The Menagerie by Tui T. Sutherland & Kari Sutherland – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Menagerie 
Author: 
Tui T. Sutherland & Kari Sutherland
Series Name: 
Menagerie
Genre: 
Middle-Grade Fantasy
Publication Date: March 12th, 2013
Pages: 288 (Hardback)
Publishers: HarperCollins
Rating:
5 star

Goodreads Synopsis

Logan Wilde is accidentally drawn into the mysterious, dangerous world of the Menagerie when he discovers a griffin hiding under his bed . . . and it leads him straight to the weirdest girl in seventh grade, Zoe Kahn.

Zoe is panicking. Her family has been guarding the Menagerie for centuries. If they don’t get the cubs back fast, the whole place will be shut down. To save the griffins’ lives, she’s willing to break all the rules, even if it means letting an outsider like Logan help. But the real mystery remains: Is someone trying to sabotage the Menagerie?

Who let the griffins out…and why?

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Goodreads Synopsis (1)

I love this cover and that is what dragged me in when I first saw it on Scribd. Middle-Grade covers are always so colourful, bright and fun and that is exactly what I see in this cover, except maybe bright, it’s a bit dark really. But still really nice.

Goodreads Synopsis (2)

I absolutely loved the writing of this book. It was a really easy and quick read but also super engaging. This book kept me hooked from the first page. There was also so many enjoyable aspects written into this book.
The friendship was so good even though Logan only just got to know the two other main characters they bonded quickly and became a strong and beautiful friendship.
There was some diversity in this one too, the main being the MC Logan is black, so that was an awesome addition.
I also really enjoyed the little hints at books like Harry Potter and movies like Pirate of the Caribean. It just made it that little more fun. Especially when we have a baby Griffin cub that loves Harry Potter books and wants to be an author.

Goodreads Synopsis (3)

The plot was so fun and action-packed. As I said I was hooked the entire time! This is one of those books that you could call a feel-good read but it was also a little mysterious and magical too.
This one also ended on an extreme cliffhanger and I took 10 minutes debating whether to continue the series straight away and I decided I am going to!

Goodreads Synopsis (4)

The characters were soo good! We follow two main characters in multi-POV.

The first main character is Logan. Logan is a really interesting and amusing character. I loved his joking and messing around. I also loved how he interacted with the Griffins, it was just so amusing. He is also such an awesome friend, even though they only just became friends really.

The next main character is Zoe. She is an anxious but fun character. Of course, you would be anxious if baby Griffins escaped and are running around town eating all the cheeseburgers and stealing Harry Potter books. She is also dedicated and loyal to her friends, family and the Menagerie.

Our other main character is Blue who is the third part of this friendship. We don’t get to read from his POV, so he isn’t really a MC but I consider him part of the main group. Blue is a very interesting character, I won’t explain as it is part of the mystery of the book but I guess you could say he is diverse haha. You’ll get it if you read the book! I really enjoyed him and loved his friendship with Zoe and how he accepted Logan quickly and helped him out.

One thing I want to talk about is Zoe’s family! I hate the absent/dead parent trope and I wrote a discussion about this and also talked about it in my No Disclaimer Book Tag. But for once one or our MCs had awesome, fun and loving parents. Logan does get this trope slightly though. His mum left them but he and his father are fairly close. His father does come under that category of unrealistic though. He just accepts that Logan suddenly has a new friend and stays there two nights in a row without even questioning who this friend is, who his friend’s parents are or anything like that. If I had texted mum and told her I was staying at a random friends house I would have been bombarded with questions before she even considered it.

Goodreads Synopsis (5)

I really enjoyed this book! It was just so fun and adventurous! I recommend it to anyone who wants a quick, fun and action-packed read that is light and easy but full of mythical creatures and great characters. I can’t wait to dive into book 2, Dragon on Trial, and finally get to meet the dragons in the Menagerie!

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

You can purchase this book from the below links!

Book Depository
Paperback

Booktopia
Paperback

Amazon (Aus)
eBook   //   Paperback   //   Hardcover

Copy of Goodreads Synopsis

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The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding
Author: 
Alexandra Bracken
Series: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy
Publication Date: Sept 5th, 2017
Pages: 362 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Rating:
4 and a half star

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“I would say it’s a pleasure to meet thee, Prosperity Oceanus Redding, but truly, I only anticipate the delights of destroying thy happiness.”

Prosper is the only unexceptional Redding in his old and storied family history — that is, until he discovers the demon living inside him. Turns out Prosper’s great-great-great-great-great-something grandfather made — and then broke — a contract with a malefactor, a demon who exchanges fortune for eternal servitude. And, weirdly enough, four-thousand-year-old Alastor isn’t exactly the forgiving type.

The fiend has reawakened with one purpose — to destroy the family whose success he ensured and who then betrayed him. With only days to break the curse and banish Alastor back to the demon realm, Prosper is playing unwilling host to the fiend, who delights in tormenting him with nasty insults and constant attempts trick him into a contract. Yeah, Prosper will take his future without a side of eternal servitude, thanks.

Little does Prosper know, the malefactor’s control over his body grows stronger with each passing night, and there’s a lot Alastor isn’t telling his dim-witted (but admittedly strong-willed) human host.

From #1 New York Times best-selling author Alexandra Bracken comes a tale of betrayal and revenge, of old hurts passed down from generation to generation. Can you ever fully right a wrong, ever truly escape your history? Or will Prosper and Alastor be doomed to repeat it?

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I really like the cover of this book. It’s simple but also has that bit of detail around the mirror so it’s not too plain. I like that they choose to show Al’s form instead of Prosper himself as I don’t like books with people on them. I also really like the little drawing of Toad on the back cover.

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This is my 3rd Alexandra Bracken book and I can’t fault her writing. This book did feel easier to read than the other two books by her I have read (Passenger & The Darkest Minds), but I’m assuming that is because this is a Middle Grade. I liked that though as it made for a quick read.

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So at the end of this story, I felt like the whole book was kinda leading up to book 2. Does that make sense?
Like there was a big plot point thing that happened at the end and all these secrets get revealed but it still all feels like it is just setting up for the next book. Which I don’t mind, but as there isn’t even a release date for book 2 it is a little frustrating but that can’t be helped.

The plot of this book was a heap of little plot points all through the book rather than 1 or 2 big things that happened. Which was enjoyable as it kept me interested for the whole book and there wasn’t any dull points.

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Prosper was an interesting character. He was kind and just wanted to be accepted and not bullied and there is nothing wrong with that! He was a tad too trusting in my opinion but he learnt the hard way with that one.

Nell was an okay character, not a favouite though. She was a little dramatic at times and a bit annoying. But she was also passionate and I didn’t mind her.

I didn’t really like Uncle B. He was kinda all over the place actually. Stubborn and cranky some of the time and then overly kind and nice the other half of the time. He was just irritating.

Alastor was actually really fun. Obviously, he was ‘evil’ but he was also sarcastic and sassy and I found it hilarious a lot of the time. He was a little frustrating when it came to who’s side he was on but still an enjoyable ‘bad guy’.

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I really enjoyed this series. The writing is great and the world building is really good. The plot was well done and kept me hooked the whole time! I don’t love all the characters but I think they were meant to be questionable characters so that didn’t worry me. I can’t wait to read book 2 but as we don’t even have a release date who knows how long it will be until we have book 2!



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Furthermore by Tahereh Mafi – Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Furthermore
Author: 
Tahereh Mafi
Series Name: Furthermore
Genre: Middle-Grade Fantasy
Publication Date: August 30th, 2016
Pages: 416 (Hardcover)
Publishers: Puffin Books
Rating:

4 and a half Star

Blog Titles

Alice Alexis Queensmeadow 12 rates three things most important: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. Father disappeared from Ferenwood with only a ruler, almost three years ago. But she will have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. Her only companion is Oliver whose own magic is based in lies and deceit. Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

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This is my third read of the Summer Biannual Bibliothon & my second read of the BookTubeAThon! I’m so happy with my progress so far! Are you participating in either or both?! Let me know what you’re reading in the comments.

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I really like this cover, it’s just so bright and fun! I love how it shows heaps of little things that we see in the book. It’s such a fun interesting cover and you can’t help but be interested in the book from that cover!

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So honestly I don’t read Middle Grade and the one series I have read the writing was very simple to me and it made it a tad boring to me. But that was not the case for this book! The writing was very descriptive and it dragged me into the world! The World building was done really well as we learned everything as Alice was learning it.

What I really enjoyed about the writing was that the author was speaking to the reader in the book, it was like they were directly telling us this story. It was a very unique reading experience and I really enjoyed it!

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The plot was action packed and full of interesting twists and turns. This world was so unique and crazy that you had no way of knowing what was coming next!

I do feel like the end was kinda quick. The whole book was this magical journey and then so suddenly it ended. As I was reading I was actually thinking that what they were aiming for wasn’t going to happen in the book as I was reading and it seemed like we were so far away yet I only had 50 pages left in the book! So I was sure that there was more after this one, but then it all ends very suddenly.

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Alice was such an interesting character, not only for the fact that she is colourless in a colourful world but her abilities and her personality I really enjoyed too. She is loving and caring for the most part and is also really stubborn.

Oliver at the beginning I didn’t like, from the start I had a feeling he was up to something and he annoyed me but in the end, I enjoyed his character too. he was smart and thoughtful and also caring.

They are the only characters I can really talk about as the most you only see a little bit of and not enough to actually get a grasp on what they are like. So this section is a bit short for this review!

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Overall I really enjoyed this book. It was a quick, fun & action packed read. I also can’t wait to get my hands on Whichwood! And also the Shatter Me series which I received the first book of the other day in the mail!

While reading this book someone asked me what the world was like and I described it as Wonderland on steroids and I couldn’t agree more. And our Main Character’s name is also Alice. I wonder if the idea of this book was based on Alice in Wonderland?!



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Finding Wonders by Jeannine Atkins – Mini Spoiler Free Review

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Title: Finding Wonders: Three Girls Who Changed Science
Author: 
Jeannine Atkins
Genre: Middle Grade Historical Biography (Written in Verse)
Publication Date: November 1st, 2016
Pages: 208 (Hardcover
Publishers: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
Rating:
5 Star

Blog Titles

A novel in verse about three girls in three different time periods who grew up to become groundbreaking scientists.

Maria Merian was sure that caterpillars were not wicked things born from mud, as most people of her time believed. Through careful observation she discovered the truth about metamorphosis and documented her findings in gorgeous paintings of the life cycles of insects.

More than a century later, Mary Anning helped her father collect stone sea creatures from the cliffs in southwest England. To him they were merely a source of income, but to Mary they held a stronger fascination. Intrepid and patient, she eventually discovered fossils that would change people’s vision of the past.

Across the ocean, Maria Mitchell helped her mapmaker father in the whaling village of Nantucket. At night they explored the starry sky through his telescope. Maria longed to discover a new comet—and after years of studying the night sky, she finally did.

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So this review won’t be the same as my usual reviews because this isn’t a normal book. I’m not going to talk about the characters besides saying that they are all awesome women who were brave and made a difference in science. I’m also not going to talk about the plot like usual as I don’t do that for books that are about things that really happened, I’m not going to judge someone’s life, that’s just off to me.

This is the first book that I have ever read that was in Verse and I really enjoyed it. It made it a really quick and easy read. At the end of the book, the author explains that she took the facts of what happened in each girls life and then just filled in the gaps that weren’t recorded in history and I really enjoyed this. I love learning things but at the same time, I’m not going to sit down and read a text book or something like that, so reading it this way was great! I got to learn about some amazing girls and their lives but at the same time, it felt like a fiction novel.

I’m pretty sure this book is counted as middle grade as well so that also added to the ease of reading the book as all the terms that were used were easy to understand. As the girls in the book were around 15 at the time, there were never any scientific terms that I have no idea of the meaning of. So I also enjoyed that as I have read some Sci-Fi books and had no idea what I was reading as I haven’t done any scientific studies higher than High School Biology, so I only know the basics.

I also enjoyed the slight hints that the author added to slightly link the books together in the first story I didn’t notice this, but in the second one there were little hints of moths and then in the third, there were little parts talking about painting moths & fossils. Those little touches were fun.

And just to add something from my normal reviews, I really like the cover! It is gorgeous and I also love the colours of the hardback itself, I love the combination of the bright pale green & dark blue!

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I highly recommend this book! It is a quick easy read and you get to learn something at the same time! It’s beautifully written and about some amazing girls!



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ALSO, DON’T FORGET MY GIVEAWAY IS STILL GOING ON! JUST CLICK THE PIC OR HERE TO GET TO THE GIVEAWAY POST TO FIND OUT HOW TO WIN A PAPERBACK OF ONE OF THE PICTURED BOOKS!