Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (Miss Peregrine’s Peculiar Children #1) by Ransom Riggs

About
A mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

A spine-tingling fantasy illustrated with haunting vintage photography.

My Thoughts
So I had tried to read this book or at least I had borrowed it from the library before but I never read it because I thought, just from appearances that it would be a scary book (akin to Stephen King). I’m SO glad that I gave it another chance because I was wrong. Wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. It’s fantastic! Yes, it took me a couple chapters to get into the groove of the story but once I got sucked in, it was very hard for me to put it down to return to reality.
I think what’s great about this book is that it reminds of the books from my childhood where you chose your own adventure (reminds me of, it’s not a choose your own adventure book mind you). It’s such a fantastical adventure that you are right there with Jacob- running, fighting, falling, getting all muddy. It’s a book that you enter, you go into the world the author has created. And THAT, is how a book should feel. It should make you feel you are part of the adventure.

Jacob at first does come off as a kid who’s off his rocker and needs to be in a straight jacket and have 4 padded walls surrounding him. I mean, you meet his Grandpa and he’s the same. They’re both crazy! But no, they are peculiar. It’s sad in a way in the beginning because Jacob’s parents have him write his own grandpa off as whack-a-doodle because they think his grandpa has PTSD and dementia. So Jacob grows up and doesn’t think anything of what his Grandpa says, it’s just grandpa. Sad sad. But then, he finds his grandpa’s body and it’s tore up. Which I tell you, if that happened to me I would gladly welcome 4 padded walls and meds for my life. But it’s only in cleaning out his Grandpa’s belongings that he discovers the pictures from his grandpa’s childhood that he used to show Jacob as a kid. But he finds more of them, many more.

When his aunt gives him the inscribed book from his grandpa she found cleaning out his house, it’s then everything starts to make sense. He finds the clues he’s been looking for and he discovers that he isn’t crazy, and more importantly, his grandpa wasn’t lying. Jacob then embarks on an adventure like no other. He meets these unique individuals who have abilities and who are secluded to an island that his grandfather told him about growing up. It’s all real. The people. The Island. The Bird (Miss Peregrine). Everything. And the monsters. You find out that Jacob is peculiar also, like his grandfather- which is why only he can see ‘the monsters’ that his grandfather talked about.

So usually, my favorite character is the main one. But not in this case, my absolute favorite character is, Emma Bloom. She’s a peculiar on the island. Jacob’s grandfather’s former love and now Jacob’s crush (sounds weird and icky but honestly, it’s not, well, not too much). She is fire. I mean that’s how I think of her. She can light a flame with her hands. But more than her ability, she’s fierce. Her attitude fits her to a T. She’s strong, smart, pretty, able- and she can start a fire without matches/lighter. She’s great!

I like all the other peculiars as well, they all have these interesting gifts that make the story incredible. One of the BEST things about the book- it includes pictures. It’s crazy because you’re like man if only I could see them with my eyes, well, there’s pictures in the book. It’s amazing! I love that there’s pictures. And what’s more, it almost requires it because of all the mentioning of the pictures from the Grandfather’s childhood. It helps the reader better understand what and who the author is describing.

The adventure is amazing. I honestly think everyone should read this book. No lie. It’s great. Adventure, love, monsters, time travel…you can’t want much more from a book.

4 out of 5 stars! Why 4? Well, because it took me about 3 chapters to really get into this book. Which isn’t bad- with Harry Potter’s first book it took me just as long to get into and I am a HP LOVER! Give it a read.

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

About
Alice Love is twenty-nine, crazy about her husband, and pregnant with her first child. So imagine Alice’s surprise when she comes to on the floor of a gym (a gym! She HATES the gym) and is whisked off to the hospital where she discovers the honeymoon is truly over — she’s getting divorced, she has three kids, and she’s actually 39 years old. Alice must reconstruct the events of a lost decade, and find out whether it’s possible to reconstruct her life at the same time. She has to figure out why her sister hardly talks to her, and how is it that she’s become one of those super skinny moms with really expensive clothes. Ultimately, Alice must discover whether forgetting is a blessing or a curse, and whether it’s possible to start over..

My Thoughts

While I thought this book was a little underwhelming, I did like it. It has a good story to tell. Alice thinks she’s 29 and pregnant but she’s not. In fact, far from it. She’s almost 40 and has 3 kids- who she doesn’t remember. But what makes it worse, is that she doesn’t know why she is divorcing her husband, Nick- in her 29 yr old head, she’s madly in love with him. As the puzzle gets pieced back together, you realize that Alice’s friend, who dies 6 months ago in a terrible, freak of nature car accident, is mostly to blame. It all really started with her friend. Which sounds like passing the blame, but really, Alice kind of shadowed this woman and almost took on her marriage.
It’s interesting to see how people treat her when she’s her 29 yr old self- because she’s nice, sweet, happy instead of true self- conceited, too busy, woman who has to be the best. I found her story to be a little sad.

What drove me crazy are the add ins from the Grandma- the letters to her dead fiance, I mean it drove me crazy and didn’t add anything to the story. I also couldn’t really stand the sister- bitter and mad at the world (which I get why, I do, I can’t imagine the hurt but she’s mean and hateful to everyone with kids- she even tried to kidnap a kid so yeah, hard to sympathize). I liked Alice more as the story went along, and I’m glad that her amnesia helped be a better mom, wife, and person. The person she was before she hit her head at the gym was such a horrible person. It’s no wonder the author thought she needed a good whack to the skull.

3 out of 5 stars!

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

About

Simon Snow is the worst Chosen One who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he starts something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around, wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here — it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On – The Rise and Fall of Simon Snow is a ghost story, a love story and a mystery. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story – but far, far more monsters.

My Thoughts

First things first, I’m a HUGE Rainbow Rowell fan. I LOVE her! and her books! I have read a lot of her books and they never disappoint me. Carry On was mentioned in Rowell’s Fan Girl book about Cath and her obsession with Simon. It’s a great book too!

I freakin’ loved this book! Are there similarities to Harry Potter? Yeah, a little but really the only thing I find that’s similar is the magic aspect. Simon and Harry and so different, and their stories as well, that I’m not sure why people got their panties in a twist over it.
What’s great about Simon is that he is unmistakingly lost. He has no clue what’s going on more than anyone else. His wand doesn’t work properly, and when he gets angry or upset he explodes so much magic it knocks him out. He’s the most powerful wizard of his time but he can’t control any of his magic. It’s kind of sad and funny all at once. Simon is so clueless and it’s absolutely lovely. It makes you love him more.

Then there’s Baz. A vampire. Simon is so obsessed with him that he follows him around everywhere to make sure he’s not up to something. Baz goes missing for the first 6 weeks of school and Simon almost loses his mind- he tells people it’s because he knows Baz is up to something, plotting to kill him, but really you get a sense that it’s something more.

Much, much more…

The chapters go between the characters- it’s mostly Simon’s tale but you get POV’s from Baz, The Mage, Lucy, Baz’s mom, and Penny. Usually I don’t like this but you get a lot more info with this style. The WHOLE story- especially about how The Mage became a lunatic and who Simon’s parents are.

One of the most entertaining things I found in the book, and I need to mention, are the spells. I mean it’s hilarious how spells are created- songs, nursery rhymes, random sayings. It’s brilliant, it really is, but silly all at the same time.

I think one of the great things about this book is that it has a diverse amount of characters from different backgrounds. It also has lots of KISSING. Between Simon and Baz. And let me tell you, although you are warned in the synopsis about kissing you’re not expecting Simon and Baz. But man, it’s so good. Simon doesn’t even know if he’s gay but there that boy is kissing the mess out of Baz- who he supposedly hates and is destined to kill him. It’s so great. I mean, I really hope there’s more stories about these two (get on that, will you Rainbow dear?).

5 out of 5 stars!

If I had a top 10 list of books (and I do) I would have to do some serious rearranging so I could add Carry On to it.

The Girl with the Iron Touch (Steampunk Chronicles book 3) By Kady Cross

About
In 1897 London, something not quite human is about to awaken…

When mechanical genius Emily is kidnapped by rogue automatons, Finley Jayne and her fellow misfits fear the worst. What’s left of their archenemy, The Machinist, hungers to be resurrected, and Emily must transplant his consciousness into one of his automatons—or forfeit her friends’ lives.

With Griffin being mysteriously tormented by the Aether, Finley turns to Jack Dandy, but trusting the master criminal is as dangerous as controlling her dark side. Meanwhile, Sam is searching everywhere for Emily. He would walk into hell for her, but the choice she must make will test them more than they could imagine.

To save those she cares about, Emily must confront The Machinist’s ultimate creation—an automaton more human than machine. And if she’s to have any chance at triumphing, she must summon a strength even she doesn’t know she has.

My Thoughts

So in this book a lot happens, FINALLY! The book revolves around Emily (for once) and her abduction. She is taken by automatons and The Machinist. He’s alive! It’s crazy because he’s in this machine that’s keeping him alive. He can talk with his robots because his brain is still functional. His other automatons have created one robot that is meant to house his brain. The interesting and disturbing part is that with the ‘wee beasties’ the automaton that’s meant to become The Machinist, become human-like. She thinks, feels, and knows things that robots don’t. She is alive. The science in these books is so incredible. And the fact that it’s set in the late 1800s makes it a bit surreal but you know even if it is a bit far fetched- it doesn’t seem like it when reading. It seems plausible.

Emily is a brave woman. You know she’s scared but she also isn’t going to die.

Like I said, a lot happens in this book- like Sam and Emily FINALLY saying ‘I LOVE YOU’ to each other. I was so teary when Sam finally told Emily. I was like, “you big oaf, it’s about time!” Oh and Finely and Griffin- thank God! They finally get together and admit they have feelings and care about each other- and they finally sleep together. Good Lord, Kady Cross! Make a girl wait why don’t you! 3 books. No it makes sense why they wait- with the time the books are set and how women were looked at and treated but seriously, it made me crazy that Griffin and Finley were all in love and they would not admit or tell one another but everyone knew.

They save Emily. Or rather Emily saves herself with the help of the automaton. I mean all the good stuff happens. AND ALL THE FEELS HAPPEN in this book. It’s so worth the wait. I really can’t wait to read the 4th book.

5 out of 5 stars! Yes, 5 because I got everything I wanted from the characters and plot and more. Brilliant!

The Girl in the Clockwork Collar (Steampunk Chronicles Book 2) by Kady Cross

About

In New York City, 1897, life has never been more thrilling-or dangerous Finley Jayne and her “straynge band of mysfits” have journeyed from London to America to rescue their friend Jasper from the clutches of a devious criminal demanding a trade-the dangerous device Jasper stole from him… for the life of the girl Jasper loves.

One false move from Jasper, and the strange clockwork collar around Mei’s neck tightens and tightens. From the rough streets of lower Manhattan to elegant Fifth Avenue, the motley crew of teens follows Jasper’s elusive trail. And they’re about to discover how far they’ll go for friendship.

More than ever, Finley must rely on powerful English duke Griffin King to balance her dark magic with her good side. Yet Griffin is at war with himself over his secret attraction to Finley… and will risk his life and reputation to save her.

Now, to help those she’s come to care for so deeply, Finley must infiltrate the criminal gang. Only problem is, she might like the dark side a little too much.

My Thoughts

I again liked this book. I don’t think Kady Cross could disappoint me honestly. Jasper is a cowboy from America who is fast, inhuman fast. He’s kidnapped by his former gang and brought back to America. He learns that the woman he loves Mei is being held with a device around her neck that with one touch can choke her to death (which if you ask me, wouldn’t be a loss). Finley and her friends come to America to help Jasper. Finley joins the gang and she has to choose whether to let her dark side take over or whether to fight it and help her friends.

I tell you what I hated the most, Mei. And SPOILER, I’m glad she dies. Not glad that Griffin feels like it’s his fault but I’m glad she dies. She was a major Bitch. The way she treated Jasper pissed me off- what betrayal. She was a good bad woman in this book.

4 out of 5 stars!

The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles Book 1) by Kady Cross

About

In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the “thing” inside her

When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch.

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets, against the wishes of his band of misfits. And Finley thinks she might finally be a part of something, finally fit in—until a criminal mastermind known as the Machinist threatens to tear the group apart….

Included for the first time in print, meet Finley in her first adventure The Strange Case of Finley Jayne the novella prequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset

My Thoughts
I really liked this book. It definitely drew me in from the very beginning. Finley is an extremely strong girl. Like unusually strong. And she has black outs. It’s interesting because she knows there’s a darkness inside that she could easily give in to but she doesn’t want to. She fights so hard not to give in but sometimes it’s so hard and her dark side comes out. It’s amazing how strong she is not only physically but mentally. If I thought I was a monster I would not be so inclined to be a ‘good’ person like her. I would give in..because being bad feels good. Finley is a good person when you get right down to it. Yes, she has the darkness but you see how hard she tries to not let it control her. I also really like her name Finley Jayne. That’s such a great name! Maybe it’s because I’m pregnant but that would be such a cool, badass name.

I like Griffin King too. But there’s something about Jack Dandy that makes me kind of wish she would be with him. But I guess the story wouldn’t work out the same if she chose Jack over Griffin. Don’t get me wrong, Griffin is swoon-worthy but like I said, being bad, bad boys…I mean there’s just something about it. Especially in books. I loved Jack’s character because he’s real. He tells it like it is, he looks out for numero uno, and he’s funny. But more than all that, he’s loyal even though he’s a high time thief, he’s loyal to Finley.

I think my main problem with Griffin is that he won’t acknowledge the fact that he’s in love with Finley. Like straight away that was obvious and I’m just all, KISS HER!! But he doesn’t. Men. He’s also very ‘oh whoa is me’ at times because he’s the Duke and has responsibilities. Like his friends don’t. I mean, STOP IT GRIFFIN. Which is where Finley comes in and tells him like it is. It’s refreshing to see a couple that is honest with each other (even before they are technically a couple). He does have a cool ‘power’. He can use the aether to contact and see spirits. Which would freak me the eff out but you know, it’s cool. He can help calm people and their aura’s. I mean his power is something new to me.

Sam. Oh Sam. I’m pretty much in love with Sam. He’s so stupid though for someone who’s smart, handsome and incredibly strong. He’s a bufoon for trusting someone at a bar who gets him drunk but you know, we all do stupid shit. He’s madly in love with Emily but won’t admit it- which makes me want to smack him. He’s also half machine- which is pretty awesome, although he wouldn’t agree. His fight with Finley that almost kills him makes me a little mad because he’s such an idiot sometimes. But you know, when he’s needed most he pulls through and helps his friends.

Emily is such a sweetheart and SCARY smart. Like it’s crazy how her mind works. But she’s brilliant! She creates all these gadgets and gizmos and knows how to save people’s lives. It’s incredible. She also has what she calls ‘her beasties’ that helps people heal.

“The Beasties” are these organites that help heal and make a person more. It’s because of them that all 4 of the characters are how they are. The 4 are up against someone called The Machinist- a mad scientist who seems to want to take over the world with his creations. He’s crazy, certifiable. They finally come face to face with him, and they over power him…or so they think!

READ THIS BOOK! I swear it’s good. I thought it was a great read and an easy read. You get sucked in. IF I had one critic it’s that some parts get bogged down with info about all the machines and science that goes on- but I can see the need so you can understand how and why it’s around and needed.

Up next on reviews are book 2 and book 3 in this series. I haven’t gotten book 4 yet but don’t worry, I will!

4 out of 5 stars!