Merry Christmas Eve Giveaway

Merry Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas Eve everyone! I know I haven’t been the best blogger lately, but I am aiming to change that come the New Years. I’m into my work groove and out of my reading slump so I have high hopes! Until then, have an international giveaway on me! And come back tomorrow for another giveaway and look for one on New Year’s Eve.

Two winners will receive a book of their choice up to $10 CAD from The Book Depository!

Ends January 5, 2014 at 11:59pm EST. Duplicate entries will be disqualified. Must be 13 years or older to enter. Please fill out the form below of click this link if you can’t see the form.

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Review: Wonder Light – Unicorns of the Mist by R.R. Russell + Giveaway

Wonder Light Wonder Light: Unicorns of the Mist
by R.R. Russell

ISBN-13: 9-781402-279898
Publication: May 2013 from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky
Source: publisher
Rating: 3.5 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I liked it!
Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Twig is used to feeling unwanted. Sent to live on a pony ranch for “troubled” girls on a misty, haunted island, Twig is about to discover the impossible — someone who needs her.
Jolted awake from a bad dream, Twig follows the desperate whinny of a terrified horse out to the stables. There in the straw is a bleating little scrap of moonbeam. A silver-white filly with cloven hooves and a tiny, spiraling horn.

A baby unicorn.

Now Twig knows what secret is hiding in the island’s mist: the last free unicorn herd. And a mysterious boy named Ben who insists that this impossible creature is now Twig’s to care for. That she needs Twig’s love and protection. Because there’s something out there in the deep, dense shadows that’s hunting for them…

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Wonder Light: Unicorns of the Mist by R.R. Russell is the first book in an exciting new middle grade series. Discovering a ghostly boy who is all too real and brings unicorns in his wake at the school for troubled girls that Twig is sent to starts Twig on a path she never could have imagined.

Despite being sent to a school on a pony ranch that has five other girls at it, this story is really all about Twig, Ben (the ghost boy) and Wonder Light, the unicorn that is born in front of Twig. We get to see a bit of the youngest girl, Casey, but barely anything of the others. I’m hoping we’ll get a bit more of them in the sequel(s). Over the course of the book, Twig goes from a near-silent, worried, upset and unsure twelve-year-old to a confident, happy and protective thirteen-year-old. Not to say she still doesn’t have worries and concerns about her life before coming to the Murley’s ranch/school/home, but she’s learning to accept and cope with those problems. Ben helps a lot in that, the mysterious boy who cares for the unicorns on the island and has his own mystery about him that I am crazy curious about. He’s patient with, and kind to, Twig – and the unicorns. He helps show her what she’s capable of when she begins to doubt herself.

It is a bit curious that Twig is able to so easily sneak out of the house at night (for a year) without anyone taking much notice (especially after she did get caught once. You’d think that would make it harder in the future). I also found it strange that these girls are at the ranch for a year, with little mention of going home for visits or family coming to see them. The year does move very quickly in the smaller book (220ish pages) so I’m just assuming there are many moments we don’t get to see.

The unicorn lore in the book is quite interesting and the dark, angry herd leader Dagger a stark contrast to the light and joyous Wonder Light – the unicorn that Twig raises from its birth. Unlike the pure and good unicorns you usually see in stories or mythology (though not all!) Dagger is vicious, attacking other unicorns, the horses and ponies at the ranch and even people. Twig, Ben, Wonder Light, Ben’s unicorn Indy and others are out to stop Dagger and help save the herd.

3.5 heart

Wonder Light: Unicorns of the Mist by R.R. Russell brought me back to childhood. I loved unicorns when I was younger, and this is a book that I would have happily devoured and re-read many times. R.R. Russell mixes the fantasy of the unicorns and a parallel world wonderfully with that of Twig’s new home on the ranch, and her journey to finding her own true self, and her courage. I can easily see this book, and series, being a popular one in grades three through six classrooms – with a relatable character, a good mystery and the fun fantasy elements, Wonder Light: Unicorns of the Mist will definitely keep you reading.

e-ARC received from Sourcebooks Jabberwocky in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

Sourcebooks is offering one (1) copy of Wonder Light to one lucky reader!

Rules
– Must be 13 years or older to enter
– open to US/CA only
– giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST next Tuesday, July 2, 2013
– fill out the form to enter (click to fill out the form if it does not show below)
– prize will be shipped from the publisher

On The First Day of Christmas…

12 Days of Christmas 2012 Banner

Escape Through the Pages gave to me…

…a hardcover copy of The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen!

The False Prince

In a faraway land, civil war is brewing. To unify his kingdom’s divided people, a nobleman named Conner devises a cunning plan to find an impersonator of the king’s long-lost son and install him on the throne. Four orphans are forced to compete for the role, including a defiant and clever boy named Sage. Sage knows that Conner’s motives are more than questionable, yet his life balances on a sword’s point – he must be chosen to play the prince or he will certainly be killed. His rivals will be devising their own plots as well, so Sage must trust no one and keep his thoughts hidden.

As Sage moves from a rundown orphanage to Conner’s sumptuous palace, layer upon layer of deceit unfolds, until finally, a truth is revealed that may very well prove more dangerous than all of the lies taken together.

Rules
– must be 13 years of age or older to enter
– open to CA/US only
– ends at 11:59pm EST on January 7, 2012
– leave a comment with your favourite Christmas and/or Hanukkah song and an e-mail address to enter
– tweet for one extra entry! Leave the link in your comment
– multiple entries will be disqualified

3rd Year Blogoversary

I almost missed this! I can’t believe how busy I’ve been lately – but not quite busy enough to completely miss my three year blogging milestone. When I started this blog I had no idea the wonderful community I was joining, or the amazing experiences I would have and the incredible people I would connect with (and of course all the books I would explore!). I am so grateful and appreciative of this experience and can’t get enough of sharing my love of reading with you all. And to better help spread that love, it’s giveaway time!

This giveaway is open internationally, available wherever the Book Depository ships. Must be thirteen years or older to enter, and duplicate entries will be disqualified. Giveaway is open until 11:59pm EST on September 1, 2012. You must fill out the form to enter.

Winner will receive a book of their choice up to $15 CAD. BUT, if the winner is from Canada or the US, you have the option of picking a book from the list of books below the form.

CAN or US Option
– Dust & Decay by Jonathan Maberry (hardcover)
– The False Prince by Jennifer A. Nielsen (hardcover)
– The Fault in our Stars by John Green (hardcover)
– Cuttlefish by Dave Freer (hardcover)
– Dracula, My Love by Syrie James (paperback)
– The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken (ARC)

Review + Giveaway: Fair Coin by E. C. Myers

Fair Coin
by E. C. Myers

ISBN-13: 9-78161-6146092
Publication: March 2012 from Pyr
Rating: 4 ♥ / 5 ♥ – I really liked it

The coin changed Ephraim’s life. But how can he change it back?

Sixteen-year-old Ephraim Scott is horrified when he comes home from school and finds his mother unconscious at the kitchen table, clutching a bottle of pills. The reason for her suicide attempt is even more disturbing: she thought she’d identified Ephraim’s body at the hospital that day.

Among his dead double’s belongings, Ephraim finds a strange coin – a coin that grants wishes when he flips it. With a flick of his thumb, he can turn his alcoholic mother into a model parent and catch the eye of the girl he’s liked since second grade. But the coin doesn’t always change things for the better. And a bad flip can destroy other people’s lives as easily as it rebuilds his own.

The coin could give Ephraim everything he’s ever wanted – if he learns to control its power before his luck runs out.

Fair Coin by E. C. Myers is a novel with a beautifully unique concept and execution of the idea. An at-first seemingly simple premise (magic coin!) becomes increasingly complex and so much more than it appears.

The world building in Fair Coin is interesting in that E. C. Myers takes the world we know, and with each wish gets to change it slightly. At first the differences are small, hardly noticeable. But when Ephraim’s wishes get larger and he starts bringing friends along, the world as he knows it begins to change in larger, more obvious ways until he experiences everything from a dystopian like world, to an untouched paradise. The descriptions of the settings, people and emotions are very vivid and draw you into the story completely. Ephraim is an engaging and intriguing main character. He’s got the best of intentions, but starts off fairly selfish and uses the coin for his own gain. I give him props for trying to set things right once he figures out what’s really going on, even if it will mean he’s screwed over. Ephraim’s a nice guy, who’s all teenager. Nathan, on the hand, is rotten. Well, most of the time. It’s hard to explain when I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Just know that it’s fine to dislike Nathan – he’s written that way.

The explanation for the coin is easy to follow, but not overly simple. The results of the wishes and how Ephraim tries to fix things is very much like time travel is for me – it made my brain hurt a little bit trying to keep it all straight. But unlike time travel, I was able to keep everything in a coherent order and figure out what was going on. Fair Coin by E. C. Myers is an engaging, and often thought-provoking novel. I don’t know if I would have been half as competent as Ephraim at getting things back to normal, and I don’t know that I wouldn’t have gone wish crazy as well. I’m excited for the sequel to see where E. C. Myers takes his characters and world. Oh, and I thought I’d leave you with this amazing quote from page 87, said by Ephraim’s mother:

“When you give someone a book, it’s like saying: ‘I’m trusting you with something that means a lot to me.’ It doesn’t matter whether you like it or not, though it helps if you do. What matters is that you understand why she likes it. Why she gave it to you.”

Hardcover provided by Prometheus Books in exchange for my honest review. Thank you!

GIVEAWAY

I have one copy of Fair Coin to give away to one lucky reader from Canada or the US. Just fill out the form to enter. Ends August 17, 2012 at 11:59pm EST. 13 years or older to enter. Duplicates will be disqualified.

Reluctant Readers Road to Recovery Tour

When approached by Sourcebooks to take part in their Reluctant Readers Road to Recovery tour I jumped at the chance! The two months of summer are a non-school, non-homework playground for kids, and I for one would hope they keep reading even without it being assigned as work to complete. Librarians, teachers and parents – take a peek at Sourcebooks field guide and put some great books into the hands of your reluctant readers! Check out their Librarian Resources page for the full guide.

Do you fear approaching your Reluctant Reader? Have they been spotted this summer participating in questionable behavior with their books like building forts and extreme paper dolls? Identified by their atypical behaviors, the Reluctant Readers Road to Recovery Guide is here to help you create successful encounters with hesitant young readers everywhere. Panic no more and take control of rainy day havoc, poolside chaos and playground mayhem with a great book for your unique reader.

Reluctant Readers Road to Recovery Guide

The Make-Believer has more imagination frequent flier miles than a Pan Am stewardess! The best cure for this case of Reluctant Reading is Elliot and the Last Underworld War by Jennifer Nielsen (Author of The False Prince). The Make-Believer will be thrilled to join the sarcastically hilarious Elliot in the Underworld. As the King of the Brownies, Elliot has battled Goblins, tricked Pixies, and trapped a Demon. But now, the Demon has escaped and he’s ready for revenge. So, the Pixies, Shapeshifters, Elves, Goblins, and Brownies must join forces to battle the Demon head on before he has the chance to destroy Earth.

The Daredevil thinks trick-or-treating should apply to everyday life, especially the tricks! Cure their hunger for trouble with Horrid Henry and the Zombie Vampire by Francesca Simon. Not even your daredevil will believe what Henry is up to next in these four new wonderful and wacky tales. The international bestselling Horrid Henry series provides readers with a prankster whose relentless antics create a laugh-out-loud read. WARNING: Do not allow daredevils to consume milk while reading or milk may spray from the nose!

The BFF has matching bracelets with all her friends and wins Miss Congeniality every year. This is a case of Reluctant Reading that can only be cured with Hailey Twitch and the Wedding Glitch by Lauren Barnholdt. Hailey Twitch and her spirited sprite Maybelle, return in the fourth installment to the fab, fab, fabulous series. The BFF will be delighted to read as Hailey gets ready to be a flower girl in her cousin’s wedding! Maybelle’s mischief and fairy magic is back and might land the duo in trouble!

Bruce Lee 2.0 can quote Enter the Dragon from start to finish and has broken table lamps with leg kicks. The only cure for such readers (and your house) is to follow the UK’s youngest secret agent in Jason Steed: Revenge by Mark A. Cooper. Set in a fast-paced 1970s Britain with non-stop excitement and martial arts fight scenes, Revenge is perfect for kids who aspire to be the next martial arts master and are looking for adventure stories and heroes who aren’t afraid to take action. In the thrilling follow-up to Fledgling Jason is sent on a new undercover mission and must infiltrate a shadowy criminal organization –but his luck is running out.

Follow this guide and win a chance of snagging these great summer reads in a giveaway pack!