September “GHOST AND GHOULIES” Owlcrate Jr Box

I’m so happy that Owlcrate Jr let me on their team for almost a year, A YEAR! This is such an honor for me to be their rep, I genuinely love all of their boxes and I really enjoy working with the amazing and inspiring people on the team!

So last month’s theme is GHOST AND GHOULIES and here’s the amazing things included in the box:

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👻 A cute Trick or Treat totebag by veepdoodles
👻 Ghost Hunter patch by Erin Gibbs
👻 Magnetic bookmark by craftedvan
👻 Nightmare Before Christmas originalfunko keychain (I GOT THE CHRISTMAS ONE, YASS)
👻 A spooky sticker set by stikiiclub
👻 Funny fill-in book My Haunted House edition by National Geographic
👻 And the BotM is City of Ghost by V.E Schwab, along with the sign bookplate and an exclusive letter from the author

October theme is MAIL CALL and you can use my code OLOGYST10 to save 10%!

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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?

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Middle Grade Monday: The School for Good and Evil by Shoman Chainani


Middle Grade Monday is a weekly post where I’m gonna talk about one MG book every monday. If you love MG books as much as I do, feel free to participate to spread the love of middle-grade books. You just have to choose one book that you’ve read or the one in your TBR and tell us a little bit about the book, and don’t forget to link back to me!


My choice for this week’s Middle Grade Monday is the book I adore so much years ago but I never continue reading the second book because I was reading the translated book. Not that I didn’t like reading translated book, they are fine, but I just feel more comfortable reading books in their original language so that I couldn’t miss a thing.

I finally had the chance to buy the english copy of the first book so I could re read it and start collecting the books, I think there are already 4 books in the series so I really need to catch up fast!

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16248113 (1)The first kidnappings happened two hundred years before. Some years it was two boys taken, some years two girls, sometimes one of each. But if at first the choices seemed random, soon the pattern became clear. One was always beautiful and good, the child every parent wanted as their own. The other was homely and odd, an outcast from birth. An opposing pair, plucked from youth and spirited away.

This year, best friends Sophie and Agatha are about to discover where all the lost children go: the fabled School for Good & Evil, where ordinary boys and girls are trained to be fairy tale heroes and villains. As the most beautiful girl in Gavaldon, Sophie has dreamed of being kidnapped into an enchanted world her whole life. With her pink dresses, glass slippers, and devotion to good deeds, she knows she’ll earn top marks at the School for Good and graduate a storybook princess. Meanwhile Agatha, with her shapeless black frocks, wicked pet cat, and dislike of nearly everyone, seems a natural fit for the School for Evil.

But when the two girls are swept into the Endless Woods, they find their fortunes reversed—Sophie’s dumped in the School for Evil to take Uglification, Death Curses, and Henchmen Training, while Agatha finds herself in the School For Good, thrust amongst handsome princes and fair maidens for classes in Princess Etiquette and Animal Communication.. But what if the mistake is actually the first clue to discovering who Sophie and Agatha really are…?
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I read this book maybe three years ago but I still remember how I loved this book so much. This book has this unique plot where two ordinary kids (one good kid and one bad kid) will be swept away to a magic school to learn magic stuff, and they will graduate as a Prince/Princess or Wizard/Witch as characters for a ‘literal’ children fairytale! The story is getting interesting when Sophie, the supposed be a good kid, is dumped to the school of evil, while Agatha, the supposed to be a bad kid, is in the school for good.

The worldbuilding is like most stories with magic school, nothing new, but still so fun to read. I would never get tired of any kind of magic school! The characters are well written and three dimensional.

I might forget one or three things because I read this a long time ago, but I will re-read it as soon as my english copy arrived! In the meantime, please read the reviews at Goodreads and I’m sure you’ll be adding it to your TBR!

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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?

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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

Middle-Grade Monday: Otherwood by Pete Hautman

You guys probably know that I love middle-grade books so much and I feel like there aren’t many readers who love to read MG books. So I decided to make this weekly post where I’m gonna talk about one MG book every monday.

I don’t know if there’s such a thing as Middle-Grade Monday but I think it’ll be so much fun! So yeah, here goes nothing!

If you love MG books as much as I do, feel free to participate to spread the love of middle-grade books. You just have to choose one book that you’ve read or the one in your TBR and tell us a little bit about the book, and don’t forget to link back to me!

I recently finished Otherwood by Pete Hautman, if you followed me on twitter you must have known that I rave about this book for God knows how many times!

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“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.

lineWell this is gonna be like other MG fantasy books I’ve ever read, or so I thought! And I’m so shook that it was not!! It was not, at all! I finished this in less than 5 hours and that’s the fastest I finished a book since forever!

The writing is so beautiful, this is my first ever Pete Hautman book and I’m in love with his writing style. The plot is full of twists and turns, I can’t even predict where the story would led me. The theme is actually pretty common but I rarely see the theme in MG books, there are some dark topics which I think aren’t suitable for middle graders but it’s not the main focus. The chemistry and friendship between the two MCs are to die for and total goals!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t share the full review yet because this book is gonna be released in September! So my full review will be posted close to the release date! I really recommend you to pick up this book because this book is amazingly unique!

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Do you have a favorite middle-grade books? What do you love the most about MG books?

carolina

The Dollar Kids

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Title: The Dollar Kids
Author: Jennifer Richard Jacobson, Ryan Andres (Illustrator)
Publisher: Candlewick Press
Pages: 416 pages
Year of Publication: August 2018
Rating: 4
lineI got this e-ARC from Candlewick Press through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

I’m trying to explore more genre because for all my love I always been afraid to get out of my comfort genre and I’ve been meaning to read Middle Grade books other than fantasy, so you could see that I’m really glad when I found out that NetGalley approved me to read this e-ARC!


plot

Twelve-year-old Lowen Grover is a passionate comic artist, at least he was, until his only friend Abe who’s usually there when he was drawing and criticizing him, died in a random shooting. After that, Lowen barely draw anymore because it’s always reminding him of Abe. Haunted by guilt and grief, all Lowen need is to escape the town he lived in. So when he saw the advertising of one dollar house in a former mill town, it seems like a perfect escape. He proposes the idea to his parents and siblings, and after various considerations they decided to give it a try. But is that really a good choice? Have they traded one set of problems for another?

I must warn you that if you don’t have the patience to read a slow pace book then you might won’t survive this because the pace is so slow and sligthly boring, at first. Well you know I hate slow paced books too but the good thing is, I always power though, and for once I’m glad that I power through this book and not DNF this. I read the first 250 pages in 3 weeks but then things are getting interesting after that and it only took me 2 days to finish the rest.  Continue reading “The Dollar Kids”

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”