Tuesday, November 21, 2017


BOOK REVIEW : Wintersong
By S. Jae Jones

To be honest, I got this ARC with some high expectations. I followed up on Wintersong’s release information and reviews on Goodreads constantly and was very excited when I got my hands on it. Wintersong, however, proves to be extremely slow and very little happens. Also, while it is officially classified as YA, the novel is rather mature.  But ALAS, I got through.

Wintersong is a retelling of “Labyrinth”. For those of you who don’t know what “Labyrinth” is, it is a film that came out in 1986 about a girl who travels a maze in order to save her brother from the evil and sinister Goblin King.

( SIDENOTE:  I would watch this movie, but I feel like they would make the Goblin King look like Werewolf Michael Jackson from his “Thriller” music video and I shudder at the thought ).

( UPDATE : this is the real Goblin King :

Whattup David Bowie. Seriously, though, it is not any better. I implore you to, however, erase that image from your head because OUR Goblin King is waaay different. In a good way : )

Wintersong does an amazing job with its characters. Liesl, our MC, is overlooked by her family when compared with her beautiful sister and incredible musician of a brother. And yet it is Liesl who proves to be most important in her family; Liesl is the one to encourage her brother in his art and keep her foolish sister in line. While there are times where Liesel did something stupid and I would just shake my head, I do not hate her whole character for it. She is NOT perfect because no one is perfect. If she had been beautiful and as musically talented as her siblings, she would not have been real, and I find characters like that to be frustrating and simply unreachable ( *COUGH COUGH NOAH IN THE MARA DYER TRILOGY* ).

I adore hate to love relationships because they almost always bring out the best in the characters and creates character growth that makes a book all the more interesting. Liesl becomes so much more confident and strong towards the end of the novel and most of that is thanks to her experiences in the Underworld with the Goblin King. The same can said about the Goblin King.

I simply love the Goblin King’s character. A “Goblin King” immediately gives readers a dark vibe, and that is certainly applicable to the whole tone of his character in this book. But the dark atmosphere the Goblin King and his Underworld bring to this book actually makes it charming in its own way. The Goblin King is sarcastic and haughty and mischievous and tries to be cruel, but it is clear even halfway through the book that he is just as beautiful and mysterious and thoughtful as he is wicked.

I mention before that this book probably should not be classified as YA. Towards the middle and end, the content becomes significantly more mature than most YA books I have read in the past. If you are anything like me, you like to read all types of YA, even if you are just in middle school. However, after reading this as an eighth grader ( Hey there eight-month procrastination ) I would say it was a little too mature for my innocence : ). I am just going to throw warning out there.

SO IF you’re a high schooler who loves themselves a dark, poetic story about a girl who will do anything to save her family, and a mysterious Goblin King who is not as wicked as he seems, FIND WintersongUnfortunately, this book is so captivating ( if we ignore its slow pace ) that you will read it in one sitting and waste a lot of precious time that could have been spent on your Notes Assignment for English,  like me : ).


There is music in your soul. A wild and untamed sort
of music that speaks to me. It defies all the rules and laws you humans set upon it. It grows from inside you, and I have a wish to set that music free.”

― S. Jae-Jones, Wintersong

“What would you do, if you were a free man?”
“I would take my violin and play. I would walk the world and play, until someone called me by name and called me home.”

“She was the sun and he was the earth waking from a thaw.”

“I am not a saint; I am a sinner. I want to sin again and
again and again.”

A dark, poetic story about a talented yet overlooked girl and a wicked Goblin King who is that and so much more.
Check it out at the library and Goodreads :


Review of It by Stephen King ----Tanay Somisetty

Review of It by Stephen King
Tanay Somisetty

The movie, It, was an amazing film and a must watch for all lovers of horror. This movie prompted me to read the novel by Stephen King that it’s based on. Upon picking up this massive book, I was initially intimidated. My edition (pictured above) was over a thousand pages, but I was committed to delving into the adventure waiting for me. As a first time reader of Stephen King, I was amazed. I finally understood all the praise surrounding this author. In this novel, King created not only a story, but an entire world. He left no stone unturned by explaining every motive and exquisitely detailing every scene. Every character, even the most minor ones, were well extremely well thought out. This resulted in every character to feel real and feel like an essential part of the world King had created. I had a remarkable time reading It and I feel it deserves as spot among other great classics.

The premise of this novel is similar to the movie. Bill Denbrough’s younger brother is murdered by a mysterious, other-worldly entity and he seeks revenge with the help of his close friends all while running from bullies and experiencing the many exploits of childhood. Before starting this book I was hesitant to read it because I already watched the movie. I wondered how long it would be before I got bored since I already knew the story. However, upon reading I found that the movie excluded many parts of the book. It almost felt like the novel was an entirely new experience because of the many parts of the story left out from the film. I was captivated throughout the entire book. If you enjoyed the movie or simply enjoy reading rich and well thought out stories, I recommend this book, assuming you’re up for an adventure.

My Rating: 9/10

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Saleena's reviews 11/14/17

Feeding my biography love is this fun graphic novel on the life of Agatha Christie, nicely done and well researched.  I found a lot of things I had no idea about, she really was an interesting person.

This book broke my heart, and it was an AMAZING story.  A boy is kidnapped, a young man named Dylan; and he is non-verbal boy with severe Autism.  When the police find him, they find another boy, Ethan who was kidnapped 5 years ago.  Ethan is not the same person he was when he was kidnapped at age 11; and he really isn't sure who he is or what to do with himself.  Ethan meets Caroline, Dylan's sister, when she comes looking for answers and they form a friendship.  Throughout the story, you see both Ethan and Caroline's views (alternating speaking in each chapter) and also see what they are going through individually.  Ultimately this book is about the journey through horrific circumstances of both characters, and it is definitely a journey that requires a lot of tissues.  I would encourage everyone to read this.

Gen and Ava are best friends, going to colleges on opposite sides of the country.  They are both determined to maintain their friendship and that "nothing will change"....but of course things do.  The whole story is told through emails and texts they send to each other.  I really like how different each character is and each person's journey is handled well.  As a reader you cringe when the character does something you know is a bad idea; but the author's show the reasons why and explore the consequences of those actions.   This is a book about college, so probably not appropriate for a young teen unfamiliar with life; but it's a quick and interesting read for older teens and could start some great conversations.

Mackenzi Lee has written a fascinating story with a fun premise; what if a young man who likes girls (but prefers boys) were a member of the upper class in England in the 1800s?  What would life be life for him?  The entirety of the novel takes place on Monty's "tour" where he is supposed to explore life and learn new things and then come home and be a proper lord and follow his father's orders.  What actually happens is that Monty and his sister and his friend (whom he is in love with) stumble onto a plot that has them running for their lives.  Lee balances serious topics with comedic moments and really gives you insight into the characters.  I love that all of the characters are fighting their own battles and the added danger elements just made the book more interesting.  I admit, I wasn't sure about this book as I thought it would devolve into a farce with a lot of prat falls and it really didn't.  A really interesting book that is well worth the read.

I have to admit, I listened to this story rather than reading it; and I'm kind of glad I did as it made the characters more real (different actors for each character helped).  However it also prevented me from skipping to the end when I got frustrated, so......
One of Us is Lying is a classic "whodunnit" book, with four suspects, one victim and the title that tells you someone is lying.  As a reader you are really trying to figure out what really happened and suspect everyone, but you won't figure it out (or maybe you will because you're smarter than me).  I wasn't surprised by the ending; but I was.....it was a whole "of course" moment that I felt that I should have anticipated (but I won't give it away as that would be cheating).  Anyway, highly recommended to read or listen to.

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton, review by Nina Soukhanovskii

Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton.  A Quote to Consider: “With a shiver of foreboding he saw his marriage becoming what most of...