Tag: Books: Young Adult


Review: House of Many Ways

Posted 11 April, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 0 Comments

House of Many Ways
By: Diana Wynne Jones
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

Charmain Baker is in over her head. Looking after Great Uncle William’s tiny cottage while he’s ill should have been easy, but Great Uncle William is better known as the Royal Wizard Norland an his house bends space and time. Its single door leads to any number of places – the bedrooms, the kitchen, the caves under the mountains, the past, to name but a few. By opening that door, Charmain is now also looking after an extremely magical stray dog, a muddled young apprentice wizard and a box of the king’s most treasured documents, as well as irritating a clan of small blue creatures. Caught up in an intense royal search, she encounters an intimidating sorceress named Sophie. And where Sophie is, can the Wizard Howl and fire demon Calcifer be far behind?

So here I am, at the third novel of the series that started with Howl’s Moving Castle (review) and then Castle in the Air (review). The premise of the novel already sounds a little closer to Howl’s Moving Castle so I was interested to see where Charmain’s story would take her. Contains some spoilers ahead!

Read More

Review: Castle in the Air

Posted 9 April, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Castle in the Air
By: Diana Wynne Jones
Format/Source: Paperback; my copy

“I never said my wishes were supposed to do any good,” said the genie. “In fact, I swore that they would always do as much harm as possible.”

By day Abdullah is a humble carpet merchant, yet in his dreams he is a prince. But his dreams start to come true when he meets the lovely Flower-in-the-Night.

When a hideous djinn carries Flower off into the sky, Abdullah is determined to rescue her–if he can find her, and if he can avoid all the ferocious villains who seem to be after him. But how can he possibly succeed, with only a bad-tempered genie and an unreliable magic carpet to help him?

I absolutely loved reading Howl’s Moving Castle (review) last year so I was looking forward to reading the next book in the series 🙂

Read More

Review: The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There

Posted 19 March, 2014 by Lianne in Books / 3 Comments

The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland #2)
By: Catherynne M. Valente
Format/Source: Paperback; my purchase

September has longed to return to Fairyland after her first adventure there. And when she finally does, she learns that its inhabitants have been losing their shadows—and their magic—to the world of Fairyland Below. This underworld has a new ruler: Halloween, the Hollow Queen, who is September’s shadow. And Halloween does not want to give Fairyland’s shadows back.

Fans of Valente’s bestselling, first Fairyland book will revel in the lush setting, characters, and language of September’s journey in The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There, all brought to life by fine artist Ana Juan. Readers will also welcome back good friends Ell, the Wyverary, and the boy Saturday. But in Fairyland Below, even the best of friends aren’t always what they seem. . . .

And I’m off to Fairyland again! I enjoyed the first novel (review) so I was quite excited to get my hands on the second book in the series 🙂

Read More

Review: Fangirl

Posted 26 December, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 4 Comments

Fangirl
By: Rainbow Rowell
Format/Source: Hardback; was a birthday gift from my best friend

A coming-of-age tale of fan fiction, family and first love.

Cath is a Simon Snow fan.

Okay, the whole world is a Simon Snow fan . . .

But for Cath, being a fan is her life — and she’s really good at it. She and her twin sister, Wren, ensconced themselves in the Simon Snow series when they were just kids; it’s what got them through their mother leaving.

Reading. Rereading. Hanging out in Simon Snow forums, writing Simon Snow fan fiction, dressing up like the characters for every movie premiere.

Cath’s sister has mostly grown away from fandom, but Cath can’t let go. She doesn’t want to.

Now that they’re going to college, Wren has told Cath she doesn’t want to be roommates. Cath is on her own, completely outside of her comfort zone. She’s got a surly roommate with a charming, always-around boyfriend, a fiction-writing professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the civilized world, a handsome classmate who only wants to talk about words . . . And she can’t stop worrying about her dad, who’s loving and fragile and has never really been alone.

For Cath, the question is: Can she do this?

Can she make it without Wren holding her hand? Is she ready to start living her own life? Writing her own stories?

And does she even want to move on if it means leaving Simon Snow behind?

So I loved Attachments (review) which I read earlier this year. This book caught my attention because of everything about the story: fandom, university life, the character of Cath. I pointed out the book to my best friend when we were in the bookstore a few months ago and she actually gifted it for me for my birthday (she’s also planning on reading it herself, which makes me happy). I put off reading this novel because I wanted to finish all of my schoolwork/the semester before sitting back and enjoying the book without distraction 🙂

Read More

Review: Howl’s Moving Castle

Posted 9 September, 2013 by Lianne in Books / 6 Comments

Howl’s Moving Castle
By: Diana Wynne Jones
Format/Source: Paperback; my copy

“How about making a bargain with me?” said the demon. “I’ll break your spell if you agree to break this contact I’m under.”

In the land of Ingary, where seven league boots and cloaks of invisibility do exist, Sophie Hatter catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste, who puts a curse on her. Determined to make the best of things, Sophie travels to the one place where she might get help – the moving castle which hovers on the nearby hills.

But the castle belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl whose appetite, they say, is satisfied only by the hearts of young girls…

I’ve heard about this story for a very long time, made even popular by Hayao Miyazaki’s anime movie back in the early 2000s. I never watched the movie and I have been meaning to read the book for ages, especially after hearing from fellow bloggers how much they had enjoyed it. Geek Girl Pen Pals featured it for September’s Group Read and, needing a break from some of the ARCs I’ve been reading, I decided to pick up a copy of the novel and check it out. May contain some minor spoilers ahead!

Read More