i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

Ramblings by Category

Ramblings by Year

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends

Ever After High: The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High, #1)
by Shannon Hale

At Ever After High, an enchanting boarding school, the children of fairytale legends prepare themselves to fulfill their destinies as the next generation of Snow Whites, Prince Charmings and Evil Queens…whether they want to or not. Each year on Legacy Day, students sign the Storybook of Legends to seal their scripted fates. For generations, the Village of Book End has whispered that refusing to sign means The End-both for a story and for a life.

As the daughter of the Evil Queen, Raven Queen’s destiny is to follow in her mother’s wicked footsteps, but evil is so not Raven’s style. She’s starting to wonder, what if she rewrote her own story? The royal Apple White, daughter of the Fairest of Them All, has a happy ever after planned for herself, but it depends upon Raven feeding her a poison apple in their future.

What if Raven doesn’t sign the Storybook of Legends? It could mean a happily never after for them both.

First I saw the dolls in a store flyer. It was love at first sight. Then I saw the book in the store and I promptly told my husband he was buying this for me for Christmas. Then I discovered the website and the theme song and the webisodes so it’s pretty safe to say I have become slightly obsessed with this series.

I knew that this book was going to be for kids even before I watched the animation. But I also knew I was going to love it to pieces and I wasn’t wrong.

The book is pretty. The pages are pretty. It’s full of puns and life lessons and Morals of the Story and just so much fun, fairy tale goodness. I keep thinking it’s Disney, but it’s Mattel. It’s my Jem and the Holograms obsession for this decade. I don’t care about Monster High, but I was instantly drawn to fairy tale legends. What can I say?  I like fairy tales.

There is mystery and deception and friendship and broken friendships. There’s hope and whimsy and humour and gossip.

I loved everything about this book. It is an exceptionally light and fun read but it’s just what I needed after Christmas and the months I have been having. It was FUN. I laughed out loud. I rolled my eyes. I smiled A  LOT while reading this book. It’s fun.

And the theme song isn’t so bad either. It has a good message.

They told you everything was waiting for you,
They told you everything was set in stone,
But now you’re feeling like a different ending,
Sometimes you gotta find it on your own.

It’s an open book,
A road in reverse,
A brand new hook,
Forget that curse!
It’s a Rebel cause,
With a Royal heart,
Rewrite, ignite, restart!

Cause it’s your life,
It’s your time,
Go forward or rewind!

And it’s a pretty freakin’ catchy bubblegum pop song. Even my husband dances to it with me. Heh.

Shush now. Let me have my whimsy. =P

Forest Born

Forest Born (The Books of Bayern, #4)
by Shannon Hale

Oooohhhhh, people! This book rocked! Or, rather, it TREED! (ha! I am so funny!) I could not put this book down once I started it yesterday and I was in love with Rin the second her voice graced the page. Here I was thinking that no other book in this series would compare to Goose Girl and yet, here I have Forest Born finished beside me and I am still reeling from the adventure and the folkiness of it.

Rin is Razo’s 15 year old sister and she has a way with trees. I am not certain how much time has passed between River Secrets and this book, I guess a year? A couple of years? Not sure. Rin leaves her home in the forest because she feels she doesn’t belong there anymore and travels with her brother and his girl, Dasha back to the city and ends up taking care of Isi’s son Tusken.

There was just something about Rin and her story that I loved. The flow of the plot and the interaction between the characters just felt right. I still don’t like Enna though. I am not sure anything can make me like her. In fact I think she’s written so differently in these last two books than she was in her own story!

I loved Rin. (I know, I said that already.) I loved how she spoke true no matter what she said even with all her fear of speaking. I loved learning about the mystery that was her. I loved her certainty that the horses were going to eat her. (ha!) I loved that she was observant and could help solve problems that way.

The one thing I didn’t notice until I had finished the book and stepped away from it was that it lacked a super happy ending like the other three previous books did. Rin’s story is still sort of open ended and she still feels she must live a lie of solitude. I’m not sure how I feel about that. I know I don’t always care if stories don’t have the happily ever after but something about the way Rin’s story ended made me feel sorry for her and not just content with the way things were left.

This leaves me curious as to whether or not there shall be more Books of Bayern! I guess Conrad is one character left without a story? I hope there will be more because I am completely immersed in the world of Bayern now and I would like to know what happens to Rin!!

Books of Bayern

  1. Goose Girl
  2. Enna Burning
  3. River of Secrets
  4. Forest Born

River Secrets

River Secrets (The Books of Bayern, #3)
by Shannon Hale

Razo has never been anything but ordinary. He’s not very fast or tall or strong, so when he’s invited to join an elite mission escorting the ambassador into Tira, Bayern’s great enemy, he’s sure it’s only out of pity. But as Razo finds potential allies among the Tiran, including the beautiful Lady Dasha, he realizes it may be up to him to stop a murderer and get the Bayern army safely home again. (goodreads.com)

I don’t think any of these Books of Bayern will live up to the first – Goose Girl. I was so enchanted by that book I was eager to read the others once I discovered that they existed. Last year at Christmas I treated myself to the Bayern box set and I am finally getting to the end of those three books. I didn’t enjoy River Secrets as much as GG, but I did like it better than Enna Burning.

The good parts of River Secrets were Razo and Dasha. The bad, well, I thought the story wasn’t as enchanting, but then again it’s about two countries ready to go to war and the egg shells that were being walked on as they learned to live together. I did like the humour in this story, Razo has always been the sort of comic relief guy so it was sort of fun to give him his own story. I was on the edge of “too much of Razo isn’t a good thing” the entire time. He never really crossed that line though and I loved watching him develop his self confidence and self esteem.

No one ever takes Razo seriously and he often gets over looked, which ends up being to his advantage. What I liked though, was that the Captain of the guard actually listened to Razo and sought his opinion and help in matters. Razo has always been the joke of the story and this made me feel like the character would have more substance and I was right.

Razo is probably one of my favourite characters in the world of Bayern. I always like the comic relief and he doesn’t take himself seriously therefore making him a much more palatable character than say, Enna. I thought Enna was a whiny self-centered girl. I didn’t change my opinion much in this story, though she wasn’t the focus and in fact as a side character she was quite flat.

I’ve got one more story to read in the Bayern world and I am about to start it now!

Books of Bayern

  1. Goose Girl
  2. Enna Burning
  3. River of Secrets
  4. Forest Born

 

Enna Burning

Enna Burning (The Books of Bayern, #2)
by Shannon Hale

Enna and Princess Isi became fast friends in The Goose Girl, but after Isi married Prince Geric, Enna returned to the forest. Enna’s simple life changes forever when she learns to wield fire and burn anything at will. Enna is convinced that she can use her ability for good—to fight Tira, the kingdom threatening the Bayern borders—and goes on secret raids to set fire to the Tiran camps and villages. But as the power of the fire grows stronger, she is less able to control her need to burn. In her recklessness she is captured by the Tiran army and held captive by a handsome, manipulative young captain who drugs her to keep her under his influence. Can Isi and her old friends Finn and Razo rescue her without sacrificing themselves? And with the fire still consuming her, will Enna find a way to manage the gift that threatens to destroy her? (goodreads.com)

A while back I bought the box set of the Books of Bayern. I fell in love with Goose Girl when I was forced to read it (ha) but the book belonged to Monkey, so I just made a mental note that one day I would buy it. Gosh, that “while back” was actually last Christmas I think because I bought the box set with gift cards. 😉 Of course once I had the box in my happy little hands I never read any of the books. I’m like that sometimes.

I have been in such a slump lately I suddenly had the urge to be comforted by fairy tale. I recall Goose Girl making me happy and warm inside, this book? Not so much. I had trouble connecting with the story and I can’t say I liked Enna all that much in her own tale. I found Enna to be selfish and stubborn and not in a charming way. When she gets captured I could only think “Well, you brought that on yourself, yo!” and had no sympathy for her plight.

I had a feeling Enna was being manipulated while in captivity though I had hoped that perhaps I was wrong about that, even though I just wanted to smack the girl every time Sileph told her what seemed to be a really big lie and she just went along with it. Luckily it was explained in the end and I was correct in my assumptions which sort of added to the disappointment I was feeling with this story.

A lot of the problem I had with the book was that this story is focused more on the war that is happening between Bayern and Tiran and I do not care for war-oriented fantasy books. They bore me. Enna Burning was more fantasy and less of a fairy tale than I found Goose Girl to be. I was hoping for fairy tale and I didn’t quite get it.

There is something quite addictive about the way Shannon Hale writes a story though. Her words can wrap around you like a fluffy, warm blanket and keep you safe from everything around you. A person can lose themselves in the world she creates even if they aren’t quite connecting with the characters. I am looking forward to reading the next 2 Bayern books even though I don’t think I will be reading them right now!

Have you finished this series? If so, what can I expect from the next two books?

Books of Bayern

  1. Goose Girl
  2. Enna Burning
  3. River of Secrets
  4. Forest Born

In My Mailbox #30 – or, missed it by 4

In My Mailbox is hosted by The Story Siren … and I end up adding a ton of books to my wish list every week.

All my IMM posts can be found here!

Wouldn’t it have been cool if the IMM number was the same as my age? Oh, well, it was close! Either way, I’m still enjoying my birthday weekend! 😀

On Monday I got a happy little box from Kristi of The Story Siren. It had the following two books in it and some pretty cool bookmarks. I LOVE bookmarks so I was happy to see those!

Going Boving
by Libba Bray

Cameron Smith, 16, is slumming through high school, overshadowed by a sister “pre-majoring in perfection,” while working (ineptly) at the Buddha Burger. Then something happens to make him the focus of his family’s attention: he contracts mad cow disease. What takes place after he is hospitalized is either that a gorgeous angel persuades him to search for a cure that will also save the world, or that he has a vivid hallucination brought on by the disease. Either way, what readers have is an absurdist comedy in which Cameron, Gonzo (a neurotic dwarf) and Balder (a Norse god cursed to appear as a yard gnome) go on a quixotic road trip during which they learn about string theory, wormholes and true love en route to Disney World. Bray’s surreal humor may surprise fans of her historical fantasies about Gemma Doyle, as she trains her satirical eye on modern education, American materialism and religious cults (the smoothie-drinking members of the Church of Everlasting Satisfaction and Snack ‘N’ Bowl). Offer this to fans of Douglas Adams’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy seeking more inspired lunacy. (goodreads.com)

This book sounds so funny and I love Libba Bray’s Gemma Doyle trilogy.

Forest Born (The Books of Bayern #4)
by Shannon Hale

Rin is sure that something is wrong with her…something really bad. Something that is keeping her from feeling at home in the Forest homestead where she’s lived all her life. Something that is keeping her from trusting herself with anyone at all. When her brother Razo returns from the city for a visit, she accompanies him to the palace, hoping that she can find peace away from home. But war has come to Bayern again, and Rin is compelled to join the queen and her closest allies—magical girls Rin thinks of as the Fire Sisters—as they venture into the Forest toward Kel, the land where someone seems to want them all dead. Many beloved Bayern characters reappear in this story, but it is Rin’s own journey of discovering how to balance the good and the bad in herself that drives this compelling adventure. (goodreads.com)

I am so happy to complete my Bayern collection with this paperback ARC that matches the first three books. 😉 Thanks so much to Kristi for passing it on!

Rebel
by R.J. Anderson

The faeries of the Oak are dying, and it’s up to a lone faery named Linden to find a way to restore their magic. Linden travels bravely into dangerous new territory, where she enlists the help of an unlikely friend—a human named Timothy. Soon they discover something much worse than the Oakenfolk’s loss of magic: a potent evil that threatens the fate of all faeries. In a fevered, desperate chase across the country, Timothy and Linden risk their lives to seek an ancient power before it’s too late to save everyone they love. (goodreads.com)

My last book from The Book Depository order I placed in November has arrived! I love how they ship everything individually. It’s always a surprise to find another book in my mail box when I get home from work.

That’s it for the birthday edition of IMM! I didn’t get any books for my birthday, though I did get a $10 gift card from someone, which will help me a lot! But I haven’t actually bought many books this year aside from books 2 – 4 of the Percy Jackson series. Go, me!