(Review) The Land of Stories – The Wishing Spell

Title: The Land of Stories – The Wishing Spell (book 1)
Author: Chris Colfer
Pub Date: July 2012
Publisher: Little Brown Books
Pages: 448

Source: I received an ARC (signed) copy when I attend BEA this year and then I went out an bought a finished copy when it was released.

About the book:
Alex and Conner Bailey”s world is about to change, in this fast-paced adventure that uniquely combines our modern day world with the enchanting realm of classic fairy tales.

The Land of Stories tells the tale of twins Alex and Conner. Through the mysterious powers of a cherished book of stories, they leave their world behind and find themselves in a foreign land full of wonder and magic where they come face-to-face with the fairy tale characters they grew up reading about.

But after a series of encounters with witches, wolves, goblins, and trolls alike, getting back home is going to be harder than they thought.


I have to admit that I am a huge Glee fan. I watch the show weekly  and buy the cds when they come out. I was super excited when I found out that Chris was writing a book and even more excited when I heard that he was going to be at the Children’s Author Breakfast that was happening during BEA. I quickly bought my ticket for the breakfast when they announced it. There was no way I was going to miss out on that event.

As soon as the breakfast was over I quickly made a beeline for the Little Brown booth to find out when the signing was happening. I was quickly informed that there was an “unofficial” line starting so I got in line asap. I had gotten a number ( I think it was 55 or so) and the above picture is what I took as he was signing my book. I was basically gushing telling him how much I loved Kurt and that he was doing an awesome job and that I was dying to read his book.

For taking part in the breakfast I was able to get an advance readers copy of Chris’s book and this awesome tote bag which I love to pieces.

I loved how the arc was presented as it wasn’t  just a book but it was in a cute packaging.

Just before I get into my review I will be adding other pictures to this post that are involved with the book.

I have been wanting to read this book since I got it but held off because I knew that if I loved it, I would be gushing about it non stop and that wouldn’t be far to my friends and family who happen to enjoy Chris and would want to read the book because there would be no way I would lend out my signed copy to anyone.

When I began the book I swore that this wasn’t going to be one of those books I would zip through because I wanted to savour every moment and every word. I think I did really well and read it within a week and limiting myself to reading it just at night.

All I can say is that I loved the book and this is something that I have told Michael he should read one day soon. I loved the idea behind the book and wondered how it would all play out and Chris did a fantastic job.

I loved the cover.

This is the finished copy as you probably already know. I actually love the cover more in person.

This was Chris’s version when he was 10 years old. Some similar items in them both.

Then on the inside cover there is a map:

As you can see Chris’s version and the final version once again very similar and I think that is awesome that the illustator would do that.

Quite honestly I wasn’t sure what to expect and if I would even love the book. I was nervous because I had high hopes for the book and I am so happy that it lived up to my expectations of it. I loved it and honestly I would reread this again.

If your like me when you were little reading those fantastic fairy tales you probably wondered what would happen after the happily ever after right?  Well Chris takes us to that place and we discover what happens and not everything is hunky doory so to speak and that good and evil still interact.

One of the reason I wanted to have a finished copy of the book was because of the map so I could follow along on the journey Alex and Conner were going to take since there was no map in the ARC. I think having that map was useful for me and adds to the book.

Alex and Conner are twins (brother and sister) and their grandmother has given them this book to look after and its all the fairy tales that they knew and loved since they were little. When one day strange things begin to happen and they are sucked into the book landing in a fairy tale. In order to get back to their normal life the kids have to set out on a journey to recover items to make a spell to go back. While they succeed or be stuck in the fairy tale world? What they discover will surprise them.

I loved how there was just enough action going on to keep you interested and I am sure middle graders would love this kind of book.

I thought Chris did an excellent job on his first book and I would read his next book because he did a great job with the storyline, the characters, describing it all perfectly and staying true to the original fairy tale.

I should also mention that Chris has another book coming out in November (2012) called Struck By Lightening: The Carson Phillips Journal (about the book: Struck By Lightning: The Carson Phillips Journal follows the story of outcast high school senior Carson Phillips who blackmails the most popular students in his school into contributing to his literary journal to bolster his college application; his goal in life is to get into Northwestern and eventually become the editor of The New Yorker.

At once laugh-out-loud funny, deliciously dark, and remarkably smart, Struck By Lightning unearths the dirt that lies just below the surface of high school.

The film Stuck By Lightning is set to be released by Tribeca Film later this year and features Colfer’s own original screenplay. Colfer also stars in the film alongside Allison Janney, Christina Hendricks, Dermot Mulroney, Sarah Hyland, and Polly Bergen.)

Just a reminder the Season Premier is on tonight. I will be watching, will you?

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) Shut Out

Title: Shut Out
Author: Kody Keplinger
Pages: 288
Publisher: Poppy
Pub Date: September 2011

Source: I recieved a copy of this book for my honest review.

About the book:
Most high school sports teams have rivalries with other schools. At Hamilton High, it’s a civil war: the football team versus the soccer team. And for her part,Lissa is sick of it. Her quarterback boyfriend, Randy, is always ditching her to go pick a fight with the soccer team or to prank their locker room. And on three separate occasions Randy’s car has been egged while he and Lissa were inside, making out. She is done competing with a bunch of sweaty boys for her own boyfriend’s attention.

Lissa decides to end the rivalry once and for all: She and the other players’ girlfriends go on a hookup strike. The boys won’t get any action from them until the football and soccer teams make peace. What they don’t count on is a new sort of rivalry: an impossible girls-against-boys showdown that hinges on who will cave to their libidos first. And Lissa never sees her own sexual tension with the leader of the boys, Cash Sterling, coming.

This is Kody’s second book. Her first book The DUFF was one I had to get last year at BEA and I was really lucky to have gotten it and read it on the train ride home and I really enjoyed it. So I was really happy that the buzz I heard about the book before hand lived up to its reputation.

So, when I heard that Kody had this book coming out I quickly added to my wishlist and was really happy when it came in the mail. Kody did not disappoint. I read this book rather quickly and enjoyed it.

I should start off by saying that this is a stand alone book and is no way related to The Duff.

Lately I have been reading alot of stories about a retelling with a modern twist and this book falls into that category. This is the retelling of Aristophanes’ Lysistrata, a classic Greek play about Lysistrata and her attempt to end the Peloponnesian War by persuading the women of the warring nations to withhold sex from their husbands in order to force peace negotiations and eventually the men give in and it ends.  I have to admit that I have never read this play and I have to admit I am kind of curious now.

So how does this relate to the book you ask? Well, we all know that schools have rivals with other schools but Hamilton High is different because they have rivals within the school. The boys soccer and football team are at each other. This has been going on for ten years now and its being passed down from generation to generation and it seems that this time both will stop at nothing to win.

Enter Lissa. She is the girlfriend of Randy and he is on the quarterback of the football time and she is getting fed up with not being Randy’s top choice and competing for his attention because he seems to be obsessed with getting revenge on the soccer team. Realizing that they only way to get through to these boys is to without hold sex. Lissa rallies the other girlfriends and they all pledge to not do anything in hopes that it will end the rivalry. The girls think that this strike will be over before it even begins because well boys will be boys right? Wrong!

This seems to bring the girls closer together and new and old friendships are forming. As for the boys it takes them awhile to figure out what is going on but once they do they try everything to get the girls attention apart from ending the rivalry that is.

Right off I have to say that Lissa’s boyfriend, Randy bothered me and he just seemed to rub me the wrong way. Not sure what it was at first, if it was because he put his rivalry before Lissa or that he basically could care less about her but after what he did at the dance I realized then that he was a jerk and was happy she found out about him when she did.

I have to admit its been awhile since I had a book guy crush and right from the moment he entered the picture I knew I would love Cash and I did. He was so sweet and flirty that I actually loved him and wished I was in Lissa’s place. They had chemistry from the get go and you had to see where it would go and end.

I enjoyed the book and I am looking forward to reading more of Kody’s upcoming books.

You can follow Kody Keplinger’s Blog and on her site.

Thanks to Hachette Canada for sending me this book.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

(Review) The Duff

TITLE: The Duff (designated ugly fat friend)
AUTHOR: Kody Keplinger
PUB DATE: September 2010
PAGES: 288
PUBLISHER: Poppy (Little Brown Books)
SOURCE: Signed copy that I received at BEA in May.

Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper is cynical and loyal, and she doesn’t think she’s the prettiest of her friends by a long shot. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush. In fact, Bianca hates him. And when he nicknames her “Duffy,” she throws her Coke in his face.

But things aren’t so great at home right now. Desperate for a distraction, Bianca ends up kissing Wesley. And likes it. Eager for escape, she throws herself into a closeted enemies-with-benefits relationship with Wesley.

Until it all goes horribly awry. It turns out that Wesley isn’t such a bad listener, and his life is pretty screwed up, too. Suddenly Bianca realizes with absolute horror that she’s falling for the guy she thought she hated more than anyone.

This was one of those books that I had to get or at least try to get when I was at BEA in May. I had heard alot of buzz about it before hand and it sounded really good. So I was really happy to find out that Kody was going to be signing her book at BEA and thankfully thanks to I believe it was Natasha from Maw Books for pointing it out to me.

I was standing a few lines over when I had saw Natasha standing in line and I asked her who she was in line for and she told me so once I was done getting my book signed for the line I was in a ducked under the ropes(if you were at BEA you know that it was a mess in the signing area) to the line (which was closed so I was lucky to snag my copy)So thank you Natasha for telling me and helping me sneak under the ropes.

When I was packing up to leave NYC I made it a point to pack this in my backpack so that I could read this on my way home on the train. I did manage to read this on the way home and I really enjoyed it.

I could really relate to Bianca and I think she is exactly how I was in at her age in high school. Reading this brought back alot of memories and it felt like I was reading a part of my story.

We were both loyal, we both thought that we weren’t the prettiest girls in school (this was something I always dealt with and still do to some extent) and I knew a line if it was given to me and still do.

I enjoyed the characters and I found them to be real. I mean I am older then the entended audience of the book but I realize that the way I felt back then is the way kids feel today and I am sure that they will always feel that way.

The male character in the book is Wesley(playboy and it boy) and honestly I have to say he started out as a huge jerk in my opinion but gradually I think Wesley started to win me over. They had a unique relationship that was one of need and physical but gradually through out the book it turned into a relationship of needing and depending on each other.

As you are reading you can see the chemistry between them and for me I kept hoping that they would connect and take their secret relationship out of the closet. I realized that even though Wesley was a jerk and a playboy (and he knew it) he is actually just like Bianca he has his flaws.

You can check out Kody’s site by clicking HERE and HERE

This is actually the cover of the book I picked up at BEA its the ARC cover. The top cover is the finished copy one.

What cover do you like and why? I actually like the ARC cover more. I think it suits the book more and it leaves you to wonder more about the person on the cover.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.

Witch & Wizard Review

TITLE: Witch & Wizard
AUTHOR: James Patterson & Gabrielle Charbonnet
PUB DATE: December 2009
PAGES: 320

The world is changing: the government has seized control of every aspect of society, and now, kids are disappearing. For 15-year-old Wisty and her older brother Whit, life turns upside down when they are torn from their parents one night and slammed into a secret prison for no reason they can comprehend. The New Order, as it is known, is clearly trying to suppress Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Being a Normal Teenager. But while trapped in this totalitarian nightmare, Wisty and Whit discover they have incredible powers they’d never dreamed of.


I am a huge James Patterson fan and this is my first young adult book of his that I have read. I have to admit that I have no idea why I haven’t read his other YA books but I will be now.

I really enjoyed this book and it was true Patterson form. Quick chapters that left me wanting to keep reading. I had a hard time putting the book down.

I was trying to find out more information about the book and if it was going to be a series but couldn’t find anything apart from this being book one. So it looks like there will be another book. Which I am really excited for because the ending left me wanting more.

The book is about Wisty and her brother Whit. They are basically your typical teenagers until one day The New Order bursts into their home and arrests them. The New Order is a new in town and they are hell bent on giving the world a whole new look out. The first task of the N.O is to rid the world of misfits and the undesirables.

Wisty and Whit go in front of the judge and are set to be exacuted on their 17th birthdays. They are confused and wonder why they are arrest in the first place. They are told they have magical powers.

Before long they discover that they do have magical powers and they are determined to get out of the N.O control and look for their parents. Will they manage to break out of jail? Are their parents still alive? Can they really trust the group they are with? Will they be able to gain control of their powers?

This book was provided for review by Miriam at Little Brown/HBG. Thanks Miriam for sending me an ARC of the book.

copyright 2010, Cindy (Cindy’s Love Of Books)
If you are reading this on a blog or website other than Cindy’s Love Of Books or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.