Monthly Archives: September 2014

The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde Review 9/18/14

last dragonslayer

The Last Dragonslayer (Chronicles of Kazam #1) by Jasper Fforde
October 2, 2012
HMH Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 287 pgs.

What it’s about:

Jennifer Strange is a 15 year-old foundling who manages Kazam, an employment agency for magical types. Unfortunately for the resident wizards and magicians magic is fading. Whether it is the invention of modern conveniences or the dwindling dragon population, no one is sure why there is less magic to go around. However, everyone agrees that change is coming. Big change. Maybe even Big Magic. And it is all predicted to begin with the death of the last dragon at the hand of an unknown last dragonslayer. With the last dragon out the way the last of the protected dragon lands with be up for grabs and everyone in the Ununited Kingdoms want to stake a claim. Everyone except Jennifer. Will she be enough to stop the seemingly inevitable destruction of the dragon land?

Why you might like it:

What’s not to LOVE? Humor, magic, and dragons, PLUS a really interesting ethical conundrum. The Last Dragonslayer invites readers to think about destiny and greed and manipulation all while entertaining them with the antics of a quarkbeast. Oh, how I love the quarkbeast. If you are missing Harry Potter, give Jennifer Strange a try. If you are looking for a heroine who is unwavering in her beliefs, Jennifer is your gal. If you are looking for a fantastical story without any romance to gum up the works, this is the book for you. The Last Dragonslayer is pure, magical entertainment and suitable for all ages!

Want more like this?

For more dragons try Seraphina by Rachel Hartman, Eragon by Christopher Paolini, Dragonhaven by Robin McKinley, and Eon by Alison Goodman. For more wizards try The Wizard Heir by Cinda Williams Chima, The Young Wizards series by Diane Duane, and The Lockwood & Co. series by Jonathon Stroud.


Waiting on Wednesday-Trust Me, I’m Lying-9/17/14

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:

trust me

Trust Me, I’m Lying by Mary Elizabeth Summer
October 14, 2014

From Goodreads:

“Fans of Ally Carter, especially her Heist Society readers, will love this teen mystery/thriller with sarcastic wit, a hint of romance, and Ocean’s Eleven–inspired action.

Julep Dupree tells lies. A lot of them. She’s a con artist, a master of disguise, and a sophomore at Chicago’s swanky St. Agatha High, where her father, an old-school grifter with a weakness for the ponies, sends her to so she can learn to mingle with the upper crust. For extra spending money Julep doesn’t rely on her dad—she runs petty scams for her classmates while dodging the dean of students and maintaining an A+ (okay, A-) average.

But when she comes home one day to a ransacked apartment and her father gone, Julep’s carefully laid plans for an expenses-paid golden ticket to Yale start to unravel. Even with help from St. Agatha’s resident Prince Charming, Tyler Richland, and her loyal hacker sidekick, Sam, Julep struggles to trace her dad’s trail of clues through a maze of creepy stalkers, hit attempts, family secrets, and worse, the threat of foster care. With everything she has at stake, Julep’s in way over her head . . . but that’s not going to stop her from using every trick in the book to find her dad before his mark finds her. Because that would be criminal.”

You had me at Ally Carter and sarcastic wit!

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-Authors I Have Only Read One Book From But Need to Read More! 9/16/14


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, is all about authors we would like to read more from. Whether they are debut author who needs to hurry up and write more books, or a new-to-you author with many books to their name, these are people we plan to follow after getting a taste of their work.


1. Ernest Cline. I loved Ready Player One and can’t wait to check out Armada.

ready armada

2. Trish Doller. I really enjoyed her second novel, Where the Stars Still Shine and need to go back and read Something Like Normal. Her new book, The Devil You Know is also on my TBR list.

where the stars still shine something like normal

3. Morgan Matson. Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour is one of my favorite road trip novels. I can’t bring myself to read Second Chance Summer (I have a self-imposed, life-time ban on all cancer books), but I really want to read Since You’ve Been Gone.

amy&roger since you've been gone

4. Danielle Paige. I loved her debut, Dorothy Must Die and can’t wait for more of the story!


5. Tess Sharp. Another debut author. After reading Far From You I knew she was going to be an author to watch.

far from you

6. Jennifer Brown. It has been years since I read her debut, The Hate List. I have gone on to add every one of her subsequent books to my TBR list as they are published. I have a lot of catching up to do!

hate list bitter end thousand words perfect escape torn away

7. Cat Winters. I *might* be just a little obsessed with her debut, In the Shadow of Blackbirds. I kind of need A Cure for Dreaming right now.

shadow of the blackbirds cure for dreaming

8. Colleen Clayton. I am so happy that I read her debut novel, What Happens Next? Ms. Clayton is a local author and she was kind enough to come to my library and speak about bullying. Before the event we had dinner together and she talked about one of the projects she is working on and I want more! Please!

what happens next

9. Gavin Extence. His debut, The Universe Versus Alex Woods, was a wonderful and moving story and I will eagerly await a new release from Mr. Extence!

universe versus

10. Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe was the first book by this author that I read. He has many, many books to his name and would like to read more from him.

aristotle and dante

Runners Up:

Daniel O’Malley-Please hurry up with a sequel to The Rook!

Nick LakeIn Darkness was awesome! Hostage Three is on my TBR list.

Happy Reading!




Monday with Megan-Still No Time to Read! 9/15/14

I have been living a relatively drama free life for a while now. Apparently the universe found out and decided I was due for some chaos! Luckily it’s nothing I can’t handle, but it really is cutting into my reading time. I am counting October to be a calmer, book-filled month. Until then, I will continue to plug away at my books when I can.

Oh! I did recently learn that Cassandra Clare and Holly Black will be at my local Barnes & Noble in October! Northeast Ohio is like a black hole when it comes to author visits. This is EPIC! This is HUGE! I am so freaking excited! I will use all of the !!!!

Ok, time for another brief Monday check-in.

mondayreading new monday

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is hosted by Book Journey and Teach Mentor Texts.


legend last dragonslayer

  •  Legend by Marie Lu. I reread this one for the third time for my book club. It really is fantastic dystopian.
  • The Last Dragonslayer by Jasper Fforde. At Kazam, an employment agency for magicians, work is hard to come by. Modern conveniences are cheap and magic is not as powerful as it once was. But when the death of the last dragon is predicted, many in the magical community take this as a sign of chance, as a sign that Big Magic is coming. For Jennifer Strange, a foundling and manager of Kazam, big changes are in store for her. I am so happy that I randomly picked this audiobook. It is charming and funny and magical. I love the ethical dilemmas, the jabs at corporations and greed, and most of all, the quarkbeast. My middle school book club is clamoring to read fantasy and this will be the first one I hand them. Loved it.

Current Audio:

say what you will seven

  • Say What You Will by Cammie McGovern. This is my dog walking book. I am enjoying it more than I had expected.
  • Seven for a Secret by Lyndsay Faye. This is sequel to Gods of Gotham, another pleasant surprise for me!

Currently Reading:

feed secret place firebug letters from skye

  • Feed by M.T. Anderson. I am rereading this for my high school book club. It is pretty disturbing. Facebook is like one step away from a feed…
  • The Secret Place by Tana French. The fifth book in the Dublin Murder Squad series. I want to be reading this one ALL. The. Time. *shakes fist at job*
  • Firebug by Lish McBride. I swear it just started getting REALLY good. Why don’t I have time to read? WHY?
  • Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole. This is the perfect bedtime book. I read a few letters at a time and then it’s lights out.

On Deck:

I don’t even know where to begin…



Pointe by Brandy Colbert Review 9/11/14


Pointe by Brandy Colbert
April 10, 2014
Hardcover, 352 pgs

What it’s about:

Four years ago Theo’s best friend Donovan was kidnapped, sending her into an out of control downward spiral from which she is only just beginning to recover. Having returned from a treatment facility for an eating disorder, she is focused on her dance training and the few friends that she has. The news of Donovan’s return upsets the tenuous balance she has created in her life. Suddenly Theo is reliving memories from the past, memories that could explain where Donovan has been for all these years. Even though she is not responsible, Theo worries that speaking the truth about the past could cause more harm than good. Or will keeping quiet be what finally destroys her?

Why you might like it:

Are you a fan of contemporary fiction books that are chock-full of issues? Pointe has issues galore! Colbert skillfully addresses everything from eating disorders, rape, mental illness, kidnapping, and more. Despite the abundance of issues, they never feel unnecessary or overwhelming. Are you looking for a strong, but damaged heroine? Theo is so broken it is heartbreaking, but she is one tough cookie! Do you want more main characters of color in your stories? Theo and Donovan are both African-American teens struggling to fit in their predominately white suburb. How about ballet? If you are a fan of dance you will certainly relate to all of Theo’s hard work, but don’t worry if you aren’t interested! This isn’t a book about ballet. The same can be said about the kidnapping. While that event is the catalyst for the story, it’s not actually a story about kidnapping. In short, this book is a powerful, psychological study. The characters are deeply flawed, but strive for improvement. Theo does not struggle and suffer in a vacuum. She has supportive parents and good friends. The events of the past are traumatic and disturbing, but there is healing and hope in the end. This was a magnificent debut and Brandy Colbert is certainly an author to watch.


Want more like this?

You might also enjoy Tease by Amanda Maciel, Far From You by Tess Sharpe, and The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky.

Happy Reading!


Waiting on Wednesday-The Retribution of Mara Dyer-9/10/14

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we’re eagerly anticipating.


This week’s pre-publication “can’t-wait-to-read” selection is:


The Retribution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
November 4, 2014


From Goodreads:

“Mara Dyer wants to believe there’s more to the lies she’s been told.
There is.

She doesn’t stop to think about where her quest for the truth might lead.
She should.

She never had to imagine how far she would go for vengeance.
She will now.

Loyalties are betrayed, guilt and innocence tangle, and fate and chance collide in this shocking conclusion to Mara Dyer’s story.
Retribution has arrived.”

The cliffhanger ending of book two was evil. I need this final book now!

Happy Reading!


Top Ten Tuesday-Underrated Books 9/9/14

toptentuesdayThis week’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by The Broke and the Bookish is all about the amazing books that have to walk in the shadows of the mega-blockbuster-hits. The underrated and the under appreciated. The books we love and can’t figure out why EVERY SINGLE PERSON HASN’T READ THEM. Come on, folks, let’s give them some love! I can’t wait to see what other people selected. Here are my favorites:


1. Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers. Haunting, brutal, disturbing.

some girls

2. Texas Gothic by Rosemary Clement-Moore. A clever ghost story/mystery with a sassy heroine, a hunky cowboy, and some troublesome goats. So smart and cute! Please disregard the not so awesome cover!

texas gothic

3. The Drake Chronicles by Alyxandra Harvey. Swoony-vampires, witty banter, and bad*ss heroines. I love this series.

hearts at stake

4. Stork by Wendy Delsol. Ok, I totally have a thing for awesome heroines!


5. Mothership by Martin Leicht. Laugh-out-loud hilarious.


How about some underrated leading men?

6. How to Lead a Life of Crime by Kirsten Miller. A boarding school for the criminally insane? Yes, please!

life of crime

7. Hold Me Closer, Necromancer by Lish McBride. Wicked, dark humor!

hold me closer 2

8. The Cardturner by Louis Sachar. Not *just* a YA book about bridge!


9. I Hunt Killers by Barry Lyga. It’s not easy being the son a serial killer!

i hunt killers

10. Reality Boy by A.S. King. Reality television isn’t so funny when you consider the damaging affects it can have on the stars.

reality boy

I hope you see something on this list that sparks your interest!

Happy Reading!