Otherwood

I got this e-ARC from Candlewick Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

I really don’t know how to express my feeling about this book and I think I wouldn’t be able to write a proper review because this book has so many twists and turns that I’m afraid that I would unintentionally gave the plot away. But I love this book so so much and this is my attempt to persuade you all to read this amazing book! Although, it’s best to read it without knowing anything at all because I did and look what this book made me feel!

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Title: Otherwood
Author: Pete Hautman
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Genre: Middle-Grade, Fantasy
Pages: 320 pages
Year of Publication: September 11th 2018
Rating: 4,5
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synopsis
“Hatred combined with lies and secrets can break the world.” Grandpa Zach used to say that before he died, but Stuey never really knew what he meant. It was kind of like how he used to talk about quantum physics or how he used to say ghosts haunted their overgrown golf course.
But then one day, after Stuey and his best friend, Elly Rose, spend countless afternoons in the deadfall in the middle of the woods, something totally unbelievable happens. As Stuey and Elly Rose struggle to come to grips with their lives after that reality-splitting moment, all the things Grandpa Zach used to say start to make a lot more sense. This is a book about memory and loss and the destructive nature of secrets, but also about the way friendship, truth, and perseverance have the ability to knit a torn-apart world back together. 
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PLOT

Stuey and his new best friend Elly Rose are not only share the same birthday, they also share the passion and interest of wild life. They spend a lot of time playing in the wood and they even have a secret basecamp in the deadfall right in the middle of the wood. They somehow attracted to that place, it’s enchanting and sometimes they can hear music and people talking inside it, it’s creeping them out but they can’t help to love the place. Grandpa Zach told him that the wood is haunted, is it the ghosts that they’ve been hearing?

One day, Stuey told Elly Rose about their old family secret, about how their great grandparents was connected to one another. In the middle of his story, something unbelieveable happened right in front of Stuey’s eyes. And finally all of Grandpa Zack told him make senses.

And that’s when the story become interesting! The pace is rather slow in the beginning but it was gripping me from the start, so tight that I can’t get my eyes off the book. I finished the book in one sit, less than 5 hours!! That’s the fastest I can finish a book since forever!

I could tell you what was happening in the wood but then I’d totally ruin the fun. This is the book that you HAVE to read yourself!!

WRITING

The writing is out of this world! The mystery was really well written and I can’t guess where the story would lead me, will this lead me to a ghost story? Another magical land? Is this a thriller book? Or was the main character simply lose his mind? I really can’t guess!

WORLDBUILDING

The worldbuilding is the most interesting part of this book. Pete Hautman created an entirely different world from most MG fantasy books. This is actually a pretty common theme but I just rarely seen another MG books with similar theme, so I found this really unique and interesting. I love the concept and I love the way the mystery resolve toward the revealing. Although the ending kinda confuse me and make me questioning all how and why but this book is beautiful nonetheless.

This book bring out so many deep and slightly dark topics, about a dark old family secret, loss, grief, and guilt. But also a heartwarming topics about friendship and family.

CHARACTERS

Stuey and Elly Rose has a really great chemistry, their relationship is one of the most heartwarming friendship I’ve ever read. Although I feel like both characters lack emotions when the “thing” happened and ended, I mean, if I were them I’d totally freak out and questioning my sanity. I kinda expected a big dramatic scene in the end but there weren’t any.

I love that they still believe in each other despite all the circumstances and always try to get back to each other, to get back to the way they were.

OVERALL

This book is nothing like other MG books I’ve ever read, the theme is so unique although it’s a little bit confusing at the end but if you could just enjoy it and not asking so many questions, you would totally like it. There are some slightly dark contents in this book which I don’t think suitable for middle graders but that’s not the main focus of the book. I love the mysteries and the friendship, it’s totally a friendship goal!

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Do you know about this book before? Is it on your TBR? Does my review make you want to read this book?

carolina

 

 

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Sleeping Giants

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Title: Sleeping Giants
Author: Sylvain Neuvel
Publisher: Del Rey
Pages: 320 pages
Year of Publication: April 26th, 2016
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Rating: 4,5

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synopsis

A girl named Rose is riding her new bike near home in Deadwood, South Dakota, when she falls through the earth. She wakes up at the bottom of a square-shaped hole, its walls glowing with intricate carvings. But the firemen who come to save her peer down upon something even stranger: a little girl in the palm of a giant metal hand.

Seventeen years later, the mystery of the bizarre artifact remains unsolved – the object’s origins, architects, and purpose unknown.

But some can never stop searching for answers.

Rose Franklin is now a highly trained physicist leading a top-secret team to crack the hand’s code. And along with her colleagues, she is being interviewed by a nameless interrogator whose power and purview are as enigmatic as the relic they seek. What’s clear is that Rose and her compatriots are on the edge of unravelling history’s most perplexing discovery-and finally figuring out what it portends for humanity. But once the pieces of the puzzle are in place, will the result be an instrument of lasting peace or a weapon of mass destruction?

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PLOT

I didn’t expect that I will love this book with all of my heart! Sci-fi is not exactly my thing after all but this book exceed way above the expectation I ever had about this book. The idea of thousands years old giant metal lying around on earth really make my brain sweat, who made it? How did they made it? Is there actually a more advanced being on this planet before us? And what the hell did this giant for exactly? I’m so curious to find out about all this but the plot is so painfully slow, but surprisingly, I love every minute of this torment!

There are some unexpected twists in this book that will leave you speechless and gasping in horror! And that twist in the end, boy I DID NOT EXPECT IT AT ALL!

WRITING

This book was told in a series of interview. So we got this mysterious interviewer who interviewed a lot of different people from different background in this project. The only narration is the journal in which the characters sometimes record their progress on the research. This is one of the most unique format I’ve ever read in a book, and I think this format really suit the story. I admit that at first I thought this is gonna be boring but I can assure you that it is not boring at all! What I love the most about this interview format is that there are no unnecessary scenes, no flowery language and confusing purple prose necessary to make this book epic! All that is told in this interview are important and are the key to the story!

My only complain is sometimes the timeline is a little bit messed up, there sometimes months or even years gap from one interview to another new interview and it’s a little bit confusing.

The writing is surprisingly good! There are so many heavy topics in this book like politic, science, philosophy but they are all so well written even an ordinary human with an average size of brain like me could understand and actually enjoy them!

WORLDBUILDING

Let me put it this way. An advanced tech in a form of giant metal robot buried deep on earth for thousands of years and there’s a probability that this thing was from outer space. Sounds familiar? I’m sure you realized by now that the world is so similar to Transformer right? But the similarity ends there, this giant has no conciousness and has to be operated from the inside,

There are still not much explanation about this alien robot yet, not it’s history, it’s use, it still remain a mystery until the end of book one but it’s actually a good thing because it gave the chance to expand it in book two and three. It makes me so eager to immediately read book two.

CHARACTERS

The author built so many different characters just through interviews! It took a little time to get used to every characters but then you can totally differentiate who’s talking even if you didn’t read the name. They are each so unique I can’t believe that they all was created by the same person, it’s almost like reading the real interview with real people! There are five main characters from different background, military, linguist, physicist, and geneticist and the writer nailed them all!

Rose and Kara are my favorite, you know I’m weak when it comes to smart, strong and independent female character. And these two are easily become my favorite woman character ever! Rose is the project leader, she’s so smart, loving, kind, and she has the best quality of a leader. Kara is our military girl, fierce and cold-hearted. I’d like to portray her as the female version of Jay Pritchett (from Modern Family, LOL). Her interviews are the best, she’s a pain in the ass but I can’t help to fall in love with her character. I love the other characters as well, but this review will be too long if I write my every opinion about them!

OVERALL

I don’t read much Sci-fi book but this is hands down one of the best I’ve ever read! There are not much action scenes in this book but it is hella tense even without it. So if you ever want to read a good Sci-Fi book please pick up this book. I might listen to the audiobook soon because people keep saying that the audiobook is the best!

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Have you read this book? If so what do you think? If not, is this book in your TBR? Also, would you recommend me some great Sci-Fi books? Oh and one more thing, do you know where I could listen to audiobook with cheaper price? Thanks in advance!

carolina

 

 

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Keeper of the Lost Cities

Title: Keeper of the Lost Cities
Author: Shannon Messenger
Publisher: Aladdin
Pages: 496 pages
Year of Publication: October 2012
Rating: (1)
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Twelve-year-old Sophie Foster has a secret. She’s a Telepath—someone who hears the thoughts of everyone around her. It’s a talent she’s never known how to explain.

Everything changes the day she meets Fitz, a mysterious boy who appears out of nowhere and also reads minds. She discovers there’s a place she does belong, and that staying with her family will place her in grave danger. In the blink of an eye, Sophie is forced to leave behind everything and start a new life in a place that is vastly different from anything she has ever known.

Sophie has new rules to learn and new skills to master, and not everyone is thrilled that she has come “home.” 
There are secrets buried deep in Sophie’s memory—secrets about who she really is and why she was hidden among humans—that other people desperately want. Would even kill for.line

worldDARE I SAY THAT THIS IS THE MOST AMAZING MAGICAL WORLD I’VE EVER READ IN MIDDLE GRADE BOOKS AFTER HARRY POTTER!

Although I must admit that I saw many resemblances to HP but it doesn’t make this book less brilliant!

This book is set in a whole different unique world and I’m amaze by how well the author built this entire magical world. Everything seems very well thought out, every detail of places, histories, people, and creatures, they are so amazingly well written!

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Sophie has been feeling out of place for her entire life, she has no friends, and her family sometimes doesn’t understand her, it doesn’t surprise me that she will have this temptation to leave all of her life behind and start a new life in this new world which seems understand her and full of people like her. But, I didn’t expect that she would willingly to go so easily it seems like her family didn’t matter to her at all. She lacks of emotion in the beginning of the book but I’m glad to see she developed as the story goes.

As much as I hate “The Chosen One” trope I won’t deny myself that I like this book so much, I feel kinda irritated though because this book is too centered on Sophie herself, meanwhile there are so many equally amazing characters that should have shine more.

Sophie is also a “Special Snowflake” character which I usually really hate, well I admit I kinda hate her in the beginning but her character development is so well done I turn to love her and want to protect her in the end!

Like I said, there are so many amazing side characters that I think deserve more shining role in this book. Maybe I’ll find it in the next book?

writing

I loooove the writing style, it flows easily with the story, it’s so light and really fun to read. The pace is rather rushed in the end. It’s funny that the climax is the only scene I didn’t like, it feels so forced and end up really quick I barely had time to think.

overall

This is the next MG books that I think I’ll fangirl over after Harry Potter. So I think everyone who love HP should read this book, it’s sad that I don’t see this book much on the blogosphere! I finished this book in 12 hours straight, while I was on shift and working!! This is instantly become my favorite book. I ordered the second book immediately after I finished this, and I really can’t wait to read it!!

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carolina

The Explorer

Title: The Explorer
Author: Katherine Rundell
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children’s Book
Pages: 337 pages
Year of Publication: August 2017
Rating: 4
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lineI have never been surprised by a book as much as this book did to me! This book was recommended by a dear friend of mine, she rarely read Children/Middle Grade book but for some reasons she gave this book a try and she was blown away.  So she was really excited to introduce me to this book because she knew I love Children/Middle Grade book. But I wasn’t sure if I’m gonna like it because I usually read fantasy, and knowing that this entire book is about an adventure in Amazon really make me question what’s so interesting about it. But boy was I wrong! I’m so glad I took her advice and just read it without any expectation! Because in the end this book shock the bejeezus out of me!

plot

This book is about Fred, Lila, Max, and Con. Four children who were on six-seated aeroplane from Manaus to England before the pilot had a heart attack and the plane dive straight into the Amazon. The children are wounded and traumatize, but alive and also lost in the jungle. In order to get home, they have to survive the jungle.

You probably wonder how boring it must be to read 300-ish pages of children surviving in the jungle, well guess what, I did too! But once you read about these children and follow their adventure, you could never stop reading until the end.

They have to find food, build shelter, survive the weather and whatever dangerous creature there might be in the wild jungle of Amazon with little knowledge they had about survival.

The pace is rather slow and I normally hate slow pace book but I was surprised by how I enjoy the pace because I’m too caught up on their adventure. Continue reading “The Explorer”

Children of Blood and Bone

Title: Children of Blood and Bone
Author: Tomi Adeyemi
Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books
Pages: 525 pages
Year of Publication: 2018
Rating: (1)
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lineI just woke up from a decent sleep that I haven’t had for three days because I was flipping the pages of this book like a mad woman. And guess what, I have a new favorite series and a new favorite author! Is it too early to give this book “BEST READ IN 2018” title? Because I just did!

Seriously guys, this book has everything you love in a fantasy book. It has bad ass female characters, complex male characters, a great West African mythology, a rich worldbuilding, heartwarming relationship between siblings and friends, heartbreaking events, and ONE HELL OF ADVENTURE that remind me a lot of Percy Jackson series but in a Young Adult way!

Continue reading “Children of Blood and Bone”

The City of Brass

Title: The City of Brass
Author: S.A. Chakraborty
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Pages: 533 pages
Year of Publication: 2017
Rating:  (1)
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lineThe City of Brass is hands down my favorite book of 2017 and has become my new favorite series!

When I was younger I was so captivated by the world of Djinn, thanks to Bartimaeus Trilogy and The Children of the Lamp series. And when I found out that this book is a Young Adult book about Djinn I was sold right away!

Continue reading “The City of Brass”

Strange The Dreamer

Title: Strange The Dreamer
Author: Laini Taylor
Publisher: Little, Brown Book for Young Childre
Pages: 536 pages
Year of Publication: 2017
Rating: 4,5
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WOW. I. NEED. MUSE. OF NIGHTMARES. RIGHT.NOW.

I have a habit to join the party very late, so my excitement probably won’t affect you anymore. However, I’m still gonna rant about how great this book is.

This book is about an orphan of unknown origin, found by a monk and raised as one, his name is Lazlo Strange. When he was a child, one of the monk always told him stories about Weep, a forgotten city that people haven’t seen again for almost two hundred years. People say it’s just a fairytale, but not to Lazlo. He believes the city was real and the curiousity led him to years of research with hope that someday he could find The Unseen City. Seventeen years of research later, he was given the opportunity to see it himself, but it’s nothing like he ever imagined.

Continue reading “Strange The Dreamer”

Nevermoor

Title: Nevermoor
Author: Jessica Townsend
Publisher: Orion Childrens Book
Pages: 374 pages
Year of Publication: 2017
Rating: (1)
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lineI get asked a lot which fantasy world I’d die to visit, and for years my answer will be “ J.K Rowling’s Wizarding World, duh.” Until Jessica Townsend introduced me to a whole new magical world called Nevermoor.

It’s not like I would replace Harry Potter series with this book, but for all this time, it’s been the ONLY books I always came back to. But not anymore! Nevermoor now hold a special place in my heart too.

I was always waiting for my Hogwarts letter you know, but now, a patron to get me to Nevermoor sounds as promising too. Okay enough rambling, I’m gonna tell you how amazing this book is.

Continue reading “Nevermoor”