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  • Book Review: Part of You're World

    Title: Part of Your World Author: Liz Braswell Get your copy here! What's it about? Maybe the better question is, What if Ariel had never defeated Ursula? The answer? Deception, violence and chaos. Five years after Ariel fell in love with Prince Eric only to be outed by Ursula herself, Ariel has settled into the life of the Queen of Under the Sea while Ursula, otherwise known as Princess Vanessa, is having a hay day with her power on land. Their lives have been seperate for so long, it almost seems silly to think that that will ever change, after all, Vanessa has done everything she can to ensure that Ariel remain where she belongs, in Atlantica. But when Ariel learns that there's a chance that her father is still alive and being held hostage by Princess Vanessa in the castle, Ariel is determined to right the wrongs of the past and save her father. Shaky on her land legs, and with the help of some of her beloved friends, Ariel makes her way to land and starts an adventure to rival her first experience in the Dry World. But will she be able to succeed or is it a helpless cause? Favorites: Favorite Characters: You may expect me to award the title of favorite character to Ariel, Sabastian or Flounder but I'm sorry. I'm going to have to disappoint. While I do adore these long loved characters, I think I found another favorite. My favorite was a new character Argent. She was wise, positive, grateful and just a cool character. I know she may not be as cool as a mermaid, but there was just something about her that made me fall in love with her! Least Favorite Characters: This time, I'm going with the obvious. Ursula is easily my least favorite. She's manipulative, careless, heartless, selfish and has no respect for life or the beings around her. Favorite Part: My favorite parts (there were two but they both can be described the same way) were when Prince Eric and Vanessa find themselves in a kind of stand off where they are both kind of staring each other down, matching wits and throwing veiled insults and information at the other in hopes of hitting a nerve, shocking the other and just knocking them off balance emotionally and mentally. They made me laugh and cheer both times, though, the first time (this time took place during dinner) made me laugh more and the second (on the pier) made me cheer more then the other. Favorite Quotes: "While he wasn't a very skilled chess player, his mother had told him that the most important thing in gamesmanship was this, you could never be completely sure of the other person, so never make a move until you were sure of yourself." (pg. 159) I loved this because, well, the truth is we can't control others and we can't be sure of what others will do so we have to be sure of ourselves. We need to know our plans. We have to believe in ourselves enough to go forward confidently. "There is magic," she said softly. "There is always magic. Even if you can't see it." (pg. 180) I just loved the feeling this comment gave me. It's like a reminder that anything is possible, even if we don't see how. It kind of feels like a reminder that I'm not alone, that there are supports around me even when I forget there're there. It's hard to explain. Other Thoughts: To be honest, I found myself forgetting that this isn't really the way things turned out. There were times when I a had to remind myself that in the original story, Ariel and Triton defeated evil Ursula and Ariel got to be with her prince. The story just felt so solid and fun and the characters were on point. There was something almost animated about the story, done in this way that if felt like Disney even though Ursula was running around threatening lives and such. I think the biggest example is Vanessa's room. There's just something so magical and enchanting about it, not like what you usually see in a book but would totally see in a Disney movie. I can't pin point what it was about this book, but I found myself sucked in to this story instantly. Maybe it was returning to a world from my childhood, or maybe it was Liz Braswell's fantastic writing (really, I need to see what she's written outside of the Twisted Tales series and start a collection! Don't be surprised when she shows up on our shelves) but I was enamored by this book! What do I rate this book? I give this book a 8 out of 10 sea creatures But that's just what I thought? How did you feel about this reimagining? Did you love it, or did you miss the original rendition? Let us know what you thought in the comments.

  • Review: Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

    Title: Five Feet Apart Author: Rachael Lippincott with Mikki Daughtery and Tobias Iaconis Get your copy here! What's it about? Five feet Apart bounces between two points of view, that of Stella and that of Will as they try to make the best of their latest hospital stay. Stella is 17, a control freak and determined to help put her broken family back together. To do so, she needs to be healthy, something she has never really been. Stella has CF (Cystic Fibrosis), a disease that is not only fatal, it effects every single moment of her day. CF lives in the lungs, decreasing the function of them which makes it hard to breath, catch your breath or be very physically active (of course, this is a super simplified definition). Sadly, those with CF are required to stay at least 6 feet apart from each other and not because of Covid, becuase those with CF can actually infect each other and cause the other's case worse then it already is. So when Stella enters the hospital that's been her second home since she was six for, what she calls, a tune up, she doesn't expect much more then a normal, month long stay. She's even lucky enough to be staying there at the same time as her best friend in the world, the only one who actually understands what it's like to have CF because he has it, too. Poe. Things get even more complicated when she finds her self desperate to ensure that the new boy, Will, actually takes his treatments instead of shoving them off every chance he gets. But, nothing is that simple and Stella soon finds her interest in Will's life far more personal then his medical care and she's determined to keep Will in her life, and her heart, even if it kills her. Will is done. He's sick of hospitals and feels invisible behind his illnesses. Yes. Multiple becuase not only does Will have CF, he also has another disease called B. cepacia, an infection that only amplifies the struggles of CF and knocks him out of the running for a lung transplant. He's put on an experimental treatment and is counting down the days until he is 18 and can legally take control of his own medical care. He's sarcastic and flippant, while underneath there's a scared little boy facing his own mortality and now he's fallen in love with Stella, a girl with CF. A girl his very presence in her life could kill. He's torn between chasing his love and living his life to it's fullest while he can, and protecting the person who has become the most important person in his life. Favorites: Favorite Character: The simple answer is, I don't have one. Now, hear me out. It's not becuase there are none that are good enough, it's because they characters are imperfect. They are flawed (crazy, huh? Human characters flawed?!). There are points where I don't like one of them so much, and times when I adore them. This applies for about everyone in the book. They are complex and hurting. They feel the need to protect themselves and, in the process, they sometimes do stupid things. But then, there are those moments that just melt your heart. When I sat down and thought about who my favorite was I found that my favorite fluctuated from one to another depending on what part of the book I was on. Favorite Character: See above...unless you count CF and B. Cepacia. Because if they count, they are my least favorite characters for sure! Favorite Part: There are a few but I think the part that made me decide that I did, indeed, love the book and was the moment that Stella had to have special medical care (yes. I'm being vague for a reason. I'm dancing around spoilers). It was the first time you see Will with his guard down and both Stella and Will are so vulnerable that it's hard not to just fall in love with them both. Favorite Quite: "You want a problem to fix? Fic how you look at me." (pg. 197) I loved this line! So much of the problems we have in life or with other people is more a reflection of how we see people, the lens we look at them or the problem more so then then the actual issue. Other thoughts: I have to start off by saying that, although there is a lot of "talk" about how this is a book with a story intended to help spread awareness of CF, though there were some parts I'm not sure is entirely accurate. Mainly, with these sick kids having little supervision, even though being within 6 feet of each other could literally kill the patients and one of them is particularly deadly, which means, while they are old enough to take responsibility, it would be really easy for the patients to accidently harm each other. I also have a really hard time believing that, even though Stella had been there many times in her life, she has the access cold to half the hospital or that the kitchen was so easily infringed upon. With that being said, I really enjoyed this story! It was full of emotion, leaving me crying multiple times during my read through. It was a fun, sweet story that ended significantly differently then I anticipated (that's not necessarily a bad thing). I was engrossed the whole time! One of my favorite parts of the story was not just that it was a total teen romance which somewhat reminded me of a rom-com, lite on the "comedy"), but that Poe, Will and Stella all had moments where they did things that reminded me of things I would totally do in their situation, which was really kind of fun! All in all, I really, really enjoyed this read and I'm totally up to read it again! It was sweet, caring, fun and super emotional. It's the perfect book if you need a good cry, or want to feel any kind of way! Ranking: I give this book a 8 out of 10 oxygen tanks But that's just me! What did you think of this book? Was it all you hoped it would be, or did it fall flat? Who did you love? Did you bawl like a baby, like I did? Let us know in the comments.

  • Review: From Hero to Zero (Go the Distance A twisted Tale)

    Title: Go the Distance Edited by: Jen Calonita Get your copy here! What if Meg had to become a Greek god? What's it about? Hercules's proven himself and is now ready to join his parents on Mount Olympus. But there's a catch. Meg can't come with him and Zeus refuses to entertain the idea of his son choosing to be human in order to stay with a girl who, if we're being honest, Zeus doesn't really approve of to begin with. And you know Zeus. He's not exactly known for his calm, diplomatic listening skills. Hercules is lost in confusion and frustration and Meg is heart broken (though she refuses to admit it) but then Hera offers her an opportunity to fix everything! Hera gives her the opportunity to go on a quest to prove herself worthy enough to become a god herself, which, of course, means she'll be able to stay with Hercules! But to succeed this seemingly impossible quest, she'll have to let go of the past and over come some of her biggest shortcomings. It really does seem impossible! Favorites: Favorite Character: There are so many to choose from! But I might go with Pegasus (Peg) here. Some of that, I admit, is becuase I've always loved Peg, since we first saw him as this little baby Pegasus and I've believed for a while that we need more of him! Least Favorite Character: Obviously it's Hades. But that's not because he's the god of the underworld! If it were just that, I think I'd be more inclined to say Zeus was worse then Hades this time. But Hades was just so manipulative with all of the most sacred things and I can't just forgive that. I mean, I get it. I really do. He had to in order to achieve what he wanted to, especially and be the big bad mean god of the underworld...but that doesn't mean I don't hold it against him. Favorite Part: The end because it's not what I expected but it was so poetic and right all at the same time. Least Favorite Part: Probably the trip down the river. It wasn't horrible and there were some cool parts in there but, over all, it just didn't hold me and entrap me like most of the rest of it did. Other Thoughts? One of my favorite things about this book (well, other then it's a Twisted Tale book) was getting to know Meg so much better. I felt like we go from seeing a superficial, strong, sassy independent, untrusting woman, but in this book, we get to see a whole other side of her where she is vulnerable, hurt, betrayed and even cries (again). We get a much deeper understanding of how she became the Meg we were introduced to in the movie and I really appreciated that. I felt like it added strength to her as a person. On the other hand, I felt like Hercules lost something. I'm not entirely sure what that something is, but he just didn't feel quite the same. Maybe it's because he's really a very small aspect of the actual story, outside from the ideal of him. He just didn't feel like the same strong, determine guy from the movie. I did really like the point of view switch, though. This time, the focus wasn't about the same people that were the main focus of the movie, and most of those from the movie who were the main focus weren't a huge focus in the book. It allowed for a really cool different perspective and I loved it. In the end, this book did not disappoint to the high expectations I hold for any Twisted Tales books. I loved seeing characters I watched a million times as a kid (though I did miss the muses in the book) and it was fun getting to revisit the story in a different way. What do I rate it? I give this book 7 out of 10 flutes But that's just me! I'm a sucker for a good strong woman story. What did you think about it? Did you love it? Did you miss Hercules? Let us know what you think below.

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