Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children By: Ransom Riggs

A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. And a strange collection of very curious photographs. It all waits to be discovered in Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, an unforgettable novel that mixes fiction and photography in a thrilling reading experience. As our story opens, a horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children who once lived here – one of whom was his own grandfather – were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a desolate island for good reason. And somehow – impossible though it seems – they may still be alive

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Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is about Jacob Portman, grandson of Abe Portman. His grandpa has always told him stories of peculiar children and monsters but he never believed him and his stories. Until the day his grandpa is brutally murdered by a monster called a hallow. When grandpa Portman dies he tells Jacob to “find the bird, in the loop. On the other side of the old man’s grave. September third, 1940. Emerson-the letter, tell them what happened.” After nine months of everyone thinking he’s crazy because of this “monster” he claimed he saw, and his parents bringing him to a psychiatrist, he finally comes to the conclusion that what he saw wasn’t real. Until he finds a letter in an Emerson book. This takes him to a secluded island in Wales where he decodes his grandfather’s last words and finally meets the people of his grandfather’s crazy stories.

The book ends off in a cliff hanger where all of the peculiar children and Miss. Peregrine (in bird form) leave with Jacob to find where all the wights are. Wights are a certain type of monster that used to be a hallow but because it ate enough peculiar children it turned into a wight. Pretty much it upgraded to a monster that looks human except for its pupil less eyes. This book was written well and made good connections with the pictures-most of the time. There were times where the pictures were awkwardly paired with words and with the story. I can’t wait to read the second book! I can’t wait to see Jacob because throughout the book he really grew and it will be interesting to see him now that he’s with people like himself. Also, I want to see what new pictures will be in the book.

I decided to read this book because of the mysterious pictures. If you’ve seen the book then you understand. There’s so many peculiar pictures that it made me seriously curious. It took me a long time to get to it because when I bought it, I bought with many other books. Also, while I was reading it I got sick. When I get sick I have a habit of abandoning my books. This only happened while I’m sick and because I was sick for four days it took me forever to finish the book. As soon as I was well I kept reading in till I finished it. I have to say that the book did not disappoint.

The main character is Jacob Portman who’s one of those super smart misfits. He doesn’t really know who he is or where he stands in the world and sort of learns it in the course of this book. He has no friends except for Rickey who sort of abandons him in his time of need. His love interest is a girl named Emma who can wield fire and she’s one of the peculiar children. She also lives in 1940, in particular September third, 1940, which is pretty awesome. She lives in a loop along with Miss Peregrine and all the other peculiar children. A loop is pretty much a place was a day repeats itself. Miss Peregrine made it so that the children don’t die of the bomb raid that happened in September third, 1940 on their secluded island in Wales. The only people who know that time stopped and that their in a loop is the peculiar children and Miss Peregrine. Because their in a loop they don’t age. Because Emma can wield fire I thought she was awesome and just epic. It reminded me of Zuko from Avatar the Last Air bender which is just badass. I thought she was really strong for what’s happened in her life and she’s also very smart. Most of the other characters were really creative and unique but some characters were really similar that I couldn’t tell the difference and I had to double back and reread some bits. I feel as if that should never happen and in the second one that should be improved.

The book was mostly about Jacob finding himself and learning the truth about his grandfather. Jacob really went through an emotional roller coaster. First his grandfather dies right in front of him, then his parents put him through hell with a psychiatrist, then he gets a girlfriend, then he has to cope with him being a peculiar child and his grandfather never telling him. I found that crazy! I hope that in the next book it won’t be so down for him because I seriously feel bad.

I really disliked how all the children acted like children. These “children” have been children for seventy years and should be more mature. Their technically eighty-something’s, so they should act more mature, right? It’s like their immortal or vampires so the author, Ransom Riggs, should have made them more mature. That would have been more interesting. It would have been more epic to see these little eight to sixteen year olds talking very wisely. It didn’t make sense that they acted so childlike and immature. Another thing I disliked was how the author put a love interest. I feel like this story and this main character didn’t need a love interest and that it was very unnecessary. Not every story needs a love story, I was really hoping that this book wasn’t going to have that. Also, I found it creepy that she used to be with his grandfather. That is messed up! She canoodled (and probably more) with his grandfather and then with him! Talk about sloppy seconds!

Other than that, this book was awesomely dark and interesting! Oh, did I mention that this book is set in Wales! Welsh accents are awesome just like British accents! I really like how the author made this book the way it is despite some issues. I can’t wait to see how Jacob and Emma’s relationship is going to go since I don’t really support it. I can’t wait for more Polaroid photographs that help tell the tale.

Overalll, I give it four stars!

Happy Reading!

-Michelle Kumar

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The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart By: Leanna Renee Hieber

     I’m coming for you.

The whispers haunt her dreams and fill her waking hours with dread. Something odd is happening. Something…unnatural.

Possession of the living. Resurrection of the dead. And Natalie Stewart is caught right in the middle. Jonathon, the one person she thought she could trust, has become a double agent for the dark side. But he plays the part so well, Natalie has to wonder just how much he’s really acting.

She can’t even see what it is she’s fighting. But the cost of losing her heart, her sanity…her soul.

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The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart starts from where Darker Still, the first book of the Magic Most Foul saga, left off. Natalie and Lord Denbury are on the run because they need to run away from people who might think that Lord Denbury is a murderer and also because the magic still lingers on them and they need some space from the magic that’s in Manhattan. On their run they learn of a society that’s held responsible for the demon that terrorized them and realise that banishing the demon wasn’t the end of the story.

When I first decided to read this book I thought it would be exactly the same as Darker Still but with other demons and no one’s soul captured in a beautiful, life like, painting. But as soon as I read the first thirty pages I realized that a lot more was different. The book wasn’t written in diary format like Bram Stokers Dracula this time, but it was written regularly with the exception of letters and telegrams. With a whole society out there it was seriously different because u weren’t looking at one demons plan to murder and conquer. Also, in this book you deal with more runes and exorcists.

The old characters were the same as they were in Darker Still. Natalie Stewart is still a kind, clever, brave character that loves to know everything that’s going on and loves to protect her loved ones. Jonathan Whitby, Lord Denbury, is still absurdly handsome, smart, and British. I still really love his London accent because people with London and British accents in general are just simply awesome. Mrs. Northe changed because throughout the book they mention how they don’t know her intentions and will forever be in debt to her, because of that I looked at her differently. In this book you also learn a bit more about her past before Natalie and the painting showed up in her life. Maggie in this book was plain crazy. I don’t want to spoil the book, but the shrine she made, and the way she acts with Lord Denbury is just creepy.

As for new characters, you have Nathaniel Veil (which is an awesome name) and Rachel Horowitz. Nathaniel Veil is Lord Denbury’s best mate, is an actor, and hails from London as well. I loved his description because he had blue eyes, black hair, a london accent, but looked rugged. He was a great character because he reminded me of William Henry Herondale from The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare. Also, he helped a lot on their adventure even thought he only showed up twice in the book. he looks like hes a very loyal friend to Lord Denbury, as well. Rachel was a very kind character that could feel ghost and hear them talking to her despite the fact that she can’t hear and shes mute. Because of her entering the story and plot you could learn more about Natalie when she was at the Asylum(the one for people with disabilities).

I loved the references in the book because they were so much fun. They referred to Jack the Ripper because the book is set a couple years before Jack the Ripper appeared in white chapel, so one of the society members stated how they could kill people by ripping them apart without anyone discovering who did it. I loved when I read that because I’m betting the author is suggesting that a demon did it. There were many references to Shakespeare, Edger Allen Poe and Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein  I liked that because the book is set in 1880 and is of course a Gothic, macabre, steampunk age.

When the author, Leanna Renee Hieber, made Nathaniel say that everyone is either born with darkness or darkness is thrust upon them and that you either die with it or you learn how to live with it, it showed me that gothic edge to the Victorian age. Also, there’s something about people understanding their in a macabre  gothic age that I really liked because it showed that people can acknowledge the age their in and accept it. When Mrs. Northe states that, it was quite interesting to see how she interpreted theater and how it’s refreshing to see people that do acknowledge pain and darkness.

Overall, I adored the sequel to Darker Still, The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart, and thought it was a great follow up. I hope that despite the way that it ended that their will be a third book in this wonderful saga.

-Michelle

Goddess Interrupted By: Aimee Carter

     Kate Winters has won immortality. But if she wants a life with Henry in the Underworld, she’ll have to fight for it.Becoming immortal wasn’t supposed to be the easy part. Though Kate is about to be crowned Queen of the Underworld, she’s as isolated as ever. And despite her growing love for Henry, ruler of the Underworld, he’s becoming ever more distant and secretive. Then, in the midst of Kate’s coronation, Henry is abducted by the only being powerful enough to kill him: the King of the Titans.

As the other gods prepare for a war that could end them all, it is up to Kate to save Henry from the depths of Tartarus. But in order to navigate the endless caverns of the Underworld, Kate must enlist the help of the one person who is the greatest threat to her future.

Henry’s first wife, Persephone.

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Goddess Interrupted is about Kate Winters who has won immortality and has come back to the manor to become the Queen of the Underworld. But at the coronation evil strikes and shes literally a goddess interrupted.

In the second book of The Goddess Test trilogy, Goddess Interrupted  you see a lot of character development. You see a lot of Henry’s (Hades) feelings and you learn more of what he had to go through with Persephone. For some reason I felt that Henry (Hades) or Kate or however makes his life such a sob story should stop because she, Persephone, was only one part of his life. I still love Henry it’s just… that can’t be the only thing that comes to mind when he thinks of his very long life filled with dark endeavors  Kate wasn’t as annoying as she was in the last book, although I hated how she kept hating on Persephone  I understand why Kate’s a little jealous but in the end shes your sister and you haven’t seen it from her point of view. I also felt that Kate was a bit needy because she just wants all of Henry’s attention despite the fast approaching war. I actually liked Persephone because although she may have been a little selfish all she wanted was to make her own choices in life and be happy being with a person she actually loves. I understood that because I think everyone deserves their own options and choices. I also liked her feeling about Henry (Hades) because she always loved him but not in the way that he wanted. She always loved him in a friendship/sibling kind of way. She actually tries to show him that she doesn’t love him, that the person he thought he loved is a person that’s not her, and that he’s actually in love with Kate. I really disliked Calliope (Hera) in this book because shes going against her brothers and sisters and all her family members for revenge on Walter (Zeus) for cheating on her, Kate for being the object of Henry(Hades) eyes, and Henry for not loving her. I, for some reason found that stupid because she already acted revenge on Zeus by always hating and torturing his children and she killed Kate, the only problem in that is that she came back to life. Ava (Aphrodite) was just plain weird this time around because she betrayed Kate when in reality she should be thanking Ava because Kate saved her ass like three times.

This book for me wasn’t that great but was better than the Goddess Test. I hated how there weren’t any sword fights! I read the Goddess Test and the Goddess Interrupted because I thought there was going to be some epic battle scenes and she was going to learn how to fight. But no one taught her how to fight and when all the council members go to the battle you don’t see them fight either, you just see them come back bloodied, bruised, and battered. What do they do on the battle field? seriously, what do they do? I still hate their names and with a passion, too. The council members names don’t match up to their godly names and that pisses me off because I can never remember who their talking about. I wish the author put her thought process in the back of the book so I would under stand why Ares name is Dylan and why everyone else’s name is messed up. Kate couldn’t mesmerized fourteen gods and goddesses, while I mesmerized them and WAY more when I was like ten, so I call that a massive fail. I loved Ingrid, she was a great side character and frankly my favorite character of them all.  She was the only thing that made this book make sense and she always knew what to say. The ending to me is a fail because it makes me think of Breaking Dawn and that just pisses me off.

Overall, this book was OK and didn’t rank high with me but was better than the first book. I hope that in the third and last book, The Goddess Inheritance, it won’t be creepy because of the twist ending in The Goddess Interrupted and that she can keep the offspring, Henry(Hades) and immortality. I also hope the author with put more parts with Ingrid in it and make the ending worth waiting for.

-Michelle

Daughter of Smoke and Bone By: Liani Taylor

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grown dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real; she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”; she speaks many languages not all of them human; and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When one of the strangers—beautiful, haunted Akiva—fixes his fire-colored eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

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     Daughter of Smoke and Bone is about Karou, who was raised my monsters called chimeras. Karou has always felt like a little piece of her is missing and has always asked herself, “what” is she. Then she meets a serph, and angel, named Akiva and everything unravels.
     Daughter of Smoke and Bone was great because of the mystery behind every character. Even the main character had a mysterious background untill the end of the book. The main characters in the book were Karou, Akiva and Madrigal. Karou was awesome because she was fearless, she’s a bit of a mystery, and her description was awesome. she had lapis lazuli, gem stone like, blue hair and black eyes. Oh yeah, she can draw and draw beautifully at that! I imagined her drawings quite beautiful but with a deep rendering darkness behind it. Akiva was a cool character because all he wanted was peace but it went awry, sadly twice, once with Madrigal and once with Karou. Madrigal was awesome like Karou (for people who read this: hehehe, did you get the joke) only she fights in wars, which I highly respect and think is awesome, she’s a little assistant to Brimstone, and all she wanted was hope. I like how Madrigal didn’t care about appearances and has compassion.
     I liked the book because of the flashback-inception. three quarters through the book and it was a flask back of her having a flash back. it was pretty freaking awesome on how the author did that without me getting completely confused. Also, I’ve never read a book like that. I like how every few chapters there would be a gap and then it would say, Once upon a time,……. I really liked that because it made me feel like I was reading a faery tale, almost. Oh My Gosh! There was a masquerade! Any book with a masquerade has my vote and heart. I loved when they were at the masquerade and Akiva, he’s an angel so he wasn’t aloud to go, kept changing masks with drunkards! I found that hilarious because no one found out he was there and also, when those drunkards woke up with a hangover they were probably really confused because of the changing of their masks. I really liked the setting because it was unique and I haven’t read a book (City of Lost Souls doesn’t count) with the story taking place in the Czech Republic. I thought it was cool that she knows certain things because of certain wishes and presents, like for example she knows eleven different languages, accents, and has blue hair, because of the outcome of presents/wishes. Also, this book wasn’t predictable and that’s worth an award because sometimes you read a book and you already now everything that happened  I didn’t see the reason for the teeth coming. I thought it was because it converts to magic or wishes or something. But it’s actually for something even more awesome, resurrection  I, also didn’t see the missing piece of Karou coming, I only guessed half of it. The book made me think of how life is about love, hope for a better future, and how little things can change a persons life. Akiva made me think that because of what Madrigal did for him, on the battle field of Bullfinch, and how that effected him for the better good. I know that just went real deep but if there’s anything I learned from this book it’s that.
     Overall, the book was amazing! There was angels, masquerades, flashback-inception, firsts, and deep thoughts that come from the heart. I hope that in the next book we see more flash backs to when Madrigal was around and that Akiva and Karou settle their problems.
-Michelle

The Lost Prince By: Julie Kagawa

   

    Don’t look at Them. Never let Them know you can     see Them.   

     That is Ethan Chase’s unbreakable rule. Until the fey he avoids at all costs—including his reputation—begin to disappear, and Ethan is attacked. Now he must change the rules to protect his family. To save a girl he never thought he’d dare to fall for.

Ethan thought he had protected himself from his older sister’s world—the land of Faery. His previous time in the Iron Realm left him with nothing but fear and disgust for the world Meghan Chase has made her home, a land of myth and talking cats, of magic and seductive enemies. But when destiny comes for Ethan, there is no escape from a danger long, long forgotten.

The Lost Prince is the first book in the Iron Fey Call of the Forgotten series, which happens to be a spin-off of the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. The Lost Prince is about Ethan trying to find his half-phouka friend, Todd, who got kiddnapped by a new strange type of fey called the forgotten. The Lost prince was filled with nostalgia, awesome adventures in the NeverNever, the fey, and of course Kierran.

I loved the book because of those awesome moments were you actually see Meghan, Ash or Puck. Although I hated how we only see Meghan once,and Ash and Puck twice. I know that the book isn’t about them, it’s about Ethan and Kierran, but I just really miss them. Meghan, Ash and Puck were just so freaking awesome and were amazing as a team. But enough with the old Characters, lets talk about the new. Well the new characters are Ethan (He’s in the Iron Fey series but he was only a kid so he still counts as new), Kierran and Kenzie.

Ethan’s an interesting character because through out the book you see how badly the fey had affected him growing up. He’s so much like his sister when it comes to how much courage he has and how he felt being the leader. To be honest I really liked everything about him except his thoughts on Meghan leaving to be the Iron Queen and Ash in general. I can’t blame him for Ash because of his point of view, I mean Ash took his sister away from him so I can see where he’s coming from. But when it comes to Meghan abandoning him I just don’t feel the same way that he feels. I thought he would blame himself because if he hadn’t been kidnapped this wouldn’t have happened and she has to stay away from her family just like she said in the letter because she’s afraid that her enemies might get to them.

Kenzie is the next main character on the list. She is the love interest of Ethan. I like her; she was open to new ideas, she made a good reporter, she was so kind, and she was great with quick thinking. I liked the twist of surprise near the end when u learn of her health. I really didn’t expect it and I like how it tied in with how everyone treats her and also how she acts.

The last main character on the list (but not at all the least) is Kierran. Kierran is Meghan and Ash’s child. Isn’t that so freaking awesome! He was such a good character because he moved like Ash but he saw things like Meghan, he looked like Meghan but he looked like Ash when it came to his jaw, his stance, the way he fought, and of course, his muscle. Damn, I imagined him so hot! I looked him a lot but I disliked his love interest because she was a summer faery who doesn’t do much. I imagined him with a winter faery, who fights like a bad-ass and is crazily beautiful. Another thing was how he acted in the end. I don’t know what to make of it because it was kind of confusing. It also doesn’t help that the next book is called the Traitor Son.

Overall, it was pretty good and I liked how it didn’t completely mimic the original series and novellas.

4/5

Maybe if Kierran had a bad-ass girlfriend and not a damsel in distress and Ethan wasn’t a jackass to Meghan it would have gotten full marks.

        -Review by: Michelle