Review/ Scarlet Discovers True Strength

Review/ Scarlet Discovers True StrengthStar Darlings Scarlet Discovers True Strength by Shana Muldoon ZappaAhmet Zappa
Published by Disney Press on January 5th 2016
Pages: 176
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads
Genres: Action & Adventure, Chapter Books, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Readers, Young Adult

Scarlet has been keeping to herself. But she is convinced that her removal from the Star Darlings was a terrible mistake.With Vega's help she starts an investigation. Meanwhile, Ophelia is chosen to go on a Wishworld mission, for which she is hopelessly unprepared. Will Scarlet be the one to rescue Ophelia and the mission?

This is the fifth book in the Star Darlings series.

I think up until now my favorite Star Darling has to be Scarlet. I think I like Scarlet the most because she is one of those girls that will tell it like it is and if you like me you do if you don’t I don’t care kind of girl. She is like this rocker girl in my opnion.

Some girls in the Star Darlings things come easy to them but you can see Scarlet has to struggle and that is the appeal I like in her. She works hard and I think that is a good thing girls should know that yes some girls or kids things just come easy for them and other kids you have to work to make things happen and more kids should realize that.

Its nice to get a little background story on Scarlet and find out who Scarlet is and where she comes from. All the girls come from different places and from different walks of life which is nice because not all the girls have the perfect home life.

Scarlet is determined to find out why she got kicked out of the Star Darlings and why Ophelia got in. She knows something isn’t right and she is determinded to find out what happened. With the help of her room mates costumes she goes under cover to sneak into the records room to see what is up. The girls want Scarlet back with the group.

Also in this book the truth about the mysterious flowers is begin to be revealed and the more I thought about it I think a teacher is involved someway. I can’t wait for this to be revealed.

In this book its Ophelia that is sent to Wishland and you can see she is not prepared for it and this is when you wonder why she is in the star Darlings because she clearly doesn’t belong there but thankfully Scarlet is chosen to go and help and it was nice to read that Scarlet and Ophelia were getting along and workig together to help their wishling even though you clearly knew that it was Scarlet who would be rewarded.

This was one of my favorites in the series. Sadly I have one more book to review and then I will have to wait for the other 6 to be released.

 

Review/ Vega and the Fashion Diaster

Review/ Vega and the Fashion DiasterStar Darlings Vega and the Fashion Disaster by Shana Muldoon ZappaAhmet Zappa
Published by Disney Press on January 5th 2016
Pages: 176
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads
Genres: Chapter Books, General, Readers, Young Adult

There are lots of strange things going on at Starling Academy these days: Leona is devastated about her Wish Pendant failure. Ophelia, the newest Star Darling, is completely clueless. Vega's roommate, Piper, is getting on her last nerve. And Scarlet? Who knows? She's nowhere to be found!So when by-the-book Vega gets sent to Wishworld on the next mission, she finds herself very distracted. Why is her Wisher so secretive? Vega needs to solve this puzzle fast. Time is running out and Starland needs every drop of wish energy itcan get!

This is the fourth book in the Star Darlings series.

The strangeness continues but gradually I think a few are realizing what is the cause of the problems amongst the girls.  I am just curious to who sent the bouquets to the girls. Was it one of them? Was it someone else?

In this book we discover how shy and clueless Ophelia is and I question why she was brought into the Star Darlings. Is she behind the flowers?

The behavior of the girls is out of hand with the room mates fighting and I wonder why none of the adults are noticing this behavior. Is this part of a test?

Now is Vega’s turn to go to Wishland but she is having a hard time finding her wishling. Why is she so secretative? Its like taking candy from a baby and you can see Vega is stressed because she wants to go back with success but its hard to crack the case.

I think this cover was one of my favorites and I did enjoy the story. These are pretty fast reads and I think tween girls will like this series. Check back tomorrow for my 5th review.

Review/ Leona’s Unlucky Mission

Review/ Leona’s Unlucky MissionStar Darlings Leona's Unlucky Mission by Shana Muldoon ZappaAhmet Zappa
Published by Disney Press on January 5th 2016
Pages: 176
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads
Genres: Action & Adventure, Chapter Books, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Readers, Young Adult

Leona is very focused on her studies and is especially busy as the lead vocalist in the Star Darlings band.Star-Zaps start buzzing, and the girls know it's probably time for one of them to head to Wishworld.It's Leona's turn, and she's bursting with excitement. She can't wait to get there and become a successful Wish-Granter. But she'll have to challenge herself to put her own desires aside and truly understand what her Wisher needs-before her Countdown Clock runs out of time.

This is the third book in the Star Darlings series.

What I am really liking about the books so far is that each girl is completely different from each other but they all seem to compliment each other in some way.

I just have to take a minute to talk about the books themselves. For some reason middle grade books have the best covers and you can see alot of work went into each and every book from each girl having their books printed in their color. I love the covers because it shows the girls what they look like when they are Star Darlings and what they look like when they go to Wishland.They don’t even look the same.

The mystery bouquets of flowers are still causing problems amongst the girls and the girls are all wondering what happened to Scarlet and why did she get kicked out of the Star Darlings. Then to add more confusion to the mix a new girl, Ophelia has replaced her.

I was once again a little confused with a particular point in the book where all of a sudden Cassie and Leona seem to be the best of friends considering they never really spoke or hung out before. It just seemed a little odd to me. Could it have something to do with the flowers?

For me Leona wasn’t my favorite Star Darling of the series as I found her to be a bit annoying with her self centeredness and her lack of compassion and caring for another sister.

This is Leona’s turn to go to Wishland. Leona’s wishling is a shy girl named Lily. Leona thinks she hit the jackpot when she finds out that Lily likes to sing so she convinces her to try out for the talent show. When she agrees Lily’s dreams are crushed when a bunch of mean girls make fun of Lily. She manages to convince her to go through with it just the same.

Leona thinks things are on track with her mission but quickly realizes that its not all going as planned. When she successfully collects the energy on the girls are on their way back Leona’s wish pendant is destroyed. This is the first time its ever happened. What could it be that caused it?

Check back tomorrow for my fourth book review in the series.

 

 

Review/ Libby and the Class Election

Review/ Libby and the Class ElectionStar Darlings Libby and the Class Election by Shana Muldoon ZappaAhmet Zappa
Published by Disney Press on September 15th 2015
Pages: 176
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads
Genres: Action & Adventure, Chapter Books, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Readers, Young Adult

Charming Libby is a people pleaser who is slow at making decisions. She has to learn how to say no, stand up for herself, and feel more confident about her choices.All of the Star Darling roommates have received beautiful bouquets of sparkly flowers welcoming them to Star Academy. The band tryouts begin and many different girls show up to audition. Meanwhile, the Star Darlings are dealing with their personal conflicts and issues.Libby's mission: Libby finds a flower in the Wish Caves, but her only clue as to whom it belongs is a ballot with two names on it. When Libby goes down to Wishworld, she identifies the wisher and exhausts herself, thinking she has to help grant all the wishes. Libby's friends come down to help her get back on track.

One of the best things about discovering this series is that I am able to read a bunch of them back to back without having to wait too long for the next set of books to come out in the series.

This is the second book in the Star Darlings series and it focuses on Libby. I don’t want to talk to much about the book because its the next book in the series. You can read them in probably in any order but for myself I like to read them in order just in case a character is mentioned in the next book you will have an idea who it is and not feel like your missing out on something.

Libby and the Class Election focuses on Avia and Libby helping her with her wish of being a class president. But is that really Avia’s wish? What happens when this possibly isn’t Avia’s wish? Will Libby be able to fix it before its too late?

One of the thinks I really liked was the little mystery aspect of the book. All the girls in the Star Darlings receive a mystery bouquet of flowers. This is mentioned quite a bit in the book and it actually caused me to want to read the book faster to find out who it is and thats the cliff  hanger when the book ends.

The only thing that I was a little confused over was that Libby never got her moment to shine at the end of the book. This is where Lady Stella hands the girls who come back from their missions successfully with their Wish Orbs. Instead the book ends with a bit of drama that I think could have waited until Libby had her special moment. This drama will continue so you will have to read it to find out.

I am excited to share with you my review for book three tomorrow. I am really liking the series so far and I can’t wait to see where it goes.

 

Review/ Sage and the Journey to Wishworld

Review/ Sage and the Journey to WishworldStar Darlings Sage and the Journey to Wishworld by Shana Muldoon ZappaAhmet Zappa
Published by Disney Press on September 15th 2015
Pages: 176
Source: Book Bought
Goodreads
Genres: Action & Adventure, Chapter Books, Fairy Tales & Folklore, General, Readers, Young Adult

Welcome to Starling Academy. Twelve very special students have been selected from this year's class to reclaim the wish energy that powers their beloved planet, Starland. The Star Darlings, as they are known, take classes where they learn how to grant the wishes made on birthday candles, shooting stars, dandelions, wishbones, and coins tossed into fountains, just to name a few. Their top-secret mission will take them to Wishworld (known in some places as Earth). There they will have to find the Wisher and figure out how to grant the wish before time runs out and they are stuck on Wishworld forever. Sage is the first Star Darling soaring off to Wishworld. Travel with her as she discovers how challenging life on a new planet can be and how she learns the importance of friendship, teamwork, and never assuming anything.

The Star Darlings is a new series from Disney Press that is perfect for middle grade girls. The series is broken down into 12 books featuring each of the elite Star Darlings girls.

I love how each book is broken down so that girls can understand each girl much better. The begin begins with a brief description of the girl, what their wish pendant is, and what their power crystal is. The next feature I really like about the book was that you can see who all 12 girls are and it lists various things about each girl such as name, birthday, favorite color, interests, wish, etc and funny enough I noticed that each girl sort of represents a zodiac sign because each girl was born in that month.

Plus at the end of each book their is a Glossary which is perfect understanding terms and words much better.

The girls are all referred to as Starlings and they live on Starland. I should say that Starland is years and years ahead of Wishland. Starland is powered solely on wish energy and in order to get that energy they harvest it by granting wishes to the people of Wishland. Just like here on Earth Starlings don’t live forever so in order to keep the Starling population plentiful young girls must attend Starling Academy which is an elite academy and I don’t thing everyone gets in.

So Sage and the Journey to Wishworld is the first book in the series. I would highly recommend reading them in order just so you can follow the story line much easier. In the first book, Starling Academy is trying out a pilot project that is top secret and only 12 girls are selected to be in it. They want to see if granting the wishes of adolescent girls will harvest more wish energy.

Sage is the first Starlings to go to Wishworld. She must use the knowledge she has learned so far from the Academy. She realizes that its not so easy to find her wisher and when she does she is on a time limit. She must find out what the wish truly is and I thought it was perfect for the first book. Towards the end their is a little hiccup but she quickly realizes what it is and she runs to save herself before its too late.

I won’t say to much more about the book except that it was a fun read and I think girls would love this series.

To go along with the books,  Disney has created apparel and a doll line that goes with the Starlings band. There is even a music video for their first song which I am including here:

There is also a YouTube Channel (click here to go there) and a fun website filled with all kinds of things such as activities, an app to download and so much more, to go there click on this.

Check back all this week for more book reviews on this series.

Review/ Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit

Review/ Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel SavitAnna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit
Published by Random House Children's Books on January 26th 2016
Pages: 240
Source: Book From BEA 2015
Goodreads
Genres: Europe, Family, Historical, Holocaust, Orphans & Foster Homes, People & Places, Young Adult

A stunning, literary, and wholly original debut novel set in Poland during the Second World War perfect for readers of The Book Thief.   Kraków, 1939. A million marching soldiers and a thousand barking dogs. This is no place to grow up. Anna Łania is just seven years old when the Germans take her father, a linguistics professor, during their purge of intellectuals in Poland. She’s alone. And then Anna meets the Swallow Man. He is a mystery, strange and tall, a skilled deceiver with more than a little magic up his sleeve. And when the soldiers in the streets look at him, they see what he wants them to see. The Swallow Man is not Anna’s father—she knows that very well—but she also knows that, like her father, he’s in danger of being taken, and like her father, he has a gift for languages: Polish, Russian, German, Yiddish, even Bird. When he summons a bright, beautiful swallow down to his hand to stop her from crying, Anna is entranced. She follows him into the wilderness. Over the course of their travels together, Anna and the Swallow Man will dodge bombs, tame soldiers, and even, despite their better judgment, make a friend. But in a world gone mad, everything can prove dangerous. Even the Swallow Man.    Destined to become a classic, Gavriel Savit’s stunning debut reveals life’s hardest lessons while celebrating its miraculous possibilities.

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

I picked up Anna and the Swallow Man by Gavriel Savit during BEA 2015. I was drown into the cover when I first spotted it. Its very simple but I think eye catching at the same time.

As I sit here trying to write my review I am still thinking about the book. So I will have to be careful with my review because I don’t want to give the story away and I tend to have a habit of doing that. Don’t you just love it when I book holds onto you?

I went into the book not knowing what was going to happen and reading it I realized it was being told during the war and I wasn’t sure I was prepared for that because I find those kinds of books very difficult to read. I do have to say its not that bad and its really not the focus of the book but you do know a war is happening. I think that is why I enjoyed the story more.

There is quite a few characters in the book but the main are Anna, the Swallow man and then a guy named Reb. I have to say that the Swallow Man and Reb were complete night and day but it worked and it balanced the two of them out and I think despite their differences they were looking for the same thing, acceptance. They both loved Anna and would do anything to protect her.

The book begins in 1939 in occupied Poland. Anna is seven years old. Anna’s father is a linguistics professor and he has to attend a lecture that has been mandated by German authorities and we all know what that means and where this is going. He leaves Anna with a friend of his but when he fails to return home he forces Anna to leave. Anna has no where to go because the door is locked in her apartment and no one will take her in.

On the streets of Krawkow she sees a tall elegantly dressed man who manages to charm Anna when he has a swallow land on his finger. He takes her under his wing so to speak and before long they become traveling partners. The books spans over a few years because we see Anna is growing up.

The Swallow Man taught Anna how to survive and they did and it wasn’t all sugar coated and happy you could see the struggle they endured with sleeping outside in harsh weather conditions, hiding from the enemy, the day to day struggle of blending in when they went into a city and the fight for food and how they would only eat once or twice a day. I think these are all live lessons that saved Anna in the end.

Reading the book you realized how different the world has become. Anna and the Swallow Man were able to cross man borders and patrols with no problems and the only one who had documents was Swallow Man. There was only one point in the book they encountered a problem and that was crossing into Russia but even through the gunfire no one was seriously hurt and they all remained together.

As I was reading I felt like I was traveling with them and I could picture the group traveling together.

For me the ending end like their could possibly be another book but I’m not sure but I would like there to be because I am curious to what Anna is doing and where she ended up along with the Swallow man.

 

Book Spotlight, Review & Giveaway/ “Spread More Love with Put Me In The Story”

put me in the story

Today I am very happy to share with my readers an awesome give away. Put Me In The Story is an amazing company that offers beautiful personalized books that are reasonably priced at $29.99 US

This Valentine’s Day, Put Me In The Story wants to help you the readers say “I Love You” to your little ones through our most heartfelt personalized books.

Today I am going to spotlight three books:

i-love-you-just-like-this-235px.1451498995

Show your little one the many ways you love them with the help of your friends over on Sesame Street!

There are lots of ways to say “I love you,” but it’s how you share and show it that matter most! The sweetest book to share every day of the year, I Love You Just Like This! brings parent and child close and cozy together in a special storytime experience to spread some love. Often, always, and time and time again, this personalized book will show your little one how much you love them… just like this! Personalize the story with your child’s name, photo, and a special message with lots of love on the dedication page!

 you

 

Inspire your little one in a big way! This personalized edition of You! encourages children to dream big and reach for the stars. Kids will love exploring the bright pages of motivation in Sandra Magsamen’s adorable book of extraordinary messages.

A life full of adventure needs big dreams. And big dreams need big encouragement. Encourage your child to dream big with this one-of-a-kind personalized story about exploring all that life has to offer!

Personalize this lovable book with your child’s name and photo throughout the story, and a special message on the dedication page. There’s always a reason to celebrate life, and all the amazing qualities about your little one. They’ll love this keepsake for years to come!

 

michael i love you

The third book is actually the one I will be reviewing. I was graciously provided with a code to obtain the book.  They retail for $29.99 US each. As you can see they are personalized and its so easy to do all you have to do is  just follow the easy instructions on the page and that is is within 5 minutes I had the in my cart and ready to go. Shipping was super fast and I had the book within a week of ordering it. Please note that you have until January 27th, 2015 to place an order to get it in time for Valentine’s Day.

The book is  beautifully bound like a regular hard cover picture book and it arrived in perfect condition.

I spent quite a bit of time trying to pick out the right book and I have to say that I think this is the perfect book. I loved reading as did Michael. I think this is perfect for kids no matter what age they are as the message is beautiful as is the story.

Within the last couple of months I have noticed that before bed time we go through about a 10 minute routine of Michael saying how much he loves me and then he will say how much do you love me and this can go on for another 10 minutes or so.

So when I spotted this book I knew it would be the perfect book to give him to read.

Michael, I can’t image life before you came along. You are the music to my dance and my song.

I am meant for you, and you are meant for me, the one I love forevermore. Undeniably.

The illustrations are bright and colorful and I think this could attract readers of all ages. The story line is easy and simple and its just great words kids should hear from their parents.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Put Me In The Story, the #1 personalized books site in the U.S., has hundreds of personalized books and gifts for newborns, kids, and even grown-ups! With a diverse selection of personalized story books, activity books, adult coloring books, adorable plush and more, Put Me In The Story is a fantastic spot to find personalized gifts that become beloved keepsakes.