The Darkest Part of the Forest (Book Review)

In a clearing, in the forest lays a glass coffin with a beautiful creature inside. On and on this person sleeps, never waking no matter what anyone does.

Think you know this story, huh? Think again.

The coffin contains a boy with horns and pointed ears. The things that haven’t awakened him include kisses from local teenagers, hard blows to the coffin with a sledgehammer, and loud, raucous parties with girls dancing on top to tunes blaring out of their iPods.

Welcome to Fairfold, a town where the lines between what we’d call fantasy and reality are blurred. A town where the Folk, as fairies are called, fill the forest and occasionally play nasty tricks on the human residents and visitors. Where sometimes the fairies will fulfill a wish or a blessing, but always with dire consequences.

Enter Hazel and Ben, brother and sister who have spent their whole lives in Fairfold. They know how to run the forest paths, know every inch of the stream and hills, know all the stories and secrets of their hometown.

These two have a few secrets of their own. Years ago, after Ben had been blessed by a fairy woman and could play music that enchanted humans and Folk alike, the pair decided to become monster hunters to protect tourists and townsfolk from the creatures that crawled the woods. Hazel longed to become a knight and would become one, in a way, when she pledged seven years of her life to the fairy king in exchange for a music scholarship for her brother.

Now the coffin has broken, and the boy is gone. Hazel is losing track of time, and when she wakes in the mornings, she her body is bruised and battered, her clothes and feet covered with mud. Acorns with secret messages fill her pockets, and her beloved sword is missing.

What is going on? Who freed the fairy boy, and what will this mean for the town of Fairfold?

For the answers to those questions and more, read The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black.


The Elementals – Book 1 – How it All Started


Chapter Five – Animal Transformations

“Earth,” Inferno says, “If you can transform into a hyena, like just now, and a jaguar, six years ago, do you think you can change into other animals, too?”

“I don’t know!” Earth exclaims, “Let me try.”

She closes her eyes, and focuses on turning into an animal. A flash of light appears, and she turns into a black Lab. She runs around her friends, barking, while they stare, mouths open in astonishment, at Earth the dog. They laugh in amazement as Earth the dog does a back flip in the air, and, just as quickly as she turned into the dog, Earth changes back into a human.

“I … Never knew I could do that! Any of it, actually!” Earth says, excited about her newfound powers.

“Okay, okay. Earth, turn into … A CAT!” Marina says excitedly.

Earth concentrates on turning into a cat. A green flash of light appears, and Earth is now a cat. She sits on the ground, and licks her paw. Her friends giggle as Earth starts rolling around on the ground.

“Ooo, let me try!” Inferno exclaims, closing her eyes and thinking of turning into an animal.

A burst of flames shoot up, and Inferno is transformed into a wolf. She howls and trots around, tounge sticking out. Marina giggles and Earth transforms into a wolf as well. Inferno changes back into a human, but Earth realizes something’s not right …

“Ummm… I? Your ears and tail didn’t go away,” she explains to Inferno.

“Coooool!” Inferno yells, turning around to look at her tail. “I’m a werewolf!”

Marina closes her eyes, focusing on her animal transformation. A dazzling water display shoots up, and Marina emerges as an elegant blue swan. She struts around, shakes her feathers, and turns back into a girl.

“That was SO FUN!” she cries, bouncing up and down in excitement.

“Guys!” Earth exclaims, “We can transform into ANIMALS!”

Stealing Snow (Book Review)

Stars- 4/5

Summary — First kisses sometimes wake slumbering princesses, undo spells, and spark happily ever afters.
Mine broke Bale.

Seventeen-year-old Snow has spent her life locked in Whittaker Psychiatric — but she isn’t crazy. And that’s not the worst of it. Her very first kiss proves anything but innocent … when Bale, her only love, turns violent.
Despite Snow knowing that Bale would never truly hurt her, he is taken away — dashing her last hope for any sort of future in the mental ward she calls home. With nowhere else to turn, Snow finds herself drawn to a strange new orderly who whispers secrets in the night about a mysterious past and a kingdom that’s hers for the taking — if only she can find her way past the iron gates to the Tree that has been haunting her dreams.

Beyond the Tree lies Algid, a land far away from the real world, frozen by a ruthless king. And there too await the River Witch, a village boy named Kai, the charming thief Jagger, and a prophecy that Snow will save them all. (Goodreads)

Thoughts —  Honestly, this was one of the best takes on a classic fairy tail that I have ever read. The only other fairy tail retelling I’ve read and enjoyed is the Lunar Chronicles. I haven’t enjoyed any of the others I’ve read.
My favorite character would have to be Jagger, because he just had that personality that I’m always drawn to. He was like Jace, or Thomas Cresswell, or Carswell Thorne, sorry, Captain Carswell Thorne. (Lunar Chronicles thing, read it, it’s freaking amazing!)
Snow was really awesome, when you think of ice powers I don’t know what you think of, but I think of Elsa. Snow was nothing like Elsa. I loved her character. She was strong, sarcastic, and pretty brave and loyal.
The only part are really didn’t like about it was how Snow had three love interests. I understand having two, the competition is nice, but with three it gets annoying. Especially when the first known love interest is okay at first and then it’s kind of like, okay, it’s time to stop. Like, okay Snow, you have two other amazing guys that are like totally in love with you, forget Bale and just stop. I mean I didn’t hate Bale, but I didn’t love him. He had an important role in the plot, but what he does to Snow just annoys me.

Age — 13

Another Day, Another Dungeon (Book Review)


Another Day, Another Dungeon is a hilarious book by Greg Costikyan that describes a treasure hunt in the legendary Caves of Cytorax. Timaeus De’Asperge, a fire mage, and his companions fight Rog, a huge beast, and get its “nice comfy pile of gold”. They proceed to find a life-sized statue of a man in the altar of an evil temple. It is made of solid athenor, the most valuable metal in the world due to its ability to store mana. They bribe the guard to get in, but nothing of that value can be kept secret and soon their home is a battlefield, their friend kidnapped, and the statue gone — but only they know that. They find out that the statue depicts the last human king, Stantius III, and that the scepter of Stantius is glowing — the sign that a new king has arrived.

Suddenly, they are on a quest to not only find the statue, but to bring it to Arst-Kara-Morn, where the people will do anything to destroy them. They must somehow reverse a spell at Arst-Kara-Morn that has entrapped the soul of Stantius III inside the statue, preventing any more human kings from coming. This series is a great one to read and one I would highly recommend.

A Very Merry Elemental Christmas


Part 1

“Make my wish come true! Cause baby all I want for Christmas…. Is YOU!” Earth sings into her broom handle.

Her teacher, Mrs. Mason, claps and says, “Wonderful, Earth! Wonderful! Thanks for staying after school to help me clean up from the big holiday party, you guys!”

“Aw, no problem, Mrs. Mason!” Earth says.

Hickory sets his broom down and says, “Hey, guys, let’s go to Earth’s house now!”

Earth, Inferno, Marina, Thunder, and Blaze all shout “Yeah!” in reply.

“Bye, Mrs. Mason! See you after winter break!” Earth yells to Mrs. Mason while heading out the classroom door. The six friends run out to their lockers and grab their book bags from their lockers. Earth swings her book bag over her shoulder and says, “Last one to their jump speeder picks last from my mom’s cookie batch!”  And she dashes down the hallway to the small set of stairs leading to the lower level of school.

She jumps the last few steps and runs across the floor to the school door. Earth flings open the doors and sprints over to where her jump speeder is parked. She straddles it and thrusts the handles forward to start the engines. Her friends come out shortly after, and Marina is last to get on her jump speeder.

Earth laughs, “Ha ha! Marina! You get to pick last from my mom’s fresh batch of cookies!”

“Awwww! Earth! You know I hate running!” Marina whines, getting on her jump speeder

The six friends zoom off down the road, heading towards Earth’s house. They zip up her driveway and park their jump speeder in the garage. They sprint off down the sidewalk, and Earth knocks on the door to her house.

“Mom! Open up! We know you have cookies in there!” Earth yells at the door.

Her mom opens the door and says,

“Earth, sweetie, you don’t have to yell at the door!”

“I know, I know,” Earth replies, walking into her house, which was decorated ceiling to floor in Christmas decorations.


Rengades (Book Review)


Stars- 5/5

Summary – The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone … except the villains they once overthrew.
Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.(Goodreads)

Thoughts – I absolutely loved Renegades! It took me less than a day to read it. I couldn’t put it down, just like I couldn’t put down any of The Lunar Chronicles books or how Heartless was impossible to stop reading. That’s what I love about Marissa Meyer’s books — they pull you in and they won’t let you out until you’ve devoured the entire story.
This month, I was lucky enough to meet Marissa Meyer and see her in a panel with Cassandra Clare which was amazing! She was super nice and I got Cinder and Heartless signed. I wrote a review on YALLfest so go check that out!
My favorite character in Renegades would have to be Nova. She was strong and though her abilities weren’t showy, they were silent and powerful. On the other hand, my least favorite character was Ingrid, she was just horrible to the other Anarchists.
I highly suggest this to anyone that likes superheroes or anyone that enjoyed Marissa Meyer’s other books.

Age – 12+

The Elementals- book 1 -How it all Started

Image of sphere broken into four elements.

By: sharkgirl25

Chapter Four – Her Bark is Worse than her Bite

“Oh. My. Gosh!” Marina yells in astonishment. “I cannot believe that we have powers!”

“Okay, okay! Calm down, Marina! It’s not like we just won the lottery or something!” Earth says.

“Actually, Earth, it’s just like winning the lottery! Just think of what we can do!” Inferno says.

Earth thinks of the possibilities. Well, she thinks, I can always grow a tree and tie Shatcene the drama queen to it, and then have poison grow out of her sock. And I can make lots of trees grow, so that way the loggers don’t have to cut down the rainforests, and I can turn dry, dead grass into fresh, new green grass! 

“Well… WHO THE POMEGRANATE AM I KIDDING?! THIS IS SO AWESOME!” Earth yells, startling her friends.

Eliza walks by, and purposefully knocks Earth to the ground, shoving Inferno and Marina as well. When Earth’s hands touch the ground, two flowers pop up. She realizes what she did and points her hand toward Eliza’s feet, and poison ivy slinks its way up her leg, tightening its grip. She goes to take another step, and falls, smearing mud all over her pink dress.

“Auuuuuugghhhhh!” she screams, realizing that poison ivy was holding her down, and that she got mud smeared along the front of her new dress.

Vines wrap around her, pinning her to the ground, which Earth had coated with a fresh layer of mud. Earth, still on the ground, laughs so much she turns into a hyena. Earth the hyena rolls on the ground, laughing, and then springs up and runs circles around Eliza, laughing. Inferno and Marina stare at Eliza, who is on the ground, struggling, and then at Earth the hyena, who is running circles around Eliza, still laughing. Marina can’t stand Earth’s laughing, and Eliza’s screams, so she yells,


Earth changes back into a girl, but still has a hyena tail. The vines and poison disappear, and so does the mud on her dress. Earth’s hyena tail vanishes, and she stands up, saying,

“What. The pomegranate. Just. Happened?”

Eliza stands up and says,

“Ewww! What was I doing on the ground?! And why are you guys here? Get out of my way!” She walks away, clearly having no memory of the previous events. Earth, however, remembers it all.

“One thing’s for sure,” Marina says.

“What’s that?” Inferno asks.

“Earth’s bark is worse than her bite!”

Earth laughs. “Depends on what type of tree it is!”