January was a little all over the place with my reading. It was fun to read some books back in the world of Harry Potter, and a few books I thought I was going to hate I ended up loving. This is what I have been reading this month.
Etiquette and Espionage
I wasn't sure what I was going to think of Etiquette and Espionage. I kind of thought it was going to be a ridiculous book, but I ended up really liking it and having a good time reading it.
Sophronia is not at all a proper lady, so when her parents decide to send her to finishing school she can't think of anything worse. With flyaway men, vampire teachers, mechanical dogs, Sophronia soon finds out this finishing school isn't anything like she imagined. They are teaching her etiquette, but also espionage.
It is a fun book. The characters and writing feel middle grade, but that doesn't mean it wasn't enjoyable reading, even with the immaturity of the characters. This was such a fun universe to read about, set in the past, but with advancements we don't even have today, like robot servants and such. It was a fun combination of the paranormal – with vampires and werewolves – and the world of spies. I would recommend it to anybody who loves Steam Punk. I think I might read it out loud to my daughter next!
Silver in the Blood
Dacia and Lou are two pampered cousins in the late 1800s. While they have been raised in New York they have learned all about their Romanian heritage. When they turn 17, their families decide it is time for them to come to Romania to meet all their family and learn the family's terrible secret: the entire family are shape shifters and so are Dacia and Lou. They must now either accept their inheritance or fight against it.
I am really torn on this book. I really liked the last half of it, but the first half was really drawn out and slow. It took me ages to read the first part and then I read the last half in one sitting. I did like it, but the slowness makes me hesitant to want to read any sequels that may come.
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them
Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them is basically a dictionary of the animals in the universe of Harry Potter. While a dictionary is not normally fun reading, Harry Potter fans are going to love any venture that takes them back into that world. It makes me excited for the movie and also wonder how on Earth they are basing a movie on a dictionary. Although we all know JK is a wizard herself, so I am excited to see it.
In Mare Barrow's world everything is decided by the color of your blood. Red blood makes you a commoner to be used as cannon fodder in the war. Silver blood makes you noble and it also means you have powers – some read minds, some manipulate fire. Mare Barrow is different; she has red blood and a power. The silvers decide to hide her at the palace saying she is a long lost silver, but threaten her with her life if her blood is ever exposed. I actually tried reading this book last year and couldn't get through it. I finished it this time and actually really liked it. A good dystopian read, even if it was slightly predictable. I don't buy into the hype this book gets, but overall I liked it enough to preorder the second one.
Quidditch Through The Ages
If I wasn't a Harry Potter fan I would have given up on this pretty dry book, but since I am a Harry Potter fan I DEVOURED all the nitty gritty details of Quidditch. So if you are die hard fan, this is for you.
Ungifted is a fun middle grade book about Donovan, a thoroughly average trouble maker, who accidentally gets placed in the gifted school. He is in way above his head, but maybe he is just what the program needs. He learns more than he ever thought possible and teaches the truly gifted kids a few lessons of his own, but what is going to happen when the teachers discover he isn't truly gifted? Will he have to leave his friends and everything he has accomplished?
I recommend it to all middle schoolers and anybody that loves a fun and easy book and doesn't mind reading middle grade literature.
The Princess in Black
Princess in Black book was my 7-year-old daughter's first read-out-loud book of the year. We read the first last year and loved it, so I bought the second for her. It is a fun book about a proper princess who secretly fights monsters as the princess in black. It is a easy-read chapter book with pictures on each page. My 7-year-old read it to me in one sitting and has read both books in the series multiple times by herself. I highly recommend it for young readers. My 7-year-old reads on a 4th grade level so it is probably perfect for 1st-3rdish graders.
Everybody in Fei's village is deaf. They have been that way for generations. They live high on the mountain top where they are slowly starving to death. They rely on the villages at the base of the mountain to send up food in exchange for the metals they mine, but slowly the metals are blinding the villagers, making it impossible to get the food they need to survive. It is too dangerous to climb down the mountain because they won't be able to hear rock slides that may come. Then one day Fei wakes up and can suddenly hear again. She is overwhelmed with her new sense, but knows she must do what she can to help her village.
To see more of what I am reading, make sure to follow me on Instagram. What have you been reading?