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Magical Ventures of Loli and Lenny, (Vol 3): Secret Code of Magicians (Magical Ventures of Loli and Lenny #3)

*I was sent this book for review by the author*

Magical Ventures of Loli and Lenny, (Vol 3): Secret Code of Magicians

Author: Pratibha R.D.H

Publisher: Flugel Publishing House

Release Date: 1/28/15

Rating:

1 star kiss (1)

Goodreads Synopsis:

In a secret corner of our world, unknown to most of us, there is a school … a school of magic which trains gifted young prodigies. Loli and Lenny are thrilled to know that they have been accepted by the Masters to this school called EPSMA.

Every single day in EPSMA is simply magic. How to concoct magical potions? How to cast psychic shields of protection? How to communicate with animals? These are just some of the many classes that they relish as they dabble with magic every day. It was like a dream come true for these passionate nine-year-olds.

Soon they realise that the Earth Paladins guard a Secret Code which has been mysteriously sabotaged. The very survival of the organisation of Earth Paladins, and indeed planet Earth itself, depends on the salvation of this code …

What is this Secret Code? And who has messed with it? The young Paladins will soon find out as they embark on their third mission to unearth the Secret Code of Magicians …

My Thoughts:

      I want to start off by apologizing to the author. I genuinely hate giving one star ratings and reviews. I feel really badly about doing so, but at the same time I have to be honest. The author was really sweet and has also written several other books, none of which I have read, so I did not necessarily have the context of the series when I read it. Also to anyone reading this, keep in mind that every reading experience is different so you might read this book and absolutely love it. It just was not my cup of tea, but hey some people prefer coffee so definitely don’t be turned off from reading a book because someone gave it a bad review.

      Firstly, I want to talk about the plot. I thought the idea was cute and when I was younger-this book is a middle-grade read-I totally would have picked up the book based off of its synopsis. However, when I was reading it there was so much going on that not all of it seemed to be connected to the main crux of the novel. I did not quite understand where it was going in some situations. The characters were okay and would have been a lot better with more development as I didn’t feel essentially any connection with them. I had a major issue with the pacing of the story. I couldn’t get into at all to be completely honest, and the book moved really slowly for me. I started it in April and finished it two days ago; I really had a hard time carrying through with it and I think most of that had to do with the pacing and organization of the storyline.

      Secondly, I want to talk about the writing. I saw a good amount of both grammatical errors and “informational” errors, meaning some things that the characters did didn’t align with what should have been done…if that makes sense-if not, let’s just move on…To me the writing was extremely underdeveloped and needed much better transitions between sentences and events. I also think that it needed better word choice, as some of the words the authoress used did not completely fit into the context they were written in.

      Generally, I had trouble understanding a large portion of this novel. It seemed like she was really trying to create a world similar to that of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, and did not necessarily succeed. However, I do think that the book certainly had its good portions and I definitely loved the illustrations scattered throughout it. As I stated previously, take this review with a grain of salt because everyone has different perspectives.

Have a marvelous weekend,

Kiss 4

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Guest Review: The Selection

Hi everyone! My friend Caroline wrote a guest review for you! She has a Youtube channel so definitely check it out here!

*This review may contain spoilers*

The Selection, written by Kiera Cass, is a book about a competition for the crown. In Illea, if the royal family produces a prince, The Selection will occur as soon as he comes of age. Maxon Schreave has just come of age, and the race for the Selection begins, and thousands of girls from the 35 provinces of Illea enter to try and live in the palace to try and win the prince’s heart. Nearly everyone is hoping to be the one Selected girl from their province, except for America Singer, a lowly five in love with another. Despite her strong willed mother’s wishes, America’s stubborn nature makes her obstinate toward the idea of even entering the Selection, not wanting to leave her family and her secret boyfriend Aspen Ledger behind. But she is convinced by Aspen and her mother to enter, and is soon selected. America is soon shipped off to the palace to compete to become Maxon’s wife, only playing the game for the benefits it will give her family. America’s distaste for the Selection and the prince are quickly revealed through her fiery nature that matches her red hair when she accidentally meets the prince for the first time. This begins their relationship and forms a tenuous bond with different implications for each one. Maxon’s feelings for America are obvious to anyone except her, but she confesses to the prince that she is not there by her own choice, and does not want to be his beloved, even though this could get her immediately kicked out of the castle. America hopes to convince him to let her stay by offering to be his friend and confidant during the contest. Maxon’s giving spirit shines through as he agrees, and tells her he’ll try to keep her in the palace for as long as possible. America and Maxon grow closer as the competition continues. One night while the two are spending time together in America’s room, Maxon surprises America with a kiss, which happens to be his first, and this truly sparks her feelings for him. But as America tries to let herself fall out of love with Aspen and into love with the prince, her past lover arrives at the castle as a guard, making her future at the palace an unanswerable question.

Throughout the first book of the series America struggles to balance and choose between her feelings for both Maxon and Aspen. This really tugs at the heartstrings of readers, because some find comfort in Maxon because he is kind, understanding, and provides a juxtaposition to America which is both refreshing and romantic for her. He is her safe harbor, which she needs when all her life she has felt alone and depended on by her family. But Aspen is the wild one, the forbidden fruit, the escape from her everyday humdrum life. He is her first love, and will always have a place in her heart, and some do not want her to give him up. As well, Aspen has the same intense passion that fuels America and she in turn him, while Maxon’s love for things is stronger, but more subtle, so that America is drawn to him, and not pushed by the weight of her obligations like she is Aspen. Each boy has qualities that make them wonderful matches for America, and as the book ends it is still unknown who America will choose.
The aspect of family in this book is touching, because America’s love for her father and younger siblings makes her hardened exterior soften a little, while her mother’s pressure makes her strong. It shows how big a role family plays, especially with a caste system like there is in The Selection. They lean on each other for both love and prosperity. But a less beautiful undertone that is connected to family in this book is the fact that financial troubles can put a strain on love in the family. Everyone is stressed because there is never enough to go around, and Gerad, the youngest family member, has no artistic abilities, as is the profession of the Fives, which means only four people are working to feed five people. Love can only help so much.
Finally, the theme of friendship is worked into the book. Even though all 35 girls are battling against each other for Maxon’s hand, bonds are formed between the girls, and they become nearly sisters. America, a sheltered and mysterious girl, connects most with a girl named Marlee Tames. They protect each other, and when Marlee gets in trouble America tries to help her. Living together helps the girls realize that destroying the others doesn’t help win favor, but that they should support one another while keeping in mind not to sacrifice themselves. It mirrors a necessity in today’s world for women to help each other rather than hurt each other. Women must stand as a united front to be strong against sexism in society.
Personally I loved this book, and recommend it for everyone to read. It provides a strong heroine that many people can connect with, as well as other self-empowered female side characters, a love triangle, and a competition to see who will become the next princess of Illea.
Have a wonderful weekend,
Kiss 4
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The Summer of Chasing Mermaids Book Tour

Hi everyone! I’m pleased to announce my next book tour with Diverse Books: The Summer of Chasing Mermaids by: Sarah Ockler. Also by this author is Bittersweet which I thought was an adorable read! Needless to say, I’m super excited to jump into this book (and am **in love** with the cover) and let me know in the comments what you think about it if you’ve read it!

mermaidsbanner
mermaids cover

The youngest of six talented sisters, Elyse d’Abreau was destined for stardom—until a boating accident took everything from her. Now, the most beautiful singer in Tobago can’t sing. She can’t even speak. Seeking quiet solitude, Elyse accepts a friend’s invitation to Atargatis Cove. Named for the mythical first mermaid, the Oregon seaside town is everything Elyse’s home in the Caribbean isn’t: an ocean too cold for swimming, parties too tame for singing, and people too polite to pry—except for one. Christian Kane is a notorious playboy—insolent, arrogant, and completely charming. He’s also the only person in Atargatis Cove who doesn’t treat Elyse like a glass statue. He challenges her to express herself, and he admires the way she treats his younger brother, Sebastian, who believes Elyse is the legendary mermaid come to life. When Christian needs a first mate for the Cove’s high-stakes Pirate Regatta, Elyse reluctantly stows her fear of the sea and climbs aboard. The ocean isn’t the only thing making waves, though—swept up in Christian’s seductive tide and entranced by the Cove’s charms, Elyse begins to wonder if a life of solitude isn’t what she needs. But changing course again means facing her past. It means finding her inner voice. And scariest of all, it means opening her heart to a boy who’s best known for breaking them…

 Book Links

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Summer-Chasing-Mermaids-Sarah-

Ockler/dp/1481401270/

Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-summer-of-

chasing-mermaids-sarah-ockler/1120488443

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22840182-the-

summer-of-chasing-mermaids

Indie Bound:http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781481401272

Title:The Summer of Chasing Mermaids

Author: Sarah Ockler

Publisher: Simon Pulse

Genre:

Publication Date: June 2015

About the Author:


interview-with-sarah-ockler 

Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of six young adult novels: Twenty Boy Summer, Fixing Delilah, Bittersweet, The Book of Broken Hearts, #scandal, and The Summer of Chasing Mermaids. Her books have been translated into several languages and have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, Indie Next List, Amazon Top Movers and Shakers, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books. Her short work has appeared in the anthologies Dear Teen Me and Defy the Dark. She’s a champion cupcake eater, tea drinker, tarot enthusiast, night person, and bookworm. When she’s not writing or reading at home in the Pacific northwest, Sarah enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex. Fans can find her on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, and at sarahockler.com.

 

Kiss 4