Friday, August 4, 2017

Fun Fiction Friday - August 4, 2017

Fun Fiction Friday
August 4th, 2017

Welcome back to Fun Fiction Friday.

In my Fun Fiction Friday I share the books the older girls and I are reading, and a short review of a Young Adult or Juvenile book I have finished, if applicable. I will also ask the girls to tell me something they would like to share about at least one of the books they are currently reading. As I am also reading books for adults, I have started my book blog up again. A few weeks ago I shared my Friday Finds, Book Beginnings on Friday, and The Friday 56 in my Friday Fun post. I haven't had a chance to post one since, but hope to do so today. I will also be sharing my reviews of any adult books over there. If I do, I will share links to those reviews in my Fun Fiction Friday post. 

I am currently finishing up one of the books I mentioned last week. Honestly, I should have been finished by now, but I've been so busy. Definitely NOT going to get to all the books I took out to read this summer. I am going to have to return the other book I mentioned last week, Unhooked by Lisa Maxwell, and put it back on hold because it is past due.

The one I am finishing is The Castle in the Mist by Amy Ephron. I was so excited to see I had a message on my Tots and Me Facebook page by the author. That was just so exciting. Anyhow. I will be sharing my review of The Castle in the Mist next week. I'm sure I will have it finished in the next couple of days. I am also going to start reading the next book in the The Land of Stories series. I put it on hold as soon as I was done with the first book and I was conveniently at the library when it arrived the other day. 

The Castle in the Mist is another book I found on display in the library. It is a juvenile fiction book written by Amy Ephron, her first book for young people. In this story Tess and Max are sent to their aunt's English countryside village. There isn't a lot to do until Tess finds a key that unlocks a magical gate into a mysterious land where things that are wished for seem to come true, though at first they aren't even aware why strange things are happening.

The Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns by Chris Colfer is the second book in the The Land of Stories series. Young Alex and Conner Bailey are back to help save the day in this sequel to The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell. The Eastern Kingdom, once called The Sleeping Kingdom, had finally began to really recover from the original sleeping curse. At the time of the first book, the Sleeping Kingdom was still half asleep and unproductive (both the land and the people), though Queen Sleeping Beauty's actual curse had been broken before the book began. Now the evil Enchantress (the one who originally cursed her) is back and her evil had reached into the real world. Friends and acquaintances from the first story join forces to help Alex and Conner rescue their mother and save the fairy-tale world.

Moving on to the girls' books:

Amelia is still reading The Prisoner of Azkaban, a chapter book for Australia called Flat Stanley's Worldwide Adventures: The Australian Boomerang Bonanza, and recently started Charlotte's Web because we are reviewing the study guide from Progeny Press. She took Hamster Princess: Giant Trouble out of the library and hopes to be able to get to it soon.

Tabitha is really enjoying the History Mysteries from American Girl. She recently finished Watcher in the Piney Woods by Elizabeth McDavid Jones and is currently reading Ghost Light on Graveyard Shoal by the same author. She also chose to read Hamster Princess: Giant Trouble, zinging through it quite quickly. She is also reading Charlotte's Web, for the same reason Amelia is. 

Fun Fiction Friday
Book Review

The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell by Chris Colfer is a juvenile book that I (yep, you guessed it) found on display in the children's room at the library. I actually took it out a while ago, didn't have time to read it, returned it, put it back on hold, and finally decided I needed to get it read. I'm sorry I didn't get to it sooner. It is a wonderfully imaginative tale that takes place mostly inside the fairy tale world. Twins Alex and Conner Bailey are grieving the loss of their father, and having some troubles in school, Conner worse than Alex. They remember how their father was always telling them tales to help them overcome difficulties. They also fondly remember being told fairy tales by their grandmother when they went to visit her. 

For their birthday, their grandmother visits and gives them the Land of Stories book they so fondly remember. Days later, they are suddenly transported into the book, into the fairytale world, where they find that all the stories they have been told really took place. However, they are now stuck in a strange, magical, and dangerous land. They make friends with a large talking frog, who had been magically transformed into this form. He sets them on a quest to find out about The Wishing Spell, a spell that can grant a person one wish, no matter what it is. They figure this is their only way to make it back to the real world. 

After they discover a journal written by a man who wanted to cast the spell some years prior, they set out to gather the same ingredients. They are helped by clues in the journal. However, someone else is also after the ingredients for the spell, and once it is cast it won't be able to be cast again. The objects they are after are all related to different fairy tales they know, such as Sleeping Beauty's spindle, and Cinderella's glass slipper. So, the twins have to trek across the land, making their way from kingdom to kingdom, facing dangers they could never have imagined, before the other person gets to them first. 

I love stories that bring "real" world characters into "fairy tale" lands (or vice versa), tales that make it appear as if fairy tales are real. In this story, the different fairy tale characters all live in their respective kingdoms (there's even a map of the land). Alex and Conner make new friends, and some new foes, helping people/creatures along the way, while graciously accepting the help of others. Though, there are some instances where they end up having to steal, one such time was from the goblin and troll kingdom, because well, there was no way those creatures were going to help them, as they had just captured the twins as slaves. 

I will say, there are times when it seemed a bit too convenient that they were able to get the needed object. Times when I feel there should have been a bit more of an obstacle in their way. That said, I still enjoyed the book immensely (obviously, seeing as I quickly put the next book on hold). There were quite a few startling revelations along the way, and the twist at the ending was something I could sort of see coming, but played out in a surprising way. 

All in all, I have to say, I love The Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell and am looking forward to reading the sequels. One of these days, the girls may find time to read them as well. I think they would really enjoy them.

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