Sunday, September 11, 2011

{ Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier }

August 1, 2011 by Amulet Books

Source: NetGalley

Format: Ebook ARC

From GoodReads:

"Now, for those of you who know anything about blind children, you are aware that they make the very best thieves. As you can well imagine, blind children have incredible senses of smell, and they can tell what lies behind a locked door- be it fine cloth, gold, or peanut brittle- at fifty paces. Moreover, their fingers are so small and nimble that they can slip right through keyholes, and their ears so keen that they can hear the faint clicks and clacks of every moving part inside even the most complicated lock. Of course, the age of great thievery has long since passed;today there are few child-thieves left, blind or otherwise. At one time, however, the world was simply thick with them. This is the story of the greatest thief who ever lived. His name, as you've probably guessed, is Peter Nimble."

My Mini Review:

Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes is a fantasy adventure that will be sure to delight young readers 10+. Peter is a unique and interesting character, but I must admit that I was more drawn to some of the secondary characters. Mainly, Sir Tode. Not only visually is he a great character, being part Knight, part kitty and part horse, but Sir Tode provides many laughs and many touching moments. I felt a real connection to him and loved him throughout the book.

The first half of the book was a great fantasy and something I could definitely see myself recommending to all the young fantasy lovers in my life. It felt like I was in for an exciting fun adventure. However, halfway through, I found the book lost something. It felt long and I just felt myself being easily distracted. I will admit to skimming through the last half. There were many plot aspects that were quite predictable and I just felt disconnected to the whole thing. I do plan to put this one aside and give it another read at another time though. I think that this book is one that would be better suited to be read-aloud and enjoyed by a group of young adventure lovers. But maybe that's just me.

In the end, I would recommend this to all adventure, fantasy lovers 10+. There are some great characters and great world building, even if I was not fully convinced.

Rating: 3 stars

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

{ Teaser Tuesday - Sept 6, 2011 }

Teaser Tuesday is a weekly book meme hosted by Mizb over at Shouldbereading. Anyone can play along, just 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 does not give too much away! You don't want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR lists if they like your teaser!

'Not ten minutes after Mrs. Molasses had extinguished the lights and glided off to her bedroom, Peter discovered for himself what had so frightened all the people at supper.

There was a monster in the palace.'

pg 137 - ebook ARC - Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes by Jonathan Auxier

What's your teaser this week?

Monday, September 5, 2011

{ It's Monday! What Are You Reading? - Sept 5, 2011 }

It's Monday! What are you reading is a weekly book meme hosted by Sheila over at BookJourney. This is where participants share what they read last week, what they are currently reading and what is up next. Here are mine for this week:

Read Last Week:

Currently Reading:

Up Next:

What are you reading this week?

Thursday, September 1, 2011

{ Darwin's Children by Natasha Larry }

Darwin's Children by Natasha Larry

June 8, 2011 by Penumbra Publishing

Source: from author for review

Format: ebook

Genre: YA Paranormal

From Goodreads:

Life can get pretty complicated for any seventeen-year-old girl, but for a home-schooled telepathic black girl trying to survive in a prestigious private school in small-town Jonesborough, Tennessee, it can be maddening – especially when her telepathic father keeps eavesdropping on her thoughts!

Jaycie Lerner’s family isn’t the usual mom-dad-kid setup. Jaycie’s mom’s MIA, but Allison, her personal live-in ‘trainer,’ is more than a mom, with her own special abilities, like being able to lift cars and run incredibly fast. And Jaycie’s godfather John is more than persuasive – he can literally convince anyone to do anything.

As far as the rest of the world’s concerned, Jaycie’s on the outside looking in. The townsfolk love Jaycie’s pediatrician father, but she doesn’t fit in with ‘normal’ kids, and she doesn’t really want to. Most of her free time is spent training to keep her telekinetic and telepathic powers under control. But there’s one thing she can’t control – and that’s her feelings, especially when her best friend Matt is nearby. If only he knew what she was truly capable of...

Everything seems to be status quo for Jaycie until she receives a cryptic message from a stranger and meets a very unusual girl new to Jonesborough. Then all hell breaks loose!

My Review:

When I was approached by author Natasha Larry to review her book, Darwin's Children, I will admit that the cover turned me off somewhat. However, after reading the synopsis, I was eager to give it a read. I am very glad that I did not judge this book by it's cover. Darwin's Children was a refreshing change from many other YA Paranormal. At it's core, this book drills home a message of love and family. I truly enjoyed the family dynamics.

The main character, Jaycie Lerner, is a great voice for teens. She is strong, loving, caring and smart, but still remains positive even when faced with difficulties. However, a lot of that has to do with the loving family surrounding her. Jaycie's father, Mason Lerner, is an amazing man. He's smart, loving and protective of his daughter and family. He truly is a great example to all parents. I loved seeing the love between this Father and Daughter. In addition to Jaycie's father is her surrogate Mother/Nanny/Trainer, Allison Young. Allison is a great character. She is funny, smart, strong, sexy and just plain fun. It is her responsibility to train Jaycie to control her telekinetic powers. Also, being the only other female in the family, she takes it upon her self to deal with all the 'girlie' issues that arise. Sometimes whether Jaycie wants the help or not.

Of course no YA Paranormal would be complete without a little romance. Luckily for Jaycie, and us, she has her childhood best friend turned boyfriend, Matt Carter. Matt is very sweet and truly loves Jaycie. The romance was perfect. Not overdone and it was well balanced within the confines of the story. It did not take over as I have found too often happens in YA Paranormal.

We are also introduced to a pivotal character about 60 pages in. Haylee Michell is this broken, beaten shell of a girl who, with the love and caring shown from both Jaycie and her family, begins her transformation not only as a human but also as a superhuman. As we are introduced to Haylee, things start to shift and by the last few chapters, Darwin's Children, takes a bit of a darker turn from the light YA Paranormal we were enveloped in. I have read a few reviews that left some reviewers feeling that the ending was rushed and took too drastic a turn. Although, perhaps the ending was a bit rushed, I actually enjoyed the direction the story has begun to travel and look forward to the next installment.

In the end, I would recommend Darwin's Children to all lovers of YA Paranormal. If you are tired of characters that wallow in self pity and a lifetime of impending doom, this will be sure to give you a great read. I for one will be sure to keep my eye out for Natasha Larry's next installment in this series.

Rating: 4 stars