Review: The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

The Year of Shadows by Claire Legrand

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: Borrowed
Publication Date: August 27th 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers
Point of View: 1st Person & Female
Genres & Themes: Middle Grade, Paranormal, Ghosts, Gothic, Friendship, Mystery, Family, Music

BLURB:

Olivia wants a new life, and it might take ghosts to get it. A heartfelt, gently Gothic novel from Claire Legrand.

Olivia Stellatella is having a rough year.

Her mother’s left; her neglectful father, the maestro of a failing orchestra, has moved her and her grandmother into the city’s dark, broken-down concert hall to save money, and her only friend is Igor, an ornery stray cat.

Just when she thinks life couldn’t get any weirder, she meets four ghosts who haunt the hall. They need Olivia’s help; if the hall is torn down, they’ll be stuck as ghosts forever, never able to move on.

Olivia has to do the impossible for her shadowy new friends: save the concert hall. But helping the dead has powerful consequences for the living; and soon it’s not just the concert hall that needs saving.

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Review: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School #1) by Gail Carriger

Etiquette & Espionage by Gail Carriger

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: NetGalley
Publication Date: February 5th 2013
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Pacing: fast
POV: 3rd person
Genres & Themes: YA-MG, Steampunk, Friendship.

BLURB:

Fourteen-year-old Sophronia is the bane of her mother’s existence. Sophronia is more interested in dismantling clocks and climbing trees than proper etiquette at tea–and god forbid anyone see her atrocious curtsy. Mrs. Temminnick is desperate for her daughter to become a proper lady. She enrolls Sophronia in Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality.

But little do Sophronia or her mother know that this is a school where ingenious young girls learn to finish, all right–but it’s a different kind of finishing. Mademoiselle Geraldine’s certainly trains young ladies in the finer arts of dance, dress, and etiquette, but also in the other kinds of finishing: the fine arts of death, diversion, deceit, espionage, and the modern weaponries. Sophronia and her friends are going to have a rousing first year at school.

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Mini-Review of The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

The Lightning Thief: The Graphic Novel by Rick Riordan

My rating: 2 of 5 stars
Received: borrowed
Publication Date: October 12th 2010
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Pacing: fast
Genres & Themes: Graphic Novel, Adventure, YA-MG, Mythology

DESCRIPTION:

You’ve read the book. You’ve seen the movie. Now submerge yourself in the thrilling, stunning, and action-packed graphic novel.

Mythological monsters and the gods of Mount Olympus seem to be walking out of the pages of twelve-year-old Percy Jackson’s textbooks and into his life. And worse, he’s angered a few of them. Zeus’s master lightning bolt has been stolen, and Percy is the prime suspect. Now, he and his friends have just ten days to find and return Zeus’s stolen property and bring peace to a warring Mount Olympus.

Series creator Rick Riordan joins forces with some of the biggest names in the comic book industry to tell the story of a boy who must unravel a treachery more powerful than the gods themselves.

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Review: The School for Good and Evil (The School for Good and Evil #1) by Soman Chainani

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Source: bought
Publication Date: May 14th 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins
Genres & Themes: Fairy Tales, Middle Grade, Fantasy, Magic, Adventure, Witches, Boarding School.

BLURB:

The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?

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