Secret Horses of Briar Hill review

secrethorses

 

240 pages
Published October 11th 2016 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
This book was everything I look for a middle-grade story. Magic. Tragedy. Beauty. Innocence…it was perfect.
The story follows Emmaline May who sees winged horses in the mirrors of the children’s hospital she resides in World War II era Britain. One day she finds an injured pegasus in the garden of the hospital along with a note from “The Horse Lord” with steps to take to protect the pegasus from what Em assumes is an evil horse out to hurt “Foxfire.”
The way Megan Shepherd writes this, it’s as if I am seeing the world in black and white and with each chapter, a little bit of color gets added in-a metaphor for the horrors of war and the innocence that is caught up in it.
What I loved most was we don’t truly know what was real and for some reason, I’m okay with that. This book is going to stay with me for a long time.

Song of the Current review

songofthecurrent

373 pages
Published June 6th 2017 by Bloomsbury USA Childrens
I started off 2018 with nothing but adult reads because I was growing tired of the same old YA that’s floating around. Girl has magic powers, doesn’t know it or does and needs to learn to use it blah blah blah. Then if I read the first, I’m dedicated and HAVE to read the series, if there is one…which there probably is. That being said, I was happy to find that this one dealt very little with magic. +1 point so far.
So, the heroine Caroline is the daughter a wherry boat captain who deals in smuggling goods. From the first chapter you can see how capable she is. She sometimes borders of the Mary Sue, a very thin line, but doesn’t quite get there so rest assured. She can handle herself just fine.
Basically, I really loved her.
What happens is she takes on a cargo that turns out to be a boy. No surprise there. What did surprise me was how annoying the boy was and how much Caroline agreed with me. There’s a serious love/hate there going on.
There’s a ship after her and her “cargo”  Of course, but we need that to steer the plot along. Turns out cargo boy is someone of high importance which turns the trip into something a little more dangerous than Caro expects.
The story was well paced, save for all the ship talk which had me skipping paragraphs. I did love all the characters and the ending was satisfying. I am fairly certain this is a stand-alone which is what drew me in to begin with.
The cover is pretty btw. I keep stroking it when nobody is looking.

Leia, Princess of Alderaan review

leia2

 

Hardcover, First Edition, 409 pages

Published September 1st 2017 by Disney Lucasfilm Press

 

 

Let me start out by saying that this is my first Star Wars book and I am a little embarrassed because I am a huge SW fan. But, hey, everyone has to start out somewhere.

 

This book follows Princess Leia who, at sixteen, has to complete three challenges to delare her claim to the throne of Alderaan. The Challenge of the Mind, Body and Heart. This is all set before the events of A New Hope.

 

I love this because we get to see how strong Leia is and how she became that way. She sits in on Senate meetings, makes allies in her peers and experiences her first love and bout of grief. This sets her hope for the actions she takes in obtaining the plans for the Death Star. There are even clues in there of the rebellion of Saw Gerrarra who you see in Rogue One.

 

If you’re looking hard enough, you can even spot R2-D2 😀

 

It was a little bittersweet to read, knowing what happens to Alderaan, but it was cool to see the relationship between Bail and Breha who adopted Leia. I kept finding myself hoping for some hints as to her lineage and we do see some, but you have read between the lines.

 

Basically, this is the setup for how bad-ass Leia becomes. Claudia Grey paints a picture of a determined, courageous young girl who will soon grow to lead a rebellion.

 

All in all, this is a typical YA novel, with a little romance and some puzzle solving for our protagonist. Even if you aren’t a big SW fan, you may even enjoy this. For myself, I am ordering all of Claudia’s other books in the SW realm and wondering why in Hell my TBR pile grew to the ceiling.