REVIEW: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding – Alexandra Bracken

33785202Title: The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding (The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding #1)
Author: Alexandra Bracken
Rating: ★★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

This was such a fun read! It’s middle grade, but I totally enjoyed it nonetheless and I really think readers of all ages will enjoy it. The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding is the perfect read for the fall. The story features witches, demons, Salem, curses, pumpkins, and other magical creatures that definitely put me in the mood for Halloween!

The story is very well written; it’s creepy and mysterious, but light-hearted and humorous at the same time, which can be hard to execute but Bracken does it perfectly. It features the perfect cast of characters, and I loved both the main character, Prosper, and his inner monologues with Alastor, the fiend. 

The ending is a bit of a cliffhanger, but I really enjoyed this and I’m looking forward to reading the sequel!

The New York Times “By the Book” Tag

I’ve been itching to do another book tag, especially since I’ve been in such a reading slump lately, and the first few questions really caught my eye! I first saw this tag on Thrice Read’s blog a while ago and it seemed really fun!


WHAT BOOK IS ON YOUR NIGHTSTAND RIGHT NOW?

Well, technically, my Kindle is on my nightstand. But I’m currently reading The Dreadful Tale of Prosper Redding by Alexandra Bracken and Godsgrave by Jay Kristoff. Like I said, I’ve been in a reading slump lately so I’ve been really unmotivated to read anything, which is a shame because my ARCs are starting to pile up. 


WHAT WAS THE LAST TRULY GREAT BOOK YOU READ?

The Dark of the Moon by E.S. Bell was the last book I gave five stars to. Not only that, but I wrote a pretty long review gushing all about it which is pretty telling about my feelings for a book. 


IF YOU COULD MEET ANY WRITER – DEAD OR ALIVE – WHO WOULD IT BE? AND WHAT WOULD YOU WANT TO KNOW?

This is one of the questions that drew me to this tag. Without a doubt, George R. R. Martin. SPOILERS to those who haven’t watched season 7 of Game of Thrones yet! There are quite a few questions I would like to pick Mr. Martin’s brain about, but mostly: please, please tell me Jon’s real name is not actually Aegon in the books 😒. Also, Jonsa is totally going to happen, right?!


WHAT BOOKS MIGHT WE BE SURPRISED TO FIND ON YOUR SHELF?

Okay, because I’m a huge nerd, I actually have a two different bookshelves. I have my regular bookshelves and then I have a smaller bookshelf which is where I keep all my “nonfiction” books. Mostly, it’s made up of textbooks I’ve kept over the years and a whole ton of books about different world mythologies/folklore. 


HOW DO YOU ORGANIZE YOUR PERSONAL LIBRARY?

I like things to be neat and orderly, so my books are all in alphabetical order by author. 


WHAT BOOK HAVE YOU ALWAYS MEANT TO READ AND HAVEN’T GOTTEN AROUND TO YET?

There are a few books that would fit to answer this question, but I think I’ll go with The Zookeeper’s Wife by Diane Ackerman. I’ve started it so many times but can never seem to get past the first chapter.


DISAPPOINTING, OVERRATED, JUST NOT GOOD: WHAT BOOK DID YOU FEEL YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO LIKE BUT DIDN’T?

Hmm. If anyone has ever ventured onto my Tumblr, it’s quite clear how I feel about the Throne of Glass/A Court of Thorns and Roses books. I’ll just keep it simple and say Sarah J. Maas’ books are not for me (anymore). 


WHAT KIND OF STORIES ARE YOU DRAWN TO? ANY YOU STAY CLEAR OF?

I’m definitely drawn to YA/Adult Fantasy, Historical Fiction, and Historical Romance. I also love a good mythology/fairy-tale retelling. I try to stay away from contemporary, although there are a good number that I’ve really enjoyed. There are certain tropes, though, that I’m a sucker for that will make me pick up a book. 


IF YOU COULD REQUIRE THE PRESIDENT TO READ ONE BOOK, WHAT WOULD IT BE?

There are so many different ways to answer this question but I don’t feel like being too political so I’m just going to skip it. 


WHAT DO YOU PLAN TO READ NEXT?

Oh gosh, there are so many books downloaded on my Kindle right now. I’ll probably read Warcross by Marie Lu since I won a copy of the book and I can’t wait for it!


If anyone else decides to participate in this tag, post a link in the comments, I want to read your answers! I would also love to hear any ideas on how to get out a reading slump! It’s been months and this is the longest slump I’ve ever been in.

Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Read For School

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is a back to school freebie! I actually had this all lined up to go for the back to school freebie last year but totally forgot to post it 🙈 So I’ve been saving this as a draft in case another occasion came to use this topic and I’m in luck! Being a huge reader, you would think I loved reading the books assigned for homework. Not the case-I actually despised reading for school. However, there were a few books that have stuck with me and that I did actually enjoy (and do the assigned reading for).

School Books

1. THE ILLIAD by Homer
One of the most well known pieces of literature, and for good reason. I loved reading The Iliad not only for the fantastic stories, awesome characters, and non-stop action, but also because it’s so rich with Greek mythology and history. And now that I’ve read thisnext I need to conquer The Odyssey.

2. THE THINGS THEY CARRIED by Tim O’Brien
I’ve actually had to read this three times. Once in high school, and twice for two different college courses. My opinion on the book has never changed-it’s amazing. It comes across as both a memoir and metafiction, and the reader never really knows which of the stories the author is being completely truthful about and which have been exaggerated for the point of storytelling. This book has stuck with me since I first read it at seventeen, and will continue to stay with me for a long time. 

3. HAMLET by William Shakespeare
If we’re being completely honest, I never really enjoyed reading Shakespeare in high school. I found it too difficult to read and didn’t really put forth any effort into trying to understand both the language and the plots. Hamlet was probably the only story I somewhat enjoyed, and that was due to previously having read a Young Adult story told through the point of view of OpheliaThankfully, my opinion on Shakespeare has changed since then.

4. THE CRUCIBLE by Arthur Miller
I think my obsession with the Salem Witch Trials is the cause for love of reading this play. But I still think it’s a great story that shows the effects of mass hysteria and fear on a town. 

5. NUMBER THE STARS by Lois Lowry
I read this when I was like, eleven, and yet I still absolutely loving it. It became my favorite book and I begged my mom to buy it for me so I could read it again (she didn’t). To this day, I remember every detail about it and it’s a story that has stuck with me since.

6. THE GREAT GATSBY by F. Scott Fitzgerald
The first time I read The Great Gatsby for class, I hated it. I thought all the symbolism was completely stupid and I couldn’t stand the book. The second time I had to read it for a class I was more open about it, and I ended up liking a lot better. I also understood a lot more of what I read was reading, but that also could have been because I kept my copy from high school, which was full of my notes and explanations.

7. MACBETH by William Shakespeare
Like I said before, as I got older, I developed a better appreciation for Shakespeare. Macbeth is one of my favorites, partly because it’s so dark. I’ll also never forget that we had to memorize a monologue for an English class in high school and I chose the infamous “Double, double, toil and trouble” speech. 

8. THE GOOD SOLDIERS by David Finkel
I love reading military memoirs, and this was perfect. For the most part, all of the soldiers in the 2-16 were only 18 to 22 years old, and it was incredibly heartbreaking and sobering to read about their experiences, hardships, and traumas. The numerous photos shown throughout made the reading experience feel almost personal, and all the more painful upon reaching the end of the book, where all the young men who died were listed. 

9. THE OUTSIDERS by S. E. Hinton
Okay, I’ll be completely and admit I don’t remember much from this book anymore; to be fair, it’s been almost fifteen years since I had to read it for middle school. But what I do remember is really enjoying it at the time. Also: “Stay gold, Ponyboy.”

10. A MIDSUMMER’S NIGHT DREAM by William Shakespeare
I don’t know why my younger self didn’t appreciate this play more. While it’s not my favorite, I still like it. From love triangles to fairies to talking donkeys, it’s pretty entertaining to say the least.

Book Traveling Thursdays #9 – Freebie Week

Book Traveling Thursdays is a weekly meme hosted by Danielle @ Danielle’s Book Blog and Cátia @ The Girl Who Read Too Much. Each week, you pick a book related to the theme and choose different editions of the cover: the original cover, the cover from your country (if different from the original), your favorite cover, and your least favorite cover. To see more information and a list of themes check out the Goodreads page!

This week is a freebie week, which is almost worst because it took me forever to decide which book to feature! I decided to choose a book most of us all know and love: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Although I only have one set of Harry Potter books, I’m a believer that one cannot have too many copies of the series. The Scholastic 15th Anniversary editions and Bloomsbury 20th Anniversary Hogwarts House editions are both stunning, and I can’t wait until the day they join my bookshelf!

ORIGINAL COVER – UK Edition

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COVER FROM YOUR COUNTRY – US Edition

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FAVORITE COVER – Scholastic 15th Anniversary Edition

17372039

LEAST FAVORITE COVER – Finnish Edition

Finnish-Book-1

REVIEW: The Dark of the Moon – E. S. Bell

35719003Title: The Dark of the Moon (Chronicles of Lunos Book I)
Author: E. S. Bell
Rating: ★★★★★

ARC received through NetGalley.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I requested this book, but I’m enthralled by what I read. The Dark of the Moon is an expertly written novel that is sure to please any lover of epic fantasy and nautical adventures.

The world created by E. S. Bell is wonderfully crafted. Lunos was once a solid land mass, but now is comprised of many different islands. The descriptions of the world are vivid and inventive, and it was easy to imagine myself there. The different religions and gods were intriguing to read about, as were the aspects of magic. In addition, the inclusion of other fantastical creatures and species added greatly to the complexity of the world the author created. The Vai’Ensai are one example of such and I greatly look forward to learning more about them in the future books!

All of the characters were well developed and complex. Selena was a wonderful protagonist and I felt myself rooting for her throughout the entire novel as she embarked on her quest. She was fierce, kind, unwavering in her faith, brave, and real. I also really enjoyed Sebastian as the other main character. Once driven by his need to avenge his family, he now wants to move beyond his dark, dangerous past. The taciturn, brooding man was easy for me to love, despite his menacing nature. The cast of secondary characters were engaging and delightful to read about also, and each have their own distinct personalities and backgrounds. 

There is romance in the book, and from the blurb you can pretty much figure it out, but I absolutely adored the way it unfolded. It was very believable and well-developed, built slowly throughout the story, and didn’t take away from the plot but rather added to it. This book is not without its twists turns, however, and I’m really looking forward to seeing how events unfold in the next one.

I want to comment on how excellent the writing is. I was in the middle of reading another series when I started this and had to stop because it was just too good to put down. Before starting, I actually was not aware the E. S. Bell was a pseudonym for contemporary romance writer, Emma Scott, and I honestly never would have guessed. Not many authors can go from writing one genre to the next so seamlessly. The Dark of the Moon reads like the work of a seasoned fantasy writer and I am very, very impressed.

The Dark of the Moon is a captivating novel that readers of fantasy and adventure books will absolutely love. I highly recommend it and I promise you will it will not disappoint!

P.S. Right now it’s free on kindle unlimited!