Page Turner Reviews

Review- Maddy Kettle: Adventure of the Thimblewitch by Eric Orchard

The Adventure of the Thimblewitch - Eric Orchard

Maddy Kettle is an eleven year old who enjoys working in her parents' bookstore. In order to save her parents, Maddy must go on a dangerous journey. 

 

This was a very quick and enjoyable read. It is a fun concept that I have never seen used before: children's graphic novel. The illustrations were beautiful and absolutely perfect. The book was very whimsical in its story and characters. For example, Maddy owned a pet toad that glows and floats in the air (which must be kept on a string). I only had a problem with the resolving of the issues that had arisen during the course of the story. They were just patched over too quickly. 

 

3/5 Stars

I received this for review from Net Galley. This book was a great pallet cleanser type novel (it was a nice light read). I only wish it was a bit longer and had more substance in its resolving of the problems faced.

...
Atlas Shrugged - Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand

"Who is John Galt?"

              -Ayn Rand

An Explosion of Book Buying- I Now Own a Library

 

I am a college student with very little spending money on a month to month basis. This predicament, however, has not lessened my desire to build up my arsenal of books. Over the summer, as a treat to myself for completing my Associate's in Accounting, I went on a book shopping spree. I bought around a lot of books; enough to fill half of my first bookshelf and to fill the two new bookshelves. I rationalized my unprecidented and crazed shopping in the following ways: 

         1) I just earned my Associate's Degree (the first in my family to do so)

         2) I have never bought myself even a single book

         3) I never paid full price for a book         

         4) I bought most of them on sale

         5) Allocating the total costs including shipping- I paid around $2.03 for each book (and many were brand new)

         6) I could have spent my money on worse things (candy, drugs, alcohol, etc.)

         7) I had just realized that I had barely read more than 10 books willingly (I guess reading just felt like a chore next to all the textbook chapters and I prefer actual copies of books over ebooks)

 

 I should mention that I bought all of the books online through various outlets. I would have bought books from a thrift shop or used book store if I had any in my small town. My thoughts on some of the stores I purchased from are as follows:

 

Bookoutlet

    This is a great online book store where you can get brand new books at a deeply discounted price. I found a bunch of $1 books that sounded very interesting. The only problem I have with this store is the cost of shipping which is $3.99 base plus $0.50 per book after the first two books. In total it is still very much worth the prices. I would not recommend to those who cannot stand a black dot or mark on the bottom or top of the book. These are usually located on Bookoutlet books because they get them as overstock which is how they can afford low prices. It is not a place where you go to find something specific, but rather if you are browsing or looking for new books.

 

Thriftbooks

      This is a nice online store where you can get used books for around $3.00. You get the option to pick from which store your item shipps and what condition it is in. There is a $0.50 discount you are given for each additional book you order from the same store. I believe there is also a new customer 20% off discount that can be used for the first order. It should also be noted that shipping is free.

 

Powell's Books

     This online store is a bit more difficult to browse and find good titles but you can find great deals. I recently bought a very good paperback copy of Wicked for $1.50 and a brand new Pendragon Book 1 for $0.95. It is also a great place to buy cheap classics. I love the dover thrift editions which usually rand from $0.50-$1.50 each. Recently I also found a beautiful bind up of all seven of Jane Austin's novels for $3.00. The shipping costs are $3.99 no matter how many books you buy. If you spend $50 or more then the shipping is free. I think it should also be mentioned that the way they package books is very nice. Basically, they will place all of your books on this large piece of cardboard and wrap the entire thing with plastic (it is so much fun to open).

 

I also bought a few books through Better World Books (which is a business that gives a free book away for each book you purchase), Amazon, and Ebay. I really wish I felt some sort of shame about the amount of books I purchased this summer but I just do not. After about 2 years of not having any new books to entertain myself I went a bit crazy. To be honest it could have been worse. At least this month I did not buy nearly as many (but I still bought about 40). 

Review- Puppet by Pauline C. Harris
Review- Puppet by Pauline C. Harris

Penelope lives in a time where marionettes have advanced to the point of robots. She makes a deal with a scientist in order to get out of her orphanage. The deal entails that she gets a life with the scientist and his son (Jed and James) in exchange for her involvement in an experiment. She must become a living marionette.

 

The story immediately caught my eye as it is a retelling of the story Pinocchio. They were similar in regard to marionettes, the impossibility of getting away with a lie, and  individuals who wanted to use the main character for their own gain. The characters had many intriguing qualities. Penelope was a fun character to read about and learn how she went from a thief who only looked out for herself to someone who tried to protect those she cared about. By far, I think the most interesting character is Jed who is the mad scientist that only seems to care about his experiments.  The story itself was completely different from Pinocchio and had an entertaining plot that was a quick read. It had a plot twist that I did not see coming, not even a hint of an indication. It was at this point that all of the questions and doubts that I had were answered.

 

This does not mean that I did not have any problems with this story. The romance depicted in the story was just a bit too quick in development (which was a bit off putting). I wish that the author would have tried to explain the science involved in the story and the experiments described. Instead, the science was stated as being too advanced for people to understand and that most believe it to be magic. It kind of felt as if it was in a time period where everything that was scientific or different was called the devil's work or evil. How was Penelope able to so easily crush and bend items? How was she able to move at a greater speed? 

 

3.5/5 Stars

I received this for review from Net Galley. This book was a nice change of pace from what I have recently been reading. I thought it was a great premise and a very creative story.

Review- Captain Underpants and Tyrannical Retaliation of Turbo Toilet 2000 by Dav Pilkey

Captain Underpants and the Tyrannical Retaliation of the Turbo Toilet 2000 - Dav Pilkey

This is the 11th book in the Captain Underpants series. This series revolves around two fourth grade boys (George and Harold) who write comics and  consistently find themselves in trouble. Their adventures began when they managed to hypnotize their principal into becoming Captain Underpants. During this novel, turbo Toilet 2000 returns from banishment in order to get revenge.

 

This was the first time that I have read Captain Underpants since I was a child and it did not disappoint. The boys, Harold and George, were still getting into trouble by switching the letters on the school bulletin board into inappropriate comments. There were times were I just could not except some of the over the top story developments, but it is whimsical story so it is to be expected. For example, there was a giant glow-in-the dark squid suit that allowed the wearer to time travel. There was a part that summarizes the series perfectly:

       "You're thinking too much," said George. "Listen, if you look too closely at these stories, they're gonna fall apart completely." 

 

3.5/5 Stars

I started this book because I felt that I needed to branch out of my reading comfort zone and try something completely different. When I noticed this book on Net Galley and I remembered the times I read this series as a child; I immediately decided to read it. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys unusual books with a bit of nonsense thrown in. It is a silly book involving destruction with a mix of gross toilet humor.

 

 

Review- Revenge of the Witch by Joseph Delaney

Revenge of the Witch  - Joseph Delaney, Patrick  Arrasmith

Thomas Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and can see evils that others cannot. When it comes time for his apprenticeship his father has run out of favors and Thomas must become an apprentice to Old Gregory, the county Spook, ridding the county of evil.

 

This was a great introduction into the world of The Last Apprentice. It is a world filled with boggarts, witches, and other creepers. You learn along side Thomas about the types of boggarts and witches and how to bind them so that they cannot break free. The book was dark and creepy but in an enjoyable way. Thomas makes many mistakes throughout his first year as an apprentice but he is only 13 years old and learns from situations. The novel follows the story of Thomas Ward owing a favor to a girl with pointy shoes which results in a highly dangerous creature getting away. The fallout that ensues as a result is compelling and gruesome. 

 

5/5 Stars

I originally picked this up at a whim because I thought that the cover looked interesting and the term "apprentice" always reminds me of my favorite time period to study (seriously... Who does not find the Middle Ages to be a fun topic to learn about?) It is a fast read that is completely original. It also does not hurt that it has some amazingly creepy illustrations (they look as if they were made using a printmaking method). This was such a great book that I recently bought 10 more from the series.

Review- A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness

A Monster Calls - Patrick Ness, Jim Kay

For months Conor has faced difficulty sleeping due to a recurring nightmare. To make matters worse, Connor is being visited by a monster who wants to tell him three stories. While Connor's mother is struggling with her treatments, Connor must tell the monster the truth about his nightmares.

 

Patrick Ness beautifully spun a story that at times pushed me to tears. This was not because of the story, but rather the hidden truth that you do not want to face. The novel was mesmerizing and I could not put it down even for a moment (which is unusual for me). I went into this book believing that I was going to love it for one reason (the monster) but in the end I was taken in by another (Connor). This was a very surprisings story that left me guessing the outcome to the very end.

 

Verdict- 4/5 Stars

 I loved this story and the way that it was portrayed. This was my first introduction to Patrick Ness, but it most certainly will not be my last.