Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

Arc Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

Posted April 21, 2017 by Emily in Review / 1 Comment

Arc Review: Flame in the Mist by Renee AhdiehFlame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh
Series: Flame in the Mist #1
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on May 16th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: Paperback
Source: the publisher
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five-stars

The daughter of a prominent samurai, Mariko has long known her place—she may be an accomplished alchemist, whose cunning rivals that of her brother Kenshin, but because she is not a boy, her future has always been out of her hands. At just seventeen years old, Mariko is promised to Minamoto Raiden, the son of the emperor's favorite consort—a political marriage that will elevate her family's standing. But en route to the imperial city of Inako, Mariko narrowly escapes a bloody ambush by a dangerous gang of bandits known as the Black Clan, who she learns has been hired to kill her before she reaches the palace.
Dressed as a peasant boy, Mariko sets out to infiltrate the ranks of the Black Clan, determined to track down the person responsible for the target on her back. But she's quickly captured and taken to the Black Clan’s secret hideout, where she meets their leader, the rebel ronin Takeda Ranmaru, and his second-in-command, his best friend Okami. Still believing her to be a boy, Ranmaru and Okami eventually warm to Mariko, impressed by her intellect and ingenuity. As Mariko gets closer to the Black Clan, she uncovers a dark history of secrets, of betrayal and murder, which will force her to question everything she's ever known.

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I . NEED. BOOK. TWO.

I knew this wasn’t a standalone, but I got completely caught up in it and stopped thinking about how it wasn’t going to end. Now I need to know!

Flame in the Mist transports you into the life of Mariko, the daughter of a Samurai and therefore wealthy. In fact, she’s been promised to the Emperor’s son as a wife. She’s never content with just being valued as marital property only, but in the beginning she’s succumbed to her father’s wishes and is headed to be wed. That’s when her life forever changes. Her caravan is attacked and she overhears that she was the target. She fakes death, cuts her hair off to appear as a boy, and heads off to find answers as to who wants her dead.

We’re introduced to multiple characters in the Black Clan, who has been identified as the hired assassins. This is one of the best aspects of the story. The characters are so well-developed and you can’t help but feel some type of way about them.

I’m also a sucker for a mystery. If a book can keep me guessing and dying for answers, then I’m happy. This book definitely delivers. It’s the perfect mix of loveable (or hateable) characters, romance, and mystery. I also thought this was just enough Mulan mixed with originality. I love fairy tale retellings that add their own to the story, and Ahdieh accomplishes that.

5 stars, hands down. I loved it.

five-stars

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Too Late Top Ten Tuesday #1

Posted February 16, 2017 by Emily in Top 10 / 0 Comments

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish

All About the Visuals: Top Ten Favorite Graphic Novels and Picture Books

Kendice had written up this Top Ten Tuesday of graphic novels for last week, but I didn’t get it posted in time. I really enjoy her picks though, so I wanted to share them with you. I’m calling this feature Too Late Top Ten Tuesday. I hope that it won’t happen that often, but I could see myself not posting TTT’s on time in the future as well. Sometimes I’m not the best about posting things on time.

Have you read any of these?

Too Late Top Ten Tuesday #1March: Book One by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
Series: March #1
Published by Top Shelf Productions on August 13th 2013
Genres: nonfiction, Graphic Novel
Pages: 128
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Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.
Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).
March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.
Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.
Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1950s comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story." Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.
— March: Book One (of Three), a 128-page softcover with french flaps, 6.5" x 9.5"

Based on the fight for civil rights and his involvement, this book is captivating and a necessary read for all Americans. It gives you insight into a true American Hero’s experiences.

Too Late Top Ten Tuesday #1Zombie in Love by Kelly DiPucchio, Scott Campbell
Published by Atheneum on August 23rd 2011
Pages: 32
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Mortimer is looking for love. And he’s looking everywhere! He’s worked out at the gym (if only his arm wouldn’t keep falling off). He’s tried ballroom dancing lessons (but the ladies found him to be a bit stiff). He’s even been on stalemate.com. How’s a guy supposed to find a ghoul? When it seems all hope has died, could the girl of Mortimer’s dreams be just one horrifying shriek away?

I’ve used this story to teach several times, and even my fourth grade babies have thoroughly enjoyed it. Mortimus is a gentle, zombie soul looking for love. His hilarious mishaps will make readers giggle.

Too Late Top Ten Tuesday #1The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
Published by HarperCollins Publishers on October 7th 1964
Genres: Graphic Novel
Pages: 64
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"Once there was a tree...and she loved a little boy."
So begins a story of unforgettable perception, beautifully written and illustrated by the gifted and versatile Shel Silverstein.
Every day the boy would come to the tree to eat her apples, swing from her branches, or slide down her trunk...and the tree was happy. But as the boy grew older he began to want more from the tree, and the tree gave and gave and gave.
This is a tender story, touched with sadness, aglow with consolation. Shel Silverstein has created a moving parable for readers of all ages that offers an affecting interpretation of the gift of giving and a serene acceptance of another's capacity to love in return.

This book is a classic and will go down as one of my all time favorite books. It’s about love and sacrifice. If you haven’t read it yet, what are you doing with your life? 🙂

 Too Late Top Ten Tuesday #1Good Night, Gorilla by Peggy Rathmann
Published by G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers on February 21st 1996
Genres: Children's book
Pages: 32
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A must-have board book for all babies.
Good night, Gorilla.Good night, Elephant.
It's bedtime at the zoo, and all the animals are going to sleep. Or are they? Who's that short, furry guy with the key in his hand and the mischievous grin?
Good night, Giraffe.Good night, Hyena.
Sneak along behind the zookeeper's back, and see who gets the last laugh in this riotous good-night romp.

This just brings me back to my daughter’s toddler years. This book has very limited words, but somehow my mom turned this story into my daughter and nephew’s all time favorite book when they were little. We have multiple copies because even when the book became worn out, we still couldn’t part with it.

Too Late Top Ten Tuesday #1We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen, Helen Oxenbury
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on January 1st 2003
Genres: Children's book
Pages: 40
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Come along on a bear hunt in this award-winning classic from Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury. We’re going on a bear hunt. We’re going to catch a big one.. Will you come too? For more than twenty-five years readers have been swishy swashing and splash sploshing through this award-winning favorite. Join in the fun!

Another book that brings me back to Paislee’s baby years. This one is cute and easy to turn into a chant. Even now I’ve gotten the words “We’re going on a bear hunt, we’re gonna catch a big one” repeating in my mind.

 Too Late Top Ten Tuesday #1My Name Is Not Isabella by Jennifer Fosberry, Mike Litwin
Published by Monkey Barrel Press on September 9th 2008
Genres: Children's book
Pages: 32
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From breakfast to bedtime, a young girl imagines being different women who made history, and ends the day empowered to be herself.

Feminism in a children’s book is always something I look for. This is such a cute story with a strong message for little girls. I love the way it incorporated historically strong and intelliget women in a way that was still relatable to their age group.

Too Late Top Ten Tuesday #1The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires
Published by Kids Can Press on April 1st 2014
Genres: Children's book
Pages: 32
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Award-winning author and illustrator Ashley Spires has created a charming picture book about an unnamed girl and her very best friend, who happens to be a dog. The girl has a wonderful idea. She is going to make the most MAGNIFICENT thing! She knows just how it will look. She knows just how it will work. All she has to do is make it, and she makes things all the time. Easy-peasy!? But making her magnificent thing is anything but easy, and the girl tries and fails, repeatedly. Eventually, the girl gets really, really mad. She is so mad, in fact, that she quits. But after her dog convinces her to take a walk, she comes back to her project with renewed enthusiasm and manages to get it just right.
For the early grades' exploration of character education, this funny book offers a perfect example of the rewards of perseverance and creativity. The girl's frustration and anger are vividly depicted in the detailed art, and the story offers good options for dealing honestly with these feelings, while at the same time reassuring children that it's okay to make mistakes. The clever use of verbs in groups of threes is both fun and functional, offering opportunities for wonderful vocabulary enrichment. The girl doesn't just make her magnificent thing --- "she tinkers and hammers and measures, she smoothes and wrenches and fiddles, she twists and tweaks and fastens." These precise action words are likely to fire up the imaginations of youngsters eager to create their own inventions and is a great tie-in to learning about Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.

Every little kid comes to a time when they feel like giving up. This book is the perfect way to show them that disasters and mistakes can still lead to greatness.

Too Late Top Ten Tuesday #1The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, Oliver Jeffers
Published by Philomel Books on June 27th 2013
Genres: Children's book
Pages: 36
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Poor Duncan just wants to color. But when he opens his box of crayons, he finds only letters, all saying the same thing: We quit!
Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown. Blue needs a break from coloring all that water, while Pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other.
What is Duncan to do? Debut author Drew Daywalt and New York Times bestseller Oliver Jeffers create a colorful solution in this playful, imaginative story that will have children laughing and playing with their crayons in a whole new way.

I have not personally read this one, but my 8 year old LOVED this book. You know when they come home from school and tell you all about something they’ve read that it made an impact.

 Too Late Top Ten Tuesday #1Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, Ray Cruz
Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers on July 15th 1987
Genres: Children's book
Pages: 32
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The perennially popular tale of Alexander's worst day is a storybook that belongs on every child's bookshelf.
Alexander knew it was going to be a terrible day when he woke up with gum in this hair.
And it got worse...
His best friend deserted him. There was no dessert in his lunch bag. And, on top of all that, there were lima beans for dinner and kissing on TV!
This handsome new edition of Judith Viorst's classic picture book is sure to charm readers of all ages.

This book has long been a favorite of mine. Even today, when I’m having a bad day I will announce, “I’m moving to Australia!”

Too Late Top Ten Tuesday #1Love You Forever by Robert Munsch, Sheila McGraw
Published by Firefly Books on September 1st 1994
Genres: Children's book
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An extraordinarily different story by Robert Munsch is a gentle affirmation of the love a parent feels for their child--forever. Sheila McGraw's soft and colorful pastels perfectly complement the sentiment of the book--one that will be read repeatedly for years.

This book is achingly sweet. It’s an instant classic for mother’s everywhere.

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WoW: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

WoW: Flame in the Mist by Renee Ahdieh

What I Love Who isn’t looking forward to this Mulan retelling? The icing on the cake is Renee Ahdieh being the author. The Wrath and the Dawn is enough for me to want to read anything she creates for this world. To steal a line from John Green’s TFIOS, I would read her grocery lists. I’m also always about badass women, especially when they’re being underestimated by men and it sounds like this is exactly the type of MC Mariko is going to be. All of that coupled with murder, betrayal, and undercover operations makes this a definite pre-order. I can’t wait for May!

Posted November 23, 2016 by Emily in WoW / 1 Comment
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SST: Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

SST: Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee

Outrun the Moon by Stacey Lee Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on May 24th 2016 Genres: Historical Pages: 400 Format: Paperback Source: Free for Review Buy on Amazon San Francisco, 1906: Fifteen-year-old Mercy Wong is determined to break from the poverty in Chinatown, and an education at St. ClareÂ’s School for Girls is her best hope. Although St. ClareÂ’s is off-limits to all but the wealthiest white girls, Mercy gains admittance through a mix of cunning and a little bribery, only to discover that getting in was the easiest part. Not to be undone by a bunch of spoiled heiresses, Mercy stands strong—until disaster strikes. On April 18, an historic earthquake rocks San Francisco, destroying MercyÂ’s home and school. With martial law in effect, she is forced to wait with her classmates for their families in a temporary park encampment. Mercy can’t sit by while they wait for the Army to bring help. Fires might rage, and the city may be in shambles, yet Mercy still has the ‘bossy’ cheeks that mark her as someone who gets things done. But what can one teenaged girl do to heal so many suffering in her broken city? I got a chance to read Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee last year after Texas Library Association. The book immediately sucked me in and ever since then, I’ve been a huge […]

Posted May 15, 2016 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 2 Comments
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ARC Review: Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

ARC Review: Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett

Blood and Salt by Kim Liggett Series: Blood and Salt #1 Published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers on September 22nd 2015 Pages: 352 Format: ebook Source: Free for Review, Netgalley Buy on Amazon Romeo and Juliet meets Children of the Corn in this one-of-a-kind romantic horror. “When you fall in love, you will carve out your heart and throw it into the deepest ocean. You will be all in—blood and salt.” These are the last words Ash Larkin hears before her mother returns to the spiritual commune she escaped long ago. But when Ash follows her to Quivira, Kansas, something sinister and ancient waits among the rustling cornstalks of this village lost to time. Ash is plagued by memories of her ancestor, Katia, which harken back to the townÂ’s history of unrequited love and murder, alchemy and immortality. Charming traditions soon give way to a string of gruesome deaths, and Ash feels drawn to Dane, a forbidden boy with secrets of his own. As the community prepares for a ceremony five hundred years in the making, Ash must fight not only to save her mother, but herself—and discover the truth about Quivira before itÂ’s too late. Before sheÂ’s all in—blood and salt. I’m really torn up about this book. The ups and downs have been killing me! This is the first book that I’ve actually received […]

Posted September 21, 2015 by Emily in Review / 3 Comments
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