it softly tells the story of how a dog and two children, brought together by chance during a winter storm, bring new hope and healing to each others' lives. To be quite frank, this book is not really a page-turner, it's more of a quiet and subtle story. 
  • While I did find myself enjoying it after I figured out that it was not going to rip my heart to shreds. For one thing, it was rather sweet seeing how all three of them bonding during the storm and how their encounter brought about a fresh start for each of them. It was, well, good but not great. Perhaps it was just not the right book for my reading taste. 
  • Overall, The Poet's Dog was a nice story with a warm message. The writing and storytelling were good, but not excellent. I just was underwhelmed when it came to this book. That being said, I really liked the ending of the book because it was just, well, heartwarming and so deserved. I would have been rather disappointed if it had ended any other way because he deserved all the good things!!
Final Verdict: The Poet's Dog- It was good, but not great. That's about all I can say at this point...

The Poet's Dog earns

A copy of this book was received for review consideration. All thoughts are my own.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Spinning Pages (20): Hunt for the Hydra/Galaxy


Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 





On this week's edition of Spinning Pages, we are taking off into the outer reaches of space to pair Jason Fry's Hunt for the Hydra, a fairly enjoyable middle-grade book set in space, with some lyrics from a random song from my playlist. 

Stick around to see why I chose Galaxy by Wa$$up, as well as the selected lyrics, to go with the first volume of The Jupiter Pirates!!

Galaxy by Wa$$up-
Galaxy, out of all the stars
Your love is fantasy,
don’t wake me up if this is a dream

Bring the action
On this dark night,
in this big universe,
it feels like we’re the only two people
something about us
Mon, Tues, Wed, Thurs, Fri, Sat, Sun,
same smile, different feeling
Making my heart beat,
it makes my heart beat every night

(English lyrics from Color Coded Lyrics)
 When I think of the characters, all of the Hashoone's to be more precise, in my opinion, these lyrics are perfect. To me, the lyrics, in the first paragraph,  make me think of their love for space and adventure as pirates privateers. While the last paragraph, does a fairly good job describing how Tcho feels about it; one of the things I liked best about Hunt for the Hydra, was the way the author described their relationship with space.

Curious to see my further thoughts, both positive and less so, on Jason Fry's Hunt for the Hydra then hop on over to check out my review.

Want to hear the full version of Wa$$up's Galaxy, then you are in luck because you can listen to the audio below!! Hope you'll enjoy the song as it's one of my favorites from them!!


       

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

I Want to Read It (65): Curse of the Iris



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



Curse of the Iris (Jupiter Pirates, 2) by Jason Fry, December 16, 2014. Published by HarperCollins. Source: TBR 
It's been a tough year for Tycho Hashoone and his family. Hostilities between the Jovian Union and Earth have reached a boiling point. The privateering business hasn't exactly been booming. And the ongoing contest for the captain's seat of the Shadow Comet has the three Hashoone siblings perpetually on edge. Then the Hashoones intercept a ship--one with a long-dead crew, its final mission a warning to all who seek their fortunes in space. The Hashoones don't have time for ill omens; they need a payday. Following clues from the mysterious ship, they embark on a hunt for the long-lost treasure of the Iris--a treasure that Tycho's own great-grandfather Johannes had a hand in hiding. But in his quest for the Iris cache, Tycho is going to dig up much more than he bargained for. Because like old pirate treasure, family secrets never stay buried for long.

Why

I was surprised to find a copy of Curse of the Iris hiding in my TBR stack after finishing, so lucky me, and with all the history and secrets mentioned throughout the Hunt for the Hydra, I am in desperate need to see how the answers will impact the characters and their livelihood. 

While I was not completely in bookish "love" with the first volume of Jason Fry's Jupiter Pirates, it was good enough that I am willing to read the second book to get more answers. I'm really looking forward to another round of adventure with the Hashoone clan as piece together the mystery of the Iris and what really happened all those years ago!!

Curious as to what I thought about Hunt for the Hydra, then be sure to check out my review.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Hunt for the Hydra


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Monday, August 7, 2017

All About Middle Grade Review: Hunt for the Hydra


Hunt for the Hydra (Jupiter Pirates, 1) by Jason Fry, November 11, 2014 (originally published December 23, 2013). 272 pages. Published by HarperCollins. Source: Publisher for review.
The relationship between Tycho Hashoone, his twin sister, Yana, and their older brother, Carlo, isn't your average sibling rivalry. They might be crew members together aboard the Shadow Comet, but only one of them can be the next ship captain. So when the Hashoones find themselves in the midst of a dangerous conspiracy—one that will pit them against space pirates, Earth diplomats, and even treachery from within the family—each sibling is desperate to prove his or her worth. The only trouble is, if they don't work together, none of them may make it out alive.

First Sentence
Tycho Hashoone was doing his math homework when the alarms started shrieking. 


I won't tell you how long Hunt for the Hydra was hiding in my TBR stack. Suffice it to say that it was a while; I didn't even know it was in there until last week when I was searching for a book to binge.

  • While the first volume of the Jupiter Pirates wasn't a five-star read, it was still really enjoyable and felt like a great start to a fascinating series. While it was enjoyable, it was also a fun read which definitely worked in its favor. 
  • There were definitely things I really enjoyed about this book, like the setting, the characters, and the overall plot. Even though I overall really enjoyed Hunt for the Hydra, there were some things I disliked about the book; like the overhanded play of sibling rivalry as the Hashoone kids all vying to be the next captain of the Shadow Comet. As much as I enjoy a good sibling rivalry, it felt like it was taken a little too far in this book; there was little to no unity, albeit of the grudging sort, between them. 
  • One of the things I enjoyed most about this book was the whole space pirate, I mean privateer, aspect. It added a really interesting element to the story. Especially when you factor in the some of the things that happened long ago that led to most pirates turning privateer with their marque for the Jovian Union. Exciting times with all the backstory that is building up for the next book. Can you tell, the idea of all that book world history has me excited!!
  • I felt that Jason Fry did a nice job capturing the whole space pirate aspect of the book. He did a great job bringing the setting to life and making it enjoyable to read about. Though his writing could use some work when writing for a middle-grade audience as his characters, particularly Tycho, was written in a way that made him sound a) way younger than his character was and b) like "captain obvious" in certain situations. Still mostly enjoyable, though I do hope for improvement in the next book.
 Final Verdict: Hunt for the Hydra- While far from being a perfect read, it was entertaining enough that I'm willing to give the next installment a chance.

Hunt for the Hydra earns

A copy of this book was received for consideration for review. All thoughts are my own.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Spinning Pages (19): Waistcoats and Weaponry


Oftentimes, while I'm reading a song will pop into my head because the book makes me think of it; sometimes the reverse happens and a random song will make me think of a book I have readSpinning Pages is a combination of my love for books and music. More often than not, the inspiration for these posts strikes while I have music thumping in my ears while exercising (kind of like how this feature came to be). 



Picking a song for Gail Carriger's Waistcoats and Weaponry was entirely too easy. I'm just like, "what book should I feature this week?" and then "BAM"  the perfect song for Sophronia, especially in this book, popped into my head. Of course, it was also one that I have had on repeat most recently.


Wannabe by Hyoyeon (feat. San E.)
Do you get it now?
What you did?
Stop right there
When I’m still talking with class

Hold on, tell me honestly
Don’t stick to me like a sticker
Is lying that easy to you?
There is no answer to you
You’re trouble

Whatever, just stop, there’s no use
Because I’m sick of the sweet talk
I’m sharply piercing you
There is no answer to you
You’re trouble

(English lyrics from Color Coded Lyrics)
So, why did I choose Wannabe to be Sophronia's song, especially in Waistcoats and Weaponry, because of how she dealt with the betrayal of a friend and the ever-shifting alliances between the different factions within the book. I can just picture her singing this song at a certain someone.

Want to hear why I enjoyed Gail Carriger's Waistcoats and Weaponry so much, then check out my review!!


Want to hear the entire song, then check out the music video for Hyoyeon's Wannabe below. 

           

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

I Want to Read It (64): The Chess Queen Enigma



I Want to Read It, a hybrid between WLW (or WOW) and what's on my to-be-read pile. Well, instead of focusing just on books I would like to acquire, I will be using it to feature books that I just want to read. From the ones, I want to buy to the one's sitting on my TBR at home.



The Chess Queen Enigma (Stoker and Holmes, 3) by Colleen Gleason, October 6, 2015. Published by Chronicle Books. Source: Want to Read.
And then she mouthed a word at me—an unmistakable word that told me everything I needed to know. “Checkmate.”
Evaline Stoker & Mina Holmes have reluctantly agreed to act as social chaperones and undercover bodyguards for Princess Lurelia of Betrovia, who has arrived in London to deliver a letter that details the secret location of an ancient chess queen that’s been missing for centuries. But when the letter—which will heal a centuries-old rift between England and the Betrovians—is stolen out from under Evaline and Mina’s watchful eyes, the two girls are forced into a high-stakes race to ensure they find the chess queen before anyone else does…including their foe, the Ankh. For the chess queen is not only a historic symbol of a woman’s political power, but it has literal power as well—the queen will unlock the chessboard, revealing both treasures and ancient secrets the Ankh would kill to possess. It will take Mina’s smarts and Evaline’s strength to beat the thief and untangle this mystery before it is too late. 

Why

How did I not know this was OUT (two years ago)!!! I have been waiting for ages to see the continued adventures of Evaline Stoker and Mina Holmes!! I feel so cheated that two years have passed and I'm only just now realizing that it's out. 

Seriously though, Colleen Gleason's Stoker and Holmes series, the first two at least, was so so enjoyable!! I just really loved the characters and the story; it was just fun to read.  

If you haven't heard of or read, Colleen Gleason's Stoker and Holmes series, you can read my reviews for The Clockwork Scarab and The Spiritglass Charade!!  

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Teaser Tuesday: Waistcoats and Weaponry


Teaser Tuesday is hosted by MizB of Books And A Beat. To participate, simply do the following: Grab your current read Open to a random page Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn't give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

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