Jul 24, 2015

"The Pirate Pig" by Cornelia Funke

Title: The Pirate Pig

Author: Cornelia Funke

Illustrator: Kerstin Meyer

Translator: Oliver Latsch

Publisher: Random House Children's Books

Imprint: Random House Books for Young Readers

Publication date: April 28th, 2015

My rating: 5 of 5

(Book re-read on July 18th, 2015, from the ARC received from the publisher, in exchange of an honest review.)  


Who needs a treasure map when you have a pirate pig with a nose for gold?
Stout Sam and his deckhand, Pip, find a pig washed up in a barrel on the beach. They want to keep her as a pet, but they soon realize Julie is no ordinary pig. She can sniff out treasure! What happens if Barracuda Bill, the greediest and meanest pirate who ever sailed the seas, hears about Julie’s special talent?

Bestselling author Cornelia Funke brings her signature charm to this quirky, whimsical chapter book for young readers.

My Thoughts on the Book:

The Pirate Pig is a fun, interesting & entertaining children's book with lovely illustrations!

I have to admit that I actually read this book twice: once to my 6-year-old nephew, and once by myself. The first time, I didn't pay as much attention, mostly because I had to translate it to my nephew (he knows some English, but not enough, he's still learning), but I thought it's an ok book. And, at least I got the feedback of a child for whom the book is intended. 

He thought that the book was quite interesting, and he loved it, and he kept asking me when we'll finish it. We had to read it in two sittings, and only because I had to go home, but he wanted to know what will happen next. I mean, pirates and a pig that can find treasure. Any boy would love that! And he loved the colour illustrations. He loved finding the characters on the illustrations while we were reading it, and there was a 2-page picture of the pirate boat with all the names of its parts, and he loved learning them, too. So, yes, this book is amazing for children, and actually, I decided to give it to him, because I know he'll read it again & again, and probably by himself soon.

That being said, of course I was going to read it again so I can review it, and let me just say, I actually enjoyed it a lot more than I expected, even though I knew the story. It was quirky & fun, even funny, and the colourful illustrations really added to the story, so yes, it's a great book for children, and I highly recommend it for every child that loves books, no matter if it's a boy or a girl.


- COYER Scavenger Hunt: #55 - Read a book featuring an animal prominently in the story
- The Re-Read Challenge

Jul 21, 2015

"The Reality Bug" by D. J. MacHale

Title: The Reality Bug
Author: D. J. MacHale
Series: Pendragon, #4
My rating: 4 of 5
(Book read from June 29th to July 7th, 2015.)


The territory of Veelox has achieved perfect harmony. Fifteen-year-old Bobby Pendragon arrives on this territory in pursuit of the evil Saint Dane, but all is peaceful on Veelox — because it's deserted. The inhabitants have discovered a way to enter their own personal dream worlds, where they can be whomever they want, wherever they want. Their bodies lie in stasis while their minds escape to this dream realm.
Fresh from his battle with Saint Dane in 1937 Earth, Bobby is confident that they can defeat whatever Saint Dane has planned for this world. But once Bobby enters the virtual world, will he be able to resist the lure of the ultimate in escapism?

My Thoughts on the Book:


And the adventure continues... The Reality Bug - the 4th book in the Pendragon series - is a little bit different, but still quite imaginative, suspenseful, adventurous, and maybe just a tiny bit scary because of the possibilities in the future that can actually happen. Sure, Lifelight was awesome & so amazing, but it makes you think & wonder...

Once again, Saint Dane is on the move, but he's not as present in this book, because at the beginning of the book, Saint Dane leaves the territory of Veelox, saying that his job there is already done, and Veelox is about to crumble.
I loved the story of Veelox. I mean, I loved getting into the world of Lifelight, it was quite interesting, but yes, Veelox was about to fall, and the blame was mostly on its people, and ultimately, I wouldn't want to live there... Aja (the traveller from Veelox) has realized the dangers that Lifelight presents to the territory, and has been working on sort of a cure, that's actually a virus, called the Reality Bug, and needs Bobby's help to implement her plan & hopefully save Veelox. 

I won't go into details, but I loved meeting the new & quite interesting characters, seeing Loor again, and learning more about the acolytes, too. Mark & Courtney want to become acolytes, and I enjoyed that part quite a lot, it was great.

And the story as a whole was fast-paced, full of danger, twists & turns, entertaining & imaginative, and quite the adventure. And that ending, OMG. Both for Veelox & Eelong. Things just got real. Not that they weren't already, but I think that the stakes has never been higher, and I can't wait to read the next book, and see what will happen next!

I can't recommend enough the Pendragon series! They're books that boys would love, but girls as well, and adults alike, despite being YA. Pretty much any fans of adventure stories, so I highly recommend it! It's one of my favorite series, and I know I'll enjoy reading the books again & again!


- 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
- COYER Scavenger Hunt
: #60 - Oldest book on my Goodreads TBR pile that I own

Jul 20, 2015

High Summer Read-a-Thon: Start + Wrap Up!

The High Summer Read-a-Thon is hosted by Michelle a.k.a The True Book Addict at her read-a-thon dedicated blog Seasons of Reading!
The read-a-thon started today, July 2oth at midnight CST and ends on Sunday, July 26th at 11:59 pm CST.

For more info & to join the read-a-thon, visit the post HERE.
For me & my time zone, as always, that means it starts on Monday, July 20th at 7 am & ends on Monday, July 27th at 6:59 am.

The Twitter hashtag (as always) is #HSreadathon.

My Reading Plans:

I'm hoping to finish my current read Black Water by D. J. MacHale & to read Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson, too. Actually, I'm hoping to read more, especially because I'm participating in 2 read-a-thons at the same time, but this is the beginning, and in the end, wherever the mood takes me...

I'll update this post with my progress!

Wrap Up:

I finished reading Black Water & I read 5 to 1 by Holly Bodger. Black Water was amazing, best book in the Pendragon series, and 5 to 1 was great, and unexpectedly a beautiful read. 

I didn't read as much as I hoped, but I still did good, especially because I didn't even read every day (probably every 2nd day), so it was a good read-a-thon!

I hope everyone had a great read-a-thon!!!

Jul 19, 2015

"Ever Near" by Melissa MacVicar

Title: Ever Near

Author: Melissa MacVicar

Series: Secret Affinity, #1

Publisher: Red Adept Publishing, LLC

Publication date: September 11th, 2013
My rating: 3.5 of 5
(Book read on July 18th to 19th, 2015, from the review copy received from the publisher, in exchange of an honest review.)



Love is ever near. But trouble is never far.

Nantucket Island is haunted, but only sixteen-year-old Jade Irving knows it. Ignoring the disturbing spirits isn’t an option, because one dwells in the enormous historic home she shares with her newly blended family. Jade is finding it more and more difficult to explain away Lacey’s ghostly, anguished tantrums, especially with Charlie, her gorgeous, almost step-brother, living right across the hall. 

When a power-hungry ghost hunter tracks down Jade and blackmails her, Jade’s secret teeters on the edge of exposure, and her entire future hangs in the balance. If anyone finds out Jade can talk to ghosts, her life will be forever changed. 

Can she save herself, free Lacey, and hang on to her tenuous connection with Charlie? Or will everything she ever wanted slip through her fingers?

My Thoughts on the Book:

Ever Near is one of those ghostly stories that will keep you interested & that just has that mysterious allure when it comes to that type of stories.

I really enjoyed the setting of the story. It being set on Nantucket Island, and all the scenes that happened on the beaches & the water made me long for a vacation, especially on these extremely hot summer days, so it's the perfect summer read. 

I didn't really connect with the characters. I mean, they were ok, I didn't dislike them, I guess they were likable enough, and the romance was ok, but I don't know... But, that didn't stop me from enjoying the story. I loved the ghostly part of the book, and learning about Jade's past when it comes to ghosts, I really felt like I knew her. 

It was a fast read, and even though I didn't find this book to be scary, if I was Jade's shoes, I would probably be scared to death. The things she has to endure...  And even though it was a little bit predictable, I still enjoyed the journey.

Overall, Ever Near was a nice paranormal YA read that I enjoyed quite a lot, with a good mystery, characters & ghosts, and good writing style, and I'm interested in reading more. The sequel sounds quite interesting. So, I recommend this book to every fan of YA ghostly stories! 



- 2015 TBR Pile Reading Challenge
- COYER Scavenger Hunt
: #2 - Book with a cover that is at least 51% blue. 

Jul 18, 2015

Beach Party Read-a-Thon!

The Beach Party Read-a-Thon is hosted by Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun, Michelle @ Because Reading & Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh My! as part of the COYER Scavanger Hunt, though anyone can join.
The goal of this read-a-thon is to read COYER books that take place on/near a beach or involve vacation. 

The read-a-thon is from today July 18th to Friday, July 24th.

For more detailed info about the read-a-thon & to join, visit the sign up post HERE

While browsing through my books, I actually found quite a few books that fit the read-a-thon, so I'll start with a couple of review books: 

If I only read these 2 books, I'll be happy, though I always hope for more. In the end, it all depends on my mood... I'll update this post with my progress.

Update #1:

I read both The Pirate Pig & Ever Near. Now I'm reading something else, something that I don't know if it qualifies for the read-a-thon, but after that I'm hoping to read Second Chance Summer, too. 

Jul 14, 2015

"Nightborn" by Lou Anders

Title: Nightborn 

Author: Lou Anders 

Series: Thrones & Bones, #2 

Publisher: Random House Children's Books 

Imprint: Crown Books for Young Readers 

Publication date: July 14th, 2015 

My rating: 4.5 of 5

  (Book read on July 10th to 13th, 2015, from the ARC received from the publisher, in exchange of an honest review.)


Karn Korlundsson is a gamer. Not a riddle solver. But in order to rescue his best friend, Thianna Frostborn, he will need to travel to the faraway city of Castlebriar (by wyvern), learn how to play a new board game called Charioteers (not a problem), decipher the Riddle of the Horn, and tangle with mysterious elves.
Meet Desstra. She’s in training to join the Underhand — the elite agents of the dark elves. When she crosses paths with Karn, she is not all that she appears to be.
Everyone is chasing after the horn of Osius, an ancient artifact with the power to change the world. The lengths to which Karn will go in the name of friendship will be sorely tested. Who knew that solving a riddle could be so deadly?
The novel includes instructions for playing the board game Charioteers. Visit ThronesandBones.com for additional games, maps, character profiles, and more!

My Thoughts on the Book:

Frostborn - the first Thrones & Bones novel - was one of my top favorite reads in 2014. An absolutely amazing fantasy adventure with lovable main characters & imaginative magical world, so of course I was excited to read more...
Nightborn - the sequel & the second book in the series - overall doesn't disappoint. It might not be as amazing as Frostborn, but I had lots of fun reading this book, once again following Karn & Thianna on their adventures, and meeting a new favorite character, as well as lots of other interesting characters, and new places & cultures. Definitely entertaining, imaginative, action-packed, and quest-like adventure, with great ending.
From the beginning the storyline is quite interesting.  It will take you on a magical fast-paced adventure, with rich history & myths, and lots of magical creatures. Just pure fantasy fun, for children & adults alike!
It starts with the dark elves, and we meet Desstra & Tanthal, and learn about their society. I loved Desstra as a character, she's dangerous & cunning, but also nice, and I loved getting to know her & seeing her character development. As for Karn, he's at home, finally doing what he was supposed to do, at least until he's called on a mission. I won't go into details any more, but I loved the puzzle aspect, because I'm a sucker for quests & missions in fantasy books. I loved seeing Orm again, as well as Karn & Thianna. There was hardly any character development when it comes to Karn & Thianna (they were fully developed in the previous book, so I guess, the readers should definitely read Frostborn first), but Desstra's was done well, and I enjoyed every second of it. And the cast of secondary characters (both friends & foes) was interesting, and they all told a story that will suck you in & don't let go until you're done!

I highly recommend this book to every fan of fantasy books, no matter the age. And I think that the author had achieved what he had set out to do - Nightborn is a great fantasy adventure both for boys & girls, and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series! 



- Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge 2015
- COYER Scavenger Hunt: #46 - Celebrate 2015: read a book that's number 2 in the series

Jul 9, 2015

Red, White & Blue Read-a-Thon!

The Red, White & Blue Read-a-Thon hosted by Berls @ Fantasy is More Fun, Michelle @ Because Reading & Stormi @ Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh My! as part of the COYER Scavanger Hunt, though anyone can join.
I'm participating in COYER, and even though I'm late with this post, I'm almost done with my 1st read-a-thon read, which also qualifies for the scavenger hunt :)
The goal of this read-a-thon is to read books with the words red, white or blue in the title or those colors on the covers. The read-a-thon is from July 4th to July 10th.
The read-a-thon post is HERE
My read-a-thon plans didn't go as I planned. I wanted to finish the book I started before the start of the read-a-thon, and I did, but it took longer, (because of lack of reading time, not the book itself), so I only started reading yesterday for the read-a-thon, and the book is really good, so I'll definitely finish it today, and I'm actually hoping to squeeze in another one, maybe even the sequel, because it fits the read-a-thon, too.
Anyway, the book I'm reading is As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka - the 1st book in the Snow White / Lumikki Andersson trilogy. And it can fit in quite a few of the Coyer Scavenger Hunt categories, so I'll have to decide about one when I'm done :)
I hope everyone is having fun with this read-a-thon!

Update & Wrap Up:

Ok, so, I only read one book:

...but at least it qualified both for the scavenger hunt & the read-a-thon. My mini review is here, full review to come soon here on my blog.
Celebrate The 4th of July with the Americans in the group by reading a book with red, white, or blue on the cover or the words red, white or blue in the title. Read-a-thon is from July 4th – 10th - See more at: http://www.becausereading.com/coyer-read-thon-sign-ups/red-white-blue-read-a-thon/#sthash.keRL8C5c.dpuf